Brother Peter Dimond of The Most Holy Family Monastery emailed me and Justin (a commenter on my website) on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 06:34 AM. I replied at Sun, Jun 23, 2013 01:25 AM below…
Dear Bro. Peter,
I’ve decided to reply to your debate challenge letter and post it on my website. I will post all replies on my website. My replies below…
This is Bro. Peter Dimond to Steve Speray. I would be interested in debating you in a debate or series of debates on the topic of salvation & ‘baptism of desire.’
The conditions would be the following:
– Even if the debate gets heated and condemnations are lodged, you cannot give out your website or mention your books during the debate.
SPERAY: I see no reason to concede to this condition. If you want to debate me, then you will man-up and establish who it is you’re debating by giving a brief description of who I am, what I hold, and where I explain it.
-Even if the debate gets heated and condemnations are lodged, you cannot give out your full name during the debate (for then people can find your website); however, if at any point we choose to give out your full name before, during, or after the debate, we can do so. You will go by Steve. Frankly, these are quite reasonable since almost no one looks at your website and many people look at ours. Debating you gives you an opportunity you would otherwise never have.
SPERAY: So let me get this straight. You want me to wear a paper bag over my head and disguise my voice (so to speak), and this gives me an opportunity for exposure, seriously? You don’t want my name, website, and books to be known in a debate. This indicates to me that you’re not interested in the full truth to be known, but that you’re only interested in an argument for argument’s sake. It also sounds pretty cowardly on your part, not to mention arrogant. So if I don’t bow down to your conditions by keeping quiet about who I am, you won’t debate me? I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous! My website may be small compared to yours, but I’ve taken on Catholic Answers several times. I’ve informally debated Rev. Brian Harrison through email several times. You only called him on the phone unexpectedly and asked him whether he can answer the “Pastors in the Church of Christ” question AFTER my big website exchange with him on that very question. I’ve taken on many big names and I’m not afraid of taking on you. I’ll be more than happy to debate you, but my full name, website, and books will be established at the top of the debate. That’s the only reasonable and noble condition I demand, other than the common courtesy of equal speaking time.
-If, out of frustration, you attempt to bring up irrelevant issues or topics that are separate from the salvation/baptism debate, as part of an attempt to malign us or divert from the issues – a tactic people can use to corrupt a recording when they are losing a debate – they will not be included as part of the debate.
SPERAY: You mean things like going after you for worshiping with heretics in masses “una cum” Roman apostates? Don’t worry. I would keep it the topic. However, I might address points relative to the discussion that you’ve made in the past that are blatantly false.
(Within a few days after the debate, we will provide you with a copy of the recording unless you are recording it yourself. Other than that, we have no obligations to you with respect to the recording and we have full freedom to distribute the recording or recordings if we so choose.)
SPERAY: I don’t fully agree. I want you to agree that the recordings will indeed be distributed, placed on YouTube, but first, you will advertise to your audience that you will debate me on the subject sometime in the future.
In charity I must tell you that your position is without question false and opposed to Catholic teaching, as will be demonstrated.
SPERAY: According to your position (at least as I have understood it) my position is heretical. Is that correct? Rejecting Baptism of Desire is not a heresy per se since it’s not a dogma, but it’s still false and opposed to Catholic teaching. So right back at you!
Since the topic we disagree about is vast, many areas cannot be covered in sufficient depth in one debate. It would simply be too long.
SPERAY: Perhaps, but I’m not sure if it’s all that vast. It’s quite simple really. It’s only a vast subject when you try to malign the teaching of BOD, which you have done numerous times. While you’ve done great work on sedevacantism, I think you have done a great disservice to the doctrine of BOD/BOB.
Therefore, I desire to do a series of separate, mini-debates. This will enable us to look more carefully at particular claims/topics within the BOD/salvation issue. Also, since we are involved with many things at this time, these debates will be done on my schedule and at my convenience, with the first debate hopefully in the upcoming weeks, and obviously I would make sure you are free on the day we do it.
SPERAY: That’s fair enough.
The first topic or mini-debate I propose concerns a claim you’ve repeated many times: that the priests you support or regard as Catholic (e.g., Bishop Mckenna, CMRI, etc.) don’t hold that souls can be saved in false religions, that Muslims, Jews, etc. can be saved, You have made this claim numerous times.
SPERAY: This is interesting especially when I have the endorsement of my book by Bishop McKenna where I give the explanation. I even explain it on my website. Have you not read it? Yet, I can’t bring up this fact, since you don’t want my website and books to be known.
I had lunch with Bishop McKenna in June 2011, and we spoke briefly about your comments against him on this very issue. I’ve read your article here: http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/McKenna_on_baptism_of_desire.php
I’d be happy to explain this in a debate. It’s simple really, but apparently you haven’t tried to understand what it means and how it applies. However, I think the words of Bishop McKenna, CMRI, etc. are a secondary issue. I propose the first topic to be central to the issue such as the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, the post-Trent popes, and all the implications of this Catechism which are found in the laws of the Church, other catechisms, etc.
Let’s debate it as part of the first mini-debate, and see if you are willing to stand by that claim.
SPERAY: I do stand by that claim since BOD would be meaningless to them if it were untrue.
This debate can perhaps be fifteen or twenty minutes, but it should be focused on that topic; and then we can move on to other aspects of the BOD/salvation issue and various arguments. It’s crucial to debate the aforementioned topic at the beginning, so that it’s clear where your side really stands on that issue.
SPERAY: The foundation of the sides should be noted at the beginning. Perhaps you’ll need 10 minutes or so explaining why Baptism of Desire is false, and I’ll explain why it’s not. It’s crucial to debate the central issues first rather than what a bishop meant with this or that statement. That will become clear with discussing the Roman Catechism.
An idea for the next debate after that would be: 1) you pick one argument/quote/authority/topic you think proves that BOD is Catholic teaching – we cross examine each other on it; and then I bring up one argument/quote/authority/topic which I believe disproves BOD – and we cross examine each on it. That debate would then be limited to those two arguments, enabling us to discuss each of our arguments/claims more carefully, rather than throwing them out there quickly and in passing among a dozen or more claims.
SPERAY: I’d be surprised if we get to a second debate after discussing the Roman Catechism and its implications. I think it’s over right here. However, there are other things I’d like to discuss on the subject based on things you’ve stated in the past.
Bro. Peter Dimond
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