This is part three in a four-article series. Part one is here and Part two is here.
This argument is very simple. Michael Voris has stated that anyone who is in a state of unrepented actual mortal sin is a tool of Satan. And the subsequently stated that Pope Francis was in a “state of sin”, meaning unrepented actual mortal sin — as is clear from his claim that the Pope would go to Hell if he died in that state. Voris also implied that Pope Francis lacks supernatural faith. Therefore, Mr. Voris is implying that the Pope is a “tool of Satan”. Here are the quotes and links:
Michael Voris – The Vortex
April 21, 2015
“Anyone who is in a state of mortal sin is a tool of Satan. Period. The soul in a state of mortal sin has no grace, no supernatural life, is in fact totally and utterly defenseless against the attacks of Satan. It is completely absent of any sharing in the divine life.”
“Some leaders are under near total control of the diabolical. They are under such control for various reasons—but under his control nevertheless.”
“And it is extremely important to keep in mind that none of these men need to have bad intentions. They could in fact have good intentions, as far as they go. But not for nothing does the expression exist: ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ “
The above assertions by Voris are clear. “Anyone who is in a state of mortal sin is a tool of Satan. Period.” And he goes so far as to assert, in the article, that this applies also to Bishops and priests, even when they have good intentions.
But does it apply to Pope Francis?
Michael Voris – The Vortex
Church Militant Statement on the Pope
It needs to end!
August 27, 2018
First, Voris accuses Pope Francis of mortal sin:
“You have treated too many of the faithful with coldness and callousness, abusing the power of your office in regard to their sufferings over this horrendous unconscionable evil which you have facilitated.”
“You have protected abusers of power, of office, and worst of all, young adults and even children. You have covered up for them.”
“You have drawn into the temple of God, the most holy of sanctuaries, wicked men who have both raped and covered up the rape of innocents. Your hypocritical and shameless parade of empty words of sorrow and pleading for forgiveness are an egregious affront to those who believe in God, because you lack all sincerity.”
“A man who aids, abets, protects and promotes such wicked, sexually perverted and predatory men is not fit for the Chair of St. Peter — he is fit for far worse.”
“These wolves in shepherds’ clothing brutalize and sodomize the sheep, and you promote them. They have no fear of God, and with each passing day, it appears that neither do you.”
Voris accuses Pope Francis of mortal sin. Then he asserts plainly that Pope Francis is in a state of sin:
“You, Holy Father, as every Catholic must do when in a state of sin, should accuse and judge yourself guilty….”
This can only be unrepented actual mortal sin, since Voris says that the Pope will go to Hell if he dies in that state. The only state that would cause a baptized person to go to Hell is the state of unrepented actual mortal sin.
“You had better hope that this is not the state you die in, or you will be delivered over to the demons for an everlasting death of agony and torment in the unquenchable fire, for popes are not immune from risk of damnation….”
So we have two clear assertions:
1. Pope Francis is in a state of mortal sin.
2. “Anyone who is in a state of mortal sin is a tool of Satan.”
This implies that Michael Voris believes Pope Francis is a tool of Satan.
The Truth vs. False Accusations
In truth, Voris is making false accusations, and he is also wrong in his theology. This claim by Voris is theologically false:
“The soul in a state of mortal sin has no grace, no supernatural life, is in fact totally and utterly defenseless against the attacks of Satan. It is completely absent of any sharing in the divine life.”
A baptized Christian in a state of mortal sin usually has supernatural faith, unless their mortal sin was directly and gravely against faith itself. But in any case, the person in a state of mortal sin receives prevenient grace; that is the type of grace that is God operating, not cooperating. No one can refuse prevenient grace. The person also is able to cooperate, to some extent, with actual graces. That is how sinner are brought back to the state of grace, often in stages as they cooperate partially with actual grace, even though they lack habitual grace. So the soul is not “completely absent of any sharing in the divine life”. They do not share in the divine life by habitual grace, but they can begin to share in the divine life, and so move toward repentance and a return to habitual grace by some cooperation with actual graces.
As for Satan, he is only one fallen angel. He cannot control all the many persons who are not in the state of grace. Notice in the book of Job that Satan can do nothing except what God permits. And in the Gospels, the devils cannot even enter into a herd of swine without permission from the Son of God. So persons who are unfortunately in a state of mortal sin are not necessarily, nor even usually, tools of Satan.
Moreover, there is no indication that Pope Francis has committed actual mortal sin, nor any objectively grave sin, nor that he is unrepentant from such sins. And as I said in part two of this series of articles, Michael Voris implies as well that the Pope lacks supernatural faith. A baptized Christian would have to be unrepentant from an actual mortal sin against faith itself to be in that state, and there’s no support for that or any of these other severe accusations by Mr. Voris against the Roman Pontiff.
So these are all false accusations: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Michael Voris is violating one of the Ten Commandments, publicly, and in a very severe way, by making repeated extreme false accusations against Pope Francis. And the followers of Michael Voris don’t seem to mind. The more malice and hate that pours out of his mouth, the more they support him.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian
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