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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.

:: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 ::

A Link of Possible Interest for Lidless Eye Inquisition Readers:

The Remnant and CFN: The Pro Schism Party (Kevin M. Tierney)

Of course readers of this weblog know that your humble webmaster and his associate inquisitors are not surprised by this at all. Nonetheless, it bears noting and Kevin's material above handles it more than adequately; ergo the present writer sees no reason to comment on it himself.

:: Shawn 7:42 PM [+] | ::

:: Sunday, February 19, 2006 ::
Is Dale Vree endagering his eternal salvation?

Revised: Actually, Ed Peters makes a good point. If I'm going to criticize the manner by which Vree goes around picking intellectual street-fights, I need to avoid using the same type of polemic. Therefore, I've gone through the following post and edited out as much as possible.

That being said, I honestly am concerned about the state of Dale Vree's soul. I don't presume to judge it, since that is left to God alone. Nevertheless, I cannot see how Dale isn't endangering his eternal salvation through the literary street-fights that he keeps picking.

And that's why rebuking the sinner is a spiritual act of mercy. We rebuke sinners is because we don't wish to see them go to hell. As angry as I am with Dale, I would rather see him go to Heaven than to hell. Homosexual acts are not the only sins that will condemn a soul to hell.

Take a look at how Dale attacks Amy Welborn or David Morrison or Fr. Pavone or Michael O'Brien (this last individual on the eve of a Canadian election where pro-marriage and pro-family forces were being told by an incumbant prime minister that there is no room for us in Canadian politics).

Well, what does the Bible have to say?


1) Proverbs 6: 12-19 is very clear:

"A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, scrapes with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

"There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers."

2) And let us no forget the Eighth Commandment of the Decalogue:

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20: 16)


Let's look at one of the New Testament passages that coincidentally also condemns those who practice homosexual activity:

3) 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."

I pray this doesn't happen to Dale. This is why I prayed for him this morning, as well as yesterday at Mass today when the priest said the words of consecration. I would ask my readers to do so as well.

:: Pete Vere 11:08 AM [+] | ::

:: Thursday, February 16, 2006 ::
New Oxford Review - ChickenHawks of the Culture War

Last year, Canadian author and orthodox Catholic Michael O'Brien penned the following essay in which he warned the homosexual agenda was leading to a new totalitarianism in Canada:


If you live in Canada, you can sympathize with O'Brien. We are shouldering the brunt of the gay agenda on this continent. Christians in this country have been fired from jobs, arrested, and fined tens of thousands of dollars for standing up to the gay agenda. Let me put this into perspective for you: Michael O'Brien risks two years in jail just for publishing this essay on his homepage.

For some reason, this reality got New Oxford Review's knickers in a knot. Not that Michael risks real persecution, but that he dared to attack the gay agenda. From their easy chair thousands of miles away in California, the folks at NOR made use of their first ammendment rights to attack O'Brien and other Catholics from Canada for standing up to the gay agenda:


When a reader points out that Pope Benedict XVI used similar language to describe "a dictatorship of relativism," New Oxford Review, which purports to have converted to Catholicism from Episcopalianism, slags the Roman Pontiff who in his lifetime has witnessed both the Nazi regime and the current ideological dictatorship:


This is not acting as the intellectual prize-fighter of Catholicism. Rather this is backstabbing those of us within Church Militant who are on the front lines of the culture war. To use an analogy from American History, since NOR seems clueless about what's going on in Canada, that's acting like Ted Kennedy.

Would New Oxford Review be willing to publish their cheeky ads if they lived in the Great White North? I wager that if the border were reversed we would soon discover that the folks at NOR are the chicken hawks of the culture war.

:: Pete Vere 5:49 AM [+] | ::

:: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 ::
Pope Ratzinger Certifies the Council – The Real One

It is nice to see (as usual) such a significant convergence between myself and the pope on Vatican II :) One small bit may appear (in light of what I have written in the past) to be problematical in the above text and it is this one:

By defining in a new way the relationship between the faith of the Church and some essential elements of modern thinking, the Second Vatican Council revised and even corrected some past decisions.

I have of course explained this dynamic differently. It would seem that the pope is using the same kind of language that he used with his "counter-syllabus" assertion about Vatican II and implying discontinuity in the process. However, if one reads his next words carefully, they would see that such an interpretation is inaccurate...

In this process of change through continuity we had to learn how to understand better than before that the Church’s decisions about contingent matters – for example, about actual forms of liberalism or liberal interpretations of the Bible – were necessarily themselves contingent because related to a reality itself changeable.

I have referred to this approach in various ways in the past, usually via what I call "apples/apples variables." Here is one such example that comes to mind offhand:

I happen to have examined numerous supposed "errors" in the ordinary magisterium and thus far have not found any that withstands scrutiny as an actual error. However, I want to clarify this a little so I am not misunderstood.

When I refer to an "error" I refer to an actual change in teaching on matters of doctrine or morals where there is an apples/apples parallel in the variables. There are examples such as usury and slavery where there were varying teachings but never was there a reversal of teaching where there were apples/apples variables involved. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 21, 2003)]

Another way of saying it is that there are statements or prescriptions set down with certain presuppositions at one point in history and if those presuppositions change, then sometimes a teaching must be applied differently in order to maintain continuity. To unpack this would take time I do not have presently so the reader can click on the thread above to read a confutation of four alleged "magisterial errors" by self-styled "progressivists" in two interlinked parts.{1} The principles used in addressing their allegations are no different than with other allegations made by self-styled "traditionalists" - two of the more common of which include the subjects of ecumenism and religious liberty.

We had to learn how to recognise that in such decisions only principles express what is lasting, embedded in the background and determining the decision from within. The concrete forms these decisions take are not permanent but depend upon the historical situations. They can therefore change.

In other words, variables on which the decisions were originally made can change. This is essentially no different than what the the former CDF prefect's predecessor noted in a declaration titled Mysterium Ecclesiae about thirty-two years ago (and to which the present pope himself may well have acted in a consultative capacity on):

The transmission of divine Revelation by the Church encounters difficulties of various kinds. These arise from the fact that the hidden mysteries of God "by their nature so far transcend the human intellect that even if they are revealed to us and accepted by faith, they remain concealed by the veil of faith itself and are as it were wrapped in darkness."[...] Difficulties arise also from the historical condition that affects the expression of Revelation.

With regard to this historical condition, it must first be observed that the meaning of the pronouncements of faith depends partly upon the expressive power of the language used at a certain point in time and in particular circumstances. Moreover, it sometimes happens that some dogmatic truth is first expressed incompletely (but not falsely), and at a later date, when considered in a broader context of faith or human knowledge, it receives a fuller and more perfect expression. In addition, when the Church makes new pronouncements she intends to confirm or clarify what is in some way contained in Sacred Scripture or in previous expressions of Tradition; but at the same time she usually has the intention of solving certain questions or removing certain errors.

All these things have to be taken into account in order that these pronouncements may be properly interpreted. Finally, even though the truths which the Church intends to teach through her dogmatic formulas are distinct from the changeable conceptions of a given epoch and can be expressed without them, nevertheless it can sometimes happen that these truths may be enunciated by the Sacred Magisterium in terms that bear traces of such conceptions.

In view of the above, it must be stated that the dogmatic formulas of the Church's Magisterium were from the beginning suitable for communicating revealed truth, and that as they are they remain forever suitable for communicating this truth to those who interpret them correctly.[...] It does not however follow that every one of these formulas has always been or will always be so to the same extent. For this reason theologians seek to define exactly the intention of teaching proper to the various formulas, and in carrying out this work they are of considerable assistance to the living Magisterium of the Church, to which they remain subordinated.

For this reason also it often happens that ancient dogmatic formulas and others closely connected with them remain living and fruitful in the habitual usage of the Church, but with suitable expository and explanatory additions that maintain and clarify their original meaning. In addition, it has sometimes happened that in this habitual usage of the Church certain of these formulas gave way to new expressions which, proposed and approved by the Sacred Magisterium, presented more clearly or more completely the same meaning.

As for the meaning of dogmatic formulas, this remains ever true and constant in the Church, even when it is expressed with greater clarity or more developed. The faithful therefore must shun the opinion, first, that dogmatic formulas (or some category of them) cannot signify truth in a determinate way, but can only offer changeable approximations to it, which to a certain extent distort of alter it; secondly, that these formulas signify the truth only in an indeterminate way, this truth being like a goal that is constantly being sought by means of such approximations. Those who hold such an opinion do not avoid dogmatic relativism and they corrupt the concept of the Church's infallibility relative to the truth to be taught or held in a determinate way. [CDF: Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (circa June 24, 1973)]

In summary, those who think that Pope Benedict XVI was claiming there was an actual change in church teaching in the sense of a reversal of past teaching on the subject of religious liberty would be misunderstanding him completely. There was a change in certain emphasis sure and doctrine was developed pertaining to certain aspects of religious liberty not explicitly enunciated before but the latter developments are in continuity with precedent as any careful reading of the text{2} well illustrates. But enough on that matter for now.


{1} And as we have not smacked around a Tierney on this site in a while, I recall three threads from Rerum Novarum where your host responded to certain dogmatic assertions by a Brian Tierney...surely no relation to the Kevin Tierney who posts in the comments boxes here sometimes.

Responding to Some Declarations of Brian Tierney--Parts I-III (circa December 30-31, 2003)

Some of the subjects dealt with in that thread included the following:

---religious liberty.

---the persecution of heretics.

---the licitness of judicial torture.

---taking interest on loans being a "mortal sin."

---the pope ruling by divine right "not only the universal church but the whole world."

---unbaptized babies being punished in hell for all eternity.

---the sun revolving around the earth (i.e. the "Galileo thing").

{2} It is important to consider that the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) before it develops the doctrine of civil religious liberty reaffirms the requirements of the divine law. Too many people overlook this fact including the late Fr. John Courtney-Murray and many of his followers. However, this is also a problem that Archbishop Lefebvre and the so-called "traditionalists" have. So in my opinion, any discussion of rights in the civil sphere must also take into account the divine sphere. And the notion of religious liberty in each sphere must be considered in its proper context. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa July 18, 2003)]

:: Shawn 3:14 PM [+] | ::

Open Forum:

Since the subject matter originally covered in the post that was once here basically was passed over for a kind of "open forum" of sorts, I decided to transfer the contents of this post to another thread and make this one officially an open forum by virtue of my authority as Sovereign Thane and Lord High Executioner of The Lidless Eye Inquisition. The only real rules are the usual ones for conduct (including avoiding name calling: I will not not invoke ex post facto on what has transpired thus far but from this point on, it will be subject for post editing, deletion, etc). Also, kindly avoid posting spam (do not even think about it) or lengthy tracts from others. Beyond that, it will be expected that the current truce between LEI and Robert Sungenis will be recognized by all who post here.

:: Shawn 3:07 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, February 10, 2006 ::
A Link of Possible Interest for Lidless Eye Inquisition Readers

:: Shawn 4:32 PM [+] | ::

:: Saturday, February 04, 2006 ::
Clarifying Some Points Viz. My Viewpoint:


Someone just gave me a heads up...apparently you are a topic of conversation at CAI. It's not the worst I've ever seen, but certainly not positive, either. It would seem the LEI cease fire is unilateral....

Though there is currently a truce between LEI and CAI, apparently Ben Douglass was not informed of it by Bob. (Which I do not blame him for as Bob has a lot on his plate at the moment of importance.) Nonetheless, I am going to respond in this post to what Ben Douglass said about me and my work and then return this weblog to the aforementioned truce. Briefly...

Question 7- Shawn McElhinney's writings

Dear Ben,

Firstly, thank you for your last response - much appreciated.

I'm writing this about the communion in the hand article you wrote. However I don't have anything to say about communion on the hand per se but a couple of other things.

First, a minor issue which I came across while looking the article up again. You state "In September 2002, the Angelus, a magazine printed by the Society of St. Pius X, published a study entitled "Is Communion in the Hand a Sacrilege?" by a former Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist named Charles Andre St. George." I just wanted to humbly point out that that is not the right term. It should be "Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion." I don't think this is hairsplitting because the Vatican itself devotes a whole paragraph in Redemptonis Sacramentum towards making this clear.

Communion in the hand is not a sacrilege and only an unhealthy overly clericalist and ahistorical approach to the matter could make such an assertion. That is not to say that communion in the hand is necessarily a wise or prudent policy but in and of itself there is no sacrilege intrinsically involved. This assertion was made by the questioner by the way, not by Ben himself as the rest of the thread will make evident.

[Clarification: the point was made but the questioner did not assert that they personally held that communion in the hand was a sacrilege. If I in any way implied that they did then I retract that implication at this time - ISM 2/6/06 3:00pm]

Anyway, the thing that really caught my interest was a statement at the end:

I am indebted to I. Shawn McElhinney and "Matt1618" for their article "The Red Herring of Communion in the Hand", in which I found the patristic passages cited in this essay. What can I say, most everyone is right about something.

Hmmmm, I did not know he said that. Thanks Ben for the complement.

I have seen Shawn's writings. I assume you have read a bit of them. I said above that this caught my interest. Perhaps I should add curiosity as well. I would very much like to know more about what you think of his material in general...

B. Douglass: Matthew,

Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I'll tell Jason to fix it.

There's good and bad in Shawn McElhinney's writings.

There is far more wheat than tares objectively speaking. I will hardly claim that my work is perfect of course...as admittedly I have in retrospect regretted the tonality in some of the essays written in years past.{1} If I had time or inclination to do that again, I may reduce the invective further in some of those works but I doubt I will ever do that again. Thus the old writings will remain as they were retouched three years ago...occasional warts and all. But I digress.

is apologetics contra Protestantism are decent,

I have written no specific apologetics against Protestantism in any of my essays.{2} The closest thing to that are the essays on the real presence, on justification, and on the mass: three writings that approach those subjects in ways which were to some extent unique. The consensus of those who have read the works is that they are much better than "decent" but Ben is entitled to his opinion otherwise of course.

and I sometimes find his writings against radical traditionalism useful, as in the case of the Communion in the hand article. Also, like any moral, religious conservative, there is much truth in what he writes about politics and society.

Of course one person's perception of truth can vary from anothers. It would have been better for Ben to say that he "finds much agreement" or something along those lines. To construe it as "truth" as he did is to imply that Ben and his arguments are the truth: a dangerous kind of personal dogmatism to which not a few who involve themselves in apologetics can fall prey to. (Whether Ben does or not I do not know nor will I speculate on it.)

That having been said, Shawn can spill a lot of ink defending the indefensible, such as the bombing of Heroshima and Nagasaki, and the Assisi prayer gatherings.

That Ben is of course engaging in an argumentation fallacy here called petitio principii by presuming that these are indefensible without making an actual argument to sustain that assertion first. I have defended those matters and done so not only logically and rationally but also on Catholic moral and ethical grounds at that.{3} But that is neither here nor there as a fallacy of argumentation has been engaged in by Ben whether he realizes it or not. (I trust it was not deliberate on his part.)

Also, he has stated that Fr. Brian Harrison and Msgr. McCarthy "border on fundamentalism" and "come very close to extending inerrancy to cover areas where the Bible was never intended to cover." Of course, there is no qualification or limit on inerrancy according to Catholic dogma (cf. Lamentabili Sane 11).

Yes there is if the word inerrancy is not properly understood. The Bible is not a science text nor does it teach mathematics. So to assert (as Harrison and McCarthy appear to do) that it would cover these areas is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of inerrancy.

Though Shawn's statement is a bit ambiguous, since he doesn't explicitly say whether he believes inerrancy is limited to a subset of the topics about which the Bible makes statements, or whether he believes that the Bible makes statements about a certain set of topics, and Fr. Harrison and Msgr. McCarthy wrongly think this set is larger than it is. If the latter is the case, I'll disagree with him, but I won't call him a material heretic.

I appreciate that...we can agree to disagree on these kinds of matters as long as Catholic doctrine is adhered to on all sides. For the record, what I have said about those two contributors to the Roman Theological Forum can be read in a posting I did a few years ago on biblical study. Here is the thread:

On Biblical Study (circa April 22, 2003)

Hopefully what I noted in that thread as well as what I noted in these prefatory comments to an article written by Jeff Culbreath going on four years ago will clarify beyond a reasonable doubt my views on the matter. (And how eminently congruent with Catholic teaching that they happen to be.)

There are other problems with what he teaches as well.

I "teach" nothing. I am a commentator and I present my views informed as they are by Catholic doctrine (including general norms of theological interpretation), history, (secular and ecclesiastical), and several other areas too numerous to mention here.

He apparently doesn't assent to the doctrine of the duties of the state towards the Church as taught in Immortale Dei, Vehementer Nos, Quas Primas, et al.

I have never controverted those teachings. If anything is needed to disprove this matter, see this link:

A Few Notes On Dignitatis Humanae (circa July 18, 2003)

The first six paragraphs after the purple font introduction lay to rest Ben's erroneous presumptions about my views on church and state issues. There are other threads at Rerum Novarum which also do this...see some dialogues there with Charles de Nunzio and Kevin Tierney.

When he read me talking about the confessional state on Dave Armstrong's blog he thought it was odd and started talking about caesaropapism.

If memory serves, it involved whether the latter was even possible in light of modern realities. Abstract ideal situations are nice but I am a realist. There are no true Catholic confessional states and have not been any for at least a century if not more. As far as the caesaropapism point goes, I do not recall the context of the statement so I cannot comment on the matter presently speaking.

Shawn also rejects the "ecumenism of return."

I reject the untraditional notion of "ecumenism of return" which was a novelty of the recent age yes. That does not mean however that I reject a proper understanding of Christian unity of course, only that I have a fully orbed and traditional understanding of ecclesiology and those who call themselves "traditionalists" rarely do. However, this is a very intricate subject matter and involves a knowledge of actual church history beyond confessional propaganda from the recent past. See the following five part thread for some brief sketchings on this matter:

An Outline of Various Church Models Throughout History--Parts I-V (circa November 23-24, 2003)

And while much more could be noted than what I touch on there, what is noted there is adequate to point out the novelty of the whole "ecumenism of return" schtick and why it was (and is) so patently ahistorical and untraditional. (And furthermore, why those who claim to be "traditionalists" and subscribe to it reveal just how little they really know about Church history and what is and is not Traditional.)

There may very well be other problems that I am unaware of.

I trust this posting has adequately dealt with the so-called "problems" Ben outlined. And if that is not the case, then the additional materials linked to in this posting will fill in the gaps quite adequately.


{1} Three years ago, I toned a lot of it down which was present in the earliest writings I did. (And little bits here and there from some of the stuff written in 2001.)

{2} Though there were four essays written against specific errors of Protestant apologists James White and Eric Svendsen (one each in 2000 and one each in 2001). Admittedly my tonality in those pieces was less than irenic but I do not regret that for an instant considering the lack of adequate measure in certain key areas of those whom I was addressing (to put it mildly and somewhat obliquely). At Rerum Novarum, there may be some specific apologetical pieces but I have stayed away from that stuff for a few years now as a rule. In other words, if there are some of those kinds of pieces there, they are few and far between and I doubt (for that reason) that Ben has seen any of them.

{3} See these threads for the stuff written on the atomic bombings:

Threads on the Atomic Bomb Droppings, Military and Statistical Calculations, the Moral and Ethical Aspects of the Subject Matter in Question, Etc...(A Rerum Novarum Recapitulation Thread of Links Spanning August 17, 2005-September 20, 2005)

For Preserving the Historical Record (circa January 23, 2006)

And these threads for the stuff written on Assisi and interfaith matters:

The Assisi Interfaith Gatherings and Catholic Principles (circa October 2004)

On Authority, Newman, Development Premises, Etc. (circa November 18, 2004)

On Conscience, Idolatry, the Oriental Mind, Etc. (circa November 18, 2004)

A Response to Jason on Religious Liberty and Assisi (circa December 9, 2004)

A Response to Jason on Dignitatis Humanae, the Double Effect Principle, Assisi, Etc.

And some more generalized applications of certain concepts from the above threads (i.e. religious liberty and double effect)

Some More Notes on Dignitatis Humanae (circa December 16, 2004)

On the Double Effect Principle in Ethical Argumentation (circa December 26, 2004)

Incidentally, those are the only two times I can recall where a thread subject originated at this weblog to be blogged at Rerum Novarum later on in a slightly different form. (Often the converse has happened but what happened with those threads was an exception to the rule.)

:: Shawn 1:26 PM [+] | ::

:: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 ::
"One From the Mailbag" Dept.

This is in response to a widely circulated email which I was cc'ed on as well as the pope.{1} The sources quoted will be in darkblue font with inset sources in blue font. Any inset comments apart from the originally sent thread will be in purple font.

Hello AAA:

It should be noted that my conclusion is a logical deduction based on the statement of Bishop Gasser which (I remind you) was theologically certain at the time of Vatican I. If you read the theology manuals commonly in use in the seminaries between the two Vatican councils, you would recognize that my conclusion is in line with them. Furthermore, that conclusion was incorporated almost verbatim in Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (the footnote of which was Gasser's relatio) and thus is a matter settled by the Church's Magisterium and is no longer open to debate if it even was prior to the Council (which does not appear likely when you look at all the evidences on the matter).

To note one such source, consider Adolph Tanquerey's Manual of Dogmatic Theology:

250 Thesis : The direct object of infallibility of the Church includes all the religious truths and each individual truth which are formally contained in the sources of revelation; the indirect object embraces all those things which are required in order that the deposit of faith may be preserved entire. The first part of this thesis is de fide; the second part is certain.

The certainty of the second thesis only received magisterial confirmation at the Second Vatican Council; however, in the unpromulgated Second Constitution on the Church intended by the Fathers at Vatican I it was stated precisely as the manual does. The CDF in a 1973 Declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae also used that same wording to clarify the concept. So Tanquerey's thesis viewed as "certain" in the early to mid twentieth century is considered certain now by what is called fides ecclesiastica.{2} Moving on...

Page 145 251 b. ...When infallible power is exercised in respect to truths connected with revelation, truths of this kind are the object of ecclesiastical faith only.

The liturgy as approved by the magisterium is a truth connected with revelation but is not divinely revealed itself.

256 e. The Church is infallible in regard to moral precepts since general laws for the universal Church cannot be in opposition to the natural or positive divine law...Therefore, it can enjoin nothing which has not been approved by God.

The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum enjoined a revised Roman Missal on the universal church; ergo the "conclusion" I made in that text which you referred to in your note. Oh and do not bother sending me the standard hack arguments about the non-binding nature of that Constitution cause they are easy to shoot down and I do not want to rehash them at the time being. (Having written on them many times in the past including here.)

On page 176 of the manual begins a discussion on The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church. Within that discussion is a subsection titled Practice of the Church Associated with Dogma which begins on page 177 and contains the following (underlined emphasis is mine):

291 Among the customs and practices which have been closely joined to dogma we mention especially the public rites used in the solemn celebration of the sacrifice, or in the administration of the sacraments; also the formulas of prayers and various feasts or offices instituted by the Church; or sacred practices which have been associated with doctrine.

For a practice of the Church to become a criterion of faith there are two requirements:

a. that the practice be necessarily connected with the dogmatic truth; for in imposing a practice or custom, the Church by that very fact orders that dogmas connected with this practice must be adhered to;

b. that a custom of this kind be universal or approved at least tacitly by infallible authority; for only the universal Church enjoys infallibility. Therefore a custom or practice of one particular Church produces only a probable argument for revealed truth. The Roman Liturgy, approved in a special manner by the Supreme pontiffs, cannot contain errors in dogma. Historical mistakes can creep in, and, as a matter of fact, they have slipped into the legends in the Breviary, because the special lessons of the Second Nocturns were written at a time when apocryphal works were being spread abroad. Nevertheless these lessons should not be despised because many points contained in them are true and are suitable for fostering piety and goodness.

And yes, when the popes approve of a revision of the liturgy or the manner in which the sacraments are administered, that is a secondary aspect of ecclesial infallibility as referred to above by Tanquerey as the indirect object embraces all those things which are required in order that the deposit of faith may be preserved entire. It is impossible for a heretical liturgy to preserve the deposit of faith as lex orandi lex credendi. And as logically "[t]he the actions of the Pope promulgating a defective liturgy would indeed make the whole Church susceptible and the gates of hell would indeed prevail in this instance", my conclusion [restated in blue font -ISM] remains intact.

Furthermore, I am not an "apologist" as that term is properly understood...a minor point I suppose but I have my reasons for noting it here in brief.

Rerum Novarum
The Rerum Novarum Miscellaneous BLOG
Friends of La Nef
The Lidless Eye Inquisition

PS In light of violations of the private forum by certain Catholic apologists as of late, I felt it necessary to spell out my longstanding policy viz. private correspondence to hopefully avert future episodes of a similar fashion from occurring. Oh and in the future, please send all correspondence of this sort to the address on this blog.

Having gotten that out of the way, an interaction with a recent critic of some of my writings will be next on the agenda...worry not, I will be nice about it :)


{1} Why the person did that I have no idea but I did reply to all so someone at the Vatican saw the contents of this posting.

{2} Longtime readers may recall me dealing with this subject not only in my treatise and some other writings but also in a weblog posting about two and a half years ago. Here is the thread:

The Problems of Self-Styled 'Traditionalism' Viz. Dogmatic Theology or "Rerum Novarum Responds To Adam Kolasinski" (circa August 10, 2003)

:: Shawn 6:34 PM [+] | ::

Quo Primum and the Latin Mass (Dialogue Between Kevin M. Tierney and Charles Martin)

This may be even better than the two Kevin articles I posted in recent days. The reasons are twofold (i) Charles is so much more pleasing to interact with than Christopher Ferrara and the Remnant bunch and (ii) Kevin actually achieves something in the above article that is as rare as hen teeth. That rarity my friends is this:

---He has come across a corroborating source viz. QP that I have never either thought of or encountered before in the past. This source not only (i) sustains the very arguments I have advanced for years on this matter in various writing mediums but at the same time (ii) it is one of eminent credibility to those who call themselves "traditionalists" and which they have to interact with. (In light of the credibility to which they grant this source in virtually any other area I can think of offhand.)

For those two factors alone, the above article is a recommended read but there is more to it than just that of course. And lest you think I exaggerate the value of the new source Kevin brings up, know that after reading his dialogue that I am strongly considering a minor adjustment to one or more of the templates of my treatise and some other earlier writings specifically to include this source which Kevin has come across. Hopefully that indicates the degree with which I am pleased with what he has come up with in part of the above dialogue.

:: Shawn 6:13 PM [+] | ::


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