CATHOLIC PewPOINT:

The tale of two heretics:
One was lost, and now he's found, the other has been found to be lost!

     No sooner had Sri Lankan Oblate theologian Tissa Balasuriya repented of his heretical writings and returned to the bosom of the good graces of Holy Mother Church, than another priest in that same region of the world raised the ugly head of pride by taunting the Church to comply with him, rather than he complying with the Church. That man is an Australian Sacred Heart priest Father Paul Collins who has no problem criticizing the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church but when that same Church, to which he supposedly belongs, begins to criticize him for his heresy-spewing book Papal Power - he cries foul! That is a typical trick of the liberals. They can say anything they want, but don't you dare remind them of their error for they're notorious for blurting: "Who are you to criticize me!?!" It rolls off their lips like the slippery saliva of dissension. Like a Chinese water torture they chafe at the fabric of the Church, interpreting doctrine, tradition, dogma, even Scripture. They pounce like hyenas when it reflects their viewpoint and follows their agenda, and disregard it or, worse, attack it and try to belittle it or hold it up for ridicule when it doesn't fit their peg. This has been the pattern for groups like "We Are Church," "Call To Action," "Dignity," "Catholics for a Free Choice," and the rest of that ilk. So also is it the scheme of Collins who has lashed back at the Vatican for putting him and his work under the ecclesial microscope.

      That investigation has uncovered serious errors in his work which is subtitled "A Proposal for Change in Catholicism's Third Millennium". The Sacred Heart Congregation's Superior-General Father Michael Curran was asked to respond to these errors in Collin's work by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratsinger. This is not an unusual procedure for the Vatican did the same with Fr. Tissa, submitting their findings to the Superior-General at the Oblate General House just up the block from the Vatican. The findings submitted to Curran point out serious errors such as Curran denying that the Church Jesus Christ founded in Matthew 16: 18-19 is not identified with the Roman Catholic Church. Further Collins' book insinuates that there is "no true and binding revelation," and attacks the issue of papal infallibility. Of course Collins and his modernist cronies must degrade the latter issue, so they can build their own house of sand in their crusade to push through and overcome such obstacles as women priests which the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith officially put the kabosh on with Mulieris Dignitatem on May 30, 1994 and which Cardinal Ratzinger supposedly closed the door on any controversy by further defining the finality of the women's ordination issue in 1995. But that's never stopped the liberals. After all, they don't respect, understand or obey the Pope, so why should they listen and comply? They have, unsuspectingly, as their role models Martin Luther, Henry VIII, John Calvin, Hans Kung and a long list of those who protested and, because of their pride, refused to serve. Was it not someone else who said "non serviam" to God and was forever banished from the legion of angels to the regions of hell? But, again, don't expect the radical left to acknowledge this either since they don't believe in hell or the devil! Our favorite response to that is Padre Pio's famous retort whenever anyone told him there was no such thing; his reply, "You'll know when you get there!" The question is, does Fr. Collins know that he has arrived at the brink of excommunication because of his pride and arrogance? To paraphrase Padre Pio, "he will when he gets there!"

     That pride and obstinacy is coming to the surface as Collins has lashed back at Church officials, specifically Ratzinger's office and challenged the Cardinal's document, which was released last summer and targeted toward errant theologians and entitled Regulations for Doctrinal Examination. After all, if he can poke enough holes in the document it won't hold water. At least that's his rationale, but Collins doesn't stop there. He fired back a terse letter to Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary for the Congregation, demanding that those theologians who examined his book be publicly named and their works held up for scrutiny as well by another panel. In addition he intimated that his book be re-examined by a board that would include those who are sympathetic to his leanings. Another ultimatum he issued was that he be allowed to publicly debate the merits of his book, a typical ploy of modernists who seek to persuade more bleeding heart liberals - especially the media - to rally to their cause. His final demand belies his sincerity and betrays his true intent - non serviam for he rails at the Vatican for not dealing direct with him rather than going through his Superior-General. Forget the fact that as a Roman Catholic he has pledged his allegiance to Rome, forget that as a priest he has pledged to uphold the truths of the Church. The real achilles heel to his whole argument is that he forgets that, as a religious he has not just pledged but vowed obedience to his superiors. But Collins disdains obedience when it doesn't fit his agenda. This is evident from his harping that "it's not fair!"

     For the past decade and a half he's tried to bring his radical ideas to the TV and radio down under, in fact serving as director for a while as the head of religious programming for ABC - that's the Australian Broadcasting Company. And we wonder why so many lukewarm Catholics in Australia are as confused as their counterparts here in America? Collins is a member of that renegade group that numbers such liberal radical papal-bashers as Richard McBrien, the frockless priest who heads the theology department at Notre Dame. Both Collins and McBrien write popular theology. What is popular theology? Well to listen to Collins it's intended to "make sense of people's faith in the modern world." Funny, Christ never said that! The fact is it makes no sense at all. Christ did not turn to the popular but to the necessary. This is what Collins has totally missed. As a priest, we would hope he would return to the days he made his priestly vows, harken back to the ideals he had then, and remember the vow he made to be obedient. Remember, lucifer started out as a good angel, too...so did Martin Luther as a good monk, and Henry VIII as a good king. But they all went bad. Is Collins' pride and arrogance so strong that he wishes to follow this inevitable path? Sadly, no one can tell him. But no one could tell those others either. Perhaps he should put in a call to Fr. Tissa. One was lost, and now he's found, the other has been found to be lost!

Michael Cain, editor


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Daily CATHOLIC          February 27 - March 1, 1998