A reader sends along this comment

Today’s excerpt from TheCuriousCatholic is very, very interesting, for the author has posted a video in response to Voris’s Vortex statement re the AOD, calling for Prayer in Detroit.
Many of us are concerned to learn the truth. I am inclined to believe this blogger, since he has posted authentic data that is irrefutable. It looks as though more will be forthcoming. His partner offered further undeniable information in comment #10, for which I am also grateful.
FWIW, I’m deeply disturbed with the deplorable comments concerning the AOD. It doesn’t appear to me that these come from REAL Catholics.”
The video posted by the Curious Catholic is here:

It does make Mr. Voris’ “who? me?” claims look rather dubious, not to mention his little guerrilla war against his bishop.
Meanwhile, yesterday Dennis O’Donovan, the guy who interviewed Mr. Brammer (the money guy behind RCTV) and concluded he is a Great Man (while neglecting to ask any questions about his hiring of E. Michael Jones, Sungenis supporter and publisher of such fine works as “The Revolutionary Jew” and various other kooky screeds about Jews tunneling under our houses) insisted in my comboxes there was no reason Brammer could possibly have known about Jones’ anti-Jewish nuttery. Aside from the fact that there’s this thing called “Google” that helps you do background checks pretty easily, there is also this, which a reader sent along:
Here is a business listing for Marc Brammer, with “Ultra Montane Associates, Inc.” E. Michael Jones is the first contact, and Marc Brammer is the second contact.
South Bend, Indiana 46617
(574) 289-9786

Dodgier and dodgier.  Beware the Cult of Celebrity, particularly when it rebels against just exercises of episcopal authority.
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  • I love it that it’s called Ultra-Montane Associates. Clandestine!

  • FW Ken

    When your bishop tells you to do something, the only legimate question is whether he has acted within his competence, i.e. whether his directive accords with canon law.

    To retreat into ”but look at all the real heretics getting away with it” is on about the level of a six-grade child.

    To retreat into legalisms about jurisdiction isn’t quite so juvenile, but Mr. Voris is a member of the AOD and subject to its archbishop. His soul’s health demands humility in the face of authority. Otherwise, go be a protestant.

    The saints obeyed their legitimate superiors. It’s troubling if, as claimed, Voris has sought a meeting with the archbishop for three years, but that doesn’t excuse him from obedience, and, of course, an appeal to Rome. That is his canonical right. His immediate spiritual duty is obedience to his bishop.

  • J

    Setting aside the content of this issue, I find the sneering, passive-aggressive, scandal-tittering “we take ‘obJECtive’ exception (except when the opportunity presents itself to take juvenile cheap shots)” tone of the video repulsive. What exactly is all this in-fighting supposed to be accomplishing? Unless I’m missing something huge, although Voris is a bigmouth and prone to rash statements — something a LOT of Catholic media types are guilty of — he’s never said anything heretical. The RCTV guys aren’t perfect, big surprise. The response seems disproportionate to the gravity of the transgression and suggests a vindictive eagerness to take them down. What is the point of all this, except to demonstrate that, apparently, Catholics like dragging each other down when they try to do some public good and do a less than perfect job? It’s lucky I put my faith in God and not in people because if I did the latter, my disgust with the backbiting mess that is American Catholic culture might have driven me from the faith a long time ago.

    • Mark Shea

      Some of us think it matters if a self-styled defender of the faith who thinks nothing of attacking other people is a) in defiance of his bishop and b) dishonest as he justifies his defiance and marshals the fans to join him in his defiance. Some of us also think it is a matter for concern if his money guy is hiring a man he knows to be a Jew-obsessed kook for his think tank as he lays plans to “purify the Church”.

      • J

        I’ll go along with that, but I’m still disgusted by the tone of many of Voris’ attackers. When people who have in fact made a public effort to defend the Catholic Church against heretics and secularists are found to have committed moral transgressions, should we not react with sorrow instead of the style of gleeful cloak-and-dagger gossip mongerers. My real point is that the viciousness of Catholics attacking each other when they do wrong just because we personally dislike them is reprehensible. It’s out of hand and has been out of hand for a long time. Just visit a handful of Catholic websites and it becomes apparent immediately. You disagree?

        • J: Amen.

          Except it’s rash judgment to leap to conclusions and assume Michael Voris has acted wrongly here when we don’t have all the information. Canon lawyers are working on this; let’s allow the experts to figure this out while the rest of us pray that truth would prevail.

    • marie

      Unless I’m missing something huge, although Voris is a bigmouth and prone to rash statements — something a LOT of Catholic media types are guilty of — he’s never said anything heretical.

      First, I’ve seen a few reasonable criticisms of Mr. Voris on the web, and a few testimonies from former supporters who emailed RCTV with reasonable criticisms, only to treated like yesterday’s trash. While you find mostly support for him doing searches, you will find some of those criticisms and testimonies if you dig. Furthermore, anyone who dares to question anything Michael says or his tone, and no matter how nice it is questioned, they get a blanket party by angry supporters who see it as nothing short of an attack on the Church. There’s no talking about it, it’s like a fist-fight. But his style is what does this to people. They want to fight. I really wonder if the loud racket isn’t a vocal minority while everyone else is just afraid to pick their head off lest it get shot off.

      Secondly, you say he has not said anything heretical. Perhaps not. But, has he been accurate on Church discipline, or does he lead people to believe that his preference is what the Church teaches? I think the best example, was the piece Jimmy Akin felt compelled to address in a podcast where Voris made some gross errors on the subject of kneeling for Communion. I’m for kneeling, wholeheartedly, but as soon as I saw that video I was really taken aback at the inaccuracy, and quite shocked at the judgmental comment aimed at priests. That was way out of line. To the best of my knowledge, Voris has never gone back to correct these errors, and to tell viewers that he omitted a key part of the Cardinal’s statement which led to his errant diatribe. If I had not read the words of the Cardinal on my own before he released that video rant, I would not have known how inaccurate and misleading that video was. I was very glad to see Jimmy look at it closer.

      What he said about the Jews was troubling too, leading people to ask if he’s anti-semitic, including some supporters. I don’t think he is anti-semitic. I really don’t think he realizes how it came across.

      Is it possible the Archdiocese of Detroit is concerned with his treatment of people of other faiths?

      He’s very nasty about protestants. I had to stop watching because it’s so darn contemptous. Here is what the Diocese of Scranton said in it’s statement:

      The Diocese of Scranton has determined that Mr. Voris will not be allowed to speak in a Diocesan or parish facility. After these engagements were scheduled, the Diocese became aware of concerns about this individual’s views regarding other religious groups. In videos posted on the Internet, Mr. Voris makes comments that certainly can be interpreted as being insensitive to people of other faiths. The Catholic Church teaches us to respect all people, regardless of their faith tradition.

      Although the Diocese shares Mr. Voris’ support of efforts to protect human life, his extreme positions on other faiths are not appropriate and therefore the Diocese cannot host him.

      I’m willing to bet that the new bishop of that diocese, who was only in the chair a short time knew very little about Voris. Someone – a staffer fielding phone calls, possibly by liberals trying to keep him out of the diocese (we have to throw one conspiracy theory out there), put that video about, “The Jews” under the nose new bishop. Is it any mystery as to why he might react as he did? Scranton has it’s problems, I grant you, but I can somewhat understand the hestitancy of any bishop wanting to let him speak if that controversial vid is what is being put in front of them. I think if you google Voris, it comes up right near the top along with the whacky Catholic monarchy thing, where only Catholics have a right to vote.

      Can you imagine now, why some bishops and chanceries around the US might be calling the Archdiocese of Detroit, and why the AOD is saying it does not recognize it as an approved apostolate at this time? For real!

      I can think of a number of reasons why the Archbishop of Detroit might not want him to have the name Catholic in his title at this time. Just because other groups using “Catholic” in other dioceses aren’t seeing such opposition doesn’t mean that Archbp Vigneron should avoid protecting the name in Detroit. I know there are other fish to fry in Detroit, but RCTV has an international market.

      What’s happening in other dioceses with the name Catholic isn’t really Vigneron’s concern.

      • jeff

        I like Akin and I accept and appreciate his clarifications but I think he’s splitting hairs.

    • Hey, diss the delivery all you want, I was mostly incredibly nervous and trying not to do stupid things with the microphone, since I never narrated anything before. Not a former professional broadcaster. It wasn’t great, I admit.

      What I was trying to say (This time I’m writing a script) is that our objection wasn’t about his content or jurisdiction or anything but fact – Objective, not subjective. But, you can dislike me as much as you please, all I presented were facts, I wasn’t looking to make new friends with the thing.

      And let’s look at this prevarication now in light of what’s posted here: in the Donovan interview, Marc Brammer acts like he has no interest at all in the magazine “owned by E. Michael Jones” when he seems to be a co-owner, or have had some financial interest for some time.

      It is, DISINGENUOUS IN THE EXTREME. (LOL! couldn’t resist) It’s apparently the precursor to what looks like Mr. Brammer’s orchestration of his attempt, casting Michael Voris as sidekick, to mislead the public about their business relationship.

      Did he lie? Outright? About E. Michael Jones or Michael Voris? Maybe we should ask a priest about what constitutes a lie.

      • @CuriousCatholic: It does speak well for your ability as a cub reporter when you either intentionally, or due to ineptness, misrepresent my name. It is O’Donovan, not Donovan. For some reason, every time I read a post of yours, my sympathy for you grows.

  • Oregon Catholic

    These guys are just like so many politicians – they constantly underestimate the ability of anyone with access to the internet to find out their lies and dirty laundry. Too funny…they’ll just keep lying as long as they can get away with it, riding high on the publicity, and then fade into inconsequence like some other recent notables. Beware the cult of celebrity is right.

    A side note though: does the Curious Catholic.com have ecclesial authority to use the name Catholic? I notice nothing was said one way or the other in the video and while she did a good job of reporting it’s always dangerous to point fingers if you are guilty yourself (which I don’t know is the case).

  • Ultra Montane Associates? Seriously? Bwa ha ha!

    • Oregon Catholic

      Help me out – I’m obviously missing an ironic play on the name. All I can find is a reference to mountainous.

    • OC: it just sounds goofy, that’s all. It’s like starting a beer appreciation club and calling it Beer Snobs Who Think You Suck Assocates.

  • Hi, Mark. Ultramontane Associates is nothing new: it’s the publisher of Culture Wars and of Fidelity before that.

    (For those who don’t recognize the word, it’s a play on “ultramontanism”, a term used by critics of the Church to designate a supposed excessive fealty to the Pope. The term arose because, for most of Europe, the Pope resides “beyond the Alps”.)

    • Mark Shea

      Fair enough. But the point remains that Brammer most certainly knows about Jones’ nutty views–and thinks he belong in his “think tank”.

      • I don’t mean to take a cheap shot here, but isn’t this the same thing as Patheos bloggers knowing about “questionable” ads and saying that their blog isn’t about “those things.” ?

        • Mark Shea

          For my part, I am working with the web elves to get objectionable ads expunged. But nice try on the lame tu quoque. I have no direct control over what ad run here. Michael Voris does have direct control over a) what comes out of his mouth and b) his honesty about his relationship with Brammer.

          • Good point. I realize now that there is a difference.

            Don’t think you had to employ the word “lame” but that’s your choice.

      • Barbara P

        what about Brammer’s comments on financing and usury and the interviewer’s comment that debt led to the spread of Islam? I have no idea where they were going with that

  • If this was a purely Canonical issue, why would the AOD put out a press release regarding RCTV and then issue a clarifier?

    Why would they offer no effort to “Fix” the problem with what RCTV is saying/doing that isn’t sufficient for them to use the name “Catholic”?

    I don’t think that either side is acting the way that they should, 100%, but think about the Bp. Olmsted – Hospital issue. He told the hospital that they must do “X, Y, Z” if they want to continue using the name Catholic. It makes sense.

    Here, the AOD says, “They can’t use the name Catholic. The End.” They won’t meet with them, respond to inquiries, etc… In fact, the Archbishop himself has not said ANYTHING. This is all done through press releases and the internet.

    I think we need to be fair and judicious in how we treat this. Regardless of what side we are on, if we don’t treat the facts fairly, and in light of truth and objectivity we do a disservice to everyone.

  • Tim

    Is there any other content on this curiouscatholic blog other than investigating RealCatholicTV’s recent blunders?

    I don’t care much for Michael Voris or his projects but it’s seems petty to me to create website dedicated solely to this recent news story (not to mention extremely boring).

    I imagine most Catholics aren’t that curious about Mr. Voris’s goings-on.

    • Mark Shea

      I imagine you are right. And the reason that renders what Curious Catholic has discovered to be untrue is….?

      • Tim

        I wasn’t commenting on the merits of the site’s claims, just the pettiness of creating a site dedicated exclusively to a recent event involving a few people whom only people in the Catholic blogosphere would know.

        Maybe it’s a new website and just starting things off.

        • I said in the blog, we had it one week before that video appeared. No one set out to make a whole site or blog JUST to attack Voris. We just got tired of Catholic media so often – well, lying. I never heard of Voris until a few weeks ago, I had a couple other internet sites in mind to expose. I still want to! But that AoD thing started and someone on CAF posted the company filings and… we keep finding more stuff, and seems like we’re doing this now for a while.

          This is no get-Voris thing. I think if nothing else, Michael Voris is completely sincere in his zeal. I’m sure E. Michael Jones is, also.

          That’s not such a comforting thought, you know.

  • Brian T

    I agree with J. CC1 and CC2 (or whatever they call themselves) seem to have *way* too much time on their hands. This kind of backbiting is extremely offputting to anyone outside the Church who may be thinking of joining her.

    When RCTV say that they are Catholic but do not claim to speak in the name of the Church, I simply understand that to mean that they strive to give a Catholic perspective on things, but are not doing so in any official capacity. A Catholic parent explaining the Faith to his child is doing the same thing. He is teaching Catholicism, and while he does not have any official mandate to do so, and would doubtless stand corrected if a “competent ecclesiastical authority” pulled him up on this or that, he is entitled as a confirmed Catholic to bear witness to the Faith.

    If they AOD can identify anything in RCTV that actually contradicts Catholic teaching, that would be a different matter. But they can or have not. Meanwhile heresy is taught in pulpits and schools across the Catholic world, and the Bishops look the other way. Sorry FW Ken, but it *is* a depressing spectacle.

    • Mark Shea

      But Voris’ backbiting of Catholics who receive communion in the hand, or who happen to like Amazing Grace, or of parishes who wish people Happy Holiday, or of anybody who happens to mention Earth Day, or of the bishop of Corpus Christi as somehow part of a shadowy gay conspiracy against Fr. Corapi is AOK. And so his defiance of his bishop and his marshalling of the troops to join him in that defiance is AOK. But criticize Conservative Folk Hero or point out the holes in his story? Backbiting.

      • J

        I’ve seen some number of comments besides my own criticizing Voris while simultaneously expressing distaste over some other Catholics’ determination to see him go down in flames, so to imply that everyone defending Voris thinks even his dumbest statements are “AOK” is inaccurate. That being the case, what is your response to the concern ACTUALLY being expressed — that Catholic in-fighting has become excessive and off-putting?

        Note that I don’t accuse you, Mark, specifically, of being highly guilty of this. *Slightly* guilty — I could track down posts you’ve done that make somewhat childish cheap shots against Voris if I were really invested in doing so — but for the most part, my beef lies elsewhere. “Curious Catholic” is a pretty good example. If you didn’t get an off-putting sense of vindictive pleasure on the part of the person recording the video, I don’t think you were paying much attention.

        None of which is to say the accusations against RCTV aren’t material, but the way some Catholics ENJOY rooting out each other’s failings is just… yuck. Contemporary Western Catholicism is a house very divided.

        • J

          And as a quick addendum, if your point was that Voris’ own overly harsh criticisms are an example of this backbiting I and Brian T referred to, well, you’re right. It is a perfect example. It doesn’t mean backbiting him back is OK.

          • Mark Shea

            It is not backbiting to take a good look at the public claims Voris makes about himself and others. It is good ecclesial hygiene, particularly when he is fomenting rebellion against his bishop.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes it is. And one of the principal fomenters of division in the hothouse of the conservative Catholic blogosphere is Real Catholic TV, which perpetually sets its fans on the warpath against the impure and teaches its followers to regard themselves as “Real Catholics”.

          • I keep harping back to this, on my blog, on other blogs, but shouldn’t “real Catholics” be obedient to all of Canon Law, not just bits and pieces? Shouldn’t real Catholics obey their bishop especially when he is enforcing canon law? Wouldn’t all this be solved if they just changed their name?

        • “Curious Catholic” is a pretty good example. If you didn’t get an off-putting sense of vindictive pleasure on the part of the person recording the video, I don’t think you were paying much attention.

          I think I’m going to say this one time since this blog is like at least neutral and kind of friendly-ish territory. I have more faults than the San Andreas mountains, but I don’t wish Michael Voris a bit of harm. Believe me, we have all kinds of information we, well I, would never release. Not because it’s so horrible, but it can be made to look that way and is no ones’s business.

          I’m no public figure, I’m just some lady who started a blog with a cyber-friend we thought maybe a couple posters on a couple forums would read and then this all happened. Whatever you heard came out of your own mind, not mine.

          Every single person behind a name on a forum or blog comments box is a real person with real feelings. My desire is not to make someone feel awful or harm them. I do make fun of folks and I sometimes get angry when I encounter lies. Not a pro. Like I said. So this will stand as my last defense of me:

          I wish Michael Voris all good things and hope God blesses him abundantly. And it will be the same with the next issue, if I don’t decide one day to just delete everything because it all takes up too much time and interferes with my prayer life. We’ll see. I may adjust.

          But having now seen some of what’s he is putting out to the public, he is attacking my Faith. Not some Bishops, the very essence of what it means to me to be Catholic, because no one comes away from anything he does feeling closer to Jesus Christ or His Church, with a desire to pray to be closer to Him or go to their Parish to be with Him in Adoration.

          They come away further from the Truth, in anger and disdain and feeling self-righteous and entitled and…

          Life in Christ is about zoe: joyous life in God forever. When Michael Voris starts an episode of The Vortex by saying “Jesus Christ is my Lord and my God,” I’ll begin to believe he is Catholic.

          Until then, he chose a public life and there will be scrutiny. By lots of people including myself, at least, for a while.

          New video in a couple days.

    • Barbara P

      Catholic parents do have a mandate to teach the faith to their children. We are our children’s first teachers.

    • FW Ken

      And that justifies direct disobedience to one’s bishop?

  • marie
  • Ryan C

    The best quote I’ve seen on this comes from an unnamed bishop:

    “You know, it isn’t real, it isn’t Catholic, and it is not actually TV.” lol

  • Edie

    Well, you predicted this almost a year and a half ago, Mark. Robert Sungenis gave Michael Voris “the kiss of death” back then and now they appear to be going headlong down the same path.


  • Marc, in your blog entry titled, “A Reader Sends Along This Comment”, you write: “Meanwhile, yesterday Dennis O’Donovan, the guy who interviewed Mr. Brammer….. insisted in my comboxes there was no reason Brammer could possibly have known about Jones’ anti-Jewish nuttery.” “… insisted in my comboxes there was no reason Brammer could possibly have known about Jones’ anti-Jewish nuttery.” ? You are acting irresponsibly in what you write. Yesterday was my first visit to your blog, but if this is an example of how loose you are with the facts, then I caution everyone to not rely on anything you write. Slow down. Take a breath. Drop the hyperbole. Stick to the facts.

    • Mark Shea

      dude. You could have done the work of a journalist. Instead, you acted like a shill. You blew it.

  • Marc Brammer of Real Catholic TV and the Institute for New Media will be our guest tonight, Monday, January 16th on Catholic Radio of San Diego, KCEO – AM 1000 in San Diego, CA. Like controvery? Tonight’s show is for you. I will be asking Marc Brammer the questions to which you want answers – all of them, and more.
    The show can also be heard live online at: http://www.catholicradioofsandiego.co​m.
    Show Time: 6-7 pm Pacific Time. (9-10 pm Eastern Time). Our interview with Marc Brammer will begin after a ten minute interview with Dr. Alveda King. This show will also be available via podast at http://www.rpconradio.com.


  • I repeat Mark Shea’s analysis – “You COULD HAVE acted like a journalist, but you acted like a shill.” You blew it a second time, even worse. In your frenzy to promote RCTV, you couldn’t avoid pushing for Brammer’s comments on the criticisms circulating in blogs. Yet he avoided your obvious probing to aggrandize Voris and discredit the naysayers. Why would anyone listen to your program? I certainly wasted 45 minutes!

  • This was an inspiring article I read today on St. Alphonsus Liguori.
    Sometime between the age of 16 and 20, a wonderful event happened in his life. His family employed a Muslim servant in their household. Having lived in close quarters with Alphonsus and having observed his daily routine, the Muslim asked to be baptized into the Catholic Faith. When asked why, the Muslim servant answered, “A religion which produces virtue like his cannot but be the true one.” http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-saint-alphonsus-liguori-converted.html

    After reading some of the comments here, I remind myself that “It is not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.” I question the spirit of those who are champions of putting the clergy on the hot seat and having their readers up in arms to rally the troops. Never have I seen a true saint adopt this practice, and if they did, they soon changed their direction. I’m thinking about St. Francis de Sales who spent untold months trying to convert the Calvinists, and even met with a lot of success. However, as the Lord’s Spirit guided him in later life, his ministry focused on making faithful Catholics more devout, more in love with Christ. A few of these souls burning in the furnace of charity accomplish more good for souls, even with their prayers, than all the public rants in pursuit of lies and falsehoods – as if their fingerpointing and castigations will effect a single whit of devotion or conversion.