The Devil and the Deputy

Father Arturo Sosa is at it again: You may recall a few years ago, when the Jesuit Superior – they sure can pick ‘em – claimed that the words of Christ in the Gospel were, well, not really the words of Christ. Or at least we don’t know if they were His words, for they didn’t have ‘tape recorders’ back then. So much for divine inspiration and God as the primary author of Scripture.

Well, now Father has claimed the Devil, Satan, Lucifer or whatever name one might give him, is only a ‘symbolic presence’, and not a person. This goes quite directly against the aforementioned Scripture – Christ certainly though the Tempter was a person, and He – Christ – ought to know, seeing him fall like lightning from heaven. The superior’s statement also goes against Tradition, within which any number of sources – from the earliest Fathers to the current Catechism and, dare I write, our own Jesuit Pope – teach that the Devil is a fallen angel, a personal presence, once good, but now irrevocably evil.

My own dear Dad once said to me as a young lad that the primary task of a priest when speaking or preaching was to avoid heresy. I suppose looking back, this was analogous to his own principle as a physician to first do no harm. Exorcists across the world are already claiming direct empirical evidence that Satan is alive and well; well, not really ‘well’, but you get the idea. Father Sosa ought to get orthodox real quick, or resign forthwith, and take some time for prayer and reflection on such things, say, as the nature of evil, and of good.

And while on the devil, of the noonday variety that led King David astray, a former sheriff’s deputy, Manuel Torres, had invoked ‘Graham’s Rule’, refusing to train a female police officer, since it would have required him to be alone with a woman, not his wife, for an extended time, in which they would interact with some significant degree of propinquity, as this would violate his Scriptural beliefs. The ‘rule’ derives from pastor Billy Graham, who, in his extensive travels, would never eat, or even be in a room, alone with a woman. Torres claims he was ultimately fired over this refusal, and the case is not before the courts.

I’m not sure about Scripture – after all, Christ was alone with the woman at the well, but, then, He was God and immune to such temptation. Right reason, however, tells me to urge the officer to stand his ground. Not just due to the fact that he himself – or she – may be tempted by impure thoughts, or even naughty actions (there is a whole lot of boredom and ‘filled time’ in police work). But in this era of #MeToo, imprudent is the man who would leave himself alone with a woman, who may charge him with whatever she fancies, for whatever motive, and the world will believe, glassy eyed and condemnatory, sans trial and sans evidence. Who would dare take the ‘man’s’ side in this climate? Gender fluidity ends here, and a man’s certainly a man when sexual assault – which now includes unwanted advances, rubs, pats, or even glances – is on the line.

Anyway, I’m all for segregated workplaces, and am in good company with Pope Leo XIII, who, in accord with the Church’s consistent teaching and custom, denounced a ‘mixing of the sexes’ in any employment.

And, a final note: Prescinding from these more universal principles, in this current context, why are women vying to be front-line police officers, or Marines, or combat pilots? In what inverted society do the women lay down their lives for the men?