Sometimes it is impossible to choose sides. I mean, do we really care whether Mothra defeats Godzilla or vice versa? Does it actually matter whether it's the Wolfman or Frankenstein's monster who emerges victorious? That's the ambivalent feeling I have while observing Michael Voris locked in mortal combat with Bill Donohue. Both men are such perfect exemplars of shallow, sneering sanctimony that Mime's fervent wish from Act II of “Siegfried” comes to mind.
Voris has a well-honed more-Catholic-than-the-pope shtick working for him. He eagerly awaits the imminent Church schism that will drive out the insufficiently devout “cafeteria Catholics” and leave a small but fervent remnant of the ultramontane. Only then will the greatly reduced but greatly purified American branch of the Roman Catholic Church finally be cleansed of the taint of the heresy of Americanism—that vile doctrine of separation of church and state once embraced by the notorious John F. Kennedy but recently denounced by the virtuous Rick Santorum. (Yeah, that's right. There's a segment of modern Catholicism in the United States that regards Santorum as superior to Kennedy.)
Normally Bill Donohue of the Catholic League would not have much to say about Michael Voris. Donohue, after all, is much the greater public figure, a familiar face on television whenever he imagines that the Catholic Church is being unfairly maligned. If anything, Donohue might be inclined to give Voris a condescending little pat on the head (Don't muss the hair, Bill—or whatever that is!) and encourage him to keep up the good work. But recently Voris has been attacking Donohue, and sweet old Uncle Bill can't quite bring himself to ignore it. Those flea bites are getting itchy!
You can almost taste Voris's jealousy of Donohue's high profile as he describes the Catholic League's president as a member of the “Catholic elites”: “you see and hear them everywhere as they appear on and run TV, radio, newspapers, and many magazines.” [Subtext: And all I have is this lousy YouTube channel! And my greatest hit rates occur when Pharyngula readers come to mock me!]
Last week Mr. Donohue appeared on the Lou Dobbs show on Fox News and absolutely ripped honest Catholics who are concerned over the scandal of Obama having been invited by Cardinal Dolan to the Al Smith dinner in New York.Hint: Voris numbers himself among those “honest Catholics.” This diatribe is just one small segment of a much longer rant titled “Obama and Peasant Catholics,” available on YouTube as part of the ChurchMilitant.TV channel (for all of your right-wing extremist Catholic enjoyment).
In response, Donohue deigned to notice Voris's existence, although not by name (perish forbid!). The Catholic League issued a statement attributed to Donohue, here excerpted:
Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, yet he decided to rise above the politics of the moment and allow the presidential candidates to partake in this charitable event.I hope this makes it clear. If Donohue had any principles, this would not compromise them. Here endeth the lesson.
On the August 9 edition of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” (Fox Business Channel), I vigorously defended Cardinal Dolan’s decision. I talked with him earlier that day about this issue and found, unsurprisingly, that the New York Archbishop wasn’t budging in his conviction that the HHS mandate must be fought with every tool we have. His resolve is unflinching. For me, that was the bottom line. But not for others.
If Catholics want to change the culture, they need to engage it.... Acting diplomatically may at times make for a hard swallow. But following protocol is not analogous to prostituting one’s principles.
But I'm sure the noise will continue.