The following comes from a June 30 story by Anne Hendershott printed in Crisis magazine.
Declaring that the devil has departed from the Church of England’s baptism service, the Guardian reported on June 20 that “a simplified baptism which omits mention of the devil” is now favored by the clergy who have test-marketed it throughout the United Kingdom. Claiming that the traditional rejection of the devil and all rebellion against God “put off people who are offended to be addressed as sinners,” clergy claimed that they found it much easier to ask parents and godparents to make vows that do not mention Satan.
Responding to a population “which sees no pressing reason to spend Sunday mornings or any other time in Church,” the Guardian reports, the new and improved baptism service also deletes the instruction to the godparents that the child will keep God’s commandments, and learn what a Christian “ought to know and believe to his soul’s health”—promising only that the church “shall do all that we can to ensure that there is a welcoming place for you. We will play our part in helping you guide these children along the way of faith.”
The proposal to delete the devil from the ritual received initial approval by the House of Bishops and will be debated by the Anglican General Synod in York this July. If approved, these changes may reveal that the Church of England is losing its sense of sin—and its need for salvation. More than 60 years ago, T.S. Eliot wrote about the sense of alienation that occurred when social regulators—like the church—began to splinter and the controlling moral authority of a society is no longer effective. He suggested that a “sense of sin” was beginning to disappear. In his play “The Cocktail Party,” a troubled young woman confides in her psychiatrist that she feels “sinful” because of her relationship with a married man. She is distressed not so much by the illicit relationship, but rather, by the strange sense of sin. Eliot writes that “having a sense of sin seems abnormal, she believed that she had become ill.”
Writing in 1950, Eliot knew that the language of sin was declining even then. Yet most of us would assume that the concept of sin was still strong because the churches—like the Church of England—seemed so strong. Looking back, though, it seems that the sense of sin was already beginning to be replaced by an emerging therapeutic culture. Within a growing culture of liberation, people no longer viewed themselves as sinful when they drank too much, took drugs, or engaged in violent or abusive behaviors. Rather, such actions were increasingly viewed as indicators that such individuals were victims of an illness they had little control over.
Sociologist Philip Rieff warned in his now-classic book of the 1960s, The Triumph of the Therapeutic, that “psychological man was beginning to replace Christian man” as the dominant character type in our society. Unlike traditional Christianity, which made moral demands on believers, the secular world of “psychological man” rejects both the idea of sin and the need for salvation.” The transformation is now complete in the Church of England.
Satan has been called an “evil genius” because he has been able to convince so many that he does not exist. In his satirical Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis creates a senior demon named Screwtape who is instructing Wormwood, his young protege, on how best to capture a soul for hell. He tells him that the most effective thing he can do to bring souls to hell is to convince people that Satan does not even exist. “The fact that devils are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that, he therefore cannot believe in you.”
Unlike the Church of England, which is helping people move away from thoughts of the devil, Pope Francis has spoken often of Satan as the “prince of this world,” and the “father of lies.” He cautioned in his book On Heaven and Earth that, “Satan’s fruits are destruction, division, hatred and calumny.” In response, the faithful are beginning to flock to a shepherd that reminds them that it is the “work of the devil” to ignore the plight of the poor and to reject the humanity of all persons—including the weakest and least powerful….
[Crisis] editor’s note: This column first appeared June 25, 2014 in the Washington Times and is reprinted with permission of the author.
To read the entire Crisis story, click here.
From the Daily Mail (U.K.)
If Anglicans don’t believe in Death, Judgment, Heaven, or Hell or sins – why go to Church at all.
Jesus talked more about Hell than anyone else in the Bible. If they don’t believe Jesus they are no longer Christian.
Just for info in the CCC there are 18 paragraphs on the Devil, 16 paragraphs on Satan, and 16 on Hell.
So much for any ecumenical unity.
This is a real laugher, but clearly anticipated. In fact, the “Anglicans” that are left (after the real Christians decided that they needed to be on the correct side of the fence), are merely playing dress-up. Unfortunately, Pope Francis chose to be blessed by the “Archbishop” of Canterbury (perhaps in one of the many once-Catholic buildings that the COE stole from the Catholic Church during Henry VIII-Elizabeth I reigns). The Catholic Church should simply stop recognizing these “baptisms” which they likely are not any longer. Come on, Francis, step up and lead the Catholics so that as many of Mankind can be saved as possible.
It’s sobering and enlightening to realize that the Roman Church would have taken the same disastrous route as the COE, if it weren’t for one thing – the Magisterium. How many within the RCC want to banish all reference to Satan, indeed any reference to the Cross from our Church? Just look at the RCC rite of baptism and you’ll see there are two forms of the profession of Faith, one which calls on the baptismal candidate to reject Satan, and one which does not. Either one may be chosen for use. So we’re not too different from the Anglicans, are we?
How many faithless bishops would ‘test-market’ essential elements of Church teaching, and compromise them rather than face the disapproval of our modern age?
The starkest example of this is, of course, the contraception controversy. The COE caved in on that issue, starting in 1930, and was soon followed by all the main line Protestant Churches. Thanks to Pius XI (Castii Conubii), Paul VI (Humanae Vitae) and all the recent Popes who have boldly preached the gospel in spite of fierce opposition, our Church still proclaims the unadulterated teaching of Christ.
Rodney, so true…..it is a VERY SLIPPERY SLOPE! Many Bishops and Clergy are on a “free fall” as we write…..satan will do anything to have his way………we must reject satan.
St. Christopher you find this laughable? A true sign of some sort of deeply rooted pride. This is no laughing matter. Where is your charity. I find your mocking or laughter repulsive. Sinners losing good common sens and decency is no laughing matter and this news should grieve us all!
Pope Francis is Pope because those who elected him know that he will speak out with more than any of the ‘”usual” responses which our flock may anticipate. A real Catholic will listen to him.
And the Anglican ‘church’ removed itself from Christ after Henry VIII’s revolt against the Bride of Christ, the Catholic Church. Now, the Church of England is of no consequence. They are just part of the world they love so much.
Very well said…..
Pope Francis is warning us that the world has moved to “destruction, division, hatred and calumny.” Just look at the division within America’s politics since you know who became President! And the division between so-called Catholics, and families, and communities…..satan is at work in it all. Beware and be forwarned…..repent and reject satan. How anyone has any peace without Our Dear Lord’s help is beyond my understanding. I pray for the conversion of sinners.
An Obituary printed in the London Times…..Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: – Knowing when to come in out of the rain; – Why the early bird gets the worm; – Life isn’t always fair; – And maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge)
Cont’d…His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
The end….Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, -by his parents, Truth and Trust, -by his wife, Discretion, -by his daughter, Responsibility, -and by his son, Reason. He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers; – I Know My Rights – I Want It Now – Someone Else Is To Blame – I’m A Victim – Pay me for Doing Nothing Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.
Thanks for the reminder, Dana. Sadly, those who do remember ‘him’ are passing on. And sadly any and all memoirs have been banned as hate speech.
Yes, indeed, Ann Malley. Liberals have gone from being incomprehensible and indefensible to reprehensible and totally scary. The only thing tethering them to morality is the desire at this point to appear as better than everyone else…more caring, more intelligent, more able to see ‘the whole picture’. Once there’s ‘no one to see and appreciate their ‘goodness’ they’ll have developed the ‘need’ to do unpleasant things for the betterment of the word, as they always know better than God what must be done, just as other do-gooders: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Napolean, et al. The eggs must be broke for the omelette…heads must roll.
The watered down baptism language is amusing, but keeping a sense of sin and evil in the ceremony should remain. Many believe that Satan is not a person but simply a caricature representing the evil in our world. Perhaps including language to the effect that “God will strengthen the newborn to pursue a life of virtue and to resist all evil and sin” might placate those who think Lucifer is an anachronistic cartoon character. Either way, God blesses the baby, parents and grandparents, and what’s wrong with that?
I find it incongruous and almost humorous, that someone on this site would bring up birth control in a debate about what to say at a baptism, the christening of a newborn baby. Some Catholics blame birth control for everything from global warming and the stock market crash to the creation of the Internal Revenue Service and the US losing this year’s World Cup, That’s an issue that the overwhelming majority of US Catholic priests, much less the laity, think the Pope is wrong. It’s time to give that issue a rest.
The true Christian is always in a lifelong daily struggle of Good vs. Evil, from the point of Baptism– as the Christian is a true Pilgrim, on his daily journey to Heaven, living in a “fallen,” corrupt, secular world! He or she has to also deal with his own weak, “fallen” human nature, inside oneself! Before beginning His public ministry, Jesus was tempted by the Devil, when He was out in the desert, for forty days. And in His public ministry, Jesus told us, that Satan is the Prince of the “fallen,” earthly realm, but God reigns, in Heaven! These Biblical accounts are read in the churches, during the Church Year, all the time! And Evil cannot last forever– in the end, God triumphs, over all Evil! God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation! He is the answer, to all Evil! The Anglican Church does not seem to really understand, believe in, or practice true Christianity!
Get yourself to a mission parish where there are FSSP priests, and you won’t have any watered-down faith. What you will get is a project: the sanctification of your soul, and faithful men who are dedicated to that one thing for themselves and those they shepherd. I thank God everyday for St. Anne’s in San Diego, CA.!
Watered down faith may or may not be a hallmark of FSSp preists, but it is surely ALSO a hallmark of priests in every parish in every diocese throughout Christendom.
Wait wait I mispoke. I meant to say that fully faithful priests are a part of every diocese. Silly me. I think I left an alternative impression.
YFC writes….”Silly me, I think I left an alternative impression.” = NO silliness there, you just automatically slipped up again. Failure to successfully persevere goes right along with the territory when you consistently reject God’s revealed truth and grace. You’re entire mission on this faithful website has been to confuse, leave so-called “alternative impressions” or opinions instead of upholding solid Church Teaching. Loose trolling Saul Alinskyite lips will ultimately sink their own ill- fated ships. Lucifer was the first champion salesman of alternative impressions and his entire sales force now uncomfortably reside with him in hell. You are on the losing team.
What YOU DID MEAN by using the words, “I misspoke” was to arrogantly and confidently infer that each diocese now has priests who have become so fully compromised that they too are fully confusing the flock. The goal of the YFC troll is to scatter the already confused flock. Burning in hell for all eternity is no silly laughing matter…There is nothing *silly* about incredulity and encouraging heresy.
THE GOOD NEWS IS ….GOD WINS! IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH!
CCC 2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;
YFC, Some homosexuals will still relate more to fictitious teaching scenes in a Hollywood movie much more than believing in the revealed truth of the gospel. We know this for a fact because Hollywood movies have often been the teaching focus of terribly goofy or watered down homilies. Do you remember Clint Eastwood’s Classic Movie Line #31 where he asks the man if he still wants to gamble with his life? One of, if not the best, classic line ever shown on screen. “Well, do you feel Lucky. Well do ya, Punk.?”
YFC, Feelings are often tied into illusions and fantasies. Your hasty excitement due to the recent ill-fated court rulings for the homosexual agenda has you still consistently posting as if you are *feeling* eternally lucky instead of *being wise and eternally faithful.* You are dangerously gambling with your own eternity. Ask yourself how *feeling lucky* about your earthly gambling with your soul trumps being eternally united with God in heaven? Time to repent while you still have precious time on this earth. Or do you prefer to still gamble and *feel* lucky? If so, then the first so-called champion of the “alternative impressions” of God’s revealed truths, still has you rolling the potentially deadly dice.
“Abeca Christian”: The Church of England is the laugher, and its offshoots, like the Episcopalians. Just take a look at their dress-up “services” and offensive sermons. There are few sexual perversions that the Episcopalians do not embrace, even promoting sodomites to their episcopacy: Re Bishop Gene Robinson. The COE, built on the anger of Henry VIII over not getting a divorce, and the concupiscence of the then-turncoat Catholic clergy. In fact, the best of the Anglicans have joined the Catholic Church, thanks to the otherworldly brilliance of Pope Benedict XVI. Try out the Ordinariate Mass, if you have an interest; devout and said ad Orientum (in the Diocese of Arlington, VA, try the Sunday, 5 pm Mass at “Our Lady of Hope,” in Sterling). The present COE, is absolutely silly in its constant “spin the bottle” approach to theology. However, the sad truth is that the present Catholic leadership is fast following along on this same path; expect many sad pronouncements — that all practicing Catholics should reject — soon, following the ill-advised “synod of the illuminati” planned for October.
Well, I have to disagree with you about the Book of Common Prayer, unless they’ve rewritten it? The original written by Thomas Cranmer is a beautiful work of literature. I have my grandmother’s copy that she brought here from England. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. St. Card. Henry Newman was an Anglican for many years, as were many other fine Catholic converts. It should make us profoundly sad to see such a bastion of faith become cowardly and an enemy of Christ. The official recognition of birth control in England by the CoE was the beginning of the end for them as any sort of authentic religious force. Their music is devine! English choral music is the best in the world! Catholics would do well to copy it instead of singing “And He will lift you up on eagle’s wings”.
Just listen to this!
I am fairly certain that their are no sea snails in hell.
Yes, yes, yes, we’re all aware of its history, it’s anti-Catholicism etc. but what you’re doing is condemning people that Pope Benedict Emeritus is welcoming into the Catholic faith. There are some Anglicans who do not accept women bishps, homosexuality, et al, and are being allowed to keep those beautiful traditions (especially the music) while crossing the Tiber and accepting the Catholic truths. If it were up to people like you, there would be no evangelizing to protestants, no love or respect for others who are not of the Church, and no forgiveness. You must be a baptist convert! …But peace to you on your journey! (taps sandals on door post as she scurries away)
The Anglican sect is just where the Pelosi-Catholics belong.