Monday, April 13, 2015

TELLING THE TRUTH IN THIS FASHION MAY NOT HELP BUT ONLY HURT THE PURIFICATION THAT CLERGY AND LAY PEOPLE NEED IN TODAY'S CHURCH

Michael Voris of the Vortex often has very good and valid observations or diagnosis of problems in the Church today. The only problem is that he uses inflammatory language that is off-putting for those who could do something about the problem, the bishops in particular. He also appeals to the fears of those who watch his stuff. There is fear mongering built upon anger. This isn't going to help.

In our diocese and my deanery we have had to deal with the same issue that Voris speaks of with a gay employee who wasn't even Catholic who decided to married his same sex partner in a ceremony in another state. The firestorm of his firing and the press's pouring gas on the flames was extraordinary. The most offensive to me was Catholics who sided with the teacher who wanted to promote same sex marriage in a Catholic school and get away with it. That was the most depressing for me of this whole episode!

But we know that the gay agenda in the Church has been facilitated by winks and nods. In terms of the clergy, we know this to be true. In terms of the laity and lay employees in our schools who are gay and with a gay agenda, we know that this is true too. If you are actively gay, keep in in the closet. Only when a gay employee gets married, then the administration's hand is forced and sometimes from pressure from higher sources.

Voris also links the way we pray and sing to what we believe and how we act and what we embrace, whether it be orthodox, or heterodox. This is a truth that we know well. How can he say it in a better way?

Today, many dioceses after a failure to deal with this in the first place, are writing policies to deal with those in the Church who work for our institutions who are pushing the gay agenda and a desire to overturn the Church's teachings on sexuality to include chastity, same sex marriage, contraception and abortion.

Michael Voris is accurate. He says it in a way that is off-putting, snarky and shrill, thus compromising the very thing he could help the larger Church address. He needs to find a better way to express the truth otherwise it will go nowhere!


27 comments:

JBS said...

All true.

Joe Potillor said...

I can understand why some are off put by the way Mr. Voris speaks...I tend to think one needs to know the audience....it's not off putting to me, but I can see why people don't appreciate it.

John said...

When Liberals/Modenists talk about important matters they focus on process, on selling something: some half-truths or outright lies. We appreciate the style even even if reject the ideology offered cleverly disguised as theology.

Vooris is blunt but usually correct on substance. We fault him on style. I figure he is not writing for me he is taking to task the bad guys. The people Vooris calls out deserve the harsh rhetoric.

Laughing them to scorn when modernist deserve it is OK with me. It is the culture war after all, so verbal bombs away!

Henry said...

I wonder whether there’s some way of telling the plain truth—the simple fact that the Church is infested from top to bottom with gays, with many of its rectories, chanceries, dicasteries, and bureaucracies heavily influenced or even controlled by gay agenda and lobbies—without seeming (at least, to them) “off-putting, snarky and shrill”.

If anyone here can suggest “a better way to express the truth”—one that will actually go somewhere, but that does not offend these precious types—I’ll be glad to forward it to Michael Voris to see whether he won’t give it a try. I suspect he might be open to most any likely idea with a chance of success.

Seriously, what does anyone think will “work”? In light, for instance, of the recent Synod machinations, even under the direction of a pope with a stated intention to curb the gay lobby in the Church.

JBS said...

Henry,

Good points and good question.

The question I have is, how is God going to get His Church out of this mess? The only mortal human being with any obvious power to do anything about this systemic infiltration is the pope. The laity collectively have the power to demand reform, but the remnant of faithful laymen is so small as to be practically insignificant.

So, only God or a pope can fix this.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It's a matter of both the clergy and laity using language that is not off putting, although harsh language might be the truth. Calling homosexuals sodomites is not necessary for the Church's pastoral ministry and keep in mind that heterosexual sex could also use sodomy exclusively and this unnatural sex is even more reprehensible since natural sex even if sinful is a viable option.

Do we need to call whores , whores? Wouldn't the terms prostitute or promiscuous be less inflammatory and more pastoral?

Anonymous said...

I find it a sincere challenge to say the same (often obvious) things over and over and over in the same measured tones with the same results. It is easy to get cynical, quit caring, or just flip - none of which is productive either.


Steven

Paul said...

Some people react to words differently. That is one reason why one is not to endlessly linger in pointing out the error(s) of someone else's ways. Somebody else may come along with differently expressed words that do connect.

Some people need a hammer, some people need a feather.

Perhaps in previous decades a hammer should have been used when the prevailing wisdom suggested feathers. It is not known if the hammer would have worked but it is reasonably apparent the feathers didn't.

In the end, the hammer was used and it was not wielded by those suggesting feathers.

Tell me the hard Truth. It might be difficult and seem harsh and mean but I can work with Truth. If the Truth is coddled in such a way that the appearance of sin is obscured or lessened or even permitted (!!!) then I may as well be told a lie. I cannot work with Lies. Lies are dead end.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John, Vooris' style makes it certain that the "bad guys" he has is taking to task pay him ZERO attention. So if that's what he's doing, he is a failure. I think Vooris, like many who regularly make use of abusive language and incendiary rhetoric, have dangerously weak faith/convictions. By "sounding" so gall-darned certain, by gotcha, they are trying to convince . .. themselves.

Paul said...

The "bad guys" might be paying zero attention to Mr. Voris. If they're truly bad guys then they have been paying zero attention to Truth right along. But maybe the "good guys" around the "bad guys" might now be paying a lot of attention and being a lot more discerning.

Perhaps the "bad guys" now don't look so good as they deceived everyone to believe.

JBS asked how is God going to get His Church out of this mess? His Church was never in the mess, the stewards are the ones in the mess. Until all the stewards embrace Humility, Temperance and Chasity as basics of living a Holy Life, the stewards will continue to be tested in the world's fire they have invited into themselves.

God, Satan, Heaven, Hell, Good and Evil all exist and of that I'm certain. Do we agree? Are we convinced?

Bee said...

Fr. McD said: "Michael Voris is accurate. He says it in a way that is off-putting, snarky and shrill, thus compromising the very thing he could help the larger Church address."

If Michael Voris is "accurate," (and I take that to mean the Church hierarchy is riddled from top to bottom with gay men) then here's another one of those things done in the dark that is eventually going to be brought to the light. And the scandal caused will be a tsunami.

I cannot, I really cannot understand, why clerics wring their hands wondering why people are leaving the Church, and don't come in the first place, when it's right in front of them -- many if not most of the clerics are in deep personal, dare I say, mortal, sin. If you haven't noticed (and maybe, Fr. McD and other priests reading here, you haven't) but it's pretty evident by behavior, attitude and reactions to others, which priests are actually living lives of grace and which are not. I'm not judging. I'm just listening to what they say from the altar, from the pulpit, and in person.

I doubt even if Michael Voris said these things in kindly, charitable, and soothing ways that the Church is going to "address" this issue, until they are forced to, like the pedophile scandal.

Our Savior hung on a cross for souls, and clerics mock Him in His own house.

JBS said...

Isn't "Sodomite" Biblical language? I don't understand what the problem is with it's use. Those who do not believe in the Bible should be ambivalent about the term.

And, why should we adopt value-neutral terms to describe sinners? If I choose to blaspheme, it makes no sense for me to object to the term "blasphemer". If I rob people at gunpoint, should I object to being called a "robber"? Do we need value-neutral terms for adulterers and murderers? Are liars offended by the term "liar"?

That said, there are words clearly intended to give offense towards the practitioners of the sins of Sodom, and such words should be avoided, since they are not constructive. But, I don't see how "Sodomite", a term deeply rooted in Jewish and Christian faith, is one of those words.

rcg said...

I agree with Fr Kavanaugh that people who use abusive language may have dangerously weak faith. I am not sure this applies to Vooris. I agree with Bee, too. I also agree with Vooris as it matches my experience. In our city the Catholic high schools and university are recruiting grounds for the gay faculty. Openly gay music directors of the local parish, living with their boyfriends play the role of Christ in the OF theatrical Good Friday Mass. The homily, BTW, emphasized the sacrifices of Ghandi and MLK and pointed out that Christ "only" hung on the cross for three hours when compared to the lifelong suffered of a disabled nun. I think that last May have been intended to illustrate our misunderstanding of the Sacrifice, but it was not made clear to me.

So I thought Vooris was actually pretty humorous in the face of a social horror.

Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree with Fr. K about Vooris' alleged "weak" faith. Maybe it's the insulation of living in a clerical culture, maybe it's not, but I don't think some of those within the structure of the priesthood and religious communities can begin to understand how frustrating it is for the laity to deal with dissent and effeminacy everywhere they turn. It's not so bad in Savannah's diocese, but there are other dioceses that--pardon my frankness--have been turned into faggotoriums. It's an insult to read the heroic accounts of people who have given their lives for the faith and then be treated to the wimpy nursery school culture of the post Vatican II Church. This isn't about weak faith. It's about a deep inner conviction that enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

John the Baptist minced no words. The Pharisees and Sadducees, not to mention Herod, most likely thought he used strong, abusive language. After all, "ye brood of vipers" was not exactly nice-tempered speech. Was his faith dangerously weak?

Besides, if we want to subscribe to the "church of nice" should we refrain from making uncharitable judgments on someone's faith/convictions?

Joseph Johnson said...

I think Voris' use of "All Are Welcome" as the background theme IS effective. That song, along with "Gather Is In" are like the theme-songs of the squishy and liturgically banal post-Conciliar Church which dominated the 1970's-90's which, unfortunately, we still live with in many places.

Anytime one of those songs is chosen to be sung at Mass I won't sing them because this is the association that they have for me. Just like the people a few years older than me who don't want to go back to the Latin Mass---I don't want to go back to(or see continued) the style and atmosphere of the 1970's--90's Catholic Church.

passing thru said...

Like conservatives often say as they are about to deny climate change, "I'm not an expert, but" I have heard it said that those who roar the loudest about the evils of all things "gay" often do so as a result of a gnawing, suppressed insecurity regarding their own sexuality.

Are there any "I'm not an expert, but...." comments? Any "I AM an expert" comments?

John said...

Fr. K

Your opinion that Vooris has weak faith, hence the overblown language has other possible explanations. You may not appreciate this since your side seems to have multiple venues for promoting itself. Vooris and his supporters have very few so perhaps he shouts to make sure that his point of view is heard.

His adversaries read or listen to him more than frequently than you care to admit. He was forced to change the label on his blog. So the bad guys do care what he says.

His style suits his purpose. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been asked by various friends: "Did you hear what Vooris said about so and so or such and such? So the word gets around.

Vooris is much smarter than most of his detractors. His presentation style is effective. His opinions get around. We are talking about it here. He tells the truth. He makes a difference.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

When I say Vooris is accurate, I would have to say to just a certain extent, there is exaggeration or hyperbole in his fear mongering. This isn't helpful to exaggerate a bad example.

Yes it is possible that a preacher who constantly rails about sexual immorality may be failing in his own life, but the truth is the truth even I'd a hypocrite is preaching it. People don't need encouragement to sin or be perverse it comes naturally. Do we really want our moral teachings watered down because we want those who fail to have good, positive self-esteem.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Vooris is projecting, and those who enjoy his hyperbolic commentary enjoy being projected on.

You catch more flies with honey...

Paul said...

And attract even more flies with dung.

Perhaps we want flies that expect nothing.

Henry said...

Lest the day go by without comment here, let me say that—strident as he sometimes is—Michael Voris is (so far as I know) the only prominent Catholic internet commentator whose factual assessment of the situation in the Church is consonant with my own as a careful and determined adult observer from the pew, week in and week out for well over a half century.

It is understandable that no faithful clerical blogger can afford to say publicly, fully and candidly what he surely knows: that the majority of current Catholics at all levels—bishops, priests, religious, and lay—however well-intentioned, either do not know or do not accept the historical core beliefs of Catholicism, and moreover that a significant portion of bishops, priests, religious, and church employees consciously deny many of these core beliefs.

Whereas the Church has faced and survived numerous heresies throughout its history, I know of no previous era in which heresy has been so endemic throughout the Church, in its chanceries, rectories, and pews alike, when the faithful “remnant” was so small a minority at all levels and in almost all places.

rcg said...

Henry, I can't disagree with you, but I sense that the current times are not so very much worse than many past era, but only more disappointing that our own country and culture are leading the most recent down turn.

The Easter Vigil has become very meaningful to me in this regard and I am confident the Church will rise up after each apparent defeat.

Jonathan Dandridge said...

By the way, his name is "Voris" with one O, can we at least get that right?

I find it peculiar to say the least that people criticize his approach then turn around and call it "fear mongering". Telling the truth even in an aggressive way is fear mongering?

I guess the critics would have had a similar problem with Jesus when he referred to the pharisees as a brood of vipers and as whitewashed tombs.

Jonathan Dandridge said...

I guess I need to temper my previous comment by saying I do sometimes think Michael can be a little over the top; however I am also concerned that people don't want to hear the message because it is too painful to admit the extent the Church is in crisis and so prefer to criticize the messenger.

Jusadbellum said...

BOOM, head shot of a video from Voris.

So... his 'tone'... not at all as strident as past videos on other topics. His demeanor pretty calm.

But the assertions are stunning. Can Fr. D and Fr. K advise us on how far off his claims may be?

We all know that personnel is policy so it stands to reason that as more and more employees are gay or gay-friendly or contracepting (and proud about it) the more and more the parish or ministry will pooh pooh Catholic doctrine in other areas as well (morality cannot be compartmentalized).

If Catholic sexual morality is OK to jettison when convenient, why not Catholic social teaching? If one need not care about chastity, why would anyone care about a "preferential option for the poor"?

If all men can be saved why go to Church? If mercy means never needing to seek God's pardon, why go to confession to seek God's pardon? and so on....

People draw pragmatic conclusions for good or ill.... to never ever bring up a topic and immediately shut up anyone who begins to mention it is a universal message to most that one is embarrassed about something - whether it's Uncle Jerry's condition in life or the Church's teaching on some matter.

The laity are waiting for leadership in the face of a hostile anti- or non-Catholic culture. If there is no manly leadership most will go to ground not just on sexual morals but on all other categories as well. But the few who risk the ire of the secular world (and their own Church's leadership!) are the bravest of the brave.

Guys like Voris have no friends outside Catholicism and few inside Catholicism. That takes guts and love for some thing or someone beyond the circles of this world to long endure.

Projection? No. Sadly, just a good grasp of human nature and history. In past times he would have been burnt at the stake or executed by the state by now. He may still end up being executed or assassinated for daring to poke the spirit of this age.

But what of his message? He's not wrong about many active homosexuals (lesbians and men) working in and for the Church. Is he wrong about priests and bishops? There are over 300 bishops in the USA. If over 30 of them are gay we are in heap big trouble. Are we?

Jdj said...

Good comment, Jusad. I miss you when you are not around...
I do expect that Voris is a martyr in the making. Instead of pandering to the Church of Now, he challenges it to its higher calling. Call it strident if you must, but aren't we all at some point strident about issues we care a lot about? I have certainly "heard" Fr. M's strident voice on occasion here over the years!