Newsletter of the District of Asia

 May 1997


The assistance at the New Mass is an issue that always comes up when we visit new people.  No doubt it is a crucial question that arises at least once a week when there is no traditional Mass nearby.  Archbishop Lefebvre published some clear directives in 1979 stating the official position of the Society of St Pius X on this issue.  The Archbishop made it very clear: “We do not hold to the absurd idea that if the New Mass is valid, we are free to assist at it”.  The confusion in so many minds lies on the meaning of the word ‘valid’.  ‘Valid’ does not necessarily mean ‘good’: the conditions required for the validity may be fulfilled (matter, form, intention and validly ordained priest), in other words, the consecration may take place and the rite may still be displeasing to God.  Such is the case with the Masses of the Greek Orthodox: their Masses are valid but since they are celebrated outside the fold of the Catholic Church, these Masses do not please God.

We must never forget that the Mass does not consist of the consecration alone, there are rites, actions, before, during and after the consecration, there is the sermon, there is the general atmosphere in the church.  How frequently Catholic dogmas are omitted or, worse, denied, in sermons?  I like to ask people when was the last time they heard a sermon on hell!  The answer usually is: “I don’t remember”.  The dogma ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ is another one often denied explicitly by modern ecumenism: ‘it does not matter what is your religion as long as you are sincere’.  What shall we say about the lack of respect towards the Most Holy Sacrament?  ‘Ordained’ (sic) eucharistic lay ministers (no longer extraordinary), communion in the hand (in South India, in the State of Tamil Nadu, it has been imposed by the Bishops only this last Easter Sunday, March 30, 1997), the lack of reverence in the churches, the lack of silence...  By attending the Novus Ordo Missae (the new order of Mass) one becomes insensibly numb to these scandalous words or attitudes and after a while, they are taken for granted.  The New Mass, in a communist fashion, i.e., by its praxis, by the force of habit, by the repetition of Protestant attitudes, makes Protestants.  That is the reason why it is so harmful, even in the case when it is valid (which is rarer and rarer in our days).

The Catechism teaches us that we must avoid the near occasions of sin.  Let everyone then pray to understand the true nature -- poisonous -- of the New Mass and to have the strength to avoid it.

Now for some news of the District, I don’t have much to say except that since the consecration of the church, last March 1, it has been “go-go-go”, non-stop, with retreats, Holy Week ceremonies, travels to visit the various Centers.  I could highlight however the fact that Fr. McMahon gave a talk to 50 doctors and Nurses in Mindanao on the subject of the dying.  Please God this is the first of a series of talks to these professionals.  Also, three of our young men have entered Holy Cross seminary -- the visa problem was finally solved -- two to become brothers, one a priest.  Meanwhile, in Manila, we are already preparing the next batch, perhaps as high as eight candidates, for spring of 1998.  Our priests in India are doing fairly well too with three to four candidates so far.

Keep praying for the Missions of Asia.  We remember all our readers and benefactors in our daily Masses and rosaries.


May God bless you all,
Fr. Daniel Couture
District Superior



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