Michael Voris gives a voice to the voiceless faithful

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  • March 16, 2011
Michael Voris (Courtesy of St. Michael's Media)TORONTO - American Catholic YouTube sensation Michael Voris doesn’t mince words.

His direct, no-nonsense approach to hot-button issues like abortion and contraception may rub some the wrong way. But a dedicated following, including young Catholics like 24-year-old Therese Miller of Cambridge, Ont., has discovered him online and say they find his countercultural message inspirational as they live out their faith in their schools and workplaces.

Voris’ appeal is extending north to Canada, where he had recent exposure on the Michael Coren Show and he was scheduled to speak at a March 19 World Youth Day fundraiser in Kitchener, Ont.

Voris is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster who founded St. Michael’s Media in 2006. His YouTube show The Vortex averages thousands of viewers and has been downloaded more than five million times over the past two years.

At the “Celebrate a Real Catholic Man” gala dinner, Voris will speak on “A Virtual Blueprint for Catholics Today.” Tickets have sold fast — 500 out of 600 just a week before the dinner — which suggests an eagerness to hear Voris’ message, said Fr. Paul Nicholson, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Kinkora, Ont., an hour west of Toronto.

Voris’ videos reflect a politically conservative viewpoint. But a common thread in his videos is an unapologetic defence of the Catholic Church’s teachings. And some controversy has come from his critique of Catholics who stray from those teachings.

Voris says he doesn’t understand critics who label him a “right wing” or “conservative” Catholic.

“In Catholicism, there is no such thing as ‘left’ or ‘right.’ That doesn’t capture the reality,” he told The Register.

“Either you are a Catholic, go to Mass and believe all of the teachings of the Church or you don’t.

“It’s like you’re not ‘sort of pregnant’ or ‘largely pregnant.’ You either are or you aren’t. You’re either a faithful Catholic or you aren’t.”

Nicholson said Voris was invited to speak because young Catholics have told him they want to know more about their faith.

“Young people are thirsting for the clarity and unambiguous tone of Michael Voris,” he said.

Miller, an early childhood educator, admires Voris for standing up for his faith. He may not be politically correct, but his message resonates because “he’s not afraid to talk about the truth,” she said.

Miller said she remembers watching movies and meditating in her religion classes, but not being taught much about the Catholic faith.

And few students knew the words to the “Our Father” or “Hail Mary,” she recalled.

“I feel especially in the 21st century, we really are a minority in some ways. (Christians) are ridiculed and mocked, especially Catholics, those willing to profess it everyday in the workplace and school,” she said.

Voris’ appeal is that he is “giving a voice to the voiceless” who have found another “champion to defend the Church,” Nicholson said.

“He is the voice of the frustrated Catholic who believes everything the Church believes and loves the Church with all their heart and have just simply found there are far too few defenders of the faith,” he said.

As for those who criticize Voris’ approach, Nicholson said even among the disciples, there were different personalities and a “diversity of expression.”

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