Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some humorous and instructive comments from the Dave Armstrong thread

Now that Dave has closed comments in the thread, “How Anti-Catholics ‘Argue’: Example #4625: John Bugay Resurrects Luther’s Excrement Fetish in His Rush to Insult Myself and My Readers”, and following up on this post of my own, I thought I’d take a page out of Steve’s book and post some of my own comments from this thread, as well as some instructive and entertaining comments from other folks whose comments deserve to stand alone.

Paul Hoffer said... 

Mr. Bugay,

Aside from the sadness I feel seeing a fellow Catholic in turmoil over his faith and going overboard in trying to rationalize his decision to leave the Church, I applaud your efforts to try to come to grips with the issue of the papacy if that is your stumbling block. It is too bad that you failed to do much of that research PRIOR to leaving the Church. That said, if you want to re-write your personal narrative so as to have us all believe that your mopery over popery is why you left the Church is your delusion not ours. I have been rather busy with my own challenges of life to address your anachronistic musings that reads the notion of monoepiscopacy into apostolic succession or Petrine primacy. Briefly, I would note here that while you love to quote Fr. Brown excerpts you neglect to mention to your readers that he firmly held why he was alive that the office of the papacy and the episcopacy evolved in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You now reference the Archbishop of Dijon and go and take his statements grossly out of context as well. It seems to me that if you are seriously going to rely on your researches to dictate your theological that you at least learn how to do research first.

I will leave you to washing poo off your hands so you can enjoy Thanksgiving with your family.

God Bless!

John Bugay to Paul Hoffer:

Couple of things Paul. I am not “in turmoil” at all – I reached my conclusions a long time ago, and I’m very comfortable with where I am now. Although your “sadness” has brought a tear to my poor eye.

Nor am I trying to “rationalize”. Life and history are simply confirming what I had concluded long ago.

I am not trying to “come to grips” with the issue of the papacy. It is not a “stumbling block”. I’m just one sentence into your comment, and I’ve already dealt with four of your mischaracterizations.


Apparently, you don’t mind doing this – it’s what you do, very well, all the time. That is, mischaracterize things. To be sure, there are more, but I’m going to stop counting now to save you the embarrassment – think of it as another small kindness on my part.

I’m not “rewriting my personal narrative” – this is all true. I did not quote “Fr. Brown”. I quoted an archbishop, who did the Vatican’s study, among other things. And he is part of “high level” ecumenical discussions – right outside of Rome, and apparently with Rome’s blessings. Sure, there are Protestants, but you Roman Catholics will need some Protestants “on board” to believe whatever cockamamie story that now is created to account for how the papacy came about.

These are not “anachronistic musings”, and I did not do the “research”. All of it is rather a fait accompli: what I’ve reported represents the starting point of these “high level ecumenical discussions”. It’s all been published in a book. I am just reporting things to you. This is the current state of affairs.

I’m sorry that you are facing “challenges of life”. The Lord is in the business of helping us along with those. There is one, very easy condition – “yoke” – that he requires. And that is, “Repent” and believe the good news of the Gospel.

I would add here that Hoffer is correct, that Raymond Brown “firmly held why he was alive that the office of the papacy and the episcopacy evolved in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

This is quite different from what Vatican I very strenuously held: “On the institution of the apostolic primacy in blessed Peter, We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the Lord.” 

That’s quite a distance between Vatican I and Brown. Especially, leaving aside Brown’s historical statement about “the guidance of the Holy Spirit” – which we can contest later – factually, Brown holds that the episcopacy “evolved” (quite a different thing from “development”) in the second century. The “Primacy of Peter” didn’t fully take shape until the middle of the fifth century. And if we can attribute something other than “the guidance of the Holy Spirit” – for example, they wholesale adopted Roman culture – then we can feel free to simply reject that Roman cultural accretion, because we know that the Holy Spirit does not guide people to behave like thugs and Roman imperial bureaucrats.

Adomnan said…

Turmoil or not, hatred and bitterness or not, Bugay's religion (Protestant Fundamentalism) is a joke. It is a mistake to take this mindless obscurantist, or any Fundamentalist fool, seriously, as those scholars he cites would be the first to acknowledge.

It is weird that Bugay is so convinced that his snippets from scholarly books and droning ecumenical dialogues present difficulties to the Catholic faith. But then he considers the mere fact that many scholars refer to the papacy as the "Petrine office" as some sort of strike against the faith! Clueless. But why expect rationality from fundies, who live and breathe absurdity? You can't reason with the unreasonable.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Bugay, of course you are re-writing your personal narrative. If the issue of papacy is what has caused your difficulty, then you would be Orthdox instead of some flavor of Presbyterianism.

God bless!

Maroun said...

Hi guys .
To be honest with you , i am very surprised that you even bother to explain things to John Bugay . Honestly the level of the things which he is saying is so ridiculous , that i stopped taking him seriously a long time ago . I am not saying these things out of arrogance or hatred , not at all , but i mean come on , he hasent said a single interesting thing yet .

John is one of those persons like many other protestants which believes that the Holy Spirit never spoke with anyone but them,nor before nor after the so called reformation .

Personally , i am glad that John is not a catholic anymore . Think of all the damage which he could cause from inside the Church .

John said :if you who think Dave's one-sided bombast here is a great thing, you are an inquiring mind and a bottom feeder.

Well John , the things which Dave is saying in here make perfect sens and everything you said until now is pure nonsense .And by the way if i were a protestant (Lutheran for example) i would have used much harder words and i would have told you that the Holy Spirit asked me to rebuke you .

In many ways , i dont blame you , really i dont , you have left the light (the Catholic Church ) and you are in the dark now , so you cant see clearly even if you believe and you are sure that you do .
I have wasted many precious minutes writing these things , so i will stop now .

GBU and i really feel sorry for you . I will keep you in my prayers though and no matter what , i will pray for you .

Adomnan said...

[Quoting Roberto Jung]: But for those on the fence or ill-catechized among us, seeing a strong response to any even plausible-seeming claims of "Protestant fundamentalist obscurantists" is of inestimable value.

Adomnan: Good point. I don't deny that people can have good reasons for engaging Bugay. They can find it fun to trade insults with him, something to do instead of a filling in a crossword puzzle or watching a sitcom. Or he could accidently introduce an interesting topic. I've actually engaged him myself, albeit briefly, for both of these motives.

What is impossible, in my opinion, is any real dialogue with him. He lacks a mind capable of reason. I'm not saying he can't express himself; I'm saying he can't think. If he could, he wouldn't be a fundy -- and fundies, heaven knows, express themselves!

This is a funny exchange. I had cited Archbishop Roland Minnerath, who was a contributor to the Vatican’s 1989 Historical and Theological Symposium, which was directed by the Vatican’s Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, at the request of the then Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the theme: “The Primacy of the Bishop of Rome in the First Millennium: Research and Evidence”. Minnerath had said:
In the first millennium there was no question of the Roman bishops governing the church in distant solitude. They used to take their decisions together with their synod, held once or twice a year. When matters of universal concern arose, they resorted to the ecumenical council. Even [Pope] Leo [I], who struggled for the apostolic principle over the political one, acknowledged that only the emperor would have the power to convoke an ecumenical council and protect the church.
 At the heart of the estrangement that progressively arose between East and West, there may be a historical misunderstanding. The East never shared the Petrine theology as elaborated in the West. It never accepted that the protos in the universal church could claim to be the unique successor or vicar of Peter. So the East assumed that the synodal constitution of the church would be jeopardized by the very existence of a Petrine office with potentially universal competencies in the government of the church.

In response to this, Jim Paton said...

The good Archbishop obviously forgot the one about Eutyches and St Flavian.

Catholic apologist Mark Bonocore wrote:

"Eutyches refused to submit to the synod called by Flavian. He appealed his case to Pope Leo I:
"I take refuge, therefore, with you, the defender of religion and abhorrer of such factions. …I beseech you not to be prejudiced against me by their insidious designs about me, but to pronounce the sentence which shall seem to you right upon the Faith. (Eutyches to Pope Leo, Ep 21.)

Patriarch Flavian also appealed to Rome for a ruling, moving Pope Leo to produced his famous Tome, which totally condemned Monophysitism. And so, responding to Eutyches, St. Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna, writes:

We exhort you, honorable brother, that you obediently listen to what has been written by the blessed Pope of the city of Rome, since blessed PETER, WHO LIVES AND PRESIDES in his own see, offers the truth of faith to those who seek. For we, in our zeal for peace and faith, cannot decide questions of faith apart from consent of the Bishop of Rome."

Hmm, looks like the east had the same conception as the west.

Oh and by the way, Ignatius of Antioch said of Rome: "to the Church which holds the presidency. . . because you hold the presidency of love, named after Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. . . who are filtered clear of every foreign stain. . .You have envied no one; but others you have taught"

If what you are claiming is true, then statements like these shouldn't have been mentioned in 110A.D or during the time of Pope Leo. It all seems rather early for bishops from the east to be sharing the same conception about Rome as Rome did about itself.

You and the good bishop are found wanting.

John Bugay said...

Right Jim Paton. If an Archbishop on the Vatican Commission had read Mark Bonocore, he might have been able to avoid making that mistake.

Or do you suppose the Archbishop knows something that Mark Bonocore doesn't know?

As for the rest of you guys, it is funny that you think "John Bugay is a Protestant Fundamentalist" "absurd", "funny" -- that these personal insults are an adequate or even "plausible" response to some of the things I've suggested here. It really just shows you can't otherwise address what I've said.

It shows the degree to which you hold only to what's within your own small little insular world, and how really weak your actual case is.


  1. ...then we can feel free to simply reject that Roman cultural accretion, because we know that the Holy Spirit does not guide people to behave like thugs and Roman imperial bureaucrats.

    Amen, John! Preach it brotha!

    "But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you..." (Matthew 20:25-26a ESV)

  2. They'll take an unclear, highly contested verse like Matt 16:18, which really doesn't say anything near what they attribute to it, and make that foundational for their whole structure, and yet, a clear bit of instruction like that from Matt 20, well, there are all sorts of ways to explain this away.

    Go figure.

  3. Presbyterians are fundamentalists?
    News to me.

  4. Not just "fundamentalists", but "fundamentalist obscurantists". That's a key point!

    From Wikipedia:

    Obscurantism (French: obscurantisme, from the Latin obscurans, “darkening”) is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known. There are two, common, historical and intellectual, denotations: 1) restricting knowledge—opposition to the spread of knowledge, a policy of withholding knowledge from the public, and, 2) deliberate obscurity—an abstruse style (as in literature and art) characterized by deliberate vagueness.

    The irony is not lost here.