In memory of Fr. Balasuriya
Posted on January 19th, 2013

Mahinda Weerasinghe

The following essay appeared on both “Sunday Times” and “Sunday Leader” on 26th January 1997, upon the great controversy and excommunication of the good father.

“I’ll go to hell with Fr. Balasuriya”

You’re Holiness,

It is with horror I read your ex-communication order of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya due to his views as stated in his book “Mary and Human Liberation”. His crime in fact, is no crime at all. He has simply depicted Virgin Mary the mother of Christ, as a role model for modern day mothers to follow in this harsh and crisis ridden world of ours.

Your Holiness insists that the good Fr. sign a “Profession of faith,” thus rescinding his compassionate view, or be damned for eternity. My heart bleeds for the poor father’s soul, which may be lost forever. Where is this magnanimous love which you declare you have for the born and the unborn?

Fr. Balasuriya is in fact, in eminent company with this ex-communication order. Galileo Galilei was censured for declaring that the earth was going round the sun and not immobile as the Church’s dogma maintained. His old friend Pope Urban VIII gave orders in 1633 for him to be tortured if he did not conform and declare that the earth is at the centre, of the universe. Indeed Galileo was lucky to escape a more ignoble fate at the hands of the Holy Inquisition because; he was acquainted with the Pope. Gidino Bruno was not that lucky. For his opinion that there may be other worlds and suns in the universe and that we are not at its centre, he paid the ultimate price. He was simply roasted alive.

I know Your Holiness that you are the Vicar of Christ, and that all Popes are infallible. But then on the other hand, you are a much travelled person, and if you were to take a plane and travel in one direction you return from the other. Hence the world must be round. I hate to agree with Galileo and get ex-communicated, but everyone is assuring me that the world is round, and it is going round the sun.

Holy Father, if the Holy inquisition is in operation, we could have tortured or even burned him if he does not come round to acknowledge the self evidenced truths of the church. Unfortunately such powers have been dismantled from you. Even a Holy Crusade is ruled out now by this faithless world.

And consider Your Holiness if you remember your history that in the year 1409 there was not one Pope but three. Pope Gregory XII of Rome, Pope Benedict XIII of Avignon and Pope Alexander V. The Wags at that time were going round declaring mockingly that “We believe in three Holy Catholic Churches”. Worse, these Popes were going round ex-communicating each other. Did that help? Alas no! So do you believe that people will take seriously your present ex-communication order?

At this stage I must most respectfully inquire why the silence all those Nazi years, when Adolf Hitler was butchering the Jews by train loads. Hitler would have confessed I am sure, and was given absolution for all his crimes. Yet you must admit your Holiness, Fr. Balasuriya is a saint by comparison, and if there was this acute need for an ex-communication wouldn’t Catholic Hitler have suited eminently? But we understand Holiness, Fr. Balasuriya is a simple third world priest and not a slaughterer of millions.

At this stage I must come right out and confess that I am a believer of the Buddha’s Philosophy. This does not mean we belong to some sort of club, for Buddha only gave an explanation of a process.

Yet I must confess I have a problem of reconciling with your dogma however hard I try. Under the circumstances you have a good case to damn me and send my soul to burn in hell. After all poor Fr. Balasuriya would be quite lonely burning for eternity in hell that I am willing to keep the Fr. Company.

But I do have a better proposition for the good Fr. to escape from his mental anguish. Let him tread the noble path of the Buddha where tolerance is extended to both man and beast.

Mahinda Weerasinghe

Colombo

3 Responses to “In memory of Fr. Balasuriya”

  1. Leela Says:

    Portuguese stole the ivory crown of our king. They knocked down the beautiful ‘Kelaniya Temple’ that stood for more than millennia. In the name of the God, Catholic missionaries who came with them have encouraged many a gruesome act.

    Just like their brethren, who administered killings named heresy, Franciscans missionary maniacs also believed that those who die as Catholics would go to heaven and all others to eternal hell. To them, even killings are acceptable so long as souls can be sent to be with the God. So, they tortured and killed those that refused to forsake Buddhism. They expected those that killed to plead the God at least at their last minute. St. Francis Xavier and likeminded fanatics were mad searching of souls to be saved that were going into hell.

    Msgr. W. L. A. Don Peter rationalized the Franciscan effort to send Buddhists to heaven through Christian God by justifying the fanatics’ ‘uncompromising’ behaviour in a unique way; he blamed not the fanatics but their interpretation of the Bible. In one of his write up, Father Peter insisted that we should understand the logic behind the proceedings by Francis Xavier and likeminded fanatics. In order to justify all but mad actions by the fanatical clique, Msgr. Peter’s logic was to blame the interpretation of the Bible. It all happened, Fr, Peter says; because they were convinced of the uniqueness of Christianity as the only revealed and true religion.

    Is it not postulations against such belief that Vatican had excommunicated Father Tissa Balasuriya?
    Leela

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    I don’t FULLY agree with Leela but the last sentence is certainly true.

    Once again I disagree with anyone who says their religion is THE ONE AND ONLY as in “It all happened, Fr, Peter says; because they were convinced of the uniqueness of Christianity as the only revealed and true religion.” Fr. Peter is obviously wrong.

    How about the present LEGAL situation in SL? Buddhists have been DISCRIMINATED!!!

    justice minister – a Islamic fundamentalist
    CJ – a Christian
    appeal court president – a Tamil Hindu

    The 3 MOST POWERFUL legal institutions run by non-Buddhists.

    ALL these appointments were made by MR. We have to QUESTION these racist moves NO MATTER who does it.

  3. Leela Says:

    Lorenzo,
    I wanted to know the truth behind Vatican excommunication of Father Tissa Balasuriya for he has done a great deal to reconcile past mishaps and bring about religious harmony in Sri Lanka just like Father Marceline Jayakody.

    Just because I criticize evil acts of Franciscan monks of yester year that doesn’t mean we should reject national minded monks in the Catholic establishment today.
    Leela

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