This article stems from some of the reactions to Michael Voris' disclosure that he led a homosexual lifestyle in the past. He explained that after his mother's death in 2004, he had a reversion to the Catholic Church that included abandonment of sodomy, and then went on to start what would become Church Militant TV.
The Bear believes most people are missing the point.
The Bear believes most people are missing the point.
First, it isn't a question of whether Michael Voris alone is embarrassed or not, or should be supported or criticized. It is about the wisdom of embarking on a very polarizing apostolate involving a lot of people, keeping a secret you know makes you extremely vulnerable.
Second, it isn't a question of "why should anyone disclose past sins they have confessed?" Mostly, we shouldn't. The issue properly framed is, "why Michael Voris should have disclosed his past sodomy."
However, since the Bear expects he is contra mundum on these matters, he will rely heavily on someone with far greater prestige and knowledge of all the facts -- Michael Voris. He has already addressed these issues, and the Bear is just agreeing with him.
Bear Agrees With Michael Voris that Disclosure Could Harm Him, CMTV
From "Limiting God," Michael Voris' self-disclosure of his homosexual past.
We have on very good authority from various sources that the New York archdiocese is collecting and preparing to quietly filter out details of my past life with the aim of publicly discrediting me, this apostolate and the work here.
From the beginning of Michael Voris' statement, he acknowledges that at least his alleged enemies see disclosing homosexual activities of his past as a way of discrediting not only him, but the apostolate and its work. Aside from his flesh-and-blood enemies, he acknowledges that:
Since our earliest days, what we do here has been a target of the diabolical. He has put forth too many traps for me to even recall. The goal has been to shut us down and end this mission because we constantly speak about the glory of the Catholic Church and its life-giving power. He doesn't want that message being heard. He wants people being ensnared.
In other words, he was on notice. If the Catholic ephemera is to be believed, some ephemerists have had to moderate comments from people with intimate knowledge of Michael's past from appearing in comboxes. The scope of his activities evidently made him vulnerable to surprise disclosures or blackmail at any time. He knew this was always a ticking time bomb. We don't know if he shared knowledge of the risk with those close to him at CMTV.
The Bear has agreed with Michael Voris on this assessment. So far reaction seems to be limited to unqualified support and adulation; gloating; and slightly distanced support, in that order. In other words, it looks like the people who didn't care for him before, still don't care for him, and those that do, still do. Hardly anyone is throwing his past back into his face.
Bear Agrees With Michael Voris That It Was Wrong Not to Disclose Early
I did not think that a full public confession of details was necessary in order to start proclaiming the great mercy of God. Perhaps that was a wrong assessment. I don't seriously know. Perhaps along these years I should have been revealing of greater detail. That, I now think so, but more on that in a moment.
I have made many mistakes and missteps as the leader here, but in regard to this specific point, it was a mistake to not bring this forth earlier. I did not do it to deceive, but because I did not understand the necessity.
The Bear has also agreed with Michael Voris that it was not only a good idea, but a "necessity" to trust in God and clear the air early, especially before launching a crusade that included strong anti-homosexual elements and made many enemies among the powerful. If there's one thing the Devil can't resist, it's irony. (Like a Bear pretending to be a Man observing that keeping secrets has a downside.)
That would have obviously been a very, very tough call, and taken enormous courage -- then. Would he be as effective as "ex-homosexual Michael Voris?" Would early supporters have been as eager to back him? Would his credibility in general be diminished, and on homosexual issues especially? The Bear is sure Michael Voris considered these and many other questions. They are extraordinarily hard ones.
But, as Michael Voris himself said about whether he was wrong to have kept his secrets, "Now I do. I was limiting God."
That is the title and theme of the whole announcement, in case everyone missed it.
So if anyone has taken offense at anything the Bear has said so far, he should take it up with Michael Voris, because the Bear is simply agreeing with the man. And needless to say, the Bear could personally give a rip what anyone has repented of and been absolved for (and, for the most part, not, too, and that goes for any human). But his previous comment about even healed wounds possibly remaining a disability stands. This is just another way of agreeing with Michael Voris.
This part is where the Bear may make some people angry. But it's just an assessment based on what's been revealed so far.
But the lawyer gene in the Bear is expressing itself by not finding the allegations against the Archdiocese even getting past the preliminary hearing stage so far. And what does "The Archdiocese of New York" mean? Cardinal "Bravo" Dolan? Two or three people acting on their own? A misreading of evidence or intent by Michael Voris? Someone faking a plan to disclose in order to get Michael to do it for them? (That would be really twisted, but clever.)
The Bear does not expect any of these questions to be answered.
However, making such an allegation and not following up with credible evidence would raise many questions. Hopefully, it's already all in hand, tied up in a pink bow. Time is Michael's friend in one way, but in this way it isn't. This is where his credibility is actually -- and, unnecessarily, sadly -- on the line.
Church Militant TV -- this has nothing directly to do with the current disclosure, but CMTV has seemed a half-a-bubble off center for a long time. The mysterious Terry Carroll's odd interactions with Catholic ephemerists; geocentrism; waving swords around on the set; waving rifles around on horseback (don't tell the Bear you missed those); famously completely ignoring Pope Francis' historically dangerous pontificate; sexy online role-playing games by high ranking staff; and aggressive purging of CMTV's commenters -- these are some of the reasons so many Catholic bloggers are starting their solidarity statements by saying, "As everyone knows, Michael Voris and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye."
CMTV is obviously meeting the needs of a segment of Catholics. Just as the Bear meets the needs of (a much smaller, but -- until this article at least -- growing, segment) of Catholics. The Bear wishes not only Michael well, but also CMTV. However, he recognizes that some could see this as "one more thing." To those people the Bear would say, nothing has changed. If CMTV was your thing before, the Bear can see no logical reason it shouldn't be now.
Courage -- The Bear is going to promote this from his own comments to the last article, because it's irritating him to an unreasonable degree and his therapist from Fish, Game and Wildlife's Department of Large Talking Predators tells him not to hold things in. (Sometimes he sees Harvey in the waiting room for the Department of Lagomorphs; but he's not sure he's even real, or what they're worried about.)
Standing in front a camera and telling the world you were a homosexual some years ago, before you became a good Catholic, has to be a lot of things. Painful. Embarrassing. Even dignified. But when the only reason you are doing that is to preempt expected disclosure by an enemy, how can it be called "courageous?" It was a public figure sensibly getting out in front of a damaging story.
There are kids still in Afghanistan (remember them?); policemen and firemen; everyday people stepping up and doing the right thing when they don't have to in spite of risk. There are ill people who have to draw upon courage to even get out of bed some days. These people are courageous. Damage control -- yep, the Bear went there -- isn't courageous, although there's certainly nothing blameworthy about it.
Again, the Bear is just agreeing with Michael Voris, who says he failed to do the right thing when he didn't disclose back when he didn't have to. That would have been truly courageous. The courage train left the station on this matter a long time ago. This isn't a dig at Michael, or at commenters, or denying that Michael possesses the virtue of courage in general (or at least moxie, which ain't bad). But words matter. Call it a Bear quirk.
The Bear has often found reason to comment on Michael Voris, mostly favorable, sometimes not. In some ways, Michael Voris and his enterprise is emblematic of the stresses in the Catholic Church today. That's one of the things that makes him news. (That and his take-no-prisoners style.)
The lesson for all of us has been pointed out by Michael Voris himself. Faith and trust go together. We must believe in God, in the Almighty God, for Whom nothing is difficult. We must also trust in God's goodness to use omnipotence in His loving interest for us.
When we bury our loved ones, we have faith in a God Who is there to care for their living souls, despite all the testimony of our senses: a cold body and the silent heavens. We also trust that the same God will indeed lavish unimaginable care on them out of His love and goodness.
You can dial that down to ordinary daily concerns and the same principle applies. What spoils it all is our fear. The Bear doesn't know about you, but it seems to be fear, more than doubt, that sometimes makes him wonder if God is real. And it is fear that blocks trust, as well: fear that the One we trust will disappoint. When we make decisions out of fear, for all practical purposes we deny God -- both His existence and His goodness. Or, as Michael put it, limit Him, which is the same thing. A God Who is limited is not God.
The Bear isn't saying he would have acted any differently if he had been in Michael Voris' shoes. God knows the Bear has his secrets he would not want exposed. Everyone does. So probably not. We don't always make such decisions clearly. Personality types, wounds, psychology, practical concerns, rationalizations, ego, advisors -- if any -- and, yes, fear, can all play their parts.
If you really want to support Michael Voris, don't worry about his past, or his future, but give him the courtesy of listening to him talk about a hard lesson. Don't let it be wasted on you. Understand why he thinks he made bad decisions in this matter, and how they grew from placing limits on God.
Otherwise, a human screwing up is just a dog-bites-man story.