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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...

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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.

:: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 ::

In reviewing a proposed Catholic Contract as set forth by Kevin Tierney, a few comments come to mind in spots. Here is the list of points as he enumerated them in black font.

1.) In His Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Ignatius of Antioch, writing in the late first, early second century says the following: It is therefore befitting that you should in every way glorify Jesus Christ, who hath glorified you, that by a unanimous obedience "ye may be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment, and may all speak the same thing concerning the same thing," and that, being subject to the bishop and the presbytery, ye may in all respects be sanctified. Calling this to mind, I will only participate in Church movements that have the official blessing of the local ordinary. As St. Ignatius viewed unity with the Bishop as essential to unity in Christ, before anything else can be promised about our life in the Church, this must be. Even if ones Bishop is less than stellar, in areas that are his to command, we are to obey those commands.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

2.) I will not adhere to any apparition that has not been authenticated by the local bishop where this apparition occurs. This is an extension of the first principle, but one all too often forgotten. In cases such as Medjugorje, the opinion of the local ordinary time and time again, as well as that of the episcopal conferences, has been to rule not in favor of those claiming authentic apparitions and visions occur. If any private revelations are adhered to, they shall be only from revelations which have the approval of the local ordinary, and the Vatican deems worthy of belief.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

3.) When adhering to a private revelation, I shall not push my devotion to something outside the deposit of faith as necessary for the faith. Many in both camps of Fatima and Medjugorje view belief in these revelations as essential to being a Catholic, flatly contradicting the Spiritual Doctors of the Church, which state even approved apparitions are not mandatory for belief, and in many cases, even then are still to be avoided.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

4.) I will attend the Traditional Roman Rite only through those venues which the Church has approved. The way to restore the traditional Mass throughout the Church is not to attend illicit masses outside the Church. For others whom an authentic state of necessity exists to justify their attendance at illicit masses I will do everything in my power to help alleviate those conditions.

Other than taking issue with the idea that the Tridentine liturgy should be "restored throughout the Church"{1}, I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal.

5.) When the Traditional Rite is celebrated in new areas, I will promote them.

As he has the liberty to act in this manner as he sees fit --interpreting point five in light of what he notes in points one and four-- again I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Other than his use of the term "traditional rite" of course but that is a minor bagatelle.)

6.) While stressing the importance of the Traditional Rite, I will work towards helping Catholics get more out of Mass, whichever Rite they attend.

Other than the minor bagatelle noted in the previous note, I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal.

7.) I will always be careful to avoid placing my particular charism's on a pedestal that every Catholic must share in to experience the fullness of faith. This is a problem that is explicitly problematic in both traditionalist and charismatic circles, where ones fullness of catholicity is identified by how involved they are in those movements.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

8.) Distinctions shall be made between that which is required for belief, and that which we use to arrive at that belief. Provided the belief is the same, legitimate forms of expression will be tolerated and promoted.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

9.) I will work towards promoting liturgical reform in whatever fashion the Church decides to take liturgical reform, whether it be through a "universal indult", "reform of the reform", or any other various programs.

I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

10.) If interpreting a text written by the Church that I find problematic, if a traditional interpretation is available, I will resolve to use that interpretation, rather than talk about ambiguity. While using that interpretation, I will also work towards that definition being strengthened with more traditional foundations.

Okay, now we appear to have something we can dispute with in more than minor details. I have to wonder what exactly Kevin is referring to when he says "a traditional interpretation"??? Is it an interpretation that has a long pedigree in history??? Is it an interpretation that merely makes the Ecclesia Dei sorts happy??? Or is it merely a pre-Vatican II interpretation???

The reason for these questions is because some interpretations with long pedigrees are or have been recognized as being insufficient or simply wrong (to put it mildly). Likewise, not all interpretations applied to a teaching since Vatican II are either sufficient or necessarily correct. And while I support Ecclesia Dei and its affiliated apostolates in many respects; at the same time I do not necessarily agree with some of the interpretations commonly ascribed to said apostolates by some within that movement. (Viewing them as indeed pre-Vatican II but not properly Traditional as that word is correctly understood.)

I guess the question here for Kevin is this:

---How are you interpreting the words "a traditional interpretation" proposed Contract???

11.) I will read at least one spiritual work every 3 months. Readers are encouraged to send me titles.

Very excellent. I recommend Book I of St. John of the Cross' masterpiece The Dark Night of the Soul and to read that book over and over.{2} That stated, I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

12.) I will read at least one papal encyclical a month. As I had stated in the introduction, people are welcome to contact me asking to see how I progress in fulfilling this contract, and I also believe that others taking up a program such as this can contribute much good to the Church.

To risk sounding like a broken record again: I cannot see anything to dispute with in this proposal. (Indeed, it reads very good.)

In summary, these are on the whole very good parameters to be operating from in the opinion of this writer (the very few minor quibbles and major questions pertaining to point ten notwithstanding).


{1} I should clarify this point a bit lest it be misunderstood. Depending on how Kevin would pursue the objective, we may or may not agree. I do favour a broader extention of the Ecclesia Dei Indult with the Tridentinists being given at least as much latitude as other movements within the church. I do not however favour the idea of the Tridentine liturgy becoming the normative liturgy in the Roman rite again though for reasons too numerous to detail here in brief.

{2} I have read the first book probably five or six times or more (and the second book once) and I find in the first book stuff worth reflecting on each time I read it. (Readers interested in the first book can read it at my weblog Rerum Novarum where I posted it in a series of Lenten meditations back in 2004.)

:: Shawn 12:33 PM [+] | ::

:: Sunday, July 24, 2005 ::
No, There Will NOT Be A Debate With Matatics

Just to clarify: there will not be a public debate between myself and Gerry Matatics over the two questions he proposed (The first being whether FSSP ordinations are valid, the second being whether Pope Benedict XVI is a validly consecrated bishop). I did not feel such a debate would accomplish anything when Gerry challenged (demanded?) it the other day, however, I thought I would wait and talk to some trusted colleagues before declining.

Since that time I have spoken to my pastor, my confessor, my best friend in the canon law world, my best friend among the FSSP's North American clergy, two professional Catholic apologists, John Pacheco, and a fellow gen-x traditionalist from my parish who is known for her sense of balance when it comes to her love for the traditional liturgy and fidelity to the Church. They were unanimous: No.

:: Pete Vere 6:38 AM [+] | ::

:: Thursday, July 21, 2005 ::
[Update 1.0 after speaking to Gerry
Update 2.0 below after speaking with Michael Matt and Doug Bersaw]

Concerning Gerry Matatics and His Alleged Sedevacantism
A Friendly Warning to Karl Keating and My Fellow Traditionalists

While I was away in Kentucky, Karl Keating released an excellent letter in which he argues that Gerry Matatics is a functional sedevacantist. I would encourage everyone to read this letter as Karl is very logical and pretty much calls most things the way they are. With one minute exception, I agreed with Karl's analysis of the situation.

That being said, what was Karl's one point with which I initially reserved judgement? Well, it was his demonstration that Gerry must logically be a functional sedevacantist. I know this is splitting hairs, and that the hair being split is very fine, but I believed it possible that Gerry had embraced sedeprivationism rather than sedevacantism. This would mean that Gerry believes Benedict XVI is a material pope, but not a formal one.

Of course this does not bring Gerry any closer to the mainstream of traditional Catholicism. Additionally, this does not make Gerry's current trajectory any more acceptable to me as a traditional Catholic since I value my full communion with Rome. Nevertheless, I'm thinking of the interesting history between Gerry and Karl. I am thinking of how Karl is often accused of misrepresenting Gerry, and how Gerry is often accused of not being strait with his public audience.

By making this distinction between sedevacantism and sedeprivationism, Gerry can theoritically deny, without lying, that he is a sedevacantist. He can also theoritically claim that Karl is spreading false rumors about him, since Karl implies that Gerry is a functional sedevacantist. Given the seriousness of this issue, I would rather not see it resolved on a technicality -- which is exactly would the distinction between sedevacantist and sedeprivationist would be if it allowed Gerry to get out of answering the tougher questions raised by Karl. As traditionalists we must hold Gerry accountable for his latest words and actions.

Additionally, I don't think it would be fair to demonize Karl on the same technicality when he is essentially correct in my opinion. (That and the fact the distinction between sedevacantist and sedeprivationist is so subtle and as a controversy restricted to so few people that most people, including traditionalists, simply are not aware of its existence.) Therefore, I thought I should mention the possibility Gerry is not a sedevacantist in the strict sense, despite his reported position on the validity of the NOM rite of ordination.

Revision 1.0

I called Gerry and asked him whether he was a sedevacantist. I told him that I would operate on the ancient Roman legal principle (adopted by the Church's canonists) that "silence equals consent". It was a tense discussion -- I stated unapologetically that the Ecclesia Dei movement (including the FSSP) are the only true Latin Catholic traditionalists, whereas Gerry stated that he can no longer attend the FSSP in good conscience -- but Gerry stated categorically that he is not a sedevacantist.

I then attempted to ask him three questions. (Actually, I asked each of them over and over again, however, he refused to answer them directly.) Rather he raised his voice and either challenged or demanded a public debate. In other words, he sounded very serious but I am not sure whether the challenge crossed the line to a demand.

Anyway, these are the three questions that he would not directly answer:

1) Are you a sedeprivationist?
2) Is Benedict XVI is a validly ordained bishop?
3) Do you believe an individual other than Benedict XVI holds the papal throne?

For his part, he told me that he would only answer me in a public debate. He proposed one of the two following questions:

1) Is Benedict XVI a validly ordained Bishop?
2) Is a tridentine Mass offered by an FSSP priest valid?

This is the bulk of our conversation as I recall it. There was plenty of heated comments in between. If Gerry wants to add, clarify, or correct anything that I have written, I will be more than happy to do so. Nevertheless, I will not debate positions with him since he refuses to tell me what his position is other than that he is not a sedevacantist.

Update 2.0

Wanting to be fair and get their side of the story, I spoke with both Michael Matt from the Remnant and Doug Bersaw from St. Benedict Center (New Hampshire) concerning recent parting of ways between them and Gerry Matatics, as reported on Gerry's website. Their stories are similar.

Both claimed that Gerry contacted them prior to the scheduled event and expressed growing concern about the validity of FSSP ordinations as well as the Novus Ordo consecration rite of bishops. Both groups reported that Gerry offered to withdraw from his commitment to speak at their venues owing to his concerns. And both groups accepted Gerry's offer, feeling it was best for all parties involved. Thus while they felt it was better not to have Gerry speak at the event in question, they both stated the decision was not unilateral on their part but rather mutually agreed upon with Gerry.

:: Pete Vere 2:33 PM [+] | ::

:: Monday, July 18, 2005 ::
Briefly Revisiting an Old Subject:
(And a Long-Held Theory)

This post is intended to be read in conjunction with an earlier post from Pete Vere. The words of various interlocuters (past and present -including yours truly) will be in shale font. Any non-LEI sources I quote will be in darkblue font.

Essentially, we have Pete pointing out that Gerry Matatics appears too hard-line even for The Remnant which is saying something. In response to that post, erstwhile LEI provocateur Kevin Tierney noted the following in the comments boxes of that post:

Yeah I noticed this, I wonder if he's gonna come out of the closet as a full blown sede.

It bears noting that if Matatics follows that trajectory, he will be yet another contemporary proof to sustain my long-held theory that extreme so-called "traditionalism" carried to its logical conclusion results in sedevacantism. As that subject has not been discussed here for quite a while, it seems appropriate to recapitulate it in a post to this weblog. But first some background for those who are new to these issues.

As this will involve digging a bit in the archives of this weblog, a few points should be noted before I post excerpts from it. The first is that Kevin and I had a few rough patches early in our dialogual pattern that may surprise readers only familiar with what we have said in the past year. Having noted that in brief, let us move onto the sources in question.

With regards to the subject I want to cover here, I first posted a theory (of extreme so-called "traditionalism" leading by logical extension to sedevacantism) in weblog form about two years ago to this very weblog. But prior to that, I had written on this subject in the following fashion in my treatise contra "traditionalism" in the following words:

Most of this treatise has been devoted to refuting 'traditionalism' as manifested in its majority opinions. And the majority of self-styled 'traditionalists' take the position that there is a valid pope today in Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) regardless of what they personally think about him. However, not all 'traditionalists' take this stance. A more consistent strand of 'traditionalists' styling themselves as "sedevacantists" hold a minority position in the movement but one that is nonetheless necessary to address since this is the logical outgrowth of 'traditionalist' philosophy. (Much as agnosticism is the natural outgrowth of religious skepticism in general.) Therefore, this section will be devoted to refuting the heresy of sedevacantism. [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'" Part XIV (c. 2000, rev. 2003)]

That is the original theory as I stated it in print over five years ago. Now with LEI starting in January of 2003 and getting off to a somewhat slow start for various and sundry reasons{1}, the theory was not raised in this format until June of 2003 here at LEI.{2}

If Kevin recalls, he claimed at the time that those he was referring to as "conservative catholics" had at bottom a relativist foundation. His exact words were these: "the conservative Catholic belief is relativism when you boil down." Upon hearing that, I took the opportunity to reiterate my theory on "traditionalism" and sedevacantism in these words:

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. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa June 6, 2003)]

Kevin countered that statement with the following challenge:

I would love to see that assertion put to the test at any time. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa June 16, 2003)]

Though I did include a bit of exposition in response to that statement,{3} it did not seem worth arguing this point at the time (even with many historical examples which could have been mentioned). The reason is that I judged that only real life examples contemporary to the time would have been the most likely to persuade him. Nonetheless, about a year later, we had one in a good friend of Kevin's. Here is some of what I noted at the time:

Too bad Mario has chosen to avoid my writings like the plague...he might have actually learned something and eschewed his schismatic behaviour long ago.

St. Jerome noted that schism leads inexorably to trumping up a heresy to justify schismatic behaviour. It is too bad that Mario did not realize this four years ago when I wrote on the matter in my treatise. Among the theories I formulated in that work was that false "traditionalism" taken to its logical conclusion inexorably results in sedevacantism. Quite clearly Mario is the latest real-life example which supports that theory...

Material schismatics and material heretics are *not* those who are guilty of deliberate separation from the Church and/or a deliberate denial of a truth of faith. If Mario was half as knowledgable about Church matters as he pretends to be, he would know that. He would also still be in the Church if he did. But Mario continues to vainly assert that he is still in the Church when he has so evidently deserted the Church -in fulfillment of what St. Cyprian noted in the citation above...

Sedevacantism is simply the heresy that he has trumped up to justify his long-standing formal schism from the Church. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa June 20, 2004)]

And occasionally in a comments box aside, I have reiterated this point at least a few times including to Kevin:

This has actually always been why I refuse to compare sedevacantism as something that is comparable to authentic traditionalism. we are not in the same camp.

But the methodology is the same in many cases Kevin. Notice for example the way many parse texts such as Mortalium Animos and Unitatis Redintegratio or the manner whereby many approach more intricate subjects such as ecumenism and interfaith matters. Tell me that these are not treated as Prots treat the Bible and not only by sedevacantists.

Mind you, this is not the same thing as pointing to areas of difficulty and humbly requesting assistance in understanding how they mesh. The dogmatic insistance that there is "contradiction", coupled with the seeming insistance on "proving" it through prooftexting of magisterial sources as Prots do the Bible and magisterial texts -and atheists and agnostics do with the Bible itself-[...]shows either a lack of faith in the Church or a seriously weak and troubled faith.

I have said it before and I say it again: I have yet to see one single example of a true controversion in the ordinary magisterium. That does not mean that there are certain points which are more problematical to figure out than others of course. But in approaching difficulties, one has to be very careful -a lot more careful than many who call themselves "traditionalists" but show no trace of understanding the authentically Traditional manner whereby faithful Catholics are to approach areas of difficulty. I discussed this matter in at my other weblog, see this link for details. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition comments boxes (circa July 12, 2004)]

And also to Mario himself:

And no, I don't usually go to this blog.

I was unaware that I said you did Mario. But your becoming the most recent exhibit in my long-enunciated theory that sedevacantism is the logical extension of pseudo-"traditionalism" [...] has made you a topic of discussion here as of late. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition comments boxes (circa July 14, 2004)]

Furthermore, I raised this in a more general context when discussing sedevacantism in general:

Since the period where Kevin and Jacob were struggling with Mario (followed by the latter's demise into sedevacantist heresy) I have been hesitant to say it publicly but it bears noting that I have publicly advanced the theory that sedevacantism is the logical outgrowth of dissident self-styled "traditionalism"{1} for going on five years now. As a case in point, I quote from my treatise circa mid 2000:

{Snipping of material from treatise already quoted earlier in this post}

And yes, I predicted that Mario would go this path a long time before he did. I remember telling him on a discussion list back in 2001 (that Pete and a host of other people were on including David Palm and Robert Sungenis) that he was treading this path and would eventually cross over: his growing attachment to the SSPX in the period from 2000-2001 was the blatant giveaway.

Of course he vehemently denied it at the time. But once again Santyana's dictum about history repeating itself for those who are ignorant of its lessons was vindicated. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition comments boxes (circa December 6, 2004)]

Obviously, because of the personal nature of the fallout with Mario with Kevin Tierney and Jacob Michael, I was not about to make much of this situation lest it appear to be a kind of insensitive nose-rubbing in light of genuine anguish on their part. (After all, both of them were very good friends of Mario.) Indeed, it is for that reason that I chose to revisit those subjects in comments box form rather than on the main weblog itself as a rule. They are yet more evidences (as if more were needed historically) of the theory I have long espoused (as has Pete Vere). But as that event has received a reasonable amount of distance time-wise, it seems appropriate in light of the Gerry Matatics subject to recapitulate this theory anew and present it for the readers of LEI.

The long and short of it is this: last year my long-held theory{4} was given yet another piece of corroborating evidence in the person of Mario Derksen and the path he has trod. Should Gerry Matatics tread the same path explicitly, he would be another piece of evidence but in reality, he already does provide proof of the theory as he is now.

For ultimately, the question of whether or not Gerry will declare himself officially sedevacantist is not the issue here. For he already is one functionally for reasons I noted before.{5} And now that he is apparently playing around with the entire issue of the revised ordination rites,{6} etc., his proximity to heresy (and remoteness from any semblence of authentic Catholicism) cannot be more manifested. And that is the bottom line really.


{1} One of which is that to all of those involved here, it is a subsidiary project to other weblogs and websites which have always had a higher priority.

{2} Not long after raising that point at LEI, it was also mentioned at Rerum Novarum in the following words:

[A]s I have explained many times in detail, sedevacantism is the outgrowth of so-called "traditionalism" carried to its logical conclusion. If they do not become Fundamentalist-minded, they will eventually either abandon "traditionalism" for the sham that it is or they will functionally separate themselves from the Church - possibly remaining within the body but not remaining within the heart of the Church.[...] Thus, there really is no middle ground here. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 27, 2003)]

{3} Here is the exposition that I was referring to above:

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. [Excerpt from The Lidless Eye Inquisition (circa June 16, 2003)]

{4} Which was nothing more than a reworking of a theory of St. Jerome and St. Augustine. (I gave them credit in my treatise for the original idea of course.)

{5} See footnote three.

{6} He would not be the first to have trod this path:

The position that the new norms of sacramental administration were possibly invalid used to be defended by Mr. Michael Davies until he apparently saw the error of his ways and how this argument — if valid — makes the Constitution of the Church defectible. Since the assertion that the Church is not indefectible is by logical extension proximate to heresy, the claim that the revised norms of the sacraments are either invalid or of dubious validity is a position that is proximate to heresy if not defacto heretical. Therefore, the 'traditionalist' who believes that people should be "conditionally reconfirmed if they were confirmed after 1972" or that the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick contains "invalid matter, form, or intention" should realize that by implication they have just called their Lord and Saviour a lying fraud. Such an assertion even by implication is blasphemy. [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'" Part X (c. 2000, rev. 2003)]

The above position on reconfirmations happens to be the official protocol at not a few SSPX parishes. As I have been scathingly critical of not a small amount of the scholarship of Mr. Michael Davies over the years, in the interest of disclosure it bears noting that he did step back from the precipice on this point when it was pointed out to him the implications of said position. If memory serves, it was Hamish Frasier who corrected him and to his own credit, Mr. Davies was not hesitant to point this out to others who tried to argue in that fashion. (May Mr. Frasier and Mr. Davies rest in peace.)

:: Shawn 1:47 PM [+] | ::

:: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 ::
Gerry Matatics Too Hard-Line for the Remnant

One of our readers brought this to my intention. Frankly, I am stunned. I really believed it impossible to be too hard-line for the Remnant. Yet the following excerpt from Gerry Matatics latest letter to his supporters seems to prove otherwise:

Many of you have inquired about my summer speaking schedule, since, until today, my website had only listed engagements up through April 16! Here's the scoop: due to the strong stand I've taken in my April talks against the New Mass and related issues -- e.g., the new (post-1968) ordination rites (about which I'll be writing in my next essay, which I hope to post here next week) -- all but one of my 2005 speaking engagements have been canceled, including:

1) the Chartres pilgrimage in May I was to have once again (as in the previous 9 years) joined The Remnant for,

2) the Dietrich von Hildebrand Institute in Lake Gardone, Italy, in June for which I was to deliver several lectures on the doctrinal controversies in the early Church and the formation of the New Testament canon,

3) the annual St. Benedict Center Conference in Fitchburg MA in July (at which I've also spoke for nearly ten years now),

as well as ALL my other summer speaking engagements.

Although these cancellations (more about which I will write in my next "Gerry's Word" essay) entail a devastating loss of income (so donations to help us through these next several weeks will be gratefully appreciated!), I refuse to compromise, or to be intellectually dishonest, on these issues. I will be giving a full defense of my positions on these matters, quoting the authoritative teachings of the Catholic Church, in my next essay.

:: Pete Vere 9:42 PM [+] | ::

Michael Forrest and the Jews, Part II

[After the correction I posted below, Michael Forrest emailed a copy of an article he recently published on the relationship between God, Jews, and Christians. He has kindly given me permission to blog it to LEI. -PJV]

Family Dynamics: The Jews, Christians and God

By Michael Forrest

The issue of “the Jews” seems to be ever-present, doesn’t it? How is it that this relatively miniscule group of people and their tiny country manage to persistently elicit such strong, visceral reactions, both pro and con, and to remain so firmly entrenched on the world stage? Is this just a coincidence? Or is it perhaps a sign of something else?

Lately, it seems that the Jews are drawing an increasing amount of attention, if that is possible. The following article by Yitzchok Adlerstein is a case in point: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0705/adlerstein_supersession.php3?printer_friendly. Although I do not necessarily agree with everything written in the article, I think it is at least accurate in relation to the unfortunate and increasing hostility of liberal, mainline Protestantism toward the Jews and Israeli Jews in particular. Of course, there are also many other groups and individuals with various animosities toward them as well. Perhaps these sad developments are caused largely by the Adversary prompting a classic "two for one" error as he is wont to do (encouraging an initial error which spawns a subsequent error in over-reaction to the initial error): absolute, unequivocal support of Israel as veritable angels in certain quarters igniting a converse reaction in other quarters which posits the Jews/Israel as quasi-demons, Christ-haters or the perpetrators of every kind of conceivable conspiracy. And it seems that either extreme disposition in regard to the Jews and/or Israel unites people who may have little else in common.

I believe we must strive not to over-react in either direction. We should reject either automatic, unequivocal approval or knee-jerk hostility and animosity toward the Jews and/or Israel. Unfortunately, I have seen both dressed up to appear as honest opinions formed by independent, objective scholarship and/or investigation when in reality it’s just a matter of someone with a predisposition regurgitating back the work and opinion of a few others because those others are saying what that person already believes. In doing so, such individuals try to pass themselves off as authorities and experts. Then others pick up the same pseudo-research and scholarship and use it as well. Before long, a whole network of self-anointed “experts” and followers may find each other, really believing they have independently happened to reach the same conclusions. I’ve experienced a great deal of this battling in the pro-life movement, from abortion to homosexual “marriage”. One can always find someone who has written a book or article that fits one’s agenda and preconceptions, unfortunately. Of course, there are even those who make little pretense at fairness and objectivity, too. Those are at least easier to spot.

But in the particular case I mentioned first, I think it would be incredibly unfortunate if this negative disposition emanating from mainline Protestantism (anti-Jew, anti-Israel) infected Catholic circles in the same way that other liberal, mainline Protestant ideas have (liberal Scriptural exegesis, moral theology, ecclesiology, etc.). As Catholics, we have a rich and balanced tradition from which to draw and it doesn't make sense to substitute a deficient counterfeit for the real thing.

In addition, while I certainly do not claim to be an expert or scholar on this issue (although I have done a fair amount of research and discussion on the topic) I disagree with the idea of what might be termed extreme, absolute supercession, i.e. that the Jews, as Jews, no longer play any role in God's design for man's salvation and that the Catholic Church has entirely and utterly replaced the role of the Jews in every way in regard to promises, eschatology, etc related to Israel. It seems to me that there is a typical, Catholic "both/and" going on here. The Church is certainly the "New Israel" in a very real sense (as both Scripture and the Fathers attest), and a Jew who becomes Catholic is more deeply and authentically Jewish than one who is not Catholic.

But the Jews, as Jews, also continue to be dear to God's heart “for the sake of their fathers” as St. Paul puts it in Romans 11. They are the “natural branches” irrespective of whether they become expressly Catholic, as St. Paul also makes clear in the same chapter. Gentiles are adopted, “wild branches” that are “grafted” into the tree and the Jews are the "natural” branches that were cut off, but who may be readily grafted back in (even more readily than we, the gentiles, the “wild branches”, again Romans 11).

God still pursues “earthly Israel”, if I may use that phrase, in part because of their identity, their lineage. There is a special relationship, a history there that cannot be erased. Of course, there is no reason for gentile jealousy as this relationship is inferior (in the theological sense) to that of a baptized Catholic, but it is real and persistent, nonetheless. This relationship that “earthly Israel” has with God is, of course, a shadow of the ultimate relationship which is consummated in Catholic baptism, when the natural branch is grafted back onto the tree. The first covenant flows by birth and is exclusive to “earthly Israel”, but the second is solely by adoption and is open to all, including earthly Israel. No one is "born a Catholic."

I do believe the Jews have a role to play, as Jews, in our day and age and in prophecy, including what I tend to believe will be an unusual conversion/restoration of some sort in the future, an occurrence that I believe St. Paul references (again, Romans 11 and many Fathers, saints, orthodox theologians, the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia and a Pope expressly refer to this. I have compiled many of these quotes in the past and have subsequently found a few more without expending great energy. I suspect many more could be found).

For instance, Pope St. Gregory the Great saw in St. John’s description of his and St. Peter’s arrival at the tomb a foreshadowing of the restoration of the Jews (which flowed naturally from his understanding of Romans 11). St. John (representative of the Jews) ran ahead and reached the tomb first (as the Jews received the Gospel first), yet he did not enter first, rather, St. Peter (representative of the Gentiles) did. Subsequently, of course, the Pope notes that John did eventually enter. I also find it noteworthy that Pope St. Gregory the Great believed that Romans 11 referred to an unusual return of the Jews and treated this belief as common knowledge among Catholics, not some novel opinion at which he had arrived (both in his commentary on the Gospels and also the book of Job).

Then, as many have noted, we have the Tridentine liturgy wherein the priest begins with the Missal on one side of the altar (representing the Gospel first being given to the Jews). Then it moves to the priest's other side, representing the Gospel coming from the Jews to the gentiles. At the end of the Mass, it subsequently returns to the side of the altar where it began, representing the eventual acceptance of the Gospel by the Jews. There is much more, of course, but I would also note that I am not aware of a single direct denial or refutation of this belief from the Fathers or saints, which one would expect if it were not widely accepted as it is certainly far from an isolated view that could easily have been overlooked.

Of course, in balance, there is also reference by relatively fewer Fathers to the notion that Antichrist will be of Jewish extraction as well. However, if the second proposition is accepted (Jewish Antichrist), I believe there is even more evidence to support the first (some kind of unusual restoration of the Jews, beyond a trickle-remnant, to faith in Christ in the future). In my opinion, it would be illogical and odd to readily accept the second and reject the first.

I find the very existence of the Jews as a distinct, recognizable people in spite of having no place to call "home" for almost 2,000 years nothing short of miraculous. No other people have maintained their identity under such incredibly adverse conditions. The others have been absorbed, annihilated or a combination of both. Of course, Hitler tried to annihilate them and failed in spite of what many believe to have been a demonically driven and orchestrated attempt. I cannot easily slough these things off as mere inconsequential coincidence and I have never been persuaded by those who do. By this, I am not at all suggesting that God has been uniformly pleased with the Jews and Israel and that their story is one of blessing alone over the past 2,000 years. Far from it. It seems to me there is only one thing that has remained constant through both blessing and curse: God's continuing concern for them as a people, as His first-born.

I would end by noting that any Catholic who decides to be hard on the Jews of today for not expressly accepting Christ ought to be even harder on Protestants if they are to be consistent. Yet this is most often not the case. The Protestants of today are far closer in time to the fathers of their schism than are the Jews to theirs. And while one might argue that at least Protestants "accept Christ", we may also counter the selective rigorist who holds the Jews to absolute, unyielding standards with the fact that rejection of the Church is also rejection of Christ (Luke 10:16 ). I would suggest we ought to give both groups the benefit of the doubt as a whole and assume basic good will combined with ignorance rather than an informed, bad will.

The only certain, consistent combination of full knowledge and bad will of which I am aware is at work in the spiritual realm, prowling the earth in search of human souls to devour. I'm reluctant to cede either group to him so fully and in such a black and white way. And through my experience in reaching out to our Jewish brothers (several of whom I have helped come to their own Messiah in the Catholic Church) I have never seen a single one brought to the fullness of the faith by the proposition that they were in league with Satan, Christ-haters or the like. In fact, I have found remarkable openness among today's Jews about Christ, especially if a relationship of respect and trust is first established. I believe this can be directly attributed to the widespread lowering of imprudent, heated and unproductive rhetoric over recent decades. Ditto for Protestants. We can certainly thank John Paul II for much of this.

Now, certainly, there are some individuals or groups in each camp that may require a harsher response at times (like the ADL or professional Protestant anti-Catholics like Jack Chick). But they are not nearly the majority in my opinion. And to begin posturing, accusing and negatively broad-brushing either group could threaten to destroy the very real progress that has been made. This would be a tragic development. Of course, I am in no way suggesting, as some do, that we remain silent about the truth of Catholicism in order to not offend, only that we use the wisdom, prudence, patience and discernment that naturally flows from authentic, Catholic charity in our evangelism.

This is not unlike my experience in the pro-life movement. There was a time when I tended to assume that all people really understood the issues very well, whether the issue was abortion or homosexual "marriage". And in my incorrect, self-righteous judgment, I lacked the patience and kindness necessary to reach those I might have. When I eventually learned that the majority of people on the wrong side of these issues only THINK they understand them in depth, I changed my approach. Don't misunderstand. Such people can still be amazingly stubborn and maddening. And as they become informed, they may yet purposely choose evil. But they may not. And by the grace of God, without giving an inch on the fundamentals, my passion has increasingly become compassion, and I have found that compassion is capable of bypassing barriers that passion can only crash against in futility.

My prayer is that God will rid all of us of the pride that hardens our hearts and makes them unwilling to bleed and suffer for every soul He desires, whether Jewish or Gentile. Until then, I pray we continue to do the best we can with what we have and humbly trust in His ability to do great things with even the most flawed work when trustingly placed in His hands.

:: Pete Vere 7:07 PM [+] | ::

Correction Request from Michael Forrest

I received an email from Michael Forrest, who dropped by LEI after hearing he was the subject of some recent entries. With regards to his tenure as CAI's censor, Michael has asked me to clarify and correct earlier commentary. He began editing all articles at CAI right after the "Mr. X affair", in 2003, but this stint only lasted about four months. In regard to Bob Sungenis, Michael reported that he was waked to help review/edit Bob's articles only in regard to "tone". According to Michael, this entailed, "emptying them of unnecessary personal insult, invective, derogatory comments etc." Nevertheless, Michael said that Bob started posting directly to the CAI website a few months after he had asked Mike to review/edit his articles. Michael claims that Bob subsequently indicated the he had decided he no longer needed Mike to perform this function for him.

Shortly after that Mike asked the webmaster to correct his position description to indicate that he only edited "some" of the articles of "staff members", as Mike felt this more accurately reflected the reality of the situation. "I only viewed/edited some of the articles written by those other than Robert Sungenis after that," Mike stated in the email. Mike then concluded by stating that none of the latest articles concerning the Jews had passed through his hands, since it has been well over a year since he has edited for CAI's website, and that he left to pursue other projects just before these latest articles broke.

:: Pete Vere 4:22 PM [+] | ::

:: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 ::
Too Much Country Music on the Brain...

With apologies to Gretchen Wilson for mangling her song Homewrecker....

Well you're a real rad traddy with a new gig too
You take their cash, check and credit card
Long rants, conspiracies
Yeah you know what works and you work it hard
You smile like the apologist to beat
You preach it to the choir, as any one can see
You're just a


I know what you're doin'
You think you're gonna hide behind the Mass, Tridentine
Yeah you little disturber
I'll teach you a lesson
If you get to messin with my Mass
You don't stand a chance
No, you're just a Jew-baiter

Anyway, kudos to whoever can improve on this...

:: Pete Vere 11:25 PM [+] | ::

:: Monday, July 11, 2005 ::
Points to Ponder:
(On the Authority of the Popes)

Why is it that private individuals appropriate for themselves the right which is proper only for the pope? We will now discuss those sections of discipline which are in effect for the whole Church. Because they are free from ecclesiastical instruction, they can undergo change, but only by the pope, whom Christ placed over the entire Church to judge concerning the necessity of change for various reasons of circumstance. Thus, as St. Gelasius wrote: "Balance the decrees of the canons and consider the precepts of your predecessors, so that those things which the demands of the times require to be relaxed for the rebuilding of the churches may be moderated through careful consideration."[Pope Gregory XVI: Encyclical Epistle Qou Graviora (circa 1833)]

When even a pontiff of Gregory XVI's disposition{1} recognizes the above principles, that should tell us plenty about the positions taken by not a few of those who claim to be "more 'traditionalist' than thou."


{1} For those who do not know, Pope Gregory XVI was probably the best example in the past two hundred years of the kind of pope that probably most self-styled "traditionalists" think is ideal: monarchial, not open to new ideas, not as well nuanced in his statements as most of his successors, etc. For that reason, the above admission from him (undercutting the "unchangable church" presumption of not a few who call themselves "traditionalists") has additional value.

:: Shawn 5:42 PM [+] | ::

:: Sunday, July 10, 2005 ::
Kevin Tierney still hasn't reviewed Tomorrow Christendom.

:: Pete Vere 2:05 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, July 08, 2005 ::
Take the Pete Vere quiz!

:: Pete Vere 9:07 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, July 01, 2005 ::
Michael Forrest and the Jews

Although we've had a few differences in the past, Michael Forrest and I have recently been exchanging information every couple weeks due to our common battle within the pro-life movement against so-called same-sex marriage. The other day we somehow ended up discussing the role of Jews within salvation history and whether Hebrew Catholics (Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah and come into the Church) fulfill a special role in salvation history.

Michael believes that God has given them a special role and I tend to agree with him. In fact, this view is symbolized in the Tridentine liturgy. The priest begins with the Gospel on the left side of the altar, meaning the Gospel is first given to the Jews. Then it moves to the priest's right, meaning that from the Jews it was given to the Gentiles. At the end of the Mass, it returns to the left side of the altar, meaning that the Gospel will eventually return to the Jews.

That being said, the role played by the Jews within salvation history is different than that played by Gentiles. As gentiles we should not be upset that the Jews have a special role that we do not, but rather we should all rejoice that Our Lord has given us (both Jew and Gentile) the opportunity to play a role in salvation history.

What I found interesting, however, is an analogy Michael drew to the relationship between husband and wife. The husband has a special role within marriage and family life that is his. Similarly, the wife has a special role within marriage and family life that the husband can never fulfill. Should they be jealous of each other's role?

The answer, of course, is no.

:: Pete Vere 8:53 PM [+] | ::


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