The Church has every right…

…”to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“For he who does not attack a vice, but rather coddles it, is justly judged guilty of the death together with those who die by that vice.”*

— Pope St. Leo IX (fl. 1049-1054), “Letter to Peter Damian (following the Book of Gomorrah, confirming it by his apostolic authority)”

* [This is a reference to the guilt of sin as a form of spiritual death (see Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13). {Matthew Cullinan Hoffman}]


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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29 Responses to The Church has every right…

  1. Franciscus is Generalissimo of the Church Militant and because he refuses to try and convert protestants and Messias Deniers, and because he refuses to fight the enemies of the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, he must spiritually wound his own troops so he can have a steady supply of innocent victims to justify keeping his field hospital open.

  2. Socrates says:

    Didn’t St. Pio advise Protestants, yet refused to actively convert them? St. Pio certainly thought their views heretical, be he didn’t try to release them from Heresy either.

    How would he sit in St. Let’s view?

  3. DDD:

    What are your sources for these claims?

  4. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:

    Socrates. Is that you, David Armstrong?

  5. What are your sources for these claims?
    What Socrates’s particular sources are, I don’t know, but it is an extremely common attribution, and comes up quite a bit in discussions of Padre Pio; (this is a fairly popular example, for instance). I’m surprised you haven’t come across it before.

  6. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:

    Mr. Watson. Where does brother Codg say he hasn’t come across the information before?

    There are any number of common attributions in circulation absent reiablel sourcing, such as, for instance, that Vatican Two was a glorious success.

  7. I really don’t see any reason to interpret what he said as catty passive-aggressiveness, and don’t see why you are interpreting it that way; he asked a question about sources, which one would expect to be an honest question asking about sources — at least from anyone who isn’t being cattily passive-aggressive. In any case, if he intended it to be understood a different way, he can easily clarify.

  8. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:

    Brandon. Just a reasonable response to what you wrote when you observed that you were surprised he hadn’t heard of that putative info.

    Obviously, you think he is ignorant re the matter, not ABS.

    When ABS reads another asking for a source he assumes he is asking for a source for any potential number of reasons but you wrote your response in a way that precludes other reasons for the question other than the request being made out of ignorance.

    As to why you have willing wandered into an emotion/psychic place where you now impute to me a catty passive-aggressiveness directed towards Brother Codg is a thing to be wondered at a but definitely not a thing that ABS either expects or desires an explanation about for that is just plain weird.

  9. you wrote your response in a way that precludes other reasons for the question other than the request being made out of ignorance

    I precluded nothing at all; expressing surprise rules nothing out, and preclusion by definition requires ruling things out. But the usual reason people ask for sources is to find out sources; and the most common reason people ask for sources when they already know them is to passive-aggressively insinuate that the person they are talking to is not drawing on credible sources, which in fact precisely the point you raised in your interpretation. I have no reason to think the latter; and the former is an entirely reasonable interpretation until and unless Elliott says otherwise.

    you now impute to me a catty passive-aggressiveness directed towards Brother Codg

    This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever in light of anything I actually said.

  10. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:

    ABS “you now impute to me a catty passive-aggressiveness directed towards Brother Codg”

    This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever in light of anything I actually said.

    Well, last things first.

    I really don’t see any reason to interpret what he said as catty passive-aggressiveness, and don’t see why you are interpreting it that way

    You first said what you now claim makes no sense of light of what you actually said but poor ABS can only go on what you actually write not that you later claim you did not write.

    Written otherwise, ABS never made any claim about passive aggressive cats or catatonic dogs.

    And first things last

    I’m surprised you haven’t come across it before.

    You were claiming Brother Codg was ignorant about the putative claims but because you refuse to admit the obvious, ABS will no longer engage as one can’t wrestle with ether.


  11. This is precisely what I mean. The passage you quote doesn’t impute catty passive-aggressiveness at all to you, as you claimed, much less “a catty passive-aggressiveness directed towards Brother Codg”.

    ABS will no longer engage as one can’t wrestle with ether.

    As absolutely everyone can see who reads the thread, you are the one who has been picking the fight, so I have no idea why you think I would be bothered by your not continuing to pick it.

  12. Amateur Brain Surgeon says:

    I really don’t see any reason to interpret what he said as catty passive-aggressiveness, and don’t see why you are interpreting it that way;

    Anyone, (‘cept you) who has not swallowed a dozen so hits of window pane acid can see you acusing me of interpreting what Brother Codg said in a catty passive-aggressive manner.

    And yet, and yet, you now claim those words don’t mean that.

    Now, maybe the problem is you do not end-up writing what you intended to write but that is your problem but you can’t be permitted to claim that what you write does not have the clear meaning of what it is your wrote.

    You are not trying to reframe what you actually wrote and include in that reframe material/suppositions/ideas you never expressed but now expect others to concede were in your thoughts at the time.

    Only crazy men think strangers ought know what their internal thoughts/intentions are.

    Are you receiving treatment for some mental affliction? If you are (and it seems you might be, or maybe should be, as you evince signs of disconnects with reality) ABS certainly does not want to provoke you or to cause you any mental distress, so, after this one last effort, ABS will go back to disengagement.

  13. The claim seems too facile and convenient to defend without proper documentation. In contrast, we have such evidence:

    “A conversion is a happy transformation in Christ with which we receive the joy of faith, fervor for the Commandments and love for the Sacraments. And with that we begin a new life that leads to our salvation, which Christ’s fervent souls desire so ardently for all men. Padre Pio pointed out this way of salvation to innumerable souls. …

    “All of Padre Pio’s converts talk about this ‘happiness’. Nestor Caterinovich, who once belonged to Russian Orthodoxy and after meeting Padre Pio converted to the Catholic Faith, along with his whole family, could not talk enough about this happiness. ‘Padre Pio has triumphed over our hearts,’ he used to say to his friends with emotion….

    “Above all, it was his spiritual children of the ‘first hour’ – that original little group of grateful people who were either converted or healed – who led innumerable souls to Padre Pio with their words and example, prayers and writings. This little group, which was around since day one, included an American and a German, both of whom came from Protestantism [under Padre Pio’s guidance]. …

    “Mary McAlpin Pyle of New York, who had once belonged to the Protestant Presbyterian Church, was led by Padre Pio to the Catholic Faith. Above all, she was struck by Padre Pio’s Holy Mass, which made her decide to stay at San Giovanni Rotondo.”

    Having looked into the matter a bit, the basic confusion seems to be that, because there appear to be cases when Padre Pio believed that some persons outside visible communion with the Church would be or could be saved, therefore he did not “actively” try to “convert” non-Catholics. But the latter does not follow from the former.

    For instance, his prayer for King George does not preclude praying for George’s deathbed conversion; indeed, as the prayer was inspired while George was dying, it makes perfect sense that Padre Pio’s prayer was for his conversion just before facing “the tribunal of God.” Otherwise why would he need prayer as he died? Would he pray for George to remain a staunch Protestant in Heaven?

    Likewise with the letter saying the Jew, Julius Fine, was saved: that was probably a special divine insight, but still not a basis for refusing to seek Fine’s conversion (if they had met before the Jew’s demise). Again, are we to imagine Padre Pio believed Fine would remain a devout Jew in Heaven (much less in Purgatory)?

    The claim that Padre Pio “refused to actively convert” Protestants, therefore, is as dubious as it is reckless, as is the claim that Pio did not actively try to steer heretics from their errors (cf. the testimony of Frederick Abesch, as well as the incidents concerning Freemasons, Communists, and liars in the confessional a few paragraphs later).

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  15. I’m not sure I see the relevance of your evidence at the first link; all the conversions in the first part of the essay are attributed to Padre Pio being happy and meeting people, without further details. The conversion of Del Fante is ascribed to Padre Pio vividly telling the story of the Prodigal Son, which he does only after Del Fante has explicitly stated that he was devoted to actively fighting the Church. Several of the conversions are attributed to people seeing Padre Pio’s Mass. None of these seem to provide any information at all relevant to the question, and all of them involve, at least as far as is explicitly stated, nothing more than could be described, as Socrates did, as “advising”. If anything specifically claimed at the link is counting as “actively converting”, then it seems to me that you have an extraordinarily broad notion of what counts as “actively converting”, one that Socrates pretty clearly did not have in mind, given his explicit contrast with “advising”.

    You are nonetheless entirely right that one should not confuse beliefs about salvation with evangelization practices, and it is indeed at least possible that some such confusion could underlie the common attribution.

    as is the claim that Pio did not actively try to steer heretics from their errors

    I don’t know if this was a general comment or intended to apply to Socrates, but, if the latter, it’s worth pointing out that this is not what he claimed; his claim was specifically about Protestants, not a general comment about all heretics. Abesch was a heretical Catholic who was regularly participating in the sacraments sacrilegiously, and thus not a Protestant.

  16. Brother Codg. Have you ever noticed how some of your write-backers appear to intentionally miss right is before them?

    Be right back with a question, ABS has to fetch some stats

  17. Brother Codg. What is the difference between Brandon Watson and Ron Herbel?

    Ron Herbel was trying not to miss

    Ron Herbel: .104 OPS in 225 PA. 6-for-206, 125 K, -70 OPS+

    Herbel, another swingman who had a couple of decent years for the Giants in the 1960s, was a truly awful hitter. In 1964, he went 0-for-47. In 1965, 1-for-49. In 1966, 1-for-38. That’s a three-year BA of .015. And on September 4, 1965, he suffered the ultimate indignity. He hit what should have been a clean single to right field, and instead was thrown out at first base by Cubs right fielder Billy Williams.

  18. IOW, ABS, maybe some should have gone to law school rather than graduate school.

  19. IOW, ABS, maybe some should have gone to law school rather than graduate school.

    With all respect, this sounds exactly like what Modernists say. In reality, relevance, reason, and evidence matter; only Modernists are so corrupted in reason as to think that they can proceed entirely on how things feel or seem to be to them. Either we all make a serious attempt at relevance, at analysis, and at discovering evidence, even if we sometimes err as humans will, or we have in fact bought in to Modernist patterns of argument, no matter how old-fashioned our aesthetic tastes or how historical our reading habits might be, and no matter what our self-identification (it is a Modernist error to self-identification makes our actual identity), and are simply part of the problem. There’s not really any third option here. There are reasons why almost every heresy that is prevalent today treats anything that can be pinned as ‘legalistic’ or thinking like a lawyer in a derogatory way. The last thing we need is people pretending to uphold Tradition while doing the same thing. If you have a problem with something, point it out in rational argument and analysis. Merely disparaging something as a “law school” sort of thing is exactly the sort of thing that’s wrong with the Church today.

  20. Would St. Pio have advised Protestants not to become Catholics?

    I have presented evidence to the contrary. What evidence do you have to support that claim?

    If I prick you, could you not bleed?

  21. This is precisely the sort of thing I mean. I’m not responsible for positions you’ve attributed to me entirely in your imagination; I have made no such claim. Let’s go through the actual course of this discussion and see what actually happened, shall we?

    (1) Socrates asked two questions — one about Padre Pio, with a clarificatory comment, and the other about how he would sit in Leo’s view. One can certainly interpret them as rhetorical questions, as you seem to have done, but note that they were questions.

    (2) You asked for sources.

    There was then the obscure exchange about David Armstrong; some in-joke, I assume.

    (3) I noted that it was at least a fairly common claim found in a number of sources, giving an example (a Traditionalist example, at that, as Rega regularly writes for The Remnant), and was surprised you hadn’t run across it at all.

    (4) ABS claimed I had not interpreted your question correctly, and that I shouldn’t have assumed you didn’t know the sources.

    (5) I replied that it was possible, but that if you actually knew the sources and only doubted them, it would be a catty and passive-aggressive to proceed just to ask about the sources without giving anything else, and I had no reason to think the latter was the case. It was, in any case, reasonable, to interpret you as simply asking about sources until and unless you actually clarified otherwise.

    (6) We then had the regularly scheduled drama-queening ABS does whenever he’s contradicted.

    (7) You then gave your post with an actual criticism of the original comment, and a good one.

    (8) I then said (A) that I didn’t see the relevance of your first link, since it actually did not, as you seemed to claim, show Padre Pio actively converting anyone — he just goes about doing his thing and people come to him and are converted; (B) that the basic point of your argument was right, and that it was at least a possible explanation for the common claims; and (C) I noted that Socrates’s claim about heretics was clearly not dealing with heretics generally but Protestants in particular, so if your comment about heretics was intended to be directed to him, it was too broad.

    And that is it. The entire summation of my claims in this discussion can be put thus:

    (A) This kind of claim is fairly common and found in a number of sources.
    (B) I have no reason to think you are being catty and passive-aggressive.
    (C) Your extended response is plausible, although I don’t see the relevance of one of your sources and one of the claims you make in the course of giving it seems too broad.
    (D) Traditionalists should not act like Modernists, but should instead work to take care, as best they can, that their responses are relevant to that to which they are responded, that their arguments are based on reason and analysis rather than feeling and how things seem to them, and that they do not start parroting common Modernist talking points.

    Not once have I claimed that Padre Pio advised heretics not to convert. (Nor did Socrates, for that matter. It is again something you’ve simply made up in your imagination.) My total contribution has been to make a comment about sources for the claim and to comment favorably but critically on your argument. You are shadow-boxing.

    I also note that not a single point in your comment actually addresses the comment to which you are responding; instead you are choosing to deflect to another topic, and indeed, as I’ve already noted, one that has nothing to do with the discussion despite being verbally similar if you don’t look too close.

  22. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. Tsk, tsk, Don’t you realise you come across as an extreme flake/weirdo/goofball/nutcase/wingnut/insane person (ABS does not mean that in a judgmental of your soul way but the right judgment way) when you continue to lie even when the evidence refuting you as a liar exists for all to see?

    I really don’t see any reason to interpret what he said as catty passive-aggressiveness, and don’t see why you are interpreting it that way…

    You are accused ABS of interpreting Broth Codg that way and yet, and yet, and yet, you continue to lie that is not what you accused me of doing; rather you try and deflect from reality by calling me a drama queen etc etc

    Brandon, Brandon, Brandon, you can’t even correctly interpret the very words you write and yet you repeatedly try to interpret the motives of men you have never even met.

    You are such a magnificent loser. Don’t ever change.

  23. Brandon:

    I’m still waiting for evidence for the claim that Padre Pio did not “actively” urge Protestants under his guidance to abjure their heresies and enter the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. You’re evading the issue at hand by sorting through the entrails of how you perceive you’re being verbally treated, legalistically parsing phraseology instead of substantiating the claim that Pio never advised Protestants to become Catholic. I have provided evidence which strongly supports the common-sense idea that Padre Pio consistently shepherded non-Catholics of any stripe into the Church when he had the pastoral access to do so. You and Socrates have merely nodded to a common belief to the contrary, without producing any evidence.

    If Padre Pio was indifferent to whether Protestants died Protestant or Catholic, what does that make him? An indifferentist in practice. Yet, he was a saint, so you need to present compelling evidence to defend your weird attachment to this indifferentist urban legend about St. Pio and Protestants.

    At some point I may decide this question is important enough to research properly (as opposed to a few minutes of googling), and I have every confidence that accounts of Pio’s life will only bolster the evidence that he “actively” (i.e., directly verbally) urged Protestants to become Catholics.

    Also: “Not once have I claimed that Padre Pio advised heretics not to convert. (Nor did Socrates, for that matter. It is again something you’ve simply made up in your imagination.)”

    Protestants are heretics. Socrates claims that Pio did not advise Protestant heretics to abjure their heresies and convert to Catholicism; you have endorsed his claim. Socrates claims that St. Pio’s spiritual advice to Protestants did not include any “active” or direct injunctions to renounce their heretical creeds and become Catholics; if you defend his claim, then you say the same. I have presented evidence to the contrary. Where is your evidence?

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  25. Elliott,

    Get this through your head: I did not claim anything about what Padre Pio did or did not do. I pointed out that the claim Socrates made is easy to find. Your claim of evasion is based on imagining things that do not exist. I am not responsible for claims whose attribution to me you have simply made up.

    Socrates claims that Pio did not advise Protestant heretics to abjure their heresies and convert to Catholicism

    No. This is what he said, as you could see if you bothered to read it again instead of getting it incorrect every single time you describe it (and getting it incorrect in a different way every single time!): “Didn’t St. Pio advise Protestants, yet refused to actively convert them? St. Pio certainly thought their views heretical, be he didn’t try to release them from Heresy either. How would he sit in St. Let’s view?” At no point did Socrates claim that “Pio did not advise Protestant heretics to abjure their heresies”; he explicitly stated that Pio advised them and said nothing at all about what he did not advise. And as I have explicitly pointed out already, if you are interpreting “actively converted” as nothing more than “directly verbally upheld the Catholic faith”, there is no clear reason to think that you mean anything other than what Socrates meant by “advised”.

    you have endorsed his claim

    Again, no. I pointed out that his claim is common and can be found in many sources, an example of which I gave, as anyone can see who reads my actual claims, and as I just pointed out in my prior comment. The endorsement is literally something you have entirely made up in your head; it has no grounding at all in what I have actually said.

    It is utterly astounding. Your comment literally ignores everything I just said, and continues to get even basic things wrong. You incorrectly describe Socrates’s claim, yet again, despite the fact that it is right there at the top of the thread to be quoted, so there is no need to get it wrong. You incorrectly describe my claims despite the fact that I literally just told you what they were and you have provided no evidence at all that I left anything out. You keep telling me I need to provide evidence for a claim I’ve never made and do not hold. I explicitly agreed that your original response was based on a good distinction and could very well identify a confusion in the claims made about Pio, only noting that I did not see the relevance of one of your sources of your evidence, and that a claim made was too broad if it were intended to apply to Socrates.

    I remember reading your seven or eight years ago, when you actually worked your way through advanced arguments in scholastic philosophy and theology rather than endlessly obsessing about the Pope, so I know this is well below your abilities. I don’t know what’s going on with you, that you would be this slovenly and negligent in reasoning, but you need to set it aside and get your head on straight.

  26. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon, Perseverance in error is not a virtue.

    Well, ok, to be fair to you, this is not error, this is mendacity but even mordant mendacity during the ascendancy of ISIS is how terrorists win.

    Is that what you want, Brandon. do you want ISIS to win?

    Just how many times are you going to pick over this carcass of a conversation and carkingly claim it means other than what all others know it means?

    We all know this is the time of year when creepy cooks create fruitcakes to terrorise otherwise well-meaning Christians but your fruitcakery is a whiter shade of pale if’n’ya catch my drift which you prolly don’t.

    Brandon, let it go. Rhetorically do a mic drop and walk away claiming victory; seriously nobody cares.

  27. Brandon, all I can say about my slovenly obsessing is…

    « Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    ché la diritta via era smarrita. »


  28. You’ve had them from the beginning. But also keep in mind that just because I criticize an argument does not mean that I disagree with its conclusion, and just because I ask a question does not mean that I am proposing a refutation, and just because I argue for a qualification on a claim does not mean I reject the claim when the qualification is added, and just because I argue that someone’s argument hasn’t been treated justly doesn’t mean that I am myself committed to the argument, etc., etc. These are just the ordinary responsibilities that come with reasoning in public. If at any given point you lack the time or energy or have too much stress to deal with such things, you’ll save both you and me a lot of time and exasperation if you just say so. Rational due must be done, like any other part of justice, but it can usually be put off to a better time, if it needs to be. I wouldn’t hold it against you at all; arguments are for understanding, not for winning.

    And don’t forget that I, and we all, need your prayers, too.

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