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Monday, August 15, 2011

In Response to David Palm's "Sungenis and "johnmartin" Studiously Miss the Point"


 The following are comments on David Palm's article entitled "Sungenis and "johnmartin" Studiously Miss the Point" -

Bob Sungenis and "johnmartin" have issued lengthy "rebuttals" to my two pieces, Neo-geocentrism: Excessive Interest in Usury Comes to Naught and Neo-geo Exaggerations: The Catechism of Trent (see here and here).  I have to put "rebuttals" in quotes because, although both men deployed a great many words and both would probably claim that I have been "answered" and decisively so, the fact remains that neither individual actually engaged the central points I was making. 

JM – Palm has made his first error by merely asserting Robert Sungenis and me have not engaged the central points in Palms arguments. You’d think if Mr Palm was genuine about his rebuttals he would go through our arguments line by line, just as we go through his arguments line by line and show the readers where his arguments fail. As Mr Palm has once again chosen the low road of assertion without evidence, we insist he is reacting out of sinful intent to slander Robert Sungenis and Geocentrism.

Palm - The core points that they missed are:

1) The Roman Catechism doesn't teach geocentrism, Copernican heliocentrism, or any other specific cosmological theory.

On this point, in vintage style, Bob deploys a number of debater's tricks to hide the fact that I plainly demonstrated that the Roman Catechism does not teach geocentrism or any other specific cosmological system.  As such, Sungenis totally misses the point when he concludes, "Pius V didn’t say one word about heliocentrism in his catechism, so why is Mr. Palm arguing that Pius V was accommodating heliocentrism? Arguments from silence work both ways." 

JM – Robert was responding to Mr Palms statements concerning geocentrism not being an article of the faith as taught in the catechism of the Catholic church issued by John Paul II. Mr Palm cited –

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.

In this text JPII clearly states the doctrines taught in the catechism are “attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium”, which means the catechism is illuminated by the decrees of past Popes against Galileo, the church fathers, who taught geocentrism and scripture, that teaches a stationary earth. As such, the catechism embraces geocentrism as a teaching of the church through scripture, the magesterium and the fathers.

Palm -  I've repeatedly stated that the Catholic Church doesn't teach any theory regarding celestial motion as a matter of faith, that Catholics have freedom in this regard.  The whole point that Bob studiously avoided is that the Catechism uses generic language that doesn't dogmatise any one theory.

JM – Catholic geocentrists have repeatedly told you of the unanimous consent of the church fathers, the scriptures and the Papal degrees against Galileo, which teach geocentrism. You have made false arguments about the meaning of what the fathers said and the binding nature of what they have said. You have made false arguments about statements made by recent Popes on the opinions of the fathers and the teaching of scripture on the matters of science. You have also told blatant falsehoods about what the decrees of the Popes against Galileo said when they condemned the theory of the motion of the earth as false doctrine. You have also been corrected on statements found in the catechism of the Council of Trent concerning the motions of the sun, moon and stars. Finally, you have denied that either Robert or myself have answered your arguments, yet you ignore the many arguments made against your statements. Evidently you think it is satisfactory to routinely make false statements about others and think those statements are sufficient to win the day.
Palm - It's a common debater's trick to try and shift the burden of proof to his opponent.  But remember that it was Sungenis who claimed that the Roman Catechism contains, "One of the clearest official and authoritative statements from the Catholic Church defending the doctrine of geocentrism..." and speaks of the "Roman Catechism’s dogmatic assertion of geocentrism".  Obviously, with a build-up like that, the burden of proof is squarely on him to show just where this clear and dogmatic assertion of geocentrism exists in the Catechism.

JM – Statements in the catechism of Trent related to geocentrism (with comments) are as follows –

Trent - Of Heaven and Earth

 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.


The context of the above statement is the creation of the universe. Within the discussion on creation, the text states the words, sun, moon and stars. It is then in the context of sun, moon and stars that the “celestial bodies” have a certain uniform course and continual revolution. Therefore the bodies doing the motion in uniform course and continual revolution are the sun, moon and stars and not the earth.

Formation Of The Universe

 

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. 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.

I have made an extensive commentary on what Trent means in this passage and why Mr palms arguaments are false here – http://johnmartin2010.blogspot.com/2011/06/david-palms-false-claims-in-neo-geo.html and copied in green 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.


Trent - "Who art in Heaven" Meaning Of These Words

 

 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.

The catechism clearly refers to the heavens in the context of having a fixed and regular motion. If it is disputed that the catechism is referring to the heavens that do the motion, then we note the statements are made in the context of sacred scripture, so what does sacred scripture have to say on the matter of the motion of the heavens and the immobility of the earth? When we see the many texts within scripture on the topic, we note there are texts on the immobility of the earth –

1 Chronicles 16:30
tremble before him, all earth; yea, the world stands firm, never to be moved.

Psalms 93:1
The Lord reigns; he is robbed in majesty; the lord is robbed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Psalms 96:10
Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns! Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

The scriptures also teach the motion of the sun –

Joshua 10:12-13
Then spoke Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Aijalon." And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

Habakkuk 3:11
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear.

Psalms 19:4-6
yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes forth like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man runs his course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and there is nothing hid from its heat.

Ecclesiastes 1:5
The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.

Evidently, when the catechism of Trent makes a statement concerning the heavens with a regular motion, it means the sun, moon and stars have a regular motion around the stationary earth, which is fixed on a foundation. Only in this way are the sources of revelation in scripture and tradition consistent.

That God May Be Thanked For His Favours

 

...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.

The catechism of the council of Trent states “the stars by their motion and revolutionswhich means it is the stars that have revolutions as a collective unit, which revolve around something. This unit of stars that revolve is the same heavens mentioned previously in the catechism, that is doing the revolving around the fixed earth.

Palm - The problem is that he can't.

JM - Apparently Robert cannot demonstrate the catechism of the Council of Trent teaches geocentrism as a doctrine of the faith, yet I have shown above that the catechism does teach the doctrine of the moving sun, moon and stars and the fixed earth. I have also shown the teaching from the catechism is consistent with scripture, which also teaches a fixed earth. And what do you know, the unanimous consent of the fathers is the same – they also teach the earth is stationary.

Palm - As I laid out in my original article, there are a number of passages cited by the neo-geocentrists to try to find geocentrism in the Roman Catechism.  But even Sungenis has to admit that there is doubt about what these actually mean.  So he deploys what he considers to be the show-stopper—the "foundations of the earth" passage—which he claims will, "expel any doubt about what objects are revolving".  The problem is that I demonstrated that this passage has nothing to do with the position of the globe in relation to the universe, but speaks of the position of dry land in relation to water on the surface of the earth.  As I said there, "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 – I have answered Mr Palms arguments in the green text above, which he has decided to ignore. Evidently a counter response means nothing to him, so he is merely making more false statements above concerning the teaching of geocentrism in the catechism of Trent.

Palm - What does Bob say to this demonstration?
Sure, I’ll grant to Mr. Palm that 'mundus' could refer to the earth and earth could refer to the land. But that doesn’t get him off the hook with the previous passage that says the sun, moon and stars revolve around the earth. Mr. Palm’s mundus could either mean earth or universe, but the burden of proof is on him to show that it means earth since the catechism has already stated it believes the sun, moon and stars revolve around the earth.

JM – Regardless of what Robert has said (which I agree is correct anyway), I have shown Mr Palms argument in the context of what the catechism of Trent says, is that mundus refers to the universe.

Palm - But the careful reader will notice that Bob has added the words "around the earth" to the Catechism because that's what he needs it to say in order to support geocentrism.

JM – When Robert adds “around the earth” he is only making explicit, what is already contained within Trent’s catechism text. Other texts state the unanimous consent of the fathers is binding and normative and so when the text discusses the motions of the sun, moon and stars, these motions are around the earth, as taught by the church fathers and later popes who correctly condemned Galileo’s novel doctrine of the moving earth.

Palm - The fact is, the Catechism never uses such words.  Instead, it uses generic phrases like "certain and uniform course", "continual revolution", "fixed and regular motion", "motion and revolutions" with respect to the heavenly bodies. 

JM – Heavenly bodies is a plural, so it is the heavenly bodies and not the earth that is doing the "certain and uniform course", "continual revolution", "fixed and regular motion", "motion and revolutions" and no the earth. This is logic 101, which Mr Palm has failed, yet again.


Palm -  And these would apply just as well to the pre-Tridentine theories of Bishop Nicolas Oresme and Cardinal Nicolas Cusa as they would to Copernican heliocentrism and more modern acentric cosmologies.  In other words, the Catechism does not teach anything with respect to any one scientific theory—that was not the intent of those passages.

JM – These statements do not apply to any cosmology other than geocentrism because the scriptures, church fathers and later popes are all explicit and very clear concerning the immobility of the earth and the motion of the heavenly bodies.


Palm - This answers Bob's other off-point comment, "As such, Mr. Palm will also have to accept the fact that he cannot interpret land and earth literally in the catechism and then interpret the sun, moon and stars moving around the earth non‐literally." 

JM – It doesn’t answer Roberts comment at all, simply because Mr. Palm is making arguments, based upon a severe case of projecting meanings into the word “mundus”, which is not in the context of the catechism of Trent.

Palm - Wrong.  There are really two ways to answer this.  First, the Magisterium teaches that the Holy Spirit did not put specifics about "the essential nature of the things of the visible universe" into sacred Scripture.  Rather, they are depicted according to "what comes under the senses" (Providentissimus Deus 18).

JM – Mr Palm has used this argument before and it has been answered before as well. When taken in context of several other statements made by the Popes, the doctrine of geocentrism stands. The counter argument to Mr Palm’s statement is simply this – the church fathers are unanimous on the immobile earth and as such, they speak as the ordinary magesterium. The scriptures are also consistent on the immobility of the earth and the motion of the sun, moon and stars. The Papacy has made several statements that reaffirm the doctrine of the immobility of the earth and the motion of the sun, moon and stars. As such, these three sources of revelation are in harmony and therefore geocentrism has been revealed by God.

Palm -  We cannot really expect more from the Roman Catechism than what we get from sacred Scripture itself concerning the precise details of celestial motions. 

JM – Correct Mr Palm, the precise details of the motions of the sun, moon and stars are not given to us in scripture, the fathers or the magesterium. But then again we don’t need the precise details to know what the sources of revelation have told us what is and what is not moving in the universe. Mr Palm has definitely over played his hand on the use of one misunderstood statement by one Pope to arrive at a false conclusion about the immobility of the earth.

Palm - But second, the motions are literal, it's just that the Catechism does not give specifics about those motions.  Can Bob prove that the theories of Bishop Oresme and Cardinal Cusa are excluded by the Roman Catechism?  No, he can't.

JM – Yes, Robert can prove any cosmological theory that is not geocentric is false by pointing to the tradition of the church which teaches against the motion of the earth as found in the church fathers, scripture and Papal statements. What the heck, Robert even has modern science on his side so he could demonstrate the immobility of the earth even without the sources of revelation.

Can Mr Palm prove the theories of Bishop Oresme and Cardinal Cusa are to be considered at all when the sources of revelation and modern science tell us the earth is stationary? No, he cannot, so his entire thesis is bogus.

Palm - It is he who reads subsequent controversies and his own cosmological biases back into the Roman Catechism and adds words that are not there, to make the Catechism say what he wants it to say.

JM – Robert adds word when they are required so Catholics such as you, with chips on your shoulder can see the light that staring them in the face. That light is geocentrism.

Palm - But more importantly, notice how Bob plays both ends against the middle.  He had already implicitly acknowledged that the other passages are not clear, that there was "doubt" that needed to be expelled.  So he deployed the "foundations of the earth" passage which, he claimed, will "expel any doubt about what objects are revolving".  But I proved that that passage has nothing to do with the motions of celestial bodies. 

JM – Mr Palm hasn’t proven anything at all about the matter of geocentrism. What he has demonstrated is his inability to deal with counter arguments in depth, so he answers only what he can to make his case look at least tenable, when in fact it is he who is against the church fathers, scripture, the magesterium and modern science.

Palm - Bob did not even engage my exegetical argument.  (Neither did "johnmartin".) 

JM – I wonder what Mr Palm was reading. Did he not see the text written in green as copied from my original rebuttal above? How can anyone state such a blatant lie about geocentrist not answering his exegesis and then have us believe he is being honest? The fact is Mr Palm has decided that blatant lies are the order of the day when it comes to arguing against geocentrism.

Palm - Instead, he circles back around to claim that the passages that he acknowledged are doubtful are now clear enough to support the meaning of this passage: "the burden of proof is on [Palm] to show that it means earth since the catechism has already stated it believes the sun, moon and stars revolve around the earth."  The problem for Bob is that I did prove just that.

JM – The problem for Mr Palm is that I have shown his arguments are false, so his currently claims are more dishonesty.

Palm - The bottom line is that the Catechism's language accommodates more than one cosmological view, because the Catholic Church does not teach any one cosmology as a matter of faith

JM – I have shown otherwise. Even if Mr Palms arguments held some weight and the catechism doesn’t teach geocentrism explicitly, how then is a faithful Catholic to interpret the text? Does he use a false hermeneutic of Mr Palm and ignore the context of the catechism and the sources of revelation? Or does he use the context and the sources of revelation and arrive at the conclusion that any ambiguity in the text is to be understood in a way consistent with the scriptures, tradition and the magesterium.

Palm - Bob huffs that "Even die hard modernists admit that the Tridentine catechism teaches geocentrism. They just don’t want to accept it, but at least they are not foolish enough to force the catechism into a mold that it cannot hold."

JM – Mr Palm thinks he he can ignore the sources of revelation and make false statements about the catechism, the fathers, the scriptures and the Popes have said about the stationary earth. He thinks his ignorance of science is a compelling case against geocentrism. He also thinks that writing repeatedly about a topic which has already been answered by geocentrists makes his false arguments become true. What are geocentrists to do with such a man, who routinely makes the sources of revelation say that they do not say?

Palm - But I categorically deny that the Roman Catechism teaches geocentrism or any cosmology at all and the arguments that I have deployed to demonstrate that apply every bit as much to the modernists as to the neo-geocentrists

JM – The Roman Catechism teaches a creationist, geocentrist cosmology that is consistent with the sources of revelation. How could it be otherwise Mr Palm? Do you really think the church compartmentalizes its teaching so a catechism from an ecumenical council is not consistent with the sources of revelation? Evidently you must and therefore geocentrists think you have a false understanding of the sources of revelation.

Palm - But the fact that Bob will side with the Church's enemies in order to save his "pebble" of geocentrism pretty much proves my point: "The neo-geocentrist fixation on their pet cause is like a monkey who reaches into a precious Ming vase to grasp a pebble. Intent only on holding onto that bit of rock and unable to extract his clenched fist, the monkey will happily smash the vase to get his "prize", heedless of the priceless nature of the treasure he has wrecked."

JM – Mr Palm is living in an up-side-down world of lies and half truths.

Palm - 2)  There is no instance in which the Magisterium of the Church has for centuries ceased to teach a doctrine of the Catholic faith.

JM – Mr Palms title begs the question. The fact is that geocentrism has been found in the sources of revelation, so if the church no longer teaches geocentrism, it is because she has gone quiet on the topic.

Palm - In Neo-geocentrism: Excessive Interest in Usury Comes to Naught I pointed to instances in which neo-geocentrists attack the very Magisterium of the Church in order to explain their anomalous position.  "johnmartin" deployed a whole list of doctrines which he claims the Catholic Church has "de facto denied" and speaks of "church [sic] silence" prompted by "inept leadership or fear of the science establishment".  Rick Delano speaks of "surrender" and "abandoning" of "binding doctrines" and "dogmas" put forth by the "ordinary magisterium".

JM – When Mr Palm says neo-geocentrists attack the magesterium, this is merely an empty rhetorical device used to paint geocentrists, who are actually faithful to the church as being a group of ill informed, rebels.

Palm - And yet I have shown how, in each and every case, the Magisterium of the Church has explicitly reaffirmed the examples they propose, right up to the present day.  This leaves geocentrism standing in utter isolation as the lone alleged exception to the rule. 

JM – Let’s assume the magesterium has continued to teach every doctrine I alleged was not taught by the modern church. What follows from Mr Palm’s argument in regard to geocentrism? Nothing other than the fact that the church has chosen to remain silent on the matter of geocentrism and has not made any statements to overturn previous Papal statements that conform to geocentrism. As such, church silence on the matter of geocentrism and its lack of statements to overturn previous geocentric statements infer the church gives consent to geocentric statements and as such, the church continues to teach geocentrism.

Palm - But the neo-geocentrists are simply wrong: it is not an exception at all because geocentrism is not now and never has been taught as a matter of faith by the Catholic Church, in either her ordinary or extraordinary Magisterium. 

JM – This is simply a bold faced falsehood perpetuated by Mr Palm. He has been confronted over the matter of the church fathers, the scriptures and the Papal statements that all teach geocentrism. He routinely denies all evidence presented through special pleading the weight of the church fathers, the Papal decrees and he ignores the scriptures and modern science that is consistent with geocentrism. Overall, Mr Palm has already made up his mind on the matter of geocentrism and his attacks against geocentrism are truncated, inconsistent and invalid.

Palm - The Magisterium of the Catholic Church teaches 100% of the doctrines of the Faith. 

JM – Correct, the magesterium teaches 100% of the doctrines of the faith, including geocentrism. Mr Palm will ignore or hand wave his way around the statements made by the church fathers, scriptures and the Popes on geocentrism, then make a false argument, based upon his misunderstanding of some statements made by geocentrists concerning the deficiencies of the modern magesterium. The fact is that the modern magesterium includes all the bishops of the world, who are unfortunately responsible for modernism within the church today. As many bishops are either modernists or at least permit modernism within the church, then yes, the magesterium has failed to pass on the fullness of the faith.

Palm - That she does not teach geocentrism demonstrates that never has been part of the Faith. 

JM – the church does teach geocentrism, so it is part of the faith.

Palm - Neo-geocentrism is exactly as I have described it many times in discussions on the Catholic Answers Forum—an elaborate exercise in special pleading, both scientifically and ecclesiastically.

JM – The anti-geocentrism of Mr Palm is actually a grand case of special pleading whereby he thinks he is the arbiter of what is and is not taught on the matter of cosmology within the sources of revelation. The sources of revelation are clear and they all teach geocentrism. He thinks his special pleading the weight of the church fathers, his novel understanding of unanimous consent of the fathers, his vacuous hermeneutics of scriptural texts, his reversal of Papal statements, his false understanding of the value of Papal statements are all the true mind of the church. The truth is that Mr Palm has only proven his is thoroughly incompetent when engaging geocentrists, church documents, scripture and the church fathers.

Palm - Now "johnmartin" and Sungenis consistently miss this point.  The former seeks to blunt my criticism of his extreme statements by appealing to what happens on the "local level". 

JM – The church has failed to teach the fullness of the faith at the local level for some time. Also many bishops and Cardinal hold to novel doctrines at odds with the church, such as the dual covenant theology and errancy of the scriptures, not to mention the ordination of women preists and the use of condoms.

Palm -  For the record, that is not what he said before.  What he said was, “I’ve presented a list of doctrines that have been de facto denied by the modern church” and “I believe the church silence on the matter of geo[centrism] in the last 300 years is easily accounted for through either inept leadership or fear of the science establishment”.  I don't see any disclaimers in there about this only happening on the "local level".

JM – What is the “modern church” Mr Palm? Is the magesterium of the church always manifesting itself as a competent guide in the face of debacles such as the pedophile scandals, modernist scholarship and liberal teachers being permitted to disseminate their ideas throughout the church? Does this sound like a magesterium that makes courageous decisions or does it sound like a mixed bag of incompetence and goodness?

You have merely repeated your claims about what I did and did not say, yet what was said has already been clarified in Dave Armstrong’s combox and later in other posts on my blog. Evidently further explanations in this matter mean nothing to you at all so you pick and chose what to examine and leave out explanation to paint geocentrists as being the rebels, when in fact you are the rebel, who routinely denounces the fathers, places the Popes into your ahistorical pigeon holes and ignores the scriptures and modern science.

Palm -  As such, his new argument seems to be a tacit recognition that his original argument was false. 

JM – Its not. Roberts arguments are sound and your arguments are nothing more than B grade cunning.

Palm - And it's interesting that this alleged ineptitude and cowardice didn't prevent the Magisterium from explicitly teaching on a wide range of volatile and controversial topics, from contraception to homosexuality to divorce and remarriage

JM – Here’s a couple of controversial topics the magesterium has avoided – take the matter of coeducation condemned by Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri   §§ 68-69, here - http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121929_divini-illius-magistri_en.html What has the magesterium done about many Catholic schools that embrace coeducation in disconformity with the magesterium?

We also have the modern church’s silence on the anti modernist oath given by Pope St. Pius X which is no longer required of clergy, even though modernism is rampant, here - http://www.franciscan-archive.org/bullarium/oath.html

Palm -  Are we to believe that this alleged failure of competence and nerve is reserved only for geocentrism?  Again, this is just one more instance of neo-geocentric special pleading.

JM – According to surveys in the USA, many bishops and priests are gay and many have been caught up in the pedophile scandals. We also know that catechesis has stalled in many parts of the world and many bishops deny parts of the faith (eg Weakland) and what has the magesterium done about this? It has done something no doubt, but it sure was tardy and the problems are not over by a long stretch. How does this auger for Mr Palms argument It sure des tell us there is something wrong about the way in which the magesterium has decided to pass on the faith to generations that have since lost the faith because of ineptitude.

How does this fit into the problem of the “missing” doctrine of geocentrism? Well firstly, the doctrine is not really missing, but only not taught in its fullness, because the church has chosen to do so. Even so, the truth can be found in the sources of revelation, which have not been suppressed by the church. Secondly, recent church history clearly demonstrates there is something wrong with the magesterium and the way in which the it has chosen to ignore or badly handle the different crisis’s within the church. As such, we geocentrists have solid precedent for pointing out a consistent pattern of church magisterial behavior, whereby the fullness of the faith has not been handed down to the faithful and in many instances the faithful have consequently completely abandoned the faith. The matter of silence by the magesterium on the doctrine of geocentrism is consistent with these other historical matters.

Palm - Regardless, now "johnmartin" complains that he's been misunderstood.  For example:
It is in this context that geocentrist claim that the doctrine of the stationary earth has been dropped in practice (in so far as it is not taught at the local level),...

JM – sure, geocentrism has been dropped at the local level. It has been passed over in silence by the magesterium, because the magesterium has decided to embrace the theories of modern science as strong advice in contention with revealed truths such as creation and geocentrism. As such, many prelates of the church are confused over matters such as creation and evolution, cosmology, the age of the universe, the value of psychology and so on in relation to the truths of the faith. If we dispute this matter, geocentrists can point to the facts of history and show the Pontifical Biblical Commission was once part of the magesterium, with the power to issue statements on biblical truths, yet that commission was downgraded to merely an advisory body, which no longer has any magisterial authority.

Why was this done? Was it done because the commission was full of orthodox theologians who were teaching the truths of inerrancy as taught by Leo XIII, or was it because the theologians were no longer consistent with the magesterium? Evidently it was the later and that’s why the PBC was downgraded.

What relation does this downgrading of the PBC have to the magesterium’s lack of teaching on geocentrism? It shows Catholics that Popes have tried to stem to tide of modernism and liberal biblical scholarship through the authoritative use of Catholic professionals to investigate problems within the biblical text, yet even those Catholic theologians could not remain faithful to the church and continue on with defending the fullness of the faith. As such, the PBC was downgraded and as such geocentrists have historical evidence that shows parts of the magesterium have not been faithful to the church. So as the PBC was not faithful to all parts of the faith, then so too, it is no stretch to attribute silence to the magesterium on the matter of geocentrism.

Also, what can we say of the Pontifical Academy of Science? Why are atheists and unbelievers permitted to advice the Papacy when none of the members are creationists? What message does this send out to the liberals and modernists within the church, who push for evolution and a mythical interoperation of Genesis? It gives them historical precedent to continue on with their aberrant teachings, in opposition to the faith and all this is caused in part by an incompetent magesterium.

What can we say of modern Catholic biblical scholarship, such as the New Jerome Biblical commentary that restricts biblical inerrancy to matters of salvation? Why didn’t the magesterium discipline the Catholic theologians who taught these errors? What message does this send out to the liberals and modernist theologians and bishops within the church? It tells them the magesterium is almost completely incompetent when it comes to enforcing church doctrines and church discipline.

These obvious problems with Magisterial inaction show us geocentrists that the magesterium has a pattern of ineptitude in matters of enforcing doctrine and causing occasions of confusion among the faithful by associating itself with the opinions of unbelievers in the case of the PAS and the liberals and modernist ideas in the case of the PBC.

Do geocentrists maintain the magesterium has formally taught error in matters of faith and morals? No. It is precisely because the magesterium cannot teach error on faith and morals that geocentrists state geocentrism is part of the faith. As such Mr Palm’s position on the matter of geocentrism is untenable.

Palm - and
Geocentrism is then only one part of a larger problem within the church. The doctrine of geocentrism has not been taught at the local level for some time, but then again, many other doctrines have also not been taught for a long time either.

JM – Sure and I still stand by this today.

Palm - It is true that on "the local level" many things have broken down in many parts of the world in the Catholic Church.  But let's be clear.  We aren't talking about "the local level" with respect to geocentrism.  We're talking about what the universal Magisterium of the Catholic Church presents to the faithful as matters of faith. 

JM – And the magesterium still teaches geocentrism because the magesterium is a historical body. So if it is currently silent on the matter, then it officially gives its consent to geocentrism.

Palm -  And I demonstrated that, while the Church certainly does not teach geocentrism as a matter of faith, she has reiterated her teaching formally in each and every example that "johnmartin" presented as supposed parallels.

JM – Mr Palm has not demonstrated the church does not teach geocentrism as a matter of faith. Mr Palm has special pleaded, made erroneous statements about the fathers, scripture and the Papal statements, but proof? There is no proof presented at all.

Palm - Similarly, Sungenis deflects from the core issue by speaking of "what is actually being taught in many Catholic institutions".  But that is not what we're talking about.  We are talking about what is taught by the Catholic Magisterium, to the universal Church.  The Catholic Church teaches 100% of the doctrines of the faith to the universal Church.  She does not teach geocentrism.  Ergo, geocentrism is not part of the Catholic faith.  Period.

JM – Mr Palm uses a false logic here.

The Catholic Church teaches 100% of the doctrines of the faith to the universal Church.  She does not teach geocentrism.  – either explicitly or implicitly by giving consent to past teaching that has not been revoked.

Ergo, geocentrism is not part of the Catholic faith.  Period.- Ergo, geocentrism is part of the faith because it still exists in the sources of revelation.

Palm - If the neo-geocentrists actually could come up with a doctrine of the faith that the Magisterium had not publicly affirmed for many centuries, then they would at least have a parallel.

JM – The magesterium has chosen not to formally define several doctrines of the faith for centuries, such as the Eucharistic presence, the Immaculate Conception, the assumption of Mary and the canon of scripture. This shows us that the church has remained silent on matters of faith for centuries, even though those doctrines are known to be part of the faith. In a similar way, geocentrism, which has historical foundation in the sources of revelation, has been passed over in silence in recent times.

Palm - They can't.  Most Catholics would rejoice in the fact that, even in these dark and difficult times the Catholic Church continues to teach, publicly and solemnly, all the doctrines of our faith.

JM – The fact of the matter is that it simply doesn’t matter if we can or cannot do what Mr Palm wants us geocentrists to do. The case for geocentrism is so strong that it takes a thoroughly inept or thoroughly disingenuous man such as Mr Palm to construct such a poor case against geocentrism and then after so many contortions of logic and ignored counter arguments, that he arrives at another false conclusion.

Even if Mr Palm ignores all the above counter arguments against him and he still insists upon the magisterial silence on geocentrism as being unique in church history, then what is the case against geocentrism? Nothing, at all, simply because geocentrism is in the sources of revelation and as such we now have a possible unique situation in church history. He cannot conclude that geocentrism is a fabrication made by the geocentrists, who must special plead to make their cause.

Palm - But not the neo-geocentrists (or at least not these neo-geocentrists).  This fact is a cause of great vexation to them and so they instead scramble to manufacture whatever difficulties they can imagine.  To them, geocentrism must be defended at all costs.  Why is that so?  What has led them to such fanaticism?

JM – I don’t know about other geocentrists, but the only vexation I have is the complete inability of Mr Palm to thoroughly answer his critics counter arguments.

Palm - At least two reasons suggest themselves.  First, some of these individuals have staked their very reputations on geocentrism. 

JM – and what is the evidence for Mr Palms statements here? Nothing as unusual. The fact is that the magesterium has staked its reputation on geocentrism, because the fathers, scriptures and the Popes all teach geocentrism.

If Mr Palm wants to push his reputation argument further, I could counter by saying Mr Palm wants to make a reputation for himself and the modern liberal establishment who routinely modify or ignore parts of the faith and explain away church history. So he has taken it upon himself to attack geocentrists at the expense of his own integrity to gain political points with the likes of Dave Armstrong (who routinely places Mr Palm’s posts on his blog and prevents comments being made), and This Rock and Catholic Answers.

Palm - Perhaps they feel they’ve reached the point of no return and have no choice but to defend it to the bitter end. 

JM – Perhaps Mr Palm doesn’t appreciate the gravity of the situation in Europe and the rest of the western world concerning the apostasy from the faith and much of this is due to the denial of geocentrism as a fundamental doctrine of the faith. After all if the earth is only a lonely planet moving around another star in an ordinary galaxy, then the creation event and the Christ event become quite unbelievable, just as the modern west finds the gospel unbelievable. A denial of geocentrism inevitably ends up in nihilism. Mr Palm won’t see the logic behind this because he has committed himself to his anti geocentrism, but nevertheless the bitter fruits of apostasy are there for all to see.

Put it this way, if the earth really is at the center of the universe and the fathers, scripture, the magesterium and science all teach this, then it is a very powerful tool to bring the faith back to a dying world. What is Mr Palm’s argument to this godly agenda? Evidently he doesn’t have a clear response because geocentrism is true.

Palm - Second, they’ve also presented geocentrism in such a way that their personal faith in the Catholic Church is dependent upon it.  In their view, if geocentrism is not true then the Catholic Church isn’t indefectible.

JM – Geocentrists argue in a different manner. The church is indefectible, the church teaches geocentrism has been revealed by God, and as such geocentrism is true. As such, faithful Catholics, who understand their faith far better than Mr Palm defend geocentrism for the sake of God, the church and the salvation of souls.

Palm - This latter problem particularly concerns me in that others who have the misfortune of encountering such misguided neo-geocentrist fanaticism—whether practicing Catholics or those considering the Catholic faith—may also be adversely affected. 

JM – This so called misguided neo-geocentrist fanaticism is actually fidelity to the church founded by Jesus Christ. Mr Palm is calling white, black, because he has fallen into the sin of calumny and as such, he has not been given the grace to see the truth of geocentrism as a penalty for his sin.

Palm - I know this from private notes I have received to date.  But this "all or nothing" approach is, of course, a product of manifest neo-geocentrist exaggeration as to the authority and nature of the ecclesiastical documents that address geocentrism.  For the Catholic who knows his faith, the truth or falsehood of geocentrism has no impact whatsoever on his trust in the Catholic Magisterium.

JM – Those how don’t have an all or nothing approach with regard to the faith end up fighting against the magesterium and fall into heresy and eventually apostasy. This is what happened to the protestants and northern Europe is now apostate. Mr Palm is a heretic who opposes the magesterium and as such, he has fallen from the faith. If he does not change his mind and convert to the fullness of the faith, he will die and face judgment for his errors.

Palm - Unfortunately, these neo-geocentrist fanatics are heedless of the damage they may be doing to others' trust in the Magisterium—all in order to open some glimmer of plausibility for their pet theory to be part of our faith. 

JM – We geocentrists call out the magesterium when it is needed, we also provide evidence of magisterial failures based in history, when it is needed as well. We are faithful to the magesterium and the likes of David Palm and David Armstrong are not completely faithful to the magesterium when it comes to the matter of geocentrism. The evidence has been provided and they have made a bad choice on the matter. They still have time to review the evidence and change their minds.

Palm - And this once again proves my point.  To all appearances they will do anything to hang on to the "pebble" of their private fixation on geocentrism, even to the point of making a shipwreck of their faith and the faith of others.

JM- Unfortunately it is Mr Palm who is making a shipwreck of the faith of many by perhaps making a god out of This Rock and any apologetics association he has association with such as Dave Armstrong or maybe Catholic Answers who back up his anti geocentrist arguments.  The fact is the sources of revelation are clearly in favour of a stationary earth and apologists such as David Palm and David Armstrong have no authority whatsoever to object to the doctrine. It is the height of arrogance, ignorance and stupidity to oppose geocentrism, even though they know the case for geocentrism is very strong, not only in the sources of revelation, but also in science itself.

Mr Palm is one of the greatest inventors of false arguments concerning geocentrism I have seen. He out does the atheists and the anti Catholics in his statements about geocentrists by claiming to be faithful to the church when he is not. He ignores counter arguments and invents lies about what geocentrists have and have not said. He over exaggerates past statements made by geocentrists and is very selective in what he answers. In short, no answer from a geocentrist is good enough, for Mr Palm has made up his mind that geocentrism is not part of the faith and that is that. Mr Palm can ignore the fathers, he knows better than the magesterium and scripture and he knows better than modern science as well.

Evidently Mr Palm has some substantial problems with his ego.

JM

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