Some years ago, (on the 25th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae) 'Catholic Family,' a paper in the UK, carried a series of letters about it, copying C S Lewis' device of letters from a senior to a junior devil. The name Hogwort was coined before J K Rowling used something similar in the Harry Potter books. Here's the first letter (re-published, with permission):
My dear Hogwort
It seems funny to be writing letters again after all this time. Since the deplorable demise of Wormwood, I have not had anyone to supervise in the same way. Wormwood, let me remind you, would still be with us - possibly as a great tempter - had he only had the guts to follow my advice.
It still makes me furious when I remember how he let that simpering little human slip through his hands by a series of blunders that...
Enough. You ask for my advice and help in pursuing your studies, and of course I give it freely: which you would do well to remember when I ask for your help on any little matter.
Remember, however, that degrees and diplomas are of no use at all unless you apply the learning in practice for the conquest of human souls. That was one of the many errors that Wormwood made.
I would also point out that it is entirely inappropriate for a junior tempter like you to have, let alone express, any opinion on someone as senior as Slubgob. If you have heard rumours that he and I have had our differences, you are quite misled. He is the principal of your college, and you owe him respect and allegiance.
As for your specific complaint, that he is too interested in sex, I think that merely shows your own lack of experience. Of course sex is boring to us, and indeed, when used as the Enemy intended, wholly hateful. However, the potential for enslaving humans with it, and for causing division in the family, the Church, and the civic society with it are almost boundless. And the delight is that all this is accomplished by using sex, which was designed as a gift and a pleasure to take the creatures ever closer to the Enemy.
Slubgob is quite right to make you all study our sustained campaign against Humanae Vitae: When you come to have the responsibility for tempting souls, you will need to have all the weaponry possible at your disposal in this very rich area.
Over the course of my next few letters, I hope to give you something of an old campaigner's view of this particular battle: by the time I've finished with you, you certainly won't find sex boring: frightening in its awesome design by the Enemy, certainly; intriguing in its endless possibilities for corruption, definitely; but boring, never! For now, to whet your appetite and demonstrate the importance of this topic, I'd ask you to consider the fruits of our campaign against Humanae Vitae:
1 Widespread ignorance and confusion within the Church, from both laity and clerics
2 Disobedience, leading to the abandonment of vocations, lapsing of practice and loss of Faith
3 A 'pick and mix' approach to the Church's teaching, both of Faith and Morals
4 A total distortion of the role of conscience
5 Pleasure and desires seen to be all-important
6 A host of side effects, such as weakness in the Church's fight against abortion, etc.
If you are daring to think that none of these are explicitly linked to the use of contraceptives, forget it. I shall make the links clear over the next few letters, and give you some real examples - or case studies as you like to call them.
If you still doubt the importance of our attack on Humanae Vitae, just look at the other side of the coin, at those disgusting humans who still hold out against us and live by it, or attempt to. They tend to exhibit many, if not all, of these virtues that make our work so damnedly difficult:
1 Self control
2 Habit of governing their actions by their beliefs
3 Regular practice at standing up to the ridicule of the world
4 Discipline and obedience
6 Regular confession
7 Mutual respect and love
It makes me seethe when I consider them.
I hope by now that you will begin to see why the attack on Humanae Vitae is not merely central to your studies, but to the whole diabolic strategy for the present era of the war.
Your affectionate mentor,
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