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).
It is difficult to expand on Louie Verrecchio’s blog posts, because the man handles the issue at hand so thoroughly that one has difficulties in making meaningful additional reflections.
In this case, Mr Verrecchio gives us another impressive demonstration of his thoroughness, as he dissects the – once again – heretical statement of Francis concerning the alleged “real” meaning of Jesus calling Peter “Rock”.
I would have laughed if Francis’ ridiculous and fully un-Catholic, or better said anti-Catholic, explanation had come from a Proddie nincompoop like, say, Mr Welby, the pretend “archbishop” of Canterbury. But as this heretical waffle comes from our very own nincompoop in chief, I don’t find it funny at all.
This is the first Pope who claims the position of uniquely cool Pope, whilst even denying his unique position as Pope. It is as if a King would announce his support for the Republicans among the cheers of the mob, neither the one nor the others grasping the absurdity of the situation.
He does not believe in God, is all. Not believing in God, he does not believe in the Church He founded on Peter. The cornerstone is the stone he has discarded. He takes the cornerstone away, and perhaps doesn’t even grasp – because a genius he ain’t – that if one follows his train of thoughts the entire edifice must crumble and his job made, on the spot, redundant.
The man who told us the Church must not reduce Herself to be a glorified NGO wants to reduce her to just that: a Christian NGO among many, and all of them with the same rank and dignity. An NGO led by an awfully humble guy, whom you should consider the best human on earth whilst he berates his office.
He does not believe in God. Therefore, he does believe in His Church. He believes in his own popularity, and will say and do whatever it takes to enhance it. When he’s gone he’s gone, he thinks. Why bother about the Church? Let men applaud him, and humbly inflate his ego whilst it lasts.
An Atheist sellout was made Pope. Congratulations to the Cardinals.
Excellent video of Louie Verrecchio, that points out the extent to which a large part of our Catholic clergy (Verrecchio is different from Voris, so he does state very clearly that this includes the Bishop of Rome) are unable to think like sound Catholics.
The problem here is not directly Francis. Francis is only a symptom of a disease that has been going on since V II. Francis could only become Pope because too many Cardinals have no idea anymore of what a Pope is supposed to do, and what he is supposed to be. The Cardinals themselves are the products of clerical ranks that are, on average, not better than themselves. Out of rubbish you are not going to get perfume. Out of rubbish priests you will get Bishop Rubbish, Cardinal Rubbish and, in time, Pope Rubbish.
Fittingly, Verrecchio makes another consideration I would wish my readers would commit to memory for future use: the “ecclesia” in sentire cum ecclesia is not the majority of today, but the way Catholicism has been properly felt by Catholics through the generations. The Church we look to is the Church that has transmitted to us the Tradition we are supposed to defend and transmit to the following generations. We aren’t Presbyterians.
The extent of the confusion (or evil intent) of the modern times is shown by the following words of Father Stranski:
“We had to start a completely new Tradition”.
This is not father Stranski being gaga, this is the Church hierarchy going gaga. Neither he, nor they, saw or see how stupid their words are. They don’t see it, because they are it. Unless they are even worse, of course.
Today, the audience laughs at Father’s jokes. They don’t understand they themselves are the joke. Sentire cum diabolo.
We are being punished. I consider a blessing that some of us at least realise it. Father Stranski apparently does not, and seems decided to go to his grave thinking he has “had to start an entirely new Tradition”.
Father Stranski, I pray the day I die I will not be like you.
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.
Louie Verrecchio has another stellar image that I thought I would reproduce on my blog, besides suggesting that you visit his excellent effort.
As I am by the topic, I would like to make a couple of reflections of my own.
There is in all – also espoused by the Bishop of Rome – talk of inclusiveness in various form – from the inter-religious dialogue to the horrible things committed in the name of peace n luv – the underlying thought that faith in Christ is not necessary for Salvation.
Francis himself says so openly when he allows people to think Atheists can be saved, and also behaves not really better when he sends his wishes to the Mohammedans for the beginning of the Ramadan. But the same is true for all those others – from “Quisling” Nichols visiting Hindu temples, to, well, Cardinal Bergoglio taking part in Jewish ceremonies, to the Assisi rubbish in all its forms – who play the same game for the sake of popularity and an easy life.
You can't have an easy life as a Christian, certainly not in our times. You will have to say it as it is and be called intolerant, uncharitable, “hurting” and obviously homophobic; or get your peace at the price of forgetting Christ and your duties to him.
Which is exactly what Francis and many others love doing, and build their careers on.
Meanwhile, Vincent “Quisling” Nichols is about to become Cardinal, and Father Guarnizo is on the other side of the planet, where his bishop doesn't risk complaints if he refuses to give communion to some frocking dyke.
Louie Verrecchio at “Harvesting The Fruits Of V II” is thinking of launching the “Defensor Doctrinae” Project.
This would be a page where all the heretical or questionable statement of the Bishop of Rome are saved in order, and with the indication of the occasion, the date and where possible a stable link. A kind of “Bergogliopedia”.
Personally, I think such an instrument would be invaluable.
For us blogger, it would be a fast reference to recover past snippets of Bergoglism. As I have often said, we must read Francis through Francis, and a ready to use collection of pearls of Bergoglism would allow to very easily link the latest madness of the Pontiff to similar utterances made in the past. Whilst Francis is very chaotic in the way he expresses himself, his streams of consciousness follow, like Wagner’s music, a Leitmotiv (or several of them) that can be regularly observed through the cacophony of his speeches. A project like this one would allow to “connect the dots” far more rapidly than by googling at random among the sheer ocean of the headlines originated by the questionable (or worse) statements of the man.
In addition, it would be a huge help for every blog reader. Whenever Francis utters something “funky”, he would be able to visit the page and compare with past statement to see whether his gut feeling was justified.
In fact, this would become a sort of “syllabus of errors” of a new type, specifically aimed at the tidal wave of Francis’ confused, confusing or openly heretical statements. Again, an extremely useful study material and occasion for proper instruction.
Mr Verrecchio asks what would be the cons of the project. I can’t see any. On the contrary, it is extremely fitting that every questionable of heretical statement of the Pope be allowed to remain on the internet in an easily accessible place, “sculpted in cyber marble” so to speak, in order for this and the following generations to realise what is happening.
Seriously, I can’t see what could be wrong with that. It is not us who publish the questionable or heretical statement, it is Francis. It should be the desire of every blogger and every decent faithful that no Catholic is confused just because one does not want to appear to “go against the Pope”. If the Pope wants that the list does not become longer, he must do only one thing: stop talking rubbish. Orthodox Popes never caused any negative reaction from orthodox faithful.
Mr Verrecchio is still gathering opinions.
If you like this project – as I am sure most of you will – you can do worse than follow the link above, visit his page and leave one or two fast lines of approval and encouragement.
Best luck to him, and – if he starts the project – the support of at least the grateful blogger who calls himself
By the grace of God, the interventions on the Internet are multiplying that are critical, or severely critical, or outright devastating concerning the thinking and the acting of Francis, Bishop of Rome. I hope the reaction will grow in the months and years to come. I am confident there are enough people out there who can still read and understand what other people say. Liberals, atheists, abortionists, perverts of all sorts seem not to have any issue with it.
I wanted to mention in a very special way a blogger and Catholic apologist who has hugely impressed me with his integrity and love for Christ. A man who, other than myself, draws his income at least in part from activities linked to the approval – or at the very least the lack of hostility – from local bishops and Catholic organisations, and can therefore expect to pay a very tangible price for speaking the Truth. I have paid a price in friendships and relations with relatives, or in mockery and vilification for my Catholicism, but I have – thankfully – never been put in a position to put my livelihood on the line.
Louie Verrecchio, a well-established author, columnist and speaker – and also the author of the excellent blog linked above – has been put in that position, and has made the right choice. He has made, I would say, a spectacularly right choice.
Hats off to you, Mr Verrecchio. Wretched sinner as I am, you will be in my prayers.