Category Archives: Polemics
Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote an excellent article called “The Decline of Controversy.” He gave the Center permission to publish it in From the Housetops magazine. His major point was that false ecumenism and religious indifference were undermining the art of religious disputation. The good old days of vibrant argumentation were being replaced by soulless dialogue. The more controversy declines the more truth becomes relative.
Polemics can be called the art of disputation. It is more than debate; it is animated debate. By its very nature polemics is meant to be a stimulating exercise, which fortifies the mind by establishing the reasons that support the truths we believe in. And one way to do that is by exposing the fallacies of the arguments used to support false doctrine. With liberals and Protestants, polemics employs arguments based on the authority of scripture and tradition. But the polemicist may also utilize contrast in exposing doctrinal or moral fallacies. Whatever tools are used, charity is the balm that softens the opponents hearts so that they may listen to or read arguments rather than ad hominems.
From the article “The Contradiction of Core,” I take this brief excerpt contrasting the oration from today’s feast in the Traditional rite with the oration in the new rite. The changes are revealing: Old text: “O God, who for the overthrowing of the enemies of Thy Church and for the restoration of the beauty of Thy worship, didst choose blessed Pius as supreme Pontiff; grant that … More →
You might call it “Holy Week for Atheists.” Having recently celebrated their annual high holy day, atheists of various stripes — including some who call themselves “Christian” — line up once more to “despise dominion and blaspheme majesty” during Lent, and, especially, Holy Week. This year’s blasphemy is courtesy of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, the author of an exciting new book reheating boring old heresies. Ehrman was recently interviewed … More →
Many progressivists who were baptized Catholic but subsequently lapsed will refer to themselves as “Cultural Catholics.” But the individuals I have heard describe themselves thus do not embrace anything like a Catholic culture at all. Rather, they cling to the most grotesque aspects of the post-Enlightment cultures of modernity. Superadding trash to one’s own personal loss of faith or morals does not a Catholic Culture … More →
I want to begin these lines by setting a positive tone. As a journalist who has written for most of the nation’s conservative or Traditional Catholic publications, during the past half century I have dealt close-up with more high-ranking Churchmen than the average Catholic ever will and have had the utmost respect for some. Let me name a few. There was Austin Vaughn, Auxiliary of … More →
I am a convert. If I wanted to be my own Pope, I’d have stayed Protestant. That is to say, I accept that it is the exclusive right of the Church headed by the Pope, not mine as an individual, to decide what is authentic Christian belief and practice. She teaches, I can only repeat the teaching (and try to live by it). One of … More →
In this video, Michael Voris presents some good thoughts on the subject of sentimental theology. There are two points here where he appears to have borrowed from Saint Benedict Center’s founders. (Note that I do not say he borrowed, but “appears to have” done so.) First is the name itself, which was the title of an article by Dr. Fakhri Maluf (later Brother Francis, M.I.C.M.) … More →
You’ve no doubt heard the expressing “lunatics running the asylum.” Well, The Telegraph reports that a new article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. … More →
Our most recent Mancipia, which was mailed last week, featured an article I wrote called “Where Have the Real Men Gone.” The piece was originally posted on this web site. A gentleman who read the newsletter, and who calls himself a “Gay Christian” wrote me objecting to what I said therein. I will not give the gentleman’s name or reproduce his email in its entirety … More →
Dear Boy Scouts of America, This is a brief message requesting that you maintain the present policy of not admitting homosexuals into Scout membership. If you reverse this policy, you will… reduce the Scout’s pledge [s/b "Scout Oath"] to utter meaninglessness, as homosexuality is intrinsically dishonorable; open up BSA to a flood of lawsuits when predatory homosexuals infest your troops and government at all levels; … More →
Rereading the excellent post on Rorate Caeli, “Religious Liberty or Liberty for Christians?,” led me to some broader considerations on the subject of religious liberty. Roberto de Mattei, the author of the piece, expresses what is no doubt a controversial, if very true, thesis: “For this reason we say that man has the right to profess, not any religion, but to profess the only true … More →
From the corner where I sit, I see much of the conservative reaction to last month’s election as more dismaying than the election itself. After all, whichever of the two principal candidates won, the country was not going to be measurably better off. Certainly Christian interests would not be served, not that more than maybe a half-dozen Americans care about that. It can’t be more … More →