A Column of Catholic Orientation
Card. Schönborn Invites the Dalai Lama
to Pentecost Mass
Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
On Pentecost Sunday 2012, the Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph von Schönborn told the faithful that “His Holiness the Dalai Lama” was an honored guest at the Mass being said in St. Stephen’s Cathedral. In fact, the Dalai Lama, dressed in his saffron robes, was seated ostensibly in the choir of the presbytery for the whole audience to see. “A person who is deeply rooted in his own faith can show deep respect for the faith of others,” said Schönborn, praising the pagan leader for his “attendance.” (1)|
When I told my friend Jan about this latest outrage made by the Pope’s favorite disciple in Vienna, she was a bit puzzled. “Can you explain why this is so wrong?” She asked:
Above, the Cardinal escorts the Lama and, below, gives him a place of honor in the choir presbytery
“Isn’t it good that he showed openness to a Catholic Mass?”
This is not a difficult question to answer. Indeed, it is an outrage to praise the Dalai Lama as one “deeply rooted in his faith” because, first, Buddhism is not a true faith, but a false one whose gods are devils. Second, one of those “gods” is supposedly incarnate in the Dalai Lama himself, as Buddhists believe each Lama is a reincarnation not only of previous “spiritual leaders” but also of the Tibetan deity of compassion, Chenrezig. Thus, to install the Dalai Lama in the presbytery of a Catholic Church is to favor idolatry.
Therefore, by inviting this Devil’s representative to assist at Mass and then by publicly praising his “faith” before a Catholic audience, Card. Schönborn committed a public sin against the First Commandment - Thou shall have no other gods before Me - and a profanation of the Church.
What is more, he addresses this man as “His Holiness,” a title previously reserved by the Catholic Church for the Roman Pontiff. Today, however, it is not only the secular media that is using this title for the Dalai Lama, but also Catholic Prelates. I am reminded of the truly disgusting greeting of Cardinal Wuerl of Washington to the Dalai Lama last July when he could not repeat the title “His Holiness” enough in his almost giddy eagerness to show respect.
After the Mass in Vienna, the Dalai Lama explained his visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the press not as an act of piety or “openness” to the Catholic Faith – he is perfectly content with his own pagan sect – but rather as part of his commitment to work promoting religious harmony. Toward this end, he visits places of worship of any and all “faiths” whenever he can, he told them. Thus, the Catholic Religion was reduced to nothing more than one of these many so-called religions, each as good as the other.
Ignoring doctrinal differences
After the Mass, the Cardinal of Vienna and the Dalai Lama sat down amiably not to discuss doctrine, but to seek common points. They discussed various aspects of “monastic life” that the Dominicans (Schonborn’s Order) and Buddhists have in common, silence and a life of meditation. Then they commented on their shared concern for the “lost generation in Europe” and the meanings of faith that could offer these youth a solution. (2)
From the news reports on their conversation, it seems that overcoming doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Buddhism is of little concern to the Cardinal; what matters is fostering harmony and peace by concentrating on practical points of agreement and cooperation.
The common ground tactic
Because the purpose of my talks with Jan is to explain the crisis in the Church, I would like to shed more light on this “common ground” tactic, promoted not just by progressivist theologians but by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. In this maneuver, the progressivists underemphasize or even hide the points that separate the Catholic from the heretic, Jew or pagan while overestimating the points that unite them.
The best explanation of this tactic I have read is in Volume IV of Atila Guimarães’ Collection on Vatican II, titled Animus Delendi II (Desire to Destroy II). He explains the various stages of ecumenism that lead to a Pan-religion. First there is a thawing in the militant position of the Church toward the false sects, followed by dialogue. Then comes “communion,” which seeks an accord that will promote actions in common with the followers of other creeds.
Dialogue after Mass on common points
How is this accord reached? Because the doctrinal differences tend to divide and lead to polemics, the progressivists conveniently set them aside “and try to establish a practical ecumenism, an ‘existential’ or ‘happy-to-be-together’ ecumenism.” To this end, they choose to emphasize common points – social, environmental or even religious, as we saw above, so long as they are not polemical.
”Around these points,” affirms Guimaraes, “they encourage joint efforts that permit them to work together and to pray in common in order to achieve communion.” Thus, he concludes, communion strives to accelerate the union of religions independent of doctrinal questions. (3)
I hope this explanation will help my friend Jan to see how the word “communion” – used so nebulously in progressivist jargon – and the “practical agreement” work together to set aside the doctrinal points that separate Catholics from the followers of false religions.
A tactic condemned by St. Pius X
Pope Pius X severely condemned this “common ground” tactic in his Encyclical Notre Charge Apostolique.
This “respect for error” and “strange invitation” made by Catholics for Protestants, schismatics and pagans to strengthen their conviction through dialogue result in confusion, in a loss of the faith, especially among the young, he stated.
Pius X's warning was ignored as Catholics joined the false religions at the 3rd Congress of World Religions
Further, the end result of “this promiscuity” is a religion “more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men, who finally become brothers and comrades in the ‘kingdom of God.'” (4)
By employing this tactic, St. Pius X warned, the Catholic Church would become “no more than a miserable tributary of the great movement of apostasy being organized in all countries for the establishment of a One World Church, which will have neither dogmas nor hierarchy.”
What would be the reaction of Pope St. Pius X today seeing this same method of religious promiscuity being applied by Cardinal Schönborn in the Cathedral of St. Stephen?
And so, my dear Jan, this is my answer explaining how wrong it is to invite the Dalai Lama to be a guest of honor at the Pentecost Mass at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
1. “His Holiness Meets Cardinal Schonborn and Makes a Pilgrimage to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, May 27, 2012, http://tibet.net/2012/05/28/his-holiness-meets-cardinal-schonborn-and-makes-a-pilgrimage-to-st-stephens-cathedral/
3.Animus Delendi II, Part II, Chap. 5, pp. 302-303
4. See Atila Guimaraes, Animus Injuriandi II, Chap I, pp. 38-40 for a full citation from St. Pius X encyclical.
Posted June 1, 2012
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