In a fit of exasperation R.M. Schultz wrote:
I now offer a new definition of "Holocaust Denier:"
If it walks like Scott Smith, talks like Scott Smith, and twists the issues like Scott Smith, it is a Holocaust Denier!
I am sick-to-death of your despicable rhetorical gambits and this will be my last post on this thread.
You know — now that Scott Smith cannot undermine our efforts, perhaps it is time to try to define "Holocaust Denier" again.
A Holocaust denier is a person who undermines your efforts to twist the issues to his disadvantage.
R.M.Schultz has some predecessors in his efforts to “twist again”.
First of all, the “bull” of it:
To enter into a history of Bulls and Briefs would require a long and elaborate monograph, so we must be content to remind ourselves that the term bulla, which in classical Latin meant a water-bubble, a bubble then came to mean a boss of metal, such as the knob upon a door. (By transference it also implied a certain kind of amulet, generally made of gold, which was worn upon the neck, especially by noble youths). Hence in course of time the word bulla indicated the leaden seals by which Papal (and even royal) documents were authenticated, and by an easy transition we recognize that towards the end of the twelfth century a Bull is the document itself. Naturally very many kinds of edicts are issued from the Cancellaria, but a Bull is an instrument of especial weight and importance, and it differs both in form and detail from constitutions, encyclicals, briefs, decrees, privileges, and rescripts. It should be remarked, however, that the term Bull has conveniently been used to denote all these, especially if they are Papal letters of any early date. By the fifteenth century clearer distinctions were insisted upon and maintained.
It has been necessarily thus briefly to review this important series of Papal documents to show that the famous Bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, 9 December, 1484, which Innocent VIII addressed to the authors of the Malleus Maleficarum, is no isolated and extraordinary document, but merely one in the long and important record of Papal utterances. although at the same time it is of the greatest importance and supremely authoritative. It has, however, been very frequently asserted, not only be prejudiced and unscrupulous chroniclers, but also by scholars of standing and repute, that this Bull of Innocent VIII, if not, as many appear to suppose, actually the prime cause and origin of the crusade against witches, at any rate gave the prosecution and energizing power and an authority which hitherto they had not, and which save for this Bull they could not ever have, commanded and possessed.
Without exception non-Catholic historians have either in no measured language denounced or else with sorrow deplored the Bull of Innocent VIII as a most pernicious and unhappy document, a perpetual and irrevocable manifesto of the unchanged and unchangeable mind of the Papacy. From this point of view they are entirely justified, and their attitude is undeniably logical and right. The Summis desideranted affectibus is either a dogmatic exposition by Christ's Vicar upon earth or it is altogether abominable.
That (the last paragraph) is how the revisionists like to twist the issues. They don’t know what a Papal Bull is.
We may now consider the exact force of the Apostolic Bull Summis desiderantes affectibus issed on 9 December, 1484, by Innocent VIII to Fr. Henry Kramer and Fr. James Sprenger.
In the first place, it is superflous to say that no Bull would have been published without the utmost deliberation, long considering of phrases, and above all earnest prayer. This document of Pope Innocent commences with the set grave formula of a Bull of the greatest weight and solemnity. “Innocentius Episcopus Seruus seruorum Dei ad perpetuam rei memoriam.” It draws to its conclusion with no brief and succinct prohibitory clauses but with a solemn measured period: “Non obstantibus praemissis ac constitutionibus et ordinationibus Apostolicis contrariis quibuscunque. . . .” The noble and momentous sentences are built up word by word, beat by beat, ever growing more and more authoritative, more and more judicial, until they culminate in the minatory and imprecatory clauses which are so impressive, so definite, that no loophole is left for escape, no turn for evasion. “Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paganim nostrae declarationis extentionis concessionis et mandati infringere uel ei ausu temeraris contrarie Si qui autem attentate praesumpserit indignationem omnipotentis Dei ac beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum eius se nouerit incursurum.” If any man shall presume to go against the tenor let him know that therein he will bring down upon himself the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
Could words weightier be found?
Mark the words, twisters of the issues!
“Could words weightier be found?”
Well, just wait!
It belongs to that class of ex cathedra utterances “for which infallibility is claimed on the ground, not indeed of the terms of the Vatican definition, but of the constant practice of the Holy See, the consentient teaching of the theologians, as well as the clearest deductions of the principles of faith.” Accordingly the opinion of a person who rashly impugns this Bull is manifestly to be gravely censures as erronea, sapiens haeresim, captiosa, subuersiua hierarchiae; erroneous, savouring of heresy, captious, subversive of the hierarchy.
How do the twisters of the issues go about their abominable business?
Compare (no names!) with the “pitch of annoyance” of a certain “Fr. Thurston”:
The intimate discussions on miracles, spiritual graces and physical phenomena, which above all require faith, reverence, sympathy, tact and understanding, are conducted with a roughness and a rudeness infinitely regrettable. What is worse, in every case Catholic tradition and loyal Catholic feeling are thrust to one side; the note of scepticism, of modernism, and even of rationalism is arrogantly dominant. Tender miracles of healing wrought at some old sanctuary, the records of some hidden life of holiness secretly lived amongst us in the cloister or the home, these things seem to provoke Fr. Thurston to such a pitch of annoyance that he cannot refrain from venting his utmost spleen. The obsession is certainly morbid.
Your remember the “Krema sausage”, don’t you?
I have heard upon good authority that the ecclesiastical superiors took exception to such a publication. I may, of course, be wrong, and there can be no question that there is room for a different point of view, but I cannot divest my mind of the idea that the exaggerated rationalization of mystical phenomena conspicuous in the series of articles I have just considered may be by no means unwelcome to the Father of Lies. It really plays into his hands: first, because it makes the Church ridiculous by creating the impression that her mystics, particularly friars and nuns, are for the most part sickly hysterical subjects, deceivers and deceived, who would be fit inmates of Bedlam; that many of her most reverend shrines, Limpias, Campocavallo, and the sanctuaries of Naples, are frauds and conscious imposture; and, secondly, because it condemns and brings into ridicule that note of holiness which theologians declare is one of the distinctive marks of the true Church.
Thank God for our exception-taking Guardians!
Savour the following, an appreciation of a twister-of- the-issues worthy to be written by the thread-starter himself!
His bias evidently makes him incapable of dealing impartially with any historical fact, and even a sound and generally accepted theory would gain nothing by the adherence of so prejudiced an advocate. It has seemed worth while to utter a word of caution regarding his extraordinary output, and especially in our present connexion with reference to the article upon “Witchcraft,” which appears to me so little qualified to furnish the guidance readers may require in this difficult subject, and which by its inclusion in a standard work of reference might be deemed trustworthy and reliable.
Compare with our worthy Innocent of TRHF and his efforts:
It is very certain then that the Bull of Innocent VIII, Summis desiderantes affectibus, was at least a document of the highest authority, and that the Pontiff herein clearly intended to set forth dogmatic facts, although this can be distinguished from the defining of a dogma. A dogmatic fact is not indeed a doctrine of revelation, but it is so intimately connected with a revealed doctrine that it would be impossible to deny the dogmatic fact without contradicting or seriously impugning the dogma. It would not be very difficult to show that any denial of the teaching of Pope Innocent VIII must traverse the Gospel accounts of demoniacs, the casting out of devils by Our Saviour, and His Divine words upon the activities of evil spirits.
“Casting out of devils”, indeed!
Witches were the bane of all social order; they injured not only persons but property. They were, in fact, as has previously been emphasized, the active members of a vast revolutionary body, a conspiracy against civilization. Any other save the most thorough measures must have been unavailing; worse, they must have but fanned the flame.
R.M.Schultz will most assuredly agree beforehand, that the ensuing efforts of the readers of TRHF to define “the bane of all social order”, the “conspiracy against civilization”, will find a future evaluation like the following, accorded your predecessors:
We must approach this great work - admirable in spite of its triffling blemishes - with open minds and grave intent; if we duly consider the world of confusion, of Bolshevism, of anarchy and licentiousness all around to-day, it should be an easy task for us to picture the difficulties, the hideous dangers with which Henry Kramer and James Sprenger were called to combat and to cope; we must be prepared to discount certain plain faults, certain awkwardnesses, certain roughness and even severities; and then shall we be in a position dispassionately and calmy to pronounce opinion upon the value and the merit of this famouse treatise.
The interest, then, lies in the subject-matter. And from this point of view the Malleus Maleficarum is one of the most pregnant and most interesting books I know in the library of its kind - a kind which, as it deals with eternal things, the eternal conflict of good and evil, must eternally capture the attention of all men who think, all who see, or are endeavouring to see, reality beyond the accidents of matter, time, and space.
And that is only the FOREWORD!