Thursday, January 17, 2008

This is the house that Dave built

“[Steve asked] Have his online articles received the imprimatur?”

“[Dave answered] Nope, but The New Catholic Answer Bible has…So has The Catholic Answer Bible (where I alone wrote the inserts).”

So, out of Armstrong’s extremely prolific apologetic output, the only thing he’s ever written which has received the imprimatur are the inserts to The Catholic Answer Bible.

Moving along:

“My book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism has a Forewrod by the late Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., close advisor to Pope Paul VI and also Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. He is now being considered for sainthood.”

Notice this friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend style of argument.

If Bob likes Betty, and Betty likes Debbie, and Debbie likes okra, then Bob likes okra.

How does the fact that Hardon was a close advisor to Mother Teresa say anything about the theological pedigree of Armstrong’s book?

“But I suppose that is not sufficient. You guys require a signed letter by the pope himself, authorized by a Notary Public and witnessed by a board of 12 anti-Catholic nitwits like yourselves. Then you'll admit that I can write on behalf of the Church on Tuesdays and Thursdays on odd-numbered years, between 12:30 and 5:30 when the moon is full.”

Well, Dave, you’re getting close. I’m sure you’ve already satisfied the lunatic condition. I’m prepared to stipulate, without further ado, that Dave has been writing under a full moon.

However, it’s not quite enough to have a signed letter by the pope. We need an ex cathedra signed letter by the pope.

We’d also request some compelling evidence that the putative pope is not an anti-pope. Maybe the Avignonese papacy was the real papacy after all.

“I am on the staff of the Coming Home Network International (Facilitator of Online Apologetics and CHNI Discussion Group). As its website states:__’This lay apostolate has also received constant encouragement, from such Church leaders as His Eminence Cardinal George, Bishop Paul Dudley, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Mother Angelica of EWTN, Karl Keating of Catholic Answers, Patrick Madrid of Envoy Magazine, Thomas Howard, Dr. Scott Hahn and Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR, President of Franciscan University of Steubenville’."

Well, Dave, that’s very revealing, although not necessarily in the way you intend.

Only two of the leaders (Cardinal George, Bishop Dubley) are members of the magisterium.

And the bare fact that they “encourage” this “lay apostolate” furnishes absolutely no evidence that either one of them has read all of your stuff, or even a fraction thereof.

BTW, does his Eminence agree with you on the curative power of hot tubs?

How does the (distant) association with Mother Angelica serve to validate your writings? To my knowledge, she’s a high school graduate with extensive experience scrubbing floors and baking bread.

She may be an admirable woman, but is she a theological expert?

And unless the Catholic church has changed it’s mind on the ordination of women, she’s not even a priest—much less a bishop.

BTW, did you become a staff-member before or after her stroke? What is her level of mental competence, much less theological competence, to evaluate your writings?

No doubt it comes in handy to have a stroke victim validate your work. Does she also sign blank checks made out to your apostolate?

“The following clergy are spiritual advisors to CHNI:__Most Rev. Gilbert I. Sheldon, Retired Bishop of Steubenville_Most Rev. Paul Dudley, Retired Bishop of Sioux Falls, SD_Fr. Raymond Bourque, O.M.I._Deacon Dominic Cerrato_Fr. John McClosky, III, S.T.D._Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J._Fr. Benedict Groeschel C.F.R._Fr. Charles P. Connor.”

“Spiritual advisors to CHNI”? That’s at six degrees of separation from anything that you have actually written. Have you noticed that Armstrong’s logic resembles a nursery rhyme?

This is the pope,
That knew the antipope,
That knew the cardinal archbishop,
That knew the cardinal,
That knew the archbishop,
That knew the bishop,
That knew the monsignor,
That knew the priest,
That knew the monk,
That knew the nun,
That knew the deacon,
That knew the subdeacon,
That knew the subdeacon’s cousin,
That knew the layman,
That lay in the house that Dave built.

Once again, only two of these advisors are members of the magisterium. Have they read all of your stuff? How much have they read?

“Moreover, you obviously don't have a clue about express approval from the magisterium of lay Catholic ministries or apostolates in general.”

Which illustrates the duplicity of the Catholic rule of faith. On paper you can’t do without a divine teaching office, but in practice it’s every man for himself.


  1. Dave probably holds to a Catholic-antirealism. This allows him to teach on Scripture to his heart's content with the caveat that what he says may be useful, may save his fellow layman's phenomena, but it shouldn't be assumed to be true or authorotative.

  2. It's kinda like when Dave says that RCC believes in grace alone even though you have to merit it.

    See how it all makes sense now?

  3. where I alone wrote the inserts).”

    1. Does the CA Bible actually say this? As I recall, it doesn't, but maybe I've missed it.

    2. I do know that says that you and Mr. Thigpen contributed to the NCA. Apparently, your acumen was not enough alone.

    Of course, the quality of these inserts generally leaves much to be desired. Thanks, Dave for making our job so much easier by crafting such easily dismantled material.

  4. I keep thinking about the fact that Dave use to be some kind of Evangelical. Born so. I sense he has developed more of a connection with Roman Catholic reference works in his time as an RC than with the RC faith experience overall.

    He also shows obvious signs of some kind of mental excessive vain self-estimate distortion syndrome.

  5. Whenever I glance at Dave Armstrong's blog and see one of those insane posts - excuse me, papers - of his that you know took five hours to compose and format I think, well, he *could* have spent that time lugging a rifle to a mall somewhere, so...

  6. What are we going to do with these Roman Catholics - and Mormons (etc.) for that matter...? Well, it's not like they havn't been disabused of their unbiblical beliefs...

    What's funny about the Roman Catholic thing is take away their buildings and their costumes and what is left? A puff of smoke.

    Protestants have the Word of God and the Kingdom of God. And the real Mediator. And the Spirit.

  7. Protestants have the Word of God and the Kingdom of God. And the real Mediator. And the Spirit.

    And shockingly poor punctuation!!

  8. >And shockingly poor punctuation!!

    For starting a sentence with 'and'? Your self-awareness is a bit lacking. A symptom of bondage to the Beast.

  9. todd katz is an evangelical protestaNT MEDICAL MISSIONARY and will stay out of this little fight,thank you kindly!