My argument has been to compare Voris to St. Paul. St. Paul, one day, was killing Christians. The next day, he was preaching to them. And I simply must give a man an opportunity to be repentant. I cannot just disregard a person forever. If they say they're repenting, I've got to hope they're serious.
But Croixalist, over at Cathinfo, has given me pause. He speculated about Voris' orientation as early as February of 2015. You can find Croixalist's comment about Voris in my first post about Voris' coming out. However, I've found his speculations compelling:
He was a planted time-bomb within the traditionalist community and is most likely a very active homosexual whose services are in high demand from the satanic gay-sex cult currently operating under the guise of the Catholic Church. Ever wondered how traditionalists must seem to the Satanic Elite? Here is their facsimile of one!This is either a horrible thing to say, or it is true. I mean, I really want to give Michael Voris the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that the man is truly regretful and repentant for his previous lifestyle. It is the timeline that Croixalist provides that gives me pause:
1981-1991: Slept around with untold numbers of men and women.
1991-2001: "Confused" about sexuality, but sure enough to live with gay men. Confused about how to split the rent probably.
2001-2004: Goes to Novus Ordo Mass but still sinning. Not yet abhorring sins against God and his own body.
2003: Begins doing speaking engagements as a traditionalist Catholic before ending his career as a sodomite. He has admitted to spotty Mass attendance as "increasingly frequent" during this time.
2004-2006: Stops having sex with men after his mother's death. He is 43 years old! Decides to start his own traditionalist Catholic show and website complete with logo and tag line and thousands of dollars in equipment.. in Detroit.
2006-2013: Falsely presents himself as a formerly lukewarm Catholic, who just wants to defend the traditional Faith now. Snuggles up to every traditionalist personality he can get his hands on, culminating in his appearance at the 2013 Catholic Identity Conference.
2014-2016: Five months after the 2013 conference and seven months ahead of the 2014 Synod of the Family, he makes an about face and slams all of his previous trad buds from the previous years. All the original links to CMTV's website are dead, but you can be assured it happened! One reaction to it is here. Gets exclusive access to Q&A sessions at the Vatican during the 2014 synod. Also happens to get access to Archbishop Dolan about the gay parade on St. Patrick's day 2015.
2016-????: Two weeks after Amoris Laetitia is released, he comes out as a former homosexual yet currently repentant man in order to circumvent the actions of the Archdiocese of New York. Catholics and bloggers everywhere call him courageous and that his past doesn't matter! Ingenious!
First of all, I am completely open to any corrections to this timeline. But, given what I've read and seen, this seems to be a legitimate and accurate timeline. Does the tone reek of judgementalism? Yes. But how can Croixalist not be harsh about this man, who has basically stabbed most Traditionalists in the back with his anti-SSPX carnival and his Pollyanna, rose-colored glasses in regards to Pope Francis?
More? Okay. Voris has some weird associations. Per Croixalist, "Wikipedia mentions a video he made in 1997 with a certain Jonathan Fitzgerald Mola called "Double Trouble." There are no copies out there that we know about and that's probably for the best."
Double Trouble. Okay. But this was before Voris' repentance, right? However, St. Michael's Media has, in the past, employed Anthony Perlas, a strange sort of soft porn photographer that even Steve Skojec has warned the Traditionalist community about. Another one? Simon Rafe, it was discovered in 2011, served at St. Michael's Media as a staff apologist and program host. This man, Rafe, is responsible for writing the “adult” role-playing game “Castle Dracula,” and fan-fiction depicting homosexuality in the Star Wars universe.
How can I ignore these points? This is all public--including Voris' confessed homosexual lifestyle--which, by the way, no one asked him to confess to. Furthermore, the Archdiocese of New York continues to deny that they had it out for him. And how, on Earth, can I ignore the reasonable questions of Croixalist when he asks:
Why do people assume he's telling the truth about giving up that "lifestyle"? He lied about being a regular Joe-Novus-Ordo Catholic, he lied about being a traditional Catholic, and the timing of his public stances are aligned with major actions from the Vatican.This is all objectively true. It's as though Michael Voris is setting some kind of a tone for how Traditionalist Catholics "should be." My responses to Croixalist have been that I've got to be able to believe that someone can come from that kind of a lifestyle and successfully repent. However, I also ask myself: "Laramie, when have you ever seen someone do 'Life' right? When have you ever seen someone come through and be a true blue successful genuine article? Once?"
The fires of suspicion have only been fueled by fellow Traditionalist colleagues. Unlike Croixalist, Steve Skojec hasn't come out to state that ChurchMilitantTV is a sham that sets out to fool naive Traditionalist Catholics. However, the occasion has compelled him to ponder on CMTV's cultish behavior:
I am not accusing Church Militant of any impropriety, which I want to make entirely clear. But my experiences cause me to reflect on what I see, and that is a danger in their current trajectory. Any organization that quashes respectful disagreement or engages willfully in an “us vs. them” mentality with anyone not perfectly aligned with their vision opens the door to undesirable influences and results. Fr. Nicholson’s sudden and vitriolic departure seems to provide evidence that this was, to some extent, already happening.Steve Skojec's double-take helped all the more to serve as a wakeup call. When it comes to the staff of CMTV...they're not angels. If anything, CMTV is cult-like. From their knee-jerk requirement of not questioning authority, to the slamming of their competitors, to their scrubbing of comments in their own website's com boxes. Cult-like, all of it.
Fr. Paul Nicholson, former friend to CMTV.
Greg, over at Te Deum also had a thing or to to say to me and my "give-him-the-benefit-of-the-doubt" hopes. I was arguing with my British colleague that "perhaps [Voris] was full of zeal, post repentance. I cannot fault him for that." On the other hand, perhaps I've been caught up in the excitement and emotion of Voris' sensational, and very public, confession. Greg argued that repentance needs humility more than it needs zeal:
If you are a sodomite for 15+ years, you hardly want a career in media. It's full of sodomites, liberals and vain people who care about their appearance. A terrible choice. Who was his spiritual director? Caitlin Upton?
There are a million and one other things to do. And if you do stay in the media then why on earth would you take a starring role? Why not find a hetrosexual father of 3 or better still a Catholic priest or Monk and make them the star of the show with some conservative bishop's permission. Run the advertising department or be the CEO in the background.
Besides, I really don't see how he Voris is qualified to comment of matters of Church discipline, liturgy, canon law and doctrine. When did he have the chance to study that before launching the media station? You can't just read a few Michael Davis books and the Baltimore Catechism and be an expert on these issues. It's arrogant in the extreme to think you can.
Given the number of queers who would have known him in the late 80s and through the 90s he was very lucky that they didn't expose him until now.Reasonable words from Greg, as usual--harsh, though they may be. He is right, however. Why get before a camera, front and center, and become the star of a Traditionalist Catholic show when you're trying to leave behind a life that pretty much was a wasteland?
Furthermore, looking upon a past RealCatholicTV video (CMTV's original name), Michael Voris even seems to think highly of himself as a formerly gay man. As if he is some sort of special chosen messenger from God. Voris says the following:
"I do not know, but I suspect that some point in their lives many such souls actually come to the intuition that God has specially chosen them to be instruments a Salvation like few others have been chosen and as a result they actually glory in their cross."
Voris, I don't know about this, man. I don't know about how you're sounding here. When I step back and look at the bigger picture, you really sound manipulative when I hear you say something like this. This video takes place before he betrays the Traditionalist Catholic community, by the way.
There is still more. Chris Ferarra, an excellent author and lawyer, commented over at Steve's blog during that eventful week. His insight, as always, is mind-opening. Skojec stated that Voris was being transparent with his public confession about an active sexual gay past. Ferarra disagreed that it was transparent at all:
Transparency triggered by someone else threatening to reveal your past is not transparency. It's a PR tactic called "getting ahead of the story."
Real transparency is nothing being hidden from the beginning, especially something as horrendous as this. Had Voris come clean at the outset and had made it his theme that homosexuality is not an "orientation" but a disorder from which one can recover with God's grace, then we could speak of transparency. But had he made that admission at the outset, I rather doubt he could have achieved any prominence as a member of the Catholic Internet commentariat.
My question is how does someone with a past like this, even if he is right with God today, get to be a public commentator issuing judgments against the likes of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre?
My view is that the only appropriate response to Voris's revelations is an embarrassed silence, and certainly not a ringing defense of his "transparency," of which there was really none.
Yes. What would Voris' apostolate resemble if, from the beginning, he were a professed former gay man? I imagine that RealCatholicTV/CMTV would pretty much resemble the Sewing Circle, aka Fisheaters, which everyone leaves once they discover that other, more heterosexual and less feminist forums exist.
After these things have been stated, I simply cannot return to viewing The Vortex or any other ChurchMilitantTV program with the same naive, hopeful ignorance that I possessed when I first started watching Michael Voris six years ago. There is too much going on, and I simply do not trust their organization any longer--particularly with their cult-like policy of shutting down all conversation in their comment boxes, Opus Dei-style non-questioning of Pope Francis, and FSSP-styled resentment and aggression towards the Society.
Ferarra's brilliant words are a perfect summary of my thoughts and feelings on this matter, so I'll end with his words:
I agree the bottom of this story has yet to be reached.
Let me say this about Voris and his investigations. In the midst of the worst crisis in Church history---Amoris latetitia is the most horrific papal document in Church history---a massive investigation of how a "gay" monsignor in the Bronx spent a lot of money on himself and his boy toy while the Archdiocese tried to cover it up doesn't strike me as groundbreaking work. That story can be repeated in practically every diocese in the Western Church. Take your pick. Investigate them all. You will find such scandals in just about every one of them.
Church Militant seems to be dedicated to the proposition that we must never examine the cause of the ecclesial disease, which lies in Rome, but rather ignore it completely while demanding endless outrage over whatever symptoms Voris and his band of cub reporters are pointing at, and jumping up and down over, this week.
And perhaps you saw his ludicrous back-tracking on washing the feet of women, which he blasted as absolutely intolerable a few years back, but now finds a way to justify because Francis has patented the abuse?
The whole show from the warehouse in Detroit strikes me as a massive distraction.