Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick And Dialogue

At the close of this marvelous St. Patrick's Day, I have been thinking about the role of guys like him in the early days of the Church and what it must have been like to work in evangelizing the pagans.

Then I considered something that Pope Francis recently said from a Zenit article:

Jesus, the Pope explained, "firmly rejects all these temptations and reiterates His determination to follow the path set out by the Father, without compromising with sin and with the logic of the world. … This is why Jesus, instead of entering into a dialogue like Eve, chooses to take refuge in God's Word and responds with the power of this Word. We should remember this when we are tempted ourselves: do not argue with Satan, always defend ourselves with the Word of God. And this will save us".

The Pope hear criticizes the idea of entering into a dialogue with Satan. St. Paul would seem to agree with this:

Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Now, if we are to believe the Holy Spirit and the Psalmist:

For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils

Psalm 95:5

In other words, all these pagan deities are demons. The Psalmist is clear on this. St. Paul is clear on this. If you don't believe me, check with the Fathers as well. I've yet to find an interpretation in them that yields an alternative view. St. Augustine's City of God, for example.

So here's my question.

If we aren't supposed to dialogue with the Devil, it would stand to reason that we aren't supposed to dialogue with his ministers. If these false religions are demonic in nature, then their ministers are tools of Satan, regardless of how sincere they are. Why then does it seem like the Church's main interaction with these false religions nowadays consists solely in dialogue? Why are we still seeing Assisi events and the like?

Would St. Patrick have invited the pagans to such things? When St. Boniface was cutting down the pagans' sacred tree, was he interested in dialogue? These guys got results and they did it by looking at false religions for what they are, namely, things that destroy people. Out of love for these lost souls, they didn't see their false religion as something to be admired. They saw it as something to be annihilated.

But now, we have dialogue. The Fathers' view converted whole civilizations. Our current posture has led to indifferentism and ruin.

St. Patrick, pray for us.

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