The always-creative adherent to the papacy, Mark Shea, seems to think that I (TurretinFan) am not much fun at parties because I spent part of Christmas 2009 in service to my Lord, demonstrating that the rule of faith of Aquinas is different from the rule of faith of Rome today (Aquinas and Formal Sufficiency & Aquinas and the Rule of Faith) while others were out, in Shea’s words, “opening presents, eating too much chocolate, singing and generally making merry” (link to Shea’s article).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ascetic monk who condemns all pleasures entirely. There is a time for everything under the sun. Nevertheless, criticism for being about my Father’s service by defending the faith seems odd, as though amusing oneself with merriment were more important on the 25th of December than promoting the position of the Word of God as the alone rule of faith by answering Rome’s false claim of historical continuity to a different rule of faith.
Mr. Shea, however, offered no response to the merits of the blog posts. Instead, he commented:
Replying to professional anti-Catholics like TurretinFan or James White is like the world’s longest game of whack-a-mole. Aside from a tiny fanbase of fellow TRVLY REFORMED types who are there to cheer for their champion as he sallies forth to do battle with the Great Whore, nobody cares about this stuff, nobody is impressed with “Look! I Quoted Thomas in the Original Latin!” It touches nobody’s life and serves only to expand the egos of the Cult of White and His Acolytes to Hindenburg proportions. (And it tempts not a few young single Catholic males with a chip on their shoulder to answer in kind.) Enough!
There is an odd sort of consistency to Mr. Shea’s comments. Although he occasionally throws some stones, he doesn’t actually answer us on the substance of the issues. He may call us moles, but he doesn’t actually whack us. And he rightly does not refer to himself as an apologist, for an apologist would have to do something more than accuse Rome’s critics of being no fun at all.
Ironically (ironic in that Shea’s negative post refers favorably to Catholic Answers Apologists), Patrick Madrid – an apologist for Catholic Answers – posted a quotation from Francis de Sales (a great enemy of Calvinism), parts of which seemed appropriate to the situation:
It is true, Philothea, that if we are ready to laugh, play cards, or dance with the world in order to please it, it will be scandalized at us, and if we don’t, it will accuse us of hypocrisy or melancholy. If we dress well, it will attribute it to some plan we have, and if we neglect our dress, it will accuse of us of being cheap and stingy. Good humor will be called frivolity and mortification sullenness. Thus the world looks at us with an evil eye and we can never please it. … Let us give up this blind world, Philothea. Let it cry out at us as long as it pleases, like a cat that cries out to frighten birds in the daytime. Let us be firm in our purposes and unswerving in our resolutions.
While, Mr. Shea might think that my comments on the rule of faith were my “latest punch at the false religion of Rome” he actually missed my more recent post on Vasquez’ inappropriate Mariolatry. He seems to think the punch he saw was an inappropriate substitute for fruit punch and figgy pudding, and consequently did not rise to meet the challenge presented. Nevertheless, if a few hours spent on the 25th of December poring over Latin texts rather than drowning my taste buds in mulled cider will help someone see that Scripture should be honored above all other proposed rules of faith, I will consider it a worthy sacrifice to the cause of Christ. If by giving up the pleasure of a little chocolate, I may be able to help someone gain the true gospel of Christ, it was well worth it.
To the glory of the alone Head of the Church, namely my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,