Thursday, July 17, 2014

With All Due Respect, Michael Voris, You Cannot Put Lipstick On A Pig

Well, you can try, but you'll only engage in an exercise in futility.  In today's Vortex, he tries to chide those of us who are rightly concerned about the nonsense spewing forth from the Vatican.  Voris trips all over himself while so doing.  I'll elaborate before I post the video.
  • Look at the title: "The Most Misunderstood Pope In History".  Doesn't that make you want to ask why, in all the church's 2000-year history, Pope Francis has earned this title?  Please don't blame it on the internet and blogs, for they were in force during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.  These two pontiffs never had too much trouble making themselves understood (efforts of left-wing media notwithstanding).
  • From 1:03 on, we hear an apology (?) for the pope's "off-hand way of talking".  "Does he guard his words and consider that he should be much more circumspect in what he says and to whom?  Well, it's just clear that's not his style...That's who he is.  He has become the most ill-quoted and misrepresented pope in the history of the church".  Leaving aside (for the moment) the exaggeration in that last sentence, can we see "cause and effect" being made plain?  If anyone is careless in his speaking and with whom he speaks, he can expect all sorts of misquotes and misinterpretations to ensue.  These misquotes, etc are an expected result of sloppiness in communication.  That's true for anybody, as common sense dictates.  When the speaker holds a position of great responsibility, his/her moral responsibility for misunderstanding increases commensurately for greater is the damage that can be done.
  • Let's elaborate on the "that's not his style" quip.  For now I'll consider Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, for they too dealt with hostile newsprint and electronic social media.  I'm quite certain that both men had their own "styles".  However, it seems to me that they never let their "styles" dominate their considerations in how best to communicate their message.  They were willing to lay their "styles" aside so that the truths that they were trying communicate would not be obfuscated by delivery styles.  They no doubt hoped to minimize any media distortion.
  • At 1:26, he continues.  "Does he need to stop talking to so many people in such an off-handed fashion?  Well, that argument might be easily made, but face it, he's not gonna do that; that's not who he is."  We'll stop right there.  His "off-handed fashion of talking" is not an indelible feature of "who he is", any more than it would be for any of us.  What is now an indelible feature of "who he is" is that he is the Vicar of Christ.  He holds great responsibility.  Granted, not all - in fact, very few - of his words will bear the weight of Church teaching.  BUT many will place great stock in the most careless quip he utters.  Right or wrong, that's a fact; will His Holiness continue to cause scandal to them? 
  • At 2:04 he mentions the interview (second one) with Scalfari and the subsequent "Vatican clarifications".  He opines that the list  of speculations is growing monotonous.  Be that as it may, please review the three previous "bullet points" for the most probable causes behind this malady.
  • At 3:21 he states that "even the Vatican itself doesn't know what the Pope said and then has to run around to find out what he said, who he said it to, and put out all kinds of fires whipped up in part by Catholics".  The first part of that sentence may well be correct.  It does seem like internal communications in the Vatican are an abysmal disaster.  Why doesn't the Vatican know what he said?  Without that basic knowledge, how can adequate translations be prepared in any timely fashion?  It is that disheveled state of affairs that is the cause of "all kinds of fires", not the Catholics who dare to notice and state what is all too achingly obvious.
  • At 3:40 he mentions the interview regarding "civil unions".  Noting the various definitions that different nations place on given terms, might it not have been prudent of His Holiness to at least alert his communication office so that they could have prepared appropriate and timely translations?  That might have helped prevent some of the hub-bub that Voris decried.
Moral of story?  Pray that the pope learn from these disasters and take responsibility for what issues forth from his mouth.  Real spiritual peril can result.

By the way - recall the first Scalfari interview?  You know, the one that really wasn't an interview for it had not been reviewed by the Vatican but still managed to be posted to the Vatican website?  It was pulled down in short order - but guess what?  After the subsequent interview a week or two ago, the first interview reappeared on the Vatican website.  Father Zuhlsdorf's blog has more detail - and today it came down again!  Is there any kind of coordination in that office?  I wrote a little ditty to (dis)honor this state of affairs; it can be sung to "The Hokey-Pokey".  I'll post it before the Vortex.

They put the interview in.
They pull the interview out.
They put the interview in,
And they spin it all about.
They spew Lombardi's nonsense
And they turn it inside out.
That's what it's all about!


  1. Julie from Connecticut Catholic Corner has similar thoughts. See my right side bar or

  2. Well said Janet. You know I agree. And thanks for the shout out to my blog. :)

    In Christ,

    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  3. You're right, enough with the excuses for the Pope, he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

  4. Acting and speaking like a Pope is just not Pope Francis style. He accepted the job but it is not who he is. He is someone who wants to say every thought that pops into his head even when it is inconsistent with 2000 years of theology or will confuse and mislead.

    Michael's entire apostolate is criticizing priests, bishops and Cardinals who confuse and mislead.

    Isn't that their style?

    Isn't that just who they are?

    I give Michael a lot of credit for criticizing ordained men who mislead but he doesn't have the courage to speak honestly about the most important one. His dance around it comes across to me as farcical.

    1. TTC, I am not aware of how much you may have touched Catholics and, well, everyone else. I believe he has and continues to be reaching so very many souls...strengthening them in the Faith, teaching the One True Faith, and growing them in the Faith. I believe your statement, "...but he doesn't have the courage to speak honestly about the most important one..." is in error. That Michael Voris doesn't have the courage comes across to me as farcical. Perhaps you don't understand his holding something sacred since that has been the way since the days of Sonny & Cher. Perhaps you will grow to understand. God love you, Mariann (a grateful fan)

  5. Methinks, mylady, thou doth protest too much. Comparing Pope Francis with Pope St. John Paul II doesn't work because our Sainted Pope spoke many languages, English being one, as I recall. Comparing Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI with Pope Francis reminds me of a joke I heard Fr. Emmerich Vogt tell...

    ...Heaven is where the Germans run the trains, the French do the cooking, the Italians are the lovers and the British are the police
    ...Whereas, hell is where the Italians run the trains, the Germans are the lovers, the British do the cooking, and the French are the police

    Not comparabe--the intellectual Pope with the Spanish lover, who loves to talk.

    As I watched the Vortex last evening, I couldn't help but think how you were preparing to pick every utterance apart...and you didn't disappoint. I repeat from an earlier blog for it continues to be relevant...but 2 things first...Pope Francis has NOT changed Church Dogma (but it almost appears as though Catholic bloggers are hopeful so they can jump up and down saying, "You see! We told you so all along...we were right, we were right!") By commenting on Pope Francis' translated words every few days, you do harm to your soul and others. He is not an American Bishop who speaks word-for-word our language. Also, social media has continued to progress way beyond Pope St. John Paul II. Again, look to your own soul for we will be held accountable for all of our words...

    Making up cute little ditties is easy...
    -This old man
    He's our Pope
    -You are not
    so here's my hope
    -With a knick-knack paddywhack
    leave our Pope alone
    -He sits on the chair
    in Rome.
    "You do such great work (ok, so you know it's coming), BUT must you pounce with every utterance our Holy Father makes? You state, "In the eyes of so many, every deed and utterance is taken as God's holy will for the Church." I was one of those many and rebuked quite a few times before seeing my error. At first, it angered me because I so totally agreed with those words. Eventually, I realized the roller coaster journalists and bloggers had placed me on...palpitations caused by, "Pope Francis confirms ...blah, blah, blah" and then, "In an interview today, Pope Francis stated who is he to judge...blah, blah, blah" Up and down, round and round! Why? God's blessing upon a good-natured man! Reform begins with self...see our Holy Father with renewed eyes and know peace.

    Catholic bloggers...please give up being chicken littles regarding Pope Francis.
    God bless you and your loved ones. Keep up the good fight where fighting is necessary.

    1. "Must I pounce on every utterance"? Here we have an example of the fallacy of multiplication. Unless you can prove that I do indeed pounce on EVERY utterance you must retract that statement for that is a lie - a lie that I will NOT allow to be published here again.

      Another blogger (I'm sure you read her piece) made an excellent point. When one accepts a vocation, they give up many things they "love" in order to better pursue their vocation. Parents give up their nights on the town, for example, to be there for their children. If any trait does not facilitate the execution of a vocation, well, it has to be laid aside - including indiscriminate talking, that Voris agrees is an issue with our Holy Father. His imprudent "interviews" have done much damage; we pray that they be curtailed. Until that happens, we will continue to shed light on problems to illustrate that these problems do NOT constitute Magisterial teaching.
      You seem to be intent on shutting me (and others) up. Mariann, that's not going to happen. If you wish to keep your rose-colored glasses on, I'm sure there are plenty of other sites that would be more to your liking.

    2. I see that I have angered you. First, I apologize for that was not my intent. Please forgive me. Second, I don't have time to look up fallacy of multiplication, but I will say that I retract the statement, "Must you pounce on every utterance?" It is an exaggeration. When I respond to a blog (which I don't read many), I compose...perhaps if I were more clear and not so much enjoying myself composing, I wouldn't have angered you. If you choose not to publish me again, well, that is your job, and I understand...more in a minute...many interruptions on this end.

    3. I disagree with the other blogger (no I read few blogs, so I did not read her piece) regarding the Pope's vocation. Again, that all sounds a bit like ... if the Pope doesn't fit this model, then we are required to blast him and right each of his wrongs. Harsh words, but that is my impression of what I was seeing on so many blogs. If what you say is true, "...we will continue to shed light on problems to illustrate that these problems do NOT constitute Magisterial teaching...' Not that you are looking for approval from me or anyone else, but I'm not certain any right minded person would argue with what appears to be well intended. But there is a line that gets crossed far too times it is a mean-spiritedness, at other times, mocking, etc. It seems to be against bloggers rules to hold the Pope in a place that is the visible Head of the Body of Christ on earth. That is my utmost concern for all who speak or write/blog about the Holy Father. One thing to point out errors being stated or reported as stated and on and on, and reminding others that Church teaching states...which will be fruitful. But, it is quite another thing to use sarcasm, jibes, and clever ditties. That is probably why it has started to sound like chicken littles (and God bless you, since as I've said before, I've cut way back on reading blogs, and since I really enjoy yours and most times come away quite informed, you are the one I address and perhaps am dumping on you ... that is wrong of me.)

      So, that is my reasoning...I hope you are able to follow it because I drive some not A.D.D. people crazy with the path of reason I follow.

      As to your final statements, being a mom and former homeschooler (2 in college and 2 finalizing their education at a fine school of autism), I have much professed the Thumper rule of courtesy..."If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nuthin' at all." Inform without mudslinging is worthwhile considering.

      Finally, aside from Vic's Thinking Catholic/Catholic Thinker blog, I rarely visit other sites. However, this being your blog, I will do as you bid. If you are saying, "Don't let the doorknob hit you where the Good Lord split you," I will skedaddle. Please let me know.

      Thanks for your excellent work. God bless you and your loved ones, Mariann (a.k.a. Rosey)

  6. I love when the disruptors come in with long well scripted posts.
    Mark Shea would be proud.

    1. Well, I'm guessing you are referring to me since all other comments were the high-five type. To disagree, to speak out of concern for another's soul as well as those souls who may read this blog and others like it, is what you call a "disruptor?" Of course, you did not reply directly to me nor did you use my name, so perhaps I'm wrong. If you are replying or just sarcastically slapping, you may address me...I am Mary's child, Mariann.

    2. Nope, I don't bother to "address by name" those who pop onto blogs with nothing but open disdain.
      The dripping sweetness, the Ipecac pseudo-Christianity, along with the nose-up, better than thou "concern for souls" may work with some readers, but actually, I find it amusing and just a bit cheesy. No, I take that back, a lot cheesy. Best to get another cookie from mom and let the adults handle things here, Child.

    3. Wow! Do you know disdain well...perhaps better than most. "dripping, ipecac pseudo-, nose-up, better than thou, "concern for souls"...a lot cheesy, best to get another cookie from mom...and that was just 3 sentences worth of disdain. Since you don't know me, Mom's been dead about 8 years or so, now (she died at the age of 85), and is no longer a cookie source.

      That was your first response...twitter like...done in whatever many words or less? or is that facebook? No, we don't do television, nor tweets, nor faces in a book, so sometimes people respond with more words than you may be accustomed to, Netmilsmom.

      Yes, seriously. "You may address me... was the formal (meaning those with whom you are unfamiliar) courtesy used before informal with all became so popular. Once again, it appears your response is many words or less? Then to end it with, "The write up here is absolutely correct," is unconvincing.

      If you would like to read my reasons, they may not be clear, but just ask for clarity, with some level of kindness. I believe I copied them in from a previous blog so you wouldn't have to look very far. Netmilsmom, I am sincere in what I have said and I did last time but perhaps not this blog try to explain why I am concerned with souls regarding careless words about Pope Francis' possible careless words, as well as, what I experienced, was freed from, and what I hope bloggers will be more cautious of as they share.

      Also, if you look back at my comments on this blog, you'll see they are 95% supportive and in agreement.

      Mariann, not pseudo, but authentically Catholic and grateful to be

    4. Well no, actually my first response was "I love when the disruptors come in with long well scripted posts.
      Mark Shea would be proud."
      Yes, I have total disdain for disruptors. The people who buddy up then come in for the kill. It takes patience to build the security then get that dig in, I've got to give you that, Child. But I don't get into tinkling matches with them. Just point them out and let others see them for what they are. Bless your Heart.

  7. "You may address me...." Seriously?
    No, I Love all disruptors. On a general basis, I love MV, but he has an expansion to finance and new people to pay right in my area. He is spot on most times, but should just let the Pope thing lie. The write up here is absolutely correct.

  8. Michael Voris has an intentional blind spot when it comes to Pope Francis. However, the misunderstanding and confusion that have developed from the Pope’s reported activities and comments have become untenable and Voris knew he had to say something, no matter how intelligible.

  9. No, Netmilsmom, you are wrong about have not done your homework. First, I love this is an excellent source of news. Second, up until a few months ago, I was critical and questioning of Pope Francis being sucked in first by Fr. Z's blog (which I no longer read). Third, I was admonished by a few fellow Catholics for a few months as to the harm I was causing by commenting on reported words of Pope Francis. Once I took their words to prayer, I realized they were absolutely correct...scales falling from my eyes that I believe you have allowed to cover yours. So, with all your knowledge, experience, and venom, you will continue to slap down and hold in contempt those that disagree with you. How sad that you even end with a sarcastic blessing.

  10. I think we all know where each other stands regarding speaking the truth as opposed to playing the three monkeys with regards to missteps by the pope - both verbal and actions. Mariann, please accept that this blog does NOT have "scales on its eyes" as we point out what the pope said and did.

    At this point I will now close comments on this post. Thanks for your thoughts.