Very Refreshing

Very Refreshing January 31, 2013

Good to see some discernment being exercised.

Ironically, the author, who is basically a Latin Mass Traditionalist, is getting savaged as a Damn Librul[TM] in some quarters (notably on Facebook) for pointing out the very serious dangers of this demagoguery, which pretty much illustrates what I’m talking about in terms of lack of discernment on the Tribal Right and the tendency of the Cult to attack, not progressive dissenters, but faithful Catholics.  In fact, her critique is spot on.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    Wow. I don’t watch Voris, I had no idea. Those quotes are shocking. The man is in desperate need of prayers.

  • The other Will

    But by the logic Shea uses of “conservatives’, if Voris says something, then that is THE view of “The Thing That Used To Be Catholicism”.

    • Mark Shea

      What a remarkably dumb thing to say. Do you just pop off with these unthinking remarks often? Can you even name a single time I have spoken of a “thing that used to be Catholicism”? I believe the Church is indefectible. It is guys like Voris who routinely speak as though the whole Church, except for themselves, needs to just die and go to hell.

  • Andy

    Like Ivan above I don’t watch Voris – I had a friend who recommended him and sent me some of his material. I no longer have this friend – I take communion in my hand, I appreciate the folk mass that our parish has once a month in the summer, I like the fact that our parish priest when we re-roofed our parish hall took the time, not to come on the roof thankfully – he is at best clumsy, but took time from his “day-off” to come and talk with at lunch in his fishing clothes. I find that the church is large enough for me, and for those who love the Latin Mass, and even those I disagree with. Mr. Voris seems to want to relegate someone like me to a scrap heap of non-Catholics doomed to hell. As I said that to my former friend he begin to yell at me, and questioned my faith, the faith of my wife and most assuredly my children as I was their father. I slowly walked away from a friend and wondered about Mr. Voris and his behaviors. He is in desperate need of healing, just as I think are many of his followers.

  • Mike Petrik

    Yes, the idea that a lack of discernment and the tendency to attack not dissenters but faithful Catholics is worthy of serious contemplation.

  • from the comments: “This is interesting. I do have a couple of questions though. First, are you really from Brooklyn? The reason I ask is your statement “salt being a preservative, not something which destroys.” Have you seen the east coast cars – salt is very destructive, especially this time of year.

    Are you really Catholic ? I ask because of your statement “as James the brother of Christ” which sounds “protest”ant . Jesus had no earthly (by blood) siblings, so teaches the infallible Catholic Church.”

    Sometimes real people make satirists sad (and unemployable).

    • Mark Shea

      The trouble with being in a cult is that you let the Cult Leader do your thinking for you.

      • Out of the Loop Now Thankfully

        In many organizations, the leader in name isn’t always the leader in fact. Amazing what people can do when they feed an ego. Mr. Voris as a person is a gentleman, friendly, and polite with a sense of humor. Mr. Voris otherwise? He needs to figure out which side of the “Hall of Shame” he is on now and needs to learn from history… God Bless

  • I find that people who are traditionalists but in the nasty “shoot your own” style that Mark is accusing Voris of being (and Voris is so not my cup of tea that I can’t stand to listen to him long enough to judge him so I am actually neutral about him, lacking information) tend to completely lose it when they find out about Byzantine Catholicism. Married priests, altar tables, a different rite, it just tends to not compute. Since we were essentially given opposite marching orders at Vatican II (take out innovations, more deeply understand and conform to your true roots, really watch out for the syncretic and borrowing from others) from you guys in the West this also is a difficulty for a lot of shallow traditionalists.

    So I shudder to contemplate this but has anybody asked Voris about his opinion on Byzantine Catholicism? It might be an interesting and unusual exchange for him.

    • Nate

      That’s a good question. I think he’d probably be cool with all of it. You are right though, about certain aspects of BC’s ‘not computing’ with certain traditionalists. Right on.

      Voris tends to focus on the rot in the Roman Rite. His gaze is rather narrow. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing.
      There’s enough that’s craptastic among Roman Rite worship and practice too keep a guy yellin’ for a while.

      I respect the views of Catholic in Brooklyn, and he’s a great thinker and writer. I think he has some interesting things to say in his post here, though I would certainly take issue with the title of his blog post. Perhaps Voris is neither of those things?

      Dunno. Don’t hit me for saying this, but I find Voris to be a guilty pleasure. I agree with him more than I disagree with him (certainly I agree with him on issues liturgical, including communion in the hand), and I guess I like his firey tone. In general, I appreciate the polemicist and the writer who isn’t afraid to use a barb or two. Perhaps that’s why I like Mr. Shea as well. Again, perhaps some here don’t appreciate the comparison.

      Voris is kinda like Ann Coulter. If you agree with him, you’ll appreciate his rhetoric (even if you’d never put a point the way he does); if you don’t agree with him, you’ll find his tone that much more grating. I don’t agree with Ann Coulter that much, but when I do, I always smile at what she says. I guess Voris makes me a smile a bit more, comparatively speaking.


      • The tolerance and live and let live that I’ve observed is necessary not to get your knickers in a bunch about Byzantine Catholicism seems to be incompatible with “shoot your own” intolerance within a rite. This is why I suggest you don’t guess but ask and see what the man actually says. Again, not taking sides here, I am merely providing what I believe would be a useful piece of evidence to discern reality a little better.

        And if Voris ends up both ok with BC and a shoot your own type within the Roman Rite, I’d love to hear his explanation on how he differentiates between the two cases. It would be a new thing for me as I’m currently of the opinion that this just doesn’t happen.

  • rachel

    I consider myself to be a traditionalist since I go to the Latin Mass almost exclusively and I like the older devotions, etc. However, I also have a great appreciation for all the rites of the Church and I am a student of history. Voris has many of his facts wrong. I also know that the discipline of married priests is exactly that, a discipline. We have some married priests in the Latin rite. Many of them are converts from the Anglican Church. Its fine. There is really no problem with married priests. Its just not the Latin rite’s traditional discipline. Can it change? Sure. Will it? I don’t know. I think that Voris is harming peace and unity instead of helping.

    • As a BC who has spent time in parish council, I would suggest any of the latin rite who are coming at this question to really do your best to settle as many of the ancillary isues as soon as you can. There are answers out there but you don’t want to be feeling your way to a conclusion when the pots are flying, a few of the fun ones:

      What do you do when you have multiple married women in rectory and the rectory was built to to have zero. Who gets to be queen of the kitchen? Who gets to decorate? What if the wives just don’t get along and can’t compromise, how do you maintain a functioning rectory?

      How do you handle scandal in the priest’s family? A priest’s daughter gets pregnant outside of wedlock, etc.

      What do you do when the priest’s wife has a career and significantly out earns her spouse? What if her work takes her to a different city? Do they split the family? What if the bishop wants to move the priest and it would cost the wife to follow her husband? Is this just?

      College tuition funds. Don’t think that regular priestly compensation is going to cut it.

      Family medical coverage. Don’t think that there isn’t some weirdness that might crop up here either.

      This is not an exhaustive list.

  • I agree, the tendency of the Cult to attack, not progressive dissenters, but faithful Catholics suggests there is something worth taking a second look at.

  • Beccolina

    I have never listened to or read Voris, except what was in the linked article. If, as Nate said, he is a Catholic version of Ann Coulter, I don’t want to. I can’t stand her even when I agree with her. Perhaps those who have listened/read him more can answer a question for me. With all this talk of fighting evil within the Church, fighting against those corrupt, lukewarm Catholics, priests, bishops, etc. (I guess he would count me in there), is there any talk of prayer for them? Fasting for them? Any talk of the converting power of unconditional love? Any talk of forgiveness? According to Voris, what should be the moral way to react when a member of the family, living in sin, inappropriately dressed, with her unbaptized, illegitimate child comes to mass? Do I ignore her, hope she sits in the back, and think “how dare she come here looking like that whenever she pleases!” or do I tell her how glad I am she came this week, tell her we have room for her with us and invite her to dinner after mass? I know my answer.

    • Mark Shea

      In my experience, “prayer” from the Cult of Voris has tended to be of the “I’ll pray for you–and the horse you rode in on” variety. I don’t really get the sense that there so much a hope for my salvation as an earnest glee at contemplating the day I am consigned to everlasting perdition.

      • Beccolina

        If I stop to contemplate eternal perdition, I mean really think about what that means, body and soul, I can’t wish it on anyone. Temporary perdition, yeah, I can wish that sometimes, but eternal rocks me to the core. I can only view the prospect of someone being damned with utter horror and sorrow.

  • David Norris

    One of the traditional strengths of Catholicism, and something I actually (reluctantly) admire about it is that it has been more successful at reigning in and containing its nastier fanatics and enthusiasts than other religions.

    Michael Voris got nothin’ on Westboro Baptist or Young Earth Creationism.

    • Jon W

      But please to make the distinction: Westboro Baptists are evil; young Earth Creationists are deluded. I grew up in the Young Earth Creationism community and still have a lot of friends there. They hold on to their poor science not because they’re stupidly fanatical but because they keep getting told (by almost everybody) that evolution entails atheism; they know atheism isn’t true, therefore, etc, etc, QED.

      • Mark Shea

        One of the curious things about atheists is that they often respond to people who have doubts about Darwin like Radical Muslims respond to people who have doubts about Allah. Nobody talks this way about people who have trouble with particle physics or hydraulics. But for many an atheist, evolution has a religious aura and those who do not Believe are moral reprobates.

        • Jmac

          I can sort of see that, but again, there hasn’t been widespread religious censorship of particle physics or hydraulics. While I agree that the argumentation could work better, I can only sympathize with those who see it as a very important matter. It really is scary to a lot of folks (myself included) when people decide that they need to legislate on what reality is. And yes, anti-evolution legislation is still an issue:

          Of course, I’m not an atheist, so I’m not part of the group you singled out anyway, but evolution deniers really do inspire a vehement response from me. From a scientific standpoint, the only one that matters in these discussions, there is absolutely no question that evolution fits the data better than any other hypothesis presented so far, and I’m perplexed and saddened and sometimes even angry that so many of my co-religionists feel like they need to deny basic reality to score some points in a culture war.

  • Obpoet

    Being from the South, let me just say that salt is definately a preservative, and the spice of life. Streak o’ lean anyone?

    • Beccolina

      Also essential to making one’s own sauerkraut, and sauerkraut is important.

  • Bruce Gauthier

    I’m a recent convert( 2005) who is “in the middle” on this. From my point of view Mark Shea’s attacks on the “Tribal Right” are no different in spirit then Michael Voris’ attacks on the ” Liberal Left”.

    • Mark Shea

      I’m actually in the middle with you.