DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     October 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 206

Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
    INTRODUCTION

      Pat Ludwa, a committed lay Catholic from Cleveland, has been asked to contribute, on a regular basis, a lay person's point of view on the Church today. We have been impressed with his insight and the clear logic he brings to the table from his "view from the pew." In all humility, by his own admission, he feels he has very little to offer, but we're sure you'll agree with us that his viewpoint is exactly what millions of the silent majority of Catholics believe and have been trying to say as well. Pat puts it in words that help all of us better understand and convey to others what the Church teaches and we must believe.

    Today Pat warns about the hidden demons in the denizons of doublespeak who say one thing, but mean something else. They lull unsuspecting souls into a false sense of security, sneaking up on them in sheeps' clothing and not revealing the wolf within until it is too late to escape the clutches of the goblins of greed and power. It happened with Hitler and it is happening again today in our system of checks and balances where the scale is tilting toward self-righteousness and the means justifies the end rather than the end justifying the means. This is evident with the pro-aborts, the gay rights advocates, the live-and-let-live pacifists who preach tolerance for all as long as one adheres to what they want. Any veering from that agenda and we see how they really feel about tolerance. But that is what Christ preaches: tolerance and forgiveness. He asks us to be on our guard, but do not shut out the sinner, only the sin. That is the gist of Pat's column today, The hidden face of evil!

    If you want to send him ideas or feedback, you can reach him at KnightsCross@aol.com

The hidden face of evil!

        In a couple of days our streets will be inundated with goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and other denizens of the dark. Along with princesses, cowboys, and other assorted characters. By in large, a harmless child's holiday. Who doesn't like to pretend for just one day? If only evil could be so easily recognized in real life a we recognize the goblins who ring our door bells. Evil does wear a mask, but never one we recognize as evil.

        In Colorado, a trial is underway to determine the guilt or innocence of fellows who killed another simply because of his sexual orientation. We don't know whether the boy they killed practiced homosexual acts. Even if he did, they had no right to take his life.

        "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8: 7). "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Our Father).

        No doubt these fellows thought they were doing good, or at least, nothing wrong. After all, homosexuality is a sin which cries to Heaven for revenge. Thing is, it isn't ours to enact that revenge.

        We know of those who feel it is right and good to kill abortion doctors, to blow up abortion clinics, etc. In these cases, we can't even judge their final outcome, but can only pray for their repentance and conversion.

        So here, we see evil disguised as a good. But there are others less noticeable. A group of people are hated, almost the world over. Their leaders are corrupt, many are poor. Along comes some men who give them pride in themselves. They sweep away the corruption, put people back to work. The homeless find homes, and the anarchy of riots in the street are replaced with law and order. Finally, they think, someone who takes responsibility, who cares for us. Sounds like a good person doesn't he? That person was Adolf Hitler.

        "From 1921 Hitler, scorning consistency or truth, adapted his views to the audience and grievance of the moment. His Nazis appealed to all the discontented and uprooted, and to the middle class, ruined by the currency collapse, they promised economic reforms. Capitalists were assured of protection against Communism; workers were guaranteed jobs by a Nazi regime. Monarchists were led to hope in a restoration of the throne. Patriots were aroused by denunciation of the Versailles 'dictated peace,' and the continuing German political and military inferiority among nations. Youth were inveigled by insignia, marching, noise, games."

        While coming to power, Hitler showed himself the champion of the people, ALL of the people. But we know now that he really championed only some of the people, those people who followed him. And even they were abandoned by him as not being worthy to survive him (for losing the war).

        Much of his rhetoric is echoing throughout the world today. Not against Jews, but against those who would obstruct their march to empowerment.

        Among various feminist and homosexual groups, among others, tolerance is preached, but tolerance only for those who follow, lock step, with them. Any Christian (especially Catholics) who fail to follow are ridiculed and berated. A 'good' Christian (Catholic) is one who follows exactly as they should.

        "The religious counterpart of Nazism, the "German Christians," with varying degrees of enthusiasm called for a "positive, virile, Aryan Christianity." Their candidate for Reichs-bischof, Chaplain Ludwig Mueller, received Hitler's endorsement as against the German Evangelical Federation. In July, 1933, this Federation was legally replaced by a "German Evangelical Church," a centralized body to be "coordinated" by Mueller. But a "New Reformation movement" of twenty-five hundred Lutheran ministers objected to the anti-Semitism of the new church, and were upheld in their stand by Protestant ecumenical groups. Later "German Christian" demands for rewriting the Bible and removal of the cross provoked a "Pastors' Evangelical League" led by Martin Niemoller. Its leaders were arrested or exiled and all Protestant opposition forced underground by 1938. Finally the Reichsbischof was supplanted by a lay minister of religion, Hans Kerrl, who demanded a "Nordic Christianity" while Rosenberg campaigned for a "National Reich Church" with a thirty-point program involving pure paganism or pantheism."

        Sounds somewhat familiar? Replace obstructive 'pastors' with those more to their liking. Especially lay ministers and priest, with the addition of gnosticism, New Age practices, etc. After all, there are many ways to God, right?

        By 1935, Hitler had all but gutted the Catholic Church in Germany. "Persecution of the Church began in earnest in 1935 and proved severe despite Nazi disclaimers of its existence. At first every effort was made to discredit the clergy by cartoons, loud-speaking trucks, 'exposes,' and trials of clerics for alleged moral lapses. Chanceries were searched for incriminating documents, communication with Rome hindered, mails and phones tapped. Fines and imprisonment were inflicted upon outspoken clerics, but though the Nazis claimed 7,000 convictions, actually of 25,634 German priests but 49 were accused and 21 convicted of moral frailty, Nazi propaganda represented the Church as unpatriotic, hoarding wealth; its clerics as idle and avaricious."

        Again, sound familiar? "From the beginning the Catholic Church was one of the main targets of Hitler's policy of annihilation; the totalitarian aims of National Socialism would not tolerate any opposition or allow any other organization to compete for the loyalty of the German people" (FAITH AND FATHERLAND by Thomas McGovern; the story of the heroic resistance of Count Clement August von Galen; bishop of Munster).

        Many of the first inhabitants of Dachau weren't Jews, but Germans who 'opposed' and posed a threat to the good of the German people. But the Germans honestly thought that Hitler was bringing them good, not evil. That he was a savior, not a demon. By 1945, they knew the horrible truth, far too late.

        I recently saw a debate (I believe on C-SPAN) between two women. A feminist and another woman. The feminist claimed that she was fighting for the rights and dignity of all women, but what was shown was that, in truth, she was fighting only for those women who followed her agenda. Many women (and men) have been deluded (as the Germans were) that unfortunate occurrences are bound to happen in their fight for freedom, dignity, and power. Though they dislike their methods, at least they are fighting for women. The same can be said for many homosexuals. "It's terrible what tactics Act Up uses, but hey, at least they're doing something for us." Just like the Germans before them, they've accepted the Big Lie and closed their eyes to the truth.

        This is the nature of evil. It never comes with horns. It's often finally recognized only after the damage is done. What many Germans saw as a good, ended with the almost total annihilation of Germany. It's hidden in sweet sounding words and concepts.

        "But the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate" (Genesis 3: 4-6).

        Sounds good doesn't it? Can't we easily reword it for today? "That's not fair, keeping you from this one tree!! You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

        Satan tried to tempt Christ by sounding good. He offered Him bread when He was hungry, he offered Him a chance to prove to the world that He was God, and he even offered to relinquish his hold on the world if Christ would bend a bit. (ref. Matt. 4: 1-11) It sounded so good. No need to suffer, what good He could do with the world His. But in every case, there was a catch, a price to pay. It sounded good, but if one looked closely, one could see the trap. " 'The whole world lies under the power of the evil one' (1 John 5:19) - allude also to the presence of satan in the history of humanity, a presence which becomes all the more acute when man and society depart from God" (John Paul II; General Audience, Aug. 13, 1986).

        Since it behooves satan to get people to think he doesn't exist, is it any wonder that people would find themselves saying "We more enlightened know that satan is only the personification of our personal evil" (Fr. Richard McBrien).

        While reading a debate between St. Augustine and Fortunatus (a Manichaean) I was struck by how the same tact was used by Fortunatus as is used by Modernists. "FORTUNATUS said: Because I know that you have been in our midst, that is, have lived as an adherent among the Manichaeans, these are the principles of our faith. The matter now to be considered is our mode of living, the falsely alleged crimes for which we are maltreated. Therefore let the good men present hear from you whether these things with which we are charged and which we have thrown in our teeth are true or false. For from your instruction, and from your exposition and explanation, they will have been able to gain more correct information about our mode of life, if it shall have been set forth by you.

    2. AUGUSTIN said: I was among you, but faith and morals are different questions. I proposed to discuss faith. But if those present prefer to hear about morals, I do not decline that question." (St. Augustine; ACTS OR DISPUTATION AGAINST FORTUNATUS, THE MANICHAEAN).

        This very modern, replace faith with morals, and of course, WE can't judge morals, especially if we don't know Christ. So Christ is quietly, slowly expunged to allow a more 'liberal' interpretation of faith, morals, and religion.

        From Fr. William Most, Ph. D., we read some of the main 'adaptations' of modernist thought. "They often say things do not mean what they seem to mean, but are , e.g., the perpetual virginity of Our Lady they say is only a symbol for purity - nothing physical. There are many things in the Gospels given this treatment.

        They are fond of claiming retrojection: e.g., the strong words of Jesus to the Pharisees were mostly not spoken --later in the century Christians and Jews began to quarrel.

  • Similarly, it was not the Jews who brought His crucifixion: the Romans did that, fearing a dangerous leader of insurrection. [I love this one. Pilate let Christ be crucified to avoid a riot, not to stop a revolutionary. Ref. Lk 23: 1-25; Jn 18:33-40: 19:1-22) ].

  • Jesus did die, but there was no resurrection: His body was given a shallow burial, like other criminals. Then wild dogs ate His body.

  • His miracles are allusions, suggestion or magic. He did not multiply loaves --He got the selfish people to take out the bread hidden under their cloaks.

  • Cure of possessed people was just handling epileptics.

  • Infancy Gospels are just a fanciful kind of midrash-they include contradictions e.g., the census, was he found by magi in a home or a stable? At Bethlehem or Nazareth?"

        Consider the aim of satan, of evil. It's to take us away from God, Who loves us. A line from the movie "Hook" is very appropriate, what better revenge than turning one's own children against their father? So satan comes as an angel of light, tickling our ears about fairness, enlightenment, the divinity of mankind, the power of mankind to change things himself. So, he prowls through the world seeking to ruin souls, to rob God of His treasure, His love.

        So we hear, seemingly good and logical things being repeated to lure people away. In the 'kinder, gentler' world we can hear:

        "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

        " Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, "All these I will give you"

        We are all called to follow God. To be compassionate to all men, saint and sinner alike. To look after their welfare as a brother or sister. To help them overcome what keeps them from Christ, as we hope they would help us. But we must be very careful to discern the spirit. Is it truly from God, or is it a distortion? A false compassion (such as euthenasia) a false welfare (like abortion) and false help (such as supporting illicit sexuality)?

        There is a saying that whoever does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it. Aren't we in danger of repeating the mistakes of the German people in the 1930's? Aren't we accepting the 'purging' of those who do not toe the line? Aren't we close to replacing the cross of Christ with a new sort of swastika?

        "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds" (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15).

        "But even if we, or an angel from Heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).

        Don't be angry with those who follow these false teachers, but as Christ would do, try and lovingly bring them back to the truth. "My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5: 19-20).

    Pax Christi, Pat


October 21, 1999       volume 10, no. 201
VIEW FROM THE PEW

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