March 2, 2014

My Response to Church Militant.TV and Michael Voris

I have enjoyed Michael Voris's Church Militant TV for some time. I find his commentaries enlightening and much needed to bring the "Church of Nice" into its full, glaring and unflattering perspective to the Faithful, who need to be awoken from their slumber and realize what is happening to our beloved Catholic Church. By now, however, all Catholic's - especially the Traditionalist ones - have heard Voris' "Shot Heard Round the World". And what a shot it was...having lined up the likes of John Vennari, Chris Ferrara, Michael Matt, the SSPX, and pulled the trigger. 

Voris apparently doesn't seem to mind exposing "the lies and falsehoods" of those laypersons, priests and bishops responsible for maintaining the Church, but doesn't see the need to apply the same criteria to the Pope - indeed any Pope - when he publicly does or says things contrary to the Faith. He has put forth his public statement saying that he and "Church Militant.TV does not and will not engage in public criticism of the Pope." He even promotes a false meme by describing the SSPX as "soft sedevacantists", when to my knowledge, no recent Pope has ever described them as such nor has the SSPX ever identified themselves as such, writing against it this past week. No... Michael Voris' position is wrong and a simple Google search is all that is required to know why.

In his September 2013 article WHEN PAUL CORRECTED PETERGeorge Neumayr (and St Thomas Aquinas) understand what apparently Michael Voris does not (all emphasis mine):

St. Thomas Aquinas used this episode in his commentary on the right of subjects to resist flaky superiors:
There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glossa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), 'St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometimes they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects.” (Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4)
All of this is highly relevant to the pontificate of Francis. For the good of the faith, laity, clergy, bishops, and particularly powerful cardinals should start playing Paul to Francis’s Peter, as his culturally conditioned liberalism threatens to undermine the unity and orthodoxy of the faith. Peter snapped out of his pandering phase; let’s hope Francis does the same. 

And from the online Douay-Rheims Bible + Challoner Notes this entry from Galations, Chapter 2 (bold emphasis mine):

[11] But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. [12] For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision. [13]And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews consented, so that Barnabas also was led by them into that dissimulation. [14] But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? [15] We by nature are Jews, and not of the Gentiles sinners.
[11] I withstood: The fault that is here noted in the conduct of St. Peter, was only a certain imprudence, in withdrawing himself from the table of the Gentiles, for fear of giving offence to the Jewish converts; but this, in such circumstances, when his so doing might be of ill consequence to the Gentiles, who might be induced thereby to think themselves obliged to conform to the Jewish way of living, to the prejudice of their Christian liberty. Neither was St. Paul's reprehending him any argument against his supremacy; for in such cases an inferior may, and sometimes ought, with respect, to admonish his superior. 

And then there is Canon 212, which was found on a Christian website , (again, all emphasis mine):

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

The author of the above link concludes with the reasoned statement (my emphasis):
"...Publicly denouncing the Pope on the steps of St Peter's with a megaphone - no. Polite conversation, writing scholarly articles, and so on - yes."

And from, concerning Infallibility (emphasis mine):
It is the Holy Spirit who prevents the pope from officially teaching error, and this charism follows necessarily from the existence of the Church itself. If, as Christ promised, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church then it must be protected from fundamentally falling into error and thus away from Christ. It must prove itself to be a perfectly steady guide in matters pertaining to salvation. 
Of course, infallibility does not include a guarantee that any particular pope won’t "neglect" to teach the truth, or that he will be sinless, or that mere disciplinary decisions will be intelligently made. It would be nice if he were omniscient or impeccable, but his not being so will fail to bring about the destruction of the Church. 
But he must be able to teach rightly, since instruction for the sake of salvation is a primary function of the Church. For men to be saved, they must know what is to be believed. They must have a perfectly steady rock to build upon and to trust as the source of solemn Christian teaching. 

The Pope, as the head of the Church and of all those under its umbrella must, by extension, also be corrected fraternally, respectfully and firmly if through his public words or actions, he leads his flock astray from Traditional Church teaching or the Magisterium. And we all know recent Popes have done so, especially at Assisi and the equating of Islam as a Christian religion. No Mr. Voris... Chris, John, Michael, the SSPX and all who profess allegiance to Rome and the Holy Father must correct even the Pope - not only as priests or Catholic Husbands and Fathers concerned for the Souls under their care - but in their individual apostolates concerned for the Souls of all the Faithful. Remember Matthew 5:15
"Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house."

All those Traditionalist writers and priests you now condemn as an anathema and a danger to the Faith are doing nothing more than what you are doing - shining the light to all in the house, even if it means exposing the termites beneath. 

Louie Verrecchio, in response to Michael Voris' "manifesto", writes in his preface to his "The Gore-Tex" video:

"Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the least bit pleased about this rift between Voris and people like John Vennari, Christopher Ferrara and Michael Matt. Not only do I respect these men a great deal, I’m out here doing the same kinds of things; namely, defending our Catholic faith against all comers, even the occasionally naked pope. A stone thrown at them hits me as well.

At the end of the day, we’re still Catholics. That makes us family. In other words, it ain’t over ’til it’s over; so with that in mind I’m offering a bit of fraternal correction."

You can also watch Mr. Verrecchio's video via The Catholic Family News: 

A apparent war seems to have been declared and I am reminded of the statement attributed (but never substantiated) to Admiral Yamamoto, when the full import of Pearl Harbor seemingly fell upon his shoulders (with a bit of literary license taken for affect!):

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping Catholic giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Not in a militaristic way, of course, but in a Church Militant way, through fraternal correction of a broad and unjust criticism. 

Michael Voris does a fantastic job of exposing the "lies and Falsehoods" prevalent in today's Church. I do not know why he has chosen to vent his frustrations on Ferrara, Matt, Vennari and the SSPX, but any Catholic who knows their Faith would also know they are unfounded and unjust. They have done nothing wrong, just as Michael Voris has done nothing wrong. There is no grey area...they are all professional or clerical Catholics striving to correct the Barque of Peter "with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons."

Let us pray this rift is quickly healed....such dissensions among those of like mind are not healthy and certainly not Catholic. They serve no useful purposes other than those of Satan. 

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved