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Monday, June 13, 2011

David Palms false claims in "Neo-Geo Exaggerations: The Catechism of Trent" answered

Palm - In my last piece on neo-geocentrism I pointed out how neo-geocentrists consistently exaggerate the nature and authority of the various ecclesiastical documents that touch on the topic.

JM – Yet Mr Palm has chosen not to answer critiques of his blog article by Rick Delano. Other blog entries by Mr Palm have also been pulled apart by Rick, myself and Robert Sungenis and Mr Palm is a no show on those as well. How can a geocentrist take him seriously when he fails to show up when critics pull his arguments apart? Evidently we do not and we wonder about the motive of those who do.

Palm - Another example of this may be found in how they treat some passages in the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Here's what a leading neo-geo has to say about it:
One of the clearest official and authoritative statements from the Catholic Church defending the doctrine of geocentrism comes from the catechism issued under a decree of Pope Pius V, known as The Catechism of the Council of Trent or more simply, The Roman Catechism. (Bob Sungenis, GWW2, 163).

JM – We shall we the clear evidence is consistent with what the church fathers, the Popes, commission and now modern science all say. The earth is stationary at the center of the universe.


Palm - "One of the clearest official and authoritative statements"....keep that phrase in mind as we look into this a little further. Bob deploys several passages from the Roman Catechism to try and make this case. Here's one of them:

JM – Yep, the statements are clear and they are authoritative and they have not been reversed.

Palm – [Quoting Trent’s catechism]He also gave to the sun its brilliancy, and to the moon and stars their beauty; and that they might be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years. He so ordered the celestial bodies in a certain and uniform course, that nothing varies more than their continual revolution, while nothing is more fixed than their variety.

JM- clearly the catechism of the council of Trent (CT) says the sun, moon and stars, which are the celestial bodies, are doing the moving in a uniform course in a continua revolution. This is consistent with geocentrism, which posits the earth is stationary and the celestial bodies are doing the revolving.


Palm -  Now a lot of non-geocentrists are going to look at that and say, Okay, but I agree with that. How exactly does that clearly teach geocentrism?


JM – Mr Palm poses a question and here is the answer. The quote from Trent uses the language of Genesis, which sates the sun, moon and stars were create by God as signs for the seasons. Such language is also consistent with what we see in other parts of scripture concerning the celestial bodies in relation to each other and scripture is clear that the stars, sun and moon are doing the moving and the earth is stationary. So as CT is using the same language as scripture, then the CT must be understood within the truths conveyed in scripture. As such CT is teaching geocentrism and not the novel and unbiblical doctrine of heliocentrism.

Palm - Bob deploys another passage from the Catechism of Trent to try and answer that:
Rather, to expel any doubt about what objects are revolving the catechism adds that the sun, moon and stars have a “continual revolution.” Although the unspecified reference to “revolution” might cause a heliocentrist to infer that the sun’s revolution does not necessarily mean it is revolving around the Earth, a few pages later the catechism disallows that inference by stating the following:

JM – Robert is correct to quote CT, whereby it is the sun, moon and stars that rotate. If Palms thesis is correct, that CT can also apply to heliocentrism, why is it that CT never mentions the motion of the earth? Does this truth of the motion of the earth just slip by the mind of the church, as taught by the magesterium, or is Palm desperately trying to read into the text, what the text does not say? Is CT teaching or inferring Catholics can hold to a teaching that expressly contradicts the universal consent of the fathers? If so, how does Mr Palm know he can hold to such a view, when Popes have said such consent is binding on the faithful?

Further, is Mr Palm saying CT allows Catholics to hold to heliocentrism when the literal sense of scripture clearly teaches the earth is stationary? If so, how does Mr Palm arrive at such a conclusion, when the church teaches that the literal sense of scripture is the foundational sense to the text? Evidently to do this, Mr Palm must special plead his position in both cases and as such pleading is not founded upon the magesterium, his case is not that of a faithful Catholic.

Palm - . . .The problem for Bob is the context that he left off after the ellipses makes his application of this passage to the earth's place in the universe untenable. Let's have the whole passage, including what he omitted:

JM – Is Robert’s interpretation of the passage untenable as Mr Pams says, or is Mr Palm’s special pleading and concentrating on the narrow content of some words at the expense of the broader context? If do believe he does this below.

Palm - The earth [terram] also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world [mundi], rooted in its own foundation, and made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which he had founded for them. That the waters should not inundate the earth, He set a bound which they shall not pass over; neither shall they return to cover the earth. He next not only clothed and adorned it with trees and every variety of plant and flower, but filled it, as He had already filled the air and water, with innumerable kinds of living creatures.
While mundus can mean "universe", it can also just mean "world", e.g. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur,

JM – A flaw in Mr Palm’s argument is that he does not take into account the context of the statement in CT. The statement is made in the context of the creation of the universe here –
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/catechism/ApostlesCreed01.shtml under article 1 - “I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” In this section the catechism says
The words heaven and earth include all things which the heaven's and the earth contain; for besides the heavens, which the Prophet has called the works of his fingers, He also gave to the sun its brilliancy, and to the moon and stars their beauty; and that they might be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years. He so ordered the celestial bodies in a certain and uniform course, that nothing varies more than their continual revolution, while nothing is more fixed than their variety.”

Clearly the heavens is distinct from the earth, therefore the notion of celestial body is distinct from the earth also. And as the celestial bodies are said to be doing the revolving, and the earth is excluded from the celestial bodies, then the earth is stationary.

The fatal flaw however, is when we examine the content of the first half of the opening sentence under the title of Formation Of The Universe”, where it states, “The earth also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world, rooted in its own foundation”. We see the broader context of the meaning of the word world, in CT where it says knowledge of God is attained through faith in the act of God who “From the beginning of the world” had created the world. Evidently the “world”, means the universe, for “From the beginning of the world” is found under the article concerning the creation of the heaven and earth, which means the entire universe.

We also see the meaning of “world” in the context of Gods ability to annihilate all creatures, which means to move the entire universe out of existence and then create other “worlds”. Therefore, according to consistency, if God can annihilate all creatures and then create again, what is it that He is going to create? Is it going to be another part of the earth, as requires by Mr Palm’s argument, or is God going to create another universe? Evidently God is able to create another universe, or for that matter, any number of universes. Therefore the broader context of the meaning for “world” is the universe and not merely the globe of the earth.

We also see the CT article discuss the creation of the spirits. It states “He created out of nothing the spiritual world and Angels innumerable to serve and minister to Him”. If we follow Mr Palm’s argument, we must say the article in CT is saying “He created out of nothing the spiritual globe of the earth  and Angels innumerable to serve and minister to Him”. When we see the incompatibility of Mr Palm’s argument with the context of God creating the spirits it should be immediately obvious that Mr Palms argument is simply not feasible.

Under the creation of all things, the CT article also says “What we have said, then, of the creation of the universe is to be understood as conveyed by the words heaven and earth, and is thus briefly set forth by the Prophet: Thine are the heavens, and thine is the earth: the world and the fullness thereof thou hast founded”. According to this CT statement, the universe is the heavens and the earth, which is the world. Yet, if we are consistent with Mr Palm’s argument, the Prophet says “the globe of the earth and the fullness of the globe of the earth, therefore thou hast founded.” Does this sound feasible or even probable in the context of the article which discusses the creation of the universe and the heavens and earth being the universe? No. Certainly the context, the world is not merely the globe of the earth, but rather, the world refers to the heavens and the earth, which is the entire universe.

Finally, if Mr Palm wants to play word games about the meaning of “world” then let him shows us the meaning “world” from Article I in the CT. For it is in this context of the world as the universe, that CT makes its statements. Once this is done, Mr Palm’s interpretation is found to be false.

Palm - "The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived." But from the whole context it appears that the Catechism is using the word "earth" (terra) in terms of the "land", as distinct from the "air" and "water" and the word "world" (mundus) to mean the whole globe.

JM – Mr Palm introduces a statement not found anywhere in the immediate context of the formation of the universe, or in the broader context of the article on creation. As such, Mr Palm has brought in a sentence to include a meaning of “world” not found in the CT article.
Further, we have already seen above, the context of the article on creation in CT concerning the meaning of “world” to mean the universe and not the earth. Therefore Mr Palm’s argument is false, concerning the meaning of the world “world”.

We can also check Mr Palms claims concerning terra and mudus here - http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Latin&to=English

Terra means – earth, ground, land, country, soil

Mundus means - clean, world, neat, universe, elegant

Mr Palm thinks terra means land, when the first definition is earth. He also thinks mundus means “whole globe”, when this online translator says it means world or universe. Which translation are we to take for mundus? Taking the context of Article I of CT as discussed above, we must take it to mean universe and not “whole globe”, as Mr Palm asserts.

Palm -  (This echoes the wording of Gen 1:10, "And God called the dry land, Earth [terram]".) Thus in this context "rooted in its own foundation" means that the land is fixed in place with relation to the water, not in relation to the cosmos.

JM – Even if we ignore all of the problems we have so far found with Mr Palms arguments, we can compare the first half of the sentence with the second. The first half says “The earth also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world, rooted in its own foundation”. Here we see under the title of the “Formation of the universe” , where God commanded the earth to stand in the midst of the universe [world]. What then is the relationship between the earth in the world and the mountains and plains of the earth? The relation between the two groups is the word “foundation”, for it is the earth, which is firstly made on a foundation within the universe. It is then the earth, upon this foundation that God “made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which he had founded for them”. Notice God makes the foundation for the earth in the universe [world] and only then does he create the mountains and plains. The common notion of ‘founding’ as termed foundation and founded is the link that allows the correct interpretation to be understood.

In short the statement “The earth also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world, rooted in its own foundation, and made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which he had founded for them.” Is correctly understood to mean –

God made the universe [world] and included the earth on a foundation.

The earth is on a foundation in the universe [world], as such this provides a circumstance for the forming of the mountains and plains.

There mountains and plains are not founded in relation to the earth, but it is the mountains and plains, which is the terra (earth), which is formed due to the earth being already founded in the universe [world].

This interpretation takes into account the meaning of the word, world in the rest of the article and the grammatical structure of the sentence. Evidently when this is done, Mr Palm’s interpretation is shown to be false and the CT text is clearly a geocentric statement.

Even so, there is yet still another weakness in Palm’s argument where he is unable to make his conclusion that the “world” definitely does not mean universe. If the” world” does mean the universe, then CT teaches geocentrism. If it might mean universe, then we are obligated to defer to the church’s decision on the matter by seeing what it has stated in a case when the centrality of the earth is denied. We see that the church did react and make official statements to condemn Galileo and the moving earth. Therefore the mind of the church must prevail and CT means what it says concerning the motion of bodies other than the earth and the stationary earth. Therefore, according to CT, the earth is motionless because God made it stand on its foundation.

So if we look to the broad context, or the narrow context or if we look to the mind of the church, we come to the same conclusion; the CT teaches geocentrism.

Palm -  If "earth" here means the entire globe then the passage ceases to make sense, since in the last sentence the "earth" is specifically contrasted with the "air" and "water" and God certainly didn't cover the entire globe, including the air and water, "with trees and every variety of plant and flower".

JM – Mr Palm has got it all wrong. If the earth means the globe, then and only then does it make any sense doe to the meaning of the word “world” in the broader context of the article and the grammatical structure of the sentence itself.

Palm - This passage, then, doesn't represent a description of the globe's place in the universe and it has no application to geocentrism.

JM – No, the passage is a clear statement that teaches geostatism and therefore geocentrism.

Palm - I should note that the English version of this Catechism by J. A. McHugh and C. J. Callanon which appears in many places on the Internet (e.g. here) has the heading "Formation of the Universe" over this section. This is a mistranslation of the Latin, De terrae creatione, which is correctly translated "Creation of the earth" (as in, e.g. the translation by J. Donovan (link). It is perhaps this mistranslation—along with an insufficient attention to context—that has misled certain neo-geocentrists to read this as if it addressed the earth's place in the universe.

JM – Perhaps . . . Is Mr Palm for real? I have shown the context of the word “world” means universe and not the globe of the earth as Mr Palm thinks. I have also shown the grammatical structure of the CT statement “The earth [terram] also God commanded to stand in the midst of the world [mundi], rooted in its own foundation, and made the mountains ascend, and the plains descend into the place which he had founded for them.”, conforms to geocentrism. The title mistranslation does nothing to bolster Mr Palm’s case, in fact it only confirms the geocentric interpretation, because it is the CT position that the earth was founded in the universe [world] and there is stays. As the earth was founded in the world, she aint moving through or around about the world (that’s the universe).


Palm - There are a couple of other passages Bob cites to try and bolster this notion that the Catechism of Trent teaches geocentrism, but they get weaker and weaker.
But though God is present in all places and in all things, without being bound by any limits, as has been already said, yet in Sacred Scripture it is frequently said that He has His dwelling in heaven. And the reason is because the heavens which we see above our heads are the noblest part of the world, remain ever Incorruptible, surpass all other bodies in power, grandeur and beauty, and are endowed with fixed and regular motion.

JM – According to CT, the heavens above us are moving in regular motion, because the earth was founded within the universe. A similar expression is found in the OT, which shows us the founding of the earth in the universe, to make the earth immobile –

Psalm 104 - [God] (w)ho laid the foundations of the Earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Evidently the foundation is the same as founded in the CT. Therefore the earth is stationary.

Palm- ...all goods both natural and supernatural, must be recognised as gifts given by Him from whom, as the Church proclaims, proceed all blessings. If the sun by its light, if the stars by their motion and revolutions, are of any advantage to man; if the air with which we are surrounded serves to sustain us...nay, those very causes which philosophers call secondary, we should regard as so many hands of God, wonderfully fashioned and fitted for our use, by means of which He distributes His blessings and diffuses them everywhere in profusion.
Obviously, non-geocentrists can affirm all that this Catechism says. There is no explicit affirmation of geocentrism here whatsoever; these are generic statements that fit modern cosmologies equally well. Yet despite the weakness of this evidence in favor of his pet cosmology, Bob speaks of the "Roman Catechism’s dogmatic assertion of geocentrism" (GWW2, pp. 164f.). This is a manifest exaggeration.

JM – Actually the CT does not conform to modern theories that teach the earth moves and the stars also move. Why? Have a close look at what was stated by CT. It says “If the sun by its light, if the stars by their motion and revolutions, are of any advantage to man. . .” This statement includes two movements. The first movement is in the singular and is the motion of all the stars, which can only apply to geocentrism. As such, when revolutions are also applied, this means all the stars are making revolutions about the earth. The statement in CT is evidently leaning towards geocentrism.

Palm - We have seen that, far from containing a "dogmatic assertion of geocentrism", the Catechism of the Council of Trent says nothing at all on the subject.

JM – This is not correct. The CT is clearly in favour of geocentrism.

Palm - The evidence strongly suggests that this is a modern, private interpretation of the Catechism based on a mistranslation and a misunderstanding. The following fact should pretty much clinch that case.

JM – Mr Palm is wrong. It is he who has made the false interpretation of some statement in CT by using a definition of world that is not found in the broader context of the CT article. It is also not included in the science examined, nor inferred in the church’s judgment against Galileo. Mr Palm has failed to demonstrate his thesis and CT definitely teaches geocentrism.

Palm - Bob claims that this is, "One of the clearest official and authoritative statements from the Catholic Church defending the doctrine of geocentrism. . . "

JM – Bob is right and Mr Palm is wrong.

Palm -  But surely, if that were true, this would have been the very centerpiece in the original Galileo controversy.

JM – Mr Palm doesn’t tell us why, other than Robert has stated CT makes a the clearest statement about geocentrism. Then again Robert’s statement is subjective regarding clarity. Maybe, just maybe the Popes and Cardinals who ran the commission thought the weight of the church fathers or the clear statements in scripture were the clearest and that’s why they went to other sources within the faith and not CT. Anyway, its really not much of an argument to say Robert says “clearest” and Mr Palm infers the question, why then didn’t the Popes use CT in the Galileo case if it is the clearest? The conclusion is the same. The Popes condemned Galileo for his moving earth theory and then Galileo recanted (at least in part).

Palm - And yet this source was never, as far as I have seen, brought up either by the Congregation of the Index or the Congregation of the Holy Office during the Galileo affair. The silence is deafening.

JM – then again Mr Palm is not privy to all the conversations that went on during the time of the trial, so he can only guess what was and was not said from what we have today. Then again, maybe the church is far wiser than Mr Palm and she decided to quote scripture, because the Protestant reformation had taken hold of northern Europe and she thought it more compelling to base its findings on scripture, which was written by God, rather than the magesterium, because the reformers no longer recognised the authority of the magesterium. As such, the Holy Spirit may well have ordered the church decisions in the Galileo case towards the conversion of the Protestants, whereby such conversion would be made a little easier because of its scripture based decisions. This is of course speculative, but it is a possilbe answer and it certainly does take into account the historical context of the Galileo trial.

Palm - The Catechism of the Council of Trent does not teach geocentrism as an article of faith.

JM – The CT teaches geocentrism and geostatism in article 1. This ahs been demonstrated above and I invite Mr Palm to engage my rebuttal.

Palm - And of course, the Church's next universal Catechism, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, also says not a word about geocentrism either. And yet the Holy Father stated in Fidei Depositum IV:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.

"[A] statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine..." But not a peep about geocentrism. That silence too is deafening.

JM –The catechism was published after much water had passed under the bridge. Since that time the books of Galileo and Copernicus had been taken of the index through deceitful means. As JPII published the catechism in such an environment he possibly thought it more prudent to leave out the doctrine of the stationary earth.

We also see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 9, have high praise for the Council of Trent and its catechism.

"The ministry of catechesis draws ever fresh energy from the councils. The Council of Trent is a noteworthy example of this. It gave catechesis priority in its constitutions and decrees. It lies at the origin of the Roman Catechism, which is also known by the name of that council and which is a work of the first rank as a summary of Christian teaching. . . ."

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Roman catechism comes from the Council of Trent that produced first rank Christian teaching. As such, because Article I of the Roman catechism and elsewhere in CT teaches the doctrine of the stationary earth, then the Council of Trent also teaches the same. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church, teaches the Trent taught Christian doctrine of first rank, as found in the Roman Catechism, then the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches geocentrism is also a Christian doctrine of first rank.

This explains the silence on geocentrism in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its implicit affirmation at the same time. As such, Catechism of the Catholic Church, implicitly teaches the doctrine of geocentrism.




JM


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