We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org


By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | Apr 24, 2006

In CWN's Forum, I explain why Professor Elaine Pagels should not be taken as a serious commenter on the Gospel or Judas, or 2nd century Gnosticism, or indeed on any subject in which historical accuracy is important. Simply put, she cooks her sources. Real scholars don't.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 11 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2006 2:58 AM ET USA

    You'll never be permitted to take your final vows in the Society if you keep this up, Father. My sincerest prayers for you. Keep it up.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 27, 2006 11:13 PM ET USA

    I think she's more angry that she got called out by a guy with a Phd from Harvard in Semitic philology. There's nothing worse than a reminder of the Ivy League pecking order. LOL.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 27, 2006 4:02 PM ET USA

    "As an historian, I study polemic" Perhaps she should study logic and the genetic fallacy. Windbagus interruptus.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 26, 2006 4:12 PM ET USA

    Fr. Mankowski, I emailed Pagels and copied your comments. Here is her response to me (I'm leaving out your text for brevity). What do you think of it? As an historian, I study polemic, often written by church officials. This has much in common with polemical tradition. Yours sincerely, Elaine Pagels Princeton University Professor of History.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 26, 2006 12:02 AM ET USA

    Let us pray that Elaine Pagels is seen more and more for what her experise is: fiction writing -- a type of devious fiction writing that tries to pull itself off as pseudo-non-fiction, joining the ranks of such authors as those of the "left-behind" series, the book of mormon, and Duhvinchee coma... AMDG, Fr. Mankowski, SJ, AMDG.

  • Posted by: rpp - Apr. 25, 2006 4:51 PM ET USA

    This is a common tactic among the anti-christians and comes as no surprise to me. I know because that's what I used to be. Convinced, they are, in their own intellectual superiority, some anti-Christians feel justified is doing anything to make their point. That is a sharp departure from the time-honored methods of intellectual inquiry. If you have to lie to make your point, perhaps a little self-reflection is in order.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Apr. 24, 2006 11:07 PM ET USA

    There is a radio announcer from Chicago called "ManCow". Is there any relation? Seriously, though, I take back all the bad things I have said about the Jesuits - at least in this (and a few other) particular case.

  • Posted by: Clorox - Apr. 24, 2006 8:43 PM ET USA

    Are you sure "Mankowski, S.J." isn't a pseudonym?

  • Posted by: Charles134 - Apr. 24, 2006 3:56 PM ET USA

    I actually had a friend in college who left the Church, citing Pagels as a reason. I'm sure there was more to it than that, but still, this woman is doing real damage.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 24, 2006 1:07 PM ET USA

    Beyond her shoddy, tendentious "scholarship," Professor Pagels suffers from a perplexity that calls out for some guide -- her writings are a mixture of sentimentalism and confusion. You certainly flay open her worst flaw: she decides what the "history" is, and then selects or distorts the evidence to "prove" her thesis. Keep her in the academy, though, where the harm she can cause is limited, and the mirth she evokes is boundless.

  • Posted by: www.inquisition.ca - Apr. 24, 2006 12:47 PM ET USA

    Lord Jesus-Christ! A Jesuit, who is also a Catholic! Quick! Quick! Run, go buy some lottery tickets everybody! Seriously, we all pray for the few good Jesuits who are still holding the Fort. May God fill you all with the courage to be martyrs.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21