The ‘Voris Virus’ has mutated…
Heresy in The Vortex:
Will Michael Voris Retract?
It looks like the “Voris Virus”, as we have called Michael Voris’ disingenuous refusal to cover the truth about “Pope” Francis whenever it contradicts his own agenda, has mutated.
The self-appointed defender of the smells-and-bells version of the Novus Ordo religion, who operates against the supposedly legitimate authority of his own “archdiocese” in Detroit, contrary to the prescriptions of Pope Leo XIII, has just published another Vortex episode, this time one in which he tries to explain the Catholic dogma of No Salvation Outside the Church.
Unfortunately for Mr. Voris, his education is in Novus Ordo theology, not Catholic theology, and it shows. He utters unmistakable heresy in the following part of his presentation:
So the primary question is: How does a person achieve a state of grace? A state of grace is the state where the life of the Blessed Trinity is present in the soul. Sanctifying grace comes to the soul for the first moment in baptism and helps to sustain the supernatural virtues: the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. A man dying without these virtues dies without God. He is owned by Hell.
It is impossible to possess these virtues without sanctifying grace.
(Michael Voris, “Do Non-Catholics Go to Hell?”, The Vortex, April 24, 2015; red font added.)
It is the sentence in red font that is heretical, that is, directly contrary to the infallible dogmatic teaching of the Council of Trent:
If anyone says that with the loss of grace through sin, faith is also lost with it, or that the faith which remains is not a true faith, though it is not a living one, or that he who has faith without charity is not a Christian, let him be anathema.
(Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon 28)
If sanctifying grace were necessary to have true Faith, then this would mean that everytime a Catholic is in mortal sin, he is no longer a Christian, no longer a Catholic. It would mean that any and all mortal sin would expel one from Church membership. And this in turn would mean that, since we cannot know who is or isn’t in the state of grace at any particular point in time, we could never know who is actually a Catholic, who is a member of the Church. The visibility of the Church would vanish. This is one of the heresies of the Protestant Reformation, according to which the Church is an invisible communion of all the saved (cf. Denz. 627).
Moreover, since those who are not members of the Church also cannot hold a position of authority in the Church (cf. Canon 188.4; Pope Paul IV, Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus), if Voris’ heresy were correct, it would then follow that when a pastor, a bishop, or even a Pope commits a mortal sin and thus loses the virtue of charity (sanctifying grace in the soul), he would at once cease being a valid pastor, local bishop, or Pope because he is then no longer a member of the Church (on this, also see our important article, “The ‘Bad Popes’ Argument”). So one could never know who the legitimate Catholic shepherds are who have the valid authority to rule, teach, and sanctify them. Chaos would result, and the Church could not seriously claim to be the only Ark of Salvation, since one would not even be so much as able to identify the Church.
In contrast to this Protestant heresy uttered by Mr. Voris, Pope Pius XII taught in his beautiful encyclical on the Church:
Nor must one imagine that the Body of the Church, just because it bears the name of Christ, is made up during the days of its earthly pilgrimage only of members conspicuous for their holiness, or that it consists only of those whom God has predestined to eternal happiness. It is owing to the Savior’s infinite mercy that place is allowed in His Mystical Body here below for those whom, of old, He did not exclude from the banquet. For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 23; underlining added.)
Catholic teaching is very clear on this point. Faith is not essentially tied to sanctifying grace. It is possible to possess Faith without it.
It is true, of course, that Faith alone does not suffice for salvation, for it is absolutely necessary to have Charity (sanctifying grace) in addition to Faith in order to save one’s soul. Charity is what gives life to Faith, makes it fruitful and salvific. One can have all the Faith in the world, and yet, if one dies without Charity, he will go to hell for eternity (see 1 Cor 13:1-3). With every mortal sin, Charity is lost and so we no longer possess the supernatural life of grace; however, Faith is not lost, unless, of course, the sin was one against Faith itself, such as heresy or apostasy.
The Council of Trent beautifully elaborated on this point:
BY EVERY MORTAL SIN GRACE IS LOST, BUT NOT FAITH
Against the subtle wits of some also, who by pleasing speeches and good words seduce the hearts of the innocent, it must be maintained that the grace of justification once received is lost not only by infidelity, whereby also faith itself is lost, but also by every other mortal sin, though in this case faith is not lost; thus defending the teaching of the divine law which excludes from the kingdom of God not only unbelievers, but also the faithful [who are] fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, liars with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, railers, extortioners, and all others who commit deadly sins, from which with the help of divine grace they can refrain, and on account of which they are cut off from the grace of Christ.
(Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 15; underlining added.)
So, to sum up: Sanctifying grace is not necessary for one’s Faith to be a true and genuine Faith. Faith is defined as a “theological virtue by which our intellect is disposed to assent firmly to all the truths revealed by God, because of the infinite truth and wisdom of God who can neither deceive or be deceived” (Donald Attwater, ed., A Catholic Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “Faith”, ii.). Grace is indeed required for the virtue of Faith, but this is not sanctifying grace but actual grace:
Now, they [the adults] are disposed to that justice when, aroused and aided by divine grace, receiving faith by hearing, they are moved freely toward God, believing to be true what has been divinely revealed and promised, especially that the sinner is justified by God by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus….
(Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session VI, Chapter 6; underlining added.)
Actual grace is that unmerited interior assistance which God, in virtue of the merits of Christ, confers upon fallen man in order to strengthen, on the one hand, his infirmity resulting from sin and, on the other, to render him capable, by elevation to the supernatural order, of supernatural acts of the soul, so that he may attain justification, persevere in it to the end, and thus enter into everlasting life.
(Rev. Joseph Pohle, “Actual Grace”, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 6 [New York: Appleton, 1909])
It is actual grace, not sanctifying grace, that is needed to acquire the virtue of Faith. As we said before, if sanctifying grace were required to possess Faith, then only Catholics in the state of sanctifying grace would be true Catholics, true members of the Church. But to say this is heresy, as we have seen.
Now, we will not be unduly harsh with Mr. Voris. Even though he ought to know better, we all make mistakes, and it is possible he simply made a mistake here. He misspoke, or he remembered wrong, or he didn’t do his homework. Fair enough. However, for someone who talks as tough as he does and has appointed himself the Grand Inquisitor of the Vatican II Church, it’s only fair that he be held to as high of a standard as he demands of everyone else. Besides, regardless of whether he made an innocent mistake, he must retract his heretical error, in public, in the same way as he uttered it. Will he do so? Perhaps you would like to contact him and urge him to.
Voris may be caught between a rock and a hard place here, however, because it turns out that “Pope” Francis and “Pope” Benedict XVI both share his Protestant heresy of charity being necessary for one to possess true Faith (we have posted a full refutation of Francis and Benedict here):
[F]aith, if it is true, if it is real, becomes love, becomes charity, is expressed in charity. A faith without charity, without this fruit, would not be true faith. It would be a dead faith.
(Benedict XVI, General Audience, Nov. 26, 2008)
Faith is an encounter with Jesus Christ, with God, from which faith is born, and from there it brings you to witness. That is what the Apostle means: a faith without works, a faith that does not involve one’s [whole] self, that does not lead to witness, is not faith. It is words – and nothing more than words.
(Francis, Homily at Daily “Mass”, Feb. 21, 2014)
So, Mr. Voris, who is the heretic? You, Francis, and Benedict XVI — or Popes Paul III and Pius XII?
It is ironic that Voris articulates his heresy in a video discussing whether heretics can attain salvation. In the same clip in which he declares that heretics are outside the Church, he himself utters heresy! So the question is, is Michael Voris a heretic himself? Let’s see how he responds to being made aware of his heresy — this may tell us all we need to know.
For an accurate, albeit brief, presentation of the dogma No Salvation Outside the Church, please listen to our free podcast, TRADCAST Episode #004, in which we explain the relationship between sanctifying grace, being a member of the Church, and being inside the Church — without heresy.