Pope Benedict XVI at a General Audience, 16 January 2013 [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
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In a post written by a former employee of Church Militant, Voris’ organization, the following statement was made:
The video, released just before the Synod had ended, was titled Benedict’s Fingerprints. . . .
In the video, Michael blatantly accuses Father Benedict (as he has asked to be called) of faking his illness to escape the papacy. “He resigned because of health reasons, but going on three years later, his health seems just fine. Contrast that with John Paul, who actually had a health issue,” Michael says (emphasis mine.) . . .
Michael went on to insinuate that Father Benedict was possibly forced off the Chair, and though he doesn’t say this, that logically concludes Father Benedict might still be Pope Benedict, meaning Pope Francis is in fact Antipope Francis, as it is defined teaching that a valid Pope cannot be forced off the Chair of Peter.
Michael blasted Father Benedict further, saying he elevated these figures messing up the Synod and then abandoned us to these wolves. “In an era where fatherhood [has become] so disgraced, Pope Benedict is the one who will be remembered as abandoning his children in the hour of their [great] need.” Perhaps most grievously, Michael says Benedict’s abdication “may even rise to the level of immoral.”
[my bracketed corrections to the partially erroneous transcript in the previous paragraph]
Here are two further excerpts from the video (dated 10-25-15):
5:05: “The Holy Father abandoned his flock, his children . . . Pope Benedict laid the dynamite . . .”
7:08: “He turned around and ran away, abandoning the flock to wolves he had led into the sheepfold. . . . we think there is enough blame to go around, that all guilty parties should be exposed . . . there’s a much deeper story here.”
[italicized emphases are Voris’ own spoken emphases, in the video]
Whatever happened to Voris’ vaunted, and much criticized policy of refusing to bash the pope? That appears to have gone the way of the dinosaur. I noted its internal inconsistency at the time, since he bashes everyone else. Now he is even going after Pope Benedict XVI. I’ve long noted that the more traditionalists head towards the quasi-schismatic position of radical Catholic reactionaryism, the more likely they will attack even the darling of traditionalists, Pope Benedict. And here is a classic, textbook case of it.
I’ve contended for well over a year now (if not two years) that Voris seemed to be on the line between legitimate traditionalism and reactionaryism; that his teaching was a mixed bag: containing some very good material mixed with very bad and destructive material. Now he appears to be going over the line. I have refrained from critiquing his work much in this past year; wanting to observe and see where he would go with his rhetoric and muckraking. The three classic signs of reactionaryism, in my opinion, are the bashing of popes, the Pauline, Novus Ordo (“New”) Mass, and Vatican II. If we were to add a fourth, it would be antipathy to legitimate ecumenism. When you see two, three, or four of these things, watch out! Beware!
I ceased to take Voris very seriously, anyway, shortly after visiting his office and chatting with him, after watching his farcical lovefest / softball interviews with fanatical geocentrist and once-Catholic apologist Robert Sungenis, and a similar disgraceful display with blatant anti-Semite E. Michael Jones. At the time, he was lambasting the good folks at Catholic Answers for making too much money (though oddly enough, he never questioned Sungenis about his own huge salary: and with far fewer employees than Karl Keating had).
Thus I knew (knowing Sungenis’ background — and publicly available income) that his velvet-glove treatment of him was as hypocritical as it was ridiculous. Sungenis believes that the earth doesn’t rotate, and that the entire universe revolves around it every day, and he claims (even more ludicrously) that the Church teaches this as a matter of dogma. Yet not a whimper of protest about any of this nonsense from Voris emerged in his two interviews. Does this mean Voris is a geocentrist, too?
Nevertheless, I didn’t (and still don’t) deny that Voris had some (even many) good things to say. He simply takes it too far. This is the human tendency, and especially the strong predisposition or “temptation” of both legitimate, mainstream traditionalists and radical Catholic reactionaries. This is why some (many?) legitimate traditionalists evolve further and further right, into the radical Catholic reactionary camp. The devil loves to “help” cause sincere, well-intentioned folks become more and more fanatical and extreme, and start edging into outright falsehood and slander (and in the worst cases, schism, or as close to it as possible).
I’ve warned about these things now for 18 years online, including in two books about radical Catholic reactionaryism [one / two], and a large web page about same. We’ve seen what happened to Robert Sungenis and Gerry Matatics (once a good friend of Scott Hahn’s and employee of Catholic Answers). Matatics became a sedevacantist (one who believes there is no sitting pope), and then advanced even beyond that, to a position holding that there are virtually no valid Masses anywhere in the world. My prediction is that he may very well end up as an atheist. Guys like Sungenis and Matatics keep moving further and further right. They never seem to become more moderate and move to the “radical center.”
I’ve been warning the flock about the troubling, extreme elements in Michael Voris’ rhetoric and muckraking polemics since my analysis of his trashing of the Novus Ordo Mass in November 2012. My fears and predictions are coming true before our eyes. Those of you who got mad at me when I criticized Voris’ exaggerated, melodramatic, divisive rhetoric, and defended him: what do you think now, in light of his directly trashing Pope Benedict: even placing chief blame on him for what he sees as the problems in the Church today?
This is classic reactionaryism, that we see in the usual suspects, like The Remnant, Catholic Family News, Lifesite News, and Rorate Caeli. Sungenis did that, too, and I was there defending Pope Benedict at the time. Sungenis also went after the saint-pope, John Paul the Great, questioning his canonization, claiming he was a universalist, etc.. Will Voris eventually do that too? I think there is some likelihood that he will, since we see that he is evolving rapidly into “wacko right” territory.
Do you devoted fans of Voris out there want to keep hanging onto his every word with baited breath, as if he is, in effect, your highest authority, rather than the magisterium that God gave us? Will you keep following him like a groupie, further and further into quasi-schismatic radical Catholic reactionary land? All of these behaviors are quite familiar to those of us who used to be Protestants. In the Protestant world there are many little fiefdoms and would-be quasi-prophets, handing on what they proclaim to be GOSPEL TRVTH, and (as always) contradicting many other authority figures in Protestantism.