RealCatholicTV, Creating Reversions and Conversions to the Faith

RealCatholicTV has created controversy among dissident Catholics for it’s orthodoxy and frankl fidelity to the Magisterium.  For some unfathomable reason even some faithful Catholics are put off by this blunt and direct approach.

I for one don’t agree with some of those faithful Catholics because what may seem blunt and direct is actually honest and refreshing.

Souls are at stake and no amount of hang-wringing causes me any lost sleep because Michael Voris states only the Truth.

Those that are uncomfortable with the Truth being spoken should only go back to the Holy Bible and what Jesus says about watering down the Truth:

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

– the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 18:6

For RealCatholicTV click here.

43 Responses to RealCatholicTV, Creating Reversions and Conversions to the Faith

  • For some unfathomable reason even some faithful Catholics are put off by this blunt and direct approach.

    I for one don’t agree with some of those faithful Catholics because what may seem blunt and direct is actually honest and refreshing.

    FWIW, I think there are different emotional and intellectual tones which work better in speaking to different people. While I’m quite sure some find Voris’s approach bracing and encouraging, others seem to find it abrasive or off-putting.

    I think that there’s enough to understand about God that in many cases there can be more than one legitimate way of talking about true doctrine, not because one conceals the truth while the other shows it, but because the things we as Catholics seek to describe are large enough to be discussed profitably in multiple ways.

    To the extent that Voris is helping people remain in their faith or come back to their faith, I would see him as doing good work. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that his is the only way of doing good work and keeping people in the faith.

    So, I think that someone could legitimately think that other approaches than Voris’s would be better at reaching certain people, or even people in general, without being against the truth.

  • Darwin,

    Well said.

    Being part Neanderthal I appreciate Michael Voris’ approach.

    And those that take this approach a different way I completely respect.

  • Do we have a statistic on the number of reversions and conversions that can be attributed to Mr. Voris?

    If so, I wonder how they compare to the number of reversions and conversions that can be attributed to EWTN and its much lower-key approach. I know that EWTN played a key part in my conversion because everything about the programming evinced a love for the Church.

    I like some of what Mr. Voris does, but am completely put off by his attitude toward the successors of the Apostles. Where I saw love for the Church as a would-be convert watching EWTN, if I were a would-be convert watching only RealCatholicTV, I might run in the other direction rather than be part of a Church whose leaders were held in such contempt.

    With Mr. Voris, we see a lot of what’s wrong with the Body of Christ, and very little of what’s right with it. I’m not sure that’s an elixir for creating much of anything, much less reversions and conversions.

  • Heh. I don’t think Voris goes far enough sometimes, to be quite honest.

    But I do appreciate anyone who speaks absolute truth to power. And on most issues he is speaking the truth. He isn’t afraid to offend liberals with his language, and he isn’t afraid to point out the appalling and cowardly behavior of certain priests and bishops.

    He also wages war against the false modernist liberal idea of “charity” in speech, the idea that we must be polite and deferring at all times, even in the face of the most terrible abuses, blasphemies, and sacrilege. This idea of “charitable speech” as it has been promoted by modern liberalism only serves to obscure truth. I absolutely reject it. And I’m glad Voris does too.

  • God reaches people through more than one method.

    To criticize Michael Voris is to bring criticism to your own view on his tactics.

  • I periodically enjoy a good, strong glass of porto. But not on my breakfast cereal.

  • “To criticize Michael Voris is to bring criticism to your own view on his tactics.”

    Again, my comment is aimed solely at the assertion that Mr. Voris is directly responsible for reversions and conversions. I am speaking as a convert to say that his style would not have swayed me toward entering the Church.

    Mr. Voris’ style is good for exposing where there are shortcomings in the Church and its institutions. While I wish he weren’t so harsh with respect to the Bishops, I take no issue with what he sees as his mission.

    The ONLY thing I’m taking issue with is the notion, as stated in the title of this post, that Mr. Voris’ style is likely to bring about a significant number of reverts or converts.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but, again, speaking as a convert who is, substantively, probably more in agreement with Mr. Voris than not, I do not find his style to be the sort of thing that would have made me WANT to enter the Church.

  • Mad bad Jay.

    Too much porto in my frosted flakes.

  • Voris reminds me of the Tea Party: uninterested in bridging understanding, populist in a “take it back from the intellectuals and the authorities” kind of way, and usually right.

  • The only people who find Voris offensive are the priests and bishops who aren’t doing their jobs, lay people who are reminded of the shortfalls of their faith and practise, and certain Catholic apologists who think he’s dodgy. I think most faithfl Catholics are qite happy with Mike.

  • “The only people who find Voris offensive are the priests and bishops who aren’t doing their jobs, lay people who are reminded of the shortfalls of their faith and practise, and certain Catholic apologists who think he’s dodgy.”

    The product of a lot of study on the subject of Mr. Voris’ detractors, no doubt.

    I wonder in which category I fall. I’m not a priest or a deacon. I’m not an apologist. I must be one of those lay people who fall short in their faith and practice. I think the definition is “sinner”.

    Guilty as charged.

  • The only people who find Voris offensive are the priests and bishops who aren’t doing their jobs, lay people who are reminded of the shortfalls of their faith and practise, and certain Catholic apologists who think he’s dodgy. I think most faithfl Catholics are qite happy with Mike.

    Well, personally, I find his overall style kind of abrasive and annoying — though I am sure that some Catholics find it helpful and I certainly don’t begrudge them that. Similarly, I’m sure that many people would find the writings I find most helpful to be overly intellectual and bogged down in qualifications.

    I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader, however, to figure out which of the above buckets I fall into.

  • I must be one of those lay people who fall short in their faith and practice. I think the definition is “sinner”.

    Guilty as charged.

    Ok, funny story from my college days… I showed up for Confession one Saturday afternoon, and I got in line behind my buddy Vito. He looked me up and down with a disgusted look on his face, and said in a disdainful tone: “Sinner!”

    As for Mr. Voris, I don’t have a problem with the content of his message; it’s more in his delivery.

  • “Do we have a statistic on the number of reversions and conversions that can be attributed to Mr. Voris?”

    Zero. I can assure you that Michael attributes every single reversion/conversion only to the work of the Holy Spirit. RealCatholicTV doesn’t change lives, only God does that.

  • “I wonder in which category I fall. I’m not a priest or a deacon. I’m not an apologist. I must be one of those lay people who fall short in their faith and practice. I think the definition is “sinner”.”

    With due respect Jay, this isn’t what we are talking about. To sin against the faith by denying it or watering it down or falsely representing it in public is nowhere near the same as to be a “sinner” in general. Yes, we are all sinners, myself, Voris, etc. But Church teaching and history, and common sense – since that is the popular phrase these days – show us that we must be able to correctly identify the faith, to distinguish it from false opinions and heretical ideas, even as lowly lay persons.

    Voris does this (to some extent). People who hold views that are contrary to those of the Church’s place themselves by their own obstinacy outside of her, and this is not the same as holding the faith but being a sinner – an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, etc.

  • Many people, not just Michael Voris ,think that the hour is late. The time to come to Jesus is now. The sentimental “God loves you” is fine for ages 7 and under, but people steeped in sin and in misunderstanding of the Bible, Catholicism and the Magisterium need help now. It doesn’t matter if you like his style, is he telling the Truth?

  • Lisa – It’s not that simple, is it? A statement like “bishops aren’t holding true to the faith” is correct, but it could undermine a person’s belief and drive him further from the Faith. It could make a person more likely to attend a goofy independent church that claims to be more faithful. It could expose the Church to ridicule. It could lead a person to believe that the problem is too much strictness rather than too much lenience. Casual general criticism is a dangerous thing.

  • I don’t know if “watering down the truth” is the right context for the verse of the Gospel of Matthew quoted.

  • I’m going out on a leg here and saying Jay isn’t a priest nor a nun.

    If bishops and priests feel uncomfortable with Michael Voris, then it’s a perfectly good sign they need to shape up or Lucifer will find a spot on the floor to his home for their cranium.

  • This video is self-congratulatory and shameless self-promotion. It seems that the narrator is quite comfortable with what he has done to convert individuals to Catholicism. Well, if one has read the Saints of the Church that the narrator himself refers to, one would immediately see something wrong with his attitude: he is *comfortable*–he thinks he is doing something better than say, the University of Notre Dame. No saint of the Church has expressed in his or her writings such comfort. Instead, the closer these holy men and women get to God, the more uncomfortable they become and the more inadequate they find themselves–as we can read from holy people like Mother Teresa.

    So in such spirit of loving oneself that seems acceptable in this blog, I’m going to praise myself and my husband. We very much agree with the Opus Dei approach to evangelization, which is perhaps diametrically opposed to what the narrator expresses here. Our friends who have converted to Catholicism perhaps as a result of our influence, have done so not because we told them “in their faces” how wrong they were. Instead, they were curious about something… I don’t know exactly what… maybe icons everywhere in our house, rosaries in our car, shoot, I don’t know. When they asked questions, they were puzzled by how well we knew Scripture, tradition, history, and how well we were able to explain the teachings of the Church. So I would say it has been a result of our actions, not of our denouncement of their beliefs.

  • If bishops and priests feel uncomfortable with Michael Voris, then it’s a perfectly good sign they need to shape up or Lucifer will find a spot on the floor to his home for their cranium.

    Well, or it might be that they feel that Voris would be more effective in reaching people if they spoke about things differently.

    Every so often, I cringe at how people I completely agree with go about expressing the beliefs that we share in common, because I worry that by the way they go about arguing in favor of our mutual position, they’ll end up turning people off rather than persuading them.

  • heh

    I’m one of them knuckle-dragging, first-generation-walking-upright, uncouth loats that thinks Varis is okay.

    I usually see his stuff over at Catholic Cavemen. Do you think there’s a connection?

    Just saying . . .

    Plus, I will not revert to slugging down Dewar’s for breakfast. That never ended well.

  • “So in such spirit of loving oneself that seems acceptable in this blog, I’m going to praise myself and my husband.”

    I think that goes with most blogs. Just look at Vox Nova.

  • ” Our friends who have converted to Catholicism perhaps as a result of our influence, have done so not because we told them “in their faces” how wrong they were. ”

    Are you sure it is Catholicism they are converting to?

  • “Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.” — St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae, 14

  • “16. No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. “All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Saviour, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith.”(16)

    From the same encyclical quoted above.

  • The Spiritual Works of Mercy:

    Admonish the sinner.
    Counsel the doubtful.
    Forgive all injuries.
    Instruct the ignorant.
    Pray for the living and dead.

    Every day, in every way.

    Did I miss any?

  • The Church is called Catholic for a reason — it is universal, all embracing, and there is a place in it for all who are willing to accept Her teachings and Her authority. How one lives this out can vary, as evidenced by the lives of the saints. There are humble, quiet saints like Therese of Liseiux; there are calm, reasoning saints like Thomas Aquinas and Thomas More; and there are forceful, even hotheaded saints like Paul and Jerome. Each one of them manifested God’s grace in his or her own way.

    As someone who tends toward being painfully shy and awkward in personal conversation — and who writes much better than she talks! — I appreciate the talents of people like Michael Voris who can do what I can’t. I can also appreciate people who prefer a more subtle approach. Not everyone will be won to the faith the same way and that is why we have a variety of devotions, charisms, apostolates, etc.

  • I think Michael is talking to other Catholics, rather than trying to convert non-catholics. I think he’s excellent. (like the contributors at AC :)

  • Look, I believe everything the Church teaches, and I’m no liberal, but I don’t like Voris simply because his theology is oftentimes bad or misleading, his ecclesiology is, to put it bluntly, “Americanist,” and his manner is obnoxious.

    But, all that being said, I do have to admit that the very existence of Voris and his ilk testifies to the failure of the American bishops in successfully implementing a good catechesis capable of reaching large numbers of people. So I don’t blame Voris himself for the phenomenon he has become.

    I also think that Katerina’s comments on this thread are to the point.

  • One other thing: Note that, in the letter sent to Voris, the writer opposed the “real” and “true” Catholic faith to that of “liberals.” Now, I agree, actually that liberalism is opposed to Catholicism at its deepest level, and so on one reading of the letter I am heartened. However, it is clear that by “liberals” Voris and his audience do not understand *all* liberals, but one subset of liberals–the kind, for instance, that you find sipping lattes in San Francisco, subscribing to NPR, and reading Commonweal Magazine. This is, to my mind, dangerous, because it conflates the theological distinction between orthodoxy and unorthodoxy with a political distinction between “liberals”–and here, only one set of liberals (we all know who they are)–and “conservatives”. And it thereby might lead somebody to think that in becoming “orthodox” they are (or should be) becoming “conservative.” But this is a category mistake.

    My suspicion is, however, that it works the other way. Self-described political “conservatives” who for one reason or another are unhappy with the Church’s involvement in the the plight of illegal immigrants, its social teaching, and so on, and who (sadly) are rightly scandalized by Catholics who have no problem voting for pro-abortion politicians, find Voris, and they think: here all my preexising political allegiances are confirmed and are redescribed as those attending the “true” or “real” Faith, and they are gratified by this, and it provides them further ammunition against those “liberal” Catholics who (for whatever bizarre reason) continue to downplay the holocaust of abortion. This is all a very complex process, but my thought is that Voris–and Real Catholic TV more generally–merely participates in and exacerbates, rather than corrects, the depravity of our current cultural and social order.

  • Joe, it’s below the belt to question the authenticity of one’s conversion when one has no evidence.

    In the main, Voris is not my cup of Everclear, though he does do good work in exposing the apparently willingness of Catholic leadership (clergy and lay) to jettison Catholic distinctives and doctrine at will.

    I also agree that he’s the product of a failure to defend that identity and doctrine, as well as bad catechesis. To the extent leadership is revulsed by him, they can blame themselves. There’s a market for what the man is offering, and there wouldn’t be one if they did their jobs better.

    That said, I’m a little bemused by the idea that less than full-throated support for MV is suspect. Especially in a Catholic environment. As can be seen by the multiplicity of orders and liturgy, there are many legitimate forms and expressions of orthodox Catholicism, and not all will appeal to everyone.

  • “Apparent willingness.” Argh.

  • “My suspicion is, however, that it works the other way. Self-described political “conservatives” who for one reason or another are unhappy with the Church’s involvement in the the plight of illegal immigrants, its social teaching, and so on…”

    “This is all a very complex process, but my thought is that Voris–and Real Catholic TV more generally–merely participates in and exacerbates, rather than corrects, the depravity of our current cultural and social order.”
    WJ,

    Of course the first part of your post also seems to do little to alleviate the depravity of the cultural and social order. There is nothing inherently “liberal” (philosophically or politically) about CST. That includes topics like illegal immigration. The link to Bishop Molino’s letter on the situation in Wisconsin points out how people can licitly disagree on matters like union rights, immigration etc. There is much less room for disagreement on abortion, however, as Bishop Molino notes.

  • Philip,

    I agree that there is nothing inherently liberal about CST. Indeed, I think that CST is, at its foundational level, opposed to liberalisms of all kinds. (People disagree about this, but that’s my view, and I think it’s well supported by a careful reading of the documents and the theological anthropology subtending them.)

  • CST as presently implemented in the US is the catholic cadre of the dem (liberal) party.

  • “I agree that there is nothing inherently liberal about CST. Indeed, I think that CST is, at its foundational level, opposed to liberalisms of all kinds.”

    “My suspicion is, however, that it works the other way. Self-described political “conservatives” who for one reason or another are unhappy with the Church’s involvement in the the plight of illegal immigrants, its social teaching, and so on…”

    Then perhaps that suspicion is warranted.

  • I’m a little bemused by the idea that less than full-throated support for MV is suspect

    I didn’t write that anything less than full-throated support is suspect (of ones faith?).

    You probably are referencing some comments.

  • Dale,

    “Joe, it’s below the belt to question the authenticity of one’s conversion when one has no evidence.”

    I didn’t question any “one” conversion, I simply wondered aloud if someone who is “converted” on dubious grounds – perhaps by people who for politically correct reasons do not tell them the whole truth about what we believe – is really believing in Catholicism.

    That isn’t below the belt at all.

  • I can’t credit Voris for my reversion, but his show The One True Faith was a big help in catechizing myself once I came back. I learned more about angels and demons in one 45-minute show (the first episode) than I did in a decade of CCD classes.

    I think Voris is great, but I know people who would be completely turned off by his style, especially in his short videos. (These are the same folks who are conservative to the bone but would never call themselves such because they wouldn’t want to be lumped in with the Becks and Limbaughs, whose bombastic styles they abhor.) If they ran across the Vortex, they’d move on in about ten seconds, and never discover Voris’s deeper, more thoughtful work.

    That’s a shame, but as the first commenter said, different approaches work for different people. We’ve already got tons of people using the non-confrontational, I’m-ok-you’re-ok, don’t-scare-them-off approach, so presumably people who are susceptible to that method are already being served. But very few voices were talking to those who would respond better to being challenged bluntly and told that Catholicism demands things of us, that it’s not just a good way to live, but the only way to live. Voris is doing that. If someone had talked to my friends and I when we were 14-years-old about the faith the way Voris talks about it — unapologetic and straightforward, as if it’s something more awesome than comfortable — I might never have drifted away.

  • “K: Our friends who have converted to Catholicism perhaps as a result of our influence, have done so not because we told them iin their faces’ how wrong they were.

    JH: Are you sure it is Catholicism they are converting to?”

    As posed, your question is larded with assumptions regarding the converts, i.e., that Katerina and Michael soft-pedalled the truth. Thus, it *is* below the belt, as it suggests PC trumping truth. Unless, of course, you have specific knowledge as to the circumstances which support the assumptions. I would concede the validity of it as to converts at, say St. Joan in Minneapolis.

  • Tito:

    Fair enough–I read too much into your post on that point. I guess my concern is that a flinching away from certain forms of spirituality, proclamation and practice does not necessarily say anything bad about the practice or the flincher. Again, on the whole, I think Voris does good work and I am unsympathetic to criticism from leadership which has given free reign to all manner of nonsense and worse over the past 45-odd years.

    I have heard that employees of the archdiocese I live in are discouraged from any contact with RCTV, which I find to be grimly amusing given the fact we’re still not recovered from the Dearden hangover. Then again, our current archbishop has also warned against associating with Spirit of V2 (think both missile and council) fanatics like the American Catholic Council, so I’m inclined to cut him a little slack.

  • As a proud Neanderthal, I agree with Tito. Of course, I also know that Tito likes Fr. Corapi. So for whoever wrote that they prefer the gentler approach of EWTN, I assume you don’t watch EWTN on Sunday nights.

    I know many people who are afraid of Fr. Corapi and I admit that he is a little scary, which is why I like him and for that matter Voris too. If it isn’t your cup of tea, that’s OK. Mr. Angelica and Fr. Groeshel are just as right as Corapi or Voris. The issue is the unwatered down truth. The manner of delivery is a preference. What we must agree on is that lukewarmness is vomit-worthy.

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