The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported on a recent episode of a conservative Catholic anti-LGBTQ YouTube show as part of their “Hatewatch” investigation project. The SPLC is widely recognized as a leading expert in identifying hate groups. “Hatewatch,” the organization’s journalistic wing, works to keep the public informed on extremist groups’ activities.
The video was produced by Church Militant, a Catholic organization that pushes anti-LGBTQ propaganda. Michael Voris is the founder and face of the organization. In the YouTube episode, Voris interviews Milo Yiannopoulos, a darling of the far right and credited by many as integral to the rise of the white supremacist alt-right movement. Voris and Yiannopoulos discuss Yiannopoulos’ new book, Diabolical: How Pope Francis Has Betrayed Clerical Abuse Victims Like Me – and Why He Has To Go.
Although Yiannopoulos himself identifies as a gay Catholic, he continues to push the debunked myth that LGBTQ people are more likely to be child sexual predators. He devoted a chapter of his book to the notion that gay priests are at the heart of the church’s abuse crisis.
This view meshes well with Voris’ perspective. Voris has long pushed conspiracy theories about a gay cabal or “homomafia” exercising control in the Vatican. Church Militant has ramped up this narrative since it was revealed last summer that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had abused male seminarians.
As the SPLC notes, the American Psychological Association has stated publicly that there is no link between LGBTQ indentities and pedophilia.
The SPLC was founded in 1971 as an organization devoted to tracking and stymying extremist groups. It gained prominence in the following decades for a series of court victories against the Ku Klux Klan.
In recent years, it has begun tracking anti-LGBTQ hate groups and has challenged harmful practices like gay conversion therapy in court.
Voris, who does not identify as gay but says he has dated men in the past, has been featured on the SPLC’s “Hatewatch” before. Last year, “Hatewatch” covered a rambling and conspiracy-laden piece by Voris claiming that Joseph Stalin had planted thousands of gay priests in the Vatican.
—Jonathan Nisly, New Ways Ministry, March 4, 2019