Will good Catholics continue to accept him?
I won't discuss that here, but I've come across a couple of comments suggesting he may be 'unfit' for his mission. I won't link to these, but I'm a bit confounded by it, to be honest. Anyway...
As I worked on a project yesterday, I reflected upon Michael Voris' video 'confession' - I also read several posted comments on his admission of past sins, and I was amazed and edified by the support shown to him. I think I mentioned that I kind of 'knew' he had some sort of 'experience', but I would never have made any accusation, and would have defended him against such insinuations - unless I was speaking privately to a gay friend, perhaps. Like I said, I've always liked him, 'accepted' him, and certainly have covered him on this blog - sometimes disagreeing, sometimes agreeing, and so on. Check it out here
A couple of my friends were not as sympathetic to Voris' admission, and certainly were wary of accusations leveled against the archdiocese of New York. I have to wonder if the 'paranoia' that someone is out to get him maybe isn't exacerbated by keeping his past such a well guarded secret. I've recognized the same fears in myself - which helps explain why I'm so private and do not socialize very much. I have few close friends and have kept a distance from family, friends, and coworkers. I've kept to myself - a sort of lone wolf - always have. So I think I 'get it' with Voris.
What is a bit more difficult to understand is the harsh, vindictive, almost mean-spirited tone he has used against the 'Sodomites'. I've covered some of his expose videos where he really comes down hard on gay people and so-called 'gay-friendly' clergy and Catholics. Who knows, maybe he was one of the anonymous commenters I used to get who accused me of being too soft on gays, too gay-friendly, or a closet queen, and/or a homo pretending to be faithful? I don't seriously think that of course - but I did have people swipe at me like that.
I had one older woman commenter who insisted I admit I was gay because otherwise I'd be deceiving people. She didn't even know me, we never met - evidently she knew people who knew me - or thought they did. I've had others tell me I shouldn't - or have no right - to write about this stuff because I live with a guy, or because of my past, and I'm a hypocrite for not going public, etc. Which is why I often say you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. But I digress.
This morning I reflected on ex-gays and repentant sinners who condemn and judge others without knowing their interior dispositions, what stage they are at in their conversion, and so on.
It's hyperbole to make the following comparison, and probably a bit extreme, but it kind of worked for me this morning.
Everyone knows the Nazis put homosexuals to death during the Holocaust. Many also know that there was a homosexual presence in the Nazi party, that was not entirely obliterated after the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler ordered Lutz, to put an end to "homosexuality, debauchery, drunkenness, and high living" in the SA.
Thus, it seems logical to me that some of those Nazis who sent gay people to the camps and their death could have been recognized by the victims ... I imagined how some Nazis - who maybe had a past like Michael's, joined in the persecution of gays, or just stood by while they were sent to the camps and their deaths. I know it's an exaggeration, but it helped me see just what others have been saying about the vindictiveness involved in calling out others for their 'hidden sins'.
That said - late yesterday I came across a beautiful example of charity and discretion in Melinda Selmys.
In her recent post on the Problem of Detraction, she reveals that when she was engaged in a 'battle' with Voris, 'informants' contacted her about Michael's past:
When I originally published my criticisms of Church Militant back on my old blog, I had a moderated com-box — nothing got posted unless I had approved it first. There were several comments submitted from gay men who were aware of Voris’ past, including one of his former partners. I didn’t publish them in spite of the fact that the commenters themselves were confused as to why they were being censored, why their story could not be told on my platform. - Melinda Selmys
Anyone engaged in such a debate - Selmys needing to defend her fidelity to Catholic teaching and so on - would have yelled "Jackpot!". She had the goods on Mike! She admits she wanted to publish the information. Instead, she sought counsel, and did the right thing - his secret was safe with her. She avoided the serious sin of detraction. My respect for that woman soared. She ends her essay with an authentically Catholic conclusion:
If I had outed Voris all of those years ago, it would not have been good. His supporters would probably have rushed to insist that my sources were lying. There would have been a firefight. Voris himself would have been placed under horrible stress.
It would also have deprived him of the dignity of being able to tell his own story, in his own words, from his own perspective, when he decided that it was time to do so. It might have prevented the outpouring of mercy and support that we’re seeing today from both his fans and his critics. An opportunity for healing and reconciliation would have been lost in order to score a meaningless victory in a meaningless war — a war in which egos are bolstered at the cost of communion in Christ. - Melinda Selmys
We learn so much from one another when we allow ourselves to love and be loved by one another.
Pope Francis talks about this stuff all the time ...
Be merciful to one another.
Love one another.
Do not judge.
Carry one another's burdens ...
But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. - Luke 6
Every day I have so much to repent of.