Thursday 23 November 2023

The Tragedy of Michael Voris is the story of Rebellion against Legitimate Authority.

I wrote the following back on June 12, 2012. (Read the original here) This is not the end of "Church Militant", but it is the beginning of the end. The entire situation is tragic, but inevitably predictable. Laymen have never run apostolates; such apostolates are bound to come a cropper. Likewise I had also a few months earlier raised the issue of the unorthodox relationship between Voris' organization and the legitimate authority of the local church. 

Just over 10 years later we see the tragic shipwreck of another "apostolate" that lacked the humility of submission to legitimate authority. Let us recall that even Our Lord Jesus Christ - until the time of His Passion - never questioned or encouraged his disciples to rebel against the legitimate authority of the Mosaic priests. (c.f. Matt 23:3) Until Christ abolished the Old Covenant (and ONLY he had the Authority to do so!), by completing and transforming it into the New, the High Priest and his delegates had legitimate authority given to them from God. It was only when the curtain of the Temple was rent in two, was the Old Covenant finished. 

In our sad age, an age of contagious protestantism and liberalism (and was it not Hamish Fraser who once said that most American Catholics were just protestants who went to Mass?) the urge to rebellion, to individualism, to rejecting legitimate authority will be strong... we have seen it in the icarian flight of poor Michael Voris. In not placing himself under the authority of a priest and bishop Voris opened himself up to the promptings of the devil. Pray for Voris indeed, but do not forget to pray for family, friends, and others much closer who may also be under temptation to rebel. Let us never forget that God loves the humble, and humbles the proud. The saints, the great true reformers of the Church all were distinguished in their spiritual lives by great humility.

Semantics, semantics... Real Catholic TV - the organization whose main public voice is Michael Voris has announced that it will remove the word "catholic". The full article may be  here at Catholic News Service (CNS).  Mark Shea has an interesting analysis on the motivation behind the name change. 

The problem is much deeper - does a layman have the right to catechize? Yes, if it means to individually witness for the Faith. However, does a layman have the right to carry on a open, public catechetical ministry without hierarchical oversight? NO. And this is the problem. What exactly is the "church militant"? Is it Catholic? It is not if it is not under the hierarchy. It may sound, smell, and look like the real thing, but without the bishop, it is not. No layman can carry on an apostolate claiming to teach the Faith without guidance and oversight form the Divinely appointed lawgivers: the local Ordinary in union with the Pope. Let us not get bogged down in the local diocese having lost the Faith: Rome is the judge of that. 

The Apostles and the Church Fathers have from the beginnings of the Church been confronted with those who fluff off the bishop. St. Ignatius of Antioch devoted considerable effort to emphasizing obedience to the bishop; Pius XII emphatically wrote of how laymen- when catechizing - are under the direction of the hierarchy. The Second Vatican Council reiterated this traditional teaching. 

Thursday 9 November 2023

Join Deborah's "Path to Freedom" ~ Please help her walk again!


Deborah is a healthy woman who only needs knee surgery. She's been waiting FIVE years, caught in an uncaring healthcare system, in bureaucratic nightmare. Seems pretty crazy, right? She went from living independently, using a wheelchair, but still being able to drive, and even being able to take care of her pet cat. 

After getting food poisoning she was cleared by the physiotherapist to go home, but an inexperienced social worker said, “handicapped people should not live alone” and threatened Deborah with the hospital bill, be cut off from Medicaid and Medicare, and lose her primary care physician if she did not give up her apartment and go into a “Skilled Nursing Facility” (or SNF). To increase the pressure they told her it would be pre-surgery rehab. Deborah was deceived. She was dumped in a nursing home. You don’t put a healthy person whose just waiting for knee surgery in a “nursing home”. But they did. The nightmare began. 

Deborah has been shuffled for the past 5 years between “nursing homes” suffering all sort of abuse and neglect. Now they want to PERMANENTLY put her in a nursing home! This should NOT be happening! If you help, you will be helping Deborah to walk again, and saving her from eventual death in a “nursing home”. 

As Deborah's priest said: "we have to get you out of here, or you will die". Deborah is now in a very small apartment, but needs your help with medical supplies, the costs of care-giving, and daily living expenses. 

With your support for Deborah she will be able to walk again. Please help end this nightmare.

Witness is asking for your support in whatever way you can: prayers, a donation, re-posting this post, a "word" on your social media. Whatever you can do is most gratefully appreciated.