Friday, April 15, 2011


I got a comment from another blogger that I follow, Yahoobuckaroo, yesterday on another post about abuses in the Church and a video posted by Real Catholic TV. Apparently Michael Voris from RCTV has been denied the use of diocesan facilities in Scranton PA. The comment came with a link to a statement issued by the Diocese of Scranton regarding Voris. Here's the statement:

"The Diocese of Scranton has determined that Mr. Voris will not be allowed to speak in a Diocesan or parish facility. After these engagements were scheduled, the Diocese became aware of concerns about this individual’s views regarding other religious groups. In videos posted on the Internet, Mr. Voris makes comments that certainly can be interpreted as being insensitive to people of other faiths. The Catholic Church teaches us to respect all people, regardless of their faith tradition.

Although the Diocese shares Mr. Voris’ support of efforts to protect human life, his extreme positions on other faiths are not appropriate and therefore the Diocese cannot host him."
Diocese of Scranton

There's a few things about this statement that cause me to pause and wonder about the motivation behind it.

First of all, it's very vague, mentioning some amorphous staements about other faiths and offending people. Where are the specifics? If Voris has lied or made a mistake then be specific - call him out on it.

Secondly, what is the relationship between respect and offense? Can one not respect another while at the same time pointing out areas of disagreement? Further, if one believes that there exists not just simple disagreement but outright distortion of the truth with the intent to cause harm to others shouldn't one, repectfully if possible, point out those distortions to help others find the truth and divorce themselves from error?

What is the stance of the Chruch regarding truth? Are comfort, conformity or political correctness considered higher virtues? Again, if Voris is lying, call him out on the specifics.

How is this deliberate silencing of dissent any different than Planned Parenthood demanding that protestors be barred from their clinics? You see, this is the slippery slope that intolerance of free speech creates.

If Voris, or anyone else for that matter is lying, or mistaken, isn't it better to confont the argument straight on instead of refusing to allow it? There are plenty of people that are offended by things that the Church teaches. Should they be allowed to silence the Church?

I found this article related to the statement at
The Times Tribune website:

"A conservative Catholic speaker whose events were canceled by Marywood University and the Diocese of Scranton last week will give his talk at a secular site on Saturday.

Michael Voris is scheduled to speak at the Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in Wilkes-Barre at 6:30 p.m.

His talk, "Living Catholicism Radically," was canceled after the university and diocese determined that he had expressed views at odds with their values in Internet television shows he produces about Catholic issues.

In a letter to the talk's organizers, Paul and Kristen Ciaccia of Harveys Lake, the diocese further explained that it learned from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Mr. Voris' home Archdiocese of Detroit that Mr. Voris' presentations have caused "a number of controversies" and that his programs are not endorsed by his home archdiocese.

The Ciaccias said in a news release that they chose to reschedule Mr. Voris at a secular site and invited Bishop Joseph Bambera to attend the event "to evaluate Mr. Voris' knowledge of the faith, free from opinions formed by others."

The Ciaccias called the banning of Mr. Voris from diocesan property "insensitive" and said it "belies deeper inconsistencies in diocesan policy."

Addressing the "inconsistencies" in one of his daily "The Vortex" video segments at, Mr. Voris criticized the diocese for allowing Sara Bendoraitis, the director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Resource Center at American University, to speak at the University of Scranton last spring."

Notice in the statement above that the diocese claims that Voris has made statements at odds with their "values". Again, all shadowy and vague, not a specific to be found. Digging a bit deeper I found this at Politics Daily in an article published August 31, 2009:

"The Roman Catholic bishop of Scranton is not normally known as a kingmaker -- or kingbreaker -- in electoral politics. But during last year's presidential campaign, with pro-choice Catholic and Scranton native Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket, and the working-class voters of northeast Pennsylvania seen as keys to the keystone state and the Electoral College, Scranton suddenly moved to the spotlight.

And the local bishop, Joseph F. Martino, took full advantage of that platform. Martino became for many the angry face of the anti-Obama wing of the Catholic hierarchy thanks to his intemperate blasts about pro-choice politicians and an overweening administrative style that irritated the flock and even his brother bishops.

Now, in a stunning turn that has taken even veteran church-watchers by surprise, Martino on Monday resigned his post under highly unusual circumstances -- citing the stress of the job and saying he could not continue in a post that should have been his for another dozen years, at least.

But church insiders say Martino had also worn out his welcome with his brother bishops and the Vatican. So his resignation may be further evidence that the U.S. hierarchy is divided between moderate voices and a more strident conservative minority that is struggling in the wake of Obama's success with Catholic voters.

...Many in Scranton, and beyond, would agree. In fact there are strong indications that Martino was pushed before he jumped.

From the start of his six-year tenure in Scranton, Martino alienated many with his abrasive style. He clashed frequently with the local Catholic universities -- including the Jesuit-run University of Scranton -- and was dismissive of their ruling bodies, arguing that as bishop he would not heed their advice.

Last February, Martino blasted another local college, Misericordia University, for inviting Keith Boykin, an openly-gay author, Clinton administration staffer and Harvard Law classmate of Obama, to speak on campus. The university, run by the Sisters of Mercy, was "seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity," Martino charged.

Also in February, Martino warned Irish-American groups that he would close the city's cathedral on St. Patrick's Day if any of them honored a politician who Martino said would be considered "pro-abortion." That was seen as a shot across the bow against inviting Joe Biden; in past years, the Scranton Irish-Americans had honored both Obama and then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

...But it was an event in late October last year, on the eve of the presidential vote, as religious rhetoric was growing white-hot, that may have pushed Martino over the line in the eyes of many.

A parish was holding a regular voter-education forum on the election, featuring discussion of a document, "Faithful Citizenship," the election guide endorsed almost unanimously by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB. Martino showed up at the parish hall unannounced, causing a stir. Then he took the microphone and proceeded to critique the organizers for not using his own letter on abortion as the basis of the discussion.

When a nun at the forum reminded Martino about the document of the enitre bishops conference Martino responded, "No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese. The USCCB doesn't speak for me," Martino declared. "The only relevant document ... is my letter. There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.""

So let's see - the Diocese of Scranton is the home diocese of Joe Biden, the pro-abortion Catholic VP of the United States. It seems, at least based on the story above, that political inclinations in the Scranton area run to the Progressive. The previous bishop, Joseph Martino, seems to have been unabashedly conservative and caused such an uproar that he was ousted. In the process he mocked the USCCB, the same group that is supplying information used by the diocese in its banning of Voris. And let's not forget that the USCCB and the corruption that surrounds it has been a major focus of Real Catholic TV over the last couple of years.

Now, I don't know this for sure but I'm going to make a guess and say that the banning of Voris has more to do with politics than it does the truth. My guess is that the new bishop would rather not get involved in starting up old problems regardless of his own inclinations. Or perhaps he agrees with the USCCB and their Progressive agenda. I don't know.

Bottom line - I wouldn't put too much weight in the statement issued by the Diocese of Scranton. It has nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with quashing dissent. And that's a dangerous path to take.


  1. >the pro-abortion Catholic

    It's weird how whenever there's a Catholic politician theists like you don't like they always say "the pro-abortion Catholic" but never "the pro-war Catholic" despite the fact that both war and abortion are condemned by the Vatican.

    Which is weird because your god has killed countless babies and the Vatican has launched countless wars which of course kills even more babies and women and well everything else.

    Tell me, which is worse, abortion or war?

  2. Abortion is always wrong if it is intended. If abortion occurs as an unintended consequence of a medical procedure it is not wrong, just unfortunate. War is usually wrong but not always. Not all war is condemned by the Church. Just war is allowed because self defense is a natural law right of men and states.

    I haven't even gotten to the other stuff yet and you're already firing off new missives!

  3. >Not all war is condemned by the Church.

    Really? Well obviously the Crusades were cool with the Vatican and they were huge fans of the Fascists so I guess they enjoyed WWII but since then I'm not sure what war they have approved of, can you enlighten me?

    >I haven't even gotten to the other stuff yet

    Yeah, I don't really have much of a life so gives me an edge time-wise.

  4. I don't have much of a life, either but it sure seems to require a lot of effort. Oh, well, off to work on the garden and play with my granddaughter.

  5. What you say makes no sense to me. None of that has anything to do with why they said they dis-invited Voris. They said very plainly that it was because of his "views regarding other religious groups." Things like this:

    He's had several anit-Jewish videos as well which also show his incredibly lazy-minded approach to common thought (I respect philosophy to much to call it that.)

    He says, for instance, that Jews are no longer "Jews of the Covenant" because they no longer practice animal sacrifice, and according to Voris, "...the entire religion was focused on this one singular point."

    I guess Voris never heard of the law and the prophets. He thinks like a seventh grader. If a Bishop happens to belong to an organization of some kind that has one person on it who is pro-abortion (or anything else he doesn't like), than that Bishop is no longer a Christian according to Voris. Guilt by association. God help Jesus if Voris ever learns to time travel.

    In short, Mike Voris is the Glenn Beck of Catholic internet TV. He's an IQ waiting to happen. He's darn near Ted Baxter.

  6. Both videos that you've pointed to portray, accurately, Catholic teaching on the subjects at hand. The destruction of the temple and the end of the sacrifice and priesthood did end Judaism as it was originally practiced. The temple sacrifice was central to Jewish worship and when it ended all the Jews had left was the trappings of their faith; the heart had been destroyed. This is no different than if the Eucharist was taken from the Catholic Church. It would cease to exist. There would be no sacrifice so there would be no priesthood. We might still have buildings and we would still have the Bible and Tradition but we would lose the central reason for the faith.

    And Voris is right when he states that Protestantism is a heresy. Here is the definition of the word heresy from Merriam-Webster's dictionary:

    a : adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma
    b : denial of a revealed truth by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church
    c : an opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma

    Luther, and let's face it, that's where the heresy starts, taught both Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide as truth, both of which contradict Catholic Church teaching. He was a heretic and all the religions that followed in his footsteps are heresies, too. This may not be something that a lot of people understand or want to hear but it's the truth.

    Regarding his statement about everyone in heaven being Catholic? Again, this is solid Catholic teaching. There is no salvation outside the Church. And if you're not outside you're inside which means if you're in heaven you're Catholic. Non-Catholics may make it but they'll be Catholic when they get there.

    And again, this may offend some people but it's what the Church teaches which means it's true so why is it wrong to say it?

  7. And that's what bothers me about this statement from Scranton. If Voris is saying something that's wrong or a lie, call him out. He was being banned from speaking for political reasons, not doctrinal ones. Hell, he even invited the bishop to the talk so that he could verify or correct anything that Voris said. I wonder if the bishop went?

    As far as Voris' education goes, this is from the Real Catholic TV website:

    "Voris graduated from Notre Dame in 1983 with a degree in Communications and concentrated studies in history and politics. Equally impressive is his theological education. He not only trained as a young man in theology at the doctrinally-sound St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York, but in April of 2009, he received his Sacred Theology Baccalaureate (STB) from Sacred Heart Major Seminary/Angelicum in Rome – Magna Cum Laude."

    I don't know about you but that's one hell of a lot more learnin' than I got!

    So to me the real question is whether what Voris says is accurate, from a Catholic standpoint since that's all the Church should worry about and if it is why isn't he being allowed to speak? If it's because he offends someone, so what, as long as what he says is true and he says it without malice.

    I would argue that this is political and it's motivated by the reporting that RCTV has done over the last year regarding the corruption in the American Church, particularly within the USCCB. In my opinion, the USCCB has become an arm of the Democrat Party.

    Now, I'm not opposed to churches, any churches, being involved in politics. I think a little moral influence in that cesspool would go a long way. However, the USCCB has been carrying a whole lot of water for the Democrats over the years and it's influenced not the politicians but the bishops. This started in the 30's and 40's in Chicago with groups connected to Saul Alinsky and local parishes and went all the way up to Cardinal Bernadin. Voris did some fine work uncovering these links (which you can see on the RCTV website in the CIA section in a program titled "CCHD and Alinsky") and I'm sure made a bunch of enemies along the way. And this is what I think is really behind the Scranton statement.