Patron “saint” of Turncoats.
As faithful readers of this blog know I have little use for Michael Voris. However, I found this kiss and tell post by one of his former employees nauseating:
I was an ardent defender of the Truth, and I viciously attacked anyone who dared question someone like my main hero, Michael Voris.
Four years of living my Catholic faith like that was dispelled in four months. And how did that happen? It’s quite simple, really.
I worked at Church Militant.
It all started on a very exciting June day. I had gotten the call that I was one of the four men accepted into the one year internship at Church Militant known as the Pause Program. It was my dream come true: I was going to meet my hero and work under him. I prostrated on the ground in my room and thanked God sincerely for giving me such a gift.
I flew from home, a young 18 year old homeschool graduate afraid to live on his own, but still incredibly excited about what I was going to do. I landed in the airport, and I was greeted by Michael Voris and the three men I would be undertaking this year with. It was a surreal moment that will always stick in my mind.
It was decided that I would be a staff writer in news due to my skill at writing. I was very excited to write news, and I was very pleased to see my articles published. I was also pleased to see I was well liked, and had even been given the nickname “Smiles and Hugs” because I constantly smiled and frequently hugged people.
But unfortunately, two weeks in I was given an article that would start me on a life-changing course.
I was told to write an article on Cardinal Dolan and his Making All Things New pastoral initiative. In it, many dying parishes were being closed down to save the Archdiocese of New York money. I added several quotes from distraught and sad parishioners, as the angle was clearly to portray Cardinal Dolan as a bad person. However, I made a mistake in the writing of it: I added a quote from Dolan saying how sorry he was for having to close down the parishes, and that he felt for the parishioners who were losing their parish communities.
I was told by my editor that overall the article was good, but the quote was taken out. When I asked why, I was given a shocking answer: “It made him look good, and that’s not what we want.”
I stared for a moment in shock, nodded my head, and then walked away, disillusioned by what I had just heard.
It was at this moment that I began questioning all that I had done and believed in for four years. Two weeks into my dream, and I was having a crisis; not of faith, but of how to live that faith. Deep with thoughts of doubt and regret, I asked for my name to be taken off the article.
A week after this, I began questioning the purpose of releasing the information about clerical abuses (and supposed abuses) and bashing clergy for pastoral decisions in the first place. What was it accomplishing other than sowing deep-seated division in the Church? None of our articles to my knowledge had ever resulted in the punishment of a priest or bishop.
And why were we telling laypeople about these things in the first place? They didn’t have the authority to take care of the issue. Why weren’t we contacting bishops directly to inform them of things they are unaware of in their dioceses? Why was our immediate impulse to tell the whole world rather than to tell the people who could actually take care of the issue?
My head continued to swim with all these questions, and the more I questioned what we did, the less visibly loyal I became in the office. I began openly questioning why we were going to publish this or that information, and what good it would do, in the end. Needless to say, this was not appreciated.
After a little over two months of working there, my attitude and perspective had changed almost completely. I had come to believe that the public bashing (not to be confused with occasional respectful disagreement) of a cleric is immoral. I had become an avid fan of Bishop Robert Barron (seen as nothing less than an enemy of the truth at Church Militant,) and I had decided that perhaps bishops and cardinals who weren’t completely orthodox weren’t terrible people after all. Despite theological issues, I believed they ultimately had good intentions. This was a breakthrough in my mindset which had been taught by Church Militant to believe these men were literally evil and intentionally trying to destroy the Church.
My demeanor changed at this point as well. Through the direction of a good and holy priest, I had come to believe that in the life of the Christian, it is spiritually healthier and in fact more effective in evangelization to have a general attitude of gentleness and serenity, especially towards those who disagree with you. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” he reminded me, using Saint Phillip Neri as an example, and I took his instruction to heart.
It wasn’t long before my questioning and changed outlook on life and the Church was noticed by Michael. Word had gotten to him that I was openly questioning our methods, and at times even asked not to do certain assignments. All of this came to a head in early October.
I had been assigned to do what we called Synod Profiles: background information on the “bad guys” as my coworkers termed them, that would become videos exposing their vile heterodox agenda. I was given eight names, and I began writing them with an uneasy and conflicted conscience. Through the counsel of the priest I mentioned, I had decided not to openly disobey, but rather to give balanced backgrounds on these bishops, reporting the good as well as the bad.
After completing and sending them in, it became apparent that my work was less than satisfactory. One friend mocked my policy of fairness and said my Profiles could be broken down into this (somewhat paraphrased) synopsis: “This Bishop believes this incorrect thing and did this bad thing, and his favorite color is purple and he loves bunnies.”
After turning them in, I was informed I was going to be given more Profiles to do. I was distraught. I had been unable to sleep well for the entire month I had been writing those transcripts due to stress of constant inner moral conflict, and I wanted out. I pulled Michael aside and begged him to get me out of the project. He accepted my request, but took note of how I said I couldn’t continue doing them “in good conscience.” After pressing me on the issue, he learned that I had developed a belief that perhaps what the apostolate did wasn’t good for the Church.
Thinking nothing of it and reveling in my conscience’s emancipation from the project, I went about the rest of the week very happily. However, the following week, I was suddenly visited by Michael and pulled from my work to speak with him in his office.
At this point I had forgotten about the Profiles already, and I walked in without concern or worry, not knowing why he wanted to speak with me. Michael sat down with me very casually, and began to probe me in my discernment. He asked me why I thought God was calling me towards the priesthood. After answering, he told me the reason he asked is because I was displaying a lack of understanding of the Church crisis, and that he was greatly concerned for my possible priesthood as a consequence.
He began to tell me stories and gave me future scenarios of my life wherein my bishop punishes me unjustly for following Church teaching, questioning what I would do in this or that scenario. He told me it had been reported to him that I had developed a reputation in my office for being a, quote, “Church of Nice Apologist,” and that I needed to cease watching all Bishop Barron videos immediately.
To me, what was most distressing was when he said, “Miles, you’re a sweet and gentle guy, but you need to change your personality and become aggressive for the sake of the Church.” Continue Reading