I'm Michael Voris, coming to you from Northern California wine country in Napa, where we are attending the annual Napa Institute four-day-long conference and retreat for the financially fortunate. We said earlier that we wanted to take the temperature of a crowd that has the reputation of being orthodox but perhaps is not really wanting to face the realities of the evil in the Church — and, specifically, the corruption of the hierarchy.
That of course entails standing around at loads of events and just talking with all sorts of people. So first we have to say we have been blown away by the positive comments and handshakes and "attaboys" we have received since we started mixing around. At meals, events, just standing in line or walking around — the number of other attendees who have come up to us and lauded the work of Church Militant has been, well, off the charts.
We came out here to Napa not really sure what to expect or how we would be received, but that question is now answered. To all of you who have made our work possible and supported what we have been doing for 15 years, we say, "Thank you, and blessed be God." It has long been the case that the not-especially–well-off crowd among Catholics has been suspicious of the more–well-off crowd (the country club Catholic crowd, for lack of a better term), those who rub elbows with bishops, and so forth.
Because of their financial status, which affords them personal access, it's been the case in the past that often, because of personal relationships, they've been more reticent to openly criticize the hierarchy for all these scandals. We can tell you, from talking with many people here, that is changing now, and changing fast.
Perhaps "rich and red-pilled" might be going a little too far, but it's certainly getting there — and certainly with more than you would suspect — it is there. This, of course, cannot be welcome news to many bishops. As we saw in the McCarrick case, snowing rich people and getting their money is a staple of how the hierarchy works and a major source of the corruption being allowed to continue.
McCarrick may be the most notorious case, but he certainly is not the only bishop pilfering millions from the well-to-do Catholic set who enjoy access to bishops. But the bishops are beginning to feel the heat, especially in light of the news breaking last week that Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, general secretary to the bishops' conference, was busted for an untold number of gay hookups using the phone app Grindr.
Church Militant has learned that information was obtained, with more to come, through a multi-year process of data-mining that stretches all over the country involving quite a few people, not all of them Catholic, who paid quite a lot of money to collect it all. If you think in terms of millions, you'd be in the ballpark, and the Catholic financial contribution to it was significant, but not singular.
The reaction on the ground here at the Napa Conference (with 800 attendees) has been, in summary, "It's unfortunate, but it's got to be done." To show the pending sea change, many folks told me personally, even five years ago, most people here would have disagreed with this tactic, thinking it too crass and so forth.
We spoke with dozens and dozens of people here where that information was the topic, and not one disagreed with the method. And some were champing at the bit, saying, "Nuke all of these bad guys in the hierarchy and establishment."
Stay tuned on that point, we have been assured. But one thing that still appears unsettled is the bishops themselves — what many people call the "good" bishops. The men who have a reputation for being orthodox — yet wimpy — in their approach to going full bore and just blowing up all this rot.
Both personally, from our own conversations, and what others have told us about their conversations with bishops, here's the deal. The "good guys" are massively reluctant to challenge the evil because they are afraid of what will happen as a result. Here's the line of reasoning we heard more than once:
I'm a good bishop. I've been working for a while to "fix" the lack of orthodoxy in my diocese. I've got this thing going and that thing going, and it's all moving along well. If I say something openly about the Communion wars or James Martin or whatever and draw attention to myself, Cupich and his crowd [described to me, personally, as extremely powerful] will have me removed as bishop and all my good work will get blown up by whomever they replace me with.
That's specifically the line of reasoning. Okay, let's go with that. First, yep, it's probably true. The ruling class in the Church right now is clearly down with homosexuality, sacrilegeous Holy Communion, and so forth. Cupich, Tobin and that crowd no more believe the Catholic faith than the man in the moon. I'm not sure they ever did, but they certainly do not now.
They have the pope's ear because they hit all his major talking points: Capitalism is evil; global warming is the most pressing issue; immigration is right behind that, and so forth. We all know the list. Trump and America are bad. Biden and globalism/Marxism are good. That's where their hearts and minds are, and, to whatever degree the Church can be coopted and repurposed to push that agenda, then they are going to do it.
That's the reality. Period. So any "good" bishop who does or says something counter to that narrative runs a big risk of being removed. All that is true. However, refusing to say the truth and do the right thing now to protect a future interest is a bit like playing chess with the Devil — trying to think a few moves ahead and outsmart him.
No human being is going to outsmart the devil. Ever.
So sacrificing a short-term interest (the truth), remaining silent on all this, in the hopes that somehow, as the evil advances specifically because of the silence, your little orthodox camp you've fashioned is going be left alone down the road — sorry, bishops, but that's fool's gold.
It's also a convenient rationalization to let yourselves off the hook and avoid all confrontation, which is high on the list of most bishops. A longstanding joke in the Church refers to part of the rite of consecrating a bishop is the bringing in of a surgeon who removes the man's spine before the miter is placed on his head.
The general feeling around here in Napa about the "good" bishops is probably not an assessment they would much relish: nice men, faithful men personally, but cowards and inefficient. That's kind of the definition of damning with faint praise: He's really well-intentioned, sure seems to believe, but when the assault begins, you don't really want him in your foxhole.
Dear Lord, how far we have fallen with the episcopate when we think in comparison to St. John Fisher, as just one example. So while ultimately it has to be the bishops who fix all this — as frightening and unpromising as that prospect is — right now anyway, they are losing support on the ground as more and more Catholics, even among the wealthy, become red-pilled.
The "good" bishops are going to have to make a choice very soon, before they hear Satan say to them, "Checkmate!"