Dalai Lama says 'no problem' ending his position

[LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Dalai Lama said Monday he would have no misgivings ending his centuries-old spiritual position if Tibetans so choose amid worries that China would try to pick a pliant successor.

The Dalai Lama, who fled his Chinese-ruled homeland in 1959, turns 75 in July and has increasingly focused attention on the search for his successor, although he is believed to be in good health.

“Ultimately up to people, I made clear, whether this very institution should continue or not,” the 14th Dalai Lama told National Public Radio on a visit to Los Angeles.

“If majority of Tibetan people feel the Dalai institution is no longer much relevant, then this institution should cease – there is no problem,” he said.

“It looks like the Chinese are more concerned about this institution than me,” he said with a laugh.

The Dalai Lama has developed a global following for his spiritual teachings and won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

But China, which sent troops into Tibet in 1950, has vilified the Dalai Lama and sought to isolate him, last week summoning the US ambassador after President Barack Obama received the Dalai Lama at the White House.](“http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100222/ts_alt_afp/ustibetchinareligionpolitics”)

I know that most of us here are Catholic but please understand how unique this is. You are witnessing the extermination of one of the great schools of Buddhism. Every year, the People’s Republic of China forcefully migrates hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese to Tibet to disestablish Tibetan religion and customs. The PRC regularly oppresses the practice of the Tibetan Path and has forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India. The Dalai Lama cannot teach like he used to. He must run for fear of the PRC coming to kill him. The PRC has even “Chosen” a Panchen Lama in replace for the Dalai Lama.

To put it in terms that you might understand, it would be like Italy trying to destroy the Vatican – and the pope – with any means necessary.

The Chinese Government are using a different strategy from guns, bombs and bullets…

It reminds me of a quote from Braveheart from King Edward Longshanks.

“…If we can’t drive them out…we’ll breed them out.”

I am afraid I can no more produce tears for the passing of any of the schools of Buddhist thought than I can for any of the pagan religions of the past. Indeed, it’s difficult not to rejoice as this will make the Catholic Church, which will never die, more attractive to those orphaned by the extinction of their false belief system.

Wow, that’s a pretty icy reply…

Perhaps you would do well to remember the words of Martin Niemoller (granted, he was a Protestant “pastor”, but the words still ring true today as much as they did in Nazi Germany):

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

And will the possible extinction of a school of Buddhism make a Catholicism more attractive, especially if it looks like we just stood by and smiled. Look at how many modern Jews despise Venerable Pope Pius XII since they feel he was too silent during the Holocaust–even though the history shows almost exactly the opposite (Pope Pius XII did a great deal to help Jews escape and prominent Jews of the time commended him for it and I think the Chief Rabbi of Rome ended up converting).

Yes, even for one who labels himself as ‘lapsed’. I’d take a devout Buddhist over a lapsed anything any day.


When the Chinese government rounds up actual men and women for execution, you will find me speaking out as much as anyone. If, on the other hand, the only victim of such a purge is an abstract idea, a religious falsehood, then, as a Christian unencumbered by notions of moral relativism, I welcome anything that ushers the lie to its grave.

But it looks like the Chinese are trying to turn these Buddhists into Communists. Thus, it is not a question of falsehood (Buddhism) or Truth, it is a question of competing falsehoods and which one is worse?

I am not weeping over the DL either, and have long believed that he is given the importance that he has, in the West, solely because of the present-day Western vogue for reincarnational beliefs.

However, I have to say that to “rejoice” that another religion is falling under persecution, is not only inhuman but insulting to our own spiritual ancestors who died under persecution.

There is really nothing we can do directly about events in Tibet, nor are we required to concern ourselves with the Dalai Lama, per se. However, as spiritual descendants of those who were persecuted, it doth behooveth us to pray for all human beings who face religious persecution. At the very least.


If one falsehood snuffs out another, there’s one less for me to contend with.

Very good question. Communism has been far crueler where and when it has held sway. However, in sheer staying power, it cannot compete with the lie of reincarnation, which has been around for millenniums and has generated cruelties of its own (e.g. the Hindu caste system) and could potentially steal Eternal Life itself from people.


I remind you that we are also the spiritual descendants of those defenders of the faith who executed heretics; of Pope Gregory XIII who rang the bells of Rome in celebration over the massacre of thousands of Huguenots in France. So yes, I will pray for the men and women who face persecution, but I will also rejoice in the death of a falsehood.

  1. I do not believe the Church ever executed heretics. I thought they were handed over to secular authorities for such punishment. Also, didn’t Pope John Paul II apologize for such actions?
  2. Just because Pope Gregory XIII did something does not necessarily make it right. It is interesting to note that the preceding Pope (St. Pius V) is a Saint, but Pope Gregory XIII does not share that distinction

On the contrary, Inquisitions very much had the authority to execute, and no less a luminary than St. Thomas Aquinas defended the use of capital punishment in such instances:

With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. (1)

Further, I would point out that just because you hold that such-and-such a thing is not right, does not make it so. Given the choice between following the argument of some anonymous poster on the Internet and the example of a Pope anointed by God to lead the Church as the Successor of Peter, I prefer to throw my lot in with the latter.

(1) Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. 1920. New Advent. Trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Online Edition, 2006. Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 11, Art. 3. Available online at; newadvent.org/summa/3011.htm


:eek: :coffeeread: :popcorn:

Even that the pope has apologized for any specific instance of the execution of a heretic does not mean that there exists no just cause to execute any heretic.

Do you really think that the Church should again kill human beings for having a faith diverging from ours? Yikes – just what the world and the gospel need, more death.

It’s interesting that while our LORD taught HIS friends that they might ultimately be killed, HE never taught anybody to kill.

(I know someone will bring up the verse about the sword. Strange, though, that in HIS greatest peril HE never let them use it.)

God Bless and ICXC NIKA.

I think the rule of double effect needs to be invoked here. In other words, we do not directly intend the death of the heretic, merely the extinction of his doctrine. If there is no more expedient means of preserving the impressionable from spiritual decay, then the death of the obstinate heretic becomes a necessity.

And if I thought this adequately reflected the Catholic Church’s innermost core beliefs and realities (and not historical events which were regrettable but specific to a certain time) I would resign from the Church officially tonight via a letter of my Bishop. I feel you are just trolling with your replies in this thread.

You are, ‘extracting the urine’ as they say in Britain only they normally say it in a somewhat more er, earthy fashion.

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