Matt C. Abbott
No, I don't support torture; AOD vs. Voris; Dolan vs. Pavone
By Matt C. Abbott
December 19, 2014

Not that Catholic author and blogger Mark Shea was referring to me per se, but to respond to Shea's recent assertion to one of his readers (in his comment box):
    Actually, the more one self-identifies as a 'faithful,' 'conservative,' 'pro-life' Catholic, the more likely one is to approve, and approve enthusiastically, of torture. That is why it is so scandalous and appalling. God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of us.
For the record, I would indeed identify myself as a conservative (I prefer the term "orthodox," though), pro-life – as for faithful, well, I do strive to be faithful – Catholic ... but no, I do not approve of torture.

So there.

Now to quote one of Shea's favorite Catholic commentators (I'm being facetious, of course) on an unrelated topic, Michael Voris recently featured a young woman who was denied Holy Communion at a parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit because she was kneeling to receive:
    We're here in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the Archdiocese of Detroit, at Prince of Peace Parish. This past Saturday evening, the pastor, Father Ron Jozwiak, made a public spectacle of himself by refusing Holy Communion – very loudly and rudely – to a young Catholic lady.

    For the record, Rachel was receiving Holy Communion the Catholic way. But Rachel's story is not singular. This kind of thing happens all the time in Church of Nice parishes. Many of the people closely associated with or friendly to our apostolate, for example, have had similar experiences both before and during their time here.

    My own father, Russ Voris, has been pulled aside by priests in this archdiocese on more than one occasion and told not to kneel and has been refused Holy Communion for doing so.

    This all relates to a much larger point. As liberal, modernist, progressive churchmen go around the world pounding the drum for distribution of Holy Communion to those in objective states of mortal sin, it is interesting that those same types of Churchmen are the first to deny Holy Communion to faithful Catholics – just because they want to kneel.

    And here is a point that needs to be crystal clear: a Catholic – any Catholic – is absolutely free to receive Our Blessed Lord's Body and Blood on his or her knees whenever he wants to. And no priest or bishop or bishops' conference can refuse him. The Vatican itself has made that abundantly clear as recently as 2010.
Click here to watch Voris' Dec. 16 Vortex in its entirety.

Joe Kohn, director of public relations for the archdiocese, emailed the following response to a concerned Catholic:
    Dear [name redacted],

    Thank you for voicing your concern. Please know that the archdiocese is treating this allegation with the seriousness it deserves, and there should be no question in regards to the norms, or 'policy' here in the United States – as is the case everywhere in the United States, members of the faithful may, indeed, receive Holy Communion kneeling. If the account you viewed is true, it could indicate that a regretful error was made. Like everyone else in this world, priests, too, can sometimes make mistakes. And naturally any mistake should be addressed and resolved in an appropriate, loving manner in accord with our behavior as Christians.

    Sadly, we've noticed that some are publicly using this allegation not to voice a legitimate concern over the proper exercise of Catholic practices, but to try to implicate an entire archdiocese, dictate the behavior of an archbishop, degrade the U.S. bishops, and exasperate the notion of a rift between the U.S. Church and the Vatican. Concerns about Church teaching and liturgical practice are important, and certainly need to be addressed. But I do hope that as a Catholic community we can be wary also of these disheartening attempts to divide the Magisterium and attack the Church.

    I assume we also can agree to pray that this is resolved in a spirit of Christian unity that would indeed attract more people to Christ and into Communion with the Church, especially as we anticipate the season of our Blessed Lord's Incarnation.

    Again, I thank you kindly for writing.

    May God bless you and yours in this holy season.
Kohn doesn't mention Voris and CMTV by name in his email, but it's obvious to whom he's referring.

Now, on to another matter...

Catholic World News and Religion News Service recently reported on a feud (of sorts) between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Father Frank Pavone.

From CWN (Dec. 11):
    New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan has revealed, in a letter to the bishops of the U.S., that the Vatican conducted an apostolic visitation of Priests for Life last year. After that investigation, the cardinal says, he was asked by the Congregation for the Clergy to 'assist Father Pavone with several necessary reforms.'

    However, Cardinal Dolan writes, Father Pavone has not cooperated with the reforms. As a result, the cardinal has told the Vatican that 'I am unable to fulfill their mandate, and want nothing further to do with the organization.'
David Gibson of RNS reported:
    In a statement emailed to Religion News Service ... the Staten Island-based Priests for Life rebuffed Dolan's criticisms, contending that the group has had 'clean' audits for 15 years and saying the dispute is, in fact, 'about control.'

    Priests for Life is 'working with the Vatican to fully implement all the Church's expectations,' the group said, adding that the Vatican 'has been consistently supportive and favorable towards Priests for Life.'
Stay tuned...

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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