Shea vs. Voris (don’t miss the reader comments)

Last week I wrote a defense of Michael Voris and Simon Rafe (a defense I stand by, despite what follows). Catholic News Agency was, I felt, jumping on the story a bit prematurely and critics of Voris and Rafe were, it seemed to me, being rather hasty both in seeing something sinister in his failure to keep up with complicated paperwork and in their demands that a penitent Rafe be punished for writing a role-playing game with a few rather ambiguous naughty bits. I say “ambiguous” because we simply don’t know how the game proceeded.

If you write a game in which a character you are playing does something you know you shouldn’t do and you get rewarded for it, that’s one thing. If you write a game in which evil choices ultimately lead to bad consequences or to repentance, forgiveness and redemption, that’s another.

Many readers were quite ready to huck Simon Rafe under the bus merely because of a pull quote in a story, devoid of information about how the rest of the game went. Worse, even with his apology, contrition, and promise of firm purpose of amendment, a number of Voris fans were not satisfied. They wanted Rafe fired or punished in some way. I thought the accusations against Voris and Rafe were a bit breathless, so I spoke.

This week, however, there is a different pattern emerging that I find equally disturbing, and frankly, related to Mr. Voris’ standard methodology.

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Michael Voris clarifies reported Real Catholic TV “issues”.

First .. the official status of St. Michael’s Media as a 501(c) 3. The article called into question our official standing as a non-profit with the State of Michigan. It reported that according to the state. St. Michael’s Media is not in good standing. That is true.

What the article did not make clear is that this is the case because St. Michael’s Media has not filed the annual reports that were supposed to be filed. That is entirely my fault. I have oversight to do that. I did not do that. The reason is simply because I did not know that had to be done.

Again totally my fault.

When St. Michael’s Media was established back in 2006 .. we had a short term helper who was handling all the paperwork issues with the state. When that worker left .. I did a poor job and allowed things to get sloppy. We are now in the process of getting our records up to date and will file the appropriate back records.

The State of Michigan website that addresses these sorts of issues clearly states that when the paperwork is corrected .. the company is re-established in good standing as though nothing had gone wrong. There is a small $5 fine to have to pay for each back annual report and we will of course pay that along with filing the reports and bringing St. Michael’s Media up to speed.

Again .. totally my fault and I accept the responsibility. I am working to fix the situation which was caused by me, and I will have it all done in as short a time as possible.

Secondly .. regarding the issue of Simon Rafe and his online writings in question, which he has since taken down. I spoke with Simon at some length on a couple of occasions here from Madrid when this was first brought to my attention.

He was immediately forthright and admitted they were his and that they were very inappropriate. He said he should not have written and published them. He expressed his great sorrow. He has in fact issued a very specific apology on the web on his own with no prompting from anyone.

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Submitted by Nancy W.

Real Catholic TV legal and staff troubles come to light

Denver, Colo., Aug 17, 2011 / 06:12 pm (CNA).- Michael Voris, the founder and host of RealCatholicTV, says he was completely unaware of recently discovered troubles within his organization, involving a staff apologist’s sexually explicit writings, and his nonprofit corporation’s loss of legal status two years ago.

“I don’t know what the issue is on any of this stuff,” said Voris, who is currently in Spain promoting his unofficial “No Bull in Madrid” meetings during World Youth Day.

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Editor’s note: Paperwork is the bane of every organization, especially when it comes to keeping the government satisfied. Real Catholic TV needs to work on securing their finances, so they can afford competent, reliable, accounting and legal assistance.

Everybody should send them $20 to help get this done (link).

Then, there should be no further reason for missing any form filing dates.

As for the staffing issue … Real Catholic TV has been operating on a “shoestring budget” for quite some time. Nobody there is making any money, so it’s not surprising to find people “freelancing” to help make ends meet. Sure there was some bad judgment, but it looks as though the problem is already well on its way to being corrected, so “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

Visit the Michael Voris/Real Catholic TV “No Bull In Madrid” WYD website


Visit the site

Reader comments on Michael Voris’ exclusion from World Youth Day are worth reading

Read the referenced article. Then be sure to read all the comments below.

Link

This Week’s Ask Alice: Catholic Church Critics, Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Andy Asks: I liked the recent Ask Alice answer about websites critical of the Catholic Church and I was wondering what you both thought of the Michael Voris Real Catholic TV site. His videos are tough on the Bishops but he sure loves our Holy Father.

Alice Responds: Michael Voris’ Real Catholic TV reaches the minds and hearts of an enormous online audience. You refer to his videos as “tough” while I call them “truthful.” And sometimes, the truth does hurt.

Although he is tough on errant bishops, Voris is equally outspoken about any bishop, priest, religious, or lay person who does not teach, practice, uphold and defend the Catholic faith. Michael is a man who loves God and speaks the truth.

“God is Spirit, and those who worship
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
(John 4:24)

The main reason I respect Michael is because as you said, “he sure loves our Holy Father.” Michael is faithful to the Pope, i.e., the Magisterium of our Church. His Real Catholic TV programs teach about Heaven and hell, Jesus and Mary, saints and sinners, angels and demons, good and evil.

Voris urges Catholics to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist frequently. Voris’ criticisms are not leveled against the Catholic Church, but chastise individuals whose bad behavior provides a disservice to the Body of Christ.

Sometimes, there is a razor fine line between constructive and destructive criticism of human beings who serve in church ministry.

Although Voris is often critical of misdeeds done by members of the clergy, he does not engage in calumny or character defamation. He doesn’t spread rumors or half-truths. Also, Voris speaks messages of support and encouragement to bishops, priests, religious, and laity who are faithful to the Church.

Here is my personal set of rubrics
for determining the efficacy of a Catholic commentator:

1) Does the Catholic commentator acknowledge the Pope as the head of the Church, the Vicar of Christ on Earth and believe in Papal infallibility? Does the commentator respect or malign our Holy Father?

2) Does the commentator uphold the teachings of the Catholic faith?

3) Is the criticism presented by the commentator aligned with the Mind of Christ?

“You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

4) Does the commentator exhibit a spirit of love and forgiveness? Or is he/she judgmental?

“If you want to avoid judgment,
stop passing judgment. Your verdict on others
will be the verdict passed on you.”
(Matthew 7:1-2)

5) Do the words of the commentator unite or divide the Body of Christ? Commentators who are negative and judgmental fail to nurture the Body of Christ. They spread paranoia and mistrust rather than the “be not afraid” attitude Jesus promoted.

A faithful Catholic commentator leads his/her listeners to Christ.

“You will know them by their deeds….you can tell a tree by its fruit.” (Matthew 7:16, 20)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: It’s interesting that you mention Michael Voris, since neither Alice or I rate Real Catholic TV as a “dangerous” site. Respectfully critical perhaps … but certainly not outside the bounds of Canon 212 … and always faithful to the Magisterium.

We also have a link to Real Catholic TV on our site. (Depending on your screen resolution, links appear alphabetically, either to the right of, or just below the main content window.)

As you probably know, during the last six months we’ve sponsored and promoted two different personal appearances by Michael Voris, in the Chicago area. The last one was an all-day “Majesty of the Faith” program, and it was great!

You really ought to see/hear him in person, if you get the chance.

Of course, certain Catholic bishops and/or their diocesan staff members have been known to have opinions to the contrary … but there’s not too much we can do about that.

More about Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Report from Rome: Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV on the Catholic blogging conference


Watch the video

Editor’s note: See my earlier article on the subject here.