More Poisonous Fruit from the Cult of Voris

So the most excellent Simcha Fisher, being a healthy human being, notes her distaste with Michael Voris offering a Caribbean Lenten Luxury Cruise for a thousand bucks a head (all while trying to portray the whole thing as some valiant act of spiritual warfare with Enemies of His Pure Faith while, as is his custom, really only fanning  into flame the arrogant pride of his Cult of Personality).  But, because she is a fundamentally wise, good and decent person, she feels disappointed with herself for focusing on Mr. Scourge-of Professional-Catholics-Who-Charges-Fat-Premiums-and-Accuses-Good-Bishops-of-Being-Gay-and-Good-Catholics-of-Being-Heretics-While-Mainstreaming-Nutty-Anti-Semite‘s hypocrisy and turns her perfectly understandable eyeroll at the Cult of Voris to something good by recommending a bunch of charities and works of mercy you could send a thousand bucks to instead.

Things are going swimmingly until the Inquisitors at Pewsitter get wind of it and send the Voris Cult off like flying monkeys to hijack the entire thread with encomiums of adoration of their favorite demagogue and the typical accusations of Impurity against a faithful Catholic that are the Cult of Voris’ bread and butter–and which he constantly encourages. Nothing else matters to them–and certainly not the poor–other than the Dear Leader who tells them what their itching ears want to hear about their immense superiority to all us unwashed CINOs.

The whole thing is a cult and a toxic one. It peddles worship of Voris as “orthodoxy”, sends out flying monkeys to halt works of mercy so that false accusations can be leveled against a good woman and a demagogue can be exalted at the expense of the poor. It battles, not real evils, but people like Abp. Vigneron, Bp. Mulvey, the Knights of Columbus, SOLT, EWTN, the Register, CNA, and It’s poison. And I sincerely hope I will be honored by inclusion on the Cult of Voris’ hit list right behind Simcha. Come and get me, you weenies.

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  • Thinkling

    Before anyone honors Mark below on the Cult of Voris hit list, please do everyone, including yourself, a favor and go read Dave Armstrong’s recent smackdown of the CoV.

    Extra credit for reading all Dave’s older background material linked through the piece.

    You’re welcome.

    • Mark Shea

      Do you have a link?

      • Therese
      • Thinkling

        Sorry, thank you Therese!

        • EBS

          I read through that link. Dave Armstrong said it in the below comments- The Popes decree is good enough for me. That’s exactly right! The Popes decree should be good enough for ALL Catholics- including Voris. He has the nerve to criticize the Church on how the Modern Mass is celebratedis with no authority to do so. He is neither the Pope, or a Cardinal. He isn’t a Bishop. He isn’t even a Priest. What’s his Vocation in life? Is he a Father, or a husband? To which authority is he answerable to? Rather, he reminds me of an annoying back-seat driver who wants to give commentary on where to go, but he isn’t the one driving. In fact, he could possibly be steering many in the wrong direction and missing the point. I don’t understand how he can he use the word “Catholic” and “ministry” (a self-appointed one), if he doesn’t respect the authority and decisions of the Catholic Church. It doesn’t make sense. He sounds more Protestant, than Catholic. I suppose he could keep “catholic” out of it and continue his criticism, and there wouldn’t be a problem.
          What I find really funny is if Voris tried to conduct a “ministry” (and I re-use this word with trepidation), pre-Vatican II, he wouldn’t have been able to. Vatican II opened the Church up to more participation of the Laity and Michael Voris needs to be reminded he is one of us- the Laity. Michael Voris you are a Lay person. Yet he has the nerve to condemn the Modern Mass, which was given to us by the same Council. Ha! In his case, its a matter of pick and choose what you like and don’t like. Isn’t that “Cafeteria Catholicism”, in reverse?

  • $1000.00 a head! If I just had 12 folks who wanted to give spiritual alms at that level I would finally be able to purchase proper Rose Vestments for the Priory. But, it seems, in our current era that spiritualist self-indulgence trumps adorning the Lord’s temple for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    In more civilized times people built churches, adorned the liturgy with sacred art and music, founded orphanages, went on pilgrimages, took a vow, supported Religious Communities, or simply assisted the materially poor. Now, in our decadence we go on a Cruise and call it fitting for Lent practices.

    This doesn’t seem to fit the Catholic tradition of penance.

    • SMC

      Maybe you should direct that question to Catholic Answer too they get even more for their cruises. Or is this really a you-hate-Michael-Voris tirade?

      • Mark Shea

        As has been said repeatedly, the issue was a *Lenten* luxury cruise. But then you knew that, didn’t you?

        • SMC

          So. Who cares. It’s only a little over $1000. not very much money for a cruise.

          • Mark Shea

            The Cult cares and is demanding Simcha’s head. You should stop defending that Cult and tell them to not care.

          • Kathryn Murphy

            $1000!!!!!! That is FIVE MONTHS of groceries for my family. To me, that is a lot of money.

  • Charlotte

    You rock, Mark. But you already know that! (Oops, did I mention rock n roll, satanically influenced music that it is? Hey! Someone should start a rock band that sings everything in Latin!)

  • Skf

    Sounds like a personal thing to me Mr. Shea. I find his videos interesting and thought provoking. He’s honest and unafraid. But you my dear, your reaction is also thought provoking.

    • Skf

      ps. There are all kinds of “spiritual” journeys that are offered by this church or that catholic organization that I cannot afford. Quit telling other people how to spend their money!

      • Mark Shea

        Nobody’s telling you cult members how to spend your money. I’m just saying, “Shut up and leave Simcha alone, you self-absorbed bullying pharisees.” Clear now?

    • Mark Shea

      Ah! The psychological approach. Don’t forget to speculate that I’m driven by a) Profe$$ional Catholic lust for money unlike Purely Spiritual Michael Voris and b) envy for the huge financial success of Michael Voris. I love that.

    • Debra

      Doesn’t seem so personal to me. His right to call his little organization Catholic was officially pulled by the ecclesiastical authorities. This is not to say he never has a valid point. He often does. But something is very wrong somewhere, at least on occasion, or he would still be allowed to produce his video rants with the label Catholic applied to them.

    • SMC

      I like Michael Voris and Father Z, I’ve never read anything written by them against Mark Shea. It seems like it’s always one-sided. I’m sick of the rants, that’s why I rarely read anything by Mark these days. Maybe Shea should give a little thought to that.

      • Mark Shea

        For somebody who doesn’t care, you sure care a lot. I wrote nothing about Fr. Z. I wrote against the Cult of Voris because they are a pack of pharisaic bullies beating up a good woman. You side with them. So why should I give a rip what you think? Go beat up a sixth grader for his milk money, you coward.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    That combox was terrifying. Simcha posts, quite lengthily, about lots of charities, and all these people hear is “Simcha hates Fr. Z and Voris!”

    It’s one of the most narcissistic things I’ve ever read.

    Simcha: “Give money to one of these groups.”
    Pewsitters: “Stop picking on meeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

  • Lucas

    What’s wrong with a cruise retreat? Seriously?! Does Fr. Z not have the ability to make his own prudential decisions? The man is obviously holy, exceptionally knowledgeable & committed to Catholicism, so does he not deserve some benefit for whom he chooses to associate with?

    With regard to Voris, I have yet to hear him contradict Catholic teaching. I would caution anyone from following any human to the point of nearly canonizing them while they’re still alive (Fr. Corapi is a prime example), but I truly believe the man is not doing what he’s doing for purely selfish reasons. To classify it as poison & dismiss what he’s saying out of hand is to ignore a LOT of things that are certain problems in the Church.

    Our Catholic faith is not defined by Vatican II (a fully legitimate council, BTW), but throughout all of history. To question the practices of even the majority of the faithful in a post conciliar world certainly isn’t poison. Writing ridiculously bitter blog posts with a vendetta against a man trying to educate people on Catholic teaching & history seems a bit violent to me, no?

    • Mark Shea

      There is nothing wrong with cruises per se. There is something tacky about a Lenten cruise. There’s something tackier about wrapping it all up in a prideful “Come cruise with *real* catholics.” There’s something even tackier about pretending this is some sort of Struggle Against Vicious Enemies of the Faith. And there is something that is actually wrong with hijacking a thread about works of mercy in order to practice the Voris Cult’s habit of factionalism.

      If you are unaware of Voris’ numerous missteps, half-truths, slanders (including, ironically, slanders of people who did not observe the Cult of Corapi) then I can only assume you have not been paying attention. It’s not hard to find intelligent critiques of Voris’ demagoguery. Stick your head outside the Bubble and look. He is not educating. He is miseducating and building a cult of personality around himself while attacking lots of good people and teaching his cult to do likewise.

      Maciel, Euteneuer, Corapi, Cutie, Voris. How many times do utterly undiscerning “Faithful conservative” Catholics have to indulge in a cult of personality before they figure out that cults of personality are poison?

      • Raul De La Garza III

        Mark, you’ve lost some cool points from me for some of your responses here. I am quite disappointed. Perhaps your time would be better spent contemplating your Lenten mortification instead of contemplating those of others? Just sayin’…

        • Mark Shea

          Perhaps your time would be better spent defending a good woman from a bullying cult of self-absorbed pharisees.

          • Raul De La Garza III

            Mark, I have not read those responses to her. If she is in need of defense then so be it. I, like you, would encourage all level headed Catholics to do so, however, my concern is for what you have shown here thus far. I am saddened by it and also think that some here may also need defending due to what I would characterize as an over reaction by you to comments made thus far. As your post is already ‘loaded for bear’, I shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. You’ve lost me this day as a frequent reader.

            • Mark Shea

              I have no interest in losing readers who prioritize the butthurt rants of a bullying cult of pharisees over the defense of a good woman. Grow some discernment and stop making excuses for this demagogue and his cult.

              • Adiutricem

                “Oh, vile racism!”

                • Mark Shea


      • Lucas

        I think Pat Archbold nails my point here:

        Can you clarify what you mean by his slanders of those who “did not observe the ‘Cult of Corapi'”? The only quote I can find is below:

        “Fr. Corapi and his decisions and recent actions are NOT the topic of this Vortex. What IS the topic is the Catholic Media’s response to his actions.
        The sanctimonious and self-righteous condemnation of Fr. John Corapi is frankly disgusting.
        And let me be very clear .. this is not a defense or condemnation of his actions.
        Frankly .. I don’t know enough about the case to have an opinion. There are lots and lots of unanswered questions.
        But again .. his actions and decisions are not the topic here today. The tone of the “professional Catholics” on the internet however is.
        And yes .. we said TONE. Faithful orthodox Catholics who are sick of the corruption in the hierarchy . sexual .. financial and political .. are constantly being slammed for the amorphous TONE issue .. as in too much Clarity but not enough Charity.
        Well .. if how these professional Catholics have ripped and derided Fr. Corapi is what they mean by charity .. then they need to go back to catechism 101…”

        That hardly seems like slander to me – it seems like a valid point criticizing people not showing charity to the man.

        Back to your first paragraph, I’ve scoured the advertisements for the cruise & I can’t find any reference to “real Catholics” . I’m not defending hijacking a thread, but this is the internet, and trolls be trollin’ (you should know).

        Why the poison from you toward the man? He’s certainly not perfect, but he’s not saying anything outside of Catholic teaching…If he is, please provide concrete examples besides a blanket statement of “miseducating”.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes. You are defending hijacking a thread. And you are not looking outside your bubble. Try looking at the links I provided. The man slandered Bp. Mulvey as part of a shadowy gay cabal. He has attacked lot of faithful catholics as CINO’s. He has tried to mainstream an anti-semitic business buddy. And he has the chutzpah to charge premiums while labeling other Catholics who work as writers or in other media as Profe$$ional Catholic$. Grow some discernment and stop making excuses for this demagogue.

          And Michael Voris lamenting “tone”? Seriously? What is the matter with you?

      • Lucas

        Also, would you say that Benedictine or Franciscan spirituality is a poison? How would you differentiate those from who you mentioned above? I’m certainly not canonizing Voris, but St. Francis & St. Benedict’s practices in holiness greatly benefitted the Church. Let’s not dismiss everyone who doesn’t agree with the ho hum dumbed down American version of Catholicism. Let’s try to actually build a culture that is based on our faith, not vice versa.

        • Mark Shea

          What on earth does Benedictine and Franciscan spirituality have to do with this bullying, narcissistic cult of pharisees beating up a good woman?

          Let’s not dismiss everyone who doesn’t agree with the ho hum dumbed down American version of Catholicism.

          Good to hear the Cult is not consumed with pride or anything.

          • Lucas

            Pride isn’t solely present in the “CoV”…I see a lot in your posts too. Is the Church in America not sick? If we disagree on that point, then we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

            • Mark Shea

              The Church, and especially me, is always struggling with sin. Voris and the Cult evince none of this. Voris is always accusing somebody else of “lies and falsehoods”. His cult is constantly accusing somebody else of being Fake catholics. People like Simcha. So why are defending them instead of defending her?

              • Lucas

                For the record, Simcha’s blog is wonderful – she deserves to be defended.

                With regard to Voris accusing others – He has never once claimed to be above sin! The content of his videos focus very much on fallen human nature. The most telling quote I’ve heard from him was regarding the Four Last Things. He simply stated that if someone claims to be Catholic & never mentions them, then you should probably look elsewhere – How is that inconsistent with the mission of the Church? If Christ desires union with him in this life & the next, then how can we not be constantly concerned with Death, Judgement, Heaven & Hell? If our priests and bishops are simply telling us to be nice people, then how is that leading us to holiness? Get a grip, Mark!

                • Mark Shea

                  They focus–and teach the cult to focus–on the fallenness of everybody else. And the proof is in the pudding in the comments on Simcha’s blog and in the links I provided. The most telling quotes for me are the ones I provided in my links (which you have read, right?) So is your false accusation that “our priests and bishops are simply telling us to be nice people”. When Bp. Mulvey told Corapi to be obedient, Voris was right there to insinuate the Mulvey was part of a gay cabal persecuting a Living Saint. So was the Cult. The Cult is poison. Stop making excuses for him and them.

  • Nate

    It’s a bummer that these different groups can’t get along (since I like all of them). I didn’t read the whole comment thread, but I’m sure that there were people on it that said some uncharitable things to Simcha. Yet certainly, one could charitably and reasonably argue with Simcha that a Lenten cruise with Voris and Z is a perfectly fine way to spend one’s hard earned dough, over and against a donation to one of those fine charities. That is to say, one might charitably argue that Simcha’s ‘perfectly understandable eyeroll’ at the cruise thing is perhaps not that perfectly reasonable, and say as much on Simcha’s comment thread.
    Oh, never mind.

    Happy Advent to everyone.

  • If I go on a Lenten cruise, I guess I can’t wear shorts or a swim suit?

    • Margaret

      Sola skirtura, Pansy!

  • Kyle

    Hey, at least it will be easy to eat fish on Fridays!

    • ivan_the_mad

      Sadly, there’ll only be lobster …

  • DMB

    Let us hearken back to Augustine and Jerome and their saintly squabble…or even further, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I indeed am of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I am of Cephas; and I of Christ.”

  • You are awesome. Many thanks, and God bless you.

  • Dale Price

    Nothing says “Our Lord Spent Forty Days Fasting in the Desert Battling the Temptations of Satan” like a Princess Cruise.

    But a Register blogger clearing her throat about that is the real problem. Yep-per.

    • B.E. Ward

      Cue Kathy Gifford.. ~~~If He could see me now…~~~

    • Mark Shea

      You are Not Of the Body!

  • So, Mark, I read through the comments and it’s mostly a waste of time. Do I think the Lenten cruise is ill-advised? Yeah, probably. Is it charitable or called for to slam Voris over it? Not particularly. There’s been a lot of other cruises by Catholic Answers, Steve Ray, Scott Hahn, etc. Granted I don’t know if any of them were during Lent. There is plenty about Voris that could legitimately be pointed out – I’m not sure this is one of the instances.

    But just when I thought this was all a big waste of time, and a tempest in a teapot, something great happened! Check out what this defender of Voris had to say:

    “Please name one thing that Voris was not in line with the magnesium of the church on.”

    Now, this is unintentional comedy gold!

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. That line killed me too.

    • B.E. Ward

      So could you call Church teaching the Milk of Magnesium?

      • Dave

        Yes, you must. It says so in the Calcium of the Catholic Church.

    • Lucas

      Ok, that’s pretty funny…

    • Nate

      Yeah, the comment thread is mostly a lot of silliness. Rather than read the whole thing, there’s a fellow named ‘John’ on the thread who I’d recommend control + F’ing for. He manages to keep things (in his own words) ‘vaguely civil’, and has some reasonable points of criticism. One might question the wisdom of offering any criticism (even reasonable criticism) on a thread that seemed to mostly revolve around the worthiness of various charities. Perhaps the problem was the abrupt change in subject by those who offered criticism, regardless of their tone?
      Dunno. Just speculating.

  • Mark Windsor

    “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    • Well yeah there’s that. I read something a few days ago that really struck me. An author (not Catholic –a guru of sorts– his book being in my sister’s pile of books and me being curious to see what she was reading) mentioned that he had met Mother Teresa once when she was in California on her way to Mexico. He asked if he could accompany her and learn from her. She said she didn’t mind if he did but asked that he find out how much it cost to fly there and back and consider instead giving that money to the poor. He did and that simple act taught him so much. We can make all kinds of justifications for why it’s fine to spend our hard earned money on something spiritually edifying (if it is) but what more might we learn by using that hard earned money to make an actual difference in someone’s life? It definitely gave me pause.

  • Joshua Mincher

    Isn’t Father Z co-hosting this retreat? He’s the best Catholic blogger of this generation.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I don’t know… I think Mark is quite awesome!

      • Mark Shea

        Oh dear. Let’s not do this.

        • antigon

          Wait a minute. Didn’t Padre Z mangle you fairly recently in a vote for Best Catholic Blogger? Vox Catolici has decided (except for the illegal ballot stuffing Padre doubtless arranged)!

  • Out of curiosity, is it the cruise itself that’s the problem? Is it the cost? Would it be OK if it was less? Is the idea of a cruise no matter what the cost problematic? Is this 1000.00 in addition to the cruise, or is it the cost to go? Is it because it would be during Lent? Just curious.

    • Mark Shea

      No. As I already said, nothing wrong with cruises per se. For me, it’s combination of a cruise during Lent (Partay on Good Friday! Woo hoo!) with the “We’re just so damn holy as we “like-minded” (read: “real” Catholics) get together to do courageous Battle For Truly-True Catholic Faith”.

      My response: I like cruises just fine. Done a couple myself as a guest speaker (cuz they ain’t no way I could afford to pay). A nice little way for an apostolate to raise a bit of money and do something fun for people who can afford it. But Look. Just take the damn cruise and enjoy yourselves, Cult of Voris. Stop feeding your pharisaic smugness while you do it, as though this is some heroic sacrificial act and you are spending a week locked in combat with the Forces of Evil (basically all Catholics who are not you) trying to destroy the Church. And stop being butthurt flying attack monkeys when somebody registers a small note of distaste with your timing and pharisaic boasting. The people who decided to gang up on Simcha illustrate everything wrong with the Voris cult.

      • Nonymous

        “. . . as though this is some heroic sacrificial act and you are spending a week locked in combat with the Forces of Evil (basically all Catholics who are not you) trying to destroy the Church.”

        I’d pay $1,000 to do that. Except I ‘d get my ass kicked.

        • Mark Shea


  • Domjp

    The folk going on this cruise must be amazing! I am far too weak to be able to do penance whilst surrounded by vast cruise buffets. If anyone can do such a thing please pray for me! God bless

  • Brian

    Looks like she is fending them off pretty well.

    • Mark Shea

      She’s tough and smart. And any Catholic worth his salt should be squarely in her corner against that butthurt horde of bullying narcissistic pharisees slamming her.

      • joshua mincher

        you should consider not using the word “butthurt.”

        • Mark Shea


          Considering in progress…..

          I’m done considering it. It’s a great word. I will use it when appropriate. Thanks for your input.

          • Lucas

            Mark, you’re really quick to give criticism, but really defensive when someone calls you on it.

  • kenneth

    You know, for a thousand bucks a head, depending on how big his following is, they could negotiate to buy a nice secluded plot of land in Guyana and set up a community that would be the first true Christian mission in the world….

  • Jamie R

    Guys, you’re missing the point. Clearly this pilgrimage is motivated by a proper devotion to the cults of St. Martin of Tours, St. Thomas the Apostle, and St. Grand Turk of Turkey.

    • Mark Shea

      Don’t forget Jill St. John.

      • LOL! I love that. I’m laughing so hard.

  • Observer

    I think the sad part is holding a very expensive get-away on a cruise during Lent with an add of superior righteous attitude towards people who do not hold to nor share their convictions – does seem as valid point of concern, and is be Mr. Shea’s point – a contradiction of ethics and morality. Further proof to that contradiction is the fact – at least as Voris’s supporters who may not necessarily speak for him – have made criticism towards Simcha.

  • Tom

    1 Corinthians 1:10-13, “10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

    13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

    2:2-5, “2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

    5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”

    • DoubtingThomas

      Best post on the matter by far, brother

  • Bill

    Crescat on her blog also pointed out how strange the whole cruise was too.

    Voris is Voris, he’s the Beck of Catholic Media… the rodeo clown. Like Beck he shoots everything with a howitzer, so he often hits the target, while blowing up half the countryside. He’s oddly entertaining in a “I can’t tell he believes this or not?” kind of way. But he needs to be more prudent.

    Father Z, I don’t know. I want to really like him. Bill at 22 would have LOVED him, back when I was just as faithful, but more full of piss and vinegar about everything. But me at 33, I don’t know. There’s something vaguely, unlikeable, about him. He comes off as a kind of smug to me.

    • Mark Shea

      I had a number of people email me at the time and showed heroic restraint in not commenting. I would have continued to pass over it in silence had the cult bullies not chosen to victimize a good woman.

    • vox borealis

      @ Bill,

      Is Father Z. smug? Maybe, sure. But his site, in my opinion, is super smart. I don’t necessarily agree with all that he posts, but what would be the fun in that anyway? And I definitely do not agree with the more fringy commenters who frequent his threads. But I certainly learn a lot when I read his stuff. And I have no doubt that he is orthodox and basically correct when it comes to things Catholic. Otherwise, I don’t much care if I “like” him.

      • Bill

        I guess it’s just a matter of personal taste. I don’t know if smug is fair, but maybe fussy and majoring in minors. I love his orthodoxy, but he seems too political for my taste.

        I love the Archbolds, but I gravitate more toward Matt than Pat because of style and approach. Again, personal taste

  • Elaine

    I thought of this which sums up my view of Voris like “ministries”

    ” Let this be the Grouch’s cause! Point out everybody’s flaws! Something is wrong with everything, except the way I sing!” Oscar the Grouch (singing)

    Although I see the hypocrisy in complaining about people who complain too much, I have accepted the fact that as long as I uphold a standard of morality that is impossible to live up to, I can always be called a hypocrite.

  • The Jerk

    I can’t believe people would talk this way about Michael Voris, a living saint and a doctor of the Church.

  • I hold no brief for Michael Voris, but as an organizer of Catholic cruises (Mark has been a speaker–and a very good one!–for us) I should point out that the $1,084 Voris is charging works out to $155 per day. That includes the equivalent of hotels, all meals, and car expenses for a driving vacation that visits five far-flung cities in a week. You easily could spend more than that trying to do such a land-only vacation, so in that sense Voris’s cruise shouldn’t be labeled a luxury or expensive trip.

    I thought the critique at Simcha Fisher’s blog was very poorly done–so poorly that it never should have been posted.

    The reviewer starts by referring to “the Michael Voris Love Boat.” That migth be acceptable if Voris were sponsoring a cruise for singles looking for spouses, but that isn’t at all what his video or ad say. A cheap shot.

    The reviewer says that Voris “is going to charge the suckers who watch him thousands of dollars for a ‘retreat’ at sea. During Lent. That’s right. Thousand[s] of dollars spent to go on a spiritual retreat on a cruise ship with casinos and all night buffets.”

    First of all, using “suckers” is another cheap shot.

    Second, the fee isn’t “thousands of dollars” but just over one thousand dollars. (Can’t you read the man’s ad?)

    Third, nearly all Catholic cruises, no matter what time of year, are held on big ships that have casinos. Big ships mean lower costs per person, and big ships universally have casinos. (On Catholic Answers cruises we just ignore the casinos and go about our own business.)

    Fourth, “all night buffets”? I checked the description of this cruise at the Princess Cruises website and couldn’t find any reference to all-night buffets. Catholic Answers has used several cruise lines over the years (but not Princess), and none of them had an all-night buffet.

    Granted, Lent doesn’t seem the best time of year to set a cruise (maybe Voris chose March because the rates are low then), but–unlike something claimed in the comments above–his group won’t be partying on the ship on Good Friday–because Good Friday is on March 29, and his cruise ends 12 days earlier! Still another cheap shot.

    I don’t object to criticizing Voris when criticism is due (which is often enough, I’m afraid), but let’s play fair, shall we? Don’t make things up, and don’t exaggerate. Cheap shots (which are mainly plain old falsehoods) don’t bring any credit to their authors.

    • Mark Shea
    • Nate

      I had originally thought the cruise sounded pretty cool (since I admire both Voris and Z), and was bummed out to find out that going on this cruise (since I’m going to be down in Florida then anyway with the fam) would make me a ‘sucker’ going on a ‘love boat’ was a bit, um, yeah. I was also bummed to find out that doing so would make me part of a cult or contributing to a cause that’s ‘poison’ or sanctimonious, or not properly Lentenly observant.

      Anyway, Simcha’s great, and I got a thick skin, so she’s welcome to her opinion. Just though the post was a bit head-scratching. And it seemed to me that all reasonable criticism of her view in the comment thread got grouped in with the fly-by uncharitable comments. Happens a lot.

      Whatevs. I’ll still read her, ‘cuz she’s cool.

      Perhaps I will ‘go on the damn cruise.’ We’ll see.

      Perhaps there are people who watch Voris (and Z for that matter–he’s kinda the elephant in the room here, isn’t he?) and have all of the anti-semitic and cultish features described here. Me thinks, though, that most folks who tune into Voris are like me: busy, well-adjusted people with spouses and kids who like what he says while perhaps occasionally disagreeing with him or some of the positions of some of his guests (and anyway not finding him anti-semitic or a hypocrite or a bully, despite arguments (and links) from folks here that he is all of those things), but over all appreciating his message.

      Dunno. Could be wrong. Often am.

      • alex

        yes! I am like you! some sanity here….maybe?

    • Mary French

      Exactly my thoughts, Karl! I made some of the same observations myself. Thank you for posting this.

    • Karl, I responded to your comment over at my blog.

  • Stu

    Nice list by Simcha.

    Bad headwork on her part in feeling the need to make unprovoked negative statements about others as an opening for it.

    This blog post doesn’t help the situation either.

  • DoubtingThomas

    You sound like you have a personal problem with Voris, or anyone else who evinces a form of Catholicism that’s in your face, and perhaps borders on “radical.” Cuz…y’know, Jesus wasn’t radical at all, very mainstream… (I still remember your barely restrained glee at the tragic fall of Fr. John Corapi.) I agree that many of Voris’ ideas go over the top, and I was particularly frustrated by his most recent critiques of Archbishop Dolan and the Knights of Columbus. But I do believe his heart’s in the right place, even if he sees heretics under every hedgerow (yes…hedgerow, I was going for alliteration). Granted he’s not my usual cup of tea, but I do reach from time to time for some “strong stuff” to get me good and riled to fight the enemies of my Church (and they do exist!). I used to be an avid follower but he has turned me off quite a bit, mostly for similar reasons as the ones you have cited. But I hardly think your venom and rancor is warranted, really you seem as rabid as he is, as if you are personally affronted by what Voris is saying. No one is above a little fraternal correction. The point of the matter is that God has different uses for different people. He is using people like you, Michael Voris, Simcha Fisher, Karl Keating (whose comments on Facebook were what turned me on to this brouhaha) Raymond Arroyo, Curtis Martin and many others to reach many different people in different ways. “We must be all things to all people,” said St. Paul, and if Voris reaches people who otherwise wouldn’t be reached, more power to him!

    • Mark Shea

      No. I have a problem with demagogues who surround themselves with cults of personality that habitually attack good people and slander them. There was no glee on my part at the fall of Fr. Corapi. In fact, I was one of the people who urged everybody to shut up and let the investigation proceed. It was only when Corapi betrayed his vows, his superiors, his flock and his God and tried to fleece the sheep that I sounded off while Voris ginned up a mob to attack critics of Corapi’s lies and perfidy and slandered his bishop as part of a gay cabal. You should repent your slander and never repeat it again. Voris reaches people and turns them into Pharisees, who then attack good people like Simcha, Abp. Vigneron, Bp. Mulvey, the Knights, fans of “Amazing Grace”, SOLT, EWTN, the Register, CNA, Catholic Vote and on and on and on.

  • Evelyn

    Well said, Mr Karl Keating. Well said indeed.

  • Al

    I dunno,
    I really like Voris. He gets to me. I see corruption, he sees corruption, and nobody likes talking about corruption. It is easy to get simpatico with a guy like that. Hey, here is why it is easy to understand why people are attacking Simcha on her blog topic.
    1.One Man stands on a soap-box and consistently yells “Corruption! Scandal!” about Inside Catholic Baseball & Outside Public Square Culture.
    2.Turns out!?! Lots of People agree!?!
    3.Those Same People look around and say “Hey are any other public figures pointing these things out…you know the things I have been thinking but not saying…the ones that “Scandal Man” here is talking about openly & consistently and very “Directly”?.
    4.Answer: “Some,….Hmmm Not really…Hmmmm sometimes, Hmmmm Not Overtly….Hmmm a few here and there and rather inconsistently and in many instances not at all….well a few Bishops and a few pundits…a minority…11/2 times a month by these three pundits anways..”
    5.Now one day, one respected Catholic media figure criticizes “Scandal Man”.
    6.It is observed by “The People”.
    7.“The People” say, “Wait? Why does this person take the time to criticize this lone individual on such a small insignificant issue & worse with the Good & Meticulously-Exacting & Careful Father Z in tow… to get what is obviously a year one, possibly annual event off the ground that probably much time and financial resources have been put too in their inaugural efforts……Why do this, when, I dunno, the “University of Notre Dame” is such a consistent “Target-Rich” environment” to speak about?
    8.Conspiracies are bandied about, rightly or wrongly, amongst the people.
    9. People then begin to defend him and attack said respected Catholic personality and some much too harshly based on the logic of “Point 7” alone, again rightly or wrongly.

    This isn’t that hard to figure out. Sure, I will leave it to others to figure out whether it is right, wrong or even reasonable to do so, but I certainly can posit where the motivation come from
    Look, Last week I was personally informed that starting January 1st as a Catholic Business Owner, I will be forced, by the Obama Administration & One Catholic & Catechized Kathleen Sebelius, to pay for the birth control and abortifacents of my employees, whether I like it or not. “For Real”.. I am now directly complicit in aiding in the Grave Mortal Sin of many people under penalty of law. This would make the confessional booth useless to me unless, I want pay $100.00 dollars a day in fines per employee or possibly go to jail as I am now financially complicit everyday in the mortal sin of another……. Ohhh wellll!…anybody got a really good column about the nuances of Franciscan-Spirituality I can read that can help me address this very real practical material problem in a careful, roundabout abstract, subtle-is-the-best-way-to-do-it sort of way? :From the Cheap-Seats:….Yesss! I Do..There are like 600 commentaries, blog-posts, and articles just the past month on that subject alone! Sorry…Nothing against St Francis or Fransicans…
    But why am I telling you this? Simple, if I wanted to go have a beer with a Catholic Personality of my choosing to discuss this “Minor Irritation of 24X7x365 Forced Mortal Sin by the U.S Government” in my life…You know who I would choose right now to have a “Pint” with…..out of all the Catholic Personalities I read or frequent? Voris
    Mark you are a VERY close second. Simcha, I don’t know you and if you are reading this…I am sorry for all the grief you are getting. I’m just trying to come up with an answer for you.
    Mark…Don’t hit me! :winces:

    • Justin N.


      Who would one have a beer with? It isn’t even debatable: Shea.

      Not only do you get good content, but you get the jokes and sarcasm and things-pithy to boot. All of which make beer much better.

      Voris provides none of those things. He reminds me of some of the rad-trad kids that didn’t really know what they were talking about and sat in the front of my classes at FUS.

      I wanted to hit them.

      Out of charity, of course.

      With a book. My books.

      That is all. kbye.

      • Mark Shea

        Except I hate beer. But milk is good!

        • ivan_the_mad

          But what if there was milk *in* the beer???

        • Justin N.

          (he hates beer…) —————————–> Perhaps that Voris dude is *in* after all. 😉

        • antigon

          Invite Mrs. Fisher too, she’ll happily drink yours!
          P.S. But despite his poor taste in drinking companions, Al’s general thrust, & pt. 7 in particular, articulates an uneasiness anybody who’s paying attention has to feel.
          Mr. Shea’s apprehensions about Voris are apt enough, & V is certainly fair bait for Mrs. Fisher’s devastating wit (tho that’s so tasty one hardly cares if it’s fair or not), but Armstrong’s jimmied indignation seemed even less convincing than his general polemic. Not that occasional outsized outrage can’t be fun, especially if necessary to keep the gears ready for the real battles. Even so, pt.7 should be kept in mind.

      • Al

        Ehhhh Justin…sounds like you have a case of “Who-does-he-think-he-is-Itis”….this sickness is known to proliferate in areas of the United States that were setteled by Scandanvian immigrants. (Upper Midwest…Pacific Northwest) It is tricky to diagnose because of the “Stoic” nature & “Granite” game face so commonly put on by people of scandanvian bloodlines in public settings. Not a single facial twitch will betray the simmering contempt underneath somone has for people with public opinions that are willing to express them. When not haunting town hall meetings…you can find individuals with “Who-does-he-think-he-is-Itis” cleaning up at poker tournments. The only way to smoke someone out with this disease is to invite them over for “Edd-Drop Coffee” or to haunt the basements of your local parish…and ask them if they read the paper this past Thursday. Then you will experience a great impulsive duty-bound act of “Leveling” to ensure “Group Sameness & Oneness”. This disease is also known as “The Law of Jante” which has been explained here .

        I have to admit, Mark would have me in stiches over a beer which is perhaps what I need…. but Voris speaks to the inner Catholic Klingon in me. “Ach ghobe’ maH mev HubneS jagh ghubDaQ!”


  • Justin N.

    The dude’s a snore.! He makes it sound all too interesting and important that he and his homeboys have read (researched) a handful of (basic) theological texts, happily laid on on the card table. Not impressed. And I have heard this crap before. Sungenis and Matatics was crazy before he was. Just another conspiracy theorist prone radtrad. Moving on…

    • Justin N.

      “…was…” should be “…were…”. That is all.

  • Bill

    Vix Borealis.

    I agree completely. I’m in agreement with just about everything that he says. I just have a harder time with the way he presents it.

  • Peter

    @Karl Keating. Simcha may cross a few lines when playing the humour game, but she is almost always on the money. This one is no exception. Anyone with pinch of Catholic charity can flick through her posts and see her being doubly scathing against herself and others she (mostly) agrees with so lets leave out the ‘poor Voris the victim’ scmuck.

    Voris is a well meaning idiot who’s antics deserve to be laughed at. They probably deserve a lot worse, involving lawyers, but laughing is the charitable option – the one Simcha chose.

    • Al

      Did you hear that Voris? Your not allowed to play with the Grand-Masters you Hack…back to the Kitchens & Stables with you uncouth Squire-Upstart!

  • Neil

    Funny thing is, the Crescat critiqued this Lenten cruise idea over a week ago. As far as I know, no flying monkeys went after her. Then again, I didn’t read her combox.

    • Mark Shea

      Several people did. I opted not to because I figured it would just inflame the Cult with its normal “Mark Shea is an evil CINO who opposes America’s Last Truthtelling Catholic” frenzies. The only reason I wrote here is because I was pissed about the Cult going after Simcha, who I like much better than the cult.

  • Kevin B.

    Mark, we get it, you don’t like Michael Voris. A lot of people do and a lot of people don’t. Is this Lenten cruise he’s putting on really worth this red-faced, spittle-flecked, neck-bulging, hell-fire-and-damnation tirade? But what do I know? I’m a flying monkey, a pharisaical bully, a weenie.

    • Bill

      Actually, it is.

    • Mark Shea

      I don’t give a crap about the cruise. I give a crap about pharisaic bullies ganging up on a good woman. You know: the people you are defending, you weenie.

      • Justin N.

        ^Are you going to let Shea call you a weenie, you weenie? ;-)~

  • ED

    Thanks Karl… it was quite refreshing to actually see a *reasonable* and *adult* comment on this thread. I was really beginning to think that I had somehow strangely entered an ‘Only H.S. Sophomores May Post Here’ area.

  • Elmwood

    Not sure what to think about a Lenten cruise. It sounds suspicous to me. Now that I attend a byzantine catholic parish, I’m more aware of the necessity of prayer, fasting and alms giving during the great fast of lent. But, I don’t think we should criticize Fr. Z. We shouldn’t judge him, leave that to God. As for the liturgy of Paul the VI, I believe that our Holy Father has been critical of it and wants to bring it closer to the ideals of the 2nd Vatican council. I think comunion in the hand and the priest facing the congregation is a subject open to debate.

    • Ann fan

      O.K. Let’s get the debate going. Both are wrong Elmwood. And this is due to the ‘misinterpretation’ of the Great Council of Vat. II. Misinterpretation! Well that can’t be used anymore as the Pope wants Holy Communion given on the tongue kneeling as did Pope Benedict XVI. The Vat. II Bishops will not LISTEN. But the good news? They are all dying out, along with the nuns on the bus, and the seminaries formed during the council. Traditional Seminaries are on the rise and it has been predicted that in 20 odd years or so the Traditional Liturgy will be the Ordinary, as is proper. Hope reigns.

  • frenchcookingmama

    Uh oh. This post might get a new wave of Inquisitors from a certain apparition chaser site after this headline was posted:
    “Catholic newspaper attacks priest, activist”

    • Mark Shea

      The Cult is merciless–and dumb.

  • frenchcookingmama

    Simcha wisely closed comments long before this second rabble-rousing headline was posted.

    As for the cruise?

    I haven’t been on one, but my parents have. The whole point is eat, drink, and be merry, i. e. Mardi Gras for Combox Warriors.

    You’re supposed to get the partying out of your bones BEFORE Lent, not DURING it. The marketing geniuses who put this together couldn’t even get *that* right.

  • Elmwood

    Voris does have a sweet quaff of hair, like Fr. Pavone. Give him some credit.

  • alex

    “Things are going swimmingly until the Inquisitors at Pewsitter get wind of it and send the Voris Cult off like flying monkeys to hijack the entire thread with encomiums of adoration of their favorite demagogue and the typical accusations of Impurity against a faithful Catholic that are the Cult of Voris’ bread and butter”

    I read all of the Gilligan post and replies, I do not see how you can say the thread was hijacked by Voris supporters when practically all the replies agreed with the Jerk. So who is a demagogue here?

    • Mark Shea

      I’m referring to the thread on Simcha’s charities post at the Register.

    • Ann fan

      That is downright inspired…an Inquisition is exactly what we need to weed out the dead wood of modernism. Perfect!

  • alex

    and Pewsitter is bad too? as a recent revert who came out of a serious Hindu cult, I actually find MV’s “orthodoxy” refreshing…although I am sure he is not perfect…what happened to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” you sound really bitter Mr. Shea….and you will probably attack me now, but thats ok. I am not a member of any MV “cult”… do you allow for the possibility that serious, thoughtful Catholics can appreciate a lot of his work?

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. Pewsitter is bad.

  • alex

    well, I just read all the comments at the NCR and honestly a lot of them were pro-Voris, but a lot were defending Ms. Fisher. I still think “hijacked” is a disingenuous exaggeration. but I am sure you will prove me wrong. you are very good with words.

    • Mark Shea

      Hijacked is the exact word. The thread stopped being about the subject of the article and ended up being entirely about the butthurt feelings of the cult who cared not one bit for the works of mercy Simcha was trying to encourage and obsessed over the Dear Leader.

  • SMC

    I followed the link and read Simcha Fisher and thought she was a little rude. That’s fine. She can write whatever she wants, I don’t care. But this? This is nonsense.

    • Mark Shea

      This is defense of a good woman. What you are doing is nonsense, defending a thin-skinned pack of bullying Pharisees as they beat up a good woman. Coward.

  • Mr. Shea, on one hand I do agree with you completely that Mr. Voris seems to be not stable when it comes to defending the faith. I’ve seen some of “The Vortex”, and I can’t say I find it edifying, amongst other things. And perhaps I am ignorant and you are right in saying “Cult of Voris”. I don’t wish to defend Mr. Voris, and I can understand your wish to defend Mrs. Fisher, as she doesn’t deserve to get crapped on by other people. All I want to say is that we should pray for Mr. Voris and for those who support him, and we should try to be charitable. Is that a fair thing to say?

    Believe me when I say that you’re right in defending Simcha, and I support you 100% on it. I just think that at the same time we should pray for the others too.

    • ED

      [And perhaps I am ignorant…]

      No Chris… you are definitely NOT ignorant. Actually, my young friend… IMO, you are much *wiser* than many posting here.

    • Mark Shea

      Chris: You are a better man than I am. I would appreciate your prayers. Thanks for your good heart. You lift my spirits.

  • 4realz

    Shame on Fr. Z for being Voris’ priest-on-a-leash..

    • Ann fan

      Fr. Z is nobodies Priest on a leash. Just because he backs this man does not mean this Priest is a hanger on like some I could mention, and have. Fr. Nicholson in Ontario has Mr. Voris talk often and believe me I would hesitate to call this Priest names. Give Fr. Z more credit.

  • Erin

    I linked here from Simcha’s blog where I have been following this whole thing. I am a frequent follower of Simcha’s blog and find 90% of what she writes brilliant, inspiring and truly funny (not mean). I had never really heard of Michael Voris before this except to watch one of his videos which someone posted on facebook once. I have read comments that argue whether one should have a lenten cruise, the value of the money spent on a cruise, that people don’t have a sense of humor, the horrible cult of Voris people, etc. I don’t think any of these is the real issue.

    I read the post “Which one’s Gilligan?” on the day it was posted, my first reaction was that this was mean, uncharitable, and tears down rather than builds up the body of Christ. And what I find particularly distressing is that it incited many/most of Simcha’s followers to jump on board with the vicous attacks and ridicule of Michael Voris. Now, whether he is a scammer, a hypocrite, or whatever they claimed, making fun of his looks and judging him the way The Jerk did was not Christian. For goodness sake, I’m teaching my 4 and 6 year olds what I thought were pretty basic teachings: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” AND ” Two wrongs don’t make a right”. I have even had a talk with my boys about laughing or making jokes at other’s expense. It is not kind. Have you all not taught your children that, especially as Catholics and Christian? That kinda scares me because y’all have influence in the Catholic culture. Why does this seem to not apply to adults?

    Now, I’ve read some pretty vicious attacks these past days by people “in the name of truth and justice”. How is that justified with what Jesus came to die for? I don’t know The Jerk’s connection to Simcha, but her defense of him said something like, he just says what we are all thinking in our hearts. Wow! Maybe I’m the minority, but I never pretend that I know how someone else should live our their spirituality unless it directly goes against a specific teaching in the Catechism and I certainly would think twice about viciously ridiculing a child of God and fellow Catholic on a public forum even if I did feel justified. I think we are called to try to see the good in all and give the benefit of the doubt. The times that I read things on Simcha’s blog that feel uncharitable, I always think of her being the mother of 9 children, with a baby that doesn’t sleep, and I think, how difficult it is to come up with things to write (perfectly) all the time when your main vocation is so challenging. I end up admiring her and thanking God for the gifts she’s shared rather than jumping on her for something she said that I found disturbing or uncharitable, her humanity.

    So there is my rant, attack me if you feel you must.

    I pray that everyone will have a very Merry and Joyous Christmas. I do hope that Simcha is allowed to continue her writing. God has blessed her with a wonderful gift of writing, but I imagine great gifts like that come with great responsibility. I hope she might learn a little something from this fiasco.

  • Erin

    I have just one more thing to say. The “Voris Cult” has as much “right” to defend him as viciously as “The Jerk” had the “right” to attack him. None of this makes either the “right” thing to do.

  • Jonathan Waldburger

    This whole debacle has helped me understand the thinking behind religious warfare. Thank God there weren’t blogs in the 16th century.

  • Jennifer

    I’m with Erin on every point. I thought the Calvinists were a nasty, uncharitable bunch (based upon the way I was shredded when I posted my conversion story from Calvinism to Catholicism) but they have nothing on Catholic bloggers and commenters. Nasty, arrogant stuff here.