Archdiocese: 'Real Catholic TV' does not speak for Church

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Michael Voris and other hosts of Real Catholic TV should not be broadcasting in the name of the Church, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced.

The archdiocese says it “has informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV…that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word 'Catholic' to identify or promote their public activities.”

In a Dec. 15, 2011 statement addressing the organization's name, the archdiocese clarified that the Church encourages its members “to promote or sustain a variety of apostolic undertakings,” but forbids them “from claiming the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.”

The archdiocese added that it has been communicating with Voris as well as his media partner at Real Catholic TV on the issue for “some time.”

Last month's announcement also referenced Canon 216 of the Roman Catholic Church's current Code of Canon Law, which holds that “no undertaking is to claim the name 'Catholic'” without authorization.

According to the archdiocese, Real Catholic TV's programming is “disseminated from the enterprise’s production facility in Ferndale, Michigan,” within the jurisdiction of Detroit's Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron.

But Voris maintains that Archbishop Vigneron is not the “competent ecclesiastical authority” over Real Catholic TV, which is owned by Indiana resident Marc Brammer.

“I don’t have ownership over the name of the organization. It’s not my organization. The headquarters are outside of the diocese,” Voris told LifeSiteNews in a Dec. 23 article. “It’s the wrong person, and the wrong outfit asking the wrong person the wrong question.”

Brammer told LifeSiteNews that “if all of a sudden now there’s this tussle over the use of the word 'Catholic,'” he would “deal with it through competent ecclesial authority.”

In August 2011, archdiocesan communications director Ned McGrath confirmed to CNA that Real Catholic TV, which began in 2008, “(had) yet to present itself or receive approval of its media enterprise from the Detroit archdiocese.”

McGrath said in August that Real Catholic TV's materials – including “catechetical presentations” as well as “analysis of Catholic teachings” – could not “be approved or endorsed by the archdiocese at this time.”

The communications director told CNA that the Detroit Archdiocese had been issuing similar advisories about Voris' presentations “for over three years.”

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