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The action of the Archdiocese of Detroit against RCTV is nonsensical and unjust – UPDATED January 16, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, sickness, Virtue.
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I have been doing much research in regard to Real Catholic TV (RCTV) and the Archdiocese of Detroit’s claims that RCTV is “not authorized to use the name Catholic.”  The Archdiocese can claim that all it wants, but these claims amount to little more than harassment and a public relations campaign aimed at undermining RCTV’s moral authority and influence.

As I will show in detail in the following timeline, Real Catholic TV is a corporation owned by Marc Brammer of South Bend, Indiana.  Michael Voris does not own this corporation.   The Archdiocese of Detroit’s “demand” to Voris, declared in an invalid Precept issued in July 2010, that he stop using the term “Catholic” with regard to Real Catholic TV is nonsensical and disingenuous.  How is he to force another company, a company he does not own, to change its name?  It’s a bit like the federal government demanding GM to stop calling itself Ford – even though GM does nothing of the kind.

The Diocese of South Bend, Indiana, apparently has no problems with Real Catholic TV.  As JoeK at Defend Us In Battle pointed out last week, this entire ‘canonical’ effort is nothing more than a PR campaign aimed at smearing RCTV and Michael Voris – a campaign against Voris that long, long predates the existence of Real Catholic TV.  The willing accomplices in the ‘professional Catholic’ world are eagerly piling on, and ‘curious Catholics’ are floating all kinds of bizarre theories – it’s time to set the record straight.

The timeline below will detail the ‘treatment’ the AOD has given Michael Voris dating back over 6 years.  All data below has been culled from various sources close to these events and some public record data, all of which the Archdiocese of Detroit has been aware of for years:

  • In late 2005/early 2006, after a reversion to the Faith, Michael Voris sets up St. Michael’s Media.  He acquires a property, equipment, and begins producing a catechetics series – The One True Faith.    He had previously started a different production company – Concept Productions – in 1997.  So, as of early 2006 he owned two production companies – one a non-profit 501(c)3, St. Michael’s Media, and the other, Concept Productions, a for-profit enterprise.  St. Michael’s Media was self-financed by Voris.
  • By May ’06, St. Michael’s Media is fairly well stood up and is engaging with various Catholic broadcasters on carrying the One True Faith series (which still exists – you can see these episodes on Real Catholic TV).  Voris began to engage with the Archdiocese of Detroit after a staffer suggested they contact the Diocese.  He had cordial talks with several archdiocesan officials, who toured the Saint Michael Media (SMM) facility, had dinner at Voris’ house, etc.  All was fine…..it seemed.
  • But, in October 2006, when SMM was about to get it’s first major client (Archdiocese of Boston), the Archdiocese of Detroit intervened in order to stop Boston from using the One True Faith series on their diocesan TV network.  Voris tried repeatedly to get in touch with AOD sources, but had no luck for some time.  When he finally did, he was treated derisively and told SMM had not followed proper ‘protocol’ (this in spite of the fact that AOD officials had met with Voris several times and never mentioned this ‘protocol’).  Suddenly there was a demand that St. Michael’s Media procure a ‘theological review committee’ to insure they didn’t promote any error or heresy.  Voris pointed out that Michigan Catholic Radio, in the office next door, did not have such a committee, and was met with silence
  • So, over the next several months, Voris put together this ‘review’ committee, including Dr. Martin Brenner, while also pursuing his STB from the Angelicum in Rome.  Brenner, who holds an STD and SSL in theology, assured the AOD that Voris’ programs were perfectly orthodox.  In a meeting on the subject of this ‘review committee,’ AOD representative Fr. Robert McClory was rude, condescending, and generally hostile.  No “approval” was given to St. Michael’s Media.
  • It should be noted that while all this was ongoing , RCTV did not exist.  The above period stretched through 2007 and into 2008.
  • By early 2008, AOD stonewalling has just about run SMM out of money (the point of the exercise?).  However, the One True Faith had run in a few places, and Michael Voris got contacted by Marc Brammer, who was interested in starting up a Catholic apologetics website, after Brammer saw an episode.
  • Brammer paid for development of a website, and started his own company referred to as ‘Greenstar.’  He provided a contract to Concept Productions – Voris’ company – in summer ’08 to provide content for Brammer’s new website – Real Catholic TV.
  • Real Catholic TV is a private, for-profit corporation, located in South Bend, Indiana, where Brammer lives.
  • RealCatholicTV launches in September ’08 in order to comment on the coming presidential election.  Real Catholic TV contracts with the for-profit Concept Production for politically oriented content, and with Saint Michael’s Media for non-political apologetic and formational content.  They also contract with other production companies.
  • This is very similar to how most TV networks run – different production companies sell content to TV networks, who then broadcast it.
  • Throughout this period, there was a constant campaign of back-biting, nasty allegations, and general harassment from the AOD, directed at Voris.  The hostility began with the formation of Saint Michael’s Media in 2006, but grew in intensity as RCTV grew.  It really exploded, however, when……
  • ………in April 2010, Voris produced a RCTV expose and Catholic Investigative Agency (CIA) episode on the relationship between the bishops, Alinsky-ite organizations, and the CCHD.  There was a swift and severe response- The One True Faith program, which had been continuing all along, was pulled out of two major markets within 48 hours of the Alinsky video being released.
  • At roughly the same time began a string of official communications between the AOD and Voris regarding RCTV’s use of the word ‘Catholic.’  Voris pointed out repeatedly that he could not change the name of a company he did not own, but the AOD did not seem to understand or care.
  • July 2010 – a precept is issued against Michael Voris/RCTV by the AOD regarding the use of the term ‘Catholic.’  But, the precept was all wrong, it did not follow the proper format (which consists of an allegation of some problem/heresy/etc., followed by a demand that the problem stop by a certain date, accompanied by a statement of specific action which will be taken against the recipient if the Bishop involved is not satisfied with the reply – like excommunication), it simply consisted of a demand that the word ‘Catholic’ be dropped from RCTV’s name, and that’s it.  There is no threat of some action by the part of the AOD, so there is no way to go to a canon law court.  That really reveals how this entire exercise is just a PR event, an attempt to turn public opinion against RCTV.
  • In response to this precept, Voris replies, again, that he does not own RCTV and cannot change it’s name.  All along, Brammer and Voris had engaged with several noteworthy canon law experts, advising them on their use of the name RCTV.  All these experts have stressed that they can continue to use the name, and that the AOD’s demands are nonsensical and do not rise to the level of a canonical court case.
  • June 2011 – another notification from the AOD to Voris, demanding that “he” stop using the name Catholic, not only for RCTV but also for the ‘Catholic Investigative Agency,’ which is the name of a program.  Will AOD now start issuing precepts against books with the word ‘Catholic’ in the title?
  • Voris again engages with AOD, but gets no reply for 7 months, until Dec. 23 when the AOD issues its press release claiming that RCTV is “not authorized” to use the word ‘Catholic.’
  •  Marc Brammer, owner of RCTV, asks to meet with Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit, but is referred to the previous press release.
  • A further press release is issued on Jan. 3, 2012, timed with posts by Ed Peters and with banner headlines on New Advent and other sites.  Professional Catholics hop on the Voris-bashing bandwagon.  When the Diocese of South Bend, through their judicial vicar (a canon lawyer), state that they feel they have responsibility for the RCTV enterprise, as it resides in their diocese, and have no problem with it, the headlines are not so big.

That pretty much brings us up to today.  I need to stress two points – first, all along, AOD has known that RCTV is based in South Bend, and that Voris does not own it and has no ability to control it or its name.  Secondly, all along RCTV has been advised by top canon lawyers (several of them), who see no problem with their use of the term ‘Catholic’ and who feel that AOD simply has absolutely no canon law case to make – if they had, they would have made it by now, whatever Ed Peters says notwithstanding.

It is the opinion of this author that AOD’s constant hostility to Voris and ALL of his enterprises dating back years before the existence of RCTV is due solely to the orthodox, faithful nature of the content, which the denizens of the chancery in Detroit, home of Call to Action, gay porn in the seminary, collapsing attendance, and other wonderfully Catholic things, simply cannot stand.  It doesn’t suit their purpose, whatever that purpose is.  And since they have no canon law case, they are now striving to do via public relations what they cannot do via canon law – ruin RCTV and Michael Voris.  The manner in which they are going about this effort is nonsensical.  But the persecution itself is unjust.

UPDATE: Steve Kellmeyer has a very interesting analysis of the situation, and especially Ed Peter’s role in it, on his blog.  I think you could safely say that Steve is not impressed with Peter’s arguments that this is a canon law issue.

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Comments

1. Woody - January 16, 2012

You know, Fort Wayne is not that far from Detroit. I think a certain bishop from Indiana should pay a not so friendly visit to a certain bishop in Michigan and settle this “dispute” the old fashion way. What do ya say, boys, take off the miters and man up?

2. Christine - January 16, 2012

Thanks for this.

3. susandevens - January 16, 2012

Woody, should the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, slap the Holy Spirit into the Bishop of Detroit?? I think so because the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend is a CATHOLIC and it sounds like the one in Detroit needs a refresher course.

tantamergo - January 16, 2012

Woody is a funny guy! I want to meet him at Mater Dei, but he keeps hiding from me :p

4. prolifeworker - January 16, 2012

Anyone know what the record of the Archdiocese of Detroit is on protesting the use of the word Catholic by “Catholics for Choice”?

piercedheart - January 16, 2012

I am quite sure that Ned McGrath from the AOD told LifeSite News, that to his knowledge, in the 20 years he’s been with the AOD, they have never told any organization to stop using the name “Catholic”.

5. Jim Dorchak - January 16, 2012

The more AOD harasses RCTV the more I like and support RCTV and Mr. Voris! AOD is doing a great job of ‘PR” for Mr. Voris but in a very mean way.
If you want a clear view through a window you first have to clean the Dirt off the glass. Thanks for doing this for us and the Catholic Church.

Jim Dorchak

6. Dennis O'Donovan - January 16, 2012

Marc Brammer of Real Catholic TV and the Institute for New Media will be our guest tonight, Monday, January 16th on Catholic Radio of San Diego, KCEO – AM 1000 in San Diego, CA. Like controvery? Tonight’s show is for you. I will be asking Marc Brammer the questions to which you want answers – all of them, and more.
The show can also be heard live online at: http://www.catholicradioofsandiego.co​m.
Show Time: 6-7 pm Pacific Time. (9-10 pm Eastern Time). Our interview with Marc Brammer will begin after a ten minute interview with Dr. Alveda King. This show will also be available via podcast at http://www.rpconradio.com.

.

7. Brad - January 17, 2012

First, I am reminded of something our pastor said. “Don’t tell me your (the) truth unless you are doing it with love”. BTW he is the most faithful, obedient, orthodox, caring priest I know. So are we demanding the truth in love or pride. I admit as one of the “Good bye Good Men” I have a suspicious nature when it comes to such things. Unfortunately too many of us are coming across the wrong way. Still, I would like to know why the AOD is demanding that the name be dropped.

tantamergo - January 17, 2012

I am a convert to the Faith. One of the things I appreciate about it most is that there is a Truth, it is Jesus Christ and in a practical sense that Truth has been revealed through His Church. We know what is True, and what is false, regarding matters of faith and morals, because Our Lord has promised that His Church will always be the repository of it.

But we live in an age of mass apostasy. While every human is going to fail and make mistakes, use the wrong tone at times, perhaps make a mistake on a factual matter, or even form a wrong opinion, I’ve seen precious little of that from Voris. But from many other places within the Church, I have sadly, tragically seen a great deal of error. It must stop. We must have a great sea change, a great restoration of the Faith. We must fulfill the promise of VII. I don’t see this persecution as aiding the Church in her mission to save souls and spread the Gospel- in fact, I think this persecution is to some extent doing the opposite.

So, not sure if you feel if I posted out of pride – I’m sure I did, to an extent, since I am a terrible sinner. But I was also giving an account of events as best I could as I have had it related to me, that has surely colored my opinion on the matter. Any error in the telling is my own. As are the sinful motivations, if they exist.

8. Catechist Kevin - January 17, 2012

“Don’t tell me your (the) truth unless you are doing it with love”.

True, Brad, true. :)

However, please consider, that sometimes to tell the Truth is a matter of… tough love, is it not?

Take these few instances from Sacred Scripture:

Our Lord’s words to the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees in St. Matthew’s gospel in chapter twenty-three. He called them “brood of vipers” and “serpents.” He also called them “whitewashed tombs.” He went on to call them “blind guides” and “blind fools”!

Now, would you say He was telling them the truth “with love”? Yes! Tough love.

God wishes all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4)

Sometimes, it takes a bit of a “shock factor,” if-you-will, to wake folks up.

How about St. Paul in Romans 1, 1 Cor 6, and Galatians 5 where he gives a not so subtle list of sins if a Christian dies without repenting of will not allow them enter the kingdom of heaven?

He even told the church at Corinth to “deliver this man (an unrepentant sinner) to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the say of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor 5:5)

Certainly, St. Paul’s “What is love?” discourse in 1 Corinthians 13 should *always* be at the forefront of our minds when Christians are giving the reason for the hope that is within them. (see 1 Ptr 3:15, and CCC 1285)

Fraternal correction is a “form of Penance” in everyday Christian life. (see CCC 1435) Certainly, as you point out, *how* we say it is very important. With this I completely agree.

However, there are times for the kind and gentle approach, and there are times for the tough love approach. It is not either/or in the Kingdom. It is both/and.

(and, yes, I have had my hard head cracked many times) :)

God bless,
Catechist Kevin

9. Anyone a Pewsitter newsclipper? « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 20, 2012

[…] one of the foremost Catholic news aggregation sites, hasn’t run my post on the Voris/Archdiocese of Detroit timeline, where key information in presented that has not been made public anywhere else.  I have tried to […]

10. Some folks just can’t let go….. « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 20, 2012

[…] Ed Peters has determined that the Michael Voris situation, which I hoped would be put to bed by the detailed chronology I posted Sunday night, deserves still more comment.  He has not only put together a blog post, but has published a .pdf […]

11. Patrick Thornton - January 21, 2012

Ooops…You missed the part about Gary Michael Voris owning Concept Communication LLC which is also legally known as “Real Catholic TV” and is registered with the state of Michigan in Ferndale, MI.

See, there are 2 Real Catholic TV’s. One in Indiana and one in Michigan. If someone would reveal which FEIN number is on the bank account attached to the RCTV Paypal, then we would know which Real Catholic TV is actually receiving the revenue from the website. Is it the one in Indiana (Brammer)…or the one in Michigan (Voris)? Hmmmm….Why do you not mention the existence of Real Catholic TV registered in the state of Michigan and owned by Voris?

Another error you make is that St. Michael’s Media has no affiliation with Real Catholic TV. Aside from the fact that Gary Michael Voris is the only member of the Board of Directors of the not for profit Michigan corporation, St. Michael’s Media, and he is also the sole owner of Concept Communication LLC DBA Real Catholic TV.

tantamergo - January 23, 2012

There will be a follow up on this, but it’s not quite what you make it out to be.

tantamergo - January 23, 2012

I don’t want to feed this situation anymore than I have to, so I’ll just say this – you are completely wrong in your assessment and there is no entity in Michigan known as Real Catholic TV. In fact, there is no entity anywhere that exists as a corporation that is known as RCTV. So, the big conspiracy is actually nothing.

12. AlwaysHappy - January 24, 2012

This is so stupid! Shame on the Archdiocese of Detroit! Do they feel threatened? It is also an embarrassment to the Church in the U.S. Who really cares who uses the word ‘Catholic’ in today’s society??!!!


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