The letter to the Bishop:
April 8, 2011
Dear Bishop Bambera,
We are writing you to request a meeting with you in order to discuss the Michael Voris talk. Out of respect for you and obedience to your office of Bishop we cancelled all of this weekend’s events. However, the official reason given for these last-minute cancellations by the Diocese was inadequate. We would like to give you the opportunity to listen to our story and understand why we are so eager to host Michael Voris and are intending to still have him speak in a secular venue. We are available to meet with you anytime this weekend.
I understand that you might not have had adequate time to properly investigate Michael Voris and therefore were only able to make a judgement based on snippets of information. I am confident that if you and your office were to speak with Michael Voris directly or view his videos and listen to his podcasts in their entirety, you would find that Michael is completely faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Michael has encouraged us to give his phone number (xxx-xxx-xxxx) to you so that you may speak to him directly and clarify any misconceptions you may have about his views.
We look so forward to hearing from you and meeting with you. This event has been rescheduled and Michael Voris will be speaking to the public. If you intend to truly resolve this situation and make us aware of serious errors that Mr. Voris teaches, then please contact us immediately.
Yours truly, Paul and Kristen Ciaccia
And the reply:
Sent: Sat, Apr 9, 2011 1:35 pm
Subject: Response from Bishop Bambera
Mr. and Mrs. Ciaccia,
I have been asked by Bishop Bambera to respond on his behalf regarding the cancellation of Michael Voris as a guest speaker in the Diocese of Scranton. After concerns regarding Mr. Voris were brought to the Bishop’s attention, we at the Diocese were asked to look into the situation. It was expressed to us by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that there have been a number of controversies which have occurred as a result of Mr. Voris’ presentations.
We next contacted Mr. Voris’ home diocese, the Archdiocese of Detroit, for their opinion. We were given a statement referring to St. Michael ’s Media and Real CatholicTV, both focusing on the opinions of Mr. Voris. Neither enterprise has been granted approval by the Archdiocese which referred to a lack of cooperation and issues of non-compliance with basic archdiocesan protocols as well as those of the USCCB.
It is because of these responses in conjunction with other concerns that Bishop Bambera chose not to allow Mr. Voris to speak at any diocesan institution. Since Mr. Voris’ own bishop has not given approval or endorsement to his opinions, allowing him to speak at a diocesan facility would imply that Bishop Bambera is endorsing his views. Bishop Bambera chose to exercise the same caution shown by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
While this may be disappointing to you and others in the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop has an obligation to safeguard Catholic teaching especially when a speaker from outside the Diocese with whom the Bishop is unfamiliar is expressing personal opinions.
Sincerely yours, Fr. Brian Clarke
It's 12:30 and I need to go beddy-bye. I'll comment on this later today if all goes well. Good night and God Bless Ya!