Friday, April 05, 2013

CWR removes Deavel's review of Ralph Martin's book

Emails about this have been circulating everywhere, and posts have now been appearing, so I will be brief: Paul Deavel wrote a detailed favorable review of Ralph Martin's book, Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization.(We posted an article on Martin's book, "Oh Hell" in Musings, back on Dec. 14, 2012) Deavel's review is entitled "Vatican II and the 'Bad News' of the Gospel."

Now Ignatius Press has removed the review of Dr. Martin's book initially posted on CWR. Ignatius Press President, Mark Brumley, candidly acknowledges pulling Martin's article in a CWR post HERE (CWR, April 1, 2013): "This is blatant censorship by me, Mark Brumley," he states, tongue-in-cheek; however, it doesn't sound like an April Fool's joke. From what he suggests, they want a "fuller treatment of a difficult subject than the original view" provided, and so they are looking to host a number of articles from a number of perspectives in future issues. One wonders about any connections here to the life-long investment of Ignatius Press in the publication of Hans Urs von Balthasaar's works in English translation.

Sheesh! It's not as if poor Dr. Martin is some foam-at-the-mouth TRADITIONALIST or something! Give the guy a break! =)

[Hat tip to SHMS colleagues]

Update: "Forbidden text and Catholic samizdat: 'Vatican II and the "Bad News" of the Gospel'" (Rorate Caeli, April 8, 2013).


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Blosser

Thank you for posting this. I had known about Dr. Martin's book for a whiele now but had no intention of buying it until tonight. I'm about to order it.


I am not Spartacus said...

Here is yet another instance of a CPA (Convert from Protestantism Apologist) cooking the Theological books so as to make heresy seem a credit to Holy Mother Church.

You see, Catholic Tradition prior to the Advent of The New Theology was clear and convincing to both Catholic and Non-Catholic alike and ALL of the well-known Catechisms issued prior to Vatican Two (Baltimore Catechism, Catechism of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Roman Catechism, Catechism of Pope Saint Pius X) had a definition of The Catholic Church, including who was a member of The Catholic Church and who was not a member of the Catholic Church, and both Catholics and Protestants had a clear understanding of Ecclesiology and Salvation according to Catholic Tradition and they knew that only Catholics were members of the One True Church - even if they did not agree with the solid and obvious as the Great Wall of China teaching.

The new Theology with its partial communion this and its full communion that and its elements of salvation outside the Catholic Church this and subsists that is, frankly, as solid and as sweet as Cotton Candy - and just as spiritually nutritious.

And there is no way in Hell (if such a place even exists) that the New Theology is in continuity with Thomism and ALL of that which came prior to V2.

Here is one easy way to illustrate the obvious rupture in Theological precision and honesty and which precision and honesty has been dissolved by the universal solvent of effete ecumenism; here is one prayer I pray every day - read it and then compare it to the indifferent drug that the new theologians have hooked the conservative catholics on -

Prayer for Conversions:

O Mary, Mother of Mercy and Refuge of sinners, we beseech thee, be pleased to look with pitiful eyes upon poor heretics and schismatics. Thou who art the Seat of Wisdom, enlighten the minds that are miserably enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly know that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church is the one true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither holiness nor salvation can be found. Finish the work of their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to accept all the truths of our Holy Faith, and to submit themselves to the Supreme Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth; that so, being united with us in the sweet chains of Divine charity, there may soon be one only fold under the same one Shepherd; and may we all, O Glorious Virgin, sing forever with exultation: Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou only hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world. Amen.

This prayer was approved for use by Pope Pius IX.

Put that in your new theology pipes and smoke it.

JM said...

I have the utmost respect for IP and company under the direction of Fessio & Brumley, so I think suggesting financial motives is a off the mark. I think it is more a familial loyalty, and certainly *not* a sales one. But... it seems a telltale sign of how Catholicism has changed that even on a very conservative publisher's website, a book review firmly advocating Hell exists and is quite full ends up being pulled for a broader discussion. "Is It the Same Church?" Frank Sheed asked back in the 70s. As I witness things like this, and a raging debate over SSM where clerics quite obviously avoid calling homosexuality a serious sin, and where celebrity Popes are oohed and ahhed over for their Mother T-like poverty orientation, I have to say I can't quite come to a definitive answer to the question. The SSPX may be "schismatic," but no more so than the official Church is very much "scandalous." I would, honestly, call it a draw. In the meantime, I have to simply appreciate the good things across the board, or I'd loose my faith and mind.

Anonymous Bosch said...


"I would, honestly, call it a draw."

Very good. Very, very good.

Anonymous Bosch said...


Who is the CPA in this case? I must have missed something.

I do like the Prayer for Conversions. It has that refreshingly blunt, masculine flavor of prayers in earlier Catholicism (no untoward sexism intended).

Anonymous said...

JM hits it! At points.

Do not know if IP has ever "pulled" something like this before. Do you?

The editor(s) of CWR can get touchy. Awhile back they printed a review of Robert Spencer's book on Muhammad: the one that questioned the historical evidence. It's tone was scathing - its points off point. Spencer asked, in all fairness, if it could be counter-weighted with another. Brumley's reply to Spencer - again, not interacting with the substance of the argument - was downright rude and dismissive. Neither the review nor Brumley's response further the discussion. Spencer had exposed the very nut of the bloody conflict between Islam and Christianity, and IP (via CWR) said to Hell with that.

I am not Spartacus said...

Dear A. Bosch.

Mark Brumley, a convert to Catholicism, has taught and lectured about the faith in a wide range of forums, including as an adjunct professor for the Institute for Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University.He is the President of Ignatius Press.

CPAs (Converts from Protestantism Apologists) are forever telling Born A Catholics what they can and can not do/believe/ think and while I love the fact of their conversion, I find their arrogance stunning.

Maybe these newbies could learn to live as a Traditionalist for, say twenty years, before they start castigating and dismissing those who were born into the Faith and had Traditionalism Bred into their Bones.

If anyone can identify a popular CPA who does not love V2 and The New Theology Id appreciate being informed.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

The bulk of Ignatius Press's publications does not qualify it as a "very conservative" publishing house in any Catholic sense. Rather, it is a house organ, specializing in preserving in print the nostrums and hobbyhorses of the current regime and parliament of lords. It is to nouvelles and ecclesial middle managers what Microsoft Press is to Microsoft.

The trouble with this, of course, is that when the powers-that-be veer away from the tradition of their own Church into an Ikea Potemkin village of Catholiprotestantism, the "very conservative" house organ follows them like Lassie follows Timmy. I don't think you have to be Woodward and Bernstein to figure out that either some significant voices within the regime told Mr Brumley ixnay on the radition-tay, or his self-censoring ankle bracelet gave him a jolt.

Ignatius Press is the best Catholiprotestant publishing house money can buy. I am counting the days until Pope Francis's restaurant napkin noodlings (assuming his Jesuitical Franciscanism allows him eat in a place sufficiently upscale to HAVE napkins) come out in a dandy new edition. And can Scott Hahn's punny new book of malt shop meditations on The Man From Assisi's favorite nuptial metaphors be more than minutes away from hitting the shopping mall book nooks?

Chris said...

My goodness! It's always entertaining to read Ralph Roister-Doister.

On the other hand, I find most of his substance resonates truth: will those who will unequivocally stand up for truth please, please, STAND UP?

I won't send him the text of a talk I'm giving soon: I've been invited (locally) to tell the story of why I became Catholic. He might not find it protestant enough, and then "I am not Spartacus" would have his first CPA who didn't love..... all that stuff he said I'm supposed to love.

Then again, I'm not famous and published.



I am not Spartacus said...

Dear Ralph. Classic. Funny as hell, and more conducive to change; it pierces the pretensions of the smart set and it lays waste to their putative orthodox land.

Ecumenism is the universal solvent and the CPAs are spraying it all over their dutiful followers in an attempt to Baptise them into the new acceptable order, although, as a native Vermonter, I see what they are doing as not much difference than watching what a farmer does with his manure spreader.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Welcome to the club, Chris. Always remember that "pray and obey" is not equivalent to frontal lobotomy.

Once again I am reminded of Alyssa Lara Pitstick, who wrote a magisterial and quite blistering critique of Baalthazar entitled "Light in Darkness: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Catholic Doctrine of Christ's Descent into Hell." The usual gang of mouthpieces, Neuhaus, Nichols, Clemenza, Rocky, Augie, Sal, Vince, Nunzio etc, flicked her away like a cigarette ash, and she, a graduate of the Angelicum no less, was reduced to teaching Catholicism at a Calvinist college.

I have to laugh when I read the nouvelles' fulminations over their "persecution" by the last generation of genuine Catholic thomists, spearheaded by a succession of popes named Pius. Such cruelty! Such repression! A veritable inquisition!

How wondrous to step into the bright sunlight of aggiornamento!

Sheldon said...


Your pieces are amazing. I wish they received a wider audience. This stuff is just too good. I wish there were a traditionalist "Comedy Central" where you could do an "Aggiornamento" stand up routine.

Between you and IANS, you guys keep me coming back to the PP website, not that PP's posts themselves are not worthy material in their own right.

JM said...


Regarding PItsick, you are so right. The usual scenario is the criticisms are read, acknowledged, and then discounted. "She had valid points, but von Balthasar is good and there fore these criticism can't be significant." It is a relativism born of preference.

I see no way this any different than the gay theology shtick. "Yes, the Bible and Tradition have condemned gay sex, and yet we know good Gays, therefore those condemnations cannot be substantive."

It rolls back the bogus phrases like "Living Tradition" and "Global Understanding," both of which translate into "I'd like to coninue the traditional drumbeat, but not if it means I have to deny these new tune I have also found inspiring. My tastes have the God-given purpose of intuiting the Good, the True, and the BEautiful, don't you know."

Come to think of it, I think maybe Oprah has simply risen high the secularized, holographic imprint of HvB's Theology of Beauty. It's a reasonable idea in times when orthodoxy reigns, a recipe for foolishness in looser times. I imagine HvB hiding behind his corpus and saying to the older POpes, "Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful." Now into the era of public-gesture popes and 'American Idol' mentalities, her we are. "Terrific solo, even if I thought the lyrics were a bit debatable." That is essentially what R.R. Reno says in his December apologia for HvB. Shoring up that effort, FIRST THINSG just ran yet another of Fr. Oakes' many warmed over odes to the Swiss theologian, just in case any newbies are still unaware of how enthralled they are obligated to be.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I'm sorry to see that Reno has thrown in the towel. I thought he was better than that.

Oakes has ridden Baalthazar the same way that English professors ride the subjects of their dissertations to prestigious posts in lush academic settings. The head of my department at Behemoth University way back in my graduate days rode the nag William Blake into the ground for virtually his entire career. I never saw an article by him that did not have Blake or Blakeiana as its subject. What a sad commentary.

Similarly with Oakes, who can be depended on for one thing in his hagiographical endeavors: to sweep the madwoman muse under the rug. It just would not do to have it abroad that the greatest theologian since John Keats -- the most elephantine bust in the nouvelle pantheon -- he whose least observation makes the hearts of cardinals and seminary students alike palpitate like silly girls -- conjured his 19th century romanticist prolixities out of the eldritch visions of his muse and housemate (he lived with Adrienne von Speyr and her husband).

But against Oakes' deprecations and attempts at minimalization, we have the avowal of Balthazar himself that "her work and mine are not at all seperable: neither psychologically nor philologically. For they constitute both halves of a whole which has as its center a unique foundation."

This is an extraordinary state of affairs in the history of the Catholic Church. What can compare to it? Arius? Monty Python? Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

JM said...

Overall I esteem Reno. He has been valiant in holding the line on the gay question.

Nonetheless I laughed out loud.

Commenting elsewhere on Pitstick's book I tried to explain Balthasar's appeal this way: "HvB was a master stylist of rhetoric and literature, and a brilliant theologian. He came to the fore at a time when liberals were dismantling the orthodox foundations that preceded Vatican II's ambiguously-spun final decrees. Cleaving mostly to tradition as he did, he became that rare lifeline to a rising generation of seminarians seeking to be true to Catholicism. Along with DeLubac and Congar, he seemed to maintain champion Biblical fidelity while also fostering forward-looking theological explorations. At least compared to the likes of Rahner and Kung. It initially may have been a cross between "What a winsome writer" and "Any port in a storm." I have heard some older priests defend Vatican II's necessity by saying "You have no idea how repressive and constricting were the earlier times!" I think younger, conservative seminarians might say the same thing about the tide around and after the Council, and yet mean something almost entirely different. In that context, Balthasar may easily have seemed the voice of sanity, and *could* have been a lifeline. Which may sound like wimping out, but which also would go along way to explaining what an generally orthodox outfit like Ignatius Press and a good priest like Fessio would praise him. In much the same way, Joseph Ratzinger was no arch conservative, but given the times can nonetheless be seen as offering a lifeline to conservatives.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...


Peace to us all, but still . . .

1) when have Catholics ever been lacking "a port in a storm?" Perhaps when they have deliberately turned away from one? Perhaps their attitude has been more like "ooh, instead of heading for the bland familiarity of home, let us ride out the storm in that delightful, exotically winsome port."

2) Though it is not a bet we will be able to settle up in our lives, I will wager you that when all is said and done and all obfuscation made clear, the differences between Balthazar and Rahner will be shown to be much MUCH less than the partisans of either are willing to grant today. Theosophic spiritualism in a thin antiquarian shell, aestheticism, existentialism and hegelianism coexist comfortably within the big tent of romanticism, and the result, for all its winsomeness, does not strike me as terribly Catholic.

BTW, anyone who does not think a tag like "romanticism" can hold all that weight should roll up his sleeves and dig into the work of Morse Peckham (I'd choose "The Triumph of Romanticism," "Victorian Revolutionaries," and "Romanticism and Ideology"). But if terms like egoism and gnostic idealism please one more, I won't object.

JM said...

Excellent recommends. Thanks!