California Catholic Daily exclusive

By Eric Francis

Despite a last minute change in venue following the cancellation of a planned speaking engagement at a Maronite Catholic Church in the city of Orange, Michael Voris of Church Militant says there was “great turnout” at the re-scheduled event.

Voris spoke at the Business Expo Center in Anaheim on Sunday, February 11. It was his second stop in Orange County after speaking at St. Therese Roman Catholic Church in Alhambra the day before.  

Voris published an article on February 8 explaining that there was a last-minute change of venue for the Feb. 11 event. He said the event was booked at St. John Maron Maronite Catholic Church in Orange back in August, but was cancelled a week before it was to happen.

Voris said Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange was behind the cancellation. “…the pastor revealed that Bishop Vann was applying pressure to make sure that Church Militant was not allowed to talk on church property, even though this parish was one over which he has absolutely no authority,” Voris said.

He said the church offered to return a deposit to the event organizer with an additional $5,000 settlement payment in exchange for keeping the details of the event cancellation secret

The Church Militant leader characterized the proposed deal as underhanded and questioned who would be funding the $5,000 settlement.

Voris suggested that a possible reason Bishop Vann wanted his talk cancelled was because Church Militant supporters gave the bishop grief in October for allowing Fr. Greg Boyle (who dissents from church teaching on various issues), to speak on Diocese of Orange property.

“Why is it that… [Boyle is] given carte blanche to speak while faithful Catholics and their supporters are treated with contempt and are plotted against?” questioned Voris.

The Diocese of Orange did not respond to repeated requests for comment. The Maronite parish declined to comment.

Voris posted on Facebook: “In spite of Bp. Vann’s underhanded tactics, we had a great turnout tonight.”