October 4, 1996
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
When the British Empire spanned the globe, the British Navy had a recruiting slogan, "Join the Navy, and see the world." For several years now the Society of St. Plus X has spanned the globe, and this summer I made, at the request of Headquarters, my third trip around the world, to visit Asia and England.
Of course such traveling has been made immensely easier by the enormous (and usually safe) aeroplanes which were unheard of in the hey-day of the British Navy. (How the world is changing) And, unless the machines are destroyed, that change is necessarily in the direction of world unification, which if it does not gather with Christ, is bound to scatter with the Anti-Christ (Lk XI, 23). Scattered, or dispersed, is exactly the word now to describe the souls following Christ (tech. XIII, 7; Mt. XXVI, 31).
Through Asia, relatively few souls as yet have found their way to the old Mass celebrated by priests of the Society in seven different countries. For instance in South Korea and Japan, both countries with order and discipline sufficient to put in the field a mighty modern army, only a hundred or so Catholics profit by the monthly visit of the devout young Society priest, Fr. Onoda, himself from Japan. It is mysterious how God can allow so many souls for so long to live without the Light of the World (Jn VIII, 12). One can only say, men have free-will. For instance, Japan had a famous harvest of Catholic martyrs in Nagasaki, just 400 years ago next year, and Korea had a similar harvest, less famous but more numerous, about 140 years ago. But now of course by the principles of ecumenism, Rome is encouraging Japanese and Koreans to rejoice in their Shintoist and Buddhist cultures respectively. Dare one say it? The heart of Asia's problem lies in Europe. It may be "politically incorrect" to say such a thing, but that has nothing to do with whether it is true. "Politically correct" -- "Politically incorrect" -- stuff and nonsense!
The numbers are more encouraging in the Philippines where several hundred Catholics now attend Mass in our two main centres, in Manila and Iloilo City. But then the Philippines are a Catholic country because it was colonized by Spaniards back in the sixteenth century, as the warlike Koreans and Japanese never were. Then is it so good to be warlike? Is it so bad to be colonized?
Answer: if Heaven exists, then the only true measure of war or of colonization of whatever, is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Conversely, if Heaven does not exist then Our Lord does not matter, and if Our Lord does not matter then only standards of this world apply, and you have an intellectual, moral and spiritual free-for-all. Either Our Lord, or chaos - He leaves us our free-will to choose.
My next stop was Singapore, where a Society priest visits three times a month some 60 souls grouped around a faithful Indonesian family. It cannot be easy to keep the Faith in this unique modern city-state. The population is predominantly Chinese, but following their English-educated leader of many years, Lee Kwan Yew, they are such skilful practitioners of modern materialism that they are, according to some reports, an experimental site for the New World Order, which will try out there devices like kinds of plastic cards that are being planned for the entire world.
So in earthly terms, Singapore is well governed, but as for souls...? Mr. Yew would surely reply, "That is their own affair. We do our part by guaranteeing freedom of religion." And how else will he have in his prestigious English university learned to govern? But meanwhile his countrymen’s souls are: being sucked into the glamorous quicksands of materialism. Asia's problem lies where the materialism came from - Europe.
Similarly in Sri Lanka, my last stop in Asia, the large island-state off the southern tip of India, where just recently the Society of St. Pius X set up a house with two priests to sustain a valiant rearguard action, as Catholicism on the island gives way to a steadily more aggressive Buddhism, for instance on the part the government. But are the Buddhists the problem?
Our two colleagues meet with old missionary priests from Belgium or France who arrived in Ceylon, as it was then called, soon after the Second World War. Apparently, these poor men are completely discouraged. Because of the Buddhist government taking away the fruits of their labours? Not essentially. Rather because the ecumenism of Vatican II has, as Archbishop Lefebvre said it would, cut the heart out of Catholic missionaries' sacrifices and labours by pretending all religions have such value that it hardly seems any longer worth converting anybody to Catholicism! And since this ecumenism comes down from the Pope himself, either these poor men question the Pope or they break their hearts. Mostly they break their hearts. Such was the Catholicism (e.g. "Better in Hell with the Pope than in Heaven without him") they learned in Europe before the Council. The accusing finger points in the same direction.
But what a state Europe finds itself in today! The last stop on my world-tour was my own country, England, where for the first time in many years, I spent nearly two weeks. Most of those two weeks were given over to a seven-stop tour of Confirmations, which afforded me the pleasure of seeing how much in quantity and extension the work of the Society has been built up by our colleagues in England over these years.
But England, oh, England! There is a good priest here in the U.S.A. who regularly rebukes me for being anti-American. Dear Father, ask our District Superior in Britain if I ever blasted America while I was there on this last visit! (What would be the point?) On the other hand, ask him if I did not more than once suggest that Traditional Catholics in England are shadowed by that old English fault of maintaining the prestigious outer forms while neglecting the inner substance.
Dear Father, if this letter keeps attacking Americanism, it is partly because the soft heresy of Liberalism killing souls all over the world has, since Vatican II and its decree on Religious Liberty, been mutating along Americanist lines, partly because this letter is written in America mainly for Americans, the best of whom can understand and do profit by a home presentation of the world-wide error.
Of course there may be souls that pray without too much thinking. May the Lord God hear and bless their prayers, and may they think at least enough to keep on praying, because our world needs prayer more than it needs anything. But the future of Church and world surely belongs to those souls that pray and think as well, because who that does not think can understand what is coming, or imagine how to put it together again afterwards? So may the Lord God doubly bless souls that both pray and think.
There are such souls in the United States, for whom this letter is mainly written. Also in England, only I have no idea how many, as I am not stationed there. But this last visit makes me suspect, if it is any relief to you, Father, to hear it, that as often as over here I attack Americanism, so often if I were stationed over there I would be tempted to attack that deadly English pride which pretended at the Reformation to but the Lord God on an Anglican leash, proceeded to build an Anglican empire that established Liberalism all over the world, and now runs the same risk of putting on a leash, however charming and elegant, the Lord God of Catholic Tradition!
Heavens, dear friends! How we all of us need to be put on a diet of the Old Testament prophets! The Lord God is "a consuming fire", the chalice of His wrath is brimming over, nay, flooding over, and we wish to make sure that He does not exaggerate? We make the angels weep.
Dear friends, somebody once said the Lord God must love beetles, since He created so many varieties of them! Similarly He must love our doing our ordinary daily duty, since there is so much of it. Surely our going to Heaven will depend much more on our ordinary deeds faithfully done, than on any extraordinary deeds. Said Pius X, "Let everyone do his duty, and all will be well". Simple and obvious words? When all is said and done, also profound words.
Let us quietly pray, steadily pray, amongst other intentions for the United States, or England, or whichever is our country, especially for Mother Church, and let us do our daily duty, and that is enough, and it is immense. For the rest, God only requires of us to put our trust in Him.
Enclosed is a flyer on the Spiritual Exercises which are a great help for souls distracted by modern living. Sign up, wherever. And pray through October especially the Holy Rosary.
Most sincerely yours in Christ,