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Monday, October 26, 2009


Jeff Miller

David Gibson is just like Margaret Mead. He sees everything through is on prejudices and projects what he wants to see on whatever he covers. No surprise from your typical women priest supporting dissident who wrote the worst book on Pope Benedict.

American Phoenix

What else can one expect from David Gibson? He spoke at our Faith Formation Convention in San Jose and it couldn't have been more apparent that he didn't really know what he was talking about. He entered the room cracking nasty jokes about how he wasn't Mel Gibson, but most importantly, the perspective he offered in his talk was Catholic Church as political game. He just didn't get it. In fact, he managed to be so offensive, my friend and I got up and walked out of the room after 15 minutes.


Gibson is a convert. His book on Benedict XVI is actuallu very good in many parts, and nicely nails the accents of Ratzinger's conservative theology. He does indeed know of what he writes and speaks, even if he is wrong. What is needed is a good, conservative explanation of why people like Gibson and Luke Timothy Johnson and others reject Benedictine claims. Until such objections, like those of Bart Ehrman, are met head on, all the protests sound more like FOX news than real orthodoxy. Not arguing, just saying... Conservatives think people understand the basic moorings, while they were washed away 20 plus years ago!

Carl E. Olson

Joe: I've not read Gibson's book, but his columns are underwhelming, at best. Put more specifically, he doesn't seem to be very theologically literate. Not sure what you mean about "Benedictine claims" or protests that sound like "FOX News." Regardless, here is a review of Johnson's book, The Creed, that I wrote a few years ago. There are, of course, many good books about the theology of Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, including several from Ignatius Press.


I agree with you on the inadequacy of Gibson's assessment of the upcoming apostolic constitution. In addition to the problem that you note, he quotes ACNA bishops, which strikes me as rather misleading- he should be talking to TAC bishops if he wants to get a sense of the perspective of Anglicans who will actually be utilizing these new structures that have been announced.

On the whole "reform of the reform" thing, though, I don't see why it's a big deal. You and he seem to be saying more or less the same thing, and it strikes me as a good thing that Gibson is trying to say, "Benedict isn't a reactionary! He's actually a liberal!" The point, I think, is to argue exactly the sort of innovative development that you claim for the liturgy. Perhaps he would differ from you in how much this revision and reform was present before Benedict XVI, but with regard to the current pope, it seems to me that he's not trying to say anything much different than you are.


GIbson is a liar and a fool.

How he is given the forums he has is beyond me.


Dear Mr. Olson:

First of all, my thanks and appreciation for the spectrum of ideas that you provide your readers on Ignatius Insight - and the very useful author excerpts from Ignatius books.

I rejoiced that you responded to David Gibson's now habitual inanities written in the guise of a religion 'expert'. Before I saw your 'fisk' today, I had done my own extensive fisk in the English section of the Benedetto XVI Forum, together with a fisk of Ross Douthat's op-ed in the New York Times on the same topic.
My main problem with both of them is that they seem not to check out some of the rather basic facts on which they make assumptions and formulate conclusions.


"...don't know a donut from a bonfire." That's great! Love it!

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