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More traditional alternative to Catholic Answers starts up – UPDATED July 15, 2013

Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, persecution, priests, Tradition, Virtue.

I know many of my readers have probably availed themselves of Catholic Answers – either through their many heavily promoted EWTN programs or their website – on a number of occasions. I never really have. There have been a few times I’ve gone their in search of information on some topic related to the Faith, but almost every time I came away disappointed. Their forums I found to be dens of modernist disinformation, but even the “main” website was never particularly edifying to me.

And, then, of course, there was the scandal of the recent program violently attacking traditional type Catholics, whom Patrick Coffin and Tim Staples dismiss as “radical traditionalists.”  Almost certainly aimed at the SSPX (the only practical group of heretics the hierarchy finds today, amidst a sea of apostasy) and sede vacantists, Patrick Coffin, for one, is now claiming the program was abundantly caveated with great admiration, even deference, given to those traditionalists who have not, at least formally, repudiated Vatican II.  I guess this would mean FSSP, ICX, and other such “canonically regular” groups, and those attached to such Masses. I didn’t hear the program, so, I’ll have to take their word for it, but the understanding I got was that these caveats, however present they may have been, failed to sway the overall impression the program gave, which was one of a 2 hour unrelenting attack on those who identified as traditionalists.

At any rate, if you are looking for an alternative source of information on the Faith, but from a persepective which is less redolent of the idea that the Church began in 1962, then you might want to check out the new site Faithful Answers (which reminds me – how come no one is hassling Catholic Answers about using the word Catholic in their name, as Church Militant TV was when they were still Real Catholic TV?  Could it have anything to do with the near total avoidance of any critique of the episcopate in this country Catholic Answers practices?  Does Catholic Answers have formal permission to use the term Catholic in their name?).  Contributors to Faithful Answers include Fr. Chad Rippberger, FSSP, who is a huge expert in spiritual warfare, at least, Dr. Robert Sungenis, Chad Arneson and Hugh Owen.  They already have a good lineup of articles and, of course, will be adding many more. They also link to the Kolbe Center, which presents very reasoned critiques of the sexular pagan religion of evolution from a Catholic perspective, and which I have been most remiss in not promoting in the past.

They already have quite a bit of interesting commentary up.  Just for example, here is a video from Faithful Answers that, as a tobacco user is near and dear to me, regarding moderate drinking and tobacco use:

Go poke around Faithful Answers, I think you’ll find, even at this very early date, much of interest. You can also sign up for daily or weekly updates.  Thanks to reader D for making me aware of this new site!

Dominus vobiscum!

UPDATE: Interesting reaction. I tend to agree with DDLG, why don’t we see what they actually post from Sungenis before we damn this new effort by association? When I did the post, the name sounded familiar, but I had never read or heard anything from the guy.  Getting my thinking cap back on, I recall him being quite heavily promoted on EWTN several years ago, as well as he being quite a regular part of the Catholic speaker’s guild.  He was quite mainstream.  Wikipedia lists some controversy over his comments on the Jews, which………grrr.  I would have to delve into exactly what he said in all its myriad details, but his main concern seems to have been, from my brief delving into this overnight, is that promoting the idea of the Jews having their own, separate path to salvation – an idea which has gained a frightening amount of traction in the Church inthe past 50 years – is incredibly problematic. It amounts to making a liar of Jesus Christ, who said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” I know there are bizaare theories of implied implicit Grace and all that, but they all share one common denominator – they are wholly novel to the theology of the Church, save for the last several decades.

I don’t know why some Catholics fall into this trap - they seem to start out wondering why the Church no longer teaches that the Jews need Jesus Christ to be saved, and then fall into controversies which, given present cultural predelictions and shibboleths, destroy their credibility.  I am not here to defend any of it (because, frankly, I don’t know it).  What I will say is that he is one contributor to a site with many contributors, including a priest I respect immensely.  That priest’s presence on the site more or less gives it the all clear to me, as I respect his judgment that much. I would also say that Sungenis has written a whole host of very solid, very well received apologetics material on a large variety of subjects, which material was for years embraced by the whole Church roadshow establishment. His books had forewards by Scott Hahn, his story was told by Patrick Madrid, etc., etc.  So, in this case, I’m going to wait and see what develops. As I said in reply to one scandalized commenter, there is nothing on the site at present that is controversial viz a viz Judaism.

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1. Mag7 - July 15, 2013

Sounds like a winner.
I too, was disappointed in the “Catholic Answers” blog

2. skeinster - July 15, 2013

Robert Sungenis? Seriously?

tantamergo - July 15, 2013

There is nothing untoward on the site, SB. If Sungenis’ extensive forays into OT exegesis have led him astray on some topics, hopefully those won’t appear on the site. I have actually never read anything he’s ever written, but I guess he used to be a pretty big wheel. There is nothing on the site that is controversial on the subject of Judaism that I could find.

skeinster - July 16, 2013

First rule- don’t comment in a hurry. Sorry

My thought is: if this is the website mentioned previously re: presenting a more accurate version of Traditionalism than CAL did, why would they include Robert Sungenis?

Imho, he’s another like E. Michael Jones- had some good stuff at one time, then went off the rails. Give him some due diligence and then let us know what you think.

The site is a good idea, but they need to pick their contributors very carefully. Not fair, but such is life.

3. RS - July 15, 2013

Really glad about this. When I was converting I would ask questions on CAF a lot. If you say anything even remotly critiquing a bishop or other clergy, you get a warning…I have gotten more than one for just asking an innocent question. The post about Card. Dolan to the muslims reflects this.

4. ProLIFEmommy - July 16, 2013

Thank you for this article. I, too, have been disgruntled with Catholic Answers…. But—I do hope you will allow me the opportunity to express my concerns regarding the Kolbe Center.

After checking out Kolbe Center a few months ago, I discovered the following, rather disturbing

“All statements by Church leaders favorable to evolution have been
non-authoritative or ambiguous. Catholics are obliged to hold fast to the
traditional doctrine of creation as it was handed down from the Apostles and to
pray that the Magisterium will re-affirm the traditional doctrine of creation as
soon as possible, for the good of souls and for the benefit of all the sciences.
(This quote is taken in the section titled: “In Conclusion” at the end of their
article titled: “The Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation”

This statement–again, in my humble opinion—is nothing more than a misguided opinion… HOWEVER, it is deceitfully disguised as Church Dogma.

St. Augustine was of the opinion that we should not expose the gospel to
ridicule by claiming that it teaches things about the physical world which
unbelievers will certainly regard as false, even obviously false.

In his encyclical, Humani Generis,
http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_pi12hg.htm Pius XII stated that there was
no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith. In an address
that Pope John Paul II gave to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Oct. 1996,
he stated, “Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical
[Humani Generis],
new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than
a hypothesis. http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

The Catholic Church has wisely refrained from endorsing any particular
scientific theory about these matters.
At the same time, Her love of truth has made the Church the natural home of good
scientists all through history… including astronomers, who find the universe
so old… including geologists who find the earth so old.

“Creation vs. Creationism,” written by Mary Daly, addresses the creationist cosmology from a
unified doctrinal, scriptural, scientific and philosophical perspective. It is
designed to invite Catholics to be the good scientists that they have been
throughout history, with no fear for the honest conclusions of secular science.
It has received a Nihil Obstat from the Diocesan Censor of the Sioux Falls
Diocese of South Dakota.

With regards to Kolbe’s assertion that: “Traditional doctrine on Creation as it was
handed down from the apostles,”
Mary Daly writes:
“St. Thomas Aquinas discusses Genesis 1 at some length without feeling obliged
to see it as a specific historical sequence and he offers philosophical and
entirely spiritual considerations, partly in review of St. Augustine’s thoughts.
These considerations, while suggesting a shorter rather than a longer period of
time than 24 hour days, make it clear that taking Genesis literally was not a
definitive consideration with either St. Augustine or St. Thomas. An interesting
website on this topic is:
The fathers were NOT unanimous.”

Pax Christi!

tantamergo - July 16, 2013

ProLIFEmommy, your comments were delayed due to many links. Sorry, I have to review these individually.

5. Elsa - July 16, 2013

This is excellent ! I am a Catechist for Confirmation and always touch on this exact subject but never quite put it together like this. Thanks for confirming common sense or faith and reason as my beloved Pope Benedict XVI says. I will definitely check out the site.

6. ronvanwegen - July 16, 2013

Again… Robert Sungenis? Seriously?

Bridgeport Guy - July 16, 2013

You could learn quite a bit from Sungenis if you actually read him.

7. Obedience to Magesterium - to Jesus - July 16, 2013

This is funny. Split away is the way. My first qustion would be – what is wrong with Vatican 2…. and then see what disobedience means.

tantamergo - July 16, 2013

Well, I appreciate your concern, but the “you’re causing division” trump card is becoming tiresome. All I did is provide a resource to people who find value in traditional aspects of the Faith. In my experience, Catholic Answers is pretty weak in this regard. And I have found much that is highly questionable in the CA forums. That’s not a VII issue at all, what I’m talking about is people promoting new age practices or defending Teilhard de Chardin, etc. I think the purpose of this new site is to provide an alternative that will focus more extensively on exposing people to treasures of the Faith – and theological concepts – that were in common currency prior to the great crisis in the Church.

8. Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - July 16, 2013

Before anyone scoffs at the idea of Sungenis, a Catholic must note that some of our most revered saints had some seemingly wacky ideas as well, cf. St.Irenaeus and the age of Jesus.

9. Daniel Cornell - July 16, 2013

In all fairness, the Catholic Answers Live episode on traditionalism did let a sedevacantes priest on the air to give his views toward the end of the program. I did not get the impression that the episode was attacking the TLM, but was addressing schismatic groups. Perhaps the blog author should listen to the podcast on their website before making a judgment.

The main problem I do have with CAL is that they are very quick to cut someone off if they disagree about something. Allowing the sedevacantes priest to speak was an exception to the rule. It also seems like they are never willing to admit what impact modernism has had on the church. For example, there was a quick question in a recent Catholic Answers magazine that asked what someone should do when people start clapping during communion after a song. The answer was basically ignore it and offer it up to The Lord. It’s that kind of advice that they constantly give that is never going to change the trend of liturgical chaos.

10. TG - July 16, 2013

I used to go on Catholic Answers a lot when I re-converted but then I realized it was just opinions. The only one that has given me clear answers to questions is Father Sherpa. I used to listen to Catholic Answers on satellite radio when it was free but then Patrick Coffin got on my nerves. He just talks so much about himself the first few minutes. I like Revelant Radio better than EWTN radio. I also got chastised by Catholic Answers for saying the bishop who punished the priest for not giving Holy Communion to the lesbian (remember that story) should read “The Dialogue” and the chapter on how God will judge bishops and priests. I was sent a message for criticizing priests and was told I was sort of on a probation or something like that. I didn’t comment for a long time except to ask Father Sherpa a couple of questions. He’s the only one I trust. Thanks for the new website – I will have to check it out. Going back to Jews and salvation thru Jesus, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Benedict XVI make a statement like that in one of his books?

11. TG - July 16, 2013

I signed up with Faithful Catholics. I did read something about not accepting Vatican II. I may not like a lot about Vatican II but since I follow the pope I have to accept it. Even Michael Votis agrees with a lot of Vatican II. It’s just the liberals mis-interrupted it. That’s the only thing I saw that kind of bothered me about this site.

tantamergo - July 16, 2013

TG, if you can send a link that says, flat out, we reject VII, please let me know. I’ll have to amend several things, and maybe pull this post down.

12. Chad Arneson - July 16, 2013

My big thanks to veneremurcernui for plugging Faithful Answers!

I would like to address a few perceived problems that some who have commented have mentioned.

1. We do not deny Vatican II. In fact, and on purpose, the only thing we have on the website about Vatican II directly is by Msgr. Gherardini who is a canon at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is a widely respected theologian, even by Benedict XVI.

2. Robert Sungenis is one of the best apologists we have. Though he doesn’t get credit for it, he provided a strong polemic against a heresy that was printed in the US Adult Catechism and afterwards was likely responsible for having it removed (the heresy was that the Old Covenant was still valid for the Jews…I know. Really bad.) The ADL and SPLC have worked overtime to tar and feather the guy. What makes me sick to my stomach is that the response of the Catholic world in the US was largely to buckle under that pressure and throw the guy under the bus. If someone wants to show me any evidence of Dr. Sungenis’ heterodoxy I would be VERY interested in looking at it. It is just that we aren’t going to bow to pressures by non-Catholic groups…or to “Catholic” groups who do bow to that pressure. It isn’t just. I encourage everyone to actually go read what we have posted by Dr. Sungenis with his kind permission and try to find any fault with it. My guess is that you will be extremely edified.

3. Hugh Owen is not incorrect that every Church father to a man taught the traditional doctrine of Creation. The only Church father who had a different view was Augustine, and his view was in the opposite direction of evolution. He obviously knew little Greek and no Semitic tongues. He was separated geographically from the Eastern Fathers. So his minority view is understandable. So what did he do? He proposed that God created everything at once. Poof! Perfect Creation produced in a nanosecond. Um…That’s not evolution, my friends. And it certainly is not theistic evolution. The other fathers proposed that God took the uncreated matter and created with this over six literal days. No serious Hebrew scholar would suppose that the word “yom” when qualified by “the second”, “the third”, etc. would mean a long period of time (though the 1909 Pontifical Commission allowed that in some cases this was possible…which we also admit readily). Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII does not allow anyone to believe in evolution. What it does do (36) is allow for discussion by only two groups: scientists and theologians. A grave cautionary warning is also given with this allowance. Pope Paul VI did something similar when he gave permission for the issue of contraception to be “discussed”. Did the fact that permission for discussion was granted mean that the Church allows for belief in and practice of contraception? God forbid. And God forbid that anyone should persecute Hugh Owen for faithfully relaying the Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation as taught by the Fathers. If anyone wants to believe that God created everything perfectly in a nanosecond, then we agree that this man is completely orthodox. Theistic evolutionists? Absolutely not. Was a person who practiced contraception “orthodox” before Humana Vitae? Of course not. What is true today must have been true yesterday. We MUST assume that the unanimous consent of the fathers is true. So we support the Kolbe Center with a passion and will continue to.

Thank you so much for allowing me this space to respond. I hope that you will all continue to check us out and support our efforts by your prayers and sacrifices.

Yours for the freedom and exaltation of our Holy Mother the Church,

Chad Arneson
Founder and President

tantamergo - July 16, 2013

No, no problem. I didn’t reply to the Kolbe Center commentary….maybe I should have.

The only other concern I had was the geocentrism.

Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - July 16, 2013

Am looking forward to your site’s daily e-mails, Mr. Arneson. God bless.

Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - July 16, 2013

Any relation to Dave Arneson? Probably a long shot…

skeinster - July 17, 2013

We can have a look at both sides:
A critique of Sungenis, with links to his own works.

tantamergo - July 17, 2013

Well, I found his stuff on geocentrism yesterday, and almost put out a post on it, but decided not to, yet. To say he’s committed to geocentrism would be an understatment, he’s written a half dozen books on his subject and it was the topic of his controversial PhD dissertation. I guess you could say, I’m more than a little skeptical. If geocentrism were true, every space mission, ever, manned or not, would have to have been faked. Because every launch vehicle depends heavily on the beneficial effect of the earth’s rotation to achieve orbit – near the equator, that’s over 1000 mph boost to reach the ~17,500 mph orbital velocity. It is not insignificant. The same launch vehicles used to launch polar orbiting vehicles have their payload cut by about half due to the inability to take advantage of the earth’s rotation when launching over the poles. NASA studied using the Saturn V moon rocket to launch retrograde, that is east to west, instead of the usual west to east, for some goofy missions in the late 60s. Launching west to east, the Saturn V could loft 260,000 lbs into orbit. Launching east to west, it could only loft about 70,000 lbs. It makes a huge difference.

The little Redstone and Atlas boosters used on the first manned and unmanned missions would have never made orbit if the earth doesn’t rotate as the heliocentric model indicates. Then there are the photos of the Apollo moon astronauts plainly showing the earth rotating while they were in flight. This is just one small area which is incredibly problematic.

skeinster - July 17, 2013

Oh, the moon landing was faked. By Stanley Kubrick.


I’m not pointing this stuff out just to be critical- it has a tremendous significance to the Trad movement in general.

tantamergo - July 17, 2013

No, no, I get it. Gnosticism is right, that was the very strong impression I got from the…….forgive me….nearly orgasmic reviews of the “Galileo was wrong” geocentrism books. The positive ones, anyways – half the reviews were like “you’re nuts,” and the other half were “red pill neo, take the red pill, this is the greatest work in the history of EVAH and if you don’t believe in geocentrism you’re a modernist demon straight out of hell, which, by the way, is where you’re going.”

Gnosticism…..the secret knowledge that leads to salvation.

I’m very torn as to what to do.

13. TG - July 17, 2013

Tantamergo, I’ll look for link about Vat. II. It was a blog from someone. Here’s another title I found that called Francis an anti-pope – Habemus Bergoglio: Antipope Francis and the Conciliar Church by Mario Derksen, M.A. Is this site for SSPX?

tantamergo - July 17, 2013

No, they’re sede vacantists. I would stay far away.

14. TG - July 17, 2013

So you don’t recommend Faithful Catholics now? Also, I’m looking for a CD that would have traditional Latin hymns. I really don’t know the names but I can’t find a site that would play samples. I tried Amazon but it’s not working on my pc at home or work. Can you recommend a site where I could buy a CD with traditional Catholic hymns that were sung in a beautiful traditional way.

tantamergo - July 17, 2013

I think Faithful Catholics is OK, save that I am withholding support for anything posted by Sungenis at present. Anything by Fr. Rippberger is great, and I think the other authors are fine, too.

LarryB - July 18, 2013


I have listened to many debates with Robert Sungenis doing a fantastic presentation of the Catholic faith in response to the various persons he has debated including well known Calvinist apologist, Jame White, various other protestantants, and a Sede vacantist or two. Robert has or at least had written material on his site defending Vatican II in the past. I think Dr. Sungenis has some ideas that I would consider out there like Geocentricism as does John Salza. Both apologists have their good points. Sungenis has made some problematic statements in the last year or two like he can no longer defend the post Vatican II Church. I tried to find the link but not able to at this time. He is one of those guys you have to weed or sift through to find the gold but there is some gold there. Catholic Answers used to promote his “Alone” series of books until they had a falling out. These books have some great stuff in them.

FWIW Jeff Mirus’ site gives it a “danger” signal with regards to fidelity at his website. You can read his concerns here:


When I read Sungenis’ materials, I read his stuff with an eye of caution. I don’t read his stuff that often. I would read or listen to his older stuff more readily.

15. TG - July 18, 2013

One of the blogs on Faithful Catholics also didn’t sit well with me – sort of critical of St. Maximillum Kolbe – saying he wasn’t a true martyr. He said a true martyr dies for the faith and St. Maximillum died for a person. Some comments disputed him on something in an old cathechism – can’t remember all details. In reading my Magnificant magazine on Saints of Old, a comment on St. Kenelm from 812, it said that in the early days of Christianity any holy person who died violently was called a martyr. I like St. Maximillum Kolbe because he had a deep devotion for the Blessed Mother so questioning his martrydom didn’t sit well. I’m all for orthodoxy and tradition but I think it can be taken a bit too far.

16. Faithful Answers and the Inquisitors’ Anti-Charism of Discernment - July 19, 2013

[…] And so some guy named Chad Arneson decides they are Impure Enemies of the Faith and sets up something called Faithful Answers (get it, CA isn’t “faithful” and is in fact riddled with “dens of modernist misinformation“). […]

17. skeinster - July 19, 2013

My final comment: if Mr. Arneson, as the founder and overseer of the “Faithful Answers” site, chooses to call the well-deserved fraternal correction of Mr. Sungenis by former friends and associates “throwing him under the bus”, then I can only conclude that he agrees with Mr. Sungenis’s original statements, his account of the disciplinary actions of his bishop and his (Sungenis’s) subsequent behavior.
To me, this would be a huge red flag re: Mr. Arneson’s judgement in general. I think I will pass on Faithful Answers. I would like to be proven wrong, because it would be wonderful to have a Traditional, but fully orthodox site, but I think this may turn out to be yet another Trad site that does us no good in the long run, via guilt by association.

18. More traditional alternative to <b>Catholic</b> Answers starts up – UPDATED | Worship Leaders - July 20, 2013

[…] From Google Blogs Search- Worship Music […]

19. Chad Arneson - July 20, 2013

Our response to Mr. Shea is available here: http://www.faithfulanswers.com/faithful-answers-to-mark-shea/


Do you know the story of Dr. Sungenis’ relations with his bishop? Who are you? You should reveal yourself if you’re going to make judgements about me, Dr. Sungenis, or Faithful Answers in a public forum. At least have the courage to reveal your real name.

Chad Arneson

20. skeinster - July 20, 2013

I do beg your pardon- because this is a local blog and some of us know each other off-line, I sometimes forget I use a pseudonym.
My name is Sally Box.
Mr. Sungenis published the details of his relationship with his bishop in various places. They ( and also the responses to his version) are available online. Anyone who wants to can compare the accounts and decide which is more credible.

Chad Arneson - July 20, 2013


First of all, great to meet you. Apparently you disagree with Dr. Sungenis’ stated position. I can respect that. I would only add that, according to my knowledge, he is juridically in the right. I hope that, although you may disagree with me about that, you would see that I do seek to operate with integrity in my own heart. May our Precious Blessed Mother keep you!

Chad Arneson

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