Thursday, April 29, 2010

The James White Double Standard

In my last post I attempted to prove a point by writing a sarcastic, facetious piece on James White and his pal who goes by the name of Turretin Fan. Alex and I discussed it before I put it up, and we were both curious as to how White and Co. would react. Well we got our answer on James White's radio show The Dividing Line. (Listen to about the first 10 min or so) I think the post was a great success because it illustrated one very important point. White and Co. will do anything to discredit the Catholic Church. If you follow the writings of any one of these Calvinist apologists you will quickly realize that they hold to a strict double standard in their apologetic methodology.

Double Standard #1.
( I can make false comparisons about Catholics, but don't you dare do it with Protestants.)

In my piece I made two sarcastic comparisons to see how these two would react. The first thing that I did was to compare Robert Price, a gentleman who attends some sort of an Episcopal church, who does not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, which is a fundamental bedrock teaching in Protestantism, to Dr. White himself who is a self professed Calvinist who obviously believes in the inerrancy of Scripture. The reason I did this was to dish out the same type of comparisons that White and Co. (By Co. I include Turretin fan, James Swan, Steve Hays, etc) use on a daily basis. They take a "Catholic theologian" who rejects core teachings of the Catholic faith, and they pit them against the official teaching proclaimed by the Catholic Magisterium, acting as if they are both the same in relation to being a true faithful Catholic. This has happened numerous times on all of their websites. They use this tactic to proclaim that Rome is not united in its belief on such and such a doctrine. (Women's ordination, abortion, contraception, etc) Yet. according to official Catholic teaching, we know that if a Catholic publicly dissents from any of these core teachings that they are no longer a "Catholic" as far a faith and morals apply. This however does not stop White and Co. from making these false comparisons, as if private individuals trump the official Catholic teaching, or actually divide official Catholic teaching. Yet, if I turn around and make a similar false comparison to two guys who go to two different Protestant churches, yet one denies a core belief of Protestantism, White gets on his high horse and looks down upon me and scolds me for doing so. This is the James White double standard #1. He can make false comparisons any time he wants to try and prove that the Catholic Church is full of divisions concerning her doctrine, yet it is obvious that White cannot stand the taste of his own medicine when I did the very same thing.

Double Standard #2
(I can insult Catholics all I want, but don't you dare poke fun at my friends like Turretin Fan!)

The next double standard of White and Co. is that White has free reign to insult and mock Catholics on his radio show or blog, yet when I poked a little fun at his buddy Turretin Fan, he flew off the handle. Let me explain. On numerous radio shows James White has mocked many Catholic apologists. The first name that comes to mind is Steve Ray. It is very clear that White cannot stand Ray. White has publicly called him a liar, he has mocked him with Indiana Jones music on his radio shows, while sitting back in his chair laughing and mocking Ray, making fun of him. All of that is perfectly OK to do you see, because it is done all for the destruction of the Catholic Church. Anytime White can get in a cheap shot against Catholics or the Catholic Church, he does so. We all remember the cheap shot he took on Catholics in relation to the Nazis in the death camps right? When I called him on his cheap shot (Here and here) he just sidestepped the issue and drew me into another debate on a completely different subject. He in fact never justified his little comment where he told everyone that Catholics made up a large portion of SS guards in the German prison camps, which as we know is totally untenable to claim. Protestants made up the majority of Christians in Germany at the time. Of course his buddy, the masked crusader Turretin Fan came running to back his comments like he usually does. So for White, it is perfectly Ok to mock Catholic apologists on his radio show and attack their character, yet I make a little fun of Turretin Fan and White gets all upset telling me he does not appreciate my humor. Well how about this James, I do not appreciate you mocking Catholic apologists on your videos. I do not appreciate you making absurd statements in an effort to discredit the Catholic Church. I do not appreciate you and your buddies making false comparisons in an effort to make it seem as if the Catholic Church is divided in its core doctrine and beliefs.

Dr. White, you had the audacity to demand an apology from me on your radio show. Well Dr. White, you have some serious apologizing to do of your own for insulting Catholics on your radio show and your blog, for making false statements about the Catholic Church, and making false comparisons in your attempts to discredit the Catholic Church. My post was done to prove a point and I do not feel I owe you any apology. This demonstration has clearly proven that you and your buddies have high double standards that you are going to have to give up in order to be taken seriously in the realm of addressing Catholic apologists.

Learn Latin with the Scriptures

If you are in the market for a nice family Bible for your home, I recommend the Latin/English Douay Rheims Bible published by Barronius Press. It has the Latin on one column and English on the column next to it, side by side for easy reference. If you want to learn Latin there is no better way to familiarize yourself with it than reading Sacred Scripture.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Florida Debate: James White vs Robert Price

I am hoping to be able to attend the debate between James White and Robert Price in a couple of weeks. I always enjoy debates, and I think this one may be interesting. It involves James White, the "Reformed" Calvinist against his "Protestant" Episcopal brother over the inerrancy of the Scriptures. This is quite interesting because you have two scholars who both claim to be of the "Protestant" pedigree, and they are fighting over whether God's Written Word is really inerrant. Of course we know that Modernism has left no religious group untouched in this day and age. There are "Catholic" scholars who refuse to believe what the Catholic Church teaches officially about the inerrancy of the Scriptures as well. It will be interesting to see how White handles the historical claims that Price will surely bring forth to substantiate his claim that the Bible is full of contradictions and errors. The debate is in my neck of the woods, about an hour or so away up near Clearwater, FL. If you are in the area, it may be fun to check out. (Visit link here) I wonder if Turretin Fan will be in town for the debate? Maybe we can get a glimpse of the side-monkey carrying Dr. White's luggage in tow. Look for the guy who will be running for Dr. White's refreshments as needed. We may be able to get one of those grainy photos like that of the Lock Ness Monster, and then find out the identity of the mysterious Mr. Fan! I am just kidding! I just get a chuckle out of this guy Turretin Fan. Wait, there he is!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aeterni Patris-Pope Leo XIII

Many Catholics are not strong in their faith because they simply do not take the time to read about it. They are like ships without a sail being tossed about the waves being propelled only by the current of our tumultuous times and the changing winds of the day. Catholics need to take the time to learn about their faith on their own time. In the this age of information, their is no reason a Catholic should not understand their faith. Here is a link to an Encyclical written by Pope Leo XIII called Aeterni Patris, which should be read by all Catholics today. It is not a long one, and you can read it in about 20 minutes or so. It will give you an insight into how important right reason is in this age of modernism. A sound philosophical mindset will allow you to understand your faith better, and it will allow you to communicate it to others in an effective manner.
If you are interested in learning Thomistic philosophy in a formal online setting I recommend The Sapientis Institute.  

Excerpt from the Encyclical-
2. Whoso turns his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten, us lies in this: that false conclusions concerning divine and human things, which originated in the schools of philosophy, have now crept into all the orders of the State, and have been accepted by the common consent of the masses. For, since it is in the very nature of man to follow the guide of reason in his actions, if his intellect sins at all his will soon follows; and thus it happens that false opinions, whose seat is in the understanding, influence human actions and pervert them. Whereas, on the other hand, if men be of sound mind and take their stand on true and solid principles, there will result a vast amount of benefits for the public and private good. We do not, indeed, attribute such force and authority to philosophy as to esteem it equal to the task of combating and rooting out all errors; for, when the Christian religion was first constituted, it came upon earth to restore it to its primeval dignity by the admirable light of faith, diffused "not by persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the manifestation of spirit and of power",(3) so also at the present time we look above all things to the powerful help of Almighty God to bring back to a right understanding the minds of man and dispel the darkness of error.(4) But the natural helps with which the grace of the divine wisdom, strongly and sweetly disposing all things, has supplied the human race are neither to be despised nor neglected, chief among which is evidently the right use of philosophy. For, not in vain did God set the light of reason in the human mind; and so far is the super-added light of faith from extinguishing or lessening the power of the intelligence that it completes it rather, and by adding to its strength renders it capable of greater things.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Surpised by Idiocy: Luther's Addition to Romans 3

“I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -- if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation.” Martin Luther

I find it interesting to watch Protestants come up with excuses to defend their founding hero's actions like those of Martin Luther for example. People like James Swan get upset when a Catholic points out the fact that Luther wanted to add the word 'alone' to the text of Romans 3:28. They claim that Catholics take him out of context, and then offer up a variety of reasons that we should all find acceptable as to why he thought that the Scripture passage was not clear enough the way it was written in the first place. The above text is the reason that Luther gave to adding the word 'alone' to Romans 3:28. He insists it belongs there, yet he has to admit that it was not originally written that way. This is absolutely amazing to me. Guys like James Swan over at 'Beggars All' insist that Sacred Scripture is perfectly clear, and that God wrote it in a fashion as to be easily understood, yet he backs Luther's reason for adding in words to the text which are not there, for the exact opposite reason. The reason being that the original text was not clear enough to begin with. The problem of course is that the original text of the passage, or a close literal translation of the text never conveys the meaning that Luther wants to attribute to it. His "faith alone" doctrine does not stand without adding the word 'alone' to the text. He insists that the original text conveys the sense of "faith alone" but if that is the case, then why add the word in the first place? Oh, I know! For people like Luther and the pretended "reformers" it is OK to add words to their translations of the Scriptures so that their interpretations can be forced upon their readers.

The pretended "reformers" love to attack Catholics for supposedly adding to God's Written Word with Tradition, yet we see here a clear and admitted example by Martin Luther of adding to God's Written Word. There is no getting around this fact. Of  course Luther, like the rest of the pretended "reformers" were either ignorant or obstinately opposed to understanding the difference between "works of the Law", and works united in faith to God's grace. So for Luther, the only way to invent his new "faith alone" doctrine was to add the word 'alone' to the text of Romans 3, which he freely admits was never there to begin with. Now we all have to ask ourselves a couple of questions. If God wanted that passage to be interpreted as "faith alone", would He not have written it that way to begin with? Secondly it would seem that the arrogant Luther thought himself to be wiser than God, because by Luther's assessment, God was too stupid to realize that the Catholics were going to misread this passage for 1500 years without the word alone in the text, so obviously it was up to Luther to add it. Of course I am sure that Luther and the pretended "reformers" would protest to the fact that Catholics were around for 1500 years, but that is another debate for another time. I could also prove that Luther's interpretation was bogus by looking at the ancient commentaries of this passage. Maybe I will do that in another post. Any way you slice it, Luther did not trust in Holy Writ as it was given to him by God. Instead he arrogantly insisted on adding to God's Holy Writ, the word 'alone' to Romans 3. 

Additional Note:
I thought it might be helpful to shed some light on this passage with the wisdom of Saint Thomas Aquinas. 

"At first glance it would seem that by the law of works is meant the Old Law and by the law of faith the New Law, through which the Gentile is made equal to the Jew.
But there is some doubt about this distinction.

For even in the Old Law faith was necessary, just as it is in the New: “You who fear the Lord believe him” (Sir 2:8); “I believed; therefore I have spoken” (Ps l16:l0). And indeed, works are required in the New Law, namely, the works of certain sacraments, as commanded in Luke 22(:19), “Do this in memory of me” and of moral observances: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only” (Jas 1:22).

Consequently, it should be said that what he calls the law of works is the law outwardly presented and written, through which men’s external works are directed, when it prescribes what he ought to do and forbids what ought to be avoided. But what he calls the law of faith is the law inwardly written, through which are directed not only external works but even the very motions of the heart, among which the act of faith is first: “Man believes with his heart” (Rom 10:10). Of this second law he speaks below (8:2): “The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”
317. Then when he says, For we hold, he shows how the Jews’ boasting is excluded by the law of faith, saying: For we apostles, being taught the truth by Christ, hold that a man, whomsoever he be, whether Jew or Gentile, is justified by faith: “He cleansed their hearts by faith” (Ac 15:9). And this apart from the works of the law.

Not only without the ceremonial works, which did not confer grace but only signified it, but also without the works of the moral precepts, as stated in Titus 3(:5), “Not because of deeds done by us in righteousness.” This, of course, means without works prior to becoming just, but not without works following it, because, as is stated in James (2:26): “Faith without works,” i.e., subsequent works, “is dead,” and, consequently, cannot justify."

From St. Thomas Aquinas' Lectures on Romans.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Can Feast Days Be Obligatory? Galatians 4:9-11

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 

An old accusation made by Protestants is that Galatians 4:9-11 refutes the Catholic Church's authority to make Holy days of obligation. Yet if we look at Galatians St. Paul is specifically talking to the Jews and their practices that were being done for the sole purpose of following the letter of the law. This passage has nothing to do with the Church which Jesus Christ would build upon St. Peter, which would have the authority to bind and loose. First I want to quote the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas from his commentary on this particular passage. We can see that he clearly interpreted this passage to pertain to the Jews specifically. It is very obvious that the Catholic Church's Holy Days of Obligation do not fall into the context of this passage.

For since in the entire section preceding this passage, as well as in all that follows it, he is censuring the Galatians for removing themselves from the faith and turning to the observances of the Law, it is more in keeping with his intention to expound it as referring to their turning to the legal observances. Hence he says: After that you have known God through faith, how turn you from the faith to the elements, i.e., to the literal observance of the Law? It is called an element, because the Law was the prime institution of divine worship. To elements, I say, that are weak, because they do not bring to perfection by justifying: “For the law brought nothing to perfection” (Heb 7:19), and needy, because they do not confer virtues and grace or offer any help of themselves.
But what does he mean by are you turned? For to say this, as well as to say, again, seems inappropriate, for they neither were Jews nor had they formerly observed the Law. I answer that the Jewish worship is midway between the worship of the Christians and that of the Gentiles: for the Gentiles worshipped the elements as though they were living things; the Jews, on the other hand, did not serve the elements but served God under the elements, inasmuch as they rendered worship, to God by the observances of bodily elements: We were serving under the elements of the world (v. 3); but Christians serve God under Christ, i.e., in the faith of Christ. Now when a person reaches a terminus after passing through the middle, if he then decides to return to the middle, it seems to be the same as returning to the very beginning. Therefore, because they had already reached the terminus, namely, faith in Christ, and then returned to the middle, i.e., to the Jewish worship, then because of a resemblance of middle to beginning, the Apostle says that they are turned to the elements and are serving them again.
That this is so, he proves when he says: You observe the days of the Jewish rite, namely, Sabbaths and the tenth day of the month and such things, which are mentioned in a Gloss, and months, i.e., new moons, as the first and seventh month, as is had in Leviticus (Ch. 25), and times, namely, of the exodus from Egypt, and the practice of going to Jerusalem three times a year, and years of jubilee and the seventh year of remission. From this arises a danger because faith in Christ profits nothing from it. Hence he says: I am afraid of you, lest perhaps I have labored in vain among you; and further on: If you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing (5:2).

Now we turn to a great Scripture commentary, which pulls from the Fathers of the Church. Below is a great explanation of verse 10 from the Commentary of Cornelius Lapide. As we can see, the Church Fathers knew better than to interpret this passage in such a way that compares the Church's feast days and liturgical calender to that of the Jews being referenced in this particular passage. It just goes to prove once again, that a Protestant can twist Scripture to mean whatever he wants it to mean, especially when it comes to furthering their cause against the Catholic Church.

Ver. 10.—Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. As S. Augustine (Ep. 119 and Enchirid. 79) and Anselm understand the elements to be the sun, moon, and idols, so do they understand this verse to mean days that were lucky or unlucky, according as astrology made them so. But Chrysostom and Jerome and others explain the days to be the Jewish Sabbaths; the months to be the new moons, and the seventh month, which was held sacred throughout; the times to be the stated feasts of the four seasons—the Passover, Pentecost, the Day of Atonement, and the New Year; and the years to be the seventh year of remission of debts, and the fiftieth year of jubilee. By the observance of days, months, and years, S. Paul means the ceremonies of the Old Law as a whole. 

From this appears the error of the heretics, who infer from this that the feasts of the Church are condemned. If they were, then would the heretics themselves be condemned for keeping Sunday? What is condemned here is the observance of the Jewish feasts only. These are happily distinguished from those observed by Christians, by Gregory Nazianzen, in his Whitsuntide Oration, in which he says: “The Jew keeps feast days, but it is according to the letter; for by observing the corporeal law he attains not to the spiritual. The Gentile keeps feast days, but it is according to the body, in revelling and wantonness. [Accordingly Lucian (Saturnalia) bids that nothing be done during the time of the feast, whether in public or in private, but what pertains to sport, to pleasure, and to lust; nay, the feasts of the heathen were obscene in themselves, witness those of Venus, Priapus, and Bacchus, in whose honour every abomination was practised]. We Christians keep feasts, but only such as are pleasing to the Spirit.” 

Jerome, too, says: “Any one may say that if it is not lawful to observe days, and months, and times, and years, then we do what is forbidden in observing Wednesdays, and Good Friday, and the Lords Day, and the Lenten fast, and the Easier solemnities, and the Whitsuntide festivities, and the days set apart in different places in honour of the martyrs. A wise and simple reply to this will be that the Jewish feast-days differ from ours. We do not observe the feast of unleavened bread, but that of the Cross and the Resurrection, nor do we number our weeks to Pentecost as the Jews did, but celebrate one coming of the Holy Spirit.” From which we may observe that, in S. Jerome’s time, days were set apart in honour of the martyrs, and that the practice is approved by him.

Fr. Pfleger and Holy Thursday!

Not much I can add to this. Will anything be done about these shenanigans? I doubt it.

More From Fr. Pfleger!

It seems now that Fr. Pfleger in the Archdiocese of Chicago is publicly preaching against the Church's teaching on women's ordination. He apparently pulled the old apology game when the news media asked him about it, but he never says he is wrong, but only that it is his private opinion. (“While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this.”) Yet he is preaching his private opinion to his congregation. The video of his sermon is still on his website. Do you think anything will be done about it? I seriously doubt it. Read about it here and read about it here.

From the second article.
On Sunday, only days after having received a lifetime achievement award from the Archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George, Fr. Pfleger told his congregation at Saint Sabina's Catholic Church: “That's why there should be women priests. That's why there should be married priests.  That's why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.”

Despite Fr. Pfleger's apology, his call for women's ordination still appears on his parish's website (view his comments here beginning around 54:30).

I watched the video and this guy is unbelievable. How he can talk about the blood of Jesus in one breath and then teach against Our Lord in the next breath?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The New Theologians: A Quick Look At Karl Rahner

Karl Rahner is one of the best recognized names in modern theological circles concerning the Vatican II age. Although some of his work may be worth reading, and some theologians like Pope Benedict XVI see some value in some of his theological opinions; we have to ask, is reading his material worth the time and efforts of the ordinary laymen? My answer in short would be no, there are many other better theologians to read rather than run the risk of being sidetracked into a theological abyss of which Rahner is well known for. Even the great theologians have had a hard time trying to decipher some his cryptic writings, and what was clear was not very solid theological material. 

For instance the great late theologian, Fr. John Hardon, S.J. writes the following about his work concerning the Eucharist. "Rahner’s language, not always so clear, I chose the clearest part that I could find." Yet it is not the hard to understand language that is the most dangerous, it is the redefining of transubstantiation that should alarm us.

Fr. Hardon writes, "

From Crisis of Faith and the Eucharist

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

"What I will do now is identify the two principal leaders of this devastating Eucharistic error. The error of transignification. This is the view that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist means when the consecration at Mass is performed only a change of meaning or significance of the bread and wine takes place. Their substance do not change only a change of meaning or significance of the bread and wine takes place their substance does not change. The consecrated elements are said to signify all that Christians associate with the Last Supper. The bread and wine acquire a higher meaning than merely food for the body. But they remain bread and wine.

We get some idea of how deeply this error has penetrated Catholic thought, when we read what Karl Rahner writes about the Eucharistic consecration. Rahner therefore is the first of the two master teachers of profound error on the Real Presence. I will quote now from Rahner’s language, not always so clear, I chose the clearest part that I could find. Quote Karl Rahner, “the more recent approaches suggest the following considerations, one has to remember that the words of institution indicate a change. But not give any guiding line for the interpretation of the actual process. As regarding transubstantiation it may be said, the substance, essence, meaning and purpose of the bread are identical but the meaning of a thing can be changed without changing the matter. The meaning of the bread has been changed through the consecration something which served profane use now becomes the dwelling place and the symbol of Christ who is present and gives Himself to His own.” unquote Karl Rahner. From the Encyclopedia of Theology edited by Rahner and defining the meaning of transubstantiation. What takes place through the Eucharistic consecration the significance the meaning attached to the bread changes but the bread remains bread. Rahner’s ideas are permeating the Eucharistic theology of whole nations."

"Now transfinalization, this identifies two principal errors that are threatening the faith of believing Catholics in Christ’s Real Presence in the blessed Sacrament. Transignification which we have just briefly described is very closely allied to transfinalization. In fact these two are almost synonymous but not quite.

Now transfinalization. This is a view of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist as the purpose or finality of the bread and wine is changed. Changed by the words of consecration but what remains after the consecration is still bread and wine, in other words, the bread and wine are now serving new function as sacred elements that arouse the faith of the people in Christ’s redemptive love.

We might say that transfinalization is another name for transignification. In both cases the substance of bread and wine, I repeat and I wish to emphasize, remain. There is no change in their being bread and wine – merely take on a new meaning. Transignification, or new purpose, transfinalization.

If Karl Rahner is the best-known advocate of transignification, Edward Schillebeeckx is the most famous proponent of transfinalization. Once again it is worth quoting at some length but this time from Schillebeeckx. His language is very subtle in context – he uses the words real presence. But tells us that the purpose of the Eucharistic elements is simply to make Christ’s presence more intimate. He was present before the consecration and is still present after the consecration - nothing happened to the bread. Nothing happened to the wine we read from Schillebeeckx. Anyone who denies what I just said is bound to misunderstand transubstantiation and make it objective."

Fr. Hardon's assessment of Rahner's theological ideas should give us cause to be careful in reading any of his works, for we do not know what other theological inventions he may have come up with. For example Fr. Hardon points out another error by Rahner concerning Process Theology.

Fr. Hardon writes,

From Devotion to the Sacred Heart and Modern Christology

IIHJ Conference given by
Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"On these premises, Christ and Christology and the hypostatic union take on a very different meaning than the one taught by the Nicene Creed.

Karl Rahner is not commonly placed among Process Christologists, but I believe he can be best understood in this way.

Rahner’s notion of evolution rises through much of his writing. It is deeply influenced by Hegel. Matter and spirit, Rahner believes, are essentially related to each other. They derive from the same creative act of God, and they have a single goal or purpose in the fullness of the Kingdom preached by Christ. The world and its history are moving ever forward. They are in constant process of development, toward a unity of spirit and matter. Rahner, like Hegel, sees this as a becoming higher. He calls this capacity for becoming something higher as the power of “self-transcendence.”
How does Christ fit into this predetermined process of evolution. Says Rahner, “The permanent beginning and the absolute guarantee that this ultimate self-transcendence, which is fundamentally unsurpassable, will succeed and has already begun, is what we call the “hypostatic union,” (Foundations of Christian Faith, p. 181).

In other words, the Incarnation was not so much God becoming Man, as the universe, including man, becoming slowly but inevitably divinized. Jesus Christ, Rahner insists, cannot be properly understood except from this evolutionary process."

It is for these reasons alone that I think we should have pause to spend any amount of time reading Karl Rahner for our spiritual or theological benefit. We could spend a lifetime of reading solid theologians like Fr. Hardon, Fr. Lagrange, etc. Why waste your efforts on Rahner? I won't waste any of my time unless it is for learning how the modernist theologians come to their erroneous theological conclusions. Finally, I would like to point out some of Rahner's own words concerning classic Thomism and traditional Catholic theology. The quotes below should remove any doubt at to what his theological motives as a whole were. These are my reasons for putting Karl Rahner on my do not read list.

Quotes below from an interview with Karl Rahner.
"I also believe that one can say that neo-scholastic philosophy and theology, for all their accomplishments, are quite passé today."8
"Between the two world wars there was, perhaps, no major breakthrough towards a truly new and modern theology. But there was a very fundamental breakthrough to a more open Catholic, and thoroughly Catholic way of thinking, which departed from traditional neo-scholasticism, but still was part of the Church’s patrimony."

"Its pioneers like Blondel and Marechal "agree that we must be receptive to modern philosophy without considering it absurd or something to be opposed and criticized. What is needed is a trusting colloquium between traditional scholastic philosophy and modern philosophy. This is necessary if, on the one hand, we are to be of our time..."

"When the Vatican declaration against the ordination of women came out a few years back, I published an article saying that it failed to convince me."

""… I have through Maréchal, Kant and German idealism, studied - let’s be content to formulate it negatively - a "transcendentally," philosophical Thomism."  


Anyone want to take a stab at explaining this one? The video was put up March 25th, 2010, so I guess this footage is fairly recent.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Wide Gate of Damnation

The following Scripture verses and Church Father quotes should give cause to reflect on our spiritual lives!  Salvation is no joking matter. Look at the Church Fathers and how they demonstrated a Catholic understanding of these Scripture passages. It seems that everyone thinks everyone is going to heaven these days, despite how they have lived their lives in relation to almighty God. We should also note that just because we are Catholic does not mean we are guaranteed a place in heaven. Saint Gregory notes, "that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble."

"Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!" Matthew 7:13-14

Saint Jerome, "Attend to the words, for they have an especial force, many walk in the broad way few find the narrow way. For the broad way needs no search, and is not found, but presents itself readily; it is the way of all who go astray. Whereas the narrow way neither do all find, nor when they have found, do they straightway walk therein. Many, after they have found the way of truth, caught by the pleasures of the world, desert midway."

"And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent.  Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:11-14

Saint Gregory the Great, "Whosoever then intent upon earthly business, or devoted to the actions of this world, feigns to be meditating upon the mystery of the Lord's Passion, and to be living accordingly, is he that refuses to come to the King's wedding on pretext of going to his farm or his merchandise. Nay often, which is worse, some who are called not only reject the grace, but become persecutors, And the remnant took his servants, treated them spitefully, and slew them.

Saint Jerome, "Or; the marriage garment is the commandments of the Lord, and the works which are done under the Law and the Gospel, and form the clothing of the new man. Whoever among the Christian body shall be found in the day of judgment not to have these, is straightway condemned. He said to him, Friend, how came you in here, not having a wedding garment? He calls him friend, because he was invited to the wedding as being a friend by faith; but He charges him with want of manners in polluting by his filthy dress the elegance of the wedding entertainment."

Saint Hillary, "For to invite all without exception is a courtesy of public benevolence; but out of the invited or called, the election will be of worth, by distinction of merit."

"And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. But when the master of the house shall be gone in, and shall shut the door, you shall begin to stand without, and knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us. And he answering, shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are." Luke 13:23-25

Saint Basil, "For as in earthly life the departure from right is exceeding broad, so he who goes out of the path which leads to the kingdom of heaven, finds himself in a vast extent of error. But the right way is narrow, the slightest turning aside being full of danger, whether to the right or to the left, as on a bridge, where he who slips on either side is thrown into the river."

Saint Basil, "For the soul wavers to and fro, at one time choosing virtue when it considers eternity, at another preferring pleasures when it looks to the present. Here it beholds ease, or the delights of the flesh, there its subjection or captive bondage; here drunkenness, there sobriety; here wanton mirth, there overflowing of tears; here dancing, there praying; here the sound of the pipe, there weeping; here lust, there chastity."

Saint Gregory, "Now when He was about to speak of the entrance of the narrow gate, He said first, strive, for unless the mind struggles manfully, the wave of the world is not overcome, by which the soul is ever thrown back again into the deep."

But those souls, who were weary and naked, changed color, and gnashed their teeth soon as they heard his cruel words. They blasphemed God and their parents, the human race, the place, the time and the seed of their sowing and of their birth. Then, bitterly weeping, they drew back all of them together to the evil bank, that waits for every man who fears not God. Charon the demon, with eyes of glowing coal, beckoning them, collects them all; he beats with his oar whoever lingers. (Canto III, Dante's Inferno)

For more reading on this subject here is an article that will make you contemplate on your spiritual life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We Need More Like Archbishop Burke!

We need more bishops like Archbishop Raymond Burke! Read this article about what he had to say about the nuns that supported the health care bill! Can you see the stark contrast between him and some other bishops today?
"Who could imagine that consecrated religious would openly, and in defiance of the bishops as successors of the apostles, publicly endorse legislation containing provisions which violated the natural moral law in its most fundamental tenets – the safeguarding and promoting of innocence and defenseless life, and fail to safeguard the demands of the free exercise of conscience for health care workers?" Archbishop Raymond Burke

Friday, April 9, 2010

Michelle Malkin Lets Cardinal George Have It!

I was going to post on the recent scandalous award given to Father Michael Pfleger (AKA Rev Flavor Flave) of the Archdiocese of Chicago. After fuming over it I decided it was best not to write anything lest my angry thoughts go too far! Michelle Malkin however has written a decent piece on the recent Pfleger scandal. Read it here. We have to ask ourselves how long these bishops are going to let Christ and his Church be mocked in public before they do something about it. If you really want to get a feel for what goes on at Rev. Flavor Flave's church, St. Sabina in Chicago, you can watch videos of recent liturgies during Easter on their website. Then ask yourself what in the hell is going on in Cardinal George's Archdiocese!

Take the Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange Challenge!

I am convinced that the reason many Catholics today do not understand their Catholic faith very well is that the philosophical and theological principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas have largely been abandoned in recent years. It is the reason why guys like Mark Shea do not know how to make distinctions regarding Catholic moral theology. It also the reason why many bishops are now duped into buying into this exaggerated definition of "human dignity" and end up falling into false crusades against the death penalty and crusades that focus on social justice, all the while neglecting the ultimate end we are all hoping for with God in eternity.

There is a cure for this sickness and his name Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. He is known as Saint Thomas' ultimate mouthpiece of the 20th century. He was born in 1877 in France and lived until 1964. He was a thorn in the liberal dissenters sides for years! Fr. Lagrange like Saint Thomas before him would be a great theologian, and not only would he advance the cause of orthodoxy, he would be a staunch defender of every modernist attack that would occur on Church soil in his time! Lagrange exposed the errors of the "New Theologians" like Henri de Lubac, Maurice Blondel, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Urs von Balthasar among others. These "New Theologians" laid the snares of bad philosophy, which ultimately skewed their theological understanding of the Church.

As we know, Saint Thomas has been championed by the Church since the 13th century. But one quote will suffice to make my point on how important it is that every Catholic takes the time to study Saint Thomas.

"27. Again, if we are to avoid the errors which are the source and fountain-head of all the miseries of our time, the teaching of Aquinas must be adhered to more religiously than ever. For Thomas refutes the theories propounded by Modernists in every sphere, in philosophy, by protecting, as We have reminded you, the force and power of the human mind and by demonstrating the existence of God by the most cogent arguments; in dogmatic theology, by distinguishing the supernatural from the natural order and explaining the reasons for belief and the dogmas themselves; in theology, by showing that the articles of faith are not based upon mere opinion but upon truth and therefore cannot possibly change; in exegesis, by transmitting the true conception of divine inspiration; in the science of morals, in sociology and law, by laying down sound principles of legal and social, commutative and distributive, justice and explaining the relations between justice and charity; in the theory of asceticism, by his precepts concerning the perfection of the Christian life and his confutation of the enemies of the religious orders in his own day. Lastly, against the much vaunted liberty of the human reason and its independence in regard to God he asserts the rights of primary Truth and the authority over us of the Supreme Master. It is therefore clear why Modernists are so amply justified in fearing no Doctor of the Church so much as Thomas Aquinas." (Studiorum Ducem-Pope Pius XI, June 29,1923)
It is true that there are many books available today on Saint Thomas, and I have listed some of them in earlier blog posts. But the more I read and learn, I believe that Fr. Lagrange is the best place to start to really get an idea of what true Thomism is. Here are a few books that I think should be part of every Catholic's library for immediate consumption. It is important that we properly order our intellects towards God. In order to defeat the modernist mentality that pervades the Church today, it will take a serious ground roots Thomistic revival.  Fr. Garrigou Lagrange is a great place to start the revival! You can find most of these books on Amazon, or some other place on the net. The order I posted the books  is a good order to buy them in, but you can judge for yourself based on my descriptions.

The first book, Reality, is a good summary of the work and thinking of Saint Thomas. Fr Lagrange goes through and explains many of St. Thomas' work and gives you a firm grounding in Thomistic philosophy and theology.

The second book, Christian Perfection and Contemplation, is an exposition on traditional Catholic teaching regarding the spiritual life of grace and perfection. He covers the basics of how to live the Christian life and how to understand the basics of Catholic theology. This is a must for every Catholic.

The third book, The Sacred Monster of Thomism, is a biography on Fr. Lagrange. It is excellent and gives you some insight into the time in which Fr. Lagrange lived and the the evil forces of modernism that he battled around him.

Finally, the fourth book, Our Savior and His Love for Us, is another spiritual guide on the interior life, focusing on Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The book focuses on Christ, His incarnation, the priesthood and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass among other topics. 

If we can read and digest these four works, we will be well on our way to changing the intellect of the Church back to a firm foundation grounded in reality.

1. Reality

2. Christian Perfection and Contemplation

3. The Sacred Monster of Thomism

4. Our Savior and His Love For Us

Turretin Fan's Last Ditch Deception on Lumen Gentium

Today I have been in dialogue with the Turretin Fan over on his blog. I have tried to get him to admit that the Pope Paul VI's preliminary note regarding the authority of the Pope is a part of the document Lumen Gentium. (Nota 4) I used the note in the document to prove that the definition of the papacy had not changed with the Vatican II documents. He refused to admit this fact and instead insisted on lying about it. I wanted to put up the dialogue that took place on his blog to demonstrate how Catholic detractors will go to any length to smear the Catholic Church, even if it comes down to lying rather than admitting error. This is on the heels of two other posts that I put up refuting his position on the "lessening" of the papacy in which he used James Carroll as his source. Below is how the dialogue went between the two of us. My responses are in dark red, his in black, my additional comments are in bright red.

Normally I would not go to this length to prove my point, but this Turretin Fan guy has been doing this kind of thing for years now, and frankly it is getting old. I am sure that he will be back with other accusations, but at least those who want to really know the truth about him can see it here before it gets erased on his blog. He commonly selectively erases people's comments on his blog, like Alex's, who comments on my blog regularly. Don't worry, I will try not to bore my readers too much more with this clown. I will get back to other topics of theological interest soon!

My initial response on his blog to his post.
Keep ignoring the fact that Lumen Gentium refutes Carroll lock, stock and barrel, because the Church, with the Pope as its head, refused to release the document without a preliminary note which completely sets the tone for the entire document, which you all have conveniently stepped over to get in the door. Aside from that, we can see that the "lessening" never happened as a practice either, because the document was stopped by the Pope, who then added his preliminary note, which ensured that idiots like Carroll and now TF, would not be able to misinterpret the document. What a joke!

No, the need for the footnote proves Carroll's point. Thanks for stopping by!


Its not a footnote moron. Do you even have a clue as to what you are talking about?

Yes, it's not a footnote, its location isn't fixed. It's printed as an appendix.

Whether it is printed as a footnote, endnote, preface, or appendix is really beside the point, though.

The point is that its inclusion proves Carroll's point. Can you at least admit that?

What? It does just the opposite! It opposes Carroll's line of thinking very clearly. It is a preliminary note that sets the tone for the entire document. Anyone who reads the documents without reading the preliminary note is obviously not reading the document in its proper context. It is you who must admit that your quoting and support of Carroll's reasoning was a huge mistake. You also made a huge blunder when attempted to say the note was not part of the document, which is plainly a false statement. Be man for a change and admit when you have a made a mistake instead of dancing around it.

Did you even read my comment above? I mistaken referred to the appendix as a footnote, which was incorrect. I made a mistake. Get over it - I have.

(You see, when he makes a mistake, he says get over it. If anyone else makes one on his blog he never lets go of it and uses it as a tool for detraction.)

But, of course, what you really want is to argue with Ferrara without actually addressing what he says. Did you actually read the blog post above? Did you even read the web version of Lumen Gentium? The note was added to the document. Ferrara explains why and Ferrara's explanation directly supports Carroll's contention.

Thanks for stopping by.


Incidentally, Bellisario - you'd get more respect if your position was simply that the outcome of Vatican II was more balanced than the conciliarists among the bishops clearly wanted.

What you can't escape, however, is the fact that the bishops got into the text of Lumen Gentium subject matter that pushed the pope to add note 4. That's the kind of thing that Carroll was talking about. Rather than going ad hominem on the man, try to learn something from him.

TF writes,
"The note was added to the document"

No, it was and is a part of the document text. In order for it to be an addition by definition, it would have had to be added after the doc was released, which was not the case. It was a part of the document from the day it was released, period. If you are going to act as if the note was not part of the document, and not meant to be a crucial part of its interpretation as it was designed, being a preliminary note, then you are being very dishonest. So Carroll, and now you as well, are reading and quoting selectively from the document acting as if the note was not part of it. It amazes me that you think you can get away with this kind of nonsense in a public forum.

Will you at least acknowledge that this quotation refers to a text that came before the explanatory note? 

It doesn't' matter when the text was written. It matters that when the Church promulgated the actual document, that it was done so with the text of the note in the actual document. Do you think that the documents are written in one sitting with everyone sitting around a table? No the documents are written over long periods of time, and then reviewed by the Pope before being promulgated. The document is not official until the Pope says so, and if he added text to the document, then that text is just as important, if not more so, than the text that was written before it. In other words, to make it simple for you, the document was not complete and not released to the Church until the note was added to it. 

I'll take that as a very obstinate way of agreeing that it does say what I said.

And it does matter, if my claim is that something was added to the text.

I'm not sure why you are not able to grasp this. Perhaps it is because you'd like me to be arguing something for which I haven't argued?

Let me phrase this another way, in case it helps you understand ... do you think I said that the document was published without the note that was added to the document? 

You said that I did not quote from the document itself, did you not? That was incorrect! The note is a part of the original document!

You wrote, "Rather than then turning to Lumen Gentium itself, though, Bellisario turns to an note added to it by (shocking surprise ahead) a pope,..."

So how are you going to answer? Did I or did not quote from the document itself? If you say that I did not, then you are lying, because the note is a part of the original doc. If you say that I did quote from it, then you have to recant what you wrote on your blog post. Which is it going to be?

No, you did not. You quoted from the fourth explicative note, which was demanded by the pope and published (with the other three notes) as an appendix to the document. We've already demonstrated that above. They were published together, and Lumen Gentium wasn't promulgated without the appended note, though the note is not a part of the text of the document itself.

"If you say that I did not, then you are lying, because the note is a part of the original doc."

No, it's an appendix. See above.

Sorry, the text of the note is a part of the official document as I demonstrated. All of the text that was promulgated is a part of the entire document. Now you have officially proven yourself a liar. The preliminary note is a part of the document. The document is only official with the text of the note, so there is no way for you to get around it. It truly breaks my heart to see you lie about this in front of everyone who reads your blog. Just in case you were wondering, Pericle Feleci who was the Secretary General of the Second Vatican Council wrote this regarding the nota, "This was written as a Nota Praevia, a preliminary introductory note, to the document, Lumen Gentium. It was, in defiance of Pope Paul VI's wishes, relegated to the Appendix of the document in published editions of the Second Vatican Council's documents. Nonetheless, though it exists in a less important place, it is still a part of the document." Note... Source here: It may not have been Pericle Feleci that I quoted, it is hard to tell who actually wrote the introduction, none the less the fact remains that the note was originally a preliminary note and it still reads that in the published document, even in the printed document.

So, the note that I quoted is clearly a part of the document, the Pope said so, the Secretary General said so. Yet we are supposed to listen to your lies and believe it is not a part of the document? Unbelievable! You have out done yourself this time. I want to remind all of your readers when you told me that you knew more about the Catholic faith than I did. Remember that? I think we all know that you have no clue as to what you are talking about regarding the subject of Catholicism.

I wouldn't mind if Bellisario were a grade-school drop-out if he would just be willing to admit that it's silly for him to complain about the note being added to the text when it so plainly was added to the text. We even know what date it was added (only a short while before the document was promulgated).
(How can it be "added" when it was a part of the original document? He even admits that the document was promulgated with the Pope's nota! TF is trying to have it both ways. It was either promulgated to the Church as a finished document with the note, or it wasn't!)
I know what Bellisario's actual credentials are (though I don't think he intends for it to be public, and I'll respect that), and while he's not a completely uneducated person, his education isn't really at issue, except when he tries to make it sound like a priest with more than one religious degree is "ignorant" of the subject. 

(Now he finishes with an ad hominem because he was just refuted in front of all of his readers. This is the best he has! Attack my credentials! What a joke.)

My Synopsis:
This dialogue clearly demonstrates that Turretin Fan is willing to lie to cover his own errors. We can see that the preliminary note was an integral part of the document itself, which clearly rejects Turretin Fan's original claim that the papacy had been somehow degraded by the Council document. The note was originally put at the front of the document and was only later put as an appendix in the print additions. In the end it really doesn't make any difference as to where the note is located in the document.  The fact is, the text is there and it has to be read in order to understand the rest of the text. Every letter that was released and promulgated by the church that is contained in the document is part of the document. You would think to most people that this is just common sense. 

Finally it makes no difference when the different components of the document were written. It is not as if the entire body of text was written at one time at one table without much deliberation. The Pope's input whether it was a year after the other text was written, or one day after, makes no difference. The document was not complete until the Pope said it was complete, and he added to complete the document whatever he saw fit before it was promulgated and given to the Church as a complete document. Going by Turretin Fan's logic, the notes, appendixes, introductions, opening introductions by book authors, etc should not be considered a part of the finished work of a book! So, if an author writes an introduction to his book after he finishes the chapters to set the tone of the chapters that follow it, according to Turretin Fan its not really a part of the book! Yet, we know that everything in the book is part of the entire published work. The fact is, until the document was released and promulgated, it was not a finished work. 

In the end Turretin Fan had to resort to an ad hominem because he knows that he can't refute this fact. This should give a good example of what type of scoundrels Catholics have to deal with day in and day out. People like Turretin Fan will do anything to slander the Catholic Church even it means resorting to lying, or quoting liberal ex-priests to do so. Yet when they are countered with substantial arguments from the very documents that they sought to attack the Church with, they would rather lie and say that the note from the Pope was not really a part of the original text of the document! We see this type of nonsense in the media today as well. Any cheap shot will do these days when it comes to bashing the Catholic Church! Turretin fan is a perfect example. Read his blog with extreme caution, you never know what he is going to pull!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Turretin Fan's Magical Disappearing Facts.

I had to laugh when I read Turretin Fan's response to a blog article I posted the other day. As we know, Turretin Fan claimed that a statement by James Carroll regarding the papacy after Vatican II, to be fact, which after examination turned out not to be fact. But in TF's usual style, he sidestepped that issue and leveled a strict ad hominem against me. Let's take a look at the statement he made in  his first blog article where he quotes Carroll, which was my main focus, lest we forget the original complaint that I had.

Turretin Fan wrote, "While Carroll views Vatican II as providing a measure of conciliarist reform, Carroll rightly notes that the current papacy (as well as the previous one, in which Ratzinger had influence) have sought to push ultramontanism to new heights while undoing any lessening of the papacy brought about by Vatican II."

Now I went straight to the Vatican II document itself and provided proof that this lessening never in fact happened. Turretin Fan admits defeat in the first line of his next blog post against me. He writes, "Bellisario's headline reads: "Vatican II and the Papacy- No Redefinition." Well, no kidding. Formally speaking, Vatican II didn't define anything much less re-define anything." OK! You see this supposed lessening of the papacy never happened as Turretin Fan originally had posted in alliance with Carroll's words in which he quoted. The lessening only occurred in Carroll's, and now TF's own imaginations.

Now I will answer the anonymous Turretin Fan line by line so we can see how bad his arguments were in his recent post leveled against me.

Tf writes, "So, when Bellisario begins his post, "There are some who think that the Second Vatican Council sought to take away the role and authority of the pope," we can only wonder what Bellisario was thinking. The central thrust of his post is not against what I wrote, but rather against what he apparently wishes I had written."

My response, 
Do you see how this works? Turretin Fan writes that the lessening of the papacy is a fact, and he provides a direct quote by Carroll to substantiate it, and then after I prove that it never happened he acts as if he never wrote it. Did I imagine the sentence that he wrote where he writes, "While Carroll views Vatican II as providing a measure of conciliarist reform, Carroll rightly notes that the current papacy (as well as the previous one, in which Ratzinger had influence) have sought to push ultramontanism to new heights while undoing any lessening of the papacy brought about by Vatican II."? Did I wish that he wrote that, or did he actually write it? Now there are some of his blog readers I am sure will say he never wrote it, and actually believe him, but that is beside the point. Let us move on.

Turretin Fan continues, 

The use of the straw man fallacy, however, is not enough for Bellisario. Bellisario insists on using the ad hominem fallacy as well. He attacks James Carroll for being an "ex-priest." What irony in this attack! While Bellisario means to play this up as somehow an attack on Carroll's character (he tries to compare him to Luther saying: "Martin Luther, who also left the priesthood to engage in unsavory affairs"), Bellisario actually undermines his own credibility. After all, James Carroll attended St. Paul's College, where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees. He served as a columnist for several years at the National Catholic Reporter and received an award for "Best Columnist" by the Catholic Press Association. Bellisario's credentials can't compare to this. If Bellisario wishes to take the discussion ad hominem (to the man), then Bellisario will lose.

My response,
No, I attacked him because his facts on VCII were incorrect based on the text of the doc itself. The fact that he is a loyal dissenter who left the priesthood to go and spend his life publicly attacking the Catholic Church, much like Martin Luther did is nothing more than a comparison, and I think the comparison is a pretty good one. Tf then quotes his bio as if that warrants that we take him and his source seriously. One of two things must be true; either TF has no clue that the National Catholic reporter is the most liberal slanted "Catholic" magazine that is published today, or he knows it and chooses to herald it as being a great credential to have as part of Carroll's bio. I am sure that he just went and cut and pasted Carroll's credentials off of the internet thinking that this would gain his source some credibility. TF then levels an ad-hominem after just complaining that I used one, and says that my credentials do not measure up to Carroll's. As you can see, credentials don't mean a lot when you spend your time writing poorly researched articles and books. So in the end, TF just complains about my supposed ad hominem, and then he turns around and does the same thing. 

Turretin Fan continues,
"Bellisario's lies here are amusing in view of his previous ad hominem. Carroll was ordained as a priest in 1969, shortly after the close of the Vatican II council. So, naturally, he's not "ignorant" of the Vatican II documents any more than I am. And, of course, a simple search of my blog demonstrates that I've repeatedly discussed a variety of the documents of Vatican II."

My response,
Lies? Just because a person was ordained right after the Council does not make him an expert on the Council. Just because TF has cut and pasted some text from the VC II documents also does not make him knowledgeable about the Council. These are all logical fallacies. This is like claiming that just because you sleep with the VCII documents under your pillow that you are an expert on them. What a joke. The sad fact is TF claims he has discussed the documents before, but he didn't even know that Lumen Gentium contained Pope Paul VI's preliminary note which accompanied the release of the doc, and for all intents and purposes is actually a part of the document itself.

Turretin Fan continues, 
"Rather than then turning to Lumen Gentium itself, though, Bellisario turns to an note added to it by (shocking surprise ahead) a pope, affirming (get ready to be really shocked) a high view of the papacy. The reason for the note is to counterbalance the text of Lumen Gentium, the text that supports Carroll's point that Bellisario wishes weren't true."

My response,
Notice how Turretin Fan avoids quoting anything specific from the document? He does this because he knows the document itself does not support what Carroll wrote either. TF also assumes that the note is not really a part of the document. Once again we will see that TF knows nothing about the VCII document that he is writing about. He throws around the name of a document or two as if he is some Vatican II scholar. Here is another sentence that TF will act as if he never wrote after I tear it apart before his eyes. He wrote, "Rather than then turning to Lumen Gentium itself..." Here TF makes a huge mistake acting as if Pope Paul's note was not a part of the document released. If we examine the document, we can see very clearly that the note is part of the document's text. TF acts as if the note is not really a part of the document! Yet, the note was added (November 16, 1964) before the document was ever promulgated on November 21, 1964. 

So no, the document stands as it is when it was released. So no, the document does not say anything about this "lessening of the papacy" in which TF claims to be fact. Once again we see that TF's lack of serous research is very clear here. Visit the Vatican website here to see very clearly that the note is part of the actual document released in the appendix. If Turretin Fan is going to claim that the appendix of the document does not count as part of the document, then I guess the appendix in all books are not really a part of the books either. The fact remains that the document was released with the nota as part of the released text which must accompany the rest of the text of the document in order for it to be complete. So Turretin's claim that I did not quote from the document is false. This was of course TF's only way to try and wiggle himself out of making a fool of himself again, but it backfired.

Turretin Fan continues, 
"The lessening of the papacy, as I had put it, had to do primarily with a matter of balance and emphasis. The goal was not to eliminate the papacy or to re-defined dogma, though apparently the article itself or my blog post about it provided the starting material for Bellisario's fertile imagination."

My response,
The above is nothing more than sophistry which really should say, "I was an idiot and made a statement that I can't back up, so I am going to use some meaningless words (balance and emphasis, which mean nothing here) to weasel my out." I am familiar with most of the VCII documents, and so I was never startled by TF's lackluster blog article. 

Turretin Fan continues, 
"I didn't endorse everything that Carroll said, and whether or not Carroll is a liberal dissenter (I'll let him answer that charge himself) does not affect the truth of his claims."

My response, 
I never said that TF endorsed everything Carroll said, did I? To my knowledge I only refuted the one quote that TF posted. As far as his claims go, they are untrue because the facts of the Council documents themselves prove them to be untrue, not because he supports heretical positions which are contrary to the Catholic faith.

Turretin Continues, 
"Could there be a comment more full of obvious rhetorical garbage and ad hominem than that?"

My response,
Yes, we just saw it in Turretin Fan' response, which is nothing other than garbage and rhetorical BS.

Turretin Fan writes, 
"Rather than point out any specific error,"

My response,
I did point out a specific error which claimed that there was a lessening of the papacy after Vatican II, and I did it with the document from VCII. I did not invent my own fallacious position based on mere opinion as TF did by quoting Carroll. That is the difference between substantiating an argument with substance, and just cutting and pasting someone else's opinion to bash the Catholic Church with.

Turretin Fan ends with more sophistry,
"The problem, of course, is that Bellisario hasn't established such a pattern - and even if he did, he still ought to try to show that a particular statement itself is in error, rather than relying such an alleged pattern."

My response,
I did show the statement to be an error by the very text of the document from which I quoted. Whatever "pattern" he is writing about we can only guess. You see TF never provides one bit of substance or fact to back up Carroll's opinion. I provided actual text from the VCII document itself and provided evidence that what Carroll said was a gross misinterpretation of the document and was in fact in error, and yet TF seems content to just go by his own opinion. If I am not mistaken, this Turretin Fan guy is supposedly going to a Protestant seminary! I could be mistaken, but I think I have read that around the blogs. I can only imagine what sort of education he is getting! If this is the best of the best from these guys then the Catholic Church is still safe! No worries here.

Obama Saving Money?

A friend of mine sent this video over to me. It puts the Big 0's recent spending reduction proposal into perspective. An article about it below.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Vatican II and the Papacy- No Redefinition

There are some who think that the Second Vatican Council sought to take away the role and authority of the pope. I ran across a blog post by a Protestant who calls himself Turretin Fan. He quoted an ex-priest and author by the name of James Carroll to try and prove that the papacy has been in a state of fluctuation since the Second Vatican Council. TF wrote, "While Carroll views Vatican II as providing a measure of conciliarist reform, Carroll rightly notes that the current papacy (as well as the previous one, in which Ratzinger had influence) have sought to push ultramontanism to new heights while undoing any lessening of the papacy brought about by Vatican II." It is not surprising to see that Turretin Fan is just as ignorant of the Vatican II documents as Carroll is. I find it amusing how Turretin Fan uses the term ultramontanism to note the last two papacies. I have to wonder if he even knows what the term really means.

We have only to look at the document of Lumen Gentium to see that this supposed lessening of the papacy never happened, and none of the Vatican Documents ever proposed such thing. It must be noted that in the document Lumen Gentium, the pope himself added a nota explicativa (Preliminary Note of Explanation) to the document to ensure its proper interpretation concerning the papacy. I find it quite amusing that a Protestant E-Apologist like Turretin Fan wants to be known for citing the most liberal dissenting historians and theologians to substantiate his attacks on the Catholic Church. I guess it is easy to see why Turretin Fan always gets his facts wrong concerning Catholicism. When you choose to keep company with dissenters, then you will have a dissenters disposition. When you are used to having heroes like Martin Luther, who also left the priesthood to engage in unsavory affairs, then it is no surprise that he looks for similar company like ex-priests today who constantly attack the Catholic Church like James Carroll. If you are curious about what Vatican II actually said about the role and authority of the papacy, then note 4 of the document gives a pretty good summary.

Note Number 4 reads

As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always fully active [in actu pleno]; rather, it acts as a college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of its head. The phrase 'with the consent of its head' is used to avoid the idea of dependence on some kind of outsider; the term "consent" suggests rather communion between the head and the members, and implies the need for an act which belongs properly to the competence of the head. This is explicitly affirmed in n. 22, 12 [10] and is explained at the end of that section. The word "only" takes in all cases. It is evident from this that the norms approved by the supreme authority must always be observed. Cf. Modus 84

It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College." This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition.[11]