AOTM: Shea vs Voris in pictures

It's almost been a week but here's some photos and a recap.

This was my first trip to Argument of the Month.  I really enjoyed it.  The men were just rowdy enough, and I've spent enough of my life in Minnesota to enjoy Grain Belt.  By the end of the night there were 600+ men in attendance.  Oh, I got to meet Ray Marshall, but utterly failed to get a picture!

It was Oktoberfest at AOTM, so the night started early outside with refreshments.

If there was a winner of the first session, it was probably Shea, but mainly because he stayed on topic. They should have allowed a 10 minute vetting at the beginning to air any grievances and get them out of the way(also the late start kind of messed up things a bit, too many interruptions).  I went with a Voris guy who thought Shea "won."  Michael Matt from The Remnant moderated the first session but it was a tough task to swing the whole thing back to the topic which was "Resolved: The way to true reform of the Church is prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy."  As to be expected Voris brought up Shea's name calling, etc. and once it got there it was hard to get it back out.  As I said, open with the personal stuff and then force a hard stop and move on to the topic.  Clearly everyone wanted to see what happened when the personal stuff came up, but it couldn't be the focus of the night. 

Shea successfully defending the "gay saint issue" although Voris gave a very fair accusation I thought(once the session is available online I'd like to know what you think, the man was chaste). The second session wasn't really a debate per se, not really a winner.  Voris better in the second session, all four guys actually were good in the second session.   At some point during the night one of the attendees went up to Shea and called him "a lying piece of shit."  Also a couple guys interrupting during the debate for some reason(reasons unclear... maybe even to them).  Probably the winner of the night I thought was Michael Matt(and "the terrorist" for a phenomenal meal).  I was slightly familiar with him(Matt) prior to the night, but I was thoroughly impressed by the end.

I would have liked to see Dale Ahlquist moderate(he was there in Shea's corner).  I also would have liked to see either men asked tough questions, like asking Shea if "Traditional Catholicism" as it is understood in the blogosphere(or by Voris or in the liturgy) is something that leads people away from Christ.  I also would have like to see Voris answer what Catholics are supposed to do(besides point out when bishops are behaving badly).  He tended to only point out what was wrong but not what was right.

So me and Mr. T(my buddy) were talking afterwards.  It almost seemed like what Voris might just do was ..... get this...... forgive Shea!  I thought there was a chance he might go that route.  He could have read the accounts on Shea's blog and simply stated that he would forgive him for all the offenses.  It didn't happen but that would have been the Voris home run.  He could have said he didn't feel the comments were fair but forgive the offenses.

Here's another recap at In Statu Viae.  Mark Shea also posted on the debate here.(ht TN)

The meal was just fantastic.  If a restaurant served food this good, I would make a return visit.  

I posted the whole set on Flickr but I'll leave you with a couple....

and after everybody had left.....
I thought Terry Nelson would like this one....


  1. I like all the pictures! Michael and Mark are playing charades in the last one, huh? That's nice.

    I see people I know in the photos!

  2. "The gay Saint issue..." Dear God, what ghastly rubbish that is. If there really is such a person out there trying to convince people that a Catholic can be a Saint and a sodomite at one and the same time then that person will have much to answer for. To even believe such a thing is conceivable proves the adage that when one accepts the unnatural vice of homosexuality one begins to lose one's reason. That is over and above the rather interesting question which is, how does one determine the inner thoughts of a Saint? Are there written records of his private Confessions that one can refer to to prove he commits such mortal sins? Do those who believe that a Saint can engage in perversion and still remain a Saint have some sort of clairvoyant powers that enable them to come to such a judgment?

    If that is indeed what Mr Shea is trying to say then he has much, much to learn about the Faith he so recently converted to.

    1. A repentant sodomite can go to heaven AP, to deny that is to accept heresy.

    2. The article pointed out that the person in question was chaste. Assuming that's true, the fact that he was homosexual (i.e., had the disorder of being sexually attracted to the same sex) is not an obstacle to heaven any more than a heterosexual man who finds himself attracted to women besides his wife but resists that attraction in both thought and act.

    3. Mr Kroger and Mr Cooney:

      Thank you for responding. I believe, however, that there is something of a cheat going on here in the methods of those who discuss this issue. Firstly, let us quickly examine the notion that there is solid, unequivocal evidence that a certain Saint was a homosexual. In none of these arguments do we ever see any supporting evidence; we see only grotesquely unhistorical nonsense such as those authors who contend that certain ancient Saints, like Sergius and Bacchus for example, were sodomites and Saints AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME. The point is simple: where there is no substantiating evidence but only the imaginings of certain people we are free to dismiss such things as rubbish. Regarding the chastity or lack thereof of any individual, since no one is privy to the Confessions of the individuals in question it is impossible to make the claim that he was or wasn't chaste.

      The trick that is being played by those who hold such opinions is to try to convince us that homosexuals can be homosexuals and still attain Sainthood, when the obvious answer to that is by becoming saintly they have rejected their inclinations to commit this unnatural mortal sin. We must bear in mind Our Lord's word that one can sin "in thought, word and deed." We know of course that there are different levels of culpability there, but we cannot deny that they are sins. When we take advantage of the Sacrament of Penance we do discuss with the priest our words and our thoughts as well as our deeds.

      While I rarely trouble myself to be concerned with the Professional Convert Class and have no interest in their lecturing of Catholics who have not reached their degree of eminence I will point out that Mr Shea in particular has made a point of promoting the rather bizarre Father Robert Sirico who does not seem - as yet - to have renounced his previous manner of living. Let us hope that he does. But Mr Shea's support of this troubled individual naturally makes one question his obsession with trying to find common ground between an activity he ludicrously terms as "gay" with living a Catholic life.

      Finally, no one is denying that repentant sinners cannot achieve salvation. It is not the repentant sinners I am talking about; it is the unrepentant ones that certain writers are telling us have been raised to the altars.

  3. There is no such thing as a 'Gay Saint' .... only REFORMED SINNERS (all kinds) can become saints. A person is gay by virtue of his activity in the same way a person who is tempted to steal is not a thief until he steals; and if he resists the temptation to steal he certainly wouldn't want society to accept him as 'a thief who never steals'. In other words no sincere Catholic would want the world know that he has an inclination to a SIN that "cries out to Heaven for vengeance". Is there no shame!

    1. Thank you, your reply was right on target, Mr. Shea has a habit of going a bit far in some of his analogies. The word 'Gay' has nothing to do with the correct word homosexual. Me thinks he use's the word 'Gay' saint for shock purposes, to me adolescence's use that kind of language.

  4. Stop obsesssing on homosexuality, as the Pope has stated!!

    1. yeah stop making a big deal about the real possibility that someone might go to hell if they act out on inclinations they have been told are disordered and cry out for vengeance... God is all about love, dont you know?

    2. Guaranteed that is the first time this person has ever used the words "as the Pope has stated."

    3. Anon @8:39 am:

      I am hoping you were writing this in jest? If not perhaps we should forward your comment to the Vatican as evidence of "the Francis Effect",

    4. Anonymous @8:39 am:

      I am assuming you wrote this in jest? If not, shall we take this as an example of "the Francis Effect"?

  5. Oh, second to last photo, I so miss Fr. Bauknecht. Such a great priest. If he's serving in your area, you're blessed. He's in WI, I thought.

    If you run into him, tell him the Roach family misses him a great deal.

    Dominus vobiscum!

  6. Actually, he's in MN, I'm dumd. Sure miss him. Wonderful priest, like all Fraternity men.

  7. Shea is lost b/c he is using the enemy's language. "Gay" is an identity claimed by people who have embraced the sodomite lifestyle. "Gay" is a lie from he** itself. If a man with same sex attractions seeks chastity and restoration of his true identity in Christ, as long as he is in a state of grace, then Heaven awaits. It's also important to seek healing for his SSA. Our God is a God of healing and wholeness and there are countless people who had SSA and lived in the homosexual "death"style and are completely, utterly healed of even their SSA...becoming who they were born to be: whole, healed, and Christ-like. Mark Shea twists and manipulates in a dishonest way...he needs to be called on it for his own growth. And just my two cents...there is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more to Catholic restoration than just prayer, alms, fasting and the works of mercy...seeking true wisdom, practicing the Presence of God (Psalm 139), Scripture/Catechetical training, spiritual and practical direction, advocacy in the public square for Christ, promotion of the TLM, evangelization, developing the gifts of the HS (wisdom, counsel, understanding, knowledge, piety, fortitude, fear of the Lord), developing self awareness/Christ awareness/and how to practically walk out carrying the cross each day...following Him wherever He leads us. We need to teach the practical "living it out" that the Protestants have gotten so good at. Explaining who are are as humans, how to become like Christ/sanctification, the utter beauty and purpose of the Sacraments, teaching the practical's of this life i.e. detachment, intellect leading, will turning over to God completely, managing the passions (purifying them as St. Teresa of Avila wrote). Oh I could go on and's endless what we could do to teach and lead the sheep so that they could go out and reclaim the lost world. Thank goodness that brave people like Michael Voris and Michael Matt are beginning the charge. God bless~


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