Saturday, October 19, 2002

On Miscellaneous Matters, My Father, Our Generations, Etc:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

I have to run some errands but before I go, I wanted to note that Bill Cork does a very good job addressing the Generation X in the following post. I have been reticient to discuss my age for many years but with a birthday coming up (on the 21st) I will reveal that I am of the Generation X classification - though I am not as old as Bill is.

It is not a subject I like to discuss because (frankly) I am for the most part not congruent with my generation and find the earlier Boomers to be an embarrassment. No, I find myself having more in common with my late fathers generation (approx. 1926-1946) the "silent generation" if you will: the fellas who were too young for WW II (except maybe at the tailend) but who were young men for Korea and (amongst the younger ones like my father) young men at the time Eisenhower was sending "advisors" to Vietnam and the Cuban Missle Crisis of '63.

The only significant difference perhaps is I believe men were stronger then. Not physically per se as even now I am not hurting in that department (though I was stronger when I was younger physically). I refer to overall constitutions if you will and in that sense do not see a viable comparison to be made. (Though I hold out hope that eventually one could be made as I am not only my fathers eldest but am his only son.)

I will be running up to the Everett Union Gospel Mission later today to give the shelter most of my fathers clothes after the estate sale. They were held over because it simply did not seem right to sell them or to give them to St. Vincent de Paul who would sell them. They could never sell them for what they are worth not that they are expensive per se but because of the value of the man who wore them.

It is kinda ironic that I happened to go to Bill's weblog when doing a quick blogwatch - I vary my checkups on the side links of Rerum Novarum - and see this note about the generations....well it got me thinking particularly in light of where I am now going. One final digression to tie all of this together before I vamos.

Mark Shea asked the question yesterday about what was more important, the ordinary or the extraordinary. I immediately thought of the sermon that came to his mind last week on the same theme. My comments in the message box can be read at Mark's blog but one brief extension on them comes to mind.

I recall numerous times in my youth where it was said that I had "extraordinary" gifts or talents. No such accolades were ever laid at my fathers feet - quite the contrary actually. I believe that God takes greater joy in the ordinary than in the extraordinary. And that the ordinary is to be prized above the extraordinary because it is tested, it is reliable. And it often does not perceive of its true value.

I mentioned this in one of the very first entries at Rerum Novarum. Anyway, I have to run now but one request to my readers: please remember my father Richard Dunn McElhinney on All Souls Day. He was by all statistical accounts an "ordinary" man. I assure you, statistics are woefully inadequate to express his true value: proof positive to me that what is classified as "extraordinary" is not of greater value than what is classified as "ordinary". Indeed arguably the "extraordinary" is of markedly lessor value and no one will convince me otherwise.

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Brief Note:

I will try to get to the Rerum Novarum War Gumbo tonight...

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"Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa" Dept.

As I am critical of certain individuals for being bereft of the mea culpa, I will note here that Albert made a good point about me addressing his entire email in the post below. As a result I edited the piece and inserted the parts I did not address previously. In short, I apologize (mea culpa) for doing a Readers Digest Condensed Version of a response to your post Albert.

I did not think doing so would in any way do injustice to your position but since you think it did, I have revised the piece accordingly. I only ask in the future that you remember that blogging is an exercise in economical expression for me so as a general rule condensed versions are par for the course. But exceptions can be made of course - heck as Sovereign Thane and Lord High Executioner of Rerum Novarum, I can do that at my own whim. So this time I have done that and apologize if the previous version's brevity was problematical. (In light of how I have been criticized for vast extrapolations in the past, being criticized for brevity now is rather ironic. But I digress...)

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"It's So Ea-sy To Be A Trad" Dept.

It's so easy to be a trad
It's so easy to be a trad
Church teach-ing is pick and choose
And as the pope you can make all the rules

It seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy)
Umm-hmm so doggone easy (doggone easy , doggone easy)
Umm-hmm, it seems so easy, (seems so easy, seems so easy, seems so easy)
Because you're your own au-thor-i-tyyyy

It's so easy to be a trad
It's so easy to be a trad

Case in point is the dialogue below with my friend Albert Cipriani.

My point was that obedience to a teaching handed on by the Supreme Authority is by that fact alone what determines its binding nature. Infallibility is a corollary if you will. It denotes a degree of certitude and a specific theological qualification. It is not the criterion for the truth or irreformability of a teaching.

I see. Even though a teaching may be irreformable, it’s not necessarily infallible.

Neophytes do not have the capabilities to properly discern the theological qualifications of magisterial teaching. This is one reason why religious submission is required. I will go over the other two if necessary as this dialogue progresses.

That’s like saying it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck but it is not a duck.

Well for the wise and prudent perhaps :)

If what the Church proposes as the truth, teaches as the truth, and vows to always teach as the truth, who are you to say it is not necessarily the infallible truth?

Actually *I* am not the one who makes authority the criterion for obedience. Our Lord said NOTHING about obedience being contingent upon infallibility. He instead made it contingent upon the teacher's authority. I quoted from the Roman Catechism on page 415 earlier on my blog. For your benefit (and the list's) I will do it again now:

"The Apostle ...teaches that [bishops and priests] are entitled to obedience: 'Obey your prelates, and be subject to them; for they watch as being to render an account of your souls'[28]. Nay more, Christ the Lord commands obedience even to wicked pastors: 'Upon the chair of Moses have sitten the Scribes and Pharisees: all things, wherefore, whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do ye not, for they say and not do' [29]".

[28] Heb. xiii.,17 [29] Matt. xxiii., 2,3

So it is not *I* who make the rules Albert, it was Our Lord. And Paul along with the other Apostles such as St. Peter and St. Jude (ii Pet i,19-21; Jude i, 5-12) upheld them. And as I pointed out to you in the open letter, so too does the Church teach this. I did not use the Catechism of Trent or the Baltimore Catechism as I initially planned to in that letter for the sake of economy. But as I noted in it "they reaffirm everything I have gone over

And as Our Lord commanded obedience to the white-washed Pharisees in WHATSOEVER they tell you (because of their teaching authority: this implies that we are talking about is teachings pertaining to religion), the same principle applies today in ecclesial matters. So either (i) everything that is handed on in the magisterium is infallible or (ii) everything handed on in the magisterium is to be given obedience regardless of whether it is infallible or not. There are no other options either in Scripture, Tradition, or Church history to support your position.

The reason I referred to "subjective opinion of theologians" is because those who predicate obedience on infallibility do not understand the principle of obedience as a virtue at all. They also do not understand the principle of an authority that teaches in God's name and with His authority. There is a reason that Jesus told his followers to obey "whatsoever [the Scribes and Pharisees] tell you" and it was not because they were sterling characters to be personally emulated. No, it was *solely* because they "sit on Moshe's seat". Meaning: they teach with authority and are to be heeded.

Our Lord even went on to outline areas where they abused their authority but He did not give His followers any excuses to not be obedient: not one. If this principle was to be adhered to in the imperfect precursor to the Lord, then it applies with even greater stress in the perfected covenant. In short, there is no excuse for disobedience in ecclesiastical matters. PERIOD.

I see. Obedience isn’t good enough anymore. Now we must live up to your new standard of “obedience-as-a-virtue.” It used to be enough to obey our superiors in all that was moral.

All that is not incontrovertably immoral. But until you start cultivating Catholic obedience properly, it is pointless to explain the extraordinary circumstances where suspending obedience is morally permissible.

Now we must hold our nose, and practice “obedience as a virtue” in the exercise of their vices.

Did you bother to read the quote at all??? Or is this more read and rashly react rather than read and contemplate what is *actually* being said???

In fact, the more stinky they are and repugnant their demands, the more virtuous we are for managing to practice the virtue of obedience in spite of our better angels.

Well, you have AGAIN mingled their actions with their commands. But as for the latter (*not* the former per se): Welcome to the Cross of Catholicism Albert!!! The same Lord who said "turn the other cheek" when you are struck on one cheek was not whistling Zipadee Doo Dah.

Obedience is the highest of the cardinal virtues (surpassed only by faith, hope, and charity). But one who does not practice proper obedience has either a very weak faith or no faith; they also are either very weak in charity or are bereft of it altogether. And without them it is not possible to cultivate hope as a theological virtue - it instead becomes some kind of nostalgic repine which is a counterfeit of the real thing. In fact, there is one of the parallels here to Jansenism that so often plagues the "trad" mindset. I will address it in brief now.

Your outlook and approach is functionally akin to denying the secondary truths which uphold dogma while claiming to uphold the dogma: it is functionally impossible. You treat obedience the same way the Jansenists did secondary truths and dogmatic facts. But then your attitude towards the latter two is also quasi-Jansenistic, maybe I should not be surprised that you are seeking to apply your erroneous principles with consistency.

How perverse! Let’s see how this works out pragmatically.

Rather than going first to theology and faith seeking understanding he goes the way of the world: pragmatism and exaltation of reason. I have news for you Albert: Jesus was not a pragmatist. This is why he so often warned of wolves in sheeps clothing - because he was proposing something that was not pragmatic, that was not arranged according to the devices of men. And therefore faith would be called for: faith in Him first and foremost that when the boat was tossing around at sea that even if He appears asleep in the boat, to not be of little faith and to doubt (cf. Mark iv, 35-40).

You need to start putting your trust in Him and casting aside all of your presumptions of personal greatness. You are nothing compared to Him and your wisdom is foolish to Him. And apparently His wisdom being foolish to the carnally minded applies in your case. Evidence of this is stamped throughout your writings. (By contrast, I seldom got this vibe in talking with you by telephone.)

Our seminarians are hotbeds of homosexuality but the Vatican rules against the American bishops zero-tolerance policy.

I oppose zero tolerance because it is an easily abused animal. (Both for practical reasons as well as pastoral ones - not that these two are necessarily in conflict of course.)

Parents who disagree enough to pull their children out of parochial school and harms way, just haven’t got what it takes when it comes to practicing the virtue of obedience.

Since I never *once* have posed the kinds of strawman caricature you sought to erect, I will not dignify the rest of your piece with a charitable response. Of *COURSE* since pedophilia is sinful the requirement of obedience does not bind. This is the problem with those who flail away at strawmen: they are constitutionally incapable (it seems) of making the proper distinctions. If Michaelangelo sculpted as you reason every chisel cut of his statues would be with the force of a piledriver. But I digress...

Or those of us who refuse to attend any of the many multi-headed Protestantized versions of the Mass our bishops disobediently and exclusively set before us like so much cafeteria slop, and instead seek out the Mass of our fathers at a grave personal cost, we Catholics are failing in the exercise of obedience-as-a-virtue.

I have dealt time and again with this "Protestantization" charge and it is as empty as old mother hubbard's cupboard most of the time. I find it strange that "trads" whine about ambiguity but then do not mind using certain terms (such as "modernist" and "protestantization") in vague and shadowy ways if it suits their nefarious agenda. Ironic indeed...

But the mindless sheep who accept every illicit innovation the bishops foist upon us, from altar girls, to communion in the hand, to holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer, to no-kneeling, to Eucharistic Ministers, those Catholics are demonstrating their mastery of obedience-as-a-virtue.

Illict means "unlawful". Every example you noted above is lawful. (Except the part about not kneeling if you refer to not kneeling for for the sanctus and anaphora prayer and then again after the Agnus Dei: if a priest or bishop claimed this was optional then they would be in the wrong and on this issue would not have to be heeded.) But other then that, the above are licit whether you like it or not. Shoulder your Cross as your Lord and Master commanded of you or flee from it like a coward.

In reference to your second point), to state that authority has "no bite" without infallibility is ludicrous. By this "logic" we have no need to obey any authority that is not "infallible". Unless you believe God is the Author of chaos, you should banish such a thought from your mind and conform your speculations within the realm of what the Church has specified is acceptable.

Ah, I see. An fallible authority should command our obedience every bit (or should that be “bite”?) as much as an infallible authority. Who is being ludicrous, Shawn?

Frankly Albert, you do not know what the hell you are talking about on these matters. The authority that binds is a LIVING one and not some book or collection of letters that you want to interpret as you like. This is Prot sola scriptura in "trad" clothing. I call it "sola traditio" not without reason: the same divesting of an authority that interprets Tradition is what Prots lack when it comes to their use of Scripture. The parallel is unmistakable and undeniable. Well to those who are looking clearly at the issue that is the case anyway.

When the Church MEARLY SUPPOSES we ought to disarm or end capital punishment, do you really think we are bound to practice the virtue of obedience and vote accordingly?

Yes to the extent this is possible. The Church has the authority to regulate the application of the divine laws. This is clearly stated even in the old Baltimore Catechism. The pope has sought to do this with capital punishment by outlining that its use should be very rare if at all. I went over this subject in reasonable detail in the following entry to my weblog. And I pointed out the continuity of these principles with the Sanhedrin pre-Christ (which was akin to the pre-Constantine Church position) and also referenced the Roman Catechism to point to the principles that JP II was addressing.

As Supreme Pontiff JP II can regulate the divine laws as he sees fit. You either tow the line or you are no longer in communion with the Church (cf. Apostolic letter Unam sanctum). That is what it boils down to really. (For details on application see the above link.) I plan to build on it in my continual dialogue with Professor Miller over the coming weeks at the weblog.

Are we not more bound to practice the virtue of obedience and vote accordingly when she INFALLIBLY JUDGES that we must not practice contraception or abortion?

Those are non-negotiables of the faith. So yes in a sense we would be more bound to them but that does not make the issues such as the death penalty application in society a mere batatelle. It may mean biting one's lip a bit - it certainly does for me. But that is part of what Traditional obedience means my friend: towing the line even when one does not like the ruling given and doing so with proper dispositions. (And towing the line in the manner specified, no more and no less. This still leaves room for theological speculation provided that the approach taken is correct.)

To a balanced person, one with a sensus Catholicus, these questions answer themselves.

Really my friend, unfortunately I do not see these as applying to you at the moment. I am still optimistic that in time they will if you can learn to depend not on your own devices but to trust in His. But of course to do this would mean ceasing to create various homo strawus if you will.

I refer you back to my open letter to you and note again that without those fundamentals there is no balance, no consistency, no proper sensus fidelum. These are the facts of the case ladies and gentleman. And they are undisputable. And deep down, I can sense that you know this.

"For with what you measure it shall be measured to you" (Mark iv,24; Luke vi,39).

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Oh, for those who have linked to her weblog previously, Donna Lewis has a different weblog now - one that actually works and posts stuff. It can be found HERE and has the same name and everything as the previous one only a different url. Check it out folks :)


Friday, October 18, 2002

Update on the Covenants Thread:

I have narrowed it down to two possible directions to take the third installment and will decide tonight. (The first two are written and at my private development blog at the moment.) As I am dealing with two subjects at once in this series (relationship of the two covenants and Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism) I apologize for the delay in posting the parts: there is a lot of stuff here and I am having to put into writing stuff that generally I work off of instinct with. As a result these things take some time to sort if they are to be done correctly.

There are complications and pitfalls that stand in the way of this kind of serious attempt to analyze and treat with fairness profound matters which are usually treated in a facile manner those who are (to put it charitably) "innocent of cultural history". For history imposes certain hermeneutical necessities which must be respected (and often are not) by those who pass themselves off as "experts". Because I strive to do this (and am by no means an "expert") time is necessary and when it will be available for reading I am not yet certain.

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"Sweeet Looou.....Sweeet Looou" Dept.

In honour of Louis Victor Piniella and the tremendous job he did turning the Seattle Mariners from baseball's biggest laughing-stock to a respectable contender, the following minor rewrite of the first verse of the Lou Reed's Velvet Underground song "Sweet Jane" is offered as a small tribute of thanks.

Before his arrival, the M's were so pathetic and had a losers mentality that I would rather watch "Major League" again and again than a Mariners game: at least it had its comedic moments but I digress. I was made a fan of Seattle baseball by Lou Piniella because he gave this team a soul and the guts to grind it out in the most difficult of professional sports. (Referring to baseball.) I thank him for ten years of blood, sweat, and guts and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

Standing near the dugout, clipboard in his hand,
Pat's in his box, and Lou's in his jer-sey, and, me,
I'm at the concessional stand. Huh!
Watchin' the gi-ant screen,
Y'know, those were different times!
Oh, the other man-a-gers, scribblin' out plays,
And Lou, with calm in his eyes. (Well most of the time!!!)
Sweeet Looou! Whoa! Sweeet Looou, oh-oh-a! Sweeet Looou!

The M's need a man as good as Lou to replace him and I vote for Dusty Baker of the Giants. John McLaren and Davy Johnson would be good too but Dusty is the best option out there so remember that M's management since you perpetuated this problem this year in ways too detailed for me to go into here. Get Dusty end of story, Shawna locuta est, etc. etc. etc...

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Part of an email I sent out on a list this morning read as follows:

I am always surprised that "trad" allies are so quick to call fire down from heaven unto others for any little trifling but then when it is directed their way on substantial matters (and not mere bagatelles) they whine about being "misunderstood" or claim that "you do not know my inner intentions". Sorry fellas (and ladies) that dog does not hunt. Those who do not give the benefit of the doubt to others do not deserve it for themselves as Our Lord Himself noted "by your standard of measure it will be measured to you" (Mark iv,24; Luke vi,38).

But there is also the danger that despite my continual and vocal support for groups such as Adoremus and the St. Athanasius Society (and other such organizations which have many adherents who call themselves "traditionalists") that the flipside of the coin will be downplayed. It is not often that those who consider themselves "Traditionalist" who really *do* have struggles with certain issues or policies - by their own admission - but who handle themselves in an authentically Traditional manner are given a forum.

These are the people who have proper deference to the magisterium, avoid attitudes of suspicion, and in short act as a Catholic is supposed to act. I feel for them the same sympathy I have for the conservative Democrats who try to get their party back on track to no avail; as often this is what these people I refer to above do. And because of this, as well as the need to provide balance on this issue, I will respond to some of the emails from a gentleman who has three essays linked at Rerum Novarum who fits this mould I have explained above: Jeff Culbreath.

Jeff has said that he does not mind his name being used so I will respond to some of his stuff as if I was responding by phone conversation or by email if you will. (Except with the blog economy is a greater factor and as a writing discipline I am trying to cultivate.)

Anyway, tonight or tomorrow (or Sunday) I will respond to Jeff's last email publicly on the weblog to provide the other side if you will; the more reserved and less rash element of the Ecclesia Dei movement. This does not mean Jeff is without opinions of course (far from it). But in his tone and delivery you will see a difference between the commentary of a Jeff Culbreath and - say a Robert Sungenis: the difference between a Traditionalist (properly so-called) and a traditionalist (falsely so-called).

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Thursday, October 17, 2002

Bryan Preston of the JunkYard Blog weighs in on the DC shootings, the suspects, and registration of cars.

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New Oxford Review is bid adieu by this person because of their subscription to the monolithic myth of catholicity. (That is not what is said but the undercurrent is unmistakable.)

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Here are some reflections on the rosary and its relevance that are worth a read: on the rosary.

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"Bastiat's Corner" Dept.

The last installment of this series can be read HERE. The reader who has not been following along is advised to start from the beginning of the series - which can be traced through the link above - and working up to this point.

I can unequivocally state that this work is one of the two or three must read works on the subject of the Law as a principle governing society. And as far as diagnosing and refuting the philosophical errors that have been prevalent in the past two hundred years - and which are still prevalent in politics today - this work is invaluable. So while new readers should start from the beginning of this thread, those who are up to speed can resume with this installment. Without further ado, Mr. Bastiat has the floor...

Victims of Lawful Plunder

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter -- by peaceful or revolutionary means -- into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws!

Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution -- some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.

The Results of Legal Plunder

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them. The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing.

There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.

The Fate of Non-Conformists

If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that "You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests."

If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought: "That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force."*

*General Council of Manufacturers, Agriculture, and Commerce, May 6, 1850.

Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.

Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.

Starting to see the light now my friends??? Starting to see why most political philosophies today do not address the root and matrix of problems but instead attack symptoms??? I hope so. And if nothing else this exercise will supply a conservative with some systemization of his views. As for liberals...well...basically if you endorse what Bastiat condemns then you are only cutting your own throats. Maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually you will. And you will have no consistent basis for opposing legalized plunder when it is YOUR turn to be plundered by government.

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Kevin Miller of De Virtutibus gives a civics lesson explaining the problem with pro-life Keystone Kops politics HERE. I put a comment in his comments box that does a bit of fleshing this out with a real life example. Go to the above link and read it and my comments to understand why pro-lifers who are too shortsighted do nothing but hinder the cause they want to defend. It is a lesson that with elections coming up needs to be reiterated time and again lest we repeat history because we do not learn from it (cf. Santayana).

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"House of the Rising Sun" Dept.

To add to the myriad of tests taken already by your humble blog host I add the following ones - though the first one I have posted before. (But it is not grouped with the rest so it is added here for a second grouping if you will.)

Which Villain?

What Magical Style?

What City Am I?

I do not usually add the pictures - indeed I have yet to do this - but this time I will make an exception because the picture is cool:

Congratulations, you're New Orleans,
the wild city.
What US city are you? Take the
by Girlwithagun.

New Orleans, Louisiana Rich with stunning beauty, this city glows with bright colours by day and is hung with seductive mists by night. They say no-one lives in New Orleans, but that it lives inside the people. Exotic, beautiful and dangerous; it is a city of extremes. Decadent hotels, historic buildings and crafty criminals inhabit the same streets. From the towering oaks in city park to the magnificent French quarter, every corner of this city is a breath-taking panorama of mysteries. Anyone who visits this city cannot help but take a piece of her home in their heart.

In light of the other quiz results which you can access above, this one is rather surprising. But then my love for the blues and for jazz maybe was the determining factor here. (Not to mention Cajun cooking.)


"The Price is Right" Dept.

I had not read Dale Price's blog for a while. As usual there are some things of note there. Dale has an interesting talent for quips a few of which I will note here culled from his weblog:

Jimmy Carter, the first (and only) American President ever to be attacked by a swimming rabbit, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today.

I don't think President Carter and his administration get enough credit for their pivotal roles in ending the Cold War. After all, his four years in office ensured Ronald Reagan's landslide election in 1980.

As you may know, the prize originates in the insignificant Kingdom of Norway (don't feel bad if you can't find it on a map--it truly does not matter).

Norway is a country best-known for whale-killing and giving the English language the noun "quisling." In World War II, like all parts of Western Europe not entirely surrounded by water, this country folded up like a cheap suit once a platoon full of Germans got within firing range.

If Richard Dawkins was any dumber, you'd have to water him.

we are dealing with people who remember every real or perceived slight ever suffered by a Muslim since the Seventh Century A.D., right down to the failure to receive exact change.

Al Qaeda members are acutely sensitive to history, and do not forget defeat (hence bin Laden's droning on and on about the loss of the Spanish Muslim state of Andalusia in 1492). In short, they remember Lepanto. Well, those who are still alive today do...

Lest my readers think I am a wall flower on the war issue, I will extract a few of my rare musings from the archive, add some new stuff, stir, simmer, and make some Rerum Novarum War Gumbo. (And I *will* get to Bastiat's corner tonight too.) All part of this Libra having a balanced weblog.

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A cool link to Gregorian Chant stuff was sent to me by Tom Marabella. It can be viewed HERE.

Note: I have not checked all the links to this site so if anyone sees anything suspicious, let me know okay??? Gracias...

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Well there are even bloggers who are not English speaking it seems. Click here for details. I cannot read the language so if there is anything of questionable import, you proceed at your own risk.


"Press Conference on the 'Shawn Auction' and Evasive Actions Taken by Shawn Tribe's Disingenuous Supporters Thereof:
(Ivan Dunn, Chairman of the Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney)

Well, it seems that as a result of our last press conference that a minor victory of sorts has been accomplished in that the Congregatio Ioannes Tribus has now attempted to shed its serpentine skin by changing its name to Societas Oculus Sauron. We will reiterate our previous statements as they were mostly passed over by the Societas Oculus Sauron - or better referred to perhaps as The Group Formerly Known As Congregatio Ioannes Tribus or simply as "The Group". They appear to base their entire defense on the definition of "Diary" as "a daily record for keeping private notes". We will get to that this evening in another press conference but this one is to briefly remind you to ignore the facile surface deceptions and get to the root and matrix. We humbly offer you the following exposes which aim to do just that:

The Sordid Truth About Shawn Tribe (Part I)

The Sordid Truth About Shawn Tribe (Part II)

Hopefully this will be of assistance at seeing the wolf in sheeps clothing when we expose them again for the flim flam artists that they are and contrast them with Shawn McElhinney who is none of these things. We seek only the truth ladies, and are sorry that it has to be so sordid as it is. The tactics by The Group Formerly Known As Congregatio Ioannes Tribus have alas sullied what was to be an innocent bidding auction. We will try to hold the high ground as always and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God. Thankyou.

---Ivan Dunn, Chairman of The Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney

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Upon Threat of Excommunication and Burning at the Stake, Kevin Miller Bows Before the Sovereign Thane and Lord High Executioner of Rerum Novarum and Subscribes to the Loyalty Oath:

Well, actually I simply suggested it and he agreed to show communio. But there is sure a lot more drama in the dyspeptic screed above is there not???


A Quote to Ponder:

"We cannot deny that there is still much to be done in the way of spiritual renovation...there are still too many who are Catholics hardly more than in name. There are too many who fulfill more or less faithfully the more essential obligations of the religion they boast of professing, but have no desire of knowing it better, of deepening their inward conviction, and still less of bringing into conformity with the external gloss the inner splendor of a right and unsullied conscience, that recognizes and performs all its duties under the eye of God. We know how much Our Divine Savior detested this empty pharisaic show, He Who wished that all should adore the Father "in spirit and in truth."[John iv,23.] The Catholic who does not live really and sincerely according to the Faith he professes will not long be master of himself in these days when the winds of strife and persecution blow so fiercely, but will be swept away defenseless in this new deluge which threatens the world. And thus, while he is preparing his own ruin, he is exposing to ridicule the very name of Christian". [Pope Pius XI: encyclical letter Divini Redemptoris §43 (c. 1937)]


According to Kevin Miller of De Virtutibus, he took the profession of faith before his bishop before he started his current teaching assignment. I see no reason to doubt his sincerity since his mannerisms display well the faithful Catholic who discusses theological matters with an air of humility and without presumption. Nonetheless Kevin, as HaShem created cutting and pasting on the eighth day (and it was good), it would be a good show of solidarity to renew your profession. You can find the text HERE.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2002

"Sure Could Use...A Little Good News...Today" Dept.
(not by accident do we title this section after a song by a female)

Well after the fire cast down from Rerum Novarum this morning, I am sensing that some good news is in order today. And I have some including plans to add the next Bastiat section tonight. In light of the voting on the spiritual instruction series, charity and prayer were too close to call and not only because I accidentally deleted some of the votes when cleaning out lycos the other day. Nonetheless a decision is to be made and it will be made now.

By the power vested in me as Sovereign Thane of Rerum Novarum (as well as Lord High Executioner), I decree that "prayer" is the winner and will run that series before I do the one on charity. It is more than twice as long as the zeal section so I ask that my readers review the section on zeal while I get the prayer parts ready. Not sure when they will be ready but I will run it in seven parts when it is ready to go. (I reviewed the material today and there is a lot there for reflection and in light of how important prayer is, I want to dole it out in easily digestable pieces for the greatest effects possible.)

But onto more good news, we have some more "D'artagnan's" today to report including our second female. (As we roar on ahead of Augusta National to an infinite degree.) Karen Marie Knapp noted on her blog the following:

Pondering the call made by I. Shawn McElhinney and the good example set by him and by E. Lane Core and by William Cork and others; knowing that where the bishop is, there is the holy Church which Christ has promised to protect; sick and tired of being pressured to proof-text my bishop when I won't even proof-text the Bible, and even more sick of having my orthodoxy called into question because I won't play "parse the sound-bite" against a bishop; (and assured by honourable Mr. McElhinney that he's not trying to found a gentlemen-only society); I will happily join them in professing the faith we share.

Karen tipped your humble blog host off to two more "D'artagnans" and I will list them here:

David Pawlak of Pompous Ponderings. (I had trouble reading his site and had to load it into composer to read but he used the form prescribed by the Holy Father.)

She also told me that Steven from Flos Carmeli also subscribed. As the latter was not accessible either regularly or by composer to verify, I will take her at her word on the matter.

We (referring to the original Musketeers) are also discussing for those who have made other professions some form of "equivalent profession" status but that is still in discussion phase. As it is now, the following are amongst the "Catholic Faith Legion" (or some other name should we ever come up with one) starting with the first three in blog alphabetical order:

Your humble blog host of Rerum Novarum(aka "Athos")
E. Lane Core, Jr. of View from the Core(aka "Porthos")
Bill Cork of Ut Unim Sint(aka "Aramis")

and the following "D'artagnans" in alphabetical order by name:

Eric Belk of The Mighty Barrister*
Karen Marie Knapp of The Anchor Hold
Donna Lewis of Quenta Narwegnan
David Pawlak of Pompous Ponderings
Alan Phipps of Alan's Niche on the Web**
Steven (no last name determined) from Flos Carmeli

Hopefully we can add some more to this list as the days and weeks go by :)

* Not sure if Eric's profession is for all contributors to his weblog or not.

** Not a weblog but he was the first D'artagnan and we will not discriminate here.


There would be no need for sermons, if our lives were shining; there would be no need for words, if we bore witness with our deeds. There would be no pagans, if we were true Christians. --- St. John Chrysostom


"U Thant Touch This" Dept.

I have no respect for Young Jake's charge that the theology of the body (an enormously rich and fruitful teaching thoroughly grounded in the Tradition) "resulted in" priestly abuse. This is slime, pure and simple, and puts the final nail in the coffin of CAI's contemptible claims to "defend" the Faith, as far as I'm concerned. - Mark Shea

I have to say that such an assertion by Jacob even in passing is beneath despicable. But I can be a fair guy and in reading the comments boxes at Mark Shea's blog, I found one Jacob "U Thant" Michael admitting with regards to the Theology of the Body I'll admit I wrote it quickly, and that what's in my head doesn't always come out in completely coherent form on paper That brings up the question of why you bothered to write it then anyway.

I know well of the "trad" hermeneutic of suspicion Jake and it is clear to me that you possess it. (As does my good friend Albert Cipriani whom I have known for quite some time.) I will only say this to you Jake and if you take nothing away from this post it is this: think about what you write before writing it.

Blogs are nice for allowing ramblings but often what is done in blogs produces material for writing. (Or it can: I have several new ideas that either came to light or I have new additions to old ideas as a direct result of blogging.) But essays are a more solid form of expression. And frankly, you have some essays that are laughable. (I refer primarily to your essays on the liturgy where your manifested ignorance is monumental.)

You are not even Catholic six months yet, you have a LOT to learn including how to think with the Church. And you also need to learn about norms of theological interpretation as well as dogmatic theology in general. You also need to learn how to interpret Scripture in accordance with the whole of the Church's tradition and avoid Prot-like freestyling. And the last person who can teach you any of these things is Robert Sungenis. (For he cannot teach you what he does not understand.) Nor does my good friend Albert Cipriani understand them either but in Albert's case because of his philosophical leanings it is more getting him to be consistent in that area since that is his area of greatest strength. In this case with the three of you it is sadly a case of "three blind trads":

Three blind trads
Three blind trads
See how they lie
See how they lie
They all run after a myth-i-cal Church
It is a mir-age and they're left in the lurch
Be-ing shorn of all char-i-ty and of mirth
Just three blind trads.

Our Lord spoke of the blind leading the blind where both fall into a pit (Matt. xv, 14; Luke vi, 39). Bob needs to hit rock bottom before he will see the forest for the trees. That does not mean that you guys have to go along for the ride. Think about this and meditate on the matter. Otherwise you will by an act of the will place yourself outside the Church. And there is no salvation out there (cf. Apostolic letter Unam Sanctum).

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"He's Blinded to [the Gospel]...And He Failed [in Church History]" Dept.
(yet another continuation of the Gospel according to Bob)

Please read parts I and II first before reading this section. Part II is located HERE. Part I is linked to Part II in like manner.

Regarding Bob's pathetic attempts to claim Augustine and Aquinas and how they have crashed and burned, let us now deal with his final two assertions: that Trent and Pius X are on his side. No one who knows either of the two would make such a silly assertion as will now be demonstrated.

I seem to recall the Roman Catechism on page 415 specifying under the fourth commandment the necessity of obedience to bishops - even noting that:

"The Apostle ...teaches that [bishops and priests] are entitled to obedience: 'Obey your prelates, and be subject to them; for they watch as being to render an account of your souls'[28]. Nay more, Christ the Lord commands obedience even to wicked pastors: 'Upon the chair of Moses have sitten the Scribes and Pharisees: all things, wherefore, whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do ye not, for they say and not do' [29]".

[28] Heb. xiii.,17 [29] Matt. xxiii., 2,3

So along with Augustine and Aquinas we can add Trent to the sources you openly mock by your lies of allegience to them Bob. In reality you are so remote from concurring with them that it is not even funny. Finally we have St. Pius X. The following from a speech given by the Holy Father on May 10, 1909 will highlight exactly where you run afoul of his views:

"Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her... But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that establised on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone." (Eph. 2:20)

If that is not enough then I quote from the catechism written by his own hand (courtesy of my open letter to Albert):

45 Q: Who, then, are they who possess the teaching power in the Church? A: The teaching power in the Church is possessed by the Pope and the Bishops, and, dependent on them, by the other sacred ministers.

46 Q: Are we obliged to hear the Teaching Church? A: Yes, without doubt we are obliged under pain of eternal damnation to hear the Teaching Church; for Jesus Christ has said to the Pastors of His Church, in the persons of the Apostles: "He who hears you, hears Me, and he who despises you, despises Me."

47 Q: Besides her teaching power has the Church any other power? A: Yes, besides her teaching power the Church has in particular the power of administering sacred things, of making laws and of exacting the observance of them.

62 Q: How should every Catholic act towards the Pope? A: Every Catholic must acknowledge the Pope as Father, Pastor, and Universal Teacher, and be united with him in mind and heart.

63 Q: After the Pope, who are they who by Divine appointment are to be most venerated in the Church? A: After the Pope, those who by Divine appointment are to be most venerated in the Church are the Bishops.

64 Q: Who are the Bishops? A: The Bishops are the pastors of the faithful; placed by the Holy Ghost to rule the Church of God in the Sees entrusted to them, in dependence on the Roman Pontiff.

65 Q: What is a Bishop in his own diocese? A: A Bishop in his own diocese is the lawful Pastor, the Father, the Teacher, the Superior of all the faithful, ecclesiastic and lay belonging to his diocese.

67 Q: To whom do the Pope and the Bishops succeed? A: The Pope is the successor of St. Peter. the Prince of the Apostles; and the Bishops are the Successors of the Apostles, in all that regards the ordinary government of the Church.

68 Q: Must the faithful be in union with their Bishop? A: Yes, all the faithful, ecclesiastic and lay, should be united heart and soul with their Bishop, who is in favor and communion with the Apostolic See.

69 Q: How should the faithful act towards their own Bishop? A: Each one of the faithful, both ecclesiastic and lay, should revere, love, and honor his own Bishop and render him obedience in all that regards the care of souls and the spiritual government of the diocese. [Pope St. Pius X Catechism: The Apostles Creed, Article IX, Questions 45-47; 62-65; 67-69 (c. 1907)]

Now then, let us be very blunt here: you LIED when you said that you were on the side of St. Augustine. Unless you can (i) produce a text from him where he openly defied the pope or if you do that (ii) explain how Pope Alexander VIII's ex cathedra condemnation in regards to the Jansenists appeals to Augustine over and against the reigning popes does not somehow apply to you. And for reasons I will get into in a moment, your attempts here will fool no one but yourself and your disciples.

You also clearly LIED about being on the side of the Angelic Doctor who would denounce you for the schismatic that you are.

And unless you want to claim that the Catechism of Trent is incongruent with the teaching of the Council of Trent, you LIED about being on the side of Trent. (Or did numerous popes over four centuries endorse a fradulent Roman Catechism???)

And finally, there is no way in hell you can claim allegiance with St. Pius X as noted above. (Another blatant LIE.)

So there are four lies from your keypad Bob. Care to confess to your error now??? I doubt it since we "all know" what that means in your mind your trackrecord being as barren of mea culpas as old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. I thought Art might be able to reason with you and point out to you your areas of egregious error. Your incoherent responses to him proved that reasoning with you is pointless. I will pray for you, I will offer masses for you. I will NOT however read this drivel any longer.

Either get an education in the fundamentals of dogmatic theology, church history, Scriptural exegesis in accordance with the Mens Ecclesia, and the norms of theological interpretation or learn to exercise reverent silence. I realise that know it all's have a hard time zipping their traps but before you can learn you need to shut up and start listening rather than talking, reflecting rather than reacting.

If this kind of crap continues to apper on this list either your name needs to be removed from it by the moderator or I will request mine to be. I deal with enough from people in daily life and in evangelization (including some of my friends) who are infected with this noxious pride virus. Therefore I do *not* need to read the rantings of someone who not only (i) does not know what the hell he is talking about but (ii) who feels that he knows everything about the sacred sciences and stands contra mundem. I quote from Chesterton:

Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society than the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word "orthodox." In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was the kingdoms of the world and the police and orthodox. He had no pride in having rebelled against them; they had rebelled against him. The armies with their cruel security, the kings with their cold faces, the decorous processes of State, the reasonable processes of law--all these like sheep had gone astray. The man was proud of being orthodox, was proud of being right. If he stood alone in a howling wilderness he was more than a man; he was a church. He was the centre of the universe; it was round him that the stars swung. All the tortures torn out of forgotten hells could not make him admit that he was heretical. [Heretics Ch. 1 (c. 1905)]

All heretics think they stand against the world. So too with schismatics. As for the rest on this list, we would not long tolerate someone who continued to lie and slandar the Church if they were Protestant. I think it is time we stopped tolerating on this list someone who is a defacto Protestant: a Fundamentalist with delusions of grandeur who cannot under any circumstances be reasoned with, who cannot under any circumstances make a meaningful "mea culpa" lest people "think less of him" or mistaken kindness for weakness.

I am done reading your screeds so until you are ready to repent of your rebellion, apologize to those you have led astray, and make the Profession of Faith that is required of every theologian or teacher who teaches in the name of the Catholic Church, I shake my sandals of dust and am through with you. But not to leave you "empty-handed" here are some links that may be of assistance to you if you can zip your trap for three seconds and actually start listening and reflecting instead of talking and reacting:

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Instruction on Zeal (Part I)

Spiritual Instruction on Zeal (Part II)

An Open Letter To My Friend Albert

St. Augustine: ora pro Bob!!!
St. Thomas Aquinas ora pro Bob!!!
St. Pius X: ora pro Bob!!!
All ye holy fathers and doctors: ora pro Bob!!!

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"He's Blinded to [the Gospel]...And He Failed [in Church History]" Dept.
(a continuation of the Gospel according to Bob)

Please read Part I first. It can be read HERE.

The Gospel is in Acts 17:24-31, in which both pagan and Jew were told to repent of their sins, forsake their idols, and receive Christ as the Messiah.

I thought the Gospel was in the GOSPELS!!! And in every judgment scene I do not see a catechism quiz being given. Thus to judge what the Gospel is would be to examine the criteria on which all will be judged. Knowledge of theology - while not unimportant - is not the judging criteria. At least not in the Bibles I have and I have a few different translations including Douay Rheims.

As for Acts, I remind you that Acts 21 specifies that there is an exception for Jews viz the circumcision requirement. And as for "reception of Christ", it goes far beyond mouthing a bunch of words Bob. You by your actions and statements in recent years indicate that you do not accept Christ regardless of your words. The selective cafeteria Catholicism you now espouse is NOT in any sense Traditional. The pagans who worship in non-willed ignorance are in a better position than you are. Without a doubt!!!

I intend to do a series on this subject at Rerum Novarum soon along with the subject of Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism. (As it is now I have two sections done and still have much more to go over.) I doubt though if you cannot grasp these fundamentals if that series will be of any use to you.

JP2 has sold out the gospel for a mess of ecumenical pottage.

This is another area where you do not know what the hell you are talking about. A faithful theologian knows when to practice reverent silence publicly when working through issues which are difficult for him. It would be nice for a change to see you do this as it is the TRADITIONAL manner in which theologians deal with difficulties. But of course acting untraditionally and claiming to be Traditional is not exactly something you have invented; many of us have been there already. (And some of your collegues are joining you on this well-worn and futile pathway too it seems.)

If you don't believe me, go ask the apologist in Steubenville. He's told me and others the same thing.

This sounds to me like Dick Gephardt and his imaginery little friend. If you cannot properly represent the position of Dr. Sippo or the position of others, why should I or anyone else believe that you are properly representing the position of this "apologist" in Steubenville???

When are you guys going to stand up for the truth, or do I have to be Elijah in search of the 7000 who haven't bowed the knee to Baal? But if I have to stand alone I will.

"Here I stand" huh??? Gee, where have we heard THAT before???

I'll take Augustine, Aquinas, Trent and Pope Pius X any day over this ecumenical disaster.

We will deal with this assertion next and expose it for the fraud that it is. With regard to Augustine, need you be reminded that the proposition "When we have discovered a doctrine clearly grounded in Augustine, we can adhere to it and teach it without having regard to any Bull whatsoever of the Holy Roman Pontiff" was condemned by Pope Alexander VIII??? (You probably did not know that because if you *did* then you would be willfully entertaining a condemned proposition.) And do not waffle and claim that since the popes do not use Bulls anymore that this principle is not in effect here. A Bull in modern parlance is styled as an Apostolic letter. The same principle therefore applies to Apostolic letters as to ALL papal and conciliar documents on matters of doctrine. (Be they dogmatic constitutions, encyclicals, declarations, exhortations, decrees, or even allocutions.) I challenge you to point to where St. Augustine ever exalted his personal opinions over and against the teaching of the Church. Good luck there mate.

Now for St. Thomas. Granted this is from the False Decretals but the fact that St. Thomas cited it in argument (not knowing that it was false) is adequate to manifest his mind on the matter:

"Against [Peter's] authority neither Jerome nor Augustine nor any of the holy doctors defended their opinion."

The False Decretals were accepted because they were a clever symbiosis of truth and error mixed together. Oftentimes there were true propositions which were upheld but were obtained from forged documents. The truth is, neither St. Augustine, St. Jerome, nor any of the holy doctors defended their opinions against the Roman pontiff's authority. You though do this as Luther and Calvin (and countless others before and since) before you did. St. Thomas knew St. Augustine's work a hell of a lot better than anyone on this list and he maintained the Doctor of Grace's full fealty to the Apostolic See - even quoting the Decretals as a proof knowing not that they were forgeries. The reason is because (i) they were convenient and thought to be genuine and (ii) on this point they were in accordance with the truth. Or at least St. Thomas asserted that they were on this point. Are you calling St. Thomas a liar???

"We must abide rather by the Pope's judgment, than by the opinion of any of the theologians, however well versed he may be in divine scriptures." (Quodl. IX, Art. A.16).

That sufficiently sets out the position of every holy Father and Doctor who has ever lived!!! But notice who on this list violates that maxim in spades. Finally, we have St. Thomas' famous last words which were a profession of faith in the Eucharist and included the following:

"I receive Thee, the price of my redemption, for whose love I have watched, studied, and labored. Thee have I preached; Thee have I taught. Never have I said anything against Thee; if anything was not well said, that is to be attributed to my ignorance. Neither do I wish to be obstinate in my opinions but if I have written anything erroneous concerning this Sacrament or other matters, I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Catholic Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life."

You neither stand with St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas Bob. As for Trent, we will deal with that next.

To be continued...

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"He's Blinded to [the Gospel]...And He Failed [in Church History]" Dept.

I have sought on this weblog to avoid certain rabid and ignorant so-called "Catholics" who think they if they tell a lie enough that it will magically morph into the truth. The following is from a well-known (in Catholic circles) "apologist" who has seen his credibility shot full of holes. Since it is on a discussion list and as these kinds of lies are common amongst self-styled "traditionalists", let us destroy them in order to reveal where people like this REALLY stand.

I was going to change the names but I will leave them in. I previously held back on these kinds of direct exposes because of a friend who is involved in this mess. But my friend's unwillingness to address issues I have raised with him basically means that there is no point in beating around the bush any longer with regards to a certain "apologist" for silence implies consent. And I want it made clear that I in NO WAY support the drivel of the CAItanic. Hence this response in three parts to serve the common good and to point out the kinds of lies spun by this crowd.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman she didn't know who she was worshiping, and after Jesus told her of her sins, she accepted him as the true Messiah. That's a far cry from what the Pope and Cardinals are telling the Jews today. They are told not to worry about accepting Jesus as the Messiah. They are not told to repent of their sins of false worship. They are told they have their own covenant without Jesus. Sorry, Art, that's a false gospel.

Do we have to go over the distinction between ignorance by negation and ignorance by opposition again??? Bob you are FAR more guilty than the average non-Catholic because you are obstinately resisting the truth. In that light you have NO basis for being critical of others who worship in ignorance which is not dispelled simply by catechises. To "know" someone does not imply a passing familiarity in Scripture, it implies a very deep and substantive understanding - integral understanding if you will. This is why the Pharisees were castigated for being whitewashed tombs and why "trads" are the modern Pharisees: they do not realize that belief is not something manufactured by ritual. It is far deeper and far more substantial then that.

Get this through your head. The only reason they are saying the Jews can be saved is because THEY HAVE THEIR OWN COVENANT, not because they may be in invincible ignorance.

This is an unwarranted dichotomy you have set up here. The Jews both possess ignorance about Christ but are also in a special covenant with God which has not been revoked. You quote Acts 17 and ignore Acts 21. You also ignore Romans 11 and explain away the literal text as any Protestant would John 6. I am frankly not impressed.

The Apostles and Paul in Acts 21 deliberately sought to show that Paul was faithful to the Jewish law by undergoing a Nazarite vow and offering the Temple sacrifice in accordance with the prescriptions of Torah. This was done because the Jews of Jerusalem had heard a rumour that Paul was saying that JEWS did not have to be circumcised according to the perpetual covenant of Genesis 17. The response of the Apostles and Paul was to rebut this rumour and show that Paul was a practicing Jew and that he did not say that the Jews were free from the covenant of circumcision. The GENTILES were because they were children according to the promise. The Jews as children according to the flesh were not. And I challenge you to find for me ANY biblical passages that stated that the Jews were free from this obligation.

To them the Old Covenant is the ORDINARY way, not an EXTRAORDINARY way of salvation.

Sigh...the New Covenant is hidden in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New. The Jews have an obligation on them that the Gentiles do not have and as long as this is denied, the Jews as a people will not accept a Messiah who they view as blatantly contradicting the very Law which He supposedly was supposed to fulfill.

A covenant is a legal and binding agreement that provides benefits totally outside of invincible ignorance.

The covenant was established by God and irrevocable. Read Romans 11.

Invincible ignorance is for those who DON'T HAVE A COVENANT.

Says YOU. Who the hell are YOU Bob to say what is and is not??? I am frankly not impressed with your grasp of covenantal issues. Also, I am unaware of any Church teaching that specifies what you are saying and knowing how poorly you understand concepts such as "consensus of the Fathers" or "norms of theological interpretation" I will not even bother asking for your proofs. (Any more than I would expect a Chick supporter to accept the Catholic explanation of why veneration of relics is not idol worship.)

Telling the Jews they have their own Covenant and don't need to convert to Christianity is not the gospel.

No one has said that the Jews do not need Christ for salvation. But conversion has a history of being as abused a term as zeal. The fact that "conversion" to the Jews is synonymous with coercion - even violent coercion sometimes and history demonstrates this vividly - is a fact that cannot be evaded. How is this chasm to be bridged??? Well there are those of who favour gaining the trust of the Jews and persuading them genteely and in a manner more fitting of a proper execution of zeal for the salvation of souls. And there are also those who apparently think the "solution" is treating them like human cattle and (if necessary) dragging them to the font by their hair as in "forced conversions" in days of yore. It seems pretty clear which approach you favour.

I extend to you what I am now calling "Bonocore's Wager". Tell me how many Jews you get to explicitly accept Christ by standing in a synagogue and telling them "accept Jesus or burn in hell". I highly doubt you will find any to accept your offer. Guess everyone is "willfully obstinate" to the preaching of Apostle Bob right??? Hardly.

Telling pagans to pray to their false gods for spiritual favors is not the gospel.

And telling "trads" to pray to their talisman "Jesus" is??? At least the pagans as a general rule do not know better. And anyone who thinks for two seconds about it would recognize that wrong faith is better than no faith provided that the wrong faith is not a result of a deliberate act of the will.

Is salvation by grace alone or by human works and knowledge??? Apparently you think it is the latter two. If you did not you would not make such ridiculous statements.

To be continued...

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"They're Coming To Take Me Away (Ha Ha)" Dept.

The first one was for the drones, this one is for those who know the REAL truth behind it. The truth is, the infiltrators are onto us here at Rerum Novarum...they do not want us teaching Bastiat to the masses...they do not want us giving spiritual instruction to the masses...they do not want anyone who is not their little puppet and they KNOW Rerum Novarum will never be chained down so they had to destroy us. Well they failed because Rerum Novarum is back and we are coming back stronger than ever!!! We will not be silenced by those who want to contribute to the worldwide apostasy we are on a mission from God!!! We know what is the truth and we will tell it to the masses!!! We must find the 7,000 who like us will not bend the knee to Baal!!! We will OUCH not so tight on the straps...A Whiiite...Tight Coat....


Rerum Novarum Is Back!!!
(not that we ever left but it sounded like a cool title and it is my blog so there)

I intended to blog some stuff yesterday evening but blogger was acting temperamental. When I finally stopped getting "Error 500" messages I noticed when checking the template that it was gone. Quickly checking the other two blogs I use, I noticed that the same error was present there but their templates were intact. So before turning in I copied the code from the info file and went to bed. When blogger finally was working this morning I had to briefly reload the Sandbox template - which is the original template I used - and from there make the many revisions I made to it to read as it did before. Thankfully on the eighth day HaShem created the cut and paste because it made fixing the template take less than 5 minutes from when the Sandbox one was reloaded. Remember this fellow bloggers should you get error 500 messages: go back and save the loaded template information. That way you save yourself a ton of time - assuming for a moment that you specially designed your template as I did. (If you did not then worry not about this part except of course for your links and other margin stuff.)

Now let me see: why was blogger not working for me yesterday and where did my template disappear to??? Well there is the possibility ot system error and it being part of that but then again there is another possibility too: a giant conspiracy!!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2002

The Mighty Barrister is now part of the "all for one, one for all" club!!!

We have another "D'artagnan"

Those of a Traditional worldview oughta love the fact that we are requesting loyalty oaths - heck this was all the rage in the Middle Ages!!! But why do I sense that most so-called "traditionalists" would not make the professio as prescribed by the Holy Father???


"And Now, A Public Service Announcement"
(From the Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney)

We wish to at this time build on what we previously revealed about Shawn Tribe telling the ladies at St. Blog's the truth about this...individual. But more importantly we want the truth about Shawn McElhinney to be made known so that you may make an informed decision in your bidding.

As Pete Vere reported recently on his weblog Canon Lawyers Outclassing Gnostics:

I need to raise some quick cash. Therefore, since I often get emails from single young Catholic ladies looking for a good Catholic guy, I've decided to auction off my bestest internet buddy Shawn.

To recap, I met Shawn during the tail-end of our integrist days. We were having serious second doubts, and ended of up discussing them together. Despite my having an Italian last name, and he Irish, we became quick friends on the Internet. Through the grace of God, we ended up leaving hard-line traddydom together for a more ecclesiologically orthodox Catholicism -- namely one faithful to the Roman Pontiff and the Diocesan Bishop in communion with him. We would both now describe ourselves as Catholics with a deep attachment to our Latin liturgical Tradition, although we also feel called to explore Eastern Catholic theology as well. But getting back to the West, Shawn and I have even co-authored an article advancing a moderate approach to the Ecclesia Dei movement together.

Now if this isn't good enough, here's the real good news ladies: Coincidentally, there are two Shawns who fit this description! So please go here to bid on Shawn Tribe, and here to bid on Shawn McElhinney...

A well intentioned gesture to be sure but two implies that there is a choice to be made. Now there appear to be similarities here but they are merely surface ones be assured of that. We ask that you consider the following sober facts:

For ladies who are concerned about the loyalty of a man to the Church and who take this criteria seriously - both for the sake of a happier marriage and also in the formation of their children's consciences and education - the evidence is strikingly clear. For Shawn Tribe in his own words stated that "[M]y...value is probably being [diminished] by the fact that the good ladies at St. Blog's...have become vastly concerned about my orthodoxy and fidelity to the Roman Pontiff"...[Thursday, October 10, 2002] Do you find it shocking that Shawn Tribe would see this as a problem? Well we are not shocked and in fact believe that resorting to responsum ad Hitlerum as they have plainly done is to cover over the discomforting factor of personal orthodoxy of their candidate. We of the committee will not say that Shawn Tribe is unorthodox but we will say that he is ambiguous. That in and of itself is problematical for reasons we will now point out.

Ambiguity or clarity on this issue may seem minor but remember that one letter separated the Arian homoiousian from the Nicene Credo homoousian. The Henotikan which was accepted by the entire East and rejected by Rome in the late fifth to early sixth century did not expressely contradict the orthodox profession of the Council of Chalcedon. Indeed it did not even mention Chalcedon in its Professio Fidei by design and this ambiguity was seen as an affront to orthodox faith profession. (The subsequent Formulary of reunion drawn up by Pope Hormisdas explicitly mentioned Chalcedon and the required assent owed to it.)

An inch may not seem like much but as G K Chesterton noted, it makes a world of difference when one is balancing. Now compared to the ambiguity of Shawn Tribe we have the clarity of Shawn McElhinney. For you see, Shawn McElhinney unequivocally has made the Profession of Faith on his weblog in the form prescribed by the Holy Father himself. So when the choice is questionable orthodoxy or affirmed orthodoxy, we are proud to stand by Shawn McElhinney as the "Nicene alternative" against Arian-like ambiguity; the "Formula of Hormisdas alternative" to ambiguity akin to the Henotikan. Ambiguous profession of orthodoxy or clear and unequivocal ladies - it is not insignificant.

Forsooth it is the difference between a wedding vow of "I do" which means "I do" and an "I do" which means "I do not rule it in or rule it out". For the unambiguous "I do" we can only recommend Shawn McElhinney: indeed Shawn McElhinney is *the* clear orthodox alternative. (Paid for by The Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney, Ivan Dunn Chair.)


Monday, October 14, 2002

One more post before I turn in for bed from Steve's board. This one was from February of 2002 and dealt with the authority and "infallibility" of the Second Vatican Council. As the latter was solemnly convened forty years ago Friday, reposting this now would seem to me to be appropriate. Here is the link:

The authority and "infallibility" of Vatican II...

Until tomorrow
Or so to thee do I bid
A heartfelt Shalom

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As I continue to dig in the archives at Steve Ray's message board looking for a couple of posts, I run across ones that seem good to reiterate on the weblog. (For those who are unaware I am a former Royal from Steve's board.) Here is one where Monsignor Montini speaks to his friend Jean Guitton on the encyclical letter Humani generis. As it is often wielded about by people to defend certain positions (including by your humble blog host) understanding the purpose of HG is helpful in knowing when it is citeable and when to do so is inappropriate. Here is the link from the post which was put up on the birthday of Ronaldus Magnus:

Monsignor Montini on Humani Generis

Boy, I keep this up and I will not have to put out any new material for a while except the occasional "campaign commercial" ;-)

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In light of some mail I got about the ICEL Gettysburg post, I put up here part of a board discussion I had back in March of 2002 on the Memorial Acclimations:

On the Shoddily Translated Memorial Acclimations

Hopefully that will outline why I see ICEL as subpar when it comes to accurately conveying the proper sense of Latin in English.

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How many of us can say we started off our blog with making the Professio Fidei??? Well Donna Lewis did just that. So we have another "D'artagnan" folks and our first female member. By my count that puts us one up on Augusta National...;-)


Sunday, October 13, 2002

This is it folks, the closest thing possible to a "Ruthian Copyright" provided courtesy of my good friend SecretAgentMan. (As it would applied to Rerum Novarum if I was a paranoid schizophrenic.)

"Rerum Novarum forbids memorizing, remembering, or thinking about any material that appears on this website, unless prior, written permission has been granted from Rerum Novarum. This prohibition does not apply to those who use Rerum Novarum material clandestinely. The prohibition, however, does forbid reproducing, quoting, or mentioning Rerum Novarum material to God, angels, or other human beings, whether in conversation, on other websites, emails, blogs, books, barbecues, articles, television programs, dentist visits, documentaries, encyclopedias, laundromats, radio programs, telephone conversations, telegrams, notes (scribbled or otherwise), semaphore, heliograph, sonar, or radar, or any other place where two or more persons are gathered for any purpose, unless prior, written permission has been granted from Rerum Novarum.

I busted a gut when reading it and thought you might enjoy it too. As for actual copyright information, my blog as do my writings make that very clear and it is nowhere near as Draconian as the above :)


"It is All in the Translation" Dept.

Have you ever been mistranslated? You know just what I'm talking about.
Have you ever been mistranslated? You know just what I'm talking about.
ICEL worked five long years on the vernacular'
And some have the nerrrrve to want them thrown ouuut...*

I could not pass this one up...


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

And now, the Gettysburg Address as translated by ICEL:

The Gettysburg Speech
(by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy)

About 90 years ago, our grandparents founded a new country: thought of in terms of liberty, and guided by the ideal that all people are created equal. Now we are fighting a violent civil war, trying to ensure that that country, and any country thought of and guided that way, can last a long time. We are meeting on one of the war’s bloody battlefields. We have come to memorialize some of the ground as graves for those who died for their country. It is good to do this. But, in a bigger sense, we can’t dedicate — we can’t make sacred — we can’t bless — the fields. The here already did that, and we can’t change it. The world won’t hear or remember today’s speeches but it can’t forget what happened. Instead, we who are still alive must finish what those who died were starting. We need to keep trying to complete the job; so that these special dead help us increase our commitment to the cause to which they were unselfishly committed — that we seriously promise that these dead won’t have died in vain — that this country will renew its freedom — and that government for the people’s benefit, chosen by the people, and made up of the people won’t disappear.

Thanks Kairos for the reminder of why "dynamic equivalence" is a good way of neutering literature - be it the Gettysburg Address or the Divine Liturgy.

*With apologies to Eddie Boyd

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"Press Conference on the 'Shawn Auction' and Underhanded Tactics Taken by Shawn Tribe's Supporters"
(Ivan Dunn, Chairman of the Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney)

Our opponent appears to have taken offense at our first exposure of his nefarious agenda. Indeed the Congregatio Ioannes Tribus in a recent ad of theirs stated that: We heartily condemn these pernicious statements which would have a man to be judged so by his blog. Now ladies, how is a man to be judged except by his words? Words that he has said and (most importantly) words left unsaid. Our tone today is purple, we mourn for the fact that we thought a clean campaign was going to be run. Alas we seem to be mistaken.

Does Shawn Tribe REALLY believe that what he says should not be taken into consideration when assessing his fittingness as a future high priest of a domestic church? We shudder to consider the ramifications involved but there is more...

Indeed, when reduced to first principles, said Committee may be seen to be purporting the following axiom: "lex blog, lex credendi".

We will deal with the area of "reductio" later on. As it sits right now, Shawn Tribe seems to be trying to run away from his record. For if what is said on his blog is not what he really believes then why should we now believe that anything said henceforth would be believable? You know, words such as "to have and to hold", "from this day forward", in sickness and in health", "for richer or for poorer" "as long as we both shall live", or the signifying words "I do". If Shawn Tribe's weblog does not represent what he really believes then what *does* Shawn Tribe believe? (Is his blog the "Bermuda Tribeangle" viz his personal views?)

This axiom, [of "lex blog, lex credendi"] being utterly foreign to our tradition, has exposed Shawn McElhinney to be a modernist innovator of the worst variety.

Speaking on behalf of Shawn McElhinney I know that he would gladly concede this point to Shawn Tribe if at any time in his history he had made such a claim. (Check his essays, check his weblog, check any of his dialogues over the years which are still on the web.) Again gentle ladies, we seek only the truth here. Is Shawn Tribe's weblog an accurate portrayal of his views or not? And if not then how can he be properly assessed by those who seek to put in a bid. To show that we are not above erring, we issue this public mea culpa.

We of the committee apologize (mea culpa) for thinking that "Diary" meant what Webster says it means - namely "a daily record for keeping private notes". We were under the assumption that a "Diary" was not intended to convey propaganda but instead were supposed to convey one's true views. Shawn Tribe calls his weblog a "Diary of a Byzantinesque Latinist" so we put two and two together. We of the committee apologize (mea culpa) for the fact that we believe that words mean things ladies. And we apologize yet again (mea maxima culpa) that we do not believe in a form of Nominalism that believes that words do not have certain fixed meanings; we took Shawn Tribe at his word that his weblog was a "Diary".

We use them as they are defined simply because we have too much principle to involve ourselves in reinventing the dictionary; indeed we refuse to believe that we are even remotely capable of such a thing. Shawn Tribe's supporters apparently think he can. Merriam Webster and Dr. Samuel Johnston, call your offices: you appear to now have some competition from Shawn Tribe!

We also wish to ask gentle ladies that you take that into account when making your evaluations that when one resorts to a Catholic version of "reductio ad Hitlerum" - which is what the modernist label rashly applied is - there have to be ulterior motives involved; there has to be something that Shawn Tribe's supporters are trying to cover-up or divert your attention from.

We of the committee are shocked and chagrined and feel that it is an outrage. For you see, we have tried to run a clean campaign while our opponent and his supporters have apparently sought to descend in serpentine fashion into the mudpit to start slinging.

Rest assured that we will transcend this unfortunate development and continue to point out the truth and do so properly. This means we will *not* use words in a creative Nominalist fashion; we will continue to define the issues as they really are and will leave the Congregatio Ioannes Tribus to reinvent the dictionary, place words in people's mouths they never said, have recourse to reductio ad Hitlerum and deny that anything that Shawn Tribe has said on his "Diary of a Byzantinesque Latinist" weblog actually conveys how he thinks on issues. (And of course to explain why anything said at his "Diary" can be trusted in the future for expressing the true "inner Shawn Tribe".) Thankyou for your time and attention.

---Ivan Dunn, Chairman of The Committee in Support of Shawn McElhinney


I just finished an acoustic session that went reasonably well. I have not played the guitar in some time but after warmup I was able to whiz through "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" a couple of times and "It's So Easy" without trouble. Of course I just *had* to try "Box of Rain" which is a song where the chords themselves are not difficult but getting the order right coupled with frequent changes and singing while playing...well...there is a reason the Grateful Dead did not play that song live. I muffed it the first try and the second try got through it with only a couple of small mistakes. A note to those who may want to play an instrument some day: take care of your hands. I broke the cartilege in the middle knuckle of my left hand when I was younger and though healed in any other respect playing chords is now very difficult to do for more than about twenty to thirty minutes at a time. (It does not affect my lead playing as much fortunately.) But practice is over and I would give myself a B considering how sporadically I have played the past couple of years.

Anyway, it is time for me to take my water bottle, a double carona hecho a mano, and my finger rosary and go for a walk before turning in for the evening. Hopefully either tomorrow or Monday I will have the next round of Bastiat's Corner, some liturgical ramblings from back in August, and a few more bits and pieces. In the meantime, here is Bryan Preston's take on the killings in Virginia - courtesy of The JunkYard Blog. Until we meet again, shalom.

You're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted with
Words and thoughts unclear

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