One of the Catholic Church’s most vocal opponents of LGBT causes published a video Thursday admitting that he had been in sexual relationships with other men in his past and accusing the Archdiocese of New York of plotting to out him.
“I will now reveal that for most of my years in my thirties, confused about my own sexuality, I lived a life of live-in relationships with homosexual men,” said Michael Voris, a traditionalist Catholic activist who runs Church Militant, an on-line news platform.
Voris claimed the Archdiocese of New York, which is a frequent target of his lengthy video broadcasts, was “collecting and preparing to quietly filter out details of my past life with the aim of publicly discrediting me.”
A spokesman for the archdiocese called those allegations “100 percent untrue” in a statement to the Catholic Herald.
Church Militant has an extensive history of attacking Catholic officials they perceive to be insufficiently orthodox – from Pope Francis, to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, to the Knights of Columbus – especially on LGBT and pro-life issues.
Most recently, Church Militant published posts attacking Tony Spence, the longtime editor of Catholic News Services, who was asked earlier this month by officials at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to resign.
Church Militant took issue with a number of Tweets posted by Spence that they considered pro-LGBT.
The organization wields influence because of the pugnacity of their attacks, and while some Catholic leaders have condemned Voris’ work, he nonetheless has received press credentials to some high profile Catholic events, including the October 2014 Synod of Bishops in Rome.
Voris has repeatedly criticized Dolan, calling for his resignation in December for his handling of accusations of theft by a parish priest.
Last year, Voris traveled to New York City to protest Dolan’s serving as grand marshal of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade there, which for the first time allowed pro-LGBT groups to march following years of protest.
Dolan, considered a conservative member of the American hierarchy, defended his decision to march, saying that inclusivity was a Catholic value.
Voris, who was not given press credentials for the event, nonetheless found himself in front of Dolan and asked, “Do you have anything to say to loyal Catholics who find what you’re doing here a great scandal to the faith?”
Dolan replied, saying they were welcome to come to the parade, too, but Voris accused Dolan’s handlers of roughing up him and his cameraman.
Catholic leaders have distanced themselves from Voris and Church Militant.
In 2011, leaders in the Archdiocese of Detroit asked Voris to remove the word “Catholic” from his promotional materials and the World Youth Day officials warned that the organization was not on the official program. He was banned from speaking in properties owned by the Catholic Diocese of Scranton, and last year, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput called Church Militant“destructive.”