More on the Archd. Detroit v Real Catholc TV dust-up

You heard about the dust-up between Michael Voris’ initiative, Real Catholic TV, and the Archdiocese of Detroit.  The Archdiocese is saying that Mr. Voris cannot use the word “Catholic”.  I have been puzzled by the actual canon law of this dispute.  I am not a canonist, but I was wondering how does the Archdiocese have the right to restrict the activity of a web-based initiative which is not in the Archdiocese?

I saw this at Catholic World News.

RealCatholic TV responds to Detroit archdiocese on use of ‘Catholic’ name
December 26, 2011

After the Archdiocese of Detroit announced that RealCatholic TV should not identify itself as “Catholic,” the broadcast apostolate has responded by pointing out that it is not legally based within the Detroit archdiocese.

The Detroit archdiocese issued a public statement cautioning RealCatholic TV, saying that it “does not regard them as being authorized to use the word ‘Catholic’ to identify or promote their public activities.” But the owner of RealCatholic TV, Marc Brammer, has said that he is prepared to respond to any canonical question about the organization’s name “through competent ecclesiastical authority.” Since RealCatholic TV has its corporate base in South Bend, Indiana, that authority would be Bishop Kevin Rhoades—who has not made any comment on the question.

Brammer said that he has a contractual arrangement with Michael Voris to produce content for RealCatholic TV. Voris does his work from within the bound of the Detroit archdiocese, in Ferndale, Michigan. Both Brammer and Voris report that they have asked for a meeting with officials of the Detroit archdiocese to discuss their activities, but have received no reply.  [No doubt they will.  In time.]

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  1. shane says:

    “RealCatholicTV” is not exactly my cup of tea but the Archdiocese of Detroit are wasting time and resources on a petty agenda. I hope, given that it is based outside the archdiocese, that they are unable to make this rule.

  2. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    The plot thickens…

  3. Stu says:

    My baseline position starts with the Archbishop. But, the archdiocese hasn’t exactly handled this well. Were I one of the Archbishop’s advisors, I would urge him to address this issue directly and openly. I there is good reason for his position, then make it clear for the masses as well as Mr. Voris and Mr. Brammer. Be open, be blunt and be transparent. The people will appreciate it.

    Further, if you are going to makes this stick, then be prepared to enforce it universally.

  4. kevinf says:

    This has “chancery staff” written all over it. Seriously? The Archbishop never thought of “trying” that Canon law restriction until now after all these years? I think it’s more likely the relevant staff haven’t picked up on that Canon law restriction until now. I have to wonder if the Archbishop is shaking his head and saying “oh no here we go again.”

    My experience with chance ties has been that there always seems to be someone somewhere around some corner who is prepared to attack (and just based on observable body language, facial expression and tone of voice I do mean to use the word “attack”). I suppose it’s understandable given typical antics of the secular media. But leaving aside the apparent miscomprehension about jurisdiction, I just don’t get why this Canon reference hasn’t been considered before now as a gagging tool. I don’t think it would take an Archbishop long to connect those dots, and he would be well aware of jurisdiction. Chancery staff on the other hand, well… Let’s just say there could be a discrepancy in experience and training from that of an Archbishop’s.

  5. kevinf says:

    “chance ties” = “chanceries”

    Unfortunate iPhone spell-checker incident.

  6. Darren says:

    I’ve read a bit in Canon Law regarding such matters as I might be doing something in the not-too-distant future.

    From the Code of Canon Law:


    Can. 298 §1. In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life; in these associations the Christian faithful, whether clerics, lay persons, or clerics and lay persons together, strive in a common endeavor to foster a more perfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of the apostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those which animate the temporal order with a Christian spirit.
    Can. 299 §1. By means of a private agreement made among themselves, the Christian faithful are free to establish associations to pursue the purposes mentioned in can. 298, §1, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 301, §1.
    §2. Even if ecclesiastical authority praises or commends them, associations of this type are called private associations.
    §3. No private association of the Christian faithful is recognized in the Church unless competent authority reviews its statutes.

    Can. 300 No association is to assume the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority according to the norm of can. 312.

    They do need the bishop of South Bend’s approval, or an authority designated by him, to assume the name “Catholic”. Canon 312 refers to public associations, not private associations. RealCatholic TV I am pretty sure is a private association. As a private association of the faithful you just need to let your bishop know you exist, let him review your statutes (statements of your purpose), hope he gives his blessing and listen to what he says.

    The World Apostolate of Fatima (Blue Army) is a public association which I believe started as private grew and has become worldwide, ultimately receiving the right to call themselves a public association of the faithful.

    A little more:
    Can. 322 §1. A private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality through a formal decree of the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312.
    §2. No private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality unless the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, §1 has approved its statutes. Approval of the statutes, however, does not change the private nature of the association.
    Can. 323 §1. Although private associations of the Christian faithful possess autonomy according to the norm of can. 321, they are subject to the vigilance of ecclesiastical authority according to the norm of can. 305 and even to the governance of the same authority.
    §2. It also pertains to ecclesiastical authority, while respecting the autonomy proper to private associations, to be watchful and careful that dissipation of their energies is avoided and that their exercise of the apostolate is ordered to the common good.

    I am no canon lawyer, but some of this seems pretty clear to me.

    Can. 312 §1. The authority competent to erect public associations is:
    1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations;
    2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those which from their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation;
    3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesan associations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has been reserved to others by apostolic privilege.

  7. Supertradmum says:


    Archbishops are trained? In America, some have business degrees, some degrees in history, or theology, or even canon law. In England and Wales, only nine out of the twenty-nine bishops have degrees outside of Catholic institutions, the remaining twenty having shared backgrounds almost identical in theology and philosophy. The reason why they have a chancery office is supposedly to fill it up with “experts” who will take care of questions and areas of expertise. And, most dioceses, unless they have had to construct one out of recent necessity because of sexual scandals, or a papal visit, have no public policy plan, or even an office of publicity. There are no courses in seminary as to how to be an Archbishop. One learns on the job, as it were. Most bishops I have known personally highly rely on their chancery experts, and this leads, sometimes, to a false step on the part of a so-called expert with an agenda, which might be the result of this episode. Hands-on bishops and archbishops, especially in exceptionally large dioceses, are rare. Think of a chancery staff as the president’s cabinet–advisers of various talents and perhaps, dubious input.

  8. tcreek says:

    National “Catholic”? Reporter.
    U.S. “Catholic”?

  9. ChrisWhittle says:

    St. Michael’s Media, the company that Michael Voris owns, produces the programming for Real Catholic TV. is the internet domain name owned by Marc Brammer. It’s like my blog is powered by Google. You might own the business, but you may not own the company’s website/domain.

  10. Marc says:

    tcreek – My thoughts exactly. The Fishwrap (NcR) was the first thing that came to mind when I read about this.

  11. Rick DeLano says:

    It does not seem to add up that such a public action could have been undertaken without the consent of the Archbishop. It seems more plausible, instead, that the Archbishop has heard only one side of the story (and may have personally viewed a few of Michael’s fire-breathing installments, which are not only capable of striking a nerve- they are intended to do exactly that!).

    In any event, this action is not the first time we have seen this canon applied.

    Bob Sungenis was ordered to remove the word “Catholic” from his website several years ago by…………


    Bishop Kevin Rhoades.

    The plot, most definitely, thickens………..

  12. wanda says:

    OK, but right after small c Catholics in the public arena are asked to stop calling themselves Catholic. They are giving the Church a bad name. Then, have certain Catholic hospitals who do abortions and sterilizations, stop using the name Catholic. Then, so-called Catholic Universities who invite pro-abortion politicians to speak and recieve honors should have the name Catholic taken from them as well. Then you can talk to me about Real Catholic TV. They keep it REAL.

  13. mrose says:

    RealCatholicTV, which puts out orthodox and informative Catholic content, and exposes issues and things that are rather problematic. Committed to the Magisterium of the Church and her Tradition. And this is what they are going after?

  14. Rick DeLano says:

    It is, perhaps, worth examining the Sungenis affair more closely.

    Bishop Rhodes ordered Bob to remove objectionable material related to the Jews from his website.

    Sungenis complied.

    The chancery office then proceeded to demand that Bob cease writing on Jewish issues entirely- even after Bob had complied with the Bishop’s demand!

    Bob sought canonical advice, and declined the chancery office’s pre-emptive censoring of his right to comment upon issues pertaining to- exactly- the then festering “dual covenant” heresy.

    Perhaps some of you will recall the highly problematic USCCB Adult Catechism, which contained the scandalous sentence “Therefore, the covenant God made with the Jews through Moses remains eternally valid for them”.

    Bob Sungenis was visibly and influentially involved in the fight to have that sentence removed- which it later was (yay! score one for the good guys!).

    His reward was a demand from Bishop Rhodes to cease and desist from identifying his apostolate as “Catholic” Apologetics International.

    Bob, again, complied.

    In the meantime, Bishop Rhodes was transferred to South Bend, where……..


    RealCatholicTV is domiciled.

  15. Denis says:

    On what grounds is Voris being denied the right to use “Catholic”? Did he say something false? Heretical? Misleading? What exactly was his transgression? In what ways is “Real Catholic” a threat to the spiritual lives of Catholics in the Detroit Archdiocese?

    It’s staggering how much time and energy the post-V2 episcopacy has spent on people deemed “too” Catholic. It started with the seminaries: persecute the orthodox candidates, seek out and promote the progressive ones (in lifestyle as well as doctrine). Then there are the Bishops who behave as if the only problem in the universe is the existence of Catholics attached to the traditional liturgy.

  16. Tom says:

    RCTV is in South Bend? That’s where I live. I never knew that… iteresting.

  17. Dax says:

    If the instant, microwavable “Mass” I attended at Our Lady of Liturgical Abuses on Christmas can be called catholic, I think it is the Archdioceses of Detroit, Chicago, Boston, NYC, LA, etc. should be the ones worrying about their identity.

  18. The real canonical issue here is not “who has jurisdiction” but whether Canon 216 is being properly interpreted and applied. The critical question, which serious and experienced canon lawyers can debate, is “precisely what does it mean, for an individual or group. to claim the name Catholic”?

    I’m not a canon lawyer. It’s easy for ME to interpret Canon 216 as if it were the Church equivalent of “trademark” law, in which case no one can “claim the name Catholic” without infringing on a trademark. But this is entirely too simplistic. If I and my friends are Catholic (not excommunicated) and decide to engage in some kind of regular activities of evangelism, I don’t think we invite ecclesiastical scrutiny unless and until we presume or claim to be speaking “in the name of” or “on behalf of” or “for” the Catholic Church, and evidence is presented that we are misrepresenting the Faith.

    Nancy Pelosi has never been reprimanded for claiming to be Catholic but for misrepresenting the teachings of the Church. It is probably proper for the Archdiocese to inform the world, as it has, that nothing that Michael Voris says or does is “approved,” as in “speaking for or in the name of the Archdiocese or the Church,” but to say that he is somehow in violation of Canon Law by “claiming the name Catholic” seems to be simplistic and, perhaps, playing to the court of public opinion rather than a proper Church Tribunal (where the allegations contained in the press release might fail).

    Since when are APPARENT ecclesiastical sanctions announced in PRESS RELEASES that have no prior announcement to the parties reportedly sanctioned? Michael Voris responded to the Archdiocese over six months ago, with careful text drafted by expert canon lawyers, and the ONLY response he has received is this press release, which he learned about the same way everyone else did: through Fr. Z’s posting.

    What do they say in civil law? When you have the facts (and law) on your side, you argue the facts (and the law). When you have neither facts (nor the law) on your side, you distract (issue press releases). This is a canonically complex issue that deserves to be addressed more seriously than ONLY in comboxes and blog postings and press releases. The Archdiocese has totally refused to meet with Michael Voris (they haven’t actually SAID that, because that would require actually responding to requests to meet: they just don’t respond at all).

    I expect Michael Voris will respond after the first of the year. I expect it will be substantive. I also expect it to show just how complex this apparently simple issue really is, and that a press release from an Archdiocese, right before closing for the holidays, announcing something that hasn’t even happened (sanctions) is not an example of our Church at Her finest.

  19. gambletrainman says:

    Concerning Michael Voris.

    Recently he was invited to give a lecture somewhere, I don’t remember exactly where, but it was on church property (school auditorium, or something to that effect). Then the Archdiocese of Detroit stepped in and told the bishop of that particular diocese that RealCatholic TV was NOT in good standing in the Catholic Church, and the bishop of that diocese stepped in and told him he could not use church property for his convention. Consequently, he had to re-schedule the event in a public auditorium, and reschedule the airline arrangements, which, by re-doing the airline schedules, cost a whole lot more. Does anybody remember this? And on what grounds was Michael Voris not in good standing with the Catholic Church?

  20. Parasum says:

    “Perhaps some of you will recall the highly problematic USCCB Adult Catechism, which contained the scandalous sentence “Therefore, the covenant God made with the Jews through Moses remains eternally valid for them”.”

    ## “Scandalous” is an understatement. Rome has allowed a lot of bad things in recent years – I don’t recall the Nat.Cath. Reporter asking for any of the Assisi Abominations to occur. Or any other suchlike nonsense inflicted on the Church, such as the Balamand Abomination or the atrocious rubbish about the Jews not needing to be evangelised. As for what other Catholic bishops have allowed or done that is scandalous, heretical, or otherwise deserving of condemnation if anything resembling Catholic standards were applied, “time would fail” if those things were listed.

    It was not the NCR that exalted a paedophile “without scruples or authentic religious sentiment” calling him “an efficacious guide to youth”. But it was Jp2 who refused to allow him to be investigated, and did not allow Cardinal Groer to be investigated. Due process ? Hardly. By all means harry the NCR – but don’t go after them alone – flattery of the Pope as though he were a sleb, but one whose least opinion, however uneducated, is to be held sacred, is no better. He is a man, and not a god, who needs to be prayed for, lest he do great evil.

  21. AvantiBev says:

    Yep. This is what we need to be concerned about right now. So glad our bishops and the chancery bureaucrats that surround them have this guy, Voris, in their sites. It will be safe to go after him as he won’t blow you up, gun you down or behead you. Pay no attention to those cries and sobs coming from Nigeria (and Coptic Egypt, Indonesia’s burnt out churches, Pakistani prisons, Iranian pastors awaiting execution). Don’t let their tears and bleeding deter you good bishops from the really important stuff like internet TV. Next up, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as the Iranian mullahs enrich their uranium and Obama takes another jihadi off the “terror list”, er, uh, uh, the “man made disaster” list.

  22. AvantiBev says:

    Canon law won’t mean a darn thing once Sharia Law has targeted YOUR church for bombing!

  23. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    Dear Terry (Carroll),

    Thank you for your very useful comment which, I think, is worth bearing in mind by all of us.

  24. jhayes says:

    It will be interesting if the outcome of this is that only Catholics are barred from using the name Catholic in the name of their organization without the permission of their bishop.

    It can’t be a legal issue – it’s not likely that the Church can register a trademark on the word “Catholic” – so the law will not stop anyone from using the name “Catholic.”

    So the end result is that only those people who are under the jurisdiction of the Church’s Canon Law (i.e. Catholics) can be required to obey a bishop’s order to remove “Catholic” from their name.

    Darren, Canon 300 says that an “association of the Christian faithful” can’t use “Catholic” in their name without permission. But what makes an “association of the Christian faithful”? Seems as if it’s just a business.

  25. kevinf says:

    Supertradmum I think we are pretty much on the same sheet. I’m pretty convinced the “training” I’m referring to comes from the experience of being an Archbishop, but also thanks for citing those details. 

    I haven’t seen any of Michael Voris’ content that seems incorrect, but I’m not sure his style is always the best choice for everyone. His persona doesn’t even strike me as angry, but very pointed to be sure. Chesterton loved things that came to a point. 

    Last summer when his right hand man was revealed to be the author of some sort of sexually themed content, I couldn’t figure a way those optics were appropriate to Voris’ purposes in any sense. I believe the man offered an abject apology and they just carried on. But I have to say, after the Corapi affair (and, and, and…) I have become very sensitive to the relationship between the smell of smoke and raging infernos waiting to burst forth from inside walls. I’m specifically NOT saying or presuming there is any kind of problem inside Voris’ project — and I sincerely hope there isn’t — because I believe what he does has its purpose and place, but I’ve already seen one kind of fishy indicator, and… That’s in the nature of scandal – bad example. 

    As with most of these sorts of things, I also won’t be surprised if there are criteria and elements involved that none if us combox commentators even know about yet. 

    One thing is for sure, we all do need to pray for Michael and both Archbishops. 

  26. RobertK says:

    This give new meaning to the phrase “where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed”. He He !!.
    God bless Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV.

  27. Jerry says:

    Has the Archdiocese of Detroit issued a similar edict regarding Catholics for Choice? National Catholic Register? The Gay Catholic Forum?

  28. Tantum Ergo says:

    Concerning the Archbishop’s slapdown of Mr. Voris, John 18: 23 comes to mind:
    “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

  29. flyfree432 says:

    Exactly Jerry. The wolves are on the payroll at the Archdiocese.

  30. Centristian says:

    I think the fact that surprises me the most in all of this is that there is a bishop named “Kevin”.

  31. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Reminds me of the persecution of Mother Angelica by many members of our hierarchy. It seems this nature of persecution identifies immediately a faithful Catholic who identifies wrongdoing by the hierarchy.

    As others have said here, why not go after scandalous catholic groups, educators, publications, politicians, or heck, even the heinous music publishers of “Catholic” Mass music! Sheesh, some clergy shouldn’t be allowed the name of Catholic either.

    Agree that Michael doesn’t say anything incorrect and that his delivery style isn’t for everybody. Because of his style he can be grossly misinterpreted. Personally, I like his direct, succinct, no nonsense style. Voris is not infallible or indefectible, he needs prayers as do all of our clergy.

  32. NoTambourines says:

    Centristian —

    Interestingly, the adjacent dioceses of Dallas and Ft. Worth both have a Bishop Kevin. I’ve always gotten a kick out of that.

    On the topic at hand, my question would be: why now? Real Catholic TV has been around and doing what it does for a while.

  33. Father Z,

    PatrickThornton had raised this point near the end of a very long comment string in your original thread. He writes:

    PatrickThornton says:

    24 December 2011 at 4:05 pm
    Interestingly, the assumed name “Real Catholic TV” is registered in Indiana by a corporation in Indiana owned by Mr. Brammer. It is also registered in the state of Michigan by a limited liability company owned by Mr. Voris. So the question is when speaking of “Real Catholic TV”, which one are we talking about. There are two separate legal entities that apparently are working together.

    While the American Catholic Council is not based in Detroit and merely having an event in Detroit this past June, it didn’t stop the Archbishop from asking both clergy and laity to stay away from the events. Copy this into a google search => American Catholic Council site:

    With the above quote by Patrick Thornton in mind it makes me wonder if canon law is more concerned with where the action is taking place, rather than where it is incorporated (much like a bishop can say that he doesn’t want a certain religious orde in his diocese, as I believe the Legion was “unwelcomed” in Baltimore, if memory serves.

    In any case, there are actually two legal bases involved with RCTV, one of which is in Detroit.

    If Archbishop Vigneron is on this bus, or driving it through his comm dept, then some explanation is needed for the public. People will either agree or disagree with his reasons, but saying nothing leaves people confused and speculating. It’s causing something else: Erosion of trust in Archbishop Vigneron among a segment of Catholics who were previously supportive. Hence, whatever his objections are (if he is involved), they need to be spelled out and let people use it accordingly. Without any explanation, the AoD leaves it wide open to conspiracy theories. I’m not going to head down that road of judgment based on suspicion.

    I’m more inclined to think that the AoD’s problems are along the lines of what caused Catholic Culture to drop RCTV’s ratings from Green to Yellow. Whether one agrees with the assessment done by CC, the offer objective reasons for the status change.

    Some time ago, Catholic Culture had reviewed Real Catholic TV and talked about “over-simplification” of problems in the Church, among other things.

  34. UncleBlobb says:

    I have heard so many times “Even though I don’t agree with everything Mr. Voris says….” I find this nebulous. And so I would second the call of those calling out the Archdiocese of Detroit: please spell out what problems there are with anything RealCatholicTV has written or broadcast. I almost always agree with Michael Voris in the Vortex spots, and greatly admire him and his dedication to his Faith. I want to know so that I too may receive correction. Do I need correction?

  35. marcpuckett says:

    Will Dr Peters comment on this business, I wonder?

  36. Let me also say that while Catholic Culture dropped RCTV’s rating from Green to Yellow, it is hardly a Red status, which is where you sites with dangerous content from the left like National Catholic Reporter to those on the right like Fish Eaters.

    I would expect every diocese to be putting out statements on some of the more high-traffic “Red” sites claiming to teach the Catholic faith (in name, or in action).

    But, that is not happening and that is why people are gravitating to lay people and their apostolates rather than gravitating to their bishops.

    The erosion of trust has everything to do with the bishops lack of visible action on parties who are openly dissenting and luring yet another generation into their moral relativism and other things.

  37. marcpuckett asks: Will Dr Peters comment on this business, I wonder?

    He teaches in the Archdiocese of Detroit at the Sacred Heart Seminary. My guess is that it would not be prudent for him to comment publicly on a dust-up between the archdiocese and an entity operating in the archdiocese.

    He may prove me wrong and drop a comment in here or on his own blog. I’d love to hear his thoughts, but it just does not seem likely, imho.

  38. The regulation of mass media by territorial bishops is extremely difficult and tends to lead to confusion. I think that, eventually, we will need a non-territorial diocese for Internet, TV, and radio in order to eliminate the confusion of who has jurisdiction as well as inconsistent applications of the same principles by different territorial bishops. Giving a territorial bishop jurisdiction over an activity which really has little to do with the place where it happens to have some sort of physical presence is merely a canonical convenience that has outlived its usefulness. Besides, it would be only a matter of time before someone would be sure to incorporate or set up in the territory of a friendly bishop (and, folks, that sword can cut both ways). These days, one could easily set up a colocated server somewhere completely unrelated to where the proprietor lives. I have an IP-based phone at home provided by my employer. When I make a call from it, the caller ID shows my office number, even if I am actually home. I can plug that phone in anywhere in the world where I have an Internet connection, and it still looks as though I am calling from my office. Having a “presence” in a favorable diocese for canonical purposes isn’t all that difficult.

  39. Papabile says:

    I believe there was some kind of agreement on how to handle web sites among the American Bishops that was struck during a general meeting of the NCCB (now USCCB) in the mid/late 90’s — specifically 1995-1998.

  40. Daniel says:

    I’d think this would come under canon 772 for which there are specific complementary norms for the U.S. and in which the jurisdiction is the bishop of the diocese from which broadcasts originate.
    Complementary Norm: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 772§2, hereby decrees that, with due regard for the norms of canon 763, a Catholic who regularly expounds Christian doctrine on radio or television must be specially qualified by his or her knowledge of the subject, by manifest adherence to the teaching of the Magisterium and by the witness of his or her life as a Catholic. The individual must obtain the permission of his or her proper diocesan bishop or the diocesan bishop of the place where the radio or television program is originally broadcast. In the case of members of institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life, permission of the competent superior is also required, insofar as the constitution of the institute or society provides for it.

  41. Johnno says:

    The archidocease has long had it out for RelCatholicTV and Michael Voris. I’m only recalling what I remember here, so I don’t know how accurate it is, but here goes…

    Voris, and RCTV and the Vortext episodes in the past, just as they often do today, called out the Archidiocease of Detriot (rightfully) on a umber of things the bishop and the archdiocease isn’t cracking down on (abuses in the mass, promotion of homsexuality, dubious Church teachings in parishes etc. I don’t remember what got the ball rolling), it is likely Voris personally got involved in making these things known to the Archdiocease, and they did nothing, and sadly, as usual, the Catholics who are fiathful and are trying to petition the Church to fix issues are ignored. Since then those within the Archdiocease of Detroit had it out for Voris. They recently denied allowing him to speak on Church property. Voris obeyed, and the venue was moved. Many faithful Catholics attended it. Later Voris in a Vortex episode even pointed out the hypocrisy on the Archdiocease’s actions for not allowing him to speak (even though they had no reason not to, nor anything to fault whatever he’s ever talked about as it’s all in line with Church teachings), but freely allowed other liberal even heretical or outright apostate speakers to freely speak on Church property without doing anything about it.

    That’s how I recall it going… If someone more knowledgable can correct any of the above or add more details that’d be good.

    This latest episode sounds to me like the sad usual case where the Shepherds are failing in their duties and being corrupted, persecute the faithful instead.

    I’m aware that many don’t like Voris’ direct style. But I find it wonderful. As Scripture states, “Let your Yes mean Yes, and your No mean No.” We’ve had enough of the grotesque politically correct morally dangerous vagueries coming out from the actual Archdioceases and bishops. RCTV is one of many lay Catholic movements that are standing up to defend the faith and proclaim it. In a way, THIS IS the very action that Vatican II wanted to bring about by getting the laity to actively participate in the Gospel message in their lives. It’s too bad that these lay movements have the difficult task of not only combating those outside the faith, but opposition from within the faith as well, in fact from the very leaders who are supposed to encourage this and commit their lives to it!

  42. Joshua08 says:

    Daniel cited the relevant law in the US here. Voris broadcasts from the archdiocese of Detroit, he needs the ordinary of Detroit’s permission. Very clear

    I find it incredibly worrisome that this is even being debated by lay Catholics. The Church has authority here. Even if it were the case that “liberal dissident groups” were not censured as they ought to be, that is irrelevant. Well I will stop sinning if they do!!! I am not going to argue about Voris’s issues (suffice it I think he is a demagogue, but my opinion is irrelevant)….it belongs to his bishop. Not armchair internet commentators who make me wonder what the heck we mean when we call bishops shepherds. The fact is 99% of those question those with actual authority know squat about what really goes on. As I have met more ecclesiatical authorities and been privy to more, I have realize quickly that things are far more complicated than armchair quasi-theologians think.

    FWIW, how many of you calling out National Catholic Reporter are even aware that it has indeed been ordered to stop calling itself Catholic, and its ordinary accused it of heresy and dissent? That was right at the beginning of its craziness, in 1968…Maybe people should pray more, rather than second guessing everything a bishop does

  43. Rick DeLano says:

    It is necessary that Michael and Mark obey the incredibly unjust edict of the bishop.

    Like Robert Sungenis, they must obey, to show what it means to be Catholic in a dark time, so that we can remain Catholic when God is pleased to send us bishops who will not do such things.

    May I suggest “RCTV”?

    The abbreviation will serve both to demonstrate that we are Catholics, and will obey, and that we will, likewise……..

    not forget.

  44. Reginald Pole says:

    Centristian says:
    27 December 2011 at 8:21 pm
    I think the fact that surprises me the most in all of this is that there is a bishop named “Kevin”.

    What, exactly, is wrong with a bishop named Kevin? St. Kevin is a highly honored Celtic saint who founded the Abbey of Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland. Numerous churches and colleges claim him as their patron. His feast day is 3 June.

  45. kevinf says:

    Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that too.

    But the comments I’ve seen here are reinforcing something to me: Man do we ever love mashing politics and Catholicism together to maintain our various comfortable spectrum boundaries. No doubt there is a LOT more to this than meets the eye, and are we doing any harm by all this speculating?

  46. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Joshua08 says:

    “I am not going to argue about Voris’s issues (suffice it I think he is a demagogue, but my opinion is irrelevant)….it belongs to his bishop. Not armchair internet commentators who make me wonder what the heck we mean when we call bishops shepherds. The fact is 99% of those question those with actual authority know squat about what really goes on. As I have met more ecclesiatical authorities and been privy to more, I have realize quickly that things are far more complicated than armchair quasi-theologians think.”

    Wow, Joshua. Since you are so “privy” I guess we all should defer to your “armchair quasi-” theology and your “armchair internet” comments, yes? ;)

    God love you, sir.

  47. Jack Regan says:

    For me, there are two things to think about here. Firstly, while the owner of RCTV and the web domain are based in Indiana, the RCTV business is registered in Detroit. I provided a link to the Michigan register of businesses in the last thread.

    Secondly, I would imagine that a Bishop has carte blanche over anything Catholic happening on his patch no matter where it may be headquartered. In the 1990s Bp. Alexander of Clifton (England) kicked the Neo Cats out of his diocese. He wasn’t stopping them from existing, but he was saying ‘not on my patch.’ I suspect that even if the Archbp of Detroit doesn’t have the right to slap down RCTV altogether, he can at least tell them what they can and cannot do on his turf.

    Having said all that though, if Voris keeps going the way he has, surely it’s only a matter of time before the USCCB starts to act against him as one.

    While this comment may annoy some readers, let me say that I entirely agree with some of the comments above that there are many organisations that probably shouldn’t be called Catholic. I also think that Michael Voris has some good points to make, though I think he needs to dial down the nasty quite a bit – it’s just not right, and it’s nowhere near as effective as he thinks!

    One more thought… Bishops should probably concentrate less on telling organisations not to use the word Catholic and more on telling those that do what they should/ shouldn’t be doing if they want to keep the designation. In other words, this process would be so much better if the Archdiocese approached RCTV and said ‘if you want to be called Catholic, then you need to stop doing such-and-such.

  48. Rick DeLano says:

    “this process would be so much better if the Archdiocese approached RCTV and said ‘if you want to be called Catholic, then you need to stop doing such-and-such.‘

    The problem arises when what you need to stop doing, turns out to be defending the Faith.

    St. Athanasius, pray for us!

  49. irishgirl says:

    I think you meant to say ‘National Catholic REPORTER’ instead of ‘National Catholic REGISTER’ in your comment about groups which the Archdiocese of Detroit should be cracking down on.
    The “Reporter’ is the dissenter rag. the ‘Register’ is now owned by EWTN.

  50. Supertradmum says:

    Jack Regan,

    You must have missed my comment on Bishop Alexander of Clifton, my first diocese to live in when I moved to England. Please check it out on the older thread of this topic. He had good reasons to chuck the Neo-Cons out at that time.

  51. lizaanne says:

    This really comes down to a very simple question…..

    If RealCatholicTV were to change its name, do any of you think that the AOD would say they were free to carry on with their work without interference or condemnation?

    Of course not.

    So then – the issue is NOT the use of the name “Catholic”, but rather something else. It can’t be the faith based content, because there are no theological or factual errors there. It must be something else……..

    Sometimes the truth hurts. I think the AOD needs to find another dog in the race, because this one can’t run. If they really have issues with the content then SAY SO. You can’t tell someone to shut up because you don’t like their style – not if what they are saying is actually true. Sorry if someone thinks Michael is snarky — the Vortex is a commentary piece, not hard journalism, not theology class, not an apologetics lecture, not Bible study. While the content is solid, the presentation IS in your face, and for good reason. When you are exposing lies and falsehoods, sometimes you need to get up in the face of those who are lying and being false — or those who allow them to be — before anyone will take notice.

    Looks like someone noticed. GOOD.

  52. Tantum Ergo says:

    Well, one good thing about this whole mess being made public is that the unfairness of how fiercely orthodox Catholics are treated. The stinky laundry is being aired for all to see (and smell.) I’m sure Mr. Voris has the clandestine support of a number of bishops who would consent to having RealCatholicTv home based in their diocese. God bless Mr. Voris.

  53. Supertradmum says:

    A few more points. When the criticism happened regarding Michael Voris’ comments regarding World Youth Day, people asked him what his relationship was with the Diocese of Detroit, and Voris publicly stated that he asked for an interview six times and was never given one. He, at that time, did not know what it was as he was not given the chance to pursue the matter.

    In addition, since when does a commentator have to ask permission from a diocesan office in order to make comments in the media about Catholic issues? Does Santorum, or Pelosi, or Gringrich. or the many presenters on EWTN? Father Groeschel had two programs on forgiveness with members of the American Bruderhoff. Did they get permission from the local ordinary to comment on God, sin and forgiveness? Where does this end?

    Really, this reminds me of Big Brotherism more than the mere idea that an business using the name of Catholic must get permission. In the past, by the way, permission was given “after the fact” and not before…Notre Dame existed as a Catholic institution before the Diocese of South Bend existed and so on.

    As to Voris’ influence, I was in England during WYD and his broadcasts online were very popular with young and old alike, who admire his gutsy stance on sexual morals in Europe. He also, again, by the way, has a Theology Degree from the Angelicum, no small feat.

  54. For those who’ve come in late, Robert Sungenis used to be an interesting Catholic convert and apologist. But more than ten years ago, he started in with the Jew-hatin’ and other weird stuff, to the point that his apologist friends changed their website name so people wouldn’t be confused. I didn’t realize his bishop had also lost patience with him. (In a time when this was very difficult, mind you.)

    Anyway, if you’ve never heard of him, it’s because people ten years ago realized that if you mention him, he tends to show up and hijack your combox to argue. (Or his friends do.) It’s sad.

  55. Rick DeLano says:

    Robert Sungenis was the guy who stood up the “dual covenant” heresy, published a few years back in the notorious USCCB Adult Catechism.

    You know, the one that tried to teach the heresy that “the covenant God made with the Jews through Moses remains eternally valid for them”?

    The one that later got removed, thanks in no small measure to Robert Sungenis?

    It is clear some folks didn’t like the fact that he demolished this “teaching” so completely, so devastatingly, in his memorable essay in “Culture Wars”, that the bishops themselves decided to take it out- even after it got all the usual imprimaturs, nihil obstats, etc etc etc…….

    Thank God for Bob Sungenis, who has one actual accomplishment to his credit that all of us should be so blessed as to achieve:

    the demolition of an heresy.

    Wish we had more like him.

  56. Lynne says:

    The Catholic Culture website should just go away… All they seem to do is beg for money. I stopped going to their website a long time ago.

  57. Christine111 says:

    “Some time ago, Catholic Culture had reviewed Real Catholic TV and talked about “over-simplification” of problems in the Church, among other things.”

    With all due respect to the reviewer at Catholic Culture, his assessment of RCTV’s fidelity is inaccurate and, in my opinion, unjust. RCTV is 100% faithful to the Magisterium. CC based its assessment on the CIA episode Weapons of Mass Destruction, which raises *legitimate* concerns about certain individuals responsible for the liturgical revisions of the 1960s. Episode can be seen here:

    It strikes me that anytime anyone raises legitimate criticism of the Novus Ordo and its background, he is automatically held suspect, and his fidelity is questioned. (Voris made clear that he does NOT question the validity of the Novus Ordo.) The CC reviewer would have held Dietrich von Hildebrand and his wife suspect, I’m sure, as their criticisms are no different from RCTV’s.

  58. RCC Advocate says:

    I am deeply saddened to see such a swarming of Voris supporters publicly judging the AOD without any solid evidence.
    Lizaanne wrote: “So then – the issue is NOT the use of the name “Catholic”, but rather something else. It can’t be the faith based content, because there are no theological or factual errors there. It must be something else……..”
    More innuendo. I have listened to Jimmy Akin’s podcast refuting the errors and obvious omissions in Voris’s “factual” reporting. There are many such problems with Voris’s presentations, giving firm weight to the AOD’s rationale for publicly disavowing any connection with his evangelizing efforts, that claim to speak in the name of REAL Catholicism. For one who purports to “trap lies and expose falsehoods,” it seems like a matter of justice that the table has finally turned.

  59. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding of what RCTV is and where it is located. is a domain name owned by Greenstar, Enterprises and Marc Brammer in South Bend, Indiana. Nothing is known of him or how his corporation does business or who the majority shareholder is. RealCatholicTV is a name wholly owned by Michael Voris in Michigan as one of the names Concept Communications does business under. ALL of the content at the domain name and everything else about the site, it’s design and execution, come from Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV, based in Michigan in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

    When Michael Voris says he has nothing to do with the name Real”Catholic”TV , he is simply lying. The control is totally his to remove from the content. As for the domain name, if he is not the major shareholder in Greenstar, then he can simply get his own domain name, for instance: which would not violate the Canon.

    Let’s also note that Saint Michael’s Media, owned by Voris, is still claiming to be a non-profit apostleship and soliciting donations they promise are tax deductible. Yet, SMM lost non-profit status in 2009 which Mr Voris publicly acknowledged months ago.

    REAL Catholics do not pick and choose which directives of their Bishops to follow or vilify Bishops in public or take it upon themselves to try and discredit an Archbishop publicly to support a man obviously lying.

  60. thepalmhq says:

    More innuendo. I have listened to Jimmy Akin’s podcast refuting the errors and obvious omissions in Voris’s “factual” reporting. There are many such problems with Voris’s presentations, giving firm weight to the AOD’s rationale for publicly disavowing any connection with his evangelizing efforts, that claim to speak in the name of REAL Catholicism. For one who purports to “trap lies and expose falsehoods,” it seems like a matter of justice that the table has finally turned.

    The exact same thing is true of Sungenis and his bishop, pace the lop-sided and inaccurate tale told by Rick Delano above.

    Obviously this is not the place to post details, but Bob Sungenis has repeatedly and publicly accused Bishop Rhoades of holding a heresy and purposely attempting to propagate that heresy to “unsuspecting Catholics”, of going against “Catholic faith and morals”, of having greater “allegiances” to Jews than to the integrity of Catholic doctrine, and of “pay[ing] homage to” the Jews, insinuating that this might be because they hold the mortgages on church property–charges which Bishop Rhoades calls himself calls “slanderous and erroneous”. For a complete reply to these charges, the reader is invited to see the references below:

    Bishop Rhoades and the Dual Covenant Theory

    A Defense of Bishop Rhoades from More False Accusations by Robert Sungenis

    Sungenis’ Own Standards of Heresy: Why Don’t They Apply to Bishop Rhoades?

  61. thepalmhq says:

    I realized that I may have left the incorrect impression in my posting above that Bob Sungenis’s charges against Bishop Rhoades were the reason the bishop ordered Sungenis to remove the word “Catholic” from his organization. The reason the bishop ordered this was for several years worth of inflammatory anti-Jewish material that had accumulated on the CAI website. Sungenis’s false charges against the bishop followed this.

    For documentation of the kind of material that prompted the bishop to take this step, please see Sungenis and Anti-Semitism And to see if it is really true that Sungenis “obeyed” the bishop, as was alleged above by a member of Sungenis’s board of directors, please see A Timeline of Events, Did Sungenis Obey His Bishop? An Answer to Fr. Harrison, and By Sungenis Alone.

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