Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Screwtape on Humanae Vitae (4)

This is the last of the Screwtape letters published to mark the 25th anniversary of Humane Vitae in Catholic Family newspaper in the UK some years ago (and re-printed with the author's permission) For previous ones, look earlier in the blog....

My dear Hogwort

I seem to remember that this correspondence started because you felt that Slubgob over-rated the importance of the campaign against Humanae Vitae. I trust that you now realise how critical it is in its own right, and also how much you young tempters can earn from the skill with which is as been executed.

Over the last twenty five years, we have managed to cause such havoc within the Church, that serious thinking has been almost abandoned by very many. Hearsay, opinions and feelings count for more than the teaching and traditions of the Church.

Using people’s reluctance to obey Humanae Vitae as a bridgehead, we are on the verge of storming the citadel. It has even got to the stage where people see sex as so indispensable that the idea of a celibate priesthood is simply outside their understanding. (You will notice in passing, how important a part of our plan it has been to undermine devotion to She whom we don’t name; and to all the virgin saints, who give the lie to that particular deceit.)

Again, it reflects another of my favourite strategies: the idea of what’s natural (that wonderful word). Since their Fall, celibacy is of course unnatural to them. As it is not particularly attractive, we can easily persuade them that the ‘unnatural’ is bad. And of course the what comes naturally to them (since that first great victory) is anything but chastity, charity, faith, hope...

It’s as though they haven’t known from time immemorial that we’ve damaged their nature from the word go, and as though they were wholly unaware of the supernatural destiny that awaits them: here, we hope!

However, do not slide into an over optimistic view of things. Despite the excellent work that we have done, there is still a large number of people loyal to the papacy, and as always, that particular office is one we have not been able to corrupt.

The other thing we should realise is the danger of pushing too far too fast. In the past, (for we should learn from the past, however much we prevent them from doing so) whenever we have had the Church on its knees, He has always intervened. Sometimes quite spectacularly, He produces those great warriors they term saints, whose existence is an eternal pain to us. So until that day when we are ready to storm Heaven as well as Earth, we need to proceed with some caution. He has guaranteed that He will protect His Church while He has power to do so, and so far He has always been true to His Word.

So our strategy must be the attack on individuals, to draw them away from the Church. The same old thing, you may be thinking. Well, on one level, yes. But again do not fall for the snare we set for them that new is better. However, we have used the dissent from Humanae Vitae to launch a development of the strategy, and this is the final point I make about it. We have now managed to persuade a few influential people that Humanae Vitae is wrong (as it is difficult), that therefore there must be something wrong with the Church to have proclaimed it and stuck to it so steadfastly, and that therefore what is required is a new version of the Church.

Thus we have developed a sub-culture apparently within the Church that is actually motivated largely by a desire to re-create the Church according to our designs. We know, even now when all is going well, that they will not wholly succeed. But we can hope that a number of people will lose their faith in the process.

So to summarise: our attack on Humanae Vitae is a part of a larger attack on the whole body of the Church, an attack which works at many levels, and involves a number of powerful strategies. The fact that sex is of no interest to the diabolic intelligence is irrelevant. Slubgob is right to make you study it, and if you have not learnt all these lessons from his tuition, then the fault must lie with you. Slubgob is, of course, above criticism.

If ever you doubt the importance of the Humanae Vitae battle, remember this: those loyal to it are so much further from our grasp than the rest. Many are developing the alarming characteristics of saints. Look at them if you dare: they are the foot-soldiers of the Enemy on Earth.

Your affectionate mentor



e said...

Ben, thanks for commenting on my blog. I love this letter. That Uncle Screwtape...he knows everything. :-)

Ben Trovato said...

Yes, he's got a massive intellect! But isn't he a bit... how can I put this... screwy?