Sunday, June 08, 2008

Anatomy of a specious disclaimer

“To the best of my knowledge, all of my theological writing is ‘orthodox’ and not contrary to the official dogmatic and magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Of course, if Armstrong didn’t know what he was talking about, he’d be in no position to issue this disclaimer in the first place.

“In the event of any (unintentional) doctrinal or moral error on my part…”

Of course, if he were guilty of intentional doctrinal or moral error, we’d hardly expect him to admit it. Wouldn’t a willful deceiver deny his willful deception?

“Having been undeniably demonstrated to be contrary to the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church…”

Notice how he shifts the burden of proof, as if his orthodoxy should be taken for granted.

And notice the weasel words: “undeniably demonstrated.” But, of course, wouldn’t a heretic be the first to deny the charge of heresy?

“I will gladly and wholeheartedly submit to the authority and wisdom of the Church (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Timothy 3:15).”

Unless The Congregation for the Doctrine of The Faith spends its time surfing his amateur website, isn’t this just another throwaway line?

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