Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Catholic Phony

Peter Kreeft has a fascinating way to describe how Catholics have been losing the culture war over the past few decades in a talk called “Winning the Culture War”, available on CD from Lighthouse Catholic Media. He describes how Satan plots to destroy Catholics à la Screwtape Letters. In case you are not familiar, The Screwtape Letters is a book by C.S. Lewis about an older demon, Uncle Screwtape, writing a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, about how to land a Christian in Hell.
The talk begins by explaining that God is being itself and the goal of Satan is to move us away from true being or “the real”, and move us toward non-being or “the unreal”. Moving toward the unreal makes us phony, and he used the acronym of P-H-O-N-E-Y to make some powerful points. Ironically, even the acronym of PHONEY is phony since it’s spelled incorrectly. The speaker seems intelligent enough to have planned it this way, but whatever the case, it is a very clever approach to bringing out problems within the Church that may not seem like problems on the surface. It acts almost like a modern-day examination of conscience. Are you P-H-O-N-E-Y?
Now hear this!
PLEASE NOTE: The following is paraphrased from Dr. Kreeft's talk and is written in the context of Satan giving instructions to other demons on how to completely destroy Catholics (along with the rest of civilized society), while at the same time making them think they are really faithful and quite helpful to the world.

P is for Politicization:
Make them treat politics as religion and religion as politics. Make them worship the elephant or the donkey instead of God. In this way they will make politics absolute and religion relative.
H is for Happy-Talk:
Keep them focused on peace, love, tolerance and non-judgmentalism. Convince them that the spiritual battleground is really a spiritual playground. Make them forget that in the past few decades they have lost about half their priests, two thirds of their nuns, Mass attendance went from 75% to 25% and confessions have been reduce by even more.

Don’t let them see that Catholic families are being destroyed at about the rate as non-Catholic families. They abort, contracept, sodomize, fornicate and divorce at about the same rate as everyone else, but make sure to convince them that all this is “progressive”. Of course we know that calling someone who supports these things “progressive” is like calling a cannibal a chef.
O is for Organizationalism:
Make sure they see the Church as an organization, not an organism; an earthy business instead of a supernatural mystery. Make them want success and not sanctity. Make them fear failure and not sin. Keep them busy and distracted; make them Marthas instead of Marys.
Do not allow any silence in their lives; prevent it at all costs because silence can lead to the “one thing” spoken of by Him at the house of Mary & Martha. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Use all the power and principalities at your disposal to keep them from contemplative silence which leads directly to the “one thing”. Nothing is more devastating to us and we have no defense against it (see Luke 10:38-42).

N is for Neo-Worship (worship of the new or fashionable):
Teach them that what is new is true and what is old is false. Make sure that they dismiss their “old’ weapons against evil and refer to them as “pre-Vatican II”. These things should include the Mass, the Eucharist, Eucharistic adoration, frequent confession, the Rosary, any traditional devotion to Mary or the saints, all dogmas and the whole idea of infallibility. In fact, it may even be possible to convince them Jesus himself is “pre-Vatican II”.

E is for Egalitarianism, especially among the sexes:
Men are superior to women at being men, and women are superior to men and being women, but make them think that men and women are the same. In this way the beauty of men and women is negated like making the beauty of black and the beauty of white into a dull gray. Make certain that any non-physical difference noted between men and women is immediately labeled as sexist bigotry. This will keep them quiet about the reality of the sexes.

Y is for Yuppiedom or Hedonism:
Make them shoppers instead of saints. Addiction to the comforts of this world will make them unwilling and unable to practice sacrificial love or embrace suffering. Make them want Christ without the cross, which is the same as no Christ at all.

Some Final Instructions:
Turn strength into weakness, but call it compassion. Make faithfulness faithlessness and have them call faithfulness fanaticism. Make them think of humility as stupidity and obedience as cowardice. Don’t overestimate them when they are lacking God’s Grace. In this state it is possible to convince them that good is evil and evil is good. Don’t underestimate yourselves; you can coax them into believing that snow is black if you need to. Make everything lead away from reality which will lead them to insanity. The unreal is the same as non-being, which is the same as non-living, which is exactly where we want them. Remember, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

The 2nd part of Peter Kreeft's talk deals with how Catholics can ultimately win the culture war. I’ll share some notes & thoughts on that part in a week or two. Until then, God bless.


  1. Frankly, I find it hard to take Kreeft seriously on how to win the Culture Wars as long as he continues to promote the idea that we really have oh so much in common with Muslims and that Islam is a trustworthy ally for the Church. This isn't just in his book ECUMENICAL JIHAD -- probably not the name he would have chosen had he foreseen certain events. It's sprinkled generously throughout his writings, and I have seen no indication that he has even questioned, let alone modified, this conviction of his.

    1. I’d say the commonalities can be great, but the discords can be even greater. He did mention in the CD that Muslims have the cross without Christ and many Christians have Christ without the cross, and the cross without Christ can defeat Christ without the cross, but the cross WITH Christ concurs all.

    2. Commonality is through the same father Abraham. We are both children of the same father, except that we, Christians, received the grace see our relationship with the Father through adoption through Jesus Christ, while Muslim see themselves as slaves through Hagar. We have a grace to worship God as our Daddy, Abba, but if we don't want it, then we will face, at some point, a state, where we will do it through blind, slave-like obedience. It is anyway, interesting, that we are taught that Jesus Christ died for all (including Muslims) so those, who live, would stop living for themselves, and started living for Him, who died for them. Yes - we are always slaves, for we have not created ourselves. We can be slaves of Love or slaves of sin. Muslim reject both, and they want to be slaves of God, no matter who this God is. That makes is very, very much close to each other. Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

  2. P is for Politicization is big probable in the USA today. It has become something on the level of a heresy in the church. Itis occuring on bothend of the political spectrum where a person is a democrat or a republic/ conservative or liberal first and Catholic second.

    Take the case of guns. People become very Catholic when talking pro-life. But when the bishops in Louisiana issued a statement saying that people should not be allowed to carry guns in church people rallied around the constitution saying that bishops had no business talking about guns.

    Prominent Catholic talk show host Laura Ingraham, in direct conflict with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been a vocal opponent of Immigration Reform and even thrown support behind Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that is anti-immigration and anti-Catholic and has said "What the Bishops are saying, essentially, is that other people are going to have to sacrifice their jobs, their children's educational opportunities ... because the Catholic Church is placing the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of those who are legitimately here in the United States."

    On the left, the whole nuns on the bus tour has placed liberalism against Catholic teaching.

  3. George Orwell's "1984" has arrived.
    Anonymous - the problem is that people do NOT know their Faith. Some Bishops promote error as well.
    Bishops have every right to declare what can and can not be done on their own (Diocese/Church) owned property.
    However gun ownership and gun permits to carry are not Church teaching. There is no Church teaching about law abiding people owning guns;
    immigrants must obey the law (there is no exception for immigration laws),
    and Church teaching on the death penalty is NOT 100% of the time.
    When some Church leaders teach error, it breads disobedience in general.
    The Magisterium has given us the CCC to KNOW the TRUTH.
    For the error free facts/truth of what the Church teaches and requires of all Catholics - please read the "CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition.
    Further Anonymous, please read: "The Ratzinger Report" (pages 58-61) where he explains that Bishops Conferences have no teaching authority or theological basis as willed by Christ, that can not be eliminated. The teaching authority belongs to individual Diocese Bishops.
    When in the recent past the USCCB through their CCHD gave our money to groups supporting abortion, gay-marriage, euthanasia, contraception, voluntary sterilization - that causes confusion as well.

    1. Unfortunately, the CCHD giving money to groups supporting abortion, gay-marriage, etc. is NOT in the past.

  4. For the TRUTH of what the Church requires of all Catholics read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition" in entirety.
    It is FREE of human error.
    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved ... and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
    “In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments.” - Pope Francis, May 15, 2013.

  5. The bishops generally have some competance on the PRINCPLES of morality but regrettably little on its implementation. This is probably the result of little education in seminaries on classical economics, political history and social relationships. The separation of church and state was one of the best things that happened for the Church as it gave them the freedom to speak on moral issues without worrying about political consequences. Unfortunately even Pius IX and Leo XIII did not realize what a blessing this was and many of our clergy do not to this day.

  6. What are the non-physical differences between men and women?

    1. Hi Karen,
      The talk did not say, but I might offer an example.

      Suppose one said women are generally more emotional than men, which makes them more receptive to the needs of children, which means they are more suited for child rearing and less suited for tasks like emergency response work or military action.

      Now suppose the same person had a way to prove it via a scientific method, but he or she needed funding. If enough people can call the scientist and sponsors “sexist bigots” the project will end even if the hypothesis were actually true. It’s the power of words.

    2. You didn't answer my question. You stated a hypothetical and then answered with another hypothetical about canceled research. Please tell me; what are the non-physical differences that you have observed between men and women. Please stated your evidence.

      Please explain what you mean by "emotional?" I understand the word to describe someone who can't control her emotions and is therefore unable to function in the public world. I do not see how being a flake, which is what "emotional" is in my definition, makes a person good with children. Also, isn't anger an emotion? Wouldn't anger be useful to a combat soldier? Why are some emotions under the heading "emotional" but others aren't?

    3. Morning Karen,
      As a said, Dr. Kreeft did not provide examples so I offered a hypothetical situation. By “emotional” I meant more likely to react based on the feelings of others or oneself, which can be good for some things, bad for others. I have no evidence handy other than my own experience living and working with women. Perhaps you can provide evidence that proves no differences between men and women?

  7. In my experience, a woman who has been educated and works with men will think and react like men. I am a litigator, and I see little distinction between the men and women in my profession. You may refer to Linda Fairchild, former lead sex crimes prosecutor for New York City and her autobiography as a published source