Does “who am I to judge” apply to Michael Voris?
I think it does.
Mr Voris recently made a lengthy statement describing the sins of his misspent youth, including the fact that he had engaged in many, long-standing homosexual relationships. It sounds as if Mr Voris was once an out and proud homosexual.
Now he is a Catholic apologist with a worshipful following of true-believers and an explosive message about corruption in the Church. Much of his focus has been on what he evidently sees as a homosexual sub-culture within the Church hierarchy.
Mr Voris’ message is controversial. It inflames resentment, was well as worshipful followership. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with Mr Voris.
But part of the difficulty in disagreeing with his message is that every Catholic over the age of twelve is well aware that at least part of what he is saying is true. We have a lot of homosexual priests. Most of them are excellent priests.
I also know that there are those among them who are merely ripping off the priesthood, wearing their collars in Church and leading entirely different lives in private. We all know this because the press is only too happy to make the most of it when one of these bad actors makes attacks against the Church as they leave it, or after they get caught in some unsavory mess.
It’s tough for those who would refute Mr Voris claims of homosexual cabals and corruption within the Church hierarchy, precisely because at least part of what he says is true and everyone knows it. However, using slander and gossip to destroy Mr Voris is not acceptable from anyone, especially not our religious leaders.
In addition to telling all of us a lot more than we have a right to know about his past, Mr Voris made the claim that the Archdiocese of New York was planning to “out” him, and that is why he felt he had to publicly tell all about his past. I don’t know if he’s right about the Archdiocese and its plans, but I don’t have a lot of trouble thinking that he may be.
We Catholics constantly get our noses rubbed in the behavior of priests behaving as if they never heard of Jesus Christ. This is just one more example.
Malicious slander and calumny are mortal sins. If someone in the Archdiocese of New York has taken it on themselves to dredge up Mr Voris’ sinful past in order to discredit him, they need to repent and go to confession. They also need to consider that what they are doing is a direct attack on the Christian message of forgiveness and redemption that they stand in the pulpit and preach.
Jesus Christ said I make all things new. That is the hope of every marginalized, sin-sick, unloved person on this planet. It is the promise on which our faith stands. Do they think He was lying?
It is ironic indeed that such a terrible accusation against a Catholic Archdiocese should surface in the Year of Mercy.
Without the mercy of Christ, standing in for us and our nasty little selves, none of us — not one — would see heaven. I look at myself, at my own misspent youth, and I know that my sins are blacker by far than those Mr Voris confessed to having committed. I helped kill people. I helped send unborn babies to terrible, painful, silent and unmourned deaths.
If God can forgive me and then turn around and use me to help save babies’ lives in the same way that I once took them — if He can hold me close and love me through all the perils of life, through all that I’ve done and all that has been done to me — if He can and does do all that for me after the sins I’ve committed, then who am I to turn my back on any other person because of their past sins?
Jesus forgave me. He does not look on my sins. He only looks at me with love.
I owe Mr Voris the same forgiveness that was given to me, and I owe it to him in the same way it was given to me; freely, without begrudging, and without thinking of it again.
If what Mr Voris said is true and there was a movement inside the Archdiocese of New York to try to destroy him by revealing his past sins, then whoever was engaged in this, whoever approved of it, needs to take a long, honest look at themselves. Because they have left Christ and turned off the narrow way onto the broad and easy way that leads to perdition.