See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A bunch of bull in Madrid?



"I did not know that."
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People were out to get him... Maybe.  So did they get him now?  Maybe.  Story is that one of Michael Voris' staffers may not have been on the up and up.  And Michael may not have been paying attention to the tax exempt thing. Story from CNA:
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.- Michael Voris, the founder and host of RealCatholicTV, says he was completely unaware of recently discovered troubles within his organization, involving a staff apologist's sexually explicit writings, and his nonprofit corporation's loss of legal status two years ago.
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“I don't know what the issue is on any of this stuff,” said Voris, who is currently in Spain promoting his unofficial “No Bull in Madrid” meetings during World Youth Day.
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Voris told CNA on August 16 that he had “no idea” his nonprofit corporation St. Michael's Media had been automatically dissolved in 2009 after failing to file records with the state for two years. An official at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed on August 10 that Voris' nonprofit was “no longer registered and in good standing with the State of Michigan.” - CNA
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I'm giving Michael Voris the benefit of the doubt - he probably really didn't know.  Every one makes mistakes, even many good managers have managed to mismanage their businesses. 
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That said, my advice to prospective online vigilantes, whistle-blowers and reformers:  Just remember - when you go after the big guns, make sure all your ducks are in order first.
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My advice to their supporters, promoters, and defenders:  If they are more Catholic than the Church - at least have the good sense to hold onto your wallets.
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H/T Thom for the story.

60 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:16 AM

    This is a better article on the matter: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/NewsBriefs/Default.aspx?rssGuid=realcatholictvs-voris-had-no-idea-about-internal-problems/

    Oy! I'm up way too late tonight... I think this is a case of what you referred to as "feast day devils." The timing is uncanny. The hierarchy will not be made fools of, any more than they already manage to do on their own.

    This guy, Simon Rafe, has some 'splaining to do. Here's his bio, still up on the St Micahel's Media site:

    Simon Rafe is a former undergraduate in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Sheffield University, England. An immigrant to the United States, he is an adult convert to Catholicism, formerly being what he describes as a "militant atheist". Simon has been heavily involved in the Internet for over a decade, working as a webmaster and performing web design for several companies in the UK. He is well-versed in the ethos of the "New Evangelization", having both found his wife and come to know Christ and the Catholic Church thanks to the Internet.

    I love that our Church hierarchy hacks... Well? Someone must have hacked to get the information. What saddens me is that he is trying to do a tremendous good. Perfectly timed to undercut his events in Madrid and while he is out of the country and can't easily go into damage control mode. I pray that his programs at WYD will be blessed.

    Clark

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  2. Anonymous3:26 AM

    Come on, you can imagine a Vortex episode against a bishop if this were the bishop's right-hand man. Remember, this is exactly the kind of association Michael looks for to condemn people.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. I want to comment on this, but I wonder what good it would do, for either the situation or myself.

    That being said, I do think that after reading the CNA post and some other blogs that this will be a real test of people. I think that based on the facts we have RIGHT NOW, people's objectivity and motives will easily be seen based on how they talk about this issue.

    I have already offered a Rosary for all involved, and the entire situation. I think that I will continue to chart that course.

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  5. +JMJ+

    Terry, I didn't read the post. I just wanted you to know that when I first saw the picture I thought it was an older Prince Harry.

    Cheese,
    Enbrethiliel

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  6. Marie7:02 AM

    This is the problem with any kind of expose work is it not?

    Michael Voris has been doing this exact kind of thing to others for some time now.

    It's probably true that it was just a matter of disorganizaton. However, the people at Real Catholic TV need to think long and hard about how it feels to be on the receiving end.

    The very mercy they want from others, do they give to the bishops and other Catholics whom they skewer with their investigations? Do they give the benefit of the doubt to others the way they will now seek it be given to them?

    We can ask ourselves if it would have been better for those discovering the information to give Voris a chance correct the non-profit thing before going public with it. We can ask ourselves if it would have been better for them to deal with Mike privately on the personal behavior of a staffer before going public with his transgression. CNA talked with Mike, but it was more in line with getting a response from him for the story.

    Setting all that aside, Voris has been playing this game with many other people. It may seem unfair to happen this way, but he is getting a taste of his own medicine.

    Voris is suppose to speak in London next week. I wonder if he was planning on staying in Europe until that was done and if it will get postponed.

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  7. [shaking my head]

    Strong disappointment doesn't sufficiently describe it for me. I'll withhold further comment until after WYD and Michael makes a more official statement.

    As far as Simon's creative writing...wth?

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  8. Oh, come on. Michael isn't 'holier than thou'. He is being a man and confronting bishops who have been feeding our children not to resist sexual temptations and to rebel against Church teaching.

    Women and mothers have been needing his assistance for decades. Of course the vultures are going to pounce on him for it. They resent having dissent corrected and we all know the reasons why.


    There's no excuse for Simon.'s side gig but Michael would have no way of knowing.

    Organizations will sometimes forget to file their annual report and their entity will get revoked for a period of time. It happens all the time. In fact, the archdiocese of Boston let their filings go for years. It will take him a couple of days to get tucked back in. I could do it in an hour.

    Very dissapointing to see this here.

    God Bless.



    Do you really have to throw crumbs out for the feeding frenzy?

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  9. Marie,

    What exactly do you mean when you compare this story to 'this is what Michael has been doing to others"?

    Do you have a problem with the concept of confronting theologians with errors so that Catholic children will be taught the authentic faith and led to resist temptation?

    Do you know the difference between somebody doing that and somebody trying to dig up dirt and run a smear campaign against the person trying to get orthodox theology to the next generation?

    The vulture mentality is simply breathtaking.

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  10. Marie7:40 AM

    The Deacon's Bench has a quote from Rafe - an apology. See his update at the bottom.

    http://www.patheos.com/community/deaconsbench/2011/08/17/new-problems-surface-for-michael-voris-and-realcatholictv/

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  11. Sooo...a rectifiable legal issue and a sinner on his staff. What scandal.

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  12. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Remember, once again, this is the kind of scandal Michael exposes in others. When others pointed out some of the "bad" he exposed was "no big deal," we were told how horrible we were for not thinking it was a big deal and we should all listen to Michael.

    When Corapi was exposed, Michael suddenly got all upset at people doing the same kind of work and using the same kind of rhetoric he himself employs. Why? It's not hard to figure out. Corapi was Voris approved!

    The double standard is the issue. And the kind of personality involved with these crusades tend to be unstable and often over-compensate for their own sins. Remember that.

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  13. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Rafe's apology is interesting. As someone wrote there it seems that he was trying to reach people "where they are" - gamers and fantasy geeks - and in the process had to deal with ambiguities and fuzzy lines.

    As in: in order to bring a little bit of light he couldn't be all black and white in that world. He had to adapt to the (sub) culture a little bit.

    Carol - what the critics here are saying (I think) is:

    1) Voris says he had no idea of either of these things - and I believe him. I am as rabid about corruption and heresy in the Church as anyone (even you!) but what this points out is that a person on top can indeed be ignorant of what is going on underneath him in an organization. Lesson: Bishops (as culpable as they are) may not have a clue as to what is going on in the chancery. Not saying that this is an excuse - but so it is. Real Catholic TV employs maybe what - ten people? And Rafe was one of the top guys? And this legal stuff was kind of vital to the organization's life? And Voris didn't know? So if a bishop doesn't know everything that's going on in his diocese of a hundred parishes and dozens of staffers and scores of clergy and religious....might Voris try to empathize?

    2) Everyone's all over YouCat this week. It concedes too much to the culture. It's all fuzzy. Rafe - a top apologist at RealCatholicTV - seems to understand that you can't be all black and white all the time when you're trying to evangelize. You have to (as they say) meet people where they are.

    Who knew?

    Michael Voris?

    Ah but that Simon Rafe - he's a convert. That explains everything - right?

    Trey

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  14. Anonymous9:30 AM

    It was only a matter of time before Voris' skeletons literally tumbled out of the closet.....I wonder what else will now be revealed about him and his merry band of lunatics....Is it true that some of his staffers live in his home? Is Simon one of them? Where can I find more of his little "stories"?? I hope the State of Michigan fully investigates him and his organization and takes the appropriate actions.

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  15. Anonymous9:45 AM

    What do you expect from an organization that promotes puritanical aspects of sex with no accompaning message of mercy, grace, and forgiveness? Someone is going to want to have sex!!!!! Turns out that someone was on their staff. Duh!

    Realcatholic TV is repressive. Period. I don't care about some of the truths that they do point out. They do it with such nastiness, such sweeping broadness and judgement (and in some cases, insanity, as with the video against the Knights of Columbus), that the message gets X'd out by the delivery.

    Voris's company needs to operate according to the incredibly high standards that they take everybody else to task for. I mean, that's their bread and butter, yes? So then walk the walk.

    I'm glad this came out. Thrilled, in fact. All the crybabies here who see this as an attack against traditionalism or the voice of truth are missing the point. Voris is a pharaisee.

    It's not the heirarchy trying to attack the Church. Perhaps it's the Church (through the Holy Spirit) trying to wake Voris up. Voris could do a world of good if he's just change his tactics.

    Posting this anonymously so as to point out the now meaningless admonition that annonymous comments will no longer be accepted.

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  16. Anonymous10:11 AM

    I hope Char is feeding her baby something other than frozen hot dogs.

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  17. Woooooo! Big scandal!

    I just came back online. I told y'all somethin' was gonna a happen this week and y'all didn't believe me.

    This too will pass.

    Waiting for the Ms. Z expose. LOL!

    Tempests in tea pots.

    Clark - you are right about the hacker/stalker thing - I'm serious - they dig and dig and dig, until they find something.

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  18. Anonymous10:38 AM

    A couple of points:

    Rafe has disabled comments on his blog and removed the comments that were entered.

    He's left up a blog post from october in which he muses over these issues - particularly slash fiction.

    Reading this I am unsure how he thought he could pass this over on puritanical traddish American Catholics. I get it. I have no problem resolving Orthodox Catholicism with art - which is supposed to present some reality - even if it's fantasy. But most internet/right wing/traddish Catholics don't.

    His wife posts as "Lizaane" at the CA forum and has started doing damage control over there:

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=590397&page=2

    Terry/Clark - I don't think this was hacker/stalker stuff. Seems as if CNA was tipped off by someone perhaps familiar with this kind of writing that Rafe does as well as with the Catholic apologetics world. Noticed something.

    And the "stalker" here was CNA - owned now by EWTN. To me that's the most interesting part.

    Trey

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  19. Ruth Lapeyre10:54 AM

    I am a member of the same parish as both Mr. Voris and Mr. Rafe I have been very concerned about the Vortex for many months. Their attack on the Knights and the Bishops and what they refer to as the "Happy Clappy" crowd really bothers me and other conservative Catholics who love the Church. The kind of demeaning ridicule used on some episodes of the Vortex is uncalled for.

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  20. A Random Friar11:09 AM

    "Never assign to evil what you can assign to oversight, incompetence or stupidity."

    It may sound cold, but it's what most of us need to do once in a while. I can't imagine Mr. Voris, or most folks, really, letting their 501(c)non-profit slide by.

    Now, if he's made aware of the situation and does not remedy it, then we might have a serious beef.

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  21. Everyone has jumped on the "sex" scandal of Voris' associate, but no one has even touched the bigger issue, in my mind: the shameless solicitation of money on a false premise.

    Financial mismanagement of this magnitude deserves to be called out.

    "I didn't know?" For TWO years? Bullsh*t.

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  22. The idea that the "hierarchy" sent out their hackers to destroy Voris, or that he even registers on their radar, is laughable, and it also implies that the "hierarchy" is an evil organization with nefarious plans to undermine the Faith. Just because some bishops are jerks and some bishops may be too worldly and some bishops may espouse heretical ideas - that doesn't make the "hierarchy" an evil organization. It makes it just like the "hierarchy" of the previous 20 centuries of the Church.

    And seriously, do you think there are guys in Rome cowering over Michael Voris? The Vatican itself is woefully incompetent in terms of media.

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  23. Ha! I just got an image in my head of poor Fr. Lombardi having to go a Roman internet café to do his work cause the Vatican "stilla gotta dial-up connection"

    Am I the only one who thinks that's funny?

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  24. Mercury, it was very funny.

    I think all us sane people should get a beer sometime.

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  25. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I'm sorry, Mercury, but I have to disagree with you here. First of all consider the timing of all this. Though, now that I think about it, perhaps it is a good time for this to come out, while the kids are all distracted over at WYD. Secondly, How would anyone have found a stupid blog like that and linked it to St Michael's Media? The details given are crazy specific. Knowing exactly how many times someone accessed the blog from the ips of SMM?

    Someone I know was invited to a Vatican conference for Catholic bloggers and she was like, "Ummm...How did the Vatican know about my little blog?" Big Mother is watching. Don't kid yourself.

    Clark

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  26. What conspiracty theory did I start now? LOL!

    No way in hell do I imagine any official organization stalking/hacking Voris or anyone else. Just tech-savy bloggers - and then only by the usual means of tracking IP addresses, public records, online profiles, and so on.

    Like that Phyllis Z lady from NCR supposedly trying to dig up dirt on Fr. Z - which is why I referred to her in my last comment BTW. She's been busy sending out her spiders.

    Both sides do this crap - many bloggers know people who send their scoops/findings about others to them. I know one guy - some time back, whenever I wrote something related to a post by someone he didn't like - he sent me information on their past and present that he found online - usually in an attempt to discredit them. I don't know how Voris gets/got all of his information - but it was probably done similarly to how his opponents operate.

    Think Lila Rose and reverse Saul Alinsky tactics.

    There is no honor among thieves.

    And... what goes around comes around.

    If you play dirty - you get dirty.

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  27. Merc - I too think it is funny.

    No offense Clark.

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  28. Fr. Brian11:58 AM

    When you tend to point fingers at everyone else in a self-righteous way usually things come back on you eventually- this seems to be a principle of life - forever- see any great Novel in the history of Literature- probably part of Divine Providence to try to humble us and truly say "Lord be merficful to me a sinner"- while trying to pray and help others- rather than condemn them- Voris has issues- please pray for him, as well as his staff which may have even deeper issues- smutty sci-fi writings- wow- the human person is so weak and in need of God's mercy- that's the one thing that Voris and crew seem to be lacking in their presentations of the "orthodox" faith- kind of Pharisical- possibly.

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  29. E.Scalia just published this:
    Voris Brouhaha

    Pretty straightforward analysis, from a rather strong Voris critic. Amazing how this analysis differs from what I am seeing in comboxes. Oh wait, not it isn't... comboxes allow us to check our Christian charity and logical thought at the door.

    PS.
    I heard the news was given to CNA by a very pale person with a shaved head. #justsayin

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  30. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Yes, but Terry, in all fairness, I have never seen MV go after anyone with weird crazy stuff like this. I don't see him going after people just to tear them down. I see him as someone who wants to build up the faith and when he sees false teaching he points it out. The stuff he has brought out about others are things that are already public knowledge. I think some people just don't like his style. He comes off as a Big 10, Midwestern frat boy and a lot of people don't like that. Then he follows up a hard hitting message with, "God love ya...I'm MV." I can see how that would grate.

    Its like a co-worker of mine who had a special needs daughter at a special needs camp and got a call from the 24 yr old director of the camp who said, "We're sending your daughter home because of x,y,z...you need to come pick her up NOW!(5 hours away and they had just walked in from dropping her off.) And ended with, "Do you have any questions?" The approach is smug.

    Anyway, I really don't care one way or the other and I'm not out to argue conspiracies, but obviously someone went digging and clearly wanted to smear him. He was decried by WYD organizers and I don't think it is coincidental that this got dropped during the week of the event.

    Clark

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  31. I would give Voris more credit if what he produced was seen by a wider audience than the one that just sits back in self-congratualtory applause at how right he and they are about everything.

    I suppose his No Bull thing in Madrid is at least, then, a step in the right direction.

    I think this whole thing is funny as it really is a what-goes-around-comes-around thing.

    And Terry, yes, I thought of Alinsky in reverse right away when I read this.

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  32. Pale person with a shaved head? Opus Dei albino? Ha!

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  33. Anonymous12:15 PM

    One last note.

    Having a staffer with a fantasy blog and an expired non-profit status are nowhere near as serious as the scandal of heretical bishops, clergy and religious who have starved millions of souls to death by lack of authentic Catholic teaching.

    MV does good work. I don't always agree with his style, but someone needs to stand and say what most faithful Catholics are thinking, but are too docile to say.

    Clark

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  34. Anonymous12:16 PM

    The thing is that the RCTV defenses are:

    1) Leadership didn't know

    2) Gotta see the stuff (Rafe's writings) in context. There's nuance and ambiguity that you gotta understand.

    Voris would NEVER accept these defenses from an individual/institution he was going after.

    Trey

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  35. Anonymous12:32 PM

    The Catholic Church founded by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, APOSTOLIC. The Novus Ordo Church is none of these.

    You get what you deserve when you try to serve 2 masters.

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  36. Shut up, anonymous. So who is the pope, then? And why is a "Catholic Church" without Peter as its living head?

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  37. Anonymous12:46 PM

    A, stay on the subject this has nothing to do with NO- yikes the blog world is crazy G

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  38. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I am very much on topic, thank you. Michael Voris has chosen to serve 2 masters by defending the strange new ideas that the Novus Ordo Church has tried to replace dogmas which have been proclaimed de fide while at the same time bringing these Novus Ordo leaders to task for their false teaching and their salacious lifestyles. Now the confused lambs who follow the lost shepherds wonder why he is being betrayed? Satan will always lures into sin with the promise of glory and then sends down his hammer of shame after the fall.

    +R.I.P. Mr. Voris

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  39. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I'm sorry anonymous, who are your shepherds again? Even the apostles, whom Christ Himself called, fell. My statement is rhetorical, please don't respond, just think.

    Clark

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  40. Anonymous1:06 PM

    There is much more to come out about Voris, just wait.

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  41. Clark,

    Good point and I agree.

    However, I would add that since everyone always makes mention of his style, maybe it's time for him to rethink it? Granted, if someone asked me to rethink my style, I'd probably buck. But I'm not out there as a "business" media outlet lobbing missiles at bishops, etc.

    Like I said, maybe his message is OK or good or even right. But I think his message is mostly getting through only to the choir and Catholic newbies looking for something that sounds good to grasp onto. If he changed his style and toned it down a little, the people he really wants to reach might listen.

    So much of conservative Catholic blogging and websites and such is just the same talking the same and the same patting the same on the back.

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  42. Mercury, my friend, you get at something I think all the time: So many of these kinds of comments are on the razor's edge of sedevacantism. In fact, I have a personal theory (just my theory, just my opinion), that many (not all) TRADS really are sedevacanists but don't know it because they have been taught to spew the correct language to cover their ass.

    But if you could calmly and systematically deconstruct all their comments and beliefs, much of it boils down to their issues with authority in the "modern" church, and they don't respect that authority or agree with it, and when it all boils down, they can only blame the Pope for not cracking down, and so the Pope, himself, is at fault, and therefore, just maybe, the Pope isn't really the Pope.

    Simple and flawed, I know. But in my head it makes sense to me. Much of it boils down to a parallel church, but they won't admit it.

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  43. Terry,
    It's fascinating to see how the reading audience of your blog has changed over time.

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  44. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Meanwhile...while we argue over nonsense, this is going on:

    During a talk earlier in the week we’d been told by Sister Paula, from Verbum Dei, that we should spend time in silence. “To listen to God calling you. He’s knocking. Listen to him” she said. “Fall in love with God again … open your heart and just say God what do you want with me?”

    In the stillness of the Mass, I found myself looking at Jesus, really looking at the crucifix above the altar. In that moment, Sr Paula’s words made sense to me. I felt that love again. A greater love than Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose on the Titanic. More than any relationship or friendship. I felt a great peace. I turned and looked at my fellow pilgrims to see if they’d felt the same thing. I was surprised to see some deep in prayer, others crying.

    Source: http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2011/08/18/guestview-world-youth-day-from-carnival-atmosphere-to-silent-prayer/

    Clark

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  45. 'Meanwhile...while we argue over nonsense, this is going on:'

    Sorry, do you want us to stop commenting on Terry's post because you've deemed it nonsense?

    Are you Terry's mom?

    I've forgotten what I wanted to say now. I only came in for a quick sandwich and a glass of cold tea.

    Moderaters, they're everywhere.........but I didn't expect to find them in my fave bar!

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  46. First Corapi then Voris?

    It's like telling some of them that Superman isn't real. They're crushed, poor things.

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  47. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Mercury said...

    Shut up, anonymous. So who is the pope, then? And why is a "Catholic Church" without Peter as its living head?

    Like your blog...seems to be vacant at present.

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  48. Anonymous1:49 PM

    "Sorry, do you want us to stop commenting on Terry's post because you've deemed it nonsense?"

    I never suggested any such thing Shadow. In the midst of the silly discussion, I wanted to point out the good fruits that are happening at WYD. A kind of, "what it's all about" type thing.

    "Are you Terry's mom?"

    Absolutely childish.

    Thom,

    The situations between Corapi and Voris are entirely different. And if you re-read my posts and put your comprehensive reading skills cap on you would get a different picture than the one you try to paint with broad brush strokes over everyone.

    Clark

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  49. The situations might be different, but the reactions are exactly the same. You lost your hero. I don't blame you for feeling a sense of loss, but don't project your disappointment onto me.

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  50. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Thom, he is not a hero of mine. I only found out about MV about 9 months ago and rarely watch his shows. I don't subscribe to Real Catholic TV. I have been impressed that a fellow Catholic has spoken out on some crucial messages. That is about it.

    My point here today has been, sounds like an explanation is in order and wow, someone really went to great lengths to get something, anything on this guy. A tactic, that, contrary to what people write here, Michael Voris has not used. At least during the short time I have followed him. I have only ever seen him comment on issues that are already known, rather than convoluted expose pieces.

    For the record, I have never been a Corapi fan. Someone gave me a tape of his in 1995 and I listened to about 20 minutes of it, turned it off, thought he sounded like a phoney and never tuned in again.

    Clark

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  51. Uncovering tax fraud doesn't require much digging.

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  52. Anonymous2:49 PM

    This is all sad. It is true, if you play dirty, you get dirty. I think it is wrong that this attack occurred while they are at WYD. Looks like it's all premeditated.

    I will say though, how could Michael not know about this other side of Rafe. It clearly sounds like it's not much hidden. I always say if you stretch a rubber band too tight, it snaps the other way. We all need to lighten up and follow our Lord. His yoke is pretty easy.

    Anne.

    Oh, and I'm not "Anon" anymore. I'm Anne! Terry, I came back to your port. Thanks for the kind encouragement.

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  53. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Is that Anne Macabe from Buffalo Academy of the sacred Heart Class of '68?

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  54. Anonymous4:04 PM

    Uh. No. Just plain Anne.
    Sorry, no reunion. :(

    Anne.

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  55. Anonymous4:22 PM

    Oh, Sorry then.

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  56. The little I've seen of Voris on clips Father Z has posted have been more than enough to tell me he's not my cup of tea. Too much us vs. them, which accomplishes nothing in my opinion. I'm also tired of these celebrities for Christ, whether they are priests or lay-people, who don't keep their own houses in order and reflect badly on the Church as a result. C'mon! If you're going to go on the attack against every perceived threat to the Church, don't you think you should vet your resident apologist a little better than Voris apparently did?

    The messengers want to be larger than the Message. I have more respect for the guy who stands at 12th and Market in Center City Phila every Saturday afternoon shouting Scripture from a bullhorn. And he doesn't ask for donations.

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  57. Thanks Little Way - God bless the man who shouts the scriptures for free.

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  58. Anonymous9:22 PM

    To our dear sedevacantist friend, I want to share this video with you and invite you to come home:

    http://sistersofmarymotherofthechurch.org/66,marianeucharisticconference

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  59. If Mr. Voris's work is from God, it will stand.

    Deo gracias.

    .

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  60. A Random Friar11:11 PM

    As various saints have said, it is possible to win the argument and lose the sinner. Prudence requires a certain judgment of when to shock and when to soothe; when to cajole and when to console.

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