"The cult of celebrity is poison…"

"The cult of celebrity is poison…" April 14, 2011

“The cult of celebrity is poison. People need to stop hoisting aloft every internet chatterer who thinks God has given him the power of excommunication against those who don’t happen to know their suffocating small constellation of shibboleths.

Read and heed. We internet loudmouths are not to be obeyed like bishops. When one of us pops off about Earth Day and stupidly declares, pronounces and defines that “if the priest even so much as breathes a word about Earth Day, throw nothing in the collection plate, finish your Sunday obligation and resign from that parish on Monday”, that does not constitute a de fide teaching of the Church. This sort of blind Pavlovian stupidity which teaches the faithful to respond to acoustic cues (“He mentioned Earth Day! Abandon ship!”) is a reflection, not of an intelligent Catholic approach, but of the kind of culture warrior mobthought that so much of the blogosphere facilitates.”

— Mark Shea, getting his Irish up over this.

Read the rest.

Others are starting to weigh in on this, including The Anchoress, who notes “the church is not a Democracy.”

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33 responses to “"The cult of celebrity is poison…"”

  1. Just when the rest of us were thanking God for handing Glenn Beck over to the Mormons, up pops a whole host of “internet loudmouths,” AKA “real” Catholics, frothing at the mouth over Earth Day.

    Before you know it, they’ll be accusing Mark Shea of some circuitous and undercover link to Planned Parenthood . . .

  2. I do believe the church is best describe as a series of kingdoms who at times feign allegiance to the Pope.

    Bishops, Cardinals, and local parishes world wide pick and chose which edicts of the Magesterium of Rome they chose to believe and enforce.

    From approving of gay marriage, abortion, Communion for Catholic politicians who create laws contrary to church teachings, etc; their is a whole lot of variance from official Vatican policy.

  3. Deacon Kandra don’t you love it when your readers tell you what you are allowed to talk about on your blog? “unreadable! Next topic, please.”

    Also, George, there are bishops out there approving gay marriage and abortion? Who are they? I would like to know.

  4. Didn’t tell Dcn Greg what to say I just think this topic is Totally spent and should be dropped. Seems hard for some to let go of. Or is there a cult of mandatory agreement now

  5. Dear Father:

    Only You know what is in the hearts of your people.
    Grant that You give us the ability to see You in their hearts.
    More importantly, heal our hearts; that others may see You in us.
    We beg for Your Mercy and Love.
    In Your Son’s Name, we pray.

  6. Brother Jeff, we can’t be spent yet! You didn’t read the full Shea piece so you probably thought the cult of personality rant referred to the guy we’re not going to talk about until his case is resolved, but this is a DIFFERENT personality entirely! We have at least a dozen posts in us until this topic is spent.

  7. Lol funny When Brother Jeff blog starts, first rule will be no posts on cults of personality, idolatry, or hero worship…

  8. At this point the Bishop of Scranton and Marywood University look like they made a sane decision.

    I am all for free speech so the Best Western sounds like the right place for Mr. Voris to tell people to walk out of Church if the priest doesn’t follow his topic guidelines and also explain how we should go back to the Catholic Monarch/ State and not give anyone else other then Catholics voting rights.

    Is the Best Western also available for that lady “Catholic priest ” who is going to speak at Rutgers tomorrow? Let’s bring them all on…

  9. Michael Voris isn’t so much a representative of ‘muscular’ Christianity as the steroidal kind.

  10. The Church is not a democracy. Indeed, but the likes of so many including Elizabeth Scalia and Mark Shea want to have their say (as if Mark was not full of a lot of hot air). And others like to point and imply. Hmmm. Makes one wonder.

    And why the sudden attacks on Voris? Makes one wonder why….

    Tempest in a teapot or something more sinister….

  11. The attacks on Mike Voris are interesting. First, he gets accused of teaching that which is outside of the Deposit of the Faith. Then, when people pay close attention, this proves to be false. The topic then shifts to who outside (or inside) the Church is offended by what Mike is saying and how he is saying it.

    The prophets were hated for all of the same reasons. They spoke hard truth in an uncompromising manner. If Voris is too harsh, tune in to Mother Angelica.

  12. May Jesus Christ Be Praised!
    Thank you, Gerard Nadal, for your insightful observations. The Church has been in schism for many years now; this has been the unspoken reality that many people deny. Look at the number of Bishops who are, and have been, preaching, and silently allowing, what is not the teaching of the Catholic Church. Look at the public dissension among them. Michael Voris is now saying out loud that there is indeed an elephant in the living room of the Catholic Church. Most people want everything to be ‘nice’. It helps them feel ‘charitable’. For forty years orthodox Catholics have humbly ‘consulted their pastors’ about abuses, only to be dismissed–ever so politely-by them. To where has this humble approach led? To where we are now. Michael Voris pushes an evelope that badly needs to be pushed. The schism that has been for so long covert needs to be made overt so that it can be addressed. Michael Voris chooses not to live in the denial that has for so long protected those who do not want to see the the severe and pervasive corrutption in the Catholic Church. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, or rather the stench of evil in Christ’s Church. Until that is done no healing will be possible.

  13. Yes Voris is mad. Yes he probably lost his temper. Yes, the Church is not a democracy and he would be the first to say it. But it does not mean that we should just sit in the pews trying to pretend that the priest is not committing sin after sin after sin by modifying the mass to fit his own personal political or social needs.

    Michael Voris is rightfully angry, especially since his own diocese is trying to undermine all that he does.

    I find both Mark Shea and Lisa Graas’ criticisms rather shallow and pathetic. Even Mrs. Scalia is not up to snuff on this one. Perhaps they should have talked to Michael Voris instead of demonizing him.

  14. I don’t understand.

    Where I grew up, the Archdiocese of Detroit, bishops routinely recommend that Catholics migrate to parishes that are attuned to their preferences regarding liturgy and politics.

    Voris is completely in line with the advice Detroit bishops give all the time.

    We have parishes:

    * where women in vestments at the altar “celebrate” with priests
    * where the pastors are strident adherents of the Call to Action agenda of Bishop Tom Gumbleton and now deceased Bishop Kenny Untener
    * were the openly gay priests frequently bash Church teaching on sexual morality.

    Indeed, in Detroit there is a group of priests led by Gumbleton called “Elephants” who are on the outer fringes of all things left and use their pulpits to promote their politics.

    Is Shea recommending that people NOT move to a parish with a priest more attuned to Church teaching?

    Shea’s argument against Voris would suggest that nobody should have left Pfleger’s parish, as a measure of obedience to Holy Mother Church.

  15. I agree with you Barbara for the most part, except where you question the efficacy of a “humble approach.” Humility is the Way of Christ, and His Church will never heal without it.

    I like Michael Voris and am a fan of The Vortex, “where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed” 🙂 – but Mr. Voris as much as any of us needs to stay humble, and accept Mark Shea’s rebuke! Perhaps he didn’t literally mean what he said, and some levity is lacking in our response.

    What we can all agree on is that what is needed now is genuine, magnanimous humility, and no more phony, pusillanimous nicety. ‘Nice’ isn’t always good, but humble is.

  16. I think this brings to light what I was saying from the first reactions of the “Elite Catholic Bloggers”, and that is, many DID/DO come off like the “new magesterium.” I think Shea is just defending the allegation. How a bright guy like Shea can’t write beautiful books on the Blessed Mother and in the same breath relegate one of her biggest defenders’ statement of innocence, Father Corapi, to less value than a Starbucks Coffee was enough for the lights to go on for me.

    I for one have gone from my “cult of personality” of bloggers to whom I once greatly respected, including Shea, to now spending most of my time in prayer and simply focusing on what the church teaches, including Corapi and Sheen’s Catechism.

    I don’t mean any disrespect to you bloggers, as I was once huge fans, but no more. On a personal note, I love and pray for you all, but honeslty can’t take much of what you write anymore with more than a grain of salt.

    The reality is, the guts of our salvation is in authenitc church teaching, of which all of you until the Corapi scandal were for the most clueless as to how the hungry were being fed. Sure, you guys have fancy words and smooth writing, but IMO, it’s now a dessert I no longer need. I for one am back to the main course.

    I still say, the Corapi scandal has much more to do about you guys than Father Corapi, of which none of you, appear to “get.”

    God Bless

  17. Isn’t being a big fan of anybody to the exclusion of accepting all that the church teaches exactly the problem Shea is trying to expose? And he includes himself in the cult of personality problem.

    We should be big fans of St. Alphonsus, St. Thomas Aquinas, or etc. rather than Shea or Voris or Corapi. We tend to listen more to our favorite moderns and end up canonizing point of view that are half-baked and poisoned with all the modern problems. Praying with the Church and drawing closer to the Lord is the only thing necessary. Then follow your conscience as to the necessary work in the present day, but don’t just become a fan of your favorite ideologue.

    The big problem with Voris, in my mind, is his proposals that seem to encourage schism rather than heal it. A recent piece of his was titled “the good schism”, an oxymoron. I think he needs to realize that orthodoxy is not a club.

    The solution is to heal schism, not to encourage it. And the bishops are the Church, you have to work with them (even the bad ones) if you want to stay in the Body of Christ.

  18. I second what you say Claire. post “reversion” to my faith, I myself use to blog-worship Voris, and any other blogger who was calling out the clergy for their hypocrisy when it comes to catholic teaching and such. After another blogger who’s becoming a priest opened my eyes, I finally realized all along that you should be counting in our Holy Father B16, the Catechism, prayer, etc. as the true way to practice Catholicism in 2011 and beyond, and not be swayed by these “parallel magisteriums”.

    Look it’s one thing to expose the truth when no one else is listening and it is indeed true. A Canadian example is a blogger Pacheco at So Con or Bust brought to bigger light how development and Peace of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops was giving our pew money to pro-abortion international charities/partners. Only in the last couple of weeks finally the Toronto/Canadian Catholic Register covered this in an editorial by a priest, when Pacheco has been blogging about it for a few years.

    However it’s another thing to continually attack the true magisterium of the church, and in Voris’ case, say to abandon the parish just because the priest is foolish enough to give into this eco-garbage (of which climate change has been touted by maistream media to have doctored scientific evidence). Just because one person (notably the clergy) isn’t being true to the Lord does it mean we let our parishes crumble and declare it evil, as Voris implies? No, for even God will not abandon us if there is even a few good and faithful Catholics, as alluded to in the Old Testament in Genesis 18:23, 32 “23 Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? … 32 … Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

    Not to mention if you really don’t like what’s going on in the parish, get involved! be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and as more of you get involved, you will gradually oust the old guard and have a bigger impact, hopefully enough to influence the pastor to turn about face.

    In summary, Klaire, you are right on all accounts and I second that as I’ve experienced a similar epiphany about this blogosphere.

  19. I have followed Voris for awhile now, and while he does get his dander up now and again (rightfully so) he has never advocated schism…NEVER. He doesn’t say to leave the Church or divert from the teachings of the Church over the Earth Day heresy…he just recommends finding another parish that preaches Christ and him crucified instead of glorifying Gaia and population control…which is what Earth Day is really all about at the root. The problem is that the Church here in America has gotten so out of whack that the truth seems startling when it is preached…by priests, bishops or laity. I’ve noticed that many people who have begun speaking the truth with boldness are being run out of the Church on a rail lately by unfounded accusations and uncharitable rants on blogs which criticize the accused’s lack of charity. I believe it’s time for those bloggers who feel superior to Corapi or Voris or anyone else to take their spiritual temperature and examine what really upsets them about these men. It looks to me like a case of professional jealousy from “professional Catholics”. In more common terms, its a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I think we need to stop vilifying others and concentrate on the rest of lent and HOly Week. This unsubstantiated mud slinging is childish and boring.

  20. Find another parish! Indeed.
    I love the Traditional Catholic Church: The Holy Mass that all the Saints worshipped with. When I have asked Pastors if they would have the Latin Mass and more devotions they have refused.So sometimes one has to leave… IF you can even find a Church where you can worship with reverence.

  21. Lisa — I had never heard of Michael Voris before Deacon Greg’s post here. So all I know about him is what has been posted here.

    Based on what you say, it seems to me that there is a flaw in his position on Earth Day. Actually, two flaws: guilt by association, and false dichotomy.

    Guilt by association — If the founders of Earth Day or some of its admirers worship “Gaia” and favor population control, that does not mean that everybody who talks about earth day does so. It is entirely possible for someone who does not believe in either of those things to take advantage of the day’s presence in the calendar in order to deliver a message about self-control and consideration for the needs of others in how we use the resources of the earth and the things we have. People who advocate living simply and doing as little harm as possible are not necessarily Gaia-worshippers or fans of ZPG; and it is unjust to consider them guilty simply because of the beliefs of others.

    False dichotomy — A parish where Christ crucified and raised from the dead is preached can also be one where “Thou shalt not steal” is seen as applying to the common goods of the planet God gave us to use. This is not necessarily a matter of either-or; it can be both-and.

    And if Michael Voris’s message on this topic is as you have suggested, I think he has missed the necessary distinctions on this point.

  22. Come! Come, my children! Come to the Grey Area! Sit with me on this fence! Do not leave your parish in a snit because a priest mentioned the shibboleth “Earth Day” and incurred the righteous wrath of some guy with a web cam! Learn to use your brain and not Pavlovianly responds to acoustic cues! Hear the seductive and sonorous play of my voice in your ears that lures you away from kneejerk responses and tribal allegiances and into the terrible realm of Thinking!

    Here, let me play my pipe for you and lull you into a state of Contemplation. Bwahahaha!

  23. I have a lot to say about Michael Voris, but I will only say a few things…I truly love Michael and the people at St Michael’s media. They have done such a wonderful service for our Lord and Savior. The material they produce is polished and holds true to the teachings of the Catholic church. Michael Voris doesn’t pretend to be anything but what a catholic is called to be and that is::: Love your faith-Evangelize the faith-Challenge Catholics to be Catholics-Provide a path for fellow brothers and sisters to follow via charitable and devotional work (With out recognition) -Speak the truth and hold all fellow Christians accountable for their actions (Another form of charity). Most people here don’t know Michael Voris and the ones that do…love him.…God bless you all and God bless Real Catholic Tv!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. I’m rather stunned that anyone has a problem with what Voris said regarding Earth Day and finding another parish.

    If we attended an Earth Day symposium, we wouldn’t expect to hear something about how Christ rose from the dead on the third day, would we? Why then would we expect to hear about Earth Day from the pulpit on Easter Sunday?

    For crying out loud, people! I don’t care what the Earth Day folks believe in or not. I DO care about the fact that they seem entirely too interested in saving the planet by any means needed; they seem to have very little concern for WHY we’re saving the planet.

    Surely celebrating Christ’s Resurrection is FAR more important than worrying about Earth Day!

  25. It’s not about the messenger. It’s about the message. If you have a problem with the message that Michael Voris is delivering then attack it with some scholarship. I see that you attack both, but provide a lame critique of the Earth Day suggestion. Not all of his suggestions are above reproach. After all he is a sinner just like the rest of us. Does the fact that he is a sinner disqualify him from speaking out in defense of the Church? I do not see that you offered an alternative approach except to do nothing which is the very problem that Voris is trying to solve. Name calling on your part does not help anyone. Again, if Voris is out of line then address it. If your position is compelling I will be the first to support you in your correction of Voris.

    Why do you think that the USCCB has been silent concerning Voris? Because they know he is right. You can guarantee that the moment he steps off base they will be all over him. So far the only ones that attack him are the ones who hate the message and think they have nothing to lose by recklessly attacking it.

    John King

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