My Reply to Cassandra' Comment
Mudali’s comments made me write about the Catholic Church, despite the fact that the article commented on was on Rahul Gandhi’s statement.
What was written about Catholism and the Catholic Church and its political interests do not come either from my absurd and skewed view, nor is the statement that the Catholicism is faith based.
There is evidence for it being a faith based religion in the Bible itself , the book of Job for instance. And again the words ascribed to Jesus Christ , “ blessed are those who have not seen yet believed”.
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev says about faith
“Unless I see I will not believe”. This is how people who demand from us logical, tangible proof of the Christian faith often answer us, the faithful. But there are not and cannot be such proof, for the Christian faith is beyond the grasp of rational thought, being super-rational. Nothing in the Christian faith, be it the existence of God, the resurrection of Christ or other truths, can be proven logically: one can only accept them or reject them on the basis of faith”
Catholic Action is not unknown to Sri Lankans and it was not the ordinary Catholics who were responsible, but the Church.
About remuneration to the Christian priests, I have this extract: “The salary of a Roman Catholic priest depends upon many factors. In the United States, the first major factor is whether the priest is a diocesan (secular) priest or a professed (order) priest. Diocesan priests who live "in the world" and generally are responsible for taking care of parish churches receive a salary from their parish to keep for personal use (savings, retirement, automobile, vacations, charity, etc.). The diocese will set this salary and usually there will be a multiplier or other incentives for years served, the size of the parish, the oversight of a Catholic school, or other factors. In the U.S., priests pay taxes on this salary as everyone else does. (Actually, priests pay more than their share as they have to pay both halves of social security... strangely enough, they are 'employees' with respect to federal and state taxes, but 'self employed' with respect to social security.) “
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_salary_of_a_Catholic_priest#ixzz1AgNu3VgZ
In Sri Lanka I think the majority of the Catholics are Tamils or Sinhalese, and they belonged to Hinduism and Buddhism. There was no animism as far as I know in Sri Lanka when Christianity was introduced to Sri Lanka, I have no evidence of Muslims converted to Catholicism. I have family members who are Catholics, their ancestors were Buddhists.
At the time the Missionaries were converting the people to their faith, those simple people may have found the converters kind and pleasing more than the religion about which thy were only informed by the converting priests or nuns. They may have liked the biblical stories, which were selected and read out to them, as the Bible has stories to satisfy every taste.
Jonathan Kirsch says in his book, “ The Harlot by the side of the Road- Forbidden Tales of the Bible” “…The stories you are about to read are some of the most violent and sexually explicit in all of Western literature. They are tales of human passion in all of its infinite variety: adultery, seduction, incest, rape, mutilation, assassination, torture, sacrifice, and murder. And yet every one of these stories is drawn directly from the pages of the Holy Bible.”
Even today in certain villages poor families are converted giving them gifts and financial aid, by Catholic Missionaries .
Folloing is an extract from an article on conversion: “Similarly the Catholic church also never gave up on conversion. This church has separate departments for the subject of conversion. Such as the ?Sacred Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples". Evangelisation means ?to convert?. There is also the Catholic objective of ?Consecration Mundi" or the conversion of the whole world. »
Regarding King Devanmpiyatissa, Venerabl Mahinda was the son of his Friend King Asoka, and the King listened to the discourses of Venerable Mahinda was pleased with the teachings and accept the Teachings of the Buddha. There was no pressure for the King to accept Buddhism. When the Royalty accepted Buddhism the laity too accepted it, as it happened in China and Korea. There was no pressure on the people to accept the faith of the King. There was no conversion in Buddhism. The teaching is there for any one to come and see and experience the truth of it before accepting it.
The Dalits in India were not converted to Buddhism but they accepted Buddhism. “After meeting with the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Hammalawa Saddhatissa ,Ambedkar organised a formal public ceremony for himself and his supporters in Nagpur on October 14, 1956. Accepting the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from a Buddhist monk in the traditional manner, Ambedkar completed his own conversion. He then proceeded to convert an estimated 500,000 of his supporters who were gathered around him. Taking the 22 Vows, Ambedkar and his supporters explicitly condemned and rejected Hinduism and Hindu philosophy. He then traveled to Kathmandu in Nepal to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference.
Yes, it does not matter that the fore father of the present day Catholics were converted to Catholicism , but I wish that they were not converted, as they were the heirs to Buddhism a far greater religious philosophy than Catholicism.
Buddhism is a pragmatic philosophy which can be tested for its validity. It begins from what is seen and known such as the suffering, to unseen and unknown- the Nibbana. Where as Christianity begins from an unseen , unknown God to an unseen, unknown paradise.
• • cassandra Says:
January 8th, 2011 at 1:29 am
Sri Rohana has done well to remind MSMudali that this article is not about Catholics but Rahul Gandhi. Unfortunately, the writer of the article himself let the discussion get away from the topic when he sought to answer MSMudali’s comments of 29th December, which said in part,“Charles Perera talk about “maturity”. Does he has any? He evade or hide why UNP and Catholic Church support LTTE terrorists”.
It was also unfortunate that after telling Mudali how his comments are sometimes “absurd” (and that is true) Charles responded in no more sensible fashion, presenting his own skewed view of Catholics and the Catholic Church, with such statements as “The Catholicism as a religion is faith based. Therefore it has to have faithfuls. If there are no faithfuls the Catholicism falls apart like a pack of cards.” Really!
And then on 3rd January, we had Charles providing yet another response – this time to Jimmy. And his statements this time were just as ill informed. For instance, he said such things as “I do not speak of the Catholics, but the Catholism and the Catholic Church” and “ Fr. Emmanual , Cardinals and Bishops like him are only paid servants of the Catholic Church. They have to do their job as any other paid workers”. From where Charles got these ideas, I simply don’t know. He also went on to say, “Of course the Catholic people are innocent” adding, “Their forefathers were either Hindus or Buddhists, but they were duped by the Missionaries, and they were converted by tempting them with jobs, education, a foreign dress and all sorts of privileges”
As far as I am able to work out, “Catholic people” include “Fr. Emmanual, Cardinals and Bishops”. So, is Charles saying they are both ‘guilty’ and ‘innocent’ at the same time?
And how can he be sure the forefathers of today’s Sri Lankan Catholics were “either Hindus or Budddhists”? Could not some of them have been Muslims or Animists or plain atheists?
And is it not possible that some, at least, of them converted to Christianity because they genuinely found the new faith more appealing, just as King Devanampiyatissa did when he embraced Buddhism when Mahinda brought the new religion to the island? Today, many Westerners are turning to Buddhism in the same way.
If, as Charles states, the forefathers of today’s Sri Lankan Catholics converted to their new faith because of various inducements, how can we be certain that some of those who converted to Buddhism when it was first brought to the island, were not similarly lured? Consider, for instance, those in the service of the King. Under what pressures might they have been to adopt the new faith?
To me, all this is, however, only of academic interest. Does it really matter if some of the forefathers of present day Sri Lankan Catholics converted to their new religion for the sake of expediency just as some of their own forefathers may have embraced a new religion 2,000 years before? I don’t think it does.
In writing the above, I have been conscious I was not addressing the real topic of the article but the author has himself seen fit to stray from it and some of his statements warrant a response.
Now, to the real topic of the article. The old saying that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones applies very aptly in this instance. Charles is absolutely right in saying Rahul Gandhi has no right to be moralizing about the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka when conditions in India for those like the Dalits are worse. (Incidentally, I believe many Dalits have been converting to Buddhism because it allows them to escape the ‘caste trap’ in which they are caught under Hinduism.) Rahul Gandhi should first concern himself with the problems in his own backyard before worrying about what is happening in Sri Lanka. Indira and Rajiv Gandhi were no friends of Sri Lanka. It seems this Gandhi is no different.
It would be too much to expect Indian politicians to not meddle in the affairs of Sri Lanka. And we can be sure that the Congress Party will not hesitate to exploit the issue of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, just as shamelessly as the Tamil Nadu based political parties have been doing, if there are votes to be gained by it. Politicians, as we well know, can stoop to almost anything. And, that of course happens on both sides of the Palk Straits.
• Terry Says:
January 8th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I commend you for the comment above.
It’s a common trait of Lankans to attack the writer and not deal with the content or go off in a tangent totally unrelated to the topic. (some i fear are tantamount to sheer racism through ignorance)
Relating to your final para.
Rahul is,was and will play to the TN galleries. Good luck to him. Yes, i agree Rahul should be dealing with affairs closer to home and not meddling with Lankan affairs. He is a Politician! They are strange creatures, and you dont have to look far from home to gather the irrational behaviour.
However, India will, call it meddle, influence, conspire or whatever word you wish to say because thats the way it was and it will how ever much we bash our keyboards. China , does it the subtle way, India does it the big mouth way.
Only recently the Tourism Ministry revealed the number of Tourist arriving in SL. Majority of those numbers were from India.
India has flooded SL with cheap plastics, paints,drugs, leather and rubber no other country wanted. More recently we have heard of Egg, Chicken, Onion and Coconut drops.
Let’s face it- blame India,the West, Tamil Diasporas, INGO, NGO and all and sundry (Catholic Church for Mudalli) for our insecurity and mistakes.
When will we ever learn?
• Fran Diaz Says:
December 29th, 2010 at 9:14 am
Many thanks Mr Charles Perera for this article.
I would like to add that Mahatma Gandhi (Mahatma means Great Soul) is not a blood relation of the ruling Gandhi Family of India.
The other Great Souls of India who uplifted the Dalits of India are :
(1) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, affectionately known as Babasaheb, was one of the most illustrious sons of India. He appeared on the Indian socio-political scene in early 1920s and remained in the forefront of all social, economic, political and religious efforts for upliftment of the lowest stratum of the Indian society known as Untouchables. Babasaheb was a great scholar who made outstanding contributions as an economist, sociologist, legal luminary, educationalist, journalist, Parliamentarian and above all, as a social reformer and champion of human rights. Babasaheb organised, united and inspired the Untouchables in
India to effectively use political means towards their goal of social equality. In his wisdom, Dr Ambedkar converted to Buddhism. He was main writer of the Indian Constitution which affords protection for Dalits under the Law. Thousands of his Dalit admirers converted to Buddhism too.
(2) Dr Narendra Jadhav (current Director of the Reserve Bank of India) is also one such person. His father broke away from his Dalit bondage by going to the big city of Bombay. He managed to educate some of his children there, and was a follower of Dr Ambedkar, and he too converted to Buddhism. Dr Narendra Jadhav is an exceptional person and is currently serving his country in the field of economics. He wrote the book “Untouchables” so that people could read about the Dalits of India. This book is written with great empathy & sympathy.
(3) The Buddha said, 2,500 yrs ago, in the Vassala Suthra that a “person is high born or low born only through his or her actions, and not by birth”, thus showing the right path of Liberation for Dalits of India. There were many Arahats of Dalit origin during the Buddha’s time.
Yes, Rahul Gandhi would do well emulate these Great Persons mentioned here if he wants to earn the lasting admiration from any sector of Indian society, without trying for the cheap ‘Divide & Rule’ tactics of the British.
• M.S.MUdali Says:
December 29th, 2010 at 9:49 am
In 1983 Tamils were burnt by Sinhala racist mobs. Did any action taken by the state? No…. But in India in any case they take action against the suspects. At least a FIR (First Information Report) is filed. In Sri Lanka not a single criminal was brought to justice. So, better stop barking at Indian system or Indian politicians.
Rahul is not Namal. Namal is now joking that he will be elected from Jaffna. Rahul is the General Secretary of the INC which is the ruling party of India.
Rahul showed the guts to stay with poor people and shared the life of dalits for a day at least.
Charles Perera talk about “maturity”. Does he has any? He evade or hide why UNP and Catholic Church support LTTE terrorists. Are you morons telling here that UNP and Catholic church backed LTTE on behalf of India?
Now DALIT problem of India is a subject for the people who still support Sinhala
De Costa Says:
December 29th, 2010 at 5:35 pm
Welcome back. I knew this is your pet subject.
We should condemn all forms of violence. Sinhala thugs are no match to Indian thugs on Dalits.
Chrales is a peace loving person who wrote similar thing for a decade now.
You have matured a bit – your language is much better than initial “Expez buzz” language of India.
Kit Athul Says:
December 30th, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Aravinda’s comments are intriguing, and I have to believe it as well as all the readers. But I have few questions for Aravind. (Thanks for waking up from a deep dream of sleep)
1. Assumptions: AravindIs is not a Tamil Nadu Tamil or a Sri Lankan Tamil. He is an Indian because he has only one name.
2. Jawaharl Lal’s name only mentioned once. Who was Jawaharlal’s wife? How and when did she die?
This is what I know about the so called “Mahathma Gandhi”. He was an attorney in South Africa and represented many Africans successfully in the South African courts of law. So he was allowed to visit African Town ships without permits. He had craving for young South African girls of the age between 14 and 18. Not only his client gave him cash but also provided the girls of his choice. Why Gandhi ran away from South Africa was because he got an African Chieftain’s daughter pregnant. African chief asked Gandhi to get rid of his wife and get married to his 16 year old daughter. Gandhi refused the offer and gave enough money to her father to keep it quiet, which he did. Then told his wife that there was an urgent need for his services in India and got on to a ship next day. After that Gandhi told his best friend, a Muslim, to travel with his wife to India on board another ship few months later. Both of them had a good time on board the ship. By the time they arrived in India Gandhi’s wife was pregnant. And that was the only child, a boy, Gandhi had.
Now why did Gandhi select Jawaharlal Nehru against a Gugarati (I cannot remember his name)? To be the first Prime Minister? Because this so called “Mahathma Gandhi” had a relationship with Jawaharlal’s sister Vijalakshmi (Who was a POT smoker). The story is that Gandhi had a back problem and Vijajalkshmi gave massages to him.
Believe it or not Gandhi wanted to annex Northern and Eastern Provinces to Tamil Nadu and call it Greater Tamil Nadu. He also wanted Trincomalee Harbor for India.
M.S. Mudali, whenever Charles Perera writes about Sinhala you come out with some hilarious analogy and attempt to ridicule Charles. This is not gullible for the average Sinhala. What I get from the e-mails floating about is that; you are not even a Jaffna Tamil. You are from Negambo, a Catholic; you are a woman now living in Canada you are in your late 60s to close to 70 years.
Sie.Kathieravealu, this is not an Election gimmick as you state. India has nothing to do with the resettlement of Tamils. Indians want to confuse the average Sri Lankan, Rahul wants to shift the attention from repairing of houses to building of new houses where by blame is shifted to Sri Lanka government.
Mjaya, please understand who won the war? Yes racist part has to there to win a war, but it is no laughing matter may be for you and M.S. Mudali, but look at the poor Tamil who is putting together all he lost for the last 30 years, yet Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi do not want them succeed.
• Charles Says:
January 1st, 2011 at 5:41 pm
Problem with you is, you ask a question and when an answer is given you do not take the trouble to read it. But comes back again to ask the same question accusing ” he evades and hides “. I answered you question which you keep on asking else where? I give it below for easy reference and you have my answer.
However we in this website are happy that you come into make your comments even if they are at times quite absurd and tinged with racism. That is how I think Tamils should interact with the Sinhala, without name calling sitting on the other side of the fence.
Here is my comment for you:
I will tell you why the Catholic Church helped LTTE.
The Catholicism as a religion is faith based. Therefore it has to have faithfuls. If there are no faithfuls the Catholicism falls apart like a pack of cards.
The Catholic Church has no love for a country or nation as such, but it has “divine” love for the faithfuls in a country and the faithfuls among the Nation of people.
Faith according to the Catholic church is to accept without question , not to be like Thomas de Apostle. It is said in the Bible “ blessed be those who believe without seeing”
That is why the Catholic Church is more active among the poor. They give gifts of money food and clothes to the poor, and say those are the gifts of divine love, trust in him- the God, and you will get more. They found fertile ground of possible converts in the North and among the poor people suffering under terrorism.
Suffering and poverty make it easy for the Church to sow the seeds of faith. The Catholic Church was also active with the fisher folk in the East and the South. They were people whose lives were uncertain battling with the seas for their catch of fish for existence, they will willingly kneel down to pray to God to make them the miracle of good catch of fish.
With Sri Lanka, poor and divided between the LTTE in the North , and the poor people in the South living in fear of terrorism, the Catholic church could have had a field day with increasing numbers of converts to its faith. That is what the Catholic Church want a weakend Sinhala Buddhist Community in a divided country
UNP is another story. UNP wants to have political power and to have it they will sign an MoU even with the Satan himself. Their love for the country is to the extent the UNP “Capitalist class “, could squeeze the poor masses to increase their financial benefits, for their luxury living conditions, and social status.
Integration is not what you seem to understand of it. Changing names is for personal identity. But social integration is different. Integration is defined as the action of incorporating a racial or religious group into a community or the act of combining into an integral whole.
The Tamils Mr.Mudali is a minority of 12 or 13 percent of the population in Sri Lanka. It is the Tamils who have to make an effort to “integrate”. If they show their good intention to “work together with the Sinhala as compatriots” without being arrogant and aggressive the Sinhala will have no problem accepting them with their arms wide open.
I do not want to make this any longer. Therefore, please drop using the word “racists” in your comments when speaking of the Sinhala and also please do not refer to each other as “guys”. It does not seem a decent way to address people.
• Terry Says:
January 2nd, 2011 at 5:48 am
You mentioned the Unethical conversions of the Religious kind.
I guess SL politicians must have learnt a few tricks from these unprincipled characters.
Unethical conversions of the Political kind.
Having hood winked the masses to get elected from one party, jump ship for the “divine” love of perks, Ministerial positions and power without any regard for their political beliefs and faithful voters.
Not sure who is worse
• jimmy Says:
January 2nd, 2011 at 5:53 pm
I do not agree with Mudali brother and Charles brother
You can not say Catholism support violence. I am not a cathlic . Your statements will hurt people who are Catholics
There are thousands and thousands of Sinhala and Tamlil catholics in Srilanka who only want peace. I am sure There will be ministers, MPS , Officials, soldiers in Lanka who are Catholics
Just to comment on a religion does not make you guys superior
Piraba and LTTE were violent . Most of LTTE were Hindus
Does that mean Hinduism support violence? . How do you feel if any one tells you that . I am sure you will be hurt if you are a Hindu right
During 1980s JVP was a very violent organization . So many innocent people from South were killed
Most of the JVP folks are Budhists
Does it mean Budhisim support violence?
A famous poet said
“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool , shun him”
• Lorenzo Says:
January 2nd, 2011 at 7:52 pm
But what Charles S Perera says are facts.
Rahul Gandhi did call for Justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka and Dalits are being burnt alive in India.
• jimmy Says:
January 2nd, 2011 at 8:20 pm
You mistook it
I am not at all commenting on the topic.
I am only commenting on what Mudali and Charles say about Catholisim . I am sure Charles might have made an honest mistake replying to Mudali about Catholisim
How can you say Catholisim supported Terrorists . That statment from Mudali Iyer is wrong and Charles Mathaya agreed with Mudali on this
They both are wrong
January 3rd, 2011 at 1:15 am
I do not speak of the Catholics, but the Catholism and the Catholic Church. Fr. Emmanual , Cardinals and Bishops like him are only paid servants of the Catholic Church. They have to do their job as any other paid workers. See how the our Cardinal is being tempted giving him responsibilities and perhaps hopes of being the next Pope if he could help to break the communities in Sri Lanka and weeken Sinhala Buddhist leadership.
Of course the Catholic people are innocent. Their forefathers were either Hindus or Buddhists, but they were duped by the Missionaries, and they were converted by tempting them with jobs, education, a foreign dress and all sorts of privileges.
The Catholic action against which Great Sinhala Buddhists like Mettananda, or even Olcott stood against was not the ordinary Catholics, but the Catholic Church. The ordinary Catholics who go to Church may not even, know the political implication of the Catholic Church