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Some folks just can’t let go….. January 20, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, sickness, silliness.

….I see that 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 attempting to rebutt the numerous criticisms of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s (AOD) claims that Real Catholic TV (RCTV) has not the canonical standing to refer to itself as Catholic.  He also is claiming that NO enterprise may refer to itself as “Catholic,” or use the “Catholic” name, without prior ecclesial permission.  This latter bit is a great and surprising leap – the first part of Canon 216 encourages the laity to get involved in the life of the Church, but Peter’s interpretation would seem to undermine the very nature of these efforts by requiring a priori permission.  I can state that I’ve already heard from one canon lawyer who finds this interpretation incredible.  So much for the great emphasis on lay participation instituted with Vatican II.

A further incredible leap of logic, which may have been pointed somewhere in the direction of the post I did on this subject, is to claim that the location of Brammer’s residence, and the location of RCTV, makes no difference in this canon law case.  Peter’s attempts to buttress this argument by asking what would be the case if Brammer wasn’t Catholic?  Would he then be free to start whatever kind of fake pseudo-Catholic group he wanted, using the Catholic name with abandon, leaving the Church with no recourse, because he’s not actually Catholic?  This argument is also very surprising, because no one is arguing that NO entity in the Church has oversight of RCTV’s activities, it has been argued that the competency does not reside in the AOD, because Brammer, RCTV’s sole/principle owner, does not reside there!  It is a matter for the Diocese of South Bend!  If Brammer were not Catholic, and operating “Real Catholic TV,” it would make no difference, the AOD would still have no responsibility, because the enterprise would still reside in South Bend!  I can’t even believe this argument has been made.  Peter’s seems to possess a greatly exaggerated sense of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s competency – they can apparently decide what group or individual  may use the name Catholic not only in Detroit, but anywhere they see fit.

Michael Voris is the “star” of a very small “network” that calls itself “Real Catholic TV.”  When the federal government sues a broadcaster because they broadcast some filth in violation of FCC broadcast rules, they don’t sue the actor that got naked nor do they pursue the matter in a district court where the actor resides, they sue the network and in a court where the network in headquartered (typically).  AOD can pursue Michael Voris all it wants (and it has, for years, dating back to well before RCTV even existed), but that pursuit is not going to result in RCTV changing it’s name, because Michael Voris does not own RCTV or have control over it, and neither does RCTV reside in the Archdiocese of Detroit.  The canon lawyer I have heard from feels AOD, the PR campaign having backfired mightily, is now positioning themselves to take this case to a canon law court.

I find this incredibly.  RCTV reaches perhaps 10-20,000 people every day through their videos.  They have an impact, certainly, but only within a very small part of the Church.  I am amazed that so much energy is being expended on this matter.  I find it incredible that Ed Peters has now done his fifth blog post on this subject, writing a 2000 word analysis, very emotionally, I might add.  It seems to me as if the AOD, or at least various figures in the chancery, have really gotten emotionally involved in this issue and are going to continue to prosecute it even though this issue has turned into a public relations disaster for them.  I have been keeping some notes on blog posts and other internet activity on this whole Voris/AOD PR campaign/”canonical status” issue, and the commentary is overwhelmingly against the AOD.  Sheer popularity is nothing compared with defending the Truth, but what Truth is being defended here?  That RCTV didn’t get permission to use the word “Catholic?”  I think that “truth” has been sufficiently refuted, or at least made so doubtful that further prosecution is not warranted.  So, then, is that all?  This is the hill you want to die on?  

The Archdiocese of Detroit is under severe financial strain.  Dozens of parishes have been closed, and dozens more are due to be closed.  And yet, this issue is of such import they are spending precious resources, very limited dollars, to continue this PR campaign (and there is no doubt that it what it has been – a very failed PR campaign, as I think JoeK established even further in a recent post). 

It is simply amazing that Michael Voris, of all people, is the target of such treatment.  Would that such effort would be expended driving the heretics and apostates out of chanceries and parishes!  But, no…….we don’t talk about them.  The “silent apostasy” is allowed to grow and fester and continue the horrific rot in the Church.  It is those that upset the status quo that must be stopped, at all costs, apparently. 

I think everyone has their backs up on this issue.  I really think that at this point, the best course would be for everyone to let the matter drop for several months, to let tempers cool and to look at this issue more dispassionately.  I don’t plan on doing any more posts, unless there are further tirades that must be rebutted.  I pray that is not the case.  If AOD has a canon law case, let them make it – in court.  If they don’t, please let us put this issue to rest.


1. Woody - January 20, 2012

Well, perhaps a certain priestly canon lawyer from Fort Wayne, IN can make a “not so friendly” visit to a certain canon lawyer in Detroit, MI and go out in the parking lot of the AoD headquarters and settle this jurisdictional matter! I am tired of canon lawyer Peters. I lost much respect for him when he couldn’t stand the negative comments in his combox. Now, I don’t think he knows when to shut up. Like a lawyer who does not know how to argue (okay, for those who are more civilized–debate), direct, cross, redirect (if any), sit down and be quiet.

tantamergo - January 20, 2012

I lost much respect over the issue of divorce tribunals, when he refused to accept that the Pope could have been criticizing the many “annulment mills” in this country. But most of his early career was spent advising those kinds of tribunals AND helping to perpetuate the idea that people married for decades, who later split, did not give “proper consent” when they were married. I am sure there are some cases like that, but tens of thousands A YEAR? And only in this country, none other? He just refused to accept that some, perhaps many tribunals were handing out annulments post facto to allow another Catholic wedding. IF they were disordered and unable to give consent in a first marriage, why grant an annulment so they can marry again? Or a third time?

His illogic in an e-mail exchange we had was amazing. It wasn’t, to me, a dispassionate exhibition on canon law, he was justifying himself.

I think it’s the same deal here. I haven’t heard any canon lawyer, save for him, claim that all organizations that wish to call themselves Catholic have to get permission beforehand. The assumption is that the lay people will act with good will and can use the Catholic name until it is established that they aren’t in union.

I think Ed Peters is getting his back up so much about this he is going to push for a canon law case. I almost wonder if he isn’t one of the main one’s pushing this issue at AOD.

2. Doug Pearson - January 21, 2012

I am so tired of this story that I am not even going to read your post :)… actually your headline mirrored my exact thought when I saw the Peters littered the internet with another unsolicited post about the issue.

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