FEBRUARY 25, 2013
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the CBCI and candidate for Pope, endorses yoga for Catholics, promotes yoga priest
Fr. John Ferreira
This report must be read in the context of my April 2008 report
FR JOHN FERREIRA-YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR AT ST. PETER’S COLLEGE, AGRA [http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_JOHN_FERREIRA-YOGA_SURYANAMASKAR_AT_ST_PETERS_COLLEGE_AGRA.doc] in which I have chronicled the story of an entire Catholic school — all staff and students — practising the Hindu arts of Surya Namaskar or sun worship, pranayama or breathing of the monistic life force energy or prana, and the spiritual meditation of Yoga.
From September 2000 to October 2006, Archbishop Oswald Gracias, now Archbishop of Bombay, and a Cardinal from November 2007, was the archbishop of Agra. Albert D’Souza, bishop of Lucknow, took over the archdiocese from Archbishop Gracias in February 2007, after which the Hindu programmes were introduced.
One of the first convent schools in India, St. Peter’s is about 170 years old. Fr. John Ferreira is the principal of the institution since 2007. The programmes were introduced in this diocesan school by Fr. John Ferreira.
Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter’s_College,_Agra] states, “Fr. John Ferreira, after taking over from Fr. Mathew was quick with changes. Fr. Ferreira’s focus on the health of students led him to introduce full yoga sessions for the entire school during the daily assembly.”
I cite a paragraph from my above-referred report, “The previous Archbishop of Agra was Most Rev. Oswald Gracias, now a Cardinal, and with Bombay archdiocese. Fr. John Ferreira is a very important person. He went to Rome, representing Agra Archdiocese at the archbishop’s elevation as Cardinal.
In February 2007, Most Rev. Albert D’Souza, Bishop of Lucknow, was elevated as Archbishop of Agra. I have been sending my reports and greetings on special occasions to all the Bishops since many years now, and have received hundreds of responses, but not a single one from Archbishop Albert D’Souza.”
In the above-referred report, I have reproduced information pertaining to the period 2007-2010. Archbishop
Albert D’Souza, as bishop of Agra, permitted the Surya Namaskar-Pranayama-Yoga seeds to be sown and the weeds to be nurtured, choking and strangling the institution’s century-and-a-half legacy of Catholic spirituality. This report will provide more information on the situation at St. Peter’s under Archbishop Albert D’Souza but will concentrate largely on the role of Cardinal Oswald Gracias in promoting Fr. John Ferreira‘s yoga spirituality nation-wide [the information is arranged as far as is possible, in chronological order].
One must keep in mind that the same Cardinal Oswald Gracias is the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI], serving since March 2010, and re-elected for a second consecutive two-year term in February 2012. He is also the Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and member, Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts. As such, his doctrinal stands are expected to be above reproach.
More ominously, he is one of the five Indian cardinals eligible to vote in the coming conclave and therefore eligible also to become Pope, succeeding the conservative Benedict XVI.
Accordingly, I have written to the Cardinal:
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 8:57 PM Subject: YOUR ENDORSEMENT OF YOGA
HIS EMINENCE OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS, ARCHBISHOP OF BOMBAY,
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA
Dear Cardinal Oswald,
Recently, there were a number of news reports concerning your endorsement of yoga which has been institutionalised by Fr. John Ferreira at St. Peter’s College in your former archdiocese of Agra.
I am utterly shocked as there exist two Vatican documents [October 15, 1989 and February 3, 2003] warning Catholics about the spiritual dangers of yoga, and also because there is an abundance of condemnation of that Hindu spiritual discipline by eminent priests [including exorcists] and bishops and even bishops’ conferences.
Moreover yoga is categorized under esotericism and New Age in YouCat, the Youth Catechism released in 2011 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
As you are the highest ranking ecclesiastic in India, being the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and one of the Cardinal electors at the forthcoming enclave and so a candidate for the holy seat of St Peter and potential Pope*, I am seriously concerned about your endorsement of Fr. Ferreira’s surya namaskar-pranayama-yoga package which violates the First Commandment of God.
In case you know of some aspects of yogic meditation — it is NOT a system of physical exercises — which are beneficial to Catholics, please let me know so that I can publish it on my web site in a forthcoming report for the benefit of Catholics worldwide.
*See my article
HABEMUS PAPAM INDIANUM-WE HAVE AN INDIAN PONTIFF
The Catholic experiment to make yoga popular
By Brij Khandelwal, IANS, October 17, 2011
Agra: Efforts to take yoga to the masses is nothing new. But they remain largely restricted to trained instructors and camps. In a rare initiative here, benefits of the ancient discipline are being publicised in a school exhibition.
A 6,000-square-foot gallery has opened in the St Peter’s College campus, adjacent to the historic cathedral, in which embossed reliefs and paintings show the benefits of ‘asanas’ or postures to health in general.
Each day students, parents, drivers, rickshaw pullers, cyclists and pedestrians stop to read and admire Hindi descriptions of each asana, elaborately explained in simple language. The paintings are bold and invite attention. One can take a leisurely walk through the gallery, taking notes or shooting pictures.
A brainchild of Father John Ferreira, principal of St Peter’s College, founded in 1846, it has taken two years of hard work conceptualising and executing the project in a unique style.
“The idea was to bring the esoteric science of yoga to the masses from the closets of ashrams and libraries. The visual appeal had to be striking and the message simple to relate with the needs of the common man,” Ferreira told IANS.
Five years ago, when John Ferreira took over as the principal, he introduced a one-hour daily yoga regimen for students.
“Not just the Catholic church but parents, teachers stood up in opposition. They thought it was a waste of time and energy, but today the miracle has been achieved. The boys are regular practitioners of yoga.
“Some of them have become yoga teachers; the Catholic priests are also yoga fans, including the archbishop. The whole campus exudes positive vibes. Other schools too have taken to yoga and the various school boards are now planning to introduce yoga in the curriculum,” Ferreira said.
He has built a huge yoga hall on the campus, which is open to the general public morning and evening to practise and learn the intricacies of yoga. “I have stopped all junk food on the campus and brought out a series of calendars on various diseases and how yoga and natural cure methods can help.”
As one enters the portals of this grand institution, it is difficult to miss the huge painting of Jesus Christ in a yogic posture, in sublime tranquility. “You will not find this picture anywhere in the world. It’s unique in every respect,” says Ferreira, who switched over to yoga 30 years ago. “I was perpetually sick and had lost all hope of living a normal life. From then on, there’s been no looking back.” He says the record was not the objective. “It just happened,” he says. “We are now trying to get this listed in various record books, including Guinness and Limca. It’s a permanent and durable project. The embossed pictures have been sculpted with special cement and adhesive materials and follow a pattern.”
An exclusive Neem-Vatika has been developed. “An eye-sore for so many years, a huge mound of garbage has been cleared to make way for a Shanti Vana. The morning assembly begins with chantings from scriptures, the echo of mantras and Om resonate,” explains mathematics teacher Anubhav. Father John says, “It is always good to start early in life. No point doing yoga when your body becomes a factory of diseases.”
Christ depicted in a yogic posture* in an exhibition at Agra’s St. Peter’s College, where a sustained effort is being made to popularize the ancient Indian scientific regimen. (Photo: IANS)
“Was Jesus a yogi?” A yogi is one who practises yoga with a view to achieving its stated objective. The objective of yoga is the realisation, the awareness, that one is divine, sharing identity with the ultimate reality, the impersonal Absolute.
The Jesus of orthodox Christianity, revealed in the Bible and the consistent faith of the Church, is the eternal divine Word, the Son of God, who became a man in order to identify with sinful man and atone for the sins humanity. Jesus did not “attain” or “regain” divinity through meditation and yoga. Nor is Jesus a “guru” – a guru is one who, having meditated and practised yogic disciplines, has achieved enlighten- ment and divinity, and now shows his disciples how to likewise become enlightened and divine. The guru’s traditional pose, right hand held up in the upadesa mudra (thumb and index finger forming a circle, the other three fingers upright) has two important meanings: one, the guru communicates what he has himself attained; and two, his communication is not by spoken words or logic or reason or coherent ideas.
To call Jesus a yogi is to deny His intrinsic divinity, holiness and perfection, and suggest that He had a fallen nature subject to ignorance and maya, that He needed to be liberated from the human condition through the exercise and discipline of yoga.
Moreover, Jesus instructs His disciples by His word: “Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him,
‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
This “knowing the truth that makes one free” comes from hearing, obeying and abiding in Jesus’ word – for He Himself is the eternal Word. And His word transforms and renews the disciple’s mind with a knowledge of what is good, true, holy and according to the will of God: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2).
In contrast, the yogi is to suspend the will, still the mental faculties, and make no choices (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, I.1-3).
Source: WAS JESUS A YOGI? SYNCRETISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE-ERROL FERNANDES
Agra school inducts 12-year-old as Yoga teacher
By Divya Gupta, Hindustan Times, Agra, April 23, 2012
He dropped out of school after Class 2 but is all set to become a faculty member at Agra’s prestigious St Peter’s College. What’s more, he is just a 12-year-old, much younger than scores of his potential students.
Meet Ram Das ‘Brahmachari’ who has recently been inducted in the St. Peter’s College staff as a yoga teacher.
Popular as Baba Ramdev of Agra, Ram Das has mastered around 300 yoga asanas. He displayed 38 of them in front of a huge audience on the school campus.
“Students would be more at ease learning the yoga asanas from somebody of their own age. He will formally join the school from July this year,” said Father John Ferreira, principal of St Peter’s College, himself a yoga enthusiast.
Ram Das gives all the credit of his achievement to his father.
“I was really inspired by my father Mukesh Sharma. He was very passionate about yoga and when he saw my flexibility, he decided to teach me too. I was only six then,” he said.
Besides Yoga, Ram Das has also memorised a lot of religious scriptures. He left school after being disillusioned by his teachers and now relies on the lessons taught by his sister at home.
“I was appalled when I saw my teachers chewing tobacco in the class. This shook my trust in the education system and I decided to quit,” said Ram Das, who practices meditation for more than six hours everyday. Ram Das believes discipline is the key if one wants to master yoga.
“Discipline, meditation, hard work, simple food and good behaviour are keys to learning yoga. It was only due to my diligence and regular practice that I mastered so many asanas,” he said. “I believe yoga is the solution to all physical diseases and mental problems. My father was suffering from renal failure but now he leads a normal life, all thanks to Yoga,” he added.
3 comments against this article
Good step, St. Peter’s, Agra needs more schools like you. Harsh Singhal
It is like whiff of fresh, fragrant air in the midst of polluted environment of Indian society. Hopefully many more youths will be inspired by his success. Sohan Singh
This is a tactic of St. Peter’s to always remain in the lime light. It is the most corrupt school in Agra city. Ankur
and Mindfulness* Educates the Whole Child
October 16, 2012
Post submitted by Lara Veon, a team member at Mindful Practices. She is a body-centered psychotherapist, educator, writer, and yoga instructor who has been teaching and counseling in educational and community settings for more than 10 years. Veon enjoys sharing the transformational effect of yoga and wellness with students in all stages of life. Contact Mindful Practices at admin@MindfulPracticesYoga.com.
There’s no arguing that students today need wellness as a component of their education more than ever before. From a super-size food culture to screen-time saturated entertainment to an increase in trauma in our communities, the experiences in which children are immersed when they leave the care of their schools are often lacking in sound health, social engagement, and safety.
This shortage of wellness might manifest in a variety of ways in the classroom: inattention, hypo/hyper arousal, academic challenges, interpersonal difficulties, and a host of other problems that affect classroom management and student learning. As educators, it is easy to get stuck in a frenetic and stressful cycle of reacting to problems that surface in the classroom or larger school community when what most truly desire is an opportunity for their students to learn skills that will challenge them to contribute to the world in a meaningful and productive way.
Using yoga and mindfulness in schools can do just that.
Yoga is a system of connecting the whole self: body, mind, and spirit. Through movement, breath, and mindfulness meditation (the act of paying attention to what is happening in the moment without the need to change the experience), students and teachers alike can cultivate a safe space in which to build a practice that supports patience and compassion for oneself and others and empowers positive decision making. In addition, classroom culture organically transforms into a place that encourages self-awareness and emphasizes distress tolerance, mood regulation, and empathic interpersonal skills.
The physiological benefits of yoga are numerous, including stabilization of the autonomic nervous system, lower blood pressure, improved posture, increased energy and endurance, better sleep, and a healthier immune system overall. A growing field of research in contemplative awareness practices like yoga and mindfulness meditation in schools is also experiencing findings that support psychological benefits. Resoundingly, the research concludes yoga in an educational environment is beneficial for psychosocial well-being. In addition, recent studies have shown that meditation in schools improves executive functioning, particularly in self-awareness, self-control, and attention and reports outcomes such as reduced anxiety and stress, as well as reduced aggression and misbehavior in students.
Incorporating yoga and mindfulness meditation into the classroom needn’t come at the expense of academic lessons. In fact, in brief 5–10 minute intervals, these approaches can be used as a classroom management strategy to engage student energy and enhance those tricky transitions that often divert so much time away from student learning. By embedding just a few minutes of yoga into the daily classroom routine, teachers create a safe and positive classroom environment, improve the holistic health of their students (and themselves!), and nurture the connection between student achievement and wellness. Encouraging long-term, sustainable physical and emotional health, the practice of yoga and mindfulness in schools educates the whole child.
Fr. John Ferreira, November 24, 2012
At St. Peters College, Agra, we have introduced yoga and meditation to our four thousand students. Parents and well wishes also join the college to learn yoga. Both people and students have experienced wonderful effects of yoga.
*Here, Fr. John Ferreira boasts about the destruction of thousands of innocent, little Catholic souls achieved by him in complicity with an archbishop and a Cardinal on a New Age site. Note that Mindfulness meditation is New Age, see MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
November 1, 2012
Agra: A Catholic priest here is busy popularizing yoga, saying it is beyond religion and “truly universal”.
Father John Ferreira‘s latest book, “Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga”, was Thursday released by the Archbishop of Agra Diocese, Albert D’Souza, at St Peter’s College.
“The book is a primer, aimed at popularising the intricate knowledge of the esoteric science of yoga, which is beyond religion and truly universal,” Fr Ferreira told IANS.
“Modern society with its cup full of stresses, and a package of mental and physical ailments, stands in dire need for India’s yogic knowledge,” he said. Archbishop D’Souza agreed.
“Yoga integrated into the school curriculum will provide a holistic approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life but provides the art of living well,” he said.
“Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own rhythm of life, according to the goal set by the Creator, is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness,” he added.
In a message read out at the event, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said: “Through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of well being and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with god.”
Ferreira, the author, feels yoga has no religion. He himself has been a follower of many yoga gurus and has extensive research to produce the book.
The book includes views of Christian priests who have approved his yoga experiments.
“This is significant since yoga is still regarded by many as basically a Hindu system,” he said.
2 readers’ comments
This is not what the Holy Father says about the practice of yoga. As a practicing Catholic I am obliged, as is this priest, to act humbly and obey the Pope. Sounds as if this priest is following not the Pope but perhaps in the footsteps of the late dissident Jesuit, Father Anthony de Mello, also an Indian priest, .who also led many astray by his own personal interpretations and ego. Asydwy
It is a pity and a shame what this priest is doing. Yoga postures are intended to worship Hindu deities. In 1989 the Vatican issued a document saying the practice of Eastern traditions like yoga ‘can degenerate into a cult of the body,’ warning Catholics against mistaking yoga’s ‘pleasing sensations’ for ‘spiritual well-being.’ It was signed by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In a 2003 document the Vatican further distances itself from New Age practices, including yoga. If you want to read a lot why yoga is dangerous for a Christian, follow the link http://www.jmanjackal.net/eng/…
Javier Lopez Torres
Here is a shocking revelation. The official web site of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India [CCBI] reproduces the above Deccan Herald article. But there are so many bishop-supported yoga priests in the Indian Church, especially in the archdiocese of Bombay, even the CCBI got confused. The caption of the article was meant to read Fr. J. Ferreira – but came out as “Fr. J. Pereira“. “Fr. J. Pereira” is Fr. Joe Pereira of the Bombay archdiocese’s New Age Kripa Foundation and leader of the New Age World Community for Christian Meditation. See
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
Yoga is beyond religion: Fr. J. Pereira
November 5, 2012
November 5, 2012, Agra: A Catholic priest in Agra, whose book on yoga was recently released, said the exercise is beyond religion and “truly universal”. Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra released Father John Ferreira‘s latest book “Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga” at St Peter’s College in the city. “The book is a primer, aimed at popularising the intricate knowledge of the esoteric science of yoga, which is beyond religion and truly universal,” Fr. Ferreira said.
He said that modern society with its cup full of stresses, and a package of mental and physical ailments, stands in dire need for India’s yogic knowledge. “Yoga integrated into the school curriculum will provide a holistic approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life but provides the art of living well. “Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own rhythm of life, according to the goal set by the Creator, is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness,” he added. In his message, which was read out at the event, Cardinal Oswald Gracias said that through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of wellbeing and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with god.
Fr. Ferreira said he has been a follower of many yoga gurus and has extensive research to produce the book. The book also includes views of Christian priests who have approved his yoga experiments. “This is significant since yoga is still regarded by many as basically a Hindu system,” he said. Source: deccanherald.com
On February 9, 2013, Cardinal Oswald Gracias [already re-elected last year as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI] was elected president of the Latin-rite Conference of Catholic Bishops of India [CCBI]; and with Most Rev.
Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of Agra, as the Secretary General of the CBCI that includes all three rites, the Indian Church has its two most powerful ecclesiastics endorsing the Hindu spiritual practice of yoga.
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest
November 5, 2012
Agra: A Catholic priest in Agra, whose book on yoga was recently released, said the exercise is beyond religion and “truly universal”.
Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra released Father John Ferreira’s latest book “Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga” at St Peter’s College in the city. “The book is a primer, aimed at popularising the intricate knowledge of the esoteric science of yoga, which is beyond religion and truly universal,” Fr. Ferreira said.
He said that modern society with its cup full of stresses, and a package of mental and physical ailments, stands in dire need for India’s yogic knowledge. “Yoga integrated into the school curriculum will provide a holistic approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life but provides the art of living well. Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own rhythm of life, according to the goal set by the Creator, is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness,” he added. In his message, which was read out at the event, Cardinal Oswald Gracias said that through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of wellbeing and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with god. Fr. Ferreira said he has been a follower of many yoga gurus and has extensive research to produce the book. The book also includes views of Christian priests who have approved his yoga experiments.
“This is significant since yoga is still regarded by many as basically a Hindu system,” he said. Source: deccanherald.com
Also reproduced at:
*2 readers’ comments
VATICAN CITY — Urging Catholics to distinguish between spiritual form and substance, the Vatican warned against substituting Eastern methods of meditation such as Zen and yoga for Christian prayer.
In a 7,000-word letter to bishops approved by Pope John Paul II, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made a firm distinction between meditation as physical or psychic therapy, and spiritual enrichment.
“Prayer without faith becomes blind, faith without prayer disintegrates,” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of the congregation, said in presenting a document he said was intended not to condemn the meditative practices of other religions but to reaffirm guidelines for Christian prayer.
Ratzinger’s congregation defends doctrinal orthodoxy, and its letter to 3,000 Roman Catholic bishops around the world was apparently written to answer complaints from some of them about the growing popularity of mixing Christian meditation with practices common to Hinduism and Buddhism. It apparently was the first time that the Vatican has issued a warning on this topic.
The letter declared that “the love of God, the sole object of Christian contemplation, is a reality which cannot be ‘mastered’ by any method or technique.”
Like the Catholic Church, other religions specify how to achieve “union with God in prayer,” the letter noted. “Just as the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions, neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements, are never obscured.”
Some Catholics, the letter noted, believe their prayer is enhanced by techniques borrowed from “various religions and cultures.” It said, though, that such practices “can degenerate into a cult of the body and can lead surreptitiously to considering all bodily sensations as spiritual experiences.”
Attempts to integrate Christian meditation with Eastern techniques that use breath control and prescribed postures like the lotus position can be successful, Ratzinger said, but they are “not free from dangers and errors,” and may boomerang.
“Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life. Giving them a symbolic significance typical of the mystical experience, when the moral condition of the person concerned does not correspond to such an experience,” the letter continued, “would represent a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbances and, at times, to moral deviations.”
Some forms of Eastern Christian meditation have “valued psychophysical symbolism, often absent in Western forms of prayer,” the letter noted. “On the other hand, the Eastern masters themselves have also noted that not everyone is equally suited to make use of this symbolism, since not everybody is able to pass from the material sign to the spiritual reality that is being sought. Understood in an inadequate and incorrect way, the symbolism can even become an idol and, thus an obstacle to the raising up of the spirit to God,” the letter asserted. Vincent Monteiro
YOGA BEYOND RELIGION BUT NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT: It’s awful to learn that our Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop Albert D’Souza and Pastor John Ferreira are promoting Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga.
All this in spite of firm directive to the Church from the Congregation For Doctrine of Faith approved by our late Pope John Paul II that makes firm distinction between meditation as physical or psychic therapy and spiritual enlightenment.
This document of the Church warns the Church against substituting eastern methods of meditation such as Zen and Yoga with “Christian Prayer”. It states the love of God and fellowmen, are the sole object of Christian contemplation a “REALITY” which cannot be “mastered” by any method or technique.
Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensation, perhaps even phenomenon of light and warmth, which resemble Spiritual well being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolation of the “Holy Spirit” would be an erroneous way concerning one’s spiritual life. Giving them significance typical of the experience, when the moral condition of the person concerned does not correspond to such an experience.
Hence on the basis of the above my advice to the Hierarchy and the Clergy is for God’s sake please do not play the devil’s advocate instead by your ordained ministry lead the Church in the Spirit of Jesus by your thoughts, words and deeds. Silent Voice
While lay Catholics read, understand and obey Vatican Documents, the highest-ranking bishops who should be protecting the faithful from spiritual danger instead reject the teachings of Rome and promote the very errors that the Holy See warns against.
Yoga is not a religion claims Catholic priest who teaches it
November 6, 2012
This is the disgusting picture accompanying the UCAN article. My investigative reports have already established that UCAN is a dissenting organization that roots for the ordination of women, the abolishment of priestly celibacy and the like. Is the photograph that of the yoga guru Fr. John Ferreira? UCAN doesn’t say, but that is what yoga practitioners — Catholic or otherwise — act, and look like, when they perform yoga.
But the more important question is how Catholics could relate sacramentally to a priest or bishop with such an undignified image of them in their minds. Try visualizing Cardinal Oswald Gracias and archbishop Albert D’Souza in that contorted yoga pose.
A Catholic priest here is busy popularizing yoga, saying it is beyond religion and “truly universal”.
Father John Ferreira‘s latest book, “Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga”, was Thursday released by the Archbishop of Agra Diocese, Albert D’Souza, at St Peter’s College. “The book is a primer, aimed at popularising the intricate knowledge of the esoteric science of yoga, which is beyond religion and truly universal,” Fr Ferreira told IANS.
“Modern society with its cup full of stresses, and a package of mental and physical ailments, stands in dire need for India’s yogic knowledge,” he said.
Archbishop D’Souza agreed. “Yoga integrated into the school curriculum will provide a holistic approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life but provides the art of living well,” he said. “Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own rhythm of life, according to the goal set by the Creator, is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness,” he added.
In a message read out at the event, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said: “Through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of well being and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with God.”
Ferreira, the author, feels yoga has no religion. He himself has been a follower of many yoga gurus and has extensive research to produce the book. The book includes views of Christian priests who have approved his yoga experiments.* “This is significant since yoga is still regarded by many as basically a Hindu system,” he said.
Full Story: A Christian priest who is yoga guru Source: Deccan Herald
*After sourcing and studying a copy of the book by Fr. John Ferreira, I will update this article with information on the priests “who have approved his yoga experiments“.
Indian priest’s book promotes yoga
Catholic World News, November 6, 2012
An Indian Catholic priest has released a book encouraging yoga, insisting that yoga exercises are not in conflict with Christianity.
Father John Ferreira said that yoga is an effective antidote to the stress of modern life, and the world today “stands in dire need of India’s yogic knowledge.” Yoga exercises, he says, help the practitioner to plumb the “depths of one’s own rhythm of life, according to the goal set by the Creator.”
In a message read at the launch of Father Ferreira’s book, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, the president of the Indian bishops’ conference, said: “Through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of well being and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with God.”
Indian priest: Yoga is good, even for Christianity
November 12, 2012
Fr. John Ferreira, principal of St. Peter’s College, Agra, publishes the book “Health, wealth and happiness through yoga.” For Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Episcopal Conference, this practice “helps to achieve a better communion with God.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Yoga is a discipline that is “beyond religion” and is “truly universal”. The speaker is not a Hindu holy man, nor a new age fanatic, but Fr. John Ferreira. The Indian priest, who heads St. Peter’s College, Agra, has published the book “Health, wealth and happiness through yoga,” which presents the practice, some exercises and the philosophy behind it. The book contains also several testimonies of other priests, who have experienced the positions illustrated by Fr. Ferreira.
For Mgr. Albert D’Souza, Archbishop of the Diocese of Agra who presented the book at the end of October, “modern society, with its baggage full of stress and physical and spiritual pain, is in desperate need of Indian yogic knowledge.” In this sense, he explained, “introducing yoga into the school curriculum will give a holistic approach to education, as a science that not only prepares students for life, but also teaches the art of living well.”
At the presentation, the author read a message sent by Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops: “Through the prescribed postures and exercises one improves one’s all round sense of well being and is able to enter into oneself so as to commune better with God”.
BELOW IS A REPORT CARRIED BY A TRADITIONALIST WEBSITE WHICH PROVIDES US WITH A VATICAN AGENCY’S [VATICAN RADIO] REPRODUCTION OF THE CCBI STORY:
Priest, Archbishop, Cardinal & the Vatican promote
PROGRESSIVIST DOCUMENT OF THE WEEK
Yoga is part of the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies that have in common exercising discipline over the body in order to free the mind and allow it to communicate with the universal energies or false divinities. The practice of these exercises are directly linked to the philosophical and religious aims of these religions. They tendencially prepare the person to accept the idea of escape from matter, or even the self-destruction of the material part of man, which is considered bad.
In the wake of Vatican II with its adaptation to modern man and other religions, Catholic institutions are changing their spirituality and asceticism to accommodate yoga. After it gained broad acceptance in the religious Orders, now we have the Vatican giving its “blessing” to yoga by posting its semi-official approval of it on the Vatican Radio website.
Below, you can read the text of the document; a photocopy from the official Vatican site follows immediately afterwards.
Yoga goes beyond Religion, Says Catholic Priest
November 06, 2012: A Catholic priest in Agra, whose book on yoga was recently released said that the exercise goes beyond religion and is “truly universal.” Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra released Fr. John Ferreira‘s latest book Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga at St. Peter’s College in the city. “The book is a primer, aimed at popularizing the intricate knowledge of the esoteric science of yoga, which goes beyond religion and is truly universal,” Fr. Ferreira said.
He said that modern society, with its cup overflowing with stresses and a whole string of mental and physical ailments, stands in dire need of India’s knowledge of yoga. “Integrating yoga into the school curriculum will provide a holistic approach to education as a science that not only prepares a student for life, but supports the art of living well.
“Joyful living, drawn from the depths of one’s own life rhythm, according to the goal set by the Creator, is the foundation of health, wealth and happiness,” he added. In his message, which was read at the event, Cardinal Oswald Gracias said that through the prescribed postures and exercises, one’s all-around sense of well-being improves, allowing one to enter into himself so as to commune better with god.
Fr. Ferreira said that he has been a follower of many yoga gurus and did extensive research to produce the book. The book also includes views of Christian priests who have approved his yoga experiments. “This is significant since it is still regarded by many as basically a Hindu system,” he said.
Fr. Sergio Pellini S.D.B. is the Director General and Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. the Director of Vatican Radio.
THIS IS FROM A BLOG THAT EXPOSES NEW AGE ON AN ALMOST WEEKLY BASIS AND WHOSE WRITERS ARE SPEAKERS ON EWTN AND ON CATHOLIC RADIO IN THE U.S.
Catholic Priest Claims Jesus was the “Greatest Yogi”
The same priest who was involved in a flap over yoga in the UK several years ago and said Jesus was the “greatest yogi” has now introduced mandatory yoga classes at St. Peter’s College in India where a giant picture of Jesus sitting in a yoga position sits at the entrance to the school.
The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is reporting that Father John Ferreira, a yoga guru and principal of St. Peter’s College in Agra, which is one of India’s oldest educational facilities, is once again in the news for extolling the glories of yoga in a big way at St. Peter’s. Although he’s been teaching yoga regularly for several years at the school, he has just unveiled a 6,000-square-foot gallery adjacent to the school’s historic cathedral that features paintings and embossed reliefs of the various yoga positions and their purported health benefits. “The idea was to bring the esoteric science of yoga to the masses from the closets of ashrams and libraries,” Ferreira told IANS.
When Ferreira took over as the principal of the school five years ago, he introduced a one-hour daily yoga regimen for students and was met with quite a bit of resistance from parents, teachers and even the Church; however, he claims a great “miracle” resulted in that his students are now regular practitioners of yoga.
“Some of them have become yoga teachers; the Catholic priests are also yoga fans, including the archbishop. The whole campus exudes positive vibes. Other schools too have taken to yoga and the various school boards are now planning to introduce yoga in the curriculum,” Ferreira said.
Ferreira’s penchant for yoga began 30 years ago when he claimed it healed him of an illness after he had lost all hope of a cure. He has been singing the praises of yoga ever since, even going so far as to claim Jesus was the greatest of all yogis.
“Jesus Christ was the greatest yogi,” he told IANS. “Only a yogi can make supreme sacrifice as Jesus made. Yoga does not belong to any particular religion. It is a universal science being practiced in various forms by people all over. Even the sound ‘Om’ is universal, just as the Gayatri mantra. Yoga can only make you good Christians.”
He continued: “Only a supreme yogi could bear the extreme pain as Jesus Christ did when crucified. He had total control over his self and he always chose to forgive the sinners. Similarly Mahatma Gandhi was a maha (great) yogi,” he explained.
Of course, there is not a shred of evidence to prove that Jesus practiced yoga or that He relied on the practice to withstand the horrible tortures of the crucifixion. Nor is there any proof that “only a yogi” can withstand the kind of brutality Our Lord suffered at the end of his life. Not only did Jesus withstand this brutality without yoga, but so did thousands of his followers who endured excruciating deaths from the gridiron and the jaws of lions to the starvation chambers of Auschwitz.
And to put Jesus on par with Mahatma Gandhi, even if that is not what he intended when making the comment, is even more outrageous to be coming from a Catholic priest who is expected to be more mindful of causing scandal.
But this is not the first time the controversial priest has made headlines for his zealous promotion of yoga. He weighed in on a dispute in the United Kingdom that erupted in 2007 after the Silver Street Baptist Church and St. James’ Anglican Church in England rejected a children’s exercise class because it teaches yoga.
“We are a Christian organization and when we let rooms to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos,” said Rev. Simon Farrar of Silver Street Baptist Church according to the Times of London.
Farrar said he believes yoga “clearly … impinges on the spiritual life of people in a way which we as Christians don’t believe is the same as our ethos.”
The Rev. Tim Jones, vicar of St James’, supported Farrar’s decision, noting that yoga “has its roots in Hinduism and attempts to use exercises and relaxation techniques to put a person into a calm frame of mind – in touch with some kind of impersonal spiritual reality… The philosophy of yoga cannot be separated from the practice of it, and any teacher of yoga, even to toddlers, must subscribe to the philosophy.”
Ferreira weighed in at the time, claiming that anyone who says yoga is “unchristian” is ignorant about the practice.
“They know nothing about yoga,” he told IANS. “They should first study and experience the benefits of India’s ancient science before commenting.”
Unfortunately, Ferreira’s description of yoga as a science is not supported even by Hindu philosophy. In India, yoga is considered one of the six branches of classical Hindu philosophy and is referred to in the Vedas (ancient Indian scriptures). The goal is to reach “Kaivalya” (ultimate freedom) by releasing the soul from the chains of cause and effect (karma) which tie the person to continual reincarnation. Yoga uses physical exercises, powers of concentration and breathing techniques as well as meditation to achieve these ends.
Nor do experts in Hindu philosophy agree with his description of yoga as a mere science.
In an article published in the January-February 2006 issue of Hinduism Today, Subhas R. Tiwari, professor at the Hindu University of America who holds a master’s degree in yoga philosophy, says that no matter what one chooses to call it, yoga will always be Hindu.
“The simple immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture,” Tiwari writes. “Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism but originated from it.”
The same point is made in an article published on the Hindu American Foundation website and expresses concern for the kind of thinking that Father Ferreira is espousing – the trend to disassociate yoga from its Hindu roots and call it something other than what it is.
“Both Yoga magazines and studios assiduously present Yoga as an ancient practice independent and disembodied from the Hinduism that gave forth this immense contribution to humanity,” the article states. “With the intense focus on asana, magazines and studios have seemingly ‘gotten away’ with this mischaracterization. Yet, even when Yoga is practiced solely in the form of an exercise, it cannot be completely de-linked from its Hindu roots.”
The article goes on to quote the legendary Yoga guru B.K.S Iyengar who writes in his best selling Light on Yoga: “Some asanas are also called after Gods of the Hindu pantheon and some recall the Avataras, or incarnations of Divine Power.”
In the same book, he also clearly states that the asanas “are not just physical exercises: they have biochemical, psycho-physiological and psycho-spiritual effects.”
The article expresses an almost palpable disappointment in yogis who regularly practice yoga but deny its Hindu roots by trying to call it an “exercise” or a science.
“In a time where Hindus around the globe face discrimination and hate because of their religious identity, and Hindu belief and practice continue to be widely misunderstood due to exoticized portrayals of it being caricaturized in ‘caste, cows and curry’ fashion, recognition of Yoga as a tremendous contribution of ancient Hindus to the world is imperative. Yoga is inextricable from Hindu traditions, and a better awareness of this fact is reached only if one understands that ‘Yoga’ and ‘asana’ are not interchangeable terms.”
The Hindu American Foundation “firmly holds that Yoga is an essential part of Hindu philosophy and the two cannot be de-linked, despite efforts to do so.”
We need to keep Father Ferreira in our prayers, as well as our Hindu brothers and sisters whose belief system is being distorted and degraded by the profit-driven “exercise only” yoga fad that has captivated so much of the West.
Our Learn to Discern series includes a booklet on yoga which contains detailed information on why yoga and Christianity don’t mix. Click here for more information.
Are Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Archbishop Albert D’Souza paying attention?
Letters received in chronological order prior to the writing of this report:
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 11:02 AM
YOGA approved by a Catholic Priest!!!!
Dear Br. Michael, Greetings in Jesus Name. Praise The Lord!
I am forwarding a link which is glorifying yoga and sadly it is coming from the Church.
I have been following your articles on email and your website.
Please continue the good work the Lord has entrusted to you. Do not give up. For there are many who are in need of people like you and are praying for you. Thanks and God Bless You. The Lord who called you is faithful and will do it.
With prayers, Francis.
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 11:39 AM Subject:
An article on the promotion of a book on yoga, written by a Catholic Priest and accepted by Card. Oswald Gracias.
Please follow UCAN link http://www.ucanindia.in/news/yoga-is-beyond-religion:-catholic-priest/19527/daily.
Brian Lobo To:
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 6:53 PM Subject: What is the truth?
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest…
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 9:52 PM
Subject: FW: Renewed In Christ: Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest
To give you a sense of where I stand.
From: Mathew Jacob
To: Subject: Renewed In Christ: Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 08:20:45 -0800 From: Filandro Fernandes Date: November 4, 2012, 8:54:13 PM PST
Fw: Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest… Reply-To: Filandro Fernandes
This is for Mathew for his comments please. Roque
Some of the Christian community in India particularly some Catholic priests and nuns have been at the forefront of driving yoga and other religious practices into the church with a passion and commitment that seems misplaced. If only they approached the call to holiness and mission with the same zeal, and thirsted, longed, and learned to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Somehow after all the anti-conversion laws in India these efforts seem to have gotten even stronger. Is this some kind of desperate effort to blend in to be popular in feel more secure? The recent book by Father John Ferreira of Agra, “Health, Wealth and Happiness through Yoga”, which seems to have been apparently endorsed by his bishop is another of what seems like dozens of books that have been released on this subject since the 1970s. Funny that a priest defines the route to “health wealth and happiness” as yoga versus what Jesus asked us to do, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (which is in Jesus Christ) and all these things (all material needs) will be added to you”. Besides it is interesting to see Fr. Ferreira’s choice for his books title – “health and wealth” like these are ends in themselves! Certainly seems to have meandered quite far from the Christian faith here.
What needs to be clear is that Fr. Ferreira’s book is NOT official teaching from the Catholic Church; in fact it opposes it. The Bishop saying good things about it does not make it official either – remember the initial 12 apostles were the first bishops and we did have some problems there. This is just a priest who seems to have forgotten the essence of the gospel and the meaning of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The official position of the church on this can be found here: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html (this document which shows the deceptiveness of the new age movement specifically mentions yoga in two places as an element of the new age movement)
Sometimes when I look at the outcry in India about “conversion” to Christianity I marvel at how effectively people all around the world have been converted into the traditions of Hinduism and the related religions from simple ideas like palmistry, astrology, rahu kaal, to more complex systems like pranayama, mediation, art of living, reiki, pranic healing etc.
The real challenge that these systems pose is that they do not end with one practice – but draw people deeper into these traditions till the person reaches a place of syncretism (same creed – all religions are the same). The implication of this view is that there really was no need for God to incarnate in Jesus and die for humankind to take our sins away – that we can save ourselves – and of course many of these religious practices have a starting assumption that the human beings are essentially god.
This syncretism gets further fueled by comparing the moral requirements of each religion and finding similarities – and in that coming to the state of syncretism i.e. all religions are the same. It’s funny how we mistake codes of moral living with religion – so we say that all religions talk of living a “good life” – so they must be the same. However even atheistic codes and civil codes talk of living a “good life”. These codes are ways in which human society organizes itself. Faith answers a different set of questions:
– Where am I from?
– Where am I going?
– What explains the current human condition – sin, sickness, exploitation, injustice, death?
– What is the solution for this condition?
On these four questions, there is very little common ground between religions. In fact the Christian view is clearly contradictory with some other views.
The articles below explore Yoga. The key thing to remember is that the gurus in India did not wake one day and say, “hmmm… we are getting obese and losing our flexibility, lets create a system of postures and stretching so that we get fit again”. As you will see below, yoga was always part of a religious process. The Hindu American Foundations recent initiative to “take Back Yoga” is a good example of how people who know about yoga in its essence find its divorce from religion a complete parody http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/takeyogaback
In the meantime… let us continue to pray for Fr. Ferreira, his Bishop, and others that they may rediscover Jesus, and the purpose of God’s call on their life. God bless, Mathew
Capt. Richard. F. Sequeira
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:05 AM Subject:
Mike, please see some more High Level NONSENSE where the shepherds are misleading the sheep and sending them to the wolves. The devil himself. How the mighty who have no discernment have fallen and failed to protect the flock!
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest…
michaelprabhu Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 7:04 AM
Subject: Fw: Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest…
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2012 11:03 AM Subject: Yoga
Bro. Mike, Here is an article in the CSF email@example.com. You have a few Bishops involved here. Richard
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest…
November 5, 2012 by admin
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 10:59 AM Subject: Fwd: Christian Yoga?
For your reading on Yoga. Richard
— Forwarded message — From: The CSF <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM Subject: Christian Yoga?
Is Yoga Beyond Religion?
Even as the debate rages on… a reader, Alexander Seibel says according to classical Yoga, the driving force in Yoga is the Kundalini. It is claimed that the Kundalini is coiled at the end of your backbone and through Yoga it can unfold. He points out it could be the serpent of 2 Cor. 11:3 and forwards the following article, being published without comment.
The following article is written by Yogi Baba Prem, who is a Hindu Yogi, a Vedavisharada trained in the traditional gurukul system. We hope that Thomas Nelson, who publishes Yoga for Christians, American Family Association, who sells Holy Yoga, and emerging leader, Doug Pagitt, who offers it at his church, will all read this article by Yogi Baba Prem.
There is no Christian Yoga
by Yogi Baba Prem, Vedavisharada, CYI, C.ay, C.va
It was quite astonishing to see on the flyer “Christian Yoga! This Thursday night….” I could feel the wheels spinning in my brain. “Christian Yoga”, I thought. Now while Christians can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. Yoga is not a Judeo/Christian word! It is not a part of the Roman Catholic teachings and certainly not a part of protestant teachings. It is not found within the King James Version of the bible. It is a Hindu word, or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization. So how did we get “Christian Yoga”?
From this I could conclude that “Christian Yoga” could only indicate one of two possibilities:
1) Christianity is threatened by yoga and is attempting to take over this system that “invaded their turf” pertaining to spiritual teachings and techniques.
2) Christianity is subconsciously attempting to return to the spiritual roots of civilization—the Vedic civilization.
I thought to myself, “why would they want to take over yoga?” Could it be due to the decline of members within the Christian church within the last 60 years? Is this an extensive marketing plan cooked up in some New York marketing guru’s head? Is it an attempt to water down the teachings of yoga and import their own teachings into the system? Or is it that they cannot stand not to own everything spiritual?
I think the best reason might be that yoga, and eastern spirituality, offered answers to the spiritual questions that the spiritually hungry masses had. It offered a practical, rational, logical, and truthful approach to spirituality. It did not contain any form of self-righteous condemnation, but offered love and acceptance to all. It did not prey upon victims with terms such as “Sin” and “eternal damnation”. But most importantly, it had answers! It offered a practical approach to cultivating a relationship with divinity. It offered a systematic approach and an abstract approach to meet the varying temperaments of the spirituality hungry.
The second possibility was that Christianity was itself looking for answers. A small book filled with judgment, inflexibility, and condemnation was no longer fulfilling the needs of the masses or the leaders of the church. Offering yoga classes allowed the Christian to secretly practice Hinduism without having to renounce their Christian tradition.
Possibly by embracing the technology of yoga and meditation, the Christian church could finally return to the idea of love and acceptance that it believed it was founded upon. It is ironic that one religion would need to look to another religion to teach them about love, peace, harmony, and forgiveness. If successful, it could embrace these ancient teachings and save itself from the fate it planted over the last few thousand years.
But possibly in their wisdom, the current fathers of the church realized that their time was coming to a close. So within America they must absorb yoga before they are absorbed by it. This is a common religious view that has appeared numerous times within world history. Then they would immediately move their resources to India. Taking over the country would allow them to own all the spirituality, and then ‘pick and chose’ which tasty spiritual treats they would share. After all they have 2000 years practice with this.
Indian being a loving, peaceful people, openly embraced their brothers from the west. They looked the other way as their temples were torn down. They accepted it as karma as their families were torn apart over differing religious beliefs. The Indians thought it was thoughtful of the missionaries to dress up just like swami’s, to be “just like them” and to share in their kindred spirit.
Of course we are in a great deal of debt to the missionaries as they have single handedly undone the highly discriminatory caste system within India. Well they tried to, …kinda. Even though dalits are not allowed into churches with other castes at times. But putting that aside, they put an end to poverty in India, well…they did purchase a lot of things, such as influence in the media, government, and elections. And of course, Christian militant groups continue to be a tremendous asset to India. They are ready to kill anyone invading their turf, except the Muslims who apparently will kill them back.
Modern day scholars from India frequently present the attitude of “let them have yoga, I am interested in protecting Hinduism.” I have heard this sentiment on numerous occasions, but the reality is that yoga is a part of Hinduism. Allowing one part to be taken from Hinduism opens a door for the distortion of the teachings. We must remember that the roots to modern day yoga comes from Vedic Yoga. The same Vedic Yoga that is the authority of Hinduism. Allowing one branch to be severed from the tree of knowledge will not necessarily kill that tree, but it can produce strain and have an unbalancing effect upon the tree.
Hinduism should reclaim its full heritage and not allow other groups to rename its sacred teachings under their banner, especially when they have no history of those teaching within their own system. If they wish to ‘borrow’ and say this comes from our brothers and sisters in Hinduism, then that is another thing. But frequently groups attempt to privatize the information and present themselves as the original authority. Hinduism should guard against its sacred traditions becoming distorted and taken away.
Scholars at universities should take the stand that yoga is part of Hinduism, though one is one required to be a Hindu to practice yoga. It is important to acknowledge the roots of the tradition; after all we are expected to give credit to the original sources within books and research papers, but yet Hindu scholars have ignored this fundamental western view when it comes to their own heritage.
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 1:41 PM
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest
Dear Mic, I would appreciate your personal comment on this: “Yoga is beyond religion” by Fr. Ferreira. Alphonse
Fr. Conrad Saldanha
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 2:12 AM
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest
Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work. 2 John 9-11
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Ephesians 4:14
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 7:25 PM
Subject: Yoga is not a religion, claims Catholic priest who teaches it
———- Forwarded message ———- From: Fr. Felix Rebello <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM Subject: GEM-3/31-ECO-SPIRITUALITY
Yoga is beyond religion: Catholic priest…
Fr. John Ferreira graduated in yoga from a Hindu yoga institute in Bangalore
Fr. John Ferreira‘s yoga meditation classes
The Indian Church is experiencing a yoga epidemic among its clergy.
I had written in an earlier report, published only in hard copy, that Antony Cardinal Padiyara, the Syro-Malabar Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly breathed his last in 2000 in a yoga ashram which he had founded at Kakkanad in Kerala. It was called the “Cardinal Padiyara Nature Cure and Yoga Ashram“.
At a CBCI function in New Delhi in April 2006 commemorating Pope John Paul II’s death anniversary, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, secretary general of CBCI, welcomed the guests saying it was a special occasion not just for Catholics and ended it chanting “Om, Om, Om.”
As detailed in my other reports and articles on yoga, there are literally dozens of priests — potential bishops and Cardinals — who are proponents of yoga and authors of treatises on yoga. Some like Syro-Malabar priest Fr Jos Thachil have done a Masters degree in yoga.
Let us pray that the bishops of St. Peter’s, Agra, and others like them, never, ever occupy St. Peter’s, Rome!
See HABEMUS PAPAM INDIANUM-WE HAVE AN INDIAN PONTIFF