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Thursday, November 12, 2015

LH vs CIB: Part 3

This reply to Catholic in Brooklyn is a part of a continued conversation about whether or not The Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena condemn Traditionalist Catholic criticism of clergy. I've maintained that they do not, while Catholic in Brooklyn argues that The Dialogues do condemn such criticism.

In this reply, I will limit myself to responding to her blog post--which focuses on responding to me personally. I will not be responding to the comment box, except for one particular comment.

Cecil Kennedy, in arguing for the Traditionalist's cause, began by telling Catholic in Brooklyn (CIB): 

"What Hirsch, myself, and other traditional Catholic posters in the past have been trying to get across to you--" 

 Stop right there. Let's be realistic. There is no getting anything across to CIB. By discussing various errors on her part, each tangent splits into two or three more tangents. Convincing and "getting across" was never my expectation, anyway. There is always hope for that. But I--and hopefully CIB--look at this conversation as an opportunity to flex the mind's muscle and to put our beliefs and knowledge to the test. 

Conversations such as this are good for refining arguments. For you and I, CIB's presentation of St. Catherine of Siena is an opportunity to critically look at an erroneous conclusion. I expect more arguments of this very kind to emanate from other modernist and Freemasonic-friendly Catholics in the future. Someone needs to break ground in addressing this, however, and it started with me. It won't end with me, though, to be sure.

Yes, CIB, I disagree with just about every point you make. Though, there is a moment or two when we actually agree on something, but it seems as though you were talking past me or just looking for things to needlessly pick at.
You state that you love Traditional Catholicism. Yet, you continue to demonstrate that you do not understand it. It seems as if you are one of those people who says: "Oh, yes. I think the Latin Mass is beautiful. But I much prefer my weekly Protestantized Mass with 'Father Love Everything.'" It is as though the Tridentine Latin Mass--and the 2000-year historical traditions of the Church--are just some kind of a porcelain doll to put on a shelf of keepsakes. Adding insult to injury, you state: "My problem is with traditionalists." This is clear and obvious. You're basically stating that you find Traditional Catholicism quaint, but you hate everyone who practices it.

Please do not be surprised that I am disinterested in answering all of your points in every blog post involved, and every comment that you make. I've not the time to behead a hydra. However, your out-of-context statements about St. Catherine of Siena merit some academic attention from my part. Others will contribute in the fullness of time.  (This has already begun.)

I will refer to your disputed sections from my previous blog post according to their number. I will mark the new sections of this current blog entry with letters, instead of numbers. 

St. Catherine before Pope Gregory XI at Avignon
By Sebastiano Conca

* * *
A. Your first contention with my blog response to you is about my point #1. You quote and then argue the following:
"Christ on earth, then, has the keys to the blood. If you remember, I showed you this in an image when I wanted to teach you the respect laypeople ought to have for these ministers of mine, regardless of how good or evil they may be, and how displeased I am with disrespect. . . . These are my anointed ones, and therefore it has been said through Scripture, 'Dare not touch my christs.' Therefore, a person can do no worse violence than to assume the right to punish my ministers."
You correctly point out that this portion which I omitted contains the statement, "Civil law has no power whatever to punish them; this right belongs solely to the one who has been appointed to rule and to serve according to divine law.
But do you honestly believe that God the Father was referring only to civil government entities in this passage? If that is the case, who is the Father referring to when he says, "I wanted to teach you the respect laypeople ought to have for these ministers of mine"? Your implication is that the Father is saying that it is wrong for civil authorities to oppose the priesthood, but Catholic laypeople are free to treat priests in whatever manner they choose. God the Father plainly says that laypeople are to respect priests "regardless of how good or evil they may be." There is nothing to indicate here that this is referring only to civil authorities.

MY RESPONSE: Yes. Study history. Understand St. Catherine of Siena's time. It was the 1300s. In just two centuries, the strife and greed of local kings would eventually lead up to the Protestant Revolt, which has been eroding the Western World ever since. You are the one who implies that I argue that laypeople may treat priests in whatever manner they choose. But, I do not argue for that at all, nor have I read any Traditionalist Catholics who argue for that end. It was important that the people of that time retain an awareness of the priest's authority under God to issue out the Sacraments, in order that no one lose sight of that fact and end up becoming a Martin Luther. Unfortunately, Martin Luther's rebellion happened anyway.

B. You draw from my point #2, and you begin to quote me. 
"These words from God to St. Catherine are discussing how His ministers—his christs—are not to be subject to the secular authority. God's ministers are not to be either punished or persecuted by them."
You then make a very confusing statement:
"Now, what did these persecutions of priests by secular authorities resemble? Well, we know that they lost an appreciation for the reality of the Eucharist. God expresses great concern that His children have turned away from that sacrament."
If I understand correctly, you are saying that the government's persecution of the Church resulted in a loss of "appreciation for the reality of the Eucharist" and caused "His children" to turn away from the sacrament. I think you are saying that this is why God the Father was so upset with the persecution of the Church. Where do you get that from? It just makes no sense to me. 
MY RESPONSE: Where do I get that from? I get it from opening a history book and studying the Avignon Papacy. This is the time of the oft-nicknamed "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy." 

St Catherine Exhorting Gregory XI to Return to Rome
by Calvi Allesandro
 The Dialogues were transcribed during this conflict between the pope and the French crown, among other royal secular powers. When taking in the historical context of St. Catherine's time--a woman who worked hand-in-hand with pope Gregory XI to move the papacy back to Rome--it is obvious that God Himself was also working hand-in-hand with St. Catherine to achieve a positive end. 
Indeed, there was most definitely a loss of appreciation for the Eucharist. Just look at how the papacy was being passed around in Southern Europe like a trifle. Recall what I showed you in my last response, about how the Florentines received St. Catherine. Consider how seven popes during this time in Avignon fell under the influence of the French Crown, like some kind of an annexed kingdom. What were the popes of that day to the French crown? Jesters? 

 And finally, consider the petty incident of the antipopes who came after pope Gregory XI and Urban VI. The papacy--the respect that the clergy ought to have commanded--was turning into a ridiculous disgrace. How could the people NOT lose sight of the priest's authority in this climate? How could Martin Luther and King Henry VIII NOT emerge as rebellious victors from this toxic stew? Europe had lost sight of who God and His priests were.
Civil authority lessened the importance of the priest and his role with the Eucharist.

C. Still on my point #2, you cast the typical smug and baseless offense that is expected in these conversations.  CIB begins, stating:

You try to prove your point by using this partial quote from the Dialogue:
"It is this ministry of theirs that dictates that you should reverence them, not for what they are in themselves, but for the power I have entrusted to them, if you would receive the holy sacraments of the Church. For if you refuse these when it is in your power to have them, you would live and die condemned."
You accuse me of taking statements out of context, but here you have shown us how it is really done.
MY FIRST RESPONSE IN PART C: Wrong, Catholic in Brooklyn. I have provided a complete quotation, from the beginning of the sentence to the very end of it.  For transparency's sake, I've even provided a completely transcribed copy of the passage in question on my blog--for one and all--so that people can read the entire disputed section. 
You make sort of the same point several times from here. Rather than cutting and pasting an entire passage, and in the interests of keeping this shorter and tidier, I will mimic your style select some key statements that you have made on your blog post to me. Brace yourself, for I shall now jump forward a few times, and I will use ellipses, as you have. However, this should not be a problem, since your argument with me is public and available to everyone, should they want to read the greater context.

CIB states:

First of all, if the Father was talking about civil authorities, he would use the word "they" instead of "you." He is clearly talking to anyone - be they laity of the Church or civil authority - who reads His words to St. Catherine...

...As can be plainly seen when the two sentences you reference are put into context, it is clear that God the Father is talking about lay people in the Church as well as civil authorities.

...However, you conveniently omit the other reference in this footnote. That is Luke 10:16, which says:

The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects Him who sent me.

Laramie, do you really expect us to believe that this refers only to civil authorities and not to every person on earth, including, and maybe most especially, the laity of the Church?
St. Catherine Assaulted by Florentine Soldiers
by Galgano Perpignani

Yes. I expect readers to understand that God is referring to the civil turmoil that St. Catherine was enmeshed in. God was not making brand new public revelations through St. Catherine. Public revelation ended with the last book of Sacred Scriptures. In order to make His point about St. Catherine's dilemma, the Lord directed a general truth towards the secular authority. That was the whole issue--the whole problem that St. Catherine was trying to deal with. Was God telling everyone to never ever criticize or publicly call out priests who are erroneous in their duty? No. Erroneous and heretical priests were not the problem in the 1300s.  Priests had yet to be as heretical and revolutionary as Luther.  The problem was corrupted, sinful, worldly priests--priests who were worldly enough to not have their God-given authority taken seriously by the likes of Florentine politicians.  The problems of erroneous and heretical priests--the kind that leave us no choice but to publicly call them out--are problems belonging to our time, as well as the time of the Arian heresy.
D. Still trapped on point #2 from my original rebuttal, CIB quotes Laramie:

So, the civil authority is lessening the importance of the priests' ability to consecrate the Eucharist.
That really makes no sense. Where do you read that because the Church was being persecuted, the laity no longer saw the importance of the Eucharist?

MY RESPONSE: This makes perfect sense. A reading of St. Catherine's life, her letters, a look at the recorded history of the Avignon Popes, and a knowledge of the resulting Protestant Revolution just two centuries later--very much--demonstrates to us that the West lost an emphasis on the reality of the Eucharist. The entire existence of the heretical Protestant sect is a testament of open protest towards priestly authority to consecrate bread and wine. Europe had a millennium of Christian rule, but the by the 1300s, Christian monarchical influence was beginning to teeter, and would eventually fall over into the din of Freemasonic republicanism and Marxism.

When putting The Dialogues into the context of history and the events that surrounded St. Catherine, it is quite obvious that my knowledge on this matter is completely accurate.

E. This next contention is with my point #3 in my rebuttal. This problem that you have with me here, I think, arises from a lack of critical reading skills. I will do my best to keep this clear by simply cutting and pasting the entire dilemma from your blog. CIB begins by saying:

In your (Laramie's) third point, you accuse me (CIB) of making an out-of-context statement when I wrote:

"Through St. Catherine of Siena, God the Father then gives three reasons why persecution of His christs is worse than any other sin: 'The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me.'"

You try to prove your point with the following:

"If you had simply quoted the leadup to this 3-part list of God's reasons, people would see that there is a bigger picture, as is evident here:
"There are many reasons that make this sin more serious than any other, but I will tell you of three principal ones. The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me."
"So, when God says "reasons that make this sin more serious," we ask "what sin is God talking about?" The answer: Irreverence towards the priest's ability to consecrate the Eucharist. Again, there is a difference between a priest's priestly ability and his mortal, sinful inclinations."

Again, Laramie, I have no idea how you come up with this conclusion, because the context doesn't bear it out at all. How does "reasons that make this sin more serious" translate to "irreverence towards the priest's ability to consecrate the Eucharist"? Where does God the Father say this?

MY RESPONSE:  That is exactly what God the Father states.  However, I did not include the entire passage from The Dialogues in point #3. The post was already long, and I had assumed you had your own copy of Suzanne Noeffke's translation at your disposal. Perhaps I assumed too much. I thought that you read most of the passage, and that you would not require me to make these connections for you. 

To spell it out as plainly as I can, God is talking about "reasons that make this sin more serious." So, we are left with a bit of a puzzle if we don't have the entire passage. What is "this sin" referring to? We are left with an abstract noun. The antecedent of this abstract noun--the phrase that describes "this sin"--is found in the previous parts of the passage. I will provide the entire lengthy passage below, and I will highlight the antecedent in blue and the abstract noun in red.
But by not paying me reverence in the persons of my ministers, they have lost respect for the latter and persecuted them because of the many sins and faults they saw in them. If in truth the reverence they had for them had been for my sake, they would not have cut it off on account of any sin in them. For no sin can lessen the power of this sacrament, and therefore their reverence should not lessen either. When it does, it is against me they sin.  There are many reasons that make this sin more serious than any other, but I will tell you of three principal ones.
The first is that what they do to my ministers they do to me.

The second is that they are violating my command, for I forbade them to touch [my christs]. They scorn the power of the blood they received in holy baptism, for they disobediently do what I have forbidden. They are rebels against the blood because they have become irreverent persecutors, like rotten members cut off from the mystic body of holy Church. And if they persist in this irreverent rebellion and die in it, they will end in eternal damnation. Still, if even at the end they humble themselves and admit their sin and want to be reconciled with their head--even though they cannot do it actually--they will receive mercy. But let no one count on having the time for this, since no one can be certain of it.

The third reason this sin is more serious than any other is that it is committed deliberately and with selfish malice. They know they cannot do it in good conscience, but they do it nonetheless and sin. And it is a sin committed in perverse pride without any bodily pleasure. Indeed, both body and soul are eaten up by it. Their souls are eaten up because they are deprived of grace and chewed up by the worm of conscience. Their material possessions are consumed in the service of the devil. And their bodies die of it like animals.
When not paying God reverence in the persons of his ministers, and when assuming that the power of His Sacrament is lessened, the Florentines and other authorities sinned.

Anyone who fails to revere the proper authority of priests to consecrate the Sacrament have sinned.  This fact extends all the way from Talmudic Jews, to Mohammed, to Martin Luther, to John Hagee.  In other words, as I stated before, "[W]hen God says 'reasons that make this sin more serious,' we ask 'what sin is God talking about?' The answer: Irreverence towards the priest's ability to consecrate the Eucharist." 

* * *

And now, to address some points that do not deal with St. Catherine of Siena.

F. CIB: Laramie, I know you read the traditionalist blogs.  You said so in your comments to me.  You know that Louie Verrecchio has accused Pope Francis of hating the Church and trying to destroy it.  You know that Mundabor calls Pope Francis an evil clown and also accuses him of trying to destroy the Church.  You know people like Michael Voris are constantly attacking the bishops and priests of the Church, calling them wicked and quite literally condemning them to hell.  Just read Pewsitter.  The entire purpose of that site is to link to the Catholic bloggers who make the most vicious attacks against the Church.

MY RESPONSE:  If the clergy are behaving  heretically, the laity have a right to defend themselves--as St. Thomas Aquinas will attest.  Please point out statements from any of these sources in which these laymen are telling the rest of the faithful to ignore the priestly authority.  Please point out where Verrecchio says he wants to ignore Apostolic succession and start his own brand of Lutheranism.  Please show me where Voris tells us that, since the priests are abusing their authority, we should stop recognizing their authority to consecrate the Eucharist.

Traditional Catholics do their best to exercise charity towards both God as well as their neighbors by informing society of the constant Modernist heresies exercised by clergy in the various levels of the Church's hierarchy—since so many priests are modernists and do not warn their flock about such dangers. In fact, it is a Spiritual Work of Mercy when Traditionalist Catholics attempt to right the wrongs of Modernist priests.
In fact, I daresay, the Traditionalist Catholic is fulfilling several spiritual works of mercy when attempting this kind of duty. Consider them: instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently (as I do from your posts), to forgive offences willingly, comforting the afflicted, and praying for the living and the dead.

Do you see what you are doing? You are setting up the traditionalists as the Magesterium of the Church.

MY RESPONSE:  No.  I am not setting up Traditional Catholics as the Magesterium of the Church.  I am setting up the Traditionalist Catholics as the correct witnesses of an ongoing 60-year corruption--that even the Holy Mother Herself has warned us about.  Again, I boldly argue that my side is right, and that your embrace of modernist New World Order novelty is wrong.

H.  CIB STATES:  You are telling people that if they are looking for spiritual guidance, then they need to forget about the priests, bishops and pope.

MY RESPONSE:  Again, you are wrong.  Traditional Catholics are generally known to go to Mass every week, if not every day, where they are offered the Eucharist by a Catholic priest, who was ordained by a Catholic bishop, who is ultimately selected by the Pope.  Your conclusion is ignorant and emotional.  Michael Voris was right when he said that "Not everyone in the world has the intellectual heft to understand some of the nuances involved in these things."


To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith.  But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5." It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."
MY RESPONSE:  You quoted St. Thomas Aquinas, giving the full quotation--as though the entire quotation will somehow abrogate the truth that is drawn from it:

J. BUT YOU ARGUE:  Traditionalists make the judgment that every time they perceive a wrong in the Church, that means the faith is endangered and they, therefore, have a right to condemn Church authority.

MY RESPONSE:  This is because every time there is a wrong in the Catholic Church, the faith is endangered.  And, again, Traditionalists are not condemning Church authority.  They are condemning heretical "pastoral approaches," the soft Marxism, and the imprudent decisions of the men entrusted with that authority.  Traditionalists, largely, have the ability to distinguish between a priest's authority, and the man who is the priest.

Your ignorance on this passage betrays your larger ignorance of the Church's current dilemma.  What Traditional Catholics--and this includes priests, mind you--have recognized since 1968 (and before) is that the Church is truly in a state of emergency.  You might be enjoying ballerina clown Masses, but most laity in the times before ours would recognize such things--including the near-acceptance of homosexuality and divorce from our cardinals--as an utter sacrilege.  The faith is endangered.  Falling numbers of practicing Catholics since "The Summer Of Love" will attest to that.

Again, our Lady has warned us time and again that this Freemasonic rot would infiltrate the Church, and that there would be a point at which it would seem as if there were no Christians left.  Priests who are not New World Order sell-outs will tell you this.  There are many.

Your embrace of Cardinal Kasper and your condemnation of Cardinals Pell and Burke are cartoonish, funny, and typical.  Where is your "respect for Magisterial authority" when it comes to your criticism of the latter two?  You are being one-sided and utilizing a double-standard.

K. YOU CLAIM: We as laity have not been given special graces to understand every situation and see exactly how Christ is working in the Church and the world.

I RESPOND: Even when you say this, you are still wrong to a degree.  True, neither laity, nor anyone, has the graces to understand every situation.  But it was Father Paul Ripperger, exorcist--a confronter of the demons themselves--who informs us that "it is a gift from God to have this awareness of Magisterial problems, and it is up to an individual to figure out what to do with/how to handle such a gift."  You are quite wrong on this.

Will you also consider Fr. Ripperger, an exorcist priest who successfully drives away demons, as "a danger to the Faith?"  Will you, yet again, hypocritically "condemn Church authority?"

L. I POSIT THAT: Traditionalists are the best of Catholics, and not the worst, as you continue to maintain.  They do have a superior understanding of the Faith.  They are stronger, to be sure.  And others are too weak to deal with troubling realities.  That much has been proven.

Too many Westerners carry a weird guilt complex around that makes them feel as though they owe the world reparations, and this effeminate attitude towards life has created a generation of impotent "men without chests."  I, however, refuse to be numbered among such people, and I will boldly tell you and all other enemies of Traditionalists that we are right, and that you are wrong.  Our numbers are growing, and the New Church is shrinking.  When Pope Benedict XVI's vision of the future Church comes true--and we find that the Catholic Church is smaller and stronger than its previous over-inflated, shallow self--you will find that the core of that remnant will be comprised of Traditionalist Catholics.

If, as you say, you've heard this all before, and this all "tires" you, then return to watching that hideously vulgar "Deadwood" series on HBO.  It's not something I typically would watch or recommend to my kids, but if it suits your fancy, then, as the hell-bound occultist Aleister Crowley once said, "Do what thou wilt."

M. YOU CONCLUDE:  I find it interesting that you do not use this statement from God the Father as recorded by St. Catherine of Siena (Section 116, page 216)
For this reason, no one has excuse to say, "I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sin of evil pastors." Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness. They see well enough, but they pretend not to see so as to blunt the pricking of conscience. If they would look, they could see that they are persecuting not these ministers but the blood. It is me they assault, jut as it was me they reverenced. To me redounds every assault they make on my ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse. Whatever is done to them I count as done to me. For I have said and I say it again: No one is to touch my christs. It is my right to punish them and no one else's. 
Laramie, we know that a priest can validly celebrate Mass, consecrate the Eucharist, give us absolution and perform his other priestly duties no matter what the state of his soul.  That is because the priest is not doing it.  Jesus Christ is doing it through him.  That is why God the Father says that when you persecute the priest, you are persecuting Him because you are persecuting His Son who is working through the priest.

MY RESPONSE:  Well, thank Heavens, then, that Traditionalist Catholics are not persecuting priests at all.  We are charitably calling them out--as well as modernist laity--for their public errors, and we are warning each other of these errors.  Barack Obama's social policies, Hollywood, Islam, and China, on the other hand, tend to persecute priests pretty damned hard.  Perhaps you should redirect your consternation towards them, the actual villains of our age.

“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him." 
Thank God that Traditional Catholics do not rebel against the Pope!  Hooray that Traditional Catholics have the grace to collectively stay on the narrow path and continue to be obedient and subject to the princes of the Church!  I will leave the rebelling to the Protestants and the Sedevacantists.



  1. And you are two-faced. And insincere.

    So far, to most of what you have said, I have engaged in mostly dialectical conversation with you. But this week, you've decided to be a coward, slap labels on me, and toss out rhetoric and insults.

    I have concluded that you are not a good person, and that you are not a person to talk to. I have often advocated to people that there is worth in conversing with people you disagree with. But in your case, I think this does not apply. It would be for the best if you stayed away from me and this blog. Also, please do not mention me anywhere.

    Your actions this week have been truly hateful, and non-conducive toward anything positive.

    Also, please note my willingness this week to NOT POST ON YOUR BLOG. This has been per your request. I have also refrained from publicly mentioning you since this post was put up. This is because you told me to, essentially, "stay away," and I respect it when a person asks for that. Unlike your newest, meddling, fire-stoking guest.

    I am not interested in hearing one-worded insults from someone who is a disingenuous, TL;DR impostor. Do not comment in this blog any longer. Do not mention me on your blog any longer. Do not mention me any longer. Leave me be, and I will do the same

    Make it a clean break, and go now, please.