Sedevacantist Watch…          


Mario Derksen of NovusOrdoWatch
       After years of getting away with attacking us and attempting to malign our character through his website NovusOrdoWatch.com, Mario Derksen is finally being called out on the carpet for the sophist that he is. We recently released a short, seven-page feature article called “Mario Derksen’s Elementary Error on Fact vs. Law.” As the title reveals, the article explains how Derksen has committed the most basic errors on the questions of fact and law that apply to the question of a heretical Pope. Specifically, Derksen gravely errs by claiming that Sedevacantism is “solely a question of fact” (it is not), and also by assuming that he - and not the Church – establishes those facts in the external, ecclesiastical forum by his own private judgment (and even though his private judgment is contrary to the public judgment of the Church). 
       Needless to say, only someone with a warped view of reality would assume for himself the authority that only the Catholic Church possesses. Even Derksen’s Sedevacantist colleagues have been forced to admit that the Church alone has the authority to establish facts in the external forum (Bp. Dolan) and resolve speculative questions of theology and law (Bp. Sanborn; Fr. Cekada). Nevertheless, these men, too, persist in their Sedevacantist errors.
       As stated above, Derksen has been very quick over the years to publish “rebuttals” on his website to our articles on Sedevacantism that have been featured in The Remnant newspaper and Catholic Family News – articles, by the way, that were not directed at Derksen and don’t even mention him. And, in his “rebuttals” to our articles that were not directed at him, Derksen has struggled with keeping the debate at the intellectual level, descending into ad hominem arguments and even calling us “moron,” “idiotic,” “hilarious,” “ludicrous,” “dumber,” “asinine,” and other such terms as he attempts to defend the indefensible. Well, we thought it was about time to call Mario Derksen out on the carpet for his lack of scholarship and juvenile approach to public discourse and debate, and our feature article on his rudimentary errors of fact and law has done exactly that.
       Now, since Derksen has a long track record of issuing inflammatory, knee-jerk responses to our articles that did not target him directly, we certainly thought that Derksen would have immediately responded to our recent feature which did target him directly. Especially since the point of our article, and the invitation for a reply, could not be simpler: Mario Derksen has no authority to make the judgments of fact and law that he makes in defense of the Sedevacantist thesis. The Church does not give him that authority, as any true Catholic acknowledges.
       So, how has the impetuous, self-appointed Sedevacantist spokesman, Mario Derksen, responded to our latest article about him and his errors? He hasn’t. For the first time ever, Derksen has chosen, at least for now, not to respond - and that is obviously because Mario Derksen has no answer to our charges. While we hope this is because he is finally reconsidering his erroneous position, history has proven that Mr. Derksen is a true sophist, and in the absence of a genuine conversion, will eventually respond as he has in the past. Part of his sophistry, as you will see, is to currently deflect the debate from the direct challenge we have posed to him, and pretend that he doesn’t have to respond.
       As you will see, Derksen deflects the challenge by arguing that we are attempting to “overwhelm” him with a flurry of articles, even though we have written only ONE article on his particular errors, only seven pages long, and which requires the simplest of responses: Mario simply needs to show us where the Church gives him the authority to make the judgments of fact and law that he does, as we have laid out in our feature article. Like the playground bully who suddenly realizes that his enemies are actually fighting back, Derksen has reached the critical crossroads in his Sedevacantist “career.” He either has to fight back (and risk even more damage), or he has to pick up his bat and ball and go home to mommy. Indeed, the playground bully is in a lose-lose situation; he’s fenced in, and all the kids are watching him.

       Let’s take a look at his latest damage control post, in which he attempts to convince his audience that he is not responding, well, because he’s choosing not to respond, preferring rather to see the debate unfold (translation: I have no answer to the Salza/Siscoe article about my errors, I am in a panic, I need to buy time, maybe I need to confer with Fr. Cekada, help! I need to spin this! I will think of something. Just give me time. Don’t worry. I’m still in control. etc. etc. etc…). Here it is, and the background we’ve just provided will help you see the sophistry in action.

Derksen: “The current strategy being executed by John Salza & Robert Siscoe — authors of True Or False Pope? — appears to be that of an attempted one-two punch of flooding the debate with a flurry of short articles so as to try to overwhelm us…”

Salza/Siscoe: “Flooding the debate” with “short articles”? First of all, why would Derksen be “overwhelmed” with one single, seven-page article about his errors, while the rest of our articles have been about the errors of Fr. Cekada and Bishop Dolan? Can’t Dersken respond to this single, short article about his manifest errors on fact and law? No doubt Derksen is “overwhelmed” by our work, but that’s because of the content it contains, not because of the volume of the “short articles” we have released.

But it gets better - this allegation of “flooding the debate” with “articles” comes from a man who has posted over 150 articles defending Sedevacantism on his website (compared to our 14 articles), most of which he has not even written himself!  And he posts these articles in a separate section on his website that he has specifically created to critique our work, which he calls “True or False Popes,” following the name of our book! (Derksen even went out and purchased the domain name trueorfalsepopes.com to house these articles!)  Who, dear reader, has attempted to “flood the debate” with articles in order to “overwhelm” their opponents? Derksen’s comment is completely laughable.

Derksen: “...and using a ‘divide-and-conquer’ tactic by focusing on matters on which sedevacantists do not agree…”

Salza/Siscoe: Unfortunately for Derksen, showing the doctrinal divisions within Sedevacantism is one of the surest proofs of its evil, Protestant nature, which ultimately depends upon the private judgment of its adherents, and not the public judgment of the Church. In fact, Derksen’s argument here is precisely what the Protestants argue when they debate Catholics – “Please, focus on our agreements (we love Jesus), not our disagreements!” But Sedevacantists are even more divided than Protestants, since they can’t even agree on who is a true and who is a false Pope, with many of their sects having even elected their own “Pope”. The truth is, Sedevacantists are already “conquered” because they are essentially “divided,” and this from being separated from the one true Church of Christ.

Derksen: “…so as to prevent a unified response and paralyze us, as it were, perhaps hoping we will yell at each other instead of Salza and Siscoe.”

Salza/Siscoe: A “unified” response? How about any response, Mario? We want to hear from you, Mario Derksen, about how the Church has invested you with the authority to decide questions of fact and law in the ecclesiastical forum that not even the Church herself has resolved. And don’t make a nebulous appeal to “Divine law,” because the Church (not you) is the final judge on matters of Divine law just as she is the final judge of ecclesiastical law (see our feature “Sedevacantism Proven False by the Case of Nestorius” for further information).

While Derksen looks for a “unified response” from his Sedevacantist camp, perhaps he can speak with his bishop, Donald Sanborn, who maintains that the conciliar Popes are legal occupants of the papacy, and could only be removed by the authority of the Church, following two warnings? Or does Derksen not even respect the authority and theological positions of his own Sedevacantist bishops? Good luck to Mr. Derksen with finding that “unified response” he is looking for. Of course, Derksen was “paralyzed” the moment he picked this fight, since he ultimately picked the fight with the Roman Catholic Church of Jesus Christ, who has condemned his Protestant acts of private judgment on questions of fact and law that he has no authority to resolve.

Dersken: “Well, nice try — but the strategy will fail.”

Salza/Siscoe: There has been only one failure thus far, and that is Mario Dersken’s inability to respond to our article exposing his grievous errors on fact and law. But, being the sophist that he is, Derksen attempts to divert his audience’s attention from his own inability to respond to our article by declaring that we are the ones who will ultimately fail. Using his own words, we say, “well, nice try.” Derksen again shows himself to be the playground bully, jumping up and down and pouting because he doesn’t like people fighting back and calling him out. The sophist is being exposed.

Dersken: “As we announced before, we must resist the temptation to respond piece by piece to everything they’re currently throwing out there.”

Salza/Siscoe: “Resist the temptation to respond”?! This is another utterly laughable statement, which comes from a guy who began posting material on our book before it was even released! Now that we have responded and exposed his errors with a single article, Derksen is going to “resist the temptation” to respond to our material which has been released, and has been out there for weeks! Who is Derksen trying to fool? We can only hope that Derksen is “resisting the temptation to respond” because he is seriously re-evaluating his position. Otherwise, it is obvious that he is just buying time, since he doesn’t know how to respond (against a fact, there is no argument). Did we mention that Derksen is a sophist?

Derksen: “Right now we are sitting back and watching the show to see how it unfolds.”

Salza/Siscoe: How does Mario think he can “sit back and watch the show unfold” when he himself is
Fr. Cekada, Mario Derksen's mentor
one of the main protagonists in the show
!? In fact, he created the show by attacking us first. He is the one who first posted material directly attacking us, about articles that never even mentioned him. But now that we have provided a response for which he has no answer, Derksen 
wants to exit stage left and watch from the wing to see “how it unfolds.” In other words, Derksen has no answer to our article which has exposed his errors on fact and law, at least not yet. Perhaps he needs to huddle up with his mentor, Fr. Cekada, and figure out how he is going to save face. Dear reader, we already know “how the show will unfold.” Derksen will come back with the perfunctory appeal to “Divine law” which he imagines gives him a right to do what the Church condemns. It is as predictable as it is pathetic, but that is the best he is going to do. Wait and see.

Derksen: “Our responses will come, but they won’t be a frantic flurry of direct replies to each piece as they post it.”

Salza/Siscoe: Why not, Mario? Are you suddenly too busy? You now have better things to do? What about the domain name you bought, even before our book was released, to house your “direct replies” to our work? Now that we are finally responding, you won’t offer “direct replies” to our articles? Does that mean you will offer only “indirect” replies? Or no replies at all, because you have none, at least that will convince the individual who is honestly following this debate?

Derksen: “Rather, we will calmly provide well-argued responses at the appropriate time.”

Salza/Siscoe: For a man who calls his opponents “moron,” “idiotic,” “hilarious,” “ludicrous,” “dumber,” “asinine” and other such terms, Derksen says he is now going to respond “calmly.” This would be quite a welcome conversion for Mario Derksen. And what is the “appropriate time” for Mr. Derksen? Our article on Derksen’s elementary errors on fact and law has been out for several weeks already, and is one of the simplest and most straight-forward articles we have ever written. We have had people tell us that this particular article has settled the matter for them against the absurdity of Sedevacantism. Since the article completely eviscerates Derksen’s prior claims that Sedevacantism is “solely a question of fact” which is established by the private judgment of individual Catholics, Derksen either has to repent of his errors, or declare that he rejects the teaching of the Church (Constantinople IV, Ex Quo and the unanimous teaching of her theologians). Where should we put our money?

Derksen: “Perhaps they are trying to cause panic, but if so, it’s not working.”

Salza/Siscoe: When someone says they are not in a panic (while failing to respond to their critics at any level), it usually means they are in a panic. Yes, Mario, it is working, you are in a panic, and we hope you either renounce your errors, or come out of your shell to address our article which calls you out on the carpet for those errors.

Derksen: “While we have linked to them, we have noticed that they have not linked to us. That’s unfortunate, but we’ll manage.”

Salza/Siscoe: We haven’t “linked” to NovusOrdoWatch? We wrote a 700 page book about their errors and deceptions! And we have plenty of references of them in our book. This is not about who “links” to who on their website, but rather about whether Derksen will respond to our feature article which exposes his fundamental errors on fact and law. If Derksen thinks he will “manage,” then let him manage a response to our feature article on his errors.


       For years, Mario Derksen and his colleagues have gotten away with the most absurd theological arguments in defense of their novel and anti-Catholic thesis, and the most abrasive treatment of true Catholics who recognize the conciliar Popes but resist their errors. They have been the big bullies on the playground. Well, we are now fighting back, and the bullies are retreating.
       But we have made it easy for Mr. Derksen, who has appointed himself as one of the chief spokesmen for Sedevacantism, and has carved out a special place on his website to respond to our arguments. He simply has to read our feature “Mario Derksen’s Elementary Errors on Fact and Law” and “directly respond” to the arguments it contains. Specifically, he has to meet his burden of proving that the Church invests him with the authority to establish the “fact” that the Pope is a heretic in the external forum (which is contrary to the Church’s public judgment), and resolve the speculative questions of theology and law that would govern the Pope’s fall from office (questions that have not even been resolved by the Church). Again, Derksen simply needs to show us where the Church gives him the authority to settle these questions of fact and law, and if he cannot do so, the debate is over.  It’s that simple.

No comments: