A cry of the heart towards my friends at CMTV August 28, 2015
Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, sadness, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue, Voris.
The below is my own personal impression of the severe decay of a once most promising apostolate. They are strictly my own impressions and reminiscences.
It has been difficult for me to observe the changes that have afflicted Church Militant TV – formerly Real Catholic TV – over the past 2-3 years. During the period 2010-2012, I collaborated with Michael Voris a great deal. I, with Vicki Middleton’s (God rest her pious soul) gracious help, arranged to bring Michael Voris to Dallas for a talk in March of 2012. He stayed at our house for 3 days. We got along splendidly. He was honest, forthright, utterly sincere, and conveyed a clear understanding of the crisis that has afflicted the Church up to and including the role of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes in that crisis. I was thoroughly impressed and felt I was in the presence of a man who could really make a difference.
In fact, I would say that, until mid-2013, there was not a single topic on which we could be said to disagree. It was around this time however that the various reactions towards this pontificate began to manifest themselves. A priest – a truly excellent priest, probably the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to know – became very concerned that this pontificate would drive pious, traditional-type souls into groups like the SSPX. He gave some very strong sermons on that topic. That was the genesis of the now-famous, or possibly infamous, term “spiritual pornography.” Be that as it may, the man who provides a great deal of CMTV’s funding and who seems to have had an increasing influence on editorial content since late 2012, in particular, took this priest’s pious concern and, through various quirks and his influence at CMTV, turned it into a sort of private war against the SSPX.
I really believe I first began to witness a change infecting CMTV during the latter half of 2013. I have to attribute much of this to that funder’s influence.
It was in the latter half of 2013 that this funder began, privately, sending out a new, very negative position CMTV was going to stake out with regard to the SSPX. I’m not going to argue the merits of that position. However, he tried mightily to win me over to his very hostile view towards the Society. I simply don’t see the Society as being a major threat to souls today, certainly not anything that remotely compares to the dangers stemming from the modernists, the Synod, and this pontificate. When I refused to go along, it became apparent that I’d be more or less persona non grata with CMTV. As such, I was hardly the first. There are a lot of people who have been cast aside as inconvenient in CMTV’s “rise” over the past several years.
The amazing thing is, privately, CMTV staff are totally willing to bash the living crap out of Pope Francis! In fact I’ve heard some of the key players at CMTV say things regarding Pope Francis (privately) that go much beyond anything I or many others have written. But because they’ve gotten totally twisted off on this notion of “never criticize the pope publicly, no matter what,” and the complimentary notion that any criticism of the Pope will cause huge numbers of souls to “fly” to the SSPX, they refuse to broach this belief in public. Which, frankly, I’m fine with. If CMTV wants to privately counsel souls to avoid the SSPX and point out all the problems they perceive in that organization, fine. If they feel criticizing the Pope is not the right thing for them to do, fine. But they haven’t left it at that. They have waged unremitting war against those who feel differently and have spread ugliness and ill-will far and wide, including among many good people who have been in the struggle to restore the Church far, far longer than Michael Voris or “the funder” have been.
I don’t think I’m alone, but I have noticed a substantial change in demeanor at CMTV. There have been many examples posted of late of prior media content CMTV/RCTV produced that appears to disagree substantially with their current editorial stands. And so much of that prior material was really very, very good! Recently, the episode surrounding Bishop Schneider was frankly humiliating for CMTV. No one outside their most slavish devotees is buying what they’re selling in that bizarre exchange.
But when I say change, I’m referring to something more. I sense a negativity, a sort of dour imperiousness, that didn’t used to be so apparent, did it? I won’t say too much, but personnel is policy, and it could be this is the effect the influence of (a) certain individual(s). Even when castigating some grave scandal in the Church back in 2010 or 2011, Michael Voris had a certain……I’m not sure what the right word is, joyfulness, or a certain amount of levity…….that, to me, showed the love he had in his heart but also that he did not take himself too seriously, just yet. I don’t get that same vibe anymore, what I sense is something darker, more angry. Could it be self-interest? I pray not, and wouldn’t say so, either, just yet. Maybe it’s simply my imagination, but I have to wonder if this combat they’ve chosen to wage against “traditional Catholics” has not taken a huge toll. It is almost impossible to engage in bitter combat and harsh exchanges day in and day out and not be affected by it. I find it increasingly painful to watch a lot of their new content. I am heartbroken they haven’t had the wherewithal to step back, take a broader look at their policies and product, and contemplate taking a different course. That doesn’t have to mean surrender. But just let it drop, no one is convincing anyone of anything, that I can tell.
I’ve been watching their Youtube views, in a casual manner, for some time, and while I certainly could be wrong, their views appear to have dropped off substantially. That would make sense, given that they seem to have had an almost deliberate desire to offend a very large portion of their target audience. They have, to my mind, unnecessarily turned off a lot of people who wished them well and would have gladly been collaborators and supporters. Their content has become, to me, repetitive and increasingly off-target because they refuse to discuss the most pressing topic in the Church today. In fact, it seems increasingly hypocritical to just eviscerate bishops and cardinals, even to the point of declaring them excommunicate and demanding their resignations, while ignoring the man, or men, who put and keep those bishops and cardinals in their positions.
It’s all so sad. I’ve avoided writing on this subject for a long time. Maybe I’ll just spike this post, as I’ve trashed another half dozen like it over the past 12 monts. I’m going to post this time as a sort of cri de couer to CMTV to reexamine their editorial priorities, though, based on some inside experience of their decision-making, I’m skeptical it will do much good. I think their decision-making process is a big part of the problem.
The thing is, I know the staff at CMTV have always been very well-intentioned. In my experience dealing with them up to perhaps 18 months or so ago, they were totally focused on opposing the crisis in the Church, working towards a rightly-ordered restoration, and maintaining a constant focus on the good of souls. I’m sure that’s still the case, and certainly pray that is so. Unfortunately, this particular line of combat they’ve chosen to pursue seems to be increasingly undermining the very good they seek to do. That’s the main point of tragedy in it all.
PS – I have often defended Michael Voris against accusations he is a member of Opus Dei, and that it is his Opus Dei connection that drives his refusal to countenance papal criticism. His first major funder/collaborator, Marc Brammer, was certainly in Opus Dei. I used swear I recalled being told by MV that he is not in Opus Dei and has no affiliation with them, but my certainty has waned over the past year. Some folks have brought forth a bit of evidence of a connection. At this point I’m still skeptical but who knows.
PPS – Another thought. We have seen repeatedly in recent years the deleterious effect celebrity can have on pious Catholics. We all know the experience of Fr. Corapi. It is almost impossible – it takes truly saintly virtue – not to be affected by constant adulation, throngs of people hanging on your every word, tons of subscribers, and all the rest. That is one reason I have refused many, MANY offers to expand “my media presence” by being on more notable radio shows, tying in with much bigger, more widely read blogs, putting my name really out there in the open, etc. In fact, it’s probably THE major reason why I don’t, I know who I am and I would easily fall into that trap should I start to get lots of kudos and affection. The few people who know me, you’re fine, please don’t feel shy, but hopefully you get what I mean, it’s one thing to have 50 or 100 people who know who you are and like your stuff, and another to have 50,000 or 100,000, to be treated as a hero wherever you go.
PPPS – I’m probably going to regret this post. I am not posting this to make enemies, even if I know it is possible it will be viewed that way. I don’t view anyone as an enemy, though I know some who do. I want to repeat that I think everyone on every side in this fracas – Michael Voris, Terry Carroll, Matt, Ferrara, Vennari, the SSPX, the FSSP, etc., all are completely honest actors and doing what they think is absolutely vital according to virtue and what is best for souls. I hope this post will be taken in the same sense. May we all treat each other accordingly.
Ah, well……it’s past time I got this off my chest, anyway.
Sorry, it took me a very long time to write this. I’m out of time.