Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holy Water Debate: Part 2c

Here is the final Q&A from phase 2 of my debate with tfan on the effectiveness of holy water against demonic forces. Next comes his opening statement, which I am really looking forward to. He is certainly at an advantage, since he got to read my opening statement and ask me 3 questions before he even had to write his opening statement. But, I'm not sure if there was any way around that. I feel like I probably walked in to a situation that is balanced in his favor, but oh well, it's a good learning experience.

Anyone keeping up with this debate so far? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Pax Christi,
- - - - - - - - - -
In your opening statement, you wrote: "Bede “the Venerable” (672-735) reports in his Ecclesiastical History of England that a bishop cured a sick woman with holy water (see here), and that devils were cast out by it (see here)."
I would respectfully submit to you that in the latter case, the devils were cast out by the use of soil, not water, according to your source, and that the water involved in conferring special powers to the soil was not consecrated water, but water that had touched a relic.
Do you concur?
Well, before we begin, here is the passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History were he reports that demons were cast out by holy water:
  • "Then they poured out the water in which they had washed the bones, in a corner of the cemetery. From that time, the very earth which received that holy water, had the power of saving grace in casting out devils from the bodies of persons possessed" (see here).
Now, to respond to your first point, it is true that those possessed by evil spirits were freed when said persons came in contact with the earth where the water was poured out. BUT, it was because of the holy water that the soil had that effect. Were it not for the water the soil would have done nothing. So, it appears to me that the water is the primary agent for the casting out of the evil spirits, not the soil.

As for your second point, how the water is made holy does seem to be as important as the fact that, at the end of the day, water is being used to expel demons. This shows that the use of water to achieve that purpose is far from superstitious ("superstition" of course being the attribution of magical effect to an object or practice that actually has no such effect).

Pax Christi,


Anonymous said...

I've actually been enjoying this debate quite alot! And although I'm slightly biased, after reading his (turretinfan's) opening statement today, I definitely think you have the better argument thus far. Just my two cents. God Bless.

Turretinfan said...


Just a note to let you know my answer to your second question is posted ...

What's left is:

Your third question, My third Answer

My rebuttal,
Your rebuttal,
My conclusion, and
Your conclusion.

If you'd like, we can also do audience questions afterwords - so far I think one person has submitted an audience question.


phatcatholic said...

I'm ok with that.

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