Friday, April 22, 2016

Let's Not Play In The Mud

Michael Voris
Just as I was posting the last entry on Father James Martin and his “ten takeaways” from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, there was a not so startling public confession from self-proclaimed Catholic media apologist Michael Voris that he had, prior to his “reversion” to our Catholic faith “lived a life of live-in relationships with homosexual men.” 
What prompted Mr. Voris to emerge from the closets of his former lovers is that apparently the Archdiocese of New York has been going to considerable lengths to investigate Voris who is an outspoken critic of the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York and many other American bishops.  The Archdiocese—and its Cardinal Archbishop—apparently see a need to discredit Mr. Voris and are willing to get down into the mud to do it. 
I am not surprised at Mr. Voris’ admission.  I am a bit off-put by his avoidance of a deeper self-honesty, attributing his choices to being “confused about my own sexuality” and his claim that “From the outside, I lived the lifestyle and contributed to scandal in addition to the sexual sins. On the inside, I was deeply conflicted about all of it.”  The implication is that others took advantage of “the deep pains of my youth.”   It would not be fair to say that Mr. Voris should acknowledge his homosexuality because it seems from his statements that that he has yet to connect the dots of his past relationships to create an accurate self-portrait.  I think he has been as honest, as remarkably honest, with his audience as he is with himself; the need is for him to do more homework on himself and come to understand better his own psycho-sexual identity.    
I must admit that I am not surprised at Mr. Voris’ admission of having led a gay lifestyle for so long.  His opposition to same-sex issues—gay priests and seminarians, same-sex marriage, a supportive policy of pastoral care of those with same-sex attraction, parishes such as Saint Francis Xavier in NYC that are “gay friendly”—has been so disproportionate to other issues as to identify homosexuality as one of Mr Voris’ obsessions, and an unhealthy obsession at that.  Happy, well-adjusted heterosexual men don’t usually have the passion to wage homophobic campaigns that Mr. Voris had demonstrated. 
I only wish that the wild and wooly sexual experiences of Mr. Voris’s past life  had taught him compassion rather than had confirmed him in black and white judgment.  By this I don’t mean that he should validate the LGBT socio-political agenda but rather that it is sad that he cannot look at the LGBT socio-political agenda and see not a niche for a cultural warrior to make a name for himself  but to see the individual men and women who have all the challenges and confusions and “deep pains” of their youths that comprise the struggles of human lives, gay or straight.  We all need to look beyond the categories into which we pigeonhole people and see each individual in his or her particular struggle to find the inner energy to love God and to love one’s neighbor.  Life is just not lived in the black and white. 
What is the scandal in this story is not Mr. Voris’ past life.  Every one of us has a past.  What is the scandal is that the New York Archdiocese decided to snoop in various closets in order to discredit a detractor.   I will be the first to say that the American hierarchy should have long ago sidelined Voris—along with the late Mother Angelica, Judy Brown, Michael Hichborn, Matt Abbott and others who set themselves up as an alternative magisterium, but do it without slinging mud and digging into individuals’ personal lives.  Mud does not become Holy Mother Church; we have given our enemies enough mud to sling at us, we don’t need to play in it ourselves.  


  1. He offers no proof that the Archdiocese of NY was going to do what he says. Reliable sources?
    I would not blame anyone trying to stop his crazy hate filled rants, but as you stated he needs to really look deeper into himself as well as his readership should do as well.
    A past post you did on him about filling Sr. Rita Rizzo (love that name better then Mother Angelica) role a s a beat-up the clergy persona was on the money.
    He has my prayers that he learn to love the Gospel and to stop hating himself and others.

    1. I think Consolamini was spot on in referring to the late Mother Angelica, Judie Brown, Michael Hichborn, Michael Voris, Matt Abbott and their fellow travelers as an alternative magisterium. I sincerely wish Michael Voris would learn to accept himself and others, but that has to come from within.

  2. Or maybe +Dolan and ArchNY sound better than an outing by former friends and associates.
    "The Archdiocese of New York has said it is “absolutely, 100 per cent untrue” that it was preparing to smear the Catholic journalist Michael Voris."

  3. I will agree with you that it was reprehensible, if true (and I tend to believe it is) that certain parties in the Archdiocese of New York sought to detract Mr. Voris. I do not think, however, that it was detraction for Mr. Voris to reveal the rampant corruption and elaborate violation of priestly and episcopal vows by the clergy of that archdiocese. 'Detraction', if I recall correctly, is the revelation of the sins of another to a third party without a valid reason. Mr. Voris had any number of good reasons for revealing the sins and crimes of priests and bishops. The Archdiocese did not.

  4. Actually, MV had told his readers YEARS ago that he lived a sinful lifestyle. He just never gave the details.

    Most of his readers suspected it meant bed-hopping with women; some thought homosexuality could also be a part. As it turns out, BOTH were true. So I think his affliction was sexual promiscuity and bisexuality, not homosexuality per se (though that appears to be what his Sainted Mother asked that he be 'cured' of). Whatever....I really don't care where a person has come from, just where he/she is going.

    Also, I don't think MV's past sexual behavior is necessarily related to his current focus at CM. It COULD be, but it doesn't necessarily follow. Women who have abortions can either be militantly pro-abortion or convert to pro-life.

    I don't think MV's Church Militant website has an unhealthy obsession with certain topics though I don't frequent it that often. What is upsetting is not MV's past behavior or CM's topics, but whether they are true or not. Sadly, 99% of the stories appear to be spot-on. That is the scandal, one that too many bishops want to sweep under the rug, as they did the pedophile problem. And while Cdl. Dolan appears orthodox when in Rome, he has made decisions in Milwaukee and NY that leave the faithful shaking his head. This did NOT happen when John Cardinal O'Connor ruled with an iron fist.

    I don't know why you think the American Church should sideline MV, Judy Brown, Michael Hitchborn (?), and Matt Abbott (?). I know 2 of them, 2 I don't. But it appears that all 4 are 100% staunch Catholics who are willing to point out some uncomfortable truths. Would you rather their issues be swept under the rug ? How about if the Catholic Church dumped its social justice mantra and swept that under the rug -- would that be OK with you ?

    I am dissappointed that you would attack these loyal Catholics while saying that the Catholic Church should embrace Pelosi, Biden, Kennedy, etc. So we should show tolerance to anti-Catholic liberal's favorite "Catholics" but loyal Catholics we stab in the back? Jeez, Louise.......

    I know why dissenters, pro-aborts, feminists, and pro-homosexuality apostates dislike those people. They are diametrically opposed to the Catholic Church's teachings. You aren't in that group, so why are you so against them ? Even if their style or focus isn't what yours might be, they ARE pro-Catholic. They ARE loyal Catholics. They ARE defending the Church.

    And they are doing it without the support of foundations, billionaires, the anti-Catholic media, the anti-Catholic academic/educational establishment, etc. IOTW, they have no support except their own Faith and they really don't need to be stabbed in the back by the institution they are defending.

    And while I like Cdl. Dolan personally, his comments on the embezzling "gay" priest that was disclosed on CM were more appropriate for someone who took a few bucks from the Candle offertory. Betraying your a sinful lifestyle...stealing Church monies...and all the Church can say is that IF it turns out to be true, the guy is in trouble ?

    God Help Us.

    - Anonymous in NY

  5. Excellent, excellent, excellent. This so does not come as a surprise. I just wish that Voris, and people who live in the clerical or hierarchical closet would learn some compassion, rather than hate and condemnation. Father Robert Sirico is a revert too who helped to establish the Metropolitan Community Church, but sadly he now espouses laissez-faire economics, ignoring the profoundly negative impact this has on the poor. I agree that it's unbecoming of the Archdiocese of New York engaged in mudslinging, but this unfortunately rather resembles the Curial and hierarchical response to sexual abuse victims.

    1. How do you think Catholic immigrants to the U.S. got to be middle-class or above, by the welfare state ?

      My grandparents worked 16-hour days digging ditches and 12-hours in a garment sweatshop. Their son, my father, worked 3 jobs to put food on our table. That's why I have it relatively good today.

      My dad got part of his St. John's education paid for by the GI Bill (I think) and my grandparents got $255 each from the government when they died. That's the extent of our families "get yours" from the government. After that, it was all they earned....the Church helped out...or the School Sisters of Notre Dame raising my father and aunt.

      A success story copy-catted by millions of other immigrants. Yeah, help the truly needy. But don't make it the policy. Because then it becomes a trap. See, Black Family Since 1965 under "Unintended Social Policy Disasters."

      - Anonymous in NY

  6. Ah, poor Michael Voris. As if.

    IF, and it is big "if," the Archdiocese of New York has turned its byzantine and labyrinthine machines against him, they probably had a good reason to do so. Michael Voris is one of these very radical, right-wing demagogues who does not really help the cause of the faith. He has had run-ins with many dioceses across the country who have shut him out of different speeches and official platforms, which is saying something considering the ecclesial Mini Ice Age of the JP2-Benedict papacies in the American Church. While he vociferously espouses his interpretation of "traditional Catholic values," his postmodernism and psychological Protestantism betrays his "purely, traditionally Catholic" facade. For all of his waxing about a past that he neither experienced nor would have allowed him to exist, as we now hear from the horse's mouth, the fact remains that he is unabashedly critical and even cruel towards anyone in the Church hierarchy that disagrees with him. In truly Protestant fashion, he "learned his Bible," got a theology degree signed and stamped from the Angelicum, and is now a self-ordained seat of alternative magisterium from which to either furiously insist that Bishop X was opposing the Good and Holy tradition of JP2 and the pre-Parousia, Benedict XVI, or, since the election of the troublesome and not-really-Katholik Francis, scream and bemoan the papacy and various segments of the American hierarchy.

    Furthermore, and this was my initial red flag concerning Voris years ago, is that he appears to take a perverse and disconcerting pleasure or gleefulness in his assessment of the masses that are supposedly burning in Hell, even as he counts himself among the few, the lucky, the Saved. How Puritan. I could understand, perhaps as the result of a head injury, sincerely believing that one was sufficiently empowered to determine the state of sinfulness of others and extrapolate that the majority of people were in fact going to wail and grind their teeth forever, but that should inspire feelings of sorrow and utter compassion for these poor, blind, stupid people who are going from a miserable sinful life to an infinitely more miserable teeth-grinding festival. However, the truly off-putting thing is that he seems to glory in his impending separation of himself and perhaps a few other people from the filthy masses. He seems to thoroughly enjoy the prospect of a self-righteous, embattled church of the elect and the void that separates them from the damned.

    I always thought that in his picture posing with a big, shining, upraised sword he looked a little too happy, but perhaps that is actually correlated to his recent public confessions. Oops.

    Furthermore, in regard to something "Anonymous in NY" said, I don't really think Michael Voris is pro-Catholic. On the surface of things, he's so pro-Catholic, he could give Peter a run for his money, but in reality he embodies very little of the spirit of the Apostles or of Jesus. If this were first century Jerusalem, he'd be a poisonous little attendant of one of the Sanhedrin.

    1. Well put, 1950

    2. He's never attacked the Pope (even during the Synods and with AL) and when the AD of Detroit asked him to drop the word "Catholic" from his operation, he complied even though other groups with the word in their name are rabid dissenters or frauds in Catholic clothing.

      Contrast that behavior with the brazen insolence of Catholic leftists and liberals giving the middle-finger to the Church and the hierarchy.

      - Anonymous in NY

    3. Yes, he did attack Francis during the Synod. I watched his YouTube rants while I was covering the Synod as a freelance because I saw them being filmed in a park across the street from the entrance on the Via della Conciliazione.

  7. While it doesn't make it right for either party, Voris had, in the previous two months, "outed" numerous NYC priests and Cardinal Edwin O'Brien based upon information provided by anonymous sources and without offering any evidence. If someone had been digging into Voris' past, not only would they not have been do anything Voris himself wouldn't do, but based on his own admission, they would have uncovered the truth. He hasn't revealed any evidence, however, to substantiate the accusations he's made. All we have from him is the testimony of anonymous whistle-blowers. We have no way to assess their credibility.

  8. The issue with Michael Voris is not that he was involved in illicit sex, gay or otherwise.

    It is that he is a heretic.

    Listen even for a few minutes to any of his conferences, on almost any subject. His teaching on God, on the Trinity, on grace and sin, on judgment and hell, on all sorts of topics, would raise loud calls of "anathema" from most of the Church Fathers and Doctors, and quite a few popes.

    Maybe "heresy" is the wrong term, because it clearly stems from ignorance on his part, rather than from a stubborn refusal to listen to Church teaching. But I don't think it is: he isn't just preaching in his own bathtub but delivering conferences around the world, including his luxurious "retreat at sea", held on a cruise ship during Lent. And what about his "Pause" project, which recruited a group of young men to live in a house near his TV production company? Is he teaching them as well? And what is he teaching them.

    It sure isn't Catholic truth.