2010-04-18 - Prince of Lies

 When the Church proclaims the teachings of the Risen Christ most
powerfully, her antagonists pay her the compliment of getting angry,
especially in the holiest season of the year. The Russian Orthodox, I am
told, say that when God builds a church, Satan pitches a tent
outside. In Holy Week, there were astonishing calumnies against the
Pontiff himself. This is a backhanded tribute from the Prince of Lies,
who knows that the Catholic Church is his one remaining obstacle to
revising social reality. After the first Easter, Peter and John were
arrested for their witness to the Resurrection. As soon as they were
released, these first Christians prayed: “Lord, it is you who made
heaven and earth and sea, and everything in them; you it is who said
through the Holy Spirit and speaking through our ancestor David, your
servant: “Why this arrogance among the nations, these futile plots among
the peoples? Kings on earth setting out to war, princes making an
alliance against the Lord and against his Anointed” (Acts 4:24-26).
Satan characteristically twists reason to rationalize, and recently he
has exploited moral corruption to discredit the Church, which is the
guarantor of systematic moral philosophy. When hard-pressed, the Evil
One eventually reveals the hysteria behind his syllogisms. Decent
journalists have been embarrassed by the bigotry and lack of
professionalism in attacks by some of the media, encouraged in no small
way by some politicians. They have exploited inexcusable moral crimes
among Churchmen, which are but a very small fraction (six out of 75,000
clerics last year) of similar incidents in secular organizations – from
Congress and UN Peacekeeping Forces to the US Swim Team and public
school educators. Credible voices now say that the Catholic Church is
the safest environment for the young.

     I had a pleasant exchange with Mayor Koch, in response to thanking
him for his article on this topic, which was published on Holy Thursday
in /The Jerusalem Post./ He wrote: “I believe the continuing attacks by
the media on the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI have become
manifestations of anti-Catholicism … Many of those in the media who are
pounding on the Church and the pope today clearly do it with delight,
and some with malice. The reason, I believe, for the constant assaults
is that there are many in the media, and some Catholics as well as many
in the public, who object to and are incensed by positions the Church
holds …” While Mr. Koch does not accept all of the Church’s teachings
himself, he knows what is fair and is something like Nathaniel the
Israelite “in whom there is no guile.” The first apostles prayed about
their foes:  “And now, Lord, take note of their threats and help your
servants to proclaim your message with all boldness, by stretching out
your hand to heal and to work miracles and marvels through the name of
your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30).”

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