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Sin

Michael Voris’ video confession has elicited mixed reactions. Some have admired it, some questioned whether his apostolate could continue. Fearful that the diocese of New York was collecting information about his past, Michael Voris decided to go public with the nature of his sins. I think his initial comment that he saw no need to make a public confession of the details was actually correct; why should a repentant sinner have to specify them in public? In this instance it seems it was the fear he would be ‘outed’. I do hope no one was doing that in any official capacity, because if they were their sin is a very great one, and I suspect they will not have the courage to make as public a confession. Michael Voris is the Prodigal Son, and a proof that though your sins are scarlet, God can make them white as snow. Although his style is not to my taste, I admire his zeal, and I do hope that this episode will help him. I think anyone who wants to bash him over this really just needs to stop and ask themselves what it is they hope thereby to achieve? They might consider Mr Voris’ repentance and go imitate it.

We are all sinners, and what matter, indeed all that matters, is that we come to a realisation of it, that we seek forgiveness from God in sincere repentance. Beyond that point our job as fellow Christians is to rejoice, to give thanks to the witness to the power of God’s saving Grace, and to pray that we, too, shall have the Grace to continue to repent of our sins. God’s power is limited by nothing – except our ability to accept that we are forgiven our sins if we repent. How can that be, we ask? We ask especially if we are inclined to that same sin after repentance. But who are we to question God’s mercy?

It would be a terrible thing if someone in the New York diocese had been doing what is rumoured, and I would pray for the soul of anyone doing it, because they are putting it into mortal peril. I thank God we do not all have to do as Michael Voris has had to do. How hard would it be is, as sinners, we had to be on the alert constantly because someone who knew our sin was threatening to reveal it – blackmail is an ugly word for an ugly thing – and that is what Mr Voris feared he was being threatened with. Imagine had St Peter, St Paul, St Augustine or dozens of others had those around them threatening to reveal the details of their past sins. Well, St Peter was big enough not to mind that the Gospels bore eloquent witness to his sins – as they also bore witness to his forgiveness and the power of the saving Grace of Christ; the same was true of St Paul; and St Augustine’s sins would be remembered by none had he not put them down in his Confessions. In these, as in so many other cases, what mattered was that the sinner had come to repentance and tried to do better. It is not recorded that any of them did nothing more that was sinful in their lives, or that they lived Christ-like lives in being without sin. Were it so, what encouragement would that be for us poor sinners? My sins are confessed to my confessor, but I am surely glad I do not have make them public, and I can’t imagine the courage it took to do what Mr Voris did.

So, kudos to Mr Voris, and I hope this further empowers his apostolate. I was never quite sure how I felt about him before, as he can come across in ways which put me off – but I now know how I feel. I love him as a fellow brand plucked from the burning – and I pray for him and for all of us.

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