Hey, leading Benepapists, “if you’re ‘ad hominem-ing’; you’re not winning”

July 13, 2022 (Steven O’Reilly) – Yours truly has been the target of slanderous and libelous, ad hominem attacks of late; due, ultimately, to my opposition to Benepapism. And, it is evident, that at least some leading Benepapists don’t like it or me! However, this is not a unique position. I am neither alone in opposing Benepapism via articles, nor alone in having been attacked by one leading Benepapist or another along the way. It is what it is. Bring it on.

But, for an example, one of the leaders, an author in the Benepapist movement, recently said of me in part:

“…He MUST be discredited and ultimately ignored, for the sake of the common good of the Church, the truth and true catholics (which he is not, obviously)…this man has to be exposed for what he is: an infiltrated destroyer of the truth about the current crisis of the Papacy.”

Then, most recently, following my appearance on the Eric Sammons podcast, another leading Benepapist wrote this piece of nonsense:  “REFUTING THE SERIAL LIAR EX-CIA AGENT, STEVEN O’REILLY, AGAIN.”

My prayers for the author. A religious brother ought to know, do, and be better than that. As to the rest, folks can read his linked article above if they like [But, see note 1]. Reasonable folks will see his screed for what it is. For one thing, it is just another example of how, among some in the leadership of the movement, the level of debate on the Benepapist side of things has further devolved [See note 2]. I see this as a “good sign,” just as one priest suggested to me after reading the article above.  Ad hominems are never a sign of a winning argument. “If you’re ‘ad hominem-ing,’ you’re not winning.” Truth does not need a crutch.

If one is a regular reader of this wee, humble blog; you know the accusations in the linked article above are nonsense. I am in no way a fan of this pontificate, and am not engaging in ‘disinformation’ or ‘misinformation’ on its behalf or anyone else’s. But I am also not a fan of the fact key Benepapists are leading Catholics into what will, on its present course, be a schism. For example, the Declaration and Petition issued by some leading Benepapists is utter, irresponsible folly. Thus, my interest is not in disparaging the characters of leading Benepapists, I am only interested in proving their arguments are, in fact, wrong; so that folks — who might otherwise accept their bad arguments — don’t end up in schism.

Whatever the ultimate explanation or ‘solution’ is for this pontificate — Benepapism is, most assuredly, not it. Bad theories are never a substitute for a good one, and Benepapism is a bad theory. This should become more evident to the rank-and-file as the leading Benepapists have now trained their guns on each other (see A Benepapist Civil War? and Benedict XVI: strategic genius or theological fool?).  When you’re being asked to consider whether Benedict is either a heretic or a master strategist (see here), it is clearly time to move on, search for an actually plausible and defensible explanation, and find a different set of thinkers who won’t lead you into schism.  Prayer, Prudence, and Patience.

Perhaps you read the attacks against me, and came to Roma Locuta Est for the first time to see if I am really as bad as described. If so, I challenge you to read the site. I am confident reasonable folks will see I have been wrongly and unfairly maligned. If you’re open-minded, curious and or interested in hearing the sort of arguments that quite apparently get leading Benepapists so red-faced angry at me that they want you to “ignore” me; then read on…if you dare:

The Case against those who claim “Benedict is (still) pope”

These articles will form the basis, along with additional research, of my upcoming book on Benepapism.  To my count, there are four books that have been published to date which advance some form of Benepapism – and I suspect at least one more is in the works. On the suggestions of others, I have taken the time and effort to provide a response in book form, which will be entitled VALID? The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (The Case against the Benepapists). It is expected out in August.

Who knows…perhaps I’ll take some of the things the leading Benepapists have said about me, and print them on the back-jacket cover to help promote it.  Might be a hoot!

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com  or StevenOReilly@ProtonMail.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on GETTR, Parler, or Gab: @StevenOReilly).


[1] There have been other similar examples of nonsense, as well.  For example, read this brief commentary ( Here) found on the same website regarding my debate with Dr. Mazza. In the video of the debate, you will see a Roman helmet in the background of my office. It is also in the background of my new office, as you will see in my appearance on Mr. Sammon’s show.  Anyway, with regard to the debate appearance and this Roman helmet, Br. Bugnolo said:      

“Steve O’Reilly is a former CIA agent, who chose to put a Gladiator’s helmet in his office during the debate, as if to indicate that he is a former or current member of the Gladio Operation for narrative, political, and social control of Western Europe and the Catholic Church. I think that is all you need to know, to connect the dots here…”

This is crass innuendo of the worse sort, patched together with Rube Goldberg logic, to poison the well  and injure my reputation. Absolute, utter, tin-foil hat nonsense (no pun intended!). If you can understand what is so obvious here, you will know in what key to read the other article which attacks me and my reputation. For the record, this Roman legionary’s helmet (not a Gladiator’s!) in my office was a gift, from my wife and kids, related to the publication of my historical-fiction novel (PIA FIDELIS: The Two Kingdoms), which is set in Roman times. There is absolutely no link to any intelligence operation whatsoever!

[2]   See also https://romalocutaest.com/2021/02/28/on-the-8th-anniversary-of-the-resignation-of-pope-benedict-xvi/

6 thoughts on “Hey, leading Benepapists, “if you’re ‘ad hominem-ing’; you’re not winning”

  1. Steve, it’s been said from Br. Bugnolo of fromrome.info that your former profession was working as an agent or in some capacity with the cia. He doesn’t cite his sources but continues with the claim. Can you categorically state for the record that you did or did not work for them in any capacity?


    1. Sam, thanks for the note.

      from day 1 Roma Locuta Est was up…I have said I was a ‘former intelligence officer.’ It’s been in my brief bio at bottom of each of my articles. I never had to make this admission — simply because it has NOTHING to do with what I write. I included it just to tell folks a little bit about myself. I have also said I served in the CIA explicitly — it’s on the back jacket of my novel (PIA FIDELIS – see https://www.amazon.com/PIA-FIDELIS-Kingdoms-Steven-OReilly/dp/1734126019). You can go to amazon and click on the book and see (no need to buy). It may have been in the bio Tim Gordon read on his show. Bottom line…no…Br. B. is not a super sleuth. [NB: Once he asserted in one of his articles I was a Catholic convert. Aside from the fact that it is not relevant whether I am or not…the fact is…I am a cradle Catholic. The product of Catholic schools through university.]

      I do not write for anyone else, but myself. I do not write on behalf of any governmental or non-governmental group, organization, intelligence agency, etc. No one tells me what to write. No on tells me what not to write. No one pays me to do this. I do not have a patreon button. I do not request funds from other, I do not make pitches for donations as some others do. I neither seek nor accept donations. In all my time, the one person who read my anti-Benepapist articles and wanted to contribute was a Benepapist. Go figure. I told him what I told you. I neither seek nor accept donations.

      Now, the inference Br. B wants you to make is that somehow I am writing for a nefarious someone else, or some institution (the CIA?), and its goals and objectives. Complete nonsense. There are quite a few former intelligence folks ‘out there’ who are big in the media, and are conservative. Jack Posobiec. Buck Sexton. Sam Faddis. Being former CIA does not make one bad. It does not mean what you are doing after you left the government suspect, etc.

      I am just an average, conservative Catholic. Read this blog, and what I’ve written about Francis, Amoris Laetitia, the Conclave Chronicles, Jesuit vows, the stolen election of 2020, etc., and tell me you think I am working for someone else. All this information was available to Br. Bugnolo…but he wrote what he did anyway. What does that say about his interest in the truth of the matter?

      What Br. Bugnolo wants folks to believe is, is that I am somehow working directly or indirectly for my old agency or someone to spread ‘misinformation’ and or ‘disinformation.’ That is easier to do than to actually take on my articles and arguments.
      If I can safely be ignored, why does he bother to soil his knuckles on me using slanderous ad hominems?

      Br. B is appealing to negative prejudicial opinions about intelligence agencies, or the CIA, or whomever else is out there. Quite simply, Br. B is employing a fallacious tactic. He is poisoning the well. He should know better, maybe he does. Certainly as an objective fact, he is bearing false witness. I pray for him. His article is slanderous and maliciously libellous. He is attempting to sully my reputation — ultimately, because I don’t share his pet theory. Disappointing to see from a fellow Catholic, worse still from someone who is a religious.

      But…I’ve been on the receiving end of ad hominems from Acosta, and Barnhardt as well. Just tells me I am over the target. I hope more of the rank and file Benepapists understand why these tactics are employed by the leading ‘theorists’ of the movement.

      But as I mentioned in the article, a priest who read Br. B’s article suggested these ad hominems were a “good sign.” The leading Benepapists have lost the argument.

      Like I said, If you’re ‘ad hominem-ing’; you’re not winning.

      God bless,



  2. Being former CIA does not make one bad. It does not mean what you are doing after you left the government suspect, etc.


  3. Thank you Steve for your candid reply. I suspect Br. B’s belief (?) and the link to ordo-militaris.net articles regarding the cia’s involvement with the church/JPII etc. tugs at the issue and his accusation towards you. But i’m only guessing.


    1. Sam,

      Thanks for the comment.

      There is no excuse for what Br. Bugnolo wrote. First, Br. Bugnolo’s ‘logic’ is a non sequitur — he ought to know better. Second, he has no proof I am writing at anyone else’s behest, etc. He knows that. Third, there is abundant counter evidence to any such assertion — just look at the topics on this blog, and the angle from which they have been covered. Look at what I’ve written about Francis, Amoris Laetitia, the conclave, etc. I could go on but this is utterly ridiculous.

      It all comes down to the fact that my fatal sin in Br. B’s eyes is that I dare oppose Benepapism of which he is one of the ‘founders.’ Perhaps there is sensitive nerve there? IDK. However, I do know regarding me, he has shown a reckless disregard of the truth. What I’ve written on my site is available to him like it is to any one else who would like to opine about me. Okay…maybe he has read nothing else on my site, but again — that only proves my point he showed a reckless, and malicious disregard for the truth before making his accusations.

      This calls to mind something Br. Bugnolo once said: “…I observe the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi…As a person who has taken vows and who lives vows obliging me to keep the Rule of St. Francis…” (see https://www.fromrome.info/2021/03/27/a-response-to-schneiders-libel/).

      So, Br. Bugnolo affirms he is obliged to obey the Rule of St. Francis. Okay. Great. Well…here is one of the rules he is obliged to live by vow:

      “I counsel, admonish and beg my brothers that, when they travel about the world, they should not be quarrelsome, dispute with words, or criticize others, but rather should be gentle, peaceful and unassuming, courteous and humble, speaking respectfully to all as is fitting.” (See Chapter III; source: https://ofm.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/The_Rule.pdf).

      Now, tell me…keeping in mind what he said and alleged about me, motives, etc. Keep in mind…that he accused Barnhardt (who is no fan of mine) of hating him with a “diabolic passion”….Do you think Br. Bugnolo’s rhetoric is NOT quarrelsome? disputatious? Criticizing? Or…do you think his words are gentle? peaceful? Unassuming? Courteous? Humble?

      I leave it to the reader to compare Br. B’s words to the rule of St. Francis he is obliged to keep by a vow. I do know…his comments were slanderous, calumnious, and showed a malicious disregard for the truth. Consequently, I pray for him.




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