Sunday, 24 March 2013

Michael Voris. Get over it.

Michael Voris
I saw today a video by the scary Michael Voris of Church Militant TV about what he labels as the "Gay Mafia" within the Church hierarchy. Scrolling through some more of his videos there are more inflammatory videos such as "Talk Like a Man, Not a Sissy", "The New Pope & Homoheresy", "Homosexuals and the Conclave", "Gays in the Clergy" and "Father Gay". Now, I have no idea if the crisis we are told we are experiencing in the Church today is any greater or weaker than the crises we as a Church have experienced over the last 2, 000 years; I'm not a Church historian. One thing that I'm certain of, however, is that the cause of this crisis is not the existance of homosexuality within the Church. It is just a complete non sequitur. It looks to me simply to be unthinking scape goating. This is a man who is completely comfortable berating others for the alleged heterodoxy, even sneeringly saying of judgmentalism in one video that "[we] can't have any of that", apparently forgetting what a certain first century rabbi-come-God incarnate said on the subject. The Catechism itself seems to recognise that societies, one of which is the Church, get on just fine with gay people in them. I think the Church will cope with some gay men in cassocks. We've done pretty well thus far.

Without wishing to form an ad hominem attack against Voris himself, maybe glancing over his wikipedia page might give some background to where his views come from. What was once called "RealCatholicTV", his digital television channel on YouTube, has had to rename itself "ChurchMilitantTV", having been forbidden the use of the term "Catholic" by his local diocese and is forbidden from talking on property owned by the Diocese of Scranton. He sounds like the sort of person Fr Z campaigns against. The most bizarre moments in his videos are his rants against Social Justic, portraying them as part of the liturgical puppet movement of those who perverted Vatican II. I guess the letters "STB" after his name means he knows better than St Dominic, St Francis, and Our Blessed Lord. He casts himsef as a defender of America (if you hadn't guessed he's a yank yet), and yet is quite happy to attack the fundamental principles of democracy, basically saying that people who disagree with him ought not to have the vote. In that video, he talks about how only faithful Catholics look at God and don't stare in the mirror, but have you seen his hair...?

Also, he's actually an appaulingly bad speaker. He stammers, his prose is littered with tautology and his reasoning leaves much to be desired. Looking at his "Talk like a Man, Not a Sissy" video, maybe he should talk like someone with an ounce of intellect, ideally with a touch of compassion, not a foolish biggot. Basically I don't think he's a good advocate for our beautiful faith.

With that as useful background, let's examine in great brevity one or two of his videos. I'll just deal with the gay ones since they're the most easily ridiculed.

The reason I feel fine about writing the ad hominem paragraph above is because of the "Father Gay" video seems to have no argument at all. He rants quite a lot, and gives us a clip of a priest supporting gay marriage, but does not engage at all with the gay marriage debate, instead just shouting about a dog collar for quite a while and saying that the priest is an instrument of the devil. As it happens I believe in the devil, something I think is unusual for Catholics my age. I certainly don't think there is anything diabolical about a priest going off the rails a bit. The handful of priests I know who have had contact with the demonic lead me to believe that Satan is cannier than that. Certainly he possesses an intellect far superior to Mr Michael Voris STB.

Then there's "The New Pope & Homoheresy" video which lays the blame of all divisions in the Church squarely at the door of homosexuals in the Church. He doesn't offer up any evidence for this in his video, but waves a report by Fr Dariusz Oko, who Voris repeatedly reminds us has a magic, infallability granting doctorate. The Rev'd Dr Oko seems to follow a non sequitur Voris would be proud of which suggests that because there are gay men serving as clerics in his diocese, therefore there is division amongst the clergy. Voris then extends this into an explanation for the divisions within the college of bishops. Practicing sexuality is problematic for a priest of any sort. Besides breaking his vow of celibacy, it makes him vulnerable to blackmail and can cause scandal. That there are gay clergy is so far from a problem. Diversity is a mark of God's creation, the human race is blessed with a diversity of sexualities and thus, so should be the clergy. In terms of sociology, if the gay clergy in the Vatican have formed a clique it is probably because they feel excluded in some way and so formed a clique (Voris hypes it by using the term "underground"). If this clique presents a danger to the Church (which we know that it won't in the long term, keep calm non praevalebunt) then it is not them being gay which is the danger, it is the men who happen to also be gay. Their sexuality actually bears at most a tangential importance to the situation.

His video "Homosexuals and the Conclave" is based on the same document. He has based it entirely upon spurious newspaper reports in the Italian press. This "homosexual underground" he refers to again, I know many holy, faithful priests who I know are gay. They are serving God and offering up the gift of their sexuality to Him. I'm sure that there are practicing gay clergy, but I'm also sure that there are practicing straight clergy. There are more non sequitors about gay clergy and uncooperative bishops. The man makes almost no sense. It is not plausible that Pope Benedict resigned because he has gay priests in his curia, he resigned because of ill health. Look at his dog collar recently, much larger than it has been in the past, presumably covering up that he has almost no neck. Look at his cassock, how many times it is gathered under his fascia? That overcoat he saw him in when he met Pope Francis which hid his frame completely and just how frail he looked when he was walking. The man has lost a lot of weight very rapidly recently. Benedict is a man of God facing his end with his hand in the Lord's. I don't think gay priests are at the top of his agenda at the moment.

In short, Church Militant TV presents itself as expressing "solid Church doctrine". I'll just point out again one doctrine of our Church, that homosexuals "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity [and] every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." I just wish he would calm down, take a sip of tea and think about what is important and what is not. There seems to be a lot of stone casting and splinter removing and I don't think that's something Jesus was very much in favour of.

NB For the Americans who read this. We British have what I suspect is a completely unfair notion that you don't get irony. There is some irony in this.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. I'm not willing to tolerate libellous material on my blog. Feel free to critique him, but unsubstatiated allegations are not acceptable.

  2. you sound of Khazar origin with your personal attacks. However the MO of his (the word for the accused) Is a very grass roots objective the Khazars sudo Jews use for ingratiating there name changing edu., political. media controlling which at .3 of the population held over 10x there counter parts ie Europeans as simulated Americans the aforementioned positions.1951. Your a pusher...of. come out..I will except and love you no matter where you came from.

  3. Voris is an extremely odd man. He does mention things is his diatribe that betray a breathtaking ignorance in Church history. He often drops the chestnut that the Orthodox Church members are headed to hell. Well, he owns the Internet station, so I guess he can say what he likes.