Church teaching

The anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim views of Michael Voris

As a believing and practicing Catholic, I reject the anti-Jewish views of Michael Voris and other persons on the far right of Catholicism. These views are contrary to authentic Catholic teaching and are outright heresy:

Voris: “After the destruction to the temple in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus and his tenth legion, the Jewish faith ceased being what it had been up to that point…they had a temple and offered sacrifice. The entire religion was focused on this one singular point.” Without the temple and its sacrifices, Judaism, Voris claims, ceased to exist.

Voris: “The Covenant was never abandoned by God. It was abandoned by the overwhelming number of people called to it.”

Voris: “The Jews who rejected Him, having voted themselves out of the Covenant, went off and started a man-made religion.” [Michael Voris video: The Jews]

To the contrary, the Jewish faith, at its core, is a religion of love of God, above all else, and love of neighbor as self. When Jesus proposed this understanding of Judaism to his fellow Jews, they agreed.

[Mark]
{12:28} And one of the scribes, who had heard them arguing, drew near to him. And seeing that he had answered them well, he questioned him as to which was the first commandment of all.
{12:29} And Jesus answered him: “For the first commandment of all is this: ‘Listen, O Israel. The Lord your God is one God.
{12:30} And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart, and from your whole soul, and from your whole mind, and from your whole strength. This is the first commandment.’
{12:31} But the second is similar to it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
{12:32} And the scribe said to him: Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth that there is one God, and there is no other beside him;
{12:33} and that he should be loved from the whole heart, and from the whole understanding, and from the whole soul, and from the whole strength. And to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is greater than all holocausts and sacrifices.”
{12:34} And Jesus, seeing that he had responded wisely, said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to question him.

Therefore, the destruction of the Temple and the end of animal sacrifices in Judaism did not cause the religion to cease to exist. For it continued to be, what it had always been at its core, a religion of love of God and love of neighbor as self.

Calling Judaism, at any point in history, a man-made religion is absurd. It is a religion based on divine revelation, a revelation accepted by the Catholic Christian faith as infallible and God-given.

As for the error of not accepting Christ, when this is done by anyone with a sincere but mistaken conscience, the person remains in the state of grace and/or can enter the state of grace subsequently. Non-Christian believers and non-believers can all enter the state of grace by an implicit baptism of desire, and then can return to the state of grace after serious sin by implicit perfect contrition. Therefore, those persons can still be saved who know about Christianity and the Church, and who outwardly reject the Catholic faith.

Pope Saint John Paul II: “inasmuch as divine grace is granted to them by virtue of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, without external membership in the Church, but nonetheless always in relation to her (cf. RM 10). It is a mysterious relationship. It is mysterious for those who receive the grace, because they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her. It is also mysterious in itself, because it is linked to the saving mystery of grace, which includes an essential reference to the Church the Savior founded.” [All Salvation Comes through Christ]

In another video, Voris proposes errors on the Muslim faith. He states, correctly, that reason alone can attain to the understanding that a God exists, that He created all else that exists, and that He should be worshipped. Fine. But then he jumps to the false conclusion that whosoever holds these beliefs about God does not have supernatural faith. Wrong.

The entire moral law is open to reason. And yet the reason of fallen sinners has difficulty correctly understanding all of the moral requirements of that law. And so Catholics often attain to that correct understanding by faith in the moral teachings of the Church. The Magisterium teaches on faith and morals, not on faith alone. The Magisterium teaches that God exists, that He created all else, and that He should be worshipped. Belief in these teachings is certainly of faith. See the commentary on Ad Tuendam Fidem, which states explicitly that moral teachings are the object of the theological virtue of faith. The fact that moral teachings can be attained by reason does not exclude them from the act of faith. And the same is true for the teachings on the existence of God.

From that wrong conclusion, Voris then argues that the entire Islamic faith is not due to an act of supernatural faith, and is merely of reason. That is of course contrary to the teaching of the Church, which states that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are the three great monotheistic religions.

Vatican II: “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God” (LG 16)

Vatican II: “The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.” (NA 3)

Pope Saint John Paul II: “I wish to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s respect for Islam, for authentic Islam: the Islam that prays, that is concerned for those in need.” [Address 2001]

Pope Saint John Paul II: ““Praised be God for this testimony of love, borne by the three great religions!” [Address, May 2002]”

Pope Benedict XVI: “Jerusalem is the cross-roads of the three great monotheistic religions….” [Audience 2009]

Voris errs greatly by claiming that they have no supernatural faith. He says much the same about Judaism, which he claims is merely a man-made religion. Grave errors of this type show that Voris has a superficial and disordered understanding of Catholicism. He draws a large audience to himself by hitting all the conservative talking points, which pleases his audience, and also by this over-simplification, which makes his audience think that they understand the faith better than they really do (so it appeals to pride).

Voris: “This is the Muslims. They have no supernatural faith, and therefore they have no supernatural act of worship. And even the Jews, who rejected Jesus as God, as Trinity. They rejected God as Trinity. They have no faith and therefore their worship also is natural not supernatural.” [Voris video: Muslims and Jews]

Voris goes on, in the same video, to claim that Christians, Jews, and Muslims do not worship the same God, except in the limited sense that there is only one God (and supposedly Jews and Muslims have greatly misunderstood that God).

And the Magisterium teaches otherwise:

Pope Benedict XVI: “This year is also the 40th anniversary of the conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, which has ushered in a new season of dialogue and spiritual solidarity between Jews and Christians, as well as esteem for the other great religious traditions. Islam occupies a special place among them. Its followers worship the same God and willingly refer to the Patriarch Abraham.” [Audience 2005]

Muslims and Jews worship the same God as Christians. We all love God, worship God, and express that love of God in love of neighbor. And that is the core of all true religion, the two great commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Since all three religions have that core belief and teaching, all three are true religions, ordered toward the love and worship of the one true God.

Voris goes on to claim that persons must worship God in the proper understanding that God is a Trinity of persons: “in order to worship God in the manner that He has commanded, He must be understood in the manner in which He has revealed Himself, which is Trinity. To deny or ignore the central aspect of God, which is that God is a Trinity of Persons, prevents one from worshipping Him in the manner that God has commanded.” [Voris video: Muslims and Jews]

This is a great hypocrisy, since, as I’ve detailed in a previous post, Voris’ views of the Trinity are heretical; he unwittingly denies that the Three Persons are consubstantial, thereby teaching and adhering to a heresy on the Trinity. He then falls under his own condemnation of persons who fail to worship God with the correct understanding that God is a Trinity.

Michael Voris’ understanding of Catholicism is erroneous, superficial, heretical, and idiosyncratic. He is misleading a vast number of Catholics who, in seeking the true faith, have been misled into a false version of Catholic Christianity.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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Categories: Church teaching