TORONTO — American Catholic YouTube sensation Michael Voris doesn’t mince words.
His direct, no-nonsense approach to hot-button issues like abortion and contraception may rub some the wrong way.
But a dedicated following has discovered him online and say they find his message inspirational as they live out their faith in their schools and workplaces.
Voris’ appeal is extending north to Canada, where he had recent exposure on the Michael Coren Show and spoke at a recent World Youth Day fundraiser in Kitchener, Ont.
Voris is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster who founded St. Michael’s Media in 2006. His YouTube show The Vortex averages thousands of viewers and has been downloaded more than five million times over the past two years.
Voris’ videos reflect a politically conservative viewpoint. But he says he doesn’t understand critics who label him a “right wing” or “conservative” Catholic.
“In Catholicism, there is no such thing as ‘left’ or ‘right.’ That doesn’t capture the reality,” Voris said in an interview. “Either you are a Catholic, go to Mass and believe all of the teachings of the Church or you don’t.”
Father Paul Nicholson, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Kinkora, Ont., said Voris was invited to speak at the WYD fundraiser because young Catholics have told him they want to know more about their faith.
“Young people are thirsting for the clarity and unambiguous tone of Michael Voris,” Nicholson said.
Therese Miller, 24, of Cambridge, Ont., admires Voris for standing up for his faith. He may not be politically correct, but his message resonates because “he’s not afraid to talk about the truth,” she said.
Miller, now an early childhood educator, remembers watching movies and meditating in her religion classes, but not being taught much about the Catholic faith.
Few students knew the words to the “Our Father” or “Hail Mary,” she recalled.
Voris’ appeal is that he is “giving a voice to the voiceless” who have found another “champion to defend the Church,” Nicholson said.
“He is the voice of the frustrated Catholic who believes everything the Church believes and loves the Church with all their heart and have just simply found there are far too few defenders of the faith,” he said.