Michael Voris

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Michael Voris
Born (1961-08-20) August 20, 1961 (age 57)
NationalityAmerican
EducationBachelor of Sacred Theology Bachelor of Arts
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame[2]
Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas
OccupationJournalist
Author
Websitechurchmilitant.com

Gary Michael Voris, STB (born 20 August 1961) is an American Catholic pundit, author, and apologist. He is the president and founder of Saint Michael's Media, a religious apostolate producing on-demand video programs on the website ChurchMilitant.com.

Background[edit]

Education and early career[edit]

Voris attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1983 with a degree in communications with a focus on history and politics. He also attended two years of seminary training at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York during the 1980s.[3] Between 1983 and 1986 he was a television anchor, producer and reporter for various CBS affiliates in New York, Albany, Duluth and Cheyenne, Wyoming.[4] In 1989 he became a news reporter and producer for a Fox affiliate in Detroit, where he won four Emmy Awards for production between 1992 and 1996.[4]

In 1997 he began operation of an independent television production company called Concept Communications, LLC. This company was registered by co-owners Gary Michael Voris and John Fitzpatrick Mola with the State of Michigan on July 8, 1997.[5] Shortly thereafter on July 23, 1997, Voris and Mola registered a video with the US Copyright Office titled "Double Trouble".[6]

Voris cites the death of his brother from a heart attack in 2003, followed by his mother dying from stomach cancer in 2004 as the events that moved him to go from being "a lukewarm Catholic, someone who usually just went through the motions at church" to an "aggressive global advocate for conservative Catholics... on a burning mission to save Catholicism and America by trying to warn the public about what he sees as a decline of morality in society."[7] Voris is reported to work "up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week" on creating presentations for St. Michael's Media.[7]

In 2009, Voris received an STB degree from the Angelicum in Rome via Sacred Heart Major Seminary, graduating magna cum laude.[4]

St. Michael's Media[edit]

After being a guest speaker at several Roman Catholic parishes in Detroit and serving as a host on the Michigan Catholic Radio network, in 2006 Voris started the digital television studio St. Michael’s Media in Ferndale, Michigan.[4] Voris's move into Roman Catholic video broadcasting was in response to the book and film The Da Vinci Code.[8] Voris had planned to make a one-hour TV program in order to refute the image of the Catholic Church put forward by Dan Brown's work. He came to believe "that the challenges facing the Catholic Church in the United States were much larger and more pernicious than a single blockbuster."[8]

Voris's apostolate is named after Saint Michael the Archangel, his patron saints and namesake of his public work

Voris withdrew much of his retirement fund, and with volunteers began St. Michael's Media.[8] With his background in secular broadcasting Voris felt he could provide a level of production that could compete with mainstream talk shows. He began hosting "The One True Faith" in 2006, and began hosting a Catholic talk radio show, "News and Views Weekly," in 2007.[8] Voris's work soon received an endorsement from then-Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke of St. Louis.[8] By early 2008 Voris's programs "expanded into markets from New York to California, from Ontario to the Philippines."[8] On September 1, 2008 he partnered with RealCatholicTV.com, which is owned by Marc Brammer (who has worked as a business developer for Moody's and is a member of Opus Dei).[7] Some of the Catholic video segments/programs Voris has worked on include "The Vortex", "The One True Faith", "Catholic Investigative Agency", "The Armor of God", and "Where Did the Bible Come From?"

Later in 2008 Voris's work was endorsed by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., founder of Catholic Views Broadcast Inc.,[9] who began televising "The One True Faith" on channel K16HY-D in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area that year.[10]

In mid-2008 Voris' organization ran out of operating funds, what staff they could retain lived on unemployment compensation for between a year and eighteen months. By early 2011, the fiscal crisis ended when subscription revenues to their online services increased.[11]

In 2011 the Archdiocese of Detroit, citing canon 216 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, published notice to Voris and RealCatholicTV that "it [did] not regard them as being authorized to use the word 'Catholic' to identify or promote their public activities."[12] In 2012 the company name RealCatholicTV.com was changed to "ChurchMilitant.tv"[4] and the partnership with Brammer was ended.[11]

In 2011 Voris traveled to Fátima, Portugal, where he consecrated his apostolate to Our Lady of Fátima and declared he was entrusting its protection to her.[4]

In October 2014 as a member of the press corps, Voris raised a question concerning the Midterm Relatio from the Synod on the Family during a question and answer period with cardinals attending the Synod. His question was picked up by National Public Radio as well as other media outlets. In a story concerning the draft's "conciliatory language" on controversial social issues, Voris, whom NPR described as representative of "many reporters ... stunned by the welcoming tone and language" towards homosexuals, was quoted as asking with regard to paragraph 52, which claimed homosexuals have "gifts and qualities" to offer to the Church: "Is the Synod proposing that there is something innate in the homosexual orientation that transcends and uplifts the Catholic Church?"[13] Cardinal Bruno Forte, who himself had included the controversial paragraph in the Midterm Relatio,[14] smiled and replied, "It is not easy to answer such an ontological question. What I want to express is that we must respect the dignity of every person."[15][16]

In conjunction with his media programs, Voris has traveled extensively, including video-recording and speaking in Nigeria, the Philippines, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Rome, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland and The Netherlands. In addition to his media work Voris often speaks at retreats, conferences and parishes on various Catholic topics.

Name controversy[edit]

After one of Voris's programs caused controversy when he stated, "The only way to prevent a democracy from committing suicide is to limit the vote to faithful Catholics",[7] he received increased scrutiny from the Archdiocese of Detroit. In December 2011, the archdiocese publicly released two press releases holding that the digital station realcatholictv.com was not permitted to use the word "Catholic" within its name according to their reading of canon law.[7] The press release stated, "The Archdiocese has informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV, RealCatholicTV.com, that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word 'Catholic' to identify or promote their public activities … The Church encourages the Christian faithful to promote or sustain a variety of apostolic undertakings but, nevertheless, prohibits any such undertaking from claiming the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority."[17][18]

Because Voris is the owner of St. Michael's Media, and had contracted with Marc Brammer's RealCatholicTV run from South Bend, Indiana (which is under the authority of Bishop Kevin Rhoades), a question of jurisdiction under canon law arose.[17] Brammer noted he had received a letter from the Archdiocese of Detroit acknowledging him as the owner of the website and its name. He responded to the letter by requesting a meeting but got no response.[17] Brammer personally met with Bishop Rhoades, who reassured him that he had no problem with the name RealCatholicTV.com. Voris held that he had made seven attempts to set up a meeting with the archbishop on the matter and had been rebuffed or ignored on each occasion.[17] When asked by reporters if the diocese Marc Brammer lives in had any problems with RealCatholicTV, Fr. Mark Gurtner, judicial vicar of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in Indiana, responded, "No, as far as I know there is nothing."[19] Gurtner went on, stating that speaking as a canon lawyer (and not speaking on behalf of the diocese) it was his opinion that as the owner of the website lived in Indiana, they had jurisdiction over the matter rather than Detroit.[19] In response, the Archdiocese of Detroit cited its own canon lawyer, Ed Peters (a professor at the local Sacred Heart Major Seminary), who maintained that Detroit was on "firm ground" in its actions concerning Voris.[19]

When asked by reporters if the archdiocese had ever pursued anyone else for using the term "Catholic" without its permission, Ned McGrath, its director of communications, said that he could not recall any other similar incident in his twenty years working for the Detroit Archdiocese.[19]

Voris stated that he felt that the situation had to do with staffers assisting in running the archdiocese, and not with the Archbishop himself. He said that on many occasions in the past (before teaming with RealCatholicTV.com), talks, television appearances and programs he was to give on local Catholic media had been cancelled due to the efforts of the archdiocese's staff. "They have waged a quiet war since the very first time we set foot into the public realm."[17]

Reporters noted that while neither Voris nor Brammer had succeeded in scheduling a meeting with Archbishop Allen Vigneron, during this same period Vigneron did meet (on February 1, 2011) with a local liberal Catholic group called "Elephants in the Living Room," which advocates expanding the Roman Catholic priesthood to women and challenges Church teaching on contraception.[17] Reporters also noted that supporters of Voris ask why the archdiocese takes no similar action against the Jesuit University of Detroit Mercy which calls itself "a Catholic university" but "has proposed abortion agencies as career opportunities for students; had links to pro-abortion groups on its website; retained a renowned pro-abortion, pro-same-sex 'marriage' nun on its Board of Trustees; held an annual event called 'sexapalooza' with activities such as 'safe sex games', sex-tac-toe; and has professors that put stickers on their office doors indicating their support for abortion,"[17] all of which are directly opposed by official Catholic teaching.

In an episode of "The Vortex" coinciding with a June 12, 2012 move to a new studio building, Voris announced that the digital television company would be switching to a new name with a new website: "ChurchMilitant.tv". Voris stated that this name was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI's May 22, 2012 "Papal greeting to Cardinals"[20] in which he said, "Today the word ecclesia militans [Church Militant] is somewhat out of fashion, but in reality we can understand ever better that it is true, that it bears truth in itself. ...Saint Augustine said that the whole of history is a struggle between two loves: love of oneself to contempt of God; love of God to contempt of self, in martyrdom. We are in this struggle...."[21]

Voris stated, "In this current climate in which the Church finds herself...the environment that exists both outside and inside some quarters, many quarters within the Church—there is an environment, an odor of indifference and lukewarmness that is snuffing out the light of faith in so many Catholics; they have succumbed to the cultural religious malaise that sucks the life out of their souls."[21] He went on, saying that Catholics must know the faith in order to "join the battle" engaging in "spiritual combat, immortal warfare".[21] Citing Pope Leo XIII's comment that "[Catholics] are born for combat", Voris said Catholics are an army and "When an army loses its fighting spirit, when it takes its eye off the objective it will lose the war...[this is] a call to arms for Catholics to wake up and fight—for the true, the good, and the beautiful."[21]

Along with the change of name Voris and Marc Brammer's partnership came to an amicable end, motivated in part by the desire of Voris and his staff to avoid the appearance of association with Opus Dei or of any outside influences.[11]

In a January 2, 2013 video Voris announced that the program previously referred to as "CIA: Catholic Investigative Agency", which was mentioned in the controversy over the use of the word "Catholic,"[22] was being renamed to "FBI: Faith Based Investigation".[23]

The website's name was changed to "ChurchMilitant.com" in April 2015. In the same year, Voris published his book MILITANT: Restoring Authentic Catholicism through St. Michael's Media Publishing. In 2016, he published his second book "THE WEAPON: Chaining the Gates of Hell With the Holy Rosary"; in November 2017, a follow-up to Militant titled "Resistance: Fighting the Devil Within" was released.[citation needed]

Relationship with the Catholic hierarchy[edit]

Some critics of Voris within the Catholic Church ("from Pennsylvania to Spain to Detroit"[7]) have said that "his remarks, at times, promote division and extremism".[7] In addressing some of the controversies, Voris released a Mic'd Up episode (one of the programs of ChurchMilitant.com) giving a history of his apostolate, including details about the opposition he has faced from various clergy and Catholic establishment media.[24]

Views on Other Religions[edit]

Michael Voris has been criticized by Church leaders for "his extreme positions on other faiths" and for "being insensitive to people of other faiths". [25]

Islam[edit]

On the discussion show "The Download", Episode title "The True Face of Islam", Michael Voris expressed his views about Islam at length: "Islam began in blood. Its history is soaked in blood. It spreads its evil through blood, killing those who will not submit. It overran Catholicism in north Africa in the seventh century, and crossed into modern-day Spain and France in the eighth century, killing every Catholic it could find. We cannot be surprised that these tactics are still being used today. Islam hates Catholicism.... Islam is a diabolical religion, if it can even be called a religion.... Catholic leaders need to stop this 'let's dialogue and have peace nonsense' with an ideology that wants to kill us." [26]

In another episode of the same show, Michael Voris claimed that Islam is a blend of beliefs from other religions: "How the beliefs of Islam formed, they're really kind of a blender of beliefs set on puree. The heresy of Nestorianism is in there. The various Jewish heresies are in there. And some of the tribal cabal, and some of the tribal things at the time when Mohammed was there, so it's this mish-mash of everything." [27]

Judaism[edit]

In a video titled "The Jews", Voris explained his interpretation on supersessionism, saying that the Jewish faith in ancient times "had a temple and offered sacrifice; the entire religion was focused on this one singular point. … Once however the Romans were done with their work, the Jews as the religion of the Covenant no longer existed. … No temple, no sacrifices, no priesthood, no Judaism. What replaced it in history is what has come down to us today: Rabbinical Judaism. This is NOT the Judaism of the Covenant. It is a man-made religion. ...the promise of [the Abrahamic] Covenant is fulfilled in the Catholic Church. We are the continuation of Israel. ...[Thanks to the work of Jesus] the worship was now made complete in the sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist. This is why nothing was lost in the sense of the Covenant when Jerusalem was destroyed. It's not so much that the Covenant was switched to a new group, it's much more the case that only a few former members of the Covenant stayed faithful. The vast majority rejected the Covenant, as is highlighted [as told in John 19:15] when their leaders scream out, 'We have no king but Caesar!' The Covenant was continued in the few Jews who remained faithful to it by recognizing the Messiah. Then God added to their number a multiplicity of Gentiles. The Covenant was never abandoned by God. It was abandoned by the overwhelming number of people called to it, and it is continued today in the Catholic Church. We have a priesthood, THE sacrifice, THE Temple. And that is because Judaism is built on waiting for a Messiah who will come to institute his reign – that happened two thousand years ago. The Jews who accepted Him became the Church, the Jews who rejected Him – having voted themselves out of the Covenant – went off and started a man-made religion. Rabbinical Judaism, today's Jewish religion, is to authentic Judaism what Protestantism is to Catholicism. Looks a lot like it sometimes but at its core it's very different."[28] Voris went on to equate modern Judaism with Protestantism, labeling both religions originating with man.

In another video on Judaism, "Muslims and Jews", Michael Voris compared the religion of Judaism to that of Islam: "This is the Muslims. They have no supernatural faith. And therefore they have no supernatural act of worship. And even the Jews, who rejected Jesus as God, as Trinity. They rejected God as Trinity. They have no faith. And therefore their worship also is natural, not supernatural." [29] In another video, Michael Voris states: "No one gets to Heaven without faith -- supernatural faith...." [30]

Defense of the Saint Benedict Center[edit]

In 2019, Michael Voris published a news article[31] and several commentary videos[32] on the dispute between the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and The Saint Benedict Center (SBC) of Richmond, New Hampshire. In the news article, the position of the SBC was called "dogma", while the position of the CDF was termed "heresy". The article also accuses the local diocese, tasked with communicating and enforcing the decisions of the CDF of the same heresy: denial of the dogma that "Outside the Church, There is No Salvation". The news article asserts that the members of the SBC are "devoted to spreading the Church's official teaching on the need for all souls to join the Church in order to be saved."[31]

The position stated by the SBC is then adopted by Michael Voris in a series of videos from April 11th to April 18th, inclusive. In the April 11th video, Voris states that the Roman Catholic Church "is unique, superior to all other faiths and absolutely necessary for salvation."[33] In the April 12th video, Voris defends Father Leonard Feeney and the teachings of Feeneyism. He states that Fr. Feeney was a "loyal son", not a heretic, and that Feeney was merely defending the dogma of the Church.[34]

And each of the April videos on this subject contained a prominent link to an older interview of Brother Andre Marie, leader of the SBC. In that interview, Michael Voris asks: "Do you think non-Catholic Christians can go to Heaven, Protestants?" And brother Andre answers: "When we are talking about non-Catholic Christians, we're talking about baptized people. They can't be saved qua non-Catholics, you know, as non-Catholics."[35] Br. Andre goes on to state his position, defended by Michael Voris, that only Catholics who receive the Sacrament of Baptism can be saved: "We believe everyone who is destined to eternal life in Heaven will get the Sacrament.... All those predestined to life will be provided with the Sacrament of Baptism."[35]

Scranton ban[edit]

Voris's comments questioning the validity of Rabbinical Judaism were later cited when he attempted to give a presentation in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania.[36][37] In April 2011, Voris, who had intended to give a talk entitled "Living Catholicism Radically",[36] was banned from speaking at Marywood University or any facilities owned by the Diocese.[7] This action was taken after complaints were made about Voris's statements about other religions.[7] In a letter to the talk's organizers, Paul and Kristen Ciaccia, the Diocese declared that it had "learned from" the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Mr. Voris's home Archdiocese of Detroit that Voris's presentations had caused "'a number of controversies' and that his programs are not endorsed by his home archdiocese."[36]

Using a press release issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Catholic Diocese of Scranton issued this statement in response to a planned speaking engagement of Voris in that diocese: "The Diocese of Scranton has determined that Mr. Voris will not be allowed to speak in a Diocesan or parish facility. After these engagements were scheduled, the Diocese became aware of concerns about this individual’s views regarding other religious groups. In videos posted on the Internet, Mr. Voris makes comments that certainly can be interpreted as being insensitive to people of other faiths. The Catholic Church teaches us to respect all people, regardless of their faith tradition. Although the Diocese shares Mr. Voris’ support of efforts to protect human life, his extreme positions on other faiths are not appropriate and therefore the Diocese cannot host him."[25]

Voris ascribed this decision to "political correctness. Anything somebody takes offense at, whether it's true or not, seems to be out of bounds."[7] The speech was moved to the Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre, and the talk's organizers invited local bishop Joseph Bambera to attend "to evaluate Mr. Voris' knowledge of the faith, free from opinions formed by others."[36] The bishop did not take up the offer. The Ciaccias said the ban "belies deeper inconsistencies in diocesan policy."[36] Voris spoke about the events in a video segment, noting the diocese allowed Sara Bendoraitis, the director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Resource Center at American University, to speak at the University of Scranton the previous spring.[36]

Knights of Columbus Leadership[edit]

One of Voris's videos was seen as controversial for criticizing the national leadership of the Knights of Columbus. He accused them of inaction towards politicians in their own ranks who supported legalized abortion and same sex marriage. Voris also held that the group was too concerned with fiscal matters to the neglect of Catholic orthodoxy.[38] Voris left membership of the Knights of Columbus after leadership in national headquarters refused to remove pro-abortion members from its ranks.

World Youth Day[edit]

On July 26, 2011, the organizers of World Youth Day 2011, being held in Madrid, Spain, announced that they had not approved the independent catechesis sessions being offered by Voris, who was covering the event for his digital television channel. The organizers announced that "[p]articipants in the World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Program must be recognized and endorsed by the bishops and episcopal conferences of their respective countries."[38] Organizations that were selected "promote the authentic teaching and unity" and were required to have received the endorsements.[38]

Voris's sessions were titled "No Bull in Madrid" and focused on addressing "tough issues concerning sexuality and morals facing Catholic youth today."[39] Voris stated that he was puzzled why such a statement was released when "[w]e never said we were part of the official World Youth Day"[38] and noted that official approval was not necessary to present talks or do news reportage at WYD. He also indicated further puzzlement as to why the organization he represented (called RealCatholicTV.com at the time) was singled out when there were many other unapproved apostolates at WYD.[40] Voris also noted that no one was challenging any of the theological content in his catechesis, nor had any church official ever challenged any of the content in any Catholic program he had ever been a part of.[38]

Voris said that the group, with the support of a priest, had attempted to be registered as an official participant, but was told "there was no space for new groups."[38]

Earlier that year, in February 2011, the Detroit archdiocesan director of communications, Ned McGrath, told reporters that "the Real Catholic TV enterprise had yet to present itself or receive approval of its apostolate and programming from the archdiocese."[38] When asked during the Madrid controversy in July what the relationship between his group and his local archbishop was, Voris said he did not know. He stated that he had never been able to reach the archbishop after personally making six attempts to schedule a meeting. Voris wondered if this was interference from the bureaucracy surrounding the archbishop and said he was willing to discuss the issue with organizers, but questioned if there was not "something else at work".[38]

While Voris was in Spain, Catholic News Agency (CNA) reporters discovered that the state of Michigan had dissolved the nonprofit corporation status of St. Michael's Media in 2009 due to a failure to file records with the state for two years. Officials at Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed the situation but referred questions in regard to whether the company was receiving donations claiming 501(c)3 status to the Michigan Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.[41]

CNA reporters also discovered that Simon Rafe, the webmaster for St Michael's Media, had created some online fan fiction with sexually explicit themes. Voris stated that he had been unaware of the situation when confronted with the materials.[41] Rafe removed the materials from the internet and apologized for "actions I took as a private individual".[42] St Michael's Media and RealCatholicTv.com curtailed Rafe's duties to only administrative and technical obligations and suspended his involvement in other areas which had included public speaking and hosting productions.[40]

In a video response to CNA's claims, Voris admitted that the paperwork error was entirely his fault. He stated that when St. Michael's Media was established they had a short-term helper who handled all the paperwork in regard to the state. When the worker departed, Voris added those responsibilities to his own. Voris admitted he had been ignorant of the need to file annual reports and was following Michigan’s processes to return to good standing, and would pay the fines (five dollars per year of failing to report).[40] Voris pointed out that while he had failed in regard to the state paperwork, the paperwork for St. Michael's Media to be a 501c organization was with the Internal Revenue Service (part of the federal government) and which had always been up-to-date – assuring viewers that donations had always been tax deductible.[40]

In his response Voris claimed, "During my conversations with the Catholic News Agency it has been revealed to us that they get all kinds of secret anonymous stories about either me personally or our work—all trying to depict me, or our work, in a very bad light. The same is true with this story; it came through an anonymous source. The owners of the website RealCatholicTV.com are aware that because of some of what we talk about in various programs we have developed enemies in the Church, sad as that is, it is the reality. ...We are very aware that there are many people in the Church who have it out for us. We aren't playing victim, merely stating the reality that we confront almost daily and has now been confirmed for us by the Catholic News Agency. …We pray for unity in the Church but unity cannot come at the sacrifice of the truth."[40]

Roman Pontiffs[edit]

Michael Voris has been outspoken in his criticism of recent Popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI[edit]

In October of 2015, Michael Voris released a video with transcript entitled "The Vortex-Benedict's Fingerprints". In it Voris, while affirming the opinion that "things accelerated under Pope Francis in a negative trajectory", responded to conservative Catholic social media pundits who reacted pessimistically to the Synod on the Family and whom held the situation was entirely the fault of Pope Francis.[43] Voris declared that "the problem was developing before Francis" and "there's enough blame to go around that all guilty parties should be exposed, not just scoring cheap clickbait points by piling on."[43]

Voris admitted he too was troubled by some "among very key players" at the Synod of 2015 whom he held were guilty of "heresy, heterodoxy and dissent", but rejected the idea that this situation could be placed entirely on Francis.[43] He held that Pope Francis could not have appointed them to such posts if they had not been risen up by his papal predecessors.

He pointed out that Lorenzo Baldisseri, Roger Mahony, Joseph Bernardin, Theodore McCarrick, Godfried Danneels were raised to cardinals by Pope John Paul II. Charles G. Palmer-Buckle and Peter Turkson were risen to bishops and then archbishops by John Paul II. Walter Kasper had been risen to bishop and then cardinal by John Paul II. John Dew had been made a bishop by John Paul II. Bruno Forte had been raised to bishop by Pope John Paul II and the rite doing so had been personally done by Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI). Paul-André Durocher had been made a bishop by John Paul II, and raised to archbishop by Benedict XVI. John Paul II had made Donald Wuerl and Reinhard Marx bishops and later Benedict XVI had raised them to cardinals. Oswald Gracias was raised to bishop by Benedict XVI. Mark Coleridge was raised to archbishop by Benedict XVI.[43]

Voris also pointed out to conservative Catholic pundits that if Francis is to bare the brunt of the blame for the current situation, then how was the person who raised him to cardinal, Pope John Paul II, utterly blameless?[43]

Voris went on to say there wouldn't be a synod for the pundits to react to if Benedict XVI had not abdicated, but "The Holy Father abandoned his flock, and it was that single action that has brought all this about. Francis may have lit a fuse here, but Pope Benedict laid the dynamite."[43] Those quick to lay all the blame at the feet of Francis while praising the retired Benedict XVI need to explain what he is doing "Shouldn't he be issuing a public statement regarding heresies? He resigned because of health reasons, but going on three years later, his health seems just fine."[43] Voris contrasted the situation to that of John Paul II "who actually had a health issue."[43] He went on to say that "When Pope Benedict was elected he said publicly, "Pray for me that I do not flee for fears of the wolves" — yet that is exactly what he did. He turned around and ran away, abandoning the flock to wolves he had let in the sheepfold."[43] Voris announced "What Pope Benedict did may even rise to the level of immoral. ...Pope Benedict is the one who will be remembered as abandoning his children in the hour of their great need."[43]

Pope Francis[edit]

In August of 2018, Michael Voris released his "Church Militant Statement on the Pope". In it, he demanded the resignation of Pope Francis, for heresy and for promoting pederasty. He also claimed that Pope Francis is "in a state of sin" and will spend all eternity in Hell if he does not repent. And he stated that the Pope has chosen to surround himself with men who lack supernatural faith.[44] The same Statement accused Pope Francis of a "hypocritical and shameless parade of empty words of sorrow and pleading for forgiveness" which was said to "lack all sincerity" regarding the abuse crisis. Mr. Voris then summarized his assessment of Pope Francis and his Pontificate by saying: "Your actions and omissions have left you unable to reign over the Church in any meaningful way. You have no credibility, no moral authority, not a shred of decency left after having covered up one scandal after another...."[45]

In February of 2019, Michael Voris released a video titled, "Pope Francis Guilty of Cover-Up," subtitled, "And his pontificate needs to end." In it, Voris states the following: "The men around the Pope are cover-up artists who staged a phony summit to protect any more information about McCarrick coming public.... even the Pope himself has covered up these sins and crimes. This papacy is going down in flames, and it's happening fast. Whether he resigns or not, the cause of this massive collapse is the homosexuality accepted and protected by Francis and his cronies and massive culture of cover-up that almost every cardinal around him participates in...." [46]

Catholic Bishops[edit]

Concerning the bishops of the Catholic Church, Michael Voris has repeatedly asserted that many of them lack supernatural faith: "many bishops no longer have supernatural faith." [47] He claims that, "worldwide...the episcopate" has failed because "many of them no longer possess supernatural faith." [48] He also stated: "Between all of them, they have operational control of the Church, but they have no supernatural faith."

Then, in the same video, he applied a similar judgment to the whole Church, saying there has been an "epic failure and total loss of supernatural faith across the entire Church -- a global apostasy...." [49]

Michael Voris refers to the Bishop of his own diocese, Archbishop Vigneron, by calling him "another homosexualist bishop" [50] Voris has publicly called for Vigneron to resign, saying: "He has shown simply too much tolerance for evil in this archdiocese for too long." [51] And in the same video, he refers to Vigneron and other Bishops as "destroyers of souls with their watered down Catholic Lite, Church of Nice demonic work". [52]

Controversies relating to science[edit]

Global warming comments[edit]

In a video titled "Global Warming Unmasked: The Hidden Agenda", Voris claimed that "Catholic leaders must recognize global warming for what it is. It is a government power grab via population reduction. It is a pseudoscience and hyper-sensationalism. These things are being used to promote the global warming agenda, just as they were in the early 20th century eugenics movement ... In fact, global warming is the evolution, the natural evolution, of that early eugenics program."[53] Voris said, "Hitler adopted the American eugenic ideals and implemented them throughout his Nazi regime. Hitler did not originate the idea of eugenics and creating a superior Aryan race. It was indeed an American concept. He saw this happening in America, and went 'Ah-ha' and grabbed it and incorporated it into his whole Nazi philosophy."[53] Voris held that governments accepting the concept of global warming might limit availability of energy, cutting off those who "exceed what Washington says is your limit [of carbon emissions:] you can either be charged an exorbitant fine or perhaps have your energy supply limited or even cut off. ... If you think the government interfering in private lives to this extent based on junk science and the hysteria surrounding it just isn't possible ... think back to the tens of thousands of citizens who were sterilized against their will by the government in state after state after state. ... And remember the only thing that brought the eugenics movement to an end was the horror of the Nazi death camps. If that had not happened, sterilization would just be a normal thing. It was so revolting that finally people said, 'this whole theory is wrong.' Government leaders were quite happy to just roll along exercising power without limit over their citizens."[53]

Voris held that those governments accepting global warming are using it as a cover for social engineering, including forcing population control. "What you have to understand is that the elite have now moved on to a sort of new updated version of this, a new technique. It's not eugenics anymore. Now it's called global warming. The elite need global warming in order to pursue their reduction in population goals."[53]

Voris took the Vatican City State to task for appearing to accept global warming by working to become Europe's first carbon neutral state by agreeing to have a forest planted in Hungary in 2007 as a carbon offset.[53]

Voris also criticized the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for launching the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change in 2006 (which sent out teaching materials to all Catholic schools in the US which encouraged school children to reduce their carbon footprints), and the Catholic Climate Covenant in 2009 which encouraged Catholics to take a "St. Francis Pledge".[53] The person taking the pledge promises to "Pray and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable. Learn about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change. Assess how we—as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations—contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc. Act to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change. Advocate for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable."[53][54] Voris declared, "This is total propaganda. It blindly accepts all of the nonsense put out by the Climate Change crowd...it's disingenuous to pass this off as if it's the truth and accepted Catholic teaching." He took umbrage that the Bishops called for Sunday homilies that coincided with Earth Day to be about climate change "during the sacrifice of the Holy Mass", and suggested petitions be given at Mass to call for divine assistance in using "our technological inventiveness to undo the damage we have done to Your creation". Voris declared such moves by the Bishops' groups as "offensive to religious sensibilities...passing off as a truth something which is a lie or at best a mistake. You don't get to do this."[53]

Voris concluded that the effort to advance claims about global warming is "hostile to Christianity and Christian truths" and that "given the intricate decades-long unfolding of this whole movement" it was ultimately not being led by humans who are merely acting as "useful idiots" and "stooges" for "the Enemy ... 'the one who deceives the whole world'."[53]

Geocentrism[edit]

On January 8, 2014, Voris became involved in the controversy surrounding the film The Principle[55] when he invited its producers onto his show to discuss their project, a defense of geocentrism.[56][57]

"Catholic monarchy" comments[edit]

In a video titled "Catholic Government", now removed from his apostolate's site but still available online,[58] Voris reiterates the statement by St. Thomas Aquinas that monarchy is the highest form of government ("Accordingly, the best form of government is in a state or kingdom, wherein one is given the power to preside over all." Summa Theologica I-11, 105.1). In the video Voris said, "The only way to run a country is by benevolent dictatorship, a Catholic monarch who protects his people from themselves and bestows on them what they need, not necessarily what they want."[7] Voris later clarified his remarks, saying it would have been more accurate if he had called it an "enlightened monarchy," but maintaining that his larger point "that a society needs strong morals in order to survive"[7] remains true. Voris holds that there has been a liberal shift in the Catholic Church, a post-1960s culture that has had a negative influence over Catholics; some of this has been influenced by "Americanism," a heresy that Pope Leo XIII warned about in the 19th century.[7] The Detroit Free Press reported that Voris holds that "Many current church leaders are 'namby-pamby... It's all about, "Love your neighbor."' What's needed instead, he said, is "a muscular Catholicism that isn't afraid to encourage battle and sacrifice."[7]

Personal life[edit]

Voris, who has never been married, is celibate,[59] and has been called by independent Catholic news site Crux "one of the Catholic Church's most vocal opponents of LGBT causes."[60]

On April 21, 2016, in an episode of The Vortex, Voris revealed that prior to his return to the Faith he engaged in multiple sexual relationships viewed as gravely sinful by the Catholic Church. During his twenties he was "confused about [his] own sexuality" resulting in "frequent sexual liaisons with both adult men and adult women."[61]

He added that these were all "past sins" which had now been publicly admitted, and that since his reversion, "I abhor all these sins."[61] Voris explained that when he was in Fatima five years before, he had "consecrated specifically my chastity to Our Blessed Mother" and had remained a celibate.[61] "That virtue which I had desecrated, I now asked to be consecrated, protected by her," he said.[61]

He further claimed that the Catholic Archdiocese of New York was collecting and preparing to publish details of his former life in order to discredit him and his work with Church Militant.[61] The New York Archdiocese denied these claims, calling them "100 percent untrue."[62]

In the video Voris admitted it may have been a mistake on his part not to have brought this information to the public earlier, but that he did not feel it necessary to provide all the details in order to proclaim the Gospel. "I did not do it to deceive, but because I did not understand the necessity. Now, I do," he said.[61] At the end of the video, he says, "We will never cease to declare these truths, the glories of the Catholic faith, regardless of what happens. If this is all threatened because of revelations of my past sins, then please pray that the will of God be done. Thank you for your prayers, your support and your understanding, as well as the measure of forgiveness you are ready to extend."[61]

Voris has also rejected LGBT claims that homosexuals are "born that way," stating instead that the Church teaches there is only one rightly ordered sexuality — heterosexuality — and that we are all born heterosexual, but circumstances happen to alter and distort that rightly ordered sexuality. "No one wants to admit that their entire self-perception around which they have built and fashioned their lives, thoughts, opinions, worldview, etc. has been a big lie," he said in "Not Born That Way". He continued, "But that doesn't alter the objective fact that it is a lie. Conceiving of oneself in terms of being a homosexual isn't the only damage that can emerge from a pained childhood. Pain and its avoidance can manifest in all kinds of ways, not just this one."[63]

In a video exposé by The Atlantic, Voris stated his belief that what had led up to his sexual behavior could be traced to his mother having bipolar disorder. He stated that in his home life with a bipolar parent "Everything in the environment revolves around that mental illness. I wound up believing my parents didn't love me."[64] After his mother had been diagnosed with stage four cancer, about three months before she died she told Voris, "'I never believed that you were homosexual or gay. I believed that you were acting out in response to the fact of how I had created this situation at home that you didn't know how to deal with it.'" Voris said that struck him like a hammer.[64]

Voris further addressed this issue in a Download episode titled "Not Born That Way",[65] in which the panel discusses the case of former homosexuals who had allegedly recaptured a heterosexual orientation after counseling, self-examination, and healing from psychological wounds from childhood.

Honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Time Bombs in the March for Life". churchmilitant.com. Church Militant. January 21, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. ^ 1984-08-03 University of Notre Dame Commencement Program
  3. ^ "St. Michael's Media – Meet the Staff".
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography of Michael Voris". Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "State of Michigan LLC Articles of Organization".
  6. ^ "Library of Congress Registration for "Double Trouble"".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Warikoo, Niraj (February 13, 2012), Views on provocative Real Catholic TV station anger Detroit archdiocese and others, Detroit Free Press, archived from the original on February 15, 2012, retrieved June 6, 2016
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Emmy Award-Winning Broadcaster Leads Catholic Media Company". Catholic PRWire. March 31, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. (April 2009). "Ownership Transferred from Catholic Views Broadcast, Inc. [CVBI] to St. Michael Broadcasting [SMB]".
  10. ^ Fr. Kenneth Baker S.J. (March 2008). "Fr. Kenneth Baker S.J. letter". Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  11. ^ a b c Terry Carroll (March 16, 2014). "CMTV letter to Mundabor".
  12. ^ "Regarding Real Catholic TV and its Name". December 15, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  13. ^ Sylvia Poggioli (October 20, 2014). "Catholic Synod Highlights Divisions, Sets Stage for Future Battles". National Public Radio.
  14. ^ Moynihan, Robert (October 21, 2014). "Letter #31, 2014: Revelatory Moments". insidethevatican.com. Inside the Vatican. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Fitzgerald, Ryan (October 5, 2015). "Leader of Synod: Majority of Synod Fathers Oppose Communion for Divorced Adulterers". churchmilitant.com. ChurchMilitant.tv. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Church Militant (October 14, 2014). "Revolution on the Way - Synod Coverage". YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g John-Henry Westen (December 23, 2011). "Archdiocese of Detroit asks Michael Voris to stop using the name 'Catholic'". Detroit, Michigan: LifeSiteNews.com.
  18. ^ Canon 216 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states, "Since they participate in the mission of the Church, all the Christian faithful have the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings, according to their own state and condition. Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name 'Catholic' without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority." "The first thing to understand about the AOD vs. Voris/RCTV dispute". January 3, 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d John-Henry Westen (January 9, 2012). "Archdiocesan canon lawyers differ on asking RealCatholicTV.com to drop 'Catholic' name". LifeSiteNews.com.
  20. ^ Pope Benedict XVI (May 22, 2012). "Papal Greeting to Cardinals". Archived from the original on May 29, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d Michael Voris (June 12, 2012). New Beginnings.
  22. ^ "A few more things to keep in mind about the AOD and Voris/RCTV". January 5, 2012.
  23. ^ Michael Voris. "New Year of Faith". ChurchMilitantTV.
  24. ^ "Catholic Establishment Media".
  25. ^ a b "Statement Regarding Michael Voris". Archived from the original on April 14, 2013.
  26. ^ "The Download - The True Face of Islam". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  27. ^ "The Download - Islam Is a Blend of Belief Systems",". Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  28. ^ "The Jews".
  29. ^ "Muslims and Jews". Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  30. ^ "Heaven on Earth". Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  31. ^ a b "NH Vicar Changes Dogma Into Heresy". January 17, 2019.
  32. ^ ""Vortex" videos on April 11th through April 18th". April 11, 2019.
  33. ^ "The Church Is Necessary For Heaven". April 11, 2019.
  34. ^ "Heretic or Loyal Son". April 12, 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview with Brother Andre Marie". June 15, 2017.
  36. ^ a b c d e f Laura Legere (April 13, 2011). "Unbowed, conservative Catholic speaker will speak at Wilkes-Barre hotel".
  37. ^ More recently, Voris has interviewed Robert Sungenis to help Sungenis promote his movie The Principle. Sungenis has a controversial history in relation to the Holocaust and other Jewish issues, and Voris vigorously defended him, dismissing the idea that Sungenis was anti-Semitic or had ever denied the Holocaust."Mic'd Up "The Principle, Under Attack"". YouTube. May 30, 2014. 41'52" mark. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h Kevin J. Jones (July 26, 2011). "World Youth Day organizers say Michael Voris catechesis not approved". Madrid, Spain.
  39. ^ "Official Response to CNA Article".[dead link]
  40. ^ a b c d e "Official Response to CNA Article". Archived from the original on January 11, 2012.
  41. ^ a b Benjamin Mann (August 17, 2011). "RealCatholicTV's Voris had 'no idea' about internal problems". Catholic News Agency.
  42. ^ Simon Rafe (August 18, 2011). "Apology & Explanation". Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Michael Voris (October 26, 2015). "The Vortex-Benedict's Fingerprints".
  44. ^ "Church Militant Statement on the Pope". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  45. ^ "Church Militant Statement on the Pope". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  46. ^ "Pope Francis Guilty of Cover-Up". Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  47. ^ "Vortex Shameless". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  48. ^ "Vortex Oblivion". Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  49. ^ "Ripping the Church to Pieces". Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  50. ^ "We're Number One". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  51. ^ "Too Much Tolerance". Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  52. ^ "Too Much Tolerance". Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  53. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Global Warming Unmasked: The Hidden Agenda".
  54. ^ "Take the St Francis Pledge". Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  55. ^ The Principle.
  56. ^ The Principle: Is Earth the Center of the Universe?.
  57. ^ "Forward Boldly: Interview with Rick DeLano".
  58. ^ Catholic Government.
  59. ^ Michael Voris. "The Truth About Natural Family Planning". ChurchMilitantTV.
  60. ^ O'Loughlin, Michael (April 23, 2016). "Critic of LGBT causes admits past sexual relationships with men". Crux. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  61. ^ a b c d e f g "Limiting God". www.churchmilitant.com. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  62. ^ "New York archdiocese denies allegation that it sought to smear Michael Voris". Catholic Herald. April 22, 2016.
  63. ^ "The Vortex—Not Born That Way".
  64. ^ a b Daniel Lombroso (May 9, 2017). "Church Militant: A Right-Wing Media Empire in the Making". The Atlantic.
  65. ^ "The Download—Not Born That Way".

External links[edit]