Blog Post

Priest Blogger: The Real "Smoke of Satan" is Catholic Lite

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The well-known Catholic priest and blogger, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, says the real "smoke of Satan" that has entered the Church is the modernist re-interpretation of the Catholic faith. "There are many problems in the Catholic Church that might be thought to be the 'smoke of Satan' entering the church, but for my money one thing, above all others, has been the successful work of Satan, which has undermined the church, emasculated her ministry, sabotaged the aims of the Holy Spirit and captured a multitude of souls," Fr. Longenecker writes. "It is the modernist re-interpretation of the Catholic faith." He blames this trend on the results of modern Biblical scholarship and the infiltration of a modernist, rationalistic and materialistic mindset that assumes the supernatural is impossible, and that Bible stories and any other supernatural element of the faith have to be "de-mythologized" in order to make sense to "modern, scientifically minded people." As a result, the feeding of the five thousand isn't a miracle, he writes. Instead the 'real miracle' is that everyone shared their lunch. When we call Jesus Christ "God Incarnate" what we really mean is that he was so fully human that as he reached his potential as a man, he shows us what divinity looks like. When we speak of the Blessed Virgin we mean she was 'a very good and holy Jewish young woman.' When we speak of the 'Real Presence' we mean that we see the 'Christ that is within each one of us'. "I hate this crap," Fr. Longenecker writes. "It's the smoke of Satan, and it's virtually triumphant within the mainstream Protestant churches, and sadly, the modern Catholic Church in the USA is riddled through with the same noxious heresy." What makes it so bad is that the clergy is still using all the traditional language of the liturgy, Scripture and the creeds, but they have changed the meaning of it altogether, he explains. And even worse, they don't tell people that they've changed the meaning and that they no longer believe in the faith that was handed down to us by the apostles. "They don't discuss the fact that they have not only changed the meaning, but robbed it of meaning altogether," he writes. "Instead they still stand up week by week and recite the creed as if they think it is true, but what they mean by 'true' is totally different from what their people mean." Referring to priests such as these as "Father Flannel," he goes on to say that this lack of faith is why their sermons don't have much of a message anymore. "He doesn't believe any of the gospel except as some sort of beautiful story which inspires people to be nicer to each other. All that is left of his priesthood, therefore, is to be a nice guy to entertain people with inspirational thoughts and get everyone to be nicer to one another and try to save the planet." As a result, the faithful have been swallowing this stuff for two or three generations, "and they don't even know what poison they're swallowing because the lies are all dressed up in the same traditional language the church has always used," he says. It's like someone has put battery acid into a milk bottle and given it to a baby - and the person who does this actually thinks it's the best thing for the baby. "The faithful don't know why their church has become like a cross between a Joan Baez concert and a political activism meeting," he writes. "They don't understand why they never hear the need for confession or repentance or hear about old fashioned terms like 'the precious blood' or ' the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Savior.' The fact of the matter is Father Flannel doesn't really think that sort of thing is 'helpful'." This is why evangelization of American Catholics is so difficult, he says, because the faithful "don't know what they don't know." "For three generations now they have been given watered down milk and been told it was wine. They actually think that Catholic lite is what it's all about, and are astounded to think that there are some of us who think that they have actually been fed a version of Christianity that is scarcely Christianity at all." Father Longenecker's blog can be found here. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®