The Fall of Church Militant – an Italian View

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Above: the Michigan city of Detroit, in which diocese Church Militant formerly operated.

An announcement published in the National Catholic Register on March 2 and taken up by OnePeterFive informs us that the American Catholic platform called Church Militant will cease its operations in April 2024. This is mainly due to losing a lawsuit against a priest, who was being accused by Church Militant as being heretical.

I commented last fall on the resignation of the Church Militant founder, Michael Voris, who founded this apostolate in 2006.

As many will know, Michael Voris’s resignation was justified for moral reasons. Voris himself confessed in a video to having done “horrible ugly things” and it seems that some employees of the platform have reported receiving shirtless photos of Voris, as reported by the Washington Post.

Moreover, Voris himself revealed his homosexual past in a video a few years ago, a video in which he also referred to the fact that he had abandoned that lifestyle after his conversion. Evidently this was not true.

Church Militant has certainly done good for many people, despite valid objections to its editorial line. The group members dedicated themselves to denouncing the gay lobby in the Church with its “black and white” tones, but its main scourge was Michael Voris, who later turned out to still be prey to that behavior.

We certainly must pray for Michael Voris and hope that he can soon overcome his internal struggles, but this is a warning to all those who set themselves up as scourges of others without looking within themselves.

How shall we report wrong things? They can and must be reported, there is no doubt. But it must be done with respect for the people who fall prey to erroneous behavior, and not out of a desire for sensationalism at all costs. We must stay firm in our principles while extending mercy for those who fall. Certainly, the failure of Church Militant should not make those who have been exposed for horrible behavior towards minors rejoice. If Church Militant no longer mentions their names, God still knows them well and will punish them as they deserve, unless they repent and amend their lives. What happened to the platform does not have to do with the denunciation of illicit behavior per se. Rather, it is due to the attitude of a lay apostolate that favors marketing and flirts with conspiracy theories rather than seeking the good of all.

I understand that journalism has its laws, but we must be careful not to give the image of knights without blemish and without fear unless we are absolutely sure that we have no dark areas. Unfortunately, we all have dark areas. So we try to make the right complaints but without wanting to exploit sin for commercial purposes.

The other historical face of Church Militant, Christine Niles, resigned in November, also denouncing unprofessional behavior on the part of Michael Voris. In short, this problem was very clear to many people, but it did not prevent the collapse of this platform.

I believe that at this point, even among those who did not appreciate a certain style of Church Militant, we must avoid making a mistake: that of setting ourselves up as judges of brothers in difficulty. Catholic doctrine is very clear on some things, and those who have made mistakes know full well that they have made mistakes. Indeed, I will say it again: I believe we need to pray a lot for Michael Voris so that he can resolve his painful internal conflicts and find peace again. It must also be understood that Church Militant is made up of many good people who seek to perform sincere and selfless service for the Church.

I believe that all this is a word of caution for those involved in the world of Catholic information. We must realize that the ultimate goal is the good of souls, not the excitement of the audience. May God have mercy, deliver us from evil, and purify our hearts!

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