Sunday, August 11, 2013

Divide et impera!! (Screwtape to Wormwood...)



In The Smoke of Satan I offered the following viewpoint:

"The schema of “liberal” (progressive, left) vs. conservative (traditional, right) which followed upon the close of Vatican II is wholly inadequate for explaining the present-day crisis of faith within the Church of Jesus Christ, though it is most unfortunate that usage of these terms persist among many Catholics and in the media today". 

 That many Catholics today persist in evaluating the Vicar of Christ on earth in human-concocted political, philosophical, ideological terms is demonstrated by many of the articles in the dissenting publication, the National Catholic Reporter.Of late John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter has written:

 ….Francis seems to be re positioning the church in the political center, after a fairly lengthy period in which many observers perceived it to be drifting to the right.
Veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister recently observed, "It cannot be an accident that after 120 days of his pontificate, Pope Francis has not yet spoken the words abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage," adding that "this silence of his is another of the factors that explain the benevolence of secular public opinion."
Yet Francis has imposed no such gag order on himself when it comes to other political topics, such as poverty, the environment and immigration. It's telling that for this first trip outside Rome, Francis chose the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, a major point of arrival for impoverished African and Middle Eastern immigrants seeking to reach Europe. The pope called for greater compassion for these migrants, chiding the world for a "globalization of indifference."
While the trip played to generally rapturous reviews, the anti-immigration right in Europe was outraged. Erminio Boso, a spokesman for Italy's far-right Northern League, said: "I don't care about the pope. … What I'd ask is that he provide money and land for these extra-communitarians," referring to undocumented immigrants.
The shift to the center also seems clear in ecclesiastical terms. In Rome, the perception is that power brokers associated with moderate positions, such as Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, coordinator of the commission of cardinals, are on the ascendant, while those linked to neoconservative or traditionalist stances, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke of the United States, head of the Vatican's supreme court, are in decline.
The church may not veer sharply in its political allegiances, but there seems a clear preference for the social Gospel over the culture wars.

Notice the NCR Headline in the link above? 

Pope Francis is unsettling -- and dividing -- the Catholic right


Division within Christ’s Church is a clear attack by the evil one. Satan’s strategy here is the time-honored one of divide et impera - divide and conquer. Remember, too, Jesus words to the Pharisees: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Quite simply, no ideology, no matter how sincerely embraced, may substitute for personal conversion .