Thinkin' Out Loud: There Is Trouble Out West
I do not mean to imply that there is some kind of Indian uprising or anything of that nature at all. Such would be serious. But that to which I refer has all the markings of being tragic! This modern day crisis is of such magnitude that meetings are being held with leadership to defuse the problem before it explodes. If the concerned organization only had an army as it has had in the past, troops could be dispatched and the dissidents could be captured and punished so harshly as to discourage any such actions in the future. Such cannot be done, so from the hallowed halls of headquarters can come only appeals and warnings.
The "nation" experiencing this Western problem is the nation called Roman Catholicism. The President and his advisors see a mushrooming problem developing in the Western end of the empire called "American Catholicism." Steps are now being taken to put down the insurrection before it gets out of hands.
A New York 77mes article, appearing in the Akron Beacon Journal (10/31/83) outlines the Pope's concerns. Democracy is giving him trouble. "John Paul, like some Popes before him, has worried about the impact of a democratic society on a church that claims hierarchical authority." The attitudes of American Catholics "have become the testing ground for a struggle by the Pope to keep the country's 50 million lay persons firmly in the fold." The fear is that a failure to do so will cause the operation of the boys out West to "attain even more of a character of its own, becoming semi-autonomous." The situation has revealed "heightened strain between the Vatican and a vigorous American Catholicism that has shown growing signs of dissent." Catholicism, from past experiences, knows that authority challenged, results - is strained relations, and strained relations are one step away from open division.
The nature of this growing cloud of unrest is disagreement - disagreement regarding the teachings of the church. The edicts of the commander-in-chief coming from the Vatican Pentagon regarding moral issues from birth control to ordaining women to the priesthood, are largely rejected by the surrogates who are supposed to be enforcing the infallible edicts of the Czar. It appears that 50 million people who are accustomed to the privileges of democracy are finding it difficult to accept the "demands for conformity" that the self-proclaimed dictator seeks to impose upon them. The representatives (bishops) of the masses are being brought before the boss to be reminded of "how the cookie crumbles" and "how the ball bounces" within the framework of this religio-political organization called Catholicism.
To solve the problem, the king is calling the slaves in and lecturing them on the requirements of their servitude. The American Catholic church "must proclaim more effectively" the boss' teachings on this subject. They must submit themselves to the Pope and act to bring the American church into submission so that it becomes a "model of fidelity to authority" as exercised by the man in charge. There seems to be a basic lack of trust about the loyalties of those who lead the masses, so the Vatican has announced its plans to get to the source of the insurrection being taught. "American seminaries and religious orders" will "be examined to determine their soundness." American Catholics regard this "as corrective and possibly punitive." They seem to realize that they are about to be kicked out of the empire unless they line up, and they don't like it a bit. They apparently remember that they helped elect this modern-day Diotrephes (3 Jn. 9) to his seat of power.
They live in a climate where those elected are theoretically answerable to the electors. Unlike those of past ages who have blindly submitted to his arrogance, the 1983 Catholic model is asking, "Just who does John Paul II think he is?" Those who are familiar with the Scriptures have recognized for centuries that he was the "man of sin . . ., the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2:34). Those who so regard him, only feel sympathy for those whose heads are being pounded and whose necks are on the chopping block. I was just thinkin', his continued arrogance might yet offer hope that this human, unscriptural, ungodly dynasty will collapse.
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 8, p. 233