Monday, August 12, 2019

More Feeneyite Follies



 The definition of insanity, so they say, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I must have had a momentary lapse of reason after my post two weeks ago on Feeneyites (those who deny Church teaching on Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood; so named after the excommunicated Jesuit priest, Fr. Leonard Feeney). One of the fanatical Twitter supporters of Fred and Bobby Dimond's "Most Holy Family Monastery" (MHFM), replied to my weekly tweet I send out each Monday announcing my post. He wanted me to "finally answer his questions." I had stopped responding because communicating with a Feeneyite, in almost all cases, is as much an act of futility as trying to tell Jorge Bergoglio "what people believe actually matters." I tried to reason with him to no avail, and when I challenged him to debate me in a neutral forum, he would refuse.

I dislike the use of the word cult because it is so subject to abuse. It should not be used to identify false religions, unless they use any manner of physical, monetary, or psychological coercion to get people to join and/or prevent them from leaving. For this reason, I refer to the man-made religion of Vatican II as a sect. Scientology is an example of a cult. Whether or not MHFM is a cult I will leave up to the judgement of my readers. I will, however, note some disturbing characteristics I've noticed among MHFM followers:

They exhibit programmed conversation and mannerisms, mimicking the personal behavior of the Dimonds.

Examples:

  • When I asked the aforementioned Twitter follower to read my post, he said he would not click on the link. They will not read anything that challenges their belief system. 
  • People who disagree with them are labeled "liars," and "heretics." 
  • If you point out an error they will simply respond that "it's not true" without any evidence to back up their claim (and after calling you a "liar"). 

 A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without the Dimonds' involvement.

Examples:
  • They will tweet out screenshots of the MHFM website as if it were the Gospel. "It's Church teaching" they will tell you, and not what the Dimond brothers say. It's really no different from small Protestant sects which put up a website and claim "it's what the Bible says." Yes, but interpreted by whom? It's private judgement with Scripture, and the Dimonds do the same with Church teachings using the "plain meaning rule" I explained in my last post on the Feeneyites (July 29--See https://introiboadaltaredei2.blogspot.com/2019/07/feeneyite-follies.html) 
  • One MHFM follower on Twitter claimed that St Alphonsus Liguori "made a mistake" about Baptism of Desire (BOD) and Baptism of Blood (BOB). It was brought to his attention that Pope Gregory XVI declared the works of St. Alphonsus (one of the greatest Doctors of the Church) "free from the slightest error." To this, the MHFM supporter replied that the sublime saint did not have "the great grace of being able to read the book" of the Dimond brothers (!) To even suggest that a Doctor of the Church, one of the greatest theologians of all time along with Aquinas, needed to read a book written by two men born after Vatican II with no ecclesiastical training and no secular education above high school, would be funny if not so pathetic. The Dimond brothers "found his error" when two Vicars of Christ,  Pope Gregory XVI who canonized him and Pope Pius IX who declared him a Doctor of the Church, found none 
  • All their "arguments" (if you really want to call them by that appellation) are mere repetitions of what Fred and Bobby Dimond have decreed 
  • They reject Church teaching on periodic continence within marriage because that's what Fred and Bobby "teach" them
  • They have exalted praying 15 decades of the Rosary daily (a very laudable thing to do in itself) to the status of some sort of "requirement of salvation"
Bottom line: Extra Dimond Nulla Salus--Outside Fred and Bobby Dimond there is no salvation.

In this week's post, I'd like to address two points of contention that came up with the Feeneyite on Twitter. I would like to think this post will be read by MHFM supporters, but they won't read any "heretical" writings. They will not allow you to confuse them with the facts. That's why they will never debate on a neutral forum. If they did, it would become painfully apparent to the objective observer that their so-called arguments fall flat. Only in tweeting out snippets of information intended to sound erudite can they ever hope to make a "case." These tweets and threads are hard to follow and make checking the citations (when they have any) exceedingly difficult. When you point out a gaffe, they will never acknowledge they were wrong, they simply tweet out something else. This is not a formal debate, just an exchange of certain points of information at best. Don't engage them on Twitter or in any forum where arguments and information cannot be put forth in a clear and concise manner--it's a waste of your time. What follows are but two more Feeneyite follies exposed.

Unanimous Confusion Regarding Nomenclature
One of the points of contention was the inability of the Feeneyites to understand that, in theology, words don't have only a univocal meaning. Just as words in other disciplines have different meanings, so too in Catholic theology. For example, when we speak of "private" revelations, it does not mean that only one or two people saw the apparition. It means that it is not part of the Deposit of Revelation that ended with the death of St. John the Apostle in the year 100 A.D. Such apparitions, visions, etc.do not need to be believed. Therefore, even the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, witnessed by thousands of people, is still private revelation. 

One of the proofs that BOD and BOB were defined at Trent is that we have the unanimous consent of the theologians who teach both the absolute necessity of the sacrament of Baptism with reference to Trent, and BOD/BOB; a sure sign that Trent taught BOD/BOB when it spoke of the necessity of Baptism "or the desire thereof."  My Feeneyite opponent had what he believed to be a defeater to my argument which would "prove" there was no unanimous consent of theologians. He cited to a text written by Fr. William Jurgens, in which he does seem to question the teaching on BOD and BOB. 

The upshot of his contention is that to be unanimous, every single approved theologian must teach the same thing, and if only one theologian disagrees...well, goodbye to unanimity. My opponent had two major problems. First, Jurgens is not an approved theologian or canonist. His doctorate was not in Sacred Theology or Canon Law, but in Ecclesiastical History. Therefore his contention that Jurgens was against BOD or BOB (even if true), is the mere opinion of an historian and not the teaching of an approved theologian or canonist. Second, universal does not mean numerical unanimity, but moral unanimity. He thinks of "universal" in terms of the Catholic Church Herself, where "catholic" means "universal." St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 100 A.D.) used the word Catholic to mean "universal" to describe the Church (See Letter to the Smyrnaens). The Church is indeed Catholic in that Christ is universally present in the Church and that He has commissioned the Church to evangelize the world– "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." (St. Matthew 28:19).

Unanimous does not mean the same when we talk about unanimity among the approved theologians and Fathers of the Church. According to the Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary (1957):

When the Fathers of the Church are morally unanimous in their teaching that a certain doctrine is a part of revelation, or is received by the universal Church, or that the opposite of a doctrine is heretical, then their united testimony is a certain criterion of divine revelation. As the Fathers are not personally infallible, the counter testimony of one or two would not be destructive of the value of the collective testimony; so a moral unanimity only is required. 

The Feeneyites talk about the necessity of the universal and constant consent of the Fathers as spoken of at the Vatican Council (1869-1870), yet they once more fail to comprehend its meaning. Here is an example from the Vatican Council: 

The universal and constant tradition of the Church, as seen both in facts and in the teaching of the Fathers, as well as in the manner of acting and speaking adopted by many Councils, some of which were Ecumenical, teaches us that the judgments of the Roman Pontiff in matters of faith and morals are irreformable. (See http://www.catholicplanet.org/councils/20-postulatum.htm). 

Protestants jumped all over this by trying to show at least one Father of the Church in disagreement with papal infallibility (therefore "not universal"), or it was not so from antiquity (therefore not constant chronologically). Both the Protestants and Feeneyites get their terms wrong.  According to the eminent theologian of the Vatican Council under Pope Pius IX, Cardinal Franzelin, universality means the consent of the Church at this present time. Only when the present universality (moral unanimity) cannot be confirmed is it necessary to appeal to antiquity, and that appeal is not to show it was always held, but rather if it was ever held by the Church as certain.  (See On Divine Tradition, reprint of 1875, [2016], pgs. 417-423). 

An objection presented by my opponent was that since the Fathers of the Church believed that Baptized babies went to Hell (and suffered the least amount of pain), then the doctrine of Limbo must be wrong. Their contention that all Fathers believed in Hell for unbaptized infants is patently false. Theologian Ott notes that the Fathers of the East (he cites St Gregory Nazianzus) did not share the idea of St Augustine that unbaptized infants go to the fires of Hell. They taught that they received the pain of separation from God (poena damni), but not the inflicted pain of the senses by fire (poena sensus). This was the early conception of what became known as Limbo. (See Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, [1955], pg. 114). Later on, especially under St. Thomas Aquinas, it was thought that perhaps unbaptized infants enjoyed some small amount of natural happiness. (See theologian Dyer, Limbo: Unsettled Question [1963]). Hence, the objection fails, 

The "Grace of Baptism"

 The second point of contention was the alleged "mistake" St. Alphonsus Liguori made (as well as the other theologians), that BOD does not remit the full temporal punishments due to sin as does the sacrament of Baptism. Therefore, you are not receiving "the grace of Baptism" and BOD does not exist.

There is confusion on the meaning of the term "grace of Baptism." First, the Feeneyite objection will be set forth in a syllogistic form:

1. An adult who receives water baptism validly and who dies before committing a sin goes immediately to Heaven because the "grace of baptism" washes away all sin and all punishment due to sin.

2. An adult who receives baptism of desire does not have all punishment due to sin washed away.

3. Hence, an adult who receives baptism of desire is receiving something other than the "grace of baptism."

4. Therefore, an adult who receives baptism of desire, is not actually receiving the "grace of baptism," and will not go to Heaven were he to die before receiving water baptism.

It seems valid, but the problem lies in the term "grace of baptism" not being properly understood. The term applies to a bundle of gifts that the Sacrament alone gives to the recipient. Those gifts are:

  • The infusion of sanctifying grace (which washes away all sin, both Original and actual [mortal and venial])
  • The infusion of the three theological virtues (these actually never exist in a soul without sanctifying grace, but are distinct from sanctifying grace)
  • The removal of all temporal punishment for sin
  • The communication of the baptismal character on the soul which gives the soul a right to participate in the Church's sacramental life
  • incorporation into the Church (See Ott, supra, pgs. 350-360)
BOD does not communicate "the bundle" that is always communicated via the "grace of baptism."
BOD does communicate the first two items in the bundle, however, and as a consequence puts the recipient within the One True Church. So while it does not communicate "the grace of baptism," it communicates enough of the gifts included in the grace of baptism to justify.  This is because justification consists simply in the existence of God's life in the soul and the habituation of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.  While it is true that a man who receives baptism of desire receives something other than the "grace of baptism" technically considered, the person who receives BOD does receive the justifying effects of baptism.

In revisiting the Feeneyite objection above, #4 does not logically follow from numbers 1-3. They actually beg the question when they assert "BOD does not communicate the grace of baptism," because they are really saying, "BOD is not the same as being justified by water baptism. Water baptism is the only way to be justified. Therefore, BOD does not justify."  The whole point of dispute is whether water baptism (the sacrament) is the only way to be justified, and they gratuitously assume it to be true in making their objection to BOD.

Finally, there is the condemned proposition #31 of Michael du Bay (Condemned in the decree Ex omnibus afflicionibus of Pope St. Pius V on October 1, 1567) which states:

CONDEMNED: Perfect and sincere charity, which is from a "pure heart and good conscience and a faith not feigned" [1 Timothy 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins. 

So a catechumen can have perfect and sincere charity which necessitates the remission of sin. It says nothing about the remission of temporal punishments. BOB, on the other hand, is considered by theologians as removing all temporal punishments. This is most likely because death in the service of Christ is a kind of penance whereby those debts are remitted. Such a penitent type of willful surrender of one's life to Christ is different than a catechumen who has a heart attack or a car accident causing death prior to Baptism.

Conclusion
This ends my expose of the Feeneyite follies for awhile. There are just too many and it would require numerous posts, but I wanted to show the eerie mindset of the MHFM followers, and their egregious errors.

Note to my readers:
Rarely do I endorse any books on my blog. I make the exception this week for the incredible work of Dylan Fellows and Christopher Conlon entitled Contra Crawford: A Defense of Baptism of Desire and Periodic Continence. It is the greatest tome put out against the Feeneyites since Steven Speray's book Baptism of Desire or Blood (A Defense Defense in Brief Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam) published ten years ago. Crawford was a seminarian of the CMRI who espoused the errors of the Feeneyites as a deacon. Bishop Pivarunas refused to ordain him to the priesthood, and I've been told he received dubious orders elsewhere.

 Contra Crawford was written to refute his errors. The book is erudite yet eminently readable. These two gentlemen wrote a masterpiece that I can't recommend highly enough. I've had the pleasure of communicating with Dylan Fellows, and his keen insights have greatly helped me. He is a true Traditionalist gentlemen. You may obtain a copy by following the links below. May it be read far and wide in defense of Holy Mother Church!


Monday, August 5, 2019

Singing For Satan---Part 25


This week I continue my once-per-month series of posts regarding an informal study I undertook in the early 1990s regarding rock and pop music. The purpose of my study (and the background to it) can be read in the first installment of August 7, 2017. If you have not read that post, I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this installment. I will only repeat here the seven (7) evil elements that pervade today's music:

1. Violence/Murder/Suicide
2. Nihilism/Despair
3. Drug and alcohol glorification
4. Adultery/ Fornication and sexual perversion
5. The occult
6. Rebellion against lawful superiors
7. Blasphemy against God, Jesus Christ in particular, and the Church

 The exposing of the bands/artists continues.

Creed and Scott Stapp
 In the late 1990s, a new movement in rock and roll took place, known as the post-grunge movement.  Unlike the grunge bands, such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the Stone Temple Pilots, the post-grunge music had a more polished and less abrasive sound. The lyrics were lest angst ridden (it would be hard to be more angst ridden than grunge!), and the power-ballad was revived to great commercial success. The post-grunge sound remained highly popular into the 2000s. At the forefront of the post-grunge craze was the band that all the others imitated--Creed. With bold, spiritual themed songs, Creed became a huge success thanks to lead singer Scott Stapp. Other bands of the genre such as 3 Doors Down, Cold, and Lifehouse, all had singers that tried to sound like Stapp, a man who became known as "The Voice" of the late 1990s. 

Creed was formed in Florida in 1993 by Scott Stapp (b. Anthony Flippen in 1973) on lead vocals/lyrics and his friend from high school, Mark Tremonti (b. 1974) who wrote music and played lead guitar. Stapp and Tremonti had been friends in high school and both wound up attending Florida State University where they started playing music together and decided to form a band. The duo put up posters around campus inviting musicians to try out. They chose three men whom they felt were both serious and talented. Brain Marshall (b. 1973) played bass, Thomas Scott "Flip" Phillips (b. 1973) played drums, and Brian Basher (b. 1973) played rhythm guitar. However, Basher left the band in 1995 before their first album was made, and they decided not to replace him, continuing Creed as a quartet.  

The band was looking for a name, and Tremonti thought that it would be funny to call themselves Naked Toddler, after he read a newspaper account of police having found such a child abandoned in the street. The others reluctantly agreed, but soon regretted the using the name when audiences thought they were promoting pedophilia and would boo them. Stapp insisted the name be changed immediately. He asked the other members if they ever played in other bands, and what names they had. Tremonti said he played for a short time with a group calling themselves Moxon Creed. Stapp immediately suggested just using "Creed" for the band as it sounded impressive to him. The group voted unanimously to adopt the name.   

After getting well known around the college area, the four of them worked at menial jobs for minimum wage, while studying and making music. The songwriting team of Stapp and Tremonti wrote tunes that were drawing in audiences, so the four of them (Basher had left) decided to scrape together $6,000 to produce a small amount of CDs for their first album entitled My Own Prison. They were successful, and were able to produce 6,000 low quality sounding CDs (what can you expect for $1 each?). Despite the sound quality they sold out all 6,000 copies quickly. A small local radio station started playing the title track, and the group caught the attention of Diana Meltzer and her husband; entrepreneurs who were starting a record label called  Wind-Up Records. She and her husband decided to hear Creed play in person, and they were amazed by Stapp's voice and sheer energy as he sang. They offered to sign them right away as their label's first act, and Creed signed immediately.

Wind-Up remixed the album, and released it nationwide. The first four singles hit number one in 1997. By 1998, everyone had heard of Creed, and most bands wanted to emulate them. They released their second album in 1999, entitled Human Clay---it was certified diamond (10 million copies sold). Their third album Weathered (2001) was tremendously successful as well, even though Creed was now a trio, with the departure of Marshall. The band broke up when Stapp and Tremonti had high tensions that ended their friendship. Stapp had a moderately successful solo career, while the other three members formed a group called Alter Bridge, which was not very successful (in large part due to the absence of Stapp's vocals). They reunited as Creed in 2009, putting out the album Full Circle, after which they broke up again. Creed has sold over 53 million albums worldwide, and was the ninth best-selling band of the 2000s.

Personal Research
Creed was sometimes referred to as a "Christian rock group" and Stapp was quick to denounce the idea. Twenty years ago, Stapp was quoted in an interview as saying, "I'm not preaching; I'm not trying to get people to believe in Christianity. And a lot of the songs are me trying to figure out if I believe in it at all, me trying to deal with the condemnation and guilt that Christianity can lay on a young person’s mind." Most of the songs seemed irreverent and questioning of God's existence and/or motives. At first, I decided not to include Creed in this series, because when I originally did my research, Creed hadn't taken off yet. My superficial findings I did when they hit the big time left me confused because Stapp was on drugs and a raging alcoholic, yet he never sang or bragged about it like the other rock artists. He also would make comments, such as:

 "...I'm haunted by God. It’s something that I can’t escape. I’ve been indoctrinated in that religion since I was an infant – it’s second nature to me. I believe in God because it’s what I’ve been told my entire life. So there’s a conflict in me; and probably for three songs each record, I’ll deal with that. It’s just a cleansing thing,..." Haunted by God? I couldn't help but think of the poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson. In the poem, the speaker is running from God, as do many people caught up in the world. But God pursues him. Although aware of God's love for him, the speaker continues to run, believing that submitting to God means giving up worldly pleasures. It seemed to fit Stapp's life as I saw it. While Tremonti seemed detestable, Stapp evoked a feeling of pity from me. As I was not really researching to the extent I used to, I decided to just stop my research of the group. The only artist I ever researched at length and found harmless was Christopher Cross (b. Christopher Geppert in 1951). I was not even intending to make Creed a post in this series until earlier this year.

In my original post in this series, I mentioned that in 1989, I met someone with whom I am still good friends today. He was a DJ on a small station in NY, playing CCM ("Contemporary Christian Music") which included "Christian Heavy Metal"! I learned quite a bit from him. He told me that the problem with secular rock and pop music are the lifestyles of the artists and the lyrics. He did not condemn all secular music. He does not claim that everything is evil unless specifically religious. He did bring out the need to beware and use discernment. I received a call from him--I'll call him "Rob" (not his real name)--- earlier this year. "How are you, my friend?" he asked. "I'm doing well! What's going on?" I replied. "How would you like to meet Scott Stapp in person?" I was stunned. I knew Rob refused to play Creed because he had serious reservations about the lyrics and lifestyles--although he too felt unsure about the group for the same reasons I did.

"I know you have connections, but why would you want to see Scott Stapp?" Rob was excited, "Didn't you hear? Scott accepted Christianity and his second solo album has songs in honor of Jesus! He's working on a new album right now, due out in July. You can read about his conversion in his 2012 autobiography called Sinner's Creed." I was at a loss for words. Rob continued, "Look I have an extra copy of his book, and I'll send you his last CD, Proof of Life. We used to talk about him when Creed was big." I thought for a moment and told Rob, "I'd like to meet him. Thank you for sending on the book and CD. Will I have time to read and listen before the meeting?" His answer was what I was hoping for: "Of course. It is a rehearsal of the new album, you'll hear it before anybody else. It's only February, and the meeting will be in June." I thanked Rob again, and couldn't wait to see what this conversion was all about.

 When the book and CD arrived, I devoured them. I finished the book in two evenings after work, and listened to the CD in my car. The story of Scott Stapp was fascinating to me. Born Anthony Scott Flippen on August 8, 1973, the future voice of Creed was born the son of a printer and former Marine, Richard Flippen and his wife Lynda. He has two younger sisters, Amanda and Aimee. When Anthony was still a little boy, his father abandoned his family. Neither his father or mother ever gave an explanation for this event. His mother got a divorce and took the kids to a Protestant church every Sunday. His mother was devout. While Anthony was still a boy, his mother got remarried to Steven Stapp, a dentist and Protestant minister.

At first, Anthony really liked Steve. After marrying his mother, he adopted all three children and gave them his surname. Anthony liked his middle name better than Anthony, so his new legal name became Scott Stapp. Steven Stapp soon revealed himself for who he really was; a bully. He would give "Christian discipline" in the form of beating his adopted children mercilessly for the slightest infraction of any one of his rules. As "head of the household" he didn't hesitate to slap around his wife if she "got out of line." Whenever Scott did something his adopted father did not like, he would make him go to his room and write an essay on some part of the Bible, such as the Book of Job. The next Sunday, his father plagiarized Scott's analysis of the Book of Job for his sermon and never gave his son credit. Scott said nothing for fear of being beaten, and his adopted father kept on plagiarizing.

It was from this caricature of "God" that Scott Stapp rebelled. He wound up running away from home and enrolling in Florida State University (even though he had been accepted at Ivy League schools), where he barely made enough money by waiting tables and had some help from his biological father whom Scott hunted down in order to reconnect. After his career with Creed took off, the Meltzer's were pushing Scott to perform night after night without any respite. They had an unscrupulous doctor give Scott pain medications to which he became addicted. He would also "self-medicate" with alcohol and have blackouts. He fell into deep depression.

He met a young woman Hillaree Burns whom he married in 1997, but he admits he really didn't really love her. They had a son, Jagger, for whom he wrote the mega-hit song With Arms Wide Open. He divorced Burns when she proved to be more of an addict than he was, and Stapp obtained sole custody of their son. By 2003, Scott Stapp was worth almost $30 million dollars. Thanks to the mismanagement of the Meltzer's and his drug and booze addiction, he wound up losing almost all his money. Not only that, but his adopted father's dental practice was going south and he had racked up massive debt. Scott's mother asked him to help, and despite years of abuse, he bailed Steven Stapp out to the tune of $1.5 million dollars. His family only called on him when they needed money, and now the money was gone. He put two guns to his head and was going to kill himself so he could be like Kurt Cobain--a "martyr" that could produce a lot of money for his son.

Tremonti and the other band members had turned on him, so why not "finish it"? Tremonti accused Stapp of being a narcissist who wanted all the attention, yet when Rolling Stone magazine called wanting to put Scott Stapp on the cover, he refused unless Creed was on the cover as a band. No one turns down Rolling Stone, but Scott did just that, and the Meltzers were furious! The magazine unexpectedly called back a couple of days later, and agreed to put all of Creed on the cover. Instead of being happy, when the band found out, they became angry that Stapp was even asked to be on the cover alone. Jealousy was tearing them apart. As he thought of all this and was about to pull the trigger, out of the corner of his eye he saw a picture of his son Jagger, and shot up his house as he cried. His love for his son had saved his life.

In 2004, after Creed broke up, Stapp embarked on a solo career. His first album went platinum in 2005, called The Great Divide. In 2005, his life took a good turn when he met 2004 Miss New York beauty queen Jaclyn Nesheiwat. They were married in 2006 and have three children. Later that year, while drunk, he fell off a roof and should have died. He was found by a Christian rap artist T.I. who saved his life by finding Scott and staying with him until the ambulance he called arrived. That's when Stapp began taking God seriously again. In 2012, his autobiography came out, and his 2013 album Proof of Life definitely had a Christian spin on it.

He had written the song Jesus was a Rockstar:

He walked on water man. He made that water wine.
And then he drank with people you and me would just cast aside
He did his people good. Just like he said he would.
And in the blink of an eye, he gave a blind man sight
His love was thunder in the sky
His roar was lions in the night
When he spoke he always drew a crowd
His message was his lifestyle
He gave us everything and more
He was the party we've been looking for
Maybe, just maybe.... Jesus was rockstar!
Can I get a witness?
He brought the dead to life
He rose when called to rise
There was a passion in his eyes and it spread like wildfire
His love was thunder in the sky
His roar was lions in the night
When he spoke he always drew a crowd
His message was his lifestyle
He gave us everything and more
He was the party we've been looking for
Maybe, just maybe.... Jesus was rockstar!
Can I get a witness?
Father I have sinned a million sins
Save me from this world you put me in
So come on. Come on. Bring Jesus back again.

His love was thunder in the sky
His roar was lions in the night
When he spoke he always drew a crowd
His message was his lifestyle
He brought the fire and the light
He wrote the songs you can't deny
He rocked so hard, I can hear him now
He brought the house down!
He gave us everything and more
He was the party we've been looking for
Maybe, just maybe
I said maybe, just maybe
Maybe, maybe, maybe
Jesus was a rockstar
Can I get a witness?
Jesus was a rockstar

Can I get a witness?

I didn't know what to make of all of this material. Stapp fell off the wagon after his book, and his wife filed for divorce. He pleaded for her not to leave and they reconciled. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a psychotic break in 2014 and turned more to prayer. He's been clean and sober ever since. With all this info, I went to meet the man himself.

The Meeting
Note to my readers: The words attributed to myself and Scott Stapp are as best I remember them. I did not record the meeting (his security team did not allow such--or cameras). What follows is as close to the actual conversation according to my memory and the notes I made right afterwards to keep the memory fresh. The ideas and things we discussed are accurate, but I do not mean to imply that every actual word is captured in quotations.---Introibo

I arrived with my friend at the place where the meeting would occur. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Rob and I entered with a couple of other people he knew. Scott Stapp and his band members were practicing the songs for his new album The Space Between the Shadows. They were playing as if they were in front of a huge audience of thousands, not alone in an auditorium. I have never witnessed anyone sing with the energy and passion of Scott Stapp. That's in large part because all the songs are personal to him. He was never allowed to express his feelings growing up, so music was his way to put his emotions out for the world to hear on topics about which he really cared.

The songs were quite moving and very reverent. No bad language was used, and the band was very serious as they played. When they finished the set, Scott saw Rob and the rest of us. "Hello, and welcome!" he shouted. Scott Stapp came and greeted each of us. He stands about 5'9" and has a slim, muscular build. He was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, socks and sneakers--all solid black. Mr. Stapp was humble, genuine, and affable; very refreshing for someone who was so famous. We shook hands and I inquired if I might ask him a few questions. "Of course," he said with a smile. 

"How would you describe your music now? Are you a Christian Rock artist or a Christian who plays rock and roll?" He thought for a moment. "I'm a Christian who plays rock and roll. I wasn't always a good Christian, I did some very bad things, but I was always Christian in my heart. Some people feel that my earlier songs were disrespectful towards God, but that's what I was going through at the time--I was questioning my faith. If your faith is so strong you never questioned it, I admire that, but for myself and many others, we are sometimes overcome by doubts. Christian rock is always out in the open about Christ, and I am sometimes too. Other times my message is subtle. Therefore, I avoid the term 'Christian rock' for me. I turned my back on God because of my upbringing (he pointed to the copy of his autobiography I was holding). But I was wrong. My adopted father's God is not the True God. I've come back to a proud faith."

An example of questioning his faith from his time with Creed can be seen in the lyrics to Don't Stop Dancing:

At times life is wicked and I just can't
See the light
A silver lining sometimes isn't enough
To make some wrongs seem right
Whatever life brings
I've been through everything
And now I'm on my knees again
But I know I must go on
Although I hurt I must be strong
Because inside I know that many
Feel this way
Children don't stop dancing
Believe you can fly
Away, away
At times life's unfair and you know
It's plain to see
Hey God I know I'm just a dot in this world
Have you forgot about me?
Whatever life brings
I've been through everything
And now I'm on my knees again
But I know I must go on
Although I hurt I must be strong
Because inside I know that many
Feel this way
Children don't stop dancing
Believe you can fly
Away, away
Am I hiding in the shadows?
Forget the pain and forget the sorrows
Am I hiding in the shadows?
Forget the pain and forget the sorrows
But I know I must go on
Although I hurt I must be strong
Because inside I know that many feel this way
Children don't stop dancing
Believe you can fly
Away, away (Emphasis mine)

He wonders if God "forgot" about him during his trials, but he's on his knees again, praying anyway.

Next, I asked him, "What is your song Higher about? I've done some research, and there are some sources that claim it's about Hinduism and you wrote it while engaged in pagan/occult meditation. Some claim it's a reference to drugs." Scott's head dropped. He looked sincerely pained by the question. He looked up and said, "The song is about Heaven, however you conceive of it. I'm Christian, so of course I see it from a Christian worldview. The idea that it involves Hinduism or the occult is just another vicious rumor about me. If I had a dime for every vicious rumor, I'd be worth multi-millions.I detest drugs and alcohol abuse. It nearly destroyed me and I don't approve of songs that glamorize it. The song speaks of streets of gold; that's Biblical imagery." 

He then took me on a brief survey of his new album. The title The Space Between the Shadows, is a collection of songs which tells us that as Christians we see life is mostly pain/evil, so we must find the space or light between those dark areas (evil) to learn and grow from our hurts and help others in pain. In so doing, we help ourselves, grow closer to God, and make sense of life. "Let me show you something," he said, and lead me to a large screen TV. "Watch this short video." A twelve minute video played showing Scott and his wife helping children in Central America. He donates a portion of his income to helping these impoverished kids. As I watched, one of the songs from his album played in the background of the video called Wake Up Call. It expresses the exasperation he feels about God sometimes seeming far away. It means the oppressed of this world (like these poor children) can be helped, and life changed for the better if we want it to; let the suffering of others be our wake up call to action.

One day the bridge is going to break
One day the world will stand still
The sky will fall the earth will shake
There's just so much a heart can take

This is a wake up call
How many times before you lose it all
You're like a cannon ball
Breaking walls
This is a wake up call
Before there's no one left to catch your fall
But you can change it all
If you want to...

Sometimes life is so insane
Sometimes we don't know what to feel
Does God help us when we pray
Or do we face it all alone, all alone

This is a wake up call
How many times before you lose it all
You're like a cannon ball
Breaking walls
This is a wake up call
Before there's no one left to catch your fall
But you can change it all
If you want to...

If you want to...
If you want to...
If you want to...

This is a wake up call
How many times before you lose it all
This is your wake up call
Before there's no one left to catch your fall
But you can change it all
If you want to...
If you want to...
If you want to...
If you want to...
This is your wake up call
And you can change it all
If you want to...
If you want to...

Then he spoke about a touching ballad dedicated to two of his friends (rock singers Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington) who lived the same heathen lifestyle he did and died. "I wonder why they're gone and I'm still here. I hope they're in a better place. I'm glad to be alive, and I want to make my time count doing good here on Earth." The ballad is called Gone Too Soon:

So heavy I hit the floor
My heart is shaken and torn
Can't catch my breath don't know what to feel
My tears are starting to burn
I scream it wasn't your turn
I can't believe it, this can't be real
Gone too soon my friend
I know your dancing with angels on the wind
It's not the end
Until I reach forever
And were together
You will always be
Gone too soon
A heart with love left to give
A soul with life left to live
So full of color not one defined you
I wish I had one more day
So much that I'd want to say
So much that I didn't take the time too
Gone too soon my friend
I know your dancing with angels on the wind
It's not the end
Until I reach forever
And were together
You will always be
Gone too soon
Oh... Gone too soon
Oh... Yeah
Still can't believe that its true
Still can't believe that's its you
Gone too soon my friend
I know your dancing with angels on the wind
It's not the end
Until I reach forever
And were together
You will always be
Gone too soon
Gone too soon
Gone too soon

Finally, I had to ask him one last question about my favorite song on the album; it is the only other ballad called Mary's Crying. I heard the lyrics but I wondered if it could possibly be true, since this man is a Protestant. "The song Mary's Crying---is it about the Blessed Mother crying over the evil in the world?" He smiled. "Yes." My jaw nearly hit the ground. He had met Traditionalist Mel Gibson (in his better days) when he made the mega-hit, awesome movie The Passion of the Christ. Gibson had asked him to write a song for the album to the film, which Scott did, called Relearn Love:

On a dark and lonely highway
I need the Son to raise my head
I come before you... I am naked
The man I am now must be shed
I've weathered storms and I am broken
My beaten heart is in your hands
What I really need is shelter and a chance
To relearn love
Teach me all over, all over
To relearn love
Show me again
So I can relearn love
The comfort of your arms around me
Your tender hands caress my head
I lay beside you, I'm not worthy
This jaded man's not who I am
I've touched the flame and I've been burned
All I need is a second chance
Give me eyes of a child
And teach this man
To relearn love
Teach me all over, all over
To relearn love
Show me again
So I can relearn love
To relearn love
Teach me all over, all over
To relearn…

I shook Mr. Stapp's hand and thanked him for his honesty and time. I asked if he would autograph my book and he did. As we were leaving, Rob asked me what I thought about him. I said, "He gives me hope that God can do wonderful things for us if only we let Him." He smiled at me and nodded his head. A day I'll never forget, as I drove back home. 

Mary's Crying

Faith is falling, hate is rising
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying

A chill on my skin
As I watch the world cave in
Can't see the light
With our backs against the sun
Can you believe what we've become

I wish I could wipe away her tears
I wish I could wipe away her tears

Faith is falling, hate is rising
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying
Homes are broken, children dying
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying

Should I be surprised
When the truth is laced with lies
So lost, so numb
Seems like no one really listens
Seems like no one really cares

Faith is falling, hate is rising
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying
Homes are broken, children dying
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying

I wish I could wipe away her tears
I wish I could wipe away her tears

Oh... oh... Mary's crying
Oh... oh... Mary's crying

Faith is falling, hate is rising
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying
Homes are broken, children dying
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying

Oh... oh... Mary's crying

Faith is falling, hate is rising
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying
Homes are broken, children dying
Can't you hear Mother Mary crying

I wish I could wipe away her tears...

Conclusion and Note To My Readers
This post concludes my "Singing For Satan" series. I hope you understand why I ended with Scott Stapp. Even those who are "Singing For Satan" are not too far gone that God can't reach them. I never though a Protestant who had lived the life of a pagan would write such a beautiful song about the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. While this is not an endorsement, I find him inspirational. Didn't the great saints of the Church tell us that if one holds a tender devotion to Mary, they can be saved? Perhaps God is leading Scott to the True Faith! I wanted this to end with a positive message; musically speaking, on a high note!

To all my readers: I hope you got something out of this series of posts. I'd appreciate your comments on both the series as a whole and this post on Creed and Scott Stapp in particular. This does not mean I will never again write a post on a musical artist or group. If something strikes me as worthwhile, I will write about it, but not as part of a regular series, or a continuation of this one. I'm starting a new series on a new topic next month, but I'll leave the subject matter a surprise until the first Monday of September. PLEASE COMMENT ON THE SERIES AND/OR THIS FINAL POST. I learn a lot from my readers, and I want to see what you think of this endeavor that stretched out for two years. ---Introibo


Monday, July 29, 2019

Feeneyite Follies


 It was October of 1995, and the verdict was announced in what can still be considered the most famous criminal case in United States history; the trial of OJ Simpson. There were strong feelings about the decision, and I was now working as a young lawyer in New York City. You couldn't get away from the Simpson case; it was ubiquitous on the media, and it seemed that's all people wanted to discuss, even almost three weeks later. I grabbed some lunch outside the courthouse at a nearby diner where you could be seated outside as well as inside during nice days, so I sat outside. That was my first mistake. There was a man sitting at the table next to me yelling (literally) about how upset he was that Simpson was acquitted.

 "Can you believe those idiots on the jury?" he screamed to the people sitting at his table (and everyone else within a square block who could hear him). "They declared that [expletives deleted] killer to be innocent!" "Nobody with any intelligence accepts that guy is innocent. Everybody knows he's guilty, right?" The loudmouth turned his (unwanted) attention to me. "Excuse me, sir, in the suit. Yeah, you. You don't agree with the jury finding Simpson innocent, do you?" I looked at him and said, "Simpson wasn't declared innocent of the crime." His expected reaction followed. "What? Do you have your head in the sand? Where have you been? The jury declared him not guilty!" I responded, "Exactly. A decision of not guilty is not the same as saying someone is innocent." He got even more angry. "Let me guess, you're a lawyer, and you're playing word games like a typical bleeding heart liberal!"

I tried to reason with him. That was my second mistake. "I'm not a bleeding heart liberal by a long shot, but I understand the law, and it's painfully obvious you do not. 'Innocent' means you didn't do something. In the law, 'not guilty' means that the prosecution didn't carry their burden of proof. Maybe he is guilty, but you were not on the jury and did not engage in the deliberations. As long as there is reasonable doubt, our system of justice will not send someone to prison, or execute that person, because it is better to let 100 guilty people go free rather than let one truly innocent person be punished. Not guilty is a declaration that guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, not that Simpson is really innocent of the charge."  He started accusing me of making things up because I agreed with the jury. Luckily for me, I had finished my sandwich, wished him a nice day, and headed back to court as he screamed that "lawyers like you are destroying this country." Whatever.

I'm recounting this episode in my life to make a point; never argue with someone who doesn't understand the basics of the discipline in question. A lawyer shouldn't argue the law with non-lawyers. Doctors shouldn't argue about the correct course of medical treatments with a non-physician. Likewise, don't argue theology with non-theologians who don't even grasp the basics--most especially Feeneyites. I don't spend much time on Twitter, but I decided to engage a couple of Feeneyites with the intention of pointing out some glaring errors. That was my first mistake this time out. As I've often stated, I'm not a theologian or a canonist. However, I know enough to realize I need to consult professional theologians from pre-Vatican II, just as I consult a doctor when I'm sick and don't try to "self-diagnose" on Web MD. I was lucky enough to have been taught by a real pre-Vatican II canonist, Fr. Gommar DePauw, founder of the Catholic Traditionalist Movement, and he always taught me to seek out the teachings of the Church by Her approved theologians and canonists.

Feeneyites are those who deny the Catholic teaching on Baptism of Blood (BOB) and Baptism of Desire (BOD), so named for the late Fr. Leonard Feeney (d. 1978). Feeney was excommunicated by Pope Pius XII for disobedience, only to be accepted into the Vatican II sect before death by Montini (Paul VI)  without having to abjure his errors. Even Feeney didn't accept his heresy in its current form. That dishonor belongs to the malevolent would be "Benedictine" brothers, Fred and Bobby Dimond of  "Most Holy Family Monastery" (MHFM) in New York. Their followers are, like them, fanatics--people who can't change their mind and won't change the subject. I tried to reason with them. That was my second mistake this time out.

 The Feeneyite Twitter followers all mimic Fred and Bobby by labeling everyone who disagrees with them as "heretics" and "liars." When you point out St Thomas Aquinas and St. Alphonsus Liguori both taught BOD and BOB, they respond that these theological giants and Doctors of the Church made "innocent mistakes," but you are a heretic and a liar since you have something they didn't have--the "truth" as expounded by two men born in the 1970s with no ecclesiastical training or education, and not even a secular degree beyond high school. If that wasn't so pathetic, it would be funny. Ad hominem! the Feeneyite followers of MHFM shout. No, it's not attacking the person to show they are unqualified to speak to the subject. You can impeach an expert witness on the stand in court by showing he lacks the necessary skill and education. When I offered to formally debate a Feeneyite on a neutral forum so I could set forth the necessary background information, he refused and wanted me to "answer his questions." I then refused, since we were speaking past each other. Hence, my decision to write this post. I wish to remind my readers that a folly is "lack of good sense; foolishness." It describes Feeneyite errors perfectly.

The purpose of this post is not to go through all the errors of MHFM and their followers. That would require more posts than I care to think about, and I've written some posts on this topic before. My purpose is to expose their fundamental errors and hopefully God will reach some of them. If not, at least those Traditionalists who read this post will better understand how they get it wrong and will not fall into Feeneyism.I wish to credit Fr.DePauw, and all the approved pre-Vatican II theologians and canonists for setting forth the teaching of the Church. I also wish to thank and credit those who wrote extensively on this topic to the edification of all, especially Fr. Anthony Cekada, the Sisters of the CMRI, Dylan Fellows, Christopher Conlon, John Daly, John Lane, and Steven Speray. To all of them I give full credit for compiling and explaining the the truth about BOD and BOB as taught by the One True Church, and whose works can be used by all in Her defense.

Feeneyite Folly #1: Limiting and Misapplying Infallibility

Feeneyites will limit infallibility to the Extraordinary Magisterium alone. A few terms must be defined:

What is the Magisterium? According to theologian Parente, it is "the power conferred by Christ upon His Church and strengthened with the charism of infallibility, by which the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) is constituted as the unique depository and authentic interpreter of divine revelation to be proposed authoritatively to men as the object of faith for their eternal salvation." (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, [1951], pg. 170). Therefore, the Church is Divinely appointed to teach all necessary truths of faith to people, free from error, in order that they may attain Heaven. "Magisterium" comes from the Latin magister or "teacher." Christ told His Apostles "Go therefore, teach ye all nations..."(St. Matthew 28:19).

What constitutes the Magisterium? According to theologian Van Noort: "The subject-matter of divine- Catholic faith are all those truths proposed by the Church's Magisterium for our belief as divinely revealed...The principle laid down above is contained almost verbatim in this declaration of the [First] Vatican Council: 'Further, all those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment, or by her ordinary and universal Magisterium, proposes for belief as having been Divinely-revealed.' [Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith]" (See Dogmatic Theology, Newman Press 3:220-221[1960]; words in brackets and emphasis are mine).

The Magisterium, therefore, is expressed either solemnly or in an ordinary and universal way. This is clear from both Church history and the dogmatic decree of the First Vatican Council (1870).  The former exercise of the Church's teaching authority is called the Solemn or Extraordinary Magisterium (ex cathedra pronouncements of popes and Ecumenical Councils) and the latter is called the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium ("UOM"). Both are equally infallible.

Feeneyites use the Extraordinary Magisterium to "check" the UOM for "error." Infallibility excludes even the possibility of error, which they don't understand. They refuse to learn from the UOM, so it ceases to be a Magisterium or teaching authority. If you point to the fact that the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Catechism of  Pope St. Pius X both teach BOD and BOB, they will immediately respond that "catechisms are not infallible." Pure ignorance. As theologian Van Noort explains: "Clearly if a truth is capable of being declared an object of Divine-Catholic faith through the force of this ordinary and universal teaching, there is required such a proposal is unmistakably definitive........The major signs of such a proposal are these: that the truth be taught throughout the world in popular catechisms, or even more importantly, be taught by the universal and constant agreement of theologians as belonging to faith." (Van Noort, Ibid, pg. 222; Emphasis mine).

They reject the infallibility of the UOM as dogmatically defined by the Vatican Council in 1870. If catechisms and the unanimous teachings of the theologians contradict their private interpretation of some ex cathedra pronouncement, the UOM must be discarded--they thereby reject the definition of the Council, making them heretics. Here are some historical examples of the UOM:

 100 A.D. Scripture is officially complete at the death of the last Apostle (St. John). Scripture confirms the Church founded by Christ cannot teach error, and that those who reject it are condemned. The pope and bishops of the Church continue to propagate the infallible Deposit of Faith (Scripture and Tradition) from generation to generation. Again, this teaching is referred to as the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium (UOM) and is infallible. The primary methods of teaching used by the UOM are by preaching and writing.

300 A.D. The first three centuries of Catholics have lived without any teaching from the Extraordinary Magisterium. They have learned their faith solely through the ordinary everyday teaching of the popes and bishops (the infallible UOM). The Deposit of Faith remains completely intact and is infallible.

319 A.D. Arius, a Catholic Priest, is noticed to be preaching a doctrine on the Divinity of Christ that differs from the continuous teaching of the Church handed down (the UOM). The clergy know the Deposit of Faith handed down so far is infallible, so when they notice a departure from it, they immediately know it's heretical. Arius is then corrected by his peers.

326 A.D. The Council of Nicaea, the first use of the Extraordinary Magisterium since the founding of the Catholic Church, is called to order, which condemns Arius and his false doctrine, since he refuses to recant. The doctrine on the Divinity of Christ is already considered infallible through the day to day teaching of the UOM, and now the Church has confirmed it is infallible again through the Extraordinary Magisterium, so there is no confusion about it among the faithful.

Proof from Reason: It is a dogma that the Church is Indefectible. She is to teach us the way to Heaven and cannot give that which is evil or erroneous. What kind of teaching authority can't teach? Feeneyites would have us restrict infallibility to those few, rare ex cathedra decisions, while everything else is liable to be erroneous, heretical, and/or evil. You could never be certain what to believe or do outside of those few definitions--and be prepared to use private judgement to discern with a checklist what UOM teachings you think "do not contradict" the Extraordinary Magisterium! It is blasphemous to even think the Church's teachings could be self-contradictory! That's the exact reason I'm a sedevacantist.

Feeneyite Folly #2: We Don't Need Theologians Because of the Plain Meaning of the Texts

 Feeneyites, despise the teachings of the theologians, insisting that anyone can read "the plain meaning" of the words. In a similar fashion, Protestants reject the Magisterium on the grounds that they can "read the Bible for themselves." A Feeneyite will say, "Then we need theologians to interpret those interpretations, and so on," contending an infinite regress. Here's what the Church actually teaches from the Vatican Council (1870): 

3. If anyone shall assert it to be possible that sometimes, according to the progress of science, a sense is to be given to doctrines propounded by the Church different from that which the Church has understood and understands; let him be anathema. (Emphasis mine)

Notice that doctrines must always be understood in the same sense as the Church understood.  That doesn't mean "read with plain meaning." To go back to the example of the Simpson trail, "not guilty" has always been understood as meaning the prosecution did not carry the burden of proof against the defendant in a criminal trial. It does not mean that the "plain meaning of the words not guilty are the same as innocent." The bishops are highly trained and educated men who use scholastic terminology not readily accessible to the average layman. That's why the Church orders catechisms for adults, such as the Catechism of the Council of Trent, to explain in layman's terms the technical decisions. If the "plain meaning rule" were true, it would render adult catechisms superfluous, you would just read the Council documents. 

Feeneyite Folly #3: The Church Never Infallibly Defined BOD and BOB

 Ironically, the Extraordinary Magisterium did define BOD and BOB at the Council of Trent. On the "Sacraments in General:" 

CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema. (Emphasis mine)

From the Decree on Justification: 

By which words, a description of the Justification of the impious is indicated,-as being a translation, from that state wherein man is born a child of the first Adam, to the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. And this translation, since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. (Emphasis mine)

How do we know what these passages mean? The unanimous consent of all theologians and the Catechism of the Council of Trent tell us so. You think this ends it? For a reasonable person, it would. However, Fred and Bobby know best! 

Feeneyite Folly #4: "The Desire Thereof" REALLY MEANS "Intent to Receive"

 In Trent's Decree on Penance and Extreme Unction, we read:

The Synod [Trent] teaches moreover, that, although it sometimes happen that this contrition is perfect through charity, and reconciles man with God before this sacrament [Penance] be actually received, the said reconciliation, nevertheless, is not to be ascribed to that contrition, independently of the desire of the sacrament which is included therein. (Emphasis mine)

We have a teaching on "Penance by desire." Later, the Decree states,

This Sacrament of Penance is, for those who have fallen after baptism, necessary unto salvation; as baptism itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated.

The Council of Trent says here that the sacrament of penance is necessary for the salvation of those who have fallen after baptism, as baptism itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated. However, it is very clear that Trent admits that a man can receive the effect of the sacrament of Penance by desire, before actually receiving the sacrament itself.

Thus, if one wishes to hold that baptism by water is necessary in such a way that the effect of baptism cannot be received before the sacrament itself, one must also hold that the same thing is true of Penance. Otherwise, it would not be true that the sacrament of penance is necessary after sinning just as the sacrament of baptism before being baptized.

Feeneyite Folly #5--The Numbers Game
If you inform a Feeneyite that there was unanimous consent of the theologians and Fathers regarding the reception of the effects/grace of Baptism apart from the sacrament (BOD/BOB), you will get two standard responses from Fred and Bobby's script: (1) Not ALL the Fathers agreed, and (2) theologians are not infallible. They usually throw in Aquinas not accepting the Immaculate Conception as further "proof" that theologians and Doctors of the Church can be wrong. 

First, they don't understand that it's not  NUMERICAL unanimity but MORAL unanimity that counts. According to the Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary (1957):

When the Fathers of the Church are morally unanimous in their teaching that a certain doctrine is a part of revelation, or is received by the universal Church, or that the opposite of a doctrine is heretical, then their united testimony is a certain criterion of divine revelation. As the Fathers are not personally infallible, the counter testimony of one or two would not be destructive of the value of the collective testimony; so a moral unanimity only is required.

According to theologian Scheeben, The Criteria, or means of knowing Catholic truth may be easily gathered from the principles...nearly all set forth in the Brief Tuas Libenter, addressed by Pius IX to the Archbishop of Munich." (See A Manual of Catholic Theology 1:89). Pope Pius IX wrote, ""For even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith. Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libenter (1863),DZ 1683 (Emphasis mine)

So moral unanimity is the criteria for Fathers and theologians. As to the fact that theologians and even Doctors of the Church are not infallible, again, I turn to theologian Scheeben:

Although the assistance of the Holy Ghost is not directly promised to theologians, nevertheless the assistance promised to the Church requires that He should prevent them as a body from falling into error; otherwise the Faithful who follow them would all be lead astray. The consent of the theologians implies the consent of the Episcopate, according to St. Augustine's dictum, "Not to resist an error is to approve of it---not to defend a truth is to reject it.'" (Scheeben, Ibid, pg. 83; Emphasis mine). As to Aquinas, the matter of the Immaculate Conception was not settled but open to debate among the theologians. His main problem was how to reconcile Mary's Immaculate Conception with the fact she (like all humans) needed to be redeemed. Pope Pius IX addressed this concern in his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus when he defined that Mary was preserved free from Original Sin "in view of the merits of Jesus Christ." Hence, she was redeemed by Christ in a unique manner. 

The Extraordinary Magisterium is used to (a) settle disputed theological matters where there was no consensus of the UOM for some time and (b) to state emphatically a dogma under attack which was already of the Faith as I explained above (e.g., the Divinity of Christ). It is not a "check list" against which we accept or deny what the UOM has taught. 

Feeneyite Folly #6--The Canons of Trent "Prove" Only Water Baptism Saves

The Feeneyites will cite Trent's second canon on Baptism:

CANON II.-If any one saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema. (Emphasis mine). 

Yes, but context is everything. This canon was formulated by the theologians at Trent to condemn the heresy of the so-called Reformers (principally Martin Luther) who taught that since faith alone saves, if someone doesn't have water to baptize you can substitute it with milk or beer. Trent was defining the matter of the Sacrament of Baptism, not condemning BOD or BOB. 

Next, they cite Trent's fifth canon on Baptism:

CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.

Trent uses the exact same wording in regards to Penance:

CANON VI.--If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right;...let him be anathema.

Does that mean one who has just been baptized and dies right away will be damned because Penance is "necessary to salvation"? What about baptized babies? What about those who have been baptized, fall into mortal sin, and have never before confessed--can't they be saved by an Act of Perfect Contrition, or "Penance by desire"? Baptism is the instrumental cause of salvation, to use Scholastic terminology. It is that through which we are saved, just as a pen is the instrumental cause of someone writing something down on paper. The principal efficient cause of salvation is Faith and sanctifying grace; the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Therefore, just as a writer can substitute a pencil for a pen (for he is the one who produces the words as principal efficient cause), so too can God substitute another instrumental cause (BOD/BOB) for the Sacrament of Baptism.

Finally, they quote from Trent that Baptism is the "Sacrament of Faith" and no one can be saved without Faith. From Trent's Decree on Justification:

"...the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which (faith) no man was ever justified;..."

So why is Baptism the "Sacrament of Faith"? The Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches, "The holy Fathers designate [Baptism] also by other names. St. Augustine informs us that it was sometimes called the Sacrament of Faith because by receiving it we profess our faith in all the doctrines of Christianity. (pg. 110) Nowhere in the Council, its Catechism, or in the teaching of any approved theologian/canonist is it held that Baptism is called "the Sacrament of Faith" because it is the only way one can first receive Faith.

Feeneyite Folly #7--Canon Law Is Not Infallible
There are two deadly Canons in the (1917) Code that destroy the Feeneyite position. 

Canon 737 states, "Baptism, the gateway and foundation of the Sacraments, actually or at least in desire, is necessary for all for salvation..."

This should end any doubt as to how the Church understands Trent's Canon IV on Baptism. However, Canon 1239, section 2 delivers another crushing blow:

Catechumens who, through no fault of their own, die without Baptism, are to be treated as Baptized.
Canonists Abbo and Hannon comment, "The reason for this rule is that they are justly supposed to have met death united to Christ through Baptism of Desire." (See The Sacred Canons, [1951], pg. 493). 

This is devastating to the cause of Fred and Bobby, so they must deny that Canon Law is infallible. First, it is established that the Church is infallible in Her universal disciplinary laws such as the 1917 Code of Canon Law. 

Proof: According to theologian Van Noort, "The Church's infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church...By the term "general discipline of the Church" are meant those ecclesiastical laws passed for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living." (See Dogmatic Theology, 2: 114-115; Emphasis mine). 

According to theologian Herrmann:
"The Church is infallible in her general discipline. By the term general discipline is understood the laws and practices which belong to the external ordering of the whole Church. Such things would be those which concern either external worship, such as liturgy and rubrics, or the administration of the sacraments…. If she [the Church] were able to prescribe or command or tolerate in her discipline something against faith and morals, or something which tended to the detriment of the Church or to the harm of the faithful, she would turn away from her divine mission, which would be impossible."
(Institutiones Theologiae Dogmaticae, Vol. 1, p. 258)

Pope Gregory XVI teaches: "[T]he discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced." (See Mirari Vos, para. #9).

Feeneyites will make two objections: (1) The Code is not universal since it only applies to the Latin Rite and not the Eastern Rites, and (2) Canon 1 "proves" it's not universal.

In response to the first objection, it is sheer ignorance of Canon Law. According to the eminent canonist Buscaren: "A general [universal] law is one which is not limited to a particular territory; it is a universal law of the Church. This does not mean it is binding on all Catholics. It may be enacted for a special class of persons, or for certain particular circumstances." (See Canon Law: A Text and Commentary [1951], pg. 27). Therefore, "universality" means "pertaining to all members of a Rite throughout the world," and not just in a particular territory. The 1917 Code is therefore universal.

In response to the second objection, Canon 1 does state that the Code as a general rule does not affect the Oriental Church (i.e., Eastern Rites). However, as Buscaren explains, there are some matters in which it [the 1917 Code] affects also the Oriental Church and Oriental Catholics. He enumerates three categories that apply to all Rites: (1) Canons which express dogmatic truths; (2) Canons which declare Divine Law; and (3) Canons which expressly and explicitly mention the Oriental Rites. (See Ibid, pg. 16).

To summarize:

  • Universal disciplinary laws are infallible
  • the 1917 Code of Canon Law is a universal disciplinary law by the Church's own definition
  • It also applies to all Rites when it expresses a Divine Truth and/or declares something is Divine Law
  • Canon 737 teaches a Divine truth as to what is necessary to salvation
  • Canon 1239 is an extension of Canon 737 in declaring a dogmatic/Divine truth
  • BOB and BOD are therefore infallibly taught by the 1917 Code of Canon Law
In addition, all Eastern (Oriental) Rites have their own Canons which mirror both 737 and 1239, making the definitive case that it is a universal disciplinary law no matter how you approach it.

Feeneyite Folly #8--The Approved Theologians and Doctors of the Church Are Mentally Imbalanced

 While those of us who believe in the teaching of the Church on BOD and BOB are "liars" and "heretics," the great theologians and Doctors of the Church make "innocent mistakes, " despite the fact that they are approved by the Church precisely because of the excellence of their teachings and orthodoxy. No pope, no bishop, no one for hundreds of years caught and condemned these heretical teachings. They were even published in approved Catechisms distributed to the faithful worldwide without objection. Only Fr. Leonard Feeney picked up on it in the 20th century, and only Fred and Bobby Dimond were able to "perfect his discovery" and find all these errors in the last 25 years or so. 

St. Alphonsus Liguori, a canonized saint and Doctor of the Church wrote in Moral Theology, Book 6, Section II (About Baptism and Confirmation), Chapter 1 (On Baptism), page 310, no. 96: "Baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called "of wind" ["flaminis"] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost who is called a wind ["flamen"]. Now it is "de fide" that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon Apostolicam, "de presbytero non baptizato" and of the Council of Trent, session 6, Chapter 4 where it is said that no one can be saved 'without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.'"

When Pope Gregory XVI canonized St. Alphonsus on May 26, 1839, the Bull of Canonization declared his works could be read "without the least fear of finding the smallest error." Yet Fred and Bobby Dimond have found him in "innocent error."  They know better than Pope Gregory. Furthermore, all theologians and canonists since Trent teach that the grace of Baptism can be received outside the actual sacrament. Yes, every single one that wasn't censured. They also teach the absolute necessity of sacramental Baptism in the same theological manuals they wrote--of course including the aforementioned St. Alphonsus.  Therefore, we must conclude that either there is no contradiction in the two doctrines, or these intellectual and spiritual giants were schizophrenic, not realizing their work was internally inconsistent.

Here are but two examples:
Theologian Ott: "Baptism by water is, since the promulgation of the Gospel, necessary for all men without exception for salvation" (See Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, [1955], pg. 356).
On the same page:"In case of emergency Baptism by water can be replaced by Baptism of desire or Baptism by blood."

Theologian Tanquerey: "Baptism of water is necessary for all by necessity of Divine precept." (See A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, [1959], 2:226). On pg. 228, "Contrition, or perfect charity, along with at least an implicit desire for Baptism, supplies for the forces of Baptism of water as to remission of sins."

How could these be "innocent mistakes" of theological giants? They would be heretics--and crazy ones--who don't see intrinsic contradictions in their own writings.

Conclusion
This post has been but a partial refutation of the numerous errors of the Feeneyites which have led them into heresy. It's amazing how the Twitter followers of MHFM all send pictures of the Dimond's website with Church decrees twisted out of the background context needed to understand them. They reject the UOM and drone on and on about "infallible statements"--which means the Extraordinary Magisterium only. "We only need to believe infallible teachings of the popes and Ecumenical Councils," they say.

The Church has condemned this very idea. 
  • Condemned proposition #22 of the Syllabus of Errors, addressed to the whole Church teaches, "22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and writers are absolutely bound is restricted to those matters only which are proposed by the infallible judgement of the Church, to be believed by all as dogmas of the faith."
  • Pope Pius XII condemns the idea popes need not be given assent in their teachings that are not ex cathedra: "It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in these the popes do not exercise the supreme powers of their Magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary Magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent ‘He who heareth you, heareth me.’; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine." (See Humani Generis [1950]).

When you understand how the Church teaches us, the case against Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire simply does not hold water.