One of the weaknesses of AOTM is the hard to see line between good and evil. Oftentimes speakers who aren't even Catholic, as was the case for this January meeting, will be invited to hold forth in defense of an erroneous position, or what appeared to be a Sedevacantist one on the part of Christopher Ferrara as noted by Novus Ordo Watch, recently. And even if the position is discernibly erroneous, it might be so poorly or ambiguously formed that it's difficult to understand, and as simple as it was in this case, Chris Ferrara did some light footwork and included a wiggle word, "effectively" to cover the untenable position. So despite having Shea admit that membership in the Church is necessary for salvation, it was really unclear just what church he was talking about, although for Ferrara never took him to task on this point, as Shea histrionically waved his hands about people listening to Relevant Radio and reading his books.
So, with all of the urgency and seriousness of an intramural softball game, there's a vague suggestion of there being competition, but you can't tell who's in the winning side, much less the right side. Was it a victory for Catholic truth? We doubt that. There might've been some hard hits but there were no killer blows. That's why we included this poll you can vote on it.
One way of seeing success is in looking for numbers, or possibly even the results of such initiatives. Sometimes large groups get together outside of their ecclesiastical venues to change events outside the bubble. This is apparent in France, where Catholic youth, though few in numbers, have given significant voice to their faith, disrupting Buddhist interfaith prayer ceremonies in Cathedrals or blocking events celebrating sexual perversion. These evenings may have brought some unfavorable comments from the effeminates in the chancery, but they seem to have done little else. Like the Remnant, a lot of whining, not much winning. Not to be too negative, for these events have been well-received with large numbers in attendance, sometimes close to 400 with a bowling alley, smokehouse atmosphere and some jocularity among the participants which keeps the men coming back for more, but after these hard working people go home, are they left with any palpable cause for their faith? Do they believe the faith? At least they know something is wrong, even if they don't know what to do about it.
For this year's Shea appearance, the video was also recorded, and although the organizers at AOTM insisted that people don't want to be recorded saying controversial things, to let their hair down, the video has appeared.
Last year, the Voris vs. Shea debate was much better attended and the sides between the Neoconservative, aberrosexual friendly, AmChurch, Modernist position was more resolutely opposed by Michael Voris. Since then, Voris and the Remnant crowd have had a tiff, and Chris Ferrara couldn't be moved this year to admit that the Hut of Apologetics Mafia had been vanquished, while insisting that the winners were the men in attendance. As usual, we're not really sure what the debate was about. Maybe we're just daft? Perhaps it was a victory for the Thrice Defined Dogma?Although several times, the dogma of Nulla Salus Extra Ecclesiam was raised, Shea offered no objection, qui tacet non consentire. Unfortunately, Shea's quiescent Feeneyism didn't stop him from invoking the charge of anti-Semitism, his trump ace in the hole whenever he attacks real Catholics. If anything, such fervent defense of the status quo with respect to the Jews is an especially significant uniting factor between Remnant and Shea, so much so does Michael Warning suggest that now that Shea is no longer working for Patheos, he'll be working at the Remnant managing their comments section. Let's not forget Michael Matt's betrayal of Bishop Williamson in 2009, when he published an especially cloying account of an interfaith prayer with a fellow traveller who just happened to be Jewish, on an airplane flight. Never mind that, it's especially interesting to see on his part the near approval for one of the most prolific, if not the most huge defenders of AmChurch in the apologetics world, their apparent unanimous agreement on No Salvation Outside of the Catholic Church notwithstanding, even though Shea probably believes that the Old Covenant is salvific and to say otherwise is anti-Semitic.
Anyway see for yourself at AOTM's site: