Michael Voris Slams Cardinal Dolan

I stumbled across this video yesterday:

I was a bit shocked, a bit hurt, and a lot upset.

I was shocked, because Cardinal Dolan is a bit of a personal hero. I have always considered--based on the evidence--that he is an outspoken evangelist, never afraid to stand up for the Church and her teachings. If Michael Voris is a supporter of orthodoxy, should he not be a supporter of Cardinal Dolan?

I was hurt because Cardinal Dolan is a Prince of the Church, someone I follow because he has devoted his life to Christ and can help me to be a better disciple myself. Watching Michael Voris' no-holds-barred attack on Cardinal Dolan made me feel like someone was attacking Holy Mother Church.

I was upset because Voris makes a lot of sense and makes some excellent points I cannot ignore. The Church is damaged by a lack of pastoral teaching. Everyone knows this, and I think it is especially evident in the responses to the Synod on the Family Questionnaire which has recently been circulated. Catholics have been starved of any teaching for forty years or so. Instead we have been fed fluffy tag-lines like "domestic Church" without any depth.

Voris is right, it is a crisis, and the Church is bleeding because the majority don't even know what it stands for any more. Is this because our pastors are in a rush to be accepted as "nice"? I think that is a very human thing, and, as the Catechism states pretty much right at the beginning,
The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love. CCC 25
Cardinal Dolan and all our priests, bishops, and cardinals have to walk this difficult line. Any of us who try and stand up for the faith in this day and age run the risk of looking like extremists and it is a really tough job to find a way of couching the Gospel in such a way that it's powerful message resonates with a society which has been brainwashed by secular ideology to the extent ours is.

Should we be haranguing our own leaders, or supporting them? In this day and age of 24 hour news and constant reporting, where every whisper is up for debate, do we expect too much from our leaders? Do we expect them to be word perfect on every occasion they are hauled in front of the microphone? Or should we cut them a bit of slack every now and then?

I am guilty of not always making wise decisions when it comes to criticising hierarchy of our Church in England and Wales. I do always try and give the benefit of the doubt however, and be supportive overall, despite my misgivings. This is probably because as the owner of a business, I know that it is much easier to tear something down than it is to build it up. The tension is always about what we do when someone tries to pass something inaccurate off as fact. As St. Thomas states:

I have a small voice as a parishioner- nothing more. But joined with other parishioners in the blogasphere, perhaps my voice carries a little more weight. The reality is that the above task should be one carried out by our bishops themselves, and then people like myself would not be faced with any dilemma to start off with. That might ring as true here in the UK, but in the US and in respect to Cardinal Dolan? Really??

Of course, if you watch the video, you might detect some political overtones to Voris' comments. My friend Lisa Graas can put some flesh on those bones if you are interested.

In conclusion, in-fighting is ugly. I would rather be supportive. I suppose sometimes we have no choice but to speak out. Protect The Pope is the expert on this of course. For my part, I wonder what we gain from it? Perhaps shining a light shows that you cannot just get away with it. Perhaps it draws the attention of others who are in a position of actually being able to do something about it. Perhaps it just makes any fallible human being who might be a prospective future incumbent decide they could not suffer such vocal criticism.


  1. I respectfully disagree with you for several reasons. May I list these? The first is that millions of people have been led astray by false leadership in most Western countries. Many Catholics quote false leaders to support everything from abortion, contraception, receiving Communion when married, divorced and remarried without annulments,supporting ssm, and so on. Also, some leaders misquote Scripture, the Papal encyclicals and so on to suit their own agendas. As long at the laity decide not to take responsibility for their own faith and their own intellectual Catholic journey, leaders will lead people astray.

    Second, the need for prophets has always been a necessity in the Church and people do not like prophets. Even Christ was not accepted in His home town. Christ, Who is God was rejected for being controversial.

    Third, I support all efforts to purify the imaginations, intellects, emotions, souls of the Catholic in the pew.

    One of the greatest problems has been the compromising of the Faith both in the States and in GB. WE can do something about all of this by raising orthodox children, by encouraging real Catholic teaching in the schools, by learning to think like Catholics.

    When an older person my age complains about the lack of vocations, I say to them, how many of your grandchildren are considering the priesthood or the religious life? We can all complain, and the prophets must criticize, but unless we respond by doing what is good and true, nothing will change. Michael urges us on to holiness, my point four.

    I suggest you read the Doctors of the Church. The lambasted leader after false leader. We just had the feast day of St. Nicholas, who smacked the old Arius (he was about 61) at the council. Who is the saint? Who is the heretic?

    The laity must take over the roles not taken by the clergy, if the clergy is weak. I have written many times that if the clergy were teaching what the Church teaches, I would not have to have my blog. Point five. If the bishops in America were doing there job, Michael would not need to be speaking up at all.

    Remember also, please, that popularity is not necessarily holiness. We need very holy bishops and cardinals. Perhaps public criticism will touch the hearts of those who have compromised with the world.

    Because at this moment, I cannot listen to videos, I missed the one you have mentioned, but I have heard years of Michael's commentary. He is a prophet. I also read Protect the Pope daily, as the Church needs such honesty in order to be made perfect. I prey these men will continue their work, the work of all who went before them, including St. Nicholas.

    This is all about saving souls, not about being popular.

    1. Good points Marie, thank you. I guess I am concerned because ++Dolan seems really orthodox compared to a lot of bishops here. I think it may well have been OK for the Church Fathers to lambast heretics, but I'm not sure how qualified I am, and I do worry that we'll end up like the SSPX. Surely we have to trust the Holy Spirit to lead the bark of Peter the right way?

    2. Well, the Holy Spirit does not come down with a megaphone and speak to us directly, but through the faithful. Dolan is not really orthodox, compared to Burke, Finn, Tobin, Paprocki, and others. At this time, there can be no fudging, only clarity.

    3. I agree for the need for us to be explicit. I would dearly love to know what Cardinal Dolan's response to these criticisms would be. I thought he was outspoken on abortion etc. For example, In November 2009, Cardinal Dolan signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Roman Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences. In 2012, he expressed his public disappointment in the HHS Mandate promulgated by President Obama. In a televised CBS interview, Dolan condemned the interference of the government in, what he viewed, as dismissal of right to religious conscience and religious freedom regarding the mandatory compulsion of religious groups and organisations to provide abortifacient drugs and contraception insurance coverage to its hired employees, while at the same time against the moral tenets of the Roman Catholic faith. After Obama revised the rule, Dolan said the "first decision was a terribly misguided judgment" and said the new rule was "a first step". While noting that the "Church has weighed in" against the war in Iraq and capital punishment, Dolan defended not publicly opposing President George W. Bush's earlier appearance at Notre Dame by saying, "Where President Bush would have taken positions on those two hot-button issues that I'd be uncomfortable with, namely the war and capital punishment, I would have to give him the benefit of the doubt to say that those two issues are open to some discussion and are not intrinsically evil...In the Catholic mindset, that would not apply to abortion." He later said he will challenge any suggestion that Roman Catholics are unenlightened because they oppose gay marriage and abortion.
      I'm willing to accept that he may have offered compromise on some issues, but compared to what goes on here, where, for example, the head of the Catholic Church's Marriage & Family Life at Eccleston Square is a divorcee in a new relationship and has been commended by Cardinal Cormac and Archbishop Vincent Nichols, he is super orthodox!

  2. PS sorry I missed one point, but I wanted to read Lisa's comment first. The Democratic Party in the platform supports abortion and gay rights. The other parties do not. The support for abortion has been part of the Dem platform since 1999. They are the party of death. Even Fr. Z. notes this. We cannot pretend that Catholics can continue to support the increasingly radical left. Our own rights as Catholics are being undermined daily by this administration to the point of coming persecution.

    Those who are not believing this will wake up with not only a completely marginalized Church, but an illegal one.

    A woman is suing the USCCB even as I write for the Catholic position against the abortion mandate in the health bill. Watch what happens. Part of Michael's voice is the voice of urgency. If Catholics think that weak leadership will not lead to out and out persecution, read this--it has all happened before, and in England, legally.


    The time for compromise is long, long past.

    Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn wrote a long time ago that one cannot enter into detente with Evil. That is what too many Catholics have done.

    1. Before Barack got in there were two terms for the GOP and that didn't stop abortion either, so I'm not sure I understand voting for a political party—which necessarily represents a broad spectrum of views from across society—based on its record on one issue. I think given the general acquiescence to abortion as something necessary, if not acceptable, we should be concentrating on winning the argument about why it should not be permissible in society.


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