The Great Tempter

05-14-2023From the desk of Fr. Villa

In his useful book on the devil called, The Great Tempter, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, gives us ten salutary points by way of a “decalogue against temptation”:

  1. Do not forget that the devil exists.
  2. Do not forget that the devil is a tempter.
  3. Do not forget that the devil is very intelligent and astute.
  4. Be vigilant concerning your eyes and heart. Be strong in spirit and virtue.
  5. Believe firmly in the victory of Christ over the tempter.
  6. Remember that Christ makes you a participant in His victory.
  7. Listen carefully to the word of God.
  8. Be humble and love mortification.
  9. Pray without flagging.
  10. Love the Lord your God and offer worship to Him only.

In this time when the Enemy is savagely gnawing at the Body of the Church we must remember to pray in a special way both for our spiritual and physical daily bread, for there is more than one kind of hunger today, and also for the grace to resist wicked temptations and physical and spiritual attacks on the Church and her members from both within and without

Sophists In Our Midst

A sophist in the modern definition is a quibbler who uses bad and erroneous arguments which muddy rather than clarify. Sophistry represents a pretense of wisdom, reason, and common sense. Unfortunately this form of bad thinking is being advanced by Catholic politicians and their spokespersons who seek to justify voting in favor of abortion in our country. They make the argument that they are personally opposed to abortion in accordance with the teaching of the Church, but as public officials they cannot impose Catholic doctrine on others who do not share that faith. There are many prohibitions and values enshrined in our laws that coincide with Catholic teaching but are not particular to Catholics alone. The Second Commandment forbids perjury so does the criminal law. Is this an imposition of Catholic doctrine? Hardly. Perjury and lying are wrong based on natural law. Protecting innocent human life is something recognized as coming from the natural law. It is not a peculiarity of Catholics.

Prior to 1973 all fifty states had criminal statutes against abortion. The Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court returned the abortion issue to the States. When these laws were challenged they were not challenged on the basis of separation of Church and State because of an imposition of Catholic doctrine, but rather on privacy grounds. Obviously all fifty states did not have criminal statutes against abortion based on Catholic doctrine but on the fact that innocent human life should be protected and this is one of the classic obligations of government.

Catholic politicians who claim they are personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose Catholic doctrine on the public at large encourage and appeal to anti-Catholic bigotry as evidenced recently by the Jewish publication the Forward. The Forward claimed that the bishops disciplining Catholic politicians by denying them Communion are “an affront to democracy.” No Catholic should be taken in by bad arguments made by certain Catholic politicians to justify the scandal they are giving and their cooperation with moral evil.