Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mitch Pacwa's Series on the Reformation, Continued

Here's another troubling factoid to go along with my recent post on Mitch Pacwa's upcoming Reformation video series. Pacwa was recently on Catholic Answers to discuss the project. He's looking to do a ten part series on the Reformation from a Roman Catholic perspective.

In this mp3 clip, Pacwa describes the hostile rhetoric and dialog that both sides used toward each other. He goes on to point out that there were Roman Catholic apologists that responded to Luther, minus the abusive rhetoric, and these men went on to become saints. They responded to Luther with respect, not vitriol. Pacwa says this contributed to making them saints.

As I work through the list of Romanist-apologist contemporaries of Luther in my own mind, this list of those not responding with abusive rhetoric, or even mildly abusive rhetoric is quite small. At this point, I can only think of Cajetan, but even then, I'd have to go back and check further. This Cajetan is on the list of saints, but isn't the one who interacted with Luther (I have to thank the Beggars All troll for catching that, I earlier thought the saint was Thomas de Vio Cajetan).

So exactly whom is Mitch Pacwa referring to? Saint Erasmus? Saint Cochlaeus? Saint Eck? Saint Wimpina? Saint Tetzel? Saint Prierias? Saint Alveld? Someone with more time on their hands can search the list of saints.

I'm having doubts as to how fair and balanced Pacwa's series is going to be.

12 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

A double standard? Are you really going to fall into this logical fallacy of trying to compare the two? Give me a break.

James Swan said...

The Troll speaketh.

The Lutheran Trucker said...

Keep in mind he's a Jesuit. That will explain a lot.

Matthew Bellisario said...

The Troll will refute your logical fallacies if you care to engage. Let me know how you want to defend your fallacy. It goes something like this. Luther and Cajetan both questioned the Deuterocanonical books, therefore they both should have been treated the same by the Catholic Magisterium. Is that your position? Are you claiming that just because the Catholic Church did not excommunicate Cajetan like they did Luther, that there was a double standard? Is that the position you want to publicly defend? Let me know if you want to defend this affirmative position in a formal written debate.

Matthew Bellisario said...

First of all James, which Cajetan are you referring to? It seems that you are ignorant of the fact that there are two. One is a Saint, one is not. Once you figure that out, let me know and then we can continue. Lets see how accurate your claims are.

James Swan said...

Matthew,

Good catch. Even I can make a mistake.

I revised the blog entry, noting your correction. I kept the blog comments up to show that I did indeed make an error, and you caught it. I did accidently delete this one that I wrote:

Matthew, I'm saying people like you will chastise Luther for his comments on the canon, while Cajetan gets a pass to sainthood.

How is it, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church didn't hold to the proper Roman Catholic canon?

Feel free to ignore this question as you did my question on which Romanist apologetic books to avoid.


But on the other hand, you helped out by showing that there might not be anyone who interacted with Luther minus the angry rhetoric. Whom was Pacwa thinking of?

Matthew Bellisario said...

I'm not sure who Fr. Pacwa was referring to, because he didn't name anyone. I guess it all depends on how one defines "angry rhetoric", right? Defining that is pretty subjective, no?

James Swan said...

I actually like Mitch Pacwa. He's a bright, honest guy. I even think he beat Walter Martin up pretty bad on the John Ankerberg show.

This should be easy enough to figure out... if there's a list of those who became saints from the 16th century.

Tim MD said...

Hi Matt,

In a recent blog entry, (March 10th), James based the entry on, and linked to a post that I made on CARM explaining a different aspect of the double standard he exhibits in his defense of Luther’s “fooling around” with the Canon. James is a “fan” of this thread, having made hundred or so “contributions”. Of course I never really expected him to respond and he didn’t, except to blatantly misrepresent it. In his March 10th entry I think I am labeled as a “Romanista Soldier” but then it’s hard to tell as usual. I am supposedly something but am at least not a “Troll” like you. Personally I prefer “Romanista Soldier” to “Troll”, if you know what I mean. I am sure that Luther would appreciate both as being "very descriptivez" of His opponents.

In James’s blog entry, he misrepresented my position without dealing with either the misrepresentation or the (linked to) “real deal” criticism and challenge. As we know, and like Luther, he doesn’t like to be “called on” this kind of stuff. James seems to believe that Luther, as a Catholic Theologian, was still within his “rights”, as a Catholic Theologian, to debate “theological stuff”, even after he had been excommunicated. My position is that the Catholic Church has never “allowed” excommunicated heretics to use their “authority” (as former Catholic Theologians) to teach whatever comes into their heads.

To me is seems strange for James to suggest that Luther was within his “rights” when those rights had been eliminated by his excommunication.

In my CARM post I gave James 4 "ways out" of the corner he had painted himself into. His response: That he had not read them and had no intention to. How transparent is that?


James “seems” not to understand that people like Cajetan, Erasmus, Jerome etc, might have questioned the canonicity of various books, BUT they did not charge off and deny and change several dozen of the accepted doctrinal teachings of the Church and “design” their own Church.

Of course, James has no choice but to defend Luther’s questioning of the Canon because he too has “questions” about the “Inspiration” of some of the text, albeit on a much smaller scale. I maintain though that to question ANY part of the canon is put into question ALL of it, thereby questioning the canon from which we all argue.

In essence, those who question ANY of the canon, or any portion of the NT books, much less four books as Luther did, shouldn’t have a “right” to argue FROM a canon which they have personally defined. “Arguing” from the canon can only be done when that canon has been finalized and accepted by all. As long as a Christian can “determine” (for themselves, as James seems to believe they can do), what is canonical, based on their own personal opinions (as James does), they are only arguing their opinions and from their opinions (on the canon). Protestantism is so extremely subjective to begin with, but for them to argue their positions from a Scripture which they have the “right” to personally define, well.................... it’s just too much.

As always, we see these humorous and silly “defenses” of Luther made ONLY because they are “necessary” in order to defend the individual’s “right” to decide various matters, with the Protestant concept of the “Holy Individual Opinion” being by far the most important.

I didn’t even bother to respond to James’s ridiculous comments, but now I see that he has drawn a reputable Catholic Apologist into the matter. How did he ever manage to drag you into the minor leagues where he and I operate?

God Bless You Matt and thanks for all of your “good works”, Tim MD (not an MD but from MD)

James Swan said...

Tim Said: In a recent blog entry, (March 10th), James based the entry on, and linked to a post that I made on CARM explaining a different aspect of the double standard he exhibits in his defense of Luther’s “fooling around” with the Canon.

That I did. Matthew reads the blog, and probably read the entry, so there was no need to say something so meaningless. Again, Tim, you need an editor.

Tim said: James is a “fan” of this thread, having made hundred or so “contributions”.

Tim is fan of this blog, which is why he visits here, LOL. "Fan" is wishful thinking on your part. If I recall, that post began in 2008, so I would join in every once in a while to correct something atrocious that you either said about me, history, or the Bible. Over the course of time, that I contributed that many posts isn't so hard to fathom. There were also a good number of posts which were short.

Tim said:Of course I never really expected him to respond and he didn’t, except to blatantly misrepresent it.

This is an assertion, not an argument.

Tim said: In his March 10th entry I think I am labeled as a “Romanista Soldier” but then it’s hard to tell as usual.

While you inspired the argument, it wasn't exactly you. I've dealt with others like you who forget to apply your own Romanist rules before you write.

Tim said: I am supposedly something but am at least not a “Troll” like you. Personally I prefer “Romanista Soldier” to “Troll”, if you know what I mean. I am sure that Luther would appreciate both as being "very descriptivez" of His opponents.

Matthew has been dubbed a troll by a comment he made recently:"In case any of you are wondering, I really could care less about what any of you think about anything. I just like to come over a yank on your chains so I can watch all of you fly off the handle."

Tim said: In James’s blog entry, he misrepresented my position without dealing with either the misrepresentation or the (linked to) “real deal” criticism and challenge.

I linked to your post because I did deal with your argument, and I'm not scared for anyone to go read what you wrote.

Tim said: As we know, and like Luther, he doesn’t like to be “called on” this kind of stuff.

Who is "we"? LOL. Obviously, I can be wrong, and I recently admitted an error to Matthew. On the other hand, I wasn't wrong in my critique of your argument. If I am wrong, I need to proved wrong.

Tim said: James seems to believe that Luther, as a Catholic Theologian, was still within his “rights”, as a Catholic Theologian, to debate “theological stuff”, even after he had been excommunicated.

Not quite, though close.Romanists cannot chastise Luther over the canon, because Trent had not infallibly defined the canon yet. There is no rule that I know of in Romanism that says an excommunicated theologian can be held liable for statements made on a debatable point of doctrine, 500 years later.

James Swan said...

Tim said: My position is that the Catholic Church has never “allowed” excommunicated heretics to use their “authority” (as former Catholic Theologians) to teach whatever comes into their heads.

Luther is not dogmatically a heretic. He was not named at Trent as a heretic. Simply read Hubert Jedin, or pick up the book by Sobolewski I mentioned. Again, it's a blatant double standard. No official judgment on Luther exists by which a loyal Catholic is bound. You're making up your own rules. You are a magistertium of one.

Tim said: To me is seems strange for James to suggest that Luther was within his “rights” when those rights had been eliminated by his excommunication.

Again, you're making up your own rule. You can't work an anathema backwards according to Romanism. Romanism doesn't have a rule that says heretics should be chastised for doctrines not yet infallibly defined, or that a later rule can be applied to declare an opinion heresy. Exsurge Domine did not mention Luther's view of the canon, if I recall, and that statement wasn't infallible. The fact is, you care more about Luther's opinion on the canon than the Papacy did when Luther actually made his statements on the canon.

Tim said: In my CARM post I gave James 4 "ways out" of the corner he had painted himself into. His response: That he had not read them and had no intention to. How transparent is that?

I still haven't read it. I'm sure if you're arguments were as wonderful as you think they are, you would've been spamming this blog with them.

Tim says: James “seems” not to understand that people like Cajetan, Erasmus, Jerome etc, might have questioned the canonicity of various books, BUT they did not charge off and deny and change several dozen of the accepted doctrinal teachings of the Church and “design” their own Church.

Once again, Tim makes up his own rules. Earlier he said it was Luther's promotion of a false gospel that took away his rights to comment on the canon. Tim's making up another rule, because justification wasn't defined until Trent as well.

Tim said: Of course, James has no choice but to defend Luther’s questioning of the Canon because he too has “questions” about the “Inspiration” of some of the text, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Tim made this point before ("admitting that to him (James) the canon is not yet closed. In fact James Himself questions the NT canon or at least a small portion of it and does so from only his own opinion."), and I have no idea what's he taking about. As I've argued elsewhere, it's Romanism that actually has an open canon.

James Swan said...

Tim said: I maintain though that to question ANY part of the canon is put into question ALL of it, thereby questioning the canon from which we all argue.

Then you best have a chat with Roman Catholic apologist Gary Michuta, and ask him what's up with Esdras.

Tim said: In essence, those who question ANY of the canon, or any portion of the NT books, much less four books as Luther did, shouldn’t have a “right” to argue FROM a canon which they have personally defined. “Arguing” from the canon can only be done when that canon has been finalized and accepted by all..

Another made up rule, and a rule that if applied consistently through 2000 years of church history, would indict many a theologian, including some of those beloved by Romanists.

Tim said: As long as a Christian can “determine” (for themselves, as James seems to believe they can do), what is canonical, based on their own personal opinions (as James does), they are only arguing their opinions and from their opinions (on the canon). Protestantism is so extremely subjective to begin with, but for them to argue their positions from a Scripture which they have the “right” to personally define, well.................... it’s just too much.

Tim caricatures Protestantism, yet would be hard pressed to find thousands of protestant canons today. If the canon was as subjective as Tim says, why is it that Protestants generally use the same canon? The fact is, Tim's paradigm that an infallible authority determines canonicty is bogus. I've been through this before here on this blog.

Tim said: As always, we see these humorous and silly “defenses” of Luther made ONLY because they are “necessary” in order to defend the individual’s “right” to decide various matters, with the Protestant concept of the “Holy Individual Opinion” being by far the most important.

Hardly. The argument I've made is simply one which requires Romanists to be consistent with their own rules.

Tim said: I didn’t even bother to respond to James’s ridiculous comments, but now I see that he has drawn a reputable Catholic Apologist into the matter. How did he ever manage to drag you into the minor leagues where he and I operate?

Tim, my feelings are not hurt if you don't write 10,000 words of nonsense in response to me.

I don't draw Matthew into these discussions. He comes over here and leaves comments, all on his his own, he'd probably admit that himself. There's no one holding a gun to his head (as far as I know) forcing him to comment. As to his pedigree of "reputable Catholic apologist", Matthew states:

"Do you see me going around the country speaking and selling books, and advertising myself as a professional apologist?"

"I do not advertise myself as an apologist. I'm interested in promoting good Catholic theological sources."