On these pages I write often about a much-neglected teaching of the Catholic Church--the reality of a spiritual war around us. The most recent manifestation of this comes to us from from England, where the Anglican Church has decided to eradicate Satan from its baptismal rite. How come? Apparently the traditional rejection of the devil and all rebellion against God “put off people who are offended to be addressed as sinners,” and thus clergy find it much easier to ask parents and godparents to make vows that do not mention Satan.
Satan has been able to convince many that he does not exist. In his Screwtape Letters, British Anglican author C.S. Lewis’ senior demon, Screwtape, instructs Wormwood, his young protege, on how best to capture a soul for hell—convince him that Satan does not exist.
As is reported in these pages frequently, Pope Francis speaks often of Satan as the “prince of this world,” and the “father of lies” (just search this site). In his On Heaven and Earth he writes, “Satan’s fruits are destruction, division, hatred and calumny.” In response, the faithful are beginning to flock to a shepherd that reminds them that it is the “work of the devil” to ignore the plight of the poor and to reject the humanity of all persons—including the weakest and least powerful.
The Church of England’s revised baptismal ritual will be voted upon next month and will likely pass because it has been driven by a powerful division (a fruit of the Devil) within the clergy, which is determined to demonstrate that the Church of England is a progressive church that no longer needs to recognize the need to renounce Satan in order to live in the freedom of the children of God. Perhaps Wormwood has successfully bagged his first set of souls?