The "diabolical disorientation" of Catholic churchmen today

September 1, 1998

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The minds of most Catholic churchmen today are in a state of what Sister Lucy of Fatima called "diabolical disorientation". These churchmen are on the road to eternal perdition and they are taking millions of souls with them. How can that be? It is a mystery of iniquity. However, a little article which somebody sent to me recently throws - without meaning to! - much light thereon.

It is an article by a Fr. Richard Hogan, in a recent pro-life newsletter, on "The Theology of John-Paul II". It praises the Pope for providing the Catholic Church with a new way, acceptable to modern man, of presenting the Church's Faith and moral teaching. Little can Fr. Hogan realize that his article's clear presentation of the Pope's basic thinking makes clear not how this Pope helps to save babies, but how he helps to slaughter them! And yet no doubt the Pope, and Fr. Hogan, have the best of intentions! "Diabolical disorientation"!

In a nutshell, the Pope centers all on man. So, little human babies should be of supreme value. But, if the biological father and mother are also of supreme value, then why should they not get rid of the little fetus invading their supreme lives? The fight against abortion is no doubt a good cause, but no good cause is to be defended with bad arguments.

The problem with abortion is, first, last, and foremost, that it breaks the law of God. To try to fight abortion without bringing in God - to try to solve any of the modern world's real problems without bringing in God - is a fight lost in advance. Yet that is, basically, what Fr. Hogan praises the Pope for doing. No wonder this Pope, with - apparently - the best of intentions, is destroying the Church. Let us look at the article more in detail. It is not long.

The reason why the Pope's thinking is so valuable to modern Catholics, says Fr. Hogan, is because of his unique success in combining the modern philosophy he studied in Cracow with the Catholic theology he afterwards studied in Rome. By this combination modern minds with their new way of thinking can once more be reached with Catholic truth which was closed to them as long as it was cast, or expressed, in the age-old way of thinking. For whereas the old thinking was objective (based on the outward object, identically real or true for everybody) and deductive (concluding downwards from universal principles), on the contrary modern thinking is subjective (based on inward realizations, valid maybe only for the individual having them) and inductive (concluding upwards from a series of individual experiences, like democracy, says Fr. Hogan).

The gulf between these two ways of thinking is so deep that for as long as Catholic truth was only cast in the old way, it was inaccessible to modern minds thinking only in the new way. What Karol Wojtyla did as far back as 1958 with his philosophy of "personalism", as Fr. Hogan calls it, was to bridge this gulf between object and subject by putting the human person in the center, for in the human person objective and subjective meet and are no longer opposed to one another.

How? On the one hand, by being created as an object in the image and likeness of God, the human person reflects the ultimate, objective, universal Reality from whom all else is deduced. On the other hand by being created as a subject individual and inward to himself, the human person has subjectively valid experiences from which he mounts inductively upwards, e.g. to God.

Fr. Hogan concludes by rejoicing that Karol Wojtyla's re-thinking of Catholic Revelation transforms all Catholic theology! The fusing of objective and subjective in the human person gives us brand new notions of creation, the human body, the human family, the human person, the person of Christ; of the Church, the sacraments, grace, sin, death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell! Fr. Hogan apparently loves these new notions, and ends by begging readers to study the Pope's "personalism".

However, has the good Father Hogan stopped to think? The Pope's version of Hell is indeed new. The Pope promoted to cardinal the Swiss "theologian" Hans Urs von Balthasar who said that Hell is empty. A charming thought. But if nobody goes to Hell, why should any abortionist stop aborting? Because of "the dignity of the human person"? Don't make me laugh! As a Scottish convert to Catholicism once noteworthily said, "A Kerk (=church) without a Hell isn't werth (=worth) a damn!" Exactly. The Newchurch, emptying out hell, is not "werth a damn"!

Where then, in Fr. Hogan's version, did Karol Wojtyla go wrong? (No doubt Fr. Hogan has rather simplified the issues, but his simplification is essentially just.)

Firstly, Fr. Hogan bases the achievement of Karol Wojtyla's "personalism" on its overcoming of the split between object and subject, between objective thinking and subjective thinking. But this split is false. For while objective reality and subjective man are indeed different, they do not exclude one another, as Fr. Hogan suggests. For indeed what is objective, the vast real framework of the universe, includes what is subjective, human beings and their inner realizations. That is why ancient thinking took full account of everything subjective within the framework of objective reality. Only modern thinking gives such importance to the subject as to shut out objective reality. Thus ancient thinking fires on all four engines, modern thinking only on two. There is no need to respect modern thought or modern ways of thinking! Hopping on one leg may be amusing, but as a means of movement it cannot compare with walking on two legs!

Therefore, secondly, not only is there no need to re-cast the Catholic Faith from an objective into a subjective way of thinking, but also there is a positive need not to do so! It is the sheerest common sense that the truths of the Catholic Faith have nothing whatsoever to do with my inward realizations, or my sacred subjectivity! I may or may not have a beautiful inward realization, a NIF (nice internal feeling), of the Immaculate Conception, but all the NIFs in the world have nothing to do with whether a particular Jewish maiden was, or was not, miraculously protected by God from the stain of original sin at that moment in history when she was conceived in the womb of St. Anne! Alas, common sense is not modern man's strong suit!

But democracy is. Notice how Fr. Hogan slipped it into the modern way of thinking. Listen to modern catechism teachers: "Children, what do you all, democratically, feel, about the Immaculate Conception, inside yourselves? Jane, you feel it's true? Then it's true for you! John, you don't? Then it's false for you! But let's take a vote, in order to all induce together!" Ridiculous!

Hence, thirdly, as for Pope John-Paul's "personalism" as presented by Fr. Hogan, it is true that the human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and so reflects to a tiny extent the objective truth and goodness of God. And it is true that this human subject can have all kinds of thoughts or feelings, upwards or downwards, especially since God gives him free-will. But whether these subjective thoughts are true or not, valid or not, depends not upon whether they are subjectively held (they cannot not be if they are thoughts or feelings), but upon whether they match objective reality.

In other words, the real value of the human person lies not in his merely being a human person, regardless of whether he is full of truth or falsehood, which is what this Pope basically thinks. The real value of the human person lies in the use he makes of his free-will to subjectively recognize and love the ultimate objective reality, i.e. God.

If the human person refuses to align his human subjectivity upon the objective Divinity, that is not just a regrettable failure leaving his "human dignity" untouched as he goes to Heaven whether he wants to or not. It is a damnable sin and offence against the goodness of God, cause of eternal damnation in the objective fires of Hell. Who do modern "theologians" think they are to be extinguishing those fires? Benefactors of mankind? On the contrary!

This Pope is the leader of a dream. His Newchurch is a dream. Into that dream he is helping to pull thousands upon thousands of priests like Fr. Hogan, and millions upon millions of unsuspecting Catholics. Unsuspecting? God knows. In any case they - and all of us - are due for a harsh awakening with tomorrow's reality check. How soon does it arrive? God knows. But that is one check that will not bounce! So we must pray for this poor Pope that he may wake up to reality before it is too late for him to save his soul. And we must pray for Fr. Richard Hogan that he put his fight against abortion on solid foundations, namely the existence of God, His Fifth Commandment, and the existence of Hell for grave disobedience to any of God's Ten Commandments.

The Pope and Fr. Hogan may reply that God, Commandments and Hell are objective notions which no longer have any grip on subjective modern man. The answer is that a strong conviction will still put them over to many men, and if those many reduce themselves to a handful, like in Noah's time, then the rest must be left to the Flood. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said, "The prospect of imminent execution wonderfully concentrates the mind"!

In any case it is useless to fight sin with man-centered arguments, because sin is man-centeredness. The sinner has won before the fight starts! That is why the Newchurch is so weak. To reach out to modern man on modern man's terms means that, heads he wins, tails God loses. Fr. Hogan, think again!

On the 1st of October, Deo volente, I shall be in Econe for the blessing of the handsome new stone church at the mother-seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in Switzerland. Pray for the occasion, and for the dear Society, which is still reaching out to modern man on God's terms. It will have the success that God grants.

Most sincerely yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.