Remember the Old Saying, "Garbage in, garbage out!"
01. Reality & Role
of the Church: Joshua & Religious Relativism
02. Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Personal Interpretation
03. Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Comparison to the Jews
04. Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Affluence & Hypocrisy
05. Christian Mysteries: Joshua & the Sacraments
06. Christian Ministry: Joshua & the Priesthood
07. The Gospel of Life: Joshua & Abortion
08. Bishop Trautman & Liturgists: Nos Amis, Les Ennemis
09. Prosletyzing Catholics: Leaving Without Goodbyes
10. Prosletyzing Catholics: Purgatory
11. Prosletyzing Catholics: Scriptural Testimony on Purgatory
12. Prosletyzing Catholics: Testimony from Tradition on Purgatory
13. Prosletyzing Catholics: Our Need for Purgatory
14. Prosletyzing Catholics: The Reputation of Shepherds
15. Prosletyzing Catholics: Saints & Purgatory
Projected subjects under Prosletyzing Catholics:
The Canonical Scriptures, Authority of Interpretation, How Do Anti-Catholics Kill Catholic Faith?, Jesus as the Lamb of God, Justification By Faith Alone?, Anti-Catholic Propaganda, The Papacy, Brothers & Sisters of Jesus, Symbolism of the Laying on of Hands, and Faith & the Lack of Faith.
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It should be noted that the devil is a notoriously poor speller!
My dear Hobnob,
I was very pleased to hear that you got that fellow of yours into reading Fr. Joseph Girzone's book, Joshua. You are quite right that it was the best you could do. He has a real religious bent and actually avoids certain scientific and humanistic works that might challenge his faith. Closed minds are sometimes the most vulnerable, although such avoidance can also work into our enemy's hands. The book he has chosen presents a Jeezus, oh even to misspell that name hurts, that is compassionate, kind, and tolerant-- to a fault-- and toward those most needing a Jeezus of challenge and objective truth. I cannot tell you how many readers felt that this bestseller changed their lives-- that for the first time they really knew Jeezus. It makes me chuckle. If they only knew that he was an imposter, really Girzone in disguise. Don't let on.
The book does our work for us. He dismisses the teaching of Khrist's Church, ouch, "subsisting" fully in the Catholic community. He writes: "But when members of their congregations attended another church, they were highly indignant and, indeed, personally offended that someone would think another church might have more to offer than theirs" (p. 15). He sandwiches this remark of religious relativism with another on page 102. This is great stuff. The first weed has been planted. Of course, if he were not a Catholic, we could find this viewpoint a real bother; but, as it is, the blandness of the Mass and the impoverished preaching of his pastor feeds right into our hands. He knows already that some of the non-Catholic churches nearby have more things going in the community and have more dynamic leadership than his own. But, be careful. The ministers of these groups actually help their people and are friends of the enemy. However, what constitutes nourishment for their own will form spiritual privation for the Catholic. Let us see if we can't get your client thinking that all churches are alike or that the Lord's Supper as celebrated in the other mainline traditions and sects is just the same as his Catholic Eucharist. Confidentially, the sacramental life and the Eucharist is the one "offer" that many of these other churches would be hard-pressed to match. Once on the slippery slope, who knows how far he might fall. Happy hunting.
Your ever affectionate uncle,
Webmaster Note: JOSHUA is written by Joseph F. Girzone. The book is published from Simon & Schuster (PB). The reprint date is April 1, 1995. ISBN: 0684813467.
Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Personal Interpretation
My dear Hobnob,
Yes, yes, you are very astute in saying that Girzone's Joshua sometimes sounds like a Fundamentalist Protestant. But, again, what is one man's gravy may be another's poison. The Bible may be the enemy's book, but we have often made as much or even more use of it. Without the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, the Scriptures can end up interpreted any which way— and hopefully, our way. Girzone's book does indeed disregard the need for a teaching Church to properly interpret the Scriptures. He writes: "The Scriptures are quite clear to anyone who is willing to read with an open mind, and history speaks for itself . . ." (P. 137). Note that he lumps history itself into the same category of "personal" interpretation. This is very funny. Professional historians themselves fight over the meaning of things displaced in time by only a few years, let alone centuries. This will undermine the second font of Catholic truth, tradition. Ah, this is so sweet! Returning to the matter of the Bible, there are some reputable Scripture scholars (among whom we have more than a few allies) who admit that it is often difficult to cross the chasm of time, language, and culture to properly understand the Scriptures. The Protestant ecclesiastical fracturing is a delicious historical testament to the failed notion of personal, i.e. independent, interpretation. Separated from the Church, the inspiration of the H.S. is less dependable and available. Do not allow him to appreciate the fact that there must be a final interpreting authority (safeguarded by the enemy). As an aside, in Girzone's book, The Shepherd, he actually insists that Scriptural passages making moral demands, as in the Pauline epistles, represent only personal opinion and is not divine revelation at all. Oh, I love the revisionist agenda! If you can't make the Bible say what you want it to say, you empty it of any and all binding force. Ha ha! Keep nudging him in our direction.
Your ever affectionate uncle,
Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Comparison to Jews
My Dear Hobnob,
Great news! He really loves Girzone's book. What he read on page 178 was particularly consoling to him after the conversion of his daughter to her husband's Judaism. The author postulates that the Jews have, ironically, discovered the true spirit of Jesus while Christians have tended to return to the old law. Considering the high numbers of atheists in the reformed Jewish community, this holds out all sorts of possibilities— his daughter's husband is of this non- believing stripe. These words say less about the author's views of Jews as it does about the Church. He hates the institution of the Church and wishes it had developed along the lines of the Synagogue with "no institution, no structures." If he explores this matter further, steer him clear of certain roadblocks planted by the enemy. The divine covenant established with the Hebrew people is still in effect. They remain his first chosen people. The tragedy we have to mask in regard to converts from Christianity is their renunciation of baptism and faith in Khrist, ouch. The true spirit Girzone is talking about is literally a social atmosphere— a tendency for toleration of even the most serious divergences in faith and lifestyle. This is the stereotype that he embraces and puts into the mouth of Joshua. Not only does he belittle the Synagogue as no more than a culture club with no set structures or beliefs, he suggests this is what we want to become. As for your client, keep his mind off the H. S. and the Trinity. But, as I have said before, be careful. Many Hebrews see their faith and culture as inseparably bonded and meaningful. True believers from any faith can make trouble for us. Jeezus was a Jew. No equivocation can hide this fact. Let your subject think that he was the more liberal variety, like his character, Joshua. Oh, and by the way, the analysis offered in the book is fairly simplistic. Don't let him get a hold of anything or anyone that might burst the bubble— especially keep him away from disgruntled Palestinians!
Your ever affectionate uncle,
P.S. The pseudo-Jeezus character in the book says almost too much, for our clandestine purposes, on page 202: "The Church would function better if it were closed." The statement warms my heart, well if I had one it would, but it might also let the cat out of the bag.
Reality & Role of the Church: Joshua & Affluence & Hypocrisy
My Dear Hobnob,
Please, please, you've got a point, but watch how you express yourself. I agree that many ministers have made religion into a big business, but to call it their personal "piggy" bank— oh my, ever since that episode with Jesus when he drove us into the swine— oh, to this day I hate water. What nerve those creatures had, too. The animals considered most unclean by the Jews, drowning themselves rather than to be contaminated by us— the nerve! Whenever there is the appearance of affluence, the Church is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. We can use Girzone's observation about the Church, if he will accept it at face value. Most people are lazy about finding out the facts for themselves; it is easier just to believe what we are told. If we can disguise this laziness in thinking as its opposite, a special enlightenment, then we have it made. Let me see, yes, this is quite good. The Joshua character (really Girzone) looks around at the magnificence of St. Peter's, a treasure belonging to the entire human race, and says: "They have missed the whole point of the gospel. Even when they preach poverty and detachment, coming from this setting it negates the sincerity of the message" (p. 241). Great! He chastises the Pope for pomp; don't let the reader find out that the Holy Father's quarters are fairly modest, maybe even more so than the author's.
Your affectionate uncle,
Christian Mysteries: Joshua & the Sacraments
My Dear Hobnob,
I am definitely going to suggest that we use this book for all our sentimental types who consider themselves learned. Most impressive! From what you tell me, your subject was quite receptive to Girzone's views about rituals and sacraments. For future reference, let me direct you to the pertinent passages:
You are showing wonderful promise, my infernal regards,
Christian Ministry: Joshua & the Priesthood
My Dear Hobnob,
You have your subject almost convinced that the Catholic Church is seriously flawed. Discovering his impotence to change things, he will assuredly walk. Wonderful job. A little nudge here, a whisper there, and presto— another ex-Catholic. Most Catholics who leave the Church do not join other churches— a useful bit of trivia for those in our business. He may feel an attraction elsewhere, but often such subjects fail to follow it through. In any case, he would be deprived of the sacraments of life. Once his soul is completely dead, we can make ready the fire and the wonderful meal he shall make. I know you will invite your favorite uncle.
Girzone's book has fueled every resentment your client has ever felt for the Church and its clergy. Nice! In his latter book, The Shepherd, Girzone presents a bishop of the Church who is urged to realize the author's vision in opposition to the universal Church. Poor fools! People read the book as fiction and yet there are already such shepherds and a schism, albeit a secret one, between the so-called "American" Church and that of Rome.
Prevalent in the latter book, but also present in Joshua, he only speaks of conscience and freedom as it stands in opposition to the authority of the bishop to rule. His main character ridicules the local bishop as nothing more than a bureaucrat, someone more involved with the business of religion than the saving of souls. This image plays into the conception of the Church as cold and detached from its people.
Note the bombardment of delightful abuse upon the clergy:
I have digressed a little bit in this note because I don't suspect you will need much more advice to settle the case. The pitiable man under your charge has swallowed the whole book and soon we shall swallow him. The fictional stories have resonated with his own for a delightful dialogue in anger, frustration, and rebellion. I can taste him now.
Your ever expectant uncle,
The Gospel of Life: Joshua & Abortion
I have just gotten the news. I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you. You should have seen this flaw in your subject's character that would propel him back to Mommy Church. But, you didn't, and you will pay. Console yourself with the possibility that you might be given a second chance, after I have gnawed upon your agonized spirit for a millennium or two.
Your client, despite all the deceits and half-truths he accepted, with the help of Girzone's fabulous book, was almost ours— now he is firmly back in the embrace of the enemy. Did you not investigate his daughter's marriage at all? Did you not see it fragmenting and her subsequent abortion? You failed to do your homework. Your client was pro-life and his daughter's murder of her child troubled him deeply. He still believed in the underlining foundation of Christianity and the Catholic faith— the Gospel of Life. He could join no group or church which denied this overriding conviction. Girzone said not a word about it in his book. It should have been safe sailing. He admired and trusted the author. He had allowed the author's words to become his own. And then it happened.
I have a great fondness for television, especially cable and videos with their dirty movies. But oh, if only there had been a power failure that Sunday morning when he turned on the news. Ah, it is too late— too late.
Girzone writes carefully, but he evidently talks to freely. The anchor interviewed him and he quite willingly admitted his personal convictions. The providence of the enemy is indeed frustrating. Your subject was thrilled to see his spiritual guru. He ran to the tube and then he heard what turned him inside out and made him reject all the propaganda from the false Jeezus. I can still hear the author-priest in my mind, his words personally electrified me and yet made me fearful for you and your intended victim. He admitted that his goal was not so much spiritual enrichment, but to FORCE the Church to change. He listed his issues, and among them was a demand for the Church to change its teaching regarding abortion. If only he had kept to capital punishment, what do we care if a few thousand lives are temporarily restrained from our grasp; but abortion, that wonderful harvest of 4,000 babies a day, one-and-a-half million in the U.S. annually— this dessert to our tastes was repugnant to your client's.
Oh, well, the grim harvest will continue, no matter how your client feels about it, and I will have the opportunity to savor you instead.
See you for supper,
Webmaster Note: The said television program was on CBS in 1991.
Bishop Trautman & Liturgists: Nos Amis, Les Ennemis
My Dear Tsirahcue,
Perhaps it is the delicious meal I am having? Or maybe it is your consistent great news? But I am in an especially good mood. The dark spirit Hobnob gives me sweet delight as he screams with every motion of my fork and every bite I consume. Ah, the price of failure! Of course, as the master reminds us, there is satisfaction (of a sort) in success as well, even if everything will ultimately be reduced to eternal spite. Let me turn to your report.
Bishop Donald W. Trautman is in the news again. Are we sure that this bishop is not working for us? Hum. Nevertheless, he certainly made no pretenses about his revisionist agenda at the National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. We must keep their minds numb to the failure of liturgical experimentation. Haha, so he affirmed the strategists responsible for the dismantling of the Roman Rite, pretending that they have actually been able to "produce full, conscious, active participation in the worship life of the Church" (NCCB Liturgy Newsletter, p. 37). Great! Not only does such a naive statement ignore the fact that three quarters of the Catholic population are NOT even in the pews on Sundays; many of those attending possess faulty views about the Eucharist, are bored by the songs and bland prayers, and attend largely because of duty or habit. Such a perspective denies the pre-conciliar liturgy of its legitimate fruitfulness in breeding saints and in maintaining the Catholic faith. Superb! Nothing is said about the fact that internal participation may be even more important than external, and that such has suffered under some of the reforms, usually on the level of national implementation and translation. Keep them blind! When he says that "liturgical renewal is still wanting in many faith communities," I shake with expectation over the prospect of further corruption and malaise— into their remaining strongholds (Ibid., p. 37). He has given our battle-cry to destroy the final remnants of traditional faith, piety, and liturgical practice. I can't wait! This makes the little success over cremated ashes pale by comparison. Who cares anymore if the signs of destruction, obliteration mine you, are brought into the church. It might shake the faith of a few in the resurrection of the body, but the evolution, or better, the devolution, of the liturgy— that's something to write home about.
There are a few voices crying out that the whole liturgical renovation business is flawed. We must discredit them any way possible. Attack their credentials, call them rigid, say they smell— anything— but get them out of the picture. These are no doubt the sources of new tension to which the good bishop alludes. The critics of the reform must be dismissed out-of-hand. No respect should be given them. Leave no room for the suggestion that the past has something more to say to the present. He is right, it is "disconcerting" to hear voices preferring the Latin liturgy. Despite the indult granted by their Pope and the ever expanding ministry of the Society of St. Peter, we must make them accept the presumption that all these counter-revolutions are anti-Vatican II. The good bishop, like ourselves, can quote no passage that makes evident this contradiction to the council— we don't need one— saying it is enough. The propaganda machine runs well. He states: "It is disconcerting to hear voices in the Church accuse liturgists of de-emphasizing the sacred" (Ibid., p. 37). Boohoo! It's you other guys! It's the times-- not us! Take that, Cardinal Ratzinger! He's talking about you. Haha. Does Bishop Trautman propose that the "American" Church oppose the Congregation for the Faith and the See of Peter? Hum. Better to keep a quiet schism, at least for now. It is not yet time for the likes of a Bishop Trautman to become a new Martin Luther. Do I over-make my case? Certainly there are cultural forces beyond the Church's control that have assaulted the Church; however, his unwillingness to admit that liturgical fancy and triteness has had a part to play is clearly the height of arrogance. Again, are you sure he is not one of us? Incredible. He contends against that to which he himself has succumb, a simplistic approach (Ibid., p. 37). I love it! Even if he is a little too blunt.
So the good bishop is a Protestant. And he says so himself, "A pre-Vatican II liturgical theology and practice have no chance of speaking to a post-Vatican II world" (Ibid., p. 37). Why? Simply, because it is a NEW Church— or soon will be. Encourage anything which ruptures Apostolic succession. Do not allow the puzzled to ask or to answer the following questions:
Further, in practice he says we must maintain "a balance between transcendence and immanence" (Ibid., p. 37). Regarding this is quite right, but fortunate for our purposes, many seem to think that this balance is a fifty-fifty type of affair. Here are more questions to stifle:
This last question touches upon a truth very much in our favor at present. Remember the unfortunate miscalculation we made in regards to the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Episcopal/Anglican Church? They adopted Catholic rituals and while it fragmented the Anglican communion further; it also generated a small community of believers who had embraced papist doctrines. At one time they even declared their intention to become "More Roman than the Romans!" Ah, it makes me ill. However, the opposite works, too. This leads to another question which must be avoided:
Although ICEL lost the battle over "horizontal" inclusive language in the universal catechism, the good bishop stipulates that effective liturgy must speak the language of the culture. Here we find two more dangerous questions:
Despite the bishop's claim otherwise, many of the enemy's biblicists insist that inclusive language is distorting the message of the inspired sacred texts. The revocation of the new version of the Revised Standard in Canada is a case in point where the Church authorities have realized the danger of such language. We must cast everything in a THEM vs. US kind of mind set— and the THEM is Rome. Ah, Bishop Trautman might be too blunt when he writes, "It is disconcerting to hear some call for total uniformity under the guise of establishing substantial unity" (Ibid, pp. 37-38). It is a loaded sentence which might not bring the response we desire. Like chess, we must be careful in our moves. What he condemns was precisely the mentality of the pre-Vatican II Church. Of course, the mentality behind the statement is valuable. It excuses paraphrasing Latin prayers and the manufacture of new liturgical texts which have sometimes been in stark deviation from the tradition and orthodox teaching. Using the French liturgy as a model, considered semi-heretical by the late Fr. de Lubac, an earlier draft of the ICEL prayers regarding the role of the priest made omissions from the source text and disagreed in footnotes with Roman theology: that a distinction was to be made between the offering of the priest and that of the people. At the heart of the dilemma was the very nature of priesthood. We may yet be able to use what the bishop says. He misconstrues a cry for accurate and well-crafted texts as a call for total uniformity. Good. What we have at present is pushing any substantial unity to the breaking point. I only hope that no one figures out that his citation about liturgical freedom from Vatican II falls upon the qualification, "in matters that do not affect the faith and the good of the community." Oh, what am I saying? That is precisely why some of the enemy's followers are sounding the alarm.
The next bit is quite cute. The bishop suggests that he and his camp are the true traditionalists: "Those who oppose ongoing liturgical reform and adaptation are not true traditionalists. The true traditionalist is one who applies the living tradition of the Church in every age" (Ibid., p. 38). This sounds so well and good! Of course, much is left undefined. The nebulous nature of such argumentation allows any and all types of aberrations as long as there is some sort of vague link to traditional structures or teachings. Great! Further, no delineation is made between those traditions of custom which might be changed, those which ought not be altered, and those traditions over which we have no power to manipulate or to abrogate. I would also suggest that this definition of "Church" would also include ecclesial communities outside the framework of the Catholic family; thus, reformed and protestant theology might be given equal ground with the so-called certain deposit of faith. It is to Rome's credit, and our dismay, that the newer anaphoras to the liturgy all possess the basic structure of the Roman Canon, even if the ordering of the parts vary. Of course, this is not to say that they are all as effective or as instructive as the first Eucharistic prayer. He defines tradition in a way rarely proposed until our own century. His argument for further liturgical fun-and-games runs smack in the face of Rome's commanding observation that it is time for all such experimentation to end. My heart rejoices! Well, it would if I had a heart. It is evident that Bishop Trautman hates the Tridentine Mass and rituals. He would remove its last vestiges from the current missal. Let us not pretend otherwise. He resorts to a falsehood (unconscious?) in this regard, hoping I suppose that fading memories of the old liturgy and generations born since will buy his negative summation of it. He says that if we accept Vatican II, "we should not be calling for a return to a liturgy where celebrant alone, with his back to the people and speaking in a language no one else understands, confects the Eucharist, while the people kneel as silent spectators in the pews" (Ibid., p. 38). Oh boy! I see a real war brewing! Cardinal Ratzinger, a significant general in the enemy's army, in a reflection reprinted in the November 1996 edition of the Adoremus Bulletin, repudiated such a stance as ". . . unreasonable because it prevents instead of promoting a correct understanding of worship, and because it creates that false chasm between 'preconciliar' and 'postconciliar' which rends asunder the overall continuity of the living history of faith. Such a false alternative is rooted in superficial thinking which does not penetrate to the heart of the matter." The old liturgy, to our continued chagrin, meant solace and edification for the simple and the learned alike. Archbishop Sheen spoke about it as one of the most beautiful and sublime of God's mysteries. The celebrant offered the liturgy for his people and gathered both them and their prayers as part of the offering. His back was turned, not simply away from the people, but symbolically facing the East, a sign of the resurrection, leading his people to God. Missals and repetition meant that many if not most people understood the basic prayers and with the dialogue Mass of Pius XII could even respond. And yes, the priest confected the Eucharist and without a priest no religious community can have this sacrament of Khrist. All this is the truth and all this must be submerged under double-talk and confusion. It is my suspicion that the bishop is inferring something novel— that the assembly are the true priests. This thinking will put the Church at our mercy, a mercy which does not exist. The bishop again shows little if any appreciation for internal participation. Very good. The people knelt in their pews, but they were more than spectators. They followed the Mass and said their prayers. Spread the pixie dust of forgetfulness about this reality. Blind them to their current daydreaming and spending time at Mass today. Empty it of value and meaning. Allow the external to become even more a vacuum, even narcissistic. He takes St. Paul out of context. That is always good for points, with us. He admonishes us not to "quench the Spirit" (Ibid., p. 38). Ah, but which spirit? Haha. Do not allow reactionaries to turn this monitum around and suggest that maybe the return to conservative Christianity is the work of the Spirit and he is trying to stifle it. The "spirit of Vatican II" has been invoked to permit many things beyond the letter of the ecumenical council. Despite our charges that the Holy Father has tried to reverse the council, he was himself an active participant at Vatican II. Beware! He fights for the real council which asked for renewal. What we helped to give them was revolution.
I especially like the last bit of his address in your report, dear Tsirahcue, wherein he blows the whistle about the amount of approval received from the other bishops for the ICEL translations and alternative texts. The "fait accompli" attitude taken toward the bishops with limited discussion was a nice touch. Actually their deliberations were often curtailed and the limited discussion imposed could hardly be considered an honest way to proceed— but it was the we like it. Conservatives, i.e. orthodox Catholics, might be truly puzzled and disturbed by it all. We will have to watch them closely. A heightened collegiality has worked in our favor, inducing even more traditional bishops to go along with the crowd. Ah, goodwill rules and fear of scandal paralyzes. I wonder though, do the more traditional bishops just take it for granted that Rome will step in this time and be more circumspect regarding the texts than several decades ago? Does the modern episcopacy draw to itself men of a passive nature, unwilling to make waves or even to defend the faith in the face of obvious challenge and unofficial schism? Where are the many generals of the Church Militant? This is a bit worrying. Where ever they are, I hope they remain asleep until we have done our mischief. The Mass is the Church's greatest weapon in its arsenal against sin and faithlessness. What is to become of the Mass? Let us denizens of hell hope that they weaken it and that more and more of the enemy's subjects will neglect it. Without the full use of the Mass, we will make easy work of them. It will be like shooting chickens in the henhouse— not much sport— but mighty fine eating!
Your very pleased demonic supervisor,
Webmaster Note: These statements by the good bishop have been published in the NCCB Newsletter, Adoremus, and in Origins. The confusion and disagreement with some of his ideas SHOULD NOT be interpreted as derogatory to him or to his sacred office. I apologize if the forum I have fabricated for this examination leaves the wrong impression in this regard. It was not intentional. All Catholics owe their bishops respect and loyalty.
Prosletyzing Catholics: Leaving Without Goodbyes
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
Tell your foot-soldiers not to let up. We are making definite progress. The sincerity of those who think they are embracing Khrist while ridiculing his Church gives me more than a few chuckles. If we could alienate them from the name that saves, we would be home free; as it is, there is still much work to be done. If they only knew, haha. The Protestant faith offers much in favor of the enemy to its own; but, when a Catholic converts to their cause, it is slow starvation.
Remember to enthrall fallen away Catholics with reformational zeal and rhetoric. It is ever so delightful to see them parrot the arguments of anti-Catholics. Allow them to research their points, but only from sources unsympathetic to the Catholic Church. Steer them toward evangelical sources big in apologetics but weak in accuracy and in any legitimate critical research. My mouth waters when I recall a young girl I helped to wean away with lies and half-truths borrowed from Chick Publications and the Radio Bible Class. Let them look at the so-called facts, but not honestly. Remember, the truth is still on the side of the enemy.
It is not always necessary that people join the more dangerous cults in the news. Many mainstream groups share the same errors and dissent from Catholic faith. Energize your evangelists and have them shout, cry, and swing their bibles through the air. That is always impressive and makes for a good show. They can even cry out that painful name Jeezus as long as they are not in full possession of the truth. Do not allow anyone to suspect that such might be expressions of counterfeit churches with imitation Khrists. Encourage a religious relativism that would excuse their defection from the Catholic faith-- as if the real Jeezus would ever have them abandon his Church for one manufactured by men, no matter how well intentioned. Disagreements and bitterness against priests is always most effective. It is also a good jab against the morale of clergy to hear their ministry labeled a fraud and their preaching as that of false prophets. It has also been my experience that the safest defection is for one to leave the Church without saying a word to their pastors. Influence new-found friends in this regard, urging the defector to avoid any dialogue with a priest. The priest might steal back his catch. Of course, many priests these days are pretty inept; but don't take any chances, you might happen upon a smart one. In any case, it suits our purposes that the minister who gave them the sacraments and preached the Gospel, all out of love, is dismissed as irrelevant. It hurts priests to learn second-hand about these defections. There are few things I like better than causing the enemy's shepherds pain.
The most screamin' demon of all,
Prosletyzing Catholics: Purgatory
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
That priest you tell me about is quite upsetting. He told his people to be wary of easy and incomplete questions and answers. He is too close to the truth when he says that those who "are intellectually dishonest or misled themselves have seduced many of Khrist's flock away from the true Church." Is there any way we can shut him up? It is indeed bothersome.
Beware of the defector's lingering fidelity to Jeezus. Like am ember, all the enemy has to do is breathe upon it to re-ignite a Catholic's faith. Keep them self-preoccupied. Keep this priest you tell me about, and any of his cohorts, away from the victim. They will plead for the fallen-away believer to come home to the faith and sacraments established by Khrist. A useful evangelical question to undermine Catholicism is, "If you were to die tonight, where do you think you would go?" When they stumble in their confusion about purgatory, we've almost got them. Exploit the insecurity they feel in regard to their status before the enemy. When you want to stress the hypocrisy of Catholics, you can ask, "If Christianity were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" The questions make one think, but steer the thinking to our purposes. Our anti-Catholic friends have long known the trick of asking a Catholic a question touching upon his eternal destiny. If the Catholic answers, "I would go to purgatory," then he's falling into our hands. It is possible, maybe even likely that most believers will go to purgatory, but they forget that their answer should always reflect a higher aim. If the Catholic answers, "I hope to go to heaven," well, run like hell.
The terrible truth is that purgatory is a sign of the enemy's infinite mercy to the human swine. Malign it as a concept stolen from pagan religious traditions. In actuality, it only parallels such a pagan abode, but count on Catholic gullibility. A student of such things would see through us immediately. After all, Hell or Hades was also a concept in the mythological religions and we know how terribly real it is. The astute person, and there are very few of them, would offer the counter-question, "Are we going to disavow heaven because it looks too much like the Mount Olympus of the Greeks or the Valhalla of the Vikings?" Of course not. Thank badness, such apologetists are few and far between. Press the weak Catholic to quickly dismiss purgatory. Much else will follow.
Although the roots of purgatory can be discovered in the Old and New Testaments, stress that the word "purgatory" is NOT in the bible. Between us, the absence of a term proves or disproves nothing. But again, people are cattle. If they had half a brain, they would realize that the word "Trinity" does not appear there either, and yet fundamentalists acknowledge that much. Indeed, their invention of an eschatological kidnapping called "Rapture" does not appear there as such either. No, just as with the word "pope," the Christian community would develop terminology to express biblical concepts and their experience of the Church. Such does not necessarily detract from the bible, but unfortunately for us, amplifies it.
Ah, purgatory, talk about strange places-- all the benefits of a devil's home, but only for commuters. And all that damn joy, they all know that they've made it. I'll be happy when the whole place is evacuated-- although I will miss their pain. Only the enemy could devise such a thing. At the time of death, those still burdened with temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, must undergo purgation after death. These departed ones can be aided by the prayers and good works of those living on earth. This state of purgation is understood as an intermediate condition between individual death and entrance into heaven. Disgusting!
Your devilishly delightful boss,
Prosletyzing Catholics: Scriptural Testimony on Purgatory
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
Darn! Darn! Darn! You've got to do something about that priest, and quick! Who would have guessed that a loud-mouthed but stupid fundamentalist would dare debate him? You tell me the minister got so mad he ran out the rectory door. Badness! We'll have to find some way to restore his confidence. That business I told you about Purgatory was only to be used against those who are truly ignorant of the Scriptures. I sure hope YOU did not inspire your minister friend to dare the priest on the topic! Of all things, he had a couple of the priest's kids, why did he have to use the same strategy against a man who knows a little something. I see from the report that he challenged the priest, asserting, "Purgatory is nowhere found in the bible." With that the priest smiled and gave him both barrels. It would sure go poorly for you if this minister is lost to us. Fix it!
Now let me see, your report is thorough, I must say that. The minister immediately began by saying that 2 Maccabees was not part of the true bible, and discounted it. Okay. But the priest returned that even if one did not accept the canonical status of the book, it illustrated the belief of Jews at that time regarding the afterlife and prayers for the dead. Oh great, then he read 2 Maccabees 12:38-46 and the minister sat there like a smug fool.
Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the week
was ending, they
purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there. On the following
day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the
bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under
the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the
law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had
been slain. They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to
light the things that are hidden. Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed
might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free
from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin
of those who had fallen. He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to
two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice.
In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the
resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it
would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a
view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a
holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed
from this sin.
Oh great gouls! I suppose things could have been worse, the poor anti-Catholic might have known that 2 Maccabees is actually an inspired work of the enemy. As it is, he and his compatriots reject it and fail to see Judas Maccabees as a prefiguring of that true expiation which comes in the sacrifice of Jeezus on his cross. The expiation of the dead is at the heart of what Purgatory is all about. The fearful Mass which re-presents Khrist's sacrifice is offered for the living and the dead. The so-called faithful departed are still a part of the Christian community and as such they can pray for them. We must make sure that this ancient communitarian view of the Church remains foreign to the more "individualistic" or "personal" approaches to Khrist and faith. It is unfortunately true that Jeezus did not come to establish millions of individual relationships which have nothing to do with one another. To our eternal dismay, he founds a Church and on the behalf of that institution, his Mystical Body, he forms a new covenant. Here it starts all over again. Just as the Jewish people in this Scripture he quoted were his, so too is the Church his new (although pathetic) People of God. My ears are ever pained by the Church in Pilgrimage praying for the Church in Purgation and making their offering with the Church in Glory.
Your Protestant friend at this point started waving his bible and shouting that the true bible only admits of two realities, heaven and hell. Oh brother, I see it coming, yes, then the priest drew his attention to Matthew 5:26. Gads! Not that text! It talks about the need for reconciliation with an offended brother, offering a warning about the fate of unrepentant sinners in the coming judgment by God. It reads: "Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." Oh no, that dreaded "until". Sure enough, he told your corrupted friend that this could not possibly be hell if the punishment due for sin can somehow be paid off. Curses! How I hate the truth! There is no escape from hell-- it must be purgatory! How does the poor fellow respond, oh badness, he dares him to find another text-- he's already at a loss for words. The priest does not let up, he takes the minister's bible out of his hands and turns to Matthew 12:32. Here comes another low blow! "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." Your anti-Catholic friend is beginning to shake. The priest forcibly drives home his argument: "Is it not implied that for lesser sins, just such a forgiveness might be possible 'in the age to come,' i.e. the afterlife? Sure. Again, it cannot be hell, that is for the eternally damned. It cannot be heaven, those are already the perfected saints. Purgatory again!" Oh, I am sickened. Run, if he was going to run, why did he delay, run fool! Run!
The miserable creature then started saying over and over again, "The word purgatory is not in the bible! The word purgatory is not in the bible!" The priest immediately told him that this meant nothing, as many other biblical truths, like the Trinity, were not mentioned by the name subsequently given them either. Here is the part that drove our fundamentalist agent hysterical: (divine names adjusted in spelling to fit our sensibilities) [The priest went on] "I'll give still another quotation from the New Testament, pretty good since anti-Catholic critics like you say that the Lord gave no evidence of purgatory. Look up 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. St. Paul has this to say about the question:
. . . for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
Khrist. If anyone builds this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood,
hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day [of Judgment] will
disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of
each one's work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that
person will receive a wage. But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer
loss; THE PERSON WILL BE SAVED, BUT ONLY AS THROUGH FIRE.
That is purgatory in a nutshell," concluded the troublesome priest. "St Paul is optimistic about the success of corrective means, both here and in the life to come. Similarly, look at 1 Peter 1:6-9:
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to
various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that
is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and
honor at the revelation of Jeezus Khrist. Although you have not seen him you love
him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an
indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation
of your souls.
This passage directly connects the teaching of purgation to that of justification. Verses 3 thru 5 speak of a salvation that is still in the future waiting to be revealed or made manifest. The verses quoted testify that the new life of faith is subjected to many trials while achieving its goal, the glory of the fullness of salvation at the coming of Khrist. Again, if it is hellfire, there would be no escaping it, no paying the last penny, no receptivity to divine forgiveness. Here is something else: the opportunity for some sins to be forgiven in this world and some in the next. There is no other way to honestly interpret the text without doing mental gymnastics."
It was at that point that the feeble anti-Catholic agent ran from the rectory. He had nothing to say to this priest. Hope that nothing the priest said to him has any lingering or residual effect.
I expect some progress against this priest in your next report.
Prosletyzing Catholics: Testimony from Tradition on Purgatory
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
Good! Getting a panel of like-minded anti-Catholic fundamentalists together was a great idea. They will affirm each other's views and more easily seduce into their ranks the feeble-minded Catholics who have joined them for fellowship. I understand that one of the pathetic Catholics actually came to defend his faith, but having nothing to offer, fell readily into their clutches. Good! Two others were Catholics encouraged by their churches to participate as an ecumenical gesture. Good! Now they are ours. Admittedly, those who have come under the influence of that pesty priest in the neighborhood will be harder to keep. You note that several questions come up still in the study group about Purgatory. Have your expert authorities tell the prodigal children that it as a required belief it only emeged in 1439. It is a half-lie, which makes for the most effective. Avoid at all costs Scripture citations which indicate that this Jewish teaching was accepted by Jeezus and St. Paul, who himself had been a Pharisee knowledgeable in their ancient faith. They must never know that the first Christians who were Jewish converts retained their faith in God's mercy, even on the other side of the grave. Rather, say that purgatory was a borrowed construct from paganism. Such is a pleasing slap in the face to the early believers.
Reading your report further, I am a bit surprised. Do you know so little yourself about purgatory. Badness! What are they teaching you young devils in Infernal Prep School these days? You must know the truth if you are to distort it. Okay, let me give you a refresher. Squeeze your thinking cap in between your horns. Here goes, listen up.
History, unfortunately, provides abundant evidence for the Christian practice of praying for the dead, even from the earliest centuries. Some might argue that this in itself is proof of a need for purgation after death. This much we can handle with a little revisionist history. During the first few centuries of the Christian era, the Church fathers commonly utilized language about purgation. In later centuries (especially the 13th), there was a merging between the notions that this must be both a state and a place, the latter seeming obvious since it could not be located on the terrestrial plain, or in heaven or hell. The seed of truth planted by the enemy's son, Khrist, was growing upon this matter. By the medieval period, there was a definite tie between purgatory, penance, confession indulgences and the power of the keys given to Peter and his successors to loose and to bind from sin-- literally the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Both the Western and the Eastern branches of the Church have emphasized and developed different elements of this mystery. Keeping the Church divided and argumentative on this matter serves our purposes. The West has tended to stress the penal or punishment aspect of purgatory. The East has steered toward a process of purgation that may be likened to a coming of age, the deceased grows in his contemplation of the divine. Let them see such differences of approach as exclusive of each other. We know all too well from the analogy of the human person, that growth from childhood to adulthood requires both elements. Let them forget this. Know the history of the question, but keep them from it. This belief in purgation derived from the Hebrews, the first People of God, and then adopted by the second, the Christian Church, was believed without interruption until the 16th century. Luther's teaching of justification by faith alone necessarily denied the value of any prayer for the dead. Actually, it abbrogates any intercessory form of prayer, for anyone-- living or dead; but, I digress. A new kind of Christian had entered the scene, breached from St. Paul and all those who had come before.
The doctrine of purgatory was affirmed at both the council of Florence (1439 AD) and of Lyons (1274 AD). If such dates come up, make sure that the gullible Catholic is told that such was the time when the new dogma was manufactured. As I have said before, saying it makes it so. The stupid will never check your assertions and facts. If they try, steer them to sympathetic sources.
In actuality, this long-standing teaching was clarified even further at the Council of Trent (1563 AD) and in more recent times at the Vatican II Council in the 1960's. The world's bishops have cemented this teaching as counciliar and magesterial, safeguarded by the Holy Spirit. Cardinal Ratzinger, who is the Pope's number one man, in charge of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggests that the purgatorial encounter defies the usual spacial and temporal perameters with which we are accustomed. Its duration cannot be measured as either short or long. Rather, it is to be evaluated in regard to the strands of tension which must be severed between the divine and the human person. The deeper the resistence, the more intense is the purgatorial encounter. The fire must burn deeper to eradicate that which stands in opposition to God. May we be spared many such insightful shepherds.
Don't forget to fix that pesty priest mentioned in the last report.
Your devilish tutor,
Prosletyzing Catholics: Our Need for Purgatory
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
I had thought I told you to do something about that priest? Now you tell me he wrote your protestant minister and urged him to add the church fathers to his research on purgatory. Enough is enough already. I trust that you at least are suitably informed on the issue to take steps. We must do all we can to circumvent the goal of the human swine which is to share the abode of the perfect, where the saints see the enemy, as he is, face to face. It is to our eternal discomfort that many more people than we would suspect are already prepared for the beatific vision on account of the graces received from God in the struggles endured in the world. The fact is, the more one loves the enemy, the more perfected that person wants to be. The elect would be ashamed to gaze upon him while imprisoned and stained by sin. We damned would have no desire to look at him at all. Those who belong to him are given the opportunity to be fully cleansed. Ah, if only Calvinist theology was right, then even one small sin would be a sign that one was not chosen and thus damned to hell. It would be sweet justice without mercy!
That troublesome priest asks your errant minister, "Can defectors claim without guile that their faith is utterly verified by a sinless life, even though they have had a conversion experience in which they accepted Jeezus as their PERSONAL Savior?" The question is loaded. He knows that the popular evangelical and pentecostal view would be that if a so-called believer fell into sin, it would be a sign that his or her faith was a pretense. He next poses this question: "If you now accept the Protestant understanding of the Bible, according to this reformed view of salvation, then do you really have faith?" The Catholic Church would at least admit that the faith may have been genuine, but somewhere along the way it soured. This is especially true with serious sins. Beware of the Catholic stance, besides being true, it reminds the believer that he cannot be utterly secure in his salavtion, particularly if he begins to compromise the Gospel. The priest is quick to add: "Of course, without repentance, there can be no forgiveness, either in this world or in the next. Where there is sorrow for sin, God's mercy knows no bounds." The extent of the enemy's mercy and the required participation of the human swine in divine forgiveness must be cloaked and distorted. Everything hinges upon our deception.
I note from your report that one of the priest's lost lambs came home. Hell's swell! The master will not be happy. The idiot burns out his brain by coming up with what he thinks is a rhetorical return to the priest, "If purgatory is real and important, then why did Jesus not tell any of his disciples how to get out of that place?" The priest answers by lamenting the state of religious instruction. "The answer should be obvious," he says, "the souls in purgatory are absolutely helpless. They can be assisted by our prayers, almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance, but they are entirely at the mercy of God. The time to do something about it is not after death but right now. The Scriptures, as I have shown before, are filled with evidence for its existence. In any case, at the end of the world and the last judgment, purgatory will cease to exist and there will be but two realities, heaven and hell. Every one of us is called to be a saint, it is a real possibility."
On that note, pardon me while I throw up. This is my last warning, do something about the priest. The poor dupe that encountered him ended up going to confession and leaving as a restored faithful son of the Church. Ugh!
Prosletyzing Catholics: The Reputation of Shepherds
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
Wonderful work! I could not have done better. That troublesome priest was winning converts right and left as well as bringing back fallen away Catholics-- but no more. Some of his little lambs are already heading for our wolves waiting outside the flock of Christ. Great! A lie goes a long way. That gal you sent was something else! She went from "Bless me Father" to a tirade of anger when he told her to amend her life. She left without absolution, decided to make her anger pay, and charged him with harassment and improper advances. The fact that the liberals before him had taken out the confessional wall and screen worked in our favor. Since she was underage, she'll not only rob the Church of needed funds but this darn priest will probably go to jail. Minutes after the charges were formally made, his bishop stripped him of his faculties and a representative of the diocese reported on television that no priest even charged of such a thing shall ever function again. Meanwhile, he has been sent to a mental rehab gulag operated by homosexual activitists. I'm laughing so hard, I can barely write you this response. A good man has been abandoned by his flock, his bishop, his peers, in fact by almost everyone except for his mother and God. And right now, his mother has suffered a heart-attack and he can not approach the enemy's altar to pray for her. Great work! Maybe he'll give in to despair and kill himself, in which case, even he will be ours!
Prosletyzing Catholics: Saints & Purgatory
My Dear Rehtulnitram,
What's going on? I thought that getting rid of that priest would fix things? Can I believe my eyes? You write that two messengers from heaven and one other paid a nocturnal visit upon your minister associate. This is quite unusual, and I shall complain foul. You were able to overhear their messages and they were about, of all things, this nagging topic of purgatory again. Let me see. The first was St. Pope Gregory the Great. He states: "As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come" (Dial. 4:39). The angels were bad enough, and Mary has always been a headache, but now the other saints are getting into the act. The second was an Eastern doctor, St. John Chrysostom: "Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's son's were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them" (Hom. in 1 Cor. 41:5). That was all bad enough, but what took the cake was the third apparition, a ghost from purgatory-- his dearly departed mother: "Pray for me son. I did not love as I should. Pray for me that the fire of divine love will quickly fashion me into a saint of paradise. Pray for me." He has resigned his ministry post and is seriously wavering toward Romanism.
Yes, I know that you generally did a good job, but hell is not fair. I will expect you at breakfast tomorrow. Our meeting should only take about an hour. Then, what's left of you can leave.