Saturday, December 24, 2011

Let's all play Diocesan Two-step

We've all done it, all been the recipient of it at one time or another...

- Catholic layman gets fed up with the disaster in the Church. Writes letter

- Letter ignored.

- Enterprising Layman sets up his own apostolate (like is says in Vatican II to do) and starts doing what he can to set things right.

- Local bishop gets wind of this from his pet heretical nun/vicar general/local priests or other deranged minions

- Bishop sends letter to Enterprising Layman telling him to knock all this Catholic stuff off or else...

- Layman asks for meeting with bishop to discuss it.

- Bishop ignores request.

- Layman carries on.

- Bishop sends more letters. Gets annoyed when letters ignored, issues press release telling Layman to stop and making sure all the world sees.

- Kerfuffle ensues in the media, layman asks for meeting with bishop, tells press.

- Bishop continues to ignore request for meeting and lets it be known that he is furious over the hundreds of calls and emails with which his office is suddenly flooded.

- Nuncio contacted... letters to Rome...


In recent years, however, the bishops have become vaguely aware of this thing called the "interwebs" or some such, and have been annoyed by swarms of people contacting their offices and upsetting the natural order of things by demanding meetings and action on various things. It is making their lives very difficult, I'm sure.

Bishops' favourite word for work like Michael's is "divisive". For some reason, they all think that the whole world is as terrified of the word as they are, and that it will induce laypeople to shut up and go with the flow.

Below is a classic, nay, textbook case illustrating this drearily familiar comedy routine.

In a press release
issued December 15 and signed by Communications officer Joe Kohn, the Archdiocese of Detroit states: “The Archdiocese has informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV,, that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word ‘Catholic’ to identify or promote their public activities."
[The correct response to this is to shrug. I am a Catholic layman, I am not opposing the Faith or obstructing the work of the bishop and I am acting according to the directives of the last Council and various papal encyclicals on the proper role of the laity. So, the only thing to say is, "Thank you very kindly, Bishop Vigneron, for your helpful advice. Be assured that I and my staff continue to include you and your intentions in our daily prayers, and we wish you and yours a very happy Christmas." Since the bishop has gone public, this letter should be produced on Enterprising Layman's website, along with a running tally of the number of formal requests for a meeting between Enterprising Layman and his spiritual father.]
Of note there are prominent ‘Catholic’ entities and even Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Detroit directly flouting Church teaching without a comparable reprimand from the Archdiocese. One such entity is a group of priests of the Archdiocese who are publicly in favor of women’s ordination to the priesthood and against the Church’s teaching prohibiting contraception. The group is called “Elephants in the living room.”

There is however an interesting twist to this story. Michael Voris, while he may be the star of RealCatholicTV’s programming, is not the owner of the website. The owner is Marc Brammer who lives in South Bend Indiana in the diocese of Bishop Kevin Rhoades.

Brammer told LifeSiteNews, “I own I contracted with Michael Voris to produce video content for that website and I pay him for it. It is a business relationship between me and Michael. If all of a sudden now there’s this tussle over the use of the word ‘Catholic’ I’ll deal with it through competent ecclesial authority.”

Brammer noted that he had received a letter from the Archdiocese of Detroit acknowledging him as the owner of the website. He responded to that letter with a request for a meeting with the Archdiocese. He received no response. Brammer has not been asked by his bishop, Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades to cease using the word Catholic.

A LifeSiteNews request for an interview with the Archdiocese of Detroit was not returned, and the voice message noted that the office was on holiday till after Christmas.

The press release from the Archdiocese of Detroit notes, “The Church encourages the Christian faithful to promote or sustain a variety of apostolic undertakings but, nevertheless, prohibits any such undertaking from claiming the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.”
[There is no law anywhere copyrighting the word "Catholic," nor is there any provision in canon law allowing a bishop to reprimand a layman in good standing with the Church for using the word publicly.]
The release adds, “For some time, the Archdiocese of Detroit has been in communication with Mr. Michael Voris and his media partner at Real Catholic TV regarding their prominent use of the word ‘Catholic’ in identifying and promoting their public activities disseminated from the enterprise’s production facility in Ferndale, Michigan.”

Voris says that communication was only one way – directives from the Archdiocese and refusal to meet with Voris or Brammer to discuss the matter. Voris told LifeSiteNews that he has requested a meeting with Archdiocesan officials seven times to discuss the matter, but each time he has been ignored or rebuffed.

According to its minutes, Elephants in the living room (the group of priests which publicly holds positions counter to Catholic teachings on women priests and contraception), met with Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron on February 1, 2011.

If you find yourself at loose ends during the holidays, perhaps you would enjoy playing the game too.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron
Chancery Building
Archdiocese of Detroit
1234 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 237-5800
Fax: (313) 237-4644


Forward Boldly said...

Interesting--when I called the number, all I got was a voice droning on: "Extension 5800 is not available--wait while I transfer your call."

This was repeated over and over again. No option for leaving a message.

Anonymous said...

What I picked up on:

"..{Brammer] pays [Voris] for it."

Ah, that explains much. I publicly denounced him as a "Catholic" via one blog long ago. I also say others in Cathomedia not to use the word "Catholic" publicly to identify themselves--at LEAST until they aren't flipping up Mother's skirt for pay.

There's a sharp intake of breath on the better side of Heaven when someone knees one of Christ's bishops. Jesus knows they're imperfect, some obnoxious and even errant...but He also knows and gave a better way for His church to deal with one another. Like Jesus, mankind has two natures, too -- one human and made in His image, and one that is so easily snowed by hell, one almost hears the cackle from below.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Um, err...

Ok, whatever. I suppose there isn't really a rule about writing clearly or making sense.

But there is about leaving a real name. Please look up the commbox rules before you post again.

Michael Inman said...

I've played that diocesan two-step myself; seems like so many years ago.

One day, also years ago, I was reading a very wise person's blog where the writer was frustrated at having to explain how the old Mass was superior to the new. There was a comparison to sacher torte and jello.

Also, I believe at the end of the post the writer said, "I have better things to do than civilize barbarians."

My philosophy exactly, these days, when dealing with apostate bishops.

Colleen Hammond said...

Exactly, Hilary. How can the Archdiocese of Detroit ask Mr Voris change the name of a company he works for, that is based out of a different diocese, and apparently Bishop Rhoades has no problem with the name? So all these calls from Bloggers for "Voris to be obedient to his bishop" mean what exactly?

Chancery hocus-pocus.

A press release by the communications director quoting Canon Law that is meant to shed an unfavorable light on a company based in a different diocese.

As you noted, the press release says that the ArchDIOCESE "has been in communication with" the folks at RCTV. In communication with...? More like a public monologue.


Simon Rafe said...

Michael Inman wrote;

>> Also, I believe at the end of the post the writer said, "I have better things to do than civilize barbarians."

That is what the Church was founded to do. It is all I live for. It is all WE live and work for at

It is said Christians fight for peace, but that is a slogan and is meaningless as all slogans are. Christians fight for civilization because only civilization makes peace.

Merry Christmas, all.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Sounds like liberal Democrat Bishop versus conservative orthodox Catholic.

We need an Athanasius to punch Arius in the face all over again. I have no tolerance for these mealy-mouthed, effeminate, Obama-supporting men of iniquity dressed up in clerical robes.

Tom Ryan said...

Let's not think Michael is in the clear because he is in Rhodes' diocese. His Excellency ordered Sungenis to stop using the word Catholic and then he got transferred to E. Michael Jones' diocese of South Bend.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Since when does Arius in Detroit have a monopoly on the word "Catholic" which means "Universal"?

The real reason why Michael Voris is being persecuted is because he has laid his finger on the corruption within the Church in America, and its own ingratiation with the Obamanation of Desolation. He has pointed out the sham that is CCHD and its alliance with pro-abortion, pro-sodomy Marxist groups, and the effeminate bishops in league with these "social justice" organizations simply can't stand it that their heresy and apostasy are being exposed to the light of day.

Until the Catholic Church in America expunges every sense of godless liberalism from within itself, there will be problems like this. Indeed, I know of orthodox Anglican parishes that have rejected this kind of liberalism within the ECUSA and they are more "Catholic" than most ostensibly "Catholic" parishes are. Now should they not use the word "Catholic" when they recite the Nicene Creed? Huh?

Again, we need an Athanasius to put Arius in his place - square on his behind.

Anonymous said...

Careful who you call barbarians. The civilized world knows it was St. Nicholas who punched Arius. - Karen

Teresa B. said...

Why allow "Catholic" schools (elementary, secondary or post-secondary) to use the name "Catholic?" Clearly there is an abuse of the word Catholic when it comes to schools!

Looking forward to him speaking in Toronto in 2012!!

Felix said...

Here's my little story on this theme.

A few years ago, I approached my previous archbishop, asking that he do something about a priest who was notorious for his heretical statements.

After he had stonewalled for a few minutes, I said angrily, "So you're not going to do anything about a priest denying Catholic doctrines".

To this cri de cour by one of his flock, His Archbishopness replied, "I won't be spoken to in that tone".

After I sorta apologized, the bishop said as how he'd have coffee with the priest and chat to him.

And, of course, the priest continues to give lectures in which he denies the Catholic faith.

Anonymous said...

To this cri de cour by one of his flock, His Archbishopness replied, "I won't be spoken to in that tone".

Oooh that gave me the shivers. Pray for that man's soul. - Karen

Douglas Naaden said...

Yeah, it's a funny thing the way the games the hierarchy in America plays. I wonder what they hope to win from it? A more palatable Catholicism? That only gets you what it is getting Europe - "Islamicized."

Anonymous said...

About 15 years ago the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (I know,I know--don't get distracted) took legal action against several Protestant denominations that were calling themselves Catholic in order to trick Mexican immigrants into joining them. Some even claimed to be administering the Sacraments. I don't remember the ins and outs of the matter, but I believe the Archdiocese sought and won an injunction against the use of the word "Catholic" by those, er ... organizations.