Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Would This Were the End of the Lay Apostolic Magisterium: Pennies from Heaven

Update:  For those who are wondering if there will be a recording of this.  Michael Matt TV-3 was on the jorb and his guys were assiduously recording the event for posterity.


Edit: in the bowels of the parish church of St. Augustine's, built in the depths of the 1929 Correction, above the slaughter houses, to the rails along the flowing river, along the charming boardwalks and neatly kept lawns and gables of the old working class neighborhood, a "debate" just took place in the presence of about 500 men, some from as far away as Spain, Ohio, points north and south.   Present were Michael Voris, President of Church Militant, Michael Matt, editor of the Remnant, Dave Deavel, a Fellow at St. Thomas University and Mark Shea, a catechist who is an apologist for the rotting and decaying ecclesiastical structures in the United States.

What was supposed to have been a debate was really more of an intervention, maybe a divine intervention, where the people ranged against each other, however poorly they presented themselves, or how well, was overwhelmed by the persistence of Christ's words and the holy dogmas of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, the stated reason for the debate wasn't important.  It wasn't a debate, really.  The questions offered, or the way they were presented were disgracefully emotional and practically incoherent.  Yet Voris is not only a professional television presenter, he is also a trained theologian.  Thus, he spoke clearly, persuasively and had facts at his disposal that gradually withered his opponent's position to ridicule.

You might say it was a slaughter, and being the home of a slaughter house, South Saint Paul is also, coincidentally, the home of the  murderous elected representative Betty McCollum and the apostate from Catholicism and former governor, Tim Pawlenty.  Both of them are sadly products of Catholic education.

In South Saint Paul,  on warm spring days, the stench of the yards would waft over the bluffs, with an assault to the mind of death and decay. In mind of such poetic circumstances it is difficult to maintain that the Church is in a "New Springtime", or that dogmas can be changed after 1,900 years as certain luminaries were trying to maintain.  And yet there are other causes for alarm not restricted merely to Catholics leaving the Church, or politicians who vote for abortion. Catholics who believe what the Church teaches are not only ridiculed by those who don't, but worse things, perhaps.



Plates of partially cooked, overwhelmingly spicy brats were mostly eaten by the captivated men. Some surely would have given their birthrights for a half-cooked brat. There was even an Archdiocesan spokesman there to offer a woeful and inadequate apology, if not an explanation, for why they're not subordinate enough to the spirit of the age.

The audience was also visibly divided and the mood of merriment and humor occasionally became hostile, even hateful as beer flowed into plastic cups.

At one point, the Parish Pastor, Father John Echert speculated if Mark Shea might think he were in Hell, and well he might be. It was in this mood that the "debate" continued as both Michael Voris and Michael Matt attempted to explain the significance of the Catholic Faith, but this wasn't acceptable to some in the room, who groaned, tittered and sneered.

Some, especially among the apologetics mafia, perhaps fearing a downturn in the economic fortunes of their families, manning money changing tables in the back, were visibly angry, occasionally interrupting Voris or Michael Matt, who were attempting to make clear the terrible state of the Church by discussing statistics, appealing to anecdotal stories and history.  But as much as they disliked what was being said, there were times when the concentration of 500 men built to a feverish pitch in the discomfort of the basement where the infernal temperatures caused tempers to flare.  Perhaps too, in its grotesquery, coupled with a relentless stupidity and pity, like Christ's Passion, as guards and the vulgar mob jeered and spat at Him. As He struggled under the weight of the cross to redeem those who despise Him.  There was a spiritual dimension present, in spite of the charnal setting, the horrendous food, the growing heat, the gross forms at the podium and in the audience, there was still a kind of angelic presence in the din, both good and evil.


It was a scene worthy of the brutal treatment of Flannery O'Connor whom bad Catholics like to quote, or worse still, by Evelyn Waugh who would have mercilessly portrayed the posturing of the debaters, the foggy lack of clarity, the tired digression and the words, the endless words.

But not all was lost. During question and answer, one brave voice, a Spaniard from the sound of him, asked what we as men should do to address what all agreed was the decay of the Church throughout the world. What was needed?

As Michael Voris attacked the Mundelein Seminary Rector, the publicly acclaimed but heterodox Father Barron, for supporting a novel opinion regarding the fewness of the saved, what must have been some  goblin in the crowd let out a cry.  Voris' opponent, quickly receding the background replied with a derisive wave of his hand, "If there's a problem in the Church, it's NOT Father Barron."
So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.

It was then that Michael Matt talked about the importance of doctrine, of the oft argued against, hidden, denied dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, that is, no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. He was impassioned about it and the room grew increasingly silent, like the darkness and silence that must have covered the world when He died.

Despite a last second interruption by Father Grebner, who attempted to talk about how Lumen Gentium says Protestants CAN be saved, even he seemed overcome by the moment, and attempted to describe how Lumen Gentium actually says only few are saved.

Everything else seemed to shrink in the room and was dominated by the thrice defined dogma, and the dark spirits in the air seemed to shrink away, while all-too-fallible laymen pondered the mystery of salvation and the constancy of the Church's teaching, and its true mission.  It's not enough to say we fast, pray and keep watch.  Without the Catholic Faith it is impossible to please God.  What must we do?

And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

Note: a detente of sorts was achieved at the end, but who knows how long it will last or if it will even be improved upon.  Certain apologists go back to their vomit.  


43 comments:

  1. Excellent take Tancred! Soooooo wish I coulda been a fly on that wall!

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  2. Is it slapped up on Youtube? I wanna see it!

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  3. I'm glad to see that Michael Voris handled Shea so well, and that Shea's supporters came off so bad. As far as I'm concerned, this is the beginning of the end for the Apologetics Mafia.

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  4. Goodness, how lucky are we that the ONE person who has seen fit to blog about the debate so far is on crack. Happy day. Now we get to wait until it is posted or some boring old sober person writes about it, to actually know what happened. Ugh.

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    1. great call Harry...name calling...you must be a modernist, cant argue, must mock...your better then this

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    2. Oy, vey. Is it always like this here? I just wanted a report on the debate, instead I got flipping Xanadu, as interpreted by Hunter S. Thompson. James, blow it out yer keister. I'm about as modernist as Pio Nono. Funny how it's hard to peg someone ideologically from two sentences, eh? Also, the contraction of "you are" is "you're". Common mistake. Work on that.

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    3. I don't know who you are, but I think I have an idea. Harry Seldon was the psycho-historian of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Triology, and you're just being nasty.

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    4. No, I'm making a complaint about your reportage. You're a blogger, so you must want an audience, I'm a potential member of that audience (I agree with your opinion about Shea below) and I was excited that someone in attendance had blogged about the event. The fact that your weird stream-of-consciousness-laced-with-LSD pissed me off is no more complicated than that. I'm not a modernist nor am I nasty. I'm a potential reader who complained about your blog. Deal with it.

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    5. And may I also point out that you were on another blog post, complaining about Voris calling out Shea for his bad behavior? So you're not really a "potential reader" or coming with open hands, and I also fail to see how making the drug references is supposed to be criticism. There is probably more substance in one of Mark's books.

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    6. Nope. I'm glad to criticize Voris for his naked money grab at the expense of CA and EWTN, but you won't find me defending Shea, ever. Anywhere. Try again.

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    7. Also, since I have to spell it out for you, I made drug references because your original post above is so loopy and hard to understand that I was comparing it to some of the most famous drug-addled scribblings in history.

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    8. I hate to fight with you. Anyone with that countdown on their blog has to be someone I'd get along with. I'm going to bed. I'll check in on your blog sometime in the future.

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    9. I wondered who is Harry Seldon and James Kohn for that matter even though it's none of my business or concern really.

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    10. I have to wonder about the reading comprehension and the good will of someone who can't see that Shea's habitual slander and over the top insults of good men are meaningful topics to discuss.

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    11. dear anonymous...im just a typical jerk...nothing more, and I agree I was too quick to lable, so Harry forgive me for that.

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    12. He's like a lib who calls a conservative talk show and claims to be a conservative.

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  5. I was also present last night. I quickly threw some of my own thoughts online.

    http://www.instatuviae.com/2013/10/the-voris-vs-shea-debate.html

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    1. Excrement. Shea is a slandering hypocrite, and I'm not afraid to say it because it's absolutely true.

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    2. Excrement? That account was readable and appeared composed by a sober person. Points to anonymous.

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    3. Tancred Aye !

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    4. That "account" was a prosaic piece of puerile weeping. Surely it wasn't written by a Christian. It simply enables a very nasty man who has made it his business to attack good men, to misrepresent them and slander their good names.

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  6. Tancred,

    Shea mentioned you over here:

    http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2013/10/argument-of-month-club-oktoberfest-with.html

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  7. The enemy is within and without.

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    1. I certainly agree. What were the participants saying last night as to who won?

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    2. I felt that Shea was flagging toward the end as even Dave Deavel was conceding some of Voris' and Matt's points during the question and answer.

      Mike Matt made every effort to reach out to him, but it's my feeling that any sort of warm feeling there might have been between them, or any sort of thoughtfulness on Shea's part dissipated as he left the building.

      As you see, the big man is wasting his time on a virtual nobody who has only had the temerity to call a spade a spade.

      What's especially disgraceful is the adulation of the fan base. Do they actually not care that Shea commits acts of slander, rash judgment, contumely and other sins against Charity almost habitually?

      Shea always accuses traditionalists of being uncharitable and driving people away from the Church, but how many has he driven away by his deceitfulness, venom and spite?

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  8. In other words, I think the people who were moved to change their minds, to reaffirm their faith and to make good resolutions, not to mention those who will meet them in the future, were the ones who won, and people like Michael Matt, made some great points, almost as if their guardian angels were speaking for them with the help of the Holy Ghost.

    Father Grebner's statement on Lumen Gentium proving that only few are saved was one of the real surprises of the evening, and one which I enjoyed mightily. I said, thank you Lord.

    Finally, that someone is able to say the words of Christ and St. Athanasius and not be shouted down by indifferentists is pretty amazing.

    Those words, even if pondered passively may be enough for many of those men to go out and give evidence of their hope to their families, friends and co-workers.

    Deo Gratias.

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  9. Tancred, is it true you called Shea a POS, or is he lying through his teeth?

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    1. At least manure can increase crop yields.

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    2. Who is this Tancred guy, anyway? When did he call Shea a POS?

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  10. "Do they actually not care that Shea commits acts of slander, rash judgment, contumely and other sins against Charity almost habitually?"

    Your judgment falls back on you.

    You.

    You call down your own condemnation.

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    1. I'm sorry, maybe you can enlighten me as to where I've slandered Shea? He's a public figure who regularly lies and misrepresents people. I'm rather shocked he hasn't been sued for libel and defamation. Based on his behavior, I have to assume that EWTN really is a network gone wrong.

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  11. Why is Shea even at a debate like this? He has not credentials of any sort as a theologian. He's a patheos blogger. Bright but he's a bright johnny come lately and lacks all historical perspective. And he has been vicious for years towards regular Catholics who don't like the drift of the Church for the last 40 years. He was an atheist I believe when it started. Can't they trot out Scalia at least.

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    1. There are far too many little Sheas about. Do you hear things that
      newly turned out "theologians" say? They call themselves theologians but a diploma does not a theologian make. Does a diploma now get an auto pen confirmation from Rome?

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    2. Unfortunately we never seem to lack a steady stream of Professional Converts whose mission in life is to correct all the Catholic misapprehensions we have been holding for 2,000 years

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  12. JB, all the things you mentioned about Shea is exactly why he needed to be at the debate. Marky is a walking poster boy for everything that's wrong with his side. The more exposure Donut Boy gets, the better we look. I hope he goes head to head with Voris or somebody like him. He will do more damage to his reputation by his own actions than we ever could with our facebook pages and blogs.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I thought the same thing, but I had fun writing it.

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  14. These are Shea's thoughts on Voris. The mischaracterization already begins:

    (Mark Shea): "Bah. Voris attempted to complain that prayer, fasting, almgiving and the works of mercy were "too vague" (and here he got in the sneer "like Vatican II"). Precisely my difficulty here is that so much of what he does is not admonishing sinners. It is expressing rage and often (as last niight) accusing innocent people like Fr. Robert Barron of being sinners and ginning up a mob against them. Poison."

    From here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2013/10/back-but-super-busy.html#disqus_thread

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  15. A certain caustic, capricious, carking, calumniating corpulent Catholic gets tons of blog hits every time he slams Voris or runs a traditionalist canard on a blog post. The last time I wandered over to Patheos last year I noticed most of his top posts were against Voris or look at these [insert cliche] traditionalists (usually employing obvious logical fallacies that none of his readers notice). He won't stop, it's easy income plus he seems to love conflict
    Bye bye
    Boring
    Brobdingnagian
    Blogger

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  16. You speak in riddles you fool and so will I. The stock yards are long gone. A few remnants of the yards remain, but do not insult the great city. Voris is a barley educated idiot. What a joke. Let us listen to the voice of reason, and stop bantering about nothing. Augustine, Aquinas, Alphonsus Liguori, Theresa of Avila, John Paul II. These are among the greats. Let us listen to them not idiots!

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