Thoughts on the End of Church Militant

Thoughts on the End of Church Militant March 2, 2024

I found out today that the notorious Catholic tabloid known as “Church Militant,”  will be shutting down in April.

This news comes after they lost a defamation lawsuit brought against them by Father Georges de Laire, whom they baselessly slandered, posting an article full of lies by an anonymous source that turned out to be a canon lawyer for the Saint Benedict Center. Today, the law firm representing Father de Laire put out a press release which has been circulating all over social media:

For immediate release:
Father Georges de Laire, the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Manchester, N.H., has won his defamation lawsuit against St. Michael’s Media, publisher of Church Militant. Church Militant agreed to the entry of a judgment against it in the amount of $500,000 and to issue a public apology to Father de Laire expressing its regret for not properly vetting a story written by Canonist Marc Balestrieri and published in January 2019 titled “NH Vicar Changes Dogma Into Heresy.” St. Michael’s Media has also represented that it will cease all operations of Church Militant by the end of April 2024.
Church Militant and Mr. Balestrieri claimed in the article to have talked to a number of anonymous sources who allegedly made negative comments about Father de Laire both personally and professionally. During the lawsuit, in which Mr. Balestrieri failed to appear to defend the claims against him or to appear at his deposition after committing on the record in Court to do so, the defendants were unable to identify a single source who said anything negative about Father de Laire.
To the contrary, the evidence established that Father de Laire is highly regarded by all who know him, and that Mr. Balestrieri manufactured a controversy because at the time he was representing the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, NH. The group had been placed under Precepts by the Diocese of Manchester because of their nonobservance of Church law, according to the Church. The defamation was used, apparently, as an attempt to discredit Father de Laire and the Diocese and to raise funds including to pay for Mr. Balestrieri’s services as a canonist. At Mr. Balestrieri’s insistence, his authorship of the article at issue was hidden from readers. Father de Laire’s lawsuit forced the disclosure of these facts about Church Militant and Mr. Balestrieri.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, please contact Howard M. Cooper, Esq., at Todd & Weld LLP, Boston, MA, 617-720-2626 or hcooper@toddweld.com.
Church Militant is holding a lent liquidation sale with the promise to not replenish their inventory, and they have posted an apology to Father DeLaire .

This comes straight on the heels of none other than the Washington Post reporting that Michael Voris was canned for sexually harassing his staff by habitually sending them racy gym selfies, which confirms the allegations his former employees made late last year. The man and his scandal rag have been thoroughly trounced. The bully got his comeuppance. It’s really is over.

Church Militant will no longer be able to make money off of their phony “apostolate” by lying about people and fomenting moral panics.

This welcome news comes far too late for all the innocent Catholics who were subject to abuse and harassment by the personality cult that laps up Church Militant’s lies.  My friends who have lost jobs and reputations can’t get those back. But at least it’s over.

I hope that Michael Voris takes a good hard look at the humiliation he’s no doubt suffering right now, with his reputation and career in shambles, and thinks about how he’s behaved towards others for all of these years.

I wish that everyone who held Church Militant in such high esteem would look upon the idol they worshipped, and learn a lesson.

I’ve been told for months now that Church Militant was “under spiritual attack.” When in fact, Voris and Church Militant ARE the spiritual attack. They were raking in money by committing the sins of calumny and detraction, subjecting their fellow Catholics to abuse, leading people to fear their neighbors and relish scandals instead of keeping their eyes on Jesus.

That’s such an easy vice to fall into: the big gate and the wide road of jumping on the victims of a pile-on instead of following Jesus. It’s so delightful to feel like a good person, precisely because you’ve been poisonous to somebody else. Scandalmongers who peddle their gossip in the name of Jesus do very well, because it’s fun to pretend that being horrible to others makes you a good Christian. What an easy religion that would be. What a cheap grace. What a terribly small god.

Christ Himself did the opposite of Church Militant. When people in his culture were victims of a stigma, he spoke up for them. He befriended and protected people caught in sexual scandals. He was eventually sold for money and destroyed with lying testimony, just like Church Militant’s victims.

And now they can’t do it anymore.

I guess that makes it a good day, though it’s far too late in coming.

Let’s all try to make it a better world.

 

 

Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.

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