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:: The Lidless Eye Inquisition ::

A weblog dedicated to the exposure of the crackpots of the lunatic self-styled 'traditionalist' fringe who disingenuously pose as faithful Catholics.
Welcome to The Lidless Eye Inquisition | bloghome
"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 established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)." [Pope St. Pius X: Allocution of May 10, 1909]

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[:::....Recent Posts....:::]

As I am planning a return to blogging in other for...

Though this weblog has been suspended "in perpetui...

After pondering this in recent days, I cannot thin...

Points to Ponder: I now come to the positive reas...

"One From the Drafting Board" Dept. The material ...

Before this weblog is formally closed in perpetuit...

On Altar Girls and General Norms of Interpretation...

Final Reflections I would like to thank Shawn McE...

On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal: [Pref...

This weblog for the lions share of the past year a...

The Inquisitors
:: I. Shawn McElhinney
:: F. John Loughnan
:: Peter J. Vere JCL
:: Greg Mockeridge
:: Apolonio Latar
:: Gregory Rossi
:: Keith Kenney
:: The Curmudgeon
:: Mark Bonocore
:: Gregg the Obscure
Affiliated Weblogs/Websites
:: Rerum Novarum [>>>]
:: Sean O' Lachtnain's Home Page [>>>]
:: Envoy Encore Weblog (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: Cooperatores Veritatis [>>>]
:: Thoughts of Apolonio Latar III [>>>]
:: Sancta Liturgia [>>>]
:: Disturber of the Peace [>>>]
:: Vita Brevis [>>>]
Specialty Weblogs
:: The (New) Catholic Light BLOG (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: John Betts' Boycott BLOG [>>>]
Ecumenical Jihad*
:: Apolonio Latar and Kevin Tierney's Culture of Christ BLOG [>>>]
Specialty Weblinks
:: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' [>>>]
:: On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary [>>>]
:: The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard [>>>]
:: On Assisi and Catholic Principles [>>>]
:: F. John Loughnan's "Classification of Some Integrist (Lidless Eye) Websites" [>>>]
:: A Syllabus of Various (Mostly Pseudo-"Progressivist") Dissenting Authors [>>>]
:: A Canonical History of the Lefevrist Schism - Peter J. Vere's License Thesis From Saint Paul University, Ontario, Canada [>>>]
:: What Makes Us Catholic Traditionalists - written for The Wanderer December 6, 2001 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Yes Virginia, Fr. Nicholas Has Been Suspended - written for The Wanderer March 6, 2003 (Pete Vere JCL/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Squelching Fr. Gruner's 'Squawking Squire' [>>>]
:: RadTrad Watch [>>>]
:: Antisemitism and the Catholic Right [>>>]
[:::....Site Intention, Disclaimer, Copyright, Etc....:::]
:: Intentions of this Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Weblog "War and Peace Length" Disclaimer (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Site Copyright (I. Shawn McElhinney/SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Exhortation to Those Who Participate in the Message Boxes (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Linking to Tridentine Apostolates, Etc. --A Lidless Eye Inquisition Clarification Thread (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Heretical Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Mario Derksen's Catholic Insight
:: Responses to Mario Derksen--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario on EENS (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Errors on Man (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Sedevacantism--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Response to Mario --Parts I-II (Kevin Byrne) [>>>]
:: Mario's Sedevacantism and His Conscience (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -I. Shawn McElhinney's Discussion List Comments on the "Karol Wojtyla is the Pope" Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
Gerry Matatics' Apostolate
:: Gerry Matatics Too Hard Line For The Remnant (Pete Vere)[>>>]
:: Concerning Gerry Matatics and His Alleged Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Schismatic and Theologically Specious Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Catholic Apologetics International (or CAItanic)
:: Bob Sungenis' "Reply" to Richard John Neuhaus --Parts I-II (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard J. Neuhaus on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On CAItanic and the "Petrification" of their Opponents (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On Stunted Ecclesiology and Other Examples of the Arrested Development of CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Baghdad Bob Meets Bible Bob (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commentary on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sungenis/Ferrara and Double Standards (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On Sungenis’ “Novelty”--Parts I-II(Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Short Response to John Salza and Sungenis (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Brief Clarification by Your Weblog Host On "Mr. Ipse Dixit" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Matatics vs. Sungenis (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Sungenis and God's Contingent Knowledge--Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On "The Big Bang Theory" and its Pertinance to Catholic Doctrine (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Novus Ordo Watch
:: On "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: More on "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Props to David Alexander (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Remnant
:: Beyond Lunacy (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: The Remnant Gets it Right (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commending Christopher Ferrara (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
:: Points to Ponder - on the SSPX (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On the "Reconciliation" Rumours of the SSPX (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: SSPX Demotes Key Priest Hoping For Reconciliation (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Three Cheers for Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Fr. Paul Aulagnier (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Schism For One Dollar (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Bishop Rifan the Prophet (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Is the SSPX Still Lefebvrist? (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Civil War Breaks Out in the SSPX's French District (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Apostolates...:::]
Kevin Tierney and His Apostolate
:: Responding to Kevin Tierney's Criticism (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Some Brief Comments on Kevin Tierney's Response to Gregg the Obscure (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Response to Kevin Tierney's Response to I. Shawn McElhinney (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More Sophistry From Kevin Tierney --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Obedience and Kevin Tierney's Appeal to Canon Law 212 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Tiernam Dubiosum --Parts I-III, Addendum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Note About A Blog (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtrads Again (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On True and False 'Traditionalism' With Kevin Tierney --Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, and Global Government --Parts I-III(Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: Clarification on Global Government (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Brief Response to Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings on Diversity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: An Example of the Honesty That Must Accompany Dialogue (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Muttering On Many Subjects (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Detailed Response to Kevin on The Revised Missal, Corpus Christi, Church Attendance, Church Forms, Protocol 1411, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussing the Liturgy and Various Contrastings With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Refuting the “He’s Not Disobedient. He's Just Stupid.” Defense (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Subjects and People in General....:::]
:: Response to a Self-styled "Traditionalist" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Term "Inquisition" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Addressing a Sedevacantist Heretic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: February's Quote of the Month (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: On TAN Books (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: On Defining Modernism (Chris Burgwald) [>>>]
:: Refuting the Late 'Trad' Michael Malone's Errors on Vatican II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From His Beatitude Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, Cardinal of the Roman Church (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Catechism and Radical Traditionalists (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Screwtape Parody on Radical Traditionalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a Rad-Trad --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Hell and the Catechism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Sola Fide Trads (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Some Traddie Fallacies Examined (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With Adrian a Self-styled 'Traditionalist' --Parts I-VIII (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Opatus of Milve (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Mr. Smith's Misunderstandings --Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Integralist-'Traditionalist' Conection --Parts I-V (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussion With Christopher Blosser on Reflections on Covenant and Mission (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Morality of Promoting Conspiracy Theories (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Question About the Magisterium (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Islam (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Viz Islam (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: A Conversation --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney/Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Fatal Flaws of False 'Traditionalism' With Albert Cipriani--Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Conversation on Spiritual Maturity and the Traditional Catholic Approach to Difficulties --Parts I-III (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Is it Okay to Complain? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Obedience: The Rise of True Catholics --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtradism and Mother Teresa (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Common 'Traditionalist' Errors in Dogmatic Theology and the Ordinary Magisterum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Notes on the Ordinary Magisterium (SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Some Self-styled "Traditionalist" Mendacity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Posting Rules for Radical 'Traditionalists' (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Thoughts on Radtradism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Why Garrigou-Lagrange? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: The Syllabus (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refutation of Some Common Radtrad Misuses of Citations (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Errors of Michael Malone Revisited (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting an Attempted Justification for Schism --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Another Assisi? Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -Maximus the Abbott as quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum §13 (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a 'Traditionalist' (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: "To Be Deep in Catholic Theology is to Cease to Be a (Pseudo) 'Traditionalist'" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Pope Benedict XV (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Charles de Nunzio (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: For Those Interested (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refuting Mike's Errors (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Mike Tucker (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Will it Merely Be More Uncatholic "Business As Usual"??? (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. John Bosco (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Irenaeus of Lyons (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue/Debate on Pascendi (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Cardinal Ratzinger on the Revised Roman Missal (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Hibernius (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Material (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Dance (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Humanism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Humanism and Vatican II (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Universalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Scruples (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Tony Blair and Receiving Communion (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part I (Mark Bonocore) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part II (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Wast-ing A-way A-gain in Se-de-vac-ant-a-ville" Dept. (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the McElhinney Media Dictum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Tomorrow Christendom (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Correcting a Common Misperception of This Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Response to a Guimaraes Article (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Fr. Nitoglia (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More on "Tomorrow Christendom" (Dom Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Surprised by Canon Law (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Michael Davies' Passing (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Redemptionis Sacramentum and Canonical Implications for Ecclesia Dei (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Notification of Assisi Essay, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard John Neuhaus on the Vatican and "Americanism"--Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: 8 Things You Can Do to Stop the Judaizers (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Circumspection in Speech and Public Writing (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On the Revised Missal Ordination Rites and Other Tidbits (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - John Laux on an Interesting Parallel from History on the Subject of "Preserving Tradition" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: In Fairness to Michael Forrest (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews (Pete Vere) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - Pope Gregory XVI on the Authority of the Popes (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews--Part II (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Miscellaneous Dialogual Subjects...:::]
:: Real Catholic Traditionalism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: An Open Challenge to Catholic Traditionalists (Dom Gerard Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Quo Primum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Traditionalist Debate of the Millenium: Pete Vere vs. Shawn McElhinney (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Dialogue on Ecclesia Dei With Mark Downey (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sister Lucia of Fatima, Ora Pro Terri Schiavo (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Ecclesia Dei And Respect for Traditionalists (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: On "The Vile Spectacle of Traditionalists Rooting for Bad News" --Dialogue With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>> [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Nonsense, Recent Restore Rants, Church Music, Etc (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Briefly Revisiting an Old Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Examining Kevin Tierney's "Catholic Contract" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Guest Editorials...:::]
:: The Problems Some Have With Interfaith Outreach (Guest Editorial by Gary Gubinski) [>>>]
:: On the Liturgical Movement (Guest Editorial by the Society of St. John; Prologue by I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Jacinta's Vision (Guest Editorial by Fr. Thomas Carleton) [>>>]
:: Guest Editorial on Private Revelation (Kevin M. Tierney) [>>>]
Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies (cf. Welborn Protocol)

*Ecumenical Jihad listing is for weblogs or websites which are either dedicated to or which to the webmaster (i) are worth reading and (ii) characteri ze in their general outlook the preservation of general Judeo-Christian morality and which are aimed at positively integrating these elements into society. (Such sites need not even be Catholic ones.)

As society has grown more estranged from its founding principles, I wish to note sites which share the same sentiments for the restoration of society even if the means advocated in this endeavour differ. The Lidless Eye Inquisition does not necessarily endorse particulars with sites under this heading.

:: Friday, March 21, 2003 ::

On Stunted Ecclesiology and Other Examples of the Severely Arrested Development of CAIanic :
(Among many other subjects that could be mentioned)

In light of the recent pitiful attempts by CAItanic and its self-anointed "prophet" Robert Sungenis to smear the reputation of Dr. Scott Hahn (and Dr. Art Sippo who came to the defense of Dr. Hahn), it seems appropriate to illustrate why Mr. Sungenis is so unreliable as a guide for understanding Catholic teaching. As this could be done on a whole cornucopia of subjects, I will do it on ecclesiology because (i) the kinds of errors he makes here are akin to those he makes on other theological subjects and (ii) I already wrote a response on this subject back in February.

Since Mr. Sungenis has no credibility anymore, I see no reason to devote any more time than minimally required in responding to his drivel. Thus, if an email from six and a half weeks ago already achieves this purpose, I will use it. And with the subject of ecclesiology that criteria is met so that is what I will do.

For that reason, a good percentage of this response you will read was written about mid February and circulated to a discussion group where the subject came up about First Things editor Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus and his January 2003 comments about CAItanic. More directly, it was in response to a response of Robert Sungenis to Fr. Neuhaus' reference to an article written by CAItanic's own Jacob Michael where the latter demonstrated specious understanding of certain concepts.

In responding to Fr. Neuhaus, Mr. Sungenis throws around the usual epithets of "heretic" and "modernist" so it seems only appropriate to show just how ignorant he really is on the matter of ecclesiology. Not to stick to one subject of course, Mr. Sungenis has to pull a James White tactic and throw out a smattering of other subjects preceding the main subject matter to try and confuse his reader. I will touch on those very briefly before getting to the material written in February on eccelesiology.

Everything from denying that much of the story of Adam and Eve is fictitious, to the teachings of Urs von Balthasar and Karl Rahner (and, of course, Fr. Neuhaus) that hell may be empty of human beings, and that we can hope that such is indeed the case.

This was an offhand comment about Mark Shea but since Mr. Sungenis sees him and Fr. Neuhaus as Siamese Twins, addressing these points briefly before getting to the ecclesiology subject is appropriate. To start with, I presume that Mr. Sungenis meant to say that Fr. Neuhaus "affirms" that much of the story of Adam and Eve is fictitious because if he "denied" this and that was a crime in Mr. Sungenis' eyes, does that mean that we are to conclude that Mr. Sungenis considers it "meritorious" or "orthodox" to affirm a fictitious nature to the story of Adam and Eve??? So presuming that Mr. Sungenis meant to cast suspicions on Mr. Shea (and by extension Fr. Neuhaus's) belief in the Genesis story, let us look at the term "myth" as some appropriate it for the Genesis story.

The modern notion of "myth" is pretty well known. Basically it is a story that is not true or is akin to a child's fairy tale. But that is not the only definition of "myth". To quote from my Merriam Webster's Third International Dictionary, "myth" is also defined as follows:

myth: 1) A story that is usu. of unknown origin and at least partially traditional, that ostensibly relates historical events us. of such character as to serve to explain some practice, belief, institution, or natural phenomenon, and that is especially associated with religious rites or beliefs. 2) a story invented as a veiled explanation of a truth: PARABLE, ALLEGORY

Those are the first definitions listed under the subject of "myth". As you notice, neither of them deal with fictions and both of them deals with explaning a truth in veiled language. Unfortunately, Mr. Sungenis' understanding of biblical study is as Amishly backward as his understanding of cosmology. In fact, I remember covering this issue on a list that he and I used to be on when the subject of evolution was discussed. Here is some of the material I put in that discussion which - if Mr. Sungenis would at least accept its authority - would bring him to within ninety-four years of being up to date:

The first three chapters of Genesis contain narratives of real events, no myths, no mere allegories or symbols of religious truths, no legends.

In regard to those facts, which touch the foundations of the Christian religion, the literal historical sense is to be adhered to. Such facts are, inter alia, the creation of all things by God in the beginning of time, and the special creation of humanity.

It is not necessary to understand all words and sentences in the literal sense. Passages which are variously interpreted by the Fathers and theologians, may be interpreted according to one's own judgment, with the reservation, however, that one submits one's own judgment to the decision of the Church, and to the dictates of the Faith.

As the Sacred Writer had not the intention of representing with scientific accuracy the intrinsic constitution of things, and the sequence of the works of creation but of communicating knowledge in a popular way suitable to the idiom and to the pre-scientific development of his time, the account is not to be regarded or measured as if it was couched in language which is strictly scientific.

The word "day" need not be taken in the literal sense of a natural day of 24 hours, but can be understood in the improper sense of a longer space of time. [Pontifical Biblical Commission: June 30, 1909]

That is 99% of the decree right there. (Denzinger numbers excluded.) Although the PBC claimed that the story of Genesis is not a myth, it is clear from the context that it meant that the story is not fiction. (As if you check my earlier definitions of "myth" at least one of them applies to Genesis 1-3 by the PBC's own admission.) And of course for the Geocentric One, his attempts to treat the Bible as a scientific text are lightly rebuked by this PBC decree which was (and is) part of the Church's magisterium.

If Mr. Sungenis can accept the authority of the PBC decrees - which St. Pius X declared were to be accepted - then we can maybe avoid the assertions that Mr. Sungenis is hundreds of years behind on the subject of biblical study and confine it to him being "less than a hundred years behind". (The next step maybe is to get him to concur with Divino Afflante Spiritu and bring him to within seventy years but we must use baby steps here.)

As far as the "hope" that hell is empty, I remind the readers that the Church has approved prayers that signify this hope (the Fatima decade prayer "Lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy" comes to mind offhand). As far as the Von Balthazar subject goes, all I will note here is that on an apologetics discussion list about two years ago (in front of at least seven or eight other apologists) Mr. Sungenis failed three times to point me to the magisterial text that declared that anyone was in hell except for the fallen angels.

I asked for this because Mr. Sungenis was calling Von Balthazar a heretic and I wanted to see the magisterial statement which establishes this teaching. (To justify Mr. Sungenis' libel against Von Balthazar.) All Mr. Sungenis could come up with in response to this request was the following:

1) A declaration from Lateran IV on the certainty of the fallen angels in hell.

2) Scriptural passages interpreted by him to defend his assertion. (Of which there are others that can be interpreted in a manner congruent with the converse thesis.) This method proves nothing and I am surprised that a man who edited a book Not By Scripture Alone (which I gave five stars to in my Amazon book reviews btw) would resort to Scripture alone to substantiate his assertions!!!

3) After a few rounds of him insulting me personally and claiming I am a "universalist", he then had recourse to quoting Marian apparitions. (In this case Fatima.) Once he did this, it was clear he was defeated and could not substantiate his thesis from the one source that a true Catholic must use if they are going to declare anyone a heretic: the teachings of the Church.

Not that individuals using their private interpretation have any business doing this of course. However, to throw around the term as Mr. Sungenis in his usually uncharitable manner does, without magisterial proof it is game, set, match and Mr. Sungenis loses.

But I do not expect him to admit this anymore than he would admit that he plagiarized Nazi propaganda of the sort only endorsed by groups like the KKK, David Duke, Christian Identity, and certain antisemitic radtrads. Not to retread those paths again but this is the largest indictment against the credibility of Mr. Sungenis - more so even than his specious knowledge of history and theology (among other areas).

The hallmark of a mature Catholic is recognizing that without a Church judgment a theory is permissable even if someone does not personally care for it. Such a pronouncement could have been either in the extraordinary statement of defined dogma, a definitive declaration of teaching of the supreme magisterium - defined or undefined, or even an authoritative pronouncement of the ordinary magisterium which would require religious assent.{1}

I specifically asked Mr. Sungenis for a statement of either extraordinary or ordinary authority - though extraordinary definitions are generally required to maintain that someone by denying a thesis or affirming its converse in the event of a positive statement is a heretic. My interest was in any magisterial evidence being brought forward, not utilizing Sola Scriptura or Sola Patristics. But this was not to be given though I knew this before I even asked the question because radtrads and fundys tend to be easily snared by the same kind of traps.

Of course Mr. Sungenis will probably highlight his own spiritual immaturity by trying yet again to claim that in defending Von Balthazar from the CAItanic captain's libel is to confess that I am a universalist. Considering how many times he did this in dialogue in the past on this issue - despite my continual correction of this presumption - I cannot imagine that the discredited Sungenis will have any more tact than the barely-credible Sungenis who sparred with me on that subject a couple of years ago on a discussion list. (It was actually a long-running series of email circulars as no one had thought to utilize Yahoogroups at that time.)

Notice that a substantial amount of type was spilled to deal with only Mr. Sungenis' offhand comments. This serendipitously vindicates the statement of my good friend Dr. Art Sippo about Mr. Sungenis' remarks having an inverse proportion viz their decrease in quality-increase in quantity (and why no sane person can take him seriously). Notice here that paragraphs were written just to deal with the offhand comments in one very loaded paragraph of Mr. Sungenis' writing. This is why those who slander others always have the advantage and why no sane person dares to spend very much time dialoguing with such uncharitable people.

But it is now time to deal with the ecclesiology issue and why Mr. Sungenis has as much credibility in discussing this issue as he does with most of the issues he likes to pontificate on in his encyclical letters and discussion list allocutions.{2}

To set this up, the following is part of a response to a quote taken from the writings of an anti-Catholic named Tom McMahon. (It is also in Jacob Michael's essay that Mr. Sungenis was replying to Fr. Neuhaus' reply to, etc. etc. etc.) The previously written material will be in dark blue with only the most minor of adjustments. (Mainly removing the identity of the person who asked the question and more generalized references to CAItanic as a group rather than any one individual.) Quotes from that text will be in purple font.

I'm a bit puzzled by the quote attributed to Neuhaus by McMahon:

"Please God, it would not mean domination by a conclave of elderly Italian prelates, as too often has been the case in the Catholic Church.... There wouldn't even be something we would call the Catholic Church, that is, certainly not the Roman Catholic Church. There would simply be the Church of Jesus Christ 'East and West.'"

Assuming its accurate, what do you make of it? What do you think Neuhaus meant, assuming he said it?

It would appear to me to refer to what is called "communion ecclesiology". Fr.Neuhaus was heavily influenced by Ressourcement theologians such as Fr. Henri de Lubac SJ, Fr. Yves M. Congar OP, and Fr. Jean Danielou SJ. To summarize briefly, Neuhaus would be saying that (i) the Church is not identified solely with the clergy and (ii) the universal church is not simply identified with the Roman Church and (iii) the Church is not simply identified with the visible Church. He would be exhorting a reunion of Churches and Ecclesial communities with the See of Peter but not reintegration if you will. But to those whose vision of the Church is influenced by the polemical exaggerations of the Counter-reformation period, this is a concept that is extremely difficult to comprehend. It is not as black and white as they like but instead is a traditional (and Roman) mosaic of differing shades of gray.

For what Fr. Neuhaus is hoping for, the Ecclesial communities would have to become Churches and the Churches would then have some degree of autonomy in their liturgical practices, devotions, theological speculations, etc within the confines of Catholic doctrine. The result would eventually be a collection of Churches in communion with the Pope and thus with the universal church. This would mean of course getting the ecclesial communities to become Churches properly so-called and the Churches to reunion within the universal church. A daunting task indeed and one that cannot happen without God's grace.

But these things do not happen overnight and they require patience and understanding on all sides. None of this is of course acceptable to the whining trad babies who bawl about wanting things "now". And if they do not get what they want, they will scream and cry and stomp around the web and in journals and wherever else they can and throw little temper tantrums. That they are ignorant is only one side of the equation. The other is that they are presumptuous enough to think that they can do with Church teaching what Protestants do with the Bible is another constituent to the equation.

Just as Luther believed that "every milkmaid, nay a child of nine" could understand the Bible, these folks figure they can simply read a bunch of old encyclicals or other sources and properly understand what is being said. The truth is, they cannot because (i) they lack proper understanding of the general norms of theological interpretation and (ii) they lack the basic element of faith which must accompany any theologian - professional or amateur - who attempts to study these issues.

Another problem is that fundamentalists are not astute enough to make the kinds of distinctions that are required for these kinds of discussions. In the case of [CAItanic], Neuhaus as they see it is trying to preach indifferentism and an end to the Catholic Church. To the fundys like Tom McMahon, Neuhaus is trying to deceive them by circuitous route into becoming papists. Each case is of course pathetically oversimplified but McMahon is correct in essence. The problem with [Caitanic] is that they do not see this fact because they have a retarded notion of traditional ecclesiology.

The fact that I could not find the texts for Neuhaus' speeches except ellipsed portions at anti-Catholic fundamentalist sites (both non Catholic fundys and Catholic fundys like Caitanic) leads me to believe that this is a case of the unlearned and unstable attempting to discuss calculus when they do not even know long division.

For if the Prot fundys see this as an attempt to deceive them into becoming Catholics and the Cath fundys see this as selling the Church down the river for indifferentist unity, the one common factor is that they see the call for unity being made but do not have the intellectual or theological tools to understand what is being said. (And most importantly, they lack the necessary faith.) Here is a Declaration from the CDF which was approved by the Pope which explains the kinds of distinctions that [CAItanic] is (seemingly) constitutionally incapable of grasping:

On some aspects of the Church understood as communion.

The basic premise around communion ecclesiology is that the Church is present wherever the Word is proclaimed and the Sacraments are celebrated. The question is then not a matter of "in" or "out" of the Church as much as it is degrees of communion within the Church. This is what really grates on [CAItanic]. They want to be able to anathematize people because their psyche depends upon it. They have no interest in recognizing their conversion as a completion of what was good in their former traditions. No to them it is conversion in the sense of anything that is supposedly "Protestant" is bad coupled with a view that anything Tridentine/Latin rite is THE Catholic view and is thereby good. (Then they do not understand why they are treated with the same derision they heap on others.)

In essence, though they do not want to admit it, they are Feeneyites functionally. They can pay as much lip service to the concept of invincible ignorance, baptism of desire, or other factors but there is no way around this fact: to claim that the one Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church is to make the claim that it is impossible for non-Catholics to be saved. Further still, while these sorts have recourse to Pius XII's encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi, they do a hatchet job interpreting Pius XII's manifested intention. (They also ignore the fact that Pius XII had an affection for the Eastern Catholic Churches and recognized them as Churches properly speaking.)

It is clear if the document is read using general norms of interpretation that Pius XII did not associate the Catholic Church with the Church of Christ in toto. Indeed the passage they often quote as "proof" he did is actually an exposition by the pope on the visible Church. This is so clear by the literal sense of the text and the footnotes that how so many people miss it is amazing to me.

The visible Church of course is the Catholic Church but the Church is not confined solely to the visible structure. (Pius makes this point implicitly by logical extension in §102-103 of that encyclical.) But these theologically immature children prefer to play "cut and paste" from magisterial texts without recourse to context or theological norms of interpretation which should guide any attempt to expound upon magisterial teaching.

Anyway, yes there is an explanation to what Fr. Neuhaus said from what we can gather which is very much congruent with Church teaching and understanding. I would suggest the following essay from the academic orientalist Fr. Robert Taft SJ to understand ecclesiology from an Eastern perspective. For the conception of communion ecclesiology has flourished in the east for a long time though detached from the See of Peter. And the Second Vatican Council accepted this vision of ecclesiology integrally united to the See of Peter which is the understanding of the Church which was predominent in the first millennium of the undivided church. And considering that the ecumenical movement as launched by Vatican II and guided by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II is heavily based on this principle, the essay below is IMO a valuable read:

Eastern rite Catholicism: its Heritage and Vocation

Most of the concerns of the Orthodox are not unfamiliar to many Protestants either. In the essay you may find some of the terms and concepts strange at first if your outlook is heavily westernized. The Church is both west and east and indeed is universal. What we refer to as "rites" in the west would in essence be how the Church would be composed in Fr. Neuhaus' vision. Anyway, hopefully these are of assistance.



PS This paragraph from Fr. Taft's essay sums up well what Fr. Neuhaus was almost certainly talking about:

"With the predominance of the Latin world a fact of Church history, the Catholic Church came to appear not as a community of Churches united by their communion with each other and with the one head, the Vicar of Christ, but as a tightly organized, highly centralized European institution. In this context, the problem of reunion with the East sometimes appeared to be a question not of restoring communion with Churches in schism, but of absorbing them into the Patriarchate of the West."

Whatever the "trads" say to the contrary, their vision is functionally one of absorption or reintegration. This is why for example Mr. Sungenis went kooky on the Reflections document - which was flawed certainly - but which went to great lengths to disavow "conversion" of the Jews seeing as that word to them means "integration" or "absorbing" into the Latin rite. This is part of the reason why the "ecumenism of return" is so fundamentally flawed. But that is another subject altogether.

Let us close this paragraph with a section from an upcoming Rerum Novarum spiritual instruction on charity:

Always be ready and willing to excuse the faults of your neighbour, and never put an unfavourable interpretation upon his actions. The same action, says St. Francis de Sales, 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 (c. 1795)]

The same principle applies to written statements as it does to actions as per the quote above.


{1} And the source could have been either an ecumenical council, papal apostolic letter/encyclical/exhortation/bull, documents from a papally approved plenary synod, or even a judgment from a curial dicastery such as the CDF/Holy Office.

{2} (Meaning none of course.)

:: Shawn 9:08 AM [+] | ::

:: Monday, March 10, 2003 ::
Because of the many problems with the enetation message box format, I have removed the message boxes from this weblog. The one software that seems to work just dandy is Haloscan but they are not currently accepting new accounts. Nonetheless, if we at the Lidless Eye Inquisition can be informed as to when Haloscan is making new accounts available, I will add their comments boxes to this weblog.

:: Shawn 12:04 PM [+] | ::

The disciples of the sedevacantist heretic Michael Dimond who have been sending me email are being hereby issued this monitum because if I address the errors of Dimond on this weblog (which were sent to me) it will not be pretty. The question is, should I decide to refute their lies will they have the guts to renounce their errors to the same extent that they were promoting them. For some reason I doubt it because with Lidless Eye sorts, they simply ignore such matters and move on to their next gripe. (Basically a version of "my mind is made up, do not confuse me with the facts".)

:: Shawn 11:32 AM [+] | ::


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