Skip to comments.Do We Need Michael Voris?
Posted on 09/04/2013 8:06:03 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Until now I have kept mum about the controversial self appointed prophet Michael Voris. However, yesterday I viewed his latest video in which he exposes the salaries of people he disparagingly calls professional Catholics. He calls out Catholic radio host Al Kresta, author and founder of the apologetics apostolate Karl Keating and his employees Tim Staples and Jimmy Akin. He accuses them of taking exorbitant salaries, then proclaims that his salary is only $40,000.00.
Its not necessarily a bad thing to hold people accountable and to make sure our ministries are financially sound and communications are transparent.
However, there are serious problems with the way Voris has made his criticism. First of all, what status has he as a Catholic watchdog? Who appointed him as the policeman of all Catholic apostolates? Are the financial situation of Catholic Answers and Al Kresta any of his business? Does he have all the facts? Has he checked them? Furthermore, judging another persons financial status is always dangerous. Money is a very relative thing and we have no idea how the other guy earns it or uses it.
I learned this as a Protestant. There was this rich guy called R.G.LeTourneau who made a pile of cash inventing a better bulldozer of something like that. He lived like a prince. I think he had a ranch in Texas, homes elsewhere, his own jet, a yachtwhatever. I dont know the details, but I know lots of Christians pointed the finger and accused him of being a rich hypocrite. When he died it turned out that he had quietly given away 90% of his wealth and was living like a prince on 10%.
Therefore it is very ill advised to start judging people on their financial status unless we have all the facts. Clearly when there is dishonesty, greed or overwhelming corruption something must be done and whistles must be blown, but unless that is the case its a big mistake to start throwing stones just because somebody has a salary of X amount of dollars. So, for example, Keatings or Krestas salaries might come from the royalties of books they have written, and maybe the royalties are far higher than the salary, but they put all the money into the apostolate, and only take their salary. I have known this to be the case, and if it is, then rather than taking an exorbitant salary the person may be living on less than they could be making with the rest going into the Lords work, and the accountants may have advised them to do it that way so they and the apostolate are on the most secure footing. Unless you know what he does with that money and where it comes fromindeed unless you are privy to the full financials you better keep quiet.
Then there is the problem of criticizing another persons wealth at all. The social teaching of the church makes it clear that there is nothing wrong with a person accumulating wealth as the result of their hard work and enterprise. These are laypeople with families. They have not taken a vow of poverty. Why should they not get a fair wage for the hard work they do? Why should they not be rewarded properly for the education, learning and ministry they give to the church? The question is not really how much they are paid, but what they do with it. If they are good stewards of their blessings great. If they are living opulent lives, then comment and criticize.
So what if they are professional Catholics? Would that we had more of them. Would that ordinary Catholics gave so generously that we could afford to hire more professional Catholics who are well educated, devoted and ready to serve God and his church. Our good colleges and universities are pumping out well educated, enthusiastic and eager young Catholics who would make great DREs, evangelists, youth workers, organists and choir directors, school teachers and administrators, but Catholics are too stingy to tithe and parishes cant afford to hire them. Give us more professional Catholics not fewer!
The next problem with Voris attack is that his method is unscriptural. The Sacred Scriptures teach us that if you have a problem with your brother you are to go to them first in private. Did Voris sit down in a meeting with Keating, Kresta, Keck and the others? If he thought it was his business did he make an appointment and say, Fellas, there are some criticisms about the level of your salaries, could we gather some more information? I dont know, maybe he did or maybe he simply got in front of the camera and started blasting away. The Sacred Scriptures teach that if the person does not hear you after a private meeting you are to go with two or three brothers for a second meeting. Did this happen, or did Voris simply dish the dirt. Lest people accuse me for doing the same thing, the scripture was talking about a private affair that should be kept private before becoming public. Im criticizing Voris publicly for an action he has already made public himself. Public wrongdoing can be corrected publicly and if amends are due they should be made publicly.
An even more worrying problem is the link back to Catholic Answers program criticizing radical Catholics. I have not heard the program, but Ive done some radio shows with these guys, (BTW I did not receive a fee ) and theyre solid, sensible and level headed Catholic apologists. If they criticized radical Catholics, so have I. When we do, we are careful to repeat over and over again that we love the traditionalist movement. If they are like me they say time and again that the vast majority of traditionalist Catholics are good, God fearing faithful Catholics. They love the liturgy. They l0ve the church. They love their families. We are on their sideand thats exactly why we criticize the RADICAL traditionalists. We criticize the extremists because the extremists are actually hurting the traditionalists we admire and support. This is not rocket science. We are NOT criticizing traditionalists or the Latin Mass or the traditionalist movement. Were criticizing the lunatic fringe of the movement. Were criticizing the angry, sedevacantists, anti Semitic, misogynistic, paranoid conspiracy theory loons. We criticize them because if the traditionalist cause is not careful they will allow these high volume, vocal extremists to do great damage to their own cause and to the Catholic Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Therefore the most worrying thing about Voris attack on Catholic Answers, EWTN and others is that it seems like some kind of sick revenge thing. So the guys at Catholic Answers had just one program criticizing the lunatic fringe of the traditionalist movement and a counter attack is launched? For what end? To destroy Catholic Answers and EWTN? To bring down Al Kresta? Within Voris video I sensed a kind of gloating glee that Catholic Answers was in financial trouble and the implication that they were down because of their criticism of the traditionalist movement and that it was because traditionalists had withheld donations that CA was going down.
Please do not misunderstand this post. Because I am criticizing this video of Voris does not mean I dislike Michael. I dont know him. It also doesnt mean that I condemn everything he says. The few other videos of his that I have watched I pretty much agree with. If I have worries about this particular video of his it does not mean that there should not be whistle blowers in the church or that laypeople should not play this role.
However, I have to be blunt. There is a certain type of personality that is never happy unless it has an enemy, and the enemy they like best are the ones around their own table. This dynamic exists in many different types of groups, but Ive seen it most in many religious situations. A little group gathers together and they all feel good about their group because theyre right. However, they are never secure in their rectitude. They always feel a bit insecure and the most insecure even feel paranoid. So they begin to blame everyone else for being wrong, for being heretics, for being apostates. Then they feel snug and warm and good about themselves and their little religious group for a little while until the next enemy appears. Then they can go on the attack again with their smug self righteousness.
I recognize this sick dynamic. Ive been in too many groups where this was going on.
Furthermore, I admit that I recognize this sick dynamic because I behave that way sometimes too.
I have also sought to remove the speck from my brothers eye before removing the plank in my own.
And for this I repent unconditionally.
....the most worrying thing about Voris attack on Catholic Answers, EWTN and others is that it seems like some kind of sick revenge thing. So the guys at Catholic Answers had just one program criticizing the lunatic fringe of the traditionalist movement and a counter attack is launched? For what end? To destroy Catholic Answers and EWTN? To bring down Al Kresta? Within Voris video I sensed a kind of gloating glee that Catholic Answers was in financial trouble and the implication that they were down because of their criticism of the traditionalist movement and that it was because traditionalists had withheld donations that CA was going down....
....There is a certain type of personality that is never happy unless it has an enemy, and the enemy they like best are the ones around their own table. This dynamic exists in many different types of groups, but Ive seen it most in many religious situations. A little group gathers together and they all feel good about their group because theyre right. However, they are never secure in their rectitude. They always feel a bit insecure and the most insecure even feel paranoid. So they begin to blame everyone else for being wrong, for being heretics, for being apostates. Then they feel snug and warm and good about themselves and their little religious group for a little while until the next enemy appears. Then they can go on the attack again with their smug self righteousness. I recognize this sick dynamic. Ive been in too many groups where this was going on. Furthermore, I admit that I recognize this sick dynamic because I behave that way sometimes too....
Reading Catholic.com and Ferrara’s comments on it today, all I can think about is.....nit-picking in public. Two devout lovers of Christ loving one another in such an honest way but doing so in public and us on-readers just getting embarassed over it all at the misunderstandings both ways. Can’t Michael Voris and all these guys just call each other up one to one and meet for dinner at their own houses, one to one, no wait staff to bother about, and just see how sincere and misunderstood each other is. Of course they will agree to disagree on some points, but not the main points.
Only the devil is winning here, not the Church nor any group or leaning or individual within or supportive of or trying to bring improvement/return upon the Church.
I apologize first off for my offending anyone in any way in anything I misrepresented or left out.
Let’s fight the fire with Light, not fight the Light with fire, myself especially included and reminded!
Agree with your post. I understand the writer of this article’s concerns but Michael does a great job of defending the Faith.
Voris usually lets the right people have it, and makes rather a splash himself, in so doing. Therefore, he invites a lot of criticism inside the liberal column of the Church, and whose messages are used by the despisers outside of the Church, who find a treasure trove of material with which to bash the Church, cherry pick, exaggerate, or amplify.
I do agree with Longnecker, for the most part, keeping in mind that “lunatic fringe” are in every institution, religion, corporation, and they always claim self rightous banners of certainty, that they know so much more than the chairman of the board, or the Pope.
The only thing wrong with Voris is his religion, which means that all his talent and passion is inevitably wasted on the RCC, who will sooner or later betray him and all that he holds sacred. Woe to he who trusts in man!
Yes we do and I hope more folks cut from the same cloth are coming along soon.
The CINO/Cafeteria crowd who prefer the Church of Nice they've built for themselves to The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church Jesus Christ Himself founded can't stand anyone who won't play nice and go along to get along so naturally the don't like Voris.
He strikes me as someone who is going to leave the church eventually.
I find his viewpoint and others like him in the "Catholic Remnant camp" to be intellectually untenable.
How can one simultaneously believe that:
1. God is just and loving
2. The RCC is the one holy and true church and the clergy in that church are called into their positions of power by the Holy Spirit.
3. Most of the clergy in the RCC is thoroughly corrupt and leading nearly everyone in the church to Hell. The only way to be saved is to ignore the clergy and adopt a "Real Catholic" faith that is true to practices that were once present in the church but no longer being taught to the current flock.
4. Since one can no longer rely on the the clergy, one has to somehow figure out independently what is the correct way to live ones life by listening to people like Voris and the beliefs of long dead saints whom nearly everyone now ignores.
Combine 2, 3, and 4 and that would seem to negate #1 and be the actions of a malevolent god.