Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bryan Cross and “Mental Reservation”

Bryan Cross is the master of “Mental Reservation”. “Mental reservation” could rightly be called “Rome’s institutionally-sanctioned form of lying”. Roman Catholic clerics at all levels did this as a way to confound law enforcement and courts. Bryan Cross has been using it to confound the Reformed folks at Green Baggins, Old Life, and other places where he’s interacting.

I’ll explain it below, but look at this incident from the comments at Green Baggins:

In 164, Turretinfan cites Pope Benedict XVI defending John Scotus Erigena, whose work “On the Division of Nature” (867) had been condemned in 1225 by a local council, and Pope Honorius III described his work as “swarming with worms of heretical perversity” and “ordered that all copies [of his book] should be burned”.

Benedict, as pope, said this about him: “In fact, John Scotus represents a radical Platonism that sometimes seems to approach a pantheistic vision, even though his personal subjective intentions were always orthodox.”

Bryan, without batting an eye, comes up with this (Comment 170):

The aspects of Scotus which Pope Benedicts commends are not the errors for which his work was later condemned. So in no way does his general audience on Scotus call his [i.e. Pope Benedict's] orthodoxy into question.

This is not an actual, and quick, analysis on Bryan’s part. Bryan could care less what was actually said. Instead, Bryan needs to say this: “in no way does his general audience on Scotus call his [i.e. Pope Benedict's] orthodoxy into question”.

So he does say it. And for Bryan, the need to guarantee the orthodoxy of a pope supercedes all else.

Whatever anyone else’s real intentions were, whatever they actually said, “in no way is the pope’s orthodoxy in question.”

It’s his ruling assumption. Whatever the pope says is not in question. This is “the obedience of faith”, and it supercedes even the logic that he professes to profess.

* * *

“Mental Reservation” is the tactic that Bryan has been employing (as I described it in # 195) and above. He is a master of this technique.

I’ve put up two blog posts, talking about how the Roman Catholic Church officially dealt with various sex abuse scandals, relying on “mental reservation”. I’ve cited actual court documents:



Bryan is dealing this way with people:

58.14 One unifying strand in all of the complainants‟ evidence heard by the Commission was the sense of dismay and anger felt by them that their Church, in which they had placed the utmost faith and trust, had in their view, duped and manipulated them over the years and that it had done so in order to preserve its reputation and its assets.

58.19 Marie Collins was particularly angered by the use by Church authorities of ‘mental reservation’ in dealing with complaints. Mental reservation is a concept developed and much discussed over the centuries, which permits a churchman knowingly to convey a misleading impression to another person without being guilty of lying. For example, John calls to the parish priest to make a complaint about the behaviour of one of his curates. The parish priest sees him coming but does not want to see him because he considers John to be a troublemaker. He sends another of his curates to answer the door. John asks the curate if the parish priest is in. The curate replies that he is not. This is clearly untrue but in the Church’s view it is not a lie because, when the curate told John that the parish priest was not in, he mentally reserved to himself the words ‘to you’.

58.20 Cardinal Connell explained the concept of mental reservation to the Commission in the following way:

“Well, the general teaching about mental reservation is that you are not permitted to tell a lie. On the other hand, you may be put in a position where you have to answer, and there may be circumstances in which you can use an ambiguous expression realising that the person who you are talking to will accept an untrue version of whatever it may be – permitting that to happen, not willing that it happened, that would be lying. It really is a matter of trying to deal with extraordinarily difficult matters that may arise in social relations where people may ask questions that you simply cannot answer. Everybody knows that this kind of thing is liable to happen. So, mental reservation is, in a sense, a way of answering without lying.”

Look for this tactic in your interactions with Bryan Cross. It’s there.

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