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"Great Religions" Update

Vatican Council Promotes Catholic Clergy "Meditating" in Buddhist Temples

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Yet another disturbing sign that it will be business as usual in the new pontificate is the annual "Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh 2005," issued by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, as head of the Pontifical Council For Interreligious Dialogue. To read this message, subtitled "Buddhists and Christians in Solidarity," is to understand why the Church since Vatican II has suffered what has been called "the suicide of the missions" and the "demissionization of the Church."

The Message declares: "This year the Catholic Church celebrates the Fortieth Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the relationship of the Church to other religions, Nostra Aetate. This document can in some ways be considered as the ‘Magna Carta’ which guides Catholics in their relations with people of other traditions. Mentioning Buddhism and many other religions, it states that ‘the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions’ Accordingly, Buddhists and Catholics are able to meet together, in a spirit of openness, sincerity and mutual respect, engaging in many different forms of dialogue."

According to this "Magna Carta," Buddhists and other non-Christians are no longer regarded as idolaters in need of the light of Christ for salvation, but rather as "dialogue partners" who are no longer subject to "proselytization." Completely forgotten is the perennial missionary attitude of the Church, enjoined upon Her by Christ Himself and expressed by Pope Pius XI only a few years before Vatican II, in his Act of Consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart: "Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God."

But, dear readers, it is worse than this. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is now positively promoting the intermingling of Catholic clergy and religious with Buddhist "monks" and "nuns" in Buddhist monasteries. As the Message declares: "In countries where Buddhists and Christians live and work side by side, the resulting ‘dialogue of life’ allows them, while witnessing to their own beliefs, to deepen their understanding of one another, to foster goodwill and to promote a spirit of neighbourliness. In fact, a particular bond has developed between many Buddhist and Catholic monks and nuns. They have welcomed one another into their respective monasteries and convents joining together in silence, meditation and reflection…."

What is this but a recipe for total religious indifferentism? Catholic clergy have been reduced to merely "witnessing to their beliefs," as opposed to the content of divine Revelation that is binding on all men and proposed infallibly by the Catholic Church, of which Our Lord said: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved. He who believes not shall be condemned." But even worse than this promotion of indifferentism is the Pontifical Council’s condonation of a habitual Catholic presence in Buddhist monasteries for "meditation and reflection" before the idol of Buddha which is invariably found there. This is an open invitation to apostasy  —  the very apostasy undergone by Thomas Merton, the renowned Trappist monk who was seduced by Eastern "spirituality" and died an accidental death while attending an "ecumenical council" of Catholic and Buddhist monks in Thailand.

The "diabolical disorientation" of the Church remarked by Sister Lucy continues. Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us.