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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....:::]

The revocation of indefinite suspension to this we...

Briefly on A Few Issues... Though the The Lidless...

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...

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.

:: Monday, June 30, 2003 ::

I have redesigned the Lidless Eye template to include every significant link posted since this weblog debuted. (Mainly because I am tired of it taking 500k plus to load the page properly.) With the new arrangement, I can cut the settings back dramatically from the 45 day front page loader back to about 10-15 days. (Thus, the page will load much faster.) The only problem is, the new blogger software is not allowing me to post the new template. Thus, I will try over the next couple of days to do so. Sorry for the inconvenience in the interim...

:: Shawn 9:22 PM [+] | ::

A Possible Post of Interest to Lidless Eye Readers:

Mr. Smith's Misunderstandings (Parts I-VI)

:: Shawn 9:12 PM [+] | ::

A Possible Post of Interest to Lidless Eye Readers:

On the Integralist-'Traditionalist' Connection (Parts I-IV + Appendix)

:: Shawn 9:12 PM [+] | ::

A Possible Link of Interest to Lidless Eye Readers:

A Discussion With Christopher Blosser viz. Reflections on Covenant and Mission

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

:: Thursday, June 26, 2003 ::
Points to Ponder:

[N]o truth can be considered incompatible with the patrimony of Revelation. What is more, every truth, by being objectively a reflection of the divine Logos, is always 'holy' and, at least, indirectly salvific. [Cardinal Giacomo Biffi circa September 7, 2000]

:: Shawn 1:53 PM [+] | ::

:: Saturday, June 21, 2003 ::
Assisi and Ecumenism

To read the previous installment of this thread see this link. To start from the beginning of this thread go HERE.

Adrian: Hey Apolonio

Apolonio: Hey.

Adrian: What do you think of the Assisi incident?

Apolonio: I have nothing against it.

Adrian: So you think there is nothing wrong with telling pagans to pray to their false gods?

Apolonio: Can you show me where he said that?

Adrian: He invited them didn't he?

Apolonio: Okay, let me ask you some questions. Maybe it will change how you view things.

Adrian: Sure.

Apolonio: Let's say I am a Muslim. I am close-minded and if you offend me, I will never talk to you again. And you want to convert me and concerned about my soul. But again, if you tell me to convert, I will not listen to you. How would you evangelize to me?

Adrian: First, I will pray for you.

Apolonio: Very well. Do you think prayer is enough?

Adrian: No, I need to preach the truth.

Apolonio: Does preaching truth mean you actually have to say words?

Adrian: Well, duh.

Apolonio: Oh really? So whatever happened to "Preach the Gospel, use words if you have to?"

Adrian: Good point.

Apolonio: Personally, I can't do that since I am not St. Francis or Mother Teresa. So I believe we agree that one does not have to actually say anything in order to preach the Gospel.

Adrian: But in the case of Assisi where you have false religions, you have to present the truth.

Apolonio: So you believe how you present the truth is conditioned upon the environment right?

Adrian: Well, yeah.

Apolonio: I agree. So get back to the Muslim situation.

Adrian: Okay. First, prayer. Second, we build on the similar premises we have. We both believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then work on the promises of God from there, which is Jesus Christ.

Apolonio: Sure. I bet a Muslim will say, "Yes, we respect Jesus, peace be upon him."

Adrian: From there, I will prove that Jesus is the Christ and He died for our sins and resurrected.

Apolonio: And from there, I would have left you and will never talk to you again. In fact, if I am a Middle Eastern, I can bomb some Catholic churches.

Adrian: That's ridiculous.

Apolonio: No it isn't. It happens all the time in third world countries. But did you see what you did? You evangelized improperly because the end is not his conversion.

Adrian: I presented the truth. A person can reject it if he wants.

Apolonio: I thought the essence of evangelization was to bring people closer to Christ.

Adrian: It is, but I cannot force him.

Apolonio: Yes you did. I told you that if you offend him, he will never talk to you again.

Adrian: I really don't care if I offend him or not.

Apolonio: That would be a good mentality in a liberal college campus, but not everywhere. You are contradicting yourself. You said how we evangelize depends on the environment. However, you make it seem like every environment is a liberal college campus. Do you see your problem? That kind of evangelization is not the best way for everyone. You might win the debate, but you will not win his soul, which is your goal.

Adrian: How would you have done it?

Apolonio: First, prayer. I think that's the best thing we can do, pray. Even if John Paul did not say anything in Assisi, I am sure he prayed for them. If you are going to criticize him for not saying anything, you well as might criticize St. Francis, St. Monica, and Mother Teresa. Second, I will build a relationship. I will say that we disagree on a lot of things, but we will try to find the truth and depend on God. And when we dialogue, I would have started with the Virgin Mary.

Adrian: I don't think St. Francis was dead silence on everything.

Apolonio: John Paul II wasn't either. But let's get into the Assisi event.

Adrian: Sure.

Apolonio: Have you actually read what John Paul said?

Adrian: I read excerpts.

Apolonio: I see. Now let's change the situation. I am a Buddhist. How would you evangelize.

Adrian: Well, I would acknowledge the fact that they want peace.

Apolonio: Very good.

Adrian: Then, I would say that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and if you want true peace, you need faith in Jesus.

Apolonio: Okay, well, you're close.

Adrian: What do you mean?

Apolonio: John Paul said essentially the same thing. He said that Jesus is the true peace.

Adrian: But you see, he did not say Jesus is the ONLY peace!

Apolonio: He merely quoted St. Paul. So you are basically criticizing St. Paul.

Adrian: Again, I have not read it, so you have to excuse me.

Apolonio: I will excuse you, but you should not judge the Pope if you did not even read what he said.

Adrian: But he prayed with pagans.

Apolonio: Prayer doesn't necessarily mean worship, and I would not assume the worst case scenario. But let's get back to the Buddhist situation.

Adrian: Ok.

Apolonio: What John Paul did was make a relationship with the Buddhists, such a relationship that the Buddhists will **trust** him. Don't you think trust is an important key in a relationship?

Adrian: Sure it is.

Apolonio: The Buddhists don't want to be offended and I don't think anyone does. For John Paul to preach the Gospel like John the Baptist telling them to repent would offend them don't you think? At least, do you believe it would offend them somehow?

Adrian: Sure it will, but truth hurts.

Apolonio: But you can also present truth in a way it doesn't hurt or at least intend to hurt the individual right?

Adrian: Sure.

Apolonio: I believe that's what John Paul was trying to do. He knows that pagans, buddhists, etc have a common want, which is peace. We all want peace. So what he did was basically two things. 1) He basically said, "We respect your free-will in believing what you want. But we all want the same goal, which is peace. We Catholics believe that Jesus will bring us peace." 2) He then said, "Another example is St. Francis who **lived** in love and peace."

Adrian: He said that?

Apolonio: LOL..not those exact words! I am just trying to re-state what he said. He said it better than I did though. Do you at least understand his intent?

Adrian: Yes. He was trying to build on a common ground, and then show that Jesus is the true peace. I get it a little bit now. He doesn't say a lot of things explicitly, but implicitly.

Apolonio: In some ways, yes. But he doesn't tell them to convert just yet. Conversion takes a long time. You see, I would have probably criticized him just as you did if I did not have a "spiritual background" from Fulton Sheen, Therese of the Child Jesus, Mother Teresa, etc. Not to mention I grew up in a third world country. So I do have more sympathy to people...but anyway, I think the best way to interpret John Paul is to try to see interpret it by looking it from his point of view.

Adrian: I don't know, I am still personally against it.

Apolonio: Okay, then do what Cardinal Biffi has done.

Adrian: What is that?

Apolonio: Silence.

Adrian: But don't you think we as faithful Catholics should voice our opinions on such things?

Apolonio: I would write to Rome if you have to, but I would not write something on a website about it. How about this. You talk to God about it. Ask Him, "Lord, please help me understand what your Vicar was trying to do. I want to know the truth and I will follow it wherever it leads me....and also pray for the soul of Apolonio."

Adrian: Sure. But only if you pray for me as well and that you will try to understand where I am coming from.

Apolonio: Sure. And let's throw in a prayer for John Paul while we are at it, so that when Our Savior comes, there will be faith on earth.


:: Ap 10:31 PM [+] | ::

Points to Ponder:

Against which ages (of hell) we read that Peter received the saving keys, that is to say, our prince, to whom it was said by Christ: `To thee will I give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the gates of Hell shall not conquer them.' Whence is it therefore that you strive to obtain for yourselves the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven-you who fight against the chair of Peter? [St. Opatus of Milve to the Donatist schismatics (c. 367 AD)]

:: Shawn 7:25 PM [+] | ::

:: Monday, June 16, 2003 ::
Addendum to the Responsum
(written 6/14/03; revised 6/16/03)

This is an addition to the three part response to Kevin Tierney - the first part of which can be read HERE. (With subsequent parts linked to the latter in sequence.)

These are some off-the-cuff notes in a response that Kevin made while waiting for my response to him. Though the previous response was written about a week ago, in the interim I finished the thread on obedience in fourteen parts. Here it is for reference:

Treatise on Obedience

Just as in chess one must think many moves ahead, I anticipated that finishing that thread before subsequent responses to Mr. Tierney would be necessary to avoid the kind of Johnny Cocherine legalisms being thrown out which are not uncommon in these kinds of discussions. Having noted that, let us see now what Kevin tries to frame in anticipating my response on guilt by association.

In light of how long the previous response was, I will only comment on snippets of Kevin's latest offering. Also, in light of how long the previous response was, I had better not hear any complaints whatsoever from him on taking this approach with his latest "offering."

I note this particularly since he was not patient enough to wait for my response before attempting - and failing - to anticipate where I was going with the guilt by association thread. Let the previous response suffice to handle this subject in detail. This addendum is simply intended to touch briefly on Kevin's subsequent posting on the subject of guilt by association.

I was able to anticipate him from a macro standpoint but not a micro one. Thus, this addendum will fill in some of the minor bits. His words will be in darkgreen. My words will be in purple font italicized (previous words) and purple font (current ones) respectively.

I've been eagerly awaiting Shawn McElhinney's response to me in regard to the ongoing exchange I am having with members of the Lidless Eye Inquisition. I am waiting to see if the inquisition actually has the fairness it claims, and for him to retract many of the errors he made in analyzing my "self styled traditionalism."

Well, the reader can judge based on the response above just how many "errors" I actually made. I have no doubts whatsoever that the party in need of retraction on countless points is Mr. Tierney. But let the above stand to indict him adequately and let us move on.

Suffice to say, defending someone's theological freedom to expound on a particular theory within certain parameters does not mean that I agree with it. But with self-styled "traditionalists" so often merely defending someone's right to hold a particular view - even if they personally do not agree with it - equates to concurrence with the viewpoint. And so often the "trad" condemns as heterodox things they do not like irrespective of whether they are or are not orthodox.

KT: Does that not make him guilty by association, since he gives them the right to hold that view, yet he himself does not state he holds it?

Not at all. I simply recognize that the Church recognizes that view as acceptable theologically - provided that certain parameters are not transgressed. Even if that meant that there was guilt by association there is nothing to be "guilty" of as the view being defended is theologically acceptable according to the mind of the Church.

If anyone is advocating guilt by association, it is Shawn, for he is defending theories he doesn't even agree with!

Ground control to Major Kevin!!! The Catholic Faith recognizes many theological schools and formulations. A true Catholic defends what the Church recognizes as theologically, devotionally, or otherwise acceptable even if they do not personally agree with it.

At least in the dialogue in particular, anything I commented on from Novus Ordo Watch, I agreed with their analysis. Furthermore, how can I be guilty by association of supporting them when even in the critique, I viewed a few of the objections they made as worthless, and not worth talking about?

Well, Kevin links to them for one thing. What I find particularly telling upon examination of his links archive is that it is full of crackpot extremist sites such as Gerry Matatics, CAItanic, Mario Derksen, and Novus Ordo Watch with (i) no warnings whatsoever as to the (to put it nicely) profound theological instability of these sites and (ii) no acknowledgment whatsoever that these sites would never be approved by any ecclesiastical authority who shares the communion of the Catholic Church.

By contrast, Kevin posts as requiring a monitum a weblog of individuals who are not only eminently orthodox but theologically rock-solid. And any one of us would have no difficulty receiving a macro Imprimatur from our local ordinaries. I did not pick these individuals willy-nilly but after quite a period of observation of their writing and their eminently Traditional dispositions. But that is not all.

There are groups which take a similar generalized philosophy as Mr. Tierney - and of whom no one on the Lidless Eye has in any way whatsoever challenged the orthodoxy of (nor will we). I noticed that there is a complete absence of their links to Kevin's site. What is a reasonably-minded reader to conclude from this???

Let me make myself clear on this point. I refer here in mentioning "generalized philosophy" to groups which promote the usage of the Tridentine liturgy, Gregorian chant/polyphany, and which are at the same time Traditional in the truest sense of the term. Many of us at the Lidless Eye link to these kinds of sites at our weblogs and even promote them at the appropriate times. This is another example of not necessarily agreeing with their philosophy but nonetheless we promote them because they present a valid theological position for consideration by the faithful Catholic. And when we take issue with them, it is in a very deferential manner. But Kevin seems to find it weird that we would do this so I will briefly explain the rationale for his benefit.

We do this for a couple of reasons including (i) because they are acceptable theological, liturgical, devotional, or disciplinary paradigms according to the judgment of the Church and (ii) in the goal of seeking to bring as many people into full communion with the Church as possible, we recognize that people have different outlooks which often - with some minor adjustments - can be made acceptable by Catholic criteria.

So in presenting the Catholic Faith, we do not make it a matter of personal agreement or disagreement per se but present the range of acceptable options for those who are considering the claims of the Catholic Church. We also recognize and cherish the many diverse charisms within the Mystical Body which constitute if you will a "symphony of the faith" (cf. Pope John Paul II).

Hence when I have dialogued with Calvinists, I try to push them towards a Thomist view of TULIP which is acceptable in Catholic theology. But I do not actually hold that view myself.

Likewise, with Arminians, they can be moved in the direction of the Molinists - though I am significantly more Thomist than Molinist in my personal outlook on predestination.

And to list another example, when I dialogue with Eastern Christians, I steer them away from the Latin rite and towards manifestations of Eastern traditions and customs which are recognized by the Church as acceptable expressions of the one faith. I cannot speak of the modus opperandi of the others but I know that they have similar outlooks on these issues and recognize-promote authentic unity-of-faith-in-diversity of expression.

Again, I do not have to agree with or even involve myself in the divers expressions of the faith that I promote. My goal personally is to bring into communion with the Church as many people as possible, not convert them to my particular way of thinking, my favourite devotions, my particular liturgical preferences, etc. This is why Kevin's attempt to posit inconsistencies between what I recommend and what I criticize him for doing is just another red herring. The distinctions cannot be more precise actually. More on this in a moment.

There are certain members of conservative Catholicism that advocate ecumenism very strongly with Protestants, even to the point of having much excitement over the "New Perspective" theology of Protestants, which takes a different approach to exegesis of the Pauline Epistles on justification than did the "Traditional" Protestant Reformers.

This is true.

There is a slight problem though, they still deny infused grace and it's vital role in justification (indeed it is essentially central because after Christ's sacrifice, it is the way we are justified, through an infused righteousness). Hence, they are still rejecting Catholic justification.

Why do I feel as if I am reiterating basics here that should not require enunciation at all to a moderately informed Catholic??? Nonetheless, I will condescend yet again to explain this significance.

The purpose in promoting the new Pauline perspective amongst Protestants --for whom their primary authority is the writings of St. Paul-- is to bring them significantly closer to Catholic teaching. The same is in the case of the Joint Declaration on Justification where the Lutherans demonstrated quite a bit of progress in the direction of Trent. (By contrast, the Church upheld the doctrinal teachings of Trent on justification.) The difference in both cases is between a gap of a mile and a gap of a few hundred feet. Which chasm would be easiest to eventually bridge??? And in the light of the Great Tradition, this is the strategy the Church has almost always taken. {1}

There are some elements today which are "new" but in truth these are not as many as one might casually presume. (And none of them are incongruent with Catholic teaching.)

Yet some conservatives as Drs. Scott Hahn and Arthur Sippo are essentially doing cartwheels over the thesis, claiming this is the new road of ecumenism. How is their situation different than mine?

They are not promoting a method or a philosophy in a way that is inconsistent with Catholic orthodoxy. The Church has almost always taken this approach with those who did not share her beliefs. But in the Counter-reformation period the Church's common practice in this realm became nearly non-existent. The attitude became less one of assimilation and instead one of expecting the other party to simply accept every jot and tittle of contemporary orthopraxy. This attitude was not at all Traditional yet that is the very attitude that most so-called "traditionalists" have.

While they agree with what certain members of the "New Perspective" have to say, I agree with some of what Novus Ordo Watch had to say. How come we don't see Drs. Hahn or Hippo dragged before the Inquisition, since they are "guilty by association?"

Because they do not promote those whose philosophies are incongruent with Catholic doctrine or accepted theological speculation. That is why. And they do not promote those who in any way run afoul of the Traditional Catholic understanding of obedience. In promoting these kinds of groups, Kevin shows his objective disconnect with the very Tradition he is so zealous to defend.

Simple, they march the Conservative party line, and hence, from other conservative Catholics, get a free pass. Yet if they diverge themselves even one iota from the party line, they are demonized.

I have already refuted Mr. Tierney's errors as per the proper usage of the term "conservative." And until he appropriates that term correctly - meaning as it was understood historically - I consider his tarring either myself, the Inquisition, my good friend Dr. Art Sippo, or my associate Dr. Scott Hahn with it as an insult.

Since Mr. McElhinney came to the aid of Drs. Hahn and Sippo in an exchange with Robert Sungenis, it can be safely said he either gives them the right to say this, or agrees with both gentlemen, and I would suggest the latter is the case. So the assertion that I am guilty by association is contradictory at best and downright hypocritical at worst.

Hopefully it is clear to any reasonably attentive person why Kevin's oversimplifications again backfire on him. However, all is not lost I suppose. Hopefully, as I noted, Mr. Tierney and his apostolate can learn to separate the wheat from the chaff amongst the so-called "traditionalists". For that is what we do at the Inquisition.

At the very least it is to be hoped that Kevin can reflect upon what this response notes and start making the proper distinctions himself. The line is not one "party line" or another as in "those who agree with me theologically are acceptable and those who disagree with me are not." For if that was the case, there would be no Inquisition and Dr. Sippo would take Dr. Hahn to task on every area where they disagree. (As would we with them.) But Catholicism is a large tent and has room for many different theological outlooks, disciplinary practices, liturgical observances, and devotionals, etc.

None of us begrudge the legitimate aspirations of anyone. It is only when in the name of a false "progressivism" or a false "traditionalism" that certain individuals or groups undermine the deposit of faith either directly (in the case of many so-called "progressivists") or indirectly (in the case of many so-called "traditionalists").

We have no interest whatsoever in promoting a false view of catholicity. And in light of what the term "catholic" really means, we have no "party line" to march to unless that party line is "orthodoxy." In the case of the latter, on behalf of the Inquisition, Dr. Sippo, and Dr. Hahn, I enter the plea of "guilty as charged." Considering the long line of Fathers, Saints, Doctors, Blesseds, and others down through the ages who have sought to defend that party line, we are in good company. I will out of charity not make a list of the kinds of people who took the approach that those Kevin tries to defend have done. Thus the charge of guilt by association which I set out in the previous post is sustained. And yet again an important distinction with a difference is overlooked by Kevin Tierney.


{1} Certainly when her committment to Christian unity and evangelization was at its most effective, this is what she has done. By contrast, when her sons and daughters have been the most provincial in either attitude or evangelical approach, evangelization has been much more scant in its results.

:: Shawn 10:26 PM [+] | ::

Responsum ad Tiernum Dubiosum (Part III)
(aka "The Iceman Melteth" Dept.)

The previous part of this response can be read HERE. To start from the begining of the thread, please go HERE.

VI - Briefly on Canonical Standing of the Tridentine Missal, My Use of CAItanic Explained, More Errors in the Definition of Key Terms, and a Summary of the Subjects Covered in This Response:

So again, Shawn shows incredible ignorance of my position. Perhaps he should take his fellow conservative Dave Armstrong to task, as he as well disagrees with the process of communion in the hand, while accepting it as valid.

Actually, Dave is a good friend of mine who would probably agree with me on this position. (Dave and I agree a lot more than we disagree.) And the reader will find if they look that all of my web writings are linked to at Dave's site either directly or - in the case of the Distinctions of Outlook essay - in an indirect manner via linking to my writings list. This is something Dave did of his own volition without any formal request on the matter from me.

With the Holy Father, I acknowledge in certain instances that may be done, but the norm is not to be disregarded, as was done by the Bishops.

The faithful can receive either way. I have never had any problem receiving communion on the tongue - indeed I have never in my life received any other way. But I do not look down on those who do receive that way, nor does Dave. And the Bishops have the authority in the absence of a papal rescript otherwise to legislate on this as they see fit. That is part and parcel to the Bishop having full and supreme authority in his dioceses in communion with the Pope is all about.{4}

As far as the legal standing of the Tridentine Rite, back in 86, it was agreed it can never be abrogated, and a priest need not permission to say such, only notification.

But the law which imposed the right of celebration of this rite onto all priests was abrogated or obrogated - depending on the particular canonist you refer to. (Theories on this tend to vary from what I have been able to discern.) Either way the functional result is the same and to celebrate the liturgy requires at this time an Indult. And bishops can refuse this Indult if they want to and not be dissenting from the Pope in the process.

There are good reasons on both sides of this issue viz whether to allow or not allow the Indult. As one of those who successfully badgered my bishop for years about getting the Indult in here - of which I have never once used since it arrived - I am not unaware of the pastoral problems that this can present. In the abstract it sounds very nice and clean - much as the idea of a universal indult does. But the problems of application in the real world where the rubber meets the road is in some respects a completely different animal altogether. But I digress.

Cardinal Strickler said this much when he reported the findings.

I am aware of this. I have a number of self-styled "traditionalist" books and publications spanning from 1976-1997 - and some even subsequent to that. (I am hardly the misinformed dolt Kevin seems to think I am.) But he has clearly misunderstood the Cardinal. His Eminence referred to the mass itself and not its legal provisions for celebration. This is another distinction with a difference. Again, God is in the details overlooked by the neophyte.

To very briefly touch on this, Pope Paul's intention was something that Pope John Paul II inquired about because he needed to know how to go about facilitating the Tridentine liturgy. (Primarily as a means of restoring to communion those who had strayed.) As we do not have the minutes of the meeting, we are left with the spin put on the event by Cardinal Stickler.{5}

There are also deeper canonical issues here I am not about to delve into as my response is too long already. But the fact is, there are virtually no canonists who are viewed as credible who take the position that Missale Romanum did not either abrogate or obrogate Quo Primum except for (maybe) Count Capponi and (possibly) Cardinal Stickler who seem to claim it was not abrogated. (And in neither case does this take into account the possibility of legal obrogation.) And because they are so partial to the Tridentine liturgy, it is not unreasonable to question whether they are allowing personal preferences to override the actual facts here.

Nonetheless, since nothing we have heard from Cardinal Stickler gives us a position one way or the other, we are not certain of his view. And even if he did side with Kevin, the fact that both the Pope and the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts have rendered disagreements with this stance is all that we really need to consider.

For "[l]aws are authentically interpreted by the legislator and by that person to whom the legislator entrusts the power of authentic interpretation" (Can 16 §1). Further still, "[a]n authentic interpretation which is presented by way of a law has the same force as the law itself, and must be promulgated" (Can. 16 §2). So the judgment of the very authority the pope established to interpret the Church's law is against the position that Cardinal Stickler would seem to be promoting.

I happen to believe that there are nuances in there that are not being reported. Without access to the minutes of the meeting, we cannot know what they are. But my understanding of the law, though I am not a trained canonist, would lead me to come to this conclusion. For law in general operates that way - be it business law, trial law, government law, or canon law.

And with the Church law, it is made clear that "[t]he Church has its own and exclusive right to judge (i) cases which refer to matters which are spiritual or linked with the spiritual and (ii)the violation of ecclesiastical laws and whatever contains an element of sin, to determine guilt and impose ecclesiastical penalties" (Can. 1401). One of the areas that fall under this is liturgical law. And it is clear that the pope does not side with those who view the Indult as either unnecessary or that bishops or priests can lawfully celebrate the Tridentine liturgy without it.

Now that may change this fall. (As I presume Mr. Tierney is aware, there are rumours of a possible universal indult being granted.) But until such a time, it is not permissible. The judgment of the Pope in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta was to facilitate for celebration of the Tridentine liturgy. If there was not a legal means required for doing this, then these actions would have been superfluous. So by these actions, the pope manifested his mind on the matter and Church law is clear on that matter. Lest Kevin is unaware of this, I will remind him that "[t]he First See is judged by no one" (cf. Can 1404) and further still, "there is no appeal against a judgment or directive of the Roman Pontiff" (cf. 333 §3). These are codes which canonists such as His Eminence and the Count are not unaware of. Essentially the pope's judgment on a canonical issue renders all judgments contrary to it - by whomever they are and whatever their prestige - null and void (cf. Can. 1405 §2). Thus, whatever the prestige of Cardinal Stickler - and he is a legal specialist in his own right - his opinions are null and void on this matter.

Although it is quite easy when you control both sides of the debate Shawn, isn't it?

Probable translation: when in doubt appeal to some kind of "conspiracy" or a "fix". This is sadly so typical. I was hoping that Kevin would be above such things but alas, I seem to be mistaken.

Oh well, there is one interesting fact that the readers may find interesting. Kevin would have gotten along well with the Shawn of about ten years ago. We could have even swapped Michael A. Hoffman II books, Gary Allen and Des Griffen volumes, Holocaust revisionist theories, and the kind of IHR literature that the CAItanic captain thinks is "credible". (Such as the Journal of Historical Review.) But since Kevin likes to defend those who have claimed that "the Journal of Historical Review is a very credible source" (R. Sungenis) and that the JHR is a "highly prestigious and credible magazine" (R. Sungenis), he only sets himself up for not being taken seriously in the process.

Why do I use the term CAItanic??? A few reasons actually. The main reason is that the credibility of the apostolate has gone the way of the Titanic. (Hint: they both sunk.) And just as the allies mocked Hitler after his demise, I do in like manner sometimes with CAI. And as long as CAI continues to disingenuously masquerade as not only Catholic but also as faithful to the magisterium, then they have cast their own dice on the matter as far as I am concerned viz how they are referred to in the exterior arena.

I have been where they have gone in the sense that as a former "traditionalist", I parroted a lot of the same drivel that Mr. Sungenis now does and did so for years. (The geocentrism and antisemitism excluded - though I flirted with the latter indirectly in my espousal of extreme conspiracy theories for a little while which were foundationally antisemitic.) And as conspiracy theories have a way of causing mental degeneration, a loss of critical thinking faculties, and bizarre confusions between reality and fiction, it will take God's grace to help him through this as it did me and the many others who have been there already.

To reiterate: I was one of those who repeatedly warned Mr. Sungenis for sometime on private discussion threads about where his pride and ego were leading him. This is one area that I and many others really wanted to be wrong about but that was not the case unfortunately.

SME: In summary, I believe that Kevin Tierney means well. But he approaches these matters essentially as the Protestants do - a point that Gregg noted in his response below. A good friend of mine after some discussions on the matter noted that "it seems to me the difference is that progressives deny the pope's authority to bind (in doctrine or discipline) and traditionalists deny the pope's authority to loose (in matters of discipline)." In a nutshell - the insuffiency of the labels aside for a moment - that is what the problem is. I hope to start the series on obedience at my weblog tonight after thinking about whether something sent to me by a reader should be used as a prologue or an appendix to the thread. In the meantime, I conclude this thread of musings and let the brickbats fly ;-)

KT: After completely misrepresenting my position, at least he says I mean well.

I believe a person who has not shown signs of dishonesty who makes a mistake - or even a series of them - is not for that reason to be presumed as dishonest. That is what a person striving to be charitable person does. That is why I believe that Kevin means well. His response to this response may give me reasons for adjusting my assessment of him though. We shall see...

Although I do question Shawn's motives on such, as a simple checking of the facts would've found him in error on my position on numerous points.

It is pretty clear that Kevin has exaggerates this to an absurd degree. The most that Kevin can claim is that he does not hold certain positions that I noted it was probable that he held. (Based on what he had written where his position was rather equivocally stated and thus subject to divers interpretations.) That is all.

The old dictum remains true, to know thy adversary.

Oh I do, more so than Kevin may think. As a student of The General, I know my adversary and also myself. In the last response, I set a number of traps and Kevin fell into them repeatedly. (Exactly as I knew he would.) And the readers can see for themselves now with this response exactly where he was snared.

Perhaps Shawn should follow that wise advice, because if anything, he again proved my point before. Those who refuse to march his party line, are demonized, as was a perfect example here, that I'm prejudiced, a sophist, one who does nothing but red herrings, completely ignorant, I could go on. Yet had my readings actually been consulted, or had I been notified, (and he could've easily obtained my e-mail address, since it is on my site, or he could have received it from Gregg or Apolonio) and asked about these issues, he would've understood things a lot better, before embarrassing himself in a classic case of journalistic dishonesty.

Actually, in reviewing Kevin's response, it is pretty interesting how frequently he misses his intended target. Again, if he had stuck to saying simply "Shawn did not interpret my positions correctly", that would have sufficed for his response to be unanswerable by me. (Since I do not know Kevin's internal forum and out of charity would have to take him at his word.) But Mr. Tierney had to try and go for more than that and...well...the reader can judge for themselves how wide of the mark he was. The pinata still hangs untouched by Mr. Tierney's vigorous bat swinging.

The comments are quite slanderous I would argue, and I would ask they be retracted.

Slander is defined as "a false report maliciously uttered and tending to injure the reputation of a person" (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Let us see now just how applicable this definition really is to yours truly.

I pointed out what are traits common to self-styled "traditionalists." Were these statements correct??? Yes they were and I have demonstrated this in meticulous detail many times. I noted Kevin's chosen affiliation with or defense of certain individuals and groups whose orthodoxy is (to put it nicely) suspect. Will this to some degree --if it goes uncorrected-- tar his reputation??? Yes but (i) nothing I said was false and (ii) he has thus far chosen by his own volition to affiliate with them. So the fact that I pointed this out and that it could well damage Mr. Tierney's credibility amongst orthodox Catholics is not my fault. He has made his bed and must lie in it now. (Though there is still time to mitigate any perminent damage; however only Kevin can do this.)

Also, I made some observations pertaining to Kevin's comments on issues and somehow - without accusing him of anything at all and even giving him the benefit of the doubt in all instances - according to Kevin, I slandered him. Let us review this now:

1) Did I accuse Kevin of being a schismatic??? No.

2) Did I accuse Kevin of actual disobedience to the magisterium at all??? No I did not.

3) Did I claim that Kevin was at all unorthodox??? No again.

So I am left asking myself where this "slander" is that he refers to.

As I have already noted, slander requires a malicious intent and I explicitly gave Kevin the benefit of the doubt every time. There is nothing slanderous about pointing out what appear to be problems with some of Kevin's statements or some of his alliances. It would in fact be negligence on my part not to do this - both for the benefit of the casual reader and also for Kevin himself. (That way, he is aware of how he comes across to other people on some points.)

One of the hallmarks of those who call themselves "traditionalists" is that they are zealous to take on "modernists." They often complain that certain positions or statements are "ambiguous" but then they love to resort to ambiguity whenever it is expedient for them to do so.{6} Consistency of course is not exactly a hallmark of most so-called "traditionalists" so that Kevin Tierney runs aground in this area more than a couple of times is hardly surprising to me at all.

If he is going to critique me, that is fine, and I welcome such. Yet actually critique me, and not a straw man of me.

Of course trying to turn a scant few sections into an "individual critique" is not the only dramatic overreach by Mr. Tierney. But it is one that he made time and again. Interestingly enough, as I read his weblog, Kevin "Iceman" Tierney {7} certainly does not mind erecting strawmen if the person is Walter Cardinal Kasper or some other prelate he has problems with. (Be they real or imagined.) Again, it is interesting to note how many scarecrows line the Tierney cornfield while he accuses others (and erroneously so) of erecting their own men of straw. But I digress.

In summary, let us consider for a moment Kevin's assessment of the very response we have just gone over in detail. I quote his weblog again - this time further up the thread.{8}

Earlier today I posted a response to Shawn McElhinney, and demonstrated how his passing remarks lacked complete charity and willingness to understand his opposition, instead engaging in nothing but straw men.

Well, the readers can judge for themselves not only whether my remarks lacked charity but also just how successful Kevin Tierney's "demonstration" really was. I will note this much though: he got the part about "passing remarks" right. In the spirit of true ecumenism, I rejoice in this element of truth in his comments --and a few others scattered here and there--- and hope that we can come to a more substantial understanding with the passing of time. But first he will have to deal with the problems of his response as outlined in this somewhat detailed response. Let us recap them in brief:

He (i) failed to demonstrate that any of my occasional usage of ad hominem was inappropriate - and he cannot simply assume that position at all. (That would be uncharitable.) He (ii) kept referring to strawmen when in reality the one lining his cornfield with them left and right was Mr. Tierney who made a lot of assumptions that I never said nor implied about him. (That is the very definition of "strawman".) He (iii) made many attempts to argue certain theological points - and points pertaining to Church history - which he clearly demonstrated specious knowledge of at best.

Not only that but he (iv) blatantly contradicted himself on some points. Further still, he (v) continued to try and pidgeonhole the Inquisition members with an inaccurate tag of "conservative" - in that by that expression he was referring either to the common misunderstanding of that once-honourable term or his own made up definition - which is even worse.

He also (vi) accused me of "constant assault against anyone who refuses to march [to my] party line." This is something which I have never done. Yet he repeated this lie made in previous commentaries of his in responding to my last entry at this weblog. And finally, he (vii) attempted to pin me with slander when in reality not one single required ingredient for the valid accusation of slander was present.

So Kevin Tierney can continue to pat himself on the back for some "decisive" response he thinks he has made to me. (An assertion which has about as much relation to reality as Greek mythology.) Or he can step back and take in just how wide of the mark he was in virtually every point he made. The facts of this case are clear ladies and gentlemen. And as I have made adequately clear, they are not on on the side of "The Iceman" whose arguments hath clearly melted.


{4} As opposed to the view of the Bishops as functional vice regents of the Pope: a position not uncommon in some self-styled "traditionalist" camps.

{5} As I have pointed out in one of my writings (and in detail) and in many dialogues on the subject, Cardinal Stickler has a way of appearing to play loosely with the facts when talking about the Tridentine liturgy.

{6} Hence terms like "modernism" are thrown hastily around and never actually defined because to do that would be to give critics a cudgel to beat them with.

{7} With apologies to the real "Iceman": the late great Albert Collins. (May he rest in peace.)

{8} As I got the text I responded to in this response from his weblog.

:: Shawn 10:25 PM [+] | ::

Responsum ad Tiernum Dubiosum (Part II)
(aka "The Iceman Melteth" Dept.)

The previous part of this response can be read HERE.

III - Some Common 'Trad' Red Herrings, a Fundamental Error of Most Self-Styled 'Traditionalists' Touched on in Brief, and More of Kevin Tierney's Misinterpretations of Lidless Eye and its Participants, Etc.:

Unless one is advocating the Pontiff is always right, an assertion that most conservatives do deny, though there are some on the extreme side of the party line who do advocate this.

This is all beside the point. Obedience is not contingent upon whether someone agrees or disagrees with the teachings or directives of a pope or of an ecumenical council. As Pope Pius XII taught, Our Lord's teaching "He who hears you hears me" (Matt. x,40; Luke x,16; John xiii,20) applies to the ordinary magisterium. As the ordinary magisterium involves both matters of doctrine as well as matters of discipline, it applies to both elements. For disobedience to the magisterium's teaching and directives ("and he who rejects you rejects me") is a rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and also of the Father ("and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me").

The true Catholic knows that we are bound to follow the commands of lawfully constituted authority in the Church whether we like what they say or not. To the extent that those Mr. Tierney endorses fail to do this, they are not authentically Traditional at all but are the very sort of individuals that we at the Inquisition have in mind.

So in the future, perhaps we could test this thesis that Shawn has advanced.

I already explained how this can be done. I have in mind putting in a request to one of my fellow Inquisitors to compile just such a list if he has the time to do so. Personally I have too much on my plate to do it at this time.

SME: Well, there is nothing "contrary to the Catholic Faith" about kissing the Koran. And there is especially nothing contrary to the Catholic Faith with regards to ecumenism and interfaith outreach. Does this mean that there are not some problems in how ecumenism is practiced by some individuals??? Certainly examples of this can be pointed out. But before they can criticize credibly, the "trad" has to have the proper disposition and approach these matters more like a Catholic and less like a schismatic. This is not to detract from the fact that there are many schismatics who call themselves "traditionalists" of course; however as I have noted not a few times,...it is erroneous to presume that all who call themselves "traditionalists" are schismatic.

KT: I'm glad he is willing to note that not all traditionalists are schismatic. Though I have my doubts that this is put into practice,

Maybe if he actually *READS* what people write and did not make such wide-sweeping presumptions, Mr. Tierney may be able to see the forest for the trees. I have put this into practice in hundreds of dialogues, in every piece of writing I have done on "traditionalist" subjects, and on my weblogs. If I was half as "nasty" as he seems to presume I am{2} I would nail him to the wall with many of the evidences. But as I am not (and I prefer more irenic dialogue formats), he can take solace in that fact.

but perhaps we can see more of that at another time.

Among the slam dunks in this conversation would be proving this point. But I would rather that Kevin simply retracted the assertion. Because if he wants proof, I would not be a nice guy about it as I noted above. I have been involved for too long and in too many dialogues to have to justify myself to him or anyone else. And any court would rule in my favour if it ever went that far anyway. (Outside of South Central LA or the Ninth Circuit Court of Schlemels of course.)

I would certainly say kissing a book which denies the divinity of Christ, and thousands of Christians died for refusing to submit to that book, is certainly not in line with Catholic tradition at worst, at best, it is a highly imprudent political move in ecumenism.

I would argue that at worst it was a blunder. At best, it recognizes the principle that Pope Gregory VII noted in his apostolic letter to the King Al-Nasir of Mauritania about how Christians and Muslims worship the same God:

This is the charity we owe to one another and even more we owe it to the other people, because we recognise and confess, in a different way, that is true, the One and only God, whom we glorify and venerate everyday, as Creator of the centuries, Lord of this world, according to the word of the Apostle: He is our peace, who has made of the two one people.

So let us see, the pope in addressing Muslims was handed a book - whether it was the Koran or another book is really irrelevant. In seizing on the opportunity to make a gesture of good-will, he kisses the book. Was this premeditated??? We do not know. Should we presume therefore the worst scenario??? That would be contrary to authentic Christian charity to do.

Besides, who cares about kissing the Koran really. This is truely an example of what Our Lord noted about "straining the gnat and swallowing the camel" (Matt. xxiii,24). Has the pope issued a decree commanding that we do that??? No he has not. Will he do so in the future??? Highly doubtful because the Church does not impose devotionals of any sort onto other people. They are always of an optional import and therefore this issue is really quite irrelevant.

I would ask Shawn what "having that proper disposition as a Catholic" is, because all too often, one hears different interpretations from different conservatives.

Again, I am not a "conservative" as that term is so commonly misunderstood. (And I meet almost none of the criteria of Kevin's personal definition of that term.) Nor to my knowledge do any of those at the Lidless Eye qualify under his definition of the term or even the term as it is commonly applied.

Hopefully if further dialogue continues, I can be provided with a definition, and we may work from there.

Certainly. I have a definition in mind that I would have no objection to using. It applies to me and I believe it applies equally well to all those at the Lidless Eye. But of course since it runs counter to conventional wisdom these days, it would have to be supplemented whenever used with an explanation so that the reader is not deceived.

SME: It is very possible to approach these subjects from the frame of reference that is commonly (but erroneously) referred to as "traditionalist." Indeed one of the goals of Lidless Eye Inquisition is to effectively separate the tares from the wheat in this manner. It would be clear by examining the work of the participants of this weblog that there is no animosity here whatsoever towards a good amount of what the self-styled "traditionalists" promote. Indeed those who recognize the traditional understanding of catholicity as unity-in-diversity have to respect the viewpoints of other Catholics to the extent that they are legitimate. And indeed the very idea of factionalizing that is popular in "trad" circles is frankly a very insufficient means of accurately assessing what people actually stand for or against.

KT: Again, had Shawn read my works, including my polemic with Mr. Latar, where I do advocate the idea of unity-in-diversity, with certain qualifications, such would be unnecessary.

Qualifications which I might add are not to be made by individuals exercising their own private judgment.

Being this is an individual critique of my writings,

No, it was a response to a discussion Kevin had with Gregg and Apolonio. I referenced his writings to have an idea of his particular flavour of the Baskin and Robbins 31 Flavours version of what is broadly (and erroneously) referred to as "traditionalism."

one would be wise to do their homework, before coming to erroneous conclusions, which Shawn has done here about my stance.

This is the pot calling the kettle black if ever I have seen it in my lifetime!!! Kevin has done nothing but mischaracterize and misrepresent the intentions of this weblog and its participants. (And what I wrote in the response he is responding to.)

SME: Nonetheless, if he intends to use such broad expressions, I would at least recommend that Kevin familiarize himself to some degree with the work of each of us before presuming to "define" what we stand for as individuals - or what he preceives is the "Agenda" of this weblog and its participants.

KT: I said their agenda was against "radical traditionalism". He himself agrees.

The subtitle of the weblog is A weblog dedicated to the exposure of the crackpots of the lunatic self-styled 'traditionalist' fringe who disingenuously pose as faithful Catholics. But this is a very narrow definition actually. It does not apply to all who would call themselves "traditionalist."

Now I of course think their view of radical traditionalism is nothing more than most traditionalists, for reasons I noted in previous articles. So again, straw man.

This is again Kevin claiming strawman when in fact the outline of what we are referring to is not exactly a secret. The weblog threads at Lidless Eye along with those at the various weblogs of the participants make a very clear delineation. Likewise, those of us with web or periodical-published articles -or those such as myself and Pete Vere who have both- we make very clear what we are talking about. But those who have a Pavlovian response to anyone who uses the term "traditionalist" and does not check how that term is being used...well...errors are bound to occur. Mr. Tierney has proven that to us all in his response to me here.

SME: Mr. Tierney reminds me of the non-Christians, the Protestants, and the Orthodox I have sparred with over the years who have asked me "what would you do if the pope did teach an error ex cathedra"??? My response was simple: I would renounce the Catholic faith as a sham. One thing I would not do is play the kind of shinny shannying games that "trads" do. But frankly I am not at all worried about that happening.

KT: I don't really see the comparison, as both of us agree that if the Pope "proclaimed something ex cathedra that was quite erroneous", we would both cease being Catholic. The point is, in those areas that are not ex cathedra, upon careful examination, do they square with Catholic Tradition?

The one who makes that judgment of course is the magisterium, not individuals treating magisterial texts the way the Protestants treat the Bible. That has always been the case and indeed the very faith that Catholics have in the superintendence of the Holy Spirit in the magisterium is grounded on that fact. Without it, we are no different than the Protestants who shift with every passing whim and fancy and reject today and tomorrow what they held as immutable in the past.

That the Church has recognized - even in the days of the Counter-reformation - the authority of the magisterium to make its own laws and dispense from them is not unknown to a reasonably catechized individual. That the Church has recognized - even in the days of the Counter-reformation - the authority of the magisterium to regulate the application of the divine laws - is likewise not unknown to a reasonably catechized individual.

The laws cannot change in substance but they can be adjusted as per the manner whereby they are applied. This is part and parcel of the very power of the keys to bind and loose. The very fact that something is bound on earth means that it is recognized as such in heaven. And likewise, the very fact that something is loosed on earth means that it is recognized as such in heaven. This is part of the very element of authentic faith that Catholics are required to profess.

So his comparison is completely faulty,

No, it is actually quite accurate. Here is the text again:

Well, there is nothing "contrary to the Catholic Faith" about kissing the Koran. And there is especially nothing contrary to the Catholic Faith with regards to ecumenism and interfaith outreach. Does this mean that there are not some problems in how ecumenism is practiced by some individuals??? Certainly examples of this can be pointed out. But before they can criticize credibly, the "trad" has to have the proper disposition and approach these matters more like a Catholic and less like a schismatic. This is not to detract from the fact that there are many schismatics who call themselves "traditionalists" of course; however as I have noted not a few times...it is erroneous to presume that all who call themselves "traditionalists" are schismatic.

My point was simple: if you want to claim that you are Traditionalist than you need to act like one. And Mr. Tierney can start by not appearing to automatically presume the worst motives in others - be they the magisterium or anyone else. The reader is asked to read Kevin's stuff and then tell me with a straight face that Mr. Tierney appears to give the magisterium the benefit of the doubt at all times. (Even when it is difficult for him to do this.)

And if Kevin claims he is doing this, than he needs to stop defending those who not only do not do this but who in fact have a proven trackrecord of serial suspicion and presuming the worst in others continually. He recommends many such apostolates at his website. That he cannot see what this does to the credibility of his own apostolate is frankly astounding to me. I mean, this is not rocket science or brain surgery we are talking about here.

although it does a very nice job comparing me to those who are schismatic, which might have been his point. If so, I would ask he prove such a serious charge.

See what I noted above about guilt by association. I have not made any claim that Mr. Tierney is personally a schismatic. However, he does link to and promote some sites whose participants are. Just as someone can question the objective situation of a pregnant woman walking into an abortion clinic, the same is the case in noting whom Kevin likes to promote on his website.

I highly doubt he would ever support someone who put Nazi or Aryan Nations banners on his site. But he does by choice affiliate with those who plagiarize Nazi war propaganda among other disgraceful actions. (Such as promoting the kind of Talmud treatment that is akin to what Jack Chick does to the Catholic faith.) Pointing these things out to others is hardly irregular. And if Kevin gets angry at me doing it than he needs to stop affiliating with such people. Because until that happens, pointing these things out is a legitimate way of assessing the credibility of Kevin's claims to be a faithful Catholic and a true Traditionalist.

IV - Errors on Assisi, More Common 'Trad' Red Herrings, Kevin's Pinata Swinging, Silencium Obsequesium, Etc.:

SME: Indeed, I have challenged non-Christians, Protestants, Orthodox, and self-styled "progressivist" Catholics alike to demonstrate to me one single example of an indisputable error in the ordinary magisterium. Not one single time have they succeeded in doing this when an apples and apples comparison is made. And I have dealt with their favourite ones to throw out there and the simple fact is, the examples themselves do not withstand scrutiny. The same problem exists with the so-called "traditionalists."

KT: Are things such as Assisi, asking John the Baptist to Bless Islam, our relationship with the United Nations, and the refusal of Bishops to enact the Holy Fathers decrees, and the Holy Father's seemed failure to enact his own decrees part of the Ordinary Magesteruim? Of course not, so I think again, Shawn has completely missed the point.

Actually, I have discussed Assisi and also the relationship with the United Nations. As far as asking John the Baptist to Bless Islam, again specifics would be nice. What was the actual prayer or petition used and what was the circumstances??? I say this because many of those who criticize Assisi make statements that do not square with what the Pope actually said at either gathering. For that reason -- and in light of dozens of errors I have outlined in meticulous detail in my writings that self-styled "traditionalists" tend to make -- I tend to ask for more substantiation and not simply accept at face value such assertions. Nothing personal Kevin, just good policy in dialogue.

When Kevin refers to the Bishops "failing to enact the Holy Fathers decrees", I have to note that he is making a broadbrush statement. Some specifics would be nice for starters. Also, there are some points where the pope has requested that the bishops do something and they have chosen not to. Those are not magisterial properly speaking and - depending on the particular issue - could be well within the bishop's right to do. Again, without specific examples, it is simply more wide-sweeping generalizations by Mr. Tierney. Whether this is the norm for him or simply a deviation from the norm, time will tell I guess.

Comments in passing notwithstanding, his passing comments are still completely erroneous, and misrepresent me quite nicely.

The reader can judge for themselves if I have done this or not. But I have a question that needs to be answered to properly assess this accusation by Kevin. If I have misrepresented Mr. Tierney's views, then what have I specifically imputed to him personally??? One would think that Kevin could make a list of this as that would be the easiest way to prevail in this discussion. But all he can do is tilt at windmills like Don Quixote and accuse me of erecting strawmen left and right. Yet do we see any actual accusations??? No we do not.

As he cannot point to any, he must try to context-switch and swing his blade at mythical accusations that were not made and then declare "victory." I have seen this pattern taken many times over the years, in many different discussion formats, and on many different topics. But as a picture is worth a thousand words, allow me to briefly sketch one for the benefit of the reader.

For a good visual of his approach, imagine someone blindfolded with a bat swinging wildly at a party pinata that they cannot see (and wildly missing with every shot). It would be amusing if Kevin was not seemingly intent on presuming the worst in me. Of course Kevin would probably respond with cries of ad hominem yet again so I ask the question: have I no right to make an observation of any kind now??? For to the extent that I do, I am engaging in a form of ad hominem. As making a judgment of any kind involves such observations, one wonders how courtrooms would function in Tierneyland. But I digress.

SME: I am very close to holding as a theological certainty the stance that there has never been an error in the ordinary magisterium because the latter cannot contain errors. Granted this is my own theological opinion and I do not bind anyone else to it. But I do have a difficult time taking seriously those who do not seek to understand the finer complexities of these issues before they rashly throw out accusations of various sorts.

KT: I would suggest Shawn take his own advice, and examine the finer complexities of my position, before issuing rash accusations of various sorts, it sure would've saved him the hour or so he spent writing his analysis of myself.

It actually did not take very long. (This current response is taking a long while and not only because I am rewriting the last half of it after losing the original text.) But nonetheless, Kevin is again presuming too much. I have made no "analysis" of him personally. I have responded to statements that he has made which are either (i) ambiguous or (ii) where he is defending certain parties which have no credibility among reputable Catholics. It is not my job to judge the inner forum nor would I want it.

SME: Actually, if the magisterium ever declared the understanding of ecumenism as defined by the Second Vatican Council as erroneous (to say nothing of heretical or proximate to heresy), then the Catholic Faith is a sham. Anyone who is well-informed in the realm of dogmatic theology knows this. And the resistance by "trads" to these issues indicates that deep down they know it too. But in reality, if one gets beyond the superficial appearances, there really is not too much difficulty in understanding these issues. Now for someone who espouses a particular theological view, that might be a problem. But that is what religious submission of mind and will is for and - as the Second Vatican Council taught - it is to be rendered not only to the bishops teaching in communion with the pope but indeed in a special way to the pope himself. And this applies even when the pope is not speaking ex cathedra. See my commentary on Canons 747-755 for more details on the distinction between the religious submission owed to the bishops and to that owed to the pope. (It is a distinction *with* a difference.)

KT: The only thing that is a sham is Shawn's analysis of my remarks. My precise point is that the ecumenical documents of Vatican II do not sanction the ecumenical garbage that is being undertaken by the liberal prelates today.

Actually it can be demonstrated that they sanction a lot that Kevin would probably take issue with - particularly when taken in conjunction with later magisterial teachings. I pointed this out to my good friend John Pacheco recently (not "Pancheo" as Kevin calls him) in a discussion list dialogue when we were discussing these matters. If one looks at two of the Council's Declarations of teaching (religious liberty and the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions) and the Decree on the Missions, one can point to very clear points which have been built on in evangelization the past forty years.

Likewise, when one examines later magisterial statements of Pope Paul (i.e. the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi) and also of Pope John Paul II's pre-Assisi magisterium, the linkage is not too difficult to make. In short, while some of the criticisms that Kevin would have in this area would be valid, other criticisms would not be. But he seems to want to shoot at every duck on the pond.

As far as religious submission, Cardinal Biffi disagreed with The Holy Father on the prudence of the Assisi events, pretty much the same position I am advocating.

Cardinal Biffi wrote essays and random thoughts on this which he made public??? I think not. He publicly dissented from the pope on this matter??? I think not. What Cardinal Biffi did was refuse to attend the meeting which was his right to do. He probably had some problems with it as Mr. Tierney noted. So Cardinal Biffi therefore did what a theologian is supposed to do with issues that are particularly difficult for them. This basically involves refraining from making statements which cast derision on the pope and other prelates in the external forum while praying over the matter for greater understanding in the internal forum. That is what the traditional notion of silencium obsequesium is all about. Cardinal Biffi practiced it and Kevin thus far has clearly not. The contrast could hardly be more striking.

So again, a simple background check of the facts, and the writings on my website would've saved a lot of embarrassment from misrepresenting someone you are critiquing.

Mr. Tierney labours under the dilusion that I was critiquing him personally. Again, the readers can read my comments and Kevin's response and determine who is accurate. I doubt too many people would side with Kevin on this matter except maybe the person(s) at NOW or similarly minded people. And frankly Kevin can have those allies if he wants them.

SME: As far as the Koran incident goes, it is pretty insubstantial and is at worst a dropping of the football. Since popes are not impeccable there is no reason to worry about that one. Nor is there a reason to support it though of course a charitable person would try if possible to give the benefit of the doubt. We would do it with our natural fathers or we should with our spiritual father as well. I know Sirach teaches on this matter but I cannot currently recall the passage to reference it.

KT: And guess what ladies and gentlemen! I do give him the benefit of the doubt, yet I still do not think that was a prudent issue, doctrinally, or politically, as it can send the way wrong signals to others, if not that the Pope is sanctioning their practices, that he surely isn't going to be tough with them, which perhaps could explain why Militant Islam feels no fear when it comes to facing retribution for constantly persecuting Christians.

I am not sure whether or not this is supposed to be a joke or not so I am hesitant to comment. If Kevin actually believes that Vatican City has the industrial capacity, the financial capacity, or the military muscle to give "retribution" to the Islamofascist terrorist sorts, then maybe we should ask what he is mixing in the Kool-Aid if you catch my meaning ;-)

So again, we see a straw man erected of my views.

Note again, Mr. Tierney is presuming that I did something that I made no manifested intention of doing. Anyone can write ambiguous statements and then whine about being misunderstood. If Kevin did not affiliate so closely to individuals and groups who have a trackrecord of unCatholic and untraditional dissent, it would be easier to interpret his statements in a favourable light. And for the record, I actually did just that in my response previously.

If this were a critique of traditionalism in general, it might have some (but not much) merit.

I agree, if it was a detailed critique of "traditionalism" it would not suffice in and of itself. But then I never set out to do that nor did I manifest the intention to do that. So Kevin is reading into my statements words I did not utter and intentions I in no way conveyed.

My response was more a commentary on certain elements in Kevin's response to Apolonio and Gregg. I have already written a number of actual critiques on several issues pertaining to "traditionalism" as a philosophy. As a general rule they have been well-received but of course one cannot please everyone. Nonetheless, I am used to some people constitutionally misunderstanding me so in doing that Kevin is hardly the Lone Ranger (or even Tonto for that matter).

Since it is a critique of my analysis, however in passing it may be, it is quite false, and I would say uncharitable to make such obvious errors.

The reader can judge whether what Kevin is saying has actual merit in most parameters or is not instead one giant non-sequitur for the most part. I would argue that it is the latter. The only points that this would not apply to would be Mr. Tierney's clarifications of his actual views or intentions. But since I never ventured to judge the internal Tierney forum - nor did I even imply that I was doing this{3} - this is mostly just Kevin tilting at windmills again.

SME: I would argue without reference to the text offhand that you have grossly misunderstood Apolonio. He seems to have been referring to the phenomenon of development and how the Assumption - while true because it was defined as de fide and long professed by the Church as pertaining to the faith - was not explicitly spoken of until the late fourth century at the earliest and even that was an exception to the rule. The Patristic evidences for the Assumption in almost all cases are post-fifth century. So in bringing this point up, Apolonio would be pointing to the fact that before the explicit manifestation of the doctrine that it was in a state of implication if you will. To quote from St. Vincent of Lerens on the matter:

Of course the discourse on development was passed over as I presumed that it would be.

KT: Again, this was on a discussion of is the Pope the servant of truth, or truth itself. I mentioned the former view, and then Apolonio says “name me someone who taught the Assumption before this date.” I never heard a clarifier from Apolonio, so until then, this is what I believe he was advocating. He didn't cite development or anything Shawn has put forth.

Strange, I just read the weblog while taking a break from HTML editing this response and Apolonio confirmed my assessment:

(Apolonio) Since my blog doesn't work properly, let me explain what I meant. Shawn is accurate. The context of that statement was when Kevin asked me something pre-Vatican 2. I then said, "Name me someone who taught the Assumption before the 4th century." In other words, I was just applying his logic.

It appears that the proper interpretation of the Latar Magisterium was that of yours truly and not Mr. Tierney. And Apolonio oughta know. Frankly he would not have to explicitly cite development if Kevin was familiar with his writings. (Which I am to some extent.) Apolonio is not a neophyte. Thus, it was not difficult for me to make that assessment at all. (As it is impossible to discuss Catholic teaching coherently without understanding and applying the phenomenon of development.)

SME: Likewise, a lot of what the "trads" deride as corruptions are actually authentic explicit manifestations of previously implicit teachings. This is not difficult to demonstrate but at the same time it is difficult for those who have a prejudice to overcome it. In the case of Mr. Tierney, it would be the prejudice that these teachings or policies are immediately ruled out of court as erroneous or false (or worse).

KT: Quite a rash judgment, being me and Shawn has never spoken on these issues before, yet he seems to already know my disposition.

Well Mr. Tierney has peppered his statements with Integrist buzzwords such as "the new Morals", "the New Mass", and statements like "50 years ago, 'conservatives'...were against the idea of modern-day ecumenism, were against toying with the Mass." Such absurdly broad statements tell us a fair amount about Kevin's disposition as well as his historical acumen. Need I list more???

My thesis from before is more than vindicated,

As I have noted before, an altered eye alters all.

those who refuse to submit to the conservative party line(which I would argue is not the party line of the Church of 2,000 years, and also not the party line in the majority of current church issues), are demonized and misrepresented.

Since none of us are conservatives - either by the common (mis)definition of that term today or by Kevin's own definition of the term - how can his thesis be vindicated??? You cannot claim vindication when you cannot even define the terms of discussion correctly at the outset. Thus we have more blindfolded swinging at air by Mr. Tierney folks. Oh well, at least he is getting good exercise :)

V - Blatant Logical Contradictions, Kevin's Proto-Protestant Hermeneutic Briefly Examined, More on the Assisi/Vatican II Logical Connection, and Additional Historical Ignorance of Mr. Tierney:

This is a perfect case in point that this Inquisition is anything but fair and partial.

"Fair" and "partial" are antonyms not synonyms. Kevin has just contradicted himself again.

All I do is follow the commands of St. Paul, to stand firm and hold to the traditions, and to test everything, to assure it conforms to the will of God.

I presume he means the command that St. Paul gave to Bishop Timothy??? In essence, Kevin is appropriating for himself a text appealed to by Protestants who claim to judge the teachings of the Catholic Church by their interpretation of the Bible. He is thus doing with Tradition exactly what the Protestants do with Scripture. Same methodology, different source.

SME: 1) There are theological qualifications to magisterial pronouncements which you are glossing over. (Things do not go from speculation to dogma but progress much more organically than that.)

KT: It is my position the majority of controversial issues me and my conservative brethren debate, are not within the lines of tradition, therefore, are not even valid developments, for the numerous reasons I outline.

So Kevin is saying that the liturgy and other related subjects are not within the lines of tradition??? Interesting. But what is even more interesting is the way he proposes to define what is and is not "within the tradition." Heck, I can introduce him to many sola scriptura Protestants who propose to define what is and is not "biblical" by their own criteria. Kevin's approach differs in its essence from them exactly how???

So I agree with this statement he makes at the end, but it's completely irrelevant.

Not really. Mr. Tierney responded as I thought he would and has thus confirmed my thesis that so-called "traditionalism" is actually a form of "Protestantism of the right" - the insufficient political jargon aside for a moment. The Catechism of the Catholic Church outlines the proper and Catholic outlook on these matters:

83 Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

And again:

85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."

87Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

If those Kevin Tierney affiliates with or recommends actually practice what is taught above, the reader can read and decide. I would argue that very few of them do on that list. Therefore, that the company a person keeps (either explicitly or tacitly via promotion) reflects on how they are to be viewed, Kevin personally is to some extent the only one who can regulate this. If he does not want to be viewed as suspect, then he should not affiliate or shill for those who are of suspect orthodoxy. It is that simple really.

SME: 2) Nothing declared as true by the magisterium the past forty years that pertained to doctrine was ever declared as false previously. (There is no point in bringing up the usual red herrings of Mortalium Animos or other statements that "trads" tend to notoriously misunderstand. I have dealt with them many times before and except for time constraints being against me I would dispense with them yet again.)

KT: We again see that Shawn is fighting blind. The ecumenical ideas of the past 40 years, the ones I take issue with, are not declared as true by the magesterium, so I have every right to take these issues to task.

But as I have already explained how this statement by Kevin is false, there is no need to repeat myself here. Suffice to say, the very fact that the magisterium has committed itself "irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture" (Ut Unum Sint §3), means that to some extent Kevin *is* taking issue with certain issues or understandings of issues that he should be a lot more circumspect on than he has thus far shown an interest in being. Enough on that point except I am wondering one thing: has Kevin actually read the pope's speeches from the two Assisi gatherings??? Inquiring minds do want to know...

So I had no intention of bring up the red herrings he accuses me of, since the idea of Assisi I argue does not even square with Vatican II!

I have already explained what Mr. Tierney needs to read and reflect upon to actually understand this issue. The fact is, Assisi is very much in line with the renewal of evangelization that the Council called for and that Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II have sought to implement. But there are some distinctions here that some have blurred which the magisterium has in recent years (thankfully) clarified themselves on. (And vindicated the position of individuals such as yours truly and his fellow evangelists and fellow Inquisitors.) But to realize this will involve Mr. Tierney taking the time to properly educate himself on the issues. Those of us who have generally do not like to spend much time interacting with those who refuse to properly inform themselves and yet try to pass themselves off as knowledgeable on the issues. (For to do this is counterproductive.)

SME: I will not even go into Mr. Tierney's historical ignorance on communion in the hand or his misunderstanding on the legal standing of the Tridentine liturgy after Missale Romanum except to say that his points are sophistic. Frankly, what he outlines there in those two points alone tells me just how misinformed he really is on the dynamics involved in these subjects. And as I have outlined much more here than I intended to - and have to tend to other things now - let me summarize this post at this time.

KT: Let's just dismiss my points as sophistic without going into them. If you don't have time to get into them, that's fine, but don't make a hit and run comment.

The problem of course is that Kevin throws out a lot of bits that -if mention is not made of them- could end up being interpreted as a tacit affirmation if they are not touched on. If he wrote in a manner that did not do this, mentioning certain points in passing as I did would not have been necessary at all.

If he would read my writings, I understand there is precedence of communion in the hand, but by tradition, and I would argue God's will, the more reverent form of communion was the norm.

This is not true at all. See this link for details. If either form actually was more prevalent it is the one that Kevin is opposed to.

He knows quite well the Pontiffs have ruled time and time again in favor of the traditional norm, even John Paul II states this is the preferable way.

Where have I said that the pontiffs have not expressed a preference for this manner of reception??? But that does not in anyway defend Mr. Tierney's absurd recourse to the old "2000 years of Catholic Tradition" canard. If Kevin took this kind of argumentation into the arena with some of the non-Catholics I have sparred with over the years, he would get his clock cleaned. In reality, there are very few teachings or policies that can be shown to have an explicit presence over that span of time and communion in the hand is not one of them - not even close. Again, maybe I need to lower the pinata.

To be Continued...


{2} Kevin's viewpoint can be noted at his website simply by reading what he has posted. Here are a few examples:

1) The Lidless Eye Inquisition continues its assault on "radical traditionalists" and ends up still attacking anybody who is not on the center or the left.

His faulty political analogies aside for a moment, this is quite a strawman Mr. Tierney is erecting. And again, if I was half the "spiteful" person he seems to think I am, I would post the evidences that refute this absurd statement and nail to the wall any vestige of Mr. Tierney's credibility as one who really understands what we actually do here at the Inquisition. But there is more to quote Kevin again:

Kevin Tierney engages Shawn McElhinney, the head of the Lidless Eye Inquisition, and deals with Shawn's slanderous remarks and misrepresentations of the Defenders Apologetics Ministry, and it's stand on traditionalism.

Where to begin, where to begin, that is the question. (Other than the obvious typo of course.) First of all, I have said nothing whatsoever about the website itself. Secondly, I have made no remarks whatsoever that can be called slanderous. If I had then Kevin should be able to outline them. He should be able to point to clear statements that I made about him personally. But he cannot do that because my response was not primarily one of personalities at all but instead it was primarily of issues.

The only way that it touched on personalities was in the sense that I was commenting on statements that Kevin had made. That is all. So this description by Kevin at his website could hardly be more off the mark though it is not quite as bad as the first one was. The next one is possibly the most inaccurate of all - though all three are running a photofinish viz which is the most off the mark. In reference to the Inquisition, Kevin notes the following:

One of the more radical organizations within Conservative Catholicism, this site engages in absolutely uncharitable practices against Traditionalists, refers to some of their members as downright evil (Referring to Robert Sungenis of Catholic Apologetics International as head of CAItanic for example), and dedicates itself solely to the destruction of what they view the "radical traditionalist movement" (i.e. anyone not on the left center of Church policy!)  I put this site up only as reference, and ask that you click with extreme caution.

Other than the last line where Mr. Tierney gives his subjective opinion, the entire statement is flawed. For (i) we are not a "radical organization" (ii) we are not "conservatives" (iii) we are more charitable than those we tend to critique (iv) no one has been referred to as "downright evil" or anything remotely approaching that classification (v) while it is true that we aim our scopes on those who undermine the Catholic faith, at the same time our range is nowhere near what Mr. Tierney asserts. (The notion of anyone on this weblog being "left-center" is a real hoot.) Maybe we need to lower the pinata some more.

{3} If I did, then Kevin could easily demonstrate this. That he cannot do so without imputing evil motives to me is all the reader needs to know on the matter really.

:: Shawn 10:16 PM [+] | ::

Responsum ad Tiernum Dubiosum (Part I)
(aka "The Iceman Melteth" Dept.)

[Prefatory Note: This response was written and revised about over a week ago. Those who have been following my weblog Rerum Novarum know that in the interim there was stuff dealt that was of significantly greater importance than responding to Kevin. (For a few examples, go HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE among many that could be noted.) So I do not apologize for the delay in the slightest.

Hopefully the readers will find what is presented here to be enlightening. And as this post was too long to enter as a single entry, it has been divided into three sections (excluding the Addendum). I left in the original note numbering throughout the thread though each was grouped with its respective sections for easier verification. - ISM (6/16/03)]

As I do not intend to respond at this length again anytime soon, hopefully Kevin Tierney will avoid the kind of red herrings I will refer to in this response in any future responses he deigns to write. I tend to avoid responding to people who take this tack because it takes too much time and effort to unpack their statements to the extent necessary to properly refute them.

I have noted this problem many times before including recently at Rerum Novarum when responding to others who have this problem. One example of this can be read HERE and others of previous and subsequent vintages are also available at my other weblog as well. (Two that come to mind are actually less than a week two weeks ago.) But enough on those as we have Kevin Tierney's response to deal with now. Let us get to it then. For easier reading, I will divide this response into sections much as I generally do in my web writings.

I - Preliminary Errors in the Definitions of Key Terms as well as Logical Fallacies as Committed by Kevin Tierney:

I will also address a key misperception that Kevin has in this section. (The section title is already too long to make mentioning this there expedient.) Kevin's words will be in black. His words when citing me will be in black also but italicized. (I left his markers in for additional assistance in following the thread.) My sources quoted will be in dark blue font.

Kevin responds to Shawn McElhinney

It was yet another slow Friday at work, and I decided to take my lunch early. I came home, and while browsing the Internet, I came across the Lidless Eye Inquisition, wondering if there had been any updates in the dialogue between myself and Gregg the Obscure, one of the "Inquisitors of Radical Traditionalism" on that site. Much to my surprise, I found a post, yet not from him. It was from the most well known member of the Inquisition, Shawn McElhinney.

Actually, Pete Vere is much better known than I am.

After making clear this was not an in-depth analysis of my remarks, he decides to make a few comments in passing that I feel should be addressed by yours truly, and hopefully a more constructive dialogue can open after that if there is still disagreement. My words will be noted with "KT", Mr. McElhinney’s words will be SME.

SME: Like a lot of self-styled "traditionalists", Kevin does not appear to have an understanding of this issue that goes beyond the superficial. However, I must also note that it is possible that he is simply attempting to economize himself in his response. As one who struggles at that myself, I will extend to him the benefit of the doubt and presume that is what he is trying to do. As one who prefers to stick to primary subjects and avoid as much as possible ancillary distractions, I will simply note here what he has to say about the weblog weltanschauung to the extent there is one.

KT: Here we begin to see Shawn’s ad hominem festival, launching all kinds of personal attacks against those he writes against. (This is nothing new, as he has been widely known for referring to organizations such as Catholic Apologetics International as CAItanic.)

Kevin of course is applying his own definition to the term ad hominem here. He is also making statements about me which are misleading at the same time. Let us clear up these points before getting to the meat of his response. After all, a small error in the beginning can lead to a huge error at the end. And when someone starts off misdefining their terms that is...well...not a minor bagatelle.

Do I occasionally use ad hominem approaches??? Yes I do and I admit to it without hesitation. Is this approach therefore a necessary a flaw in my methodology??? By no means. Let us clear some of the confusion here by defining this term and when (if ever) argumentation in this manner is considered either valid or appropriate.

First of all, contrary to conventional wisdom by its detractors, ad hominem argumentation is not ipso facto a fallacious form of argumentation. (Anyone who has studied even elementary rhetorical argument knows this.) Like all approaches, there are legitimate and illegitimate uses of the ad hominem. That it is often misused I will not dispute. That I misuse it though is something I will dispute because (i) there is a time to use it legitimately and a time not to and (ii) I know when these points are. A brief explanation is in order here so that I am not misunderstood.

Ad hominem as an argument styling would be improperly used if someone applied it to an individual as a means of avoiding an argument. (This is usually what people refer to when they refer to someone utilizing the ad hominem approach.) But this method of the ad hominem is hardly something that someone can credibily tag on me. For when I resort to a form of the ad hominem it is a licit form that I use.

An example of where the ad hominem approach can be legitimately used is in a court of law. Indeed, in this setting, the ad hominem is frequently used by attorneys to try and discredit a witness called to testify against their client. If ad hominem argumentation was automatically fallacious, then we would have to shut down our very court system or at least restructure it so that no attorney could ever at any time call into question the credibility of a witness. Consider the ramifications of this development for a moment courtesy of reductio ad absurdem.

To take Kevin's implications (that my argument is invalid simply due to ad hominem) to the extreme, to avoid this at all costs would mean we would have to take as valid and unimpeachable anything that anyone says at any time. We could not call into question the credibility of anyone who makes a statement; thus the astronomer with credentials in his field would have to be taken as possessing the same weight to his testimony as the flat earth propagator. To opine in any way that the latter may not have the credibility to discuss the subject of dispute compared to the aforementioned scientist would not be admissible. Remember, to do this is to engage in argumentum ad hominem.

Hopefully, the absurdity of this cannot be plainer since it would place those with no credibility and those with credibility on the same playing field. I therefore, when being critical of a person or position will sometimes make comments which call into question the credibility of the person making an argument. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this methodology provided that it is used properly. Now if I stopped at that point and did not substantiate my assertions, then Kevin would have a legitimate gripe against me. But since I substantiate my assertions with usually very detailed argumentation (and from reputable sources), my approach is legitimate.{1} Having noted that --and further since Kevin seems to have CAItanic-on-the-brain-- let us deal in brief with that one at this time.

For starters, I was not the one who shot that apostolate's credibility full of holes. Instead, that unfortunate situation was a direct result of its founder's instability in the faith and also what I believe was a lack of full conversion in the first place. This is a subject that was commonly discussed in private circles for a few years before the fall 2002 fallout. (Amongst friends and associates of Mr. Sungenis.) And my view on this happened to coincide with that of others who had come to the same conclusion on their own so it was hardly a "manufactured" position in the slightest.

I will not deny having a role in that apostolate being distanced from by every credible Catholic organization on the web but that is another story altogether. But as Kevin has referred to them at least three times now either in articles or in message boxes, that brings up another element of valid scrutiny: the company that an individual or group keeps. It is an axiom that under some circumstances, it is rational to judge people by the company they keep or affiliate themselves with. This is not done subjectively of course but instead from an solely objective standpoint.

That Kevin has made appeals seemingly in favour of CAItanic and that apostolate's founder in light of the very sordid and meticulously documented trackrecord of the past year does make one wonder. And while this is to a degree guilt by association, the latter is not an invalid criteria to use at times. Indeed the same problems present themselves if Kevin tries to argue against any form of guilt by association - a point that will briefly be dealt with here at this time.

For if Kevin challenges the veracity of the material at the links above, I can call to the stand every Catholic apologist/evangelist who used to affiliate with CAItanic who has deliberately separated from them - including many who counted Mr. Sungenis as a good friend. The testimony is ample and it is substantial. (And it would easily hold up in any court of law worthy of the name.) Likewise, I could call to the stand numerous people who used to be avid supporters of CAItanic who would no longer trust them in anything. The number of people this applies to is also not negligible.

Is this a sad situation??? Yes it is. Do I personally pray for Mr. Sungenis in my mass and rosary intentions for his full conversion??? Yes I do. Do I expect anything in return for this??? No I do not. I would not even have mentioned it if not for Kevin's continual attempt to defend the indefensible - in this case Mr. Sungenis and his apostolate. Having sorted that out, let us move on with his comments.

He has every right to disagree of course, but a little charity could be utilized, would do his cause far much better. This was exactly the point I stressed in my original writing, that this is extremely typical of his constant assault against anyone who refuses to march his party line.

Kevin here quite clearly does not know me or what I have written if he makes this statement. The reader can read my weblogs and my essays and come to their own conclusions. I frankly cannot see how anyone who does can come to the conclusion that Kevin does if they (i) take all the factors into account and (ii) are honest about what they would read.

As far as a "party line" goes, I have none except orthodoxy. I do not care if those I defend agree with me or not if it is an area of legitimate theological speculation or devotional/liturgical/disciplinary matters. I go to bat many times for people whom I disagree with - even profoundly at times.

Ask the residents at Steve Ray's old Catholic Converts board what the board reaction was when I came to the defense of Gerry Matatics. (This had to do with the Keating-Matatics situation.) I even told Karl my view on this matter when someone cc'ed him on a private email discussion thread on the subject of Matatics and Karl's handling of this. And this is not because I in any way, shape, matter, or form agreed with Gerry Matatics. (In fact, I agreed almost completely with Karl Keating.) And today my agreement with Keating philosophically on that issue is darn near 100%. However, I still do not believe he handled it correctly and have not been quiet on this subject when it has come up on Catholic message boards over the years.

Ask the same board members what happened when I came to the defense of my friend Albert Cipriani (a self-identified "traditionalist") at the same site. I did this every time he was banned. And in not a single instance did I agree with Albert's arguments or tone in those situations. However, the moderators of the board were being inconsistent in their treatment of him and others who were philosophically much closer to me on the issues who were being given "get out of jail free" cards. This position like the Matatics one did not endear me to the overwhelming consensus of the participants. But my stand was one based on principle and to be consistent I had to take it.

I have also come to the defense of atheists, Reformed Protestants, Evangelicals, Jews, and others whom I am philosophically not in substantial agreement with. (At Steve's board when I used to post there and many other places.) I have defended them against other Catholics when I felt they were misrepresented. And the same is the case with those who call themselves "traditionalists."

Ask David Smith from the converts board about this. I have taken his side on several occasions where I felt he was not being fairly represented - and often when I happened to disagree with him. Ask Jeff Culbreath - of whom I have more links to in my weblog margin than anyone else - about this. I have defended Jeff's positions both when I agreed and particularly when I have disagreed with them insofar as (i) they were acceptable to hold and (ii) when others had taken him to task for espousing his particular viewpoint on certain issues. Ask Tim Enloe the Reformed Protestant whom I have sided with against Catholic criticism before. Ask Edwin Tait, an Anglican whom I have defended against both Catholic and Protestant overreaches. And I have done this not only when the parties involved are present but even when they are not. Many others could be mentioned but I think the point is adequately made.

Oh and lest I forget, Mr. Tierney could ask the same board participants how I publicly came to the defense of Mr. Sungenis before last September despite arguing in private with him on not a few issues. (Mr. Sungenis and I used to be on some of the same discussion lists.) I did that for over two years where I gave Mr. Sungenis at least publicly every benefit of the doubt and did not tolerate those whom I felt criticized him unfairly. (This was done even when I did not agree with his stances on some issues - such as his interpretation of "works of the law" in the Pauline corpus and also geocentrist theory to name two of several I could mention.) In short Kevin has missed the boat in all parameters here as well as the the dock and the harbour.

Because he could not be more in error viz his presumptions here, I can only assume out of charity that Mr. Tierney has come to the party very recently and is not aware of the history involved here. Because if he has been paying attention for more than a few months, my trackrecord on these issues speaks for itself. And I would argue that I have been very consistent in my approach. Indeed it is this consistency which is precisely why I have even caught flack at times from people whom I am friends with or who otherwise agree with me. But enough on that subject as that horse has been beaten to death now. Let us move on.

SME: As far as Kevin's claim that "[w]hile claiming to be against radical traditionalism, it seems as if one does not stand straight and walk the conservative Catholic party line, you become an enemy of Catholicism", I must profess a degree of genuine puzzlement by that statement. First of all, I am no "conservative" as that term has been so commonly misused for the past ninety odd years. (I go over this with some detail in this post from Rerum Novarum.) Second, I am not aware that anyone on this list of Inquisitors are "conservative" either in the sense of that term commonly applied to it. Third, for an understanding of the positions that individual Inquisitors have, the best place to go to ascertain this is the respective weblogs and websites of this weblog's participants. I have included them
whenever possible in a side margin.

KT: And I have been in contact with those members of his organization that I have had disagreements with, so I am well aware of the disagreements.

Based on how wrong Kevin has been about me personally, I would have every reason to have serious doubts about the veracity of the above statement. However, colour me as "Mr. Nice Guy" since thus far I see no reason to deviate from the protocol of rendering Kevin the benefit of the doubt on this subject.

In my article, I defined my terms on conservatives, liberals, and traditionalists, and I would say he surely falls into the conservative mindset.

Okay, let us consider Kevin's terms as he has defined them:

(Kevin's definition): The conservative is that person who doesn't like to change; he likes what he received and what he is accustomed to. So, in face of the Revolution in the Catholic Church that changes everything, he opposes it because it breaks his habits and destroys what he is comfortable with. But this opposition does not have deep roots, because it is not supported by principles. For this reason, with time the conservative shifts little by little to the left. Yesterday, for example, he was opposed to pop music in the churches; today he approves the Masses at World Youth Days with rock and roll.

I would say that this definition applies to me probably 10% at the most if I was really to scrutinize it. Let us look at his definition of "traditionalist" now:

(Kevin's definition): The traditionalist is that person who, in face of the changes in the Catholic Church – Vatican II, the new Morals, the New Mass, the new liturgy, etc – wants to return to the time before Vatican II. That is, to the time when tradition was respected: good Morals, good customs, pious churches and devotions, the Mass of St. Pius V, of course, and many other good things. To reach this ideal some want to return to the time of Pius XII, others to the time of Pius XI, others further back.

This definition applies to me maybe 10% at most - and only when I am deep in what I call "nostalgia-mode." Let us now look at Kevin's definition of "counter-revolutionary":

(Kevin's definition): The counter-revolutionary is that person who, in face of the modern changes in the Church, wants to destroy the very source of these changes. He sees the changes as being the aim of a current – Progressivism – which is the heir of another current – Modernism – which was the heir of Liberalism. In its turn, Liberalism was linked to a whole ensemble of other currents that were inspired and supported by groups and associations that always worked and fought against the Catholic Church and Christendom. This movement began in the Middle Ages; with time it established a powerful network all around the world to fight the Catholic ideals. We call this movement the Revolution. So, the counter-revolutionary is that person who sees the Revolution behind the present-day changes in the Church and wants to destroy it. He wants to establish in the Church and in the civil society the very opposite of what the Revolution desires. This would be an order that would be traditional, but it is a kind of traditionalism that is always in position of counter-attack against evil." (Found in an Interview with Mr. Guiameres, located here )

Aah yes, Mr. Guimaraes. I wrote a piece about three years ago decimating his article The Right to Resist piece by piece. Mr. Guimaraes showed no real understanding whatsoever of Church history as it really happened and virtually all of my sources used in his discrediting were pre-Vatican II ones. It was hilarious that the Remnant actually ran the piece three times in 2000 alone. (For seldom have I seen such shoddy scholarship being promoted by supposed "experts".) But I digress.

Nonetheless, if we look at Mr. Guimaraes' definition above, - which Kevin has seemingly made his own, it applies to me at most maybe 5%. And I would wager that any definition he posted of "liberal" would also apply to me about 5% - maybe 10% at the most. Yet if he were to define "reactionary" I would probably garner a tiny percent of that vote too. Likewise "anarchist", "constructionist", and most other attempted labels. Indeed my hate mail when I get it - which is not often - is quite vicious and it comes from all areas of the mythical "spectrum." The sheer contradictory speculations is almost a joy to read - the spiteful statements aside for a moment. For when one considers that the same things are said of the Catholic Church, it gives me reason to be pleased. To paraphrase my fellow lover of the leaf GK Chesterton in speaking of the Church:

If you hear a thing being accused of being too tall and too short, too red and too green, too bad in one way and too bad also in the opposite way, then you may be sure that it is very good.

It would be impossible to list the manifold contradictory positions that have been imputed to me by people who have emailed me. (Not to mention by some friends and associates I have dialogued with.) Countless examples could be listed but I will note one here which was typical and which also was part of a dialogue I had with two friends - both of polar opposing philosophies on not a few points.

I remember after espousing both a ressourcement theological position and defending as legitimate the old manualist position I took serious issue with, a friend responded in length about how I was in essence a "fundamentalist traditionalist" who "supported the Roman school." Another friend in the discussion disagreed with him and said that I was "flirting with modernism" and was "very liberal." (And a third person observing the exchange claimed that I was a "conservative" and their analysis was as faulty as the first two.) I took issue with both of them on different points. (And with the third person who claimed I was "conservative" but who defined this term in a way that was foreign to my very way of thinking and being.) The moral of the story is that my two friends each only saw what they wanted to see in my response. And in both cases it was as an "opposite" of them because they applied faulty political categories to theological issues which by far transcend artificial political classifications.

If I were to have applied Kevin's definitions to myself - say seven years ago - it would have been about 30% "conservative", 50% "traditionalist", and about 20% "counter-revolutionary". It is amazing though what a ton of study of church history, dogmatic theology, liturgical history, and other areas can do for a person's viewpoints over time. (Particularly when supplemented with prayer and reflection.) But at the same time I must admit that the phrase "there but for the grace of God go I" is applicable here. For this reason, I can sympathize even with the extremists but that does not mean where they deviate from what the historical record and what dogmatic theology tells us that they are to be tolerated. To the extent that they do not do this, of course I have no problems with them even if we do not necessarily agree. But I digress.

So to say I haven't done any of this, is a claim Shawn makes in ignorance. Perhaps if he were willing to ask me about this issue before posting it, that error could have been avoided.

If Kevin did not give the appearance of failing to have done what he claims he has done, then he would be properly understood.

SME: Decades ago there was also a mentality that catholicity meant strict uniformity. The Church has never taught this though in the Counter-reformation polemical climate...this approach became more and more prevalently used because it was an expedient way of responding to Protestant objections. The fact that it was based on a fallacy itself was one that to challenge it was to be suspected of heterodoxy. And many theologians and clerics - both orthodox and heterodox - did as time went on make challenges to this outlook. But to go into this with the detail it involves would take a lot of writing to do. And I have a project in the works that deals with a fair amount of this anyway - or at least it will when the project is done.

KT: I don’t see it that way, as we have always allowed diversity, as long as certain central tenets are observed.

Kevin is again in error. The diversity that historically was a feature of authentic catholicity was actually not allowed in the Counter-reformation in many areas of liturgical, devotional, disciplinary, and theological areas where it had once been - even when the unity of faith was maintained.

Take the debate between Thomists and Molinists. While granted, Thomism has been the more popular view throughout time, and especially pre-Vatican II, both sides were allowed without being declared heretical.

That is one of the very few examples in the Counter-reformation period that Kevin can credibly mention. And if not for the established trackrecord of the parties involved at the time, that diversity would not have been allowed. Now it is true that it took a little while for the monolithic mentality to really crystallize in the post-Trent period. But all someone has to do is compare the sort of theological speculation/devotional practice/liturgical practice, etc. that was permissable before Trent with what was allowed after Trent. Those who know their history even marginally well are aware that what I am saying here is really not even debatable. But enough on that subject as there are many more points to cover.

II - More on Kevin Tierney's Ahistorical Notions, an Example of His Profound Confusion Viz the Weltanschauung of the Lidless Eye Inquisition, Etc.:

This section will also contain an example of improper theological attitudes and a brief schema of general norms for safe theological speculation.

As far as the view that one was too quick to be challenged as heretical, this is hardly without precedent, as this was the way the Church had always operated, even from the beginnings itself, as the Church was very questionable about developments, and tested them.

The Church was generally slow to condemn any position and (as a result) tended to handle matters of doctrine carefully. Indeed with very few exceptions, that was the rule. (Kevin's opining of "always" reveals how little he really understands Church history beyond superficialities.) I reiterate: the period of the Counter-reformation was an anomoly in that what was the exception prior to that time became the rule in that period. This is not even debatable but I am sure that Mr. Tierney will try nonetheless. I can even anticipate some of the "scholarship" he may try to bring forward to do this. But I digress.

In the end, those developments which were valid prevailed, those that didn't, well, didn't. That's all I advocate.

Kevin fails it seems to realize that even fifty years is a drop in the bucket historically. A knowledge of the ecumenical councils would reveal to him that what we are experiencing today is actually the norm after an ecumenical council rather than the exception. I have discussed this matter many times and frankly it is not even debatable. (Those that do debate this - as I used to when I was a "trad" - reveal their facile grasp of actual Church history contrary to the attempts of many self-styled "traditionalists" to speak authoritatively on this subject.) As GK Chesterton once noted, the Church was left for dead by the dog of heresy at least five times and every time it was the dog that died. (He wrote this in the early twentieth century.) It was actually left for dead more often then that but Chesterton's basic premise is correct. Let us touch on some of them in brief.

There are several points of Church history that are arguably much more dire than even the worst of post-Vatican II period. (Which was the period of post-1968 through much of the 1980's.) We can at least see the end in sight now and have been able to for over ten years now. By contrast the same cannot be said for a similar point in (i) the Arian crisis, (ii) the Acacian crisis, (iii) the Monothelite crisis, and (iv) the Iconoclast crisis. And that also applies to (v) the start of quite possibly the worst period of Church history --referring to the tenth century-- as well as (vi) the Albigensian crisis, and (vii) the conciliar uprising/western schism. There was also (viii) the Rennaissance popes and their decadence which spurred on the Protestant crisis, and (ix) the Jansenist crisis.

In all of these, the end was not in sight thirty-five to forty years after the ecumenical councils (or the papal decisions/lack of decisions) which these groups reacted to. In all of these, there was at least forty to fifty years of struggles before orthodoxy clearly triumphed - sometimes even more than that. I may go over that in detail another time as it drives sixteen penny nails in the coffin of Kevin's thesis that [a]s far as the view that one was too quick to be challenged as heretical, this is hardly without precedent, as this was the way the Church had always operated. But as there is a lot to cover, let us move on again.

SME: One element of authentic catholicity is diversity in theological speculations. And in this realm, the subject of hell being potentially empty would have to be approached very carefully because it is a minefield subject. We already know that the fallen angels are in hell and this is taught by an ecumenical council (Lateran IV). So any theory would have to take that into account or else it is heterodox. To my knowledge, those who are accused of universalist theology are simply opining that - the fallen angels excepted of course - we have no certainty one way or the other. And that is an acceptable theological speculation even though it is one I find as very remote at best for a number of reasons I will not go into here.

KT: In my polemic against Mr. Latar, a fellow member of the Inquisition, I outlined my case against the idea of hell having the possibility of being empty, fallen angels excepted of course.

Of course the Church has not passed judgment on this one way or the other. So while Mr. Tierney is free to hold to his position -whatever it is- others who do not run afoul of actual Church teaching can hold and defend an opposing theses and do so in good faith. In fact, I am reminded me of a discussion on this very issue I had about two and a half years ago with Mr. Sungenis on an old discussion list. (It was in early January of 2001.) The reason why I bring this one up rather than other examples which could be mentioned - including on the subject of Assisi - would be apparent to the individual who goes over the sequence. To save on space, I will link to the sequence here rather than reiterate it. Those interested can go HERE and do a word search for the phrase "As far as the Von Balthazar subject goes."

To summarize it, Mr. Sungenis refused to stop labelling people who espoused the von Balthazar thesis as "heretics" and "modernists" despite providing none of the required evidence to even have a shot at credibly doing this. (And I knew going in that he would not be able to do this by the way: it was a trap that he walked into exactly on script.) The thread died down when some mutual friends of mine and Mr. Sungenis' emailed me privately and told me to drop the matter because Bob would not do so regardless of how hopeless his position was shown to have been. (So I did this at their request.)

It was at that point when I knew that Mr. Sungenis would go to where he is now eventually. He had for some time been dogmatizing his own opinions as the benchmark of orthodoxy but this was mostly by implication. Prior to this it was never (at least in my observation) so explicitly manifested.

To put it bluntly, anyone who claims that von Balthazar's thesis was heretical needs to put up or shut the hell up. I want to see them produce the magisterial definition as specified above or they are out of line making that assertion. They do not have to agree with the position but to make such statements without sufficient evidence is the very definition of slandar commonly recognized in the courts of law in America and also in Catholic Tradition. (It is a mortal sin against the eighth commandment to accuse someone of heresy without proper evidence - which only the Church herself can provide by the way.) And anyone claiming to be a faithful Catholic who does this should be ashamed of themselves. Okay, enough of my soapbox and back to this response.

I did not accuse anyone of universalism, though I have always asked that the charge be proven that they aren't, since one comes quite close to that subject when they advocate this view. So I don't really see what the point in this is.

As GK Chesterton once noted, the difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy is at times as narrow as an inch. But an inch makes all the difference in the world when one is balancing.

As noted above, the idea of diversity in theological speculations is quite alright, as long as certain tenets of previous dogma are observed. We do not have liberty to go along and say that Christ is not God for example, but the issue of Mary as Mediatrix would be a possible issue of discussion. So if anyone is to be accused of red herrings, it is not yours truly, but my friends over at the Inquisition, as nothing written comes close to my position, and misrepresents it quite well I might add.

Other than taking issue with Kevin on Mediatrix to a minor degree, it is good to see his admission in the above paragraph. (I would argue that the teaching is definitively to be held though not de fide.) I frankly cannot see why anyone who accepts the four Marian dogmas and the doctrine of Blessed Mary as the Second Eve would have any problem whatsoever with Mediatrix. I would not want to see it defined de fide but of course I have as much a right to that opinion as someone who would want to see it defined. But lest I get offtrack, that is all I will note on that subject here.

SME: Suffice to say, defending someone's theological freedom to expound on a particular theory within certain parameters does not mean that I agree with it. But with self-styled "traditionalists" so often merely defending someone's right to hold a particular view - even if they personally do not agree with it - equates to concurrence with the viewpoint. And so often the "trad" condemns as heterodox things they do not like irrespective of whether they are or are not orthodox.

KT: If my work was actually read before going into this piece, one would find I do not condemn people as heretics for holding that view,

Nor did I claim that Kevin did. (For one who questions whether or not I read his work, I am wondering if Kevin read my response or if he simply scanned it.) I mean, read my statement above as Kevin quoted it. Even there it is quite clear that I never accused Mr. Tierney of what he is asserting.

meanwhile I pose some questions that do need to be answered, in order to make this view a permissible view to hold.

It is permissible to hold any position provided that (i) the position does not contradict previous teaching - either extraordinary or of the supreme ordinary magisterium (ii) it is indicated by its promoter -either expressely or tacitly- to be a theological opinion and not a matter of doctrine, let alone dogma (iii) that the individual does not seek to make their opinion a matter of binding doctrine on anyone else (iv) that the individual does not resist the judgment of the Church should the magisterium expressely pass judgment against the position they espouse (cf. Humani generis §20).

While I am sure I could refine those points a little, that brief schema applies to any theory that I can think of offhand. I did not mention Scripture or Tradition because strictly speaking the Church is the custodian of both and interprets them in the event of a dispute as to the meaning. (If it seems appropriate to do so.) So by mentioning "does not contradict previous teaching - either extraordinary or of the supreme ordinary magisterium" these are covered by logical extension as well.

While taking into account beforehand that he did not mean this to be an in-depth analysis, a simple checking of his facts would've saved him quite a bit of time, so he could go into a more in-depth analysis.

Of course I could counter with the statement that I am doing nothing with Kevin that he is not in essence doing with certain prelates he has been critical of. Nonetheless, I am willing to extend to him the benefit of the doubt that he seems to want to deny to them. Indeed in scanning Kevin's weblog, I noticed this description of the Inquisition:

(Kevin's description): This is a site of radical conservative Catholics, who have a distinct hatred for what they view "Radical Traditionalism", a term they never define, and eventually ends up being anyone who has serious questions about the direction our church has gone in the past 40 years.

There is NO way I can possibly be misrepresenting Mr. Tierney worse than his description of Lidless Eye misrepresents the manifest intentions of that weblog. It is ironic that the same kinds of people who never define "modernism" and use it as a cudgel against anything that does not appear to be neo-scholastic manual theology or Tridentine Latin rite Catholicism would have a problem with a term that they claim we have never defined. Oh Law of Non-Contradiction, wherefore art thou???

Seriously though, I have defined this term over a half-dozen times in my writings and on my weblogs. As far as being "against anyone who has serious questions about the direction our church has gone in the past 40 years", I have already pointed to sources that refute this noxious error so I will not repeat myself. In essence we have Mr. Tierney making grandiose and wide-sweeping generalizations which do not withstand scrutiny. Anyone who doubts my veracity can check my web writings, my essays in published periodicals, my contributions to message boards over the years, and also my weblogs. Frankly, there is no excuse for an error of this magnitude - considering how critical Kevin has chosen to be of us and what we do here at the Inquisition.

Then we have the same Mr. Tierney criticizing the Lidless Eye for faults of his own imagination and further still, for the very same tendencies that permeate most of the so-called "traditionalist" publications. (See Latin Mass,Christian Order, and Remnant for three examples of sources where this problem is of serial proportions - particularly the latter two. Additional sources include CAItanic and NOW.) The inconsistency in Kevin's approach in essence is astounding. By contrast, I am if not 100% consistent then darn near so and have been over the years. (Even to the point of being criticized for it by some friends and associates - though generally in private.)

SME: Mr. Tierney apparently confuses the application of the traditional notion of charity with acquiescence. The fact that a person who is spiritually mature will not rashly pronounce judgment on the actions or statements of another is so often overlooked by the "trad". The latter instead seem as a rule to take the approach that whatever they do not like that the Church approves of is ipso facto wrong. This to some degree is buttressed by the assertion - either explicitly or tacitly made - that anyone who in any way does not support their opinion is somehow a mindless drone. Kevin admits at the start of his piece that these issues are complex ones (which they are) and then he responds with such simplistic statements that one could legitimately wonder whether he really believes what he starts out saying or if he simply says it as a nice introduction to his piece. Again though, I will presume that he means what he says.

KT: I think he just proved my point. Those who make the judgments are not "spiritually mature."

In more cases than not, this is the case. I have dialogued with countless self-styled "traditionalists" and about three quarters of the time, it boils down to spiritual immaturity. And this is not by my judgment but by the spiritual masters of the Catholic Tradition such as St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. I intend to demonstrate this soon at Rerum Novarum with some of these sources as time permits me to do that.

And I heatedly contest the judgments are "rash judgments", as Shawn is unable to see into people's minds.

But Shawn can read what they write. As the Son of Sirach noted "[t]he fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so the expression of a thought discloses the cultivation of a man's mind" (Sirach xxvii,6). And from what is written, an accurate objective judgment on these matters can be obtained.

I have not and never have claimed to read people's hearts. But if Kevin is going to assert that we cannot formulate objective judgments on matters, then how is this any different than what those who are actually modernist in outlook have noted??? (For modernism is at its foundation --based as it is on a mode of immanence known as "vital immanence" -- is nothing less than a denial of the ability to objectively know the truth.)

It seems to be if he disagrees, it's a "rash judgment."

I have respectfully taken issue with many people - including friends - without claiming that their position is rash. For someone who wants to say I am erecting a strawman, Kevin does not seem to have a shortage of scarecrows in his cornfield.

I seriously hope that is not what he is willing to say, so I'm going to ask him to clarify if he chooses to issue a further response.

I wonder sometimes how often I have to repeat myself on these things before some people actually start paying attention. I have reiterated this more times than I can recall in the past five years. The fact that some people continue to rush to presume something I have not only not said but have actually repuduated explicitly is...well...rash. Tell you what I am going to do. I am going to direct Kevin to a place where he should be able to ascertain the answer to his own question: my weblog Rerum Novarum. See the side margin of this weblog for a link.

I would also disagree either explicitly or implicitly, one is a mindless drone if they don't follow the traditionalist position.

This is a welcome admission.

As these are complex issues, I find at times, as zealous sons of the Holy Father, conservatives tend to go on the attack without realizing at times what they are attacking, as is a perfect example in this piece, as Shawn completely misunderstands my approach and my views.

Of course non-Catholics tend to say this quite frequently when their positions are criticized. (And reading what Kevin noted about Cardinal Kasper, the misunderstanding he has of Kasper's position could not be more pronounced.) I would argue that the "traditionalists" generally go after their pet issues with a superficial grasp of the subjects at best. Besides, I was not saying that what I was outlining necessarily applied to Kevin personally. Instead, it is a general norm of sorts for self-styled "traditionalists." Every general norm admits of exceptions and I have not shied away from that fact at all over the years. Indeed I have reiterated it many times in my writings, in weblog entries, and in dialogues too numerous to recall offhand spanning many years. (Somewhere in the neighbourhood of a thousand of them.)

If Kevin reads my response, he will notice that I referred to self-styled "traditionalists" in general. I have had a couple hundred dialogues with self-styled "traditionalists" over the years and I know their weltanschauung well. In fact, I used to be a self-styled "traditionalist" before I knew any better. But addressing them under one heading is much like referring to every ecclesial group which arose because of the self-styled "reformation" as "Protestants". Considering the disparity of the groups that fall under this umbrella, one can only use that term (Protestant) in a generalized sense. Likewise with so-called "traditionalists." So I distinguish between true and false "traditionalists." This is really not that difficult to do.

I let the reader decide who they think is a "mindless drone" or not. So again, Shawn completely misses the point, even when just commenting on something in passing.

I am actually very glad that I misunderstood Kevin there because that means he is not a "garden variety 'trad'" to whom that criticism aptly applies. Hopefully Kevin can after reading this response make some adjustments so that others do not also misunderstand him.

SME: I have maintained that "traditionalism carried to its logical conclusion is the drawbridge to sedevacantism." And my position is a lot easier to defend than Mr. Tierney's is. Without a doubt.

KT: I would love to see that assertion put to the test at any time. Simply disagreeing with the pope on some issues, outside of infallible dogma, does not lead to claiming he is not a valid pope.

There is a lot more to it than mere disagreement of issues. Those who do not become formal sedevacantists amongst the hardcore "trads" do end up eventually becoming defacto sedevacantists. The core issue is not one of agreement or disagreement. Instead, it hinges on the distinction between obedience and disobedience.

The Catholic faith does not allow for selective obedience to the pope and magisterium when the individual wants to - coupled with disobedience when they do not. To the extent that someone culpably refuses to submit to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff - which means obeying his teachings and directives in accordance with his manifested mind and intention - they are in schism from the Church. (As they are separated from him who is the root and matrix of communion with the Catholic Church.) And the sedevacantist - though egregiously in error - is at least consistent in the application of the principle of subjecting the magisterium's teachings and directives to the private judgment of the individual.

All self-styled "traditionalists" who do not practice traditional obedience do this to varying degrees. And over time, as they imbibe the mentality of rebellion, they disobey more and more until finally, they are only honouring the office of the pope and not the man who occupies the office. And at that point, they are no different than the sedevacantists except for the fact that they pay lip service to honouring the pope. But as they do not render to him the obedience required to be a Catholic in communion with the Church, they are functionally sedevacantist.

The pathway to sedevacantism from "traditionalism" is one that is not negligible. I in fact challenge Mr. Tierney to point me to those who have become sedevacantists formally speaking who were not at one time ardent supporters of the very so-called "traditionalism" that he claims to defend.

The general progression is actually not too difficult to sketch out. And I doubt he can find very many sedevacantists who were not originally from the "traditionalist" wing - barring of course those who were born to sedes or who married a sede. The latter two aside, I challenge Mr. Tierney to provide some examples. And for any one he can (if he can) I or my fellow Inquisitors (particularly F. John Loughnan and Pete Vere) could probably point to anywhere from ten to twenty others who have gone the very path I am referring to.

To be Continued...


{1} I have probably taken more precautions than any other evangelist of *any* persuasion to make the context of my arguments accessible. Anyone who has read my writings would be aware of the extent I have gone to do this with detailed bibliography and notes sections so I need not belabour it here since this is frankly not even debatable.

However, in concession to those critics who have not paid much attention, I go over this subject to some extent HERE. Be warned though that this is a rather long thread to read. It is also rather polemical as I was quite pissed off when I wrote it. Fortunately my adversary had the benefit of me waiting until after Lent to post it - as I was able to after reflection tone down the text substantially from how it originally read.

:: Shawn 10:11 PM [+] | ::


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