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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Michael Voris Stands His Ground

On March 4th, I received an email from the executive producer of Church Militant TV; Terry Carroll in reference to my blog post “Is it ever right to criticize a Pope?”

Mr. Carroll wanted to explain to me why Church Militant TV will not now or ever PUBLICLY (that is the key here) criticize a sitting Pope.  He shared with me an (at the time) on going email loop between himself, Michael Voris and a few of the parties (names withheld) that had emailed Church Militant TV with their concerns over this ‘issue’.  I truly appreciated their including me in the conversation.

At that point, I sort of thought that would be the end of the controversy as everyone seemed to have had their say, each clearly defining where they personally drew a line in the sand regarding the issue of PUBLICLY criticizing the Pope.  So when I took a few days ‘off’ from the blogging world only to return to my email full of emails with the subject line “Michael Voris” and seeing Church Militant TV’s The Vortex latest episodes (HERE and HERE) still talking about ‘publicly criticizing or not criticizing the Pope’ I was surprised the “issue” was still ongoing.

Some people (myself included) have/had no problem PUBLICLY criticizing a pope (just look in my sidebar), while others like Michael Voris DO have an issue with it and refuse to go against their better judgment just to appease protesters.  While I don’t always agree with Michael Voris, more often than not I DO agree with him and I will defend his RIGHT to stand up for his belief that it is WRONG to PUBLICLY criticize the Pope.

What would everyone like him to do?  

Honestly?  Would you all like him to go AGAINST his own conscience (perhaps falling into sin) to silence the protesters who are demanding he join the Pope Bashing Bandwagon?  Would that make you happy?  Would you really respect him for that?  I wouldn’t. 

So why DEMAND he do something he is NOT comfortable doing? 

Can we say Catholic Bullies?

Let’s call it like it is folks. 

If Voris doesn’t cave he will continue to be attacked by some CATHOLICS and some CATHOLICS are threatening to pull their financial support from Church Militant TV unless Voris goes against his conscience to appease them.  

This IS Catholic bullying and it’s not going to get you any place good.  Don’t ask a fellow Catholic who LOVES the Faith and DEFENDS the Faith to go against his conscience because you have your nose out of joint.  Get over it.  He’s got a RIGHT to defend his position on not criticizing a Pope.  Quit bullying him for standing his ground and not being a wishy-washy push over to kiss your butts.

What is crystal clear to me is that Voris is truly concerned with the salvation of souls and that his words against a pope MIGHT cause a soul to be lost.  That is abundantly clear in his statements. I not only respect that, I ADMIRE that.  We are warned in Sacred Scripture not to be a ‘stumbling block’ (1 Cor. 8:9 “But take care that this liberty [right] of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”) to others because if even one is lost on account of us, we will be held accountable.  Voris seems to keep that knowledge at the forefront of all he does.  He is equally concerned with the salvation of souls and defending the Faith.  God bless him for it!

As I mentioned in my original post “Is it ever right to criticize a Pope” I HAVE publicly criticized the Pope- as I did both Pope John Paul II (kissing the Koran) and Pope Benedict (allowing ‘liberal’ Bishops and nuns to run amuck often spreading heresy).  I am a critical person WHEN I FEEL MY FAITH IS BEING HARMED (hence this blog's motto above).  Anyone who reads this blog knows I do not hold back on ANYONE who claims the title “Catholic”. If you publicly claim to BE Catholic, you’d better believe ALL the Church teaches or you are fair game on my blog.  But I am LEARNING that not all criticism is good for correcting.  I am certainly not correcting the Pope by criticizing his words or actions on my little old blog- he doesn’t read my blog.  What I have been doing is venting MY frustration out of fear that HE is becoming a stumbling block for many, all the while not recognizing myself as possibly being a stumbling block.  The old “Let me pull the speck out of YOUR eye while I ignore the log in my own eye.” (Matt. 7:3-5)

That is not to say that SOME criticism and correction is never necessary…it might be, though caution is needed when criticizing a Pope and perhaps it isn’t always needed in public, which I believe is Michael Voris' point.

What Terry Carroll and Michael Voris (and others) said in the emails I received caused me to pause and really think about this issue because IT IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE.  We all LOVE our Catholic Faith and we all want the same thing…more Catholics IN the Church, not running for the doors. I took my time examining people’s different takes on the issue of PUBLICLY criticizing a Pope and often the word “PUBLIC” is not mentioned on these blogs, yet it is the key here.  Voris is clear the Chair of Peter is OFF LIMITS to PUBLIC criticism at Church Militant TV.  That is NOT to say that Voris or anyone else at Church Militant TV haven’t PRIVATELY been critical of the Pope or any Pope.  That this particular Pope’s “off the cuff” remarks have caused…deep concern among many is clear to all of us.  The fact remains HE IS THE POPE.  The Chair of Peter is Pope Francis’ right now.

Does he speak perfectly?  Nope.  Then again, neither did Moses (he needed Aaron) or Saint Peter our first Pope.  Peter was publicly corrected by Jesus Christ when he was wrong (John 18:10-11) and again very publicly corrected by Saint Paul (Galatians 2:11-14) when he was wrong.  The Saint’s some have mentioned (including Voris) have PRIVATELY corrected a Pope.  So we have clear examples of BOTH public and private criticism of Popes in our Church history.

I dug out a September 2013 audio from “Forward Boldly” with host Christine Niles and guests Terry Carroll (Church Militant TV executive producer) and Father John Fisher in which the three discuss whether or not it is the Catholic laity’s RIGHT to criticize Catholic clergy.  I listened to see if criticizing a Pope was ever mentioned- it was not.  But Canon Law #212 was. Please listen for yourselves HERE.

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.


After listening to that and the last few episodes of The Vortex and reading all these emails over again it seems to me everyone is on the same page in one regard.  Fear.

Fear is the one thing we all seem to have in common.  Some fear the Pope is a liberal who will damage the Faith.  Some fear that if they don’t point out these ‘issues’ with the Pope it will damage the Faith.  Some fear pointing out the issues will cause damage to the Faith.  Some fear criticizing the Pope will be a stumbling block for weak or new Catholics.  We are ALL worried about the Faith we love.  So why not let Voris do what Voris is called to do and everyone else follow their conscience and do what they feel they are called to do? 

That’s the part I really don’t understand.  Why target Michael Voris because he’s not marching to the tune you're playing?  Why does he have to?

I may or may not criticize a pope in the future, but what I know I won’t do is criticize or bully a fellow Catholic who out of love for the salvation of souls is not willing to become a stumbling block to appease Catholics acting like bullies.



In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner




12 comments:

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Julie, I too am saddened that some try to browbeat Church Militant TV into changing their policy. CMTV must follow what they believe is their calling from God for their apostolate.

For the same reasons, though, I am equally troubled that the theme of the past few Vortexes has been a browbeating of those of us who do voice concern and even displeasure at various papal actions and words that have caused unnecessary confusion and even scandal. I have blogged on that for the past few days now; on yesterday's post I listed other sites whose owners likewise take umbrage at being treated as de facto sedevacantists when we have been very respectful of the papacy.

As much as Voris (rightfully) bristles at the browbeating he's been receiving, it's quite disappointing that he employs that tactic against others who see their missions differently. As long as Voris continues with this treatment, I'll have no choice but to denounce that treatment.

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Hello and welcome Restore-D.C-Catholicism! It's good to see you again!

I am not sure if you were privy to the back and forth emails with the parties involved, but having read them myself it is NOT how some blogs are claiming.

Voris didn't mention any blogs that were "respectful to the papacy" - only the ones who were constantly attacking the Pope. (his concern is: attacking the pope will lead people OUT the door of the Church)

And the reason the CMTV statement even listed specific websites was because of the emails they received asking about those specific websites.

Viewers/members wanted to hear from CMTV on 1) 'what do you think of this...website'[the link was given] and 2)'why don't you go after the pope like you do other Catholic clergy?' - the statement answered those questions- so did the numerous emails between several parties involved.

My take on the whole thing is WHY FORCE VORIS TO DO SOMETHING AGAINST HIS CONSCIENCE?

You know?

Voris loves the Catholic Faith, he defends it and shares it with others, why attempt to bring down a fellow Catholic working hard to support the Faith? That is what is happening on the websites that are calling for Catholics to "stop supporting CMTV". They are like toddlers having a tantrum because they aren't getting their way. Their preaching "If Voris doesn't do what we demand, let's take him down no matter how much he is helping other Catholics!"

THAT is 100% wrong. We should LIFT UP the Catholics who actually believe and support official Catholic teaching, not tear them down.

In my opinion, Voris has done NOTHING wrong, yet fellow Catholics are treating him like something nasty on the bottom of their shoes. Shame on them.

Thank you for sharing your views and take on the issue, I do appreciate hearing from you.

God bless.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Again, my (and some other) blogs are not bringing him down. We simply object to him lumping us in with those who are lambasting him. He has made no attempt to distinguish between us and those who may well be malicious. That this stance continues, in light of all our replies, is troubling.

forthetruth said...

Hi

Let us remember that Michael Voris would lose 70% of his followers who still think that the pope was elected by the Holy Spirit. That is deeply ingrained in even Vat II catholics.

My local newspaper(left leaning as you can get)has not published any letters that criticize the pope.

Therefore this whole scenario of Voris' is downright scarey.

Veronica Marie said...

Dear Julie,
I too felt a great deal of emotions in connection with the accusation of unjust criticism of the Pope. I wrote to CMTV with some comments twice. I never received a reply to my letters. If I understand your blog correctly, you were shown letters from people who had criticized CMTV about their stand. I personally think that Mr. Voris may do what he thinks best with CMTV. I even wrote CMTV again to express my regrets at the harshness of my previous letters, but again, received no reply. I have supported CMTV for years. That being said, I felt that he was attributing bad motives to those who wrote about statements made by the Pope and reported in the mass media that were contrary to the faith. Mr. Voris indicated that the media is misrepresenting the Pope's words, but the impression on the faithful is the same. He has said that the faithful who are upset by the Pope's words or actions should write the Holy Father themselves and maybe if enough people write it might make a difference. Having lived through the same 50 years of scandal I can't help but know that all the letters in the world will not make an impression as they have not in the past. There were internet sites who many years ago had gathered information about the gay mafia in the church and had sent that information to the Vatican and it still took the mass media to break the story and get some accounting. The Vatican knew years before about the moving of homosexual pederast priests and their network, that the laity had been the ones to let them know and nothing had happened.
One opinion that I have heard over the years is that if the laity had been more proactive before and at the time of the Vatican II council, maybe we wouldn't be going through this diabolical disorientation. If the laity had stood up for the Mass that the damage would not have been so great.
I offer these few comments for what they are worth.

Joe Potillor said...

I agree with you Julie…there are plenty of apostolates, and blogs that do a fine job pointing out any mistakes that the Pope does…there's no need for everyone to jump on the bandwagon.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Voris is not oblivious to what's going on with Pope Francis, but he's absolutely right to point out that those with weak faith would be turned away from hearing criticisms of the Pope whoever he happens to be (not that we should in of themselves be trying to appease people), but our goal is to bring souls to the Church….

I choose to point things out because of my love fr souls, and I don't want people to be confused over the Truth….As I have said before, Pope Francis does not help himself in how he expresses himself at times, being Pope requires crystal clarity which can't be misinterpreted….if anything, Pope Francis has shown us proof that not everything the Pope says is infallible, and why that is a good thing.

BlessedAMillion said...

I just have to say that I love Michael Voris but I do think that it is strange that he is concerned that if he criticizes the Pope that the weak in faith with walk away, but he doesn't think that criticizing the priests, the bishops and the cardinals will do the same. I for one am very concerned about our church and our Pope. God bless!

Patty said...

I find CMTV's description of themselves as good sons while casting others as Ham exposing Noe's 'nakedness' as self serving and naive. That is 'we are the good brother.' Especially when CMTV is rather new to the scene in defending the Church.

Describing the writings of others as spiritual porn while in reality upsetting the laity to question their own priests, bishops, and religious is hypocritical. Yes, the Pope is different. But many who leave the Church don't give a fig about what the Pope is saying, but leave because of what they experience at the parish level - hypocrisy/inconsistency being a chief culprit.

Give CMTV another 30 years of dealing with the ridiculous and we'll see what the position is. There by the grace of God go I. That is to say, CMTV can make all the policy statements they'd like, but time will tell if they too will sink to 'spiritual pornography' as 'never' is a very long time.

Enoch said...

I don't think that the problem is how Michael Voris refuses to change his stance about not publicly criticizing the pope. The problem is that he has harshly criticized those Catholics who do criticize the pope, whom he has described as spiritual pornograhers and soft-sedes. If he's going to go beyond his stance in regards to the Pope, and harshly criticize those who feel it is their Catholic duty to point out the serious problems with Pope Francis, then he's going to be called out for it.

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Hello "Forthetruth" and welcome.

I am not sure I understand what scenario you find frightening about this - the decision to refrain from publicly showing criticism to a Pope or responding to people who want to know what he thinks of the things published by other Catholic bloggers/writers etc?

----------------------

Greeting Veronica (great name) Marie and welcome.

I am sorry you didn't get a response to your questions and I can't speak for anyone at Church MilitantTV, all I can speak about are the emails that were shared with me, all the questions and answers from CMTV and the back and forth that followed. That is what I read and that is what I wrote about.

I understand that some people have their feelings hurts, but that goes both ways too. All this firing back and forth between Catholics who love the Church is getting none of us anywhere.

Personally, I hope everyone can forgive each other the hurt feelings, pray for each other, the Church and our Pope and move on from this.

Thank you for sharing your views and thoughts on this, I do appreciate hearing from everyone.

-------------------

Joe it's wonderful to see you again! You are absolutely right it is "our goal to bring souls to the Church" -that says it all!

--------------------

BlessedAMillion welcome!

I can see your point, but personally, I believe (and I am not speaking for anyone at CMTV) that IF Catholics point out the failures of our Bishops/priests that the Church will HOPEFULLY HAVE to address these failures and in the end the Church will be strengthened.

If we say nothing, wayward clergy continue to corrupt...like the clergy child abuse situation. Silence was detrimental to the victims, their families and the Church.

There is a time when voices need to heard-loudly- to put an end to corruption in all its forms.

---------------------

Hello Patty and welcome.

Thank you for sharing your views on this situation. I agree with you that many who leave the Church don't care what the Pope says or what anyone else says. I don't think those particular types of people were the people discussed, but rather Catholics who love their faith, defend their faith and MIGHT ditch the true Catholic faith for something using the title "Catholic" while not actually being part of Rome. That was the gist of the emails. The fear that people in the true Church will leave the true Church for something using the title "Catholic" while not being Catholic.

---------------------

Hello Enoch and welcome.

Again the reason THOSE PARTICULAR websites were named is because those were the websites people wanted CMTV's opinion on.

Remember, people ASKED CMTV to share their views, when they got an answer they didn't like... well you can see what happened.

People clearly have hurt feelings and when people are hurt they often strike back WITHOUT pausing to pray or attempt to "see the other guys" view on the matter.

I suggest everyone calm down, pray, and take a few moments to listen to each side and TRY to understand where everyone is coming from.

The conclusion I came to is that ALL of the people involved LOVE the Catholic Faith. That SHOULD be enough to end this.

Remember this when you pray the Lord's Prayer and say "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

Pray for each other and our Church.

God bless and thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Patty said...

Again, Julie, I find CMTV's stance regarding those that they 'fear' 'might' leave the Church for groups not in full communion with Rome to be an ingeniousness defense. (Those in the SSPX have not abandoned the 'true' Faith, not by a long shot.)


Was it not Pope John Paul who said, "Be not afraid?"

So fearing that those who love the faith and defend the Church and understand the issues as potentially leaving for other groups because they are somehow 'little ones' is ridiculous. For these 'little ones' filled with great faith are precisely the types that need to be able to see the logic behind calling the Shepherd to account for his shepherding.

Again I'd say CMTV's 'fear' is based on covering their own nakedness... not that of the Pope. That said, I wonder where these little ones would go, including Michael Voris, if Bishops again banned the Tridentine mass.

Thanks for getting back.

Daniel Pan said...

If canon 212 is the guide then we all are in trouble. Mostly Voris because 99% what he said is directly criticizing the Cardinals and Bishops of the Church, often not just on issues but personal attacks.

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