Newsletter of the District of Asia

 July - December 2006

The SSPX in the Middle East, The Indian Orphanage, and more Indian news…

A letter from Dubai and India

+Dubai, July 12 and August 30, 2006

Dear Friends,

Alleluia, a little baby group is born in Dubai, three Indian families plus one bachelor and two bacheloresses, all from Bombay, to whom we might add some day some Tamilians working in Dubai; all these folks working relentlessly to make a better worlds for the lonely emirates, awash with such an embarrassing amount of cash, for the petrodollars team up with more cash gushing from China, Russia and the rest of the world. For that purpose these people work until seven in the evening, the only time I can catch them for Mass and confessions. That left me some time to discover the New York of the Gulf, with all these impressive sky scrappers, and write down that letter in the coolness of the Dubai Grand Hotel, a facility ran by the Indian mafia they say.

Some of our Indian Orphans listening to Fr. Summers

More seriously, as far as India is concerned, the big event of the year was the coming of the Swarna group in January of this year.

India is a pagan society, and the child is the first one to pay for that, with six millions of yearly abortions, 15 millions of child slaves, 50 millions of orphans and child prostitution of which I only know the existence. The second statistic got the attention of Swarna, five years ago. She had just finished her studies of computer engineering in Iowa, with a nice high paying job to start her career, well, the Indian dream in its purest form.

But, inexplicably, she retraced her steps back and returns to Cuddapah, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, one of the furnace states of India, like Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu to a certain extent.

She then sets up the “Servi Domini”, a locally approved society, rents a house, buys a plot for the future, and starts to walk down the streets of Cuddapah in order to harvest samples of lost humanity. In a little time, fifty are on board the little Ark, one third of them being old folks, who, like the orphans are the refuse of the Indian society… if they lack money. All of them smell very bad and have to be clothed again, washed thoroughly, if not medically treated. Some will have remaining worms and lice staying under their skins for three months. All those little ones are badly educated at the beginning, but the cheerfulness of unspoilt childhood remains together with a total trust for those who have rescued them. It is by discovering their affection and their lack of distrust that one begins to realize the enormity of the sin committed against them, million times a year.

In the meantime, Swarna’s cousin, Dr. Suneel, discovers the existence of Tradition (another brilliant subject, who likewise sacrificed a whole medical career in order to serve God). He then informs Swarna about the precious pearl hidden in the deserted field of India. Father Blute pays a first visit, and then Father Couture makes several stops in Cuddapah. Swarna gives the impression of ever having been a traditional Catholic considering how all our arguments got her persuasion without resistance and how her way to pray and to behave is devoid of all form of all that novusorduish sugarism. Father Summers always says “Swarna means business”. In a way she realizes that sentence of Salomon “The ornament of the woman is her silence.”

Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard with Fr. Summers

Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard (left) with Fr. Summers (right)

But all this doesn’t solve the issue of the Mass, since the Society is completely overstretched in India, with all its 1000 faithful dispersed over the south of the Deccan.

Therefore a new plan came about: the whole little Telegu tribe (those who inhabit Andhra Pradesh) will have to pack. Swarna stripped the entire place, down to the last valueless light, all the beds, fans, etc., are loaded in the trucks that are sent one week ahead of time, leaving the little community with the bear necessities for its last days in Andhra. As a farewell, the local press accuses Swarna of scheming the whole move in order to lay her hands on the money of the orphanage and the sale of its property. The diocese joins the fray, with the fulminations that are routine for us. Swarna answers with great calm to all of this, “Swarna calls the shots”- that’s my quote! But you need the cherry on the pie, and that will be the western novus ordo parish that used to support the orphanage, writing in a nice letter that at the request of the bishop, all financial support was to cease by the month of December unless she stopped to collaborate with schismatic entities. It is true, traditional Catholics are now very generous to Swarna, and that makes the novus ordo money redundant, but “Quand même!” as we say in French or “Fer crying out loud!” as says Fr. Patrick Crane.

One good day of January, all the little group boarded the train for the 20 hours journey that separates them from Palayamkottai, accompanied by Fr Couture, all in praise and admiration, and they arrived the next day at five AM, quite exhausted you may guess.

They took residence in a house found by Mr. Selvaraj (probably our biggest supporter locally) for them. Those buildings are an ancient colonial house, kind of awkward, with a bizarre central staircase, caged from the inside. The owners are Muslims and the rent is a little bit expensive, but it will have to do for at least two years. Swarna is looking for an appropriate place to be able to make the orphanage grow. Donations are slowly coming from the West, people being relieved now to know that they can give safely for the third world without having their means misled and mismanaged by the Masonic and bureaucratized NGOs, who from what we can see from the ground, are far less effective than they claim. For instance the World Bank gave a big loan to the city of Palayamkottai to establish some sewage. Everything was done on the cheap, because the money was entrusted to unscrupulous contractors, who, beside the bribes to the local politicians, made a big return by buying the cheapest pipes for the system. Roads simply became worse for two years, and the system is already broken before being finished. Charity therefore works never at a distance, you have to have somebody close to the misery of his neighbor. End parenthesis.

Another big consequence of the establishment of the orphanage is that it triggered the opening of a school run by the society itself, two kilometers away from the priory. Fathers Blute and Summers were aware a long time before of the limitations of our hostel and always longed for something, but were not quite able to find a solution. With the coming of all these children the whole problem became an emergency. We began the school in the priory for the first few weeks, the dormitories being turned into classrooms every day and found out that it is not so easy to get good teachers locally, but with Dr. Suneel and others, we have a good pool of talent for the moment. The school system in India is not as perverted as our public school system, but it is quite deficient. Once again, Selvaraj found us a place to rent cum a legal scheme for us to proceed right away, and there it is, the “Veritas Academy”. For textbooks we use the famed “Our Lady of Victory” school program, run by Scott Jones in Post Falls, USA. It seems to work perfectly on Indian minds. We only have thirty kids, half of them orphans, to start with, but it really feels good to start the real thing at last. It is almost overstaffed, but we really want to do the right thing at the beginning.

Indian vocations

Sr. Maria with two potential Indian vocations

Lastly, Swarna is not alone in her desire to pursue a religious vocation, and there again, for years we had to say no to many a girl in the past, not any more. With Swarna, we have some five candidates, as now: Swarupa, coming from Kerala, two girls from Tuticorin and one from Palayamkottai. We had to turn down vocations in the past, even if one Oblate in Salvan, Switzerland, and two nuns of the Oasis, Spain made it, with some other elsewhere I think. This summer Fr. Emmanuel du Chalard SSPX, arrived with three members of the Congregation of the Consolers of the Sacred Heart (whose Superior he is), an Italian entity, in order to start a local foundation. It’s good for the mission to get a feminine presence here. There is a lot to do, and the number of girls who want to join will allow it seems, Swarna to leave India one year to make her novitiate and take the habit while the other girls run the orphanage. It helps a lot for our local implantation, and now the mass attendance on Sunday has passed the hundred.

So the coming of the orphans is really a turning point for the mission of India. God gives us the opportunity to stoop a little bit better on the misery of India, to extend hopefully the victory of Faith through that of Charity.

That’s all for the orphanage! Beside it, we are running constructions in Trichy and Ramanpudur. These had stalled in recent months for lack of funds, but both Fr. Summers and I tried to remedy the situation during our vacations, so the work has restarted. In Trichy, neighboring Hindus are objecting to us, but the local faithful answered that it was only a house and chapel for an old priest. As in Ramanpudur, we were consoled to see that they granted a big contribution for the building of a place, not yet what the Jesuit of old would request (the land and the walls), but approaching.

Even here, the priory was under some attacks by the BJP and the VHP, some Hindu parties that are, thanks be God, a small minority in Tamil Nadu (which is essentially dominated by regional ethnic and caste parties). Father Blute was mentioned explicitly in a rally of the BJP on the public square of Palayamkottai, and the VHP filed a complaint to the police against him, accusing him, hold your breath, of handing over CIA funds to some layman in order to force conversions. Father Blute is not here, and it was easy for that layman to refute the allegation (the police laughed at the matter), but it seems that we are attracting sometimes some local attention. Some Hindus don’t like to see us going about with our stylish uniform, and sometimes we are advised to keep some low profile, but we cannot avoid occupying some public place in order to work.

Father Jackson is leaving us for New Zealand because of poor health in India. The superiors did not insist, given the past history of the Society in India. If India doesn’t like you, it can demolish a man. Fr. Valan has replaced him, and being a Tamilian, his knowledge of the local tongue is invaluable. It took normally 15 years to Jesuits of old before they could start to preach in Tamil, and I have given up Tamil a long time ago myself, settling for Hindi instead.

In the North, there are no spectacular changes to report so far, some slow increase maybe in Bombay, and with one of the three centers still in a very fragile situation (Vasai) and the other again in a state of tribulation (Bandra), for we are again obliged to vacate Pioneer Hall and use a more expensive and inadequate place for the mass. This time the owner of the hall told us not to pray, for each time Our Lady had pity upon us, and we returned to Pioneer hall. What the owner is trying now is to rent this place for a restaurant, but I don’t see how it shall last, for it is difficult to break even in Bandra, which is an expensive place of Bombay. Madras has now a regular turnout of eighty. Priests from Singapore, who take care of Sri Lanka, now visit Madras one Sunday of the month. Goa and Bangalore are now too small to be able to decrease. People are calling us from Pondicherry and Mangalore somewhat, but we are not following suit for the moment.

A whole delegation from some Tamil village called RN Kandikhai called us, begging for the Mass. Instantly, all the remembrance of Ramanpudur and Karumgulam came to our mind that is the big fireworks that fizzle out quite fast once the Bishop makes the full weight of his power felt. But for a village that far from the priory, it was impossible to commit ourselves heavily, so we visited them twice. The first attempt was a complete failure, nobody showed up. But they kept on asking, so we showed up again, with Fr. Couture this time. 200 people made it to the mass, that’s not big, but that’s not negligible either. The bishop had been denying them the mass in their church for eight years for some reasons of caste, language (the villagers are Telegus who don’t like a mass said in Tamil which is not their language - Long live Latin!), and for some other reasons in which the guilt of the bishop is not fully evident.

The villagers don’t know anything about the crisis in the Church, or, maybe, we could say that they know about it only through the angle of the lack of Charity and the corruption of the Novus Ordo clergy, but those two things have existed almost since there was a clergy. So we told them that if they really wanted us, they should remove the “table”, replace the altar stone in its proper position and construct a communion rail. If they were to do that, we would come again and study their case.

I got impressed by one thing over there: the village school. The diocese brakes even for a school of 400 with only one lakh per year (i.e. 100,000 rupees or $2,200), an amount comparable to what parents pay for one child in the West. It is true the service is minimal, and the government subsidizes to the level of 40% and the villagers pay a little bit, but that is quite a feat.

Three months later, Pothiraj signaled us that the villagers struck a deal with the Bishop, so the whole affair is wrapped up. We certainly have a talent to make the Bishops more caring and loving to their sheep: two short visits had the effect of a nuclear threat on their spirit! We feel like the Robin Hoods of the XXIst century!

Swarna with Indian women

From left to right: Swarna Vongala, the foundress of the Orphanage,
with Rosalyn, Rosilda and Swarupa

There is also something that I cannot be silent about; it is the departure of three out of four Bombay seminarians from our Seminary of Australia, and their return back to full scale novus ordo. For some reasons we still ignore, they decided to reject their previous knowledge of the crisis and prepared to quit the Society several months in advance, entering into contact with Cardinal Dias of Bombay, the one that they were describing as the devil
incarnate in their reports on inculturation that were published three years ago.

As Father Peter Scott said in the newsletter of the Seminary, they sacrilegiously renewed their engagement in the Society before the Blessed Sacrament exposed and received Holy Orders (no further than acolytes) while they had every intention not to stay in the Society.

But we are not interested in the details of this (it is far from the first time we get knives planted in our backs). What caught our attention was the interest and the open remarks made by Cardinal Hojos in this whole affair. As an answer to the letter of Cardinal Dias congratulating himself, Cardinal Hojos thanked him for the return of the three seminarians “to the fullness of Catholic Faith and life in India” (sic), and on the fact that they were welcomed again in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Father Scott noticed immediately that these statements contradict totally the declarations the same cardinal made last November, saying that the Society is not schismatic and that the traditional Catholics are in the Church “because communion exists”. Both cardinals take for real money the allegations of the three seminarians who insinuate that we are sedevacantists. In comparison with Cardinal Hojos, Cardinal Dias nails it further saying that the seminarians were “systematically indoctrinated… and that it was taught to them that the see of Peter is vacant.”

This is a very interesting piece of information that clearly shows that we are not yet dealing with honest and well intentioned people in Rome. The Rome of today more or less follows the local bishops and changes completely its tune according to the realpolitik: if we are in a state of strength, like in France, we get the sweet sounds, and if, like in India, we are in a state of weakness, they really try to crush us.

I dare to hope that next time our superiors meet these same cardinals they ask some explanations about these contradictions of speech. And, lastly, it is interesting to consider how much these cardinals take interest to the Society’s least events, given the fact that from a human viewpoint we are really insignificant, especially in India.

“It is, says Bishop Williamson, because we are the only shop to sell 2+2=4 when everywhere else shops sell 2+2=3, or some 2+2=1000, or bits of 2+2=0, bags of 2+2=1, fine amounts of 2+2=3,9 and 2+2=4,1 at a discount. If the seller of 2+2=4 takes a hold on the market, he will certainly put all the others out of business.”

The job of Cardinal Hojos is not finished yet, because one of the four seminarians is still going to be ordained for the Society in two years time: “I do not see why I should change my position of four years ago. The Society is still right”.

The Society might send three Indian seminarians in Australia next march, and we have a few more “schismatics”, “lefebvrians” in Bombay. 130 people came to attend Bishop Williamson’s Mass in Bandra. The day after, I had to split hosts for the Sunday Mass from the sixty hosts that were in the ciborium, and there was in the evening 90 communions at the Bishop’s Sunday Mass in Madras. The little fish is getting slightly bigger, but Bombay is still struggling a lot as we are again out of the convenient hall that we use normally. The uncertainty about the Mass venue causes disorganization and disruption in the weaker segment of the flock.

Italian Consoling Sisters adopting the Indian Orphans

The Italian Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart adopting the Indian Orphans

Anyway, the visit of a Bishop is always like a shot of mixed adrenaline and glucose for a mission, we shall see how things work in the future. When he arrived in Bombay to give 40 Confirmations, the Bishop was already exhausted by a long set of flights across the earth, and we only realized on Sunday evening how seriously he was exhausted. We had to cancel his flight to Tuticorin and reschedule the ceremony in Palayamkottai to give him 24 hours of complete rest, for he got the complete Indian welcoming cocktail of dysentery (he ate nothing for two and a half days), insomnia, mosquitoes
and as a cherry on the cake, the idiocy of the security at the Indian airports in the wake of the London alleged terror threat. No, I forgot: the cherry on the cake is the power cut he had during the canon of his mass after sunset in Palayamkottai.

There he gave 37 Confirmations, mostly for the orphans, before departing to Manila the day after. As he was bedridden, I tried to be a good nurse, and he told me: “Thank you for your TLC – What is TLC, my Lord? – Tender Loving Care…”

Just like Bishop Tissier last December, the patience of our bishops is quite impressive, always finding time to speak to people, to spend time for the boring photo ops, to wait and keep smiling in the heat.

In his sermons, the Bishop asked the faithful to avoid the evil influence of the corrupted West and to give to the Church Catholic families with the amount of children God wants them to have, without all the electronic gadgets that bring insanity and disruption, and with a clear definition of the respective role of the father, mother and children.

Just like in every other place, it seems that big modern cities are crushers of families. It will be interesting in the years to come to observe how these families will survive, because, so far, the Society can only provide a tiny survival monthly ration amounting to a mass and the visit or a priest here and there. No schools, no retreat houses, no pilgrimages, no news papers worthy of the name, no bookstores, youth groups or adult groups, just the bare necessity to survive.

In Iesu et Maria, François Chazal+


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