I wrote following stressing the need not to hurl unverifiable accusations or guessing at the "inner workings of one's mind" in order for a good debate to be possible. The person who prefers to attack anonymously responded with more of the same (accusations and somehow thinking he has the ability to know my motives).
I can merely guess that he has an axe to grind and or he wants to keep me from defending the Church against the Feeneyites by getting me into a petty fight were we argue over nothing of relevance. He accuses me of this and I defend myself. He says I shouldn't defend myself but that he is right when he guesses at my motives. I say there is no way you can know my motives. This is a waste.
I went through a lot of trouble to respond to each of his concerns. But instead of granting me the legitimate points I make below, he just wants to start a new fight. Anonymously of course. I post here so people bold enough to take the mask off can make a logical assessment of my response.
I'm not playing around here. Well I play around a little to get reactions and get people to laugh but I am not malicious in my actions. I don't go around trying to be mean or undermine people's credibility because I'm trying to settle some unknown score or because someone made me look bad or foolish as this anonymous person seems to be doing.
Can I get an honest assessment from an objective observer as to where my response to "Guest Unregistered" below was cordial, logical and charitable? Were the points I made regarding his obvious judgments of my motives unfounded? I try to be clear as can be but some people refuse to get it.
Is there an unbiased observer out there that can make an honest assessment of my response to the anonymous gentleman? Please give blunt pros or cons to only the words I have written without any guess work as to my motivation or "inner workings of my mind" as he put it.
Also to satisfy the hidden combatant accusation, can someone, since my word is not good enough, verify that Kathleen Plumb does in fact have her articles vetted by clergy, specifically CMRI clergy? This way the hidden combatant will need to find something else to accuse me of. I'll own up to any accurate accusations.
Dear Guest Unregistered,
Thank very much for the respectful tone of the letter. I will endeavor to respond to your letter to the best of my ability. I like to think of myself as one who accepts legitimate correction and tend to do so, especially if it is not emotionally charged. When it is emotionally charged I tend to pay less attention to it even though emotionally charged letters can be as equally correct as points calmly stated. Your letter is calm in appearance and so I carefully read it through. My responses here are not meant to be sarcastic or demeaning, simply to the point, I do hope to offset the pointedness with some cushy charity however. I mean no offense throughout this letter.
First of all it is refreshing that someone will actually explain the actual thoughts behind the negative feelings towards me. I may be able to read between the lines here and there but I was completely lost on this one. I knew I was perceived negatively but I was not sure why. This is why I am grateful for your letter.
Let us get to your quotes. Please keep in mind that I respond with hands on knowledge which I have learned directly from Kathleen Plumb regarding the vetting of the articles by the CMRI clergy. You can ask her yourself if you like. She may or may not have dropped them in the past year or so but I would highly doubt it. She trusts them, generally speaking, more than anyone else for knowledge, reliability, and uprightness of character. I should add that she may trust John Lane and John Daly almost as much. I will further add that there are probably independent Priests who have no bad public record that she also trusts very highly and may utilize. I will put what you have written in quotes and leave my writing as it is:
You are subject to scrutiny because you have taken it upon yourself to become a self-professed public apologist. As a published writer, you are subject to the judgment of your readers: otherwise, you are just writing for yourself. It's not that you're special or you have been targeted (please do not get a martyr-complex), it's just that you have been very vocal in this forum: so, of course you are going to draw attention to yourself, especially when you profess to defend the Faith and take it upon yourself to condemn others.
Well taken including the fact that I'm not special and the suggestion I should not get a martyr-complex. I will add that I try to condemn false thesis, error and heresy rather than individuals. The Dimond brothers are an easy target I must admit. I also try to make the opposite point on debatable topics at times. But with no malice and bad intent. But to get people to think and to help my learning process along. I learn a lot from asking questions and raising objections. Some are to sensitive to deal with objections and take it as a personal attack. But I believe in those instances the fault lies with them instead of me. Talk directly with me, in at least a semi-cordial way, instead of about me and I will be quite amiable.
Regarding the issue of the hierarchy, it's not that simple.
Not simple as what?
That my suggestion that the hierarchy, if it exists at all (remember this issue seemingly had died until you brought it up again) it is either with the traditional bishops, in the woods or with the Novus Ordo? Then how complicated is it? What would be an additional option?
You do not understand the complexity of this issue, and yet you and your buddy go on to write about it.
That is an ipsi dixit. Something which merely because it is asserted must be true. The accusation can easily be reversed. Coming to personal judgements and publicly making them about the inner workings of one's mind when trying to refute him is not something the objective observer can verify one way or the other.
An "either or" fallacy is all you can offer, playing upon the emotions of your readers rather than making cogent logical arguments.
I give an "either" and several "or's" and ask you to add whatever other options exist. We either have a legitimate hierarchy with ecclesiastical authority or we do not. If we do, my question is simply "where is it?" The options I provide are that it is either with the Traditional clergy, hidden in the woods, with the Novus Ordo, somewhere else, some combination of the above. Can you tell me where it is? Does it matter if it exists? Does it matter if we know where it is or not?
Further, you again fall into the trap of reading into the inner workings of my mind supposing that I am "playing upon the emotions of my readers" which is something that the objective observer cannot definitively verify one way or the other.
But you are using the same mental process you condemn again and again the "Feneeyites:" grasping at straws before the insurmountable evidence that you are in error.
Here again you even admit to judging my "mental process". This is not productive for the objective observer who is merely trying to get to the bottom of the issue. The idea that I am "grasping at straws" is an ipsi dixit, an assertion that is held to be true merely because it is asserted. The same can be said of the "insurmountable evidence that I am in error". For the objective observer you need to show what you judge me to be "grasping at" are in fact "straws" and back it up with something objectively better. By objectively better I mean that this "insurmountable evidence" is not something better in your judgement or even in a majority of bloggers judgements but that it in fact is objectively better as a matter of fact.
You use the "Feneeyite" controversies in order to bolster your own status as a trad writer/apologist, but you have yet to clear up your own cobwebs.
Here again you claim to know the inner workings of my mind, first by claiming I "use the Feeneyite controversies" and secondly that I "use" them "to bolster my own status as a trad writer/apologist". A bold assertion with no foundation. It is no wonder that I am confused as to why I am disliked. Human nature, and I am quite sure I do the same thing as you, judges and judges harshly without evidence. It is surprising that people definitively come to such conclusions without proof. But this in fact is what happens. For each one who publicly admits it as you do there could be ten others who feel the same way but are silent. But again we are doing much talking and judging and supposing without making any legitimate point. For the sake of brevity I will let your comments about my "cobwebs" pass.
The CMRI clergy do not vet any articles for any lay person (except for those that appear in the The Reign of Mary, nor do they approve of the Four Marks or DailyCatholic as categorically as you imply they do. If you have the approval of these priests, why not have them promote the papers/websites themselves. The reason why they don't is because they don't have the time. They are overworked, and rely on the word of others, who may misrepresent the issues.
Wrong on its face. See the beginning of my response. You have somewhat invalidated any merit the objective observer would put on what you have to say now.
More importantly: why don't you consult the very Priests/Bishops whom you posit as the legitimate hierarchy before you publicly speak about such matters? Why not show proof that you have their permission and endorsement? Why don't they themselves answer the questions you have tried to answer? Actually they have: they are not the hierarchy nor have ordinary jurisdiction. They seem to think that we are as with Our Lord in the Garden of Olives, and all we can do is watch and pray. These clergymen's (CMRI) answers are not theoretical or speculative (good luck trying to find an answer in those spheres) but practical and understandable (stuff that we should be doing anyways, like prayer and penance and fulfillment of our duties of state). Why not emulate the example of the very Priests you take on as your authorities, rather than attempt to tread upon grounds that they themselves shall not touch?
If the hierarchy issue is not touched by the CMRI as you state is it possible to definitively state that one on either side of the issue is wrong? Do you definitively state that the opinions I shared on the issue several months ago that you bring up again now are wrong? If so are you "treading upon grounds that they themselves shall not touch"?
It is up to you to prove me wrong since you make the accusation. Follow my advice and contact Kathleen Plumb and or Griff Ruby themselves and ask them if the CMRI clergy vet the articles. They are not known to be liars. I can vouch for that. I gave Kathleen ample opportunities to lie to me and she never did. She may have remained silent some times but she never lied to me. She is trustworthy and reliable. The burden of proof is on you. You make the accusation, show us the proof and prove Kathleen, Griff and me to be liars regarding CMRI vetting her articles. The idea that I would point blank state as one who communicated regularly with Kathleen something that was untrue when the facts can easily be corroborated is absurd on its face. Why would I undermine my credibility and lie about the CMRI working with Kathleen and vetting the articles she publishes when if the contrary was true it could be easily proven? Generally in any legitimate debate I get into I end up having to deal with false assertions and rash conclusions such as that which you assert.
Canon law requires ecclesiastical approval before you publish anything. If the trad clergy are legitimate ecclesiastical authorities, then it is perplexing that you write without express evidence of their approval.
Kathleen, Mike Cain, John Lane. Did you hear that? We have the Feeneyites straitening out the Catholic Church and you straitening out Catholic Apologists. The CMRI approves of The Four Marks and the Daily Catholic.
You are, therefore, in the same conundrum as the home-aloners: your instance upon authority is the very thing that makes such an instance problematic, to say the least.
Perhaps you can elaborate upon this sentence. Objectively it may make sense. But it makes no sense to me. If I understood what you were saying here I would respond to it.
Until you have written proof of a bishop who endorses your views, it would be best for you to say nothing of the matter. If said bishop is unwilling to endorse your views, then you must retract your position on this matter since you would not have his Imprimatur. Otherwise, you are going against the every authority you purport to defend, and are contradicting yourself when you cite doctrinal documents against the "Feneeyites" because you yourself have adopted their modus operandi.
You are writing as if you have the authority of a bishop here, telling me in clear terms where to go and how to get there. But as I have proved, it is up to you to back your assertion by checking with Kathleen and or Griff and asking them if I am wrong about the CMRI having vetted, and continuing to vet the articles she publishes including the one Griff published in her newspaper on the hierarchy. You have put yourself in a bad spot here. But at least now you are in position to definitively find out the truth for yourself or not.
SJB, whom you praise so highly (and rightly so) has endeavored to correct you. Why not listen to what he has to say, with the same enthusiasm as you have enlisted him in your campaign against the "Feneeyites"?
I have listened to him. We have both read the same writings on the same issue and come to different conclusions. We PMed back and forth on the issue because I wanted to learn his side as best as I could. I am quite willing to be convinced one way or the other.
As an aside, and I have learned this because I have been in a habit these past 25 years or so of corresponding with those who are more knowledgeable than I am on subjects that I want to have as thorough an understanding as possible on. I have learned that a person (one more knowledgeable than I) can be right on 99 out 100 issues. I can be right on 75 out of 100 issues. But the one issue he is wrong about could be one of the 75 I am right about. I have taught my teachers a few things as the years have passed. Perhaps you may learn a thing or two from me if you can avoid judging my inner thought process as you clearly have done in the above writing and judge my words on their face apart from any preconceived notions about my personal motives or "modus operandi".
I am more than willing to speak with you anonymously or not on any topic you would like to discuss, but focus on the words themselves apart from the preconceived notions you have just shown yourself to have.
May God bless you and Mary keep you,
Now and always,