*Note: “objective mortal sin” is the grave sin itself, considered objectively, without regard to whether it is committed with full knowledge and full deliberation, and “actual mortal sin” is all three factors: grave sin, full knowledge, and full deliberation. I’m accusing Voris of grave sin, objectively, but I don’t know with what degree of knowledge or deliberation he acts. In fact, I’m relatively certain that he doesn’t realize he is teaching heresy; his errors are due to incompetence in this regard, not malice.
Michael Voris and Church Militant take a conservative point of view on every issue and controversy. This has won them many adherents. Certainly, they rightly criticize the grave sins of sexual society. But that is not sufficient to make them competent preachers of the Gospel. Many Protestants preach the Gospel well, in many ways, and the Orthodox Christians do even better. But they do not live up to the teachings of the Church or the full calling of the Gospel.
I have grave reservations about their work:
1. The use of hate speech and gay slurs. No, this is not justified by the sins of those being corrected.
See my article: The Hate Speech of Michael Voris and Church Militant which gives examples of hate speech and gay slurs.
2. The malicious condemnation of anyone whose views or actions they dislike, e.g. calling two priests “clerical clowns”, maligning various Bishops sometimes only for inaction (refusing to do what Voris and Church Militant think they should do). This is an objective mortal sin.
3. The vast over-simplification of all theological issues and Church teachings.
4. The dogmatization of their point of view, as if it could not err.
5. The attitude that they, and especially Michael Voris himself, has the role to stand in judgment over Popes, Councils, Cardinals, and Bishops.
6. The refusal of submission of to the authority of each Pope, each Council, and the body of Bishops dispersed in the world, including refusal of submission to Pope Francis. (Numbers 5 and 6 constitute the objective mortal sin of schism.)
7. The rejection of the Second Vatican Council and recent magisterial teachings (mostly by ignoring these teachings). This is the sin of heresy, since it is a rejection of the infallible teachings of the ordinary and universal Magisterium in recent decades.
8. The villainization of well-meaning but misguided persons, in the Church and in society, whose views and behavior do not agree with those of Michael Voris.
9. The teaching of abject heresy, e.g. denial that the Three Persons of the Trinity are consubstantial. Teaching heresy is an objective mortal sin.
10. An extremely narrow view of who is saved in salvation theology.
11. The absolute failure to teach the love of God above all else and the love of neighbor as self. These two great commandments are replaced in Voris’ work with emphasis on socio-political issues, conservative talking points, and harsh criticism of all who disagree.
12. The refusal to engage in theological debates or discussions, because everything they present is treated as absolute dogma, so there can be no discussion or debate, nor any correction of their errors.
13. Inability to accept correction from Church authority, because they have given themselves a position above the Church, to teach and correct even the Magisterium.
14. Michael Voris has set up an essentially schismatic group, which does not accept the authority of anyone in the Church to teach or correct them. They do not accept Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or any teaching deemed liberal. They pretend to have the role to judge and condemn Popes and Bishops, even the whole body of Bishops.
15. Michael Voris sinned gravely when he chased a Bishop through an airport harassing him because the Bishop did not make the decision that Voris wanted regarding an accused priest (who was exonerated after going through the formal process decided by the USCCB). This was a public objective mortal sin, and the video was put online by Voris, as if he had done a good thing.
16. Some say that Michael Voris and Church Militant do good work correcting secular and liberal errors. But I say that their correction is excessively harsh, theological shallow, biased toward every conservative opinion, and devoid of love of neighbor. They do more harm than good when they correct a liberal error with malice, denigration, name-calling, and self-exaltation.
17. Mistreatment of clergy. Every Catholic priest and Bishop deserves to be treated with respect, even if he has erred in some decision or teaching. Calling two priests “clerical clowns” is sinful, period. And don’t tell me that these priests were erring in some way. They were, and that doesn’t justify it. The Samaritan woman erred seriously, and Jesus accepted her invitation to go to her town to teach. And that sin of denigrating ordained persons is even worse when the target is a Bishop or Cardinal.
18. Conservatism is not a religion. They speak out in favor of a conservative version of Catholicism, against every liberal opinion. And that is a serious problem. The correct answer to every theological question is not always the conservative answer.
Jesus did not teach conservatism. Some of His teachings can be considered very liberal, such as dispensing the Mosaic death penalty when confronted with the woman caught in adultery. Some of His teachings were conservative, such as on divorce. Other teachings were moderate, such as love God and neighbor. It is a grave error to turn Catholicism into a set of conservative socio-political positions, angry outbursts at all who disagree, and superficial theological ideas.
19. Jesus. Remember Him? Conservative Catholicism can go on and on for hours discussing the errors of society and of the left, and hitting all the conservative talking points, without ever mentioning Jesus and the Gospels. The teachings of Michael Voris are not centered around Jesus, the Bible, or the teachings of the Magisterium. The teachings of Michael Voris and Church Militant do not have love of God as the first commandment and love of neighbor as the second. They preach a politicized version of religion, not a religion of love.
20. Michael Voris has a position in Church Militant which is essentially like that of a Pope over a Church. They believe whatever he teaches. His teachings do not come from the Pope and the body of Bishops, but from his own distorted understanding of Catholicism. Voris is very much like the heresiarchs of Church history, like Arius or similar persons. He gathers a group of persons to himself, so as to teach a distorted but popular version of Catholicism, in opposition to the actual leaders of the Church.
21. Michael Voris’ understanding of Catholic theology is superficial and filled with grave errors. But he gathers a large following by hitting conservative talking points and railing against liberals and secular society.
Conservatives must learn to criticize their own. Soon Pope Francis will issue a decision on doctrine that will put conservatives to the test. You will have to choose between a liberal Pope teaching doctrine and the many eminent and well-respected conservatives who insist that he is teaching error, including, in all likelihood, Michael Voris.
If Pope Francis teaches that women can be ordained as deacons, do you think Michael Voris and Church Militant will accept that teaching in faith? Not at all. They already do not accept any teachings but those that agree with their own thinking. If Pope Francis teaches that non-Christian believers and non-believers can be saved without converting, will Michael Voris and Church Militant accept this teaching? No. They do not teach from Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium, but from their own minds. They do not assist the Popes and Bishops in teaching the Faith; they teach their own version of religion.
Conservative leaders are going to reject Pope Francis as if he were a heretic. Then you will have to choose between a liberal Pope and most of your favorite conservative speakers and authors. Will you choose to side with Michael Voris or Pope Francis? Some of you have already chosen. Mark my words. When Pope Francis teaches a controversial liberal truth of the faith, Michael Voris and Church Militant will rail against him, teach the contrary, and lead a large number of Catholics away from the Vicar of Christ and the one true Church.
How do you not see that Voris has set himself up as an authority separate from, above, and in opposition to the Church? How do you listen to Arius speak and not recognize that he is a schismatic and a heretic?
Michael Voris has committed many public objectively grave sins, including: schism (rejecting Church authority, setting himself up as a type of false Magisterium); teaching heresy; scandal by hate speech, slurs, name-calling, and also by malicious rhetoric toward the clergy; harassment of a Bishop (the incident in the airport); unjust anger toward those whose views and behavior are contrary to his own understanding. So it is hypocritical of him to daily rant and rail against various persons in the Church and in society whom he accuses of grave sins and teaching grave errors. He is no less guilty himself of similar offenses, objectively.
Why are so many persons attracted to Michael Voris? He has excellent skills at presenting information on the Faith. Why do I object so strongly? What he presents is a distorted, over-simplified, and in many ways heretical version of Catholicism. And in recent years, it seems to be getting worse. He is more and more vociferous in judging and condemning Church leaders, and less and less interested in teaching well, his poor understanding of Catholicism.