RealCatholicTV….

changes their name to ChurchMilitantTV

I wish I could say I thought this was primarily an act of obedience to the bishop of Detroit, but since Michael Voris made it clear he had no intention of obeying the bishop and said “Hey! I just work here” while trying to defer it to Marc Brammer and his bishop (Rhoades of South Bend, IN), I’m skeptical that’s what’s driving it. In fact, it looks more like an attempt to cover up his link with Marc Brammer and E. Michael Jones, whom Voris gave a college try at mainstreaming a few weeks ago.

It’s not clear who owns ChurchMilitant.TV from its WhoIs. It was registered through a proxy, presumably for reasons of privacy. My money is on the bet that it is still under Brammer and Jones’ Ultra Montane Associates. So I think people still need to be wary. The proof, of course, will be in the pudding. If further efforts are made to mainstream Jones, you’ll know. If not, then good for them and I applaud them from backing away from conflating anti-Jewish kookery and its apologists with Real Catholic Faith[TM].

And no, it is not “uncharitable” to be wary of this move, especially since Brammer himself has made clear that he means to place himself in a position where he cannot be under the jurisdiction of a bishop. This fits that game plan.

So let’s see what they do next.

  • Joannie

    Please stop fixating on Real Catholic TV and what they changed their name to and concentrate on the other important things – the CDF and the Head of the SSPX are meeting today in Rome on the subject of a possible reconciling with the Pope’s approval and the ongoing process. This is MUCH more important than what Michael Voris is doing with Church Militant TV ( a term that was used in the Church before Vatican II and was used by the Pope himself a couple of weeks ago. Don’t waste anymore time on squabbles with groups and people you disagree with on Ant- Jewish feelings.

    • Mark Shea

      I can’t do anything about the SSPX and I frankly don’t much care what happens there. I can do something about warning people who foolishly trust whatever RealCatholicTV tells them that kooky anti-semitism (something Trads like the SSPX specialize in, by the way) is not “Traditional Catholicism” but is, in fact, old sin. It matters a *great* deal if Voris, Jones, et al try to mainstream that. If you don’t care, don’t read my blog. I will continue to cover it if Voris tries to go in that direction.

      • Ted Seeber

        Thank you for the link Mark, about three articles later on that blog I found this:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/06/vatican-applies-for-control-of-catholic-domain-online/

        The Vatican has applied to ICANN for sole control of the .catholic domain to add to the .va domain. I wonder what the canonical process to apply for a .catholic address is.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          For one, you have to be an official Catholic institution like a parish, diocesan office, school, or hospital. They’re not giving them out to bloggers.

          • Ted Seeber

            Good. That’s who SHOULD have .catholic addresses.

  • Micaela Swift

    michael voris has his stuff together. He is a great defender of the faith. I think its more worthy of pointing the the sick and Disgusting dissenter Catholic college professors, dissenting nuns, anti-catholic figures/politicians who consistently distort church teaching, yet say they are Catholic and live by the “teachings” and are faithful….who seriously demand the church become episcopalian or some sort of false church, but still be “Catholic”. Voris is awesome in his work.

    • Mark Shea

      The dissenting nuns et al are a huge problem, and I do discuss them frequently. However, they aren’t going to seduce anybody reading this blog into thinking that their personal opinions and dangerous ideas are identical with the Faith. Voris can do that with my readership. Which is why I warn people when he tries to mainstream Jones’ dangerous and toxic anti-semitism. The easiest thing in the world is to ignoring the failings of one’s own tribe by pointing to Those People over There.

    • ds

      I honestly don’t know why anyone thinks Voris is doing anything very useful at all. Everything I’ve seen on RealCatholicTV (though admittedly I’ve only watch maybe ten videos out of his humongous opus) is just cheerleading for the ultra orthodox, or worse than that anti-semitism and borderline schismatic criticism of common and acceptable catholic practice (e.g. thinly veiled put-downs of people receiving in the hand). And it all has such sneering know it all tone, like this stuff is just plain obvious and if you don’t agree with him you are an idiot at best and probably malicious toward the faith.

      Anyone who is the least bit on the fence with their faith is bound to be driven away by this kind of brazen superiority, instead of being brought closer to Christ. I know I have been.

      And if you are orthodox and you seek to walk closer to Christ I would suggest in my infinite wisdom (that’s a self-criticism for the sarcasm impaired ) your time would be better spent in eucharistic adoration than sucking up the thin gruel Voris spews out.

  • Van Knackular

    I think your just jellous of Voris’ hair.
    Seriously though, realcatholictv is the least, the very least, of our problems to get our knickers in a knot over. If indeed they are a problem.

    • ivan_the_mad

      I disagree. No one who wants to be orthodox to the Church has any trouble recognizing the errors of groups like Catholics for Choice. They just seem so Other, one is very sceptical of their claims from the start. But it’s different when you’re dealing with someone who seems a kindred mind. It’s easier to get sold a bill of goods, since the listener is more trusting. That’s why Voris et al. can be such a problem.

      • Ken Ostrowski

        “No one who wants to be orthodox to the Church has any trouble recognizing the errors?”

        Really? Do you really think that?

        I languished in agnosticism for over a decade because I was misled by cowardly Catholics, who refused to excise dissenters from Church teaching. Whatever may or may not result from the interviews conducted by Michael Voris, he at least has the courage to stand up and -say- which groups in the church are right, and which ones are wrong.

        Whether he’s always right or not isn’t the point. The point is that he has the courage to speak up about canons of the church (like canon 915, for example) being disobeyed, has the enthusiasm to get people interested in being Catholic again, and actually shows some confidence in his beliefs, to the point of being willing to say that anti-Catholic beliefs are -w. r. o. n. g.- You know… the reason early Christians went to their deaths in the roman colosseum.

        If the church is ever going to recover from the hole that it’s been shoved into over the last 40 years, it needs these three qualities to be almost universal among its members; courage, enthusiasm and confidence. But you might recognize them better as the virtues of Fortitude, Hope and Faith.

        Maybe Voris isn’t the guy to bring this about. Maybe he’ll go off the deep end someday soon. All I know is, I’ve not found these remarkable qualities in anyone else in the church today. Make of that what you will.

    • Mark Shea

      Mainstreaming Jew hatred for Catholics is, potentially, a very serious problem.

    • Ted Seeber

      I still suspect Voris’s hair is a bad collection of toupees.

  • AfroDoc

    IMHO, changing the name from “Real Catholic” to “Church Militant” is like changing the name of “Dairy Queen” to “Aristocrat Ice Cream.” Maybe the new name is slightly more humble in that it doesn’t presume the endorsement and viewership of the Church Triumphant.

  • aimee

    I agree with you, Mark. I watched RCTV for a year or so several years ago, but came to dislike it and quit. It was so negative, Voris a bitter, self-appointed prosecutor, judge, and jury. And the style of the show – calculated to get attention and cause scandal, like reading the tabloids in the supermarket. Even if what he says is true, it is done in a way so lacking in charity as to be a source of scandal in itself.

    ChurchMilitant – what a perfect name for a militant, defiant guy like Voris. I’m sure it will just be more of the same, only worse. And I don’t look forward to the day when he bites the dust for good, like so many other Catholic “heroes” of recent fame who got a little too carried away with themselves, their popularity, their power, only to suffer the most humiliating public fall from grace.

    And for those who’d like to shut you up, Mark – good grief, Voris makes a living out of publicly criticizing others. Yet no one is supposed to criticize him? Have people learned nothing from the Corapis and Euteneuers of this world, their supporters hotly shouting down everyone else because of what “heroes” for the faith they were? Yet look how they turned out.

    The only heroes in my book are the saints – and they didn’t go around publicly criticizing and defying their bishops while trying to squirm around all the rules.

  • Ryan

    I think Michael Voris and his team at RCTV (now ChurchMilitant.tv) love our Catholic Faith and are in line with the teachings of the Church. They done a great job and I wish them many blessings at their new studio.

    • Ted Seeber

      I agree they love our faith, but I’ve even caught them in stuff that isn’t in line with the teachings of the church- like the one I tried to call him on and got banned from his early youtube channel for, claiming that soup kitchens were evil.

  • Telemachus

    Mark,

    I have some extra information from someone over at RCTV / CMTV, although I can’t quote verbatim the exchange at the request of the party with whom I was speaking (sorry to be so vague, I’m just trying to respect the representative’s wishes).

    The Marc Brammer tie with RCTV is not what people thought, although we can be forgiven for the confusion. I can’t give you all the details, but Marc contracted with Michael Voris / St. Michael’s Media to use the RealCatholicTV.com as an outlet for Voris’ programming, but the RCTV rep I talked with says that Brammer has never had any directorial control over the content: it’s all Michael Voris and team. For my part, I don’t doubt it. Brammer simply owns the domain and essentially asked somebody to use it rather than going fallow.

    The second thing I wanted to mention is that Brammer apparently does not own the new ChuchMilitant.TV domain. Additionally, Marc Brammer’s enterprises no longer have any role in the financial workings of RCTV, now CMTV. Basically, the commercial ties between Brammer and Voris have been severed with this changeover. This is what the rep explained to me. Again, I don’t doubt it.

    If anybody wants more information than this, they can give contact@realcatholictv.com a try for themselves. I’ve seen a lot of people complain about them being hostile, but honestly it was a pretty cordial exchange.

    Let me propose the following: Michael Voris has decided to comply with canon law in not using the name “Catholic” in his title, and he is separating himself from any formal business ties with Brammer to avoid associations which are creating a lot of misunderstanding.

    This doesn’t explain why he had E. Michael Jones on his program without getting Jones to clarify his stances and associations better, and I think he still deserves criticism for this.

    God bless,
    Tele

    • Mark Shea

      Not adding up for me. Voris somehow wasn’t obliged to change the name last winter because it was all Brammer’s gig and Voris just worked there. Now he (according to Voris) has nothing to do with Brammer and Jones anymore?

      We’ll see. If the mainstreaming of Jones continues, we’ll know. Meanwhile, it would be nice if there was a bit more transparency about who owns CMTV. Color me wary.

      • David

        Mark,
        Remain wary, but remain generous. You come off badly at least to me in the tone of your wariness. I’m tempted to then read a different tone into other things you write. I believe that you have no intention to be devisive in the Body. Perhaps it is just me, but maybe speaking ill of his motives for the name change goes too far.

        St. Frances de Sales says, “When you hear anyone spoken ill of, consider the accusation doubtful if you can do so justly. If you cannot, excuse the intention of the accused party. If that cannot be done, express sympathy for him or her. Or change the subject of conversation, recalling that those who do not fall into sin owe it all to God’s grace. Correct the slanderer in a mild way by telling of some good deed of the offended party, if you know of any.” (INT. Part III, Ch. 29; O. III, p. 243)

        God bless you Mark and your work for the Kingdom. (II Thess. 1: 11-12)

        • David II

          Agree with your comment regarding Mark’s tone.

          • Mark Shea

            Love the hypersensitivity about *tone* in a blog entry about Michael Voris. I trust you guys have sent notes of concern about “tone” to RCTV for the past five years, right?

            • ds

              Voris is an a-hole, but you can often strike an a-hole tone too Mark. I suspect (hope) you know it and are probably working on it. Here I think your tone is fine, and appropriate considering Voris. I would probably be less charitable, but that’s more my own failing too if I’m gonna be honest (why start now?). But it feels so good to be scathing and rude to idiocy, and I know you savor this intoxicating liquor also! :)

              Also to the butthurt”tone” complainers: INTERNET!

      • Telemachus

        Mark,

        I’m in agreement with you on the transparency issue.

        Regarding not changing the name, it’s not something one necessarily does overnight. First of all, I think Voris probably did intend to stick with RealCatholicTV.com in defiance at first. However, I would like to think that he thought better of it and started thinking of how he could fix the situation without too much trouble… and while saving face.

        Second, one has to go through the process of finding a new domain and laying down a plan to migrate one’s content over (including payment services and other technical stuff), and all the while it is a good time to start re-structuring and renovating RCTV as a business (note the move and the new studio). What I’m trying to say is this: the plans for all of this could have been months in the making, and the final decision by the AoD came down less than a year ago; thus, only a few months after making that defiant video, Voris might have decided to repent. Who knows, he may have decided to comply right away but wanted to send a last message to the people responsible for making sure RCTV was targeted.

        As for Jones, the rep I talked with stated that there was no tie whatsoever between Jones and RCTV. He was a guest and that’s it. I could believe it if Brammer asked Voris to have Jones on the show, and Voris decided to go ahead. In fact, Voris probably likes Jones a lot. Again, I think Voris is worthy of criticism on this. Brammer also.

        Regarding Brammer, he and Voris are friends, and the usage of the RealCatholicTV.com was apparently a mutually productive arrangement: Brammer had a domain to be used, Voris had programming to get out there. There’s more to it than that, but out of respect for the rep’s requests I’m not going to go into further detail.

        The rep was keen to emphasize that there is no “break” between Brammer and Voris, as if they are distancing themselves from one another personally. Rather, the rep was trying to make clear to me that Brammer and Voris have never been “working together” in the sense of owning RCTV together: it’s Voris’ baby and always has been. I think Voris is just looking to take a step forward by stepping out from under the roof of Brammer, nothing more, especially if the RCTV brand is losing credibility due to the AoD issue. Basically, when you are first starting out, its nice to have somebody providing you the resources you need to get going. Once you have momentum, you want to have total control over the enterprise so that you are not beholden to anyone.

        Anyways, there are three possibilities: either the rep is giving me the straight dope, the rep doesn’t really know what he’s talking about (doubtful given the level of detail), or the rep was lying through his teeth. I think you are right that we will be able to decide more if the mainstreaming of people like Jones continues, Bob Sungenis for instance.

        God bless,
        Tele

    • Telemachus

      Mark,

      First of all, I agree with you about the transparency issue. We’ll see what happens. The rep was adamant that Voris owned the domain through his company Concept Productions: http://www.conceptpro.tv/staff.php.

      Second, concerning the changing of the name, I propose the following:
      (1) Voris had been planning on taking the next step in his enterprise before the AoD issue came to the fore.
      (2) He was going to stand his ground initially, but repented of this, especially since he wanted to make changes anyways.

      The process for switching over to a new domain and name, moving to another studio, reworking the financial and other technical aspects of RCTV, etc. takes time. The AoD announcement happened less than a year ago, so the final decisions to do all of this could have taken place within months of that video he posted as a rebuttal to the staff of the AoD who were targeting him and RCTV.

      Regarding Jones, the rep stated there was no formal relationship between Jones and RCTV. He was a guest, that’s it. I still think Voris deserves criticism for having him on in the first place, and I worry about the influences that he is coming under.

      Regarding Brammer, the rep told me that he and Voris are good friends, but that the business relationship surrounding RCTV was one of mutual convenience and support. Brammer had commercial resources (starting cash w/o strings, domain name, company registration in Indiana? Michigan?, etc.), Voris needed commercial resources. I will also mention that operating under RCTV as a for-profit enterprise allowed Voris to say things (e.g. political in nature) that he was otherwise restricted on due to 501c3 requirements.

      The rep also emphasized that there was no “break” between Brammer and Voris personally, but only a separation of RCTV / CMTV from the commercial resources of Brammer. I don’t find this unbelievable. When you are first starting out, you are happy to accept the help of somebody who has the resources you need. As the enterprise develops, you want to strike out on your own and have total control over every aspect of the enterprise you are heading up.

      I see three possibilities: the rep is telling the truth, the rep doesn’t know what he is talking about (unlikely given the details the rep knew), or the rep is lying through his teeth.

      I think “wait and see” is the most prudent course of action. I would definitely continue to warn people about Voris’ being influenced by Brammer and Jones, but I would not continue to promote the theory that there is a gigantic coordinated effort behind the scenes to mainstream anti-Semitic, ultra-trad ideology until there is more evidence. Just a thought.

      I’m not sure I would continue to bring up the idea that Brammer is seeking to work on things outside of the aegis of the Bishops for the sake of undermining their authority either, by the way. In that interview, he seems only to be saying that he wants to avoid jurisdictional conflicts with the Bishops and doesn’t want them to be involved in financial or moral support of the stuff he’s working on. Objectively, there’s nothing wrong with the sentiments he expressed. Whether there is something going on behind the scenes of all this is yet to be seen.

      God bless,
      Tele

      • Mark Shea

        I agree that “wait and see” is the best course of action. As I say, if there are further attempt to mainstream Jones, we’ll know the direction this is going. If not, good for CMTV.

  • Telemachus

    The shots about Voris’ hair are bit cheap, aren’t they?

    • ds

      Oh come on, I’ve seen better rugs at Ikea, and they’re probably a lot cheaper.

    • Ted Seeber

      Then explain to me how they change color so often. At first I thought it was just a case of “if I haven’t seen you in a while, my TV gets out of adjustment”- like Bill Clinton’s hair, which at the end of his presidency was a different color *depending on the channel you were on in the same speech*. But then I realized I was always on computer monitors- and that it didn’t matter even if it was the same monitor.

  • Robert

    Michael Voris is living, breathing proof that Americanism is not inherently a “progressive” problem. Essentially, it is seeing one’s faith through the lens of his politics/cultural bias rather than seeing his politics/culture through the lens of his faith. I agree with the comment above:

    “…No one who wants to be orthodox to the Church has any trouble recognizing the errors of groups like Catholics for Choice. They just seem so Other, one is very sceptical of their claims from the start. But it’s different when you’re dealing with someone who seems a kindred mind. It’s easier to get sold a bill of goods, since the listener is more trusting. That’s why Voris et al. can be such a problem”

    This is why the actions of people like Michael Voris ARE a problem and they need to be discussed and addressed.

  • bob cratchit

    The whole anti-semitism is a recent thing. I’ve been *sort of* following Marks posts about Voris for a year now. So I’m still trying to discern what the underlying issue is. I mean why so much attention to Voris? I’m especially now interested because some close friends of mine have recently discovered Voris and are playing his videos at weekly bible studies and I’m hearing the oohs and aahs about him.

    • Mark Shea

      Your first and last sentences are the answer to your question.

  • B.E. Ward

    Voris’ videos would be a lot more interesting if they were nothing more than him and Mark Driscoll arguing with each other. A match made in heaven, those two!

    • ds

      Great idea. Best part would be when it when these manly men (especially Driscoll) devolve into an all-out sissy slapfight at the end.

  • http://www.voxcantor.blogspot.com David Anthony Domet

    Mr. Shea, you really have a hate on for Mr. Voris. You are also using rash judgement. Very un-Catholic and very tiresome.

    • Mark Shea

      “Wait and see” is rash judgment? But “Jews are the enemies of the human race” is not rash judgment? Nor is suggesting that Bp. Mulvey is part of a gay cabal? Nor is trashing the Knights of Columbus? Nor is suggesting the Vigneron is part of a conspiracy to silence Real Catholics[TM]? Fascinating.

      • http://www.voxcantor.blogspot.com David Anthony Domet

        Mr.Shea, please don’t deflect to another issue in an Alinskyite manner, you said, “wish I could say I thought this was primarily an act of obedience,” sounds like rash-judgement to me. Are you going to tell me that my Fraternal Order is Magisterial or something and beyond criticism? My Worthy Supreme Grand Knight has been a great disappointment to me on a number of matters. So what? Gay cabal? I know nothing of this bishop, we have enough gay cabals here in Toronto to worry about.

        But let me get back to the issue; you really seem to be transfixed on Voris and I find it tiresome.

        Let’s see, we have a Fascist American President forcing Catholic to go against their faith and your Constitution, here in Ontario, we have a Catholic Fascist Premier forcing GSA’s on Catholic Schools and bishops too weak and ineffectual to confront the matter; I could go on but Voris is the real problem in the Church, eh? (A Canadian colloquialism pronounced “ay”).

        I expect you’ll just give me back another smarmy answer instead of admitting that you might, at least on the continual rant about Voris, might be wrong.

        I really encourage you to move on from him; you’ve turned a lot of people off of your own work, me included.

        • Mark Shea

          Alinskyite?

          Dude, your note is Exhibit A in my list of reasons I don’t mind turning off people like you.

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