Creative Fidelity Labors to Defend One of the Dirtiest Words in the American Catholic Vocabulary

Docility.

The National Catholic Reporter *and* the sort of people who imagine Michael Voris is the Dark Knight of Vigilante Justice Against the Evil Episcopacy both hold docility in complete contempt. How good and pleasant when brothers dwell together in unity. Whether you dissent from the Church on pelvic issues or are laboring to mainstream crazy Jew-hatred, a dose of docility would do you a world of good.

Here’s my take on docility, for what it’s worth.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    C’mon, give them some credit. Docility isn’t a dirty word only to those two wings of the American Church. Isn’t it a dirty word to most folks around? Their just falling victim to the culture around them. We all do it some way or another.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Isn’t it a dirty word to most folks around? Their just falling victim to the culture around them. We all do it some way or another.

    Indeed, a culture that dates all the way back to our First Parents. In the garden. Those First Parents.

    Docility was conspicuously in short supply for Adam and Eve, as well.

    I suppose it might be said that, then, as now, there is to be found plenty of docility . . . docility to one’s own will, to one’s pride, to our salvation’s enemies . . . it’s just to the express will of God that docility is rare.

  • Geoff

    Mr. Shea,

    Please, for the docility which you espouse, tone down the vitriol you spew on those with whom you disagree. St. Thomas somehow found a way to treat differing opinions (even blatant satanic heresies) with a modicum of respect and, even though none of us can measure up to his intellect, I think that we can at least attempt to match his gentle demeanor. Why not strive to be an iron fist of orthodoxy wrapped in a velvet glove instead of a flamethrower spewing napalm upon your enemies? I remember someone somewhere saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. While I agree with almost all of your fundamental premises it is difficult at times to get the bad taste of bile out of my mouth after ingesting some of your articles.

    Yours in Christ with fraternal love,

    Geoff

    • Mark Shea

      Geoff: I appreciate your irenic approach. You seem like a good man. If you can find a way to say “I think mainstreaming anti-semitic poison and making a career out of charging faithful Catholics with heresy and poisoning Catholics against their bishops is evil” nicely, I’m all ears. For myself, I don’t know how to politely point out that these people are dangerous demagogues.

      • Geoff

        That is a conundrum and thank you for not taking my comment as intending insult. I suppose that for me it is more a matter of the tone and implied attitude than it is the content. I cannot disagree with your point and I agree that it should be expressed but I have had to learn how to not say things like that since it only seems to breed further division among the faithful.

        While there is a time and a place for everything it seems to me that this sort of thing would be better suited to a one-on-one dialogue (sorry for using the most misappropriated word in the english language) than to this sort of public forum.

        But then again, I am sort of shooting from the hip on this and heck, what do I know anyway?

        Geoff

        • Mark Shea

          You’re a good egg, Geoff. Thanks for being a peacemaker.

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      Geoff – what Mark said. Also, I’m advocating docility as an attitude towards Apostolic Authority, not a state of being. And while I agree that civility is good thing, being civil doesn’t necessarily mean being ‘nice’ to the point of not saying anything of substance or tacitly agreeing with a toxic position (by not vigorously opposing it).

    • Frank Gibbons

      Well said, Geoff!

  • Sam Schmitt

    What Geoff says. I agree that Voris’s brand of Catholicism can be toxic, but countering him with battery acid approach is just falling into his trap.

  • Ben the Atheist

    Docility? Well, Yahweh does refer to you all as “sheep” so after you accept that insult I guess you better be docile.

    BAAH! BAAAAH!

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Speaking of sheep: GoAT!

  • John

    Better a sheep than a troll, eh?

  • Joannie

    Whether you agree with his methods of communication or not, the truth of the matter is that it is having big results. He just got back from a very big conference in Oceania and now recently in Canada. I believe myself that he does not mince words but simply speaks he mind honestly and boldly. Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Fr John Corapi did the same. There has to be tolerance in the Church as the Holy Father said when he lifted the excommunications against the SSPX. I heard Blessed John XXIII once say “UNITY in the essentials, Liberty in inquiring things, and Charity in all Things” That’s why his last conference was called the “Charity With Clarity” even when he himself is asked questions that seem hostile, he responds with calmness and truth and clarity, there is no anger or sarcasm in his answers. I am open to all methods of preaching the Truth but the infighting that is still going on has to stop now. Obama wants just this “Divide and Conquer” for the Church, and it sadly seems to be working. Obama is the enemy not Real Catholic TV and the Vortex.

    • Mark Shea

      It is the Vortex that perpetually targets other orthodox Catholics as heretics. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/in-criticism-of-michael-voris And now he is mainstreaming E. Michael Jones’ poisonous anti-semitism for his gullible audience. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/04/michael-voris-begins-his-work.html From Maciel to Euteneuer to Corapi, conservative Catholic keep anointing these folk heros as unquestionable champions of the faith and attacking their critics as enemies of the Church. This cult of personality stuff has to stop. Voris is playing his audience like a fiddle.

      • Geoff

        This is the sort of charitable, informative and concise comment I think is great! No sweeping insults or use of caricatures of their points.

        Sorry, having said something that could be construed as negative I wanted to make sure to point out something that clearly illustrates exactly why I like reading your blog. I truly enjoy reading your work and getting your point of view.

        Geoff (non-gullible consumer of Voris… unless he starts including Jones, then ex-non-gullible Voris consumer)

        • Mark Shea

          Thanks. Sadly, he is already including Jones. That infomercial they did won’t be the last we hear from Voris as he tries to mainstream Jones since Jones and Voris’ backer, Marc Brammer, are now in a business relationship (meaning Voris is too since, as he said when he ignored his bishop, Brammer owns Real Catholic TV).

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      You ought to read your bible. I remember Paul or somebody giving us a list of who are enemies are. I don’t recall Obama, or any other man, being on it.

  • Dave Welp

    I always did find Voris a little prickly until I heard this interview OF HIM.

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/up-close/2012/05/01/up-close-with-michael-voris

    It changed my perception of him completely. I could speculate on why so many who have been in the business longer despise his appostolate but I don’t want to practice psychology without a licence

  • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

    I think the complaint is not that he criticizes the bishops but that he does so with malice. Every time I’ve heard him criticize the bishops or more broadly ‘some’ at the x archdiocese he always does so in a way that drives a wedge between laymen and their Shepherds, increases suspicion and distrust and affirms his listeners in their superiority to *those* Catholics/bishops/etc. over there. He would do well to take 1 Tim. 5:1 to heart, “Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father….”

    My argument isn’t that the bishop’s can’t be wrong or that when (not if) they are wrong about something we as laypeople shouldn’t disagree but it is the attitude of our heart that matters. As an example I give you the following story courtesy of Fr. Z. about the Diocese of Toowoomba in Australia. The important part to read is: “one of their foremost petitions was “praying for the bishop’s conversion.” “Not to get rid of him, just for his conversion.”
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/06/d-toowoomba-the-power-of-prayer-and-adoration-of-the-bl-sacrament/

  • brian hurd

    Dan F.
    What is you comment in response to?

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      It was intended to be in response to Dave Welp above but i must have hit the wrong ‘reply button’

      • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

        wait, no, sorry – actually it was a deleted post but it has been reposted at the bottom by “Blog Integrity”

  • Derek A.

    probably a deleted post. Anyone?

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      indeed – and it has been reposted in it’s entirety (copy & paste obviously) at the bottom.

  • Todd Thomas

    Mark, you seem quite certain that the Jones interview is only the beginning of a larger effort to mainstream E. Michael Jones. I have no idea how you can be so certain of this because they are unaware of this plan themselves. It is, as they say, “news to them” but highly entertaining that you should think as you do. It’s a great story. It’s just not true.

    Were you aware that the Jones interview was one within a series available only to premium subscribers titled “The Roman Forum”? Were you aware that when you posted a link to that interview you were posting a link to material that was only supposed to be available to premium subscribers? The interview wasn’t posted to YouTube and was, therefore, seen by fewer than those who watch daily episodes of the Vortex. If this was an attempt to mainstream, it was highly inept. More people learned about the interview from you than from anywhere else.

    Here’s a list of the other people in the series titled “The Roman Forum” (in reverse order of broadcast):
    Dick Thompson pt 2
    Dick Thompson pt 1
    Colleen Hammond
    Louie Verrecchio
    Ricardo Febres Landauro
    E. Michael Jones
    Anthony DeLallo
    Damian Goddard
    Charles Rice
    Ian Hunter
    Michael Coren

    Do you consider all these “infomercials”? I’ve seen you boast that you don’t ever watch Voris. I can well believe you. Otherwise you would have had some context for judging Jones appearance within this list, along with other extremists like Dr. Charles Rice, Michael Coren, and Louie Verrecchio. Have you forgotten that you, too, were invited to be a guest in this series and you declined? Absolutely perfect opportunity to meet Voris, see his operation, talk to his people and you chose not to dignify his operation with your reputation and prestige. Do you remember?

    I’m sure you won’t (or can’t) believe this, but there are absolutely no plans for further interviews or series with E. Michael Jones. Yes, the interview ended with “Will you come back?” but there is NOTHING planned except through Marc Brammer and his Institute for New Media which will have absolutely NOTHING to do with Voris and, so far, doesn’t even have a launch date. The very reason that the Institute for New Media even exists is because Marc Brammer wants to go in a different direction without Voris.

    You have made serious attempts to “connect dots” and when you can’t do that you create new dots to connect. Your understanding of the relationships between Voris and Brammer and Jones is so preposterous that it is incapable of being refuted: you can’t disprove total fabrications that are totally removed from the world of fact. You are in the world of conspiracy theory and, as we know from guests on Coast to Coast AM, there are no facts that can disprove such theories. Do you get your material from “The Curious Catholic”?

    Before very long, the real facts will be very public and you will be left with nothing but your unrestrained contempt for “Voris and all his works.” That is your right as an editorial writer.

    A lot could be learned if you just talked to these people. But you wouldn’t trust them to be truthful, and they certainly have no reason to trust you to be fair.

    • Mark Shea

      At the end of the day, the fact remains that Voris irresponsibly chose to do a puff piece interview with a man who a) is a business associate of Brammer and who b) declares Jews the enemies of mankind and has a hefty track record of anti-semitic writings and associations. Rather than mention the association with Brammer or confront Jones’ disgusting anti-semitism, Voris rolls his eyes and gives his audience that knowing chuckle which communicates that Jones is cool and his anti-semitic nuttery is fine for consumption by Real Catholics[TM]. He plays the game of referring everything to Brammer when his bishop tells him to stop using the name Catholic, then sends you to play “Who’s Brammer? This has nothing to do with him!” when he wants to place distance between himself and the business alliance with Jones. And, as is the custom with RCTV, when called on their tactics, you guys claim to be persecuted.

      If, as a result of being called out on this, Mr. Voris is now trying to distance himself from Jones too, I am quite happy to see it. But the fact remains that as long as that shameful puff piece is on his site without correction, retraction or apology, it will continue to constitute a standing attempt to mainstream Jones’ anti-semitism and will continue to constitute a scandal. Instead of sneering, you should be apologizing for defending this junk, Todd. That Voris uses other, more reputable, people as human shields for his attempt to mainstream Jones only makes me glad I have avoided his attempt to do the same with me. His refusal to respond to any correspondence makes it clear how interested he is in actual dialogue. He is a dangerous demagogue, Todd. I pray one day you will recognize it, but if you haven’t figured it out on the basis of his attempt to mainstream Jones, I don’t know what it will take.

      • Todd Thomas

        Do you have any idea how disrespectful it is to all the other people who were guests on “The Roman Forum” to describe them as “human shields” in the attempt “mainstream Jones”? And since when did you decide that Voris was “mainstream” such that anyone who appears as a guest on one of his shows is being “mainstreamed”? I”m not sure what the definition of “mainstream Catholic media” is, but I’m sure Voris and his operation are not an example of it.

        But let’s move away from the topic of Jones and focus on some other “facts” about Voris and his operation, specifically “He plays the game of referring everything to Brammer when his bishop tells him to stop using the name Catholic.”

        Here are the facts.

        Mid-2010 (almost two years ago), the Archdiocese of Detroit issued a canonical Precept informing Voris that he was not authorized by appropriate ecclesiastical authority to use the name “Catholic,” specifically referring to catholictelevision.org and realcatholictv.com. Voris responded and, as requested, abandoned use of the domain name catholictelevision.org (which he owned). He informed the Archdiocese of Detroit that he did not own the domain name realcatholictv.com and, therefore, could not comply with their request.

        The Church isn’t known for speedy responses and mid-2011 (a year later) the Archdiocese of Detroit informed Marc Brammer that he was not authorized to use the name realcatholictv.com. The question of jurisdiction was raised since Marc Brammer doesn’t reside in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Brammer so responded.

        The Archdiocese of Detroit responded to both Voris and Brammer in a press release six months later, claiming jurisdiction. There was absolutely no intervening correspondence between July 2011 and the press releases just before Christmas 2011. The jurisdiction question was debated in the blogosphere and Ed Peters offered his opinions. No canonical process to resolve these issues was ever initiated.

        Brammer approached his own bishop in his own diocese and his bishop claimed jurisdiction over both Brammer and his use of the name realcatholictv.com. Brammer’s bishop has not asked him to abandon use of the domain name realcatholictv.com. Brammer has actually met with his bishop in person to address this issue. There is, thus, an impasse. Since the press releases last Christmas, there has been no further communication from the Archdiocese of Detroit to either Voris or Brammer. Brammer was successful in being able to meet with his bishop. The Archdiocese of Detroit has not agreed to meet with either Voris or Brammer even after multiple attempts to request a meeting to resolve any outstanding issues.

        So Voris wasn’t “playing games.” He really doesn’t own the domain name realcatholictv.com and, absent any compelling reason to undergo the very complicated and expensive task of rebranding one’s public identity, nothing has been done. Voris could not do what he was asked to do. And Brammer has not been asked by his bishop to do what the Archdiocese of Detroit asked Voris to do.

        There is, unfortunately, the lingering public impression, gleefully fueled by such as yourself, that Voris was not obedient to the request of his bishop. Even though facts don’t support this impression, perceptions do matter. To this end, you will hear in the very near future that Voris will have complied with all requests of the Archdiocese of Detroit and there will be absolutely no canonical ambiguities or outstanding issues. Obedience was never an issue.

        I can also clarify your misunderstanding about Brammer as the one who “funds” Voris’ work. He doesn’t. After the initial donation to help launch RealCatholicTV.com (which Voris exhausted within six months), Voris’ operation has been supported entirely by subscribers and ad hoc donors for specific projects. There are no “deep Opus Dei pockets” behind Voris’ operation ready to bail him out of financial difficulties. Brammer “funds” RealCatholicTV.com only in the sense that all subscription revenues are received by Brammer and then used to pay Voris to produce videos for broadcast on the domain name owned by Brammer, realcatholictv.com. Once this domain name is abandoned by Voris, it will be difficult to continue to use Brammer in a misinformed and uncharitable attempt to smear Voris by association.

        What remains will be whether Voris and his work will ever be “approved” by the Archdiocese of Detroit. Since such “approvals” are entirely discretionary and not the product of process alone, my opinion (and it is only that) is that this is unlikely to happen. There is no outstanding “check list” of “things left to do to gain approval” sitting on Voris’ desk. Once his operation has been rebranded, I expect he’ll just “keep on keeping on” without approval of his diocese but quite a bit of support from bishops, clergy, religious and laity all over the world, none of whom should be branded as groupies supporting the latest “conservative folk hero.”

        If you want any more facts, just let me know. You don’t like Voris. That’s okay. You don’t like Jones. That’s okay, too. But there are respectable people who like one or the other or both. It is excessively simplistic to dismiss Voris as a “demagogue.” Facts don’t support that charge and if you had accepted his invitation to be a guest on The Roman Forum, you would have been able to confirm that for yourself.

        • Mark Shea

          No. Here are the facts. Voris did a puff piece interview calculated to mainstream a guy

          ■whose all-explaining theory of everything blames Jews for every problem that Christendom has had over the past 2000 years;
          ■whose rhetoric has been condemned by both the Abp of Prague for his outreach to “political extremists, Lefebvrites, nationalists, anti-Semites, Islamists and neo-Nazis.” and by the Catholic League for “outrageously blam[ing] the Jews themselves for the Holocaust and pogroms.” ;
          ■ who has appeared on an Iranian TV show that endorses the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as authentic and charges Jews with harvesting Gentile organs;
          ■ who is BFF with Holocaust Denier’s like Willis Carto and moving in virulently anti-Semitic circles;
          ■who treats as a respected thinker Robert Sungenis (Sungenis, who is published multiple times by Jones’ Culture Wars, gives Jones’ an enthusiastic thumbs up, and is himself hot on the trail of the Jew conspirators with such hard hitting stories as

          Jim Stone shows Israel Behind Fukashima Disaster
          The European Jewish Union Exonerating Everything Jewish
          Jewish Child Molesters
          Mossad Involvement in 9/11
          Jewry’s push for War with Iran
          Jewish Atzmon Says Merah Was a Mossad False Flag Agent
          and, last but not least, E. Michael Jones: Who is the World’s Real Enemy? (Guess who?)

          All your verbiage attempting to hide that fact, as well as to play shell games with his association with Brammer and his associate Jones is just smoke and mirrors. So, for that matter, is your attempt to say “Look at all these other people he’s interviewed! That means his attempt to mainstream Jones is okay.” This is, indeed, an attempt to make these other people into human shields for his promotion of Jones’ anti-semitism. The only disrespect I have is not for these people, but for your attempt to use them as an excuse for Voris’ attempt to mainstream Jones with his audience.

          • Todd Thomas

            The defense rests. Let the jury decide.

            • Mark Shea

              Thank you for this concerted effort at spin and damage control. I am relieved, in a backhanded way, that though Mr. Voris steadfastly refused to respond to my emails, he is sensitive to the fact that his divisive attacks on decent Catholics and his poisonous attempts to mainstream Jew-hatred do not go unnoticed. It would be nice if he responded himself, instead of sending surrogates in his place. But he has a business to run as one of those Professional Catholics he condemns other people for being.

  • Blog Integrity

    The interview with Jones was quite good. I’ve been skimming a borrowed copy of The Revolutionary Jew and was quite impressed with how it can actually be philosemitic such as the section on great jews of the Christian era.
    I suspect the suspicion of Voris comes from the fact that he is an outsider. ..
    The apologetics industry tells us that “Evangelicals make the best Catholics” (Steve Woods) and “The next best thing to a convert is a revert” (citation needed). That’s all very entertaining but irrelevant to many of us.
    I guess, Voris counts as a revert but he wasn’t vetted properly, some might say. He never worked at Catholic Answers or EWTN. I don’t think he ever was a blogger..

    Worst of all, he broke the #1 Rule of Hahnvert Pop Catholicism: Never criticize the American bishops. Was this a wise move? Only time will tell..

    • http://creativefidelity.wordpress.com Dan F.

      I think the complaint is not that he criticizes the bishops but that he does so with malice. Every time I’ve heard him criticize the bishops or more broadly ‘some’ at the x archdiocese he always does so in a way that drives a wedge between laymen and their Shepherds, increases suspicion and distrust and affirms his listeners in their superiority to *those* Catholics/bishops/etc. over there. He would do well to take 1 Tim. 5:1 to heart, “Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father….”

      My argument isn’t that the bishop’s can’t be wrong or that when (not if) they are wrong about something we as laypeople shouldn’t disagree but it is the attitude of our heart that matters. As an example I give you the following story courtesy of Fr. Z. about the Diocese of Toowoomba in Australia. The important part to read is: “one of their foremost petitions was “praying for the bishop’s conversion.” “Not to get rid of him, just for his conversion.”
      http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/06/d-toowoomba-the-power-of-prayer-and-adoration-of-the-bl-sacrament/


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