Saturday, November 07, 2015

Fr. Blake on "Michael Voris the American Polemicist"

Fr. Ray Blake, "Michael Voris the American Polemicist" (Fr. Ray Blake's Blog, October 26, 2015).

Some genuine positives here, including his appreciation of Voris' reporting from Rome; his attempt to disambiguate Voris's critique of Benedict; some very good analysis of behind-the-scenes politics involving the Vatican secretary of state.

But also some dubious bits, beyond the perfunctory knee-jerk "Don't you find Michael Voris 'STB,' the most irritating man?" (That's a grandstanding cheap shot, Father, I'm sorry to say; and particularly sad when the Church has imploded to the point that the cheers and boo's of our "grandstands" are little more than tempests in a tiny teapot.)

Other dubious bits ... SUCH AS the well-intentioned but limping attempt to salvage Cardinal Dolan's role in the Gay Pride Day St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC; the too facile contrast between the "black-and-white" "American" "conservatism" of Voris vis-a-vis Fr. Blake's own "European" "trad" position; or the bald statement that Benedict "believed in the Tradition" (well, of course, it depends on what one means, doesn't it; as when we try to interpret what the emeritus pope meant by declaring Gaudium et spes the "Counter Syllabus"...).

Well, I usually love Fr. Ray's columns. Wish I could say more here; but I've gotta run. God bless.


John L said...

If Voris was a private person, the comment about his being annoying would be out of line; since he's a media figure, it's fair game.

Pertinacious Papist said...

I get THAT distinction, John. What I find objectionable is not the fact that he finds Voris annoying or even so much that he says so; but that he solicits an expected like-minded response from his audience ("grandstanding").

It's like standing in a room full of Republicans and saying "Isn't the empty suit, Obama, just the most annoying person?" or in a room of Democrats and saying "Isn't that moron, "W." Bush, just the most annoying person?" It's gratuitous.

Voris, while not a traditionalist in any full-blown sense, is sharply critical of the "mainstream Catholic media" and their "cheer-leading" for the "everything is awesome" view of the Church (which is what most "conservative" Catholics like). As Fr. Blake says, he's a "polemicist." He's going to be controversial.

But the sort of gratuitous ad hominem remark he makes about Voris' personality being "annoying" is untoward and rude, no matter what is "fair game" of public personae. It's just a cheap shot.

Anonymous said...

Boris is a little flamboyant, no doubt. But then I guess he has got to be to make a dent in the clerically-maintained EverythingIsAwesome casing that protects all things institutional. If Fr. Blake does not get that, he doesn't appreciate the state of play in the States. And he obviously doesn't, since his comment on Dolan is so ludicrous it undercuts the everything that goes before.

Voris has annoyed me with his attitude towards the Pope and the SSPX, but those wrinkles hardly effect the tremendous amount of good he is doing. On the web, no one else comes close except for Rorate Caeli, which eschews video, and Fr. Barron, who becomes increasingly like a cross between George Weigel and John Allen by the year. So he fills a real need.

Charles said...


Boris, or Voris (LOL), "Flamboyant"? I think what sometimes gets under my skin just a tad is how he broad-brushes issues. I understand that he has only a few short minutes in his "Vortex" episodes. I understand that. But still, when he contrasts Catholicism as "the only true faith" with "every other religion is false," that comes across in a way that makes him look retarded, like he can't be taken seriously.

It's not that I don't think that the Catholic faith is uniquely true. It is. But consider this. Jews are monotheists and accept the ten commandments. Is that "false" too? C'mon, Michael. I know you've got limited time, but present yourself a little more credibly, would ya?!

On the other hand, I totally agree with the rest of what you say. He fills a needed niche; even though he is annoyingly uncharitable towards the SSPX, etc. As you say, nobody else comes close, except Rorate, whom he indirectly criticizes as one of those blogs that is constantly criticizing the pope. But someone needs to!

Still, Voris is about all we've got between Rorate and some other traditionalist sites. I can't stand Weigel or EWTN (though I have to hand it to R. Arroyo, he asked Kasper some pretty pointed questions. Good for him as far as that goes.