Church Militant is ranked #7 among the most popular Catholic news sites in the world. The informal report published by Tito Edwards, editor of Big Pulpit, shows Church Militant received more than half a million visitors over the past 28 days — more visitors than those in the same time period for older, well-established venues like Our Sunday Visitor (about 100 years old), Commonweal (established in 1924) and U.S. Catholic (founded 80 years ago), among others.
These numbers were taken for the 30-day period from July 17–August 17. Current numbers for Church Militant for the most recent 30-day period are higher, at 639,100 visitors.
Striking is the fact that all of the other top 10 media outfits are supported by the Catholic Establishment, whether media or the bishops, yet alternate media like Church Militant still manages to outrank some competitors. An example, not shown here, is Vatican Radio, "the broadcasting station of the Holy See, legally based in the Vatican City State." According to SimilarWeb.com (on whose rankings these sites are based), Vatican Radio's English-language site received only 361,700 visitors in the most recent 30-day period — nearly half the numbers for Church Militant.
Although our apostolate receives support from bishops and clergy behind the scenes, we've never had the full weight of the Establishment behind us — and in fact have been the target of various bishops and media (Catholic and secular) for blackballing or disparagement. Without knowing it, though, our critics have ended up helping rather than hurting our cause.
The most surprising recent example was from the Vatican itself, when Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica (each edition which is vetted by Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin), singled out Church Militant as extremist and fringe, accusing this apostolate of "shocking rhetoric" and "ultraconservatism." Even longtime Vaticanistas noted how unusual it was for a top-ranked papal advisor to call out a lay apostolate (and its founder, Michael Voris) by name. Other Establishment media quickly jumped on the bandwagon, either agreeing with Spadaro's assessment, or wondering why he would focus on such an allegedly "insignificant" and "irrelevant" group.
Closer to home, Our Sunday Visitor, ranked #9 on the list, and which prides itself on being "the largest English language Catholic publisher in the world," turned down a Church Militant Mother's Day ad for its magazine after initially approving it. As we reported in March, the rejection came about after top-level executives ordered a new staffer not to do business with our apostolate, offering no explanation.
The archdiocese of Chicago, headed by leftist Cdl. Blase Cupich, similarly refused to run a Church Militant ad in its diocesan paper, after initially being willing to take payment. Once again, no explanation was offered — but considering this apostolate's reportage on Cupich's heterodox agenda, the outcome was not a surprise.
In July, Church Militant was refused entry to cover the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida, and was ordered by the head of the U.S. bishops' security team within a few minutes of arrival to leave. They went so far as to post a "Wanted" sign with an image of Michael Voris, falsely labeling Church Militant "disruptors" and "protestors," urging attendees to "be on the lookout" for our crew. In truth, there was no disruption or protest; Church Militant was simply there to report on events, offer talks and speak with participants.
And in 2015, Voris was manhandled and thrown out of a press scrum after asking New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan how he would respond to Catholics scandalized by his willingness to welcome the first openly gay contingent to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Footage shows Dolan (whom inside sources say does not enjoy being challenged) giving an order to Archdiocesan Communications Director Joe Zwilling, who promptly told security to throw the Church Militant crew out of the media pool.
Secular media have also set its sites on this apostolate, with one outfit after another labeling us "extremist," "hateful," "sexist," etc.: The New York Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, Detroit Free Press and MSN, among others. But the series of fake news reporting, rather than hurting Church Militant, caused a spike in readership and a bump in subscriptions.
A more recent event that drew national media attention involved a protest of our August men's conference by Antifa supporters holding signs accusing us of anti-LGBT "bigotry," "racism" and "sexism." Though greatly hyped up on social media, the actual turnout for the protest was paltry, fizzling out after only about an hour, while the national spotlight on Church Militant drew approximately 30 more sign-ups for our men's conference (and no cancellations) — the result being men touched and convicted by the message of Voris' talks on authentic masculinity, and who left the conference with greater zeal to lead lives of virtue.
We're reminded of the words of Joseph to his brothers in Egypt: "As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good ..." (Gen. 50:20). In this sense, we should thank our critics, whose attacks God has turned around for the good. The fact that Church Militant consistently remains the top Catholic site in the world for comment engagement, as well as ranked in the top 10 for Catholic news, proves that our message resonates with those who find a voice in us, in an otherwise hostile or indifferent Establishment Church.