A Letter From a Devil on Radical Traditionalism
(in the style of Screwtape Letters)

A Letter From a Devil on Radical Traditionalism

Dear SneakyLick,

I see that you have failed to keep your patient from converting to Catholicism. He grew up in a religious Protestant family, which we could not do anything about, and became a pastor and Biblical scholar for 20 years. He knew the Bible well and you could not stop him from reading it. So you used his talent to fight against the Enemy's Church. You made him think that the Enemy's Church is the whore of Babylon and the Pope is the anti-Christ. However, you failed.

You made him read Church history. You didn't stop him from reading the Church Fathers. It made him see how the whole Christian history is like an ugly music that is still being played. We can never stop this music from being played, but we can make people stop listening to it. And that is what you have to do with your client. He needs to stop listening to the music. Here are some advices.

First, your client has a hard head, which is not good for us. He knows what is truth and what is not. He is intolerant, which is bad for us. But it can also be good for us. You see, he hates liberalism. However, you can make him hate liberals as well. You can make him go far to the right instead of the middle, which is where truth and virtue is. Make him hate everything a liberal says.

So when the Pope makes a statement that seems liberal because it has been said by a liberal, like being a humanitarian, he will lose faith in the Papacy, which has been called the source and foundation of orthodoxy. But it will be hard to make him lose faith in the office of the Papacy. So what you have to do is to use his old arguments from the past. You see, many people who convert to Catholicism from Protestantism still have a fundamentalist mentality. You have to use his weaknesses to make his strength weak.

When he was a Protestant, he used to say the "rock" of Matthew 16 was merely the faith of Peter and not the man himself. Now that he is Catholic, you have to make him respect merely the office and not the man who sits in it. Make him think that "Holy Father" has no meaning! Don't make him believe that the Pope is his spiritual father, his Holy Father. If you let him, he will treat the Pope with great respect. However, if you stop him from thinking that, he will show the Pope no respect. He will make judgments of his actions and even his teachings! He will even call him a heretic! This is what you want to do! You want him to become the Pope!

The great part is he will even justify it by quoting Church Fathers and the canon law. Don't ever let him find the secret of true Traditionalism. Tradition, which has been called the democracy of the dead, has shown that people who have called the Pope a heretic were heretics themselves! If he ever sees that the probability of people being right over the Pope's teaching is almost non-existent, he will become humble. Yuck!

Here is another advice. Remember when you had him make arguments from the Bible that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon? You will have to do something similar. You have to make him read past Popes and saints who prophesied about an apostasy. How would he know the Church is in apostasy? This is what you do. Make him read the "Masonic plots" against the Catholic Church and the condemnations of Masonry. Then, make him read Vatican 2 and especially the old dude on the block, John Paul II. That Council and that idiot knew our strategy.

Our strategy was to make man the center of everything. We made men focus on themselves instead of God. So to counter that, the Council and "JP" wrote documents on the true nature of man. "JP" for example, wrote "Redeemer of Man" which focused on what redemption did for man and his dignity. This is not good since it actually taught the truth about man. It taught how man cannot be happy unless he abandons himself to God. But we can twist this thing around. He has read the condemnations of past Popes which taught against making man the center of everything and now he reads the encyclical which focuses on man! He will think there is something "sneaky" going on. He will think that the Church shifted primacy, though she just shifted emphasis. Just as the Church shifted emphasis over the years to fight against errors, she shifted emphasis concerning the modern error.

For example, to fight against fideism and irrationalism, the Church shifted the emphasis on rationalism in Vatican Council 1. And now that the modern error is on what man is, the Church has shifted its emphasis on what man truly is. But don't make him think this. Make him think that the Church has forgotten old truths. So when the Pope says "Church" he will criticize it because it didn't say "Catholic Church." Though it should be common sense that this is implied, he will criticize it. He will try to show how the "modern church" is in apostasy since it contradicts past magisteriums. Catholic common sense knows that the Magisterium cannot contradict itself just as Scripture cannot contradict itself though there are many passages which seem to do that. But he will not realize this. He will repeat his mistakes because of his fundamentalist mentality.

One final thing. Make him think the Catholic Church teaches "uniformity" instead of "unity by diversity." That big-mouthed apologist kept on stressing this fact and don't let him read his writings. Make him think that "Catholic" means you cannot have a diverse theology. Make him think that Catholicism means everyone playing the same instrument instead of making a beautiful music with great harmony by having different instruments. Make him a strict Thomist and and intolerant of other philosophies and theology. Don't make him think Catholic truth is like a beautiful song with all the bass, tenors, altos, and sopranos. Make him sing a song with only the altos.

It is like Protestantism. Protestantism has only the bass, maybe the tenors even, but they forget the altos and sopranos. This is why they only have some truths, not the fullness of truth. And so too he will have some truths and not all.

Trust me, it works all the time.

Your uncle,

Water Strider, senior devil


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