|Did you ever notice how fortune tellers fill their windows with religious objects as props? Does Church Militant do the same?|
I have to shake my head over the hypocrisy of Church Militant. Let's go back once again to their April 20, 2020 hit piece on the SSPX. The title, as you may recall, was SSPX: Sympathetic to Perverts. The title appears to have come from a letter an SSPX parishioner wrote to Bishop Fellay about layman, James Simmerman, a convicted child abuser who spent four years in jail for molesting two young girls in the congregation. A wealthy man, Simmerman also settled a $3 million lawsuit with the families involved. CM quotes from the letter to Fellay including the "sympathetic to perverts" comment that became the title of their Spotlight:
Does the SSPX really want to be known as sympathetic to perverts of this nature? Couldn't this type of policy be seen as a magnet to other predators?
The letter was precipitated by the fact that, after his release from prison, Simmerman returned to the SSPX chapel. In the same letter, the parishioner condemned those who allowed such a sinner to sit amongst them. Here's a further portion of the letter quoted in the CM piece:
On this last Sunday, Feb. 21, my family arrived at Mass to find a convicted child molester, James Simmerman, seated in church, with his wife and his stepson's family. He was within arms reach of several young girls. I was immediately filled with a range of emotions: disgust, horror, anger, shock, et al. This is a man who violated and stole the innocence of young girls in our parish (at times in the church building itself!), destroyed families, and tore a rift in this parish …
The man's anger over Simmerman's past sins is understandable. The violation of innocence is a grievous matter that should make everyone angry. But the implied accusation that he might begin abusing "young girls" during Mass since they were "within arms reach" is mind boggling! Is the man expected to ring a bell whenever he goes out saying, "unclean abuser; run away, run away?" Perhaps he could wear the scarlet letter A.
What Simmerman did in the past was evil and disgraceful. He went to jail for it and, hopefully, like Chuck Coulson, had a serious conversion while behind bars. It's happened before. Perhaps the letter's author would prefer he'd been stoned to death rather than serve time in prison.
St. Maria Goretti's murderer, intent on rape, was enraged by her refusal to submit to his lust and stabbed her numerous times. Unrepentant for years, he converted after a prophetic dream where Maria visited and spoke to him. He was present at her canonization where Maria's mother told him if her daughter could forgive him, so could she. No one is beyond the grace of God while he still lives. We are, in fact, a Church filled with sinners. Hopefully we all repent and try to make amends.
Would it be better for Simmerman to be in a parish where his misdeeds were unknown? Isn't it likely to be less of an occasion of sin for him to be among parishioners alert to his past and wary? Is it possible he returned there precisely because of the humiliation it would entail and the suppression of temptation? Would anyone who knew of his past deeds allow their children to be around him unsupervised?
Or would the author of the letter rather shuffle the problem off to another congregation ignorant of Simmerman's past abuse so he can feel self righteous about protecting his own children? Hey...no problem if he abuses someone else's kids where he's unknown.
Wasn't that what happened when predator priests were shifted around by their bishops?
The fact that CM used this case to further attack the SSPX is particularly hypocritical and sanctimonious in view of their own scandals. Michael Voris openly admits that he engaged in sins of perversion for twenty years. He is certainly "sympathetic" to at least one pervert. Did he ever have relations with a minor? Did he ever seduce a partner in sin much younger than himself? Did he ever pay or give money or expensive gifts to any of his partners? How about turning the Spotlight on Michael Voris?
On the brink of exposure, Voris engaged in a self-serving sob story about his dearly departed mother and garnered "sympathy" for his perversion because, of course, he claims to be a repentant sinner. And, besides, homosexuals like him are victim souls. His fan club immediately gathered around to defend and protect him from anyone daring to suggest his CM apostolate, a cult of personality, was imprudent. Meanwhile anyone who supports Simmerman, a real sinner, unlike Voris, -- well, that's a horse of a different color. Simmerman's beyond redemption, and anyone daring to support him shares in his wickedness!
But....one wonders.... Has Michael Voris at any time since his public confession fallen back into his former sins? Is the pied piper of other people's perversion a danger to young men sitting "within arms length" of him? There were certainly rumors about CM's 2016 "retreat" at sea. After it ended, a close associate on the "retreat" (Fr. Paul Nicholson) tweeted a warning that pretty clearly pointed to Michael Voris and his homosexuality.
CM continually accuses those who support the SSPX of acting in a self-righteous and superior way toward others. Meanwhile they have endless sympathy for their own sins, an obvious example of believing themselves to be superior to those other sinners. They, like so many with elitist attitudes, are above suspicion or criticism. So it's eternal condemnation for others and eternal sympathy for their own sinful perversions which include sodomy, abandoning a marriage, and creating a pornographic video game. How many have been led into sin by the sanctimonious superheroes at CM who are "sympathetic to perverts" as long as they are CM perverts? Maybe they should apply the same standards to themselves that they apply to others.
I readily admit that some of what I say here is based on he said/she said "evidence," especially the comment about the "retreat" at sea. Actually I find CM's "retreats" creepy. Anyone who believes people are "retreating" on a luxury cruise ship doesn't understand the meaning of the word "retreat." It's even creepier to see that their 2021 "retreat" on land was scheduled during the Triduum and Easter. I can hardly imagine anything more inappropriate.
Those holy days are supposed to focus on Jesus Christ. To think of Michael Voris making himself the center of attention during the holiest days of the year indicates the ultimate in narcissism. The appropriate spirit for the Triduum is SILENCE, not a series of talks and long Q and A sessions with Michael Voris. I've posted the schedule at the end of this article with all TEN Voris' presentations highlighted as well as his two lengthy Q & A's. Note that the "retreat" ended with a movie night and popcorn, an appropriate finale for a circus masquerading as a retreat complete with Voris, the ringmaster.
The word "retreat" in the religious sense means to draw back to a place of seclusion. Webster defines it as: "a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director." Is Michael Voris your idea of a retreat director? He certainly isn't mine!
Is this all about giving CM, particularly Michael Voris, an aura of holiness and authority as a trusted spiritual advisor? How can you mistrust anything he says? He's led you on a retreat!
I don't care how many trappings of religion CM employed or how many priests were involved, it was a bizarre "retreat!" CM makes a big deal about those they claim hide behind religiosity. Isn't that what this was? And for priests to enable such a charade was seriously imprudent in my opinion. They are enablers promoting Voris' cult of personality.
In view of the fact that CM's coverage of the SSPX is rife with he said/she said "evidence" as well as innuendo and exaggeration, they can hardly criticize anyone else for drawing similar conclusions about them. I have no idea what Michael Voris, Christine Niles, or Simon Rafe do in their spare time. I hope they pray a lot for all the people they slander.
Finally... what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It's high time someone with millions, like those in CM's pockets, investigate their sins with the same zeal they do to others. I'm confident there's plenty to find at Church Militant, just as there was with the pharisees of the first century. Let the investigation begin!
And now...ask yourself. Would you go on a "retreat" during Holy Week to listen to ten or twelve hours of Michael Voris posturing as a spiritual director? I can think of better ways to spend $1200 dollars plus travel expenses. Hmm...I wonder if Terry Carroll, CM's big bucks Texas buddy, attended.
Spare us, O Lord!