jump to navigation

A cry of the heart towards my friends at CMTV – UPDATED August 28, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, sadness, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue, Voris.

Update: An important update added to the first post-script below.  I also changed some verbiage in paras 3-6, particularly to shift emphasis from a certain third party that did not need to be mentioned.  I altered greatly the last two sentences of paragraph 5 because it came out much rougher and with darker implications than I intended.  I swore I changed that, and re-read this post several times before publishing, but apparently not.  For that unnecessarily dark implication, I apologize.

The below is my own personal impression of the severe decay of a once most promising apostolate.  They are strictly my own impressions and reminiscences.

It has been difficult for me to observe the changes that have afflicted Church Militant TV – formerly Real Catholic TV – over the past 2-3 years.  During the period 2010-2012, I collaborated with Michael Voris a great deal.  I, with Vicki Middleton’s (God rest her pious soul) gracious help, arranged to bring Michael Voris to Dallas for a talk in March of 2012.  He stayed at our house for 3 days.  We got along splendidly.  He was honest, forthright, utterly sincere, and conveyed a clear understanding of the crisis that has afflicted the Church up to and including the role of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes in that crisis.  I was thoroughly impressed and felt I was in the presence of a man who could really make a difference.

In fact, I would say that, until mid-2013, there was not a single topic on which we could be said to disagree.  It was around this time however that the various reactions towards this pontificate began to manifest themselves. Some well-intentioned catechesis began to get around on the subject of souls, reacting to this pontificate, placing themselves under the care of the SSPX.  Some of this catechesis was very strong.  Be that as it may, the man who provides a great deal of CMTV’s funding and who seems to have had an increasing influence on editorial content in the past few years, in particular, took some of this catechesis and ran with it, so to speak, influencing, over time, CMTV’s approach to topics related to the SSPX, criticism of the pontificate, and some related matters.

I really believe I first began to witness a change infecting CMTV during the latter half of 2013.  I believe it was this individual’s influence that served as a catalyst, at least, to later developments at CMTV regarding the SSPX, etc.

It was in the latter half of 2013 that this same individual began, privately, sending out a new, very negative position CMTV was going to stake out with regard to the SSPX. I’m not going to argue the merits of that position. However, he tried mightily to win me over to his very hostile view towards the Society.  I simply don’t see the Society as being a major threat to souls today, certainly not anything that remotely compares to the dangers stemming from the modernists, the Synod, and this pontificate. When I refused to go along, it became apparent that a certain distance would open between myself and that organization, closing off most future avenues for future collaboration.  There are other individuals who have experienced the same, that this issue regarding the SSPX and papal criticism was really a make or break one with respect to collaboration with CMTV.

The amazing thing is, privately, some folks at CMTV have, privately, inveighed quite harshly against Pope Franics. It is not a matter of not seeing the manifest problems.  In fact I’ve heard some of the key players at CMTV say things regarding Pope Francis (privately) that go much beyond anything I or many others have written.  But because they’ve gotten totally twisted off on this notion of “never criticize the pope publicly, no matter what,” and the complimentary notion that any criticism of the Pope will cause huge numbers of souls to “fly” to the SSPX, they refuse to broach this belief in public.  Which, frankly, I’m fine with.  If CMTV wants to privately counsel souls to avoid the SSPX and point out all the problems they perceive in that organization, fine. If they feel criticizing the Pope is not the right thing for them to do, fine.  But they haven’t left it at that.  They have waged unremitting war against those who feel differently and have spread ugliness and ill-will far and wide, including among many good people who have been in the struggle to restore the Church far, far longer than Michael Voris or “the funder” have been. 

I don’t think I’m alone, but I have noticed a substantial change in demeanor at CMTV.  There have been many examples posted of late of prior media content CMTV/RCTV produced that appears to disagree substantially with their current editorial stands.  And so much of that prior material was really very, very good!  Recently, the episode surrounding Bishop Schneider was frankly humiliating for CMTV. No one outside their most slavish devotees is buying what they’re selling in that bizarre exchange.

But when I say change, I’m referring to something more.  I sense a negativity, a sort of dour imperiousness, that didn’t used to be so apparent, did it? I won’t say too much, but personnel is policy, and it could be this is the effect the influence of (a) certain individual(s).  Even when castigating some grave scandal in the Church back in 2010 or 2011, Michael Voris had a certain……I’m not sure what the right word is, joyfulness, or a certain amount of levity…….that, to me, showed the love he had in his heart but also that he did not take himself too seriously, just yet.  I don’t get that same vibe anymore, what I sense is something darker, more angry.  Could it be self-interest?  I pray not, and wouldn’t say so, either, just yet.  Maybe it’s simply my imagination, but I have to wonder if this combat they’ve chosen to wage against “traditional Catholics” has not taken a huge toll.  It is almost impossible to engage in bitter combat and harsh exchanges day in and day out and not be affected by it.  I find it increasingly painful to watch a lot of their new content.  I am heartbroken they haven’t had the wherewithal to step back, take a broader look at their policies and product, and contemplate taking a different course.  That doesn’t have to mean surrender.  But just let it drop, no one is convincing anyone of anything, that I can tell.

I’ve been watching their Youtube views, in a casual manner,  for some time, and while I certainly could be wrong, their views appear to have dropped off substantially. That would make sense, given that they seem to have had an almost deliberate desire to offend a very large portion of their target audience.  They have, to my mind, unnecessarily turned off a lot of people who wished them well and would have gladly been collaborators and supporters.  Their content has become, to me, repetitive and increasingly off-target because they refuse to discuss the most pressing topic in the Church today.  In fact, it seems increasingly hypocritical to just eviscerate bishops and cardinals, even to the point of declaring them excommunicate and demanding their resignations, while ignoring the man, or men, who put and keep those bishops and cardinals in their positions.

It’s all so sad.  I’ve avoided writing on this subject for a long time.  Maybe I’ll just spike this post, as I’ve trashed another half dozen like it over the past 12 monts.  I’m going to post this time as a sort of cri de couer to CMTV to reexamine their editorial priorities, though, based on some inside experience of their decision-making, I’m skeptical it will do much good.  I think their decision-making process is a big part of the problem.

The thing is, I know the staff at CMTV have always been very well-intentioned.  In my experience dealing with them up to perhaps 18 months or so ago, they were totally focused on opposing the crisis in the Church, working towards a rightly-ordered restoration, and maintaining a constant focus on the good of souls.  I’m sure that’s still the case, and certainly pray that is so.  Unfortunately, this particular line of combat they’ve chosen to pursue seems to be increasingly undermining the very good they seek to do.  That’s the main point of tragedy in it all.

PS – I have often defended Michael Voris against accusations he is a member of Opus Dei, and that it is his Opus Dei connection that drives his refusal to countenance papal criticism.  His first major (or a major early) funder/collaborator, Marc Brammer, was certainly in Opus Dei.  I used swear I recalled being told by MV that he is not in Opus Dei and has no affiliation with them, but my certainty has waned over the past year.  Some folks have brought forth a bit of evidence of a connection.  At this point I’m still skeptical but who knows. UPDATE: So I went back over some communiques several years old and found what I’d describe as clear and convincing evidence from several years ago that Michael Voris has no connection whatsoever with Opus Dei.  I found another defense from much more recently that I think also pretty clearly dispels this accusation. Those put the matter to rest in my mind.

PPS – Another thought.  We have seen repeatedly in recent years the deleterious effect celebrity can have on pious Catholics.  We all know the experience of Fr. Corapi. It is almost impossible – it takes truly saintly virtue – not to be affected by constant adulation, throngs of people hanging on your every word, tons of subscribers, and all the rest.  That is one reason I have refused  many, MANY offers to expand “my media presence” by being on more notable radio shows, tying in with much bigger, more widely read blogs, putting my name really out there in the open, etc.  In fact, it’s probably THE major reason why I don’t, I know who I am and I would easily fall into that trap should I start to get lots of kudos and affection.  The few people who know me, you’re fine, please don’t feel shy, but hopefully you get what I mean, it’s one thing to have 50 or 100 people who know who you are and like your stuff, and another to have 50,000 or 100,000, to be treated as a hero wherever you go.

PPPS – I’m probably going to regret this post. I am not posting this to make enemies, even if I know it is possible it will be viewed that way.  I don’t view anyone as an enemy, though I know some who do. I want to repeat that I think everyone on every side in this fracas – Michael Voris, Terry Carroll, Matt, Ferrara, Vennari, the SSPX, the FSSP, etc., all are completely honest actors and doing what they think is absolutely vital according to virtue and what is best for souls.  I hope this post will be taken in the same sense.  May we all treat each other accordingly.

Ah, well……it’s past time I got this off my chest, anyway.

Sorry, it took me a very long time to write this.  I’m out of time.



1. docmx001 - August 28, 2015

This I so spot on. Everybody can see it.

2. S. Armaticus - August 28, 2015

To paraphrase the infamous Rodney King,”Why can’t we all get along?”

Tantumblogo - August 28, 2015

Alright I know. But I really don’t want to do anything that kills a prior friendship/working relationship. So I’m trying to be very careful in how I phrase things.

S. Armaticus - August 28, 2015

I pray for MV. What I don’t do is write about him. He is lost. Eventually he will find his way, or he will go broke. Either way, he will have his “come to Jesus” moment. But until then, all we can do is pray for him.

B/t/w, I like your post and it was good that you wrote it. I sense the letter was written by a true friend. Hope MV gets a opportunity to read it.

O/m/t, the attacks on the SSPX are orchestrated. Something is up. “They”, whoever “they” are, even got poor Bishop Morlino in on the act. How sad it that?

Lynne - August 31, 2015

‘they’ have to poison that well even further before the synod…

3. atsa4you - August 28, 2015

Thank you for this. While we can all conjecture guesses at the behavior from CMTV and MV, it has defied description and understanding until now, and frankly as you surmise, has greatly diminished MV’s credibility significantly, even if one only counts FB views. My wife asked me recently if I had seen a recent Vortex, and my response was “not interested” “nothing new he can say” and all together too predictable.

God Bless

4. tg - August 28, 2015

I agree with your post. I’m turned off by Voris for reasons you state. I was going to join them the premium channel but decided against it. I think your way of calling out the Pope’s errors is gentle and not harsh.

5. Larry Betson Ocds - August 28, 2015

I agree, thanks for posting. The Incessant public spewing of venom about the SSPX has almost turned me off completely to CMTV. I’ve been watching them for years but over the past year for me, now I feel for the first time that there is an influence, probably monetary, that seems to be keeping this Apostolate honest.

6. Baseballmom - August 28, 2015

Tantum, below is what I posted on another site regarding the grave danger of celebrity. You are wise, very wise, to eschew it….

“Celebrity is a very dangerous thing. Very dangerous for souls, especially those who espouse Christianity. Priests, bishops, pastors, lay leaders have all fallen in the glare of the public eye. I would not wish celebrity on my worst enemy. The devil takes these ones down first, so that many hundreds will fall WITH him or her. Eschew celebrity – it is a tool of evil.”

7. St. Anibale - August 28, 2015

Dear Tantum:

To my taste an excellent post and I’d like to comment just a bit. You paint a very accurate picture.

I, too, had some personal association and I, too was quite hopeful and supportive of Mr. Voris. In fact, as the Catholic Identity Conference of 2012 approached, I anticipated it with optimism specifically in terms of Voris. He had been invited to speak alongside others who have, collectively, perhaps contributed a century or more in this battle for authentic Catholicism. I thought this would be his opportunity to find his place among them and to begin to contribute in even more strong fashion than he previously did.

His reception by the crowd at that conference was good. His presentation on homosexuality in the Church was quite good. But whereas previously he had been speaking to audiences which were pretty new to all of this stuff, he was now speaking to an audience with which, in many cases, he could have traded places and listened to them. In other words, this was a seasoned audience. He was now, perhaps for the first time in a big way, speaking to people who had a lot of knowledge and experience about all of this. And, again, his reception by the crowd was good, not stellar. It was a lot like a rookie Heisman quarterback turning in a fairly decent performance in his first NFL game.

I thought that would be good. I thought he would then take up his place among the veterans and get down to work. It was not to be. It was shortly after this he turned on them.

From all of this one cannot draw a cause-effect relationship. I have always just wondered. Used to being cheered wherever he went, he here found himself just another second-tier speaker whose work was appreciated.

I cannot comment on his work these days. I have seen nothing of his in quite some time. As he began to turn on those who many of us admire for their efforts, it became harder to afford him credibility. And, as you say, he has a formula and that formula leaks a lot of water.

He draws his crowds, he puts together his cruises and he is likely where he is more comfortable, as the most glamorous fish in his self-made pond.

Today I question whether we should not just quit commenting on him. Here I include those people he has attacked. I wonder if the best thing for all of us to do is not to just tune him completely out like we do other inchoate neo-modernist media pnenomena.

Tantumblogo - August 28, 2015

OK, I’ll be up front. The original title of the post was “I’ve washed my hands of CMTV.” Because I haven’t wanted to watch anything in months, but I occasionally force myself just to see where he’s at. Something has changed, I through out some guesses, but that’s all they are. But I get a strange vibe every time I watch him now, from Vortex’s to Mic’d up to whatever. Some of the content is still very good but little of it is at all fresh. Ignoring the elephant in the room makes it all feel rather false and forced.

So consider this my last attempt. I’ve avoided saying anything for a very long time but some recent events to me required some kind of response.

8. Margaret Costello - August 28, 2015

For me it began with touting JPII in his programs, then it was ignoring the elephant in the room known as Pope Francis, and the last straw was attacking the SSPX. I’m not SSPX, never been in one of their chapels, but if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t have a TLM, an FSSP/ICK/Indult, we would be in the 9th circle of V2 hell and not even know it. The only thing the SSPX has done “wrong” is not submit to Modernist leaders in Rome. If that is “schism” then every Traditional Catholic is schismatic too.

The anger. So much of it. I always wondered how MV could fight day in and day out. Even the Israelites “went in…went out” i.e. there was a time for war and a time for peace/rest. I think MV needs a sabbatical in a holy monastery somewhere.

And yes, the old stuff on CMTV premium was solid: Right and Reason, The One True Faith, St. Michael Basic Training, FBI/CIA, the talks etc. He was on the right track, the Traditional track of objective truth and radical trust. Something happened to pull him off it and I pray he finds it once more. Our Lord has such gifts and plans for him:+) Let us pray for him:+) God bless~

PS Thank you for staying on the humble blogger route:+) And thank you for finally bringing this up. I was wondering what your thoughts were on it, especially since his financial backer was in a parish near you I believe.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

“…if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t have a TLM, an FSSP/ICK/Indult, we would be in the 9th circle of V2 hell and not even know it.”

For me, these kinds of statements demonstrate a little too much hero worship and not enough consideration of the state of things. I keep thinking that, had Abp Lefebvre been even a little less…prickly…he might have aided the Church in a very different way. Where people insist that he saved the traditional Mass, I’m inclined to think that he could’ve aided in highlighting the errors of the Novus Ordo, thus causing the Novus Ordo to have been adjusted in appropriate ways, thus allowing the organic growth and change that Vatican II requested to have occurred.
Instead, we’ve been forced to remember the missal from 1962, allow for two forms of the same rite, and an insistence that “modern” forces destroyed the Church, even though I see that both “modern” and “traditional” sides contributed a great deal to the discord we have today.

Margaret Costello - August 31, 2015

It’s not hero worship to relay facts. And if you had read an autobiography you would know that “prickly” is far from a description of the Archbishop. He did highlight the problems with the NO, as did other prelates like Ottovani and Bacci. They were ignored. Kind of like being ignored today in the modernist, NO church. And what “organic growth and change” can a fabricated, on the spot, banal product (not my words, but Pope Benedict’s) bring to the liturgy? The Church has no business introducing a liturgical rite 2000 years later. We follow the Deposit of Faith, and that includes the liturgy given to us by the Apostles. Yes, let us be forced to recall the Mass of All Times…it is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven:+) And yes, there is discord, as their should be when fighting heresy. It’s worth it for it purifies the Church and thus saves souls:+) God bless~

Lynne - August 31, 2015

I was going to say the same thing, you saved me the time, thanks! I’ve been going to an SSPX chapel for over a year now. I wish I did it sooner. We’ll all find out on the other side of the veil that God wishes us to follow the Faith, whether it’s via an SSPX chapel, an FSSP parish, a diocesan TLM or a N.O. parish (although I do believe it’s hardest in a N.O. parish, at least it was for me).

Tim - August 31, 2015

Most excellent reply Margaret! Mr. Flaherty would do well to read the Archbishop’s biography and the documentary DVD on his life….both available from Angelus Press. I believe he will be canonized one day.

9. Mrs. Pat Scott Houston, Texas - August 28, 2015

I WAS REMOVED AND BLOCKED on his site. . Although he says, “Welcome to the Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed”–that is APPARENTLY NOT the case.. The subject was the upcoming Synod where I pointed out that Pope Francis has called for it and is on record supporting Cardinal Kasper. So what can we expect from the Novus Ordo Vatican II Church.. I questioned why petitions need be sent to the Pope asking him to support the teachings of Christ about marriage, when he should know. I also pointed out that I had a problem with a pope who advises INCORRECTLY on things, as the woman who was divorced and remarried– that Pope Francis told to go ahead and receive communion. I also wondered why Voris has flip flopped on the SSPX (that I do not belong to). My posts—were removed and Blocked..
Just as well– makes it clear where he stands. But perhaps he should change his intro to: “my opinions and musings, which
I will not allow to be questioned nor exposed”.

St. Anibale - August 29, 2015

Excellent, Mrs. Scott. I did not realize it had gone that far. And, BTW, I’ll open myself to criticism regarding the whole petition thing, and I ignore them for the reason you point out here. I don’t particularly care if others wish to put a whole lot of energy into all of that – I think it is fine, I just cannot personally get interested in petitioning a pope to defend the Catholic Church.

10. Obsever - August 28, 2015

About 3 years ago I watched a few CMTV broadcasts but felt, excuse the expression, Michael Voris wasn’t entirely kosher. His broadcast on the evils of abortion completely missed out important theology as well as pertinent temporal consequences.

11. H-town - August 28, 2015

Apparently when it comes to Voris and his “funder”, as the old saying goes: money talks, bullshoot walks!

12. Tim - August 28, 2015

I read this this morning, some comic relief for a truly sad situation:


13. Maggie - August 28, 2015

Funny, as Inwas reading your post and with the mention of celebrity, I thought of Corapi and you mentioned him too. His Vortex has gotten so negative and I do not have time to go into the good old stuff and am not renewing my premium account. He is coming to my state in the fall and I may go see him although the my first grandchild is due about the same time so we shall see. I met Michael two years ago and he gave great talks. I had two meals with him and found him to be down to earth. Things seem especially to have changed with this strange disconcerting pontificate.

14. Woody - August 28, 2015

Boring. Stick with the aviation stuff on Fridays.

Tantumblogo - August 28, 2015


Woody J - August 30, 2015

I disassociate myself from the other Woody’s comment above, but would also suggest that it is unlikely that Mr. Voris is a member of Opus Dei as they do not even publicly criticize bishops, to my knowledge.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Yeah you’re probably right.

tg - September 1, 2015

What is the problem with Opus Dei? I thought the founder is a saint. I keep reading comments about MV being Opus Dei and I just wonder what is bad about that?

Tantumblogo - September 1, 2015

Whether bad or not, Opus Dei has a total prohibition on criticism of the papacy, and even, as others have noted, bishops. There are a number of concerns with Opus Dei from a traditional viewpoint. Because they are dedicated to complete obedience to the Holy Father, they twist and turn with each pontificate. I have taken part in a couple of Opus Dei meetings (led by priests) and was scandalized by what was taught. They were full-bore into ecumenism, seemed tolerant of indifference and explained away very scandalous acts of JPII (kissing the Koran) as being wonderful acts of interreligious outreach. There’s a lot more, but while they were perhaps very conservative in the period 1938 – 1968, and are more orthodox than many groups in the Church today, they’ve really embraced the post-conciliar ethos and so a lot of traditional Catholics have a problem with that. Some also view some of their activities as cult-like, but I’ve always found that over the top. Note, Saint Jose Maria Escriva died in 75. He received a special dispensation for himself never to offer the NO, only ever offering the TLM, but that kind of mentality did not carry over with his successors after his death.

I think they still have some good potential but I’m not sure they’re on the right path right now.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

“They were full-bore into ecumenism, seemed tolerant of indifference and explained away very scandalous acts of JPII (kissing the Koran) as being wonderful acts of interreligious outreach.”

I think that’s not exactly a resounding indictment of either ecumenism or of John Paul’s beliefs. Judging by George Weigel’s biography of our late Holy Father; John Paul was hardly indifferent to the the faith or to the troublesome differences between faith traditions. If people would be scandalized by John Paul’s gesture to the Muslims, I think such people probably did not know John Paul II very well. I think such concerns do not represent the real problems that ecumenical efforts tend to pose. If that’s all someone has against Opus Dei, … well, I think it unlikely that Opus Dei will keep everyone happy. Many have trouble with various concepts from Vatican II. That’s only one.

Tantumblogo - September 1, 2015

1. Comment made in two minutes. I don’t have spare half-hours to finely parse all these matters. I heard an Opus Dei priest say that it was a great thing that JPII kissed the Koran and did a number of other interreligious/ecumenical things and dismissed those who were scandalized by such acts as immature and of bad will (something to that effect, it was 3 years ago or so). I personally don’t delve into Opus Dei much but I know a lot of traditional Catholics have problems with them so, take that for what you will. They are not explicitly traditional and do not offer the TLM on a regular basis to my knowledge.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

Mmm. So an almost offhand remark to the negative being made with regard to another almost offhand remark made to the positive. ..In which case, both remarks tend to be questionable regarding the merits of Opus Dei.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

For what it’s worth, tg, I would suggest referring to persons who do not have as distinct an interest in traditional matters to find out about Opus Dei if you’re so inclined. For what little I know of them, the traditionalists don’t like them much because they’re not traditional enough; I think the progressives don’t like them because they’re not progressive enough. …If I recall correctly, still others don’t like them because I think they may require some form of vows, though I don’t recall what the vows address.
That could mean that they’re simply conveying an orthodox view of the Church’s life, or it could mean that they’re nuts.
Again, it’d be wisest to speak to someone who has a better knowledge of them than what we likely have here.

Tantumblogo - September 1, 2015

That’s fair. I had a bad experience. I can add this, though – there was a fairly large Opus Dei group here in Dallas but many have left as they’ve found the TLM. I know a few of those folks and they felt there were problems in the catechesis shared. That’s really all I know, directly.

15. Ann Malley - August 28, 2015

Thank you for writing this. Difficult, no doubt. Perhaps yours will be the nudge necessary to get MV to acknowledge the bad turn he’s taken.

16. MFG - August 28, 2015

Thanks for sharing Tantum. Its sad but as you point out inevitable with a celeberty status. If MV hired equals so CMTV wouldn’t have been about one person he could have subtlely faded into the background and turned it into s good force. Sadly it doesn’t appear that way.

A priest I know in east Texas said its better to be obscure than know. How true.

TE - August 29, 2015

A priest I know, musing on Fr. Corapi and other fallen priests that were in the public eye, says that a priest should have a charism for being in the spotlight or else he’s inviting trouble for being there. Perhaps that goes for anyone on the Catholic talking head circuit.

17. Kevin Rilott - August 28, 2015

The society of Pius X consecrates it’s own Bishops and Priests without Church approval……..this places them outside of the Church.

I thank Mr. Voris for warning us against this.

I need a valid Eucharist and Confession…..SSPX has neither.

Tim Thunell - August 29, 2015

You are factually incorrect.

Camper - August 29, 2015

They have valid eucharist…

Tim - August 29, 2015

The Confessions are valid as well. Fr. Hesse(canon lawyer) explains:

John Flaherty - August 29, 2015

I have watched 15 minutes of this video. Nothing of what he has presented substantiates his claim that SSPX has faculties to offer Mass or hear Confessions.
Instead, he’s again insisting that Rome has erred and that a state of emergency exists that allows for SSPX actions.
So far as I’m aware, neither Fr Hesse nor the SSPX have the ability to proclaim a state of emergency or to over-rule the Vatican regarding faculties. However well-intentioned Fr Hesse may be, I am forced to conclude that he has erred in his assessment of the situation.

SSPX does not offer confessions or Mass licitly, thus these sacraments cannot be recognized by the Church.

Tim Thunell - August 29, 2015

So you know more than a canon lawyer and doctor of Thomistic Philosophy. I had no idea that the anti-SSPXers had such a formidable intellectual weapon.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

I don’t believe I’ve stated that I know more than a canon lawyer or Thomist. If anything, I’ve commented that the canonist and Thomist has failed to make his case with genuine reference to canon law or Thomistic theology. He has accused his opponents of having erred, but he has neither substantiated why he is right, nor demonstrated why the other side has erred. It’s essentially an hour-long diatribe against those he declares to have erred, but without providing any reason to beiieve that he, himself, has not also erred.
I think he has taken canon law and Thomism out of context to make a case that can’t be honestly made another way.

John Flaherty - August 29, 2015

Sadly, these comments about canon lawyers and whatnot demonstrate the kind of contempt for others that I have come to associate with SSPX supporters. In all his insistence about what the SSPX has allegedly suffered at Rome’s hands, he never addresses the need for the Society to remain subordinate to Rome.
Even the Pope is the Vicar of Christ or he isn’t. I do not believe the Society has the authority to declare the pope to be a heretic or apostate.
The world’s bishops would need to make that determination.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

Mr. Thunell,
Unfortunately, holding a doctorate in Thomistic philosophy or being a canon lawyer does not make Fr Hesse capable of rendering a binding judgement on the subjects matter he addresses. More regrettably, Fr. Hesse’s presentation appears to me to skillfully walk around the edges of the main dilemma, that of the pope’s authority within the Church. He never seems to directly address that matter.

drvsvs - August 30, 2015

John, perhaps you should watch more than 15 mins of a one hour video before formulating solid conclusions about it. I’m not trying to be uncharitable with you, but Fr. Hesse deserves more than a cursory glance. God love you!

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

“…but Fr. Hesse deserves more than a cursory glance.”

I watched the remainder last night. He did not present any information in the latter 45 minutes that he had not implied in the first 15. He did not present information to cause me to change my stance.

drvsvs - August 30, 2015

John, I will not try to persuade you otherwise. Internet comboxes are not conducive to good argumentation. Keep me in your prayers, and I’ll keep you in mine.

c matt - August 31, 2015

Licit is different than valid. Or do you also deny that the Orthodox have valid sacraments?

Dave Heath - August 29, 2015

Any simple Google search will take you to definitive statements from Vatican Hierarchy that will tell you the SSPX Masses are valid, though illicit and the priests ordinations are valid. Sunday obligations are fulfilled at SSPX Masses and you can also contribute to the collections, etc so long as the Faithful who do so do not have a Sedevacantist leaning and recognize the legitimate authority of Rome and the current Pontiff.

18. Judy - August 29, 2015

I stopped watching anything by CMTV several months ago. I’m tired of hearing about how dangerous the SSPX is to the Church. While I’m not a member of SSPX, I am very grateful to them for everything they did to fight against the tide since Vatican II.

19. The Fullness of Truth Apostolate - August 29, 2015

This was a very good post and obviously honest to a painful degree. As an outside observer – some one who used to watch Voris’ videos on a semi-regular basis – I would agree with the above sentiments. Personally, I can’t stand Voris’ videos because they seem redundant – the carrying on with the same old laundry list of modernist issues and the bishops whom he blames. I get it and I completely agree; now can we please move on to solutions and correct teaching? I can’t stand the repetitious listing of the problems, over and over and over, like a broken record. So, I just quit listening to Voris’ videos.

20. The Fullness of Truth Apostolate - August 29, 2015

I think Catholic Answers has also gone the way of Voris. I was CA’s greatest fan in the early nineties after my reversion, but they, too, began to show an irrational hardness towards traditionalists. Now CA seems just plain arrogant and insulting towards them, and, as with Voris, I’ve completely tuned them out.

21. Dave Heath - August 29, 2015

Well written and well balanced commentary…

22. jayboyd - August 29, 2015

Oh, Larry. You are so wrong on so many counts. I am really saddened to read what you have written here. You don’t even have all your facts straight. I am ashamed for you, because this is so slanderous, not to mention back-stabbing. I pray the light dawns for you someday soon.

Tim Thunell - August 29, 2015

Who are you addressing?

Dismas - August 29, 2015

Jayboyd, perhaps you could provide us with examples of:

1. Where Larry (Tantum) is wrong on so many counts
2. The facts that you say are not straight, and your version of the straight facts
3. The parts of this that are slanderous and back-stabbing

so that an adequate response to your accusations might be formulated.

Thank you in advance.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Well that’s exactly what someone else said, but I’m not sure what “facts” are being put in question when I said at the top the content of the post consisted of my personal impressions and reminiscences. I don’t think I claimed anything in the piece as a fact but simply my remembrance of various events.

So I’m sort of at a loss as to how to reply. If I could make a suggestion, though, it would be to have no contact with CMTV for 6 months or a year and see if you still feel the same way. There is a tendency there to create or define a reality that suits the needs of the organization. Things that are absolutely vital one day get subtly reduced in importance through a process of self-convincing, while others emerge to replace the former vital items. I’ve seen it happen in the past. So have you, if you’ll stop and think about it.

The other surprising thing is, I’ve said more or less all of the above before, just never altogether in one place or quite so strongly.

Anyway I thank you for your concern.

23. DM - August 29, 2015

Another person I think is likely behind CMTV and Michael Voris’s drift into this extreme anti-SSPX, Pope-Francis-can-do-no-wrong attitude is a certain Canadian Opus Dei-associated priest who is involved with them, though not officially. His own video homilies used to be quite good and orthodox but over the past year or two have degenerated into the most ridiculous, extreme anti-SSPX tirades I’ve ever seen, to the exclusion of almost every other issue. I used to watch his homilies regularly but had to stop after this began. He has been associated with Michael Voris and the CMTV apostolate for many years. I’m not sure of the reason for this priest’s own turn down this path. I’m not sure if I should name this priest publicly but some on here may know who I am talking about.

24. Brian - August 29, 2015

I travel much and have witnessed first-hand a vast array of Novus Ordo liturgical abuse. I’m sorry, but it is frequently, quite simply, pathetic; sad.

Then there is the freight train of FSSP and SSPX liturgy that retains the power of 2,000 years of accumulated wisdom and growth; constantly guided and directed by the Holy Spirit, It’s Groom; connected to Church Militant and Triumphant.

I can see why such contrast would inspire fear, anger and violence to stop it. The contrast is growing increasing stark. It must be quite embarrassing. They think the game is up because they control power levers. It is not. This Liturgy belongs to God and is not the political plaything of modernists.

Voris lost me the moment he went after these most serious SSPX Catholics.

25. johna654 - August 29, 2015

The SSPX is insidious!

Brian - August 29, 2015

Insidious: “proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.”

SSPX, Harmful ….. How?

They respect the Petrine Office, but reject the binding authority of a Pastoral Council that enshrined liturgical, Eucharistic revolution. They remain true to 2,000 years of Tradition; they are Catholic, while in 99% of all Parishes in the land something liturgically new is presented which appears more Protestant than Catholic, ( I am a former Protestant … I know).

Which is more insidious?

Tim - August 29, 2015

Insidious: “proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.”
johna564….this describes the MO of the modernists who have seized power, not the SSPX. Have you ever met an SSPX priest or been to one of their chapels? Please name one dogma or doctrine that the SSPX denies. Then list the doctrines and dogmas that those in “full communion” deny day in and day out. Watch the Fr. Hesse video posted above, he will clear things up for you.

c matt - August 31, 2015

As Mundabor might say: If the SSPX is wrong now, then the Church was wrong then (pre VII).

Tim - August 31, 2015


26. LaGallina - August 29, 2015

I, too, stopped watching Michael Voris last year some time. I am just not interested in trad-bashing — especially from other trads, or whatever Voris is these days. It is sad. I used to really enjoy his work.

27. Baja - August 29, 2015

Great article and spot on. They have created division and divisiveness out of thin air. I too am not able to support or watch CMTV.

28. Ray W. - August 29, 2015

Yes. Over the past couple of years, I, too, have noticed a disturbing change of countenance in the daily videos — 1.) a strangely increasing preoccupation with homosexuality in the clergy, 2.) with attacking individual priest personalities rather than taking issue with their ideas as one might in reasoned discourse, and like sap oozing from a giant pine tree, strident remarks against the Church as a whole, though most often aimed at Vatican II supporters who still seek a liberal more accepting and pro-Protestant endorsing of the Council’s documents.
~~ With the new studio came a greater outreach, a wider influence, ocean-going retreats featuring MV, MV coming to you direct from the Throne of St. Peter in Vatican Square . . . that sort of thing. Vanity? Growing Pride of a dangerous sort?
~~ Fairness demands I point to a rather long and carefully researched e-mail reply I sent that touched rather heavily upon climate change. Sources documented the views aired, and it was never published. So I began reading several of the replies that were published — around fifty or more — and all praised MV in one degree or another, adulation seemed the key to getting one’s views recognized and shared.
~~ After that incident, I felt . . . less relaxed, less accepting of the views “preached” by MV, a blossoming “bishop” in his own right? A new source of the Magisterium? More “on guard” after that rather disappointing rejection, I’ve begun questioning the official MV “line, started observing for possible patters, like those listed above, and decided NOT to stop viewing, but rather to continue observing the ever narrowing subject selection and asking myself, “Why doesn’t he take time to teach and instruct the ignorant rather than charge and condemn in inflexible certainty in an ever narrowing range.”
~~ I’ll leave it at this, still puzzled by this evolving enigma and remarking that I feel some of the, apparently, same uncertainty and lack of joyful spontaneous confidence of former viewing years.

29. TLM - August 29, 2015

I agree with you DM and I know who you are talking about, but, you are correct…..why throw names around, not important for the subject matter. The sad fact of the matter is, CM and MV have staunchly obliterated an important piece of the puzzle in regard to the crisis in the Church, and attack and delete anyone with a different view. Their moderated responses to some, I have noticed, are angry and border on actually being uncharitable for whatever reason. I too go over there occasionally just to see what’s going on, but not as a ‘regular’. Have cancelled my subscription and opted out of the emails, and yes, it’s a sad situation that I pray does not get the best of them over at CM. So much potential that I see slowly going down the drain. There are so many more problems INSIDE the Church that unmistakably lead all the way up to the ‘shoes of Peter’ that they forbid discussion about, but their main thrust is SSPX bashing? It’s almost like a ‘diversion tactic’.

And your post Tantumblogo, reflects a loving concern about (what started as) a wonderful ministry that seems to be going off the rails, which is obvious to anyone who follows the Catholic Blogosphere. You didn’t point out much that was ‘big news’ to the faithful. Seems as though we are seeing the ‘confusion’ even with good intentioned bloggers that love the Church of Christ. No point in ignoring THAT elephant in the room. Much prayer is needed for ALL at this point in Church history. Keep MV and CM in your prayers.

30. Elsa - August 29, 2015

I am coming across this from Pewsitter. I respect your opinion on CMTV but I feel like we are looking at two different places. I have been watching for years also but do not know any “inside scoop” as you do, I live in CA and am not in the blog world as you veterans. I don’t see it as you at all. I look forward to their content I don’t think it’s the same every day and am interested in ALL OF IT! I haven’t found anyplace else that covers like they do I totally need them for sanity. Many mention the change in MV’s mood maybe not as jovial? (I personally haven’t noticed it) Well they have seen a lot of evil first hand in person in the last years. I doubt (but could be wrong) anyone here can say they were in the front lines of the Supreme Court ruling on SSM. CMTV had boots on the ground coverage and they felt the evil there that day which they were literally surrounded with. They also had boots on the ground at the devil statue unveiling in Detroit and even drove around the venue in a truck with their own studio 6ft St. Michael statue in the back with a bullhorn praying the St. Michael prayer to all the santanist there in there face 3 times !! Now that’s seeing/experiencing evil straight in the face. I believe they have experienced/felt what most of us haven’t. Like the three children of Fatima once Our Lady showed them what hell/evil looked like they were never the same. The children were known to have changed demeanor to a more serious one. Also mentioned is there obsession with SSPX? I heard it mentioned by I can’t say I recall that many, maybe cause I don’t have much history with that. I watched the video from 2010 but don’t see it as you do. I don’t idolize MV and if I ever think he is out of line then I will cross that bridge when it comes. I haven’t experienced what many commenting here have. I am glad you are voicing what you see to CMTV because you care, nothing wrong with that. I’m sure CMTV knows not everyone agrees.

31. Noah Moerbeek - August 29, 2015

On the Catholic internet if a person offers a little criticism to the SSPX even in a gentle way they will receive a torrent of abuse, insults, and slander from commentators, bloggers and the such like. Any Christian receiving such abuse should of course take it in patience, but it is a great test of virtue.

I have priests and laymen lose whatever sympathy they might have after receiving such abuse, and often times double down themselves in rhetoric against the SSPX(and sometimes unfortunately traditionalists in general).

You mentioned that the Priest who got the ball rolling on this in a way was the holiest priest you have met, and If I recall from that homily you linked to he said that “this is a salvation issue”, if that is the case then the “War” against the SSPX is understandable. The closest enemy is the one next to you, the SSPX and CMTV are closer to each other than they might think and they have an overlapping audience. Preaching about the necessity of baptism would be in a since preaching to the choir, preaching about the need to be under the authority of local bishop would be viewed as admonishing or instructing.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

First, I feared this would devolve down into pro-SSPX and anti-SSPX factions. It continues to impress upon me what an unforgiving point of division people’s sentiments towards the Society constitutes. I think that is somehow telling. I guess it could be interpreted either way.

The bit regarding the SSPX for me was really just introduction. It marked what I began to see as a dividing point. Maybe the division is entirely within me. But that’s where my concern towards CMTV started, not because of the advice given regarding the SSPX, per se, but more due to the process and then the subsequent fall out. I witnessed quite a bit of it and it made me uncomfortable throughout.

Regarding the priest, yes he’s probably the best overall I’ve met personally. There are a couple of others who I regard as his equal but I’ve never met them face to face. Of those two (neither in the Society) one holds the exact opposite opinion regarding the Society and another is more in the middle. Of a fair number of priests (12 or 15) I’ve been able to sort of ferret out their stands with regard to the SSPX, I’d say that division holds pretty firm – 1/3 are firmly against, 1/3 are more tolerant/supportive, and 1/3 are more or less indifferent.

But I cannot say this as well as my subsequent post will. Standby one on that.

32. Catherine - August 29, 2015

I have been a fan of CMTV from the beginning. It has done such important work and continues to do so. I do go to SSPX chapels and I think the Consecration of Russia has yet to be done. In these areas I disagree with their position. Would I ditch them on account of this? NO. Michael is a manly man in a Church full of girls. Sorry for that snarkiness. The devil hates men being men and I think the devil hates his manliness and he hates a lot of things about Michael Voris. I hope you do come to regret having posted this because it is regrettable (and so much poor commentary).

I hope you will publish this one opposing comment. It is, at least, sincere.

Ann Malley - August 30, 2015

Since you benefit from a Society chapel, Catherine, I hope you are similarly forthcoming in writing to MV about hoping that he comes to regret what damage he’s doing. And publicly, too.

As for manliness, it would be the manly thing, the right thing, to be consistent and not throw others under the bus. What is coming across at CMTV is cowardice and compromise, not the precise type of manliness the Church needs.

That is the exact brand of manliness that has left souls starving for the truth – all of it.

c matt - August 31, 2015

I guess he’s manly if beating up on subordinates, but never touching the boss, is manly.

33. John Flaherty - August 29, 2015

“Their content has become, to me, repetitive and increasingly off-target because they refuse to discuss the most pressing topic in the Church today.”

Which would be what?

Reading between the lines, I suspect that CMTV most likely has taken the stance they have because, well, I don’t think they have any other choice. If the tone they have presented seems to have changed, I would suggest that such may come about because they feel they need to be very frank and honest about the obvious real-world consequences of the SSPX situation. By purporting to offer sacramants and Catholic teaching in accordance with the faith, but not actually having faculties for doing so, I should think that SSPX does, in fact, place souls at grave risk, which is pretty much the point that CMTV has driven home.
If many people have been exceedingly unhappy about CMTV’s approach, I would suggest that the ire would be better directed against the SSPX leadership. I continue to be amazed at how traditionally minded people continue to finger-point at the various alleged “heretical modernist” bishops, yet adamantly refuse to admit that operating a Society without faculties also constitutes a pretty sinful act.

Tim - August 29, 2015

On the SSPX you are gravely confused….please watch Fr. Hesse’s(non-SSPX priest and canon lawyer) video posted above. We are in an emergency in the Church which eminates from the top. Yes, I go to SSPX chapels, but also go to FSSP, ICK and diocean TLM. I’m no zealot, just a defender of facts and truth. The supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls, not false “obedience”. The Hierarchy “withholds” regular jurisdiction for petty political reasons from the SSPX, but child molesting heretics are in “good standing”? The inmates are running the asylum. Check canon law, for those without regular jurisdiction, the Church provides supplied jurisdiction. Don’t take my word for it, listen to a qualified canon lawyer and priest, Fr, Hesse above.

Tyler Rose - August 29, 2015

Mr. Flaherty, would you have any comments regarding St. Athanasius, who also proceeded to offer the sacraments after having his faculties removed?

Tim Thunell - August 29, 2015

Mr. Flaherty would do well to watch Fr. Hesse’s talk posted above.

John Flaherty - August 29, 2015

I have listened to 15 minutes of Fr Hesse’s presentation. If he wished to present information to explain why SSPX may act as they do, I would listen more, but he has merely presented the typical reasons regarding a state of emergency and whatnot.
Until someone demonstrates why SSPX has the authority to offer Mass or hear confessions even without normal faculties, I’m forced to conclude that SSPX, whatever the other circumstances may be, acts in a manner that fits the definition of schism.

Ann Malley - August 30, 2015

John, it would seem that the reason has been provided – that is a state of emergency – but that you reject that reason because you do not see the state of emergency.

Others do, however, which is why they proceed to make the prudential judgments necessary for themselves and their families. This is why Voris’s sweeping statements of pretending his way is the only way is so off putting. That is elevating one’s position – one made minus any authority whatsoever – as the only one smacks of pride or fear of follow through.

Do you understand that CM dismisses their own bishop’s disapproval of their apostolate, proceeding with their videos etc out of a state of necessity? Why do you think they are no longer allowed to use Catholic in the name of their organization?

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

Ann, not long ago, Fr Z clarified that such a state of emergency refers exclusively to no-kidding emergencies, situations when a faithful person may not live long enough to receive Last Rites from a priest in communion with Rome. it’s not intended as a means of routinely providing sacraments without faculties that Rome will recognize.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

By, the way, yes, I’m aware of the difficulties between CMTV and the local bishop. CMTV has commented that they did not change their name at the behest of the local diocese; tough to say whether that’s completely true or not. Either way, the tension between CMTV and Detroit shouldn’t be any surprise, nor cause for doubts about CMTV’s efforts. They’ve been very frank about their displeasure with various bishops, including their own. Most chanceries are not going to allow for much more criticism than they must.

Ann Malley - August 31, 2015

John, Fr. Z is not the end all of understanding in this situation. And even the good padre cannot deny the reality on the ground that Society confessions – those which require the priest to notify Rome, etc for the lifting of certain sanctions have been returned approved.

So while the “official” word may be there is no jurisdiction, the situation on the ground is different.

That said, Fr. Z’s estimation of “crisis” is likely to shift depending upon what comes up this October. In other words, perhaps then ‘his’ line will be crossed and more will see there is an ongoing emergency.

As for ‘routine’, there is absolutely nothing routine in the crisis in the Church today.

John Flaherty - August 31, 2015

Ann, I don’t think Fr Z, you, myself, or others have any trouble seeing the crisis in the Church. However true this may be though, the circumstances still do not give SSPX the opportunity to act as they see fit, even in denial of Rome’s go-ahead. If the priests and bishosp of SSPX do not have faculties, they cannot hear confessions or offer Mass. If they offer absolution or Eucharist validly, they still do so in defiance of Rome’s clear wishes. I should think we would all wish to avoid that situation unless at the direst emergency of life and death.

However ugly may be the madness of the “Spirit of Vatican II”, such sins still do not justify committing more sins from the other end of the spectrum.

Margaret Costello - August 31, 2015

There is more to “state of emergency” than mere “someone might be dying”. It has been applied in various scenarios throughout Church history. The persecution in England and St. Athanasius/the Arian crisis comes to mind. And Bishop Scheider compared our current crisis to the Arian one, so I don’t see that the SSPX doesn’t have valid means for acting in such a state of emergency. God bless~

Ann Malley - August 31, 2015

John, the provisos of Canon law in case of necessity are there for a reason – they’re needed. So while you defend CMTV for their righteous disconnect with their own diocese (something borne out of a state of necessity, not ‘filial’ obedience) you limit yourself in scope.

You think that we can all see, but that we cannot act – even when Canon law provides. John, what do you think these provisos are for?

Those who lived during the times of the Arian heresy, no doubt, were similarly frightened at having to act outside the perceived norms. That is why CMTV’s giving themselves the liberty to act when it comes to Bishops, but drawing the line when it comes to the Holy Father and, for that matter, the fullness of canon law in the exercise of what constitutes necessity is again, self serving and limited. (I can, but you cannot.)

This is also why your assessment of Archbishop Lefebvre is similarly limited. It is not hero worship to acknowledge God’s using vessels of predilection to do His will. And while you think others hero worship Archbishop Lefebvre, who acted in accordance with Canon law to do what was perceived as necessary, you disregard the fearful leadership of those who would advocate calumny as a means to do what they perceive as good.

Sorry, but CMTV and it’s leadership have no grace of state. No authority whatsoever. So let’s not beat up the means God used to maintain the formation of traditional priests and the preservation of the TLM. Let us be thankful and move forward in charity.

John Flaherty - August 29, 2015

Making a brief review of Wikipedia, I see that Athanasius was condemned on at least four occasions either by Arian-leaning factions or by civil authorities. None of these groups of people would’ve have legitimate authority to denounce him in terms of his fidelity to faith or to the legitimate reigning pope.

In the last ten years, I have read many a statement which purported to justify the SSPX position; none have succeeded truthfully.

I think it would be marvelous if the SSPX would be reconciled with Rome, but when the Society refuses to submit to Rome’s authority, I think that unlikely.

Tim Thunell - August 29, 2015

Question: If one denies a dogma of the Church, are they Catholic?

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

I have seen no evidence that anyone has denied or defied a dogma of the Church. Bear in mind, the Society does not have the authority to make this kind of declaration for the world. I think a worldwide gathering of the bishops would be required.

Margaret Costello - August 30, 2015

Please read the book “St. Athanasius: Defender of the Faith” by Michael Davies. The Pope indeed DID excommunicate St. Athanasius. It was Archbishop Lafebvre, a bishop just like St. Athanasius, who made the decision that there was a state of emergency. God bless~

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

Ms. Costello, looking at Amazon, I see customer feedback which states that Athanasius suffered excommunication by a compromised pope during the time of the Arian chaos. Even if such would’ve been valid, this does not prove that Abp Lefebvre filled the same role. I also notice that other titles by the same author discuss the alleged destruction of the Roman rite, among other concerns. On the whole then, it would seem that we’re not dealing with an objective opinion, but with someone who wishes to find reasons for why SSPX may reject Rome’s authority.

Margaret Costello - August 31, 2015

From what I recall, Michael Davies is not SSPX. I would encourage you to read his three part series on Vatican II. (it starts with Cranmer’s Godly Order) I would also encourage you to read “Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II” blog. It is Louie Verrechio’s blog and he is not SSPX either. https://harvestingthefruit.com/ Nobody has the duty to follow the authority of Rome when it is asking us to deny the Deposit of Faith and follow it’s modernist ways. God bless~

Tim - August 31, 2015

Unless one is a member of the SSPX Third Order, none of the faithful are “members” of the SSPX. It is a Priestly Fraternity.

34. Woody - August 29, 2015

I think you all are entitled to your opinions of whomever you want to bash today: CMTV, the Remnent, Opus Dei, SSPX, etc. The firing line of the traditionalists/orthodox is truly a circle.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Which was the point of the post.

Woody - August 31, 2015

Oh, I see. You just wanted everyone to get mad at each other….again. That was the point of my first post above: “Boring.” It’s always the same arguments by the same people. And everyone leaves in a bad mood because no one budges from their position and can’t understand why those opposed won’t come over to their side. I guess you’re just looking for a way to get lots of people to view your site? What you did really bugs me. Not because you opened the same pandora’s box regarding trad v. trad but I didn’t get to see and read the neat articles you find on military aviation on Friday. You ruined by weekend. Thanks a lot!

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

I’ll totally make up for it! I’m soooo sorry for letting you down!

I really hoped it would not devolve into this SSPX-centered back and forth. Shoot, I only included a brief mention of that as a sort of introduction to establish context.

But probably, even if I hadn’t, it still would have come down to this. This is the ONE topic on which it appears reasonable people simply cannot agree to disagree.

And no I didn’t do it for hits, which have been doing OK thanks.

Oh, and prepared to be bored again. But then I promise really good stuff only from then on.

Tim - August 31, 2015

I, speaking for myself, am not “mad” at anyone for disagreeing with me. I simply stand firm on facts and have no wild expectations of “converting” anyone. I am concerned with the direction that CMTV is taking and I do grow wearisome of the false propaganda spewed against the SSPX. I go to their chapels, but I also will attend FSSP, ICK and diocean TLM. They all are run by human beings and all have flaws. But I notice that the SSPX is usually the main “target”. I don’t care, quite frankly, where anyone on this blog goes to Mass on any given Sunday.
Your remark about posting this just to get lots of views is uncalled for. You should apologize. I got news for you, the “trad v trad” was around long before this post and will be around long after, get used to it….it’s called human nature. I agree with Michael Matt that we need to dismantle the “circular firing squad”. After years of attending the above 4 sources of the TLM and observation I must admit that the main source of the angst lies in the FSSP. I have heard more nasty remarks about other trad organizations from them than all the others combined. With that said, I still believe them to be a good organization, with many good priests….who are like all others, weak and flawed human beings.

If this really “ruined your weekend” I suggest you need to talk to a good spiritual director.
God Bless

35. Kathleen - August 29, 2015

I believe THE point of this was to appeal to a major participant in the circular firing squad to cease fire.

And thank you, Tantum, for trying.

Things are never simple. It’s likely Mr. Voris arrived at the current point as a result of a mixture of a number of the factors you cite.

It’s a shame no matter how Mr. Voris and CMTV ended up at this point because it is wasteful of talents and resources (both of CMTV and others) that could be far better spent.

I truly pray he is not following a path like Fr. Corpi and that instead he turns the situation around. It would be a tremendous waste otherwise.

I have for years kept him in my prayers, but I stopped watching about 2 to 3 years ago as the attacks on good men, most especially Cardinal Burke (!!!) made watching any longer impossible.

It is possible for good and faithful Catholics to disagree about things peripheral to the faith in a way that maintains fraternal bonds.

I pray Mr. Voris gives this all some prayerful thought.

36. Curmudgeonkc.com - August 29, 2015

So this author is starting to connect the dots? Here are some more lines to draw between some dots in and outside the Metroplex.
One between the danger of celebrity and that Mater Dei priest whose attacks on the SSPX inspired the man who now bankrolls Mr. Voris’s apostolate.
And one between either (or both) of them and the smear campaign against Fisher More College.
And one between those men and the whispers of the former chancellor of FMC, Dr. Wormtongue, and its president.
And a couple between that former chancellor, the priest at Mater Dei, and the current and former Bishops of Ft. Worth.
And next, one between those Bishops, their metropolitan Archbishop, and the Bergolian ponticificate.
Now he can sharpen his pencil and see if there are any more lines to draw. Maybe one of those lines it to the author himself.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Too oblique for me. I think I might get where you’re going, and it’s a possibility, but a pretty dim one from my experience. There was a TON of concern about FMC and where it was headed, a good amount of that coming from folks with no great love for the priest in question, who has polarized a fair number of TLMers around here. Finances are what doomed that college, not any stand on the TLM or action by priest or bishop.

But yes there has been a polarization and I am far from privy to all the details. While the vast majority have an enormous love for the priest, as witnessed by the huge outpouring of support on his last Sunday at Mater Dei, there are a few bitter opponents.

Coming to an appreciation of someone/something is an always evolving process, no? Everything is a data point, and over time those points accumulate. Sometimes one is forced to reappraise. I don’t see any great need for that, yet, and I’m quite lost on the connection to higher ups (bishop, archbishop, etc), but maybe one day I’ll a better depth of knowledge.

37. Nate C - August 29, 2015

Tantumblogo – Thank you for sharing your observations and feelings. As a former loyal RCTV/CMTV supporter and premium subscriber I too recognize many of the changes that have taken place within the last 2 years. Reading your words it’s clear that you really have your heart in the right place and are saying what clearly is felt by many current/former Voris supporters.

Considering Michael Voris’ background I don’t think that celebrity is getting the better of him. If anything it is becoming more and more clear that Voris has always held these beliefs – finding the courage and perhaps financial freedom to finally express them?

The decision to post the infamous Manifesto against traditionalist Catholics was really the public turning point I think. I remember thinking he was way off the mark with his accusations and we all hoped it was the opinion of some rogue member of his organization. Turns out it wasn’t.. and I know that I am sad that I had to make good on my threat to cancel my membership and renege support.

38. Of Course They Do! | Mundabor's Blog - August 29, 2015

[…] noble, and very interesting blog post from Tantumblogo at the Blog for Dallas Area Catholics. The blog post is a suffering, but rather cold-analysis of everything that has gone wrong with CMTV […]

39. TJP - August 30, 2015

A journalist who takes a personal oath to avoid reporting the truth, as Michael Voris did when he announced after October’s Synod that he would not criticize Pope Francis, is a “dead-man walking” in his profession. You cannot ignore an elephant in the living room and retain your journalistic integrity, especially when the elephant is getting bigger.

Baseballmom - August 30, 2015

Hoping the synod helps everyone to see clearly “who is for Him and who is against Him.” This will be an opportunity to fully and honestly report what is occurring. At that point it will be tough to ignore that elephant.

Tim Thunell - August 30, 2015

Tragically, CMTV will bend itself into a pretzel to ignore the Bergoglio elephant.
The papolatry subscriptions represent big $$$$$. Pray for the pope. Pray for Mr. Voris.

Brian - August 30, 2015

I picture St. Peter, the night Christ was crucified, surrounded by jeering crowds, and filled with thoughts of despair and defeat. He is deciding whether or not to abandon His Lord. A fellow disciple is sitting next to him listening to his anguished conscience debate this choice.

Don’t you think Peter would prefer a friend to oppose him to his face; slap him if need be in order to help him see the right way? Peter to his tearful sorrow made the choice of Judas, but repented. A true friend would not nod his head, yes, just because it was Peter. A true friend would grab him by the shoulders, shake him out of his temptations and tunnel vision and bring him back to reality.

That is what MV and all Catholcs are called to do in times of crisis of faith.

40. daisy - August 30, 2015

I think Mr. Voris has made a mistake. Look, the average Catholic in the US doesn’t even know the SSPX exist. I’ve had contact with SSPX parishioners. They seem like decent people who are trying to live their Faith. Mr. Voris is starting to look like Captain Ahab.

41. Boniface - August 30, 2015

I know the truth behind this. I think I am one of the few who does.

Tim Thunell - August 30, 2015

Please enlighten all of us ignorant fools.

Boniface - August 31, 2015

Take too long to explain it would involve bringing in the characters of persons who are not public individuals.

Janet Baker - August 31, 2015

If you had no intention of revealing this “truth”, why the desire to brag about this “knowledge”?

Al DiPietro - August 31, 2015

So what was the point of your original comment? Seems like a smug, self-serving remark on the order of, “I know something you don’t know and I’m not going to tell you.” Your comment is childish.

Tim - August 31, 2015

I have the time and use fictitious names for those who are not public and need to be protected. Please now enlighten us so we can all be in 100% agreement and we can put this matter to rest.
I look forward to hearing your information.

42. skeinster - August 30, 2015

Haven’t read all the comments: only want to say that “spiritual pornography”- a phrase I love, btw- was explained to me as whatever we read, or listen to, that has the power to ruin our peace of heart or make us angry to the point of not being ruled by reason.
Some can handle this better than others, but anyone could become addicted to the adrenaline rush.

So, not so much that the SSPX puts out spiritual porn, b/c it can be any blog, etc. that affects us adversely. And this will vary from individual from individual.

We have to know our limits, and act accordingly. Biggest dangers: decisions may be made out of anger, fear or some other strong passion. Not to mention the potential waste of time and energy, which could be better spent.

Just what I heard.

Brian - August 30, 2015

It amazes me that anyone, much less a Catholc, could look at an “SSPX Mass”, and/or the simple, clear truths from their web site and refer to such things as “spiritual porn”. Especially in this confused and libertine age.

That is a true head smacker.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

I have read the SSPX website; they present Catholic faith from their own point of view. Most of the actual doctrine may be correct, except for where they reject Vatican II. Problem is, that’s quite a departure.
As far as liturgy goes, I have attended Wisconsin Synod Lutheran services that looked identical to Catholic Mass. I understand that some factions of Anglicans also present services that could be taken for Catholic to a great extent. Neither of those has been reconciled with Rome since the Reformation. Looking Catholic does not make one so.

Brian - August 30, 2015

Which leaves you with the original question of Tantum: Are we allowed to criticize the Pope? What happens when “Rome” goes off the rails and entertains notions like admitting adulterers to the Eucharist, or finding the good in homosexual marriage? Is any Mass fine so long as “Rome” promotes it, no matter how disconnected from Magisterial Tradition?

No, I get your point, but it doesn’t apply here. The Catholic Church goes way, way beyond the one lonely, outlying, increasingly distant pastoral council called VII. In that regard, innovation is not something I connect to SSPX, or any other faithful adherent to Tradition.

John Flaherty - August 30, 2015

I don’t believe that was the original question. Tantum didn’t query why CMTV won’t criticize the pope, but why CMTV issues views about SSPX that Tantum doesn’t think apply. I and others have disagreed.
I don’t believe CMTV has attempted to forbid anyone from critiquing the pope exactly; I think they’ve made clear that they will not do so in materials made available for public use.

As far as things go with Rome erring, we have a particular problem:
Whom do we recognize as the legitimate authority?

Put more starkly, what legitimate authority do we claim as being appropriate for declaring the pope to be a heretic or in a state of apostasy? I would’ve thought a Council of the world’s bishops would be required for that.

momangelica - August 31, 2015

The thing is, Vat.2 incurred all the Anathemas that were put into place in very strong terms by Pope Pius V, X and other popes through the centuries. In actual fact, it is most probable that the powers to Excommunicate, never mind even Consecrate, are with N.O. Church. If you read the works of Michael Davies you will come to see that clearly. The shoe is on the other foot. SSPX is the Catholic Church in all it’s entirety, not one dot altered. St John Fisher would recognize it if he were to ‘pay us a visit’ the N.O. he would see for what it is, Lutheran.

skeinster - August 31, 2015

Please re-read my comment. I said nothing about the Masses of any group. I was referring to other things- media in whatever form.

Brian - August 31, 2015

I think that Catholics who are seriously trying to address the crisis of the Church, may not know how, but are reading blogs to stay informed are about as far from spiritual porn as you can be.

In addition, the whole topic centers around the SSPX, you obliquely mention the SSPX etc.

I get your point. Something to be aware of.

Tim - August 31, 2015

There is good reason to reject parts of V2 as it does contain error. The SSPX maintains that most of V2 is truth. However, no one, no one is required to embrace error. So the vast majority of V2 is true with a small minority or error and you accept that error hidden in truth? Would you eat a wholesome meal that was 1% arsenic?

I invite you to review this summary of errors contained in V2:


Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Well, it’s really imprecise language, and ultimately possibly destructive. To say “I accept the Council of Trent” means I accept the dogmatic definitions, decrees, and anathemas of that Council. But Vatican II defined no Dogma, but proposed a number of novelties “pastorally.” I certainly accept every dogmatic definition of Vatican II, because there were no real definitions but where prior dogmas, or definitions, were repeated. But “accepting VII” has become a very loaded phrase, meant by many to include the “spirit of Vatican II,” which is something else entirely. I would say traditional Catholics overwhelmingly reject “the spirit of VII,” which has frequently been an attack against them/us from certain quarters of the Church.

John Flaherty - August 31, 2015

” ‘accepting VII’ has become a very loaded phrase, meant by many to include the ‘spirit of Vatican II,’ which is something else entirely. I would say traditional Catholics overwhelmingly reject ‘the spirit of VII,’ ”
I’m afraid that is all too true. One of the reasons I only grudgingly walked away from CMRI was precisely because of the idiocy that I’d grown accustomed to with this “Spirit” business. Far too often, even my (Catholic) high school had tended to advocate for practice that, to me, seemed to require turning the logical upside down and doing whatever made no sense at all. Later, after discovering the traditional Mass in late 2001, I recall looking at the high altar at St Aloysius (Spokane, WA), in early 2002, thinking it very sad that I would not see that beautiful altar in use.

43. Camper - August 30, 2015

I’ve read all of the comments. What a mess. Oh God, please deliver us from our evil bishops.

Baseballmom - August 31, 2015

Amen. All of them.

44. Mary Ann Kreitzer - August 31, 2015

Ditto to Camper. What a mess indeed!

45. joe - August 31, 2015

Glad it wasn’t just my imagination.

46. Janet Baker - August 31, 2015

John Flaherty, “declaring the pope to be a heretic” and criticizing what he says/does are NOT equivalent. As far as trying to stifle others from criticizing the pope, Voris most certainly has. I for one respect his decision to conduct his outreaches as he deems best. I regret that in the past he has not afforded us the same courtesy.

47. John Flaherty - August 31, 2015

I am deeply saddened by many of these remarks. I recall having this struggle about 14 years ago, not long after 9/11 in fact. I had grown quite disgusted with the local church, discovering the traditional Mass partly by accident. I found it quite fascinating. Though CMRI was not the same as SSPX, as many are not either, all of them offer more or less the same arguments: Novus Ordo was invalid, the pope has become a heretic, we have a state of emergency, and so on.

Utlimately, it came down to one question: Did I, as a lay man, have the authority to over-rule a pope–or act in defiance of his wishes–regarding how or where I would receive sacraments?

In spite of all the appeal of the traditional Mass even then, I made the spiritually wrenching decision that, no, I could not defy the pope in good conscience. Even if half the world’s local bishops would defy the pope, act like heretics, or encourage any number of abuses, I still could not justify attending a Mass that wasn’t in communion with Rome. I knew nothing of the existence of faculties at the time, but still understood that having a one Vicar of Christ still meant precisely that.

I do not believe the arguments that have been set forth in favor of SSPX, however compelling we may feel them to be, justify allowing anyone to act against the pope’s wishes regarding the Mass and the other sacraments. Once we leave the pope’s fold, I think we open ourselves to other errors.

However displeased I may be with Pope Francis (or may have been with Pope John Paul II), I still am disappointed by how people will seek Tradition, but will not seek to act in obedience to the pope, though such would be more consistent with that same Tradition.

We can’t expect Tradition to rule the Church if we mostly seek comfort on the internet and profess the claims made by a Society which has not reconciled with Rome.

Brian - August 31, 2015

But Pope Francis is not the ONLY Pope. He is A Pope. The Church is Living and all the other Popes, including St. Peter are still very much alive and govern according to Living Tradition, WITH HIM.

When a Pope departs from the long continuous line that begins with the ordination of Peter by Jesus Christ, he is on very, very thin ice and Christians must judge according to THAT standard.

I believe THAT is the point of this Post by Tantum and the point of conflict with MV. We have a very clear path set out for us by living Magisterial Tradition and it is very easy to see whether a Pope is acting on his own authority, or that granted by Christ. It is our DUTY, our DUTY, to ensure our shepherds are leading us to eternal life, and not according to worldly fashion.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

Brian, we have but one recognized pope at one time. No more, no less. If you want to argue that we have other popes, then yes, it’s true that we’ve had about 266 successors to Peter prior to Francis. As it happens though, none of the statements by previous popes have both directly addressed the concerns we face today AND directly contradicted the statements and intentions of our current pope. This makes sense. We have one Vicar of Christ for a reason, that we may have one final figure who is charged with safeguarding the faith. When we reject the authority of that one figure, we inherenlty place ourselves on VERY thin ice.
We, the faithful, do not validly declare a pope to be in error, thus allowing us to reject him. I think only a Council of the bishops of the world could do that. I see no efforts being made to convene such a Council, so I’ll take it that the Church believes we still have our leader.

We don’t have to like him very much, but we can’t reject his authority.

Margaret Costello - August 31, 2015

Actually Tradition has taught and led us to follow the Pope only when he follows the Deposit of Faith. St. Paul defied the first Pope “to his face”, a whole cadre of theologians called out John XXII, then there is St. Athanasius defying Pope Liberius and the list goes on. I think what I sense in you is a real need for a stable authority figure. Don’t blame you for that:+) But Our Lord didn’t make the Pope infallible in all things, per Vatican I he is only infallible in very specific instances.

If you are looking for that rock, that mantle of authority in these chaotic times, then follow a Church leader who follows the Deposit of Faith given to us by the Apostles…just like Catholics did during the Arian crisis. They followed the faith, they followed the Head of the Church i.e. Our Lord, who wonderfully granted them one of His apostles in St. Athanasius (a bishop) who would protect and defend the truth.

We follow Truth, the Deposit of Faith, Our Lord who is both infallible and impeccable. You can’t go wrong by following objective truth for Our Lord IS truth and it is His fold we belong to, not a currently weak Pope. As laity we can note that the current or even past Popes have done materially heretical things. But we do NOT have the authority to call them formal heretics…only the bishops can convene a council and declare that.

Maybe take a class on Church history that talks about all the previous doozies for Popes we have had? The Pope is not God, he is merely the steward for Our Lord who is the true head of the Church. And like a good shepherd, He will provide us with a human shepherd among His hierarchy that is faithful to His teachings:+)

God bless~

John Flaherty - August 31, 2015

“We follow Truth, the Deposit of Faith, Our Lord who is both infallible and impeccable.”

Seems to me that such is not the case if you refuse to submit to the Holy Father’s authority. Either we do have a single Vicar of Christ on earth, or we don’t. If we start stating that we only follow him if he happens to act or state things the way we wish, I think we’re already starting on a path of rebellion. We don’t need to like every single thing he says or does, but the SSPX doesn’t seem to be willing to submit to his legitimate authority either.

48. Tim - August 31, 2015

I sent this link(without comment) to some people I know, including Christine Niles, who is a former parishioner at Holy Rosary in Indianapolis. This is her reply to the group of people:

“Since I was included in this e-mail, I’ll briefly respond: “Tantum”(she actually put a name in but I am not including it out of respect for Tantum’s privacy) had the opportunity at any time to pick up the phone & call Michael Voris or speak with this so-called “funder” — both of whose contact information he has — but never chose to do so, so we question the sincerity of this “cry of the heart.”

His article is inaccurate, whether it’s about this “funder” (there is no “funder”), or the Vortex stats (all our content is aired on Vimeo, and stats show Vortex, Mic’d Up & our other content is more popular than ever), and no one at our apostolate, publicly OR privately, has ever “bashed” the Pope, so we reject his charge that there’s a double standard. One can express legitimate concerns about the Holy Father privately — as any faithful Catholic may do — without choosing to publicize his every misstep and scandalize the faithful.

God bless.

Christine Niles

Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum”

After the way I have been treated on the phone by CMTV folks when expressing concerns, I have trouble believing that there is true sincerity here. I’ve never met Tantum, but after reading this blog for some time I am convinced he is a straight shooter without an agenda other that truth and salvation of souls. I believe that that was the agenda originally with CMTV, but I believe they are starting to suffer from “rock star Catholic syndrome” and they do not realize it.

Look at what happened to Fr. Corapi and many others from EWTN.
They expose their jugulars and Satan goes in for the kill. I pray Mr. Voris, Mrs. Niles and others at CMTV recognize their spiritual illness in its early stages and step back for a while and get back to the primary mission….truth and salvation of souls. And yes that includes pointing out publically when the pope is going down the wrong path.

Ann Malley - August 31, 2015

What Ms. Niles seems to overlook is that while she believes the CMTV ‘policy’ that erroneously asserts that one should never publicly correct or stand against the bad actions of a Pope, she and the staff it seems are encouraged to calumniate others with seeming impunity.

IOW: They hyper focus on the fear of causing scandal with regard to the Pope only to endorse the grave scandal of the public calumniation/condemnation of fellow Catholics. As if the only mortal sin is when one speaks badly of a sitting Pope. Very sad, that.

Too many folks have ‘picked up the phone’ and to many times, Ms. Niles and Mr. Voris ignore the call, the email, and the very sins of calumny they spread beneath a banner of false fidelity.

God have mercy.

49. been there dne that - August 31, 2015

“Deliver Us From Evil” and He is!
CMtv blocked me also.i think I am in part responsible for this whole anti sspx scream fest in the catholic blogosphere.You see I happen to live in a Diocese that has a huge cadre of active homosexual priests some of whom actually appear VERY Traditional, Others are more apparently heterodox and clownish. How do i know?
Simply because I have had friends who worked for them in their rectories and know l good priests and nuns who could not stand it anymore.DREs, teaching nuns and chaste straight priests who all left in disgust or who were gotten rid of because they would not go along to get along. Parents who home school and so many others.I have spoken to Cardinals and Bishops face to face without a camera and microphone in hand about all of this.
Once I posted on CMtv that I spoke with Cardinal Stickler about fulfilling one’s Oblligation by attending an SSPX chapel and the Head of Ecclesia Dei concerning Canon Law and fulfilling one’s Obligation at an Orthodox church as an Eastern rite Catholic ,all hell broke loose.I was concerned for our children and my convert husband that they may hear the Truth from the pulpit.
SSPX priests we were exposed to horrified us at the time by telling us how ,”Hitler was so good to have saved Catholic Art from the allies”,
Tom Case the cult expert was spot on about these problems in the SSPX.

BUT those off base priests who were close to Fr Urrutigoity the pederast ( ,who eventually found shelter with the Opus Dei Bishop in Paraguay and were both removed by the Vatican) have also all since left the SSPX to start their own “Resistance”.Hewko was a close friend to Urrtigoity according to SSPX seminarians and parishioners I spoke with at the time and knew him to be a homosexual back in the SSPX seminary and still Hewko considered not “If” but “when” the time was right to join Urrutigoity in his newly formed now defunct SSJ.
Voris should also know that is was the FSSP that engaged these predators to watch over the youth at their St Gregory Academy
boarding school too. Gaydar anyone?

Mr Voris’ CMtv had better review all the angles of the “crisis”before HE pontificates to Catholic parents who are charged to protect their children not only spiritually but physically and emotionally also.

My conclusion concerning Voris and his moderator team is that they definitely has a huge learning curve to navigate.
To tell people they MUST attend Mass no matter their “circumstance or experiences” is way too easy ……..Voris is not a father or mother responsible for preserving the Faith for anyone other than himself while carving out a career.
He simply has much more to learn for his new found career.
In other words,.I simply do not take the advice of the inexperienced to be totally accurate anymore.

Ann Malley - August 31, 2015

…I’m with you about the practical necessity of protecting one’s children and convert spouse. God give you strength to do your duty despite what others attempt to tell you what is or isn’t righteous.

50. been there dne that - August 31, 2015

sorry for the typos above………old and arthritic fingers …..old enough to know better having been there and done all that.

51. Another Brian - August 31, 2015

Ironically, the priest you mention, whom CMTV uses to justify their no criticism of the pope stance, has himself criticized the pope publically from the pulpit on more than one occasion. I have heard it myself.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

He’s not entirely the source of justification. There are certainly others.

52. been there dne that - August 31, 2015

Just a tad more proof concerning the history of the CMtv learning curve.Below is a comment to Dr Leon Podles own blog article in 2013. Both the article and comments are insightful Leon was /is on the board of bishopaccountabilty.org.

While reading the CMtv commentary I noted a poster published a link which was quickly removed. The Moderator gave a turse explanation .He said the site said something “bad” about a “good” priest. The comment retort was that they post links to News articles of accusations ,court cases convictions.,appeals and
not guilty verdicts .What’s the problem?
From this and other posts I surmised that apparently reading and thinking for ourselves is not the policy at CMtv. Later I noted all posts that were deleted included the deletion of the moderator explanations which eventually were also deleted, including one by another frustrated CMtv reader
who said ,”Wow , I cannot believe the deletion of legitimate posts going on here!”


“Michael Voris hosted Fr Peter Stravinskas on his radio program this week. He praised the fruits of the Parochial school system. Stravinskas is no friend to thousands of Catholics who chose to homeschool.
“In an apparent override of Natural law, common sense, and the Magisterium of the Church, Our Sunday Visitor has published an interview with the formerly respectable and orthodox Priest, Fr. Peter Stravinskas. After reading this article however, I will never again apply the glorious label of orthodoxy to this cleric.”

People are also wondering if Michael Voris is man enough to host the same cleric on a show concerning the topic of Diocesan and parish financial improprieties .
“A noted Catholic thinker who was brought in to run St. Anthony Catholic Church in south Omaha allegedly spent more than $400,000 in 1 and 1/2 years – at a small parish that normally spent about $50,000 a year.
Police are investigating the Rev. Peter Stravinskas’ handling of St. Anthony’s parish funds after parishioners filed a report of a possible embezzlement. Detectives have told a judge it appears parish money was spent on Stravinskas’ personal expenses, including travel, mortgage payments and credit cards.”
Too many writers and speakers have had their names prefaced as a “noted catholic thinker.”

Thank you Mr Podles for another excellent article and a genuine intellect and courage to speak the truth!”

53. Father Michael Rodriguez on the divisions among traditional Catholics | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - August 31, 2015

[…] the following, very supportive and edifying communique from Father Michael Rodriguez with regard to my post pertaining to CMTV last Friday. I had mentioned in Friday’s post a certain priest being “the best” […]

54. Tyler Rose - September 1, 2015

Tyler Rose – August 29, 2015

Mr. Flaherty, would you have any comments regarding St. Athanasius, who also proceeded to offer the sacraments after having his faculties removed?

August 31.

Guess not.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

Matter of fact, Tyler, I had written a few paragraphs worth on the subject. Thanks to a miscommunication between the computer and the network, those comments never made it to the page.
In summary though, I learn from Wikipedia that Athanasius suffered condemnation at least four times either from civil authority or from Arian bishops, neither of whom had legitimate authority in the matter. It’s possible that he may have been technically excommunicated, though Wikipedia did not mention that. If so, such only occurred from a pope who made a poor judgement, and whose decision was later overturned by bishops in communion withi Rome.
It’s very interesting to notice that people keep trying to place Abp Lefebvre in the same circumstances as Athanasius, yet I see no legitimate authority making any effort to declare the man to have been mistreated or illegally excommunicated. I see efforts by SSPX, their advocates, or other groups to attempt to vindicate him as a means of substantiating their effort to reject Rome, but again, I can’t consider these to be credible.

Again, I see no reason for why I should consider SSPX to be pursued.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

Tyler, I’ve attempted to answer this two or three times now; the computer and the network appear to be having trouble keeping what I’ve typed.
Suffice to say, I don’t believe the case of Athanasius can be used to substantiate claims about Abp Lefebvre.
(Hopefully, the internet will at least allow THAT comment through.)

Tyler Rose - September 1, 2015

Yeah, Mr. Flaherty, we know all about how WordPress eats our replies.

So thanks for this response. Let’s not get off track. We could discuss similarities (or the lack thereof) between Lefebvre and Athanasius, but let’s not even go to that argument – although we could.

I wanted to limit my comment to my understanding that St. Athanasius, whether or not he bears comparison to Lefebvre, did offer the sacraments in a way that we would be forced to call “illicit” by today’s standards. Unless I am mistaken, he also ordained priests.

I’ll await your comment on this and your correction if I am in substantial error.

Thank you.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

For the particular case of priestly faculties or not, I might point out again that priestly faculties are not within the bounds of lay people–nor ministerial priests–to either grant or strip. Our ability to recognize why a particular priest or group of priests has been granted faculties or stripped of same does not mean that we may, by our own choice, confer the needed faculties ourselves. Even priests do not grant themselves faculties to my knowledge. If they did, we would not have a need for faculties in the first place.

In all the arguments in favor of SSPX actions, the argument emphasizes the spirituality and teaching of the Church, but never admits to the human element that always must adjudicate matters properly. I can agree with the concept presented each time. Trouble is, that’s not how we actually live our faith day to day. We don’t treat the faith as though we believed in some ephemeral concept that we ought to follow. If we go to Confession, we must demonstrate our sins, our contrite heart, and an intent to amend our lives to our confessor. If the confessor does not believe we intend amending our lives or that we’re truly sorry, he cannot give absolution.

So too with priestly faculties. Near as I can tell, if Athanasius ever lost faculties for any length of time, he did not do so validly or according to the judgement of someone else who wished to uphold the faith of the Church. In the case of SSPX though, I see a number of priests and a few bishops who, regardless of what Rome thinks, decide that they face a life and death situation every day, thus they must take matters into their own hands. While it’s true enough that every person faces life and death concerns every day in a fairly vague sense, we don’t all face imminet death every day.
SSPX seems to me to act as though we did.

Tyler Rose - September 1, 2015

OK. Thanks for sharing your opinion and views.

St. Athanasius was removed from his See and persecuted by the Arians…who were, at the time, “validly” occupying his See, just as the Modernists do this very day.

St. Athanasius continued to carry out his episcopal duties nonetheless.

It is better not to carry this into a defense of the SSPX, because none of us tends to change his views anyway and we all suffer from the logical fallacy of confirmation bias.

I was just wondering about consistency.

Thanks again.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

” ‘validly’ occupying his See, just as the Modernists do this very day.”

Whoa! Slow down there!
Whether a bishop who professes a view that’s ultimately deemed as heresy ever “validly” occupies a See or anything else is a subject matter I’m pretty sketchy about; I’ve never had cause to learn about the intricacies involved. Whether that’s true or not though, that’s a pretty serious charge to level against a bishop.

.Don’t forget, even when discussing the SSPX as being in de facto schism, I don’t believe that I or CMTV have ever assumed the authority to declare that Society to be formally schismatic. I would expect the same respect be offered to today’s bishops, no matter how much we may loathe their actions.

55. Daniel O'Connor - September 1, 2015

Michael has found his calling — to help traditionally minded Catholics avoid schism. I will pray he stays the course and ignores posts like this.

56. Christopher Hunt - September 1, 2015

I, also, have no affiliation with the SSPX (though I was nearly confirmed by +Lafebvre as a child, and think he may be a saint), I was once a big Voris fan (still kinda am), go to the Novus Ordo Mass on occasion (I usually go to a diocesan Gregorian Rite Mass) and cannot see any reasonable way to consider Vatican II anything but a general council. It did not purpose to teach or explain, define or otherwise proclaim any theology, dogma or doctrine. This is the entire point of an Ecumenical Council.

The Voris assault on the SSPX is annoying to me. It is also nonsensical, especially after they ousted the heretic and arch-traditionalist, Bishop Williamson from their ranks. +Fellay is doing everything he can to mend the bridge and cross the river.

That said, the times I have gone to SSPX chapels, I have felt extremely out of place. I always pray to St. Michael to protect me from schism or heresy when I do/have gone. Being at those Masses have made me feel extremely nauseous.

Regardless, I believe the SSPX has, and currently is doing a great service to the Church. But, Voris may also be right.The whole issue is really quite tough. None of us has the authority to say one way or the other. When I pray for the pope, I do not say, “Pope such and such” but simply, “For our Pope.”I feel that Pope B16’s abdication was invalid. I don’t have the authority to say that it is, in fact, invalid.

Voris does, in fact, criticize some of the ideas that Pope Francis proclaims. He rallies against the climate change freaks. He rallies in support of traditional family. He defends orthodoxy. There is no need for him to single out the Pontiff. His stance is a good stance. It is also my wife’s stance, and mine. I strongly dislike Pope Francis at the time being. I may be way off-base.

There has been many opinions here in my post. I have a lot of uncertainty about many of the persons and organizations of which we all speak. Perhaps Voris has a much clearer view of the SSPX than I. Perhaps he does not, but he has what he believes to be a moral certainty that he is correct, and is doing what he must to save souls from an ill fate.

In general, he is WAY to negative for my taste. For over a year I never missed a Vortex. I got so depressed I even missed Mass for not being able to get out of my house, nay, even my room, because the Vortex got me so low. Now I rarely watch. Often when I go to Ultreya, a mens group, they play something of his from the previous week before the talk and the sharing. I wish we could all lock arms and walk forward.

All of us USA Catholics are way to Protestant in thinking by virtue of being in the USA our whole life. Democracy has an effect on our psyche. It is painfully stark and in my face when speaking to my wife, who lived her whole life, until 4 months ago, in Mexico City, though I had already realized this as I studied the Faith through this avenue, or that.

We need to leave the questions of authority to bishops and the pope, and just work at being good Catholics. What we need to strive for is unity in Truth, unity in the Church, and unity in action. This chaos is the same chaos we have in politics on the ‘conservative’ side in these United States. Infighting. insidious infighting. We cannot win if we are not together. If there is question wether this group or that may be schismatic, but it is uncertain, look past that, we don’t have the authority to proclaim it. Let’s just become better Catholics, leading our families to heaven.

John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

“+Fellay is doing everything he can to mend the bridge and cross the river. ”

I would argue, Chris, that such is not the case. Or perhaps I should say that if Fellay, himself, is doing all he can, I’m not so sure that the rest of SSPX wishes to come along.
In the statements from Fellay that I have read, I get the impression that the Society will not be reconciled except for a very few ways. One way would be that Rome must make very clear statements regarding particular controversial matters of Vatican II, and must state them in ways that SSPX believes acceptable. Or, SSPX must be allowed to be reconciled without being required to publicly or privately accept those same controversial concerns from Vatican II. Or, that Vatican II must be entirely abandoned.

I don’t know if Fellay, himself, believes that, but that’s the impression that he, as Superior General of the Society, conveys. Even if those are conditions that he would prefer not to require, but must because of “hard-line” elements within the Society, the end result is the same: SSPX will not be reconciled unless Rome will concede on key concerns.
For me, this has always been the key deal-breaker. However much we may dispute various concepts of Vatican II, such concerns do not warrant that each of us may reject a pope’s direction for the Church. I do not mean that we must eagerly follow every little idea that the pope would foment–good thing too, otherwise I’d be going mad with the current idiocy about climate change and whatnot–but that, where the bishops who are in communion with the pope do not define the pope’s actions as being in conflict with Tradition, we must, at bare minimum, offer our ears, hearts, and minds to what the pope has to say, to follow his lead to some extent according to our own callings as faithful people.
For my purposes, the actions of SSPX have always refused to admit to that last obligation. The Society typically seems to me to behave as though they may ultimately ignore the pope and his bishops, simply because they don’t like his approach to faith.
I have never come across a competent reason for why this last does not constitute an act of rebellion.

57. John Flaherty - September 1, 2015

Wow! From reading Fr Z’s blog this morning, it seems that Pope Francis has decided that SSPX priests will be granted faculties to hear confessions during the upcoming year of mercy. Judging by the verbiage of the announcement, it would seem that there’s been quite a little…discussion…about the move. Francis would appear to have finally decided to offer a slightly larger sliver of daylight to more traditional minds.
These next several months may be quite interesting.

St. Anibale - September 1, 2015

Best defense is a quick offense!

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: