Michael Voris Slanders Fr. Barron

Michael Voris Slanders Fr. Barron January 8, 2015

While Fr. Barron is busy filming about Chesterton and Newman in England, for CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players

(Yes, that’s Fr. Barron at GKC’s grave.)

Michael Voris decides it’s time for another stupid, poisonous, worthless attack on him.

Voris mentions a private dinner between an unnamed source and Fr. Barron in which Father (allegedly) said “98% of the human race is saved”.

Based on this extremely unlikely and totally unverified piece of pure hearsay, Voris launches his attack (without bothering to check with Fr. Barron to so much as find out if he said it). He describes Fr. Barron’s work as “smiling, pseudo-intellectual, half-baked sound bites offered in front of book cases intended to make the audience perceive you as smart and educated, and your opinion therefore unassailable.”

He says:

“[Fr. Barron] is totally wrong on this point. In fact, he is so completely wrong on this point, that it destroys and undermines anything and everything else he says. Nothing else he says is worth anything.”

All based on unsubstantiated hearsay.

Let us be plain: Michael Voris has crossed a line here, just as he crossed a line in recklessly hinting that some kind of “severe punishment” should be meted out to Cdl. Dolan “perhaps even before you die”. He has slandered a good man’s name based on nothing more than a rumor. There is no justification whatsoever for what he has done here and nothing whatever for him to do but apologize, repent, ask forgiveness, and think long and hard about ever doing something like this again. No “This is your fault for misunderstanding me” video a couple of days from now to blame his audience for hearing what he is saying and to deny what he has done here. Simply a retraction and then a full mea culpa.

Church Militant could be a force for good, if Michael Voris was not bent on destroying innocents in his war on the phantasmal Church of Nice. But if he continues this kind of vile treatment of good and innocent Catholics, then I urge decent people of good will to ignore him–and to instead support the fine work of a great witness to our beautiful faith: Fr. Robert Barron.

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  • HornOrSilk

    The only other thing: the Church doesn’t say you can’t believe 98% could be saved (which if he said, probably wasn’t meant to be taken literally anyway). But Voris’ promotion of junk through the years shows who the real pseudo-intellectual really is.

    • Frank Sales

      The late Francis Cardinal Dulles wrote an essay in First Things on the population of hell. Although he was a Jesuit I think most Catholics would agree he was orthodox. He reviewed Scripture, patristic writings and 2 millennia of theological debate and concluded that we don’t know the population of hell and should hope that it is zero.

  • Lucky13
    • HornOrSilk

      What you have shown is that people can believe few go to heaven. It’s possible to believe that. HOWEVER, you have not shown it is a necessity or a heresy to think most go to heaven. Especially when you do the theological research beyond cherry picked quotes out of context

      • mcv

        St. Faustina said that Jesus calls on all souls at the end of their life. It is permissible, in the Church to hold this belief. Some reject Him. I hope it’s very few.

        • HornOrSilk

          I hope it is none. It’s possible it is the majority. We hope for all, fear that only few do.

          • sez

            …and work to increase the number.

            • Mark Neal


              But if the number is 100%, then there’s no work to be done.

              • HornOrSilk

                Poor logic. It doesn’t explain how 100% got saved. There is a lot of work to get there.

                • Mark Neal

                  Not if Fr. Barron is correct there isn’t.

                  • HornOrSilk

                    Wrong again – which goes to show, you don’t understand his position.

      • Mark Neal

        What you have shown is that people can believe few go to heaven.

        Actually, what he has shown is that the evidence favors the fewness of the saved. There is no good theological reason to hold that the majority are saved.

        …cherry picked quotes out of context

        Can you do some theological research and show us which quotes are out of context?

        • HornOrSilk

          No, he didn’t show theological evidence at all, just he showed how people can have the opinion and a bit of an argument from authority which didn’t really engage theology. As for “no good theological reason” – ignoring the Catechism isn’t a good idea. “With God all things are possible.” And we can go into theological explanations which deal with the good triumphing over evil (and rejection of dualism). Sorry, but that is a GOOD theological reason right there.

          • Mark Neal

            Wow, speaking of quotes taken out of context! The phrase “With God all things are possible,” or one similar to it, appears 3 times in the Catechism: paragraphs 1058, 1722, and 2841.

            1058 is in the summary section of the teaching on Hell, and 2841 is in the exposition of “forgive us our trespasses” in the Our Father. The context of both of these is the fact that God can forgive any sin, no matter how severe – not that He forgives every (or any) unrepentant sinner.*

            1722 is speaking of the Beatific Vision in light of the Old Testament teaching that “man shall not see [God] and live.” The context here is that salvation is possible – not that the saints quoted above were wrong about how many people will receive it.

            And we can go into theological explanations…

            By all means, please do! I’d love to hear them.

            When the Fathers and Doctors are unanimous (or nearly so) that the majority of men do not repent, that strikes me as a pretty darn good theological reason for holding it.

            *By the way, just so there’s no confusion: the argument is not that God refuses salvation to those who seek it. The argument is that the majority of men do not seek it.

            • HornOrSilk

              In the discussion at hand, which I have quoted already, one time it is quoted is in relation to prayer that all might be saved.

  • Sigroli

    Not surprisingly, “[c]omments are disabled” for Church Militant YouTube videos. Coward. (We aren’t permitted to use the obvious synonym for “donkey cavity” on Patheos pages, are we…)

  • Justin

    Voris is obviously right. After all, he has 3 other witnesses – who are under the witness protection program. So, don’t even bother.

  • Kurt 20008

    On behalf of the Left, I want to publicly deny here and now that Voris is on our payroll as an Agent Saboteur. At least, you’ll never be able to prove it.

    • Alma Peregrina

      That’s what teh Left wants you to think!

      But I can see through your lies! Lies, I tell you! Lies! Buwahahah!

  • Ken

    I don’t believe that Father Barron made any type of empirical claim about the percentage of people that go to heaven but I do know why The Church Militant would find this so offensive. Voris and his followers view the church as a hammer to slam down on all the groups they don’t like. The concept that some or all of these people could receive the mercy and grace of God is offensive to them. It’s the same misunderstanding that many people had about Jesus. They thought that he came to overthrow Roman occupation. When he explained that he is actually here to bring a radical new covenant of love and mercy for all people they crucified him.

  • mcv

    I try to ignore Michael Voris as much as possible.

    I watched the video and I’m still disappointed. Father Barron was invited to dinner, and then his host reported to Voris? Is this not gossip? Was Father Barron told, “this isn’t going to be just a dinner, I’ll be reporting to Michael Voris about what you say”? Do we even know the context of the conversation?

    As for Mario Cuomo, he’d been out of the public eye for a while. We should pray for him, and hope he was open to receive God’s mercy. The state of one’s soul on the day of their death is what counts.

    • Luke Flynn

      I made the following comments on CMTV FB page under the video:

      ” I wonder why the host of the dinner party would decide to share with Mr Voris the opinion Fr Barron voiced at a private dinner party? Did he not know that Mr Voris would broadcast the private remark publicly? Doesn’t that amount to gossip? In all fairness, the host (as well as the 3 who apparently corroborated) should be willing to make their own names public. Fr Barron probably considered this host a friend. Do real Catholic men treat a dinner guest in such a manner? I would also suggest that we shouldn’t speculate about what may or may not have happened between God and Mr Cuomo at the hour of his death. Just because the family hasn’t publicly stated that last rites were administered doesn’t mean that they weren’t. If anything, we should give the benefit of the doubt and pray that Mr Cuomo sincerely confessed his sins and received absolution.”

      This is CMTV’s response:
      “Gossip is maliciously repeating something bad that was told to you in confidence. Father Barron’s position is public and widely known–he himself has promoted this exact position publicly on several occasions. What Fr. Barron relayed to this person was NOT meant to be held in confidence. The “gossip” accusation is a red herring, and distracts from the real discussion–which is that Fr. Barron’s theology on this point is absurd, dangerous, and NON-Catholic.”

      Someone else had challenged them but his comment was deleted. Deleting any comments and banning people who disagree with them even if the disagreement is respectfully voiced is standard operating procedure for the administration of that page.

      I have some serious concerns about CMTV and their “apostolate”. I think they are leading people astray. Voris plays fast and lose with facts. Voris never answers the fan base directly. He has minions who are defensive and uncharitable attack any dissenters. That the admin who responded to me cannot see that this report of Voris’s is nothing more than gossip indicates a blindness and bias that undermines any credibility. I’ve watched as Voris has increased his little empire. Someone recently donated a house in close proximity to the CMTV studio and an RV was also donated. Voris spent a week asking for donations in his Vortex videos to help renovate the house and RV. This after his push for donations just last summer to renovate the studio. The chapel at the studio is rather excessive.

      BTW, what ever happened to follow up on the video about the young woman who was allegedly refused communion because she was kneeling? That claim was missing substantiation as well and, when I viewed the video, I wondered if Voris hadn’t sent the woman into that parish to test the priest. Maybe the priest sensed that and refused her because he doubted her sincerity. It isn’t likely that the woman was a regular parishioner at that parish or this would have been an ongoing event.

      People need to start questioning Voris and his cult. I applaud Mark Shea for bringing this issue to light. You can’t question Voris on his page or you are attacked and banned. There’s something wrong with a so called apostolate that refuses to engage in civil debate with those who have legitimate questions about their reporting.

      • Ken

        If it isn’t gossip why doesn’t Voris give out the names of the people present? If Father Barron doesn’t care who finds out about this then why would these mysterious people a super duper secret?

        • chezami

          Why not just pick up the phone and ask Fr. Barron if he said that?

          • Ken

            Okay, that would be even better. But seriously, the idea that someone as theologically well versed as Father Barron would put a number on the amount of people in heaven is absurd.

          • lol

            Nah, that’s too Church-of-Nice-y. It’s more fun to just bash Fr. Barron without corroborating anything.

            • Marthe Lépine

              It correlates with some other group’s attitude of “Shoot first, ask questions next…”

      • UAWildcatx2

        Their response is essentially “umm….uhh…LOOK OVER THERE! HERESY!1!!!!!1!”

        Good on you for publicly rebutting their “argument”

      • lol

        “Voris increased his empire”… now we’re sounding like Star Wars. Darth Voris & his empire. Honestly, CMTV gives me the giggles.

      • Harry Flynn

        “”Gossip is maliciously repeating something bad that was told to you in confidence. Father Barron’s position is public and widely known–he himself has promoted this exact position publicly on several occasions. What Fr. Barron relayed to this person was NOT meant to be held in confidence. The “gossip” accusation is a red herring, and distracts from the real discussion–which is that Fr. Barron’s theology on this point is absurd, dangerous, and NON-Catholic.””

        So let me get this straight, I invite a famous priest to my house for a small dinner party and everything he says can and will be used against him in the court of public opinion?

        Wow. Just. Wow. I guess we have new definitions of rudeness, charity and hospitality now………

        • mcv

          What was done was take an unsubstantiated quote (no context given) in order to completely disregard Father Barron’s ministry, and brand him a heretic.

          It isn’t good “journalism” to use unnamed sources, unchecked sources, no context given on the conversation. no checking with Father Barron to explain.

          A perhaps better way might be, “Father I understand there is some controversy regarding Voris and his understanding of your position regarding salvation. Could you explain? Could I quote you for the Vortex?”

          Not the way it was done.

        • Marthe Lépine

          It also seems to be a new definition of gossip… Now we should have unending discussions of what gossip really is, how far can one go into a revelation before it becomes gossip, whether or not reporting something that was overheard being told in confidence to someone else is actually gossip, any other circonvolution of the question. You realize that it is so, so difficult to define gossip! To make it even harder, most of what has been written condemning gossip does not contain any clear example of what really constitutes gossip.

      • Mark Neal

        Deleting any comments and banning people who disagree with them even if the disagreement is respectfully voiced is standard operating procedure for the administration of that page.


    • Ken

      Also, what Mario Cuomo may or may not of confessed to is a private matter. Confession is sealed even after death. I hope he made full restitution but I’ll never know and that’s how God wants it to be. The concept that anyone has to make a full public denouncement of their sins seems to me to be totally inaccurate. I would guess the only way this would be necessary would be if the priest recommended it for his absolution.

    • lol

      That’d be funny if (in sometime in the future) a Voris supporter hosts an innocent-looking Dinner for Fr. Barron, & they end up kidnapping the poor priest. Kidnapping Cdl. Dolan (with all his jolly stomach) would be harder.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Another funny (but truly uncharitable) possibility would be if some people invited Voris to a supposedly private dinner and went on to publicly denounce something said by Voris during a private conversation…

  • UAWildcatx2

    Since he never verified these alleged statements, I sincerely hope Voris visits the confessional this weekend to ask for forgiveness for the sin of calumny. Otherwise, nothing else Voris says is worth anything.

    • Harry Flynn


      To be fair, I am not sure you can say that Voris never verified the alleged statements. Voris does say in the video that the remarks were witnessed by three people. Perhaps Voris went to them and asked?

      • Marthe Lépine

        How can we know that they did not distort or take out of context one remark among other made during a private conversation? And then brought their misunderstood bit of conversation to Voris? I notice that he has carefully avoided naming them? However, I suppose he should have gone to Father Barron and asked him, but he apparently did nothing of the sort.

      • UAWildcatx2

        Just because he says three people said it doesn’t mean that it actually happened. If he were truly sincere, he’d interview those people on the record, or better yet – let *them* say it on camera. As it stands, it’s hearsay (or gossip, if we want to go that route).

  • Artevelde

    For a brief, very brief moment of heresy, right there where this smug conjurer of statistics declared that what Fr. Barron said comes down to ”49/50 chance of making it to heaven”, some little voice in my head said ”this, this is why John Calvin was both wrong AND necessary”.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Mark, it would be a lot easier to ignore Voris if you were not constantly bringing him up. Were it not for this blog, I doubt that I would ever have heard of him. He has certainly not added anything to the quality of my life and apparently not yours either, so why don’t you make it easier for all of us to ignore him by doing so yourself?

    Kirt Higdon

    • chezami

      If by “constantly* you mean once or twice a year, I see your point. However, I happen to like and admire Fr. Barron and when I see a two-bit demagogue with a large audience of mentally enslaved followers try to harm the good work of this holy priest, I enjoy turning it into an advertisement for the holy priest’s work.

      • Des Farrell

        Great response, I would urge anyone not familiar with Fr Barron’s writing and YouTube videos to get stuck in! They are a fantastic resource.

      • Kirt Higdon

        At my parish, we did a very well attended twelve week program on Father Barron’s Catholicism and in addition, I have used one of his videos in our RCIA class. And all this was accomplished without mentioning Voris even once.

  • Pete the Greek

    I think Fr. Barron’s full quote was “98% of the human race is saved… from having to listen to Michael Voris.”

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      Ha! Then, he was far too generous. I suspect the number would be closer to 99.99999%. I have never heard of Voris, except on this blog. Voris is quite easy to ignore.

  • Carl T LaFong

    Barron the apostate had already stated his personal, heretical views on salvation in a taped interview, so the dinner conversation Voris spoke about matters not. Barron is no more Catholic than Pelosi, Biden, Durbin, Kennedy, Dolan, Hessburg, Jenkins, et. al. How perfect that Barron now runs the homosexual/pederast community in Mundelein, IL that poses as a seminary. God save us from the cowardly little men.

    • UAWildcatx2

      Go back under your rock. You’re embarrassing yourself.

      • PalaceGuard

        Your response, sir, is an insult to rocks everywhere.

        • UAWildcatx2

          Well played, friend.

        • Alma Peregrina

          Not if he meant that Rock. Peter

          • PalaceGuard

            Indeed. A possibility which had not occurred to me!

          • UAWildcatx2

            It was all an allegory on obedience to the Pope…that’s it! :p

            • Alma Peregrina

              Obviously… 😉

    • Veritas81

      How can you be an apostate and a heretic at the same time? I always thought an apostate was someone who fully and totally rejected the ENTIRETY of the Christian faith i.e. Julian the Apostate, someone who converts to Islam; while a heretic is someone who ascribes to the Christian faith, identifies as a Christian, but rejects a teaching or multiple teachings of the authentic Catholic faith i.e. most Protestants, modernists. But hey I’m a Novus Ordo attending, St. JP2 loving modernist so what I know…(except those definitions came from the Baltimore Catechism, which had pictures of priests offering Mass ad orientem)

      Anyhow, to the bigger question: what possible evidence do you have Mundelin is a “homosexual/perderast community”? Every seminary I meet from there at the FOCUS conference seemed to be a well-formed, orthodox young man.

      • Alma Peregrina

        “How can you be an apostate and a heretic at the same time?”

        What? You mean I not only have to be the paradigm of Catholicism against which every sinner must be measured…

        … I also have to make sense of what I say?

        Will my cross never end?

        Signed: A Really Real Catholic

        • Ken

          Hey! You made me laugh out loud at work. Knock it off!

          • Marthe Lépine

            And… What were you doing? Reading comments on a post instead of doing the work you are supposed to be doing?

    • Willard

      Dude, you might want to throw a Giuliani or Pataki in there just so you don’t make it so obvious that you are a political conservative masquerading as a Catholic.

      • Ken


      • petey

        oops, didn’t see this before i posted.

      • Joseph

        Or a community favourite: Gingrich

    • petey

      “Barron is no more Catholic than Pelosi, Biden, Durbin, Kennedy, Dolan, Hessburg, Jenkins, et. al.”

      Giuliani, W. Casey, Ryan, Novak, Weigel, et al.

    • chezami

      Log, meet eye. If there’s anybody who appears to be an expert on what a cowardly little man is, Mr. LaFong, it’s you.

  • LSpinelli

    Saved means saved from hell. So if most of that 98 percent – IF that was indeed what was said – are in Purgatory, they will eventually be saved.

    Why is this so offensive to Voris? Is it the “I did everything properly, and I should get into Heaven before those people” type of thinking?

    Truth about the who’s saved debate is, we don’t know names or numbers, we’re not supposed to know, and there’s a reason we say “Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who most need Your mercy” at the end of every Rosary decade.

    • ” Is it the “I did everything properly, and I should get into Heaven before those people” type of thinking?”

      I think that’s it — akin to the prodigal son’s brother’s resentment. It’s a *good* thing when people make it to heaven, why would we want to restrict the numbers? More importantly, who the hell are we to decide we know who deserves to be there?

      • Evan

        I think it’s even more akin to the vineyard workers who worked all day, and then grumbled when they received the same pay as those who only worked one hour.

    • sez

      My theory is that Voris fears that people who hear Fr. Barron saying that 98% will be saved will just assume “I’m a good person, so I get to go to Heaven”, and not bother with going to church, praying, etc.

      Whether Voris is unwilling to share Heaven with the rest of humanity is unknown. Maybe erring on the side of caution is the motivator.

      • chezami

        Cuz repeating unsubstantiated rumor to slanderously declare a holy priest’s entire life’s work worthless is *all about* erring on the side of cautioun

        • Harry Flynn

          Mr. Shea, respectfully, while you are correct to point out Voris’ error in your article, we should be mindful of the adage, “do not call something holy before the fact.”

        • sez

          I agree: his method is not helpful. Not.At.All. It is downright harmful. My theory speaks only to his motivation.

      • In which case, he should focus on the importance of Mass, the sacraments, and trying our best not to sin, not insulting other people and getting into nit-picky fights about how many will make it to heaven and what percentage is too high to hope for.

        • sez

          I agree 100%.

    • Kate Cousino

      Remember the parable of the laborers in the vinyard, and the anger of those who came early in the day at seeing that even those who worked only an hour were paid as generously as the first?

      Yeah…Christ knows his people pretty well. The parables are full of righteous people who resent God’s mercy to others.

  • merkn

    I don’t agree with this guy, but what is the problem with saying someone is “totally wrong”, “completely wrong” and what he says is “not worth anything”. In fact, the last quote is pretty much what everyone here is saying about Voris. Or is it the point that passing along an unsubstantiated quote from Fr. Barron by itself is slanderous and what makes him anathema. Is the quote, if he said it, really that scandalous? I thought Church teaching is we don’t know how many are saved, and that we are enjoined with praying for the salvation of all. Or is it the new rule for Catholic Blogs that no hearsay is allowed?

    • Ken

      Did you watch the video? He basically casts him as a person who is enabling horrible sin. In a round about way he blames Father Barron for Democrat Catholics who promote abortion. It’s not a well structured argument but he says that Father Barron’s promotion of the concept that 98% of people go to heaven allows for Nancy Pelosi to feel free to promote sin because she thinks she’s going to heaven. It’s an absurd, unqualified attack on a good person.

      • merkn

        No I didn’t watch the video; the writeup does not do him justice. I was responding only to what is written. I have since watched it along it along with the charming video about Cardinal Dolan. This guy is kind of nutty, so I am not sure why you all spend any time on time and widen his platform.

        • Guest

          You didn’t watch the video which is the topic of Shea’s article yet you considered you considered yourself knowledgeable enough to criticize what he said? SMH

        • Ken

          It would be nice to just ignore Voris but unfortunately, he has a large audience. Some of the Catholic Bloggers on this site like to use him as a source of authority. There are other sites with large audiences that also do the same thing.

    • chezami

      Voris is the *real* victim here.

      • UAWildcatx2

        Poor, sweet, charitable Voris. How *will* he get past this?

    • The Momma

      “Or is it the new rule for Catholic Blogs that no hearsay is allowed?”

      Well, given that hearsay is a form of gossip and we, as Catholics, are also enjoined to avoid gossip, then I would say that it has no place on a Catholic blog or coming from the lips of anyone who claims the name of Christian — be they Catholic or not.

  • Artevelde

    Catholicism: The Pivotal Players, episode 12: Michael Voris – The Zealot. It didn’t make the cut?

  • Evan

    Voris’ video was appalling; I think this is a new low for him. What I find saddest/most disturbing is his underlying belief that “If God is merciful, and atheists and liberal fake Catholics can get to heaven without repenting of all their sins, what’s the point of being faithful to the Church?” That’s one of the weakest faiths I’ve ever seen, it boils down to: “I’m good, believe in God, and follow Church, so I won’t get punished.”

    Imperfect contrition is a fine start, but we shouldn’t be good to avoid hell, we should be good because God is good. And since He made us, He knows what is best for us, so that’s why we should try follow Him. We have no way of knowing whether those who fail to follow His teaching are probably damned, as Voris blatantly implies, or if God in His mercy will forgive their sins and look upon the good they did.

    • AJ Jackson

      “We have no way of knowing whether those who fail to follow His teaching are probably damned”

      Mark 8:38 states “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Now the level of ignorance that could exempt someone is known only to God, and it is certainly our hope that someone is ignorant rather than fully culpable, but we can reasonably conclude from plain scripture that those who do not follow God’s teachings (which includes natural law, written in our hearts) are probably damned, which is why it is necessary to follow them in the first place.

      • HornOrSilk

        “We can reasonably conclude from plain Scripture” is not the Catholic hermeneutic with Scripture, especially when it is using Scripture as a proof text. Protestants follow suit with it and say “plain Scripture” for all kinds of heresies too, all because of what Scripture appears to say “simply.” But all Catholic theologians and saints recognize: Scripture is to be mined, the truths in it are not so simple to get at.

    • Eve Fisher

      Actually, “If God is merciful, and atheists and liberal fake Catholics can get to heaven without repenting of all their sins, what’s the point of being faithful to the Church?” is pure elder brother, terrified that someone will kill a fatted calf for someone other than him.

  • Des Farrell

    I’m glad this Voris video was brought up as it highlights just how paranoid and angry Voris has become. Does he not realize that the ‘pseudo intellectual’ Fr Barron has heard of Purgatory? I thought Voris has gotten some kind of spiritual wake up call in the Vatican a few months ago. I was badly mistaken. Voris is intelligent but he has become, because of his narcissism, a raging quack. And he’s dragging young people with him into his Vortex of rage. He had so much potential, he did investigate many interesting subjects but he’s just thrown away any pretense at reasonable, well intentioned discussion. This stuff is just nasty and vicious. As for Fr Barron’s opinions being ‘unassailable’ because he’s educated and owns books, well, the mind just boggles.

    • Ken

      His videos have really become very strange and unrelated conspiracy theories rather than theological presentations.

  • Des Farrell

    One of many of Fr Barron’s great videos. Here he discusses Hell, locked from the inside, referencing CS Lewis.

  • Mark

    I don’t agree with everything that Fr. Barron says (including his views on hell and Adam and Eve) but Voris has just sunk to a new low.

  • AJ Jackson

    I tend to agree with a lot of what you say Mark, but I also tend to find it hard to disagree with a lot of what Voris says. He’s made it his identity to call out unorthodoxy in the Church and I think that’s generally a good thing that needs to be done as the world cries for a liberal Catholicism that removes the cross from Christianity. However, I do agree with some of your criticisms of him, such as the dubiousness of some of the people he recommends and the overly vicious tone in some of his videos. I would say that Voris seems convinced that the source is reliable, and if Fr. Barron did indeed said that, then that would be some pretty errant theology that is deserving of question and criticism in light of what the Church has taught throughout the ages and the words of Christ Himself. Having said that, I am appreciative of the work that Fr. Barron has put into successfully converting people and I grant you that Voris may have taken this too far.

    • chezami

      Not one syllable Fr. Barron has said is unorthodox. Not. One. Syllable. What is false to Catholic teaching is gossip and false accusation.

      • AJ Jackson

        That we can reasonably hope all men will be saved is unorthodox. The First Constitution of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 at the very least alludes to the fact that folks then living in AD 1215 would be in hell. This was the opening statement of the Council and its “Profession of the Faith.” The implication is that people from every generation would finally be eternally separated from God, not just people from the 13th century. But, at the very least, for the strict interpreter of the words of the Council, it seems inescapable that the Council taught souls are in hell now:

        “Indeed, having suffered and died on the wood of the cross for the salvation of the human race, he descended to the underworld, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He descended in the soul, rose in the flesh, and ascended in both. He will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, (Latin text reads quae nunc gestant—which they are now bearing or wearing) so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad; for the latter perpetual punishment with the devil, for the former eternal glory with Christ.”

        Pope John Paul II, in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope,provides:

        “Can God, who has loved man so much, permit the man who rejects Him to be condemned to eternal torment? And yet, the words of Christ are unequivocal. In Matthew’s Gospel he speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Matt. 25:46). Who will these be? The Church has never made any pronouncement…” (pg. 185)

        • Fr. Barron is not saying no one is damned–even in Mr. Voris’ silly unsubstantiated report. He is on record, however, as agreeing with Pope Benedict that a large proportion of mankind will be saved (cf. Spe Salvi). And I don’t know of too many people calling for pope Benedict to be declared a heretic.

          • chezami

            *may* be saved. He and Benedict do not claim knowledge, but hope.

            • Ack….you’re right. I meant to put “may.”

              Typing one-handed is hard. (broke right arm Dec 16).

            • Carolus

              I wouldn’t lump Benedict and Fr. Barron together in this. I’m assuming that you are referring to Spe Salve, and what Pope Benedict said in that encyclical is a far cry from what Fr. Barron is saying. Really, it’s the “reasonable” part of Fr. Barron’s Balthasarian claim which is so problematic.

          • AJ Jackson

            Not in this report, but I saw a video where he said we can hold out hope that all men will be saved, which is problematic because according to plain scripture and previous Church teaching, clearly there are souls in hell. As I stated before, I recognize he’s converted a lot of people to Catholicism, which is great work. But he is wrong to say we can reasonably hope all men will be saved. Could you give me the exact quote from Benedict? Not that I don’t believe you, but I am having difficulty remembering said quote.

            • HornOrSilk

              I would recommend you read previous discussions on this theme on this very blog. You will find out that such hope is indeed permissible, it is not heretical; you do not have to hold it yourself. But I will show you the Catechism itself affirms this hope:

              1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: “Lord, let me never be parted from you.” If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him “all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).

              • AJ Jackson

                The Church does indeed pray that no should be lost, that is, it prays for all souls everywhere, and it is also true that God desires the salvation of all men. However, these do not mean that souls will not willingly reject God’s grace and go to hell. Jesus does not state that souls can to go hell; He states that souls *will* go to hell. There are multiple instances of this in scripture (Matt. 7:13–14, Matt. 25:46, Revelation 14:11) and the Catechism also states it in 1034:

                Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather… all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire” (Matt. 25:41)!

                • HornOrSilk

                  The Catechism says “with God all things are possible.” It is POSSIBLE all will be saved is what the Catechism said. It doesn’t say they will. We do not know if they will or not. Your interpretation of Scripture is not necessary interpretations of them, which is why you confuse your proof texts (which ignore other texts) for saying more than they do. I mean, we agree Jesus warned that damnation is possible but he said it in the midst of his life and death, the sign of Jonah. Jonah also predicted doom, but it didn’t happen. We have to go beyond simplistic approach to Scripture and delve deeper with the Church, which says the hope is possible because with God ALL THINGS are possible. You can deny it, but I will affirm it.

                  • AJ Jackson

                    The problem is that Jesus does not warn against damnation in the same way that Jonah (who is not God Himself, as Jesus is) does. Jesus does not say some souls may go to hell, He says that at least some souls will* go to hell. Hope is possible for each individual soul, as we do not know the human heart. But reasonable hope that all men will be saved is not scripturally possible, and such is a position is dissenting from the historical Church. . Read Revelation 14. I get into arguments with a few individuals calling themselves radical traditionalists about the number of saved, some of them have truly sociopathic views on the subject (I know of one who believes that about 99% of the population is damned, which is thoroughly absurd) and do not desire the salvation of all men. But we can be absolutely certain from Jesus’ definitive statements and the historical Church that at least some souls will reject God’s grace and end up in hell.

        • HornOrSilk

          You quote the Pope out of context, and even then, you claim the Church has made pronouncements at the same time as quoting the Pope saying it has not. Well done! Bah, I doubt you will even see it.

          • AJ Jackson

            I quote the Pope out of context? Alright, please give me the authentic meaning of the quote in it’s proper “context”. And I never made the claim that the Church has made pronouncements on which specific souls are in hell, which it has not. It has, however, made pretty clear (along with Christ Himself, whose quotes I provided I have yet to hear any addressing of) that at least some souls end up in hell.

        • Ken

          Father Barron has never said everyone goes to heaven. If you watch the posted video below he is very clear that people do go to hell. Voris is totally misrepresenting what Father Barron is saying and then drags him through the mud and somehow blames him for pro-choice Catholic Democrats. He is purposely misrepresenting Father Barron’s views

          Father Barron has explained both sides of the argument of how people go to heaven and how people go to hell. After reviewing both sides it’s his opinion that more people would be saved due to God’s love and mercy.

          Either side of the argument can be made and they still would be within correct Catholic theology. There are things that are unknown and we can speculate about them without going outside of the teachings of the church. What exactly is the trinity? I don’t know but I could think of several different ways to describe it by using different symbols or concepts and still be within the Church’s theology. There is nuance within the Church.

          Instead of using theology to explain his position, Voris is attacking and lying about Father Barron’s position.

          • AJ Jackson

            “If you watch the posted video below he is very clear that people do go to hell.”

            If Fr. Barron has made it very clear that people do go to hell, then he has apparently changed his position, because if people *do* go to hell, then there certainly isn’t any reasonable hope that all men will be saved.

            • Ken

              You realize that what we hope for and what can actually happen are two different things? I really hope I win the lottery doesn’t mean that I’m going to. The church teaches that all people can be saved. It’s up to them to partake in this grace. How or why this happens is a mystery.

              We are supposed to hope that all people go to heaven. That is a church teaching that isn’t up for debate. Jesus died so everyone can be brought to heaven not just the people that we really want to be there. As noted below that is established through the Cathechism and the Bible. You can ignore it or deny it if you want to but it’s the teaching of the church. There’s no debate about that. It’s really not that complicated. You’re either purposely ignoring it or refusing to believe. Also, watch the video. He covers all of this in it.

              • AJ Jackson

                I understand what you’re saying, but apparently you don’t understand what I am saying. I agree wholeheartedly with that it is the hope that all men are saved. In some sense, you absolutely hope all men are saved. However, the sense I am referring to that is not realistic nor orthodox is the sense that there is reasonable hope that hell will be empty after the Last Judgment. I will watch this video, I promise, but I was speaking about a video I saw some time ago where Fr. Barron, unless I and others have really misunderstood him, seemed to suggest that there was a reasonable hope that all men will be saved in the sense that hell will be empty, i.e. universal salvation is something that can be reasonably hoped for. The latter is what is problematic, certainly not the desiring or “hoping” for the salvation of each individual soul.

                • Ken

                  The video you are referring to is also posted above. At the beginning of the video he says people go to hell. He even says it’s a heresy to believe otherwise. He doesn’t say there is reasonable hope that hell is empty he was commenting on a Theologian that said this. What the person said was that because of God’s great sacrifice of the cross, and rising from the dead we could “hope” that this would free all people from hell. God went to such great effort for us that we could “hope” that this would save everyone. There is on catch to this, human freedom. Yes, we could hope that all people are saved due to the great sacrifice of God but we know, because of human freedom, that it isn’t the case. Despite God’s best efforts some people will choose from their own free will to go to hell. For people to say he is promoting this view is really taking what he says out of context. For a person to remove the part of freewill from his comments is presenting an incomplete version of what he says.

                  His commentary does have nuance to it and a lot of people don’t like that. I like it because it makes me think but it makes him more of a target since some of what he says gets taken out of context.

            • Brandy Miller

              I don’t know. I have it on pretty good authority that Jesus Christ entertained a reasonable hope that all men could be saved, even as he recognized that many of them would choose not to be.

  • Joseph

    I understand why Voris called his YouTube shows ‘The Vortex’. It’s his talking toupee. If it watch it long enough, you’ll get sucked into a vortex… it’s inescapable. It’s like making eye contact with Medusa, don’t do it! He’s like a blonde cookie monster.

  • anna lisa

    Have you ever noticed what *kinds* of people are Voris fans? They are the ones who are dying to tell you about this or that new “seer”. They are the ones that love to say “apoooooooocalypse!”, and “THE COMING CHASTISEMENT!” (Did it ever occur to them that global warming is *just that*?) They are the vengeful types that gleefully love the idea of the people and the groups they despise, burning in hell. They are the ones who pass their superiority complexes on to their sons and daughters by making them dress like characters from Napoleon Dynamite and Laura Ingalls Wilder–to signal each other that they are in “the group”. It’s like they couldn’t actually enjoy their heaven (special status as the ones God loves the most) If they couldn’t gloat over the ones who don’t get to go there. They are petty, gullible and have hearts the size of walnuts.
    They’re NOT the ones in the trenches, feeding the poor and giving tangible comfort to the afflicted. They think their intellectual prowess as defenders of the TRUE faith makes them too important to bother with what less intelligent people should do.
    “But Lord! Lord! Didn’t we defend your TRUE CHURCH??” They’ll insist incredulously.
    –But when their shriveled up little hearts need to do some “time out” in the outer darkness to stare at their tiny little be-speckled hearts, they will be left with stunned shock saying “wait…what??”
    And the devil will laugh and laugh, because their sin will be the most like his. They won’t see how much time and energy they WASTED–until they don’t have any of either left.

    • Mark Neal

      According to Anna, Voris fans:

      gleefully love the idea of the people and the groups they despise, burning in hell.

      have hearts the size of walnuts.

      will be left with stunned shock … in the outer darkness …

      Anna, are you becoming the very thing you can’t stand??

      • anna lisa

        Maybe a touch of PTSD after all the years of letting them freak. me. out.
        I remember the day I took a copy of the Wanderer and threw it across the table, realizing what wolves in sheep’s clothing some of them are. Their moral outrage about *everything* just got to be Too. Much. They don’t have the power to scare me into believing in their cruel god, who disposes of his children like rotten fruit. They are like fundamentalists everywhere. So. Sure. that. they. are. right.

    • jay

      Yes, Anna Lisa, I have noticed this. And this is why Pope
      francis is calling for Mercy instead of all the little rules. Francis gets the true Church, and that is why Burke got demoted. Now Burke is on record that the Church has become too feminized, and men need to be more manlier. This while he wears silk, lace, gloves and slippers. Pope Francis dresses like a clerical man, and is well respected for this.

  • Mark Neal

    For what it’s worth:

    This post isn’t directly related to the the topic at hand (Voris’s video), but does have to do with the idea that “we can have a reasonable hope that all men are saved” – a position which Barron defends and Voris rejects.

    And a similar, but qualitatively different, statement: “we must have a sincere desire that all men be saved.”

    Now, nobody in their right mind would deny the second statement, and Voris has always made it clear that he desires the salvation of all. It seems to me that a lot of people who defend Barron’s position end up defending the second statement, over which there is no controversy, rather than the first.

    The problem with the first statement is that it is tantamount to simply declaring outright that “all men will in fact be saved,” which means there is no Hell (though it wouldn’t rule out Purgatory). For if something is false, you cannot have a “reasonable hope” of its truth.

    Thus, to say that “we can have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, but that doesn’t mean that all men are actually saved” seems to me an untenable position, for that is really the only thing it could mean.

    I won’t defend Voris’ methods, but I can’t help but agree with him that Barron’s position on this matter is heterodox.


    • anna lisa

      Doesn’t the catechism say that we are only obliged to believe in a place called Hell? We are not obligated by the faith to believe that there are human beings there. I personally don’t know what the bottom line is, but regardless, the pain of purgatory is something sad enough to compel us to very seriously try to avoid it. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was only 2% of humanity there, (less!) but only because of stubborn pride, that prefers to say “no” to the company of God. The people who say that most of mankind goes to hell, leave me speechless.
      How can they think that God would torment most of humanity in *hell* forever?
      If you can believe *that* it’s just a degree away from treating others like human debris.
      I don’t know if you have children or not–(I have a large family) Could you even STAND the thought of most of your children going to hell for eternity?

      • Mark Neal

        Could you even STAND the thought of most of your children going to hell for eternity?

        Heck no!!

        That’s why I want to make darn sure that I hold fast to the mind of the Church, and that I don’t teach them error.

        The people who say that most of mankind goes to hell, leave me speechless.

        Anna, I used to have similar sentiments, but then I started reading what the Doctors of the Church had to say about it. Their statements on Hell are sobering, to say the least:

        “The greater part of men choose to be damned rather than to love Almighty God.” – St. Alphonsus Maria Ligouri

        “On the threshing floor, few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire.” – St. Gregory the Great

        “It is certain that few are saved.” – St. Augustine

        “Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants, not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that.” – St. John Chrysostom

        “I do not think that many priests are saved, but that those who perish are far more numerous.” – St. John Chrysostom

        “Christ’s flock is called ‘little’ in comparison with the greater number of the reprobates.” – St. Bede the Venerable

        “The greater part of men will set no value on the Blood of Christ, and will go on offending Him.” – St. Isidore of Seville

        “The majority of men shall not see God, excepting those who live justly, purified by righteousness, and by every other virtue.” – St. Justin Martyr

        “There are a select few who are saved.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

        “The number of the elect is so small – so small – that, were we to know how small it is, we would faint away with grief: one here, one there, scattered up and down the world.” – St. Louie de Montfort

        “Wide is the path that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. But narrow and difficult is the path that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Our Lord Himself

        I can fully sympathize with what you said – reading these and similar things (from the wisest men in the Church!!) terrifies and depresses me when I think about it too much.

        How can they think that God would torment most of humanity in *hell* forever?

        Anna, it doesn’t reflect poorly on God. It reflects poorly on humanity. Hell is willingly chosen – nobody goes there unless they prefer it over Heaven. According to the Saints, that is the free choice that the majority of us make.

        Ugh, writing about this is draining. I need to go say a Rosary now….
        Pray for me, Anna!

        • anna lisa

          Guess what, my friend?
          The doctors of the Church are NOT omniscient! They are very, very, very close to the mark but they don’t always hit it.
          When St. Teresa of Avila said that Lutherans are damned even she had her own explanation for her own shortsightedness: “I am but a poor instrument in the master’s hand” She was sure that even if God communicated with her, it was through her fallen humanity. Protestant rebellion was unthinkable.
          But here is where my Mom would say “the rubber hits the road”. The Church is a pilgrim Church. Jesus alluded to this as did St. Paul. “The Spirit will lead you to all things.”
          All of those saints you just quoted had not walked the path of the last fifty years. They had not seen an anguished Teresa of Calcutta, cradle the head of a dying man, whom she had just blessed with water from the Ganges, and whom smiled radiantly at her saying “and now I die like an angel.” His only taste of the Christian religion were her arms –the arms of Christ! around his dying head. “They go to God!” is what she called out in anguish. The Spirit of God, at the second Vatican conference clarified what she *knew* in the Spirit.
          A week ago today I sat in my car with my husband. We were about to go into a restaurant but we were transfixed by the interview we were listening to. It was a protestant woman speaking with a familiar voice on NPR. She is a famous author in liberal circles. She revealed her love for Our Lady. She wears her medal. The announcer said, “when I was a child, I was so utterly devastated by the nuns that taught me that my protestant mother was surely damned.” He told a funny little story about sending her Catholic literature in the mail through the Kof C’s but the take away was “This Pope! This beautiful Pope the Church has! Isn’t he a breath of fresh air (my mother, my beautiful mother–she’s Catholic now!”–But she was never damned–just on a journey.)
          She was on a journey. Just like my second son, 24 years old–named Maximilian Kolbe, –who no longer calls himself Catholic.
          I look at my grade school kids and I ask myself, “what should I do differently?” But I realize that I can’t do much different. I pray my rosary almost every day. I pray the chaplet. I go to daily mass as does my husband. There is nothing else we can do–just pray, watch, love, and wait.
          When they are good, when they LOVE–they go to God.

          • Mark Neal

            Hi Anna,

            Thank you for your kind reply. Keep praying for your son, and your younger kids – I left the Church when I was 20, and didn’t find my way back until I was about 27. I know from experience how powerful the persistent prayers of a mother can be! I will never forget the first time I read about St. Monica’s prayers for her wayward son Augustine. The bishop’s words to her: “It is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish,” stuck me like a knife. I remember exactly where I was – even the time of day – when I read that.

            That being said, Anna, I can see that we approach things from very different perspectives, and there are certain things that we do not see eye-to-eye on (i.e. the “path of the last fifty years”). But I would rather not argue. It’s a cliched expression, but I have always thought that, when Catholics differ on things like this, what we have in common is more important than what we differ on. And I say this as a loyal Voris fan. 😉

            Have a wonderful day, Anna, and I pray that everything turns out well for you.

            • anna lisa

              It’s ok that you are a fan, it’s not that I disagree with a lot of what he says, it’s just that there is this toxic 10 % that comes with it, and I think that’s how the devil operates–on the margins–getting us to write people off. If the devil can convince us that God gives up on people, or that they are not first class citizens–we will do the same.
              I feel so liberated from all that.
              When I go help out at my daughter’s kinder. class in public school (where her best friend has a lesbian aunt who walks her to school) those little children are SO beautiful!! The Hippy kids (one w/long blonde hair named Socrates–lol), the Muslims, the eastern Europeans the???–you name it. They just LOVE me–like mommy 2.0 –they are like heaven.Yesterday, they hugged me, played w/ my hair fiddled w/my reading glasses, sat *behind* me in my kindergarten sized chair and soaked up my attention like the sweet little sponges of Jesus that they are. No wonder Jesus said “unless you become like these little ones…”
              They are sublime, and most of them not Catholic…
              On a journey…
              Loved and cherished by God–each one.
              –Just like you and me, and even at those times of our lives when we get into exclusion mode–like Voris. (shiver)
              Goodnight…CA time. Before I responded to you I laughed like an idiot because of the funny email from my Muslim friend who is stuck in the middle east and simply hates it. She’s teetering on the edge, and I’m SURE she will be a Catholic some day (goes to midnight mass on Christmas, educated by Marymount in Iran) She is simply LOVELY, and loved by God–the most dedicated to God of ALL of my friends in High school including the Catholic ones!
              Pax to you and yours 🙂

        • Dan

          Don’t forget the evil one plants the seed of confusion, lust, pride, anger and his temptations are strong….but the bottom line is we must choose Christ as He will not go against our free wills! It’s simple Christ has redeemed us and LOVES us beyond imagination and has prepared many mansions in His Fathers house but WE must chose good vs evil.

          Many cannot or will not grasp that an all loving God would torment most of humanity in hell forever….we think in our terms with our human weaknesses that the evil one takes advantage of all the time…don’t believe that look around! Look and some of the snide remarks given in columns like this where one person or another makes statements or arguments causing confusion and then tell me this is not the work of the evil one.

          Through Christ redemptive action He has given us grace through the sacraments, His mercy is all around us but it is our wills that reject him and the instant we die…our opportunities for salvation end.

          We keep thinking in human terms of this isn’t nice or that isn’t nice…we get to wrapped up in worldly functions, events or other imagined issues and forget about the most important. US and Christ, even if our intent is to be with God if we chose to do evil and it is serious (i.e., mortal) we are the ones who have chosen.

          So we need to always look at Christ and seek his help to endure the temptations of the evil one. We need to focus ourselves with Him and not on all the issues of the worldly. If we are to help one cross that path to do good then do it but do not get hung up on the evil one’s lies and temptations of the world.

          No intention will save us from hell and the other fallacy we fall into this false sense of security for salvation…these crazy thoughts that Christ will never punish most of humanity in hell forever….that is the evil one’s talk and lulling us into his power. That’s why all the craziness today! We are being confused.

          It is not GOD who will torment us in hell it will be our choice our believing in the evil one and his lies and the worldly allurements. So Anna Lisa it will NOT be God who punishes humans in hell for eternity that is not his choice. Humans have “free will” and they are the ones who choose and will be the victims of their own choice. We are the ones that will be punishing ourselves in hell for all eternity because we listened to the nonsense of the world and the evil one.

  • J.J. Francesco

    All I know is that the Internet, what should be a great opportunity for Catholic apologists to evangelize, too often becomes an excuse to flaunt controversy as some big attention grab. It tends to reveal character, the darkside of people. And instead of bringing Catholics close, it becomes a bunch of cliques slinging mud at each other in completely unproductive ways. And sadly, many supposedly Catholic Internet personalities fall prey to this all too often. And it all it usually does is stroke egos rather than actually planting seeds. I’m hardly a “picture you and me in the inbetween” fanatic, but darn if both sides of many debates are starting to become very offputting.

    • Mark Neal


      I agree with what you said, but I want to throw a wrinkle in it.

      I think that the constant bickering is actually a sign that the Church of Rome is the Universal Church, because it is the only institution on earth than can accommodate such wildly divergent personalities, backgrounds, and politics. Protestant churches don’t have nearly the amount of infighting that we do, because as soon as it starts, the two groups split up into two churches. No human institution (or personality) could withstand the conflicts that go on inside the Catholic Church.

      Or, to put it another way: no human institution can withstand humanity!

      And sadly, many supposedly Catholic Internet personalities…

      What is really astounding is that they are not supposedly Catholic – as long as they are in line with official doctrines, they are Catholic!

      I actually find the mud-slinging heartening, not discouraging. The same Church can accommodate different flavors of mud from Voris and Shea, and so many others. She can also accommodate those who have no interest in Church politics at all. And only God could build a Church that can do that!

      • J.J. Francesco

        I actually agree with your points, to a point. I think the problem is that a lot of these personalities DO often go against Church doctrines. (Not going to start accusing specifically but I’ve seen it) A part of me agrees with the idea of the different flavors of mud being a good thing. There are areas good Catholics can disagree on. I just think these aren’t usually what these prominent net talking heads often get the most attention for.

        • Mark Neal

          I think the problem is that a lot of these personalities DO often go against Church doctrines.

          Well, that’s a good point – a lot of Catholics do. I tend to only pay attention to the ones that actually stay within Church teaching. As far as I can tell, that would include everyone from Mark Shea on one end, to The Remnant newspaper on the other, and that’s more than enough diversity to keep things interesting!

          • J.J. Francesco

            In the age of the Internet, it’s been a lot easier to have subtle launches against Church teaching. Even if it’s a subtle undermining of Pope Francis or the Novus Ordo’s validity, I think it’s definitely concerning. Diversity is something I think is incredibly shaky. It has a role to play, but sometimes I think it becomes a cover for accepting erroneous ideologies or counter-productive tactics. And for that matter, I don’t think any of the personalities on the range you mentioned themselves make much room for legitimate diversity either. It’s why the Catholic Internet presence has become so volatile lately. And I don’t think such volatility ever helps the Catholic cause. These personalities seem to draw more attention to themselves and their own personal beliefs anymore than they do to an actual, deeper understanding in Christ and His Church. Two sides of the same coin anymore. And it’s becoming quite disheartening. I don’t really see mud slinging as true diversity. Maybe the Shea and Voris types on the Internet have the potential to offer diversity, but the execution is dangerously in the way of anything like that.

            • Mark Neal

              I hear you. Your assessment is a fair one.

              I would point out that the “Shea and Voris types” don’t need to offer diversity. Rather, they are diversity.

              However, I do agree with you wholeheartedly that the conversation often degenerates into grade-school name-calling and silly caricatures of the other side. Those things are immature and don’t help anything.

              Someone once said “Great minds consider ideas, and good minds consider events. Small minds talk about people.” I think that’s a good quote to keep in mind!

              • J.J. Francesco

                Yes, they ARE diversity. I just think that that not ALL diversity is necessarily good. Both have had brilliant articles/monologues at times that could’ve definitely been that meaningful diversity. But the truly problematic things I’ve read from both (and/or in defense of both) wouldn’t really fall into that category.

                Indeed it often does become a bunch of name-calling, or sometimes even worse, the “bless your dear heart” type back-door insults. lol Painful stuff.

                I think what generally makes it all the more discouraging is the overall commiserating nature of our evangelizing. Everyone is always ticked about something. Granted, we have a lot to be legitimately ticked about, but not all of it. A lot of the time, these laments land with a “well, what do you want ME to do about it?” thud. We complain so much that sometimes I think we complain without even knowing what exactly it is we want to be fixed. This two-sided coin of Internet lamentations is becoming something I want to toss in the fountain and be done with.

                Indeed that is a good quote. Unfortunately, like many quotes, I think everyone considers themselves in the “ideas” category and their opponent’s in the “people” category. No matter which side you are on. 😉

  • Marthe Lépine

    I am not sure if my definition of passive-aggressive is correct, but if it is, this video by Voris would be a textbook example.

    • Ginkgo100

      Nah, I think this qualifies as just straight-up aggressive. It would be passive-aggressive if, for example, he made it sound like it was a funny joke, but it was really a barbed comment.

  • David Naas

    Being a country bumpkin, I have absolutely no idea who this Voris person is. Never hear his speak nor read anything he has said, beyond what is reported here.

    But one thing I do want to know — does he have a certificate from the Vatican authorizing him to seek out and destroy all heretics and schismatic and apostates?

    Is he authorized by the Holy Office to do these things?

    Or is he just an angry layman who is presumptive regarding what he is authorized to do? From both his supporters and his detractors, it sounds very much like an angry presumptive layman.

    • Jared Clark

      Angry presumptive layman. He also accused the US bishops of helping to institute a Democrat Party dynasty by taking care of the Central and South Americans who fled to our country.

    • The Vatican does not believe in scolding heretics anymore, so I don’t think such a certificate exists.

      • Will Branson

        It never did.

    • Will Branson

      You weren’t really asking a question, were you? But even if you were, the answer is easy. The Church is one, holy, catholic and APOSTOLIC.
      By virtue of the last quality, ALL of its members are called to evangelize, which – as St.Paul teaches – involves spreading the faith and protecting it from wolves. Since wolves come from without and from within (Judas Iscariot, Martin Luther), no one needs a special authorization from the Vatican to do these things.

  • Ignatius

    The question is 98% of all mankind that are called actually make it to heaven?

    • Ignatius

      Bottom line: We may reasonably hope that all men are saved?

      • Colleen S

        I agree with some of the points in this video, but find overall it conflicts with scripture. I agree God wills for all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and that Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross – the point of becoming sin, and going to the extent of abandonment to God forsakenness is sufficient to make all things new (Rev 21:5). Still Jesus himself said, “Then they will go away to ETERNAL punishment,” (Matthew 25:46). In his parable about the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asked, “send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire . . . And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us,” (Luke 16:24, 26)

        • I am too glad that ordinary Catholics see through the heresies of Fr. Barron. Speaking of shepherds killing the sheep with rat poison.

      • Colleen S

        Also in Revelation 21:8, Jesus says, “But as for the cowardly, the FAITHLESS, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” the second death is the spiritual death of the wicked—if we do not have eternal life within us–which is the indwelling of the Holy Trinity we will experience spiritual death–and ‘be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone’. I would love that all people of free will would not be faithless, but there will be those that persist in their faithlessness even after death and end up in hell. I don’t know that it is reasonable that all people will be saved—the teachings of Christ are in conflict with that assertion. I do think it is reasonable that God seeks after people, wills for all to be saved, and that extra graces/light is given to help the faithless cease their faithlessness and instead believe In Jesus the Son of God, as “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). But some will be lost–will not believe in him, will not therefore be saved from their sins and will suffer second death in a lake of fire.
        Jesus warned, “Enter by the narrow gate: for the gte is wide and the way is easy that leads to DESTRUCTION, and those who enter it are MANY. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” (Matthew7:13-14)

      • Will Branson

        Out of charity, we MUST hope for the salvation of ALL men, even Adolf Hitler. But it would be absurd to expect that they are since the reality of “negative reprobation” is de Fide church dogma. We just don’t know which souls are saved APART from special divine revelation and/or canonization declarations.

        But Barron is playing games with words. He’s a scholar who chooses them carefully, so it’s hard to think that the ambiguity of “reasonable hope” is unintentional, when, obviously, he should have simply said “hope.”

        Barron tries to wriggle out of the equivocation by pointing out that he said ‘hope’ instead of ‘expect’. Surely, “expect” is what he actually meant, but he shied away from using it, as the foolishness of his Utopian statement would have been even more apparent.

  • Andrew

    “Church Militant could be a force for good”
    Well, that’s a pointless observation, if ever there were one.
    The Nazi Party could have been a force for good. But it wasn’t.

    • MarylandBill

      I think that is a bit unfair to Church Militant. That Nazi party was always centered around being a force of this world; the only way to have made it a force for good would have been to make it something other than itself. Voris and Church Militant on the other hand are trying to be the a force of spiritual good by focusing on the failings of our priests and bishops. The problem is that he does not limit himself to their public statements and even when he does, he often does not approach those statements with charity.

    • Will Branson

      Worse than stupid – if that were even possible.

  • Jared Clark

    “in front of book cases intended to make the audience perceive you as smart and educated, and your opinion therefore unassailable.”

    I just figured he didn’t want to waste time with a distracting green screen effect.

  • Dan

    When the question was asked of Fr Barron there were two other witnesses so what was the point about asking Fr Barron if he said it?

    • chezami

      Remind me not to hire you as an attorney.

      • Dan

        No problem I wouldn’t want to be your attorney. The statement wasn’t about proof idiot it was a question about the point or reason to ask the question…understand or engage brain before putting mouth in gear… instead of just jumping to conclusion about your hard nosed belief.

        • Hahahahaha. Hard to tell if you a mechanic, anatomist or logician, very apt metaphors.

  • Rothbard

    Well, Barron has officially endorsed Hans Urs van Balthasar’s work:


    va Balthasar was a Universalist, so we can comfortably lay this issue to rest. You may disagree with Voris’s take that a majority are damned, but his assessment of Barron is correct. Mark, looks like you went to far with Voris here.

    • chezami

      Von Balthasar was not a universalist. Sheesh. I wish Grand Inquisitors would learn to read. Exactly what Von B denies was that we could know the end of the story. Universalists claim to know.

  • Brian Ingram


    You make accusations about Voris and I quote “unlikely and totally
    unverified piece of pure hearsay,” when Voris said it was
    verified by by people who were there.
    The question has to be asked have you in fact talked to Fr Barron to verify what he said?
    Are you concerned that Fr Barron may in fact have said 98% are saved?
    He has previously made it plain that he at least is sympathetic
    to Balthasar position that we may reasonably hope that all people
    will be brought to heaven, when he refuted Dr.Ralph Martin, Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary (CNA December 03, 2012) position that ” the attitude, much in evidence in the years following Vatican II, that
    virtually everyone will go to heaven has drastically undercut the
    Church’s evangelical efforts.” and that Vatican II, states that “very often people find themselves in a perilous situation regarding salvation and we can’t
    presume they will be saved without coming to explicit faith,
    repentance and baptism.”
    So the fact he might have made a statement 98% are saved” is
    If he has, it flies in the face of the evidence. Between 85%-90%
    of Catholics in the western world do not regularly attend
    Mass on Sunday, of those 10% to 15% who do, a good % do not
    follow church moral teachings such as in birth control. They, and the non attenders of Mass, do so seemingly without any awareness of the grave state of sin they are in.
    When they hear clerics like Fr Barron saying its alright only 2% (like the Hitlers of this world) are dammed, it only reinforces their false sense of eternal security.

    Mark it appears you are not putting your usual clinical thought
    processes to this whole issue, and possible letting personal feelings rule your (red) head

    • chezami

      Saying, “Here’s this rumor I’m telling you I heard, and you can trust it because I’m also telling you I heard this rumor from two other people you have to trust me about” is not verification of anything. It is not my job to obtain denials from Fr. Barron. It was Voris’ job to verify with Fr. Barron that the rumors he is passing along are true. He chose not to do that. He owes Fr. Barron an apology.

      • Brian Ingram

        A rumor involves some kind of a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed. Voris has it verified by what he considers reliable persons at the meeting so by definition it is a verified statement of fact not a rumor. It is your job to verify the facts as well, as you have rushed into print to defend Fr Barron on the basis of an assumption that it is all a nasty rumor, and have then accused Voris of making a ” stupid, poisonous,worthless attack” on him

        • chezami

          Nope. Not my job to do anything. Voris’ job to a) document his claims beyond “Take my word for it, he’s guilty” and b) check with the victim of the slander to get his side of it. He’s done neither. Stop being a shill for a demagogue who slanders good and holy priests.

          • Will Branson

            Voris is NOT a demagogue, but in their rush to churn out huge numbers of videos, CMTV can be sloppy in their fact gathering. Voris had the primary responsibility to contact Barron because he was the one making the assertion. However, for thoroughness, Shea should have done the same. Any decent secular reporter would have met that journalistic standard.

            However, I don’t imagine Voris would have gotten a very warm reception from Barron, had he tried to. Lol, maybe not much better than Barron’s friend, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, gave him at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

          • Xizvlkb Klqe

            It’s incredibly disingenuous of you to claim that you have no responsibility to verify the truth of the matter. You’re a journalist, you ought to be impartially attempting to disprove or verify the claims made no matter how unlikely they seem. Instead, you’re simply asserting that Voris’ statements are untrustworthy and declaring them be “stupid” and “worthless”. But if you haven’t gotten a response from Fr. Barron then how do you know that it isn’t true? The Church has never formally declared the number of people that are saved, so a Catholic wouldn’t necessarily even be a fault for believing that it’s 98% of people. Futhermore, given Fr. Barron’s endorsements of von Balthasar it wouldn’t even be a surprising position for him to hold. So why are you defending him on this? You’re defending a person’s opinion without even bothering to find out what that person’s opinion is. You’re assuming Fr. Barron’s position on the issue and demanding an apology for something which Fr. Barron may readily admit to. You’re defending a person for no other reason than to shield them from criticism (which may be perfectly valid). If anyone’s shilling here, it’s you.

            • chezami

              Innocent till proven guilty. Onus is on you accusing Pharisees, not me. Oh, and he’s a bishop now. Clearly the Church has no problem with him. Just you Pharisees.

      • Will Branson

        Agreed. Not much to argue with there.

  • Adam Hovey

    Correct me if I am wrong, but gossip is a sin, no?

  • Derek Brown

    I think the only person who follows Michael Voris more closely than I do is Mark Shea. I bet you secretly have a premium account at Church Militant.
    Mark, do you really think that Fr. Barron isn’t wrong on this one? Even if you shelf the comments he made at that dinner, there are other public comments that are just as troubling. I’ll admit that Fr. Barron has a good to say and his Catholicism series was nifty. However none of that matters when he teaches grave error and pure presumption when it comes to matters of eternal salvation or damnation. That is a pretty dang important area to get wrong. There may be eternal consequences for those who listen and possibly for himself.

    • HornOrSilk

      Fr. Barron is saying no one should presume eternal salvation or eternal damnation. That’s the point of hope. Hope is not presumption.

      • Derek Brown

        A hope that all are saved = a hope that none are damned. A hope that all are saved ≠ a hope that I am saved.

        For a person to have a founded hope that they are saved is a good thing. A founded hope would indicate that the person is in a state of grace and is contrite and repentant.

        To instill a hope that none are damned, people will not be drawn to the Catholic church. If none are damned, then why be Catholic? What difference would there be if you were protestant, muslim, agnostic, atheist, etc?

        It is a reasoned approach I believe.

        I would also suggest you read what Tim Staples has to say about Fr. Barron’s view on the matter. Here’s a link – http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/are-there-souls-in-hell-right-now

        • The problem with Tim Staples and Vorris is that these mediocre theologians never address the real issue.
          Fr. Barron specifically stated, in his channel, that his view is identical to that of John Paul II of dubious sainthood.
          They call JPII saint and kiss the toes of heretics but make free with worthless minions.

        • The hope that satan repents is not Christian hope.
          To hope that family members never die is not Christian hope.
          To hope that God share His throne with Richard Dawkins is not Christian hope.

          They may all sound poetical and imaginative and creative and openminded but alas!

      • No one presumes or assumes anything where clarity is king. Christ already told you that hell is a real entity, and that many human beings, more than those who are saved, go to hell. This is not a time to practice the virtue of Hope, but Faith, it is here we say: yes Sir!

    • chezami

      Another combox Inquisitor heard from.

      • Derek Brown

        If you have a point you would like to make, I would love to hear it.

        • Derek, you are trying to reason with a calabash, I had better luck with a palm tree. Catholics and reason seem to be at mortal enmity.

  • Mecca Andropolis

    Voris provides us with the gift of anger. Thanks to him I have learned why I should be angry, what to be angry about, and who I should angry with. I cringe at all the years I spent in blissful ignorance.

  • John King

    The Devil is in the details. Jesus clearly and succinctly said “many go there”. Arguing this issue with Catholics is like arguing the real presence with Protestants who otherwise take the Bible über literally but when “my flesh is food indeed” is presented they want to “intellectualize” ,minimize, an ultimate negate Jesus simple statement. In a round about way this way of talking advocates not reading the Bible but to let theologians tell you what it says. WIDE ROAD MANY, NARROW ROAD FEW.

  • Jenn

    Michael voris is an asshole…he doesn’t care about the sinner…he is trying to make the church a club for only the righteous…I have write to his site many times asking for help and all I get is condemnation….MICHAEL VORIS IS SATAN IN DISGUISE….Father Robert Barron and Cardinal Kasper know that the church belongs to the sinner and not to the righteous…GOD BLESS FATHER BARRON AND CARDINAL KASPER…

  • repletus

    Using a private, privileged conversation to publicly attack a priest is not the way of Christ.

  • Jenn

    if we cant have a reasonable hope that all are saved then we should all stop praying for those who have passed on…apparently Michael Voris wants everybody in hell just so he can say he was right…what an asshole…GOD BLESS FR. BARRON AND CARDINAL KASPER…

  • Jenn

    anybody notice that on Facebook you cant write a comment on Church Militant but you can Share??? I guess Michael Voris doesn’t like the idea of sinners commenting….he doesn’t like the idea that the Church was meant for sinners…he wants to turn the Church into a club for only the righteous….it really is sad…

  • Roderick Goggenheimer

    Voris once spoke at a retreat I attended. He said that one of the joys of heaven was being able to see or know that sinners in hell were getting what they deserved.

  • Jules Maher

    If one third of angels, with complete and perfect knowledge choose Hell, do we have reasonable Hope that all humans are saved? Original Sin is a Catholic dogma. Jesus’ answer was not 98% but “strive to enter”. 98% is not a position that Catholics can hold. Strive to ENTER. That means that our initial position is on the outside. The Kingdom of God is NEAR – repent and believe. NEAR! The gates of Hell will not prevail against my Church. What do the Gates of Hell matter if getting into or being in heaven is easy for 98% of the population, inside or outside the Church? I take this to mean that the gates of HELL can be locked on the Church to stop the Church from getting from where we are now to where we need to be. Jesus doesn’t say anything about the gates of Hell for people outside the Church except – believe!

    Your quote: “I urge decent people of good will to ignore him–and to instead support the fine work of a great witness to our beautiful faith: Fr. Robert Barron.”

    This sounds incredibly close to “I follow Paul”, “I follow Peter”.

    Lets face it, Both Michael Voris and Fr Barron are both highly educated in the faith and it is perfectly right for them to publicly debate what each would consider and error in the others theological position. I am all for public debate. Lets hear what one side has to say and then the other. “I follow Fr Barron”, “I follow Michael Voris”. What I think that you, Mark Shea, have a problem with is primarily what you see as a lack of Charity on the side of Michael Voris.

    Now, when I see someone accuse another person of lack of Charity, I always bring to mind analogies such as the following: if you see your child running onto the road to chase a ball with a vehicle approaching, do you talk nicely to them or do you do anything in your power to get them out of danger as quick as possible? That is the extreme end of Charity. The other extreme is expressing and acting in slow and kind acts of love when there is no imminent danger. Then there are situations where you know your child is slowly heading down the wrong road and they just can’t get it into their head why it is dangerous for them. Do you talk slowly and nicely when you know they will just ignore you, or do you try and shake them up a bit to get their attention.

    I believe that in most cases, Michael Voris has chosen this third approach (in Charity). He feels that the world is so DEAF to being nice that he tries to shock a little bit to get attention, for the good of the person and the good of the Church, in this case a person who holds himself to be a teacher of the Church. This is important because a teacher in error risks spreading that error to others.

    Now it would be charitable to consider Michael Voris’s situation. Have you even attempted to put yourself in his shoes? He is in an Archdiocese which is hostile to his work. Why can’t a man of such obvious talent, passion and profile not get a meeting with his Archbishop? He seems to be able to get meetings with other bishops and priests. It may be great to be held up as the “golden child” of the Church. I personally have never been this but I’ve seen my Diocese give this honour to others. As soon as I express my belief in orthodox Church teaching in my Diocese, I am overlooked in favour of people who are younger, better looking, more liberal, more collegiate. I have been useful, never been friended. Yes, I am flawed but this is me. If people HATE me because I am me, there is nothing I can do about it. I really feel for Michael Voris’s situation. The “official” church in his area has rejected him and made him an outsider. They can’t see him as a brother. They have to ostracise him and ignore what he says because they don’t like his manner. Before we judge, lets not forget that Jesus was also rejected by his religious officials and in his home town.
    Finally, I can see from the combox on your sight that he is getting his fair share of slander. There is a fair bit of “Pot calling the kettle black” going on here, just because you don’t like what he says. Again, I reaffirm my point that it is legitimate for someone who knows the faith to debate the theological positions of others. If he says that Fr Barron’s position on Hell undermines his position on other issues, he is just being honest about what the consequences of that position is. It is not slander.
    So are we going to continue with the “I follow Peter” “I follow Paul” scenario?

  • Dave W

    You state, “He has slandered a good man’s name based on nothing more than a rumor.”


    noun: rumour; plural noun: rumours; noun: rumor; plural noun: rumors

    1. a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.”they were investigating rumors of a massacre”

    past participle: rumoured; past participle: rumored; verb: rumour; 3rd person present: rumours; gerund or present participle: rumouring; verb: rumor; 3rd person present: rumors; gerund or present participle: rumoring

    1. be circulated as an unverified account.”it’s rumored that he lives on a houseboat”

    Voris mentions a private dinner between an unnamed source and Fr. Barron
    in which Father (allegedly) said “98% of the human race is saved”.

    First of all, Michael stated what was told to him. What was told to him was a fact that that person, an eye witness, who was present.

    I have seen Fr. Baron, on at least one occasion, during an interview, say the same thing. He is confused and should be saying that 98% are bound for hell.

    Sounds like you are a bit biased here.

    Here is a quote from an article on this site, by Jack Wellman;

    The surprising thing is not that only some go to heaven (Matt
    7:13-14)but that anyone goes to heaven for we all rightly deserve the
    wrath of God but God extends to anyone who would believe in the Son of
    God His grace and mercy.