Friday, May 08, 2009

Bellisario Providing Example of Mistakes to Avoid

How not to argue for Roman Catholicism - an example from Mr. Matthew Bellisario (link). Here are a few tips to avoid Mr. Bellisario's mistakes (with a video presentation of the 10 points below):

10) If you're going to cite statistics, don't cite statistics that actually show Roman Catholic sexual abuse at about twice the rate once one adjusts for the size of the population generating the abuse cases.

9) If you're going to argue that celibacy is not imposed on the priesthood, don't make your leading argument that no one is forced to be a priest.

8) Don't reveal your ignorance of Reformed churches by suggesting that their "clergy" are self-appointed.

7) Don't ignore common sense, which tells you that people who are forbidden the option of marriage are more likely to have their sexual desire burst forth in some inappropriate way.

6) If you're going to quote Paul's writings about celibacy, remember that he actually confirms what we already know from common sense, namely that not everyone has the gift of celibacy, and that the result of not marrying for such people is that they burn with lust.

5) If you are going to pick a fight with someone on the issue of clerical celibacy and sexual abuse, find one of the many folks who assert that there is a connection, rather than one who asserts that there may be.

4) If someone points out that one cause of sexual abuse is clerical celibacy, don't assume that this means that the critic thinks that marriage fixes all sexual deviancy.

3) If someone points out that one cause of sexual abuse is clerical celibacy, don't assume that this means that the critic thinks that it is celibacy itself (rather than an absence of the gift of celibacy) that causes this problem.

2) If you are going to bring up the issue of sexual deviance, don't forget that prohibiting marriage for priests is intuitively a way to statistically increase your chances of attracting closeted homosexuals.

1) Recognize that sexual abuse is a scandal, not something to be treated frivolously with cartoon clowns and empty-headed rhetoric. Take the matter seriously, it's a serious matter.



-TurretinFan

5 comments:

The Squirrel said...

Well said, monkeyboy side-clown, well said! I thought that Bellisario ripped you so completely out of context that he wasn't in the same solar system. I mean, weren't you telling people not to use the pedophile scandal as an argument against Rome?!?

Anyway, nice reply to an offbase attack.

~Squirrel

natamllc said...

Well,

as much as I have tried TF to help you, you have failed me again! :)

As to points 3 and 2 primarily, well, let's go for the whole enchilada, all of them then, "only a fool" will error therein!

Now, who is a fool?

God's Word does a better job of defining it than me:

Psa 14:1 To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.

Psa 53:1 To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.


You quite possibly have made a wise man out of a fool in your points above TF. I guess time will tell, huh?:::>

Pro 17:27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Pro 17:28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I would highly recommend Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church (The Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe, Little, Brown, 2002) which I recently finished reading. There's no question that the RCC hierarchy failed the victims, their families and faithful Catholics everywhere. But the book is most notable, in my view, for the courage of the laity in holding their authorities accountable in the wake of such a huge scandal, and the healing that has resulted and will continue to result from their tireless efforts.

There are, no doubt, anti-Catholic rants against the RCC based on this kind of information, but my experience reading Turretinfan tells me that he is not one to use behavioural scandal as an argument in opposing theological systems. Nor would I.

Randy said...

I thought this was on your list of arguments to avoid? I guess not. You miss the point of celibacy. Sex is not simply fulfilling our desires. Otherwise just having a desire for something, say gay sex, would mean it would have to be moral. Sex is sacramental. It physically models the total love and commitment we are called to have for our spouse. But the ultimate goal of that love is God. Celibacy vocations show us how that true that is by replacing a sexual relationship with a devotion to God. So to say that replacement does not make sense buys into the secular mindset. That is that God is good but He cannot be better than sex. Your post admits this over and over again. Thankfully we have faithful men and women who prove you wrong.

Turretinfan said...

Randy:
a) "I thought this was on your list of arguments to avoid? I guess not."

Watch the video. This not an argument against Catholicism, or least not a primary or even secondary argument. Occassionally folks like Bellisario (and yourself) decide to make it an issue.

b) "You miss the point of celibacy."

Ummm. No I don't. You miss the effect of forced celibacy.

c) "Sex is not simply fulfilling our desires."

You're right. Although it not simply that, it is also that.

d) "Otherwise just having a desire for something, say gay sex, would mean it would have to be moral."

Non sequitur. Sexual desire in general is moral and proper. The appropriate outlet for this proper and moral desire is marriage. Preventing men from marrying can lead them to express their desire in unhealthy ways.

c) "Sex is sacramental."

That's at best a meaningless label. There's no sacrament of sex, not even in Catholicism.

d) "It physically models the total love and commitment we are called to have for our spouse."

Sacraments are symbols, eh? How very Protestant. :) Sex is a lot of things, and it can be used as a model of those things.

e) "But the ultimate goal of that love is God."

This is not a particularly meaningful sentence. The chief end (or goal) of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. This pervades every aspect of our lives, including (for married folks) their sexual lives

f) "Celibacy vocations show us how that true that is by replacing a sexual relationship with a devotion to God."

Two points here: (i) the implicit suggestion that somehow sexual relationships and devotion to God are incompatible is error of the Gnostic variety; and (ii) celibacy is a gift from God - it is not a matter of voluntary devotion.

g) "So to say that replacement does not make sense buys into the secular mindset."

To call it "replacement" is to buy into the gnostic mindset.

h) "That is that God is good but He cannot be better than sex."

You've certainly never heard me say that. But God does not ask anyone to give up sex for Him. It was, however, prosphesied truly that false teachers would suggest such a thing.

i) "Your post admits this over and over again."

That's simply untrue and you should be ashamed to lie in such a transparent way. All the readers can look back and see whether I have ever said what you accuse me of saying, and they will find I have not.

j) "Thankfully we have faithful men and women who prove you wrong."

Thankfully, we have the testimony of Paul who (though himself celibate) ordained for bishops to men who were married with children. Your replacement theology is a gross distortion of his teachings, not his teachings themselves.

-TurretinFan