Tradition In Action
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Polemic between
Dr. Timothy Mitchell & Mr. Atila Sinke Guimarães
on two different subjects:

On the book In the Murky Waters of Vatican II
and on the book An Urgent Plea: Do Not Change the Papacy

Brief Chronicle of Events

On May 10, 2001: “The Murkinee of the Murky Waters” & “With an Apology to David Letterman” - the weekly newspaper The Wanderer published two pieces by Dr. Timothy A. Mitchell, an article entitled “The Murkinee of the Murky Waters”, and an ad entitled “With an Apology to David Letterman” with the subtitle “Ten Reasons Why So-called ‘Murky’ Teachings Have Themselves Become Murky”. Both were against the book In the Murky Waters of Vatican II by Mr. Guimarães.

The mainaccusation of Mitchell was that Guimarães would have mislead his readers, since, according to the accuser, it is not implicitly affirmed that the Church of Christ is different from the Catholic Church in the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium of Vatican II, which is what Guimarães sustains in his book. Basing himself on this accusation Mitchell presents a supposedly satirical poem in his ad spoofing Guimarães’ work.

June 15, 2001: “Answer to Pro Ecclesia” - the bi-weekly The Remnant published an article entitled “Answer to Pro Ecclesia” by Mr. Guimarães. The writer responded to Dr. Mitchell by presenting a concrete fact: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, some months before, had given the same interpretation of the text on the Church of Christ in Lumen gentium that Guimarães had presented in his book. Then, he challenged Mitchell either to disagree with Cardinal Ratzinger or to publicly acknowledge his mistake.

July 26, 2001: “The ‘Church of Christ’ and the ‘Catholic Church’ Are One Reality” - The Wanderer published an article entitled “The ‘Church of Christ’ and the ‘Catholic Church’ Are One Reality” by Dr. Timothy Mitchell. In the piece the writer did not address Cardinal Ratzinger’s interpretation of the text in question and returned to his thesis. He intended to prove that there is no ambiguity in the text of Lumen gentium, but his explanation was somewhat ambiguous and quite confusing…

Mr. Guimarães did not revisit this matter with Dr. Mitchell.

June 7, 2001: “Pope John Paul II Should Not Respond” & “Another Apology to David Letterman” - The Wanderer published two different pieces by Dr. Timothy Mitchell, an article, “Pope John Paul II Should Not Respond” and an ad entitled “Another Apology to David Letterman” with the subtitle “Ten Reasons Why the Holy See Will Never Change the Papacy”. This time, the article and ad were against the book An Urgent Plea: Do Not Change the Papacy by Mr. Atila Guimarães, Mr. Michael Matt, Mr. John Vennari and Dr. Marian Horvat.

In the article Dr. Mitchell imagined that the Pope had never touched upon the subject of changing the Papacy. He also supposed that the book under analysis dealt with a large number of different themes. Based on these two presuppositions he raised the conclusion that John Paul II, for lack of time, would never answer the plea of the authors. Using this conclusion as foundation, Mitchell wrote another piece of buffoonery published in the ad.

On July 2001: “Response to a Court Jester” - the monthly newspaper Catholic Family News published the article “Response to a Court Jester”. The editor, Mr. John Vennari, invited Mr. Guimarães to make this response. In the piece Mr. Guimarães showed that Dr. Mitchell was profoundly mistaken in his presuppositions since John Paul II had officially broached the topic of a change in the Papacy, a fact documented in the book under discussion. Further, Guimarães pointed out, the work does not analyze many themes, as Mitchell imagined.

Therefore, it appeared as if either Mitchell did not read the book he had criticized, or he did not understand anything of what he read. If Mitchell did not read the book and nonetheless made a critique and joke about it, then he was playing the part of  a court jester; if he had read it and was unable to understand its major premises, then questions could be raised about the health of his mental state.
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Agreement on one point: that Mitchell is playing
the part of a jester

Until this most recent update of this Web page (February 2003) The Wanderer had not published any other article by Dr. Timothy Mitchell on this matter. The magazine Pro Ecclesia, whose editor is Mitchell, in its No. 3, October/November 2001 issue, was filled with attacks against Guimarães and his last reply to Mitchell as well as insults against the four co-authors of An Urgent Plea: Do Not Change the Papacy.

Curiously, however, in it Mitchell publicly assumed the title of court jester. He even went so far as to represent himself as such in a cartoon (at right). Also, in several places in that issue he tried to show that he did not suffer any deterioration of his mental state.

At least both polemists agreed on one point: Dr. Mitchell was objectively described as a court jester. Taking this in consideration, Mr. Guimarães decided to close the discussion with an adversary who is more comical than serious.

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Tradition in Action

Articles in the Polemic

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  “The Murkinee of the Murky Waters”
& the ad “With an Apology to David Letterman”
Dr. Timothy A. Mitchell

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  “Answer to Pro Ecclesia”
Mr. Atila Sinke Guimarães

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  “The ‘Church of Christ’and the ‘Catholic Church’ Are One Reality”
Dr. Timothy Mitchell

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  “Pope John Paul II Should Not Respond”
and an ad “Another Apology to David Letterman”
Dr. Timothy Mitchell

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  “Response to a Court Jester”
Atila Sinke Guimarães

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