Michael Voris, Card. Burke… corrections

Get this from Michael Voris:

Michael stood up. Good for him.

UPDATE 24 Oct:

It has been interesting reading the reactions to what Mr. Voris did.

I wonder if some people, especially over at The Olympian Middle, aren’t mired in the fault of papalotry.

Just thinking aloud.

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  1. z4g.mug says:

    Interesting. Voris’ sentiments do him great credit. However – criticising the Pope, though certainly compatible with not being in union with him, is neither nor proof of not being in union with him: a Catholic who criticises the Pope is not a contradiction in terms. Nor is criticising the Pope inconsistent with great holiness – St Paul (for instance) can hardly be called unholy, or Christian in name only.

    One can see why a Catholic media outlet might be both chary of criticising the Pope, and very nervous of giving scandal. Even so, it is not clear why the rest of us ought not to criticise Popes.

  2. Marianna says:

    There’s no reason why reasonable criticisms can’t be made of Popes, including by Catholic journalists, just because some people make unreasonable ones. Indeed, it is not difficult to imagine scenarios in which Popes should be criticised.

  3. Deacon Augustine says:

    It is a tragedy that Cardinal Burke is now being hung out to dry by those who should be standing with him. In St Athanasius’ day, it was precisely the laity who stood by him in the face of an overwhelmingly corrupt Arian clergy. If the Son of Man were to return tomorrow, would He find any faith left on earth?

  4. Legisperitus says:

    A bit cognitively dissonant to me, since on the one hand Cardinal Burke declared publicly that the Pope was harming the Church by not speaking up, and on the other hand Voris felt he himself was harming the Church by the mere appearance of expressing the same thing. Does Voris really believe his opinion is that much more influential than Cardinal Burke’s? Or is he implicitly criticizing Cardinal Burke for saying what he said?

  5. mrshopey says:

    I don’t understand why he didn’t go to communion. I can understand why he went to confession but not receiving communion unless he was in the state of mortal sin. We are told not to do that, refrain from communion as penance but refrain when we are in the state of mortal sin and/or not observed the fast, etc.
    I also don’t understand why we needed to know that, re confession/communion.
    OTH, his apology was an apology.

  6. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I ima.gine he was concerned that his reporting creating scandal, confusion, or doubt in the minds of the Faithful which can be a grave matter, although it seems clear by his apology that this was not his intent. In any case, in situations where I have felt guilty or unsure about the gravity of my own sins, I have refrained from receiving Holy Communion until after discussing in the confessional and receiving absolution. Voris seems to prefer this sort of approach over the potential of adding sacrilege to scandal. I believe he mentioned this in his video in order to let his audience know how serious he takes the possibility of his causing harm to the Faith.

  7. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    To Z4gmMug: I agree that a well informed Catholic can offer critique of the Pope in specific circumstances for specific issues, however, our general default response to the Holy Father should be that of respect, obedience, and charity. And if and when we feel compelled to offer critique it should be of course temperate and charitably delivered in a way which in no way undermines the Papal Office, weakens the view of the Pope or he Catholic Faith among Catholics or in the secular world. My wife, a well informed and faithful Catholic hears a lot of my grumbles but I try not to say too many of them outside of this spousal confidence nor to post too many of them on the Internet even anonymously for fear of scandal or of unwittingly harming the Faith.

  8. tcreek says:

    Voris would really be in a quandary if (perish the thought) Cardinal Dolan had been elected pope. Michael has been very critical of the cardinal’s view on homosexuality and his hobnobbing with pro-abortion politicians.

  9. Vincenzo says:

    Deacon Augustine says:

    “It is a tragedy that Cardinal Burke is now being hung out to dry by those who should be standing with him.”

    Legisperitus says:

    “Does Voris really believe his opinion is that much more influential than Cardinal Burke’s? Or is he implicitly criticizing Cardinal Burke for saying what he said?”

    I saw the following posted by Michael Voris’ apostolate ChurchMilitant.TV at their Facebook page in response to similar comments:

    “Cardinal Burke had the right and duty to speak on behalf of the flock,
    who were scandalized by the pope’s silence in the midst of so much confusion.
    What Cdl Burke said specifically is that the pope’s silence “had certainly
    done a lot of harm.” And he was right. We are grateful for his courageous
    witness to the Faith. God bless.”
    – ChurchMilitant.TV

  10. Traductora says:

    There has been a lot of dispute about this in the Spanish media and blog world in Spain, which as a still very Catholic country has been used to discussing and “handicapping” popes for centuries, practically as you’d do at the racetrack or any other gambling venue. But this time the difference is that many of them are afraid. If they’re priest bloggers, they have fallen silent, in fact, or talk of other things.

    Today, a very well known lay blogger linked to an article by an Italian blogger saying that he thinks that the Pope believes he has been defeated on three recent issues: he did not receive the Nobel Prize for Peace, which was widely expected in Europe; the recent publication of a book by Antonio Socci claiming that Francis was not validly elected, not because of its somewhat ridiculous thesis, but because Socci is not a traditionalist but simply a kind of middle of the road orthodox Catholic intellectual; and the fact that he was not able to sweep the Synod with his positions and is receiving opposition now.

    The Spanish blogger and many others, some of them clerical writers, think that Pope Francis is going to become much more vengeful and aggressive. He evidently just removed an Italian bishop perceived as a traditionalist for no good cause, and after the situation with the Paraguayan bishop, removed because “he didn’t get along with the other bishops,” there’s a lot of nervousness even at the upper levels. Just a report from Spain, a country used to living off of ecclesiastical gossip.

  11. Mike says:

    The foundation for Mr. Voris’ clarification seems to be that while one must be prepared to discuss controversial ideas boldly and bravely, it is imprudent to hazard scandal to the Church either in Her Magisterium in general or in the papacy in particular.

    No matter one’s personal opinion of Mr. Voris, his apostolate is unequivocally devoted to the Church and to the Truth Who founded Her and Who suffered and died for Her children. In issuing his clarification Mr. Voris’ demonstrates a well-formed conscience; would that mine were even a dim shadow of his.

  12. Mum26 says:

    I do not think that Voris needed to apologize. Buzzfeed’s interview was indeed newsworthy. He had all the good intentions to report. Therefore, it is not his fault HOW others react to it.
    As far as “charity in criticizing the pope, or any clergy for that matter goes” ….. Certainly proper tone, temperance in language and expression is needed, but while we are sheep we are not stupid!
    I stand with the church, my priest, my bishop, my pope, but only if they teach, preach and sanctify according to the teaching of Holy Mother Church. Proper formation is desparately needed!

  13. Unwilling says:

    The person of the Pope, Pope Francis now, is sacred.
    To the Pope we have a duty of reverence and his person is prima facie sacrosanct.
    The actions or omissions, including words of the Pope may be unwise.
    Someone may have a duty to speak critically of unwise or improper actions of the Pope,
    but such criticism should be offered:
    – as comment on the actions/words, not on the person,
    – in a sprit of service to each other, even to the Pope,
    – with love for the Holy Father, Vicar of Christ,
    – with temperance and humility
    – keeping in mind that our judgements are based on
    enigmatic perceptions and potentially (even likely) faulty reasoning.

    Those of us who post here have an additional duty of care to ensure that Fr Z is not associated with hostile or harmful attacks on the Pope or the Church. I confess that I have written some harsh or flippant things about this Pope, many of which paternal vigilance has saved from being posted here. Mr Voris’ example edifies.

  14. Lyons says:

    See his name badge strap. Voris is a Notre Dame guy? :::Barf:::

  15. IoannesPetrus says:

    I think everyone’s missing the point or taking it for granted. (Granted, at the least it’s a presumption, but it’s a valid one, given the facts.)

    There were people who, being followers of ChurchMilitant (CM), saw the feature of the Buzzfeed article on that site and thought one of two things:

    (1) that CM agreed with Cardinal Burke, who criticised the Pope; hence CM was also criticising the Pope. (It seems this group would mind that the laity “speak against” the clergy, not clergy doing this among themselves.)

    (2) that CM agreed with Cardinal Burke, who may be the closest thing to a traditionalist among the highly-ranked; hence CM was almost endorsing this faction. (It seems this group would approve of this support, since criticism of the Pope is rife among its members.)

    All Mr Voris seemed to want to do through this video was:

    – to indicate that he alone made the decision to feature the article
    – to explain that he wasn’t pandering to either of the above sides, since he went on…
    – to explain that the decision was pure journalism; there was nothing ecclesial about it
    – to admit that he realised his decision did in fact have an ecclesial impact
    – to admit (I infer this) that he saw this impact as scandal (it’s still a sin, eh)
    – to make reparation for this in the usual way: Confession, no Communion until

    … in other words, a “Clarification”.

    Moreover, it seems a statement on Facebook would further clarify, for those who were confused by the “Clarification” video, his position, re: who can criticise the Pope. To me, it seems to boil down to something akin to group (1), above: that clergy have a right to criticise each other, insofar as they do this “on behalf of the flock”, while the latter on their own ought not to do this.

  16. IoannesPetrus says:

    I forgot to add, re: my last point on who can criticise the Pope, that certainly this is something on which we can disagree. However, as I said, it’s “his position…that clergy have a right…”

  17. acroat says:

    Do some of the commenters believe the buzzed.com article was totally accurate in reporting Cardinal Burke’s comments? I believe that they probably are as accurate as their test that determined which Disney Princess I am.

  18. acroat says:

    Do some of the commenters believe the buzzed.com article was totally accurate in reporting Cardinal Burke’s comments? I believe that they probably are as accurate as their test that determined which Disney Princess I am.

  19. I don’t see how this is Mr. Voris hanging Cardinal Burke out to dry. Voris didn’t fault Burke at all; he solely faulted his own actions. That may seem a too-subtle distinction, but I think not.

    Burke felt a need to say what he said; Voris did not, in turn, feel a need for himself to repeat it, and so regretted that he’d done so. As he said, his vocation isn’t merely journalism, but journalism, subservient to an apostolate of promoting faith.

  20. acardnal says:

    There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism and argument. There is a lot wrong with ad hominem criticism.

    There are many in the blogosphere who make ad hominem attacks on Pope Francis and that is a sin.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m still not sure why he needed to apologize, but that was a gracious apology. During the dark days of the past two weeks, I have received much consolation from his reports and commentary. The laity should know what is going on. As bad as it is being on the inside and seeing these situations, imagine being on the outside and getting hints and vague information. There is so little straight talk these days, and he provides straight talk, which I appreciate so much. If someone provides straight talk, once in a while they are going to say something that they may regret a bit. That does not negate the need for some straight talk. Just my opinion but I would much rather get information from someone who at times may go a bit too far (if that can even be said in this case) than someone who reins himself in and stops short of being frank. There is a time to speak the unmitigated truth as one sees it or reports it. Thank you for your apostolate, Mr. Voris. God has put you where you are to do what you do.

  22. TheAcolyte says:

    Why does Vorris (et al) always cite the wild assertions and illegitimate positions of the sedevacantists and “Resistance” types on his Vortex reports? These people are rather insignificant in numbers in any case.

    If he were to read though what the SSPX has to say on their website, sspx.org, he would come away with a much different impression perhaps.

    Interesting, that he has not come out against such Catholic reporters as Sandro Magister, or historian Roberto de Mattei, let alone Msgr. Brunero Gherardini.

  23. CrimsonCatholic says:

    I wondered the same thing acroat. Since when is buzzfeed a news outlet? There seems to be some indication of manipulation from the summary to the “full” text they put out. There is some awful stuff on buzzfeed that people should avoid.

  24. tominrichmond says:

    Ummm, yes, can’t understand why a factual report about Card. Burke’s comments to a secular media source would necessitate an apology. As to the substance of it, many reasonable minds can find much to criticize about how the Pope handled, and is handling, this whole Synodal mess.

    I’d point out just the one “factoid” as mentioned over at Rorate, that a disturbingly large number of cardinals, if not a majority, favor ideas that are incompatible with Catholic orthodoxy. Yet from the Chair of Peter, we hear nothing about it. Scandal ensues. Cdl. Burke’s solution was correct: the Pope should have unambiguously and forcefully re-stated Catholic doctrine and ensured that no one could draw an improper conclusion about the Church’s commitment to the integrity of the sacraments of Matrimony, Penance, and the Eucharist.

    To point out, as Voris did, that Burke was unhappy about this failing, is in my view a service to the Truth, not something to apologize about.

  25. Maltese says:

    Lyons says: “See his name badge strap. Voris is a Notre Dame guy? :::Barf:::”
    Indeed! I’m a University of Michigan man, and when they still had a team, ND used to be our biggest rival. I used to say some Hail Marys–for Michigan!

  26. pseudomodo says:

    I have wondered long and hard about the Holy Fathers apparent silence in the face of ideas that are incompatible with Catholic orthodoxy with the suspicion that he was himself in favor of these heterodox ideas.

    It would seem that an orthodox intervention by the Pope at the end of such a discussion would be construed as an excersize of the authentic magisterium and a minor manifestation of papal infallibility.

    But the nature of this papal infallibility is to prevent the pope from teaching error as if it was truth. If the pope spoke out in favor of this craziness IN SYNOD then he would be teaching error. If the pope spoke out condemning this craziness IN SYNOD then he would be teaching truth. But he was silent. What to make of this?

    There are five conditions where a pope excersizes authentic and supreme magisterium:
    1. He must ACT as Shepherd and TEACHER
    3. He Defines a doctrine concerning FAITH and MORALS
    4. He must declare them to be HELD by all the faithful

    These are all from Bl. Pio Nono’s definition of papal infallibility. To all this the churches law adds another.

    5. Canon law 749 n. 3 states: “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”

    The important this to note in this is that the Authentic magisterium is manifested by, as Fr. Z says, the pontif SPEAKING AND ACTING.

    But the Holy Father was Silent. Perhaps he agrees with Kaspar; perhaps he doesn’t.

    Could it be that the silence was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit preventing the Pope from speaking and acting? In other words from teaching error?

    Some of you may be thinking that you remember the Movie ‘A Man for all Seasons’ where Thomas More corrects the crown prosecutor for asserting that ‘silence asserts denial’! More counters that the principle as actually the ‘silence give CONSENT’! I’m not so sure in the Synod case.

    Perhaps God inspired Fancis to silence in this case to protect us in some mysterious way.

    It may be that the Holy Spirit really does work in mysterious ways and manifests himself, as Pope Francis summed up in his final address, as the ‘GOD OF SURPRISES’!

    Just Thinking…

  27. gracie says:

    I saw the video that was taken down. It was factual. True, Michel Voris reported it in a breathless – Stop the Presses! – manner which was a bit over the top – perhaps he should have apologized for that; otoh, what he reported was accurate. I couldn’t help wondering if pressure was being applied to him from some quarters to remove the video and apologize for its (accurate) comments.

    Separately, Voris telling us that he had refrained from Holy Communion and had gone to Confession made him come across (at least to me) as a bit of a show-off. Who goes around telling people what sins they’ve confessed and impressing on us how good they were not to receive Communion? It was okay up till then.

  28. IoannesPetrus says:

    acroat: I believe that they probably are as accurate as their test that determined which Disney Princess I am. Well, which one are you?!

    I’m Tiana. I am “confident and have set clear goals that [I] intend on reaching no matter what the obstacle. People consider [me] be [sic] resolute and fearless with a heart of gold.”


  29. aviva meriam says:

    ” I alone made the decision so the responsibility is entirely mine”.

    THANK YOU MICHAEL VORIS. That was the epitome of a responsible adult. What an example (as a sinner, I’ll admit I consider it an example for my own life).

  30. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It is a normal Catholic practice not to receive Communion if you are not properly disposed, be that in feelings, will to be in communion with others, lingering resentment at your little brother putting his hands into your part of the back seat, whatever. Being in mortal sin or not having fasted are also ways not to be properly disposed, and obviously more important ones; but it is a good idea to watch out for other ways too.

    (If you have a scruples problem, just do what your priest tells you.)

  31. gracie says:

    May I just add – what exactly was Michael Voris confessing to when he went to Reconciliation? The tone? The manner of his presentation? If so, fine (separately from our need to know it -see above). But if the man was confessing to reporting Cardinal Burke’s accurate comments because they implicitly are critical of Pope Francis then that’s shocking and means he’s thrown Burke under the bus to protect his enterprise. A clarification of that would be helpful.

  32. The Masked Chicken says:

    This is a bit confusing. Just yesterday, I submitted a comment in the, Pope Francis, Pope, post and I was afraid it was too critical of Pope Francis, so I asked to have it removed. It is still up, so, either it wasn’t as critical as I thought, or there hasn’t been enough time to remove it. Still, this is something I worry about with every analytical or critical comment I make about the Pope. Should I simply not comment in order to avoid sin or should I ask for a more objective assessment? Most confusing.

    The Chicken

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    The other issue is that if I avoided going to Communion every time I were critical, I wouldn’t be going to Communion at all. Any suggestions for a cranky chicken?

    The Chicken

  34. Jerry says:

    re: Mum26 – “He had all the good intentions to report. Therefore, it is not his fault HOW others react to it.”

    I think it was Voris’ fault, at least in part, due to the manner in which he reported Cardinal Burke’s comments. In my opinion, a more low-key approach would have been appropriate.

  35. marcelus says:

    I’ve followed CM.tv for a long time. MV is probably the best Journalist ever to be able to “read”PF. His vortex are excellent-

    There is a hierarchiecal issue at stake here good or bad.

    I can say what I feel about this Pope or any other. In public, it’s my responsability and it may bring about cosecuences. For instance if II say PF is harming the Church, I think not much will happen.
    Privately, it is the same.

    Cardinal Burke, or any other cardinal, who answer in hierarchy to PF, or any other Pope, simply can not.

    At least IN PUBLIC as is the case. Privately a man of God speaking like that about the Vicar, will answer to God only I suppose.

    Criticizing PF would have been something of : I think the Pope shuold have emphazised this or that instaed of… or anything the likes of that.

    Stating in the open that Peter is counseng harm is close to acccusing unfortunately.

    On this matter, Voris has a beautiful vortex , think is this one linked here:


    It is called the Pope is Different.

    Deals withh precisely this: Whatever, as a catholic , you may have to say to PF you must do so privately, will that do any good? who know,

    And he quotes ST CAtherine writtin g to her Pope to complain where in public she reffered to him as Sweet Christ on earth.

    I think MV was sad to have to report that. I saw it, they took it dow, but Others had already made public.

    I do not see anyway around this unless something on the side of Crdl Burke happens with regards to with to his statement. It is BAD. As a crdl he can not say that. SAD

    Vincenzo says:
    23 October 2014 at 6:35 am
    Deacon Augustine says:

    “It is a tragedy that Cardinal Burke is now being hung out to dry by those who should be standing with him.”

    Legisperitus says:

    “Does Voris really believe his opinion is that much more influential than Cardinal Burke’s? Or is he implicitly criticizing Cardinal Burke for saying what he said?”

    I saw the following posted by Michael Voris’ apostolate ChurchMilitant.TV at their Facebook page in response to similar comments:

    “Cardinal Burke had the right and duty to speak on behalf of the flock,
    who were scandalized by the pope’s silence in the midst of so much confusion.
    What Cdl Burke said specifically is that the pope’s silence “had certainly
    done a lot of harm.” And he was right. We are grateful for his courageous
    witness to the Faith. God bless.” – ChurchMilitant.TV

  36. Supertradmum says:

    I am a ND girl, btw and was at ND same time as Voris, only he was an undergrad and I a grad student

    Hey, the apology was necessary as I put on my blog and shows character and humility. The laity are way too uppity, imho, and Voris, as a good journalist, saw that he made an error in judgment. We are responsible for causing scandal.

    Voris’ coverage was, otherwise, stellar.

  37. Franko says:

    I’m really not sure why he felt the need to apologize at all, or especially make such a public show of repentance.

    I also take special umbrage with this idea that criticizing (and yes, even ridiculing) the Pope is a sin that individuals will have to “answer for” before God. That’s a little over the top in my opinion. Look, there are times when Francis has been flat out wrong, like when he used the Gospel of Matthew as justification for encouraging governments to enact “legitimate redistribution” of wealth. If the Pope thinks the Gospel was encouraging governments to enact socialistic policies and was not rather a call to the individual to be charitable toward his fellow man, then the Pope is wrong in that case and people have a right to say it.

    A lot of people can criticize the Pope out of love for both him and the Church. If all people had had this attitude in centuries past, the Church would never have survived. I disagree with Voris very strongly.

  38. HeatherPA says:

    The Chicken,
    My husband is a cranky rooster. He asks for St. Jerome’s intercession as well as begging his guardian Angel daily for keeping a guard on his temper and crankiness. Our guardian Angels are the best for these things.

  39. Geoffrey says:

    I have an entirely new respect for Mr Voris. Bravo!

  40. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Although some are lampooning and ridiculing Voris for it, I think it was very gracious and responsible of him to apologize in case he misled anyone, and to clarify that neither he nor his apostolate wishes to appear critical of the Holy Father. There are enough attacks against the Pope from the avowed enemies of the Church–we don’t need loyal Catholics joining in their chorus.

  41. Dave N. says:

    Highlights again why Cardinals of the Church should probably not be granting interviews to BuzzFeed–home to all sorts of trashy “content.” I wonder if Cdl. Burke even realizes that by driving traffic to such a website, he’s lining the pockets of the pro-gay agenda.

  42. The Masked Chicken says:

    I must admit that I watched the retraction video, but not the offending one, so I don’t know how far Mr. Voris may have crossed the line . May I say, however, that it is equally possible to give scandal by not speaking as it is by speaking improperly. There are nine conditions for being an accessory to sin:

    consent (the three c’s)
    praise (and flattery)
    participation (the three p’s)
    defense of the evil done (the sibilant three)

    Just last week on another well-known Catholic blog I had a choice of making a comment to a person trying to rationalize her divorce and re-marriage (without annulment) or being, “welcoming,” and letting her, gradually, get to conversion. Well, by the time some people get done being gradual about things, they might be dead, so, I decided that it would be more sinful, knowing what I know, not to say anything rather than say something. I was very respectful and talked about truth, justice, and the sacrament of marriage, without yelling at the individual, but, rather, imploring them to really accept the mercy of God by regularizing their marriage.

    The problem is that the Pope has made my job much harder by not being clear about the truth. That just is a matter of the facts-on-the ground. My persona of the Masked Chicken is a constant reminder of just how damaging I can be with my comments on the Internet (I told the story a few years back when I joined the ranks of this blog’s commenters) and I have tried, always, to be respectful and clear when I say anything of substance to anyone, but it is really difficult to do any sort of on-line apologetical work when one has to deal with the inconsistencies presented by every new theological fad reported by the media.

    Can. 211 says:

    “Can. 211 All the Christian faithful have the duty and right to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land.”

    One of those, “rights to work'” includes the use of the Internet. This assumes that one has the proper training in reading and interpreting Church documents and has at least a general knowledge of what the Church teaches. All too often, especially on blogs connected to the MSM, this condition is not met. Some of the comments on some Catholic sites which are not moderated quickly degenerate into something only resembling Bizzaro Catholicism.

    Now, Can. 212 §1 says:

    “Can. 212 §1 Christ’s faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound to show christian obedience to what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church.”

    Nothing was declared at this synod by the sacred Pastors. This was a working synod, only. However, to the tv-watching Catholic, it seemed, from the MSM reports that something was declared. It would seem that it is the responsibility of those sacred Pastors to make sure that such perceptions are not allowed to go uncorrected and if they should fail in this task, then Cans. 212 § 2 and §3 kick in, it seems to me:

    §2 Christ’s faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.

    §3 They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.

    It seems to me that, at this time, the laity have the right to make known the need for a clear teaching in the matters involving marriage, divorce, re-marriage, and homosexuality. If the Church is not ready to do so at this time, it seems to me that, in order not to scandalize the weak, they are obligated, in charity, to say so. Yet, we get nothing more than the commonest of ecclesial in-fighting, or so it seems, while very real sin is allowed to continue by those who do not know the correct teaching is still the correct teaching.

    Can. 212 §3 does say that, “they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.” Now, by stating the continuous teaching of the Church, it seems to me that one is showing respect for the integrity of faith and morals. Until such time as some new aspect of doctrine is manifestly put forth, the Faith is, pretty much what it was yesterday, last year, and as it has developed over 2000 years. This Faith needs to be communicated, especially to those whose faith is weak. It seems, in the current climate, to make this need known for clear teaching without sounding like a martinet is almost impossible, but it is a task that must be tried, even if imperfectly.

    Obviously, everyone is entitled to a good reputation, so one ought not impugn the character of anyone unnecessarily, especially Pastors with whom one disagrees, even when presenting a contrary opinion, but if one reads, say, G. K. Chesterton, who had many a debate with G. B. Shaw and then went out to dinner afterwards with him, one will see that it is possible to humbly state a contrary opinion without breaking the bonds of charity or falling into rash judgment or detraction. I fear that I, myself, have been guilty of exactly this several times over the years, myself.

    That being said, it seems to me that the objective reporting of another man’s intemperate comments, is not, in itself, a sin. The sin comes if one attempts to imply something else by virtue of those comments. Obviously, Mr. Voris felt that he may have given that impression in his first video. That is a matter between him and his conscience and no one has a right to interfere in that deliberation.

    That being said, there have been repercussions caused by this very public, but very private synod and to not be aware of this or, if one has an informed opinion, to not manifest the effects one is able to perceive in one’s daily life, would, it seems to me, to violate the spirit of Can, 212 §3, since the sacred Pastors certainly need to be made aware of how their activities are being used or misused.

    The biggest problem in the blogosphere with regards to the matter of comments about the theology of marriage, at the moment, seems to stem, primarily, not from the matter, itself, which, while sensitive, is not immediately explosive, but, rather, a singular lack, as Batman said in, Batman Begins:

    “You never learned to mind your surroundings!”

    When commenting about Catholic matters, one must realize that one has a sacred responsibility, both to the Church-at-large, but also to anyone who might happen on that comment to communicate in a way that identifies one as a member of that Church who is striving, before the world, for holiness. If one imagines, always, that one’s Guardian Angel is staring over one’s shoulders, it might help to temper one’s words, but, really, I think the best way to keep one’s words under control is to imagine that one is holding the other person by a very long, frayed cord over the edge of a cliff, for you really may hold the life of the reader in the palm of your hands when they read your comment. If you shock them too much or cause them too much anger, the cord might snap or they might let go and you will live to see them fall into the abyss. As much as the blogger has a responsibility to Christian charity, even so does the commenter.

    We cannot change how others make comments, but we can change ourselves, our comments. This is especially necessary when commenting on a blog one has not been associated with. Many of us have been participating in this blog for a while, so we have the feel of each other and few are shocked when I start talking in my Russian chicken accent. Still, conduct is a great teacher and reveals the Faith often even more than the words we use. So, if Mr. Voris is guilty of anything, then, perhaps, we can use his fault as a happy circumstance to re-double our own efforts to show others that this Faith of ours really does have an effect on how we live and how it forms us.

    The Chicken

  43. Tantum Ergo says:

    For weal or for woe, Michael Voris publicly repented that he had reported a news story which raised flags concerning what the heck’s been going on in Rome. I admire his act of conscience, but I certainly wouldn’t accuse him of sin. Only God knows his heart, so let’s let them settle the matter. It’s hard for me to see the matter as clearly as I’d like to, because of those stupid logs in my eyes.

  44. Eric says:

    I stopped watching Voris a few years ago. Not because of the message, with which I usually agreed, but because of the delivery.

    I find it hard to understand how someone that is making such a sincere apology can come across as being so smug.

  45. Voris is looking a lot better in that waistcoat than he did in the seersucker monstrosity.

  46. Cosmos says:

    Catholicism is starting to get really confusing to me. I no idea why MV went to confession. I certainly hope we are not agreeing that it is a sin to criticize the Pope for acting imprudently.

  47. KnightOfTruth says:

    Several have mentioned a need to support Cardinal Burke. How do we do that? How can a person communicate with him?
    On the MV front. I support him, mostly because I appreciate that there is someone/an organization willing to ignore the political implications of telling it like it is. Not that I think he is always on the mark, but he is close enough to be on my rifle team.

  48. MGL says:

    It seems to me there’s plenty of scandal to go round. For my part, I’m acutely aware of how many well-meaning Catholics are now close to despair or even apostasy because they have been encouraged by mainstream orthodox Catholic outlets to view the pope as the very touchstone of orthodoxy and beyond criticism. Having thus been led into a kind of Mottramism, they find themselves–in all good conscience–unable to reconcile this exalted view of the papacy with what Pope Francis currently seems to be doing.

    I’ve concluded that it’s better to offer measured criticism and analysis of the pope’s words and actions, and to add some kind of (non-expert) historical perspective than to stay silent and allow less-informed Catholics to conclude that the whole thing is a fraud because they cannot reconcile the current pope’s actions with the notion that the pope can always be trusted to do the right thing.

    To be sure, there is some seriously unhinged vituperation towards Pope Francis on some blogs, most often in the comments section, and I agree that this kind of criticism is completely out of bounds. I try to deal strictly with the evidence before our eyes and to avoid snarky comments or assessments of the pope’s internal disposition, though I’ve probably crossed the line on occasion.

    But the cranks are pretty easily written off. I’m more concerned about those who are so insistent on the pope-can-do-no-wrong viewpoint that they obscure progress ability to think clearly about the crisis in the Church.

  49. MGL says:

    Gah. Swype keyboard autocorrect errors! That last sentence should read:

    I’m more concerned about those who are so insistent on the pope-can-do-no-wrong viewpoint that they obscure people’s ability to think clearly about the crisis in the Church.

  50. ssoldie says:

    “it must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 45

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