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District Superior's
Letter to Friends & Benefactors

August 2001

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

Some of you may have heard of recent "news" published on the Internet, pretending once more that Bishop Fellay is expecting a imminent end to the negotiations with Rome, or even that a "deal" has been cut. There is no truth to this, and it is a typical illustration of how misleading a "news" publication can be, especially when it is instantaneously spread and is unverifiable, as are internet communications. Nothing has changed since last month’s report, and you will find in the August issue of The Angelus the text of Bishop Fellay’s recent letter to Cardinal Castrillon, and a recent interview, explaining how any continuing conversations must be on the doctrinal questions, and most especially on our right to contest the Catholicity of the whole orientation of the Conciliar Church, as well as the doctrinal orthodoxy of the New Mass. You can be sure that any other information is false.

However, it is a good illustration of the deception that modern means of communication, and especially the Internet and television, have made all the more easy to bring about. Since I cannot deny the fact that many (alas, probably the majority) of our families have a television, and that nowadays many feel it necessary to have Internet access in their homes, I feel it my duty to issue a warning.

You will probably think immediately that such inventions are good in themselves, for "though these advances are the result of human talent and toil, they are still gifts of God, our Creator, from Whom all good works proceed" as Pope Pius XII said in his September 8, 1957 encyclical on Motion Pictures, radio and television (§2), and that consequently "the Church welcomes these technological advances as soon as they come into use" (Ib. §3).

The problem is that they are necessarily means of communication and that it is of their nature to communicate the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, all ordered towards the highest and most necessary truth, "the good tidings of the unfathomable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:9). A means of communication that would fall short of this goal, that would not communicate the truth, and ultimately fail to lead towards Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6) through the Catholic Church, would be perverted from its goal, would lack the good that is its due, and would be evil.

Pope Pius XII, in the same encyclical Miranda Prorsus gives us the key to resolving our questions concerning television and internet use. "Since God is the Supreme Good, He continually bestows His gifts upon men, the object of His special love and care. Some of these gifts look to the spirit; others to the conduct of earthly life. These latter gifts are clearly subject to the former, in much the same way that the body should be subject to the soul…" (§22). The consequence is that the "primary aim" of such electronic communication must be "to serve truth and virtue" (§44): "to serve truth means more than simply to refrain entirely from falsehood, lies and deceit; it means shunning everything that can encourage a way of life and action that is false, imperfect, or harmful to others" (§45). The Pope continues: "But it is not enough that these new inventions serve truth: they must also perfect human life and morals." (§47)

I think you can see where I am heading. The question to be asked is not whether the invention of television is evil in itself, but whether its present day use falls short of its rightful goal. Who can deny that it does, in fact, promote an entirely distorted view of truth and life, one subservient to materialism, impulse pleasure and this earthly life, without even mentioning the political and economic lies and the public immorality of which it is the vehicle? This is how Pope Pius XII put it: "Should we not shudder when we reflect attentively that through television shows all can inhale, even within the home, the poisoned air of those ‘materialistic’ doctrines which diffuse empty pleasures and desires of all kinds…" (§64).

If the great Pope of 45 years ago advocated the limited and upright use of these means with "prudence, self-control and sense of responsibility", the application of his very same principles, demonstrates that this is no longer effectively possible. For the spirit of secular society’s turning against God, and the rebellion against the truth of the moral law, is now so far advanced, and the Church has so little influence in society, that the little good that can be gained is far outweighed by the impossibility of this means of attaining its true end. Who can deny that in practice television has become the devil’s instrument in "the iniquitous campaign that the impious lead everywhere to harm the shining souls of children. Not even the age of innocence has been spared, for, alas, there are not lacking those who boldly dare to snatch from the mystical garden of the Church even the most beautiful flowers, which constitute the hope of religion and society." (Pius XII Ingruentium malorum §5).

If you value your family and your children, and if you have not already done so, eliminate the television. If it remains in your home it will rule, especially by the vain curiosity that it promotes, the fascination with images that prevents all serious thought and reflection, the unreality of its images that dulls the senses and the mind and causes us to be bored with the real world that God made, its concentration on quantity at the expensive of quality, beauty, goodness and being, its destruction of all creativity, and a schizophrenic separation of daily life from our Faith. It is not without good reason that Archbishop Lefebvre forbade the television in our priories, and also for all our Third Order members. It is because its use is incompatible with the interior life, with the recollection of a life of prayer, and, these days, quite simply with the love of the truth.

The same principles need to be applied to the Internet. It is true that it has become a more necessary means of communication, especially in the realm of scientific endeavor, in which quantity is important. But used for entertainment, it has also entered the home, and become even more dangerous than the television. The immorality that is spread on the Internet is legion. However, the communication of error is even worse, for it is based upon complete freedom to communicate equally, without any control, the most perverse and false ideas. The end result is skepticism, indifferentism, the refusal to believe in the capacity of the human mind to know the Truth. Its interactive nature has made it all the more compulsive and addictive. As useful as it can be professionally and in seeking for information, so dangerous can it be when it enters into family life.

Sometimes, we are asked why there are so few vocations in our traditional families. There are many reasons, but one of the most important is without a doubt the use of television and internet by children. Their innocence is sullied by the contact with the world and its materialism, and this not just on a moral level, but also because the secularism of the absence of God in such means of communication destroys the purity of intention of serving God only, and produces an artificial division in life, which is incompatible with priestly and religious vocations.

The Church will reap what parents sow. If you sow compromise with the world, you will reap the rebellion, division, and disrespect of the world. If you radically refuse this spirit, by raising your children in the harmony and peace of the truth, and this consistently and at all times, without the contradiction of the television and internet poisoning your homes, then the Church will reap many vocations, for teenagers will no longer be infatuated, lured, and paralyzed by the false maxims of the world, and will love wisdom, that centers our minds, hearts and wills in God alone.

Living in the world is certainly difficult. But do not make it more difficult than it already is, by allowing the screen to bring the world into your home. Let the enthroned image of the Sacred Heart, accompanied by the Immaculate Heart of your heavenly Queen rule your homes, and not the images of the world, and you will experience the peace that is a preparation for eternity.

Yours faithfully in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,

Fr. Peter R. Scott

 
 

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