Defending the Papacy Against the Orthodox, Sedevacantists, and Hyperpapalists (Guest: Erick Ybarra)

April 05, 2024 01:20:10
Defending the Papacy Against the Orthodox, Sedevacantists, and Hyperpapalists (Guest: Erick Ybarra)
Crisis Point
Defending the Papacy Against the Orthodox, Sedevacantists, and Hyperpapalists (Guest: Erick Ybarra)

Apr 05 2024 | 01:20:10

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

Defending the papacy has always been a primary obligation of Catholics engaging in apologetics, but in the era of a weak pope, it becomes particularly challenging. We'll give practical tips on how to take on all challengers.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:10] Speaker A: How do you engage in apologetics in age of corruption and heresy within the Catholic Church? We're going to talk to a leading apologist today about this challenge and how we can overcome it. Hello, I'm Eric Simmons, your host, editor in chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, I just want to encourage people to subscribe to the channel to like this podcast, like this episode. Let other people know about it. Also, follow us on social media, ricesmag, at all the major social media channels and even some of the minor ones. Subscribe to our newsletter, just go to crisismagazine.com, fill in your email, and we'll send you our articles each morning, usually two articles a day, right into your inbox. Okay, so we have a return guest today, Eric Ybarra. He is. I'll read his bio. Most people know who he is, but I'm going to read it anyway because I like it. He's a revert to the catholic faith from Protestantism, has spent over a decade studying the doctrinal nature of the divisions that exist within Christendom, particularly between Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, as well as Protestantism. He's a speaker that has appeared on various social media outlets, and he's the author of what I call the magisterial book, the papacy. Revisiting the debate. I have it right here, the debate between Catholics and Orthodox. And I feel like I might be the first. I was the first to finish this book. I mean, I'm not talking about the pre, the people who read it before it was published. I mean, after it was published, I got it. I told, I told. Emmaus wrote, sent to me. As soon as you get it, they sent it to me. I got into it that night, and I literally think I read the whole thing within about a week or two. So I feel like I might be the first. What do you think, Eric? Do you think I was the first to finish it? [00:01:42] Speaker B: Yeah. Besides the blind peer reviewers before the publication? Yeah, I think you were. Yeah. [00:01:49] Speaker A: Okay, good. I feel that's like a point of pride to me. I know. I mean, it really was. Okay. I just want. I'm going to show it on the screen here, sideways. See how even looks thinner than it actually is in person. [00:01:58] Speaker B: It is. [00:01:59] Speaker A: Was it 800 pages? [00:02:00] Speaker B: 700? [00:02:01] Speaker A: Yeah, about 750? [00:02:01] Speaker B: Yeah, it's a little over 700. [00:02:03] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. And it goes through every argument. We've already had a podcast about the book, and so I'm not going to go through that again. But I recommend people, if you want, to have detailed explanations of the papacy, particularly the papacy. Of the first millennium, the debates between Protestants, I'm sorry. Between orthodox and Catholics, of understanding the papacy during that time. This is the book to get, because it goes through every argument, every. Every debate that happened back then, every incident in councils, whatever, and it gives a very great overview of it. So, again, thank you for writing that. It's excellent. [00:02:43] Speaker B: You're too kind, Eric. I appreciate that. I put a lot of work into it, and it's over ten years of labor. I'm just glad it was of help to some people. [00:02:53] Speaker A: Oh, absolutely. And. And here's what the most amazing thing is. It essentially is a side hustle of yours. What I mean by that is, that's not your primary. You're not spending from the time you get up at night to the time you go to bed at night. You get up in the morning time you go to bed at night writing. You're in doing this. You are. You have a. You're a regular guy, right? Working a regular job, right? [00:03:14] Speaker B: That's right, yeah. Yeah. [00:03:15] Speaker A: So, I mean, just. I don't know how you do it. Yeah. [00:03:17] Speaker B: And. And six. Six boys. My oldest. [00:03:20] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness. I didn't realize you had six boys. [00:03:23] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. My oldest is 16, and, you know, all the way down to three years old, so. [00:03:30] Speaker A: Oh, my God. [00:03:31] Speaker B: Yeah, they're all. They're all really growing strong boys. They're all. They're all, like, cops. That. My oldest looks like a squat team guy. And they eat a lot of meat and milk. [00:03:42] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. [00:03:44] Speaker B: It's, you know, so putting food on that table. [00:03:48] Speaker A: I mean, my goodness. And. Oh, and imagine the wrestling and the. And everything that's going on in hospital visits. [00:03:55] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. Repair visits. Yeah. [00:03:58] Speaker A: I only have one boy and I have six girls. But I remember the one boy, I had to tell him, you can only do your stupid stuff when the urgent care is open. Cause the emergency room's too expensive. [00:04:10] Speaker B: Right. No, they know that somehow it always lands in those times, you know. Right, right. When it's too late. [00:04:16] Speaker A: He actually cut his finger one time. He got a new knife. And literally, the first day, of course, he cuts his finger. And he did it, like, literally minutes after the urgent care had closed. Because we go there, we get there quickly. They literally closed, like, two minutes for. So I had taken the emergency room because I was like, I don't think it's gonna last overnight because it was get. It was bleeding pretty bad. And. Oh, my gosh, the bill at the emergency room, like, at least ten times more than urgent care. If not more. It was just ridiculous. [00:04:41] Speaker B: Yeah. And that's, that. That's kind of one of the reasons why, you know, when I was first up and coming, I had a lot of my close friends who were going to seminary and landed jobs as professors. And they were telling me, Eric, I know you really want to do this, but I just got to let you know, unless you go extremely big, supporting your family is going to be really tough. So I really wanted to go to seminary and everything, but I just, I took the guidance of so many voices and I think they were all right. [00:05:18] Speaker A: And I tell, I tell young men, like friends of my kids and stuff like that, they're going into, like, theology at Franciscan University of Studentville. I make it very clear. And listen, if you're, if you're also planning to have a big family, which most of them are, you know, they hope to have a big family someday. I'm like, unless your last name is Han and your first name is Scott, you are, you are going to be struggling mightily to put food on the table for your to go into theology. And I usually warn them, I'm not saying you can't get a minor in it and, like, be interested in it like you do, do it on the side, but is not full time work for the vast majority of people, that's for sure. [00:05:54] Speaker B: I mean, it can be, it can be done. Like, some of your listeners are like, wow, I'm doing it. It can be done. I don't want to discourage anybody, but for, for, for my particular set of, we got eight people in here, and I think that the route I chose was wisest, but I also followed the path of some of my other friends who were engineers working in it, who made theology a hobby of theirs. Because we know so many people in academia, we get all the literature, you know, so I just, I just, you know, put, pushed the gas all the way to the floor with my free time and my entire adult life now I've been studying every day. [00:06:41] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, that's great. And that's, you know, my 1st, 15 years of marriage, I was a computer programmer, so, I mean, I was able to support my friend with that. But like you, I would spend all my free time, you know, reading theology and just, you know, as much as. And free time usually means after the kids go to bed. That's what, that's what free time means until you finally fall asleep at night and just spent all reading and things like that. And then eventually I went into more full time work into this, but, yeah, so this is a good little for all the young men who are listening right now. Just as long as your eyes are wide open, it's fine. Just don't go into it thinking you're gonna, you know, have a career from day one where you can support a big family in this industry. So. And really, you know, you should do it because you're passionate about it, you know, you're good at it, things like that. So. But anyway, so enough about that, actually, why don't you. What I want to do tonight is. Or today, I want to give a little bit of a breakdown, some practical apologetics, particularly related to the papacy. You know, we talked about the papacy and stuff in first millennium, stuff I got in our last podcast with you about your book, but I want to break down, like, okay, it's 2024, and how do Catholics defend the papacy when we have attacks again? I mean, we've always had attacks from multiple angles on the papacy, but there's certain weaknesses that we are in today, in the era of Pope Francis, that we were not. We're not used to. You know, we never. We didn't live in the time of Alexander VI or whatever it was. We didn't live in the time of Pope Honorius. We live in the time of jp two or Benedict. And so now, all of a sudden, you know, the past eleven years has been a little different. So we have orthodox, we have the sedative of a continuous. We have the hyper papalists, we have the Protestants still. And because I know when I became Catholic in the nineties, the number one focus was defending the papacy against Protestants. Obviously, we still have to do that today. But I feel like today's defense of the papacy is very different than it was 30 years ago when I first became Catholic. It's not the same arguments often. In fact, some of our arguments back then are a little bit embarrassing, to be honest. And so I really want to get some practical help here. So first, just let me just give me, like, your overview, kind of big picture how you go about defending the papacy while being willing at times to criticize the current occupant of the papacy. [00:09:14] Speaker B: Yeah, those are all good comments there. I could tell. You know, you've been reflecting on this a lot. You know, to get. To get to this subject of discussion, I think one of the first things we should do is we should recalibrate our expectations. You know, sometimes we have an idea of what the church should be like. And, you know, like you noted, some of us came up during the pontificate of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. And now we're enduring the pontificate of Pope Francis. And so it's kind of like you've been driving a Mercedes Benz that's, you know, got a wonderful engine and you know, it just, it's just a wonderful car. And then all of a sudden we're in a different situation now. And you get in the car and maybe it doesn't turn on or you break down and it's like, oh no. I thought, I thought all the promises said that something like this wouldn't happen. So what am I going to do? Well, I think of what St. Vincent of Lorenz said. In the fifth century he was a monk on a little island just south of the border of France in the Romans called it Letarina, but we call it now it's dedicated to St. Honoratus. But St. Vincent was a monk at the monastery at this little island. And he's famous for writing a common, which is basically a treatise on how do we know the catholic faith versus heretical novelties. And one of the questions he poses in that book, which you could read for free, by the way, on just go to new Advent. It's available for anybody. He does a survey of all the heresies up to his day. He went through the gnostics, he goes through the montana, the early novationists, donatists, Aryans up to Nestorius. And he posed the question, why does God allow this? We could see especially how the gnostics didn't have a lot of success. Perhaps the donatists didn't because even though they took over so much of North Africa, the rest of the world didn't fall prey to it. But then he said the aryan crisis is an exception because it took over many bishops in the west, many bishops in the east, Antioch, Syria, even, even in the imperial chancery all the, in the early three hundred seventy s. And he asked the question, why would God allow something like that to happen to his most holy precious bride? Because it almost, it almost seems like, hey, the husband, our Lord, is not nourishing the body. So it almost, you know, you would think, well, this is Christ's fault for letting his bride's dress get this dirty, you know, and he said, that's not the way to think about this. He says the reason why God allows this is for trials to test our faith as to what we are going to do in the face of challenge. And it goes back to Old Testament times, know, when God came and did something mighty to deliver his people and then immediately after he throws them into the cage of challenge. You know, like the Israelites, when they came out of the. Out of Egypt, they immediately went into the wilderness, and there they were deprived of some of the niceties and some of the sweet pleasures that they had in Egypt. And what should have been a three month journey ended up being 40 years long. Right. Any. Even before that, you know, they were in Egypt for over 400 years. Then when they come into the land, you know, they experience a little bit of, you know, a taste of that promised land. But then due to the human sinfulness, human weakness there, they're in exile. And. And so there's all these tests, and God's testing us. And so that's how I would look at it today with the papacy. But. And that's what's unique. It's. It because we can deal with maybe the Aryans, you know, because Rome at the time, you know, was forced into her. What we think is on the historical record, somewhat of a lapse in Liberia, right. But here we've got a lauded and celebrated and very purposeful situation where we don't really have access to those explanations, where somebody's put under duress or something like that. So I. I just think that our expectations need to be recalibrated to expect new, perhaps unprecedented challenges, and to realize that this is not out of step with providence. It's not out of step with God's character. It doesn't mean that Christ is mistreating his wife. It means that he's purifying her. Now, that doesn't get to the intellectual hurdles, but I think that's just a good way to introduce, um, the idea, because we have to. We have to realize that it's not always going to be flowery beds of ease because of what the promise says. [00:15:11] Speaker A: Right. [00:15:12] Speaker B: Um, and that might go ahead. [00:15:14] Speaker A: Yeah, I was just gonna say, one of the things I've said a few times is, like, I feel like when it comes to the papacy is particularly last maybe 150 years or so, we've added a number of man made, like, barnacles to the ship that are. Are really not essential to the core of what we are supposed to believe about the papacy. And so when those start to look like, oh, they're not really working, like we thought. We blame God, or we say all these promises, or he's not the pope, or whatever the case may be, but really it's more of a matter of the way we thought about the papacy. Because I think, I know in the nineties, like I said, when I became Catholic, it was very common among quote unquote, conservative Catholics to be like, the proof that we're right is the pope agrees with us, that we're with, you know, because we. We'd have these terrible liberal bishops. We aren't a weakling or whoever the case may be back then. And we'd be like, but. And maybe a terrible pastor, you know, but the guy up top, that's proving what side God's on, because the guy at the top is on the same side as us. Therefore, we know we're on the right side. That's why we know we're on the right side is because we agree with the pope. Even if the bishop or the pastor, whoever, is terrible, we agree with the pope. And I think that was something that we took, like, okay, therefore, that's how we know. But then, now. And we can't make that argument today because we don't agree with the pope on a lot of these issues. And so I think that's where that challenge comes of, like, okay, what was the purpose of the papacy? Is it so that we can say we agree with it and therefore we're right, or, you know, what is the essential mission and core of the papacy? [00:17:06] Speaker B: Yeah. Yes. And I think that if you only have space for a couple of paragraphs, you know, it does kind of look like we're at a systemic failure and, you know, we should move on to alternatives. But thankfully, we have more space. You know, we look back at history, we look at what's written in the archives that are still kept in Rome herself about this issue of limitations to the papacy. I know that this is, you know, we talk about it a lot. Right. But it was a subject of discussion, and many theologians have been talking about it for a very long time, but not much treatment has been given at the up, you know, the upper ranks of magisterial decrees on this matter. And so it actually gives us the opportunity to sort of explore, you know, what can we situate in a situation like this? It's obvious that pure perfection is not the standard because even the apostles don't pass that test, let alone Satan. Peter, right, tries to say, well, Peter denied our lord, so therefore, you know, weak. We should basically just understand how maximal papal corruption is simply to be deduced as an echo of what happened in his life. That's not true. We are in a very new situation. Peter repented and was immediately willing to put himself into martyrdom. Just a few, what, you know, four or five weeks later. Right, right. So I think that we have a lot in front of us. And, you know, there's too much to read. But there is. There are some primary sources in the theological spectrum on what. What is the capacity of papal failure? And we have, at the. At the level of ecumenical councils, for example, the 6th Ecumenical Council, which our orthodox and our protestant friends know very well about Pope Honorius. And Pope Honorius was, you know, this is. It surprises me because that situation is still misunderstood by a lot of Catholics today, especially some of the more, um, some of the. Some of those defenders of the papacy who are confident of what's called, like, infallible safety, or they have different degrees of infallible safety. But if they can, they. They make it such a. Such to the point where basically the pope in his public office really is just can't do anything that would harm the church otherwise. Again, it's like the groom, you know, letting the, you know, it's like Christ the husband letting his bride suffer. And. But the honoree situation is so ripe for fresh information on this, because if you study the history of what happened there at the council and how the church received it in the forthcoming councils, you can. It basically disproves what many of the. I call them papal maximalists, even though they all have different degrees of maximalism. It really shows you that they. They haven't really absorbed what has happened as a matter of historical fact. And, and the Catholic Church, Rome has never revisited that matter and said officially, oh, the council was wrong, or Honorius was actually right, or he was condemned as a private theologian, not in his official. There's never been any kind of official treatment of this. And so it's kind of laid out there for people to look at. [00:21:38] Speaker A: You know, one of the things I thought was fascinating that you brought up in your book about, I think it was a noure, and correct me if I get the details wrong about this, but essentially at the same council, maybe it was a 6th council, they condemn a pope, and they also say the pope can never fail. They literally say both at the same council. And it's like. And you just leave it there and say, yeah, that's what they did. And so somehow they don't have a problem with that. And yet, obviously, we seem to have a problem with that. So there's some reconciliation in their mind because clearly it's the exact same people saying this. And so we need to kind of wrestle with that and say, okay, how do they. Somehow they use this language of, the pope will never fail, that the bishop, Rome will never fail whatever. And yet they also, in the same breath, basically say, but this pope did fail. And so, like, how do they do that? [00:22:29] Speaker B: And what's interesting is if you go to some of the commentators today whose names won't be mentioned, who go to statements about papal infallibility, like from that council, right, they love going to Agatha, Pope Agathos letter and saying, see the holy, see, the sea of Rome is kept pure at all time, even unto the end of time, according to the promise of our Lord. They quote Agatho with such enthusiasm, right? But then they don't keep reading because within Agathos own letter, he says, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. Actually, he says, woe is me if I neglect to preach the gospel, which is slightly nuanced, right? Because there's not preaching the gospel, then there's neglect. You can be perfectly, both in material and form, orthodox, but neglect to teach the gospel. And there's still anathema to that kind of a person, according to Pope Agatha. And it just so happens that the same kind of anathema that Agathos said would fall on his own head, unbeknownst to him because he died before it happened, ended up falling on his predecessor, right? So if you're going to have enthusiasm about one part of the letter, have enthusiasm about the other parts of the letter, and then also have enthusiasm about how the council responded. And so if your papal theology doesn't allow for a, you know, a reverberation of Christ's divine institution with the papacy, but also this possibility of eternal anathema, they even say eternal anathema to the heretic honorius. You can't have that in your papal theology. Then just don't even go with any enthusiasm back to the history. [00:24:41] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. We have to accept both. Both aspects of it somehow. And it is difficult, I mean, not to act like it's some easy reconciliation we can have. But, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that somehow the church has kept that alive and that, that tension between the two. I want to jump to 2024, not the six ecumenical council necessarily, and 2024. And I want to address, like, the major critics of the papacy and what I want to do here, because I want to make this very practical for people who are listening, watching. I want you to argue first from the standpoint of the. Of the critics, the people, you know, against the catholic teaching and then. And then for it, because this is, you say Thomas Aquinas famously did this, but all the good theologians, apologists, they do this. You cannot argue against something unless you understand it well. And so I want to start, and I want to do three major groups. The Orthodox Society of a contest and the hyper papalists. And I know those terms are sometimes the same. I'm not trying to be. Not trying to demean anybody by those terms. It's just those are the common ones. And so I'll use that. But. So, for the orthodox, what would you say for an orthodox. For an orthodox in 2024, what is probably their best argument today against the papacy, particularly in light of Pope Francis? [00:26:02] Speaker B: Well, you know, I think their best argument is, I think there's a modern one and a historical one. Um, the modern one is that the papacy is especially, you know, the pontificate of Pope Francis, um, has become one of just paralyzing confusion. I mean, the best of. The best of us are still scratching our heads over how to deal with the new revision of paragraph 2267 on the death penalty. [00:26:40] Speaker A: Right? [00:26:41] Speaker B: Some of us, the best of us, well learned it, are still scratching our heads over Amoris Laetitia, chapter eight. Some of us, smart and dumb, are still scratching our heads on how to reconcile and prove continuity with fiducia supplicants, right? So they'll just look at that and they'll just say, hey, look, you guys are. You know, you guys are motivated not to see a contradiction. We all see the contradiction. And so how much more clarity do you need to see that the papacy has basically become a source of error and pestilence? And then the historical one would be. Look, anytime a bishop did this in the first millennium, they were. They were met with a consequence which is to be void of the peaceful communion of the church, which means that they would remove that particular bishop's name from the celebration at the altar, you know, out of excommunication. In other words, some form of excommunication. And. And there were a couple of times where that was done even against the bishop of Rome. [00:28:11] Speaker A: Right? [00:28:11] Speaker B: So I think those two things put them. You know, that. That puts gas in their tank, it gets them on the road. And I think it's. It's going to be a tight race. [00:28:21] Speaker A: And we've seen a number of Catholics, I know, I'm sure you have, too, who have gone orthodox over these issues. You know, my friend Father Peter hears, orthodox priest. I've had him on the podcast before. I mean, every time Francis does something crazy, he'll put something out, kind of saying, see? And you know something? I am always just like, I can't blame him. I'm not gonna, like, you know, I mean, that's. He obviously doesn't believe in the papacy as Catholics do. So if he sees proofs, what he thinks are proofs against it, then he's going to use that to explain why orthodoxy is the right way to go. And so it's not even like I have a hard time getting upset at our orthodox brothers and sisters when they might call exploit, but at least use these because I think there's a reason they do that. So the question then becomes then, what is the Catholic, the best catholic argument then against that orthodox position, against the confusion? And what would be, and again, like you said, if it's just a paragraph or two, it's difficult, but kind of like, what are the talking points, so to speak, on a high level of how do Catholics respond to that and defend the catholic teaching? [00:29:36] Speaker B: Yeah. So our argument or rebuttal, I hesitate to say refutation, but at least a good, strong rebuttal would be the fact. It would come from the history. You know, we would say that, um, there's basically. I call it a minimal facts case. There's just three minimal facts, that if they are true, from the sources of antiquity in the first 1000 years, from sources that both Catholics and orthodox unquestionably accept. So scripture, tradition, ecumenical councils, things like that. If in that pool of sources, we see that the whole church believed that Christ purposefully, when he stood in the flesh before men, singled out Peter and made him the rock of the church, the universal shepherd, to feed the sheep and the helper to the brethren by praying for his faith. That's fact number one. Number two, that that office of being the rock, the head shepherd, and the confirmer of the brethren does not die with Peter, but it continues in a lineal succession in his throne that was stationed in Rome. That's number two. And then number three, that this hierarchical governmental design is of divine institution and therefore must survive somehow, all the way to the end of time. So if the. If the pool of sources that both east and West must accept, the ecumenical councils, the church fathers, the unanimous consent of the fathers, the majority consensus of the fathers, the scripture, and the general tenure of tradition and the impulse and the activity of theologians and bishops and doctors and saints for the first 1000 years, if they all prove those three things, then that means that Catholicism, as much as she is suffering with this whole idea of the papacy, is the only one that can even have hope matching those sources. [00:32:10] Speaker A: Right? [00:32:12] Speaker B: So even if we are bruised and battered, the historical landscape doesn't really give too much breathing room for the orthodox to say we have the ecclesiology of the first millennium, even though we do see things that are part of their ecclesiology, like synodality. We see conciliar theology, we see councils and synods. But the thing is, those things still happened in Rome after the schism. Right? You know, the Council of Lyons was a council. The council, the lateran councils were councils. The Trent, Vatican, even Vatican one. Those were, you know, Florence, the council of Florence. Those were all things that were procedurally done way after papal supremacy was crystal clear in the consciousness of the popes going back to Pope Leo, the 9th, Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory VII. So you can't just say, well, in the first millennium, we did things through synods and councils because that doesn't move the ball down the field at all because papal supremacists were still doing that after this schism, you see. So I think history, okay, number two, there are some available explanations to a pontificate like Pope Francis, which is we have developed a. And we're not just making this up like, oh, well, the pope is infallible in these strict conditions and he's fallible in these other general conditions. No, no, no. If that was unfounded and unprecedented, then I could understand somebody saying, ah, you guys just came up with a condition to suit your case. But what we're doing is we're actually digging up the sources of the past and configuring those conditions. How do we do that? What we just talked about, Pope Agatho, Pope Hormistas, Pope Hadrian, I, all of them expressed a theory of protection per pet, perpetual protection to the roman pontiff in his magisterial decrees. And yet we've got anathemas to at least two popes, perhaps more, depending on what you think about Nicholas and Liberius and a couple others. But we have failures on records and then we've got this rehearsal of promised protection. So how do you put that together without giving a distinctive conditionality for one realization and then another distinctive condition for another realization for fallibility, failure, mistakes, resistance and things like this. So I think that we have a few explanations, even though they are long, they make us look nerdy, they make us look, you know, that, like what they say, oh, you're coping and you're, you know, your pope's planning. Well, we all have to do a little bit of that. I mean, even the orthodox have to do Bible explaining. They've got to do patristic explaining, they got to do counsel splaining. There's some level everywhere for all of us. Right? [00:35:52] Speaker A: And I think, like, for me, I know one of the things that brought me into the church from Protestantism back in the day was simply grappling with the role of Peter in the New Testament. We ignored it as Protestants. But then when I really looked at him like, okay, something is special about his role, I didn't know how to explain. I didn't know what it was, but I was like, okay, something. And then when I look at the history, like, okay, clearly the first christians all thought that transferred to Rome, that whatever was special about Peter became special about his successors in Rome. And, you know, so the arguments, like, what about he was a bishop of Antioch. Why wouldn't you know? I'm like, I just know that they didn't think that. All I can tell you is I don't know why they didn't give it to Antioch. I just know they didn't. You could say it's because the imperial seat, you could say, but all I know is they said Peter had those special privileges in Rome after his death, you know, the successor, Peter. And so then it becomes. And then when orthodoxy, it's like, okay, there's only one church that. That even tries to claim, right, that Peter is still special, so to speak. Because if you've eliminated him from your ecclesiology, which is essentially what the orthodox have done, I understand that they haven't really. There are. They keep them in there as, you know, just as a placeholder almost. But clearly he's not that to Jesus in the new testament. And so it's like, I may not like, okay, here's my just being bluntly honest. When I look at the history, I may not like it how it's always developed. You know, like, to me, I'm like, yeah, I would have liked it if the papacy might developed a little bit more low key than it did. But it's not my call to determine how history, how divine Providence led the papacy to do what it did. Like, I go even all the way back to Gregory VII and in the middle ages and the explosion of pontifical political power and reach in the church in response to some real serious corruptions, that on a whole, I believe it was all done sincerely. Think, like, Gregory the 7th was like, okay, I just want power myself. No, he's like, I need power because I need to stamp out this corruption, because I need to save souls, right? You know, that's why he's a saint. He should be a saint. But I do look back and I'm like, boy, maybe if that hadn't gone like that, maybe, you know, things, and then you go, and in Vatican one, the same type of things, you know, with the responses to what was happening in the world. But ultimately, all it comes down to is I only have three options as a Christian because I, you know, I'm not going to get into, like, the defense of why I believe Jesus is, you know, really the Christ and God and all that that's assumed here, but there's only three options. There's the orthodox, the Catholics, and the Protestants. And so, like, I don't have a fourth option to choose from unless I invent my own religion. I know that's ridiculous. So when it comes down to the Protestants, obviously disqualified, aka the Orthodox, like I said, they have. They have pushed Peter aside. They've put them in, like, time out in another room, and it's like, no. And the Catholics are the only ones who, like, maybe, I think at times they elevate them too much, but at least they're consisthe most consistent in my mind with what we see from the evidence of the New Testament and the evidence of the early church of how the first Christians viewed Jesus's words, his actions. And so it's like, okay, that's my default. I have to go with that. And maybe that's not the greatest argument. Like, I get, like, people want maybe something a little more clean cut, a little bit more obvious. But for me, that's, you know, it's kind of. It's kind of like Peter's own words. Where else are we going to go? You know? So that's the only place we can go. [00:39:42] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. I think that when you are in the trenches for long enough and you see what you're actually dealing with intellectually, it's actually a very strong argument. And you're right. The orthodox, you know, they. They claim to have a patronology to primacy, you know, but it's. It's. It's really dormant. You know, it's kind of like a dormant volcano. And, you know, whenever Rome will return, that's when, you know, there will be vitality to the. To the volcano, but otherwise it could be dormant for over a thousand years. That just seems very unfitting. And, yeah, I think I'm comfortable going to the grave with. With, you know, the reasoning. You just. [00:40:30] Speaker A: Right, okay, so I want to talk about, though, now, argument seti vicantis. So these are for those, I think most people aware what that is, Catholics today who believe the. The sea of Peter, the chair of Peter, is vacant, that Pope Francis is not a legitimate pope. And there's. I know there's different variations. There's those who believe the last valid pope was Pius XII and 1950s, those who think Benedict was. Didn't resign validly, people who think he was. That Francis was validly elected, but then he was, through his heresy, he's lost his office. All these different things. And I don't need to go into all those details, but they accept those three points you made earlier. They accept catholic ecclesiology, that, yes, Peter has a role. He really is, you know, the head of the church and all this stuff, but we just simply don't have a pope right now because of the act, various reasons. What would you say is the strongest argument in their favor? Because, again, I want. Let's give the other side, so to speak, its due, because if it wasn't a compelling argument, people wouldn't be following it. So clearly, there has to be some compelling arguments in favor of set evacantism today, or else. I know some very intelligent people who are. Who subscribe to this. They're not dummies. And they've thought about it, you know. So what would you say? Is that most compelling argument for saying that, well, Francis just isn't the pope? [00:42:01] Speaker B: Yeah, well, look, they're capturing all those points of history, so they've got a great historical foundation and accepting the papacy and all those things. But I think that their greatest argument is, um, the face value and sometimes even well exegeted, um, proof from the. From the pope's own mouths, you know, um, from the. And, and here, I'm not restricting it to Francis, you know. Um, and, you know, if you. If you sit down with a set of a contest and you go through. And you comb through what some popes said about the sensitivity of the roman pontiff's office, you know, very sensitive to failure and heresy. If heresy or any kind of. Even the smallest bit of poison comes in through incorrect doctrine, then that, the paper, it's, it's like, you know, it's slight scratch and it's bleeding. There's no. But there's. The pope is no longer the pope. Oh. And then we go to other statements where, look, pope here is unashamedly saying, contradicting what this other pope said or what this other council said. So you've got a, you've got an on and off switch result, you know, so I think that's strong. I think that, you know, they don't. They shouldn't feel stupid, you know, and I think it's kind of sucking the intelligence out of everybody to just pretend like these people are stupid. [00:43:43] Speaker A: Right, right. And, you know, and I know a lot of the times when I've had discussions, debates with state of a contest, a lot of times they throw in my face. And I understand why a lot of statements of popes, particularly in the late 19th, early 20th century, pius 10th, Leo the 13th, various other ones where, like, I mean, pius x, there's like a quote, a couple, a number of them. But like, one I'm thinking on top of my head is just like, you know, you can't disagree with the opinions of the pope. And if you do, you're not. You're not being a good Catholic. And here we are disagreeing with the opinions of Pope Francis. So clearly, why should people care what the Eric say, eric ybar and Eric Sammons, when, you know, but when Pope Pius, Saint Pius X was saying, no, you can't do that. So, yeah, I get the compellingness of that, but why would you then say kind of, why is it not truly compelling to us? Like, why is it that we don't go that route? And why do we think that's ultimately not the path that, as Catholics, we should go down today? [00:44:47] Speaker B: Yeah. So here's where I go once a little bit, because most of the time, and I would argue. I'd be prepared to argue all of the time, I might have a reservation on this issue, like with the death penalty, for example, but it's simply out of ignorance. Not so, because I think that it's impossible, but I think that the popes that are purported to be overturning apostolic traditional, it's not precisely what they're doing. You know, and this is, you know, this is where I'm probably gonna upset some of your listeners, because I. I think that some of these errors that you're gonna find from, like, you know, John the 23rd or forward, you know, purported errors, is not so much in, like, a bold face denial of dogma. In fact, they often will reassert their, their adherence to dogmatic tradition. But then they kind of. They want to separate rooms, you know, the room of dogmatic value. You know, we're not going to deal with that. We know we can't touch that, but we're going to go into the room of ecclesial management. How do we bring the gospel to the new world, pastoral theology? You know, how are we going to tweak the presentation of things? And how are we going to deal with newfounded circumstances and the complexities of people's lives that perhaps before were hidden in the you know, footnotes of the manuals. But now it's at our front door due to, you know, post modernism, liberalism, sexual revolution, and all these things. And I think that they want to assert the doctrine that we've always held, but then be flexible and elastic with what they can do, while barely maintaining any kind of common sensical vitality to the doctrine. But at face value, it really does look sneaky and conniving. It really does look like a. An attempt to, you know, okay, fine, I'm handcuffed and I can't change doctrine, but I'm going to introduce a change through another way. It looks like that. It really does, you know, and so, but I would say that because they have not given a statement that boldly contradicts the, the dogmatic teaching, I would say that that shows that they're a slave to that dogmatic boundary, and it serves as an exposure to the imprudence of their policies. You know, and us who want to keep tradition going, all we have to do, we don't even have to do anything. We just have to keep talking about what the dogmas are. And it just continually has this natural function of letting these policies out to dry in the sun because of how awfully unharmonious it is to the traditional catholic teaching. So my said of a contest friend, that's first. I would try to show that it's not actually the reversal that they think it is. [00:48:59] Speaker A: Right. I mean, fiducia supplicants is a good example of that. Where, why does Cardinal Fernandez feel the need to explicitly say, we're not denying the teaching on marriage, we're not denying it. Now, I think you and I would agree. I know. I think that then he goes to undermine as much as possible. But undermine isn't the same thing as deny. There is a difference between the two. And it's interesting, it's like you said, they're almost handcuffed. I realize some of it, you could argue it's just the devil being smarter. If Fernandez denied it, then that would be, you know, that it just wouldn't work as well as undermining it. And I get that. And I think there's truth in that. I'm not denying that the devil probably is working like that. But the fact is, is that there does seem to be inability just to come out and say. I mean, because like, for example, if Pope Francis came out tomorrow and declared the church's teaching on marriage can include a marriage between two men, and this is something for all to believe now, we're in a different game now. We've completely changed the rules, and now we have our discussions on a much more deep level. Okay, what are we talking about here when it comes to whether or not he's the pope? And one of my big things is always that the consequences of rejecting Jorge Borgoglio as a valid pope are immense. And I personally think, catastrophic to the entire, the entire position, the entire, like, you know, um, what, what the Catholic Church is, because what it means is, is that you not only have this one man, who is, for whatever reason, not the pope, but you have the entire structure that is divinely ordained, divinely founded, of the hierarchy, telling the church, this is who the pope is, and they are 100% wrong. We're not talking some of them wrong, because that's happened in history where, you know, maybe 20% of them, or even maybe 50%, you know, we're talking 100% of them, are all saying they're all wrong. That is not one guy who happens to be wrong, like, maybe Jorge Bergoglio is, and. But it's everybody. And so, to me, you've just undercut apostolic, the apostolicity of the Catholic Church, and then you're now talking about foundational issues going all the way back to Jesus Christ himself and the history and all that. Because. And so that's where I think that, like, the consequences. And so if there is another answer, we almost have to go to that one, because it's like, otherwise, you know, it's just so graveyard, um, to just kind of say, well, this guy's not the pope. It just so grave the consequences that we have to go with. Well, let's look for another answer. And I think that. I think, and I think there are other answers that are intellectually compelling, like we talked about, so it's not like it's that hard, but still, I think that's kind of the thought process I would challenge our state of a contest, friends, to look at. [00:52:24] Speaker B: Yeah. So that, that gets right into the issue of how far is too far, right? Because we, we talked about God allowing trials, right. But we would all agree that there are some conditions that would have been a complete contradiction to God's promise. So if, if Abraham's whole, entire genetic stock and progeny ceased to exist before, you know, the tabernacle was built, I mean, that's it, right? That's it. We don't even. Yeah, I mean, at that point, it's a very obvious contradiction. We're just wasting our time trying to put the pieces back together. So. And I think that's why theologians in the past have all said that the extremity at which this whole papal theory is falsified is when the pope makes an official obligation to the church, in consequence of which we are damned, you know, or put into a position where we're at least called to sin and offend God by our confession. Right. That's, that would, if that happens and we're obliged by absolute. You, like, we're required with a. An absolute mandatory submission, then, yeah, that's it. We shouldn't bother with this anymore. We're, you know, we're released to think of other things. Right. But. So I think set of accountists are getting at that line, you know, with the absence of a papal, the hierarchical visibility of the church going into haywire for that long, that, to me, it's akin to the genetic extinction of Abraham's seed, because we're not. We don't have any way of putting the structure back together and, and when, you know, so we can talk about, like, the unexpected and surprising trials that God brings to us to directly test our faith, but it's another animal we're talking about. Like, okay, this is like a two plus two equals four. Simplicity. Catholicism's over with. And we should be. We should be, you know, we should have the fortitude enough to just say it and, and move on. I know that some people might say, oh, you should never say, I'm not endorsing that. That's not what I'm saying. But what I'm saying there, it does get to it. A level of intellectual clarity where your hypotheses, your theological opinion, your deductive reasoning gets us to where it's like, okay, this is wrong, you're wrong. This, this doesn't make any sense. Even if we can't explain everything from top to bottom, it's just so absurd that it doesn't merit consideration. And I think that's where we're at with the set of accomplished. With all due respect to them, right. Many brilliant people. [00:55:54] Speaker A: But, yeah, yeah, and I've said this to a few. I've said I'd be an atheist before I be a sedative, a contest, not because it's like a seti vicantis is some type of leper or something like that, but just simply intellectually, my brain would not allow that. It just, it just doesn't work. So I want to talk now about the other extreme within Catholicism, what I'm calling hyper papalism. The idea of we must defend the pope in almost all of his actions. No matter what he does. And there's variations that. Now, this is one I feel like is the default kind of default position of the good natured Catholic. You should. The good natured Catholic, you know, maybe hasn't studied every detail of history or whatever, is like, yeah, I'm on the pope's side, that that's just kind of that it seems to be the safe way to go, to be on the pope's side. And I. And I think there's a lot to that, and I think in most times in history, that's probably going to work out very well for you. So I'm already kind of suggesting what I think is a good argument for. But what would you say is probably the strongest argument today for this idea of, we should just follow Pope Francis and basically all he does. Yeah, we might. I mean, we don't necessarily have to agree with, like, his not doing anything about Father Ropnick and the horrendous stuff he's doing, but, like, in general, like, his. His teachings on the death penalty, Amoris Letitia, fiducia, supplicants, various other things he said about this, and that we should just go along with him. What do you think is the strongest kind of argument for. For that position? [00:57:34] Speaker B: Well, you know, this. The strongest position is, you know, kind of what the intuition that's in there, you know, God gave us a shepherd. We're the sheep. Sheep obey, shepherds lead. So I'm just going to go where the rod and the staff lead me, and Christ gave us the pope. So if Pope Francis or any other pope were to lead me to poisonous waters and poisonous grass, I'll just say, lord, I did what you told me to do and followed the shepherd you appointed. [00:58:15] Speaker A: Right. And now, some would say the pope, true hyper papalists, would say, he can't lead us to poisonous waters. And so. But, like, I do know the argument, a lot of times you're not going to be. You're not going to be condemned by Christ if your answer is, I followed the shepherd you gave me. [00:58:36] Speaker B: Right. [00:58:37] Speaker A: And so I think that is probably. And that's basically what you're saying. That is a strong argument. If I'm concerned about my soul, the salvation of my soul, and if I can point it back, to put it back in Christ's hands and say, well, I'm following the shepherd he gave me, you can't really blame me for that. I'm just one of these dumb sheep. I do think that's a strong argument, and I've always sympathetic towards, especially your lay Catholic, just normal, just soul of the earth type person who's not into theology. They're just like, hey, I'm just going to go along. And pope said that, okay, I guess that's what I believe now. Um, I, I get that, but what would you then say, though, is the reason, the dangers of that position and the problems of having that position today, and why we don't take that position today under Pope Francis? [00:59:27] Speaker B: Right? Yeah, that's the question. Right. Um, well, I think it runs the risk of a gross distortion of the church's teaching for the last 2000 years. Um, it gives way to this idea that what Catholicism is all about is this absolute sovereignty in the hands of the pope, almost like a wizard or crystal ball, where if he came out and said, you know, Catholicism and Islam are equal, we would have to rewire our brain to convince ourselves that what we would perceive as a contradiction is only an apparent contradiction. It's not real because of the pope's decree and something like that. This, like the positivism, you know, this, this absolute sovereign control over christian faith is a gross distortion of the catholic doctrine of the papacy because it's also a gross distortion of the Catholic Church's doctrine on ecclesiology because it empties out the Holy Spirit's work and all the other organs of the body. It makes it out like the only repository of divine grace is in the pope, be he a wicked man or a holy man, it matters not. And that's such a disgusting theology. You know, we've always taught that the Holy Spirit fills the body of Christ, all the body members of Christ. Is there a teaching church and a learning church? Yes, there is. But even in the best theologians and even in Vatican one, and thankfully in Vatican II, we have a theological, we have a theologic, we have a theology of the Holy Spirit's vivification and illuminatory work in the body of Christ, even the learning church and what she receives. And so the pope is, should not be seen as this person who enters into office with sovereign control. And we have to kind of be on, on red alert for whatever contradictions we thought were contradictions are now no longer contradictions. Forget that. No, the pope is, he's assigned as a protector to something that we've all known. And if that's not the case, then Catholicism is not Catholicism anymore. He's, he's put in that office in order to protect a mystical organization that has been going on for 2000 years and is observable to illuminated eyes all the way down from the top to the bottom. And so in a sense, there is no one who can judge the pope. There's no one who could legally judge the pope. But he is not the only law in the church. The ecumenical councils are a law to the pope. The unanimous consensus of the church fathers, even according to Pius IX, is a law to the church, to the pope. He cannot. He cannot dispense with that. So he sort of. The Petrine office is, from one angle, people see it as this thing, this thing of unlimited control, and other people, from another angle, see it as where he's kind of locked in to protect the faith that we have always known. And it's. There's a. There's just a terrible tension between those two things. Because if somebody says, well, he's protecting the faith. Yes, but you don't think he is, because you think he's bringing in a novelty. But what he's really doing is just asserting the old faith. It's a novelty to you. It's not a novelty in reality. See, so they play the epistemological game. But I don't think that catholicism stay stands on 2ft anymore. If all of us, the cardinals, the College of bishops, the clergy and all the faithful, have to look at something and say, we can't figure out how that is connected to the past, but we will say it's connected to the past, that at that point, I think we're at akin to an extinction of the abrahamic kin, because that is not how Catholicism is supposed to work. So. Yeah, yeah, so it's kind of. I'm sorry, Eric, let me just. [01:04:32] Speaker A: Go ahead. [01:04:33] Speaker B: So just like the absurdity of set of accountism, I think that the ones who give this kind of dictatorial control to the pope, they're also in. They're also getting into the same kind of absurdity. [01:04:45] Speaker A: Right. I think. I feel like the set of a contest are going against revelation, the revelation of how the church is founded, the. The proper structures, the authority of the hierarchy, stuff like that. Whereas the hyper papalists are going against reason. [01:05:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:05:04] Speaker A: In the sense that we've been given reasons like, we know black isn't white, we can reason that we don't need a pope to tell us that. We don't need a church even to tell us that, you know, that's something. Our God given reason, natural law, things of that nature, we know we can know the principle of non contradiction. Without a church, we don't need a church to tell us that. [01:05:26] Speaker B: That's right. [01:05:26] Speaker A: And so, therefore, if anybody in the church, whether it be your pastor, your bishop, the pope himself, says something that violates the principle of non contradiction, then we can just simply shrug our shoulders that, well, he's wrong. And not because we have some authority from God that, you know, I can speak, you know, it's not a protestant thing because that's the number one argument of law, hyper people, is you're being a Protestant, putting yourself in authority. I'm not putting myself in authority. I'm simply using the reason God gave me to know that if something is violates the principle non contradiction, then I don't have to accept it, that I know it's not true because it can't be true. And so therefore, if a pope says something that contradicts what another pope says, I know there are only three possibility possibilities. Both popes are wrong, Pope A is wrong, or Pope B is wrong. It's not possible that Pope A and Pope B are both correct, because they are, they contradict each other. So therefore, it's just a very easy thing for me, and I'm very well aware, though, of the dangers that you do start to vie into protestant territory. You do start to say, because I can't understand what Pope Francis says here, therefore I'm going to reject it, because my interpretation is that it contradicts the past. Clearly there are cases where popes before, you know, said things, and it might be like, yeah, that's a challenge. I don't really see how that is consistent with. But when it's a clear cut case, we know for a fact to this one. This is the most clear one to me. We know the church has always said is legitimate for the state to use the death penalty in certain circumstances. We know that. We know it's not immoral intrinsically. It can be applied immorally all the time. You could even argue it's applied immorally every time today for various reasons. I mean, JP, two kind of went down that path a little bit. That's. You can have that argument, but you can't say it's intrinsically immoral for a state to apply the death penalty. And this is coming from somebody who hates the state and distrusts it very much. So. I mean, I acknowledge the church says this. So for Pope Francis to basically imply, I know there's been mental gymnastics of inadmissible isn't the same as intrinsic. All that he's basically saying, he thinks if it harms human dignity, then therefore it's intrinsically immoral. I mean, that's, that's the logical conclusion. Therefore, based upon the principle non contradiction, I cannot accept that and accept what the church has always said. And so therefore I have to. The only way I can reconcile that is to just simply say, well, Pope Francis is wrong here. It just, you know, I'm going to go with the overwhelming consensus of scripture tradition in the magisterium on this. [01:08:21] Speaker B: Yeah, you know, and, you know, sometimes they'll come around and say, well, you could accept that there's in a, just, just an apparent contradiction. But look, like you said, it's, it's, sometimes it's just clear cut. You know, the pope, we know the pope is limited by these things because if he came out and said, I command you to not obey me, how, how does that work? If you obey that command, then you disobey that command. And so even the pope himself is bound by logic. He can't, he can't deny it. So, you know, it's, if I just got up here and said, you know, I'm not a human being and I don't speak English, you know, in my words, I'm showing to you I'm wrong. You know, so they, a lot of these papal maximalists, they just don't think that kind of clarity is there. [01:09:16] Speaker A: So the only logic is just obedience to the blind, obedience to whatever the pope says. And I just feel like that, like I said, that violates reason as much as I think the set evacontists violate revelation. [01:09:30] Speaker B: And they contradict themselves too, because they, they'll spend hours telling you about the levels of magisterial authority. Well, what are all those levels? Therefore, unless we can use our reason to make sure which one's activated and which one isn't, right. So even their own teaching, it assumes that we have a capacity to make the right distinctions, you know, and by. [01:09:55] Speaker A: Definition, if something is not infallible, by definition that means it can be wrong. Now, it might be, we would say it's unlikely, it's wrong. We might be say we should give some amount of religious submission of mind and will, which I know is abused a lot in a little squishy term, to be honest. But I get that. We do give that. If there's not an overwhelming evidence, you know, against it, all that fine. But by definition, if it's not infallible, therefore it could be wrong. And the funny part is, is that like, I mean, I just saw the other day one of these papal maximalists was talking about was denigrating limbo, the teaching on limbo, saying it's just a trash theology or something like that. Well, by his own view, all the popes who taught pro limbo, those Catholics under them, had to believe that and had to accept it. Yet he's also saying Catholics today have to reject it and have to say it's trash or whatever. It's like, yeah, that's just not. That's just against reason. Again, you can't have that happen. Yeah. In a. In a consistent church, at least, you know, legitimate church. So, yeah, okay, I'm gonna. This has been great. And I could go for hours, but I won't. I won't keep you for hours, although I'd enjoy it. I need to come visit sometime. Then we can just do it in person. Yeah, that'd be a lot more fun. But why don't we just wrap it up and just kind of give your final thoughts on, to just the Catholics out there navigating this, you know, kind of like, what. What should be kind of the focus of their thoughts when it comes to when Pope Francis says or does something problematic. Next week, we have a new document coming out on human dignity, which a lot of us are nervous about for obvious reasons. My wife actually joked today that I should just write an article, you know, with the problems of it today, jokingly, and like. And then when it comes out released and say, by the way, I wrote this before because we all know exactly what's gonna happen. They're gonna do defend the church's teaching, church teaching, and then undermine it. So it's like, you know, we're gonna, like, be able to do that, but, so how do we kind of, like, what should be our attitude? What should be our kind of way of thinking as Catholics when these things happen? [01:12:08] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I think the first thing you know, and this is going based off of my own message box and a lot of the private conversations I've had over the years, is that this is a time that requires a great deal of spiritual fortitude. You know, people watch me. They listen to me. Sometimes they'll be very puzzled. They're like, what? How is it that you can spend 20 pages or so talking about how, you know, there's a. You know, that there's a way that Catholicism can be falsified? Or how. And how do you tell your interlocutors, like the orthodox and the Protestants, that from time to time, you don't have an answer to what they're saying? How do you say that? And, like, be joyful at mass with confidence, because a lot of people see that, and they're like, well, if I thought that way, I'll just always be this on edge, like doubting, and I wouldn't be able to be very happy Catholic. And I would say that we know by reason, you know, speaking of things that we know from reason, you know, God's not going to require something of us that we can't do. You know, that's one of those things. And God has not shown me that I. That I need to leave catholicism. So I believe he has me here. And I. I can tolerate, you know, talking about the new challenges that we're dealing with without losing my peace, because I know I'm doing what God has. I know that I'm only doing what I can do. You know, if I can't go orthodox, that'll violate my conscience. I can't go protestant, that'll violate my conscience. So I know that right now I'm in the right place, and I'm at peace with that. And I think a lot of people need to really spend time figuring out how they can get there and realize that God's not unhappy with them if they don't do all this rigorous research. [01:14:25] Speaker A: Right. [01:14:26] Speaker B: Right. You have a simple prayer life. We know that Catholicism was making saints in the 13th century and the 14th century. In the 18th century. This is the safest route you can go. I mean, even if Catholicism, you know, is, like, one of the options out there, like, let's just say for hypothetical, Catholicism is actually not what it claims to be, orthodoxy is not what it claims to be, Protestantism is not what it claims to be. But God is kind of like saving people through all of them, which it's got all kinds of problems. But let's just say that that's the case, Catholicism has been the most used bat up at the plate. And so I'll go with that bat. [01:15:14] Speaker A: Right. [01:15:14] Speaker B: And if somebody says, oh, but I got to heaven through Luther, hey, look, when we get there, we'll toast. But right now I know that the most used bat, the slugger, has been Catholicism. [01:15:29] Speaker A: Right. [01:15:29] Speaker B: I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable here. I'm at peace. And so you need to get there, because if you're not there doing all this research and reading articles and looking at the news and looking at what's next, it's going to fuel a great deal of spiritual harm, and you're going to not, you're not going to, you're going to lose the chance to learn how to do this in peace. And so I would first focus direct people who are not there yet to get there before they pursue further, you know, but if you're already there and you're happy to study these things and you're just excited about what's next, you know, my book is a good place to start. Study history. There is nothing more soothing to me than going into the past and realizing, wow, what I'm believing is something that was believed all the way back 2000 years ago. And look at this. They themselves had problems and trials and many, many unanswered questions. [01:16:36] Speaker A: Yeah, it's always amazing. I mean, I've, I've studied church history for a long time, but to this day, still to this day, I will be reading something, some debate or something. I'll be like, oh, wow, that sounds a lot like today. That sounds, I mean, they were, they were struggling with some of the same issues that we're struggling with today, and they all worked it out. I was just reading recently St. John Henry Newman during the 1860s leading up to Vatican I. And afterwards, I mean, it almost sounds identical, some of the arguments, I mean, the hyper papalist versus, you know, and all that. So, and I, and I remember also the debate about infallibility in the middle ages, that when it first came up, I mean, a lot of these arguments were very similar. So I do think that history, now, where can people find specifically the work you're doing? I think you have a Patreon, if I'm, if I'm not mistaken. So how can people find, find that information about what you're doing? [01:17:24] Speaker B: So I have a Patreon. It's called classical christian thought. And you could just. Www Patreon, forward slash classicalchristian thought. You can go there. Yeah, yeah, I'll put a link. Thank you. Various levels of participation. You know, there's various levels, but all anywhere from daily commentary, patristic quotations, some of the most rare patristic quotations, all the way up to courses. I'm giving a course. I've given a course on the Eucharist, Protestantism. I've given a, you know, a couple of other ones. Right now I'm going through my book on the papacy. So people get what, what I've written in the book, but also a lot of the things that I've learned since then. And I'm on Facebook. I share a lot on Facebook. You can find me there. And I think, I think that's it. YouTube, I have YouTube channel, classical christian thought. I add there. And I'm open for people to ask questions. And if, if I can't help you, maybe you can help me. [01:18:37] Speaker A: I'll put links to all this in the show notes so people can, can find all the great work you're doing. And I think, you know, honestly, I know there are a lot of problems with the Internet. I know there are problems with technology. But I love that we're in a world where a guy like you who's not, who would be, normally, would be just ignored or silenced in the old days because you don't have the letters, enough letters after your name and you're not with some establishment universities, something that you can teach people directly and you know, you can, you can do the research. They can, and they can, they can look you up to see if you're, you're legit. I mean, you know, you're teaching the right thing. It's not like, you know, but the point is, is like, you know, you can write a book like this about the papacy and really. And we can know about it. I think that's, frankly, I think that's great. I think it's a net positive for, for the world that, that yes, it does mean a bunch of yahoos also can do it. But ultimately I'm optimistic about it. That it, that it allows those who have open minds and good souls sincere, they can find people like you out there. [01:19:43] Speaker B: Thank you. [01:19:44] Speaker A: Yeah. So. Okay. Well, thanks, Eric. I appreciate you being on a lot and hopefully this has helped a lot of people. And until next time, everybody, God, love.

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