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Church Militant, funded by a major FSSP donor, launched an slanderous attack against the SSPX by committing detraction against a priest who formerly cooperated with them, and the former editor of Latin Mass Magazine.

Long ago, I became very suspicious of Michael Voris' ever since Louie Verrecchio explained Voris' shift from being interested in the SSPX towards committed attacks.

From the SSPX's US District's Website


Quote:On July 23, 2019, Church Militant published an article entitled "Is the SSPX Sheltering a Sexual Predator?" by James Baresel. This misleading and slanderous report deserves clarification. Both charity and justice should be hallmarks of any Catholic.


History
The main accusation centers around Fr. James McLucas, a diocesan priest who occasionally helps the Society of Saint Pius X. While not a member of the SSPX, Fr. McLucas was named in the August 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report. Even though the information in the report was inaccurate, it has not stopped secular and Catholic outfits from labeling him a "sexual predator." (For more on the broader question, please see: https://catholicherald.co.uk/magazine/th...d-priests/) As no civil or canonical proceedings have ever found Fr. McLucas guilty, nor has he ever been charged with any crime, these accusations are profoundly defamatory.

Fr. McLucas’ lawyer issued the following statement in 2018 when the recent accusations were first made:

Quote:While Father McLucas was not charged with any crime, the shocking and horrible accusations in the report - without published evidence, without trial, and without due process of law - will nevertheless blacken his reputation and destroy him in his profession. 

Context
Less than two weeks ago, Church Militant, quoting Pope Francis, used similar terms to defend Father Perrone against the Archdiocese of Detroit:

The right to defense: the principle of natural and canon law of presumption of innocence must also be safeguarded until the guilt of the accused is proven. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the lists of the accused being published, even by the dioceses, before the preliminary investigation and the definitive condemnation. (https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/arti...reputation

The Role of Church Militant
In both situations, Church Militant assumes the place of a judge that only civil or religious authorities are entitled to.

Furthermore, Church Militant displays a double standard. Fr. Perrone and Fr. McLucas are both accused. Church Militant defends the one and attacks the other. They play the advocate for Fr. Perrone and the prosecutor for Fr. McLucas. The same principles they enunciate and hold sacred to defend Fr. Perrone, they trample on when it comes to Fr. McLucas.

SSPX Response
Speaking of Church Militant’s methodology, we must draw attention to this sentence: "SSPX priest Nicholas Stamos informed me by phone on July 18 that McLucas is still participating in the organization's work."

Fr. Nicholas Stamos wishes to make clear: he has never heard of, nor spoken to, the author of this article. He had one call from earlier in the summer, who apparently falsely said he was an old friend of Fr. McLucas, and that he wished to get in contact. Fr. Stamos directed him to a priory that Fr. McLucas sometimes visits. Neither Fr. Stamos nor anyone at the latter priory ever heard from Church Militant. Is this Catholic journalism?

Protection of All
The Society of Saint Pius X is committed to protecting all minors and vulnerable adults and to cooperate fully with civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In addition, we are committed to both helping victims as well as those that are accused. We do not unduly assume the role of judge and leave any investigation to the proper authorities.

From our internal policy on these matters:

Quote:Our commitment includes the protection of children (i.e. minors), and vulnerable adults from harm, and the protection of workers from false allegations...We provide individual care and counsel both for the abuse victim and his/her family...The accused is to be treated with dignity and respect. Clergy will seek opportunity to provide individual care and counsel both for the accused and his/her family until the investigation is completed. 

Why the SSPX Exists
We stress that the Society of St. Pius X was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to form and help Catholic priests. As our Statutes state, the central charism of the SSPX is the Catholic priesthood:

Quote:[The Society’s activities] include all the works necessary for the formation of priests and whatever pertains thereto, whether the candidates be destined to be members of the Society or not…

The second purpose of the Society is to assist priests in their sanctification by providing them with opportunities for retreats and recollections. The Society’s houses could be headquarters for priestly associations, for third orders, for periodicals and magazines dedicated to the sanctification of priests…

The Society will willingly come to the assistance of aged, infirm, and even unfaithful priests.

Faithful to her mission, rather than condemning and casting the first stone, the Society comes to the help of priests to restore their priesthood and sanctify themselves.

Conclusion
To Church Militant: we ask you retract this scandalous article. It is easy to contact us. If you are more concerned with the truth than clicks, you can still make reparation. We simply ask that you apply the same principles to your article about Fr. McLucas that you do to your articles about Fr. Perrone. In the meantime, for your readers--whatever they think of the SSPX--we hope this clarification shows which side maintains journalistic integrity, and more importantly, Catholic charity and justice.


Sadly, Voris has doubled down and instead of a retraction, issued a further article and accused other priests of sexual misconduct and the superiors of harboring sexual predators.

I gave up on Michael a long time ago, but this is, sadly what he's being paid to do.

Given his own past, he should be merciful to those who have fallen into sins that he himself has fallen, rather than using them as a means to attack traditional Catholics he does not like. Unfortunately, this sounds like the man in the Gospel who was forgiven his great debt, but could not show mercy with others who were indebted and asked forgiveness.

I know Fr McLucas personally. I was shocked to hear of his long-past misdeeds (if the accusation is even true, since it has never been tried), but I know him to be a good priest. If they are true, I am sure he is doing penance for them, and quite willingly. It is such a shame that he has become a tool in Terry Carroll and Michael Voris' attack on the SSPX.
The clergy have a long history of taking care of their own, often at the expense of justice and the victims. I don't know all the details of this case, but what I understand is that Fr McLucas had an affair with a female parishioner and the big question is how old she was when it began. The article says that he wasn't charged with a crime, but it didn't say there was a settlement, and I believe there was. That omission makes me a little suspicious.

So, is the SSPX covering up for their own at the expense of the innocent to save face, like the rest of the Church? My gut says yes, even if it's just for sexual misconduct with an adult. Personally, I don't want anything to do with a priest who had an affair with someone he once counseled as a teen, even if she was technically of age when the affair began.

Also, how much leeway do you give a priest, how charitable are you willing to be? One thing about Michael Voris is that he's up front about the sexually deviant lifestyle he once lived. If Father McLucas was as forthcoming, would we be so charitable?
(07-28-2019, 05:06 AM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ] If Father McLucas was as forthcoming, would we be so charitable?

Thing is, Voris wasn't.

When he revealed his escapades he said he wanted to publicize them ahead of his suspicion that people in the Archdiocese of New York were going to expose him.

I'd note as well that the accusations were from a time before Fr McLucas was involved with the SSPX and was instead working with the FSSP and Archdiocese of New York. So the accusation against the SSPX is clearly an opportunistic attack on them.

As soon as the allegations were public Fr McLucas ceased public ministry with the SSPX. So exactly how are they involved, even if the allegations are true?
I gave up on Voris and Church Militant shortly after I converted because of how uncharitable they are in their coverage. Their attacks on the SSPX are just the final nail.
Just forget it.
Extraneous
(07-28-2019, 05:53 AM)MagisterMusic Wrote: [ -> ]Thing is, Voris wasn't.

When he revealed his escapades he said he wanted to publicize them ahead of his suspicion that people in the Archdiocese of New York were going to expose him.

I'd note as well that the accusations were from a time before Fr McLucas was involved with the SSPX and was instead working with the FSSP and Archdiocese of New York. So the accusation against the SSPX is clearly an opportunistic attack on them.

As soon as the allegations were public Fr McLucas ceased public ministry with the SSPX. So exactly how are they involved, even if the allegations are true?

Sounds like Voris wanted to set the record straight before it became a scandal. Good for him.  Maybe deviant priests should do the same, but I get why they don't, they're often criminal cases.  

I've read a little more on this and it sounds like Fr. McLucas has some serious moral issues, to say the least.

Is Fr. McLucas still working with the SSPX, in any capacity?  I'm not clear on that.  I've got nothing against the SSPX, I'm actually kind of interested in them, but I would like to know where they stand on stuff like this.
(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Being involved in the ministry of SSPX does not cleanse one of all sins.

Who said it does?

As I pointed out Fr McLucas was accused of doing something immoral before his informal tenure with the SSPX. This alleged incident (which he has denied) supposedly happened while he was a temporary member of the FSSP and a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, not an SSPX member.

It would be just an accurate a headline to question whether the FSSP or Archdiocese of New York was harboring a sexual predator. Note, however, Church Militant does not do this, they accuse the SSPX. Note also they asked for an official statement from the FSSP, but not from the SSPX.

In short, the SSPX has nothing to do with the story, but Voris has a history of wanting spin pieces to attack his enemies.

In that link a former writer for Church Militant speaks of trying to write fair pieces, even if they were critical of figures like Cardinal Dolan, but his stories edited to make the figures look bad :

Quote:I was told to write an article on Cardinal Dolan and his Making All Things New pastoral initiative. In it, many dying parishes were being closed down to save the Archdiocese of New York money. I added several quotes from distraught and sad parishioners, as the angle was clearly to portray Cardinal Dolan as a bad person. However, I made a mistake in the writing of it: I added a quote from Dolan saying how sorry he was for having to close down the parishes, and that he felt for the parishioners who were losing their parish communities.

I was told by my editor that overall the article was good, but the quote was taken out. When I asked why, I was given a shocking answer: "It made him look good, and that's not what we want."

I stared for a moment in shock, nodded my head, and then walked away, disillusioned by what I had just heard.

It was at this moment that I began questioning all that I had done and believed in for four years. Two weeks into my dream, and I was having a crisis; not of faith, but of how to live that faith. Deep with thoughts of doubt and regret, I asked for my name to be taken off the article.

A week after this, I began questioning the purpose of releasing the information about clerical abuses (and supposed abuses) and bashing clergy for pastoral decisions in the first place. What was it accomplishing other than sowing deep-seated division in the Church? None of our articles to my knowledge had ever resulted in the punishment of a priest or bishop.

And why were we telling laypeople about these things in the first place? They didn't have the authority to take care of the issue. Why weren't we contacting bishops directly to inform them of things they are unaware of in their dioceses? Why was our immediate impulse to tell the whole world rather than to tell the people who could actually take care of the issue?

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]And since Voris reported it, and he is zealously accurate in his reporting, SSPX is probably in error in this. A really good chance.

Who's operating on feelings now?

Ever since Terry Carroll dumped millions into Church Militant, Voris has been told to attack the Society however he can. Several people have documented this change in his attitude. How can that be said to be "zealously accurate" when his own staff has said that they have an agenda and articles are edited to conform to an agenda.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Father McLucas' sin wasn't anything you would have noticed in his public ministry. If you say his public face is good, it probably is. But the sin was all private, and over a long period of time, and it involved long term, systematic gross abuse of his office of priest. When you read it in that report, I am sure you will agree.

And it is an accusation he has vehemently denied.

I did not just know him through his public ministry. I know him personally for quite a long time.

Is it possible that he fell and did evil things? Most certainly. We all can, but I have know him to be brutally honest about his faults, extremely humble, charitable, never unduly affectionate. None of the signs one sees in problematic clergy.

Even if he did fall, given it was not a predatory crime (the accusation is that he had an illicit relationship with a young adult he previously knew when counselling as a teenager) does that mean that once a priest commits that kind of crime he should be publicly exposed for his sins? Generally, it is a grave sin to reveal other's grave sins when they do not immediately threaten the common good.

He has never been tried for any crime, civil or ecclesiastical. His case has never been judged. So why do we presume his guilt?

Further, even if he were guilty, how does this involve the SSPX?

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Basic vigilance on the part of the SSPX would by now have led the organization to cease its association with McLucas.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]To have accepted at face value his desire to join in its work without contacting his diocese to learn the facts of his case would have been irresponsible enough, but those facts have been public knowledge since August of 2018, when they appeared in several news reports. 

Since I know many of the priests in the SSPX who have come from a diocese, I can tell you that the superiors are vigilant and do ask about these things and do check stories. The problem however is two-fold: (1) the dioceses are often unwilling to work with the SSPX; (2) if the matter is private, a diocese often cannot reveal such things, as it would be immoral to reveal an accusation that is not proven.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]MagisterMusicae, It seems you are impling above that public figures should tell the public the specific details about their private past sins that they have long since repented from. Is that what you think? 

Not at all.

I don't think such matters should be publicized, and to do so when there is not an immediate harm to the common good, or where Justice or some other virtue does not demand it is the sin of detraction or calumny (depending on the truth of the matter).

Men's private lives and their sins should be private, except when others are harmed by this, and then their sins and crimes exposed only to the degree necessary to prevent that harm. The moral law demands that.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Because Voris was always clear that there was a time period in his past adult life when he lived a horrible lifestyle.

And there was no obligation for him to say this, but he is free to have said so, and often it does help to make one's case stronger.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]No one ever asked him: "Well, what exactly was your lifestyle?" Are you saying, instead, that he should have given us the lowdown, the specific details of how he lived before he repented? And that by not doing so, he was in err of not being "forthcoming"?

Not at all.

I think it was shameful if people threatened to expose his past, but that should have taught him that it's shameful to do that, and not then to allow it to happen to others. Instead his organization has become exactly what he said was threatening him unjustly.

And the SSPX press release made that clear that recently CM defended Fr Perrone who claimed innocence, yet accused Fr McLucas who claims innocence, as a proxy for attacking the SSPX.

It was shameful for the Archdiocese to do that to Voris (if they were). It is even more shameful for Voris' organization to do that the Fr McLucas, given it is a direct attack on a priest and a priestly society.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]He fights against clergy who practice what he used to practice.

Fr McLucas was not accused of doing what Voris used to do.

(07-28-2019, 05:11 PM)St.Eliza Wrote: [ -> ]Like you, Magister, I also began to think that maybe he was too over-the-top against practicing homosexual priests, bishops and cardinals, and that he should be more understanding of them.

Never have I said that. I think his slander and detraction against Fr McLucas as a means of attacking the SSPX is shameful and diabolical.

Those base tactics are the tactics of the devil and the world. A Catholic cannot use them to fight evil. By using them he consents to evil.
(07-28-2019, 06:53 PM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]I've read a little more on this and it sounds like Fr. McLucas has some serious moral issues, to say the least.

He has denied the accusations. I think in the face of that he, like Fr Perrone, should be given the benefit of the doubt.

The Church could try the case. What he is accused of doing is a canonical crime. I hasn't.

(07-28-2019, 06:53 PM)jack89 Wrote: [ -> ]Is Fr. McLucas still working with the SSPX, in any capacity?  I'm not clear on that.  I've got nothing against the SSPX, I'm actually kind of interested in them, but I would like to know where they stand on stuff like this.

He was never officially working for the SSPX. He was never a member, but was living in an SSPX house, offering Mass and teaching in one of their schools.

When the accusation from the Grand Jury report came out, the SSPX asked he not engage in public ministry. As far as I know now, he given an occasional conference here or there, and mostly celebrates Mass privately, but has no official role in the SSPX. 

He is not in or around a school, as far as I know, but the matter he was accused is impropriety with an adult woman he knew from counselling as a adolescent. He is not a sexual predator by any standard definition, even if what he was accused of is true. Thus, even if he were, I would not think it is the kind of risk you see in other clerical abuse cases, if there was no counselling or ministry involved.
Not a fan of Michael Voris’ videos, in general.
Things come across as very prideful, to me anyway.

They admire His Eminence Cardinal Burke over at “Church Militant” (as do I).
I think Voris would be wise to follow Cardinal Burke’s example of meekness and charity.
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