Church Militant (CM) has been on a crusade against the SSPX for some time. They've also gone after The Remnant and Catholic Family News, specifically Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara. Why? Apparently because they support the SSPX and are working to "unite the clans." More recently CM turned their cannons to take aim at LifeSiteNews, one of the best Catholic news sites on the internet in my opinion.
All of this appears to be motivated by CM's determination to damage the SSPX as much as possible and any groups who take a more objective view of the SSPX apostolate. What's particularly appalling to me is their designation of all critics as "pedophile enablers." Is name-calling an intelligent argument! It seems that in CM's playbook an accusation, no matter how questionable, must be true if it advances the SSPX assault. They resemble the Democrats in that way -- and Saul Alinsky. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Push the agenda, the truth be damned if it doesn't advance the agenda.
I've been grieved to see the trajectory at Church Militant, because I helped them get started when they were still calling themselves Real Catholic TV. After several years I told the webmaster to take their link off our website as their tactics and reporting became more questionable. I stopped trusting them several years ago.
While they're busy pointing the finger at others, Church Militant has their own skeletons in the closet. I'm friends with someone who worked for them for several years and have heard quite a few disturbing stories. I never pursued or wrote about them, because it was all second hand and lacking any hard evidence. However, there are two reviews on the site below from people claiming to be former employees that seem to confirm what my friend described. But they're anonymous, and that always makes me take things with a grain of salt:
I also read an article several years ago written by a student who interned at CM. He quit after they refused to use a piece he wrote about Cardinal Timothy Dolan where he tried to be "fair and balanced." He said he was instructed to make it more of a hit piece. To his credit he refused and left rather than compromise his integrity. I wish I had saved the article.
Pushing and magnifying the negative, CM's obvious approach, is the same secular tactic of, "If it bleeds it leads." I've often thought the mainstream media actually relished calamities, even "human interest" tragedies that can boost ratings. What a cliff hanger to see rescue teams digging through rubble to rescue survivors trapped under the debris from an earthquake or building collapse! Indiana Jones, call your office! News anchors and talking heads almost salivate over tragedies and scandals. "Wow," you can almost hear them say, "Did you see the spike in our viewer numbers?"
CM gives me that same queasy feeling. Are they really about defending the faith and advancing the truth? Do they love Jesus Christ and the Bride of Christ, Holy Mother Church? I sincerely hope so. But I have a little nagging doubt that their main objective is building their media empire while they demonize the competition. They seem to want to be the only kid on the block. And, frankly, I've always wondered what kind of faith inspires a Lenten "retreat" on a cruise ship.
But there are other disturbing things about CM. It's common knowledge that Simon Rafe, executive producer, developed a sexually explicit video game called "The Dark Knight" and that Michael Voris had a long sojourn as an active homosexual. Would you want either of them to babysit for your children? Can people repent? Of course! But my friend said the atmosphere at CM was "weird," with disturbing sexual undertones and ended up in counseling for post traumatic stress after leaving. Is my friend any less of a credible witness than Hannah, a major contributor to the claims made by Jassy Jacas against the SSPX? Jassy says she didn't believe Hannah at first and Hannah's former roommate disputes her story. The commenters on Susan's post went ballistic about her attacking "a victim." Isn't that getting a little old? Remember the attack on Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford? And the attack on Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill. "The women get nothing out of it!" the victimologists shout! Ford got a book deal and Hill is in the black museum instead of Thomas.
But what if the priest, not Jassy or Hannah, is the victim? Has CM interviewed Hannah's former roommate or do they consider her a "pedophile enabler" like all those who disagree with their biased coverage?
LifeSiteNews has a three part series on the allegations against Fr. Duverger and the SSPX written by Stephen Kokx. It's a model of fair journalism giving both sides of the story. I recommend especially Part III:
Be sure to read the comments as well. Is there a financial connection between the SSPX haters and CM? CM accuses LifeSiteNews of being financially supported by the SSPX. Is that a case of deflection to cover up their own financial dealings? Who funded the building of their new studio?
And then there are all the impressive biography claims. I recently read a blog post listing CM "deceptions." Since I couldn't confirm the reliability of the author, I won't link, but he raised some interesting points. He claimed Voris didn't really graduate from Notre Dame. I tried to find Voris on the alumni list for 1983 and couldn't. I also looked on the Emmy list for those years he says he won regional Emmies for documentaries from1990-1994 in Detroit. I couldn't find any evidence of that either. But perhaps I missed something. I don't have a research staff. Maybe it's time for someone who does to give CM the same scrutiny they give others. In the meantime, I rarely go to their site because I don't trust them. Sad, because they've done some good work in the past.
As for Susan's piece, I thought it was brilliant. I probably wouldn't have included the stuff about Jassy's weight since it isn't necessary to the story, but it wasn't my story. Susan and I have had some vigorous disagreements over the years, but we always treat each other with love and respect because we do, in fact, love and respect one another. I'm privileged to work with her! I'm so glad she said yes when I asked her to join my blog!
I decided to post all except one of the negative comments on Susan's post. Most of them are ad hominem attacks. No one denies that there are real victims of abuse, but the myth that every accusation is true is just that, a myth. People lie. St. Gerard Majella, patron of difficult pregnancies, was accused by a woman in his town of fathering her out-of-wedlock child. He didn't defend himself against the lie and St. Francis de Sales removed him from ministry. Later the woman repented and admitted she lied. St. Francis asked St. Gerard why he didn't defend himself. He said he saw the unjust accusation as God's will and that God would vindicate him if He willed it. No wonder he's a saint! it's impossible for a priest to defend himself about alleged accusations about what happened in confession. We may never know the truth about this matter since it's a he said/she said situation.
You are a very sad sop aren’t you.
I’d change that title to Duverger‘s 70+ fan club... or continuing to blindly lead the sheep. You are a disgrace to your kind.
CM is not ever been a group I could support. Michael Voris I find duplicity.
To "I've embraced the labels"... What are you babbling about? Do you have anything of substance to say or do you just spout out nonsense randomly?
Thank you for all you do. Thank you for using your feminine wiles for good with such vigour! In this effeminate world, where virility is lacking, the grandmas come out and show everyone else what is what!
I feel like writing a positive comment for each negative one you get, but I will offer hail Mary's while I clean the kitchen!!
By the way - the usage of the word "sop" as an insult is common to British folks. Hmmm...
Thanks so much for the prayers, Maria. That is the greatest gift anyone can give another person.
It is amazing to me that in several cases dealing with adult women having affairs with unavailable men (e.g. priests), the women are always the vulnerable ones. In most of these stories the woman does not take responsibility for her own actions. Could they say no and leave the confessional? Go straight to the Bishop and complain!? It is an unpopular opinion, there are also women predators in this world.
You turned off commenting on the other article so I couldn't reply. My name is Caitlin Santacroce and I inboxed you on messenger hours ago. Stop embarrassing the sspx, you are doing more harm than good. PS, my blood pressure runs low, sorry if the truth hurt your feelings.
Thank you for signing your name. I haven't seen your message since I didn't get an alert. I'll look for it. You expressed an opinion, but whether we are doing more harm than good is just that, an opinion. Don't inflate your opinions by claiming it's "THE TRUTH!" As for hurting my feelings, you didn't. I'm finding this whole discussion interesting. The positive comments usually have solid content if they go beyond simply a thumbs up. The negative comments usually involve name-calling with no solid content at all.
Looked for your message, Caitlin -- no sign of it. Sorry.
“It is an unpopular opinion, there are also women predators in this world.”
I’m a big believer in unpopular opinions - with the ring of truth to them. Yes.
I started my path to the Catholic Faith when, in a Protestant Sunday School class on the topic of “what do Catholics believe” I made the daring statement in class that, “even though I accepted that Catholics weren’t Christian, I couldn’t conceive it possible that God would consign Mother Theresa to hell”.
The rage and hate and damnations of my classmates against Mother Theresa (and me) in response to my simple statement of opinion encouraged me to consider further the religion that inspired such visceral emotion. The path began in that class.
There are, indeed, female predators in the world. Doesn’t even remotely excuse the (alleged) actions of the Priest. But context is most useful in judging a situation properly. Yours is an observation frequently neglected, but justice requires we consider it.
I sent it at 11:55am, I'm happy to email you
Caitlin, I'm a little leery about advertising my email to the world. We've already gotten plenty of nasty comments on the blog. I don't want them in my inbox. Why don't you go to www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org and try sending it to the webmaster. I think those come to me.
This posting is so full of opinions “little nagging doubt” and feelings “queasy feeling” and lies “Lenten retreat” that has never been during Lent (I’ve attended many of them) and lack of Christian charity—bringing up past sins that have been confessed and forgiven, that the author should be ashamed to have written and posted it.
Like Joe Biden, you should not be presenting yourself to receive the Holy Eucharist until you repent and confess and do penance for this.
I wa a kid in WWII and grew up with anti-German propaganda, and have never gotten over my wariness with Germans - but You and Bp. Athanasius Schneider have totally altered my view of Germans. Bp. S. is surely a saint, and you are the epitome of courage and love of the Truth. You two cancel out Hitler and the Marx brothers [Karl and Cdnl.]
You two stand firmly between me and the Demon of Despair. May God bless you both and give you an express ticket to heaven!
John S Belmont
John, your kindness fills my heart to overflowing. I will be offering my Masses and rosaries for you while I'm on retreat this week. My maiden name was Schneider and I once spoke to Bishop Schneider about where he was from in Germany. My family came from the Alsace-Lorraine area. So did his. My nephew resembles him so much they could be twins. I hope we are related. I can't imagine anyone I would be more honored to have as a blood relative.
On the whole I think that was a very fair and necessary post. I have one minor thing to add. I don't know Mr. Rafe but a few years ago I did look into the claim that he produced a "sexually explicit" video game. I think Catholics should be very wary of all video games, obviously, but, as I remember, the "sexually explicit" element in this one came down to one line of text that was an explicit but somewhat tame (by contemporary video game standards) and not at all graphic reference to lesbianism. Of course it would be a bizarre red flag if he had done that today, but I assume he was a tepid Catholic when he wrote it and thus I frankly think it's a non-issue.
I don't really understand CM. But like so many in professional Catholic media that have done much good work they seem to have lost some of the meaning, as they say. Whether it's par for the course (unfortunately) or whether the causes lie deeper, I have no idea. Thank you for the post.
Maris, just to correct the record, the "retreats" began as "Lenten retreats at sea." The 2013 event was held March 10-17, 2013, two weeks before Easter. At least they avoided Holy Week.
Here's what Catholic in Brooklyn, no friend of this blog, wrote at the time:
"Lent is a time to turn our attention away from the material world to the spiritual.
"Now Michael Voris and Father Z are saying we should spend thousands of dollars to go on a cruise…where food is constantly offered and there is worldly entertainment such as “live theater and the big screen to plush lounges, swanky casinos and dance clubs”… I would hope that the Voris/Zuhlsdorf group will be the only ones on this ship, but that is not likely. And that will mean there will be many men and women on the ship walking around wearing next to nothing and engaging in activities that are decidedly not of a “Lenten nature.” Not exactly a spiritual environment....
See more at https://novusordowatch.org/cruising-through-lent-voris-2013/
Mary Ann Kreitzer,
Thanks for your continued good work. Can I post this whole piece at the Catholic Monitor.
Sure, Frank, thank you.
Aqua, I agree with you, the alleged actions of this priest were sinful or at the very least conducive to sin. I saw the interview of this young woman and as sinful as these actions may be, they are not criminal. The video ends with an indictment that this priest should be in jail. I don’t understand the reasoning. It also diminishes other cases when there is clearly real sexual abuse. I was also confounded by the actions of the psychologist. I thought psychologists were precluded from discussing other cases with patients.
Arwen - yes, the (alleged) acts seem sinful and very damaging to souls (which this angry thread on M-A K’s blog amply demonstrates ... all sin has this effect on self AND others ... this one may be worse than normal).
But the command of Jesus on how to resolve disputes has been followed by the Society, and my understanding is they took this case very seriously, soberly, wisely - so that the penance/punishment was appropriate to the sin and its damage, but also appropriate toward restoration of all damaged parties (if they have the will to be healed) - which is always the will of Our Lord.
In discussing this case previously on another site, I pointed out how long the lines of penitential were to meet Jesus in their own Confession prior to Communion; how great the sins might be in the line of Faithful, waiting to be healed of their own damaging sins - some of which are quite profoundly evil. Those of *us* who have been healed of great sin and dreadful separation (us - as in me also) have great empathy for sinners like ourselves, struggling with our own demons and temptations and thankful beyond measure for the Pearl Of Great Price which is Gospel salvation through the forgiveness and restoration of participation in the Holy Sacraments.
I pray for both Priest and woman equally - we all go to our judgement where all will be revealed before he Terrible Throne of our Divine Judge.
Mrs. Kreitzer - I pray you meet God in your retreat and are much strengthened and I thank you for this wonderful little blog of yours (and Susan’s). God bless you both.
Mother Teresa was a modernist ecumenist. She only cared about bodies and not souls.
Mother Teresa gets it from both sides - Protestants and Catholics. Wow. As before, that tells me something.
I find her a compelling example of someone who lives as she ought. She chose her life and spent it for the hungry, naked and sick, just like Fr. Damian.
How will we be judged, one terrible day? It is simply a fact that we gain heaven and or are consigned to hell at least partly by what we do for “bodies”, not just souls. We must care for one; also the other - BOTH. Heaven is lost if we fail to heed Our Lord’s admonition to feed, clothe and care for the unfortunate. That is a constant Biblical theme.
That is the simple truth of Mother Theresa that led me on a very long, interesting, dare I say epic journey out of the Protestant religion into the Roman Catholic Faith - WE MUST DO ... NOT JUDT BELIEVE.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matt 25:35-40)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt 7:21-23)
13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. (I Cor 13:13)
It is so very sad to see Catholics attacking other Catholics who are trying to expose the corruption of the bishops in this country and to defend those priests who are being marginalized and persecuted for teaching the true Faith. Michael Voris is not perfect, but then neither are those who are maligning him. Have you no idea how bad things are in the Church? Leave Voris alone and pray for all of us.
I've heard people make that criticism, Tom, but I love Mother Teresa. Malcolm Muggeridge's book, Something Beautiful for God, impacted my spiritual life tremendously. His too, since that experience helped inspire his conversion.
Mother Teresa lived her faith. If she didn't try to convert everyone by preaching to them, perhaps it was because she didn't want to encourage "rice bowl" conversions. I was in her physical presence twice. Both times I saw incredibly profound humility. How many changed their lives because of her? How many became Catholic because of her. We will only know on Judgment Day.
Thanks Mary Ann.
In every parish there is at least one woman, usually middle aged but sometimes younger who gets fixated on the priest. That's why the parish secretary has to be a gatekeeper.
Hi Maris. Voris has definitely sold luxury cruises during Lent. The 2013 one, for example. Theme: “At the Foot of the Cross” (after a trip to the buffet). Perhaps you need to abstain from communion after falsely accusing your host of lying.
Correction to my original comment. St. Gerard Majella was a disciple of St. Alphonsus Liguori, not St. Francis de Sales. I love both those saints and ask their intercession for this blog as well as St. Gerard Majella.
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