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.

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Saint Patrick Betrayed: Ireland Votes for Same Gender ‘Marriage’

The Catholic Faith and the Christian civilization which Saint Patrick brought to Ireland nearly 1600 years ago was repudiated by more than three-fifths of the voters of the Republic of Ireland last Saturday, when that country became the first nation on earth to endorse, by popular referendum, the fashionable, neo-pagan superstition that sodomy is a conjugal act.  More than sixty generations of Irishmen and Irishwomen remained loyal to the apostle … More →

Posted in Columns, Culture Wars, Current Issues in the Church, Polemics | 1 Comment

Pamela Geller Dares the Jihadi Devil

The neoconservative warhawk Pamela Geller did what all great strategists in the history of armed conflict would recommend — from Sun Tzu to Thucydides to B. H. Liddell Hart: she organized a cartoon drawing contest to mock what is most sacred to her enemy in an effort to show the moral superiority of her people over that enemy. Brilliant. If Ms. Geller cannot be commended for prudence or fortitude, she … More →

Posted in Columns, Morals, Polemics, Politics and Society | 3 Comments

The Paramagisterium

The Catholic Church is infallible. Her infallibility is supremely invested in the Roman Pontiff, but is also exercised by the college of bishops, when they universally teach the same doctrine with and under the pope. Not only books, but libraries of books have been written to explain the truths expressed in those two sentences, there being myriad complexities surrounding an issue that is, at its heart, quite simple. … More →

Posted in Current Issues in the Church, Heresies and Errors, Polemics, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 6 Comments

The Globe’s Kevin Cullen Defines Once Catholic Ireland as “Backward”

In a metro column of The Boston Sunday Globe of August 24th, serial Catholic basher Kevin Cullen wrote about the controversy in Ireland over the discovery of unmarked graves of children at the site of a maternity home in Tuam administered bythe Bon Secours Sisters. Though disturbing questions remain, the affair has been characterized by hysterical press coverage and extravagant claims, almost all of which … More →

Posted in Apologetics, Columns, Culture Wars, Heresies and Errors, History, Polemics | Leave a comment

The Troubles in the Church Began with _____.

Robert Hickson told me about a friend of his, a Greek, who appeared to be gloomy one day. Robert noted this in an effort to show sympathy, and his friend replied that yes, this is true; he had been demoralized “ever since the Battle of Manzikert.” The Battle of Manzikert, when the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines, occurred in 1071. It marked the beginning of … More →

Posted in Current Issues in the Church, Philosophy, Polemics, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 5 Comments

‘Old’ St. Pius V vs ‘New’ St. Pius V

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 →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Mass and the Liturgy, Polemics | Leave a comment

This Year’s Holy Week Blasphemy

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 →

Posted in Columns, Heresies and Errors, Polemics | 6 Comments

I’m Just Sayin’

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 →

Posted in Columns, Faith and Reason, Polemics | Leave a comment

The Illiberality of Religious Liberalism

When speaking of liberalism, it is important to define our terms, for if we do not, certain assumptions will be made, with reference to the popular lexicon of American partisan politics. This would be a grave mistake, for much of what I shall say is liberal passes for conservative in that lexicon. And contrariwise, some ideas considered “liberal” in the popular lexicon are indeed traditional … More →

Posted in Philosophy, Polemics, Politics and Society, Theology, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 10 Comments

Beyond Liturgy

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 →

Posted in Articles, Current Issues in the Church, Polemics | 15 Comments
12 Angry Men

Reacting to Pope Francis

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 →

Posted in Articles, Current Issues in the Church, Polemics | 16 Comments

‘Born This Way’

The Supreme Court has recently begun to hear arguments in two cases related to “gay marriage” — a doubly-deceptive oxymoron which ought always to be put in quotes, if used at all. It is no surprise that, early in the oral arguments of the case, the champions of these unnatural unions claimed justification for their cause in the pseudo-scientific supposition that homosexuality is biologically determined. … More →

Posted in Apologetics, Culture Wars, Heresies and Errors, Morals, Polemics, «Ad Rem» A Weekly Email Message from the Prior | 20 Comments

‘Sentimental Theology’ and ‘Faith is a Gift’

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 →

Posted in Columns, Current Issues in the Church, Outside the Church there is no Salvation, Polemics | Leave a comment

Sophists Running the Academy

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 →

Posted in Columns, Culture Wars, Faith and Reason, Morals, Philosophy, Polemics | 1 Comment

Reply to a ‘Gay Christian’

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 →

Posted in Columns, Culture Wars, Current Issues in the Church, Morals, Polemics | 29 Comments