Michael Voris, the founder of St. Michael’s Media, which operates the controversial Catholic media outlet Church Militant, resigned this week over an undisclosed “morality” violation, the company said on Tuesday. 

Church Militant posted on its website on Tuesday that Voris had “been asked to resign for breaching the Church Militant morality clause.” 

“The board has accepted his resignation,” the notice said. 

“We understand this is a shock to you all, but our founder and former CEO is stepping aside and focusing on his personal health,” the notice said. “The Board of Directors has chosen not to disclose Michael’s private matters to the public.” 

“The apostolate will be praying for him, and we kindly ask you to do the same,” the notice said. 

The enterprise has generated controversy over the years for its often severe criticism of what it sees as lax or insufficiently devout Catholicism. 

The outlet has claimed that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “isn’t Catholic,” alleging that the bishops “only pretend to represent the Church.” Church Militant has at times held protests outside USCCB gatherings.

The outlet has likewise at times been highly critical of Pope Francis’ papacy. In 2020 it alleged that Francis’ remarks on homosexual unions were made “in stark and unprecedented defiance of Catholic teaching,” while last year a headline at the site declared that Francis “falsifies biblical teaching on taxes.”

Church Militant did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday morning regarding the decision. 

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In a video posted to his Twitter page on Tuesday, Voris addressed the controversy, alluding to “some very, very ugly truths from my past … that I, for essentially 62 years, have avoided facing.”

“There are things I have to go away and address and work on,” Voris said. “They are, again, horrible ugly things. [I’m] not going to share them. Nobody else’s business but mine.”

“In one sense I’m kind of relieved that I … have reached this point,” he said in the video. “I’ve been looking at the ugliness surfacing inside. [I] have not liked it. [A] number of times in my head I have written my resignation letter already, a handful of times this year.” 

“I need to conquer these demons,” he said. “... The underlying cause of it has been too ugly for me to look at.”

“It involves an awful lot of, in one sense for me, like, spiritual terror,” he said, choking up, “and I’ve not wanted to go near it.” 

Voris urged viewers to “[not let] all of my stuff move over onto the apostolate.” 

“I am out of the apostolate specifically so there will be a very clear separation there,” he said. “That work, and the staff there … deserve your continued support.”

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Voris founded St. Michael’s Media in 2006. The company launched Church Militant — originally titled Real Catholic TV — in 2008. 

In 2011, when the outlet was still known as Real Catholic TV, the Archdiocese of Detroit said in a statement that it had informed the company that “it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word ‘Catholic’ to identify or promote their public activities.” Voris changed the outlet to its present name shortly thereafter.