Michael Voris hits THE nerve September 1, 2013Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, manhood, persecution, priests, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the enemy.
I am breaking my usual rule not to blog during weekend/family time to address this most critical subject. It touches on the most critical aspect of the crisis in the Faith – the collapse in episcopal leadership over the past 50 years, which was spurred by, but has also enormously advanced, the modernist/progressivist revolution against the Church.
I saw while on vacation that Catholic Answers, after insulting some of their potential supporters with their repeated attacks on traditional or ”radical traditional” Catholics, is hurting for money. Their begging for more donations seemed to have been the tiny crack that caused the dam of critical sentiment against Catholic Answers to burst. I was surprised by the reaction – it was stronger than I would have expected. I think we’re seeing a preference cascade among pious Catholics, away from Catholic Answers. I will state, from my own experience, I have rarely used Catholic Answers, and the few times I did, I was utterly scandalized by what I found in their forums, in particular. That is why I strongly support Faithful Answers as an alternative.
What I found particularly interesting, and revealing, was the flurry of investigation this caused, investigation into the salaries of many professional Catholics. As Michael Voris reports below, many well known Catholic bloggers, speakers, and writers are extremely well paid. Note, all the figures in the video below are base salaries, and do not include speaking fees and book royalties, which could easily add tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to the figures given in the video below:
In case you couldn’t guess it, it’s obvious the bishop in question towards the beginning of the video is Archbishop Chaput. This is not the only source that has reported such tantrums on his part. I will also note that I’m not so sure the recent diatribes against traditional Catholics (and I’ve never been in an SSPX or “independent” church or chapel in my life) are the source of Catholic Answer’s funding problems. I saw in one place that they bring in $5 million a year? Well, Catholic Culture blegs to the tune of $500k or so a year, so it’s possible, I suppose. I don’t know what they do with all that money, but, whatevs.
It is not surprising that Michael has met a violent reaction. This is hitting the professional Catholics where it really hurts. I don’t begrudge the salaries these men make one bit - if the market, so to speak, will bear that salary, good for them. I don’t think Michael cares in the slightest, either. But I will agree with Michael’s main point: all these high paid personalities - who would have a nearly impossible time making up their present income otherwise - are entirely dependent on the good graces of the very bishops who continue to lead the Church in such indifferentist, damaging ways. That is why few of these top speakers/apologists EVER criticize the hierarchy. At least, it’s a very compelling explanation for why they fail to do so. Coffin, Kresta, Akin, Staples, Shea, et. al., virtually never, ever, emit even a peep of criticism regarding the failure to uphold ecclesial discipline, maintain the integrity of the Sacraments, defend the sanctity of life, make the salvation of souls the visible, 100% top priority for the Church, deny Communion to wanton apostates………..I could go on for a very long time. In addition, most all of these top personalities also pretend, just about constantly, that the Church was created in 1965. I think that speaks for itself.
I thought all this was quite obvious. You cannot get that cherished “approved” status on the Catholic Speaker’s Guild without explicit episcopal approbation. Having an STL from the Angelicum won’t do it – I know a very brilliant guy with one making $25k a year running the youth group at a San Antonio parish. To be an elite speaker, you have to have a sponsor. You have to be someone’s boy. Someone has to like you. And, for certain, you can never, ever sharply criticize the hierarchy, or you will instantly lose that cherished, and highly lucrative, approbation, as Michael notes above. I know several people who used to have quite lucrative careers with the Catholic Speaker’s Guild, but criticized the wrong thing, and lost their spot.
At least, things used to be that way. More and more independent voices, not beholden to episcopal approval, are entering the fray, due to the massive leveling effect of the internet and Catholic blogs. Michael Voris not only does not have a sponsor, he seems to be despised by many in the hierarchy, but by keeping a lean operation and focusing exclusively on the good of souls, he has created quite a nice niche for himself. To which I say, good on you.
But others are not so approving. I have watched with dismay over the past few years as Fr. Longenecker has, in my opinion, lost much that made his blog informative and even helpful to the cause of restoring the Faith. He makes plain in this post that he has no use at all for Michael Voris. I could easily fisk the entire thing, but am not interested in doing that. I will simply note that the entire post is one long, sad ad hominem, so far beneath the dignity of a priest it is shocking. Fr. Longenecker, I would like to think in his unthinking anger, does not even address Michael’s point – that the very generous compensation top Catholic media personalities receive plays a large role in their obeisance to the bishops regarding the crisis in the Faith. That is to say, they don’t address the subject at all, or so gently and generically that whatever criticism is made, is so mild it is completely ineffectual, which is exactly what the bishops want, and demand. To do otherwise is instant career-death – and for people making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (an essentially irreplaceable income if they lose that critical approbation), this is no mean threat. The alternative might mean making $50k a year teaching religious ed at some parish somewhere – if they’re that lucky. That’s not to say there are open threats to toe the line, or else! There doesn’t have to be. Top Catholic media personalities know the score, and they simply stay away from certain “controversial” topics. Not biting the hand that feeds one is one of the oldest human traits. But I share Michael’s fear that such behavior is only perpetuating, exacerbating the crisis in the Church.
Fr. Longenecker doesn’t even address that huge point, which was the focus of the Vortex above and many before, but instead tells us all what a bad, wicked person Michael Voris is, and who crowned him Emperor of All Catholics, anyway? Fr. Longenecker also casually tosses out insinuations that Michael Voris is jealous of the income the Catholic aristocracy earns, which, knowing Michael personally, is so far off the mark it’s not even funny. I would also say, mote and log, and all that. But I was shocked by the casual assertion of totally unsubstantiated calumny, nonetheless. I note in passing that all bloggers at Patheos are monetarily compensated for their efforts, and Fr. Longenecker is at least tangentially a member of that elite Speaker’s Guild, which, good for him. I guess.
To answer Fr. Longenecker’s question, who appointed Micheal Voris arbiter of all things Catholic? No one did. But as Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, with so much of the clergy and episcopate gone over to modernist revolution, if the Faith is to be saved, it is the laity who must do the saving. I thought much greater involvement by the laity in the Church was one of the core aspects of that “new evangelization” we hear so much about? Or is that only a certain kind of involvement, say, a totally docile one? I tell you, sweet readers, there has never been so much clericalism, as in the progressive dominated, “anti-clericalist” post-conciliar Church, where the laity are very encouraged to speak their mind, so long as they say nothing that makes anyone uncomfortable, or, sin of sins, evidence any old school Catholic intolerance (for how this came about, see my post on the heresy of Americanism). God forbid!
The moral quandaries and enormous temptations involved in ANY public role, in our media saturated (and worshipping) society, are prime reasons why I have not leapt at several offers to make this blog more public, do a book, or strive after speaking engagements, etc., although I have been approached for such, from time to time. Some of these, like writing a book, part of me would really like to do, but it seems like Grace prevents me, or laziness, one of the two. I wasn’t even ever entirely comfortable doing radio, except with Vicki, God rest her special soul. That is also why I still, after nearly 4 years, blog semi-anonymously, although hundreds of people know me as the author of this blog.
Oh, one final note. I thought the part in the video above regarding ALL’s criticism of CRS leading to Judie Brown’s husband losing a lucrative printing contract with…………CRS!……….disheartening. What did the Browns think CRS would do? And I have to say, it’s a bit disingenuous to be bashing CRS to bits over their funding of abortion and contraception (and rightly so), while at the same time depending on CRS for income. Please. I thank God I do not have to make my living off the Church.