Newsletter of the District of Asia

 March 1998


This issue of our Newsletter will come out as Lent will start. "Remember, man, that dust thou art and in dust thou shalt return . . ."

We propose, as a start for your lenten reflexions a series of articles on the question of television. It is part and parcel of today's life, one may say. People who condemn T.V. are seen as lunatics, having a sectarian mentality, not being in touch, with their time. Is that true? TV in fact makes people lose touch with reality and thus, numbs people's mind.

Without doubt, a major element, in the drop of vocations (in some Catholic countries, more than 80%) in the last 30 years is the introduction, in practically every home, of the "dirty box", the television. Bishop Tissier summarised it perfectly: With very few exceptions, a home with television will have no vocations". There are certainly a number of other circumstances involved in the drop of vocations, but this one surely plays a major influence by polluting Catholic homes and the innocence of Catholic youth. The popes have forewarned us that this instrument, although neutral in itself, can be very dangerous and even mortal for human souls. They were right.

Twenty five years ago; a French writer wrote: "To go to the show every night isn't suitable to the real needs of any age. The real needs of human nature are the family happiness (there is no other temporal happiness) and the exercise of a profession or job bringing in a legitimate gain as well as an intellectual and spiritual interest in the work itself (...) The daily usage of television is directly contrary to it." (Itinéraires, No. 183)" Free shows, every evening for everybody, by the games of the circus of television, prepare and aboulic (having lost will-power) and lazy people, seeking idleness and not laborious efforts" (Itinéraires, No 184).

Another wise teacher, a few years earlier had said, "the main, and unavoidable danger of television, is to put in the children's head images and not ideas, in other words, to stop by the deceitful action of the imagination, the natural work of the intellect i.e. to abstract" (Itinéraires No. 160).

Archbishop Lefebvre witnessed, powerless, in the '60s the TV room taking over the chapel in the houses of the Holy Ghost Fathers. It is not surprising that he wrote in the Constitution of the Society of St. Pius X, in the chapter on poverty: "there shall be no television set in our communities. A few chosen newspapers and a selection of magazines will sufficiently instruct us on the happenings it is useful to know. Our true television is the Tabernacle where He dwells who puts us in communication with all spiritual and temporal realities." I have to congratulate those who have put into practice these wise words, in their homes and encourage the others who understand the Archbishop's battle for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to understand as well his desire to see us free from all worldly habits so contrary to the evangelical counsels.

With my priestly blessing,
Fr. Daniel Couture
District Superior

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