Meet Michael Voris

The Detroit Free Press has a lengthy profile of the controversial televangelist:

As a Catholic TV station based in Ferndale becomes increasingly popular around the world, church officials are trying to tell the public that the media outlet does not represent Catholicism.

In two public statements, the Archdiocese of Detroit has taken the unusual step of publicly criticizing Real Catholic TV, saying “that it does not have the authorization required under church law to identify or promote itself as Catholic.”

The dispute comes as the TV station, which operates mainly over the Internet, has exploded in popularity since it started in 2008. Its videos attract 10 million views on YouTube and its public face, Michael Voris, has become a well-known, aggressive global advocate for conservative Catholics.

Voris returned from Nigeria last Monday, where he visited the church that terrorists attacked on Christmas Day. And on Friday, he left for the Philippines to help make the case against contraception use.

But as Real Catholic TV’s popularity rises, the station is facing its share of detractors concerned about how its traditional views are sometimes expressed in a blunt manner.

“The only way to prevent a democracy from committing suicide is to limit the vote to faithful Catholics,” Voris said on a show that stoked controversy.

For much of his life, Michael Voris of Ferndale was a lukewarm Catholic, someone who usually just went through the motions at church.

But after the sudden death of his brother in 2003 from a heart attack and the death of his mother from stomach cancer the following year, the former TV reporter became a changed man.

“Her dying really kind of started to wake me up,” Voris recalled. “You have to face mortality. And then the questions came pouring in: What is the meaning of life? Who are we as human beings? Is there life after death? Those are fundamental questions everyone has to look for.”

Voris found those answers in the Catholic Church. In 2006, he formed St. Michael’s Media, a Catholic TV production company and studio in Ferndale. And in 2008, he helped launch Real Catholic TV. Today, the never-married 50-year-old is consumed by his passion to promote what he considers the one true faith. Working up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, Voris is on a burning mission to save Catholicism and America by trying to warn the public about what he sees as a decline of morality in society.

Read more.

  • Ellen

    ” Ferndale is well known in the Detroit area for its LGBT population and liberal politics,[4] having elected the first openly gay mayor in the state of Michigan in 2007.[5]”

    !!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferndale,_Michigan

  • naturgesetz

    From the full article”
    “Voris and his backers are committed to forging ahead on a mission to save the Catholic Church and the U.S.
    Many current church leaders are “namby-pamby,” Voris said. “It’s all about, ‘Love your neighbor.’ ”
    What’s needed instead, he said, is a muscular Catholicism that isn’t afraid to encourage battle and sacrifice.”

    How can anyone consider Michael Voris a real Catholic when by his own words he dismisses what Jesus calls the second greatest commandment and elevates something Jesus never said, “encourage battle,” above the basis of the whole law and prophets?

  • kenneth

    My hat is off to the man for his honesty and his willingness to rip the mask off of the Christian Right’s crusade to expose it for what it really is: A bid for theocracy.

  • Catherine Alexander

    There is little difference in the attitude of Voris and that of Obama. They both think they know what is best for people, and they are both determined to make it happen even if they have to run it down our throats.

  • kevin

    We just had the most blatant violation of the First Amendment pass into law, one which makes Catholics second class citizens again, and you all are worried about Michael Voris encouraging a stronger approach?

    Please.

  • vox borealis

    Bingo. Pelosi and Co. are walking scandals, but keep the bullseye on the real target, Michael Voris.

  • http://laudemgloriae.blogspot.com Christine

    You should know better than to go on soundbites taken from a news article. Visit RealCatholicTV.com and you will see that his entire apostolate is founded on “Love your neighbor”–by speaking Truth to him, rather than simply being “nice” and not causing offense.

  • vox borealis

    How can anyone so misunderstand the context and meaning of the statement, unless of course it is willful misunderstanding?

  • kevin

    I don’t know, I woke up this morning and I kind of felt like the Church in America is done for. People like Sebelius, Pelosi, et al. keep doing what they’re doing and the bishops say things like “we’re going to study this,” “good first step,” etc. Drastic action is never taken for fear of looking drastic I guess.

    This is what happens when you organize individual bishops into a conference; each feels like they have to get on board with a consensus, and that takes forever to hammer out, and is usually verbose and uninspiring and ambiguous. It took Mary Ann Glendon and her colleagues all of 5 minutes to come out with a devastating indictment of Obama’s dishonest head fake, but the bishops are huddling somewhere.

    Not a good day for Catholic morale. That is the view from the cheap seats at least.

  • http://www.gerardnadal.com Gerard Nadal

    Kevin,

    That’s not the view from the cheap seats. That’s the view on the replay camera, shot from 10 different angles. The bishops dearly want universal health coverage and are fearful of losing it in November. Because of this desire, they have a tiger by the tail. They can’t let go. If they savage Obama, they lose the universal coverage.

    So POTUS continues to devour them.

  • Irish Spectre

    I am predicting another very long thread that pits those who are offended by Mr. Voris’ plainspokenness about those parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that, while rarely if ever preached from the pulpit any longer, speak directly to societal norms which grossly violate Church teachings, against non-cafeteria Catholics.
    Out of charity to my brothers and sisters in the former camp, allow me to prime the pump for you, as follows: “Yeah, but as everyone KNOWS, Vatican II taught us that, SO LONG AS OUR INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCES ARE CLEAN, we can think and/or do whatever the heck we like, and not be in a state of sin, so shame on anyone who would himself judge our words or actions in the context of the Catechism; he has no freaking way of know how SQUEAKY CLEAN ARE CONSCIENCES ARE!!!” (Is that about right??)

  • friscoeddie

    Irish Spectre;; might you take your ‘take’ to a soap box in the TembleBar in Dublin soon. I’d like to watch the reception.. (-:

  • kevin

    I had my Steiner telescopic binoculars with me so I thought I was right. This is serious, very serious, like Henry VIII serious. If they swallow this, there’s no turning back.

  • Romulus

    It’s not a bid for theocracy. It’s an opinion that popular democracy contains the seeds of its own destruction, unless (possibly) tempered by the fullness of the Christian faith. You can’t make democracy the unconditional repository of all your faith and hopes, Kenneth. That would make you an idolator; wouldn’t it?

  • naturgesetz

    Some of us are capable of thinking about more than one thing on any given day. And, as Stalin showed, the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend.

  • kevin

    In the words of President Bush 41, whine on, harvest moon.

  • DeaconRob

    The church is made up of many different types of people – all needed, by the way. Michael Voris’ voice is greatly needed in this day and age. While he can come across as tough on the bishops at times, I have yet to see him teach anything that goes against church doctrine. Peter and Paul had their arguments, but never taught anything contrary to what Jesus and the Holy Spirit gave them. Seems to me that Michael’s presence in our church is needed In the same way – especially on things like contraception, abortion, teaching the faith, etc. He has found a way to use new media to reach millions and I’m guessing that he has helped bring more people closer to Jesus than he has pushed away. I hope that he keeps going!
    By the way, if you disagree with him on a topic or two, it doesn’t make him bad, just reminds us that we are human. God bless!

  • George

    The amusing part of the Obamacare socialist gambit being overlooked in this ‘compromise’….

    “WH Chief of Staff: Obamacare Allows the President to Tell a Private Company They Have to Offer a Product, and Offer It for Free”

    Video of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew stating Obamacare allows Obama to tell companies they have to offer free products:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vBOuIukKw6M

  • ron chandonia

    From the article, we see the perspective of the man who finances Voris’s rants against our bishops and our faith:

    But America’s best days are not today; it was in the past, just like the Catholic Church.”

    Back to the nifty fifties, I suppose! But contrast that thought with the optimistic overview of The Future Church that John Allen offers in his 2009 study of the multicultural, consistently pro-life Church to which the poor and marginalized of the southern hemisphere are flocking. That is the Catholic Church of Vatican II. Sorry Voris and his friends are missing out on it. Perhaps they’ll do better with the country once they put some new Republican sabre-rattler into power.

  • George

    @ ron chandonia

    once they put some new Republican sabre-rattler into power.

    Hahah.. Like the hero to the hard left, Obama doesn’t fit that description to a ‘t’.

    Obama never closed Gitmo, expanded the Patriot Act, increased the number of troops in Afghanistan/Iraq, attacked Libya, attacked Pakistan, attacked Sudan, attacked Somalia, signed a bill to assassinated American’s overseas without trial, expanded surveillance of Americans without warrant.

    I could go on and on, but hypocrites won’t acknowledge the facts.

  • Richard Johnson

    @George,

    Are you willing to acknowledge that the GOP is, at best, no better than the Democrats on issues such as these? If not, then might you have become no better than those you hate?

  • Melody

    “This is serious, very serious, like Henry VIII serious.”
    Um, I don’t recall that Obama has locked anyone in a tower or ordered them beheaded, or drawn and quartered. And come to think of it, he’s only been married to one woman, and she’s still alive. I find his administration problematic in a lot of ways. But this type of hyperbole does nothing to advance serious discussion of the actual issues.

  • kevin

    It’s not hyperbole. This mandate is actually far worse than the single divorce of one man to a woman. This involves the forced cooperation in pure evil. I don’t get care whether Barry cheats or not. What I care about is that he wants all Americans to pay for contraception and pharmacological abortions, and he doesn’t give a damn about that quaint old First Amendment.

    It sholuld be obvious by now but Barry was a poor student. He is not that smart. That is why he has never released his grades. He is simply ideological.

  • Don from NH

    I find it interesting that an article on the opportunist “catholic” Voris has turned into a discussion about the bishops, healthcare and Obama. What happened to abortion.

  • George

    I have not done any of the things Obama has done nor have I protested against the US government like Democrats did during the Bush Admin only to be completely, abjectly silent when Obama did worse.

    Where are those “Not in Our Name” marches now? Where are the Obama is ‘Hitler’ comparisons that Democrats leveled against Bush now?

    Complete hypocrites.

  • http://www.gerardnadal.com Gerard Nadal

    What does it avail BO, or us, if he’s faithfully married, but compels us to cheat on God?

  • Will

    You are probably already paying for contraception for public employees (federal, state, and/or local). That might be different than the new policy, but it has been around for quite a while.

  • naturgesetz

    They couldn’t keep focused on Voris because he’s so yesterday.

  • Tom

    Voris will run out of steam eventually…hmmmm… just like Corapi did. Fly by night yahoo’s. It’s all about narcissim and ego. Sorry for my skeptical approach to all this.

  • http://awashingtondccatholic.blogspot.com/ awashingtondccatholic

    You are so correct Mr. Nadal. I know that I sound like a broken record and warned others about supporting nationalized medicine, but we were told that we didn’t care about people, that we were ignorant, etc.

    Once you have danced with the Devil, you cannot say no.

  • http://awashingtondccatholic.blogspot.com/ awashingtondccatholic

    As I see it, Michael Voris speaks for many of those, including myself on many issues, who cannot seem to get through to our pastors, DREs, and bishops. No matter how many polite conversations, polite letters, or even holding back on donations, they still turn a deaf ear.

    For example, Christ Matthews speaks at a local parish hawking his book on JKF. Why? Yet, all of the polite letters to the pastor went unanswered and ignored.

    In some ways, I see him as a Catholic Rush Limbaugh…but without the wicked sense of the sarcastic…who is getting the message out there, and connected with the average Joe and Mary in the pews.

    Keep it up Mr. Voris.

  • Richard Johnson

    “I have not done any of the things Obama has done nor have I protested against the US government like Democrats did during the Bush Admin only to be completely, abjectly silent when Obama did worse.”

    Perhaps not. For the record, I agree with you on your criticism of Obama and the Democrats regarding the issues you raised. That is why I don’t support the Democrats.

    But I also don’t support the GOP because they, too, have turned their back on the innocent. And I do not believe that replacing one demon with another will truly improve our lot in this world.

  • ECB

    I have yet to read a reasonable explanation that Mr. Voris is teaching error. He is demonized for style, personality and delivery. But what has he said that is in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church? Until I hear a reasonable argument of proof that he is a danger to the faithful, I have to believe there is a progressive agenda at war with him.

  • naturgesetz

    There is more to being a Catholic than avoiding heresy. Reread 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Compare it with “Voris and his backers are committed to forging ahead on a mission to save the Catholic Church and the U.S.
    Many current church leaders are “namby-pamby,” Voris said. “It’s all about, ‘Love your neighbor.’ ”
    What’s needed instead, he said, is a muscular Catholicism that isn’t afraid to encourage battle and sacrifice.”

    Love isn’t an optional “style” or a pleasant “personality” trait that it may be nice to have, but if you don’t that’s okay. Love is a good will toward all that cannot but manifest itself in one’s way of life. Granted, it is possible to be a lovable and loving curmudgeon; but when the “namby-pamby” church leaders whom Michael Voris scorns say, “It’s all about ‘Love your neighbor,’” they have St. Paul on their side. IOW, they’re teaching the real Catholicism.

  • ron chandonia

    That is so right. Thank you!

  • ECB

    I understand what you are saying but the tenor and tone of these blogs don’t exactly imbue “love of neighbor”. And you’ve answered my question regarding whatever sins we judge this guy has committed…. it isn’t heresy. I’m reminded when asked what would be the only reason someone wouldn’t want to become a christian… GK Chesterton quipped., “christians”.

  • http://laudemgloriae.blogspot.com Christine

    Natur wrote: “Love is a good will toward all that cannot but manifest itself in one’s way of life.”

    No–love is sacrifice. Love is doing whatever it takes to save souls, and help them get to heaven. Love is forgetting self for the sake of the other. Love is exemplified in the Cross. Love is not simply “good will.”

    After the sudden death of his brother and mother, Mr. Voris chose to sacrifice everything–his livelihood, his reputation–to start up this apostolate that is aimed at one thing alone: to save souls. Yes, the Vortex is pithy and biting, but that is a fraction of his work. Visit RealCatholicTV.com to see hundreds of hours of catechesis, apologetics, scriptural exegesis, etc. all with the purpose of strengthening Catholics’ faith and helping bring non-Catholics to the faith.

    His efforts have paid off, as many have either converted or been strengthened by his apostolate. You don’t like his tone–fine. Don’t listen to him. And don’t lecture the rest of us about “love” and your version of it. There’s room in the Church for all kinds of saints. You save souls your way; let him save souls his way.

  • FrMichael

    I wouldn’t worry about Mr. Voris. If he’s advocating Catholic monarchs in the US, he obviously has a short-term future. In the meantime, he is bring forth to light much of the corruption in AmChurch, which is the best antiseptic we besides the rare excommunication and prison time. Hopefully some compassionate orthodox priest in Michigan will be there to help pick up the pieces when this apostolate disintegrates and the man falls into depression.

  • Art ND’76

    I haven’t spent much time watching Voris because of his style, which I really don’t care for. That said, I heard nothing that would be against the teaching of the true Catholic church – the one that has not departed from the teachings of the chair of Peter.

    As for the Voris remark about a monarchy, I think I get what he might be trying to say, but in a way that can be easily misquoted and misunderstood. I have for years held a view that a society composed almost entirely of people with the morals and values Jesus Christ taught will succeed with any form of government from dictatorship to pure democracy – but a society with a significant immoral component will fail no matter what government is placed over it. Only a society that makes Jesus their Lord will succeed. I think it is a natural law like those of physics, and it applies whether the society is Christian or not. Of course, if the society is not Christian I would think the society’s well-being would likely be short-lived, because they would have no awareness of what in their society actually made them successful and they would drift away from it. If Jesus is their Lord, then they will follow His command to “love one another as I have loved you.”

    Love is wanting the best for the other person, realizing that God loves that person the most, realizing that God knows that person the most, and therefore seeking to follow God’s direction in order to love that person with all the heart, soul, mind and strength available. It does not mean necessarily feeling good about it, getting rich in the process, gaining power in the process or being honored in the process. The person you love may well be an enemy and hate you for your love. If that template fits what Voris is doing, then may God continue to guide him and give him strength. If not, well we are all sinners who fall short, need to pick ourselves up and try setting out in the right direction.

  • Joe

    I would rather listen to Michael Voris and hear what he has to say than anone else in the media.

  • http://www.catholicismpure.wordpress.com teresa

    well said, father.

  • Rudy

    Saint Augustine had a mistress and a son by her, he then dismissed her and later became a Saint and a Doctor of the Church, on of the Giants. Saint Jerome had a horrible temper and was prone to heap scorn on his opponents. Abelard of course seduced his young student Eloise and paid very dearly for it. Saint Francis of Assisi was a young rich man, party monger, a veritable young playboy and later a wanna be warrior, of course he is probably the greatest Saint of the middle ages. Saint Thomas Aquinas could not keep his weight problems under control. Santa Theresa of Avila when young was a vane young lady enamored of dresses, boys and jewels. Of course Saint Paul was a murderous persecutor of Christians when he was called Saul. Saint Bartolo Longo was a satanist as a young man. Oh, and all of them found themselves savagely criticized when they gave up their former lives and converted, by their families, by their communities, even by clergy. I am not comparing Voris to these saints, but it only goes to show that when you try to do something worthwhile there will be savage critics in those of us who do very little.

  • http://themightyambivalentcatholic.blogspot.com/ Steve

    I’m amazed (am I?) that you’ve managed, Kevin, to argue that Barack Obama — former editor of the Harvard Law Review, among other honors — is not intelligent. I suppose your line of reasoning says a great deal more about you than it does the President. If it makes you feel better to believe that Obama is “not that smart,” well, fine. You keep telling yourself that, and sooner or later you may end up believing it. Probably not the case for most of Americans who take things like the Harvard Law Review seriously, but enjoy your illusion.

  • kevin

    Steve, why is hiding his grades? Answer that question. He is an EEO baby and everyone knows it.

  • eugene

    don’t be silly catherine, Voris cannot run it down your throat…just don’t watch his videos and go back to what you would normally be doing.

  • eugene

    if u have a problem with voris’s theology,please tell us where he contradicts the catholic faith. Voris must be doing a great job if the best his detractors can come up with is his “narcissism and ego”

  • eugene

    and if Fr Michael is a real priest…..mmmm I wonder why the church is in the state that it finds itself.

  • Gabrielle

    Michael Voris means engage in “Spiritual Battle.” If you don’t do that Protestantism will destroy Catholicism. You have to be blind not to see that!

  • RA ODaniels

    I go by what the Magisterium of the Catholic church says to me through my Bishops and the Catechism. I think all who attempt to speak for Catholics should do the same. They should bounce all their writings against the writings of the Bishops and Catechism. Conflict? That means you are wrong.

  • Kate

    I love love love Michael Voris. Those who don’t are just ignorant. Learn your faith! And until you do, shut up and stop spreading further ignorance. Michael Voris is a hero.

  • fred

    intelligence and wisdom are two different things…and it takes common sense to know that ;)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/02/meet-michael-voris/ Kurt

    “Many current church leaders are “namby-pamby,” Voris said. “It’s all about, ‘Love your neighbor.’ ”
    What’s needed instead, he said, is a muscular Catholicism that isn’t afraid to encourage battle and sacrifice.”

    Voris is being critical of the current church leaders gross false expression of “Love thy neighbor”. This false love concerns itself only with appearing to be “nice”, and never offending your neighbor’s pride and ego. This is nothing more than gross indifference towards your neighbor which is worse than pure outright hate because it comes disguised as love. True love for neighbor consists of willing only that which is truly good for thy neighbor and then acting on that good will. You will never truly love your neighbor unless you will the salvation of his soul first and foremost. Since the great majority of people are no longer concerned about the salvation of their own soul, they certainly won’t care about the salvation of their neighbors soul either. Our modern culture is steeped in duplicty which ultimately is nothing less than living a perpeptual lie. Our modern culture has forgotten that a basic principle of Christianity is honesty. May God have mercy on our souls!

  • John

    I still do not like Michael’s approach or intellectual dishonesty. He is sort of a marketer and is totally different than scholars like Peter Kreeft. Referring to his “Rebellion in the Church” show, I think his interpretive comments on what the Reformation was are very weak. He also sounds a bit silly in saying that the Reformation spawned an “attitude of rebellion,” the basis for humanistic thinking and philosophy, etc. Protestants do not accept the ideas of these worldly philosophers. On the contrary, they attack them. We have a common enemy. Baptist Dr. Steven Yate’s book Worldviews attacks them, to give one example. Michael seems to make a lot of straw man arguments. To presume, as he seems to do, is that the RCC did not need reforming is quite naïve. The RCC later reformed itself and if Michael wants to say “look at the dates” why not also look at the post-Reformation ex-cathedra papal decrees and the councils? The RCC and its social culture are certainly not the same as they were during the 16th Century. Michael is not giving the whole picture, to say the least. The use of indulgences, eating only fish on Friday and many other things have changed over time.
    Both Protestants and Catholics, and I presume the Orthodox, reject much of the Enlightenment. One could easily argue that the superstitions and practices of the RCC were what spawned the Enlightenment far more than Reformation doctrine. So Michael is not very convincing with his assertions. He deals very lightly with serious issues that have involved serious scholarship on all sides for centuries, coming across as if the answers are facile. That makes him look at least arrogant and to some extent foolish. Modern science is a product of the Enlightenment, specifically generated by Christians, and shows us how Christians can make an even greater impact on the world by applying knowledge. That fact does not mean we have to accept Freud or Darwin, but we should appreciate the major advances that have come through the application of the scientific method. With his selective piecing together of history and movements, Michael is at least throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and is throwing in some self-serving interpretations.

  • Anonymous

    you are a holy apostle sir michael becouse you are single, i pray to God to send more holy apostles into his church.

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