Mary May be Promoted to Godhood? / Pope Benedict XVI was a Pantheist?, Etc., Ad Nauseam
John wrote yesterday on Tribalblogue (and yes, the mention of me is how I found it):
Most people know me as someone who knows Roman Catholicism in a very thorough way. My Protestant friends look to me for advice when they interact with Roman Catholicism in one way or another. Some Roman Catholics know me as an apostate, and some (Dave Armstrong Google Alert) consider me to be a bitter anti-Catholic.
How could anyone possibly think he was a bitter anti-Catholic? He has only:
1) Made fun of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by putting a Hitler mustache on her, then tried to justify it based on historic anti-Semitism. That raised such a stink that within a day his own pastor agreed with our objections, and he was forced to reluctantly remove it (after ferociously resisting for hours).
He repeatedly tried to justify his “satire” throughout the day: even to the extent of mocking the outrage that Catholics felt over it, as “feigned.” For example:
I am amazed at the feigned outrage in the response to these images, for what is absolutely a minimal amount of photo enhancement, certainly in response to some not-so-good-natured ribbing, richly enhanced with exaggerations and enhancements of its own.
He also mocked St. John Henry Cardinal Newman as the “Newman” of Mad Magazine (see the photo in the linked article).
2) Refused donations from Catholics (including myself) to help pay the medical bills for his dying wife.
3) Claimed that the Inquisition killed 4.9 million people.
4) On 15 November 2010, he stated in a guest post on anti-Catholic luminary James Swan’s blog, Boors All, that Pope Benedict XVI was a pantheist:
David Waltz has noted that my comment that Pope Benedict XVI is functionally a pantheist is somehow “silliness”. Maybe David is right. Maybe I was just being too kind, and that was silly. Some further reading gives me the sense that Ratzinger is pretty much a full-blown pantheist.
5) On 11-17-10 in the combox for that ridiculous article, he opined: “In the years since that time, I have come to see that virtually every doctrine in the RCC is tainted or mutant in some way. This begins with the very doctrine of God, . . .”
6) He wrote on 4-14-11, again at Boors All (now safely deleted), that Mary might very well soon be regarded as God in Catholic theology:
This time, they have a pope who’s a pantheist and who embraces a time-honored Roman Catholic practice as “senseless”. . . . But next time, they may get a pope who wants to, for example, extend the Trinity to include Mary, or to throw out some other time-honored Christian doctrine.
You get my drift by now. He’s dumber than a doornail when it comes to accurately describing Catholic doctrine: absolutely and literally clueless. Heaven help anyone who relies on him for that purpose.
If I didn’t retain garbage like this, the anti-Catholics would deny it, and others would question whether anti-Catholic blowhards like Bugay and Swan actually were that ignorant and clueless. They’d never believe it. Trust me, they were (and are) that clueless.
Bugay (always one for providing humor and folly for us to laugh at), tries to “prove” that he is now an expert on Catholicism, by producing a letter having to do with his joining a Catholic seminary. He says that he used to be “a genuine Roman Catholic, back in the day.” So what? How does that change all of the above nonsense? It doesn’t at all. If he is this ignorant now, he must have been at least equally ignorant back then.
My friend Paul Hoffer, who has been a longtime observer of Bugay’s anti-Catholic follies and antics, and has written at length about his distortions of Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings, observed on my Facebook page:
For purposes of your post, I would point out that Mr. Bugay’s defense to my refutation of his libel against Pope Benedict XVI was that he did not have any special expert knowledge about Catholicism. He wrote “Why are you concerned with alleged inconsistencies in what I write? I am A mere blogger. Ratzinger is your pope now. Do you accept everything unreservedly that he has said?” [Emphasis added.]
I, for one, would be interested in seeing what knowledge he has acquired since 2011 that allows him to claim that he is qualified to give advice about Catholicism since he lacked it then. Did he buy it on a street corner, put the CCC under his pillow one night and learn it through osmosis or did [he] read Wikipedia? In the article that you link to of mine, Mr. Bugay related that he left the Church in part because of an obscure quote from a speech of Pope Benedict XVI had given some 30 years prior to him becoming pope that has never been fully translated into English. The fact that I showed that Bugay’s reasons for leaving the Church that had been given in the article were disingenuous better suggests how much knowledge he truly has about the Catholic faith than any boast today.
For that matter, given the questions that apparently plagued him with his faith (at least in this present narration of his slide into apostasy), it seems that he was not looking for answers at all. Rather, he was looking to be emotionally stimulated, to be entertained, and to experience a touchy-feely moment that he was not receiving from Catholicism. He was looking for titillation, not Jesus Christ Himself.
Knowledge of the faith merely provides reasons to believe; it is not a substitute for faith itself. His notions about the sacraments evince a profound lack of understanding [of] how they complete a life of faith by enlivening it and strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ, but if he bothered to read the Life of Antony (being as knowledgeable of Catholicism as he is), he would have certainly understood that the sacraments and even praying are but a part of a life of faith. Bugay was looking to get something, not give something of himself.
I would say that it is a good thing that he was not called to the priesthood, given how easy it was for him to abandon his faith. God knows how much more harm he would have caused to the Church than anything McCarrick or Wuerl have done. Those men merely sinned, he was an empty sephulchre. His apologetics work is still full of death and dry bones. He can do much less damage where he is at on Triablogue and I look at that as a blessing.
I will continue to pray for him: that he finds his way back to the Church which contains living water rather than whatever he drinking now.
See my related article: Odd Trio: Jerry Walls, Ken Collins, & Anti-Catholic John Bugay (Walls and Collins Hurt Their Pro-Protestant Cause and Ecumenical Effort by Enlisting John Bugay as a Comrade-in-Arms).
(originally posted on 4-1-19 on Facebook; expanded on 3-6-20)
Photo credit: John Bugay, photo from his Twitter page.