Using the name Catholic

Happy New Years everyone, and more importantly, I hope you have a blessed Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God!

I have only recently started looking at some of Michael Voris’ “Vortex” clips on youtube. A lot of people seem to disagree with his ‘tone’, but agree with what he is specifically saying. From what I have seen and read, he seems to be in line with the mind of the Church and with the mind of the pope. I also think he seems to be reasonably charitable in his dealing with people. Although, people question his tone, probably because it is sarcastic a lot of the time.

One piece that I read in regard to the Archdiocese of Detroit trying to prevent him using the word Catholic to describe his activities pointed out that if he, who is in line with the Catholic Church has to stop using that label, what about the thousands of hospitals, groups, parishes, schools etc. that have catholic in their name, but completley go against the teachings of the church?

I can see this kind of thing happening in NZ. Smaller examples have been happening for a long time.

Hearts Aflame CATHOLIC Summer school has been operating in NZ for a long time, 20 years in fact.  A shining example of authentic Catholicism. Does anyone know if HA received ecclesiastical permission to used the word Catholic in their name? They aren’t hugely popular with some of the ecclesiastical authorities in NZ, will the day come when they are asked to remove the word Catholic?

Conversely, a dissenting group “Catholics knowing their place” in Christchurch seem to get on with it with the word Catholic in their name. Do the bishops have any problems with that I wonder?

Or is this all too American to worry about?

No offence to any Americans out there, I think we can learn a lot from them!

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    Comments: 18

    1. Chris Sullivan January 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Canon Law is pretty clear:

      Can. 216 Since they share the Church’s mission, all Christ’s faithful have the right to promote and support apostolic action, by their own initiative, undertaken according to their state and condition. No initiative, however, can lay claim to the title ‘catholic’ without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.

      The appropriate course of action by those running such apostolates is to seek the permission of the competent ecclesiastical authority before beginning (in the parish that would be the parish priest, in the diocese the bishop). That’s the normal course which is followed.

      I would be interested to know what concerns Voice in the Wilderness had in mind which he supposed various ecclesiastical authorities in NZ might have with Hearts Aflame.

      There are plenty of conservative Catholics who have expressed concern with some of Michael Vorris’ material. For example:

      God Bless

    2. bamac January 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm


      Sorry but NCR reports on Michael Vorris are to be expected I fear, so they mean nothing to a lot of people …me included. As Michael Vorris has mentioned on Vortex , he receives a lot of criticism from many who welcome many of the more liberal minded catholics who want ..and welcome, change in Our Holy Church …. found this rather intersting report on one whom you champion, Joan Chittister ( she has a regular column in NCR I believe) … You said earlier that you believe her to be a true and faithful Catholic where as you seem to think that Michael Vorris is not,,,

      Thank you and your family for your prayers for me,


    3. Lucia Maria January 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      I’ve enjoyed a number of Michael Voris’ you-tube episodes, however I don’t necessarily agree with him wholeheartedly. It’s not his tone as such, it’s his approach. The same criticism that is being directed at him could be directed at me, so I understand where he’s coming from. However, this issue with Detroit needs to be handled very carefully. For Voris, I think, it is a test from God as to whether or not he can obey authority, even if the person representing that authority is not one he can admire. It’s a tremendous test of humility, and if he comes through this in the right way, it will be the better for him personally. Hmmmm, will have to pray for him.

    4. Chris Sullivan January 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm


      That NCR is the National Catholic REGISTER, a rather conservative paper, which used to be owned by the Legion of Christ and is now owned by EWTN. The author I linked to, Mark Shea, is quite a conservative Catholic writer. He spoke at Auckland’s Eucharistic Convention a few years back.

      The National Catholic REPORTER, on the other hand, isn’t much concerned about Vorris.

      The bulk of concern about Vorris on the Catholic internet seems to be coming from the more conservative commentators. Even many of Fr Z’s commentators have concerns about some of Vorris’ material.

      God Bless

    5. Chris Sullivan January 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      One bishop aptly quipped of Michael Vorris’ so called “Real Catholic TV” :

      “You know, it isn’t real, it isn’t Catholic, and it is not actually TV.”

      Michael Sean Winters has raised the question of whether “Real Catholic TV” can properly be called an apostolate. He has a point. Aside from Vorris’ obvious lack of episcopal approval (required by any apostolate), an apostolate would be a work concerned with spreading the gospel, the teachings of Christ and of his Church. Michael Vorris seems to be mainly concerned with attacking and ridiculing those in the Church he does not like. And he can be very vitriolic, uncharitable, and aggressive in doing so. Such a work is not an apostolate but a fomenting of division and disunity in the Church.

      God Bless

    6. Chris Sullivan January 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      btw, bamac, it doesn’t appear that Vorris was awarded a papal knighthood as you recently referred to, but a deeply disputed Portuguese royal knighthood, the Knighthood of the Royal Order of St. Michael of the Wing, Royal House of Portugal.

      God Bless

    7. dave morgan January 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

      howdy cobbers! :)

      chris, ;)

      Michael Sean Winters has raised the question of whether “Real Catholic TV” can properly be called an apostolate. He has a point. Aside from Vorris’ obvious lack of episcopal approval (required by any apostolate), an apostolate would be a work concerned with spreading the gospel, the teachings of Christ and of his Church. Michael Vorris seems to be mainly concerned with attacking and ridiculing those in the Church he does not like. And he can be very vitriolic, uncharitable, and aggressive in doing so. Such a work is not an apostolate but a fomenting of division and disunity in the Church.

      yes, that would be true if that is all he does

      but he does a lot more than that

      i had a look at their website (one has to become a free member) and there are many other programs up there which they produce

      there are educational, catechetical, spiritual, historical productions, etc

      for example, this program, which is one among hundreds, which is about pius xii and the jews

      chris, he may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you want to growl and complain about disunity and division, then go and send an email to national catholic reporter

      they are one of the most divisive catholic websites online

      there is so much antagonism there towards the hierarchy, and especially the pope, that if michael voris is going to be shut down for criticizing bad bishops, so should they be shut down

      peace to all


    8. Christine111 January 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Michael Voris responded here:

      In short, the owner of RCTV, and the one responsible for the name, lives in another diocese, and therefore it is the owner’s bishop, not Voris’s, who has jurisdiction in this matter.

      Some great videos by Voris:

      Conversion Story:


      Madrid Talk:

    9. bamac January 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      One of Michael Vorris’s latest …. worth a look


    10. Chris Sullivan January 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Some expert commentary from Canon Lawyer Ed Peters:

      I’ll just say that, to the extent that jurisdiction is or might be an issue in this matter, I believe the AOD [Archdiocese of Detroit] to be on firm ground.

      God Bless

    11. bamac January 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      The contact address for Real Catholic TV is on link below… if it is not in Detroit how does the Bishop in Detroit have power to tell them not to call themselves not Catholic? Isn’t that the out of his state and thus not under his control but that of a different bishop?



      To contact us by email :

      To contact us by telephone : 248-545-5716

      To contact us by mail :
      22007 Woodward Ave
      Ferndale MI 48220

      Ferndale is not in Detroit

    12. Chris Sullivan January 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Vorris’ home address is in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

      God Bless

    13. bamac January 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Maybe so Chris but Michael is not in charge of Real Catholic TV or its name … that is someone outside of Detroit.


    14. Chris Sullivan January 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Back in 2008, the archdiocese of Detroit issued this statement:

      Regarding St. Michael’s Media,
      Issued: October 2, 2008
      Contact: Ned McGrath, / 313-237-5943

      In 2006, St. Michael’s Media of Ferndale, Michigan, through its chief executive, Michael Voris, and his associates, requested approval of its media enterprise and programming from the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Detroit archdiocese responded to their initial submission and gave them direction as to the additional information and steps that would be need to be taken. At issue was and is compliance with our basic archdiocesan media protocols and those of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). While there have been some discussions, the matter with St. Michael’s Media remains unresolved; it is not an approved apostolate.

      In 2008, a Web-based video provider named was launched, with Michael Voris as the primary host and senior executive producer utilizing new and archive program material produced and provided, primarily, by St. Michael’s Media. has yet to present itself or receive approval of its media enterprise from the Detroit archdiocese.

      Therefore, the catechetical presentations and the interpretations of Catholic teachings or positions presented by St. Michael’s Media and/or RealCatholicTV— be they audio, video, or exclusively Web-based— cannot be approved or endorsed by the archdiocese at this time.

      A further statement was made by the Archdiocese in December 2011:

      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 (see canon 216 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law). 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. 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. Questions about this matter may be directed to the Archdiocese of Detroit, Department of Communications.

      The archdiocese issued a further statement Jan 3, 2012:

      Subsequent to the release in mid-December, 2011, of a “Statement regarding Real Catholic TV and its name,” inquiries have come to the Archdiocesan Department of Communications regarding the timing and need for this particular declaration. The Director of Communications presents this response:

      “The Archdiocese of Detroit has been consistent in its statements to and about Real Catholic TV since the fall of 2008. (Regarding Due to continued requests made to the Detroit archdiocese for clarification concerning the use of the title Catholic by Real Catholic TV, and to avoid any confusion among the faithful, it was determined a public statement should make clear what has been told to Real Catholic TV, namely, that it does not have the authorization required under Church law to identify or promote itself as Catholic.”

      The position is quite clear here: Vorris asked for approval, it was not granted. He is simply not authorised to present his productions as Catholic. Maybe he should just stick with the name “the vortex” which seems to be a rather more accurate description of his material.

      God Bless

    15. bamac January 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm


      How would you describe Michael Vorris’s material?


    16. bamac January 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      After having watched a good number of Vortex showings and listened to other talks by Michael I am left wondering what content in them worried the Bishop of Detroit so much.


    17. Don the Kiwi January 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      It would be interesting to get a comment from Archbp. Vigneron himself. It appears that the contact Voris has had is with the director of communications for the diocese, and it is certainly arguable that the chancery minions are conducting this witchunt against Voris without the direct authority of the Archbp.

      After all, Up until a few years ago, the Diocese of Detroit was under the control of Bp. (Stumblebum) Gumbleton, who was arguably the most liberal of bishops, allowing all sorts of liturgical abuses like Clown Masses, Women concelebrating Mass, and allegedly involved in homosexual activity, if not directly, certainly turned a blind eye.

      And this is the liberal type of chancery Bp. Vigneron has inherited – it could take years to weed out the tars, and you can be sure that the liberal beureaucracy of the diocese will be resisting any change tooth and nail.

      I get Voris’s Vortex and news updates via e-mail each day. As far as I can see, there is no deviation from Catholic doctrine, despite his hard hitting approach. Oh he ruffles feather alright – like the Detroit chancery – and that is what he tries to achieve, because there has been so much complacency in the Church over the years that someone has to shake things up – and that person just happens to be Michael Voris.

      Many parts of the Church became extrememly liberal – and heretical – over the past 3 or 4 decades, so the only way to reverse this is to present the opposite extreme, so that hopefully things might come back to the middle. I actually like Voris and his blunt presentation of the Truth – often, the Truth hurts.

    18. bamac January 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you Don, that makes it more understandable….. Michael Vorris ruffles many liberal minded feathers….. I remember some one once call him “dangerous”. .. my prayers are with Michael for sure amd with you as you begin a new year of preparation for the diaconate.