Mr. Hugh Moore, Executive Director of the St. Laphatdis Foundation (www.laphadisfoundation.net) in Chicago announced today 4/1/2004 8:41:00 PM at a press conference the discovery of a previously unreleased version of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II document on inter-faith relations. The document outlines efforts by the council to reach some level of ecumenical understanding with the Church of Satan. In Germany, an ecumenical Cardinal who prefered to go unnamed gave ghostly praise to the new document, calling it "a breakthrough in the Catholic Church's journey toward fully reconciling herself with the many gifts that those who reject Christ bring to our cultural heritage."
NOSTRA AETATE (Part II): Declaration on the relation of the Church to Satan
In this age of ours, when men are are drawing more closely together and the bonds of friendship between different peoples are being strengthened, the Church examines with still greater care the relation which she has with Satan.
When God created the angels, He appointed Lucifer the "anointed Cherub" over paradise (Ezek 28:14). Since "the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom 11:29), it follows that, by virtue of his original office, Satan shall forever enjoy a special place and dignity before God. Men always ought to show him respect therefore. Not even the Archangel Michael dared accuse him of wrongdoing (Jude 8-9).
The Apostle James reminds us that Satan still possesses the virtue of faith, something that not even all men possess (see James 2:19; cf. 2 Thess 3:2). In fact, it was not Peter or any of the Apostles who first recognized and confessed Jesus' identity, but Satan and his demons (Mt 4:1ff.; 8:29; Mk 1:24). Satan has therefore retained a deep religious sense. This is especially apparent in his efforts to establish religious institutions all around the world through which men have been invited to explore the divine mystery of that One "who is in all" (Eph 4:6) and "who would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1Tim 2:4)
Sounding the depths of the mystery which is the Church, this Council remembers the spiritual ties which link the people of the New Covenant to Satan. This link is most poingnantly observed in Satan's angelic nature. The Church of Christ acknowledges that in God's plan of salvation the beginning of her faith and election is to be found in the angels who were the first of all God's rational creatures (cf. Job 38:7). She also professes that in the resurrection all Christ's faithful shall become "as the angels." (Mt 22:30).
Many of the early Fathers, including Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St.Maximus the Confessor, Didymus the Blind and Evagrius Ponticus, speculated that Satan would one day be restored to his original place in Heaven.
Ought the Church to share in this hope? Perhaps not, but does it not at least strike a resonant chord deep within the human spirit?
The Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy about Satan. She has high regard for his nature, office, dignity and faith. Although she differswith him on many points of doctrine, nevertheless he often relects a ray of that truth which enlightens all God's creatures. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found within the person of Satan as well as his social and religious life and culture.
For more information, see www.laphadisfoundation.net
[Hat tip to L.S. I trust no one here is so thick as to take this post seriously!]