Michael Voris Responds on Popewars: Do you Pass the Holiness Test?

"I am praying to be the next Pope and then, finally, FINALLY, Michael Voris will get off my case!"

I don't know whether Michael Voris has seen this blogpost, or he has himself received emails from people saying similar things to the piece I wrote, but Mr Voris maintains that, unlike a senior ranking Successor to the Apostles, the Successor of St Peter is in a league of his own (a view which strikes me as a little ultramontane) and as such is beyond criticism and above reproach.

Apparently, you can only make even respectful critical observations of His Holiness if you are St Catherine of Siena or think you might be a 'Saint in the making'. Did any of the Saints consider themselves to be incredibly holy Saints in the making? I think it was St Francis of Assisi who considered himself, in the light of God's infinite goodness, to be the worst criminal on the face of the Earth. Someone, find me a man with a horrendous pus-oozing injury!

You can analyse the script of Mr Voris's presentation here. Go through it with a fine comb, why not, because Mr Voris has touched on something that is really quite important. If the Holy Father fluffs up, can the faithful say, 'Holy Father, with the greatest of respect, we think you've fluffed up, there'?

Personally, as a Catholic loyal to the Church and to the Supreme Pontiff, I'm not looking for Michael Voris to "go for" the Pope and I wouldn't ask anyone to do so. I only responded with a blogpost because Mr Voris maintained that you cannot, shouldn't and were endangering countless souls if you pointed out that the Holy Father had said something distinctly un-Catholic that could possibly, wait for it, endanger countless souls.

At one point in the latest presentation, entitled 'The Pope IS Different' - an episode of the Vortex made only because 'THIS Pope IS Different' - Mr Voris says the following...

"But it is precisely because he [the Pope] IS different, that his case must be treated differently –because to OPENLY and PUBLICLY go after the Pope is perceived as going after the Church Herself."
~ Michael Voris, 17 March 2014

As well as making the frightening statement that the Pope is 'the Head of the Church', thereby omitting the important truth that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church - the Pope is His Vicar on Earth and visible Head - read: not God Almighty - Michael does not, unfortunately, address any potential issues that may arise should any Pope, either presently or in the future, be seen to say things or perform actions that, to the impartial observer, suggest the one going after the Church Herself to be the Pope himself, with total freedom and without criticism and all because the Pope 'can do whatever he likes'. I'm no canon lawyer, but I'm sure that Canon Law was always intended to apply to Popes as well.

For example, Michael makes the statement, correctly, that Peter enjoys primacy or has 'pre-eminence above all others' in the Church. He does not say what a Catholic can say or cannot say, if, say, Peter doesn't want to enjoy primacy and makes statements to the effect that he would like to 'distribute' his primacy to the Bishops Conferences in a mysterious 'conversion of the papacy' while handing to a collection of largely heterodox bishops, 'doctrinal authority'.

Like I say, I would never urge a speaker of such renowned Catholic fidelity as Mr Voris, or indeed anyone to launch a tirade against the Pope - any Pope. That said, a Church Militant CIA report on the suppression of the Franciscans of the Immaculate would, I am sure, be well worth watching. It is a shame their cause is being overlooked by Mr Voris because 'first they came for the FFI...then...'

Loyal Catholic and Pope Francis critic, the late Mario Palmaro, for the repose of whose soul we should earnestly pray, not that long before his death, received a phone call from His Holiness who, in fact, stated that he “understood that the critics had been moved by love for the Pope”. Even the Supreme Pontiff himself, then, suggests that love for the Pope, love for the Papacy, love for Christ and love for His Church do not preclude respectful criticism of the Holy Father.

May God bless the Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, and we who are in His Holiness's paternal spiritual care with wisdom, prudence, justice, fortitude and courage. We should pray for Michael Voris too, you know, because while liberal prelates herald the coming of Francis as a 'new springtime' for the Church, the future in terms of the freedom of Catholic bloggers and presumably speakers who defend the Magisterium to continue their mission online in the New Evangelisation, looks, all of a sudden, by no means certain.

If the proverbial hits the fan at the Synod and it 'all comes back to the Pope', will 'faithful Catholics' really be saying, "Well, I feel deeply uncomfortable with the results of the Synod, but I'm sorry, I'm simply not holy enough to offer any commentary on this unprecedented apostasy egged on by the Pope. Anyway, back to Cardinal Dolan, you'll never guess what he's gone and said now...."? The duty to defend the Church and to uphold the dignity of the Papacy falls, surely, upon all the Faithful.

I leave you, readers, in the capable hands of the one and only Michael Voris.





'After the Second Vatican Council, the impression arose that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council. Eventually, the idea of the given-ness of the liturgy, the fact that one cannot do with it what one will, faded from the public consciousness of the West. In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope's authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not 'manufactured' by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity.'

~ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liurgy

"Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the Bishops. It’s up to you, the laity, to remind our priests to be priests and our Bishops to be Bishops."

~ Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Comments

Lynda said…
Robert de Mattei sets out clearly and rationally when the Faithful can, and ought to, object to things the Pope says or does - when they conflict with the deposit of Faith and morals. The Popes can err (and some have erred) in areas of activity outside infallible teaching. Catholicism is Faith and reason. I wouldn't assent to the Faith if it didn't conform to the truth, justice and reason. God gave us reason for a reason. Our Faith does not conflict with reason. The Pope has said and done countless things which are not in keeping with the deposit of Faith and morals. We do not help the Church but rather damage her when we ignore same. The inconsistency shouts out to people.
I couldn´t agree with you more, Lynda.
J said…
Here, far south, we have been suffering Bergoglio and the bergoglites for more than 15 years and, believe me, one of their most effective Weapons of Mass Destruction is to put good catholics to fight each other.
tro said…
Voris must never have heard the expression, "When you're in a hole - stop digging."
Long-Skirts said…
"For example, Michael makes the statement, correctly, that Peter enjoys primacy in the Church. He does not say what a Catholic can say or cannot say, if, say, Peter doesn't want primacy and makes statements to the effect that he would like to distribute his primacy to the Bishops Conferences in a mysterious 'conversion of the papacy'."

let us remember wise and courageous Cardinal Ottaviani's observation that there is only one instance in the gospels where the apostles acted collegially: "They all fled."
Simon Platt said…
I'm a saint in the making.
Anne said…
J's comment above about setting faithful Catholics against each other is absolutely right. It is a PRIME objective of the servants of the enemy.

Voris has enough on his plate without making papal correction another item on his to do list.

He and his organization do good work. Very. Good. Work.

Not everyone has to do everything.

Finally, this is specifically *not* directed to the author here or civil commentors, but to the arm chair ranters in various com boxes -- it's real easy to froth at the mouth in an anonymous com box. Voris sticks his neck out routinely for real (rather than in anonymous com boxes) and has dealt with serious efforts to stamp his organization out of existence. Some perspective is needed, to say the least.
polycarped said…
There's clearly been a serious backlash to Voris's previous Vortex - including The Bones' earlier piece - for him to come back so defensively like this. I still concur with The Bones and with others who are pointing out a major inconsistency with Voris's take on this. Whilst I also think J and Anne's points are well made, it's clearly very hard to find a balance between speaking the truth without entering into some kind of conflict. Perhaps Catholics sometimes do need to even be prepared to fight amongst themselves in defence of the truth (St Nicholas punching Arius on the nose suddenly springs to mind!!). So much of what has 'entered the Church' over the past 40 years has done so without much of a fight which is very frightening and the Diabolic does not always manifest itself in stereotypical (open) conflict. At the end of the day, Voris could have simply left this particular issue well alone - I believe this is probably a 'fight' that needs to be had. (Maybe he's worried that the boys will be around if he doesn't watch out...)
Lynda said…
I agree Church Militant TV does great work. I've advertised it to many many people. However, that simply makes the obvious omission more glaringly obvious and inconsistent with the usual readiness to object with fidelity to grave scandals at high levels leading people away from the deposit of Faith and morals, objectively true and unchanging. It is because Mr Voris and his associates have been so good generally that we expect so much of them, and are disappointed when there is a major lacuna in their coverage of what is happening in the Church and to the Church.
viterbo said…
cmtv pissed on their own chips when they started raging at their Catholic brothers who have been piblic soldiers for Christ long before his reversion. Catholics for the most part are already completely de-sensitized to this appalling papal example - his copy-cat bishops included. Step in cmtv when the frog has almost boiled and they expect everyone wise enough to have jumped out of the that pot as soon as Bergoglio refused to trace the sign of the cross in the air on the loggia to jump in - no. Willful ignorance is evil. To encourage it is likewise evil. If cmtv don't want to critique a pope in public, then quit critiquing any catholic in public, period.

I can see how the label, 'traditional Catholic', is becoming more and more important. Because the nominal 'catholic' is meaningless.

Anonymous said…
Fair enough Anne re: Mr. Voris sticking his neck out. Bur why does he attack other Catholics who are sticking their necks out as well, such as Michael Matt,Christopher Ferrara, Louis Verrecchio and Mr. John Venneri?

He is free to choose his own course of action without blackening the reputation of good Catholic intellectuals and apologists. who are speking the thoughts of many, many Catholic

..NAW - I still like Mr. Voris -
But he owes them a HUGE apology...

A HUGE one...

Barbara
Gerald said…
sounds like a lot of cat fighting among those travelling down the road to schism
viterbo said…
after a year of being crapped on by the pope, fine if cmtv didn't want to publicly wash it off, but to start slinging it at already demoralised sheeples - who's gonna keep paying for that? we're already paying millions and squillions to uscorps to train this pope how to destroy the Faith with more finesse - whilst the zombie nation of nominal catholics are pounding their mitts in glee at the iminant demise of God's law unfailingly upheld in His Bride.

St Paul the First Hermit ora pro nobis, 'cause the fashoinablefaithshistas are noon-day-devils.

@Gerald I think it's pretty obvious that the only 'schismatics' left are those standing with Our Lady and Our Lord at the Cross. at least according to the shepherds.
David said…
Pope Paul IV said that a pope who deviates from the faith is to be resisted:

In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.

This implies that (1) a Roman Pontiff may deviate from the faith by professing opinions contrary to the orthodoxy Catholic religion and (2) that the faithful are able to discern that this has happened (contrary to the neo-ultramontane superstition that whatever the Roman Pontiff says must somehow be fully Catholic) and - finally - (3) that the faithful have the right, and even the duty, to contradict the Roman Pontiff in his false opinions.

Now, one might think that this excerpt from a papal bull that was promulgated with the full authority of the Roman Pontiff should suffice to banish the aforementioned neo-ultramontane superstition. But, I have found that to a certain type of Catholic the words of deceased Popes have little weight when they sit uneasily with what the present pope - whoever he may be - says.

To ilustrate: in discussion with an Opus Dei priest I was confronted with the admonition to agree with whatever Pope Francis says. To do otherwise, I was told, is to no longer be a Catholic and to separate myself from God. When I raised the point forcefully argued in Bishop Fessler's The True and False Infallibility of the Popes that a pope may error as homo privatus and teach error in his ordinary magisterium, this priest told me to "throw [that book] in the fire".

Now, the work in question was written by the former Cardinal Secretary of the First Vatican Council and was given full approbation by Pope Pius IX who stated that it accurately reflected the Church's teaching on infallibility.

When I asked whether Pope Pius IX was wrong the priest in question merely told me again to "throw it in the fire" (which is quite hard with the PDF copy I have!)

I commented that this attitude made Catholicism more like a cult of personality of whoever happens to be sitting on the Throne of Peter. The priest assented.

Now, this neo-ultramontane mindset that endows the current Roman Pontiff with permanent infallibility (rather than the Pope engaging under strictly limited conditions engaging the Church's infallibility in his teaching) seems more common among Catholics affiliated with Opus Dei than I had previously thought.

Michael Voris has not concealed the influence of Opus Dei on his apostolate, so perhaps we should not wonder that he professes a way of thinking that is hard to reconcile with either the traditional Catholic or the principle of non-contradiction.
Lynda said…
I take Robert de Mattei and Mario Palmaro RIP as great examples of the duty and rights of good, knowledgeable, faithful Catholics, in the current crisis in the Church. It is terrible there are so few good exemplars such as them.
@ David
Thanks for the pointer to Bishop Joseph Fe├čler´s book” The True and False Infallibility of the Popes”. . Here are the links to the full text in German and in English:

http://books.google.de/books?id=wf1NAAAAcAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://archive.org/stream/a581640200fessuoft/a581640200fessuoft_djvu.txt
Crampon Flogo said…
As someone else noted, a hole has been dug, and the response is to dig faster. Not good.

I have no problem with CMTV's editorial stand regarding how to approach the Pope. That is their right. I also acknowledge the massive amount of good CMTV/RCTV has done in the past. But I do have an increasing problem with all the aspersions being thrown at others who respectfully disagree, or feel, in conscience, called to a different response. I thought the conscience was paramount in the post-conciliar Church, and must be obeyed at all times?

In truth, this imbroglio has been building for some time, and just waiting for a spark to set it off.

Pride goeth before a fall, and all that. When people become convinced they have all the answers to everything, watch out.

If Voris keeps on this track, he risks obliterating all the good he's done.
Lynda said…
Laurence, could you post Robert de Mattei's response to Fr Fanzaga after being axed from Radio Maria? It sets out clearly and very succinctly the duty of a Catholic to speak out against grave errors by a Pope regarding deposit of Faith and morals. He points out the extra-magisterial areas in which a Pope may err (and indeed have often done in history) doing great damage to the Church and souls. Catholicism encompasses reason, it cannot be contradictory or otherwise irrational.
Anonymous said…
Mr Voris errs when he states that '[the] pope is the head of the church'. Christ is the head of the church and not the pope! The pope is the leader of the church and head of the college of bishops.
M. Prodigal said…
Michael Voris was once welcomed by the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the USA to conduct retreats(and he gives a good one) but one of the dissenting friars no longer liked him and so he was excluded from giving any more.
viterbo said…
Anon said: Mr Voris errs when he states that '[the] pope is the head of the church'. Christ is the head of the church and not the pope! The pope is the leader of the church and head of the college of bishops.
-
that's the trouble with forgetting that the steward is not the King.
-
seems to me this idolization became more of a problem when they relegated the tiara and the sedia gestatoria to the 'past'. Strange how humbling oneself before such pageantry seemed to keep Popes more in line with why the pageantry is there.
viterbo said…
p.s. worth watching:
John Vennari puts all the cmtv vulgarity and silliness in context:

http://www.cfnews.org/page10/page85/john-vennari-noah.html
Lynda said…
It's an even greater pity that he has not spoken about the great scandal of their suppression then. First, they came for the Jews ... Lord, have mercy!
viterbo said…
Lynda - if that's true, random comments about a third party presenting new or little known facts that cannot be verified readily are - how to say - what it the point of them?