Monday, February 13, 2012

Archbishop Vigneron Attempts To Rebrand A Cancer Posing As Catholic--And It's Not A Left Leaning Enterprise

Archbishop Vigneron does not see Michael Voris as the savior of Roman Catholicism, no matter how big the sword he carries.

Here's an interesting article from the Detroit Free Press about the fight between the Archdiocese of Detroit and Real Catholic TV.  RCT is an inter net TV enterprise run by one Michael Voris.  RCT is most certainly to the right of EWTN.  I know, it's hard to believe that's possible, but it is true.  Read the following excerpt to get an idea why the conservative Archbishop Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit wants to take the 'Catholic' out of Real Catholic TV.

 Views on provocative Real Catholic TV station anger Detroit archdiocese and others

By Niraj Warikoo- Detroit Free Press - 2/13/2012   
.....For much of his life, Michael Voris of Ferndale was a lukewarm Catholic, someone who usually just went through the motions at church.
But after the sudden death of his brother in 2003 from a heart attack and the death of his mother from stomach cancer the following year, the former TV reporter became a changed man.
"Her dying really kind of started to wake me up," Voris recalled. "You have to face mortality. And then the questions came pouring in: What is the meaning of life? Who are we as human beings? Is there life after death? Those are fundamental questions everyone has to look for."
Voris found those answers in the Catholic Church. In 2006, he formed St. Michael's Media, a Catholic TV production company and studio in Ferndale. And in 2008, he helped launch Real Catholic TV. Today, the never-married 50-year-old is consumed by his passion to promote what he considers the one true faith. Working up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, Voris is 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.
But it's a vision that has rubbed some the wrong way. His critics said his remarks, at times, promote division and extremism. Catholic officials from Pennsylvania to Spain to Detroit have warned people that he doesn't speak for the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit released two public statements on Voris, saying in December that the TV station was not permitted to have the word "Catholic" in its title. After receiving complaints from Voris' supporters, it sent out a second release last month reiterating its stance.

 "Chaos has run through the church for the last 40 to 50 years," Voris said. "For people who are faithful Catholics, it's a source of great sorrow. It's definitely broken."

The Catholic divide
The tension between the two sides reflects an intense debate among Catholics over how to stem the number of Catholics leaving the faith. Liberals argue that people are leaving because the church is too strict and outdated, but conservatives such as Voris say the opposite is true.

Voris said the church's liberal tilt in the years after the 1960s reforms of the Second Vatican led to declining mass attendance and the decline of morality in the West. In his videos -- which on YouTube have drawn more than 10 million views -- Voris criticizes everything from abortion (comparing it to a holocaust) to contraception to liberal Catholics who promote feminism and homosexuality. In one of his more controversial videos, 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."
After an uproar, Voris apologized, saying that he misspoke but he stands by his larger point, which is that a society needs strong morals in order to survive. (No, the larger point is society needs a strong daddy to parcel out what he thinks mommy and the kids need.)

Defending the faith
Last April, the diocese in Scranton, Pa., banned him from speaking in its facilities after it received complaints about his comments on other faiths.
In response to the criticism, Voris told the Free Press:
"Current culture doesn't let things be said plainspokenly. It's ... political correctness. Anything somebody takes offense at, whether it's true or not, seems to be out of bounds." (OK, I'll be plain spoken: You are an idiot, living in a delusion which makes you believe you and your kind have replaced namby pambly Jesus as our savior.  There are good meds for this kind of thing.)

Despite the controversy, Voris travels the world to promote the Catholic faith. He has done shows in Nigeria, the Philippines, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Germany and has upcoming trips to New Zealand and Australia.

Voris' efforts are financed by Marc Brammer, a business developer for Moody's who lives in South Bend, Ind., and is a member of Opus Dei, a somewhat controversial group known for its traditional views.
Voris started and owns a media company, St. Michael's Media, which Brammer contracts to produce Real Catholic TV. (OD is also known for it's elitism, secretiveness, and wealth.)

Like Voris, Brammer is concerned about what he feels is the liberal shift of the Catholic Church. They both criticize what they call "Americanism," a term they use to describe a post-1960s culture that they say has negatively influenced Catholics. (Actually, it's a series of heresies defined by Pope Leo XIII in his quest to remind American Catholics, but especially their bishops, that their real loyalties lay with obedience to Rome, not to any American ideals of individual freedom and/or it's democratic government.)

"Our Catholic Church is infected with Americanism that has gone wrong," said Brammer. "Not that America is wrong. But America's best days are not today; it was in the past, just like the Catholic Church."

While in Madrid, Voris bemoaned the American Catholics who attended, saying they were dressed immodestly.
"It made you downright cringe to see so many Americanized Catholics standing there at mass half-naked," he said in a video.

Voris and his backers are committed to forging ahead on a mission to save the Catholic Church and the U.S.
Many current church leaders are "namby-pamby," Voris said. "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.

"Sometimes, you have to provocative," Brammer said.


I find it fascinating indeed, that Archbishop Vigneron and other conservative leaning bishops are slapping down Real Catholic TV at the exact same time the USCCB is attempting to put the Roman Catholic Church above and beyond American notions of individual conscience and the common good.  Just as our bishops are not exactly being 'namby pamby' with the Obama administration, Voris also finds himself at their mercy.  Perhaps Mr Morris's crusade not to be 'PC' is shining too much light on another explanation for what may be the real agenda of the USCCB. Quite frankly, I am not at all interested in having the clerical or secular version of 'muscular Catholic men' dictate the terms of how I live my life.  They can all go to the hell they need me to believe in,  in order to buy their elitist misogynist religious tripe. I'll stick with the non muscular namby pamby Jesus who told Peter to put up his sword, and then walked off to be crucified so He could then rise from the dead.


  1. Michael Voris is one of these deluded folks who is tired of the hard work needed to participate as a citizen of a democratic republic, so he'd rather hand off the duties to an unelected absolutist monarch. Guess what, Michael, they tried that for centuries in Europe, and eventually the Europeans tired of it and decided to establish constitutional monarchies or democratic republics. Hereditary monarchies are a crap shoot, as sometimes you can have someone who is very effective at governing, and other times you can get someone that is completely incompetent. Opus Dei is hostile to democracy as it is currently constituted in this country and various European countries, and is hostile to Vatican II and any attempt to become the People of God. Opus Dei, like the American bishops and Vatican Curia, wants to be the Empire of God, and they are so secretive because many of their goals would not stand the light of day. They and the other personal prelatures are a cancer in the church, elevating their leadership to cult leader status, and resisting any attempts to disclose the truths about their leaders and their not-so-saintly activities. The worst of the lot was Marcial Maciel Degollado with his sexual predation.

    1. Kathy, I think he's dangerously deluded, not because he has some small bit of personal charisma, but because he has enough money behind him to jaunt all over the world spreading his delusions.

      And then those delusions just happen to coincide with the goals of Opus Dei as you point out. The personal prelatures exist precisely to form a parallel church where worship of the person of the founder is encouraged because that worship is easily transferred to include the Pope. Maciel may have been the worst, but Kiko and Carmen have way more followers. As lay folk they have to revel in their access to the high and mighty in the inner sanctum of the Vatican. Apparently the Vatican high and mighty appreciate their followers so much they finally approved most of the Neo Cat constitution. I imagine the Japanese bishops are just thrilled. Not.

    2. Colleen, I think you are right about Voris's being dangerous because he has big money behind him, and about the ultimate purpose of the personal prelatures. Voris's anachronistic obsession with monarchy also reminds me of the "Tradition, Family & Property" movement, started by the late Brazilian Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira . TFP shares Voris's illusions about the past and its members emphasize heraldry and giving their children many names, like the scions of European nobles and royals. It's ironic because a lot of the people involved in TFP in this country were descended from old-world peasants who came to this country to get away from the remnants of feudalism, not to recreate them. Carmina Salcido, who survived her father's attempt to murder her along with her mother, sister, and aunts, wrote about her experiences growing up in a TFP adoptive family. Her maternal grandparents were also involved in TFP. TFP's biggest exposure in this country has been protesting gay rights, recognition of same-sex marriage, and protesting Martin Scorsese's film "The Last Temptation of Christ." Go figure!

    3. 1. Who'd have thunk that spreading more and more radical propaganda would push some people (including well-funded ones) over the edge into extremism?

      2. Does Archbishop Vigneron have the trademark on the word "Catholic" to keep Voris from using it? I didn't think so.


  2. "Many current church leaders are "namby-pamby," Voris said. "It's all about, 'Love your neighbor.'"

    ## Yup - who needs that BS above "Love your neighbour" ? Real Catholics - not those ghastly CINOs !!! - don't do that ****. Blame that pinko liberal Commie namby-pamby called...thingummy, yerknow, that guy mentioned on "The Simpsons","Family Guy", "American Dad", & "South Park". No - sorry, it's gone. That guy was crucified & rose from the dead. Gandalf ? That sounds right - no, not him either. The *really famous* one - & I don't mean John Lennon. Jesus, you say ? Never heard of him - who's he ? A Latino ? Must be.

  3. I have some sympathy with Voris - it's his approach that puts me off. His approach is too close to kneeing people in the gonads; people are not converted by thuggery & knuckle-dusters, but by patience, self-denial, self-sacrifice, goodness, humility, attractiveness of character. There is no testimony like a radiantly Christ-like life. Strong-arm tactics are woefully insufficient. One can't beat the gift of faith into people.

    IMHO he needs to show people that Catholicism is lovable, desirable,liberating, appealing to the whole of human nature, good. And to do that, he needs to show them the attractiveness of Christ. If Catholicism is just a body of external laws, or as tribal way of life, it is no more Christian than the OT. It is nothing, & worth less, without Christ. It will certainly not be Good News, but a mere worldly, secular (!!!) ideology for controlling others.

    1. But given what Voris says about benevolent monarchical theocracy, his Catholicism is all about control.

    2. Could his seeing Catholicism as control be something he's doing to establish order over this life due to the loss of his mother and brother?

    3. He more or less says that, but for me, I think his anger still needs some more control if his angry theology is any indication. On the other hand, he has never married so maybe he's trying to control something else entirely.

    4. I'd recommend Mr. Voris reread the Sermon on the Mount. He might actually learn something from it.

    5. As a never married 40 something Catholic man ,does this articulate what you are getting at with his drive for control with regards to his bachelorhood, because I've seen this in my own past

      ..."I am simply saying that the combination of qualities I saw in this subculture, or at least in this particular member of it —a shrinking from ontological maleness, a way of being a man that seemed gerry-built upon opposition to accepted standards of masculinilty, a self-professed orthodox Catholicism veering towards Traditionalism, and some deep-seated sexual problems —strike me now as disturbingly emblematic of a certain type of Catholic man...It is when they write or speak out of a poorly-hidden crisis in their own masculinity, which I believe is a reflection of a wider cultural crisis in essential masculinity, that I get worried for women, especially for orthodox Catholic women who want to marry orthodox Catholic men. Some of these men seem to be trying to regain an impossible Edenic ideal of manhood and fatherhood that they may never have experienced in their own lives. Others, perhaps unconsciously, appear to be doing everything possible to avoid the self-sacrifice called for in marriage and fatherhood by attempting to disassociate themselves from any accepted cultural norms of masculinity, and, in so doing, fail to present themselves to eligible women as viable potential husbands and fathers. I am as much an authority on the Theology of the Body as I am on the arcana of the skirts-vs.-pants debate, which is to say not at all. But I wonder sometimes if TOB, like male obsession with female modesty, presents a sort of utopianism to orthodox Catholic men —an antidote to the dystopias of pornography, to be sure, but no more realistic. We are all essentially wounded, and sex, whether contracted within a sacramental marriage or not, is not the cure. The only hope we have for healing is in our capacity to love the unlovable, and to be able to love each other as who and where we are."

    6. Wow, that's a powerful comment. It's more analytical than I was thinking. I was just more or less thinking for some reason Mr. Voris seems to have sublimated his erotic passion through a very idiosyncratic view of traditional Roman Catholicism, and that it's a very angry kind of passion.

      The last two sentences in the quote you cite are excellent.

  4. ...the never-married 50-year-old...
    hard to believe

    1. Well, never married doesn't necessarily mean chaste and celibate for fifty years.

  5. Voris is definitely not a follower of Jesus Christ. He is denying the prime directive of Jesus, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF! If he objects to this teaching then he should find another religion. Fr. Michael Anthony, osf

    1. Absolutely correct, denying the prime directive pretty much negates him truly being Catholic. I'm sure this has to be why Archbishop Vigneron wants the Catholic out of Real TV.

  6. After seeing just one clip of this fellow, I have to wonder, where is the Catholicism in any of this? It was just juvenile Socratic syllogisms - no Good News, no Compassion; just rantic pap. No - not Catholic. I hear this stuff and wonder if these people are conflating their own internal dogmatic arguments with evangelization. As for me, I will role my eyes and continue to live in the desert away from such smallness evincing my faith in the Living God through random acts of loving kindness toward my family, friends and all who I chance to encounter. Such as these can be the church.

    1. It's basically American Evangelical macho Christianity dressed up in a Catholic seeming studio. It seems in the US anymore, any guy with a pulpit is using following Jesus as their reason to take over the world and pretty much control if not enslave the rest of us. I find that utterly fascinating given Jesus' answer to Satan's temptations in the desert. Voris is just the USCCB on steroids.

      Yes, your last two sentences are the real truth.

    2. Yep, it also reminds me that Voris is succumbing to the temptation Jesus resisted in the Gospel of St. Luke. I am also reminded of the line from W.B. Yeats's poem "The Second Coming," "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity."

  7. Arguments with Voris aside, Archbishop Vigneron is simply applying relevent canons on the use of the term Catholic. Canon law is clear that while one is Catholic and engages in some project that does not make the project a Catholic project. If one is a hermit, for instance and a Catholic, that does not necessarily make one a Catholic Hermit. Individuals and organizations must be granted the right to use the term Catholic (a group of Sisters must be given the right to call themselves Catholic Sisters or a Catholic religious order, for instance). The use of the term Catholic implies one speaks, ministers, etc in the name of the Church.It comes with specific canonical rights, obligations and responsibilities. Given the degree of individualism present today it is important to know the difference between an organization of or led by Catholics and a Catholic organization.

    1. I understand that Archbishop Vigneron was acting with in his Canonical rights. I was just stunned the Archbishop was this even handed, given that he wasn't particularly thrilled with the American Catholic Conference held in Detroit last year. Those of us in the land of progressive Catholicism aren't used to seeing those in the land of reactionary Catholicism getting spanked right along with us.

      By the way, in case a bishop comes after me for the title of this blog, I am fully and happily prepared to call it Enlightened Catholycism. :)

      Oh, and welcome to the blog.