“Schismgate”: John Vennari Replies To Michael Voris On “Schism”, “Reactionaries” And “Francisvacantism”
Today I am very pleased to inform you of another brilliant reply from John Vennari, of CFN. This reply comes in two videos. The first video deals with the accusation of “Schism” levelled at the SSPX by Voris, and the second deals with the methods employed by Voris and the mixing of the argument of “Pope is not validly a Pope” with the legitimate grievances of sound Traditionalism.
The videos are fairly short, totaling less than 20 minutes together. They are a beautiful integration to what has been already said on the matter. The first one gives more and very convincing arguments against the abstruse claim of Schism, and the second shreds some light on the media methods of Mr Voris besides bringing clarity in the matter of “Francisvacantism”.
Enjoy the show.
ChurchMilitant.TV will not engage in public criticism of the Pope. Period.
This unconscionable statement still appears on the Church Militant manifesto as I write. This is the same outlet which accuses Chris Ferrara of “The Remnant”, John Vennari of Catholic Family News and others like, most notably, Louie Verrecchio of “Harvesting The Fruit of the V II” of being producers of “ecclesiastical porn”. It is to be noted that none of the three accuses the Pope with more vehemence than Voris himself does when he accuses, say, Cardinal Dolan, a favourite target of him (difficult to miss the mark, I concede).
Mr Ferrara published a wonderful article days ago describing, inter alia, the heavy invectives used by Voris against Dolan. But apparently, what is allowed when addressing a Cardinal is not allowed when addressing a Pope. Not even, mind, when the scandal and confusion is so much bigger when coming from the Pope. I wish I could find the article. Many thanks to the readers who can help on this. EDIT: FOUND! Many thanks to all those who posted the right link!
The position of CMTV does not make sense. It is not, nor has it even been, part of the Magisterium. It is just plain absurd, and it becomes the more absurd the more Pope Dope (very charitably called, on this blog, The Most Astonishing Hypocrite In Church History, TMAHICH; and this, only because he is the Pope) goes on with his astonishingly drunken, or drugged, or otherwise, at this point, indisputably evil statements.
This absurd position has already put CMTV in a quandary, because the reality is now punching them in the face every day, and Francis does all he can to help with the punching. Even the slower witted start to understand, in greater and greater numbers, that you can’t condemn Nazism and forever refuse to criticise Hitler. The fish stinks from the head down. The buck stops at the Pope. The Pope is, also here indisputably, the man who praises to the skies (Kasper) or moves to position of great influence (Forte, Baldisseri) those who push an heretical agenda, as he removes the orthodox (say: Burke) and appoints the heterodox (say: Cupich) whenever he can. You can’t go on criticising Goebbels and Himmler forever, and say that you will “not engage in any criticism of Hitler. Period” anymore, or you credibility will be soon used to make pig fodder.
Enter the “razor’s edge” theory.
In blatant contradiction with the statement above, the new mantra seems to be that you (cough…) can criticise the Pope. The requirement, heard before, that this should be possible only to very saintly people (like Thomas More, who is rather dead, and the like) seems to have been dropped, too.
No: nowadays, every non-saintly person can criticise, and Voris will not call you “spiritual porrnographer” for this fact alone. But you see: if you criticise the Pope, you must do it in a way that meets Mr Voris’ approval. The approval, in other words, of the same man who told you, until the day before yesterday, that you were not allowed to criticise him, period.
It is all so absurd that, were Voris not a certainly nice chap and a fundamentally honest Catholic, would merit him some serious criticism. Then there’s the matter of the personal attacks, which will be dealt with later.
The new “razor’s edge” theory says that the one who is – in so many words – admitting he was wrong until now can now tell you how to do what you were right in doing in the first place. This is, we are informed, a very thin path that manages to hint at what a moron Francis is, without really saying it. Because you see, if you say things openly you will confuse the simple people.
The simple people seem to be the newest line of defence. It goes along the lines of: “I understand the Pope has made himself worthy of criticism; but you see, the simple Catholics would be confused if I said so forcefully”. They might – God forbid! – even start attending at the next SSPX chapel! Heavens! What’s next, Belzebub?
The position does not stand the test of logic for at least two reasons:
1) If simple people are easily impressionable to the point of abandoning the faith, then Cardinals and Bishops should never be openly, much less harshly, criticised. They are all successors of the Apostles, being basically all of them – all the Cardinals who count at least – bishops. It is not to be explained how this hypothetical simple Catholic would be strenghtened in his faith when Voris walks over Dolan like a steamroller, but would lose his faith at the open criticism – according to the old position, and let’s call it Voris 1.0, even of “every criticism not coming from a living saint” – of the Pope.
2) If it is a scandal, and a threat to the Church of Christ, that a Cardinal or Bishop confuses the faithful; and if it is therefore perfectly adequate, nay, dutiful, to attack this Cardinal with harsh words; then it results, with elegant inevitability, that it is the more adequate, and the more dutiful, to criticise a Pope, who causes a much bigger scandal and represents such a vaster threat to the salvation of souls; and inevitably, it becomes the duty of every Catholic to criticise the Pope far more harshly than every Cardinal, because the danger he represents is so much bigger.
It does not make sense, in this constellation, to hide behind the finger of the “respect due to the Pope”. Where have you seen, in two thousand years of history, a Pope behaving like this one!? The very public antics of this pothead, of this lurid old man, of this walking mockery of Christ and His Church have no precedent in two thousand years of Christianity! Every Catholic with a brain sees it! How is the menace to be countered, if not with the same virulence of the attack?
Again, logic here comes to our help.
Either is the Pope the biggest single influence on Catholics, or he isn’t. If he isn’t, the particular respect tributed to him has no reason to be, and there is no great risk of confusion of faithful, either. The same goes for Bishops and Cardinals. Therefore, it does not make sense to waste time to criticse either. Pray more rosaries instead.
This position conflicts with reality and is discarded by everyone, Voris first.
If he is, then it follows that the prestige and sacredness of the papacy can only be defended by explicitly attacking the man who ridicules, smears and abuses it like no other Pope in history. There is no escape from this. It is simple logic. The defence must always be proportionate to the scale of the menace. If the Antichrist happened to be a Pope, would Voris refuse to criticise him harshly because of his position as Pope?
Granted, this disgraceful Argentine is not the Antichrist. Far too stupid, coward, petty, transparent for that. But then this is why we call it TMAHICH; or pothead; or nincompoop, cretin, and the like; which is very mild considering how many devout Catholics must reflect on the profession of the female ancestors of this man, whenever he opens his mouth.
There is no escaping simple logic here. Either clergy shape faithful, or they don’t. If they don’t, CMTV has no reason to exist, because Dolan & Co. are largely irrelevant. If they do, then the Pope is the greatest menace to the Church ever appeared on this planet; more than the Muslims, the Lutherans, and the Communists. Because this time, Satan managed to get an inside job.
Before I finish, there is something that is very dear to me, and that I would like to address explicitly. It is not personal to me, but I think it should be personal to all of us.
Mr Voris has publicly slandered Mr Ferrara, Mr Vennari and Mr Verrecchio. I am sure I forget a couple, but these three are the ones that come to mind. It is now high time that a honest and public apology to these men, and to those treated like them, be made. Until this is done, this will be a second heavy stone weighing down the credibility of Church Militant TV, a Catholic outlet which in the end seems bent on defending the very worst (Francis) whilst it viciously attacks the very best (Mr Ferrara, Mr Vennari, Mr Verrecchio, and obviously the SSPX).
My dear readers,
if you ask me, and if you have any trust in your humble correspondent, the video below (hat tip to reader scarygoat61) is required viewing.
So much so, that I will post this without further comment, and will make my considerations (for anyone who will want to do it; but you don’t have to, as the video is good enough) in another post, that will assume this video has been seen.
There are moments when I think that we can behold victory not (hopefully) only on the day we die, but in our lifetime. This is one of these moments. The war will be hard, but if I look at the first major battle I start to think it is Axis against Allies here. Which, patriotic as your truly is, could only have only one outcome since 7 December 1941.
Enjoy the video.
Last week, after the dramatic, midnight “breaking news” transmission from Michael Voris, I published the blog post titled “Is Michael Voris Finally Seeing The Light”?
If you read the blog post again, you will see that I was not saying that he was; I merely observed that some circumstances – the highly dramatic broadcast, or the echo given, even if without comment, to the rather strong affirmations of the Cardinal – would well justify the suspicion that he might be at a crossroads, and having to choose now whether to side with 2,000 years of Truth or with 20 months of Francis. I do not think I can be blamed for thinking, in front of the highly dramatic broadcast, that he would perhaps be on the verge of choosing the former.
I concluded with the following phrase:
“If Voris were to finally see the light, this would be great news. Another valid soldier choosing the right ranks. If not, I suspect we will just have to wait”.
Again, I do not want to be seen as the one who cries “a miracle! a miracle!” as in a Monthy Phyton movie. I saw the facts, noticed that the facts were not in line with the editorial line, and made some reflections on this. After which, I waited.
The video was removed from the site, a clear indication that it was considered embarrassing. Now we have, directly from Michael Voris, the clarification: the broadcast was wrong both in the impression it generated and in the precedence given to what I think he does not want to call “sensationalism”, and it has consequently been pulled out. Apologies everywhere, abundant ashes on Voris’ head, & Co. All normal, then. Or rather, all as wrong as before. Let us see why.
Michael Voris is, and remains, free to pretend not so see; or, which is much worse, to say or imply that he sees, but refusing to acknowledge what his eyes are seeing; because apparently there are cases in which to see it’s bad, and one has to blind himself if he wants to be “in communion with the Church”.
We can well see, but the ordinary pewsitter should not be told. To them, ignorance is strenght.
Thanks but no, thanks. If I had wanted the Fuehrerprinzip, I would have sought the membership of some modern NSDAP, or perhaps of Scientology. I choose membership in the Church, which obliges me to think and see whether the alleged sheep might not be, in fact, a wolf. And no, I am not fooled by the clothes.
This Fuehrerprinzip is, when looked at for mere three seconds, nonsense; a nonsense that blatantly ignores the most glaring contrast between what the Church teaches and what TMAHICH (which means The Most Astonishing Hypocrite In Church History: let us state this clearly, lest when we die we are accused of following a White Calf with Black Shoes) goes around saying, and having said by his equally shameful minions.
Many of us have written ad abundantiam about the absurd contradiction in seeing all the heresies and heterodoxy in the Prelates of the Church, without wanting to see the main propeller of all of them in the last twenty months. This willed, highly selective blindness is in nothing more intelligent than to condemn at every step Nazism, The Nuremberg Laws and the Holocaust, whilst stubbornly refusing to say a word against Hitler. With the difference – that I will allow myself to point out, with the usual lack of political correctness – that a Pope betraying Christ is infinitely worse than any massacre or genocide, for the simple reason that God being infinitely superior to men, the offense made to God is, in the order of things, infinitely graver than the offense – and be it a genocide – made to men; and that a soul being immortal, and therefore infinitely more important than everything perishable, a single soul is infinitely more valuable than perishable human bodies.
Which is, before anyone should bark, not said at all to deny the scale of atrociousness of the Holocaust, but to put what Francis is doing in the proper perspective, the perspective in which sixty generations of Christians, none excepted, would have put what is happening now. A perspective not caught only by those who have obviously lost sight of the importance and rank of God, and think that God is a nice someone about whom we say fluffy words; whilst at the centre of everything is, in the end, man.
The question, to me, is very simple: is this Pope a threat to the Depositum Fidei or not? If you answer “no”, I question at the very least your discernment. If you answer “yes” I cannot see any way how you can escape a duty towards God that must, exactly as God is infinitely superior to any Pope, be infinitely preferred to any, at this point, blind and senseless loyalty.
Besides: it has always been a mystery to me that people our ancestors would have burnt without any qualm should be treated by us with a sort of sacredness they have long showed not to care for themselves. A Pope wearing a Red Nose, and making of himself a clown, should, and must, be called a clown and a buffoon besides a heretic and a hypocrite: firstly in order for souls to be warned from him, and secondly because he is. Being Catholic has never meant to throw one’ s brain in the garbage can.
Voris also makes – not for the first time – some comments saying that those who attack the Pope will one day answer for it. Personally, I try to write every blog post as if it were the last one before a Boris Bus hits me on the head; and I would frankly be terrified of dying without having criticised the Pope, and without having criticised him in a way commensurate (not even remotely, in fact) to the offense and scandal he is causing. Oh, how I wish I were able to make him more ridiculous, more of a clown, more of an object of laughter and mockery! Ridicule saves souls! Ridicule is such a powerful weapon, that it has been used against the enemy since the dawn of time.
Wake up, people, and stop being pussycats. There’s heresy to fight. There’s Tradition to defend. Man up.
And please, please excuse me, but at school I tried to pay attention, and was taught that when the Pope says the contrary of what the Church says they can’t be both right. The consequence of this is that every talk of “communion” made dependent of ignoring the propagation of heresy and lie is a satanical self-deception of the first order.
They can’t be both right. That’s it. This is reality no amount of “loyalty” talk will ever make any less real. Here or there.
We, the vocal Traditionalist side, have chosen the Church of 2,000 years. We feel much comfort in this. So much comfort, in fact, that we will not cease one second to do so, irrespective of how many tell us that we are endangering our soul; because we criticise one so much more dangerous than Hitler. We are, in fact, those who would not believe it if an angel were to come down from heaven and teach us novelties, much less a buffoon with a red nose. I must have read this one of the angel somewhere, but I do not remember where. Probably among the writing of one who dared to sharply criticise a Pope (and what Pope!) in public. A Saint, true; but a saint whose behaviour has always been seen as a sterling example for everyone of us. This saint was not in communion, then. So much is, if we are logical, clear. If we deny it, it’s because we aren’t logical.
Voris has chosen to believe that two and two is four, as the Church says; but also five, as Francis says. Which then leaves him in the impossible situation of having to attack Cardinal Burke (who at this point can only be a “spiritual pornographer”) for saying that it is four; whilst also attacking Cardinal Kasper for saying that it is five.
This is too absurd for serious consideration. It does not pass the test of a seven-years old boy. It is as blatantly self-contradictory as anything under the sun.
Astonishingly, many people are apparently ready to believe this nonsense, and think that they will be fine if, when they die, they are on the side of the Pope. This is exactly the kind of people who will, one day, enthusiastically be on the side of the Antichrist, or of the False Prophet. With the difference that even this red-nosed clown can fool them.
Then there is the little matter of money, and worldly consideration, and one’s livelihood. Many traditionalist bloggers write without receiving one penny for their many hours, gratis et amore dei. In some cases, not even their names are known. In my particular case, I can guarantee you that no one this side of heaven even knows that I blog. But I, like them, do not see a penny, only expenses. We “man and laptop” bloggers are, therefore, the last people who can be accused of having any self-interest in criticising the Pope: not a personal one (do you know “New Catholic”s name? Well I don’t!) and not a financial one. We stay here, in front of a keyboard in the hours of the night, – with so many videogames that could be played – without anyone even knowing what we are doing. Why? Because we really, really, really care. Compare us, if you please, with people whose very livelihood depends on their own activity, and who must think what part of this livelihood will go away if they start to take what is, alas, still a tiny minority’s position.
Mind: I am not saying, with this, that he who earns a livelihood from his activity must be therefore dishonest, or forced to choices of convenience; but I point out to the fact that those who do not make any money at all can then, even more so, claim honesty and independence, and demand from any honest person that he recognises their sincere faith and desire to contribute to the salvation of other people’s souls besides their own.
We know, and I know, that when I kick the bucket I will have to answer for everything I write; and when the day comes I hope that my efforts will count against my sins, instead of amplifying them. Because I will be able to say “when a clown with a red nose came up from Argentina and taught novelties, I did not believe him”. Which may not seem much, but I assure you: it is more than many others seem willing to do.
I think Christ would want us on his side, not Francis’. How stupid of me, I know.
But I want to die on the side of the Truth of 2,000 year, rather than of a buffoon of 20 months.
P.S. and just so you know: professional bloggers have an entire day for, say, one or two articles. We toil at night writing without I do not say the support of a text editor, but most importantly without the time the professionals have.
The arguments in defence of the indefensible become more and more outlandish. I will leave all the side noise (I doubt Thomas More would have made a TV sender “where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed”, either…; but seriously, I won’t waste my time with that) on the side, and address one question:
should we limit ourselves to writing letters to the Pope?
No, we shouldn’t.
Firstly, the problem of a Pope giving scandal in public is only in a secondary and accessory manner the problem of the salvation of the Pope’s soul. It is in the first line a problem for the millions of souls who are confused by his outlandish or heretical statements. The Pope is one soul, but the souls who are endangered are millions. As we are taught that every soul has infinite value and dignity, there is no reason whatsoever to sacrifice one individual soul – much less, countless millions of individual souls – to any raison d’ Etat whatsoever.
If I were to write a letter to the Pope – which I won’t, because I am smarter than wasting my time in this way; then I might as well write a letter to Father Christmas; and honestly I can’t listen to certain suggestions without feeling treated like a child of the relevant age – this letter would not be read by, and would therefore not profit any, of the countless souls already mentioned.
I do not write a blog – nor does Michael Voris run a TV channel – to improve the Pope. We do it in order to allow a Catholic voice to reach an audience of immortal souls who would otherwise be confused and possibly led into perdition by the outlandish or outright heretical messages spread by the clergy. If one doesn’t write a blog or a TV channel in order to save souls, one wonders what it all is about. Voris himself states he is worried for the salvation of souls. Unless, it appears, the Pope is the one endangering millions of them. In that case, please limit yourself to a letter.
The salvation of souls is, though, the motivation for all of us, without any exception. If Michael Voris’ aim were simply to move Cardinal Dolan as an individual to behave in a Catholic way, he could simply write a polite letter to him stating a thing or two about Catholicism. But this is not what he does with his TV channel. The reason he runs an internet TV channel is exactly in order that he may reach an undetermined number of people and help saving their soul: either the pewsitters out there, or those who used to be such, or those who might become such. In everything a public Catholic outlet does – be that a widely known TV channel like CMTV, or an obscure blog like this one – the salvation of the souls concerned should be, I have always thought, the motivating factor and principal aim.
Catholics don’t live in solitary islands. Our faith teaches us to care for each other, to stay near each other. If the Pope confuses countless Catholics, I cannot consider this merely a matter between the Pope and myself, in the sense that my duty to give witness of sound Catholicism cannot be limited to – of all people – the Pope. Catholics are a like big cooperative. We are, literally, all in the same Barque. If my neighbour is struggling, I will help my neighbour as good as I can, I will not simply think “oh well, I have written a letter to the Captain, so I have done enough”. If I see that many in the barque are running the risk of falling overboard, I will not simply send a billet to the admiral; rather, I will help as many of those who are in the barque as I can.This is the only way of action I see, that is compatible with our Christian duties to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, and admonish the sinner. I positively refuse to blatantly ignore what is happening all around me just because the need to instruct, counsel or admonish has been originated by the Pope. To do so would be, in my eyes, a betrayal of those same values of brotherhood in Christ I claim to profess.
Secondly, it must be clear to the dimmest intelligence that the suggestion to write personal letters to the Pope is mere escapism. No intelligent person should ever give intelligent people suggestions that are so obviously, absurdly inadequate. Yes, Pope Francis might read one letter in three thousand that he receives, and if you are homosexual he might even phone you afterwards. But no intelligent person would suggest the mere act of writing a letter with an infinitely small chance of being ever read by the addressee is anything more than a very lame excuse to appease one’s conscience as countless souls are endangered by Francis’ antics.
Thirdly, the Pope does not confuse faithful individually (I mean, I am sure he does that, too; but this is not what we are talking about), but very publicly, worldwide. A TV channel does not produce for one video for every individual, but each video for many viewers, worldwide. A blog is not created to send individually written posts to individual readers, and so on.
The media are public. The papacy is public. The Church is very obviously public. To think that public problem may be pushed in the realm of private suggestions is nonsensical, mere escapism, and a very lame excuse for doing nothing.
No, such outlandish suggestions just do not make sense.
Educate yourself. Read good books about sound Catholicism. React to the confusion of these times by becoming better instructed, so that you may better resist the satanical influences of our times.
Save the stamp. Writing letters to the dust bin is not the answer.
Yesterday a third video appeared, “The Pope IS different”. I have examined Michael Voris’ last effort to square the circle. Predictably, he failed.
I have found in Mr Voris’ video no word of public excuse to the people already publicly blamed by him: Christopher Ferrara, John Vennari, Michael Matt, and Louie Verrecchio. Whilst these four gentlemen may be extremely charitable people and invite the Vortex viewers to not abandon Voris, or may have had private clarifications and reconciliations directly with him, I continue to be of the opinion that we should draw a line in the sand in front of such a behaviour; a behaviour damaging and insulting not only to the four gentlemen in question, but of Catholic Traditionalism as a whole. Therefore, I personally encourage my readers to stop the subscription to Mr Voris’ effort, and to cease any form of financial support if they were giving any. I suggest them to direct any help that they feel ready to give to authentic Traditionalist causes instead; first and foremost the SSPX itself, but also the ones of the four above mentioned gentlemen. You can’t call yourself a Traditionalist and keep feeding those who bite them. At some point, lines will have to be drawn.
For what it’s worth, I will be very glad to retire this suggestion when Mr Voris publicly gives sufficient satisfaction for the offence given to the Traditionalist cause.
On the matter itself
In his video, Mr Voris makes several arguments. I will allow myself to render them as well as I can, and to give my two cents on each.
1. “Pope equals Church”, because he has a pre-eminence of a very special nature.
This is a slogan. As every slogan, it may sound good but it does not say much. If the Pope says “atheists are saved if they follow their conscience”, does the Church say so? No, it doesn’t. The brutal truth is that the Pope is no incarnation of the Church, merely the first (the most pre-eminent) of God’s servants. A servant serves, he does not dispose of the teaching of His Master as he pleaseth. A servant who does not serve well is a bad servant, and love for the Master demands that this be said.
2. To criticise the Pope is perceived as an attack to the Church. Therefore, we must not criticise the Pope.
Perceptions can never be the metre of what is right and what is wrong. Particularly so, when the perceptions are wrong themselves. If this were so, then Cardinal Kasper would be justified in asking that communion be given to public adulterers. Not doing so is, very clearly, perceived by many horribly instructed Germans as intolerant and non-inclusive, so with this train of thoughts we should give communion to public adulterers.
If perceptions are allowed to become the metre of what is right and wrong, Mr Voris and all of us can pack our things and start dedicating ourselves to Classical Guitar, or Origami. On the contrary, I say that if the perception of the Pope is wrong it behooves every well-instructed Catholic, particularly if in a public role in the media, to work towards its correction. Otherwise, I can see no difference with the above mentioned Cardinal.
It is nothing less than astonishing that a sender constantly lamenting the dismal state of instruction in which the Church hierarchy leaves the faithful should justify its position with the same lack of instruction it ceaselessly condemns.
To counsel the ignorant is a work of mercy. To adapt to his ignorance is the work of the devil.
3. Our first duty to Christ is to lead souls where the Church is fully present.
I disagree again. I see my first duty as to contribute as much as I can to the salvation of my readers’ soul, not only amore Dei but actually in the hope this will help towards the salvation of my own one. Love of Christ and His Church and salvation of souls – which is the first law of the Church – is also the first inspiration of many of us who, in their free time, decide to sit at a keyboard instead of playing with the X-Box. If the Pope confuses souls and leads them to possible perdition I will most certainly not help Francis to confuse them further. On the contrary, whenever the Pope gives scandal, it is absolutely necessary that the faithful be alerted to it, so that they may follow Christ instead of being led by the blind. And in fact, Mr Voris’ suggestion amounts to this: that we should allow countless others to be led by the blind, because this blind here is a very special one.
Truth is non negotiable. Error has no rights. Whether they come from the Pope or not is neither here nor there.
4. Not everyone can understand nuances.
We are not talking “nuances” here. We are talking of dozens of occasions in which reckless, shameless scandal was given, and continues to be given without interruption. The confusion that Francis words’ spreads is so thick that, as the Italians say, can be cut with the knife. One year on, there is no sign whatever this could change. Not once has the Pope retracted one single word of what he has said. For one who listens to the confused and embarrassed explanations of Father Lombardi or Father Rosica, one thousand are already confused. The Holy Father just does not care.
5. Publicly criticising the Pope is dangerous for the souls.
The Pope’s scandals are not private ones. He is very, very public in giving scandal. A pope who privately entertains a mistress might well be rebuked privately so that no worse scandal ensues. But a Pope who publicly defies and sabotages the obvious understanding of the very basics of Christianity (like the ultimate destiny of those who die in their atheism, or a very basic fear of the Lord, and of our judgment) and everything that has been sacred to more than sixty generations of devout Catholics (from the Rosary to the Traditional Latin Mass) must be criticised publicly so that the very public confusion he engenders may be contained as much as we can.
To instruct the doubtful is a work of mercy. When Francis spreads so much doubt in public, the remedy cannot but be a very public one.
Similarly: silence is a way to be accessory to another’s sin. I have never known this comes with the qualification “unless you are silent concerning the Pope”.
6. Only the Great Saints can criticise the Pope.
Nonsense, obviously. Let’s keep this short: Pope Francis himself disagrees with this vision, as his phone call to his harsh critic, the great, late Mario Palmaro shows. I hope Mr Voris does not want to publicly disagree with the Pope in a matter from which, he says, salvation of souls may depend.
Besides, I doubt there was even one great Saint who in life ever thought “I am a future great Saint, therefore I can criticise the Pope”. Actually, great Saints are notable for this, that they are acutely aware of being wretched sinners; and the fact that they were, in fact, far less sinners than us does not change anything in the fact that not one of them would have stood up and said: “Look! I pass the Voris Standard! Therefore, I can criticise the Pope!”.
7. CMTV will not do anything that has potential to cause people to leave the Church. Therefore they will not criticise the Pope. Not going to happen.
With the same metre, all those who are persuaded that Mr Voris’ stance will cause the loss of infinitely more souls must feel bound in conscience to cease every form of support to his initiative. Because he will continue to watch as Francis leads countless souls to perdition.
8 (various warnings of the dangers of damnation of those who criticise the Pope).
Everyone can quote the Gospel, from the Devil down. The real question here is whether we are supposed to shut up whilst a Pope leads countless souls to confusion and possibly hell, or not.
I care very, very much for my salvation. Actually, there’s nothing else about which I care so much. There is no doubt in my mind the answer to the above question is an emphatic: not! If I were to be struck down today, I would infinitely prefer to die on my side of the barricade, than on Mr Voris’. I am, though, not saying he is being malicious. I believe in his good faith. It’s the reasoning that it’s flawed.
9. The matter of degrees.
We all know Popes are far more widely read and listened to than Cardinals or Bishops. We all know the public effect of Francis’ statements absolutely dwarfs the effect of every declaration made by a priest, a bishop or a Cardinal.
Therefore, Mr Voris’ work is absolutely dwarfed by Francis’ public scandal, and is therefore – as it is now – perfectly useless. If Mr Voris is of the opinion that when a Pope makes such a mess he feels bound not to react, in my eyes he should fold and wait for the next orthodox Pope, at which times his work might still make some sense. As it is, his criticism of, say, Cardinal Dolan whilst Francis has an infinitely wider audience makes as much sense as a child trying to chase away the coming tide with a small bucket.
I receive this message from CMTV.
The text first. My comments below.
No one can object to vigorous disagreement on matters of principle, as has been occurring for the past couple of weeks in response to CMTV’s commitment to not engage in public criticism of the Pope, but let’s stop with the idle speculations about causes.
CMTV has no “backers” or “funders” beyond their premium subscribers and revenue from sales of DVD’s and conference fees. Yes, there was one couple that purchased their studio for them ($200,000) and there was one completely anonymous donor whose name isn’t even known to them of $100,000, but that’s pretty much it.
Marc Brammer, who IS a member of Opus Dei, helped launch RealCatholicTV.com in 2008 with “funding” of $250,000, half to the development of the web site and half to staff and production, and they ran out of money, had to lay off just about everyone, within about six months. What staff they had lived on unemployment compensation for the next 12 to 18 months, through early 2011, when subscription revenues finally picked up. Neither Marc Brammer, nor Opus Dei, nor anyone else “funded” then RCTV through that time, and no one else did, either. All relationships with Marc Brammer were ended when the name change occurred in June 2012. Parting of the ways was completely amicable and was, in part, motivated by a desire to eliminate all the baseless speculation about “outside influences” such as Opus Dei, of which Michael Voris is not and never has been a member.
A key concern in our commitment to not engage in public criticism of the Pope — please note that it’s not a matter of “whether” the Pope can or should be criticized, only “how” and “where” — derives from a growing awareness that that there are “unintended consequences” to such criticism, e.g., an enabling and encouragement of “safe havens” that are a form of “Catholicism without a Pope.” When the manner of public criticism of the Pope produces Catholics who describe the Pope as “heretic/modernist/apostate/antipope/evil/enemy of the Church,” then one is creating a climate that, while honoring the Truth of the Catholic Faith, separates itself either formally or psychologically from the Chair of Peter. If that is an observable consequence of public criticism of the Pope, then one should either a) stop public criticism of the Pope altogether or 2) engage in such criticism in a different way to minimize the potential for such consequences.
There is too much historical precedent to conclude that one should never, under any circumstances, criticize the Pope. But if people are, in fact, being led out of the Church as a consequence of such criticism — whether to evangelical Protestantism, “Nonism” or one of the various flavors of independent Catholicism such as the SSPX — then one should seriously reconsider one’s “strategy,” and that is what CMTV is doing. We have had far worse Popes in the past than Pope Francis, but there wasn’t the proliferation of false “safe havens” available as we have today, so public criticism of the Pope lacked visibility (due to technological constraints) and available alternatives to visible union with the Chair of Peter.
You can pretty easily tell who is responding to your work and why by visiting the comboxes of blogs or Facebook or Youtube presences. Those objecting to our commitment not to engage in public criticism of the Pope have some undeniable common traits that coalesce around support for one or the other form of “independent Catholicism.” We are horrified that some would think us supportive of that and it’s only right that they stop supporting us. We are not ultramontanists, nor papolaters, nor will we ever attempt to defend the indefensible. What we will do is what you, in fact, thought we should do some months ago: speak the Truth clearly when it needs to be spoken, but not draw attention to the fact that we might be responding to something the Pope has said or done, which most people already know about anyway.
Maybe there is some comfort in hearing from others that they see and are troubled by the same things that you are, but we judge it both preferable and more charitable to speak the Truth of the Catholic Faith that needs to be spoken and not contribute to potential loss of faith in the Church Herself that seems to accompany the most shrill public criticism of the Pope.
I’m not writing with any expectation that you will post this, but because it’s the only way I know to communicate with you. There are many email exchanges with the most offended parties that I could share with you but they wouldn’t exactly fit in a combox! There is a direct response from Michael Voris to Christopher Ferrara that lays out very well why we have chosen the direction we have chosen. It’s not likely to change anyone’s mind, but it’s pretty clear and summarizes tomorrow’s episode of the Vortex titled “The Pope IS Different.”
First of all, my thanks to Mr Carroll for taking the time to write. I was, in fact, about to cancel the very long message (it is a reflex of mine by very long messages) unread; then I noticed the signature, and thought I would make an exception and, actually, read it. After reading, I have two points and a couple of suggestions.
1. On the matter of the finances.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that a publishing venture would need initial backing, it being very unreasonable that an initiative of this kind would be self-supporting from the start. In this case, it appears there were $250,000 from Mr Brammer, which were spent in six months, and what appear to be indirect donations for $300,000 (if I understand the one with the couple well). Everyone with some knowledge of this matter will know that there is the need for a starting capital, which by ventures of this kind can go on for years; and the question where it comes from is fully justified.
I take notice that you do not receive funds from the Opus Dei, and gladly publish the information. I also gladly publish the other information, that Mr Voris is not member of Opus Dei. I also take notice that, as you write this, CMTV is self-sufficient and in no need of external support.
I suggest you or Mr Voris take care of the “Wikipedia” entry concerning Michael Voris, which certainly encourages to think that Mr Brammer is the owner, and Mr Voris a a producer of content for a station still owned by Mr Brammer who, as you yourself state, is Opus Dei. You see this both in the part called “background” and in the part concerning the “name controversy”, which mentions Mr Brammer as the owner but does not mention any change of ownership at the moment of the name change.
2. On the matter of the criticism of the Pope
The matter of the criticism of the Pope is simply not the issue here. You think souls will get lost if you criticise the Pope, I and many others think souls will be lost if you don’t. What I strongly object to is the insulting comparison of critics of the Pope – of whom Voris must know they are motivated by nothing else than love for Christ and His Church – with a bunch of nutcases like, as in the video, the nuns on the bus. Mind, I was not attacked personally as my micro-blog is far too little to attract this kind of attention, but the criticism of the likes of Christopher Ferrara, John Vennari, Michael Matt, and Louie Verrecchio is uncalled for, and completely unjustified. It is also, without the shadow of a doubt, indirectly directed at the likes of yours truly; of which there are many, blogging in their free time, gratis et amore dei.
Reasonable people may disagree on whether or how a Pope might be criticised, but a line was crossed here that demands something be done. Ferrara, Matt, Vennari and Verrecchio are no sedevacantists. Whatever the faults of sedevacantists – I have my combox populated by colourful characters, too – this is nothing to do with the unjust criticism moved directly to four people (Ferrara, Matt, Vennari and Verrecchio) and indirectly to many others, and the fact that by making their names they were not only directly and unjustly criticised, but also tainted by association by putting them in the same… “bus” as the mad nuns or the above mentioned colourful characters.
Mr Carroll, I do not have any interest in quarreling either with you or with any other sender or blogger or journalist who is, broadly speaking, on the right side. But if your sender wants to avoid quarrels, it must stop looking for them.
If you were to ask my advice in the pub, sitting in front of a warm English beer, I would say to you that your and Mr Voris’ strategy is suicide. But hey, it’s not my TV channel. What I would – always sitting in front of the warm beer – also suggest that you do is apologise for the message appeared on the website and for the video, make very clear your criticism is not meant to people outside of particularly hateful sedevacantists, and express your respect for all those who, whilst following a line you do not think the best one, are doing what they think is best for the salvation of their own and their readers’ souls.
Lastly, allow me to say this: whilst I have, this time, dedicated to you more time than I ever did to a commenter, I do not want to start debates in the matter. In the very simple world in which I live, your sender has made a mistake and it is to your sender to remove it. You may do it or not, it’s your choice. But the army of sincere Catholics out there, who are neither nuts nor Sedevacantists, will look at your sender’s action and take notice.
If your sender shows the intention to avoid throwing away the child of good Catholics with the bathwater of resentful sedevacantists, I will gladly take notice of this, too. As it is, I think a breach of trust occurred, a vulnus that it is for your sender to heal.
I just had a wonderful publishing idea, that I think might make me an awful lot of money and bring me to immortal journalistic glory.
I will start a weekly magazine about the corruption of the Democratic Party in the USA.
Nothing will remain untouched: the creeping socialism, the handout mentality, the irreligiousness and the enmity to Christianity, the omnipresent political correctness, the economic incompetence, the corruption. Everything.
Only one thing I will always refuse to do: I will refuse to criticise Obama and, from 2016, Hillary.
Obama – and from 2016, Hillary – is the President, you see. One can’t criticise the President of the United States. It would be considered unpatriotic. You just don’t do that. The Nation is so important, I can’t allow it. When Obama does and say everything all the others say and do – which he does all the time – I will just look the other way. And so will you.
Actually, what I will do is to harshly criticise those who criticise Obama. I will compare them to Occupy, call their publication “unpatriotic porn”, and say to those who dare to criticise the President that they now are “out of the Nation”.
My readers will get all the scathing criticism about everyone else. Everyone else. But not the President. I will excoriate Hillary until the day before she is elected. After that, I will miraculously shut up. Can’t do that now, you see. So unpatriotic. I will teach my readers to see more and more clearly with one eye; and when they begin to see clearly, I will demand that they get completely blind with the other one. In time, I will have a generation of affectionate half-blind readers, whose brains are highly trained and critical to exactly half.
Looking to raise funds now.
The publishing revolution of the XXI Century.
What could go wrong?