Church Militant says founder Michael Voris asked to resign for breach of morality clause

Michael Voris, founder of Church Militant, leads the rosary in Baltimore Nov. 16, 2021, during the organization's rally near the hotel where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was holding its fall general assembly. The board of Church Militant/St. Michael's Media announced Nov. 21, 2023, that its board accept Voris' resignation after he was asked to resign for "breaching the Church Militant morality clause." (OSV News/CNS file photo, Kevin J. Parks, Catholic Review)

FERNDALE, Mich. (OSV News) -- Church Militant/St. Michael's Media said Nov. 21 its founder and former CEO Michael Voris "has been asked to resign for breaching the Church Militant morality clause," and that his resignation was accepted by the board.

St. Michael's Media is described on its website as a lay Catholic apostolate "dedicated to the new evangelization and spreading the truth of the Catholic faith via the medium of television, radio, the Internet and other forms of modern mass media."

It is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Detroit and is not recognized as an official Church apostolate.

Church Militant has become known for its far-right approach, including accusing the U.S. bishops of prompting human trafficking for their advocacy for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as its links to controversial figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing writer and speaker who has made disparaging remarks about Muslims, minority students, members of the transgender community and other groups.

In a statement attributed to Church Militant posted on the website, the group said it "was founded as a bastion of Catholic truth and a light to the faithful in hard times. "This is why we are being fully transparent with you all."

The statement said the board of directors "has chosen not to disclose Michael's private matters to the public," but announced that he would be "stepping aside and focusing on his personal health."

"The apostolate will be praying for him, and we kindly ask you to do the same," the statement said, adding they plan to move forward "with renewed fervor."

In a video message, Voris declined to get into specifics, but said there were "horrible, ugly things" he needed to "go away and address."

A biography for Vorris still available on the website as of Nov. 21 said he "carries a message of the need for a stalwart defense and promotion of Catholic doctrine and Catholic truth with him wherever he goes in the hope of reinforcing the faithful."

Voris graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1983 with a degree in communications and started a career as a television reporter, anchor and producer and worked “mainly for CBS News,” according to his online bio posted online. He also has a postgraduate degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

In 2006, he started St. Michael's Media, a digital television studio in Ferndale, Michigan, and founded Church Militant as Real Catholic TV in 2008.

In a Dec. 15, 2011, statement, the Detroit Archdiocese said it had “informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV, RealCatholicTV.com, that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word ‘Catholic’ to identify or promote their public activities. In 2012, the company name was changed to "ChurchMilitant.tv," which later became ChurchMilitant.com.



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