It has come to our attention that Michael Voris, a US based media producer, is scheduled to offer independent catechesis sessions out of a hotel in Madrid during World Youth Day 2011. There has been some confusion regarding his affiliation with World Youth Day. Michael Voris, the clergy and the laity associated with him, and their media efforts “Real Catholic TV” and “No Bull in Madrid” are not in any way recognized or approved by World Youth Day 2011.
Catechesis at World Youth Day is offered by Bishops of the Catholic Church in union with Pope Benedict XVI, who has invited the young people of the world to join him in Madrid for this celebration of faith and life. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity selects and invites Bishops, and only Bishops, from around the world to conduct Catechesis sessions at WYD in various languages.
Participants in the World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Program must be recognized and endorsed by the Bishops and Episcopal Conferences of their respective countries. Participants were selected for Cultural program by the World Youth Day organization in close collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Those groups participating in the World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Festival have been selected because, through their various activities, they promote the authentic teaching and unity of the Roman Catholic Church and have been endorsed by their local Bishop and Espiscopal conference. Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and “No Bull in Madrid” did not receive such endorsement from their Bishop or Episcopal Conference.
Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and the program “No Bull in Madrid” are not accredited to or recognized by World Youth Day 2011.For his part, Voris has released his own statement, with my emphases and comments:
World Youth Day Madrid 2011 invites and encourages all pilgrims attending this celebration of faith to visit the vast array of events that make up the official World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Festival and are endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the WYD organization and their respective Bishops conferences.
The faithful who work at http://www.realcatholictv.com would like to thank the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for drawing attention to our existence and scheduled contributions to the upcoming World Youth Day events to be held in Madrid, Spain, as well as the launch of its new pilot program striving to address tough issues concerning sexuality and morals facing Catholic youth today, http://www.nobullinmadrid.com.While I have in the past enjoyed some videos from Real Catholic TV, I have, from the first time I saw them, had some reservations about them. The videos are almost always confrontational in style and tone and seem to presume the worst intentions of Catholics who are lukewarm. I do not know any of the "behind the scenes" details between Voris and WYD, but I suspect this tone is part of what why he and his organization have not been endorsed by the USCCB.
While we regret that some assistant to the Secretariat for Laity of the USCCB has not given us her approval “to participate in the cultural program”, we prefer to rely upon the higher authority of Our Lord Himself [this is a dangerous line of thinking and is not an authentically Catholic way of thinking], and an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church as it does what it can to increase the authentic Faith and Morals of the Catholic Church:
“The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself.” Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3. [While this is true, it is also true that "no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority" (canon 216). This consent seems not to have been given.]
For every press release that is issued mentioning our existence, more and more tangible interest inhttp://www.realcatholictv.com is generated on the part of ordinary Catholic faithful simply seeking straightforward information on just how to be really Catholic – not only in word, but more importantly in deed, which all too often is lacking on the part of some Dioceses in too many parishes to the grave detriment of souls [this does not legitimate an oppositional stand against the organizers of WYD. John Corapi's site also received increased attention, but that does not justify what he has done]. For the significant increased attention drawn to the exclusive on-line product found on http://www.realcatholictv.com, we are very grateful.
The faithful at http://www.realcatholictv.com are in full compliance with the universal norms of the Code of Canon Law [not with canon 216, unless such consent has simply not been mentioned on the site, unless I just missed it], the universal legislation of the Roman Catholic Church, which in no canon muzzles ordinary Catholic faithful from using themselves on the web as genuine instruments of dissemination of Catholic principles. To the contrary, the Second Vatican Council calls upon every single Catholic to do his or her share to build up genuine observance of authentic Catholic Faith and Morals [yes, but while maintaining communion with the Church (cf. canons 208-218], which we only strive to achieve in a concrete and updated format resonating with the youth of today.