Saturday, April 23, 2016


There is a reason for the seal of confession and I support it wholeheartedly even for the worse hypocrites.

Public confession of a sinner in order to help those of us mired in our own mortal sins to know God's love and the hope we have in Christ must be done very carefully and not in an exhibitionist sort of way or a self-serving way.

Michael Voris gave a very sober public confession. It is so matter-of-fact and devoid of emotion, that I hope he is able to let it all out in a private forum with a trained spiritual director or Catholic therapist. For a man like him to admit publicly to what he has admitted has to be humiliating and degrading.

The written transcript of his public confession should have been sufficient.

The one area where Michael Voris must continue to work out is his puritanical view of God's punishment. It isn't Catholic. It is more Lutheran or Calvinistic. It doesn't leave room for God's grace in purgatory even for what "appears" to be an unrepentant sinner.

Read what Michael Voris says here and then I will comment in red:

(This part is great!) I was thrilled, over the top with gratitude for what God had done for me through my mom and her suffering. He had rescued me from a miserable, horrible spiritual darkness where I lost almost all understanding of myself. And in order to understand the great mercy of God here, you must realize the corresponding great depths of evil into which I had plunged myself. Those were dreadful days, years.

(This is where I believe Michael lacks insights into the nature of true mortal sin and how only God will determine our eternal fate, be it heaven or hell. We can't condemn anyone or ourselves to hell only God can and He makes no mistakes. I will comment after these two sentences:)I had great pain to overcome from childhood and my youth and instead of recommending myself to God in my youth, I gave in to the flesh and died spiritually. I shudder every time I think what would now be my lot had I died in a traffic accident or something.

Evidently Michael had experienced great suffering in his childhood. For something to authentically be a mortal sin, three things are required. 1) serious matter; 2) one knows that it is sinful; 3) one commits the sin with full consciousness of what one is doing, usually with forethought and planning.

If Michael was compromised in any way with number three, that would make the serious matter and even knowing it was serious a venial sin, not a mortal sin. 

(Neither the Church, the pope or Michael himself can definitively declare that anyone is in or would be in hell. Michael has not learned this evidently:) I have never made a secret that my life prior to my reversion was extremely sinful. I have said many times — in public — that I was in a state of mortal sin, and had I died, I would have been damned...I gave up myself — my masculinity, my identity, my self-understanding, my own dignity as a baptized Catholic. As I have said publicly, without the details, I lived a horrible life and would be in Hell had I been killed before returning to the Faith.

The rest of this is great! Let us pray that as Michael continues to go through this earthly purgatory, or purgation, that he will be purified of his over the top acerbic statements and the role he has taken on himself to be judge and jury of himself and now others who fail. That's is God's prerogative. Let us pray that Michael works in concert with the Magisterium, local and universal and not is isolation or a self-righteous way!) From the time of my return to the Faith, I have wanted nothing than for others to experience the joy and life-giving truth of the Catholic Church, to know that the dead can be raised, to deeply consider what is truly meant by "With God all things are possible."

All things are possible. "Though your sins be as scarlet, I shall make them white as wool." Even the most seemingly difficult, never-can-happen, not-in-a-million-attempts kind of things. All things are possible. No thing is impossible for God. He can even restore your formerly shattered, confused sexuality. It does not matter — whatever the issue, whatever the sin, whatever the depth of the deepest darkness, there is nowhere God can not come to you and rescue you.  

He did it for countless men and women with horrible, horrible lives who became saints: Paul, Augustine, Francis, Ignatius, Margaret of Cortona, the patron saint of reformed prostitutes.

The Church is filled with such stories, so much so that one could almost say it appears the mission of the Church is to collect miserable sinners and turn them into saints. But that is exactly what the mission of the Church is!


rcg said...

Fr. McDonald, consider that Voris is confessing that he knew what he did was wrong even as he did it and that he used the torments of his childhood to excuse them. This is a deeper understanding of sin than simply admitting the act was wrong. As beasts we have the blood of the earth driving us to epic lusts. There is no need to forgive those acts for an animal. If we reject our spiritual selves we need no forgiveness for we have spiritual reward. But as spiritual beings we acknowledge natural law. That is the confession he seems to be making. His self condemnation is a factual recognition of his state, even now. He dares not presume on grace.

Anonymous said...

If you want to blame anyone, blame the New York Archdiocese. Why would ANY archdiocese seek to discredit an apostolate that does so much good, save for the likelihood that they themselves have something to hide? Give Mr. Voris credit. He sees what they are about to do to him and he's just beating them to the punch.

Anonymous said...

Three thoughts that keep recurring in my mind are Narcissism
Cynicism and Skepticism, and how they relate to sins and confession.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what has Michael Voris said that is "over the top" and "acerbic"? Given what many of us have learned about what goes on behind the scenes in many dioceses, the REAL miracle is that we choose to remain Catholic. Comparing this to Jimmy Swaggart's self-serving "Ah hay-yav see-yind aginst yee-oo" sideshow is uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

"A spokesman for the archdiocese called those allegations “100 percent untrue” in a statement to the Catholic Herald."

Voris is also, apparently, severely paranoid.

SAF said...

The picture at the top of the post below this one is of Donnie Wahlberg, actor and former New Kid on the Block boy-band member. It is not Michael Voris.

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous said..."BTW, what has Michael Voris said that is "over the top" and "acerbic"?"

Are you familiar with Michael Voris' countless vicious and untruthful attacks against the SSPX?

How about his unsubstantiated claims against Cardinal Dolan and the Archdiocese of New York in regard to an alleged homosexual ring within the Archdiocese? How about his serious, unsubstantiated claim that the Archdiocese of New York had planned to "out" him as a homosexual.

Michael Voris has trafficked in hurling grave accusations at Churchmen without having produced evidence that supported such claims.

If Michael Voris has, for instance, evidence against Cardinal Dolan, then let's see said evidence. If Michael Voris has the evidence in question, then great...justice must be served. But where is the evidence? Michael Voris, please show us the evidence.

Michael Voris' has done fine things. Example: When Dave Domet (Vox Cantoris blog), a holy Catholic man was attacked by Churchmen last year, Michael Voris aided Mr. Domet. That was a beautiful and holy act by Michael Voris.

Michael Voris has great talents to offer in service to Holy Mother Church. When he employs his talents in holy fashion, he uplifts his brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. That is the great potential that exists within Michael Voris' apostolate.


Mark Thomas

Bless Me Father said...

Father, it is one thing to declare that some one is actually in hell - or even actually going there, for sure - in an official manner and it is quite another to understand (in a general way) that to die, impenitently, in mortal sin is to commit oneself theoretically to one form of hell or another (damnation for one's deeds or a purgation of one's deeds). Bishop Barron, for instance, still seems to suggest, officially (as part of his teaching office), that Hell (that is chiefly damnation - I am not sure he he has spoken much of Purgatory) is actually pretty well empty, as we all have a reasonable hope of salvation (from death and damnation); Michael does not however suggest the opposite, so far as I can see, that is that all are actually destined to fill Hell - without a timely Confession (as we are all sinners). The notion of merit - reward or due desert in account - is one that seems to have been abandoned in Catholic understanding and dialogue with nothing similar to replace it; I believe Michael Voris is stating a patently obvious fact from (olde tyme) Catholic teaching, that the reward of doing wrong is death not of the body alone in perishable our flesh but of the soul in eternal punishment - unless on repents while life still permits penitence; the situation envisioned is theoretical not actual (if I had) - but the reward is actual not theoretical in effect (impenitent wrongdoing really does merit condemnation, and, if impenitent, shall received it .. whether we like it or not). Pray for Michael and his mission. Please he and his team may be stronger and wiser after this fiery trial of their faith. It shall pass, and we shall accept them as fellow penitent sinners ever ought to do: with love.

Mark Thomas said...

There is a sense in which His Holiness Pope Francis is involved in the Michael Voris saga that has unfolded during the past couple of days.

I have found in the comment boxes on web sites run by liberals (and on their Twitter pages) mockery of Michael Voris and reluctance to consider that he has been forgiven for his past sins related to homosexuality.

That is interesting as speaking generally, liberals supported to the hilt Pope Francis' 2013 A.D. response to a reporter who had asked him about Monsignor Ricca and homosexuals who operated within the Vatican.

During the past couple of days on conservative/traditional blogs, people have expressed solidarity with Michael Voris and his having revealed his homosexual past.

Speaking generally, conservatives support Michael Voris' anti-SPPX stance. Traditionalists despise Michael Voris in that regard. However, Traditionalists have employed Michael Voris as a useful ally each time that he attacked Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Dolan...and various supposed homosexual Churchmen. Conservatives and traditionalists for various reasons have found Michael Voris useful to their respective causes.

Traditionalists as well as many conservatives (again, not every last one) have, speaking generally, despised Pope Francis' "Who am I to judge him" statement.

However, today, as they find that its to their collective best interest to support Michael Voris and attempt to salvage his journalistic credibility, they have extended great mercy to Michael Voris in regard to his homosexual past.

Hmmm...conservatives/traditionalists were reluctant to forgive Monsignor Ricca of alleged sexual improprieties and despised Pope Francis' merciful forgiveness of homosexuals who had repented and reformed their lives...who am I to judge?

Liberals adored Pope Francis' "Who am I to judge" response...but are now reluctant to forgive Michael Voris. Liberals have abandoned the Church of Nice as well as the Year of Mercy...conservatives/traditionalists have joined suddenly the Church of Nice and Year of Mercy.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

And if Voris has been public about his past sinful behavior, why does he have any concerns about being "outed" by the Archdiocese of New York?

If the information is already "out," then what's his worry?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This is just conjecture on my part, but because he has been so voracious in going after gays in the church or elsewhere, I suspect he has ruffled many feathers in the gay community, Catholic or otherwise. I don't think it is the archdiocese or the Cardinal by any means, but others and he knows the gig is up in terms of his own orientation and how mean spirited he has been towards those who have the same orientation and have yet to repent as he has. That's the problem, his acerbic tongue and lack of understanding of where people are and how they can be led to conversion. And how odd it is that this is what Pope Francis is trying to teach the Church at this juncture in salvation history.

Anonymous said...

Again I ask, if he has already made public the sins of his past, why is he concerned about being "outed" now? This makes no sense.

George said...

I didn't know about MR Voris' past indiscretions. I don't frequent his web site I've only checked it out one time. He outed himself because according to him, the Archdiocese of New York was plotting to out him. I'm not sure how he knew this was so, and should have left that out of his confession (or just said generically that someone whom he could not identify was planning to out him) Other than that I don't see any harm in what has done. He attributes his reversion the Faith to the redemptive suffering of his mother. He acknowledges the reality of Hell and the possibility that one can end up there. This is Church teaching. This video confession may well help others if they are not obstinate in their sin and are open to God's grace and are willing to avail themselves of His mercy. There are those who will attack Mr Voris because they want to remain in their sin. Scripture tells us:" All deeds are right in the sight of the doer". I hope that there are those who view this video an will then amend their own lives to conform to the laws of God and not to their sinful desires. I would hope also that Mr Voris going forward will be more charitable and circumspect in his work at

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous said..."Again I ask, if he has already made public the sins of his past, why is he concerned about being "outed" now? This makes no sense."

That which Father McDonald said was the first thing that I considered when I read about Michael Voris having acknowledged his homosexual past. He had hammered homosexuals and people whom he had supposed were homosexual. From there, I believe that he may have considered his credibility as a journalist.

Here is Michael Voris, the hammer of homosexuals or supposed homosexuals, having acknowledged that he had been a homosexual. Is not then the obvious question one of journalistic credibility?

His obsession with "outing" homosexuals within the Church must be viewed in light of the torment that he revealed had marked him during his days as a homosexual. Were the many times that Michael Voris had shouted "homosexual" at Churchmen merely witch-hunts that assuaged the negative feelings related to his past homosexuality?
Was he out to "get even" with the homosexual community by focusing the Church Militant spotlight again and again on the issue of homosexuality?

Imagine if a White House reporter had filed one negative story after another about President Obama. Imagine if we learned that the reporter in question had worked years earlier for the Republican National Committee. Would that not send up red flags about the reporter's credibility? Would not the reporter's stories about President Obama become subject to reexamination to determine whether the reporter had misrepresented supposed "facts"?

Maybe I am alone in the following: But I have had serious doubts about the legitimacy of various stories that Michael Voris has filed. That is true in particular now in regard to his "outings" of supposed homosexual Churchmen.

Journalistic credibility...I would think that that was among the reasons why Michael Voris, the hammer of homosexuals, would have hidden his homosexual past.


Mark Thomas

Dan said...

George, I much appreciate your 7:30 p.m. comment. To Fr. McDonald, While MV does talk about hell and its reality, my experience is that hell is denied either implicitly by the total absence of any discussion of it, or explicitly, as has been my experience listening to some priests who have stated hell is incompatible with Divine Mercy. Our Bishop Barron seems to be a tangential universalist. It does sound very strange today to hear anyone warn of the dangers of hell. How does one talk about it without sounding, well, mean-spirited or uncharitable? If we say, "Who am I to judge," does that imply silence on an eternal matter, which, if true, ought to be of the greatest concern? It would seem to be uncharitable not to mention the dangers of hell, if one encounters inveterate sinners within the Church. But how does one say it with more charity and more circumspectly?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If MV would have been kinder towards those who are like he was, I think he could have done and might still do great work to help them come toward Christ and conversion rather than alienate them and the institutional Church in the process. He could have done great work with Courage.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Pope Francis has been criticized over and over and over again by what I have consistently called faux traditionalists, because a true traditionalist is a papist in season and out of season. And the pope is criticized precisely for trying not to alienate from the institutional Church does whose lives are far from what the Church teaches about sex and marriage. But the fact is most of us at some point in our lives (certainly not all of us) have been or will be far from what the institutional Church teaches about sex and marriage. I was roundly criticized when I suggested there are more serious mortal sins and less serious. So if we just consider masturbation and I know from hearing about it that married men engage in it and men of all kinds of orientation engage in it, then why in the name of God doesn't Michael Voris go after them as he does the so-call gay cabal? Mortal sin is mortal sin and both have the same effect of condemning one to hell if one maintains a lifestyle of it and never repents.

Pope Francis although what I would call a pastoral liberal, does speak of hell; he those speak of the devil and he does speak of separating oneself from God. But he gives the bad news with a dose of sugar and I think in our modern culture which is undergoing a new sexual and marriage revolution which makes the 1960's look like kindergarten needs the pope's approach not Michael Voris' way.

George said...

A distinction needs to be made here. Masturbation is a sin which by and large is known only to God and the sinner. There is a public dimension to those who are active practicing homosexuals, due to the known proclaimed identity of those who consider themselves such. So with homosexuality there is the attendant scandal and bad example. This distinction between the two sins needs to be acknowledged. It is true that masturbation, with the necessary conditions of seriousness being met, is equally as sinful as the homosexual act, and really, for the same reasons.

rcg said...

Father, I would agree with you about Voris catching more flies with sugar than salt, but that assumes a rational, and similar mind set of the target. What I have learned, if reluctantly, is that there are several paths to sodomy and MV seems to know and address one in particular. Evil, stupid, foolish, and crazy are almost indistinguishable in some forms. We try to apply rational thinking to them and are defeated by their irrational indifference.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Michael Voris HAS spoken strongly against masturbation, which is more than I can say for most parish priests I've listened to (no criticism intended to the blog owner).

Michael Voris is NOT the first person to make allegations of widespread homosexuality in the Archdiocese of New York. Randy Engel details the archdiocese's problems going all the way back to the time of Cardinal Spellman in her book Rite of Sodomy. Any Catholic with half an ounce of sense knows that our seminaries have been plagued by homosexuality in recent decades, especially those for religious orders. I would even go so far as saying that I think the reason so many men have left the Church (not that I condone leaving the Church) is because they are suffering from--pardon me--fag fatigue. It just gets old, very old, when every priest seems to have effeminate tendencies and preaches about tolerance and mother earth and building community and other such empty claptrap.

The Archdiocese of New York and many other powerful dioceses in America certainly have the right to defend themselves. Why don't they sue for libel? Why didn't Cardinal Mahony sue for libel when Frank Keating, on the bishop's sexual abuse review board, referred to the tactics of the US Bishops as being similar to "La Cosa Nostra"? We all know why. They would have the burden of proving that these allegations are false and would open themselves up in Discovery to revealing secrets they want kept closed forever.

Michael Voris may not win any prizes for diplomacy, but he's got more guts and integrity than most other voices in the Catholic Church. The only other person with this kind of courage that comes to mind was Father John Corapi. And his enemies had no compunction about ruining him either.

John Nolan said...

George, there is also a distinction in that masturbation (mutual or otherwise) is not symptomatic of a perverted sexual orientation. As early as 1948 Kinsey identified that over 90% of males and 60% of females had indulged in it. Since then the proportion of females is no doubt greater.

Therefore it can be regarded as 'normal' in any understanding of the term and indeed is perceived as part of a natural sexual development. The Victorian medical condemnation of 'self-abuse' actually encouraged prostitution.

Homosexual acts are not by any stretch of the imagination normal, and are even now regarded by many as immoral. To suggest that the only sexual intimacy allowed to married couples is full penetrative intercourse is absurd and I would venture to suggest that those who adhere to this view are guilty of the most extreme form of scrupulosity. Furthermore, they are unlikely to have been in any (hetero-)sexual relationship themselves.

TJM said...

Pray for Michael Voris that he can persevere in his chastity and for those alleged "liberals" who refuse him the mercy they demand for everyone other than a traditionalist

Anonymous said...

Fr. mcDonald,

With respect, I cannot agree with your statement that "a true traditionalist is a papist in season and out of season." Or perhaps I should say I agree with it as long as it is properly understood. The papacy, yes; the proposition that the pope is a)always right even in non-infallible matters or b) always to be unequivocally supported even when making clearly erroneous or highly controversial statements, no. Otherwise we must all be supporters not only of Popes Callixtus, Liberius, and Honorius but of their words and deeds (such as Liberius's defection to Arianism).

I suspect that you may want to respond by stating that laity cannot judge the orthodoxy of papal pronouncements. But the avalanche of words to which the laity has been subjected since VII (a 250 page document to say nothing new? Really?) seems, in light of the new idea of lay participation, seems designed to invite such comment. If the hierarchy simply wanted to change teaching or praxis without discussion or debate, it could issue commands as clear and as terse as are found in previous councils or in the Baltimore Catechism. By choosing to engage in such (very) long-winded explanations as she has during the past half-century, she has confronted the fact that every long explanation or statement is open to and invites interpretation, analysis, critique, misunderstanding, misapplication, and such, including by a population with far more literacy and access to such publications tn ever existed before the last couple of centuries.

Anonymous said...

Apart from his avid endorsement of Pope Francis and the SSPX, Mark Thomas appears to be somewhat negative towards liberals, conservatives and traditionalists. On the one hand he accuses Michael Voris and others of being condemnatory but Mark Thomas' own posts against conservatives, liberals and traditionalists are every bit as condemnatory and as contradictory. I wonder if Mark Thomas may one day be outed as an SSPXer and then we will think his posts lacked credibility. They say what goes around comes around.

I have mentioned before about Mark signing off "pax", as his comments always seem more likely to foment dissent than to bring peace. Just saying ...

Anonymous 2 said...

Uh-oh Mark Thomas, you’re in trouble now. The RC (religiously correct) police have you in their sights. Stop that critical thinking immediately, or else! Father McDonald had better watch his step too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, you haven't found favour in Mark Thomas' eyes anyway, so I don't know what you are concerned about my post for. And I would rather be religiously correct than politically correct, which is what you are.

Anonymous 2 said...


The fact that you cannot understand why I am concerned about your post (or, presumably, about other posts such as the one in which you accused Pope Francis of lying) just reinforces the reasons for concern. And the fact that you seem to think that my caring about finding favor with this person or that person would be relevant reinforces the concern even more.

As for my being politically correct, I invite you to provide evidence of this assertion. Of course, I do realize that, egged on by the likes of Donald Trump, vast numbers of people today are being conditioned to label anyone who disagrees with them as politically correct. Tiresomely, it is just the latest in a long succession of fad labels that are served up by those across the political spectrum who wish to silence dissent and that serve as shortcuts for actually thinking.

Which brings us back to Mark Thomas. I appreciate independence of thought and critical thinking wherever I find it, whether I agree or disagree with the substance of the views expressed. I am sorry you don’t seem to share this appreciation.

N.D. said...

It is not Loving or Merciful to not desire that we overcome our disordered inclinations so that we are not led into temptation, but become transformed through Salvational Love, God's Gift of Grace and Mercy. The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. No one should be condoning demeaning sexual acts of any nature, including between a man and woman, united in marriage as husband and wife, for demeaning sexual acts are a form of sexual abuse.

N.D. said...

Psychology Today is an anti Christian magazine.