Newsletter of the District
- 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
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').
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.
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
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
Fr Daniel Couture