Netflix’s ‘The Keepers’: Agenda-Driven Filmmaking Exploits a Nun’s Murder

Netflix : The Keepers

Netflix's The Keepers: Agenda before honesty

The 1969 unsolved disappearance and murder of a Baltimore nun, Sister Catherine Cesnik, certainly has all the makings of a compelling whodunnit. "Who killed Sister Cathy?" the trailer asks.

However, The Keepers, a multi-part "documentary" about the case airing on Netflix, is nothing but a bleary-eyed scavenger hunt trafficking in speculation, innuendo, rumor, discredited science, and a healthy heap of anti-Catholic bigotry. Anyone looking for an honest and clear-thinking analysis of this case will not find it here.

How can anyone believe this?

Netflix : The Keepers

Really, Jean?
Accuser Jean Wehner

The central thesis of The Keepers is that an alleged abusive priest, the now-deceased Rev. Joseph Maskell, can be tied to the disappearance and murder of Sr. Cathy. However, some of the central accusers in all of this, who claim that Maskell sexually abused them when they were young girls, have quite a bit of explaining to do.

For example, in 1995, a woman named Jean Wehner – whose claims play a central role in The Keepers – filed a civil lawsuit against Maskell under the name Jane Doe. What was uncovered in the course of her suit can only described as disturbing. It turns out that all of Wehner's claims of abuse surfaced through the dangerous and discredited practice of "repressed memory therapy."

It turns out that, according to court documents, Wehner has not just claimed that Rev. Maskell abused her in her life. Wehner has also claimed that she has somehow also been abused by:

  • four additional priests;
  • three or four religious brothers;
  • three lay teachers;
  • a police officer;
  • a local politician;
  • an uncle; and
  • two nuns.

Good grief. Really, Jean?

[***Click to read the source court documents yourself (pdf)***]
(Originally accessed at the site of writer Mark Pendergrast, author of the upcoming book,
Memory Warp: How the Myth of Repressed Memory Arose and Refuses to Die)

To say Wehner's claims are wild is an understatement. Not surprisingly, these inconvenient facts from the court documents were completely omitted from The Keepers.

Indeed, contrary to the series' corrupt attempts to discredit "repressed memory therapy," there is zero doubt that "repressed memory" is an utter fraud. As Dr. Richard J. McNally, Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, has written (pdf):

"The notion that traumatic events can be repressed and later recovered is the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry. It has provided the theoretical basis for 'recovered memory therapy' — the worst catastrophe to befall the mental health field since the lobotomy era."

That pesky DNA

As if Wehner's outlandish history were not disrupting enough, in May, two days before The Keepers first aired on Netflix, the producers of the series received some really bad news. The body of Fr. Maskell had been exhumed back in February, and police announced that DNA connected to the murder scene of Sr. Cesnik did not match that of the deceased priest. (Maskell died in 2001 denying any abuse and any connection to Sr. Cathy's murder.)

Needless to say, this piece of inconvenient news put a big damper on Netflix's story and Wehner's insane tale about Fr. Maskell somehow once showing her Sr. Cathy's corpse.

Trying to get the facts out

Following the cue of other fact-challenged screeds against the Catholic Church (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), The Keepers tries to advance the ages-old anti-Catholic bigotry of the Church as a corrupt, all-powerful institution somehow able to exert its influence across all sectors of society, including law enforcement.

To its credit, however, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has made a decent effort to punch back against the wild and bigoted claims that litter Netflix's hit piece. For example, contrary to claims in the film, the archdiocese strongly contends that it was not made aware of sex abuse allegations against Fr. Maskell until "1992, more than 20 years after the abuse occurred." Any claim that the archdiocese knew about allegations against Maskell before 1992 "is speculation and it is false."

We encourage readers to check out the archdiocese's extensive rebuttal to The Keepers.

The bottom line: Make no mistake. The Keepers is not honest and clear-thinking filmmaking. The Keepers is a bigoted and bumbling mess whose investigative depth more resembles The Keystone Cops. This is unfortunate, because Sr. Cesnik deserves much, much more.

——————–

[EDITOR'S NOTE, 7/30/17: On the same day we published our post, BigTrial.net published an excellent post by writer Mark Pendergrast, "The Dangerously Misleading Narrative Of 'The Keepers'." Check it out!]

Comments

  1. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 247PM:

    Here, confronted with my comment (the 10th at 909AM)  – building on MT’s previous comment – exposing the weaknesses of some of ‘Dan’s “examples”, ‘Dan’ merely waves it all away with the assertion that it is “more excuses” and so on. Anything, indeed, that contradicts ‘Dan’s cartoons is merely “a million excuses and lies” and so on.

    And then – had you been waitttttttingggg forrrrrrrrrrr ittttttttttttttttttttttttt? – ‘Dan’ takes the opportunity here to clutch the pearls and declare that he himself must be ‘included’ among “the innocent victims of your despicable cult”. ‘Dan’s just “innocent” but happens to be surrounded by “hundreds” of Catholic “liars”, as witnesses or as police officers or as judges. They’re all in cahoots against him. And he cawn’t think why … except that they’re all “liars”. His bathroom mirror tells him so.

  2. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 344PM:

    Here, faced with my comment (the 10th at 911AM) noting that the actual text of the Pauline pericope refers to Greeks and Jews but not to Christians (let alone Catholics), ‘Dan’ tries to run the old I’m Not/You Are bit: it is I who “will again attempt to manipulate and change the meaning of God’s Word to suit his corrupt agenda”.

    He delivers yet another pericope, not the one that I had quoted (Romans 1:16-17) but rather a different one (Romans 1:14-15, which he mis-identifies as “Romans 1:14-16”).

    Paul , ever the missionary, is eager to preach to the Greeks (who were pagans and not Christians and who did not accept Christ’s Gospel) and to the Jews (who were not Christians and did not accept Christ’s Gospel) precisely because they were not Christians and therefore their beliefs would not lead to salvation but indeed – as Paul goes on from verse 18 to the end of the Chapter at verse 32 – will only lead to “wickedness”.

    • Dan says:

      And now the publyin' imbicile proves who the real whackjob is among us, correcting my Bible quote and claiming "he mis-identifies … 'Romans 1:14-16' ", when he is absolutely wrong. That was a correct quote. What type of person is so bent on correcting others to make himself look intelligent, that he'll even claim to correct what isn't wrong. You may want to run a check on your Bible chops there, Chopper.

      Well now the deceiving liar thinks his cults hierarchy of pedophiles and perverts and their misbeliefs are leading them to salvation, because they're not terribly wicked. And they follow the gospel, so they must be the forgiven? I thought the gospel of Mary was rejected by the "church" of hypocrisy. Maybe there's a chance it can be assumed from the dead. And Mary, "Queen of Heaven", assumed into heaven? So that means you don't really know, you're assuming that's what happened. Haven't you ever heard, it's not good to ASS-U-ME, you'll make an ass out of you and your deceiving cult, Jackass.   servant of The Only God

  3. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 344PM:

    As I originally said concerning Romans 1:16-17, Paul focuses on the Greeks and the Jews – the former representing paganism and the latter denying Christ though they “knew God” (verse 21) – as the potential target audiences for his preaching … of Christ.

    As a missionary here even more than as a pastor to the already-existing Christian community in Rome, Paul wants to convert the pagans and Jews to Christ’s Gospel while simultaneously demonstrating to the existing Christians just why that conversion to Christianity (which the Christian community in Rome has already embraced) is so vitally important: without the guidance which embrace of Christ and the Gospel provides, then there can be for humans nothing but the abyss of an immorality that is so utter because it cannot even be recognized as such by those immured in it.

    • Dan says:

      And once again, publiar thinks his cult hasn't fallen into "the abyss of… immorality that is so utter because it cannot even be recognized as such by those immured by it". What's this? The prison without walls. You think because you lard this forum with lies, deceptions, slander, misinterpretations and excuses, that sane people will actually believe that you're the 'One Holy Church of God'. Do you think God the Father is as blinded as the poor lost followers and deceived of your church? If only the blind could see. Man, are you in for a rude awakening.  servant of the One and Only Father

  4. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 344PM:

    Paul does not refer to Christians as participating in “wickedness” precisely because his entire point and purpose here is to contrast the “wickedness” of the pagan Greeks and the Jews (who deny Christ) with the salvific belief in Christ and the Gospel.

    Thus ‘Dan’s entire original attempt here – i.e. to apply Paul’s recitation (in verses 18 and following) of the woes and consequences of not embracing Christ’s Gospel to Catholics (and, it would appear, to just about any human beings, even those who are “gossips” (verse 29) – is a stretch indeed.

  5. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 344PM:

    But ‘Dan’s got that problem covered too: because – doncha see? – ‘Dan’ doth declare and declaim that Paul here is also being “prophetic”, which means – had you been waitttinggggggg forrrrrrrrrr itttttttttttttt? – that at the end of the day ‘Dan’s ‘prophecies’ against the Church are just part of what Paul has already … ‘prophesied’. Tah-dahhhhhhhhhhh!

    But even here, ‘Dan’ has to somehow shoehorn Catholics in among pagan “idolators”, which of course he also presumes – against all rational evidence – with his many deceptive conflations of ‘reverence’ and ‘worship’ and the churches as “temples” and the many “false gods” of Popes, saints, and so on.

    • Dan says:

      You're going to purposely skip Mary, your "Queen of Heaven", when mentioning "the many 'false gods' of popes, saints, and so on. The primary false 'Goddess of your Cult' and you're unwilling to even mention her name? Wait until you enter the gates of Hell, to find your false version of mary waiting for you at the gate. You're going to have to spend an eternity of Hail Mary's, bowing while you baste in flames. Hope she doesn't make your bulbous head explode.

  6. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 419PM:

    Here, apparently feeling a bit cocky, ‘Dan’ regrets to inform me that … and then we get just another assertion based on nothing but ‘Dan’s cartoon-presumptions: “Romans 1 most definitely applies to your cult”.

    It is perhaps of clinical interest that while ‘Dan’s eye seems to have been transfixed by Paul’s reference in verse 27 to males doing shameful things with males, he didn’t notice verse 26, wherein Paul refers to “females”.

    At any rate, his ‘logic’ fails spectacularly here: if one reads Paul’s woes (verses 18-32) it becomes rather clear that they could and do apply to any human aggregation. To claim that they apply to Catholics only, and then to claim on that silly and illogical basis that therefore Paul must certainly have been “prophetic”,  is surely to put the (plop-filled) cart before the horse.

    But that’s how things work in the cartoonish ‘Dan’-verse.

    • Dan says:

      I mentioned "males doing shameful things with males" because that's the favorite lust of your cult's creeps, grown and old men raping little innocent boys. Disappointed I didn't mention females? OK! Supposedly celibate nuns sexually involved with the hierarchy, having illegitimate children and disposing of them. And let's not forget the contemplative lesbian ones like the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of mary and virgins. Is that what they call themselves while molesting underaged girls. "Perpetual Adoration", but don't ever say we worship her. What a slew of hypocrites.

      In regard to your accusing me of claiming that Romans 1:18-32 applies only to "Kathliks" is just another of your many lies. It applies to all idolators, sexually immoral creeps, religions of perverts, disgusting leaders and any unrepentant sinners, it's just that your clowns have the market cornered when it comes to these terrible perverted malfeasances. I do like your misspelling, it works well with Kathlik Klan. Bunch of Sickos.   servant of the Truth

    • Dan says:

      Maybe I'll deal with the rest of your trash later, if I feel like ruining my evening, like answering to your ignorance ruins my day. Later creep.

  7. Publion says:

    On the 10th at 508PM ‘Dan’ will evade the profound questions posed by the events at Lourdes and Fatima. Instead he will simply croak in the usual way about “false gods and goddesses” and then press on to a distraction about “bowing and idolizing the almighty dollar”.

    This gambit is something he considers to be indicative of an impressive “mental state” because it shows that he’s “not dumb enough to go against the Creator and bow to idols of any kind”.

    That the events at Lourdes and Fatima can only have been the result of that Creator’s intervention and action is something ‘Dan’s cartoons can’t handle and he gingerly backs away from them.

    Once again, if it comes to a choice between his cartoons and God, ‘Dan’ will go with his cartoons. And be proud of it.

    He’s agin’ all religion, but especially Kathliks (because – doncha see? – they “lie” about him and get him arrested and sent to psychiatrists and what could be more proof of their idolatrous evil-hood than that?).

    • Dan says:

      The garbage and lies "at lourdes or fatima can only have been the result of that Creator's intervention and action is something Dan's cartoons can't handle and he gingerly backs away from them."

      Really?!? I back away from none of your ignorance and nonsense. Not terribly worth wasting my time on your stupid catholic visions, when God my Father already covered your dumb idolatry in the Bible way before the fantasies ever happened.

      "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." Colossians 2:18,19

      Let's see now, you lie and claim you only worship God, brag about your dumb false visions, puffed up by lusting minds, never holding fast to the Head (that would be Godhead), and totally separated from God's nourishment and strength. Like I've said, non-Christian. Goodbye.  servant

      P.S. Notice that your greatest phony visions happen to be of Mary, "Queen of Heaven" and not of Jesus or God. No, we don't worship her. Not Much!!!

    • Dan says:

      Later, back out enjoying "the beautiful day the Lord has made, I shall rejoice in it and be glad". Glad i'm not a lying, deceiving, slandering, catholic creep. Thank You, Jesus.

  8. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 1146PM:

    Here ‘Dan’ gives us a pearl-clutchy huff about being accused of a “fundie switcheroo scam”.

    He notes my point (about a pericope he himself selected, Exodus 20: 3-5, in his comment of the 8th at 1135PM) that a “thing” is not a “person”. And what is his response to that point? He merely throws more ploppish assertion at it (i.e. it is “deceiving nonsense”).

    In support of this he simply ignores the problem he created for himself by the selection of the Exodus pericope, and focuses only on the other pericope he had chosen, from Romans 1:22-23.

    This pericope is from that section of Romans 1 (verses 18-32) where Paul lists some of the “wickedness” of the pagans. ‘Dan’ slyly leaves a bit out; the entirety of verse 23 is: “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes”.

    • Dan says:

      Oh yeah! It's a "fundie switcheroo scam", oinks the publiar. What is your basic problem? Are you dense? You accuse me of mental deficiencies and yet you have no clue that I'm cross referencing other verses to show you that the verse in Exodus was referring to a human or person, not a "thing". In Romans, which is almost an identical verse in regards to idolatry, I even capitalized "IMAGE OF MORTAL MAN". In Isaiah 44:13 I capitalized "HUMAN FIGURE" to show that idols were carvings of people, not just things, as you want to manipulate  to back your lies and false agenda, "switcheroo scam".

      Baruch 6 tells of their idols with crowns on their heads, just like your goddess Mary with an over-sized bulbous crown in fatima and other pompous ceremonies. And I "slyly" left nothing out, I stopped in the verse where my point was proven, "ANYTHING" can mean an "IMAGE OF MORTAL MAN OR OF BIRDS OR OF FOUR-LEGGED ANIMALS OR OF SNAKES." Of course that wouldn't necessarily mean one the 2 legged snakes like yourself, unless your cult might make a statue of you to idolize for your fine work of minimalizing sexual abuse of minors among the perverts and pedophiles of your Kathlik Klan.

      What is your little twisting, manipulating game you think you can play here. Is it to fool the brainwashed catholics, because you surely haven't fooled me, creep.  servant

      P.S. MORTAL MAN also refers to your mary statues and artwork you Kathliks bow to. Disgusting Idolatry at it's best!

  9. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 1146PM:

    ‘Dan’ was deceptive and sly in omitting that final set of phrases in the verse; those phrases demonstrate that Paul is shrewdly playing on the Romans’ own abhorrence of that seeming bestiary of Egyptian divinities while simultaneously indicting equally the Romans’ own divinization of the Caesars.

    But ‘Dan’ and the fundies couldn’t care less about the Egyptians and the Caesars. Their agenda is to toss plop at the Kathliks and if they can cut-and-paste pericopes to achieve that and even make it look like God’s very Word … why that would be the very thing.

    • Dan says:

      I've already told you, your rulers are Caesars and even like the Pharoahs of Egypt. Only those were obvious evils, where your creepy leaders, in their dresses and fish head crowns, try to pass themselves off as holy and pure, when in reality they're only wholly wicked, "wolves in sheep's clothing". I've even seen their disgusting vatican museums idolizing the black statues of Egypt and Roman, corrupt leaders. Don't even try to weasel your way around it, the cult is pagan Rome and Babylon of the Bible. Disgusting idolatry, paganism, sexual perversions, liars and cowards. Yes you found the perfect fit.  servant

  10. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 1146PM:

    And right on schedule we get a further download from ‘Dan’s 3×5 plop-pile’s ‘Idolatry’ section. All of which require the presumption that Catholics are “idolators” and actually worship their devotional  statues and paintings in the same way that ancient religions did.

    Does he really think and does he really expect us to accept that to Catholics Michelangelo’s painting of God the Creator on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is … a divinity? That the image of God the Creator painted on that ceiling is itself a divinity?

    This is where ‘Dan’s faux-Scriptural whackery quickly takes you.

  11. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 10th at 1146PM:

    All of which faux-Scriptural blathering then leads to his belting out the aria “How do you catholics …”, which platforms his summation-epithet to the effect that ‘Dan’ has run into “several liars from the church” (down, we note, from the previous “hundreds” … apparently he doesn’t want to make himself appear tooooo crazy).

    And that’s all topped off with another God’ll-getcha-all bit. As if that doesn’t make him look toooo crazy.

  12. Publion says:

    On the 11th at 1220AM ‘Dan’ then considers Lourdes and Fatima further.

    Since there are so many Marian statues and paintings around, why then that proves … what? For this bit to work you have to presume that them Kathliks are worshipping Mary.

    And a further download of more fundie-bits from ‘Dan’s ‘Mary-Idolatry’ section of his plop-pile.

    To ‘Dan’ – as long as you hide and gloss-over the presumptions he has made – all this constitutes “obvious proof”. He cawn’t think why or how anyone could deny it.

    Just as the guy over in the institution’s secure wing who’s put together his Napoleon hat and is clearly wearing it on his head simply cawn’t think why people don’t realize that he is indeed Napoleon. And thus start ‘prophesying’ to anyone he can corral into hearing him that he is being attacked by lying deceivers who want to hide from you the fact that he is actually Napoleon, back and in business all over again.

  13. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 11th at 849AM:

    Here ‘Dan’ will now claim to MT that he never ever ever “accused” MT of “defending pedophiles”.

    Rather what ‘Dan’ (the 9th at 146PM) said to MT was “so now you’re defending liars and pedophile pervert excusers”. Well, it’s good that that’s cleared up, isn’t it?

    And we notice how ‘Dan’s mind works: he disagrees with MT’s opinion which ‘Dan’ thinks is “a bad opinion”. Not an inaccurate opinion or an insufficiently-grounded opinion or an irrational opinion but instead “a bad opinion”.

    There are only ‘good’ opinions and ‘bad’ opinions in ‘Dan’s two-horse, either-or, moralizing mind … and y’all know whose opinions are the ‘good’ opinions – doncha all? – because the ‘good’ opinions are also God’s opinions. We can believe ‘Dan’ in this because his bathroom mirror tells him so.

  14. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 11th at 849AM:

    And then, and-with a sublime self-ignorance, ‘Dan’ doth inveigh against a “snobby, self-righteous lying creep”. ‘Dan’ who, we recall, has declared himself (or Himself) to be the only “true” Christian in these parts and in so many ways the oh-so-speshull “servant/Servant” of God and so on and so forth.

    But ‘Dan’ doesn’t hold with “correcting” people – doncha see? It makes him look like he’s not quite in control of his material and since ‘Dan’s material is really just God’s material … why, then, how can that be?

    This is what a nice tight Fixed Delusional Syndrome will get you.

    And while the teachings of “God and His Son” have no “shortcomings”, ‘Dan’s stuff has more than enough shortcomings to go around. And ‘Dan’ most surely doesn’t want to think about that. It makes his head want to explode.

    • Dan says:

      I've responded to enough of your ignorant stupidity for one day. I'd like to close with questioning why you act so childish and immature, with your "waitttttttingggg forrrrrrrrr itttttttttttttttttttt", Tah-dahhhhhhhhhhhhh!, toooooo crazy" garbage? And your stupid toilet analogies, Napoleon idiocies, Nazi quotes, Cartoon Time and in fact just about any of your trash and stuff stinks and is so infantile. Do you think your cute or funny? You're just an annoying little twit, and I 'cawnt' believe I've been wasting my time with all your ignorance.  servant

  15. Judith says:

    I personally have dealt with the priests abuse in our area and I know that this women is telling the truth.  The Church does cover things up and worst things are going on that even what is said in this film.  the truth can be difficult to take and believe but in this case if is more than likely that this sad documentary is telling the truth

    • KenW says:

      Judith, what did you know firsthand about the priests and did you report them to the police?

  16. KenW says:

    Open letter to Dan and Publion: shut up. You're littering the com box to the point it's impossible to interact with others on the actual topic. Thanks in advance. 

    • Dan says:

      Hey KenW, Sorry that my comments were too much for you. This is an open forum and anyone can jump in at anytime. I wasn't trying to hog, but felt I had every right to defend myself from the lies of many catholics, including publiar. I could understand how most catholics wouldn't want to hear some of the truths I've pointed out from the Bible. I have no agenda and gain nothing from defending my beliefs. My only hope was that some confused catholics might come to know the truth, and save their souls from an eternity of punishment. If that means I've done something wrong, then God will be my judge.

  17. Publion says:

    I’ll go down ‘Dan’s recent crop in the order they appear on the site. Some of them are just attempted ‘comebacks’ and don’t require any comment; some of them seem to involve ‘Dan’s meme of the day, which is that he’s going out to enjoy the day and so on; he’s just ever so much the true Flower Child, doncha know?

    Thus to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 120PM:

    ‘Dan’ had a problem: how to explain his mind-numbing assertion that Catholicism always has been and always will be separate from Christianity.

    Whatever will he do to justify this cartoonish bit of his?

    Easy-peezy: he will evade it all by distraction, i.e. changing the subject to the Church as having “a bigger Cartoon Time”. But it was ‘Dan’s smaller “Cartoon Time” that was the topic. And he’s got nothing in that regard.

    Thus the comment riffs on and trails off in epithetical stuff to further distract from his evasion.

  18. Publion says:

    On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 143PM:

    Here ‘Dan’ will try to minimize his problems by claiming that I am accusing him of “running some ‘minimalizing gambit’”. Well, I did and I am: he is trying to minimalize the Church’s role in formulating the canon of the New Testament.

    And now readers must try to follow the bouncing ball of ‘Dan’s evasive pattern here: prescinding from the epithet (“the jerks”) ‘Dan’ now claims that “’the Church’ only organized all of the Bible”.

    The Biblical ignorance behind this assertion is spectacular: what we today call the Old Testament is actually based on the Septuagint , derived from the Greek for ‘seventy’, the number of Hebrew scholars asked by Ptolemy the Second Philadelphus to translate the Torah from ancient Hebrew into Greek. Later translations were made of other books of what we now call the Old Testament.

    The Septuagint scholars’ ordering, as well as their translation, was in place well before the birth of Christ. But even today different Christian traditions have their own assessments of what is canonical among the various OT Books.

  19. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 143PM:

    We then move from the ridiculous to the sublime with ‘Dan’s further stab at self-extrication : in regard to the New Testament “they” (meaning, apparently, the Church) “wrote nothing and prophesied no part of it” (scream-caps omitted).

    What can this assertion possibly mean and of what relevance is it?

    First, nobody ever said the Church “wrote” any of the Books of the NT.

    Second, what can “prophesied” possibly mean here? Who has ever “prophesied” any Book(s) of the NT? How would one even do it?

    The best I can make of this bit is that we are back to word-game-driven ‘theology’ based on the old ‘Dan’/fundie ‘prophecy’ bit – although how it actually is supposed to work here in this context remains (conveniently, for ‘Dan’) deeply unclear. But that’s hardly surprising.

  20. Publion says:

    Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 143PM:

    My point had nothing to do with writing texts or making ‘prophecy’. My point was that in the matter of forming the NT canon it was the Church that had to wade into a huge and deep problem-pool of assorted texts, often conflicting among themselves and some of them far too influenced by other religious sources, and thus assess and determine which texts were authentically in conformity with Christ’s message and were to be considered what would come to be declared the Books (and Letters) of the NT.

    Thus there was far far more involved than the Church’s having “ordered” or – now, ‘Dan’ adds – “assembled” the NT canon. It was a major and profound act of Scriptural and spiritual and theological assessment and discernment. Which is what I said in the first place and which is what ‘Dan’ tried to evade with his deceptively distracting bits about “wrote nothing and prophesied no part of it”.

    And it is the result of that process – the current text and canon of the NT – that ‘Dan’ and the fundies now (so very ironically) rely upon in their ongoing plop-tossing against the Church.

    Thus “Whoop Dee Doo” is demonstrated to be far more applicable to ‘Dan’s purported Scriptural and Biblical chops, and his “Mr. Know-It-All” recoils upon him rather thumpingly.

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 218PM:

      Here ‘Dan’ tries to extricate himself from his mistake by – slyly and deceptively and deceitfully – changing the subject: I hadn’t said he had “misquoted” the pericope; I had said that he “mis-identified” it (i.e. he mis-identified Romans 1: 14-15 as being “Romans 1: 14-16”).

      Once again we see a fundamental tendency in ‘Dan’ to evade – by whatever means necessary – his failures, whether in his cherished misadventure-epic or in his religious assertions or (as we see here) in his Scriptural eructations and claims.

      Whether in any individual instance it is conscious or whether by this point it is merely a reflexive habit … readers so inclined may judge as they will.

      And his comment then continues on in familiar riffy bits, spiced up – in that now-familiar queasily juvenile way – by some scatology.

      And even in his epithets he demonstrates a lack of chops: the correct spelling is “imbecile”; it was an early-20th century psychology term used on a gradation that also included “moron” and “idiot”. You’d think he would know this sort of thing, at least.

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 142PM:

      Here – and rather usefully – ‘Dan’ demonstrates another classic switcheroo: having “fallen into ‘the abyss of … immorality” (including gossiping, we recall from Paul’s text) can characterize just about every organization comprised of humans, and of any and all humans themselves. (Who here hasn’t been a “gossip”?)

      To try to run the fundie idea of ‘prophecy’ here (i.e. that Paul was specifically ‘prophesying’ about them Kathliks and the Church) is tantamount to saying nothing, since what Paul describes in his text can be applied to just about every individual human and every human-comprised organization.

      And – indeed – what we see here in Paul is not ‘prophecy’ as future-telling, but rather prophecy as an insight into human nature. Paul is not here foretelling any specific future (let alone foretelling ‘against’ them Kathliks and the Church) but rather is demonstrating his rather acute and sober (and somewhat dark) insight into human nature, especially when that human nature is not aided and ‘informed’ by the Gospel and the embrace of Christ.

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 142PM:

      The ‘Dan’/fundie scam here is to take a general reality observed (in this instance) by Paul and apply it to their personal-favorite target, them  Kathliks and the Church, claiming all the while that they’re just faithfully pointing out what Paul “prophesied” all along and from the beginning.

      This is a game that can provide a lifetime of playtime pleasure to those so inclined (or so limited).

      Oh, and God’ll-getcha if you don’t buy ‘Dan’s stuff, we are reminded in conclusion.

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 145PM:

      Here – merely because this particular bit of plop hasn’t been specifically mentioned much in the recent sequence of his comments – ‘Dan’ tosses in – yet again – the “Queen of Heaven” bit, i.e. that Mary is a goddess because Catholic devotionals refer to her as “Queen of Heaven”.

      This bit had been dealt with before:

      First, when in Catholic devotionals Mary is referred to as the “Queen” yet it always accepted that Christ is the King (Catholics even have a specific feast-day celebrating the Christ the King); so Mary’s queen-hood is utterly dependent on the Kingship of Christ. 

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 145PM:

      In the lingo of royalty – much more developed in later centuries than in the medieval era – Mary would be more accurately termed the Mother of the Sovereign. Thus, for example, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Duchess of Kent and Strathearn, was the Mother of the Sovereign, not the Sovereign herself; thus she was the Mother of the Queen (in this case, Victoria) and not Queen-Mother nor herself a Queen).

      Nor was she even the transmitter of the ‘royal-ness’ of (future-Queen) Victoria; that came through (future-Queen) Victoria’s father, Prince Edward of Kent and Strathearn.

      So what we have here is merely another instance of genuinely “ignorant” fundie word-games, based on their lack of knowledge of medieval and royal terminology and fueled by their animus against Kathliks and the Church. ‘Dan’ is in this whackery up to his neck, for his own purposes.

      And as I have said, formal and official Catholic teaching and doctrine clearly insists upon the human-ness of Mary, who is in no way divine. (Again, readers so inclined may consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part One, Paragraph Six, Sections 964-975.) 

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 309PM:

      The problem ‘Dan’ faced here was how to dance around his obvious selective focus on male-on-male sex acts.

      How will he evade that juicily-suggestive problematic bit?

      Easy-peezy: it’s not his fault – doncha see? – it’s just that such sex is “the favorite lust of your cult’s creeps” … it’s their fault, doncha see? 

      Beyond that, for ‘Dan’s ‘prophecy’ stuff to hold water here, it would have to be demonstrated that no other humans or human-comprised organization has ever exhibited instances of male-on-male sex or, for that matter, any type of illicit sex among the types Paul mentions. That’s where the ‘Dan’/fundie cartoon road quickly takes you.

      And he then riffs happily on with phantasmagoria about priests impregnating nuns and nuns “molesting” girls and all sort of long-familiar stuff endemic to the darker sub-precincts of fundie-hood and anti-Catholic ranting, which stuff has more recently been revived for the purposes of the Stampede. 

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 309PM:

      In trying to extricate himself from his bit about Romans 1:18-32, he now tries to claim that it doesn’t just apply to Kathliks but also to “all idolators” (which he has in no way established that Catholics are) and all “sexually immoral creeps, religions of perverts, disgusting leaders” … which categories are firmly established in his cartoon phantasmagoria and remain to be definitively demonstrated.

      But he also slyly adds “unrepentant sinners” and here we see again ‘Dan’ attempting to operate in his capacity as Possessor and Readers of the Divine Tea-Leaves, since knowing who is and who isn’t “unrepentant” is something usually – and certainly in Catholic teaching – ultimately reserved to God.

      But – doncha see? – ‘Dan’ ‘knows’ this because his bathroom mirror tells him so.

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 13th at 535PM:

      Here ‘Dan’ will pronounce and declaim upon the historical events associated with Lourdes and Fatima:

      And what do we get? It’s all – had you been waittinggggggggg forrrrrrrr itttttttttttttt? – “ignorance and nonsense” and thus – ditttttttttttttttttto – “not worth wasting [his] time on”.  Also, apparently, that the “stupide catholic visions” are all “fantasies”. ‘Dan’ knows this because his bathroom mirror has told him so.

      Readers so inclined may consult the historical record for the ‘miracle of the sun’ at Fatima and the formal scientific findings of healings at Lourdes.

      ‘Dan’ then uses the fundie phrasing “in the Bible way” to prepare the tossing-in of a pericope. But the pericope doesn’t really address the points at issue here; persons can certainly be “holding fast to the Head” while simultaneously marveling at subsequent and rather thought-provoking actions of that Head in human events and history.

      All of which then leads into ‘Dan’s happily belting out the aria “Let’s see now” – summarizing his assorted efforts to dispose of material that makes his cartoon appear even more the cartoon it is and has always been. 

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 14th at 1225PM:

      Whatever is ‘Dan’ going to do about the “fundie switcheroo scam”?

      He’s going to pretend that the problem isn’t there; it’s just that I must have “a basic problem” and must be “dense”. (Which accusations then – to his mind anyway – get rid of the questions about his “mental deficiencies” too . Neato.)

      He then tries to engage in exactly the type of “literary criticism” that he has previously criticized: he was mererly “cross referencing other verses” – doncha see? The literalist school of Biblical interpretation (to which ‘Dan’ and the fundies are utterly indentured) doesn’t allow that; the text we had is right there and that’s all there is to it.

      And on top of that, we still haven’t established in any way whatsoever that Catholic statues and paintings are “idols” or divinities (we’re back, here, to my point about Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel).

    • Publion says:

      Continuing with my comment on ‘Dan’s of the 14th at 1225PM:

      So the swticheroo scam is in full play here: you have to presume that Catholic devotional objects constitute evidence of ‘worship’ and are “idols”. What is ‘Dan’s basic problem? Is he so dense that he doesn’t see that? (Answer: he is necessarily dense because otherwise his delusional indenture would be exposed for the cartoon whackery it actually is.)

      Thus ‘Dan’ can quote (even accurately) all the ‘idolatry’ pericopes he wants. They don’t work here because ’Dan’ has not in any way at all established that ‘reverence’ and ‘idol worship’ are the same thing. Indeed, quite the opposite.

      What, then, is ‘Dan’s “little twisting manipulating game” that he thinks he’s playing here? It is to “fool” people into presuming precisely that switcheroo scam, i.e. that Catholic ‘reverence’ equals idol-worship.

      I haven’t “fooled” ‘Dan’? The real problem is that ‘Dan’ has “fooled” – indeed deluded – himself. 

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 14th at 1242PM:

      Here – and once again – ‘Dan’ cawn’t think why it’s not obvious and crystal clear that his stuff is accurate.

      And in a sublimely self-ignorant obliviousness he then gives us another sterling example of his historical/theological chops: the Church’s “rulers are Caesars and even like the Pharaohs of Egypt” (correction supplied). One would think that so world-historical an assertion would prompt a competent and rational mind to support it with some convincing explication … but this is ‘Dan’ we’re dealing with here and in the ‘Dan’-world you are just supposed to take his cartoons as being veracious and reliably accurate from the get-go. No at-bat; ‘Dan’s game must begin on third base.

      He’s “told you” – doncha see? What more could “you” want or need?

      Readers may consider it and ‘Dan’ as they will.

    • Publion says:

      On then to ‘Dan’s of the 14th at 1258AM:

      Eyeing the exits urgently, ‘Dan’ then figures it’s time to head for them.

      Thus the huffy and overused aria “I’ve responded to enough of your ignorant stupidity”, pearls tightly clutched and horned-helmet trembling shakily on his head.

      ‘Dan’ comes prepared with nothing whatsoever except his 3×5 plop pile and his cartoon presumptions and the narratives and claims and stories and characterizations and so on that are derived from and built upon those presumptions. He reely reely doesn’t like all the imagery and stuff about things he doesn’t know much about (as if he actually knew much about Scripture).

      It all “stinks” and is – had you been waitttinggggggggg forrrrrrr itttttttttt? – “so infantile”. He doth find it all so “annoying”.

      Thus – delivered on the run – the aria “I cawn’t believe I’ve been wasting my time”. Will he trip over his plastic spear on the way to the wings? Thus the perils of showbiz for the blithely unprepared. 

  21. Publion says:

    On the 14th at 201PM ‘Ken W’ voices frustration at the amount of material I put up.

    I’ve addressed this recently on this thread but I would add this: in addition to the reasons that a) I think it is worthwhile for readers to follow this type of fundie mindset closely and observe its moves and that b) the anti-Catholic and fundie approach is part of the underlying foundation of the Stampede, there is also c) the problem of dealing with personal-experience claims and stories on the internet (such as ‘Ken W’ is working towards with his astute question to ‘Judith’): you can’t go very far along that path before it comes to the You Say/I Say wall.

    By that I mean: on the internet people can make claims and tell stories about personal experiences that others have almost no way of verifying independently. The only workable approach to this problem is that they might continue expanding upon that story or claim in enough depth so that the internal coherence of the story or its correspondence to known historical facts can be examined.

  22. Publion says:

    Continuing my thought on ‘Ken W’s of the 14th at 201PM:

    Perhaps ‘Judith’ will continue to expand her story and ‘Ken W’ can conduct an extended examination if and as he sees fit.

    But it is a hallmark of internet discourse that most people don’t work that way. Rather, they put up a single comment with their story and leave it at that. And others either have to accept it or not and that’s the end of it. Thus so very many of these stories remain unexamined but numerous readers simply accept them as true and that acceptance becomes part of what too many people think they now already ‘know’ about a subject.

    We’ve seen some of that here. And if you were to have gone onto the SNAP-type site or similar sites back in the day, such sites were jam-packed with that type of comment.

    Rarely were such stories doubted or questioned or in any way challenged.

  23. Publion says:

    Continuing my thought on ‘Ken W’s of the 14th at 201PM:

    Reporters often repeated such stories without doubting or questioning or challenging them.

    And we have even seen that tort-attorneys took such stories and claims and bundled them into lawsuits, where – given the settlement-strategy so dear to tort-attorneys – those stories remained largely unexamined and large sums of money were thereby gained.

    And we’ve seen on a recent Cardinal Pell thread how stories provided the foundation for much of the current Aussie brouhaha (although Judith Yost’s article examines them precisely for internal coherence and external correspondence and demonstrates them to be grossly lacking in both).

  24. Publion says:

    Continuing my thought on ‘Ken W’s of the 14th at 201PM:

    Perhaps ‘Judith’ will continue to further expand her story and ‘Ken W’ will be able to follow up on his acute question to her.

    But it has always seemed to me that if this site simply became a repository of such story-comments then before very long there would be little of substance and much of vivid story-telling and nothing much else.

    I have taken a longer, more round-about route with such stories and with story-tellers who were for their own reasons quite willing to keep providing material. And I think, as I have said, most readers – and especially Catholics – don’t often, if ever, get the chance to encounter fundamentalist material regarding the Church and Catholicism.

  25. Publion says:

    Continuing my thought on ‘Ken W’s of the 14th at 201PM:

    In past instances here there were a few who kept more closely to specific Stampede-related issues and kept putting up comments. Currently, we have one who brings more religion or theology (and willy or nilly, psychology) into the mix. I follow those paths, hoping to provide something of an enlightening – if somewhat more Stampede-nonspecific – analysis.

    I wish ‘Ken W’ well in the ‘Judith’ comment matter. Since it’s an open (though moderated) comments site, he is always welcome to put up comments. He’s certainly free to scroll down to avoid comments he doesn’t find interesting or helpful.

  26. Dan says:

    KenW writes a two line criticism, and the oinkin' publyin' sees that as an opportunity to take a backhanded swipe at myself and any opponent that comes against his Holier Than Thou False Religion and Cult. Your repetitive slander, lies and character assassinations do absolutely nothing to change the facts that your religion is plagued with idolatry, paganism, sexual immorality, pedophiles and perverts, blatant liars and excusers. You can make all the claims you like that you contribute to this forum "enlightening… analysis", "questioning" or "assessing", but your material bears witness that you can be trusted to be as honest as one would trust the lies of Satan himself. Display your great intelligence and self-righteous garbage as much as you prefer, while anyone should be able to understand that it's only a facade to hide the evil, lying, scoffing fool that hides within. Any brainwashed catholic that sucks up to your ignorance and nonsense, would have to be the most naive gullible dumb sheep to walk our planet. I'm perplexed on how your cult has lassoed 1.1 billion followers to buy into their evil lies, power, pompous celebrations and exorbitant greed. That is, of course, if we believe that number to bear any accuracy, seeing that the whole religion is based on lies, deception and exaggerations. Not surprising that the majority are only catholics by name and not practicing catholics.

    Any catholics who see I'm not interested in staying on topic, must understand that it's become hard to believe what actually is the truth in any of these cases. Do I accept the biased catholic perspective of making excuses for any accused members, until they're found to be guilty, sometimes by theirs or their churches own admissions? Do I trust or believe news reports, the internet or court cases plagued with corrupt judges and false witnesses? I'm more interested in the truth of a God who is just and fair, and find my time and energy better spent following and planting seed that might lead to the saving of souls from eternal condemnation. If that offends some in this forum, then I'm sorry, but I will remain going about my Father's business.   servant of the One True God

     

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