Saturday, February 07, 2009

Rome Should Be Thankful For Catholic Answers

According to Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi :

"While some Vatican documents are meant for specialists of canon law or theology, he explained, others are meant for all Catholics.

"But today, whatever the type of document, it all ends up directly in the public sphere. It gets difficult to manage." [Source]

Why does the Vatican forget we have Catholic Answers and Internet Catholic apologists to interpret and explain things?


Chris Winter said...


Two new posts in quick succession? I thought you would've learned not to quote so freely after this post:

Btw, here's what Benedict XVI actually said again; I wouldn't want to deprive your blog visitors of the actual facts:

"With Christ, the God of Israel, the one true God, became the God of all peoples. The wall as he says in his Letter to the Ephesians between Israel and the Gentiles, was no longer necessary: it is Christ who protects us from polytheism and all of its deviations; it is Christ who unites us with and in the one God; it is Christ who guarantees our true identity within the diversity of cultures. The wall is no longer necessary; our common identity within the diversity of cultures is Christ, and it is he who makes us just. Being just simply means being with Christ and in Christ. And this suffices. Further observances are no longer necessary. For this reason Luther's phrase: "faith alone" is true, if it is not opposed to faith in charity, in love. Faith is looking at Christ, entrusting oneself to Christ, being united to Christ, conformed to Christ, to his life. And the form, the life of Christ, is love; hence to believe is to conform to Christ and to enter into his love. So it is that in the Letter to the Galatians in which he primarily developed his teaching on justification St Paul speaks of faith that works through love (cf. Gal 5: 14)."

[ Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 ]

James Swan said...


You'll notice, I did an overview of some of the Pope's recent comments in the aomin link I posted in that very same blog entry. Here it is again, since you seem to only see what you want to:

This link has been in the entry since I posted it yesterday.

So, no one is being "deprived" of your recent Pope's tricky statements on Luther.

I'll probably delete anything else you post on this, so think before taking the time to put together any new comments.

Hopefully, you will learn to read things a bit more carefully before spamming other blog entries with comments that aren't needed.

Chris Winter said...


Fair enough, I shouldn't be hijacking other blog threads, but I was rather dismayed at what you said in the addendum to that post:

"I shut down the comments because I'm not interested in Catholics coming over here and attempting to argue Protestants and Catholics are on the "same page" about the gospel. We are not. You can keep your "joint declaration" comments on your own blogs."

This pretty much summarizes the attitude of the Protestant apologists who post here. It is not one of trying to give an account of the truth with love, but an attitude of self-worship and blind hostility towards Catholicism.

If you are so convinced that your position is the truth, then you should have nothing to fear. So, why close off the comments on that post? Why not come and discuss it with the Catholics who post here, and use it as an opportunity for a heart-felt ministry that might actually stand a chance of accomplishing (what should be) your goal of convincing others of your position?

Instead, you'd rather avoid having to deal with the Pope's "tricky statements". This is not the response of someone who knows the truth, it's the response of a coward who would rather nitpick and scoff at the Catholic Church.

Yes, I did go read your article over at, and it was just more of the same. Instead of dealing with what the Pope actually said, you just ignore it and brush it aside with appeals to semantics and the definition of terms.

James, go ahead and delete this comment if you wish, but you should know that I have lost all respect for your intellectual integrity. Your example, along with that of Rhology, tarnishes the credibility of this blog, and does the Reformed faith a disservice. However, I'm sure that means nothing to you because I'm just some RC e-pologist, not an actual human being whose soul should be of concern to you.

James Swan said...

"So, why close off the comments on that post?"

I was frustrated by the fact neither you or the others took the time to actually look to the aomin link I posted before your accusations. Recall your statement: "I thought you would've learned not to quote so freely." C'mon, you guys have to read before posting a comment.

I dealt with the Pope's comments in that aomin entry. I don't really have any desire to reinvent the wheel with you guys over this. We do not believe the same things about salvation. Rome teaches a false gospel.

However, I'm sure that means nothing to you because I'm just some RC e-pologist, not an actual human being whose soul should be of concern to you.

Granted, my tolerance for particular Catholic bloggers isn't what it used to be. I have grown weary of the anger and vile many of the Catholic bloggers post over here. This year, I decided to start deleting comments more often.

For instance, I closed the comments down on that other post because one of your Catholic brothers stated:

"This is a very sorry situation. A man who prides himself as a researcher and a Luther expert cannot properly research what was written in his own language just two months ago. Where is the credibility?"

LOL. You then did the same thing in essence: "I thought you would've learned not to quote so freely after this post". Then Mr. Hoffer stated, "It is great that Mr. Wintrowski was able to find the actual text of Our Pontiff's words given at a general audience" Hoffer then stated, Why is it that you insist on Catholics using ad fontes sources in our examinations on the Fathers of the Reformation when you yourself are not willing to use an official source or even "fact check" to see if a secular news agency is competent to report accurately a matter of theology? LOL again. Even Mr. Hoffer didn't check the aomin link.

The aomin link was posted in the blog entry! So, I figured that was the direction the comments were going, so they were shut down.

I don't have time to deal with you guys if you can't take the time to actually read and digest what is posted before you comment.

BJ Buracker said...


At the risk of being pedantic, out of line, and hair splitting, I feel I need to point out something.

In both your comment here you said, "I dealt with the Pope's comments in that aomin entry." This is not true.

What you did was deal with an article quoting the Pope's statement, and that only in part.

In fact, in the AOMin post, you said:

It's a review of statements made by the Pope on November 18, 2008. This means we're reading what someone heard Pope Benedict XVI say, rather than reading an entire context of exactly what was stated. I mention this because as I read through the link, I was left with more questions about exactly what the Pope meant than definitive papal statements of clarification on either justification or Luther. I wondered if the Pope actually spoke in such ambiguity or if the reviewer simply put down "the gist" of what he heard.

Then you conclude with:

So did the Pope clarify Luther's idea of justification? Well, if the article accurately put forth the Pope's statements, he did not.

Thus, it seems to me that in your initial article that you even admit you don't know the Pope's actual statement or even understand it.

That is quite significant and is different than the portrait painted here. I think Wintrowski's provision of more context and direct quote of the Pope, along with the link to the full text, is/was appropriate.

I can't speak about other comments in the original thread, because they no longer exist. Perhaps, they were inappropriate.

However, just given the context of this thread, Mr. Hoffer's critique (quoted above by you) seems to be correct. There was no commentary on the source of the Pope's statement, just commentary on a secondary "review" (your word). Hardly an ad fontes approach, which is, indeed, different than the treatment you give Luther in those enlightening posts.

I apologize if this is out of line, and I'll understand if this gets moderated. Still, I felt it important to bring this to light.



James Swan said...

hair splitting,

Yes, I think it is. The Zenit article I utilized was accurate....unless you've found an inconsistency between Zenit and the link Mr. Hoffer & Wintrowski utilized.

Gaetano said...


Genuine curiosity. Is the teaching of the LCMS out of keeping with Luther? If it isn't, is that at all relevant to your analysis of the pope's soteriology on AOMIN since you focused, I thought, on the possibility of losing salvation as key to the differences between Rome and the possessors of the true Gospel like yourself.

If it is out of line with Luther, then my point is not all that relevant, except that I'd like to note that many post-Tridentine commentators on Romans 3 argue that it is not just the ceremonial or judicial law which are being referred to, but the moral law as well. Painting Roman Catholic interpretation of Scripture as monolithically as you did in your post generally will fall afoul of the truth of the matter.


Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Swan, I saw that you closed down any further comments on the post that I had commented on and saw your additional statements as well.

First, I did not make my comments about using ad fontes sources to attack your character or otherwise suggest that you were doing something untoward. I made my comment because your post linked to another article that gave incorrect, inaccurate and incomplete information. If you had mentioned that you had sought a clarification from the author of the other article, I would not have commented at all.

Second, I did not read your other post at AOMin. I do not make it a habit to read that blog regularly as it does not permit comments or corrections. If we are called upon to give an account for the reasons for our hope and are prevented from doing so due to a blog's format, then I choose to allocate my time and efforts in a more worthwhile manner other than reading a blog that is not interested in the free and honest exchange of ideas. Furthermore, since the tenor of your article was rather polemical, I was only interested in correcting the incorrect information that was being presented by the other writer whose article you provided a link to as opposed to addressing an article written for effect only. If you had explicitly stated that you had posted additional information elsewhere, I would have read it and then would have probably not have commented at all.

Since I did not see what others may have written after my comment, I am not aware as to how others responded to it. If my comment was used as a springboard to attack your character or as an excuse to otherwise engage in ad hominem, I regret that such occurred and apologize. It is important for all of us to remember that while we are called upon to give an account for the reason for our hope, we are all called to do so in a reverent and charitable manner.

God bless!