Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


“Rebellion in the Church”

November 16th, 2010, Promulgated by Mike has released Rebellion in the Church, which it bills as “a hard-hitting documentary program which reveals the truth behind many of problems facing the Western Church today.”

The program is 64 minutes in length and is the product of over 500 hours of research.  It traces the roots of the current turmoil in much of the Church back to the Protestant Reformation and its secular cousin, the Enlightenment, and details how these two defining moments ultimately led to the confusion and dissent that have plagued the Church in recent years.

Highly recommended for anyone still wondering about the causes behind the near collapse of much of Western Catholicism.

Click  here to view the documentary.



19 Responses to ““Rebellion in the Church””

  1. avatar benanderson says:

    I think it’s unfortunate how popular this guy is becoming. He gives orthodoxy a bad name. I’ve shared my opinions of him before, so I won’t get into that again ( And just so everyone is aware – his title (STB) is a bachelor’s degree – nowhere near what one might consider a scholar. I watched 5 minutes of this “show” before realizing what a waste of time it is (not that I necessarily disagree w/ his “thesis”). Here’s three issues I have in the first 5 minutes.

    laity can’t get a heresy off the ground

    hmm – what about Calvin? Calvin has been MUCH more influential in the history of the US than Luther.

    Then he completely skips over the Church’s faults in re: to Luther. The papacy was extremely corrupt at the time. I’m obviously not trying to defend Luther, but had the pope handled the original situation (Luther’s gripes against the abuses of indulgences) properly, the whole break probably could’ve been avoided. AFAIK, Luther’s 99 thesis are in accord with Catholic teaching. It wasn’t until he was excommunicated that he really started to go off the deep end. Didn’t JP2 say about as much? But Vorhis is smart than him, right?

    colonial puritans were henry vxiii’s fault

    This is just sheer ignorance. The early settlers who came to the US for religious freedom came from both Protestant and Catholic countries. The were being persecuted by both. The high church won out in England and left little freedom for others. That’s a totally different issue than Catholic vs Protestant.

    Instead of bothering with the rest of this nonsense, I’m gonna to watch a real scholar – Peter Kreeft:

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Congratulations to Frank Panczyszyn ’86 who is engaged to Joseph Cruz.”

    Here is the recent announcement in the McQuaid Jesuit Alumni monthly newsletter. Comments can be sent to

  3. avatar Dr. K says:

    Anon 10:41, do you have a link or scan of the article?

    If so, send it to:

  4. avatar Scott W. says:

    I’ve found myself disagreeing with Voris on several occassions. I was sympathetic when I heard he did a critique of Amazing Grace because I’ve never cared for that hymnn, but when I actually saw it I thought he was stretching to say the least. On the other hand, I’ve never been impressed with the “OMG! An STB is just a bachelor degree! What a phony!” objection. Pelting him with that kernal of popcorn (however true it is) just makes the hurler look petty and argumentative.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    I think he’s right on the mark with this one:

    Hasn’t this been going on in Rochester for over 30 years???

  6. avatar Nerina says:

    Dr. K,

    My neighbor, who has two boys at McQuaid, sent me the alumni newsletter with the engagement announcement that appears to be between two men. Here’s a link to the on-line alumni newsletters (I think the most recent one hasn’t been posted yet):

    Unfortunately, I deleted the e-mail with the attached pdf.

    Regarding Voris – I am definitely of mixed opinion. Overall, I agree with Ben. He isn’t the best example of orthodoxy.

  7. avatar Choirloft says:

    Clue me in here – what do people not like about Michael Voris?

  8. avatar benanderson says:

    sensationalist, overly simplistic, angry temperament, and just plain ignorant

  9. avatar Mike says:


    I have to admit that it’s been some time since I found myself impressed with academic degrees – or dismayed by the lack thereof. You see, I spent a significant part of my career at Eastman Kodak working with a lot of folks who held Ph.D.s in a variety of esoteric branches of chemistry, many of whom left me intellectually underwhelmed once they ventured out of their own peculiar sub-specialties. In addition, my late wife taught high school Spanish for 33 years in a building full people holding masters degrees, a significant number of whom had no business teaching children, their M.Ed.s and other advanced degrees notwithstanding. I suspect that most people employed outside the ivory towers of academe are like me in that they quickly learn that an advanced degree is simply no guarantee of the ability to perform in the real world.

    More to the point, I notice that the Church is currently blessed with such intellectual powerhouses as Rev. Richard McBrien, S.T.D., Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., S.T.D., Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B., Ph.D., Richard Gaillardetz, Ph.D., Sr. Patricia Schoelles, S.S.J., Ph.D. and last, but certainly not least, Most Rev. Matthew H. Clark, S.T.L., J.C.L. Scholars all – so say their degrees – but what real benefit has any of their scholarship ever brought to the Church?

    To your main point: Yes, Voris does over-simplify, and at times significantly, but it must be realized that he is trying to cram 500 years of theology, philosophy and politics into a one hour talk. Despite its limitations I still feel that his presentation is a reasonably good overview of how the Western Church came to be riddled with so much confusion and dissent and a good starting point for anyone wanting to learn more.

  10. avatar benanderson says:

    Mike and ScottW, I agree w/ you somewhat on degrees. The only reason I mentioned it is because Voris’ videos seems to flaunt his STB title as if it’s something exquisite.

    When I say he oversimplifies, I’m not just referring to the fact of summarizing large portions history. That is obviously necessary for such an undertaking. My gripe is that he picks one little aspect of a complex issue and attempts to say that it all amounts to this one little thing. He seems to have a very anachronistic view of history.

    Trash talking a life-size cutout of Martin Luther? Voris is the Ochocinco of Catholic apologetics.

    What of the actual objections I raised in the first 5 minutes? Am I wrong? Shouldn’t we try to get the story right instead of just skewing it in our favor?

  11. avatar Mike says:

    Trash talking a life-size cutout of Martin Luther?

    You didn’t stick around long enough to see the cutouts of Voltaire, Pope St. Pius X and Pope Paul VI (Voris didn’t trash talk the last two), as well as a few other props and video clips. Yes, they’re theatrical gimmicks and maybe they were overdone, but the alternative seems to have been 64 minutes of a talking head – and that comes with its own downside.

    As to your specific objections,

    1) “laity can’t get a heresy off the ground”

    That’s not quite what Voris says. From the shooting script (link on same page as the video) …

    First .. virtually every heresy or schism in the Church’s history was the brainchild of a cleric .. a priest or bishop. Moreover .. the heresies accelerate because other bishops allow it because of their cowardice and hubris. Because of the way power and influence is exercised in the Church .. the laity have very limited influence in getting a good heresy off the ground.. they only come to accept it later. It’s very difficult for a layman to begin a heretical movement and keep it going. That’s a good thing .. unless of course .. you’re a community organizer.

    Calvin does seem to be an exception but – if I remember my Church history correctly – wasn’t he successful only because the already schismatic secular rulers of Geneva provided him with patronage and protection?

    2) “Then he completely skips over the Church’s faults in re: to Luther.”

    Point taken. Luther’s original objections were largely if not completely valid (I haven’t read through them in a long time) and the pope and his representative could have handled the whole situation much better than they did. But then, too, so could have Luther. A quick check of Wikipedia shows that over 38 months elapsed between Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses and Pope Leo X’s decree of excommunication – plenty of time even in those days of slow communications for each side to have tried to see the point of the other.

    However, it was also during those 3+ years that Luther first publicly asserted that “Matthew 16:18 does not confer on popes the exclusive right to interpret scripture, and that therefore neither popes nor church councils were infallible.” Luther refused to recant that position and no pope at that time could let that pass.

    3) “colonial puritans were henry vxiii’s fault”

    Again, Voris doesn’t make that claim. From the shooting script …

    Henry .. following close on the heels of Luther’s approach .. he claimed the authority of the Church for himself .. specifically taking the title .. Supreme Head of the Church in England. He coerced every bishop in the realm .. all except one .. St. John Fisher whom he beheaded

    Every single bishop in England caved in under Henry’s threats of house arrest and seizure of Church property. Their betrayal would have devastating consequences.

    Less than a hundred years later .. the Pilgrims would set sail from English shores for the New World .. with their anti-Catholicism in tow… What Luther unleashed and the British monarchy exported was the philosophical grounding for Relativism.

  12. avatar Scott W. says:

    The only reason I mentioned it is because Voris’ videos seems to flaunt his STB title as if it’s something exquisite.

    It shows up with his name at the beginning of his videos. I’ve never seen him actually invoke it in his points. If he did, by all means land on him like a summo wrestler.

  13. avatar benanderson says:

    ok, ScottW – point taken.

    and Mike I appreciate you taking the time to make a good response. We could go around and around, but I’ll let it go. If you like his content and style and you get something out of it, then who am I to argue?

  14. avatar Mike says:


    All I’m really saying is that I think this particular effort is worthwhile.

    However, I would also be the first to agree that some – make that many – of his Vortex clips are so far over the top as to be embarrassing.

  15. avatar Louis E. says:

    The “every single bishop in England” line is incorrect…St. John Fisher was a martyred exception!

  16. avatar Mike says:

    Louis E.

    Voris does mention St. John Fisher – see my 3:32 comment, above.

  17. avatar Cecil Charles says:

    Michael Voris is out to save souls or to bring them back to a state of salvation. I’m sorry but you can’t be a Progressive (dupes of Communists) and an apostolic Christian at the same time. Some of you complain about the lack of degrees by Voris but yet our Savior had no degree. I was an Evangelical for many years after I initially left the Catholic church. After I learned the bible with the Holy Spirit as my Paraclete I came back to the Catholic church. I do have two college degrees. Many people believe in Christ meaning acknowledge. The Greek word used for believe is much stronger than merely acknowledge. It is such strong believe that it effects your life. The only thing I would disagree with Michael on is that only Catholics can go to heaven. For instance I know that the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ. I can also understand however how someone can’t comprehend that. I know many Evangelicals that are saved. We’re living in the last days of this age and unless your asleep or in a total state of denial you can sense the Tribulation or Chastisement coming.

  18. avatar Abaccio says:

    Not to be too harsh here, but you sound like you believe the goofiness in the Left Behind Series.

  19. avatar Mike says:


    The Greek word used for believe is much stronger than merely acknowledge. It is such strong believe that it effects your life.

    That’s why Paul can use the phrase “the obedience of faith” twice – almost like a pair of bookends – in Romans and not feel any need to explain how obedience is necessarily tied to faith.

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