Newsletter of the District of Asia

 Jul - Sep 2001



The last canonized Pope, the great St Pius X, was right when he said that modernism was the synthesis of all heresies. The old heresies we read of in the history of the Church, and the great heroes who fought them, the St Athanasius, St Augustine, St Cyril, and others like them, all seem so far away, and at times we wished we could have stood at their side in these great battles for the purity of the Faith. 

No need to dream about this, the heresies are back, unfortunately very much alive and kicking. The missions of Sri Lanka, which this issue deals with, give us the opportunity to prove this, at least for one of them. 

Pelagianism, which denies the need of God's grace to convert, to practice virtue, to reach heaven , is very commonly taught today under different names. In Sri Lanka, it is called Buddhism. Buddhism, as will be shown in Msgr. Don Peter's article elsewhere in the following pages, claims the possibility to reach perfection by one's own will power, without the least recourse to Divine Grace. Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike are fascinated by the Eastern spiritualities, Buddhism certainly being the first of them. There is something appealing in these monks who control their passions, it seems, in a stoical manner, who are so un-materialistic, so detached from worldly goods, who beg daily for their food. They seem to have something which the West has lost in the abundance of its wealth. What the West is discovering is that riches do not give happiness, real happiness - call it money, pleasure, power, honors.

But, what do the Buddhist monks proposed in exchange? The absolute nothing, self-annihilation, the Nirvana, a despoliation such that the goal of life itself becomes Nothingness (see A Philosopher looks at Buddhism). Here is the catch. Tertium datur! The dilemma is not complete, not perfect. Truth is always a summit between two extremes. Between materialism which overwhelms us with things we do not need, in which we cannot find real lasting, spiritual happiness, and Buddhism which is the opposite extreme, between these two errors, there is the truth: happiness does exist for man, but at a supernatural level, higher up, in the union with God, in the sharing of the fullness of His Divine and Triune Life. "Our heart is made for Thee, Lord, and finds no rest until it rests in Thee." (St Aug.) 

To think that, when Fr. Tissa Ballasuriya O.M.I., a Sri Lankan priest, was excommunicated a few years ago (read his article in this issue and you will easily understand why) there was such a general Tollè from the O.M.I. and the Sri Lankan clergy that his censure was shamefully lifted without any retraction, shows that Catholicism is no longer very strong is that small country. The likes of Blessed Joseph Vaz , and the great Archbishop Bonjean must turn in their graves. 

On the SSPX front, the talks with Rome have come to a stand still. Listen to Bishop de Galarreta, speaking in Ecône, last June 3rd"...From the beginning of these contacts with Rome, the SSPX wished to get into the major questions of doctrine and theology, faith and apostasy, while Rome wanted to give the contacts a purely practical character. We then somewhat lost interest because we knew where that would end up ... Sure enough. To the two pre-conditions laid down by the SSPX for the resumption of SSPX-Rome discussions (liberation of the Tridentine Mass, nullification of the 1998 'excommunications'). Rome at last replied officially a few weeks ago by implicitly laying down its same old condition for the SSPX's 're-integration', namely acceptance of Vatican II, the New Mass, etc.. In other words Rome would accept the SSPX as it stands, so long as it stopped opposing the Conciliar Revolution.

But the SSPX as it stands is bound to oppose the Council. So Rome would be granting everything to the SSPX while taking it all away. Truly a fool's bargain! For Rome began by saying, 'Let us be practical and not doctrinal. Come in!' The SSPX replied, 'Fine! To be practical and not doctrinal, let us come in as we are, opposing the Council: To which Rome replied, 'To be practical and not doctrinal, come in as you are but do not oppose the Council: We had, of course, run right back into the problem of Catholic doctrine against Conciliar doctrine. 'Practicality' was a mirage." 


Our Lady of Madhu

One powerful cannonball in this turn of the war between modernism and Tradition is a little book, little in size (107 pages) but mighty in its effects, on the new Mass written by SSPX earlier this year. The original being in French, it has already been translated in Italian, Spanish, English and German. The Japanese translation is also on the way. Our goal is to put this book in the hands of all the bishops of the world. So far all the French bishops and their 17,000 priests have it and it is causing quite a stir. The book is in three parts: it shows firstly that the New Mass is a liturgical break, or breakdown; secondly, that that break proceeds from a new theology of basics such as sin and Redemption; thirdly, that this new theology is condemned by Catholic doctrine. Of course a few lines cannot do justice to the documented and close-knit argumentation of the book, so readers can only be urged to order it from the Angelus Press (2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109, USA, 1-800-966-7337) and read it for themselves. 

Let me conclude with Bishop Williamson's last words of his April 2001 monthly letter. "Meanwhile the recent series of Rome-SSPX negotiations have at least shown so far that the SSPX in insisting on the Mass is looking out firstly for the interests of the Universal Church, that the SSPX is far from having a schismatic mentality, and that Rome is not yet ready to let go of its new religion. We can also be grateful for the measure of protection of the Truth that Rome has unintentionally given us by the 'excommunication' sealing us off for 12 years so far from much of the Newchurch's contamination. Patience with, if necessary without, the dear SSPX, the Truth will prevail. Only the timing and mechanics of its prevailing are uncertain."        

God bless.

Fr Daniel Couture 

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