Satan seeks dominion over every heart and every government.
He “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9) In particular, he especially delights in deceiving faithful Catholics: “… the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 11:3).
“It has been said that rat poison is 99% nutritious- it's the 1% strychnine that does in the rat.” - W. Biersach, Catholic writer
While the modernist, progressive application of Catholic social teaching weaves in large doses of truth, it includes just enough sinister misinformation (foundational errors) that send trusting adherents off course. The liberal agenda, moreover, distorts the clarity and fullness of church teaching, thereby nullifying a robust and impactful Catholic voice in the public square.
So, as a modernist operating in the post-Vatican II era, what would you do if you were C.S. Lewis’ tempter Screwtape? You have one job: to distort church teaching in a way that keeps souls out of heaven. To achieve that, you need to keep Christians from serving the truly vulnerable. You aim in fact to:
- Increase human misery. Just for fun, of course. But also to goad souls into wrath, dissension, and despair.
- Prevent people from doing what the Gospel demands.
- Keep them busy doing something else.
- Better still, wherever you can, get them to do the opposite.
- Convince people that by following your plan they are smarter, cooler, and more enlightened than those Christians who actually are obeying Jesus.
- Make it shameful in the eyes of the public, even of Christians, to follow the Gospel.
That sounds like a tall order. You will need to be strategic. People are different, and not every temptation will snooker each soul. So it’s best if you have more than one scheme in your playbook to distort authentic Catholic social teaching:
The Pharisee Plan
The Pharisee plan attempts to convince people to focus on squabbling over minor points of doctrine and gets them to ignore their own sins and obsess on the sins of others.
The distortion is to teach Catholics that the best way to get the “beam out of their own eye” is to “pluck the mote out of someone else’s.”
Around since the 1970s, this stratagem has lost a little luster lately so its advocates stole the name of an actual pro-life group and re-branded the Seamless Garment the “Whole Life Movement.”
The goal here is to take genuine concern for real, needy people and dissolve it like an espresso shot in an Olympic swimming pool. In other words, moral equivalency reigns.
Lump in every hard luck story or bad outcome in a fallen world with the worst injustices on earth. Forbid people to see what distinguishes (for instance) a murderer on death row from an old lady about to be euthanized against her will. Teach them to equate a Muslim immigrant who’s offended by tasteless jokes with Christian girls kidnapped by ISIS. Convince them that climate change is a crime on the scale of abortion. And so on.
Once people have come to accept the fact that all evils are basically equal, they’ll probably give up fighting evil altogether, concentrate on enjoying themselves, and the result will be Catholics voting for pro-abortion candidates in droves- and without hesitation.
- In 2015 the world learned from Mihai Pacepa, a former Communist spymaster, that Liberation Theology was at least in part the creation of Soviet espionage agents, who saw the Catholic peasants of Latin America as vulnerable to Marxist recruitment through gullible, idealistic or power-hungry clergy.
- Liberation Theology is scarcely theology. And it doesn’t liberate. In Latin America, it served or serves as the pious fig leaf for nasty dictatorships like the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and the Chavistas’ in Venezuela. Its watered-down American version — popular among leftists who still claim to be Catholic — offers political cover for pro-abortion, anti-marriage lawmakers, who hope they can buy back their souls by dispensing some extra food stamps and reducing their carbon footprints.
- Much worse than Liberation Theology’s worldly effects are the spiritual poisons it trades in: toxic envy, gut-gnawing resentment, a craving for the chance to mete out violence, a scorn for thrift and honest work and an acid cynicism that reduces every human relationship to a swap of money or power. All this in the name of Jesus.
- A close cousin to liberation theology is the “Social Justice Catholic.” Perhaps the single-greatest rebellious vehicle of leftism in the church these days is the “social justice” canard.
- For many decades socialists in the church have used “social justice” to twist authentic Catholic social teaching to advance their leftist agenda via wages, poverty, immigration, abortion, environment, etc.
- The "social justice" ruse is essentially a euphemism for active Marxism in the Church. It is notable that this subversion process accelerated when the Soviet Union collapsed. From then on cultural Marxism and political correctness became ascendant as the ideological soul mates of social justice Catholicism.
- Self-styled Catholic critics of the free market and “Americanism” have also adopted the term “social magisterium” to suggest that there is a coherent and morally binding body of papal teaching on politics and economics, from which we can derive specific policy initiatives and firmly condemn alternatives.
- Hence defenders of market economics, or opponents of mass immigration, who differ with one Pope’s opinions can be tarred with the same brush as those who favor women’s ordination or homosexuality. Indeed, if we accept the premise of a “social magisterium,” we are led to believe that we can actually build up a detailed Catholic political economy that is a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, which bravely “cuts across” the lines dividing Left and Right, and between America’s political parties.
- Rule of thumb, when you hear anyone in the church advocating “social justice,” run the other way as someone will most likely soon make the case to accept serious sin because of the good of ‘social justice.’
- The Catholic Church has been under attack from the first day that Jesus began His teaching.
- In October 2016, that attack overtly intensified when Wikileaks published email communications between John Podesta and senior level Hillary Clinton staff discussing infiltrating the Catholic Church with progressive ideology to foment revolution in the Church (i.e., a “Catholic Spring”).
- Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, wrote that Catholic terms of art such as “Thomistic thought” and “subsidiarity” are merely sophistical smoke screens for rich conservatives such as Rupert Murdoch, who are in search of a faith with “severely backward gender relations,” but too snobbish to join an evangelical church.
- In a friendly email exchange with John Podesta, left-wing activist Sandy Newman described the Catholic Church as a “middle ages dictatorship” that needed a “Catholic Spring” and wondered “how to plant the seeds of revolution.” To help with that, Podesta promised help to pro-abortion sock puppet groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United that call themselves “Catholic,” but push the Democrats’ agenda.
The Soros Option
- Much of the money behind the progressive Catholic groups comes from groups funded by George Soros. An atheist, pro-abortion financial speculator who has made billions in part by gaming currency markets, Soros has embraced radical politics. He supports using global institutions, such as the United Nations, the European Union, and “non-profit” pressure groups to override the votes of citizens in nations around the world. Soros spent big to influence the U.S. election in 2016.
- Even more troubling are Soros’ efforts to infiltrate, hijack, and control Christian churches. Soros’ army of employees is expert at identifying allies within those churches, and pouring money into them to increase their influence and reach. His employees are on record as calling these allies “mascots,” part of their program to “rent-an-evangelical.”
- Soros spent $400,000 to help Latin American Marxist Catholic groups spin Pope Francis’ U.S. visit as a campaign tour for pro-abortion Democrats. More recently, one of Soros’ pet groups, PICO, helped organize the event at which 24 U.S. Catholic bishops and a cardinal close to Pope Francis (Peter Turkson) pledged to “disrupt Trump,” and to use Catholic church facilities to thwart U.S. immigration laws.
- Soros’ money fills the coffers of pro-abortion, LGBT, and pro-Islamist activists.
- In return, Soros receives media clippings like this one: “A representative from the George Soros-funded dissident group Catholics for Choice (CFC) said she supports Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, because ‘our Catholic social justice tradition compels us to stand with the poor and the most vulnerable in our society.’ This shocking jiu jitsu of Catholic language is meant to confuse people — to obscure the fact that unborn children are the most vulnerable Americans, stripped as they are of any legal protection whatsoever.
The Victimist Gambit
- This plan is the most ambitious. But it offers the richest rewards (beyond all that cash from Mr. Soros). Christian philosopher Rene Girard this as the worldview that will bring on the Apocalypse. So it’s worth our special attention.
- Victimism is the mental trick by which you puff yourself up and congratulate yourself for being an activist. You win praise and social brownie points by identifying with the causes that are most popular with elites. Stick to topics on which Ivy League professors, Hollywood movie stars, and government bureaucrats agree.
- Make sure that your efforts get noticed. (In biblical terms, “blow a trumpet” when “dispensing alms.”) If anyone opposes you, conceive of yourself as a genuine victim.
- Our culture cherry picks tragedies to suit its ruling ideology. It ignores the causes that challenge it. So of course, those who really suffer the most and have the fewest defenders — like unborn babies, or Syrian Christians — won’t make the list. Instead, the Victimist will latch onto animal rights, transgender activism or Planned Parenthood … whatever cause is coolest among those people he or she wants to impress.
- The Victimist will scorn and resent those actual Christians who try to help the vulnerable. He will sneer and feel superior. And why not? He will be far from the sweaty, bloody victims. Instead, he’ll walk the red carpet, sniffing after the elite.
- The technical term for this bold, new dead-end in Christian living is “Defeatism.” Discouraged Catholics who fall prey to this tactic are heart-broken about the evils of this world. Of course, if they persevere, God will grant them the strength that they need.
- Instead “Benedict Option” Catholics are people are barraged by negative news. They are coaxed into believing the battle is already over. They have run the race, and fought the fight. But they have lost, and now it’s over. Time for a breather.
- The church has burned to the ground, so now they’re free to salvage whatever they can. These Catholics aren’t thinking about unborn children, or persecuted Christians. They’re focused on themselves and their sense of loss and grievance. In twisted, progressive Catholicism, the effort is even made to turn this newfound Sloth into Vanity, by making them feel superior to those “fools” who continue the fight.