Tourinho Knows More About Catholicism Than I Do?

Tourinho Knows More About Catholicism Than I Do? June 7, 2022

His Stubborn & Foolish Pride in Refusing to Accept Correction Re the Non-Infallible Status of  Unigenitus (1713) 

Francisco Tourinho is a Brazilian Calvinist apologist. He described his theological credentials on my Facebook page:

I have the respect of the academic community for my articles published in peer review magazines, translation of unpublished classical works into Portuguese and also the production of a book in the year 2019 with more than 2000 copies sold (with no marketing). In addition I have higher education in physical education from Piauí State University and theology from the Assemblies of God Biblical Institute, am currently working towards a Masters from Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, and did post-graduate work at Dom Bosco Catholic University. Also, I am a professor in the Reformed Scholasticism discipline at the Jonathan Edwards Seminary in the postgraduate course in Philosophical Theology. [edited slightly for more flowing English]

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This is in response to his article, “ ‘Unigenitus’ (1713) vs Estudo pessoal das Escrituras: resposta a Dave Armstrong (parte 2)” [“Unigenitus” (1713) vs Personal Study of the Scriptures: Reply to Dave Armstrong (Part 2)] (6-7-22]. His words will be in blue. I utilize Google Translate or Facebook to render the Portugese into English.
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Technically, I am not replying directly to the article above. Rather, I explain exactly why I refuse to answer it on principle. All of this was blown off with immediate and thoughtless mockery and condescension by Francisco and his followers, on my Facebook page and his own, this very day that I write (6-7-22). As I predicted, I was inevitably to be accused of being a coward; afraid to reply; and Francisco brought back the insults he sent my way, which he did the very first time we interacted online. This includes (remarkably) judging the very state of my allegedly “misfit” soul.
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Christian ethics and charity? Forget it! Anything goes when the anti-Catholic Protestant insults the Catholic. “All’s fair in love and war!” For them, it’s “war.” They’re the good guys and we’re the bad ones (lying scoundrels). For us Catholics, it is an attempted civil, edifying, mutually respectful discussion on honest disagreements between brothers and sisters in Christ: trying to (hopefully) understand each other better, learn, and to rectify the rampant misunderstandings on both sides (Lord, please!!!).
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That’s why Francisco’s insulting behavior is so vastly different from mine. I don’t despise him or Protestants as a class, like he obviously despises us. What I do despise, however, is his unworthy and unChristian tactics and insults. That’s not him; it’s what he is doing that is unconscionable.
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I will first post what I originally published on Facebook (my explanation of non-reply), followed by his reply-comments and insults on my Facebook page and on his (on three different threads: one / two / three), in chronological order, with the actual times (Eastern Standard US time) included, links (to the times), and my response to each, where I did make them (I had other things to do today, too, including solving a lawn mower problem). If my initial comment doesn’t adequately explain why I refused to continue this particular debate with him, his asinine replies certainly will make it clear why I did so: to any fair-minded reader who appreciates civil, constructive debate, as I do.
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It’s extremely disappointing but not in the least bit surprising. I’ve seen all this and much more in 31 years of debating the tiny faction of anti-Catholic Protestants. What Francisco is now dishing out is utterly predictable “playbook” / “textbook” anti-Catholic method and tactics. Despite this mad, witless onslaught, I still nevertheless proposed to Francisco a mutually agreeable scenario that would allow us to continue debating: sticking to the Bible only and arguing doctrines using it alone, without reference to churches, etc. (in other words, a method that we can both enthusiastically agree with, while agreeing to disagree on this present fiasco of a “discussion”). So far he has refused (with mockery). And I predict that he will continue to, barring a major change of heart and realization that he is acting as stubbornly as the donkey in the photo above.

If he changes his mind, I’m here, ready to debate absolutely anything related to the Bible and Christian theology.

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Comment / Explanation Regarding Francisco Tourinho’s Second Reply to Me Regarding “Unigenitus” (1713) and Related Issues
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One could already see my increasing frustration with Francisco’s lack of knowledge of the Catholic system near the end of my first reply back to him.
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He also tried to make out in his first reply that I disagreed with fellow apologist and friend Jimmy Akin, whom I cited in complete agreement. This was perhaps the most ridiculous portion of his reply. Francisco noted that Jimmy was “very honest intellectually” while implying I am not. Well, if I totally agree with Jimmy on this issue (precisely why I cited him! DUH!), then I, too, must be “very honest intellectually” just as Francisco says Jimmy is. If A believes exactly in X and B believes exactly in X, then A agrees with B with regard to X, too! Simple logic . . .
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That was annoying enough. But I wrote at the end:
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It’s okay not to know. We all have to learn lots of things. What matters now is whether Francisco accepts my clarifications of what we actually teach. If he doesn’t and claims that I don’t know what I’m talking about (as a professional, published Catholic apologist for 21 years), then our dialogue will be over, because it would go nowhere after that. If he wants to do a book with me, he’s going to have to do a much better job than this, because I would never agree to being in a book with a Protestant, where the Protestant misrepresents what we actually teach and believe.
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After this, he keeps repeating the same falsehoods over and over: that supposedly the Catholic Church “forbade the reading of Scripture to everyone [besides clergy] without exception” / “the question is whether reading must be forbidden to all, that we deny”, etc. Repeating an untrue statement over and over doesn’t make it any less false or more true. If he doesn’t modify his misunderstanding on this, our dialogue is definitely over. I wouldn’t have anywhere near the patience to continue. Rule #1 in any debate / dialogue is understanding and accurately conveying the opponent’s views.
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Francisco had the chance to accept clarification and correction as to what the Catholic Church teaches, from a professional apologist, and move on from there to constructive, fruitful discussions. But he chose not to accept that, and to dig in and contend that he knows the Catholic system better than I do, myself. This is as outrageous as it is presumptuous, and kills dialogue.
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Francisco simply doesn’t understand (as one example) how the Catholic system of infallibility works. I did my best to explain it to him in my reply, but he has chosen not to accept that. I say he is fighting straw men. He implies that I am so ignorant about my own theological system that I’ve been defending these past 31 years, that I need him to explain it to me. That is simply unacceptable.
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I warned him not to go that condescending route (for the sake of continuing discussion and a possible joint book that we discussed and were enthused about), but he ignored it and condescended even more so. So the idea of a joint book (i.e., including our existing discussion) is already dead, per my statement above. One has to correctly understand an opponent’s view in order to effectively, sensibly debate against it. Francisco doesn’t fully understand the Catholic system, and moreover, he is hostile to it from the start, which also works against his ever accurately understanding it. Strong bias is the enemy of accuracy. It’s sadly very common in Protestant anti-Catholic apologetics.
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Furthermore, he assumes that I am ignorant about Protestant thinking when I am not. His explanations of sola Scriptura in his second reply (which I consider off-topic) were filled from beginning to end with lectures sent my way, presupposing that I don’t understand sola Scriptura, when in fact, I agree with virtually everything he has written about Protestant belief and application of sola Scriptura.
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I’ve written more about sola Scriptura than any other topic, including three books (the most important of which was recently published in Portugese), half of a fourth book, and significant parts of several others. I’ve debated it times without number and have a huge web page devoted to it and related issues. I fully understand it (used to passionately believe in it myself); I disagree with it. That’s two different things.
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Therefore, I conclude that debate with Francisco at this point in time, about complex matters of the Catholic system and exactly what we teach and have taught in the past, is simply not possible. He’s fighting against straw men and anti-Catholic caricatures of what we believe rather than our actual views.
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Many times in both his first and second reply, it was clear that he had no idea what my argument even was. He also totally ignored very important portions of my reply which discussed premises and presuppositions as to why the Catholic Church proclaimed what it did in the past. That is central to the whole discussion and he absolutely ignored it.
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When I write about Protestantism, it comes from a premise of a great deal of respect towards fellow Christian believers, in many many areas, while having the usual honest disagreements, coming from a Catholic perspective. I was a passionately committed Protestant from 1977-1990, and was an apologist and campus missionary during almost half that time. I understand the outlook because I lived it and defended it, and read a lot about other sectors of the Protestant community that were different from my own. This is why my Catholic friends at the time I converted were shocked to death.
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However, I do think there are many things Francisco and I can fruitfully debate. One can draw a strong distinction between:
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1) What the Catholic Church teaches and has taught in the past about Christian / Biblical Doctrine X, documented, with speculations as to why it does / did so, etc. [this involves and entails much historical, ecclesiastical, and sociological understanding]
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and:
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2) What the Bible teaches about Christian / Biblical Doctrine X [involving exegesis, systematic theology, hermeneutics, linguistic aids, commentaries, etc.]
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That’s two very different things. I included #2 in my reply to Francisco, as a very important part of my argument, but he mostly blew it off. I think Francisco is not able to do #1 at this time, due to his misunderstanding and insufficient knowledge about Catholicism. I could explain why at great length by replying to his second reply, but I simply don’t have the patience to do that, per my reasoning above. I feel that I already sufficiently did so in my first reply; but he chose not to heed that instruction. That killed the dialogue, as I warned that it would in my first reply.
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But Francisco, as an educated Calvinist (with much more formal theological education than I have), is quite capable of doing #2. We can engage in competing exegesis and systematic theology from the Bible Alone: the inspired revelation that we both revere and accept as fully true and authoritative. That doesn’t involve analyses of ecclesiological systems other than our own. It’s just Bible. I love that; so does he, and we can do those debates till Kingdom Come.
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Francisco is the only Brazilian Protestant so far out of three, who has been willing to respond at all, which I respect. Lucas Banzoli has ignored ten critiques, over 13 days, whereas at first he said he would reply as soon as he could, in responding to me a mere 77 minutes after I announced my first critique to him. He may yet respond, but that is his “record” so far. It’s not wrong to wonder whether he has decided to make no replies.
But Francisco and I can debate all he likes, if it is restricted to biblical discussions.
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His choice! He can gladly agree to participate in what is mutually agreeable between us, or he can say “I want to do both things or neither.”
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I know that I will be accused in his circles (mark my words!) of being scared to defend aspects of my Church, as if this is a big “victory” for Francisco because I refuse to respond to one article. His followers will always think he is right, and “victorious” — just as mine will think that about me. That’s how partisan group behavior works.
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It’s not true at all, of course. I refuse to defend caricatures of my Church or to deal with a non-Catholic who claims that he knows more about my Church than I do, as a professional, published apologist. I have less than no patience with that.
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So I am making it clear that I can and will engage in biblical discussions on any topic. We can do that. There should be no objection on either side. I hope Francisco will be willing to do so. We can both gain a lot by that, since we are both confident that we are right. Perhaps even the joint book project might still be possible if it is restricted to biblical discussions. But I will not participate in a book that blatantly misrepresents what my Church teaches. Having my name attached to such a project would associate me with inaccurate, anti-factual views that I absolutely oppose, and of course I can’t do that; nor would any honest thinking person be able to do so.
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Protestants very often assume that they “own” the Bible and can make short work of any Catholic who attempts to argue exegesis regarding various doctrines with them. Great! I respect confidence. Bring on the biblical arguments! I’m here. I’ve done that for 31 years and will continue doing so, probably till I drop. I’ve shown not the slightest sign of slowing down (at the ripe old age now of almost 64).
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SUMMARY
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A) Debate and discuss the Catholic Church with anti-Catholic Protestants who start out with a marked hostility towards it?:
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Not a chance. After 27 years of doing that, starting with James White, I know that it is a perfect waste of time.
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B) Debate and discuss doctrines believed by the Catholic Church, in terms of the biblical basis and rationale for them?
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******* ANYTIME! BRING IT ON! *******
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So far, after 13 of my replies to Brazilian Protestants, this has not yet been done at all, from their end. [posted at 1:28 PM on 6-7-22]
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Sir is dropping the debate? [1:32 PM]
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What should I answer? [These] are just undue accusations against my person, . . . I don’t have time to talk; the point is that he was properly refuted, my article is there and Mr. Dave Armstrong doesn’t want to answer. Maybe he wants to debate with Banzoli, or someone else. For my part, I am pleased. I have the knowledge that I have not offended him at any point. [1:43 PM]
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If you want another debate, we can work on Calvinism in the bible and history, what do you think? [1:47 PM]
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I’ll debate the Bible and biblical rationales for doctrines (not history), as I carefully explained. I’ve written much refuting all five points of TULIP from the Bible (and books about Calvin and Calvinism). No problem. No Calvinist has ever taken me up on any of those, unless I have forgotten one. I don’t recall anyone doing so. If that is a correct memory, you would be the first. [1:49 PM]
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Note that absolutely no replies so far actually deal with what I wrote in the post above. [2:16 PM]
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It wasn’t me who [refused to answer]. The accusations are baseless. [2:25 PM]
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Facebook friend Lucas Mafra Chagas made an excellent comment, replying to Francisco:

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What Mr. Armstrong is saying is that there is no way to debate you if you don’t possess the knowledge of how the Catholic Church works (knowing the difference between what is infallible teaching and what is fallible teaching). Until you understand this difference and assume that Mr. Armstrong is lying, there can be no debate on this topic.
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You are not responding to what Mr. Armstrong is saying but to what you think is the teaching of the Catholic Church. You are insisting something that is not in line with reality; something already explained by Mr. Armstrong. As long as you don’t understand where you’re going wrong, there won’t be a debate on this subject, because you don’t have the knowledge to talk about it.
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I believe you’re a man with good intentions, [who] really seeks the truth. I ask that you put yourself in prayer, before our Lord and reflect on Mr. Armstrong’s response and also on yours and see that there is no debate because you have no knowledge of what is being debated. Mr. Armstrong’s proposal is pretty good. Y’all better debate the content of the Scriptures, because it’s something you actually possess knowledge and intimacy for a debate. [I replied: “Exactly right. Thanks so much. I agree 100%”]
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Damn. I think it’s strange that you’ve been offended. . . . You said that I don’t know about the internal mechanisms of [the Catholic Church] and I wasn’t offended. Now if I say that [you have] approached sola Scriptura in a wrong way, [you are] offended. What’s wrong with you? [2:31 PM]
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Now the personal attacks are commencing, among Francisco’s followers and himself (as predicted and fully expected). Francisco wrote:
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On our first contact I called you a crybaby and a misfit soul. Well, you are indeed offended very easily, even when people are not the slightest interested in offending you, you pretend to be pitiful. Your soul is truly misfit. I wasn’t wrong with my diagnosis.
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Of course it has nothing to do with “personal offense.” This is another tired anti-Catholic tactic. I am talking about a matter of principle. It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with personal feelings or emotions or anything of the sort. It’s an intellectual matter having to do with the nature of a fruitful debate and good or bad research.
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Also, as I expected, but figured would be the case, he refuses to stick to the Bible in debates, as I recommended:
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If you want a debate on exegesis or any other topic, please go to the end and face the consequences of asking for a response. And I’m not going to accept you simply saying that I’m ignorant without being able to answer my arguments.
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I showed that he was incorrect several times in my first reply. I don’t have the patience to do it again, since he has “dug in” now and is determined to pretend that he knows more about Catholicism than Catholic apologists do. I’ve been through this at least ten times, which is why I have no patience for it.
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If he wants to debate the Bible, I’m here. But it looks like he won’t. He wants to “die on the hill” of his second reply. He started out with personal insults, and now he’s right back to the same thing. It’s silly and foolish. I am interested in serious debates, not kindergarten mud pie fights. [my replies were given at 2:57 PM]
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Folks, the debate between me and apologist Dave Armstrong from the USA is closed. Mr. Armstrong said he will not respond to my latest article against him.
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Dave Armstrong accuses me of having offended him, but in my view I have not offended him one single time. The evidence is there, the articles are there, who can show me where I offended you, tell me.
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He said I offended him by saying he didn’t know what Sola Scriptura was, but he said I don’t know about the internal mechanisms of [the Catholic Church] and I’m not offended . . . on the contrary, I expected him to tell me where I went wrong. He says I refuse to listen to him, yet now proposes another debate, but this one only exegetical biblical.
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Dave Armstrong, if you want a debate based on biblical exegesis on a topic, please go to the end and face the consequences of asking for an answer. I will not accept you simply saying that I am ignorant without being able to answer my arguments, without showing why. [2:40 PM]
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[Dave] also doesn’t know anything about Protestantism and that’s not why I stopped confronting him. He should answer my arguments. If I don’t know, it would be even easier for him. What Mr. Armstrong wants is me to agree with him on a whole, and this is not so. I am not an inhuman person to the point of not understanding something explained to me. If he cant even handle my arguments then I don’t have anything to do with it. [3:47 PM]
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[replying to another Catholic] I just quoted a Catholic Dogmatic and I have four other Dogmatics that say the same thing. I’ve [connected] all my arguments to Catholic authors; how do I not know? It was his role in the debate to show how I misused the sources. By the way, my argument has already been used in the past by other Catholics, including cardinals in disputes about papal infallibility, and you come to say that I don’t know? You’re making me think that Armstrong is the one who doesn’t know or is really running away from the argument, because the cardinal who used the same argument as me (I only made a slight adaptation) undoubtedly came out ahead in the debate.
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Have some honor, boy! Stop this nerd spirit of wanting to [defend] a person who ran out of arguments, just because he is North American. So ugly, man. [3:52 PM]
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I wrote to my friend Dr. Robert Fastiggi, professor of systematic theology and editor and translator of the latest edition of Denzinger (2012) and of Ludwig Ott (both of which sources Francisco has himself cited).
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He has exactly the right credentials to give a scholarly opinion as to whether Unigenitus is infallible or not. He says it is not: precisely as I argued and the opposite of what Francisco argued.
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So that is an example of a non-Catholic (Francisco) being ignorant of how our system works, yet not being willing to be corrected by a Catholic apologist, so that the discussion can continue on rational grounds, and not based on caricatures (which is why I refused to continue).
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He only had time for a brief reply right now, but will write more later. So far, he has made it clear that he agrees with what my opinion was:
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I agree with you and Jimmy Akin. If Unigenitus were infallible, all of the censures listed in D-H, 2502 [Denzinger] would qualify the errors of P. Quesnel as heretical. This, though, is not the case.
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I will post his more extensive reply in this article when I receive it. So there we have it. Francisco can continue as he has been doing, if he wants to keep dying foolishly on this hill, and claim that he knows more about Catholicism and Unigenitus than Dr. Fastiggi does, too. That would simply prove my point all the more: that in this particular area (that he chose to debate), he is wrong on the basic issue in play: whether Unigenitus was infallible according to Catholic criteria: thus making it contradictory to Vatican II, etc., and creating a huge internal problem for Catholic authority.
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But it wasn’t, and so the supposed serious “problem” vanishes. What that means is that the Catholic Church simply changed its mind on an issue that wasn’t infallibly proclaimed in Unigenitus in the first place. If it were infallible, the Church couldn’t have “changed its mind” since by nature that would be a notion that could no longer be changed or denied. [4:09 PM]
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Appeal to the authority [fallacy]. Have you consulted with a specialist[?] Did you need help answering me and you still have the courage to say that I’m not an opponent yet? I expected more from you. And it’s not a matter of knowing more or less. I can show you five more sources that confirm what I said, but you decided to give up the serious debate to keep running your mouth in Facebook comments. Lamentable. [5:13 PM]
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Dave Armstrong let it slip that he consulted with a specialist to answer me about the source I used (Ludwig Ott) on papal infallibility. The man needs expert help and still has the nerve to say I’m not an opponent at all. Now he’s decided to keep talking and giving answers to the article, which he refused to answer, in Facebook comments, after asking for help from a specialist, of course, but refuses to write answering me officially.
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Ask for help [if] you want, make all the excuses you want, but the truth is, you messed with the wrong person. [5:19 PM]
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[Dave] asked Ott and Dezinger’s translator in the US for help to handle my argument. Now he says that the guy doesn’t agree with me, but he doesn’t say [why] I [am] wrong. The worst is that he doesn’t even know what was waiting for him. [5:26 PM]
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What I said was that he gave a short answer (because he’s a busy professor), will write more later, and then that will be the “why”. But he already gave some of the explanation. [5:39 PM]
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[replying to someone else] I did expose his ignorance: he was wrong about Unigenitus being infallible, and that is at the very heart of the debate. It’s why he chose that topic as our first exchange. A serious, self-consistent Christian can and will admit when he is wrong, rather than continue to stubbornly defend error. [5:31 PM]
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[I] could give you several answers. The first is that I don’t need to know more than you to be right, because Dogmatic is not about Unigenitus, only the method, and I have the right to know why I am wrong in certain thinking. Secondly, you found it time to refute Whitaker, the unnamed man, whom even Cardinal Bellarmine gave the highest praise. Can I say that sir is arrogant too? That you know more about the Bible or Dogmatic, original languages, Scholastic or Philosophy than Whitaker? The question is that it doesn’t matter if you know more or less, the question is that you have the right to express yourself and to stand with an idea and to believe that is right. As you might say I ain’t in that game. [5:48 PM]
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If you want to resume the debate, I kindly ask you to reply to me officially on your blog, and I guarantee you I will reply back. Suppose I’m wrong in my accusation of magisterial contradiction; you should know that this was only one of my accusations and one of my theses, several left to be knocked down. If the idea was to produce a book, nothing better than to produce knowledge clarifying all these [unclear] points. [5:43 PM]
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Not a chance. You didn’t know what you were talking about at several points, didn’t understand my arguments on several occasions, and/or utterly ignored them. You’re over your head in *this* area. I tried to inform you nicely of that, so we could move ahead, but you wouldn’t accept it, so now I am being more blunt about it, and you are resuming your boorish personal attacks (YAWN). They won’t stop me doing anything I have resolved to do. They never do. I expose them and move on. You also went massively off-topic, and I had no interest in that, either. One thing at a time.
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I went to Dr. Fastiggi precisely because he specializes in exactly what we were talking about (whether Unigenitus is infallible). This is utterly relevant to the debate. You didn’t believe my report as an apologist, so I thought you might accept that of an actual theologian, who worked on Denzinger itself (that you would understand how his view is ultra-relevant and should settle that issue). If he had told me that I was wrong, I would have been man enough to admit it publicly (I told him in my letter that I would do that). But as it turned out, I was right and you were wrong.
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But thus far, you have been too prideful to admit that you were wrong on a key point. You may even start attacking Dr. Fastiggi (who will shortly have much more to add) now, too, as an ignoramus who doesn’t know his own faith as well as you supposedly know it. Foolish pride knows no bounds.
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The book is dead in terms of our past supposed “debate” [choke]. There is still a remote chance for a book if you agree to my proposal of debating only the Bible, on theological doctrines. But you would have to reform your behavior very quickly or else I would sour on that idea, too. Frankly, I don’t trust you with such a book after this pathetic performance today.
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Mature adults understand that there is a time to agree to disagree and to find an area of common agreement, so the discussion can move forward and not descend to the asinine and childish foolishness where it now is. You need to be childlike, as Jesus taught, rather than childish [I hope that last sentence translates well into Portugese]. [8:20 PM]
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My nobleman, I don’t know if you noticed, I never claimed that the Church has Unigenitus as Infallible, that’s just to advance you the answer I would give you if you continued the debate formally instead of just being “damage controlling”.
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It is one thing to claim that the Church argues that Unigenitus is Infallible, it is another to claim that according to the infallibility criteria defended by Roman Catholic Theology itself, Unigenitus can be considered Infallible.
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My aim was actually to promote an argument about the relativity of infallibility criteria. I wanted to show that the method is bad and falls into arbitrary, something I would conclude 3 or 4 plays ago (articles). It was indifferent to me whether the Church thinks about Unigenitus, my focus was the method and what you would say about it.
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Just as I attacked Unigenitus even knowing of the change in Vatican II, but not with the intention to demoralize Unigenitus, but to make you assume the change and give me the necessary arguments to assert that the reform was right, something that and I achieved it with total success.

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In debates, things are like this, you attack one thing but targeting another totally different, this is because Roman Catholics are first-of-the-line sophists, so to avoid sophisticated statements first make a false attack with the aim of scooping the most information and then you use it information in the goal that you wanted from the beginning.
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You even caught my strategy, so easily I put you in a situation to prove the Reformers were correct about reading the bible. That is, according to my strategy, you would either agree that the Reformers were right since the Rome Church assumes the same position, or you would go back and have to defend Unigenitus against Vatican II. Either way or another you gotta give in at some point. Note that it all started with an unpretentious attack on Unigenitus, something you yourself didn’t understand and left wondering why I attacked an outdated document. Revealed my motives at second play. Truth sir Dave Armstrong, I had our whole debate by about the tenth move. Predicting exactly what I’d do, distracting your attention where I wanted it, while I gathered the information I needed.

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Sorry mate, but I guarantee you, you had no chance, and you won’t come again. [8:35 PM]
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I don’t approach debate as a chess game and opportunity to engage in “gotcha” tactics, so as to embarrass the opponent as an idiot. I seek the best opponents I can find (I was wrong about you, unfortunately), and then do debate to seek truth (first and foremost), learn, perhaps teach the other a bit, too, to try to persuade, to be persuaded and to retract where necessary, and to reach more mutual understanding than was present before.
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You came into this obviously thinking that all Catholics are “first-of-the-line sophists”. That doomed it from the beginning. This is what I’m trying to get through to you: debate is not possible in any helpful sense of the term, when there is such hostility, bias, and outright bigotry going in (not to mention presumptuous ignorance, as you have demonstrated). Nothing good can be accomplished, except for observers who can learn more about the views and tactics of one side or the other. [8:52 PM]
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I see a problem [consulting Dr. Fastiggi] when the individual says their opponent is not a [properly informed] opponent. If he’s so good and I’m so bad, why did he need help answering me? [7:38 PM]
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I have no problem consulting people who know more than I do in a certain area. How else can we learn? But I guess we’re at the point in this farce, where everything I do is suspect. If I consult an expert, it’s the logical fallacy, or it means I am stupid and incompetent or it must be some other nefarious, suspicious motive. It couldn’t be that it was RIGHT ON THE TOPIC. How utterly disappointing and pathetic . . . [8:35 PM]
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[after I posted this blog paper, he replied] Now you’re playing the victim, changing focus so no one realizes you got a beating in the debate. [9:10 PM]
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Dave is writing texts on his blog playing the victim. [9:43 PM]
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I know it’s easier to create a cover story than to move on with a lost debate. At least I admit you’re doing pretty well in damage control. This is my last post. Don’t worry, now I will refute your articles one by one, let’s see how long [till] you will run away. [9:45]
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Once again, as I said, if you want to argue the Bible man to man, I’m your guy. But I won’t go through this silly nonsense with you again: where you pretend to understand my Church better than I do myself. If you claim to know the Bible better, that’s standard Protestant fare and no problem. [11:11 PM]
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Dr. Robert Fastiggi has sent me a second personal letter regarding Unigenitus, that goes into more detail. It arrived at 10:25 PM, my local time:
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Dear Dave,

Thank you again for sharing your exchange with Francisco Tourinho. I think the responses you and Jimmy Akin have supplied are excellent. I agree that Unigenitus is not infallible and irreformable. As you note, much of it is disciplinary. Also, I don’t see where Ludwig Ott supports the position of Mr. Tourinho.
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You might wish to look at  A 3bd in the Systematic Index of the 2012 Ignatius Press Denzinger (p. 1194). There you’ll see that “the reading of the Sacred Scriptures is broadly recommended, 770f; it is not, however, useful for all.” D-H 770 refers to a July 12, 1199 letter of Pope Innocent III to the inhabitants of Metz. This letter responds to the report of the bishop of Metz that groups of lay men and women have been reading the Scriptures in French translations and presume to understand the Scriptures better than simple priests.
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The letter  explicitly states that “the desire to understand the divine Scriptures and the eagerness to exhort in accordance with them should not be criticized but rather commended.” Here we see a medieval Pope commending the laity for their desire to understand the divine Scriptures. The warnings in the letter are directed to those who lack discernment in the understanding of Scripture. In D-H, 771, we also see concern about those  who indiscriminately arrogate to themselves “the office of preaching.” This was one of the concerns of the medieval Church about the Waldensians.
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The Systematic Index points to D-H, 1854 from the Council of Trent. Here we see that it was left to bishops, in consultation with the parish priest or confessor, to decide whether allowing the Bible to be read in vernacular translation would lead to “an increase in faith and piety rather than harm.” Bishops were to exercise caution and oversight with regard to the reading of the Bible in vernacular translations. This, of course, is not the same as forbidding the reading of the Bible.
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More could be said, but I think the matter is clear enough. The Catholic Church has commended the faithful for their desire to understand the Sacred Scriptures. The Church, though, exercises due caution with regard to those who believe they can understand the meaning of the Scriptures apart from the Church’s Magisterium. Vatican II allows for full access to the Bible, but it still recognizes that the interpretation of Scripture “is subject finally to the judgment of the Church” (Dei Verbum, 12).
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I hope these brief comments are of some help.

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On 6-8-22, Francisco ally Vitor Abm wrote an analysis of the farcical “debate” on his hero’s page, that Francisco endorsed (posted at 8:36 AM EST). I responded there (9:32 AM):

And once again the tactic (from Vitor, with Francisco’s endorsement: “Better analysis would be impossible”) is to do a quack, ultra-biased psycho-social analysis supposedly ABOUT what I wrote (in actuality, a gross caricature), and about my supposed intentions and emotions and personality (all strictly cardboard caricatures) as opposed to actually interacting WITH my REASONING. This sort of thing is endemic on social media, and reflects the subjective postmodernism that has infected nearly everything today.
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In order to break this impasse, and endless flatulence coming from the Protestant side, I proposed that we debate the Bible and ignore all these “Church” and ecclesiastical matters, where I think Francisco is woefully undereducated and too biased to conduct a fruitful dialogue.
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That’s my sincere opinion (sorry!). I can’t help it if that offends Francisco’s fan club, who think their big champion and hero can do no wrong, has unlimited understanding of Everything Catholic (more than I do, myself), and can’t possibly be bested in a debate with a Catholic. All of this has already been shown to be false and self-delusion on his part. It didn’t take long for his ignorance of the Catholic system and flat-out hostility to surface. It always does with anti-Catholics.
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Late yesterday, he claimed (soothing his wounded ego): “now I will refute your articles one by one, let’s see how long [till] you will run away.” If he selects (as part of this massive “campaign” to put me in my place) my articles that are strictly biblical defenses of Catholicism, then that’s the same as my proposal and we can get back to the debate and away from all this melodramatic psychoanalyzing nonsense that he has brought about by refusing to admit that he was wrong about the key element in his first chosen debate: the dogmatic status of Unigenitus (1713).
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It’s fallible, folks, not infallible. I hate to break the news to you. But that basically cut the heart out of his entire meticulously constructed argument (as he described his method in detail last night). He knows this (because he’s not stupid), but he can’t admit it. A Catholic could never know more than he does about anything: including specifically Catholic matters. This is the standard anti-Catholic mindset.

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When one is wrong, the mature Christian response is to admit it, retract whatever is necessary, and move on. People respect that. It’s the very opposite of what the proud person fears: admitting wrong gains respect from both the opponent in debate and followers. That’s how God designed it. Instead, he has chosen to continue and encourage in his followers the massive ad hominem attack against me.
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It’s pathetic and pitiful, but also highly amusing. I say we should debate the Bible, as opposed to the Protestants doing a ridiculous combination of relentlessly wrong quack psychoanalysis and deluded superiority and triumphalism.

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Photo credit: Sarah Macmillan, “stubborn ass” [Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license]

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Summary: The ongoing debate with Brazilian Protestant apologist Francisco Tourinho got bogged down when he started claiming that he knows more about Catholicism than I do.

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