Friday, December 05, 2008
MORE ON RAMA COOMARASWAMY
There is a war of sorts going on with the Traditionalists and their opponent, Lucio Mascarenhas, a man who attempts to defend the Catholic faith against Traditionalism. He has an essay online here in which he sets out what he calls the heresy of Rene Guenon and places Coomaraswamy among the followers of this heresy. He writes:
Yet, Dr. Coomaraswamy, a married man, whose wife is living, wrote me that a Traditionalist bishop (I believe Lopez-Gaston and his disciple-bishops — Urbina-Aznar & Merrill Adamson) had "dispensed" him from the requirement of being celibate, and had both ordained him, and also "conferred" on him the title of Monsignor, which I believe only the Pope has the right to do. When I objected to this ordination, Coomaraswamy told me that I could accept his ordination if I wanted to, or ignore it if I did not want to.
The problems over Coomaraswamy are particularly severe. His mother was the "4th wife" of his father, and both were non-Catholics (He was a Protestant who became, in 1907, a Hindu; she a Jewess). The problems are obvious. I believe that no responsible bishop should have ordained him. Worse, Rama Coomaraswamy, who had taught many Lefebvre seminarians, including the present Bishops Kelly, Dolan, Sanborn, Frs. Cekada, etc., at the Lefebvrist seminary in New England, should himself have known enough not to accept ordination!
My conclusion after reading Traditionalist literature a few years ago was similar to Mascarenhas'. Traditionalism posits that religions are equal, and one tradition must be chosen and lived. Yet from within this position, living one tradition requires that all other traditions are are viewed as false or at least inferior, which means that there is an internal contradiction within the Traditionalist philosophy that prevents it from having verity. Why the Lefebvrist seminary would take up Traditionalism, I can't actually imagine, but Coomaraswamy, a Guenonian Traditionalist, has contributed to an undermining of the Catholic Mass in the Lefebvrist style.
Parents are strongly influential on their children's religious convictions. That is why his father's involvement with Aleister Crowley is significant, and why his conversion to Catholicism is odd given his background. We don't know the whole story here, but it is somehow interwoven with the dangers on the extreme right in Catholicism. I suspect that in time someone a lot smarter than I am about philosophy and religion will piece it all together. In the meantime, associations with Aleister Crowley and the magical societies and practices with which he was involved are a large crimson flag waving the danger signal.