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Anti-Voris Faction gets fired up about upcoming cruise-retreat December 10, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, persecution, scandals, silliness, Virtue.

I’ll admit, when I first heard about this, my reaction was……..”That’s sort of an interesting but also an odd idea…..and I have absolutely no interest.”  Then I moved on.  I have no interest not because of the fact that it’s a retreat with Voris and Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

Self-portrait of author

Self-portrait of author, ca. 2022

nor because it’s in Lent, but because it’s on a cruise ship, and a cruise is one thing I’ve resolutely decided never to do, unless it’s in the Meditterranean, and it’s on a naval vessel (a 120,000 ton aircraft carrier, preferably), and the navy is mine, as Autocrat of all the Russias, and I’m sailing into my newly acquired Grand Harbor on Malta. This being after, of course, the Pope has consecrated Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and the entire vast land converted.  And also after my Russia has conquered and converted all the lands of the Byzantine Empire circa AD 600, plus all of Europe between the Baltic, Rhine and Alps and some more to boot.

But there are those for whom Michael Voris has become a positive bugaboo, the very apotheosis of everything that is wrong, has ever been wrong, and will ever  be wrong not only with the Church but with humanity and even creation generally.  He is to them, if not evil incarnate, very close.

So when Church Militant TV (I miss the old name, too) started advertising for what I’m sure will be a very good time, a Caribbean cruise/retreat with Michael and Fr. Z, I figured those who have demonstrated their profound antipathy towards Michael for years now would open fire on him relentlessly.  Because it’s not really about Michael, it’s about a competing vision for the Church.   I’ve been surprised, however, that the free-fire zone has been expanded to include Fr. Z, who I thought pretty much everyone liked and respected at least moderately well, even though some traditional types find him a bit too squishy.  Apparently, the “Catholic BFF thCAAO0W6TGroupblog,” headquartered at Catholic and not showing it Enjoying It, is rather more like a high school girl’s clique – stay on the reservation and you’re fine, wonderful, you’ll get links galore!  But if you stray outside, that’s it sister, your new prom date is Milhouse Van Houten.

Once again, I won’t link to any of this junk, but you can get to it through Larry D’s.  I’ve been at this 3 years, and one thing I’ve assiduously tried to avoid is getting involved in either the sordid self-promoting Catholic Superfriends Club, nor the pointless time wasting “look at the stupid/erroneous/heretical thing this so-called Catholic blogger said.  Let’s pound ’em into submission!”  OK, I’ve done some of the latter, even gratuitously, but mostly with very big name folks who are much more than bloggers, people like Fr. Barron.  In reality, I do it because this blog was founded on the premise that error must be corrected.  I probably fail in charity in doing so, I pray God be merciful with me.  For the most part, though, I’ve tried hard to avoid the silly intra-blog squabbles that some seem to thrive on, and which are a well-known ways to spike one’s traffic.

But as I said, this is really about competing personalities and visions for the Church.  There are many Catholics who, for all their thCAGRHJGUorthodoxy (and it is at times considerable), still fundamentally adhere to an accomodationist viewpoint with regard to this very fallen, corrupt world/culture.  This view of the Church and world is the predominant view in the post-Vatican II Church, and indeed MUST be held if one is going to have any kind of career as a lay, “professional” Catholic.  The other vision, which I must admit I share, is much more confrontational toward the world, and tends to reject its false wisdom and destructive illusions. This vision, which was dominant prior to Vatican II and for hundreds of years before, is characterized by strict adherence to doctrinal and liturgical orthodoxy, a focus on the Church as an eternal, ethereal, other-worldly construct to which we belong not by right but by Grace, and a frank hostility towards the many errors which have permeated the Church in the last several decades, especially the errors of false ecumenism and illusory “rights” and “freedoms.”

At times, the rhetoric on both sides can be quite unedifying.  But Michael Voris, because of his tremendous visibility and success (through cooperation with Grace, I would add), is a favorite target.  And so I read claims that Michael must surely be a repressed homosexual, because he condemns homosexual acts. Or that he surely has a violent temper, and terrible misogynistic streak, because he is inclined towards Tradition, and opposes fake female ordination.  Etc., etc. ad nauseum.  The thing is, I actually know Michael, and had the distinct pleasure of spending a number of hours with him in conversation, and unless he’s a way better actor than anyone who wins an Academy Award these days, he’s as genuine an essentially good, concerned Catholic as I’ve met.  But I know it’s no act. He loves the Church, he is striving to serve this call he feels is inspired (and I certainly think it is), and he does so with a great deal of grace and skill.  And charity.  I see many comments that seem to think that Michael is motivated by some baser emotion, but I strongly disagree, I think he’s motivated primarily by a great concern for souls, including those millions who have left the Church in the wake of the disastrous “spirit of Vatican II.”  I know I am far from alone in my assessment of Michael, and fastingthat assessment is shared by some of the best Catholics – lay and clergy – that I know.

I would add a few more thoughts. A cruise may not be the setting that pops to mind as most conducive for Lent, but it could actually be an awesome opportunity to practice mortification.  Instead of partaking of all the normal cruise time activities and even excesses, maintaining a temperate Catholic existence or even foregoing most or all of the “fun” for some self-denial and very focused prayer could be quite edifying.  It’s certainly not beyond the realm of the possible.  And, for those eager to attack the notion, perhaps their time would be better spent contemplating not only their Lenten mortification, but their ongoing self-denial and submission to the Divine Will.  It’s something we should all focus much more on, me especially.


1. Woody - December 11, 2012

There are those that like MV and those that don’t. I have no problem with his “style.” What I find interesting is when MV is compared with bloggers who write. To me, that is comparing apples to oranges. Those who don’t like the tone of his voice should read his script and not listen to his voice. Ahh, but that’s too easy. Then again, I’m sure all the saints acted and spoke the very same.

2. Diane - December 11, 2012

I wonder if some of the dislike of Mr. Voris is because he frequently hits us “where we live”. I also wonder if some of it is because their only exposure to him is via The Vortex. It’s silly either way, but I can see how it might pull some up short. I come from a more pentacostal protestant background (preconversion, of course), so I’m all “Amen, brother!”. Thanks for the even handed adress of this issue.

3. Its only me - December 11, 2012

I think it’s a mistake to presume that those who take issue with a cruise under the guise of a retreat during lent are “anti-Voris.” Look carefully at the advertisement at CMtv where they discuss entertainment. Casinos? Swanky entertainment?

No. I think those who are having trouble with this are actual supporters of both Voris and Father Z. Most are just stunned and silent, methinks. http://catholicinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2012/12/michael-voris-and-father-z-say-what.html

tantamergo - December 11, 2012

Maybe some. But not the sites I read, where there were all manner of personal attacks against Voris and very plain statements of dislike for him. Simcha Fischer, for one, and pope Shea.

I found your blog last night, some good stuff.

It may not be the most advisable thing. I was a bit surprised when I saw the announcement. As I said, even in a different context, I have no interest in taking a cruise. But there are people out there who don’t like Voris who are using this as just another excuse to pound on him. I didn’t say every person criticizing him for this fits that mold, if I implied that, I’m correcting it now.

It's only me - December 11, 2012

Voris should have considered how it would all look. A defender of orthodoxy doing something very unorthodox during a very solemn season.

Do you think Father Z is going to advertise this in a blog post with open comments? What will come out there in his comment thread? I would bet at least 50% of his followers would diss the whole idea. It’s okay to disagree when something doesn’t feel right and this does not feel right. Lent is a very solemn season – a time to wind down, and enter the dessert with Our Lord, not feast, gamble and have fun in the sun in between talks.

tantamergo - December 11, 2012

I don’t disagree, but as I said, perhaps we would be better off considering our own mortifications during Lent, and what more we can do, rather than determining that someone else’s mortification is deficient.

Blog Goliard - December 11, 2012

For what it’s worth, that post on Simcha’s blog wasn’t one of hers, but came from “The Jerk” (a.k.a. Mr. Simcha).

And I haven’t seen Shea weigh in on this one. Did I miss it?

Ms. Nemo - December 11, 2012

Yeah – Some of us object, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we’re verbalizing dismay, because of that “superfriends club” business, too. I also call it a celebrity cult.

Bill K. - December 17, 2012

Those who OPPOSE the cruise are doing two things that are sinful.
1) They are violating Church teaching on UNITY.
CCC: ” 791 The body’s unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: “In the building up of Christ’s Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church.” The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: “From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.” Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
2) Rather than ONLY judging SIN, the complainers are judging OTHERS, and jumping to conclusions on what individuals will and will not do – perhaps judging others on their own bad behavior.
If you can’t find something like attending Mass everyday and listening to retreat lectures on a ship as being sinful, quit complaining.
You have no idea what each individual will or will not do in his free time. Wouldn’t it be great if they brought some souls back to the Church?
3) Or potentially the complainers are envious which is a mortal sin.

4. thelarryd - December 11, 2012

Thanks for the link, t.

I don’t have an opinion one way or the other on the Lenten cruise. I do have an opinion on how some people have expressed their opinion, however, and that was the point of my post.

tantamergo - December 11, 2012

Probably like how I express mine! I was kind of giddy yesterday, it made me snarkier than usual. Maybe.

5. Patt - December 13, 2012

Maybe people should consider: “How will this change MY life if Voris and Father take a cruise..?” I mean –so what? — does it really matter???? I am sure a daily Mass, prayers and so on will be included on the trip– and certainly no evil intentions…

6. Bill K. - December 17, 2012

I ask each “complainer” to read: Mt 7:1-5 – – This is Jesus’s direct instruction to each of us.
When something is not sinful, and the complainer’s scandalize someone in the media, with their innacurate silly opinions, then they have comitted a sin.
There is nothing sinful in attending a Retreat Cruise at any time of the year. Daily Mass and lectures about the Faith, getting away from all the distracting media and electronics, and appreciating the beauty of God’s sea.
And I also ask each “complainer” – how many souls did you bring to Jesus this week?
Judge sinfulness not people. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

7. Bill K. - December 17, 2012

CCC: ” 2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.”

CCC: ” 2507 Respect for the reputation and honor of persons forbids all detraction and calumny in word or attitude. ”

CCC: ” 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
– of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
– of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
– of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. ”

Christmas is coming. For those who have been negatively involved, don’t forget these sins when going to confession.

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