Newsletter

Kolbe Report 10-17-20

Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I would like to dedicate this newsletter to Dr. Alma Von Stockhausen, a great scholar and a good friend of the Kolbe Center, who died earlier this year of cancer, on May 4, at the age of 92.  Alma von Stockhausen was the daughter of an extraordinary woman who grew up in a Lutheran part of Germany but who through her study of mathematics and philosophy became convinced that the true religion must have the orderliness characteristic of mathematics.  Alma’s mother did not find this orderliness in the theology of Martin Luther, for reasons that we will explain in more detail below, but she did find it beautifully exemplified in the writings of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.  The beauty of the Angelic Doctor’s exposition of the Catholic Faith convinced Alma’s mother that his must be the true form of the Christian religion, and so she informed her husband of her intention to convert to the Catholic Faith.  Her husband’s initial response was to say that he would have no choice but to divorce his wife if she persisted in this folly.  But as time went on, he, too, investigated the Catholic Faith and became convinced that it was the true form of the Christian religion.  The two then freely incurred the rejection of their Lutheran community, completed their catechumenate, and entered the Catholic Church.  Their daughter Alma pursued a career in philosophy, eventually earning her doctorate and securing a teaching position at the University of Freibourg in Switzerland.

As a professor of philosophy, Alma witnessed first-hand the tumultuous student uprisings of the late 1960’s.  Seeing so many students enamored of the writings of Marxist, atheist and existentialist philosophers, like Jean-Paul Sartre, she felt moved to make a startling proposition to her students.  While praising their quest for true philosophy, she challenged them to broaden their quest for truth by investigating the philosophy of the ancient Greeks so as to have a basis for comparison between the reigning philosophy for 2000 years of Western civilization and the new philosophies of the Marxist, atheist and existentialist authors.  To those who would accept her challenge, she offered to give a complete course in traditional Greek philosophy at her family’s summer home in Bierbronnen in the Black Forest region of Germany, inviting students to “camp out” and make themselves at home on the grounds of her parents’ summer home.

Dr. Alma Von Stockhausen

Remarkably, many of Alma’s students accepted her invitation and spent several weeks on the grounds of her family’s summer home, learning the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and the perfection of Aristotelian philosophy by St. Thomas Aquinas.  Not a few of Alma’s students actually converted to the Catholic Faith as a result of their studies under her tutelage, and this became a sign to her that she ought to convert her parents’ summer home into a university where students could learn the perennial philosophy of Aristotle as the perfect vehicle for studying, understanding and defending Catholic theology, the queen of the sciences.  With the assistance of then-Bishop Josef Ratzinger, a life-long friend, Alma followed through with this inspiration and eventually established Gustav Siewerth Akademie (named after another German philosopher) in her parents’ summer home in 1988.

As a fledgling university in an academic world in which molecules-to-man evolution reigned supreme as scientific orthodoxy, Gustav Siewerth Akademie distinguished itself early on as an oasis of original and independent thought on the subject.  A remarkable scholar of extraordinary academic accomplishments played a big part in making the Akademie one of the few Catholic universities in the world where the fatal flaws in the evolutionary hypothesis—in its theistic and atheistic forms—could be openly discussed.  A. E. Wilder-Smith—about whom we will write at length in another newsletter—was a British scholar with three Ph.D.’s in different areas of physical science as well as a three-star NATO general.  As a frequent visitor to the Akademie, he left an unforgettable impression on the whole community, as a great natural scientist and a magnificent teacher, who unashamedly professed his faith in the Word of God and in the doctrines of traditional Christianity, including the doctrine of special creation derived from the sacred history of Genesis.

Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith

In the years after the discovery of DNA, A. E. Wilder-Smith blazed a trail for other defenders of the Faith by recognizing that organic life could no longer be reduced to matter and energy—as so many natural scientists and philosophers had been trying to do since the days of Rene’ Descartes.  Instead, Wilder-Smith pointed out that the coded information in the cells of all living things from bacteria to human beings proved that organic life could only be understood in terms of a trinity of matter, energy, and information.  This amazing insight completely transformed the debate between the advocates for molecules-to-man evolution and the defenders of special creation because it was easy for Smith to demonstrate that information is an immaterial entity—something that can only be produced by an intelligent mind with a free will.  Indeed, only a mind could decide that a particular sequence of nucleotides would code for a particular amino acid; but only a free will could decide that this particular sequence of nucleotides X would code for amino acid Y.  Biophysicist Dr. Dean Kenyon was the first natural scientist to join the Kolbe Center advisory council—and the author, with another scientist, of Biochemical Predestination, at one time the standard university textbook on the origin of life from non-life.  As he explains in his testimony on the Kolbe website, Dr. Kenyon was converted from faith in molecules-to-man evolution to faith in God and special creation by Wilder-Smith’s new line of argument, but he was only one of many evolution-believing natural scientists who were converted in this way.

Largely through the influence of A.E. Wilder-Smith, Gustav Siewerth Akademie offered students a unique opportunity to discover that sound theology, sound philosophy, and sound natural science harmonized with the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation and contradicted the molecules-to-man evolutionary hypothesis.  As a teacher and an author in her own right, Alma made a unique contribution to the controversy by helping to expose the roots of evolutionary thought in the writings of the protestant revolutionary Martin Luther.  Over time, Gustav Siewerth Akademie amassed a complete collection of Martin Luther’s published writings, and established a center for the study of Luther’s work which served as the academic home of a Catholic Cardinal who became one of the world’s greatest authorities on Luther’s life and writings.

Martin Luther

Through her study of the life and writings of Luther, Alma Von Stockhausen came to the astonishing realization that some of the most important currents in modern philosophy could be traced back to his writings.  Whereas the Church Fathers and the Scholastic theologians had always upheld the perfect goodness of God and of the first created world and had identified death and disorder as the effects of sin, Alma discovered that Luther had identified God as the author of death and disorder, and had conceived the heretical notion that God deliberately chose to use death, disease, disorder, and conflict, as His chosen means to achieve His providential goals.  For Luther, when the Bible spoke of God “hardening Pharaoh’s heart,” this was no mere figure of speech, indicating that God had left Pharaoh to suffer the effects of his own freely-chosen rejection of God’s Will as expressed to him by Moses.  To Luther, these words signified that God deliberately willed Pharaoh’s rejection and all of the consequences that flowed therefrom as part of God’s providential plan to bring Moses and the Hebrews out of slavery into the Promised Land.   Through her research, Alma discovered that Luther had become convinced that God deliberately used death, deformity, disease, and other evils to achieve His ends.  Indeed, I will never forget the shock I experienced when I first heard her quote Luther’s statement that “God would not be God if He were not a devil before!”[1]

Luther’s identification of God as the source of evil later took root in the mind of a nominal Lutheran by the name of Georg Wilhelm Friederich Hegel whose whole philosophy of history rested on the conviction that God “needs” to produce something outside of himself that can only be achieved through a destructive process of conflict between opposing forces resulting in a “higher” synthesis.  In Alma’s words:

The evil transferred by Luther onto God is understandably seen by Hegel not as a moral malice, but as an initial insufficiency within God, which presses for satisfaction.

The perfect God of metaphysics and the Catholic Church, who in an eternal indivisible simplicity possesses Himself through Himself in the highest stage of perfection, truth, beauty and goodness, and reveals Himself within His creation by self-emptying Himself, this God is replaced by Luther and Hegel with a history of God, with his “curriculum vitae”, which only “organizes” his self-identity by means of the other, i.e. the difference within the worldly Being.

Georg Wilhelm Friederich Hegel

Out of God’s simple identity with Himself grew the “identity of non-identity,” the “wholeness of parts.” Through God’s passage through the world, the initially unconscious partial moments of the godly substance are posited as such for themselves, i.e. by material barriers they are differentiated from one another and set in opposition to the absolute spirit. This act of differentiation, which Hegel also terms ‘splitting,’ not only differentiates the partial moments from each other and places them in opposition to the whole, but also sublates them as differentiated, that is, absorbs them again into the dynamic unit of this self-realizing spirit. By a double negation, by positing and sublating the partial moments, the “identity of non-identity” is developing as a “wholeness of parts.”

Both the positing of parts and also the process of sublating the parts, is achieved as concretion of non-Being, by the Evil within God, as rationalized by Hegel. Only by “breaking down the old can the subsequent develop.”

In an absolute contradiction to life, death and killing are for Hegel “the moving and creative principles.” “Each consecutive step is a re-formation of the previous, a higher principle, emerging from sublation and destruction of what came before.”[2] “The transitions, as disintegration of the old, occur simultaneously with the rising and emergence of the new, they are linked to breakdown and destruction, with major collisions and cataclysms,”[3] Hegel explains.

Only a spirit, which originally possesses itself in sheer perfection, can free the multitude of worldly beings created by Him, and encourage their self-determination, because He does not need them as a means of self-realization! Hegel, who does not understand multiplicity as a means of unearned self-giving of the highest, but on the contrary as tools of self-creation, postulates an absolute spirit that can only realize the aim of its self-creation at the cost of individual beings.

Hegel shapes a developmental logic according to which life cannot be gained by procreation, but only through annihilation of parts. He needs death as a life-generating principle! This aggression, or rather the necessary drive for destruction, is described by Hegel only as the “so-called evil,” “of itself it is good,” because it is the cause of a higher development.

Correspondingly Hegel concludes: “Death is the key to God’s Being.” In an exact perversion of Christ’s expiating death for our sins, Hegel’s God needs the killing of worldly beings, in order to create his own wholeness! Hegel teaches not salvation from death through an extreme act of self-emptying by God on Golgotha—but death and killing as saving principles for God’s self-satisfaction—as a consequence of the Evil transposed onto God. “God becomes by destroying” as Luther lamented.[4]

Hegel’s ideas may sound like the ramblings of a philosopher on the brink of insanity, but these same perverse notions have shaped the thought of a host of extremely influential intellectuals, including Hegel’s disciple, Karl Marx, Fr. Karl Rahner, and Fr. Teilhard de Chardin.  Moreover, these same perverse ideas continue to influence the self-identified “trained Marxists” at the helm of the Black Lives Matters movement and other revolutionaries actively involved in attempting to de-stabilize the United States and other western countries so that a “higher synthesis” can be achieved through the struggle between the defenders of the existing order and the revolutionary forces.

The acceptance of these ideas also helps to explain the refusal of so many western Church leaders to speak out against revolutionary movements that openly seek to overturn the social and moral hierarchy established and maintained by the Catholic Church for so many centuries.  Michael Hichborn and his colleagues at the Lepanto Foundation have proven that the United States Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Human Development even uses the lay faithful’s contributions to actively support groups that promote violent revolution and the destruction of the traditional family.  Like Teilhard de Chardin, Church leaders who support these abominations have fallen under the spell of the diabolical dialectics of Luther, Hegel and their intellectual offspring who deny the first perfection of the universe and pin all of their hopes on a socialist utopia in the future that can only be achieved through a revolutionary process that will propel evolution to its Omega point.

We are all indebted to Alma Von Stockhausen and to her colleagues at Gustav Siewerth Akademie for their valiant defense of traditional creation theology, and we ask that you remember her in your prayers and Holy Masses.  Before closing, I would also like to acknowledge the recent death of Dr. Eugene Conti, an emergency room physician who was one of the first scientists to join the Kolbe advisory council, and who participated in one of our first conferences at St. Agnes Parish in Arlington, Virginia, in 2002, along with Bishop Roman Danylak.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S. One way to counteract the diabolical currents of thought discussed in this newsletter is to promote the DVD series “Foundations Restored.” It gives the lie to the blasphemy that God willed to use a process of death, deformity, disease and struggle for existence to produce the human beings that He desired in the first place; and it shows that sound theology, sound philosophy and sound natural science confirm the traditional doctrine of creation and vindicate the perfect goodness of God’s character and the goodness of the first-created world.

References

[1] Martin Luther, Weimarer Ausgabe (WA), 31 I, p. 249.

[2] Hegel, Philosophie der Geschichte, I., p. 132.

[3] Ibid., I, p. 134, p. 161, p. 153

[4] Alma Von Stockhausen, “Comparison Between Creation Theology and Evolution Theory,” in Evolution Theory and the Sciences: A Critical Examination (Bierbronnen: Gustav Siewerth Akademie, 2012).

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