Point 8. Pagan Religions and Pagan Wisdom.
The worship of the divine Word inscribed for ever in our Sacred Books, the faith in the new and eternal Covenant, promised in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, the sight of miracles and mysteries of grace and glory wrought by God in the Church and still to be brought to completion, will turn the Phalangist away from all idolatrous religions and eccentric philosophies, which were invented by men in times of ignorance and wretchedness.
1. He considers that no truth subsists in these religions that is not better taught by the Church, that there is no possibility of salvation that is not obscure, uncertain, and more surely given by Christ, and that no way is clearer and more glorious than that of the divine Covenant, now definitively Christian. He has, therefore, no interest in pagan mythologies and gnoses; he acknowledges them no rights and ascribes to them no future. Knowing nothing of the true God, these religions therefore know nothing about supernatural wisdom and the Covenant; and therefore nothing about the secret of universal history and Salvation; and therefore nothing about the path to eternal life.
2. At the breath of the preaching of the Gospel, every form of paganism must disappear and yield to the Kingdom of God. History shows that all pagan religions and forms of wisdom shatter when confronted with the two great powers of the Apocalypse, Christ and Antichrist, leaving only a barren folklore of no religious value.
3. The Phalangist, however, strikes the balance between two attitudes which have always been current in the Church. The one attitude takes into consideration the truth, values, and goodness of pagan religions, even their sometimes very human and beautiful rites, and respects them as a preparation for the announcement of the Gospel, to which they necessarily lead and before which they must yield and be repudiated to give way to the one Church of Christ. The other attitude, insisting on their errors and the often appalling moral disorder of their various idolatries, sees them simply as inventions of Satan, who uses them to enslave peoples, and therefore as obstacles to be despised and overturned in order to open the way to the Gospel.
The one consequence of these two perspectives is that the Phalangist will accord these pagan religions and philosophies a prudent de facto toleration, which in no way hinders but rather facilitates the preaching of divine truth and the openness of pagan peoples to Christian civilisation.
4. As for the ancient forms of pantheism – be it Western stoicism or Eastern forms of wisdom – which are resurfacing in the modern world through the medium of post-Christian gnoses and pseudo-sciences, claiming to appease the anxiety and satisfy the curiosity of the men of our time, the Phalangist rejects them absolutely and fights them with all his strength as contrary to right reason and sane philosophy, but still more as an appearance of religion, nay a substitute for redemption, a return to the ignorance and slavery of Satan.