The New York Times profile on Church Militant, published December 30, has been roundly panned by critics as a "hit piece" and "one of the worst pieces of journalism" they had read.
The lynch pin on which the entire piece hung was contrasting this apostolate's understanding of "the Church Militant" with that of the Church Herself — as if the two were in opposition. This involved the author's willfully ignoring what Michael Voris said during the interview.
Following is an excerpt from our transcript:
Samuel Freedman: What does the term Church Militant connote? … I just want to get a sense of how you position it.
Michael Voris: It's a term that has been used theologically for centuries and centuries and centuries. What it really refers to is the war, the spiritual warfare or the spiritual combat that must take place in every individual’s soul to resist evil and to do good. And that's largely what it is.
That also, however, does have a social dimension. If I'm a father and I have five children and they're walking down the street with me and we walk past some stores and there’s pictures or videos or whatever or naked women in the store and there’s someone over here handing out condoms and these guys over here are saying whatever immorality thing you want to talk about — well, then I have a duty to fight against that as well, because that is the spillover of other people’s militancy, that they have lost a sense of morality, and them losing a sense of morality impacts my children who I want to instill a certain morality in to. So none of this is private. It's personal but it's not private.
Freedman entirely left out Voris' definition in his article, instead quoting from Notre Dame Theology Professor John Cavadini, framing his quote as seemingly in opposition to Voris', when in fact both of them perfectly agree:
A lot of the struggle of the Church Militant is against interior temptations that lead you to greed and all kinds of spiritual pathologies. And it’s about engaging in acts of mercy. Part of the victory of the Church Militant is the victory of love. It didn’t have the triumphalist and militarized connotation that’s been attached to it now.
This was only one example among many of the intellectual dishonesty of Freedman's piece.
Watch the panel respond to the New York Times' profile in "The Download—All the News That's Fit to Distort."