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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Handy-Dandy Summary of Michael Voris’ Position

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It has come to my attention that a number of Remnant readers have inquired of Church Militant TV (CMTV) concerning Michael Voris’ mysterious refusal to make any reference whatsoever to the Pope in his endless criticism of priests, bishops, and cardinals who are only following the Pope’s example, including those who participated in the recent Synod on the Family.

The gist of these readers’ concern in the context of the Synod can be stated thus: “Don’t we have a Pope in the Catholic Church? What happened to him during all the raging controversy over events in Rome, including CMTV’s two-week-long coverage of the Synod? I thought the Pope was at the Synod, presiding over it! I did see one CMTV video about the Pope’s role in the Synod, but it was deleted the very next day. It was something about how Cardinal Burke said the Pope’s silence over the Modernist agitation at the Synod had ‘harmed the Church’ and that a statement by the Pope affirming Catholic doctrine and discipline was ‘long overdue.’ And then someone named Voris spent some eight minutes

for having mentioned what Cardinal Burke said about the Pope, stating that he had gone to confession because he had made the ‘mistake’ of reporting what the Cardinal said. Gee whiz. What is up with these people?”

Several readers report that by way of reply to their inquiry about CMTV’s failure ever to mention the Pope they have received convoluted screeds [Most recent HERE, claims The Remnant is 'evil' and SSPX is 'Halloween Catholics'] from a Mr. Carroll, who is evidently the “brains” of the operation. It appears that Carroll’s replies run to thousands of words, including a daunting collection of quotations and Internet links whose point is far from clear. For the convenience of Remnant readers, therefore, I have digested CMTV’s position as follows:

Many Catholics are disturbed by events at the recent Synod, including Pope Francis's approval of a midterm report that states the Church should “accept and value” the “homosexual orientation” and admit certain divorced Catholics in “second marriages” to Holy Communion without a commitment to chastity, as well as the Pope's decision not to accept the Synod’s total rejection of that document because it contradicts Church teaching, ordering that the rejected document be distributed to the world's bishops anyway for use at the next Synod in 2015.

In the face of such seemingly troublesome developments, CMTV reaffirms its position that any PUBLIC criticism of the Pope whatsoever is a sin, but not PRIVATE criticism of the Pope, which is not a sin.  Catholics are free to engage in PRIVATE criticism of the Pope, but not PUBLIC criticism.  PRIVATE criticism of the Pope does no harm, but PUBLIC criticism is VERY bad.  That is why CMTV will never engage in PUBLIC criticism of the Pope, even though in PRIVATE it may share its criticisms of the Pope with its supporters.  

The Remnant newspaper is evil because, unlike CMTV, it refuses to keep its criticism of the Pope PRIVATE but instead makes that criticism PUBLIC, which of course is a big difference: PUBLIC means out in the open, but PRIVATE means not out in the open.

CMTV stands by the Church's longstanding teaching that the Pope may be criticized only in PRIVATE, not in PUBLIC.  This teaching may be found throughout the Magisterium in the decrees and anathemas of many Councils and in the teaching of many Popes.  CMTV rejects such frivolous challenges as “Name one!” and simply refers Catholics to the constant and infallible teaching of the Church: “The Pope may not be criticized in PUBLIC, but only in PRIVATE.”

Meanwhile, CMTV will continue its PUBLIC criticism of every member of the hierarchy that does anything wrong, EXCEPT the Pope, who, as we have noted, may not be criticized in PUBLIC, but only in PRIVATE.  Accordingly, CMTV will heap massive criticism on the heads of all the Synod participants who failed to reject the Pope’s document, because the Synod participants, being only bishops and cardinals, can be criticized in PUBLIC, while the Pope, being the Pope, can only be criticized in PRIVATE regarding the same document.

Having said this, CMTV also hastens to add that not to criticize priests, bishops, and cardinals in PUBLIC for their misdeeds, but instead criticizing them only in PRIVATE, would be to fail in one’s duty as a Catholic.  By the same token, however, not to criticize the Pope for his misdeeds only in PRIVATE, but instead making those criticisms in PUBLIC, would be to fail in one’s duty as a Catholic.

It makes no difference that the priests, bishops, cardinals CMTV constantly attacks are only following the Pope’s example or even the Pope’s will—as was the case with the document the Synod majority rejected with our hearty approval—because, for the reasons already stated, what the Pope does or wills may only be criticized in PRIVATE, but not in PUBLIC, whereas what priests, bishops and cardinals do or will must be criticized in PUBLIC, not in PRIVATE.  This is because priests, bishops and cardinals are not the Pope, whereas the Pope is the Pope.

These distinctions are very clear, and we fail to see how any Catholic can ignore them.



By the way, the Society of Saint Pius X is definitely outside the Church, even if its priests, bishops and laity are not excommunicated and are free to receive the Sacraments in any Catholic parish in the world. Thus, whoever receives any Sacrament from an SSPX priest or bishop is excommunicated, even though the SSPX priest or bishop administering the Sacrament is not excommunicated.  This too is perfectly clear and beyond all reasonable dispute.

Last modified on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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