Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bellisario vs. Strawman - A Response of Sorts to Bellisario

Over at his blog, the Catholic Champion, Matthew Bellisario has decided to characterize his latest assault on a straw man as a response to one of my recent posts (link to Bellisario)(link to my recent post).

Bellisario's headline reads: "Vatican II and the Papacy- No Redefinition." Well, no kidding. Formally speaking, Vatican II didn't define anything much less re-define anything.

As then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: "The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council." – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the Bishops of Chile, 1988.

So, when Bellisario begins his post, "There are some who think that the Second Vatican Council sought to take away the role and authority of the pope," we can only wonder what Bellisario was thinking. The central thrust of his post is not against what I wrote, but rather against what he apparently wishes I had written.

The use of the straw man fallacy, however, is not enough for Bellisario. Bellisario insists on using the ad hominem fallacy as well. He attacks James Carroll for being an "ex-priest." What irony in this attack! While Bellisario means to play this up as somehow an attack on Carroll's character (he tries to compare him to Luther saying: "Martin Luther, who also left the priesthood to engage in unsavory affairs"), Bellisario actually undermines his own credibility. After all, James Carroll attended St. Paul's College, where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees. He served as a columnist for several years at the National Catholic Reporter and received an award for "Best Columnist" by the Catholic Press Association. Bellisario's credentials can't compare to this. If Bellisario wishes to take the discussion ad hominem (to the man), then Bellisario will lose.

Bellisario continues his fallacious attacks with this gem:
It is not surprising to see that Turretin Fan is just as ignorant of the Vatican II documents as Carroll is. I find it amusing how Turretin Fan uses the term ultramontanism to note the last two papacies. I have to wonder if he even knows what the term really means.
Bellisario's lies here are amusing in view of his previous ad hominem. Carroll was ordained as a priest in 1969, shortly after the close of the Vatican II council. So, naturally, he's not "ignorant" of the Vatican II documents any more than I am. And, of course, a simple search of my blog demonstrates that I've repeatedly discussed a variety of the documents of Vatican II. Also amusing is the fact that my post provided explanation about the meaning of "ultramontanism," which should help to demonstrate to folks that I was familiar with the term's meaning.

Bellisario amusingly continues thus:
We have only to look at the document of Lumen Gentium to see that this supposed lessening of the papacy never happened, and none of the Vatican Documents ever proposed such thing.
Rather than then turning to Lumen Gentium itself, though, Bellisario turns to an note added to it by (shocking surprise ahead) a pope, affirming (get ready to be really shocked) a high view of the papacy. The reason for the note is to counterbalance the text of Lumen Gentium, the text that supports Carroll's point that Bellisario wishes weren't true.

Don't take my word for it. Consider this comment on the note by Christopher A. Ferrara (let's see if Bellisario calls him a liberal dissenter):
The most famous example is Pope Paul's intervention forcing the Council to include the Nota Praevia to Lumen Gentium, which corrects [Lumen Gentium]'s erroneous suggestion that when the Pope exercised his supreme authority he does so only as head of the apostolic college, wherein the supreme authority resides. Paul was alerted to this problem by a group of conservative Council Fathers, who finally persuaded him of LG's destructive potential: "Pope Paul, realizing finally that he had been deceived, broke down and wept." Wiltgen, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, p. 232."
(Ferrara et al., The Great Façade, p. 88 n.114)

Of course, Bellisario does not interact with Carroll's presentation itself. Carroll wrote:
Surprisingly, no one saw this distortion more clearly than a pope — John XXIII, who called, yes, a council to correct it. His Vatican II (1962-65) aimed to restore the “collegiality’’ of bishops (the pope only as “first among equals’’); to reinvigorate local expressions of belief (hence worship in the vernacular); and to retrieve the “priesthood of all believers’’ as a check on clericalism. Vatican II was a step toward the democratizing of the Catholic Church, which is why Catholic fundamentalists have been seeking to undo it ever since. Fundamentalist-in-chief has been Joseph Ratzinger.
This claim relates to what Carroll believes was an attempted emphasis of restoring balance and removing distortion. The lessening of the papacy, as I had put it, had to do primarily with a matter of balance and emphasis. The goal was not to eliminate the papacy or to re-defined dogma, though apparently the article itself or my blog post about it provided the starting material for Bellisario's fertile imagination.

Bellisario's boorish post continues:
I find it quite amusing that a Protestant E-Apologist like Turretin Fan wants to be known for citing the most liberal dissenting historians and theologians to substantiate his attacks on the Catholic Church.
I didn't endorse everything that Carroll said, and whether or not Carroll is a liberal dissenter (I'll let him answer that charge himself) does not affect the truth of his claims. I've cited to a range of writers both Roman Catholic and not, ranging from William Whitaker to Joseph Ratzinger, as can be quickly established by perusing my blog. Bellisario seems eager to dismiss, but he can't seem to find a way to pull off a counter-argument that's logical and supported by evidence.

Notice how he continues:
I guess it is easy to see why Turretin Fan always gets his facts wrong concerning Catholicism. When you choose to keep company with dissenters, then you will have a dissenters disposition. When you are used to having heroes like Martin Luther, who also left the priesthood to engage in unsavory affairs, then it is no surprise that he looks for similar company like ex-priests today who constantly attack the Catholic Church like James Carroll.
Could there be a comment more full of obvious rhetorical garbage and ad hominem than that? Rather than point out any specific error, Bellisario attempts to refer to some established pattern of error. The problem, of course, is that Bellisario hasn't established such a pattern - and even if he did, he still ought to try to show that a particular statement itself is in error, rather than relying such an alleged pattern.

Ah well, the discerning reader can judge for themselves.

-TurretinFan

50 comments:

Kelly said...

Vatican II, particular Lumen gentium, definately was correcting previous notions (sometimes it provided some balance to certain previously given teachings, but other times it flat-out corrected them).

Let me offer an example: In his encyclical Vehementor nos, Pius X writes that the Church is essentially "an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of persons, the Pastors and the flock," and that "the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and like a docile flock, to follow the Pastors." This is from Paragraph 8.

I don't know a commentator alive who would suggest that Lumen gentium asserts that the one duty of the multitude is to be led.

steve said...

I'd also note in passing that in the course of his career, Ratzinger's steady move to the right has coincided with his steady rise up the ladder. The horizontal and vertical movements are opportunely coordinated.

Turretinfan said...

Kelly: Watch out lest Bellisario see you! Next thing you know, you'll be on his list of folks who might as well be Martin Luther himself!

-TurretinFan

kellyjwilson said...

TurretinFan, thanks for the warning, but I'm not too worried.

If Bellisario would disagree with what I wrote in this comment, then he would do so at his own peril (not because of any brilliance on my part, but rather because his disagreement would suggest a disconnect [I think] from the Church's understanding of ecclesiology).

Turretinfan said...

Kelly,

It was a tongue-in-cheek warning.

-TurretinFan

John Bugay said...

Maybe Vatican II didn't teach anything different, but the tone sure has changed:

Then:

"For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See."

Now:

“The Roman primacy is ... an essential element of ecclesial unity that goes back to the Lord and was developed faithfully by the nascent church.”

Kelly. said...

More than tone, John.

john Bugay said...

Kelly -- I'd say the adoption of "development" into the mix actually represents something more significant than tone, but I haven't studied it enough to say precisely what.

Constantine said...

Bellisario thinks that Lumen Gentium saves him from Carroll's observation of a lesser papacy, post Vatican II.

The irony is that LG actually lessened the papacy by removing it (the papacy) as a requirement for salvation ala Unam Sanctam.

Heck, even Protestants can be saved now!


So, not surprisingly, Carroll is right and Bellisario flubbed it again.

Peace

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Bellisario said...

Keep ignoring the fact that Lumen Gentium refutes Carroll lock, stock and barrel, because the Church, with the Pope as its head, refused to release the document without a preliminary note which completely sets the tone for the entire document, which you all have conveniently stepped over to get in the door. Aside from that, we can see that the "lessening" never happened as a practice either, because the document was stopped by the Pope, who then added his preliminary note, which ensured that idiots like Carroll and now TF, would not be able to misinterpret the document. What a joke!

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

No, the need for the footnote proves Carroll's point. Thanks for stopping by!

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Its not a footnote moron. Do you even have a clue as to what you are talking about?

Turretinfan said...

Yes, it's not a footnote, its location isn't fixed. It's printed as an appendix.

Turretinfan said...

Whether it is printed as a footnote, endnote, preface, or appendix is really beside the point, though.

The point is that its inclusion proves Carroll's point. Can you at least admit that?

Matthew Bellisario said...

What? It does just the opposite! It opposes Carroll's line of thinking very clearly. It is a preliminary note that sets the tone for the entire document. Anyone who reads the documents without reading the preliminary note is obviously not reading the document in its proper context. It is you who must admit that your quoting and support of Carroll's reasoning was a huge mistake. You also made a huge blunder when attempted to say the note was not part of the document, which is plainly a false statement. Be man for a change and admit when you have a made a mistake instead of dancing around it.

Turretinfan said...

"Be man for a change and admit when you have a made a mistake instead of dancing around it."

Did you even read my comment above? I mistaken referred to the appendix as a footnote, which was incorrect. I made a mistake. Get over it - I have.

But, of course, what you really want is to argue with Ferrara without actually addressing what he says. Did you actually read the blog post above? Did you even read the web version of Lumen Gentium? The note was added to the document. Ferrara explains why and Ferrara's explanation directly supports Carroll's contention.

Thanks for stopping by.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Incidentally, Bellisario - you'd get more respect if your position was simply that the outcome of Vatican II was more balanced than the conciliarists among the bishops clearly wanted.

What you can't escape, however, is the fact that the bishops got into the text of Lumen Gentium subject matter that pushed the pope to add note 4. That's the kind of thing that Carroll was talking about. Rather than going ad hominem on the man, try to learn something from him.

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF writes,
"The note was added to the document"

No, it was and is a part of the document text. In order for it to be an addition by definition, it would have had to be added after the doc was released, which was not the case. It was a part of the document from the day it was released, period. If you are going to act as if the note was not part of the document, and not meant to be a crucial part of its interpretation as it was designed, being a preliminary note, then you are being very dishonest. So Carroll, and now you as well, are reading and quoting selectively from the document acting as if the note was not part of it. It amazes me that you think you can get away with this kind of nonsense in a public forum.

Turretinfan said...

"A preliminary note of explanation is being given to the Council Fathers from higher-authority, regarding the Modi bearing on Chapter III of the Schema de Ecclesia; the doctrine set forth in Chapter III ought to be explained and understood in accordance with the meaning and intent of this explanatory note."

Will you at least acknowledge that this quotation refers to a text that came before the explanatory note?

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

It doesn't' matter when the text was written. It matters that when the Church promulgated the actual document, that it was done so with the text of the note in the actual document. Do you think that the documents are written in one sitting with everyone sitting around a table? No the documents are written over long periods of time, and then reviewed by the Pope before being promulgated. The document is not official until the Pope says so, and if he added text to the document, then that text is just as important, if not more so, than the text that was written before it. In other words, to make it simple for you, the document was not complete and not released to the Church until the note was added to it.

Turretinfan said...

"It doesn't' matter when the text was written."

I'll take that as a very obstinate way of agreeing that it does say what I said.

And it does matter, if my claim is that something was added to the text.

I'm not sure why you are not able to grasp this. Perhaps it is because you'd like me to be arguing something for which I haven't argued?

Turretinfan said...

Let me phrase this another way, in case it helps you understand ... do you think I said that the document was published without the note that was added to the document?

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Let me phrase this another way, in case it helps you understand ... do you think I said that the document was published without the note that was added to the document?"

You said that I did not quote from the document itself, did you not? That was incorrect! The note is a part of the original document!

You wrote, "Rather than then turning to Lumen Gentium itself, though, Bellisario turns to an note added to it by (shocking surprise ahead) a pope,..."

So how are you going to answer? Did I or did not quote from the document itself? If you say that I did not, then you are lying, because the note is a part of the original doc. If you say that I did quote from it, then you have to recant what you wrote on your blog post. Which is it going to be?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Well? What are you doing TF? Looking for a loophole or some other liberal theologian to agree with you so you can weasel your way out? I am waiting for your answer.

natamllc said...

MB,

as a causal observer here and most likely a true moron, myself, I would opine that your intentions here are moronic.

Let me gladly agree with your contention though.

First, from the link you provided in your article linked in this blog forum:

"....A term used to denote integral and active Catholicism, because it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, is a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps....".

Yes, I quite agree with that definition; and I don't see any variance by it or from it, by TF or others posting here.

Saying that, I would note the obvious, that is, the Head of the Church really, Truthfully, is "Christ", Risen, Who is now back to where He came from, that place of Glory He shared with the Father before coming here through the natural labor and birth by the Virgin Mary; and He is yet to come back to this place, these present heavens and earth, which He first came too after His participation with Himself and God Our Heavenly Father and with the Holy Spirit, to create these present heavens and earth, the world and everything in it.

He shall "soon" return here to claim His prize for which He came to redeem:::>

1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

That being said, I am therefore at odds with you on just "Who" or "who" is the "Spiritual" Head of the Church, now, or then; is it Christ or the pope?

You, of course, wholeheartedly embrace the definition, now, again noting from the citation above: "....it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope,..." and I wholeheartedly do not make such a claim.

There is, indeed, a "spiritual head" of the RCC and he, indeed, is physically represented by the agency of this man made papacy, and now, its current pope, Benedict the XVI.

Also, TF, having provided the link to your article, so from it, I cite you as writing this in it:::>

"....I find it quite amusing that a Protestant E-Apologist like Turretin Fan wants to be known for citing the most liberal dissenting historians and theologians to substantiate his attacks on the Catholic Church....".

Hmmmmm, this is an example to me of your writings that exposes you for what I believe you are; and why I would encourage you not to make the claim that TF is a moron, seeing, I find them equally, those comments of yours cited above, as moronic!

In any event, do you care to establish your facts and evidence against him, that he is such a moronic being, this claim about TF?

Should I hold my breath? :)

Turretinfan said...

"So how are you going to answer? Did I or did not quote from the document itself?"

No, you did not. You quoted from the fourth explicative note, which was demanded by the pope and published (with the other three notes) as an appendix to the document. We've already demonstrated that above. They were published together, and Lumen Gentium wasn't promulgated without the appended note, though the note is not a part of the text of the document itself.

"If you say that I did not, then you are lying, because the note is a part of the original doc."

No, it's an appendix. See above.

"Well? What are you doing TF? Looking for a loophole or some other liberal theologian to agree with you so you can weasel your way out? I am waiting for your answer."

Actually, I was busy evangelizing a Muslim, not that it matters what I was doing.

-TurretinFan

Constantine said...

Keep ignoring the fact that Lumen Gentium refutes Carroll lock, stock and barrel,

Lumen Gentium affirms Carroll.
So does Gaudium et spes.
So did the whole Second Vatican Council.

Lumen Gentium lessened the pope’s stature in several key areas: his relationship to the bishops, his relationship to Christian salvation, his relationship as part of the teaching authority in the Church and his secular authority in the world. To wit, Trent declared that bishops derive their authority “mediately” through the pope. LG says that the bishops exercise Christ’s authority “personally” and said authority is “proper, ordinary and immediate.”

Lumen Gentium lessened the pope’s status in regard to salvation. Unam Sanctam proclaimed that salvation can only be had by those in obedience to the pope. After LG, even Protestants can be saved because the pope is no longer needed!

Lumen Gentium says, “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief.” Prior to LG only the Pope could not err so this is yet another “lessening” of the papacy.

because the Church, with the Pope as its head, refused to release the document without a preliminary note which completely sets the tone for the entire document,

What an odd thing to say since the document, including its “tone”, had already been completed prior to the affixing of said note. If the Pope’s note were, in fact, setting the tone, it would have come before the document, not after it. One Catholic historian notes that the pope’s note actually “went against the logic of the document to which they were appended.” So, given its publication in spite of the pope’s contrary sentiment, this is still another demonstration of the “lessening” of the pope.

Aside from that, we can see that the "lessening" never happened as a practice either

The pope has been “lessened” in regards to the bishops, salvation, teaching authority and his role as a politicial ruler. (Please see above for more detail.) I guess that’s “never” in your world, huh, Champ?

because the document was stopped by the Pope,

Well, not exactly. The Pope had set up several commissions to operate “freely” within the Council. But when a minority of conservatives, who didn’t like the direction of the Council, raised the specter of heresy by petitioning the pope, he was dragged into the mess. Very interstingly, many of these papal “interventions” were done anonymously, “from a higher authority.” Apparently the pope’s influence had been so greatly “lessened” in his own mind, that he would not even affix his name or title to these communications. He certainly didn’t rule by fiat, as I’m sure B.S. would have you believe. Just compare that with Pius IX, as one example, and tell me that the papacy is not now greately “lessened”.


who then added his preliminary note, which ensured that idiots like Carroll and now TF, would not be able to misinterpret the document. What a joke!

T’Fan nicely documented Mr. Carroll’s bona fides, but it occurs to me that, despite several requests, B.S. has never shared his. I’m still thinking he’s a high school grad or maybe GED. He’s given us another dreadful writing example and his thinking and polemic are not improving either. Maybe he didn’t even graduate from high school – that would make sense, too.


Take note, friends - the true effect of Romanism.

Peace.

Matthew Bellisario said...

"They were published together, and Lumen Gentium wasn't promulgated without the appended note, though the note is not a part of the text of the document itself."

Sorry, the text of the note is a part of the official document as I demonstrated. All of the text that was promulgated is a part of the entire document. Now you have officially proven yourself a liar. The preliminary note is a part of the document. The document is only official with the text of the note,so there is no way for you to get around it. It truly breaks my heart to see you lie about this in front of everyone who reads your blog. Just in case you were wondering, Pericle Feleci who was the Secretary General of the Second Vatican Council wrote this regarding the nota, "This was written as a Nota Praevia, a preliminary introductory note, to the document, Lumen Gentium. It was, in defiance of Pope Paul VI's wishes, relegated to the Appendix of the document in published editions of the Second Vatican Council's documents. Nonetheless, though it exists in a less important place, it is still a part of the document."

So, the note that I quoted is clearly a part of the document, the Pope said so, the Secretary General said so. Yet we are supposed to listen to your lies and believe it is not a part of the document? Unbelievable! You have out done yourself this time. I want to remind all of your readers when you told me that you knew more about the Catholic faith than I did. Remember that? I think we all know that you have no clue as to what you are talking about regarding the subject of Catholicism.

Turretinfan said...

I wouldn't mind if Bellisario were a grade-school drop-out if he would just be willing to admit that it's silly for him to complain about the note being added to the text when it so plainly was added to the text. We even know what date it was added (only a short while before the document was promulgated).

I know what Bellisario's actual credentials are (though I don't think he intends for it to be public, and I'll respect that), and while he's not a completely uneducated person, his education isn't really at issue, except when he tries to make it sound like a priest with more than one religious degree is "ignorant" of the subject.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

You wrote:Pericle Feleci who was the Secretary General of the Second Vatican Council wrote this regarding the nota, "This was written as a Nota Praevia, a preliminary introductory note, to the document, Lumen Gentium. It was, in defiance of Pope Paul VI's wishes, relegated to the Appendix of the document in published editions of the Second Vatican Council's documents. Nonetheless, though it exists in a less important place, it is still a part of the document."

What on earth makes you think that Pericle Feleci wrote that?

ROFL

BTW - do you usually cut-and-paste from the fisheaters website?

-TurretinFan

Alexander said...

ROFL

Are you 15?

Alexander said...

Stop your Clintonista attitude and accept the fact that you are wrong...or would you prefer to be thought of as a liar?

John Lollard said...

So, I was just scrolling through this debate, and I'm really rather confused. Let me make sure I understand here; a council of bishops in relation to Vatican II wrote LG. The text that they wrote downplays the importance of the pope. The pope then had the 4th note added to re-up the importance of the pope. Once his note was added, the document was published.

That seems to be established factually, so far as I can tell.

It also seems that the portion quoted by Bellisario is from the note added by the pope and not the main body of the text written by the bishops.

So, I'm really not sure what this argument is about. I'm not sure how a quote from a pope or "secretary general" on what is obviously an appended note to a document undoes its status as an appended note.

I'm not sure why the pope would bother writing the note in the first place if the tone and intention of LG was already in accordance with the note that Bellisario quoted. That right there really baffles my mind - if this note is to be used as evidence that LG does not downgrade the importance of the pope, then why does this note even exist in the first place? If Bellisario's point is valid, then it renders the note superfluous.

Now, maybe I don't understand how the RCC works. Maybe popes just like appending notes to papers written by bishops and they do this all the time for no reason. I confess ignorance there.

If the argument is about whether or not a note appended to the body of a text qualifies as part of the "document", then I think, TF, that you should just let him have it, so long as he is willing to admit that the part of the "document" he is quoting from is a part that was added later, after the writing of the rest of the document, by a pope who saw the rest of the document as an affront to papal power and felt the inclusion of the note necessary - given the rest of the document - and so fought to have that note added into the document in order for the rest of the document to be published.

Is that a fair agreement? It at least seems to describe the situation.

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

Given his tenacity about editorial appendices to a text being "original parts" of the text because they were on the document before it was "approved"; I wonder if Bellisario would similarly attempt to argue, for example, that if a booger had fallen out of the pope's nose and became affixed to the Lumen Gentium prior to its approval, that said nasal discharge would in fact be formally recognized as an original part of the text?

I suppose similar argumentation worked for the Apocrypha, so perhaps we should not be surprised by the novelty of arguments for the canonization of papal nasal discharge.

The possibilities are unlimited.

In Christ,
CD

Turretinfan said...

John Lollard wrote: "If the argument is about whether or not a note appended to the body of a text qualifies as part of the "document", then I think, TF, that you should just let him have it, so long as he is willing to admit that the part of the "document" he is quoting from is a part that was added later, after the writing of the rest of the document, by a pope who saw the rest of the document as an affront to papal power and felt the inclusion of the note necessary - given the rest of the document - and so fought to have that note added into the document in order for the rest of the document to be published."

Sure, that seems reasonable.

John Lollard said...

Hold on Alexander, now I'm even more confused. Was the note in question added by someone OTHER than the pope?

You just quoted a lengthy piece of canon law that the bishops do not have the authority of their own to promulgate this sort of literature without the pope's permission. Did the pope not make it a prerequisite for promulgation that this note be attached to the document?

Would the pope have been just fine with the promulgation of LG without this appended note?

Honestly Alexander, I am trying very hard to understand what you and Bellisario are trying to say, but I can't figure out what point it is that you think you are making. Matthew quoted a note appended to LG, and a note apparently appended for the purpose of counteracting what has been perceived by popes and cardinals and liberal ex-priests to be a challenge to papal authority. Is that much in dispute?

To me, I don't care if canon law stipulates that a document isn't official until the pope approves of it, because I'm not a romanist. What is important to me is that the bishops wrote a document that was apparently so threatening to papal power that the pope used the power of his primacy to have it forcefully edited before its publication and distribution. Even more apparently so as this note seems to be the only thing you and Matthew can find to quote in the document to counter what was said.

I have no problem granting you that the note is in fact part of the document as promulgated by the RCC. It is in fact a specific part of the document - a note now appearing in the appendix. Can you admit that the existence of the note itself seems to support the thesis that the non-appended-note portion of the document downplays papal importance?

If you're trying to convince me that LG doesn't have binding power without the note because the pope only approved of the document with the note appended to it, then that's really just a waste of time. I don't believe that LG is binding WITH the note, so why I am supposed to believe it is ONLY binding with the note?

If you're not trying to convince me that LG is only binding with the note, then I don't see how you're insistence that the note is part of the document can possibly matter to the point of the discussion.

Turretinfan said...

John:

Alexander is just battling with the same same straw man that Bellisario has been battling with in his last two posts on the subject (see the links at the "comments elsewhere" section).

Both are trying to make the point that LG wasn't promulgated without the note, which we acknowledge. The fact that the note was imposed by the pope on the document prior to promulgating the document is not a matter of controversy.

There is, however, an additional matter of somewhat minor amusement. Alexander's quotation of canon law appears to be from the 1980's (or later) code of canon law, whereas the code of canon law of 1917 was the version that would have applied (with some caveats) to the proceedings of Vatican II.

But, regardless, neither I nor Carroll has ever suggested that LG was promulgated without the appended note.

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

"But, regardless, neither I nor Carroll has ever suggested that LG was promulgated without the appended note."

No, you insist that the note is not part of the document, which is absurd! What is also amusing is that nothing in the document text refers to any "lessening" of papal power. In fact the document calls to adherence to Vatican I which infallibly defined the power of the papacy. Anyone who reads Lumen Gentium and claims that any of the text supports a "lessening" of the papacy is delusional, and anyone who says that note 4 of the document is not part of the document is liar, plain and simple.

Turretinfan said...

"But, regardless, neither I nor Carroll has ever suggested that LG was promulgated without the appended note."

"No, you insist that the note is not part of the document, which is absurd!"

I guess it is absurd to those unfamiliar with concept of explicative notes.

"What is also amusing is that nothing in the document text refers to any "lessening" of papal power."

Is it your imagination that we said that the text of the document refers to "lessening" of papal power?

"In fact the document calls to adherence to Vatican I which infallibly defined the power of the papacy."

ok ... but see Kelly's comments above.

"Anyone who reads Lumen Gentium and claims that any of the text supports a "lessening" of the papacy is delusional, and anyone who says that note 4 of the document is not part of the document is liar, plain and simple."

Calling names is the only argument you've got. We know that.

-TurretinFan

Pilgrimsarbour said...

The arguments here seem to me to be nearly completely of a semantic nature; that is, whether a note in an appendix is officially part of a document, and so forth. I would say that a note appended to a document is not a part of the "text" of said document. It is, as stated, an appendage, though when published, in one sense, it becomes a part of the document in the way, I suppose, that a really good introduction to a book, say, Van Til's introduction to Warfield's The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible is likely to be perpetually associated with and printed along with Warfield's text, though it is not truly a part of the text.

The thing that bothers me about it is the pattern, the hill that MB consistently chooses to make his last stand and die on. Whether it is regarding sexual practices (a seemingly perpetual obsession), or whether the RCC allows for abortions under certain circumstances (they clearly do in extreme life of the mother cases), MB is a true champion of the semantic two-step. I'm certain he would argue the fine distinctions between divorce and annulment with great aplomb if it came to that, in spite of the many lives and families such teaching has destroyed over the years. Both of the above examples can be seen in the combox for this post here.

I would much rather see MB cease the useless personal attacks (moron, dishonest, liar--in this one current post alone) and concentrate on some real argumentation. I sincerely pray he repents of this attitude, though it doesn't seem to bother him in the least that he will have to answer for it to a much higher authority than TurretinFan and his readers one day.

Matthew Bellisario said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Bellisario said...

The fact you all have missed, is that your hero Turretin Fan has never substantiated his claim that there was any "lessening" of the papacy that resulted from Vatican II. He quoted James Caroll, as if what he wrote was fact, when it was not. I quoted from a VCII document, which clearly refuted this claim and your hero TF came back and said I never quoted from the document. These are the facts. If you think that TF's argument was substantiated in this manner then I feel sorry for you all.

The fact is VCII never "lessened" the papacy, and a simple single quote from an ex-priest, or anyone for that matter, would never hold up as substantiating evidence to prove this. You have to prove this "fact" ad not just assume it because Carroll said so. Let us not forget TF's original claim.

"While Carroll views Vatican II as providing a measure of conciliarist reform, Carroll rightly notes that the current papacy (as well as the previous one, in which Ratzinger had influence) have sought to push ultramontanism to new heights while undoing any lessening of the papacy brought about by Vatican II."

The fact is Carroll did not rightly note. I quoted from a VCII doc which specifically addresses the issue and yet TF acts as if what I quoted is not from the document. This is obviously dishonest, and rather than admit that he was wrong, he chose to lie and try and get around the fact that I did quote from the document, and had that the note had full force as part of the text of the document. If all of you cannot admit to that than you are just as dishonest as he is. I am Sorry if you think that me pointing this out makes a bad guy. But the fact is TF cannot take being wrong, and when it comes down to it, he has been wrong about many subjects pertaining to Catholicism.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario:

Are you willing to admit that this claim you made was wrong: "So, the note that I quoted is clearly a part of the document, the Pope said so, the Secretary General said so."

- TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

That is it TF, change the subject all together! It is just like you to look for an out or a loophole to try and take the focus off of the subject at hand, so you can harp on that and wear out your opponent rather than face the fact that what your originally wrote was incorrect. The fact is, I do not know for sure who wrote that introduction, and if you read my last post, which I am sure you did, you saw that I made that very clear. I do not try and hide if I make a mistake and then lie about it like you do.

The fact is the Pope is the one who wrote that part of the document (Note 4), so to deny that it is not part of the document is erroneous. Are you going to admit that you never substantiated Carroll's quote? Are you going to admit that the VCII documents refute Carroll's assumption? Are you finally going to admit that the document was written in many sessions, so it doesn't matter when the note was written? Are you going to admit that the document was not complete until all of the text was written and promulgated by the Pope to ensure proper understanding of its text? Finally, where is your evidence, aside from one quote from James Carroll, that this "lessening" of the papacy ever happened? Do you really think that people are going to sit and watch you make erroneous comments about the Catholic Church as if they are fact without you substantiating them, or do you think that just quoting one line from James Carroll makes it so?

Turretinfan said...

"That is it TF, change the subject all together!"

How is that off the subject? That was your argument for why we have to consider the appended note part of the document itself. It was wrong, but you can't admit your mistake. This is ironic, because when I accidentally typed "footnote" instead of "note" you were all over my case - even after I admitted that mistake you were writing: "Be man for a change and admit when you have a made a mistake instead of dancing around it." By your standard ...

"It is just like you to look for an out or a loophole to try and take the focus off of the subject at hand, so you can harp on that and wear out your opponent rather than face the fact that what your originally wrote was incorrect."

What I originally wrote was correct. That's been established over and over again. You are the one who has spent oodles of time arguing over whether this not is part of the text of Lumen Gentium, which has very little to do with my original post. Carroll's claims with respect to the purpose and intent of the council remain ... and Kelly has provided an example in support.

"The fact is, I do not know for sure who wrote that introduction, and if you read my last post, which I am sure you did, you saw that I made that very clear."

You don't know for sure? Pericle Feleci died March 22, 1982. The introduction you are quoting from cites to Ferrara's book, "The Great Facade." That book was published 2002. Still have any doubts? Or are you now willing to admit that you just cut-and-paste from the "fish eaters" website?

[cont'd in part 2]

Turretinfan said...

[cont'd from part 1]
"I do not try and hide if I make a mistake and then lie about it like you do."

Those who read this thread saw me make a mistake and admit it. They saw you make a mistake and try to conceal it. When directly confronted for the second time, you tried to pass it off as just being something you're not sure about.

"The fact is the Pope is the one who wrote that part of the document (Note 4), so to deny that it is not part of the document is erroneous."

The Pope wrote that note, which he appended to the document - the document itself was written by the "Council Fathers." But the fact that the note has a different author than the text of the document will not stop you from trying to insist that it is "part of the document."

As noted above, whether it is part of the document is a tangent to the issue. Even if the note ought to be considered a part of the document, as the "fish eaters" web site thinks, that doesn't mean that Carroll was wrong. After all, neither his nor my initial claims had anything to do with whether the note is part of the document - that issue only came up because of a comment I made in passing in the post above.

"Are you going to admit that you never substantiated Carroll's quote?"

I'm not sure why I would need to further substantiate Carroll's quotation. You haven't given us a reason to think that Carroll was wrong. Even if you could prove that appended notes by a different author are properly considered part of the original document, we'd still be left wondering how that means that Vatican II wasn't consistent with what Carroll said.

"Are you going to admit that the VCII documents refute Carroll's assumption?"

Which assumption do you think Carroll made? Are you still trying to imagine that the issue is whether Vatican II redefined dogma?

"Are you finally going to admit that the document was written in many sessions, so it doesn't matter when the note was written?"

Ask yourself why the note wasn't incorporated into the text of the document. Then, perhaps, you'll understand why the fact that the document was written over many sessions actually further demonstrates that the note was added after the writing of the document was finished. If it had been prepared earlier, why couldn't it have been incorporated into the text of the document?

"Are you going to admit that the document was not complete until all of the text was written and promulgated by the Pope to ensure proper understanding of its text?"

The document wasn't official until promulgated. The complete document was presented to the pope, and I've already discussed above what happened after that. I've never said that it was official before it was promulgated - just like I've never said that Vatican II redefined dogma ... but straw men are apparently a lot more fun for you to attack.

"Finally, where is your evidence, aside from one quote from James Carroll, that this "lessening" of the papacy ever happened?"

See Kelly's first comment above.

"Do you really think that people are going to sit and watch you make erroneous comments about the Catholic Church as if they are fact without you substantiating them, or do you think that just quoting one line from James Carroll makes it so?"

As between one line from you and one line from Carroll, there's no question who has more credibility.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

TF "What I originally wrote was correct. That's been established over and over again."

That is a lie. Where did you establish that fact?

"They saw you make a mistake and try to conceal it. "

That is another false accusation and everyone can see that I admitted my mistake already on my website.

TF "Ask yourself why the note wasn't incorporated into the text of the document. "

It is part of the text of the document, and if you cannot admit that fact, or see that that is the case, then you are one serious hopeless person.

TF"The complete document was presented to the pope."

No, once again the document was not complete until the Pope said it was complete.

TF
"As between one line from you and one line from Carroll, there's no question who has more credibility."

The clear difference is I actually read the entire documents and interpret them as the Church promulgated the document, rather than invent fictitious conspiracy theories as to how the text of the document was written.

Turretinfan said...

"The clear difference is I actually read the entire documents and interpret them as the Church promulgated the document, rather than invent fictitious conspiracy theories as to how the text of the document was written."

Is that your attempted response to my quotation from Ferrara? That's one of several ways that I've established my case.

"That is another false accusation and everyone can see that I admitted my mistake already on my website."

Maybe your website has changed since I last saw it, or I missed what you wrote. All I saw from you was some note that says basically the same thing you wrote above, namely that you're not sure.

This seems to be the first time you've actually used "mistake" to describe your error. But whatever ... at least it is a step in the right direction.

If only we could now get you to acknowledge that the fact that the pope felt the need to provide the note proves Carroll right.

-TurretinFan