Bear Growls: Michael Voris

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Initiating a new series.  I have been greatly enjoying the commentary at Saint Corbinan’s Bear.  Whenever I relay to the readers of TAC some of these, I will do so under the rubric Bear Growls.  The Bear has turned his attention to Michael Voris and his hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil policy in regard to Pope Francis:

Here it is in a nutshell: Michael  Voris will expose, criticize and ridicule any bishop of the Catholic Church who fails to adhere to his own conservative sensibilities. That is mostly what his flagship program, The Vortex, does, day after day. Michael Voris cannot stand the “Church of Nice,” (i.e. ordinary Novus Ordo parishes) nor the weak, compliant and corrupt bishops who lead them. However, one thing Michael Voris can’t stand is laying any mistake or misdeed at the feet of the Pope.

Hence we have Christine Niles of CMTV saying at least some forms of criticism of the Pope were “just unacceptable.” Michael Voris interjects an “amen.”

Michael Voris is the furthermost right of legitimate Catholicism. Everyone to the left is despised as the “Church of Nice,” and everyone to the right is dismissed as reactionaries.

It is very narrow spectrum of opinion, if you think about it!

Now, Michael Voris and the rest at CMTV know the problems with Pope Francis as well as anyone. They admit (albeit in a sort of hypothetical way) all the problems we talk about concretely here at SCB. So it isn’t that they are fans of Francis (as far as the Bear can tell), or do not cringe at his mistakes.

The ostensible reason for Michael Voris and his people to ignore Pope Francis is that if media powerhouses like CMTV, or The Remnant, start pecking at the Pope, in no time people will desert the Church for more appealing havens, such as SSPX, whom they dismiss as “schismatic.”

Mr. Voris also characterized the Catholic blogosphere by putting both hands by his head and making rapid “talking gestures” while babbling — apparently suggesting ill-informed chatter by hysterical malcontents.

Mr. Voris was quick to point out that the Pope could never err in doctrinal matters, other people do not understand infallibility, and the Pope can entertain and even express wrong ideas on a human level.

Fair enough. But the answer to that is: Mr. Voris, with all due respect, where have you been the last fifty years? Has it been changes in doctrine that have all but destroyed the Church? Or has it been everything but doctrine that has undermined our worship, polluted Catholic culture, and confused the faithful? The Pope does not have to infallibly change doctrine to do mischief! Indeed, why would he, when he can use “gradualism,” and “compassion” to change the implications of existing doctrine until the same words mean the opposite?

The Bear isn’t sure where Mr. Voris is coming from with regard to the Pope. The risk of driving people to SSPX seems small to the Bear.

But to pretend that the Pope cannot harm the Church so long as he does not exercise his infallibility is ludicrous. If adulterers are welcomed to the communion line, one may be sure it will not have been because any doctrine has been changed. Indeed, the Church will take pains to explain that nothing has really changed, but our times demand an enlargement of compassion, not following the letter of the law in some picky way that doesn’t meet human needs.

One supposes Michael Voris and Church Militant TV will pass over all that in silence, unless they can blame the Bishop of Poughkeepsie, instead of the Bishop of Rome.

The irony of what you are reading right now is that the Bear isn’t what you would call a “traditionalist,” not in the way traditionalists would recognize, anyway. He doesn’t think Francis is not really the Pope, and can personally take or leave the Latin Mass. He tells everyone at least once a week to “nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there.”

But to adopt a policy of ignoring Pope Francis short of him infallibly declaring the Moon to be made of green cheese is unsupportable in a Western institution. If God wanted robots blindly obeying the big cheese in every tiny detail, no matter how ridiculous or harmful, He would have not a pope in Rome, but an imam, and there would be a great big mosque where St. Peter’s sits, around which we would all deliriously orbit.

Go here to read the rest.  Of all the modern heresies that have alighted on the Church, the most bizarre, from the perspective of the history of the Church, is the idea that popes are above criticism from faithful Catholics.  That has never been the case, and anyone who tells you differently is either a fool or a knave.

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31 Comments

  1. Where Michael Voris is going with all this is anybody’s guess. Bizarre enough is his see-no-evil policy with the Pope but now his attack on The Remnant Newspaper (which isn’t SSPX, by the way), the SSPX, Chris Ferrerra, Michael Matt,….. is just beyond the pale. He may or may not just be following orders from his superiors but either way, I just ignore him. I quit watching The Vortex a couple of years ago.

  2. Michael Voris used to be good.
    .
    So was Mark Shea once good.
    .
    There – I used both names – people so unlike each other that they are the same in essence.
    .
    🙁

  3. You can disagree with the pope (respectfully and insistently); as long as you don’t leave the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

  4. I was never a devoted follower of Michael Voris. He, like Shea, Fr. Corapi and all the rest of us, as the current Roman Pontiff, are sinners and nobody should take very word from them as if it came from God.

    Maybe we need Pope Optimus Prime. Optimus Prime never sins. Optimus Prime looks for peaceful ways but strikes back at the enemy when called for. Even the voice of Optimus Prime sounds as if it were from God. After all, several years ago some supermarket tabloid revealed that Pope John Paul II’s secret plan was mechanical priests. Optimus Prime would have my son’s vote as Pope.

  5. While I’m not beating the drums for Mr. Voris; it appears by the snidely comments that he has been a success. The Vortex as described is often critical regarding some aspect of what is going on in our Church. This can relate to a person or dogma. What no one mentions are the hundreds of hours of teachings available on numerous topics. Mr. Voris for my two cents does a tremendous service for our Church. Catechesis has been non existent for most or all of the last 50 years from my perspective. When I read what a Bishop’s main job is—TEACHING— I must conclude they have been derelict. I’m seventy years old and still remember bishop’s and priest’s actually teaching what our Faith requires of us from the pulpit. Rarely happens these days and more often than not it is some form of pablum that is espoused. Pre Vatican Council II all children were required to memorize the Baltimore Catechism which formed the basis and catechization for generations of children. Mr. Voris at least attempts to evangelize a Church population in dire need of it.

  6. Ray: You mentioned the Baltimore Catechism. I cannot tell you how many times as an adult, I am older than you, I have remembered what the good sisters taught me through the Baltimore Catechism that has set my feet back on the straight path starting with: “Who is God and Why did God make me.” “God made me to know, to love and to serve Him”: here on earth and attain heaven. If I had the wealth, I would put the Baltimore Catechism in every catechism class. “On Becoming a Person” (Carl Rogers’ philosophy) never mentioned God and was taught in every religion class across the country. sick.
    You also mention “This can relate to a person or dogma.” The doctrine, the dogma, the issue at hand relates to the Person of Christ and Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ on earth. To abandon this truth for an idle opinion (by idle, I mean not thought through to the truth) is to lead the infant souls away from their Creator, their Redeemer and their Sanctifier. To lead infant souls away from their sanctification is a sin, a bloody sin, that calls to heaven for vengeance.

  7. Mary De Voe responding to Mary De Voe: ““human needs.” Human need is fulfilled by the Truth. The Truth is infallible or it is a lie.”
    .
    Jesus said to test everything. I am relieved too, that the bear did not eat St. Corbinian. I was afraid that he might.

  8. Mary: I keep a copy of the Baltimore Catechism close to my computer and continue to profit from its words of Truth. How fortunate we were to have had good faithful nuns to teach us our faith with such a wonderful instrument. My wife teaches PSR in our parish and still occasionally uses the old catechism to reinforce something from the new texts they currently use.

  9. Michael Voris is promoting a cultic mindset among his followers. I’m a former cult member, and when Voris says don’t publically criticizes the Pope, a cold chill goes through me. Been there, heard that! But why is Voris telling people this? One possible answer is that he’s being influenced by Opus Dei members and supporters. Mike thinks very highly of OD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjlkZxfY6D4 but many Catholics, especially ex-members, believe OD is a cultic organization. Go to http://www.odan.org/index.htm to see why they believe that it’s a cult.

  10. Who does Christ see as the Moses of His day…which then is the Pope of His day?

    Matthew 23:2Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
    2 “Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.”

    That means they were Moses…not Bishops…Moses….one chair. Yet both Christ and John the Baptist used very strong language against them when …when…they needed to hear it.

  11. Stephen: I believe that Josemaria Escricva is today a saint. In my youth taught by the good Sister’s of the Most Precious Blood and Notre Dame, we were taught to emulate the Saints. Members of Opus Dei are good Catholic folks, find it alarming that people attribute evil to good Catholics.

  12. Ray: I don’t wish to attack a man who has been sainted by the Church, but all the evidence I’ve seen points to Opus Dei being a cultic organization. As a former cult member, I have to agree with the folks at ODAN about OD. The members of OD may see themselves as “good Catholic folks” but remember, the Pharisees saw themselves as “good Jewish folks”. And I remember that Jesus didn’t think to much of the “goodness” of those folks.

  13. Unlike the Bishops and Priests that he criticises I don’t think Michael Voris is responsible for anyone deserting the One True Faith, neither is Pope Francis. Yet! If and when PF does cause people to leave (God forbid!) then I am sure MV will have some criticism of him. In the meantime I think everyone should just cool it and wait to see what will happen.

  14. Voris is a prime example of why you should never take a man with a really bad toupee seriously. His judgement is obviously suspect.

  15. The author of this article doesn’t understand the Michael Voris and as a result mischaracterizes many things.

    The Vortex is only a tiny part of what CMTV offers, which is catechesis for the faith. But let’s just focus on the Vortex since it’s so visible. He doesn’t equate “Church of Nice,” with “ordinary Novus Ordo parishes”. He regularly attends NO and is in favour of NO, properly practised according to the desires of Vatican II. Read the Vatican II documents. What we currently have is not what the council fathers wanted. And criticizing “nor the weak, compliant and corrupt bishops who lead them” should not be an issue. Why should a Catholic support corruption? The sex abuse scandal was as large as it was precisely because people kept silent to be “a good son or daughter of the Church”.

    Also it’s not true that he will “expose, criticize and ridicule any bishop of the Catholic Church who fails to adhere to his own conservative sensibilities”. He has criticized a hand full of bishops and then only for doing what most good Catholics would be troubled by. He spends a lot more time lauding bishops that have the courage to defend the faith.

    As for not criticizing the Pope, he’s made it clear. We’re Catholics because we stand by the Pope (Matthew 16:18), even if he’s one of the most corrupt corrupt Popes in history such as the ones on this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bad_Popes . Does that mean that the Pope can’t seriously harm the Church. Of course he can and has. Historically, we have two schism and a major Protestant revolt laid at the foot of ineffective or bad Popes. But our mission to defend the faith, evangelize, and support good bishops and priest remains regardless of what happens in Rome. As a lay Catholic, we can’t do anything about that, and the average lay Catholic who has family commitments can do less. But the little we can do is all that’s required of us.

  16. I think Michael Voris and/or his financial supporters are members of Opus Dei which forbids it’s members from criticizing the Pope . This position is, of course, completely irrational in view of Michael’s near total condemnation of the Bishops who happen to be employed by the Pope. If Michael is to have the credibility he needs he should free himself from his Opus Dei handlers who are after all also beholden to the Pope.

  17. Opus Dei is not a cult. Most people that say this have never had personal interactions or experiences with Opus Dei. I have close friends who have left Opus Dei vocations who wouldn’t even say that Opus Dei is a cult.

    I was educated at an Opus Dei school. My daughter attends an Opus Dei school.

    I am not a member of Opus Dei nor are any members of my family. And I don’t intend to be. But I respect and love the way these organisations uphold the Faith, and provide a very personalised education that is extremely rare and unique.

    I have been hearing this garbage for 27years. Right back when mothers used to try and put fear in my own mother by telling her that students at the school are forced to pray the Rosary during Lunch whilst skipping rope! And that Opus Dei is a cult.

    Of course my mother ignored them. She has always been a lady who made up her own mind by using her God-given common sense.

    My siblings and I went onto achieve great academic results and brilliant Formation in the Faith. I had to tell my cousins who attended a Catholic school the basics- like receiving Communion in a state of sin is a Mortal Sin. That attending Church on Sunday is obligatory for Catholics. You know, the “duh” basics.

    They didn’t know the basics. They still don’t.

    Don’t read that garbage ODAN. Because it’s exaggerated, bitter and twisted. But, if you must read it, know that for every disgruntled ODAN advocate, there are thousands of fabulous, strong Catholics that are a result of their contact with Opus Dei organisations, people and Preists.

    Regardless of the above speel, I still do not like Michael Voris work. I don’t warm to the style.

  18. Donald R: keep on keepin’ on! Thank you. Ray-I think the primary role of a bishop is Shepherd-to shepherd us from here to heaven; and to protect us from the wolves , hyenas, and coyotes. The hirelings pursue status, power, wealth and govt subsidies while the true bishops lay down their lives for us. Part of their job is, as you say, teaching. Mary de Voe-love that Mary responding to Mary. Reminds me of a grandson looking in the mirror holding up both hands and looking from one to the other as he said “oo bettah not do dat ting; oo bettah do dat ting.” Perhaps you should identify MaryI and MaryII so we know who’s who. I do like Escriva’s “God does not lose battles.” Michael V may not be infallible, but in my view he does a lot of good. Ezabelle, there is a reason everyone has different gifts-some people hear Michael V, some hear others – many are of God and many are used by God, with different voices and tone and language-but all for bringing folks back to Him. Re the family synod debacle, when I use my words “marxomaniac” and “kaspeomaniac,” I am sure some go “there goes Guy again;” but others appreciate them [St Athanasius, Athnasius Contr Mundum, used his word “ariomanicas” for the Arian heretics-some thought St Athnasius was off the deep end-but he was faithful and he was right]. Especially when I talk about RETA and the Deathocrats there are varied reactions; but to some it conveys a message. [RETA = racial eugenic targeted aboretion]. These comment sites are opportunites for all of us to try to speak truth and in some cases to try to speak comforting truth; in others a la John the Baptist, truth to power. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  19. Guy McClung: “Perhaps you should identify MaryI and MaryII so we know who’s who.”
    .
    Jesus achieved Himself in death on the cross. Christ’s Resurrection was achieved for Him by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus asks us to test everything, it holds with two witnesses, who are required to establish a judicial fact. Two witnesses, one would be God and the other would be man, that is, to make sure that God is He, Whom you are following. When Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan” Jesus was telling Peter to follow Him, even to be crucified in Jerusalem, the same as when Christ said to the rich young man: “…come follow me.” So, to test everything would be to make sure that our lives are predicated on God, not on ourselves, as your grandson is doing.
    .
    I am greatly amused by your MaryI and MaryII. I think I will stick with MaryI. See if you can get some Baltimore Catechisms over to you church, and thank you, Guy McClung, for the smiles.

  20. Guy McClung: “Re the family synod debacle, when I use my words “marxomaniac” and “kaspeomaniac,” I am sure some go “there goes Guy again;” but others appreciate them [St Athanasius, Athnasius Contr Mundum, used his word “ariomanicas” for the Arian heretics-some thought St Athnasius was off the deep end-but he was faithful and he was right].”
    .
    A changing culture requires a renewing vocabulary to identify and name the different heresies. God gave Adam the authentic authority to name everything. One that comes to mind is Anthony Esolen’s “pseudogamy” to name homosexual behavior. Your naming of “marxomaniac” and “kasperomainiac” hit home because these names actually carry the weight of their meaning. “We, the people” are to give visibility to deviance by shining the light of truth on the matter.

  21. I believe Michael is showing due respect to Pope Francis for the sake of unity. All of us have been misled by the U.S. bishops for decades and Michael is finally exposing the reality. He is concise, informative and very refreshing. As his success accumulates, some will take a jab at him. He is not perfect but he is very, very good. As Saint Paul has stated, take the good and leave what is bad.

  22. He has criticized a hand full of bishops and then only for doing what most good Catholics would be troubled by.

    Then why is the Bishop of Rome exempt – the very one who encourages them? It seems the only response CMTV has is: because Pope. Sorry, not very convincing. If anything, as Pope, he bears greater responsibility and thus should be subject to greater criticism.

    What we currently have is not what the council fathers wanted.

    Then why do we have it? Why haven’t the bishops, and the bishop of Rome, put an end to it? Answer: because we do have what the current hierarchy wants. It’s their call; it’s their fault (NB: Will give BXVI props for trying to change it, but too little too late; the rest have not even tried to stop it).

    As a lay Catholic, we can’t do anything about that

    Cop out. Of course we can. We can call a spade a spade, no matter the spade’s rank.

  23. Ezebelle, you may not be a member of Opus Dei, but you sure picked up an elitist ,cultic attitude from them. You seem to think you’re superior to ordinary Catholics because of your education. Newsflash lady! What matters to God is a humble spirit. Cultic organizations like OD are great for putting an arrogant spirit into the minds they influence. I can see that attitude in you by the way you look down on that mother of eight and how you defend the Pope, even though he’s wrong. When I was a cultist, the leader was always right, and some people ‘misunderstood’ his remarks. That sounds sooo familiar!

  24. Mary I-One parish I go to here regularly puts out many many copies of Ken Untener’s Little Books-black, blue etc. They have no nihil obstat and no imprimatur. But if I put out my Baltimore Catechisms, or even excerpts, I fear I would be asked to leave this parish and never return. c matt, you are so right re speaking out, see my Speak Out article at Catholic Lane site. Even the good thief, from his own cross, spoke out and proclaimed the truth that Jesus was Lord . . .and he won paradise very quickly. Canon Law says we have the right, and sometimes the duty, to speak out to the hierarchy and to the faithful. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  25. I am not an elitist. My parents were immigrants with little education. My mother till grade 6, and my father till grade 10. My father is a blue collar worker. We received an education on the back of a lot of sacrifice. In the same way my husband and I are doing now for our children.

    Don’t disregard the good. I’m not saying Catholic schools are bad. All I’m asking is for credit to be given to where credit issue. OD schools are fantastic academically (not the best- some public schools here out-do them), and their Faith formation is wonderful. Cardinal Pell was trying to reform the bad Catholic education here before he took up a post with the Vatican. And OD model was one he looked at closely.

    I just wander what contact you have had with an OD organisation. I don’t understand how you can make a claim about an organisation from reading 1 website.

    I do not claim to call the Mormon Faith a cult because I have had no contact with the Mormon Faith. I can look up websites that claim that the Mormon Faith is a cult, but that Internet is a jungle.

    I’m sorry about your terrible experiences with being trapped in a cult. That must have been horrific and the damage long lasting for you. I pray you find peace from it. Nobody should endure that suffering.

    I just can’t reconcile my own positive experiences with Opus Dei with those of ODAN. I would rather find out first hand before I make a judgement on something.

    Peace.

  26. I agree that Michael Voris has been unfairly characterized by the bear.. I wish he was more of a burden bearing bear and less of an attack bear. Michael gets trouble for being too critical ( of bishops who are not good catholics) and also get in trouble for not being critical enough of the pope. I think it is fair to say that the pope is as yet an unmeasured quantity… hence the “popewatch” – the bishops Michael talks about are pretty well and fairly measured.

  27. “-One parish I go to here regularly puts out many many copies of Ken Untener’s Little Books-black, blue -” Guy McClung

    They are put out every year here too, in both parishes I attend on weekends and during the week.. I have spoken to the priests in both places but they just laugh and say oh those have just been a standing order for so long….¿ sigh

  28. Ezabelle, you only had contact with a very small part of the OD. The people who are critical of it have had more in depth contact with the inner workings of the organization. They’re the ones who have given their all to the group and have been hurt the worst by it.
    You seem to be eager to deflect any criticism of OD by making statements such as these.
    “OD schools are fantastic academically.” A lot of schools run by religious groups are “fantastic academically”. Bot if the main purpose of the school is to bend the mind to think in a very, narrow sectarian way, then all of those “fantastic academics” will be focused into serving a selfish sect, rather than the community at large.
    You seem to think it would be impossible to know anything about OD unless I had face to face knowledge of it. Lady, I was in the World wide Church Of God cult for nearly a decade, and I didn’t know the real story about the group until I left. Groups like the one I was in (and the one that educated you) know how to keep secrets and control information to their benefit. And your put down about only getting information from one website about OD, well, when I was coming out of the Armstrong cult, there was only one source I could go to get reliable information about it. It was a newsletter called the Ambassador Report. The AR was denounced by the cult’s leadership as a rag put out by disgruntled dissidents, but every thing in the Report was well documented. And it had to be, since it contained some stories about the personal lives of the cult leaders that could have ended up in a lawsuit, if the stories weren’t adequately documented. So, your one source criticism doesn’t hold water.
    Like wise, your statement saying you can’ call the Mormon Church a cult because you have had no contact with them. Do you have to have contact with a wild animal to know it’s dangerous? The LDS has been around for about 180 years. Many outsiders and former insiders have told us the real history of that organization, and their claims have been checked and double checked by researchers of various secular and religious biases for decades. Their basic conclusions point to the LDS as being a cult. And much of their research is available on the internet. Yes , the net is a jungle, but by looking at how many stories and testimonies can be collaborated, it’s possible to come to a conclusion about what Mormonism is all about.
    Your ‘positive experiences’ with OD doesn’t disprove what ODAN has documented. There are people in the cult I was in who are all a ga-ga about their ‘positive experiences’. But the overwhelming evidence against the group shows it was a negative experience for most of it’s members. IMO, you need to talk to some people who have seen the negative side of OD. It wouldn’t hurt.

  29. Stephen, there is personal accountability that needs to occur. If you choose to be “brainwashed” then that is on you.

    My closest friend of more than 20 years became a numerary at age 16. She left in her early twenties. I remember picking her up from the Opus Dei centre where she lived for a coffee. She would be in tears. She knew she couldn’t live the life of a numerary. She is now in a very successful woman with an overseas post with Apple. Another friend left a few years ago and is now a Freelance journalist in Afghanistan. Another friend left and is now married with 2 children and works as a project manager. Another friend left after many years as a numeraryand is a lawyer working in a political office.

    None of these people in my talking with them consider OD a cult. They took ownership of their choices. Having said this, there are many very happy numeraries living in centres.

    I have heard and seen the ugly side. The ugly side was because of a handful of ugly people- bullies. They came from a Spanish culture where you became a nunerary at 16years and that’s just normal there. They took orders. They didn’t question their path. These people are happy with their choices. It doesn’t always work in the liberal West here. We question a lot! And rightly so. OD is a Spanish organisation founded under an unstable political era. It has since changed and become more open to work better in countries outside of Spain.

    Regardless, none of these people who I know, who left OD, take ODAN with any true credibility. They don’t consider OD a cult even after their life in there.

    I have read ODAN. I take it with a grain of salt because of its “victim” mentality. A true victim of a cult would, I would think, be sexually, mentally and physically abused, harmed, their family divided, involve Satanic elements, use mind control techniques, shun society etc… There is no personal accountability in ODAN.

    There is NO organisation with its negatives. There is no organisation that doesn’t want to increase its “membership”. There is no organisation that is free from error. Anything run by humans will always be problematic at some stage. Look at the Catholic Church over the centuries!

    Again, I’m sorry about your experiences. God Bless you abundantly.

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