WASHINGTON: There has been a lot of press lately concerning the Catholic Church’s reawakened interest in exorcism. Pope Francis recently praised the more than 300 priests attending an exorcism convention at the Vatican on behalf of those “who suffer because of the work of the devil.”
Ryan plays the exorcist
But the rolls of the sacred and profane were reversed on Capitol Hill when outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan performed an exorcism of sorts, firing House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, member of the Society of Jesus – or the Jesuits.
The termination was an historic first.
Praying for wealth redistribution
Father Conroy is one of those Jesuits for whom “social justice” is the one true God.
“As legislation on taxes continues to be debated,” Father Conroy prayed as the House set to vote on the recent tax reform bill, “… May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under the new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”
His prayer, thank God, went unanswered.
House Republicans, instead, answered to a secular authority: hard-working American taxpayers and over-taxed corporations. The result will be a booming economy; the answer to America’s prayers.
Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly told the Huffington Post that Conroy’s wealth-redistribution prayer was “more political than he’s [Ryan’s] comfortable with.”
The late gonzo journalist and keen observer, Hunter S. Thompson, once described Jesuits as “smart and mean.”
Jesuits from hell
And that description is certainly fitting if you’ve read the book “The Jesuits” by Malachi Martin.
In it, he describes the problems atheistic Marxists faced in predominantly Catholic Latin America. The Sandinista movement in Nicaragua, for instance, faced serious headwinds.
“Catholicism was inextricably bound up in the warp and woof of Nicaraguan culture, language, way of thinking, and outlook, and was integral to all the hope of the people,” wrote Martin.
But Marxist movements in Latin America had friends among the Jesuits.
“Certain Catholic theologians in Latin America – principally Jesuits of the post-World War II period – had been developing a new theology. They called it the Theology of Liberation and based it on the theories of their European counterparts. It was an elaborate and carefully worked out system, but its core principle is very simple: the whole and only meaning of Christianity as a religion comes down to one achievement – the liberation of men and women, by armed and violent revolution if necessary, from the economic, social, and political slavery imposed on them by U.S. capitalism; this is to be followed by the establishment of ‘democratic socialism.’”
Martin said the order’s Superior General in the early 1980s, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, gave a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, in which he declared Jesuits to be in “solidarity with His [Christ’s] brothers and especially with His preferred brothers, the poor…”
As Martin notes,
“In Church teaching, neither poverty nor riches confer union and solidarity with Christ. Only the grace of Christ himself effects that. Grace is open to all, not exclusively or even ‘especially’ to the poor.”
A lesson for Marxist-talking Christians
It’s reminiscent of a story in the New Testament book of Matthew:
“A woman came up to Him [Christ] with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.’”
It’s at this point Christ says something to drive Liberation Theologians insane.
“For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Liberation Theology down Venezuela way
It’s a near certainty this story is not “told in memory” of the woman from pulpits of Liberation Theologians in democratic socialist Venezuela, where the poor are reduced to eating rats, cats and dogs. Where the socialist government has redistributed, as it were, every penny produced by every “alabaster flask of very expensive ointment.”
That’s because the redistribution of income is not the focus of Christianity. Charity, when done as an act of worship (“whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”), keeps the focus on Christ and not the true nexus of Liberation Theology – Karl Marx.
Now that Father Patrick Conroy has some time on his hands, he can explain his special brand of Jesuit theology to the starving, democratic-socialist masses of Venezuela.
Top images: (Left) Speaker Paul Ryan, Photo: U.S. Congress. Lucifer falls, illustration by Gustave Doré.
Former House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, Photo: U.S. Congress.