Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reply to Misrepresentations of My Opinions (Liturgical and Otherwise) by a RadCathR


By Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong

This came about as a result of a friend cross-posting on Facebook my lengthy paper, Apologia For the Mass of Pope Paul VI, With Massive Historical Documentation From Catholic Tradition / Summary of Vatican II on Liturgical Reform. In the resulting thread, a radical Catholic reactionary (RadCathR) started uttering falsehoods about my opinions (he later removed his comments, without retraction). Sadly, his behavior represents a typical tactic of RadCathRs, when confronted with their errors.

His words will be in blue below. I will inform him of this paper, and he will have the chance to retract his accusations and apologize for the mistake, if he feels so led. It's never a good thing to bear false witness against anyone else: especially fellow brothers in Christ. I added some additional comments presently.

The person wrote back to me (after I initially posted this, and informed him), and asked that his name be removed, as an act of charity. I was happy to comply, and wrote back:

Now, as an act of charity, consider retracting your falsehoods! It's your soul. I'm not harmed by it, because I simply refute it.

He then expressed a desire that I not contact him again (I regard it as a courtesy to inform someone that they have been responded to: one I rarely receive myself, from my critics). I was gonna say in return that my wish was that he not misrepresent me again, either. But alas, I was blocked, and could not even write that back. All par for the course: when refuted with regard to falsehoods uttered about someone else, high-tail it for the hills, with further insults.

To crown his hypocrisy, on his personal blog, in November 2012, he was complaining about some other controversy in another venue, and how they shut down their comments because of disagreements expressed, and described this behavior as "liberal-fascist"; then stated triumphantly that his own combox remained available for comment.

In another post from July 2012, our heroic, consistency-challenged critic was complaining about being a target of slander and calumny and noted that his accusers didn't like it that he was trying to clear himself against "lies." He then goes on to bloviate about how the accusers were nicely asked to apologize and retract, and how they refused; and he also complains about how the SSPX is being criticized.

Sounds like a classic case of "log-in-the-eye disease" to me . . . When the shoe's on his foot, this guy acts in exactly the same fashion that he criticizes in others.

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While the article is long and has many quotes, it misses the mark. What I find disturbing is that this writer, continues in a this or that, old or new, one is better than the other mentality.

Really? Where did I state that one was better than the other? My position is that of the pope: let people worship as they please. I advocated free access to the EF [extraordinary form, or Tridentine Latin Mass] even before the pope granted it (live and let live): which is why I attend one of two parishes in metro Detroit that offers the EF. I have attended them. They're great. Personally, I prefer the Novus Ordo Latin Mass. That's not saying one is "better" than the other. That is the juvenile RadCathR game, not mine.

I am searching my paper and can't find the words "better" or "best" or "superior" ever used in the sense I was just accused of using. I did use "prefer" one time:
At my parish (just for the record) we all kneel at the altar rail to receive Holy Communion, and I prefer that, but I can't argue that it is an absolute and that standing necessarily tends towards irreverence.

My consistent opinions on this have been made very clear on my blog (that has almost 2,500 posts and is fully searchable). For example, in a paper devoted to the Tridentine Mass (EF), dated 4 June 2008, I wrote, in four different excerpts:
I have not the slightest objection to someone preferring the Tridentine Mass. My own parish offers it.

I've always favored a wide availability of the Tridentine Mass. I've gone to a very reverent and traditional Novus Ordo Mass at my parish for 17 years. . . . I recognize that there are many who simply prefer the Tridentine Mass. AND I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT WHATSOEVER. [caps in original]

. . . my position is precisely that of Pope Benedict XVI: both forms of the Mass are important and ought to be preserved. It's not just a matter of taste, anymore than preference of various folks for the various 22 or so rites in the Catholic Church is merely a matter of taste. The faithful have a rite to worship (deliberate pun) as they are allowed in the Church. The TLM should never have been so limited in availability. The Church has recognized that now. I always thought in this way. Vatican II said the Latin should always be preserved. 99% of parishes forgot that but mine did not, which is precisely why I am there (among many other reasons).

The Pope has spoken definitively; the Church has spoken (there are two forms of the Romans Rite -- ordinary and extraordinary -- that should be and shall be continued in the Church), but [RadCathRs] continue to feel that they know better than both.

He has previously slandered the memory of Michael Davies actually accusing him of being a sedevantist.

Is that so? Oh, by the way, the proper term is "sedevacantist" -- meaning, "the seat is vacant" in Latin.

You have a very active imagination, causing you to come up with all sorts of rubbish (at least when it comes to my opinions). Wouldn't it be nice if you actually attempted to document your ridiculous accusations? I know it's a novelty, but I highly recommend it in the future, to save yourself a lot of misery, lest you look like a fool (as you do now).

I don't recall ever having said such a thing. I searched my site and could find nothing remotely resembling it. In fact, I see that when I bring up Davies, it is almost always to oppose him to
RadCathRs: on indefectibility, against the Remnant, in favor of Blessed Pope John Paul II, etc. I have one paper of links that oppose sedevacantism, and a paper by Davies is included (!!!). Yet you claim that I place him in that category?

He has a pretty blog, no doubt; but he provides little depth as to the zeitgeist of last 75 years in liturgy. . . . The writer has more than once displayed his bias against the EF and that removes his credibility. 

This is sheer nonsense; hogwash. I have no such bias at all, and you can't find it in the paper. Apparently, in your weird conception of logic you mix up the following two notions, in your "understanding" of my paper:
1) The OF [ordinary form, or Novus Ordo / Pauline / New Mass] is defended as acceptable and quite sufficiently traditional (with massive documentation) and compared to the EF in this light, in the face of RadCathR attacks on its supposed "objective inferiority," or (Voris' ludicrous charge), "inauthentic" nature.

2) Because the OF is defended and favorably compared to the EF, as quite sufficiently traditional (with massive documentation); therefore, the OF is objectively superior to the EF.

Far as I can tell, you erroneously think I have advocated #2 in my paper, when in fact I have done no such thing. I have advocated #1, and my position is that both are perfectly acceptable, pious, worthy, wonderful forms of Catholic worship, per the pope's clear explanation in 2007, and its accompanying letter to the bishops. Isn't it wonderful and wonderfully liberating to simply agree with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Father?

He is not a liturgical scholar.

Now, for once you get something right, but it is irrelevant to my purpose. Precisely because I am not such a scholar, I cite many folks who are, or who have high positions in the Church (e.g., popes). The bottom line is: does the contention of the paper stand, based on the arguments and documentation presented? Whether I am a "scholar" or not is a complete non sequitur. I'm a popular-level apologist and have never made any pretense of being anything else, ever. This is just an evasive tactic, to avoid dealing with my argument" the same tomfoolery that happened when I took on [Michael] Voris: people would do anything under the sun except deal with the actual argument! We're in an age of profound irrationality and inability to dialogue in any meaningful sense.


This paper (Apologia for the Mass of Pope Paul VI), was a project where I was basically learning as I went along. I was exploring, out of curiosity, and in response to all the RadCathR, quasi-schismatic attacks on the Novus Ordo. What I found was wonderfully edifying, and I was happy to share it with others. It shows yet again that the Church knew what she was doing. When will (certain) folks accept that? They lack faith, to question the wisdom of Holy Mother Church so much.

The
RadCathRs always bring it back to men, rather than God and the Mind of the Church and the popes. Men did this; men did that; men hijacked the council; men ran a conspiracy to wreck the Church. It's all doom and gloom, "crying in your beer" hogwash. Where is the faith? Where is the eternal optimism and hope and trust in God and belief that the Church is specially guided and protected by the Holy Spirit that characterizes a Catholic? They're nattering nabobs of negativism (to borrow a famous phrase from Spiro Agnew) . . .

This is what I call the "quasi-defectibility" outlook of the
RadCathRs. They won't assert defectibility of the Church, but they will come right up as close to it as they can: typical of their games and their mentality. They do this with everything: the New Mass, Vatican II, ecumenism, their prejudice against converts and what they derisively call "neo-Catholics" or "Novus Ordo Catholics" or other similar terms . . .


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1 comment:

Ross Earl Hoffman said...

Absolutely wonderful Dave! Keep up the Great Work!!! Pax.