The Church and anti-Church
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
When Cardinal Karol Wojtyla visited the United States in August 1976 he uttered the important words, ‘Today we are facing the biggest confrontation mankind has ever experienced. I do not suppose that the wide circles of the American society and the widest circles of Christian communities are fully aware of it. We are facing the ultimate confrontation between the Church and some anti-Church, the Gospel and its contradiction. This confrontation was inscribed in the plans of the Divine Providence. It is a period of trial in which the whole Church, and especially the Polish Church, must get involved. It is not only a trial of our nation and the Church. In some sense it is a test of two thousand years of Christian culture and civilisation, will all the consequences: human dignity, human rights, rights of societies and nations.’ This quotation is taken from ‘Encyklopedia nauczania spolecznego Jana Pawla II’ [The Encyclopaedia of the Social teaching of John Paul II], the entry ‘Freemasonry’, edited by Rev. Prof. Andrzej Zwolinski. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla uttered these words two years before his election to the papacy. The meaningful thing is his awareness of the situation of the Church, her presence in the world for two thousand years…
Satan acts through people
Today the Masonic ideologies are seemed to have clubbed together to attack the Church. What happened in Warsaw is not accidental, some single event. We can also observe it in the world. The place where Christianity exists is the place where actions against the Church are organised. An example can be the situation that occurred in the USA some time ago. The Church was taken to court and huge claims for damage, even for the deeds of the dead people, were put forward. The Church was to be held responsible for those who could not defend themselves any longer… The situation became dramatic and many Catholic dioceses in the USA experienced financial crises. Then the actions against the Church were transferred to Europe. There was a pursuit for priests who were suspected of sexual harassment. The aim of this search was to prove that the society did not only need the Church but also regarded her as harmful. But we all know that every environment includes the weak and the sinful. However, the whole problem has been so presented in the media that people should do nothing but condemn and reject the Church.
Furthermore, we can see hundred thousand copies of books and films against Christ himself and these productions have suitable and effective promotion campaigns. It is astonishing that Christians, including the Polish ones, do not fully stand by Christ. On the contrary, they are very much interested in these publications. Those who are enemies of Christianity, who only seek occasions to attack a clergyman or a nun, to destroy religious values, are preying on Polish Catholics.
We should be together...
One could see such situations in Warsaw, in the famous affair concerning the cross in front of the Presidential Palace. Nobody explained fully what the affair was about. But the media showed a group of alleged fanatics who had a pretext to fight. They also showed the triumphant crowd that mocked Christ, ridiculed and insulted those who prayed there. The journalists – people who were to create true culture of behaviour – joined this blasphemy.
All of this can be embraced in the term ‘anti-Church’ and attacks against the institution of the Church. Distortion of facts is a feature of those who serve this idea. Some woman, performing a significant social function, demanded the authorities to deprive priests of the possibility to teach religious instruction in schools because it is costly – priests receive salaries for teaching. She added maliciously that nothing would happen if priests did not eat caviar. I don’t think priests eat this delicacy. They eat ordinary food and work hard to make young people realise that ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God’ (cf. Matthew 4:4). Perhaps that’s why their work is so difficult – good things really cost a lot. The media that ‘work’ for the anti-Church cause that young people who are not aware of anything treat religious instruction, catechesis, in a neglectful and improper way. Unfortunately, we, Catholics, lack solidarity. If only those who go to church on Sunday showed solidarity; if they listened to the voice of the Church; if they read Catholic press…
It is with great pain that one must state that Catholic press does not enjoy a big popularity. If on average 10 copies of some Catholic paper fall on 2,000 believers, it is very shameful. Priests who do not distribute Catholic press in their parishes should reflect on their attitudes. When we face an intensified attack against the Church we should be together to help believers understand the essence of our faith. And it is not a matter of smaller or bigger profits of Catholic press. Catholic journalists belong to those who earn the least. Our periodicals cannot afford to raise wages like it is the case in the secular media. We all share some responsibility. Therefore, we should appreciate these priests who are involved in the work of evangelisation, including the press, which is a very important form of pastoral work today.
... and look at reality more carefully
The words of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla about the confrontation and attacks against the Church actually concern the attack against human rights and man’s dignity, the rights of societies and nations, truly human dignity. Since what is the law purporting to combat family violence, which the media promote so much today and which often incapacitates the family? As some fear simple information is sufficient to take a child from its family without any decision of the court, only on the motion of some authority. We can see such situations. And the law was signed by the acting president, the speaker of the Parliament, during his presidential campaign. Why was he in such a hurry? At that time we had the declaration of the Council for the Family of the Polish Bishops’ Conference that the bill could not be passed….
That’s why I painfully enumerate the facts that are happening in Poland nowadays, referring to the words of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoken in 1976. He noticed that approaching the 2000th anniversary of Christianity and the Church we should face the challenge of massed forces of the anti-Church, which decisively aim at destroying Christianity. But we must also remember that after becoming Pope Cardinal Wojtyla reminded us of the words of Lord Jesus, ‘Do not be afraid! Go and make disciples…. I am with you always, until the end of the age’ (cf. Matthew 28:20). And this is our only hope!