8 December 2012

I'm not certain this is a very good idea

Michael Voris and Fr. Z are hosting a lenten retreat on a cruise ship.

As usual, I am of two minds.  On the one hand, Lent is a time of fasting and penance.  A luxury cruise would seem, at first blush- or second, or third- not to fit with that pattern.  More than this, Lent is a time above all others when we should strive to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Cruise ships, from what I have heard, are dedicated to providing a near occasion for sin.  Maintaining custody of the eyes, for example, may be an issue.  To quote Thomas More from a Man for All Seasons: "A man should go where he will not be tempted."

On the other hand, to turn what is usually a hedonistic holiday into a religious experience, at least for some, will be a wonderful achievement.  In addition, by taking up some room on the cruise, they may be lessening the occasion of sin for others, and may even prevent at least a few people with impure intentions from exercising those intentions, for a time at least.

Despite disagreements with both men in the past, I wish Fr.Z. and Voris well, and will pray that their effort bears fruit, and does not blow up in their faces- which honestly is a very real possibility.  But, on the whole, even if I had the means, I would stay home, or attend a more traditional retreat.


David L Alexander said...

No, it's not a good idea. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

You need to stop using assumptions on what cruses are like, and other assumptions before you condemn others.

If you read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition" which all Catholics are required to adhere to - you will see that Voris does not stray from the TRUTH taught.

Anonymous said...

If you want to condemn - you should condemn the HERTICAL, SCHISMATIC, and SCANDALOUS - "National Catholic REPORTER".

Bear-i-tone said...

You need to read well before you comment. I condemn no one in this post.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bear-i-tone said...

Back to what I said. In the first paragraph I am clear that I am basing what I am saying on what I have been told. In the second paragraph I comsider whiy this may be a good idea and praise their efforts. In the third I say I will pray that their efforts will bear fruit. In no way am I in contradiction with the CCC teachings.

Christine said...

Thanks for your balanced and charitable approach to this, which is more than I can say for certain others.

For what it's worth, Karl Keating, president of Catholic Answers, posted this with regard to the retreat:

"I hold no brief for Michael Voris, but as an organizer of Catholic cruises (Mark has been a speaker–and a very good one!–for us) I should point out that the $1,084 Voris is charging works out to $155 per day. That includes the equivalent of hotels, all meals, and car expenses for a driving vacation that visits five far-flung cities in a week. You easily could spend more than that trying to do such a land-only vacation, so in that sense Voris’s cruise shouldn’t be labeled a luxury or expensive trip.

I thought the critique at Simcha Fisher’s blog was very poorly done–so poorly that it never should have been posted.

The reviewer starts by referring to “the Michael Voris Love Boat.” That migth be acceptable if Voris were sponsoring a cruise for singles looking for spouses, but that isn’t at all what his video or ad say. A cheap shot.

The reviewer says that Voris “is going to charge the suckers who watch him thousands of dollars for a ‘retreat’ at sea. During Lent. That’s right. Thousand[s] of dollars spent to go on a spiritual retreat on a cruise ship with casinos and all night buffets.”

First of all, using “suckers” is another cheap shot.

Second, the fee isn’t “thousands of dollars” but just over one thousand dollars. (Can’t you read the man’s ad?)

Third, nearly all Catholic cruises, no matter what time of year, are held on big ships that have casinos. Big ships mean lower costs per person, and big ships universally have casinos. (On Catholic Answers cruises we just ignore the casinos and go about our own business.)

Fourth, “all night buffets”? I checked the description of this cruise at the Princess Cruises website and couldn’t find any reference to all-night buffets. Catholic Answers has used several cruise lines over the years (but not Princess), and none of them had an all-night buffet.

Granted, Lent doesn’t seem the best time of year to set a cruise (maybe Voris chose March because the rates are low then), but–unlike something claimed in the comments above–his group won’t be partying on the ship on Good Friday–because Good Friday is on March 29, and his cruise ends 12 days earlier! Still another cheap shot.

I don’t object to criticizing Voris when criticism is due (which is often enough, I’m afraid), but let’s play fair, shall we? Don’t make things up, and don’t exaggerate. Cheap shots (which are mainly plain old falsehoods) don’t bring any credit to their authors."