Saturday, 26 February 2011

The endgame of the SSPX

Bishop Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, has given an interview in the USA during which he answers fifty-four questions about the SSPX's doctrinal discussions with Rome, Assisi III and the beatification of John Paul II. You can find it in English here. He thinks that if they had their time again, they would still enter these discussions. But, he also observes that by and large they have produced no meeting of minds. The only danger, he says, of coming to the discussion table is that of feeding illusions about where the Church is really going. He hopes in the long run, nevertheless, that the kinds of critique of Vatican II issued recently by Monsignor Gerardhini and others will come to enjoy a much wider reception.

I note with a sense of déjà vu and disgust that the mimetic cudgels have been taken up in the discussion about this issue posted on The Catholic Herald's website. On the one side, high-minded papal loyalists cannot say enough about how disobedient the SSPX is, or how proud. On the other side, SSPX tub thumpers jeer about the hierarchy's tendency to wink at all rebellions apart from the SSPX's, and the busted flush of Benedict's papacy which has seen him gravitate from liturgical traditionalist to Assisi tribute act in a mere four years.

This outcome was inevitable, however. [redacted] The same principles of endgame which I said were relevant to the potential Motu Proprio on the SSPX apply also to the doctrinal discussions; I was right then, and I'm right now [end of redaction]. What was needed from the beginning was an endgame mechanism which both sides understood and agreed upon. If you start moving with no idea of how to recognise the end of your journey, then the likelihood is that you will never get there. Now, as far as we know, neither Rome nor the SSPX had agreed upon the principles by which they could end this process. We can speculate about the exact terms but they appear to be as follows:

- for Rome the endgame is when the SSPX accept the authority and Catholicity of Vatican II and agree to refrain from treating their own theological views as the rule of faith.

- for the SSPX the endgame is when Rome accepts that the SSPX's analysis of Vatican II is correct, and when it begins taking practical steps to correct its errors.

Now, these are two irreconciliable principles on which to be having a discussion about Church doctrine. Indeed, in a way they are redolent of many doctrinal disputes which have at one time or another arisen in the Church. But ultimately, the endgame can only be what the endgame always is in the Church.

It is not logic, rhetoric, philosophy or even theological history which is the final criterion of this process. It is not the forensic comparison of previous magisterial texts with newer ones. It is not the process of assessing measurable fruits on one side and the other.

Yet neither is the final criterion a mindless assertion of authority. Neither is it the burying of all that is good, true and holy in the adversary. Neither is it the adoption of some techno-omnipotentist mentality which imagines the Church will behave like a marionette if only the hierarchy are bossy enough.

The final criterion is what it has always been: the final criterion is the faith of the Church of Rome articulated by the Bishop of that holy, ancient See. This is not primarily a juridico-canonical category - though it is that - so much as the corollary of a charism which the Church perpetually needs. We are not talking about a production line of infallible statements here, but just the practical acceptance that the Magisterium of the Pastors (notably of the chief pastor) has priority over the Magisterium of the Theologians (be they in the SSPX or Tubingen); it is the practical acceptance that all charismatic action in the Church (which we might kindly interpret the SSPX's action to have been) must be subject to the hierarchy. Under that umbrella there is immense freedom to criticise, debate and discuss. With that umbrella, indeed, we can have a thumping great debate about the new liturgy, religious liberty and ecumenism, as long as the rules of charity, honesty and patience are observed.

But without that umbrella there is never ANY endgame to ANY doctrinal discussion. Without that umbrella, discussion is only over when I, me, moi, your truly - or every individual from Bishop Fellay to Hans Kung and Mrs Miggens of The Tablet - say it is over.

In other words, without that criterion in the Church we are condemned to fragmentation. This is the lesson of history.

But who is listening?


Catherine said...

I will continue to keep these Priests in my daily prayers.

God bless you

JARay said...

I think that you have it in a nutshell Ches. The Magisterium of the Pastors trumps the Magisterium of the Theologians and that principle should be the over-riding one.

WDTPS said...

Typical Ches,

You conflate the discussions (Bp. Fellay said "This has nothing to do with negotiating, bargaining—nothing at all" or "You can’t call them negotiations. That’s not what they’re about at all.") on doctrine and a possible agreement on the canonical structure for the SSPX.

The two are separate. As the SSPXGB DS wrote "it is quite possible that regardless of the crucial doctrinal issues, the Vatican will offer the Society of St Pius X a practical settlement." Bishop Fellay has said "The regularization of our canonical status must come last" but they are not dependent.

Hence your claim of 'I told you so' is false Ches. More straw clutching.

Anonymous said...


Typical Ches? The only thing typical on this web page is your response, and it is the typical response of a sniveling bitch. Let me guess, you post on the Rorate Caeli blog too, don't you?


Jerry said...

But where is Truth?

roveto ardente said...

I've heard it said that those sho work for ecumenism 'sacrifice the truth on teh altar of unity'. That isn't what this discussion is all about, clearly. However, if there is no possible endgame of 'agreement' in the sights of thos round the table, what are they doing just going over old ground?

Bearing in mind the Magisterium of the Pastors, we all need to remember our place in the Church and while wincing at an 'ill chosen' hymn or even some badly recited Latin (dare I say), we might just say a quick prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that we are being reminded of our status as members of the Universal Body, subscribers to a cosy little club thre to make us feel better about ourselves.

Praying that the pain of separation (either in fact or in spirit) of our brothers and sisters in Christ might come to an end soon.

St John said...

I think this post is on the money. Thanks.

Ches said...


You are wrong that I am conflating issues here. The doctrinal discussions must have had a point, right? Primum in intentione, ultimum in executione, as I'm sure you know very well. So, unless parties are agreed on what the 'primum' is, they are as likely as not to fail to arrive at the 'ultimum'. This is simple scholastic philosophy.

Thus, given that the 'primum' of the SSPX was never that of Rome, these discussions were never going anywhere. Now, Rome was happy to have them as a way of moving towards reconciliation with the SSPX. The SSPX was happy to have them because it believes that only its theses about Vatican II adequately express a Catholic understanding of the Council. On such differing assumptions are houses of cards built.

If you comment here WDTPS, please refrain from using ad hominem arguments about clutching at straws. Play the ball and not the man. That at least is the Thomistic tradition to which, I understand, the SSPX and its supporters claim full allegiance.

WDTPS said...

Nice try Ches, but we're not that lightly to be caught. My comment was specific to your false claim "I said it would end this way". No you did not. The link you gave was about a rumoured Motu Proprio on the "canonical structure for the SSPX". Your current piece is about the doctrine discussions. The two are separate al already mentioned, hence you can't claim I told you so.

Please admit the error.

BTW, it wasn't so much as an ad hominem but rather a reminder to the strawman fallacy in you previous article (which I pointed out) and the one in the current article. Apologies if I assumed too much in thinking you would have understood this.

Ches said...

I wasn't claiming I was right only about the Motu Proprio, which never saw the light of day; I was claiming to be right about the obstacles that stand in the way of an SSPX-Rome entente, whichever way we turn the problem. Still, my apologies for not making the application explicit. I have corrected the post so that it is.

Meanwhile, you're grappling in these comments here with a side issue. What you need to do is address the main argument about the nature of the obstacle. I note so far you have not done so. I await your reasoned argument on that point.

Lastly, I note once again - as does everyone who reads this blog - your attempt at an ad hominem sideswipe, apologising even as you patronise me in your last remark. If you weren't so intent on targeting your enemy, you might actually enjoy this discussion more. It depends on what motivates you, I suppose.

K Gurries said...

Ches, I like your analysis as usual. But if they really could agree up-front on the "endgame" then the discussions would hardly seem necessary since the doctrinal questions could have been resolved through normal procedures (with CDF responses to dubia -- but these already happened before 1988). As with all ecumenical dialogue, it becomes the default when there is no explicit endgame in sight and the Papal Magisterium is not recognized for what it is. There is only a hope that seeds will be planted and obstacles (primarily of the will) will be broken down. But it will always be something of a fools hope.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"for Rome the endgame is when the SSPX accept the authority and Catholicity of Vatican II"

Which the Society does.

Anonymous said...

Orgueil, orgueil, tout est orgueil! Return to the Fold, dear SPPX brothers, and agitate from within. Many souls who deeply sympathize with your position will be orphaned when you return to apostasy. Econe vaut bien un messe!


Anonymous said...

The SSPX claims to want clarity above any acceptance of their position. In other words, an anathema against the theological errors of Marcel Lefebvre would solve the current problem, if any such errors could be found.

thomas tucker said...

Let us not be anxious over those who break away and fragment the Church. THat is the history of the Church despite Our Lord's plea that we all be one. Let us simply remain in communion with the successor of Peter and let the Holy Spirit do what the Spirit will do. As we go about our business, let us be like the sparrows and the flowers in the field.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Tucker

I agree and good advice!


John L said...

I am afraid this misses the point of the discussion, which are precisely about what the Church teaches. The SSPX claims that some texts of the Second Vatican Council contradict or seem to contradict other, more authoritative Church teachings.

For example, the teaching on religious liberty of Dignitatis Humanae seems to contradict Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos; Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, Etsi Multa, Quanta Cura; Leo XIII, Arcanum, Aeterni Patris, Au Milieu des Sollicitudes, Cum Multa, Diuturnum, Humanum Genus, Immortale Dei, Libertas, Longinqua, Nobilissima Gallorum Gens, Officio Sanctissimo, Quod Apostolici Muneris, Rerum Novarum, Sapientiae Christianae, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus; St. Pius X, E Supremi, Iamdudum, Il Fermo Proposito, Iucunda Sane, Notre Charge Apostolique, Pascendi, Vehementer Nos; Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimum Apostolorum; Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, Divini Redemptoris, Mit Brennender Sorge, Quadragesimo Anno, Quas Primas, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio; Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis, Ci Riesce, Summi Pontificatus. The SSPX position on religious liberty is that these documents, taken together, are more authoritative than Dignitatis Humanae. They conclude that the position in these documents is of such authority that it is irreformable if not infallible, which is not the case with Dignitatis Humanae; they thus conclude that the teaching of these documents should be followed, and the seemingly contradictory teaching of Vatican II in Dignitatis Humanane should either be explained in a way that conforms to the teachings of these documents, or else repudiated by the teaching authority of the Church. If you read the documents in question, as I have, you see that the SSPX has a serious case. It has nothing to do with following or rejecting authority; it is a disagreement about what that authority says.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posting Ches!

Very balanced and percepetive.
I do believe many of our fellow Christians are genuinly confused on this issue. Perhaps that is why we have the Magisterium? To bring us out of confusion, to lead when we are blind...And it seems there is less excuse in our modern age of communication to claim ignorance of the Church's stance...Just a thought.

- Airam

WDTPS said...

No Ches, no squirming. You claimed that you had predicted the outcome of the doctrinal discussions and provided a link to a previous article written 6 months earlier in an attempt to show yourself right. You wrote "I said it would end this way".

But the link was an article on a rumoured MP on a possible canonical structure for the SSPX. It was not about the doctrinal discussions. Therefore your claim was false.

For the third (and final) time please admit your error. And please don't hide under the guise of a false apology. It was that you weren't explicit but you were in error.

But it gets worse. You now make an even more ridiculous claim: "I was right then….." How on earth can you be right when the MP was only ever a rumour, there is no evidence of it's existence, separate from the discussions, and I've already given you a quote form Bp. Fellay stating that the "canonical status must come last" i.e. after the discussion (which aren't yet complete)?

This is sheer arrogance on your part.

You may think this a side issue - in a way I agree - however it does hold an important point (BTW, this is the second time I've had you on the ropes like this).

Ches, when I wrote "do you really need these strawmen to bail you out?" on the previous article and followed up with "More straw clutching" on this one, are you seriously suggesting that you did not understand this to be referring to your strawman fallacies. If you can say yes with hand on heart then I do apologise.

Anonymous said...

@John L: you state that the SSPX says that Dignitatis Humanae contradicts or "seems" to contradict the traditional teaching of the church. Remember that DH itself makes it clear from the outset that it leaves untouched the traditional teaching of the church. Also, the footnotes to DH, plus the references in the catechism cite the very sources you quote. As the catechism puts it: "The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities." But without getting too bogged down with the details of Vatican II, I think the point Ches is making (and please correct me if I'm wrong!)is that yes the SSPX can query various aspects of VCII and put their case to Rome, but when all is said and done, Rome has the final say. This is not new theology it's the divine constitution of the Church. I hope this helps! George

Ches said...


The only ropes are the ones in your head. By saying I was right about 'this', I was referring to the issue of an SSPX-Rome entente - of which the doctrinal discussions and the practical agreements form the two wings - not trying to pretend, according to your interpretation of my argument, that doctrinal discussions and a rumoured MP are the same thing.

Now, answer the argument.

Anonymous said...

Ches, I was expecting more that this. Deleting comments. Rather cowardly isn't it?

Confusion of doctrinal discussions and canonical agreement and
'privatisation of judgement'

I think that is two nil to me.

WDTPS said...

Ches, about the doctrinal discussions (which aren't yet complete) you wrote "I said it would end this way" but your link was about a rumoured MP on a possible canonical structure for the SSPX. It was not about the doctrinal discussions. Therefore your claim was false. You failed for a third time to admit your error.

WDTPS said...

The previous time when I had you like this was over your nonsensical phrase "privatisation of judgement". Remember that? It was due to your false understanding of 'privatisation'. A robbery of the Bank of England became a form or privatisation (I notice you haven't again dared to use the phase in public after being shot down). Even so you stubbornly refuse to admit to any error. Again, like this, it was in a way a trivial matter to you thesis on why you left the SSPX.

WDTPS said...

But in another sense they are both important for this reason: Both times Ches you made a error - nothing wrong there, we all make them. The problem is Ches that even when your error was an innocent mistake, even when the error was over something trivial, even when you were/are provided reliable sources that prove you error, you stubbornly refuse to admit to them.

WDTPS said...

And this is the problem Ches, you are utterly incapable of admitting to error. I've have never know you to do so. Hence, if you are unable to admit to error over these trivial matters you sure aint going to over something more in-depth and that's my point; it becomes a pointless exercise. This is why most of the SSPX adherence have given up discussing with you.

WDTPS said...

So never mind the ground rules for Rome/SSPX Ches. What about the rules for TheSensibleBond? If you want to have a discussion Ches, you need to be able recognise when you make an error and thow your hands up and say "hey guys I was wrong'.

WDTPS said...

Ches, admitting to an error is a sign of strength not weakness. I would have more respect for you if you were able to do this. You seem to want to win an argument at any cost. This makes me wonder whether you truly believe everything you write.

Ches said...

Well, WDTPS, now we know where you are coming from:

1. I haven't deleted any comments on this thread.

2. The one person who tried to argue with me over the notion of 'privatisation of judgment' understood privatisation as an economics concept, but not as its sociological analogue. Refusing analogy of terms is not in the Christian philosophical tradition, but I only need appeal to the vast numbers of sociological works, especially in the neo-Weberian school, which use the word privatisation as I do.

3. My point of comparison was clearly and obviously not between the doctrinal discussions and the MP - a ludicrous interpretation of a reference to something I wrote in the first place - but concerned the impasse affecting this entire area of an SSPX-Rome entente.

4. I have often corrected myself on The Sensible Bond in the light of discussion. Indeed, I did so only the other week after misreading William Oddie.

5. If you are so clearly convinced that that I am dishonest, cowardly and deluded, then I wonder you took the trouble to even comment here in the first place. It seems a little irrational on your part.

6. I have no need for your good opinion or anybody else's.

7. AND FINALLY, you have been given lots of opportunity here to argue with my original position that the Rome-SSPX entente is simply blocked, both practically and doctrinally, by the conditions I identified. You have not chosen to do so. If you argue with my position on the entente, I will dialogue. But if you DO continue your ad hominem attacks on me, I WILL delete them: they are personal, deliberately abrasive and cowardly. We both know you would not have the nerve to speak to me like this face to face.

I am fair minded, but I am not a martyr, and especially not to your self indulgence.

So, answer the point about the entente, or go and play elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Ches, I think that most people who read your blog would agree that you are fair minded and give other people's views an airing. It is clear that "WDTPS" has a few "issues".

WDTPS said...

1. I posted on your blog and within a couple of minutes my comments were deleted.

2. You were given the economic definition of privatisation so that you would be under no illusion as the meaning viz. a legitimate transfer of ownership from the public sector to the private sector. You were then given a number of published works that used the term 'privation of judgement' in a non-economic context. These included one in a religious context (just incase you tried to claim it as your own). They all used privatisation to denote legitimate transfer of ownership from the public to the private. Unlike you none used it to describe theft, usurpation etc. Hence we have this lunacy from your usage: a robbery of the Bank of England is a form or privatisation. The mind boggles.

3. No Ches, it wasn't a comparison, you were quite explicit and your ruse of trying to turn it into an "entente" will not work. The roots of this was your attempt to gloat: "I was right". But you either forgot or did not know the doctrinal discussions and canonical talks were separate. You try to cover your tracks by working it into an "entente" but your comments in "Endgames" are specific to the canonical talks and this charade simply will not work. You were "passing a remark on the … Motu Proprio". Your entente embellishment simply doesn't hold for anyone reading your original article.

WDTPS said...

4. Even you have to be aware of misquoting people, liable laws and litigation that could ensue. But you seem to have made up as Dr. Oddie has since given a link to your bog. But how about you correct another error. On your latest piece the reference to "expresses a new Faith, a Faith which is not ours…" is falsely cited (hint: they are the words of Abp. Lefebvre not of Bp. Fellay). This should be an easy one for you. Please go and correct it.

5. I never wrote you were "dishonest" or deluded" and add to this the claim that I am "irrational" this would seem to be an ad hominem attack by you against me - not to mention the implicit ones of "dull and predictable" against Bp. Williamson in your "Endgames".

6. I beg to differ. This is why you blog.

7. Ches, you have been given enough opportunities to acknowledge your errors. I gave you an explanation as to why I cannot continue. Unless we can agree a baseline where you are able to acknowledge your errors it will be a fruitless exercise. Stop treating this as a game, looking for any excuse to wriggle. This is not "ad hominem" but fraternal correction. In fact your false accusations of "ad hominem" is itself an ad hominem attack against myself.

Ches said...


If you are unable to accept that I am arguing with honesty, how can we go on arguing about anything?

In any case, as Saint Thomas Aquinas tells us: disregard the man, consider the argument. Readers will see instantly that you have quite reversed this counsel.

Having rechecked the citation, I shall point out that Bishop Felly was quoting Archbishop Lefebvre.

Meanwhile, 'privatisation of religion' is a widely attested usage and not the result of the 'lunacy' of my usage:

WTFAYTA said...

I am right - you are wrong, go on - admit it - you are wrong! Where's your humility, man? Admit I am right and you are wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! I am right and you are wrong! What's your problem in admitting this? You seem to be wedded to your errors.

This kind of attitude sums up the SSPX's dealings with Rome!

Ches said...


That's quite a moniker! Yes, I have sensed the parallels but hesitated to point them out. WTPDS is, I believe, not entirely representative of their mindset.

WTFATYA said...

I am sure Bishop Fellay is far more diplomatic!

John said...

Um, WDTPS, I'm not all that interested in reading continued postings RE "Ches, you're being an imbecile and an arrogant fool". You've made your case--two or three times now--and Ches has disagreed.
Don't you think it's time to take your view elsewhere?

gm said...

I attend a RC Diocesan parish that celebrates both the EF (Tridentine) and the OF (Novus Ordo), and have participated in both forms. When the OF is celebrated it is done so reverently, and with no novelties or ad hoc optional parts i.e. no hand holding Pater noster, kiss of peace- hug fest etc. Our priest sees the OF through a lens of the EF and in the continuity of tradition. Why does the SSPX have a problem with this? Moreover, why would they not accept an ordinariate similar to the Anglo-Catholics?

WDTPS said...

Ches, I do think you find it difficult admitting to error - even when you subsequently shown to be wrong. And that's not said as an ad hominum but rather fraternal correction. This is your vice.

When you write this: "This outcome was inevitable and I said it would end this way [link]" and this: "I was right then, and I'm right now". How do they sound to you. Humble, pious, arrogant, proud? How do suppose one should read them?

WDTPS said...

Thank you for the references, can I ask if you bothered to read them?
First, your claim was 'privatisation of judgement' not 'privatisation of religion' (but put that to one side);
Second, it was already pointed out to you that 'privatisation' has been used in a non-economic context and that you were given references;
Third, you used privatisation to denote theft - a grab by a private group to take ownership of that which belongs to the public. Again I repeat: privatisation is the legitimate transfer of ownership from the public to the private. And this is what your references demonstrate. They discuss the 'privatisation of religion' as being secularisation of a country by the public authorities (Czech Republic, Germany etc). Hence they back up what I say and not your claim of theft.

This is why I say your usage is lunacy and you have completely failed to provide any references to support such a ridiculous claim.


Ches said...


There are many ways in which one might say 'I was right about something'; why must you lend me the very worst of intentions? If you think your constantly harping on about your own irreformable view of my character has anything fraternal about it, believe me I shall pray for you more than I currently am doing.

Meanwhile, the secularisation of a country by the public authorities is called societal secularisation or laicisation. Withdrawal of religiosity from the public sphere and from institutional forms of religion is called privatisation (some say individualisation) in sociology. Privatisation of judgment says clearly that an individual subject has taken to itself a function which hitherto belonged to a public body; in this case, the SSPX, a limited body, usurp the doctrinal judgment of the Magisterium. When the Church tells me the New Mass is Catholic and the SSPX says (with definitive certitude) it is not, the SSPX is essentially, and perhaps unwittingly, taking to itself a function of Magisterial judgment which only belongs properly to the public authorities of the Church.

I see your problem: you think that since one of the agents of economic privatisation is the State, then one cannot say privatisation in this sense. But omnis comparatio claudicat, nisi in puncto comparationis - my point of comparison was the passage of this function from public to private hands. This is called analogy. Every analogy is like and unlike what it describes. Without this use of language, we become at best literalist and at worst nominalist.

Anyway, this conversation has gone as far as it can go. I have allowed you to indulge your taste for pronouncing judgment against me long enough and you have repaid me with bickering. And I have given you ample opportunity to respond to the argument about the obstacles to reunion: something you have singularly failed to do. Since you are so keen on correcting my errors, I wonder that you have not engaged with that argument. People will think you agree with me!

In any case, God bless you.

WDTPS said...

Ches, what SSPX does or doesn't claim is not relevant; this is another strawman fallacy. It is whether your claim of usurpation by the SSPX is a form of privatisation.

I refer you to this paper "The Meaning of Privatization" -

Paul Starr is a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University (bio here -

First, for privatisation to occur there has to be the withdrawal of that which is privatised from the public body. Now the Magisterium would not agree they have withdrawn any doctrinal judgment (and you have provided no evidence that they have) so your analogy fails.

Second, for a privatisation there has to be a transfer. Now the Magisterium would deny they have transferred any judgment to the SSPX and similarly the SSPX would deny they receive any. So your analogy fails again.

WDTPS said...

Third, the privatisation of something (offered by the public body) is a legal transfer from the public body to the private individual (or group). But you claim theft (usurpation) on the part of SSPX so your analogy fails yet again. Otherwise armed robbers helping themselves to gold ingots at the bank of England would be, in your view, a type of privatisation. This is clearly nonsense.

In addition you have been unable to provide any references to published works that support your claim of 'usurpation = privatisation'. Not one. If what you claim is true then it should be easily citable, but the fact that you cannot should at least ring alarm bells with.

Now can you see the flaws in your analogy? Your position is untenable (I think you know this and that's why you haven't dared to use the phase again).

But there is something you can do to sort this out once and for all Ches. Would you be willing to submit to someone from the academic staff in the English Language dept at your university to get their verdict? What would it take for you to admit your error?

WDTPS said...

No Ches its not bickering, I wrote many posts ago that unless you can admit to error there was little point of engaging with your argument. It would become, just like this privatisation nonsense, a fruitless exercise.

Ches said...

The article proves clearly that the term can be used analogically; that's odd, because you have strictly maintained privatisation was an economic term from the beginning. Hmm, but when you use the word 'fruitless', do you not struggle with the fact that it has nothing to do with fruit, seeds, juice, peel and trees? You've made me wonder now.

To conclude, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

In any case, the fact we'll never agree on the semantics of this is no obstacle to your addressing the main argument of the post. Still, I'm not holding my breath. Your line of argument simply favours the personal and the tangential to the pertinent and the apposite. Is there any hope you will address the point?

WTFAYTA said...

Ches, I'm glad you're not holding your breath trying to explain the concept of an analogy to WDTPS. He/she seems not to understand the difference between 'libel' and 'liable' - see his/her post at 4.28 on 8th March. Any lectures from him/her about semantics would seem to be akin to being criticised by Ian Paisley for being anti Catholic!

Ches said...


True, but extinguish not the smoking flax! (agh, more analogy!)

WDTPS said...

1. No Ches, please retract this falsehood. I wrote on 8th March "You were then given a number of published works that used the term 'privation of judgement' in a non-economic context" and again on the 12 March "it was already pointed out to you that 'privatisation' has been used in a non-economic context" and "These included one in a religious context…". Completely false.

WDTPS said...

2. Prof. Starr and his work given previously is cited by hundreds ( of published works in both an economic and non-economic context. You would do well to read it and will easily see, as already pointed out, why you analogy fails.

3. For all you sneering you still have not addressed how your "analogy" denotes: withdrawal (of the public body [Magisterium]), transfer (by the public body [Magisterium]), receipt (by the private body [SSPX]) and the legitimate ownership. Quite simply, as you know, it doesn't: where is the withdrawal, the transfer, the legitimacy?

WDTPS said...

4. You have been asked to provide references to published works that use the word privatisation, as you do, to denote theft. You have failed to do so. Why, because there aren't any. This alone should raise concerns for any scholar. So how can you write "… the minor premisses of my argument must also be sound: my observations…" in another article when you fail to find any references?

5. You have never dared use again the phase "privatision ofjudgment". Why? Because you know it to be an absurd analogy; "privatisation=theft" so the largest robbery in Britain (Securitas depot) was a privatisation right? You would have had no problem with the BBC reporting it as a 'privatisation of cash'.

WDTPS said...

6. And if privatisation is analogous to usurpation why do the authors of these books need to give both?
(, to your thinking one is analogous to the other.

7. I note you ignored my request for you to involve someone from your university to ask their opinion. I suspect you know what the outcome will be. But surely humility alone would dictate that you see council from someone more learned.

WDTPS said...

8. Ches, leading on from the above, what are the steps one needs to take to show you are wrong. What will it take for you to say you were in error?

9. Your taunts of not addressing your "main argument" will not work; simply an attempt to distract readers from your inability to acknowledge your error. This needs resolving first, think of it as a prerequisite, just like, well you know…

Ches said...

My apologies. I had forgotten you had conceded the possiblity of analogy. Unfortunately, you still don't understand analogy because you are trying to truss it up in a three-point univocal definition.

I will quite happily use the expression privatisation of judgment, and my use or otherwise of the word has nothing to do with not daring at all! Haha! As I say, in the end a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. I have long since reconciled myself to the unfortunate semantic gulf between us. I think it is about time you did also.

Indeed, if I don't spend my evenings and spare time refuting you point by point, have you considered that it might be because my whole life does not revolve around this argument? That perhaps it is tangential? That perhaps it is just a way of avoiding the point of this post in the first place? Come on, cut to the chase.

None of the links work by the way.

WDTPS said...

No Ches, yet another distortion. There was no concession since I made it clear that I had previously given you references to published works that used the term 'privation of judgment' in a non-economic context – i.e. when addressing the same fallacy on your original blog.

Your argument by false analogy is a fallacy. Your premises are: i) private corporations perform functions previously done by a public body and the SSPX makes judgments which were reserved for the public body (Magisterium). ii) The functions performed private corporations were privatized. Your then conclude that the judgments made by the SSPX must also have been privatised.

WDTPS said...

This is a common fallacy and why you have this absurd analogy of " privatisation=theft". Again Ches, you should have no problem in citing published works to back up your claim (and I sure you’ve tried) but you can’t find another author committing the same fallacy.

I can understand why you would not want to submit to an authority on the English language since they would tell you the same thing. Prof. Starr has shown you to be in error: the chief characteristics of privatization simply do not exist in you analogy.

WDTPS said...

No Ches, you will never use 'privation of judgment' again (in the context of privatisation=theft), this was your sound-bite for the reason you left the SSPX if I remember correctly. But I showed that you didn’t create the phase, weren’t the first to use it in a religious context and that your use was a ‘false analogy’ fallacy. I think this is why you have difficulty admitting the error.

The links will work if you copy & paste what is in the brackets.

WTFAYTA said...

So WDTPS now wants you to "take council (sic) from someone more learned." You couldn't make it up! Or perhaps you could. Perhaps WDTPS is a kind of Ali G type figure who feigns ignorance for comic effect.

I imagine the interview would go something like this:

So what you is saying is that they is going to privatise the SSPX? Wicked! So we can buy shares in them?

No, no, it was just an analogy.

An allergy? Me Uncle Jamal has an allergy to peanuts - brings him out in a rash.

I was talking about the privatisation of judgement.

Judge Ment - is that some kind of rapper?

Fank you Sir Ches, I is off to smoke some flax!

Ches said...


I copied what was in the brackets and no they didn't work.

I didn't say 'privation', I said 'privatisation'. I don't care who used it first, and frankly am no longer prepared to discuss semantics with you when you don't even understand that analogy is always on a scale.

Unless it has escaped your notice, I have a proven track record of admitting my errors, most notably by my public confession of having once supported the SSPX, a confession that was triggered by slander and gossip at large. I wonder whether you have ever admitted an error.

Anyway, there is no point prolonging this silly discussion. Your silence on the main point of my post is eloquent.


Is it kind to expose a person's spelling mistakes when they are trying to look authoritative? I refrained from doing so!

Meanwhile, thank you for the Ali G act. You can come again.


Ali G said...

Fank you Lord Ches. I is not very intellectual but even I fink I understand what you is banging on about, although I must admit someone from me council helped explain it to me! The Protestants are them geezers that were started by Martin Luther King when he nailed a shopping list to a church door. In England, it was another King - Henry VIII. He didn't have a shopping list, but the Pope didn't let him get busy with another woman or somefing like that. Anyway, they separated from the Pope and had to rely on their own private judgement in theological matters. So, what you is saying as an allergy is that the SSP HEX because they hoperate outside the visible structures of de Church, they too, are 'privatising' their judgment in theological matters. So it has nuffin to do wiv shares or nicking stuff or anyfing like that - it's just an expression. Anyway, I must go. That is all me brain can take for today and I've dropped me smokin flax on the sofa.

WDTPS said...

Ches, to 'make private' and to 'privatise' are, as you now know, not the same. To give an analogy, you could make this blog private and hence restrict who could view it or you could privatise it and pass ownership to someone else. Your sidekick fails to understand this simple difference, so when he writes the SSPX are "'privatising' their judgment" this means their judgment has transfer to the SSPX faithful. I doubt he meant this; he simply doesn't get it.

WDTPS said...

I have asked three times for you to canvass an opinion from one of your university colleagues. Your continual silence is sufficient to show that you already know what their response will be.

You have also been asked numerous times to provide references to published works that use the word privatisation, as you do, to denote theft. Again You have failed to provide any references.

If you search for "the meaning of privatization" in Google Scholar you will see that Prof. Starr's work to cited by hundreds of of published works in both an economic and non-economic context. If you read it you will understand why you analogy fails.

WDTPS said...

Type this - "usurpation and privatisation" | "usurpation and privatization" | "privatisation and usurpation" | "privatization and usurpation" - into Google books and you will read books where the authors give both use both words, but why if they are as you claim analogous?

It is certainly true that you have never dared use again the phase "privatisation of judgment". And you never will use it to denote theft (just like like no other published author has). You

The evidence against you is overwhelming Ches but you stubbornly refuse to admit it. Consequently, I have forced you to betray your own criteria for sound arguments, as you wrote in another article"… the minor premisses of my argument must also be sound: my observations…". All this has gone out of the window.

WDTPS said...

Your argument by false analogy is a fallacy since the chief characteristics of privatisation are not present in your "privatisation of judgment" and you end up with your nonsensical equation of privatisation=usurpation. And this fallacy came about because you made the same mistake as you sidekick as mentioned at the beginning, and rather than admitting the error you tried to explain it away as an analogy. But when pressed you could support the claim and refuse to seek advise from anyone.

All pretty damning stuff, Ches.

Well, let me ask you this question, when does an analogy become a fallacy? Give a definition of both and lets see which category yours comes under.

Ches said...

If I defined fallacy, you wouldn't listen anyway, so what's the point? Your commitment to a semantic tangent and your constant self congratulation have become totally wearisome.

Finally, by way of information for anyone who even cares about this nonsense, I provide the following link which demonstrates the sociological analogue of 'privatisation' not included in Starr's restricted treatment of the question. Now, since canonical and doctrinal judgment are two of the three functions of the Church which shape her mission, I hold 'privatisation of judgment' to be a perfectly acceptable extension of the analogy contained in 'privatisation of religion'. This term is not exclusively about the laicisation of the State but about the way in which religion is internalised by private individuals or groups who take upon themselves functions hitherto exercised by some univerally recognised agent.

Further proof of the acceptabilty of the usage can be found in

Jeremy R. Carrette, Richard King, 'Selling spirituality: the silent takeover of religion', cited on web-based sources 140 times since its publication in 2005, and which includes the expressions:

'privatisation of religion';

'privatisation of mysticism';

'privatisation of human experience';

'privatisation of Asian Wisdom Traditions';

'privatisation of the spiritual'.

End of discussion.