It is hard to believe, but countries like Canada have TV programs that can deal with Catholicism for three-quarters of an hour and being seen nationwide. If the BBC were to do something comparable, the program would obligatorily include a parade of sexual perverts explaining to us why the Church is evil; all interspersed with seemingly sympathetic comments from seemingly unbiased journalists aiming at pushing their secular agenda under the cloak of “tolerance” and “diversity”, which means approving pretty much everything under the sun.
Well, not so in Canada, where the Michael Coren show* deals with Catholicism for very long and in a serious fashion, inviting Michael Voris (well-known to the followers of this blog) to talk about it.
From this (longish) programme, several facts emerge:
1) Michael Voris has already been downloaded 5.5 million times in the last around two years. That’s some 7,500 downloads a day, give or take and with the trend going up (350,000 in January 2011; do your math). Very admirably, Voris says they don’t work “for” downloads, but can’t avoid noticing their growing number.
2) Criticism of Voris tends to come from people who think him “not charitable” (usual liberal excuse to attack those who are Catholics).
3) Voris makes clear that his role is to teach Catholicism. By a trend to 4+ million downloads a year, this gives all the scale of the failing of the Catholic clergy regarding their first duty: teaching the faith.
4) Voris makes an excellent job in explaining to the his viewers (composed of many non_Catholic, I can easily imagine) that to criticise what Church men do doesn’t mean that the Church is not infallible. The Church is doctrinally infallible, the people who compose her are prone to all sorts of errors. This is very important and must be explained again and again to your friends and colleagues when they are (naturally, seeing that they are not properly instructed) confused. This is also a huge source of prejudice against the Church, so it is very good that it was addressed.
5) Coren says it very clearly: Catholics schools teach people to be good citizen, but not to be good Catholics and in fact, even when they go out of school they can’t even define what their being Catholics is all about. I’d say these reflections can be shared by most people; they are the strongest indictment against the Catholic hierarchy in the West.
6) Voris is very clear: the problems started when Vatican II became a conduit for heterodox tendencies already contained in the conciliar documents. It is not the documents themselves that were heterodox, but they were so bad that they could be interpreted so and in the cultural climate of those years they predictably did.
Voris also cites the recent appeal of Bishop Schneider of a new “Syllabus of Error” regarding V II: this must be surprising and at the same time refreshing for non-Catholic viewers: seeing that the Church has not really ever changed, but has merely done her work badly for a handful of decades.
7) Coren is very perceptive: he notices that the liberal voices are the most intolerant ones and that “liberals” are only “tolerant” with those who “behave the way they want them to behave”. You’ll never hear that from the Beeb. Hat off to Mr. Coren.
8) “A lot of liberalism is about sex”, says Coren in another brilliant statement. He understands that liberalism is about doing what you please, and being Catholic is about trying to do as Jesus asks. The man is disarming in that he says things that in England would cause calls of hate speech as if he was saying the simplest facts on Earth. Refreshing.
9) Coren says it again in a very communicative way: he understands that “the teaching from Rome is perfect”, but that the problems lie in the provinces of the Empire. Voris has no problems in explaining the scale of the problems coming from the clergy. This must be, again, both shocking and refreshing for the viewers, who have the opportunity to see an organism sacred in her essence, but fallible in her workings.
10) Even Coren notices that younger priests and bishops tend to be much more orthodox than older one. He is 52, and a convert. I think he is spot on. Again, this is rather known among Catholics but it must be most interesting for non-Catholics viewers. An extremely instructive programme for them.
11) “Judas is the Saint of Social justice”. This Fulton Sheen line criticising the “militant social stance” of many priests is another statement you’ll never hear on the BBC.
12) The hard arguments come out around 27:00: the losing of the West’ soul, the hard truths about Catholic “unpleasant” messages, the necessity to hammer the hard messages to the people, the fact that your moral view will influence the entire society in which your children live. Coren reacts to Voris’ hard statements with grace and humour, his clear Catholicism never becoming obnoxious to those who don’t share his persuasion but clearly showing where his preferences lie. Again, I think that a non-Catholic can see this programme and be pleasantly instructed and entertained.
13) Moving details are revealed: Voris’ mother asking for a cross so that their children may come back to the faith, and dying of cancer in a prayerful way. Looks a bit like “Brideshead revisited”, but in real life. Voris avoids the emotional outburst, but one clearly understands that the event touched him profoundly.
14) Coren deals with the main criticism liberals move to orthodox people: being not charitable. Voris has the chance to explain what true charity is, and what false charity leads to.
No interruptions whilst he explains. Simply good journalism.
15) “It is not the role of the Church to blend in with society”. Another strikingly relevant statement from Voris. No English bishop I know would have ever the guts to say it so strikingly.
16) Some bishops apparently said to Voris something on the lines of “keep on saying what you say, because I can’t”. Sorry, but these are bad bishops. It can’t be that Voris may have the guts, and the bishop can’t afford to. Voris is there because they just don’t do their job. See point 15).
There are some other interesting points, but I’d like not to go beyond 1000 words. This is an excellent example of good, informative journalism, though clearly coming from a Catholic journalist. Coren respectfully listens to his guest allowing his viewers to get 45 minutes of solid formation in Catholicism. I can easily imagine that whilst Coren is clearly Catholic himself, his journalistic style may appeal to many non-Catholics and help them to get nearer to the Catholic truth. The chap has the warmth, the graceful ways and the smoothness of tone of an Italian in a good mood.
I so wish the BBC could learn a bit from him instead of being the miserable hotbed of secular anti-Catholic propaganda it is.
* as always, you may have to register. Free of charge and certainly worth your while.