Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Removing my USCCB Rose Colored Glasses

This is good. Chrisopher Patrick, in a comment here, says to me ...

" ... so much of your career is dependent upon Church sponsorship (do you think you'd have a gig on EWTN if you engaged in regular criticism of bishops who deserve to be criticized?) No one appears on EWTN TV or radio who is critical of bishops who fail to defend or teach the Faith. ... Try removing your USCCB-issue rose colored glasses and see if the condition of the Church isn't a good bit more dire than you are allowed to say (and keep your job)."

So now I understand a bit why people like Michael Voris' video that I parodied here. They actually believe what he says, and they think that people like Mark Shea and me really somehow are "professional Catholics" on Church payrolls who are afraid to criticize bishops.

Well, I can't convince people like Christopher Patrick that I'm not on some Church payroll somewhere, but I can do this:

Christopher, listen up!

MOST BISHOPS ARE FAILURES. Most bishops have abrogated their teaching authority and have allowed apostacy to run rampant in their dioceses. With few exceptions, Cardinal Burke being foremost among them, the bishops are more like lame administrators than they are heirs to the apostles.

THE CHURCH IN AMERICA IS A REAL MESS. I agree with Michael Voris' general take on things - the liberals in particular have really messed things up. It is indeed "dire", as you phrase it.

"THE USCCB IS AS USEFUL AS TEATS ON A BULL." I'm quoting something a priest friend of mine once told me, and I agree completely.

THE PREACHING OF FR. CORAPI AND MUCH OF THE TEACHING OF MICHAEL VORIS IS SPOT ON, BOLD, FEARLESS, AND VERY MUCH NEEDED. This is why I am criticizing them both. They are too important to let them slip into the error of factionalism and disobedience without being called out for it.

Hope that helps.

We're on the same team. Let us pray for one another.


Anonymous said...

Rosecolored glasses don't work on the colorblind.

You are spot on. If some complain this probably means you are on the right track.

A "professional Catholic" is not someone who sells CDs, DVDs, performances, or books.

A "professional Catholic" is a person who is literally on the diocesian payroll- RCIA directors, Religious Ed directors, etc,...

Keep up the good work.

Yvonne and Family

Anonymous said...

I am certain that Mr. Vorris was NOT referring to people like Shea and yourself, undoubtedly he meant the sort "Yvonne and Family" mentioned above. He did a poor job of clarifying that's all.


Benjamin. said...

I came here because I couldn't comment on the video, and so I went here and see you seem to have blogged about it.

I thought it was funny, and I recognized The Vacuum right away!
Great parody!
I'm not sure I know what exact video you were referring to though.

The Lady of the House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin O'Brien said...

Lady of the House, how had Fr. Corapi's gospel changed? In what way were his more recent preachings different? I really don't know, as I only followed him closely enough to know that he had begun dyeing his beard and tanning himself. I'm curious to know if his message changed when his appearance did.

Anonymous said...

Haha! No Christmas bonus for you! My sentiments exactly, though sadly the Gospel that Fr. C was preaching last summer was not the Gospel, it was very different from his older, really on the ball stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brien,

I'm guessing you probably are familiar with the preaching of J.Corapi that was frequently replayed on EWTN - the good stuff. The Fumare blog shows what he looked like 10 years ago vs pictures in the last couple of years:

We had wanted to go to the widely advertized event at some stadium in Cinci last July. Sadly enough, he and that priest from HLI who went off in disgrace, were being touted as two of the "Church Greats".

"Get your tickets now the only time you will see these two "Church Greats" under one roof." Corapi was that guy's spiritual director and that guy was close friends of ours, or so we thought.

We were unable to go (Providentially!) We later saw some of the video from the event. I was very disturbed. Corapi was supposed to be preaching on the Catholic Church's social teaching. The part I heard he was speaking about how you have to look after your body, exercise and eat well etc. He went on and on about this and his own regimen. How he works out daily with his personal trainer (Gina of the Jungle) or so he referred to her. It was very disturbing. Friends of mine who went to the event told me how he went on about his large home and his two boats and whatever else. All I can say, is that it was not the Gospel of Jesus but another one.

I hope his avid followers wake up. I personally am very worried about them!

"As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema." Gal 1:9


Kevin O'Brien said...


The tanning and beard dyeing is a bad sign to begin with.

I have a friend who counsels priests who have committed sexual indiscretions. He tells me that the best indication of whether or not a priest is having problems is the rectory. If my friend walks in and sees all the latest techno gadgets, new fancy furniture, stereo systems, big screen TVs, etc., he finds that the priest who lives there is invariably having trouble being true to his vows of celibacy.

This devotion to worldliness and this flaunting of the trappings of worldliness is a bad sign in priests and religious.

And if we accept Fr. Corapi's conversion story as true, then we know he's an addict in recovery, at the very least, and hence a man who needs to be especially vigilant.

Anonymous said...

Desperately sad. Another priest friend of mine said many priests don't even want to live in the rectory. They get their own place and that is even worse. The vocation becomes a job, and the distance begins. Distance from the parish, and the people, and the accountability that keeps them honest.

Who would have thought that Holy Poverty could be such a protection from sin. Poverty of time, works too. "In idle fingers the devil lingers!" An older mom of 7 told me that she was so blessed that she still had her younger children at home to keep her busy. Apparently peers of hers (older moms) with much fewer children, had abandoned years of faithful Church attendance as soon as their children flew the coop, and exchanged it for a Sex and the City lifestyle! Lord protect us and help us persevere!

Prayers for Corapi and the rest.


Christopher Patrick said...

Dear Kevin,

I am very well aware that many "public Catholics" are paid nothing for hosting blogs, appearing as guests on Catholic Answers or EWTN programs, etc. Michael Voris, and you, and most bloggers, do not earn your livings from the Catholic trough. You are compensated in other ways, such as the sale of books or honoraria for speaking engagements or anything else that might profit from media exposure.

"Professional Catholics" are those whose livelihoods are in some way dependent upon being in favor with "the right people," such as chancery employees (including priests), or media enterprises like EWTN or Catholic Answers, or individuals like Al Kresta, whose Ave Maria work would evaporate if he ever started sounding like Michael Voris.

It should be obvious how "human nature" is at work here: I might know LOTS of things about my boss that it would not be in my best interest to talk about, so I "compromise" just a little, or "rationalize" a lot.

Even though most "public Catholics" do not eat at the Catholic trough, this doesn't mean they are immune to "compromises" and "rationalizations." If, for example, you are not paid anything by EWTN (as is true for most EWTN hosts), you nonetheless benefit from the exposure that you get from your appearances on EWTN. Fr. Corapi is certainly "Exhibit A" in this regard.

One of the comments to Mark Shea's current posting pointed out that almost all "public Catholics" are subjected to ideological screening. Scott Hahn, for example, is not likely to EVER be invited to speak at the NCEA. Michael Voris is barred from countless settings, for obvious ideological reasons, and even had a scheduled appearance on Marcus Grodi's "The Journey Home" canceled at the request of his local bishop.

"Public Catholics" like yourself, and Michael Voris, "profit" from exposure in various Catholic venues. Michael and his staff are supported primarily by premium subscriptions and donations. You, I presume, are supported by ... well, not by EWTN, but I would guess that your exposure on EWTN helps.

This is the only point I am trying to make: both "public" and "professional" Catholics, as human beings wounded by Original Sin, can and often do "compromise" and "rationalize" to their own benefit. To the extent that EWTN is "helpful" to your career, you (and others in similar situations) are vulnerable to not "biting the hand that feeds you."

I don't know that you are guilty of ANY of this. I don't know that specific EWTN or Ave Maria "personalities" are guilty of ANY of this. But I do know that what Michael Voris says is not said very loudly almost anywhere else in the Catholic media world. This would be explainable if what Michael Voris says is demonstrably false, but it isn't. There IS a crisis in the Church, and there IS corruption and complicity in the ranks of the clergy, and people like Al Kresta (or the USCCB) are just ignoring it because it's "bad policy" to bring attention to it.

So, when Michael Voris excoriates "professional Catholics" for keeping silent about the crisis in the Church to protect themselves and their careers, he's addressing anyone who appears to be "compromising" and "rationalizing" to their own benefit and the detriment of the Church.

I could not agree more with your "Here I Stand" theses in your blog posting. What if you talked about all this directly with, say, Doug Keck? What do you think he would say about your "going public" with anything that sounds like what Michael Voris says? Do you think EWTN would welcome some artistic expression of these points?

There. Do I need to respond to anything else?

Kevin O'Brien said...

Patrick, thank you for expounding on your point here. Your comment would have been posted yesterday, but for some reason Blogger put it in the spam box.

I think what you say is, in general, true - but reticence to criticize bishops may be the result of prudence & charity and not simply cowardice.

My beef with Voris was that he said "professional Catholics" were criticizing Fr. Corapi because our bread was buttered by liberal bishops and we were afraid of losing our position in the "mainstream Catholic media".

This is simply wrong.

I have been criticizing Fr. Corapi not because he preaches orthodoxy but because he's causing scandal. And I am not afraid of criticizing bishops or of addressing the dire situation in the Church.

For instance, look at the Fr. Corapi case. How his superiors in SOLT could have allowed this situation to get to this point shows that they haven't been doing their jobs. It is the obligation of a superior to make sure those under his care are living properly and receiving spiritual guidance, which it seems Fr. Corapi was not. Those on the outside have been wondering about Fr. Corapi for a few years now - is it really possible that those on the inside knew nothing?

And if more bishops did what Fr. Sheehan finally did - call out someone causing public scandal and warn the faithful not to follow - particularly in the case of pro-abortion Catholic politicians, the Church would be in better shape.

But let me give credit where credit is due. I don't clear my opinions with Doug Keck. He knows I'm orthodox in my beliefs, and meanwhile I say and do whaterver I want. If I were to cause scandal, however, as Fr. Corapi has and as Fr. Stone did before him, I would be yanked from the air and from the archives, regardless of the orthodoxy of my opinions.

And please know that I'm not in this for the money, for the fame, for the attention. There's very little of all three, after all. I intend, by the grace of God, to say and do what is right for His greater glory, not for the marketing of my apostolate or for any other reason that would effect a compromise of the only reason there is for any of us to do this - for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for commenting, Patrick! Let us pray for one another and for the resolution of this situation.