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Argument of the Month Club: Michael Voris vs. Mark Shea

October 11, 2013 | 31 Comments

Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to go the highly anticipated, highly exciting argument between Michael Voris of ChurchMilitant.TV and Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It! sponsored by the Argument of the Month Club of St. Augustine’s in South St. Paul, MN.

Michael Voris

For those of you who do not know who either of these are, Michael Voris runs an online apostolate called ChurchMillitant.TV in which he posts daily news stories. Voris is known for being more traditional and incredibly blunt. Mark Shea is probably what you could call a “neo” Catholic, in that he is not going to get excited about anything traditional. He has a blog and has written many books. For the last two years, there have been many squabbles between the two, especially on Mark Shea’s blog. Mark Shea has a problem with Voris telling it as it is and not being “nice”. Mark Shea has been very critical of Voris and his viewership, at times, almost uncharitable (in my eyes). Voris generally ignores Shea’s antics.

Mark Shea

The event was well received, and I mean well received. The evening started out with cigars, beer and pretzels with a delicious beer cheese sauce. These weren’t your normal store bought pretzels, but the actual warm, doughy, delicious pretzels that you get at the fair or bakery. This lasted until about 6pm. At 6 we all went to the basement of St. Augustine’s, grabbed seats and waited for the argument to start.

Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact “topic” that was stated, it seemed to have changed a couple times. From the little bits I recall is, “the best way to address the crises in the Church, is through prayer, almsgiving, and doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy”. Again, I don’t recall if this is the exact wording, but this is what I remember being discussed. Mark Shea took the positive side of the argument and Michael Voris took the negative of this argument.

Mark Shea began the argument with his introduction. He mentioned how the Church is in crisis and has been in crisis, for, well, every single year of the Church’s history. He went on to talk about how St. Paul was constantly writing up the members of the Church to point out what they were doing wrong and what not. He also mentioned that the Church is doing really well numbers wise, using that 1.2 Billion number that I have already talked about. He did end saying that we should be praying, fasting, almsgiving and practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Michael Voris responded to these points well. Yes, the Church is always in some form of crises, but that doesn’t mean we should just go along on our merry way, but we need to be men of action (this was an all-men event) and we need to actually respond to the crises and do something about it. He made some great comments on how the Church counts its members and wishes that the bank counted the same way “I wish my bank would only count the deposits I make and ignore the withdrawals”. Then he mentioned how Mark Shea doesn’t even practice the corporal and spiritual works, considering he (Shea) blasts him (Voris) on a regular basis.

Fortunately for Voris, a viewer was kind enough to go through Shea’s blog and highlight all the articles and comments that Shea has posted over the last two years in which he said anything unkind to Voris. Voris read off a few of the things Shea has said, and even some of the things Shea has said about the viewership (one denigration Shea has used is calling them “weenies”). Voris then asked about the 500-600 men, how many of them watched his stuff. At least half of the hands shot up. It was great to see this point being made, as the look on Shea’s face went a little stiff.

After the debate, they served some delicious food for dinner and we had some great discussion amongst our selves. I made sure I got a picture with Michael Voris. I talked with him briefly and thanked him for what he does.

Myself with Michael Voris

Myself with Michael Voris

I did not talk with Mark Shea, unfortunately out of a bit of anger, looking back I wish I did. I would have liked to have told him how I used to read his blog, but once he started on bashing Voris and the traditions of the Church, that it completely ruined my view of him and his blog. Oh well.

The second debate was a little different, two other debaters that are part of the Argument of the Month Club went up. They debated what each of us, as laymen, can do to help the Church. There were a few good points made. Here are my favorite lines:

  • For 1500-1900 years in Church history, every knee bowed and hit the floor at the words “and God was made flesh and dwelt among us”. Who’s bright idea was it that this should stop?!?
  • Does anybody remember “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus”? Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation? When did this stop? And if it isn’t important, than what’s the point of being Catholic?
  • Both Michael Voris and Mark Shea bring people into the Church. Isn’t that good? Michael Voris speaks to one crowd, Mark Shea speaks to another, but if they both bring people to Christ, isn’t that good? (I agree to an extent, it would be nice to see Mark Shea stop judging others because they don’t preach his version of Catholicism).

This was such a great event to be at. You could really feel the excitement and the Holy Spirit’s presence. I think it was good for Shea to be confronted as he was. Let’s just hope and pray that he realizes the errors in his ways.

Kudos to Michael Voris.

31 people are talking about “Argument of the Month Club: Michael Voris vs. Mark Shea

    • You’re welcome! I thought he had made a video once, though he didn’t mention Shea’s name, though it was implied?

      • You might be referring to the Corapi video from 2011, in which Michael, quoting Pope Benedict, called out “professional Catholics.” Shea assumed Michael was referring to him, when in fact, Michael didn’t even know who Shea was back then.

      • I have been banned from Shea’s blog because I, repeatedly, pointed out, with evidence, that Shea does not fact check.

        That’s the sad reality with Shea.

  1. Weenies?
    Hebrew Nationals, then.
    Vienna Beef, then.
    Weenies are good.

    Can you tell us if and where this was recorded so that we can listen, too ?
    And, dang, that menu sounded awesome. :)

  2. Thanks for your review of the event. I agree with you; I’m in Michael Voris’ camp. A lot of people in our music community also cherish his presence on the internet. We need more warriors for our Church. Sometimes we can’t be “nice;” we need to deal with things using our Church’s teachings and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Keep up the great work!!

    Yours In Christ!

    dave

    PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY!!

  3. My wife and I are really Michael Voris fans! We need more like him to tell all Catholics how it is and be straight forward. Voris is right by saying that todays clergy many are to nice and don’t want to hurt anyones feelings and look where the church is at right now. If all men start acting like men of God like Mr. Voris many of the evils we see today will decrease dramatically!

    • Why don’t all of you who love Michael Voris and commend what he does (as I do), go out into the streets as our past three Holy Father’s have asked us to do?
      Just go to http://streetevangelization.com/ and sign up. It is free and you will find the rewards are out of this world. We have over 80 locations in the USA and three other countries. It is non-confrontational and you get to help the Lord save lost souls. I have given out over 4000 Rosaries since I started. And 6,000 pamphlets about our rich Catholic faith.
      Do not be Afraid!

  4. There is no salvation (from grave sin) outside the Church. Jesus repeated that those in no need of a doctor don’t have to go to one.

    No other faith besides the Catholic Faith deals so pointedly with reconciliation and pardon for sin. Everybody can see this fact for the fact that it is.

    Nobody is damned just for being born, so, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, a soul may well not be a “Catholic” soul, and yet, go to an eternal reward with the LORD in Heaven.

    But, for the soul that crosses the line drawn in its own heart by God, the only way back is through the infinite mercy of God; and the ordinary means to obtain that mercy is found in the great sacrament of Confession.

    Care should be taken not to teach or opine otherwise.

  5. I was there and spent the entire day helping to set up. In many ways, the event brought out the best in everyone. Those expecting a “cage fight” were disappointed because the Shea of St. Blog’s did not show up. About the closest thing we got to that was when Mark suggested that E. Michael Jones was an anti-Semite. Voris had interviewed him and was satisfied that he wasn’t.

    Team Voris was prepared for the Shea we’ve come to know. I’ll let them decide if they want to divulge what their strategy would’ve been; but be assured—they were prepared.

    Instead, Mark was likable even if he sounded a little too optimistic about the state of affairs. I introduced myself to him as someone he had banned and he was gracious.

    Michael Matt and Fr. Echert came off better than anyone else on stage. The food was phenomenal and I’m proud to say I played a part in its preparation.

  6. I would like there to be something similar for women only. Christine Niles vs a liberal Catholic feminist.!

  7. As a woman who watches and appreciates Michael Voris very much, I am thrilled to see men getting together to talk about what they can do, as men, to strengthen the Church and increase the body of Christ.

  8. As a Protestant by conviction, I cannot abide (1) snide Catholics who flippantly dismiss our faith as “too little, too late,” and (2) wimpy RCs who want us all to hold hands and sing ‘Kumbayah.’ Michael Voris is neither of these.

    But the blowhard who is most unbecoming your religion and doing both apologetics and Catholic evangelism a terrible disservice, is the buffoon who regularly stoops to vulgarity, appears to be a know-it-all, and has the audacity to attack his fellow Catholic who happens to be a real man and who behaves like a gentlemen (even as he attacks my Protestant faith!).

    Seriously, who’s a convinced Prot going to appreciate and give audience to — to Michael, or to his whiny & crude RC detractors?

  9. I like Voris more than Shea… but neither enough to watch or read more than I have to. Voris seems to focus on the negative and Shea thinks he’s the reincarnation of G.K. Chesterton… without the charity that G.K. had in spades. I feel that at least Voris is motivated by love of the Church and a zeal for souls… but Shea is motivated by antipathy for mere humans who don’t have his education and background.

  10. Thanks for your review! I guess I am a weinnie too because I do not miss any of Michael Voris’ videos. I did, however, stop reading Mark Shea’s blog a few years ago when he became so nasty to anyone who had a different opinion than his. Mark has really changed. I pray for him. Years ago, I bought every book and read everything he wrote.

    I pray that Michael does not change. Amen. We need him; he reminds me of our dear Mother Angelica. :-)

    Jeff, thanks for all you are doing!

  11. “He went on to talk about how St. Paul was constantly writing up the members of the Church to point out what they were doing wrong and what not.”

    St. Paul was an Apostle, priest, missionary, church founder, all in all in a position of great authority in the early Church and a tent maker too. Perhaps todays equivalent of the “Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith”. He was charged with pastoral responsibility – it was his duty to to correct errors and encourage sanctity.

    St. Paul’s letters were addressed to a particular church and sent to that church prior to others copying and distributing these letters for general building up of the Church.

    No one sitting in bed writing on their ipad blogging need confuse their role with that of St. Paul.

  12. Thanks for the write up. I really appreciate all that Michael and CM.TV do for the faith. Their work is a great resource and a reminder to take action and do our part for the Body of Christ. God bless

  13. Another thank you for your recollections. This debate is important to me as I a ponder what is going on in the Church. Looking foreward to when the AOTM get it on their FB page.

  14. This is how I know this is a biased opinion based on personal preference and not on rational and logical analysis.

    “Then he mentioned how Mark Shea doesn’t even practice the corporal and spiritual works, considering he (Shea) blasts him (Voris) on a regular basis. Fortunately for Voris, a viewer was kind enough to go through Shea’s blog and highlight all the articles and comments that Shea has posted over the last two years in which he said anything unkind to Voris. Voris read off a few of the things Shea has said, and even some of the things Shea has said about the viewership (one denigration Shea has used is calling them “weenies”).”

    Ummm, okaaay, and Michael Voris does better in this category? Who in the room went through a few of the Vortex episodes to highlight or put together a little slideshow of all the blasts MV does practically daily? For goodness sake the man practically breathes criticism and judgment on clergy who don’t fit his idea of “Catholicism”. I also used to watch The Vortex until I noticed how Michael Voris is constantly on a self high and takes it upon himself to rebuke, correct, and demand apologies from priests, bishops and even the Holy Father. The sarcasm is sickening and not very Catholic so while I do not deny Mark Shea does have a very unholy way about expressing his frustrations, frankly, Michael Voris and the Vortex are no one to point the finger in this regard and neither are you Mr. blogwriter.

    • “demand apologies from priests, bishops and even the Holy Father.”

      ???

      Voris has never demanded an apology from the Holy Father, nor has he even criticized him. What are you talking about?

  15. Hi can i ask if shea bought his tin rattling cup with him?.. Sorry to say but Mark shea is a joke … Perhaps he should get a real job may make a man out of him for a change…

    • Heh, no, Shea didn’t bring his tin rattling cup with him. I actually had a bit more respect for him after the debate, but, unfortunately, viewing his blog on occasion this last month has proven otherwise. The man clearly needs prayers.

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