Saturday, May 24, 2003

I have said it many times - though not often on my weblog admittedly - that Michael Jackson has a job that I wish I had. I have sampled Kingfisher mentioned at the link above and it is quite good. Casual readers who still think I am referring to the Michael Jackson of Jackson 5 fame, please click on the link above and be disabused of this egregious error on your part.

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Priests such as Fr. Jim Tucker of Dappled Things really give me optimism about the younger generation of seminarians and priests who have been cropping up in the past ten years. His homily from last Sunday can be read here and is something that we all should read and reflect upon.

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Points to Ponder:

"But for the grace of God," the cliché goes, "goes I". On the lips of the self-righteous it can be a careless cliché. But who can deny its terrible truth when sufficiently pondered?[Stephen Hand: The City and the Cross]


Those who have been critical of me for emphasizing the importance of general norms should pay very close attention to the approach taken by the scholar Thomas Lessl in the article The Galileo Legend obtained courtesy of Greg Krehbiel's weblog. Proefessor Lessl explains a truism that is so often overlooked today and it is worth quoting here:

In our milieu it is often assumed that "factual" simply means "true," and that "facts speak for themselves." But facts seldom do. Our convictions do not arise from facts alone but always from some whole, some picture that we compose from these smaller pieces of information.

If only we can get modern fundamentalists to understand this concept, perhaps a lot of the bickering that takes place will cease. But to accept such things requires a bit of humility and that is always a bitter pill to swallow by anyone. But I digress...


Veritas has been silent for a while.


Well Worth a Read:

Dialogue on Religious Freedom (John Pacheco vs. Robert Sungenis)

Maybe Mr. Sungenis will interact with John's questions in the next installment as he certainly did not do so here for the most part. Notice what I said earlier about how to discern authentic charity from false zeal and see which of these two approaches the subject in an authentic and Traditional manner. I will give you a hint: it is not the one who would call themselves a "traditionalist."

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Friday, May 23, 2003

Dave "the Axe" Armstrong cuts up dialogues with Matt "Oil" Slick of CARM semi-fame in an exchange which can be read HERE. Reading Matt's responses at the latter link reminded me of one of the dictums of talk radio's Michael Savage:

"Extreme liberalism is not a political philosophy, it is instead a mental disorder."

I happen to believe that the same is the case with a certain other belief paradigm I have discussed over the years and written about quite a bit. I am sure the reader who has followed this weblog knows of what I speak so there is no need to mention it here.

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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Points to Ponder:

WHEN Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult. When He is absent, all is hard. When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty, but if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.

Did not Mary Magdalen rise at once from her weeping when Martha said to her: "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"? Happy is the hour when Jesus calls one from tears to joy of spirit.

How dry and hard you are without Jesus! How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him! Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world? For what, without Jesus, can the world give you? Life without Him is a relentless hell, but living with Him is a sweet paradise. If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.

He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.

It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus, and great wisdom to know how to keep Him. Be humble and peaceful, and Jesus will be with you. Be devout and calm, and He will remain with you. You may quickly drive Him away and lose His grace, if you turn back to the outside world. And, if you drive Him away and lose Him, to whom will you go and whom will you then seek as a friend?

You cannot live well without a friend, and if Jesus be not your friend above all else, you will be very sad and desolate. Thus, you are acting foolishly if you trust or rejoice in any other. Choose the opposition of the whole world rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved for the sake of Jesus, but Jesus for His own sake.

Jesus Christ must be loved alone with a special love for He alone, of all friends, is good and faithful. For Him and in Him you must love friends and foes alike, and pray to Him that all may know and love Him. [From The Imitation of Christ, Book II, chapter VIII via Gerard Serafin]

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"From the Mailbag" Dept.

Hello Shawn.

I've wanted to get in touch with you for awhile now. I finally found your email on the Lid-Less Eye blog.

Hello XXXX:

I decided to post this to Rerum Novarum instead of The Lidless Eye Inquisition even though the subjects covered pertain more to the latter than this humble weblog.

Well, I'm a 17 year-old teenager and I love reading debates and controversal issues. I also come from a strong Catholic family, so I like to read about my faith.

Debates and controversial issues are fine but they cannot replace living the faith. It is good to hear that your family is strong in the faith.

Last year I started to kinda get into the traditionalist movent (reading their material that is), but within the last 6 months though I started reading people who support your position on this issue. I now agree with the "neo-conservatives".

Well, if we want to get technical about it, the true "neo-conservatives" are those who like to apply that label to others. I discuss this subject among others at this link if you are interested. Authentic conservatism historically has been pro-active and ressourcement oriented, not reactive and oriented towards a blind and uncritical preservationist approach. Only in the twentieth century did the historical understanding of "conservative" undergo a diametric change and come to represent a sort of fundamentalist incarnation. It is for this reason that I reject the label "conservative" root and branch. If the term was understood as in the traditional sense than I would without a problem embrace it. But until then, I cannot in good conscience do so.

I do still have a lot of questions though. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to answer some of them. Right now I don't have time to search through your writings to find the portions on which I am confused, but for now I'll just ask two questions that I have about this whole issue.

Okay. I would recommend reading my treatise A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' for a systematical and multifaceted refutation of a lot of the arguments raised by self-styled "traditionalists" on a whole cornucopia of primary subjects. I have had to in recent months make that a "prerequisite" when dialoguing with most people who want to discuss these subjects because too many people are not familiar with the root and matrix issues on these matters. Having said that, I merely offer it to you as a proposal and not a dialogue requirement. Having noted that, onto your questions we go :)

1) Has John Paul II ever talked about having a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy? The reason I'm asking it is because CAI has claimed that in his first encyclical our Pope said that everyone has been redeemed.

I am sure you have heard the expression about taking something "with a grain of salt." Well in the case of CAItanic, unless you are taking Greek lessons from Mr. Sungenis it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that you should take anything they say with an entire salt mine.

I think a good way to explain this, as a loyal Catholic, would be to say that he means that Christ died for everyone. In THIS SENSE the Redemption was universal, but the application of the fruits of Christ's sacrifice is a TOTALLY different matter.

Indeed, you have made the distinction that Fundamentalists such as CAItanic are constitutionally incapable of making. It is not without reason that I often say "to be deep in dogmatic theology is to cease to be a 'traditionalist.'" The same principle applies to liturgical history, Tradition, and also church history among other areas of note. Let us consider one example from church history that is particularly applicable in this example: the parallels that self-styled "traditionalists" have to the Jansenist heretics.

You will find many of today's so-called "traditionalists" take issue with the notion that Christ shed his blood for all men. (Indeed any reading of "trad" literature in a six month span would have to have resulted in you coming across the pro multis canard at least a few times.) Consider if you will what other historical group had problems with the notion of Christ shedding his blood "for all men" - setting aside for a moment the question of pro multis with regards to being an accurate translation of the Greek hoi pollen.

It was the Jansenist heretics of the seventeenth-nineteenth centuries who claimed that the expression "Christ shed His blood for all men" was "Semi Pelagian". (Which is a way of saying it was heretical since Semi-Pelagianism is a heresy.) Pope Innocent X of blessed memory condemned that proposition along with several others from the work Augustinus as heretical. Typically you will find with heretics or schismatics that they have two common traits amongst them generally speaking (i) they never admit that they are heretics or schismatics and (ii) they always attempt to minimize the Incarnation to some degree. With Jansenist/Calvinist sorts, this is usually done by claiming that the atonement is limited (and usually dramatically so) and with the kind of partiality that would make some of the Pharisees of Our Lord's time blush.

There is an irony that the Jansenists hated the Sacred Heart devotion claiming that it was too "humanistic" (much as they disparaged the Council of Trent) whereas the very "trads" devoted to the Sacred Heart --who often lambaste the Second Vatican Council and the Popes for preaching a "false humanism"-- cannot see the blatant (and unflattering) historical parallels. It does not surprise me that some disparage the Divine Mercy. Indeed it would be more worrisome if they did not do this because then they would not conform quite as easily to the historical template of how heretics and schismatics tend to behave. (They still would but the template would not be as precise you might say.)

One thing that the Scriptures show in more than one place - particularly the Gospel and Acts - is that those considered to be "outsiders" were at times not only not what they appear to be but indeed they can be truer to the essence of the Gospel than those who from all appearances are the most secure of "insiders." This is a lesson that is so frequently overlooked by those who would make the New Covenant contain less graces than the Old Covenant. The pattern in both testaments is clear: the secret sanctuary of the heart is where the real evidence of one's allegience lies in other words.

My good friend Dr. Art Sippo likes to say that "Christ is the New Adam, not the new Moses or new Abraham." He got the terminology from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans but consider the ramifications that this teaching contains. St. Paul in using this terminology of "New Adam" was not speaking in the sort of restrictive terms that many like to assert. The first Adam brought destruction on the human race, the second Adam restored the human race. Notice in the Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis that Pope John Paul II lays a heavy stress on this teaching from Romans. I will put the footnotes in the text in brackets for help in ascertaining the proper context according to the general norms of interpretation:

The Redeemer of the world! In him has been revealed in a new and more wonderful way the fundamental truth concerning creation to which the Book of Genesis gives witness when it repeats several times: "God saw that it was good".{Cf. Gen. 1 passim} The good has its source in Wisdom and Love. In Jesus Christ the visible world which God created for man {Cf. Gen. 1:26-30.39}-the world that, when sin entered, "was subjected to futility"{Rom. 8:20; cf. 8:19-22; Vatican Council II: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 2, 13: AAS 58 (1966) 1026, 1034-1035.}- recovers again its original link with the divine source of Wisdom and Love. Indeed, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."{Jn. 3:16.} As this link was broken in the man Adam, so in the Man Christ it was reforged {Cf. Rom. 5:12-21}. Are we of the twentieth century not convinced of the over poweringly eloquent words of the Apostle of the Gentiles concerning the "creation (that) has been groaning in travail together until now"{Rom. 8:22} and "waits with eager longing for the revelation of the sons of God"{Rom. 8:19}, the creation that "was subjected to futility"? Does not the previously unknown immense progress-which has taken place especially in the course of this century-in the field of man's dominion over the world itself reveal-to a previously unknown degree-that manifold subjection "to futility"? It is enough to recall certain phenomena, such as the threat of pollution of the natural environment in areas of rapid industrialization, or the armed conflicts continually breaking out over and over again, or the prospectives of self-destruction through the use of atomic, hydrogen, neutron and similar weapons, or the lack of respect for the life of the unborn. The world of the new age, the world of space flights, the world of the previously unattained conquests of science and technology -is it not also the world "groaning in travail"{Rom. 8:22.} that "waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God"{Rom. 8:19}?

In its penetrating analysis of "the modern world", the Second Vatican Council reached that most important point of the visible world that is man, by penetrating like Christ the depth of human consciousness and by making contact with the inward mystery of man, which in Biblical and non-Biblical language is expressed by the word "heart". Christ, the Redeemer of the world, is the one who penetrated in a unique unrepeatable way into the mystery of man and entered his "heart". Rightly therefore does the Second Vatican Council teach: "The truth is that only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a type of him who was to come (Rom 5:14), Christ the Lord. Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling". And the Council continues: "He who is the 'image of the invisible God' (Col 1:15), is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin. Human nature, by the very fact that is was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his Incarnation, he, the son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin"{Vatican Council II: Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22: AAS 58 (1966) 1042-1043.}, he, the Redeemer of man. [Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis §8 (c. 1979)]

Frankly, the context of the passage could hardly be plainer. So in one sense CAItanic would be right in that the human race has been redeemed. But of course rather than admit to that eminently Catholic teaching, the CAIraqi leader tries to find universalism in what was said. This is an example of the sort of thing that people who are disingenuous tend to do: they look for the worst possible interpretation of any circumstance. As I have noted on not a few occasions a true and Traditional Catholic should [a]lways be ready and willing to excuse the faults of your neighbour, and never put an unfavourable interpretation upon his actions. The same action...may be looked upon under many different aspects: a charitable person will ever suppose the best, an uncharitable person will just as certainly choose the worst. [Fr. RP Quadrupani referencing St. Francis se Sales (c. 1795)] Negative judgments in short should not come rashly and not without plenty of rope if you will being advanced. Unfortunately some such as those you mentioned eventually hang themselves with the rope. But that is their prerogative to do of course.

Our Pope wants to bring the hope to world that God actually died for every single person. This wicked world of ours needs this hope; it needs something to live for. It needs to know that someone LOVES the world more than we can imagine. And then people will have something to live for; something they can have as the center of their lives (instead of chaos). Something even to die for. And.... well I better stop since I'm sorta digressing.

Very astute analysis. God the Father is reputed to have told St. Catherine of Siena:

Man is placed above all creatures and not beneath them, and he cannot be satisfied or content except in something greater than himself. Greater than himself there is nothing but Myself, the Eternal God. Therefore, I alone can satisfy him, and because he is deprived of this satisfaction by his guilt, be remains in continual torment and pain. Weeping follows pain, and when he begins to weep, the wind strikes the tree of self-love, which he has made the principle of all his being." [The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena pg. 203]

Part of the reason that the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II emphasize the dignity of man so much is because this truth has been marred so much in the modern world. Indeed in re-reading the encyclical letter you mentioned, JPII's themes are so parallel to what God the Father is reputed to have told St. Catherine that I wonder sometimes how people can be blind to it. The "key" though to unlocking the mind of JP II is actually mentioned in the same Dialogues noted above where the subject of obedience is discussed. I have been considering posting the entire thread on my weblog Lidless Eye and advancing the thesis that "God the Father is a Neo-Catholic." Suffice to say, here are some very small parts of the text on the disobedient:

Oh blinder than the blind, for, having spoilt the key of obedience thou dost not think of mending it! Dost thou think, forsooth, that the disobedience that closed the door of heaven will open it? that the pride which fell can rise? Dost thou think to be admitted to the marriage feast in foul and disordered garments? Dost thou think that sitting down and binding thyself with the chain of mortal sin, thou canst walk? or without a key thou canst open the door? Do not imagine that thou canst for it is a fantastical illusion...What is the reason for all of this, and of such blindness that prevents them from recognizing this treasure? The cloud of self-love and wretched pride, through which they abandon obedience and fall into disobedience. Being disobedient they are impatient, as has been said, and in their impatience endure intolerable pain, for it has seduced them from the way of Truth, leading them along a way of lies, making them slaves and friends of the devils with whom, unless they amend themselves with patience, they will go to the eternal torments...the disobedient walk in pride, holding their head erect, and if sometimes it suits their convenience to obey they do not incline their heads with humility, but proudly do so because they must, which force breaks the neck of their will...Who are her enemies who have been expelled? The chief is self-love, producing pride, the enemy of humility and charity. [Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena pgs. 287, 291,304,306]

That suffices to explain why those who "resist to the face" or defend those who act in this manner will not inherit the kingdom of God. With one voice has the Church down through the ages taught the evil of schism which is the crushing of the very charity in the soul by which we will be judged.

The reason I'm asking about our popes devotion to the Divine Mercy is because in the Divine Mercy chaplet is says something like "all sinners are in Christ's Sacred Heart".

I went through my booklet on the Novena and while indeed there are prayers for all sinners (those who are lukewarm, heretics and schismatics, pagans and those who do not yet know the Lord, those in purgatory, priests and religious, the whole world, etc) I could not find anything identical to what you are saying. The two prayers of the Chaplet have as a common theme variations of "have mercy on us and on the whole world" but how is that any different essentially than the Fatima Decade Prayer petition "lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy"??? Yet you do not hear those who promote Fatima claiming that such prayers are "universalist." Again, consistency is not a hallmark of self-styled "traditionalsts."

As far as the pope goes, it is worth noting that as Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla opened the cause for Sister Faustina. That in and of itself should indicate his devotion to the Divine Mercy. It precedes his reign as pope by at least ten years if not longer.

Traditionalists wouldn't object to this devotion, but they would still insist in their cynical way that our Pope means that everyone is saved.

See what I noted above about those who act in such uncharitable ways. Every schism trumps up a heresy to justify itself historically. With the "trads" they hand heresy on Vatican II and on JP II as a way of excusing their disobedience. They will try to enter the door with the same key as the first Adam (disobedience) rather than use the key of the Second Adam (obedience). To again quote what is reputed to God the Father to St. Catherine in dialogue Dost thou think, forsooth, that the disobedience that closed the door of heaven will open it? Sadly with the "trads" they often tacitly presume this very thing. And that will be to their downfall if they do not repent and seek to be reconciled to Holy Mother Church.

So if it can be shown that he has a devotion to the Divine Mercy this might help them to believe that he truly means what he says in a Catholic sense (even if it can be interpreted at times in a liberal way).

This is a good point but a more fundamental principle is, I believe, worth noting here. A truely Traditional Catholic would never presume that the pope's expressed beliefs are not in a Catholic sense. Whatever this applies to him as an individual (and it should) it is particularly the case when he is teaching in his magisterium. That the so-called "traditionalists" act in a manner that continually reveals a lacuna of authentic charity speaks volumes for just how truly and Traditionally Catholic they really are not.

It is pointless to try to reason on a too-frequent basis with those who lack proper charity. All you will do is drain your own spiritual pool and even tax your very sanity in the process.

2) Where has our Pope encouraged people to actually read the Vatican II texts (like Stephen Hands always says people should do).

Most of his assertions have been implicit ones. I recall an explicit request to the interviewer of Crossing the Threshold to review the Declaration Dignatatis Humanae and also (if memory serves) the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium. No other explicit statements come to mind but it stands to reason that as he references Vatican II continually in his magisterium that someone studying the texts would refer to the sources as an aid to properly ascertaining the sense being attributed to the text. (Hence the popes and councils historically have had footnotes to aid in this area.) He does encourage the propagation of the Catechism which has over eight hundred references to Vatican II in it.

He has emphasized many times the need to interpret the Council correctly which in and of itself implies that the texts would have to be properly understood. (Which is impossible to do IMHO if they are not actually read.) And statements such as [w]ith the passing of the years, the Vatican Council's documents have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's tradition are not infrequent if one looks at his many speeches and writings on the subject. Again this is perhaps an implicit evidence but it all adds up. Some more examples of this can be seen HERE.

If it can be shown that he DOES encourage this, that would to show that JPII doesn't support the liberal "spirit of Vatican II", but the what Vatican II actually said (which was clearly CATHOLIC).

Your conclusion is correct but I am not sure about the method. It seems to me that you are giving the "trads" unnecessary leeway here. They cannot be allowed to exercise a form of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam{1} or else you surrender the high ground to them. No, one must make them establish their assertions and not allow them to presume that they can take a defacto position of imputing ill-will onto others.

If they will not start from a position of charity themselves then they must be shamed into doing so. For any other starting point except one of charity is blatantly unCatholic and unTraditional. They claim to be "Traditional" so we must hold them to approaching and discussing these subjects as a true Traditionalist would. Otherwise Our Lord's reference to the Pharisees "honouring with their lips while their hearts are far from God" (cf. Mark vii,6; cf. Isaiah xxix,13) would readily be applicable to them.

I guess that's enough for now.

Thanks and God love you always,

Thankyou friend. May you and your family likewise be blessed.


{1} This is in essence an appeal to ignorance. An example of this would be asserting that the absence of a proposition being proven true means that it therefore must be false. This is a fallacious form of argumentation.

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"The Enloe Files" Dept.

This is a continuation of the conversation started with Tim located at this link. My good friend and legal eagle SecretAgentMan sought to reformat the three parts below for the board and the results are a mixed bag. Nonetheless, the reader may find them interesting.

Response to my Reformed Friend Tim Enloe (Part I)

Response to my Reformed Friend Tim Enloe (Part II)

Response to my Reformed Friend Tim Enloe (Part III)

[Update: I did an internet archive search for these links and was able to find one of them. For that reason, I am reclassifying this to a relevant category -namely the one titled The Good/The Bad/The Ugly -Apologetics. -ISM 5/19/07 8:40pm]

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Points to Ponder:

[F]or the Church, the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life, given over to God in a communion that nothing should destroy and at the same time given to one's neighbor with limitless zeal. As we said recently to a group of lay people, "Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses."{Address to the Members of the Consilium de Laicis (2 October 1974): AAS 66} St. Peter expressed this well when he held up the example of a reverent and chaste life that wins over even without a word those who refuse to obey the word.{Cf. 1 Pt 3:1.} It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus -- the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity. [Pope Paul VI: Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi §41 (December 8, 1975)]


"Minor Mea Culpas" Dept.
(aka "Tales from the Mailbag")

The principle held by this writer for many years has been that an error which is made should be corrected to the extent that it was made. In that light, as the error I am about to correct was made at Rerum Novarum it will be corrected on this here weblog at this time. First though a brief summary for the benefit of the readers.

In a May 10th blog entry Responsum ad Barrister, I had asserted the following with regards to Fr. Ramon Angles of the Society of St. Pius X:

Brief Note: the Archbishop himself said that the Superior General of the SSPX should never be a bishop. This was admitted to by Rev. Fr. Ramon Angles of St. Mary's Academy in Kansas when he responded rather tersely to an article from a 1992 issue of the old Fidelity magazine. (An article which happens to comprise Appendix A of my treatise as it deals with my former pastor Fr. John Rizzo.)

On the approbation of the quote to Fr. Angles, I received an email the other day about this from Fr. Angles himself. In a magisterial exercise of the Welborn Protocol I reproduce the text of that email in full with the email address deleted:

Dear Sir,

I am puzzled.

"The Archbishop himself said that the Superior General of the SSPX should never be a bishop. This was admitted to by Rev. Fr. Ramon Angles of St.Mary's Academy in Kansas when he responded rather tersely to an article from a 1992 issue of the old Fidelity magazine."

Can you please explain? I have no recollection of having made this admission.

Thank you and God bless.

Father Angles

Father Angles:

It is an honour to count you among the readers of this humble weblog. Upon receiving your email, I went back and checked my files and you are correct that I made an error. I greatly apologize (mea culpa) for ascribing the statement to you. This is posted to my weblog so that the audience which read the original post may also read of my corrections.

For in checking my archives, there is not one but indeed two errors in the above statement. The first was equating the statement to editorials surrounding the Fidelity article in my treatise on my former pastor Fr. John Rizzo. That article titled In the Line of Fire ran in Fidelity in May of 1995. The article I should have referred to that ran in the October 1992 edition of Fidelity was a different article titled The Society of St. Pius X Gets Sick.

When writing the first drafts of my treatise in late 1999-early 2000, I was given permission from E. Michael Jones (the publisher of Fidelity) to use them in my project. The interest of brevity to the extent this was possible made me omit several drafts I initially planned to include including the 1992 article posted above. Only one could be added so I chose the May 1995 article over the October 1992 article because of my familiarity with the subject of the 1995 article personally and also because it to some extent reiterates some of the same criticisms of the 1992 article. (Fr. John Rizzo was my pastor from 1987-1992.)

But that is one mistake on my part. The other mistake (mea culpa) was in misappropriating the reference. The statement I had in mind was actually one from Father Peter R. Scott, the SSPX's US District Superior. It was written in response to the aforementioned 1992 Fidelity article. Essentially Fr. Scott was responding to twenth-five points of the article. You had also weighed in with a letter to the editor on some of the subjects of Thomas Case's article so I trust you understand how easily this error on my part could be made. More on that in a moment.

As I noted, there were twenty-five points responded to by Fr. Scott in the December 1992 issue of Fidelity. The twenty-fifth point was the following one. I will note it and also Fr. Scott's response to it. The source is my copy of an October 15, 1992 letter sent out by Fr. Scott which was printed a couple months later in Fidelity.

(Fidelity as quoted by Fr. Scott) "Bishop Williamson is strenuously lobbying for position as Superior General, and will try to have himself elected as an anti-pope."

(Fr. Scott) "Another totally false assertion. Archbishop Lefebvre made it perfectly clear that the Superior General was not to be one of the Bishops, so as not to give the impression that the Bishops he consecrated had any jurisdiction." [Fr. Peter R. Scott: Comments on The Society of St. Pius X Gets Sick Article from the October 1992 issue of Fidelity Magazine (c. October 15, 1992)]

The address on the letter read as follows:

Society of St. Pius X
Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Ave
Kansas City, MO 64109

Considering the manner whereby the preceding copy of this letter I received is prefaced, it would seem interesting to see it explained why Bishop Fellay two years later became Superior General despite what Fr. Scott noted above. Indeed I quote my letter draft from October of 1992 so that I can refer to Fr. Scott's own introduction to his response sent out to SSPX churches.{1}

Now I will not in this response explain why this admission by Fr. Scott damages the stance of the SSPX as per their legitimacy.{2} I already deal in detail with this in not a few of my writings - all of which are copiously referenced. But in closing, I apologize again that I ascribed to you what was actually asserted by Fr. Scott.

God bless,



{1} I should explain this as I have two copies of this letter. One of them was dated October 15, 1992 and sent by Fr. Scott to the churches in his "district." (That is the source I am quoting from above.) The preface of the October response from Fr. Scott reads as follows:

The October issue of Fidelity magazine presented a scandalous article on the Society of St. Pius X. This sensational mixture of lies, gossip, and personal attackes merits no reply. However, to overcome the scandal of the innocent, and to show the falsehoods of its statements, the following remarks are offered.

I also have a copy of the same letter as printed in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the December 1992 Fidelity issue. The only deletions to theFidelity version were to points sixteen through twenty-three from Fr. Scott's October article. The reason this was done was for space constraints because as Fidelity noted in an editors interjection "points sixteen through twenty-three are identical to points in Fr. Angles' letter (see above)."

For earlier in the Letters section indeed there is a response to the Thomas Case article from "Fr. Ramon Angles" listed as "Rector and Headmaster [of] St. Mary's College and Academy." I double-checked both letters and the points between the two are worded identically. (Your letter in Fidelityeven refers to yourself in the third person in the process.) So a third time, I apologize for my mixup of names mea maxima culpa.

{2} The fact that Fr. Scott's declaration was made nineteen months after the death of the Archbishop Levebvre is not a small problem for the SSPX's current position. (In light of what was to happen not even two years later when Bishop Bernard Fellay became the new Superior General of the SSPX.)

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"JunkYard Blog" Dept.
(aka "Stupid Communist Tricks")

Bryan Preston asks if there is a stupider government than China.

I have to agree with him that though France puts up a good case for themselves that China takes the cake. Read about their proposed "solution" to the SARS epidemic and see if you do not agree.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2003

"Indult-gentium" Dept.

The divergent views on this subject that are cropping up in the blogosphere and on discussion lists are interesting. My good friend Pete Vere JCL has started a thread on this subject at Envoy Encore. My views on this subject are not easy to condense into a simple "yes" or "no" answer for reasons that will be made apparent when this subject is taken up at this weblog down the road.

In the interim, I will note that I believe a rescript from Rome to the bishops to provide for those who prefer the Tridentine liturgy in their dioceses at reasonable times and places should be implemented. As far as a "universal indult" goes, I am skeptical because of how this approach would infringe on the authority of the bishops as Successors of the Apostles. Remember, the bishops do not govern their dioceses as vice-regents of the pope but instead they have ordinary and immediate authority. And "ordinary" authority means that they govern in their own names in communion with the Vicar of Christ.

Nonetheless, here is the link at Envoy:

Pete's Take on the Possible Universal Indult.

As you can see from the comments at the thread, there are a lot of ways of approaching this subject. And We at Rerum Novarum want to take some time to ponder on the subject before We pronounce on the matter - hopefully in the coming week if not before the end of the week. Until then, there are some recent emails to get to at including one from the most unexpected of sources. Stay tuned for details.

Oh, the archives glitches in the weeks after 5/10 have been corrected so anyone trying to access archives for this week or last week should be able to do so now.

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Monday, May 19, 2003

I stumbled upon an online PDF version of a paper that circled the blogosphere a couple of months ago which refutes the abuse of the Talmud by fringe anti-semites. It was linked to the "Altered Eye Alters All" weblog entry from May 7th. Though by no means a necessary addition it nonetheless is more evidences to support what I believe is an already strong position taken in that entry. The reader will need Adobe Acrobat to read the piece but it is instructive in the unscholarly methods of bigots. Zeal is a valuable virtue but imprudent zeal is among the worst of vices. Caveat Lector!!!

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Apolonio Latar nails the "trads" in the stylings of CS Lewis' Screwtape Letters.

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