Returning to the Church’s Old Ways?
Posted on November 20th, 2010

Susantha Goonatilake

 Malcolm Ranjith, the faithful disciple of the Pope and his new Cardinal has made two wrong submissions to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). One was falsely blaming the adoption of Sinhala as the medium of Government and second, asserting that there are exclusively “Tamil Only” Northern and Eastern Provinces to which the Sinhalese should be barred. Both of these are mischievous LTTE positions.

 “Sinhala only” with the “Reasonable Use of Tamil” soon following, was adopted so that locals who did not know English (only around 2% could) might do their work. Such use of local languages following decolonisation was also adopted by the Catholics in the Second Vatican Council. Consequently Catholic mass is held in Sri Lanka today in both Sinhala and Tamil. As for the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the so-called Tamil Homelands fiction has been thrown out by historians with only the LTTE and the Catholic Church supporting it.

 Catholic connections with the separatists’ project are well recorded. The founder of the International Tamil Studies Conference which became the intellectual face of the LTTE was Father Thani Nayagam. Catholic priests in LTTE Pongu celebrations drew the boundaries of Tamil Eelam. And Father Emmanuel, the former Vicar General of Jaffna, who justified LTTE suicide bombings in the Independent newspaper, is now contesting for the post of LTTE chief. And a 1999 report in ZENIT the propaganda organ of the Vatican finds Ranjith himself giving the LTTE version of the war. Christians are truly turning the other cheek on Sri Lanka.

 But Malcolm Ranjith had been very selective before. When the West, including enlightened Catholics, condemned the Pope’s silence on mass sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church, he expressed “solidarity and support” for the Pope. Instead of being ashamed, Malcolm called the Western criticism “an organised and malicious attack by international media”. He wrote to the Pontiff to express “communion with the Pope and the Church” and called for Sri Lanka Catholics to pray, not for the abused children, but “to pray for Pope Benedict XVI and his intentions”. Ranjith also objected to our school text books that described past Catholic actions against the country. But such past Catholic atrocities are easily accessible from church records themselves.

 Total Destruction

 In the 16th and 17th centuries, most of the Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka were destroyed by the Portuguese and their lands confiscated by the Catholic Church. People were forcibly converted on fear of death – probably the forefathers of Malcolm Ranjith were thus converted. These were not random barbarous acts but were powers explicitly given by the Pope to the Portuguese in the Pope’s own words in his Papal Bull (instructions) these powers were “general and indefinite powers to search out and conquer all pagans [meaning us]”¦ “¦ to invade and conquer their kingdoms,”¦To reduce to slavery their inhabitants”. And to reduce us to slavery they did try. This was the Bull Dum Diversas (a Bull was a formal instruction by the Pope). There were other equally pernicious and barbaric Bulls.

 Is there a role for Malcolm Ranjith? Yes, there is indeed and I can suggest three. The previous Pope apologised on more than 100 occasions for the crimes committed around the world by the Catholic Church especially in the atrocities committed by Spain and Portugal on countries like us. Even that Pope did not apologise to us. Ranjith can now use his good offices as a new Cardinal and demand the present Pope to apologise for what was done in Sri Lanka. He can also ask the Pope to remove from Catholic dogma to which Ranjith is also still bound, the particular Papal Bull that I quoted above. I only hope that the mischievous statements he made at the LLRC were not through obeying such Papal Bulls.

 There is further action that he could take, especially relating to Spain and Portugal from where Catholicism came to Sri Lanka. The present Pope recently visited Portugal and is currently visiting Spain. The number of Spaniards considering themselves Catholics has fallen rapidly from the earlier 100% to only 70%; and in Portugal, only 20% go to church. The governments in both countries have defied the church and allowed abortion, divorce and gay rights. In these countries the traditional homelands of the Catholics are crumbling. Ranjith is urgently required there. He should now lecture to these misguided Spanish and Portuguese to go back to their true Catholic ways. Spain unbelievably, has already built the largest stupa in the West. Should they burn the site as Cardinal Ranjith’s forefathers did in our country? He should advise.

2 Responses to “Returning to the Church’s Old Ways?”

  1. gunarat Says:

    Goonatilake has done the right thing by responding to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s pro-LTTE stances.

    But advising Ranjith on what to do to redeem himself is a waste of time.

    Perhaps the pope should send Ranjith to Portugal on a mission to eliminate the evil of prostitution in Lisbon and Porto.

  2. Siri Says:

    Your article is very good Mr. Susantha Goonatilake. I observe that you preferred to call this man by his name “Ranjith” instead of his title. I do not blame you as this traitor to our motherland is a disgrace to the Catholic Community in Sri Lanka and does not deserve any respect. I belong to the same class of Catholics whose ancestors were converted by the Portugese. However my loyalities are to my motherland like that of most Sinhalese Catholics. Please be careful about not blaming all Catholics for the fault of one. I agree that we should send this fellow to Spain or Potugal where he can better serve his Pope by propagating his BULL s…..t . We do not need him in our motherland to disgrace us anymore.

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