This was the debate that began turning me from Catholicism

Hi brothers and sisters. I just thought I would share this with you and if you wanted to watch it and comment on it, than that would be great. I was beginning the process of becoming Catholic a couple of years ago after a long search and a lot of reading which lead me to becoming a follower of Christ. Then I came across this video and it left me dead in it’s tracks. The Catholic apologist, Dr Fastiggi, gets badly beaten in this debate on the authenticity of “Papal Infallibility.”

I got tired of listening to James White. Very boring presentation when you are reading from notes the entire time.

I never did get to hear the other man give his side of the argument and I couldn’t listen to Mr. White go on and on. He was speaking so fast I could hardly grasp what points he was trying to make!

Perhaps, instead of seeing one bad presentation and basing your views on it; why don’t you tell us the issues you are having with the subject. You shouldn’t base your views on if one guy or the other does the better job debating, you should base it on who actually has the stronger arguments.

So, what about the subject bothers you?

James White is just another anti-Catholic propagandist making his living attacking the Catholic Church instead of actually preaching the Gospel. Notice that he has not debated with anyone like Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, or Fr. Mitch Pacwa, all of whom would hand him his head. I’ve never heard of this guy he debated, but until he takes on one of these known and capable apologists and wins he has no cred with me.

As for papal infallibility…perhaps you need to look at better sources .

*]Has the doctrine of papal infallibility been infallibly defined?
*] In what sense is the Pope Infallible?
*] How can corrupt Church leaders be infallible?
You might also look at

*]Scripture and Tradition
*] What’s Your Authority?
*] The Problems with Primitivism
*]Does 2 Thessalonians 2:14 refer to sacred tradition?
*]Proving Inspiration
The one thing that so many of you n-Cs seem to overlook is that guys like James White are certainly not infallible and can never claim to be since they ascribe to Sola Scriptura, which is itself a false doctrine that is nowhere found in the Bible.
For a close look at this grave false doctrine and new wind of doctrines of modern men, you can check out the following 3 threads here on CAF.

*] It’s NOT in the Bible, okay?
*] It’s NOT in the Bible, okay? (Part II)
*] “If anyone teaches/preaches something that is not in scripture”

Then if you wanna talk about it you can PM me or open a thread here in apologetics and get your doctrine straightened out.:smiley:

I don’t think you should let your faith depend on one single debate in which you perceived the Catholic side to fare poorly (I haven’t seen the debate, so I can’t comment one way or another).

A little tidbit, by the by … it seems Dr. White is a member of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church, a church which, according to its official website, was founded in 1968 while under another name … now let me ask you, when was the Catholic Church founded? And most importantly, by whom? :slight_smile: If you look at history, if you look at the unanimous voice of tradition that goes back all the way to the Apostles who heard Christ’s truthful mouth proclaiming the new Kingdom, and if you keep an open mind and an open heart, you will know the answer. :thumbsup:

A few thoughts for you: first, getting “badly beaten in [a] debate” doesn’t mean that the dogma was disproven – if he was badly beaten, it only means that he himself was unable to debate well. This video looks old – Fastiggi looks like he’s fresh out of his PhD program. That doesn’t mean that he’s an expert in debate.

Listening to White’s opening statement, I can think of a variety of counter-arguments (not the least of which includes Fastiggi’s recourse to ‘collegiality’, which answers White’s argument about the ‘council of Jerusalem’). In addition, as a debater, White fails horribly: he rails against ‘infallibility’ without even attempting to define it!

Can you say that you know what the Church’s definition of ‘infallibility’ is? Can you say that White argued against it? I’m not seeing it (and, given his opening statement, I’m not certain I’m going to watch an additional hour’s worth of video…)

(EDITED TO ADD: I’m listening through Fastiggi’s opening statement. Here, he’s being quite ineffective as a debater. Rather than arguing his case, he’s rebutting White’s points. He should have established his case and then challenged White to rebut it. I’m not familiar with Fastiggi, but it sure looks like he did a poor job on that evening. So, yeah… if he continues on and ‘gets badly beaten’, that speaks to his skill as a debater that evening, rather than proving the “error of infallibility”.)

I’ve enjoyed all of the debates about Catholicism with the exception of Fastiggi (sp) as he was very weak in presenting the RCC side of the issues. I have learned a lot from both sides of these debates concerning RCC dogma and have rewatched them several times.

There have been reformed doctrines within some Baptist churches. They’ve come back to teach doctrines that had gone by the wayside with some of the ‘fire and brimstone’ teachings. (I grew up with that {shudders}

Dr. White also is Calvinist and believes that God has already selected those who are going to heaven. I’m sure it’s a bit deeper than that but I have not studied Calvin’s theology.

I think it’s also important to note that Dr. White has also studied the Church Fathers and bases his information from them as well.

As far as these debates go, though, I find James White to be a solid scholar in church history, Greek and Hebrew and in hermeneutics. He does speak fast but he does that to get the information he has out during the time element given to each debater. As for reading from his papers - I have not noticed that very much except for notes that he took when his opponent speaking.

You should check out the debates with Robert Sungenis, Father Mitch Pacwa, and Patrick Madrid. Much more interesting!

God be with you as you search for the Truth that He has given us.


He has debated Fr. Mitch Pacwa a couple of times as well as Patrick Madrid. He enjoys debating more knowledgeable individuals. :smiley:


I’m willing to believe that there is a lot of things about protestantism and protestant denominations you don’t agree with(which is why protestantism has various matters of indifference with one another) compared to maybe ONE thing that doesn’t sit well with you about Roman Catholicism. I don’t agree with everything about Roman Catholicism at the moment, but I am willing to accept it as truth over my own personal opinion as being a truth. Because the heart is deceitful. I may not agree, but I choose to accept it as a child accepting what a father may tell them. Hope this helps.

Am I right?

Jim White is well known for being pretty anti Catholic so I’m a little confused by your logic

God bless you on your journey, please be assured of my prayers.

Papal infallibility is a GIFT! It doesn’t mean the Pope is perfect, that he doesn’t sin, but that ultimately when he speaks “Ex Cathedra” (from the chair) on matters of faith and morals that he is protected from error. Remember the Pope doesn’t speak officially ex-cathedra daily, in fact it is quite uncommon if you do your research but it is needed. This is a gift to my heart!

Look how many opinions there are out there about abortion and gay marriage. Goodness, sometimes pastors can’t even agree on the meaning of a simple scripture passage, let alone whether or not something is sinful or not. We need the gift of a final authority, a final say on matters that we can trust is free from error!

Jesus knew all about our human nature and about our opinions. Remember that Jesus didn’t come to earth and drop down a Bible, Jesus came to earth and established a church. It would make sense that He would give the church SOME protection. Some protection as He said “The gates of Hell will not prevail against it” We believe that on serious matters of faith and morals the Pope is given a special protection that we can trust he will not lead us astray!

The best proof of this in my opinion…look at the rotten scoundrel popes and look hard at what they did. Look at the rotten men who had sex with women and fathered children and who lived sinful lives and who were horrible people. Do you know what? Not one of those men when they supposedly had the chance to really mess things up ever made an Ex-Cathedra statement. Hmmmm, rather interesting.

Human nature being selfish, self-centered and sometimes deceitful you would think that in 2000+ years there would be ONE Pope that abused the infallibility “power” to use it as just that, power! No such thing exists. All infallible statements were made with careful thought, often with a council beforehand and with much prayer. I think it is a gift because I can trust that my church teaching isn’t just some guys opinion. Hope this helps a little anyway. God bless.

Oh yeah…I remember now, and he lost.

Hi, CM

I guess that depends on whose perspective! :thumbsup:

God bless!


Well since most of you n-Cs have embraced the fundamental errant new wind of doctrine of men of Sola Scriptura I would guess that you would be willing to accept the appeal to the Bible as the only and final authority and so readily accept n-C/a-C arguments from these preachers without scriptural research yourselves. (I’ve seem this a lot in my years outside the church) , but since SS is unscriptural and in fact, because it is not found in the Bible, violates its own premise, either way it cannot be a correct Christian doctrine.

See the following threads here on CAF.

*]It’s NOT in the Bible, okay?
*]It’s NOT in the Bible, okay? (Part II)
*]“If anyone teaches/preaches something that is not in scripture”
I think we have dealt with the OP’s issues and since he has not returned to further discussion/debate, I hope he has got himself squared away and returned to his Catholic faith as he should.

Don’t fall for this stuff and be led astray.

White is very glib in his presentations. He is very smooth speaking and confident and has a tendency to override the other speaker. That alone has the power to sway his listeners.

I’m not defending papal infallibility, in fact I don’t believe in it, but the real problem here is whether you’re talking about papal infallibility or biblical infallibility (to which Dr. White subscribes), they are both forms of fundamentalism that are based on nothing more than your willingness to have faith in them. The whole thing strikes me as the pot calling the kettle black.

Except Papal infallibility was understood by the early Church to be as such, even before it became dogmatically defined. Even as early as 110 AD, Ignatius of Antioch spoke “to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father”.

As far as Peter’s Roman residency is concerned, Ignatius of Antioch, Dionysius of Corinth, Irenaeus, all affirm that Peter was at Rome; all of them wrote before the canon of the Bible was even officially pronounced closed. Christians perhaps understood the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome earlier than what they exactly understood to be inspired scripture. :shrug:

So, no. Papal infallibility isn’t a form of “fundamentalism”.

I tend to disagree. if he was so confident why did he have to read from his notes. I didn’t see the whole debate and didn’t even hear the Catholic side, but I found him boring.

Now you’re all making me curious. :slight_smile: I may have to set aside some time to watch/listen to this debate.

I’m probably thinking of another debate with Mitch Pacwa. Pacwa seemed stumbling and hesitant compared with White.

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