Church Militant to Shut Down Following $500,000 Defamation Suit

BALTIMORE MD - NOVEMBER 16 Michael Voris, the founder of the far right Catholic group Chur
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty

The controversial Catholic media outlet Church Militant, which earned a reputation for its aggressive attacks on the institutional church, will reportedly be shutting its doors for good in the wake of its founder, Michael Voris, stepping down from leadership and a pending $500,000 defamation suit.

“Church Militant, the controversial Catholic media outlet that has for years maintained a reputation for combative and antagonistic coverage of Catholic figures and issues, will cease operations next month following a $500,000 defamation judgment against it,” reported Catholic News Agency over the weekend.

“Boston-based law firm Todd & Weld said in a press release this week that Church Militant had “’agreed to the entry of a judgment against it in the amount of $500,000′ in a defamation lawsuit brought by Father Georges de Laire, the judicial vicar of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire,” it added.

The lawsuit stemmed from a 2019 article that Church Militant published wherein the author, canonist Marc Balestrieri, made the claim of having “talked to a number of anonymous sources who allegedly made negative comments about Father de Laire both personally and professionally.”

St. Michael’s Media founder and CEO Michael Voris address the ‘Bishops Enough Is Enough’ rally at the MECU Pavilion November 16, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After De Laire filed the suit against Balestriei and Church Militant, neither one was “unable to identify a single source who said anything negative about Father de Laire,” Todd & Weld said, adding that the article had been written in “an attempt to discredit Father de Laire” and the Diocese of Manchester.

The law firm further said that St. Michael’s Media, the parent company of Church Militant, “will cease all operations of Church Militant by the end of April 2024.”

Church Militant has not commented on the matter. The news comes months after the company’s founder, Michael Voris, announced he would be resigning after allegedly violating the apostolate’s “morality” clause.

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

No other details were reported at the time. Just last week, The Washington Post published several testimonies from Church Militant employees alleging Voris had repeatedly sent them shirtless selfies of himself working out at the gym.

Voris’s trouble began April, when strange images appeared on Church Militant’s cloud-storage account, according to several staff members: shirtless selfies of Voris, some of them cut off just above his pelvis, along with a screenshot of a text-message exchange from someone expressing that they found the images sexually arousing.

On a Dropbox account typically reserved for matters such as the syllabus for an online class about the book of Ephesians, these new images stood out. Employees speculated that they had been uploaded unintentionally from Voris’s phone along with business documents meant for staff viewing.

Voris previously confessed in 2016 that he once lived an “extremely sinful” life of “live-in relationships with homosexual men,” adding that the public acknowledgment was meant to preempt attacks from his enemies.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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