FEBRUARY 19, 2013
Errors in Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor – 04
Use of Hindu and superstitious marks on forehead and face by Catholic devotees and retreatants
THE REASONS FOR OUR CONTINUING THIS SERIES ON DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE
1. The spirituality of the Divine Retreat Centre [DRC] is “charismatic”. One gets the impression that the DRC’s “charismatics”, both preaching teams as well as regular devotees, believe that they are “superior” to other Catholics.
Since my antecedents are not known to many who visit our web site, I proudly affirm that my spirituality is charismatic.
I must add that one of my spiritual directors, a holy and orthodox French Benedictine priest, actually finds it impossible to reconcile my “conservative” ministry with my being “charismatic”. To him it’s an oxymoron. To me, it seems a natural thing.
I have attended literally dozens of retreats and special events including a Bible College and a training programme in Counselling at the DRC between 1995 and 2000. I still do, as in the past, recommend to others these retreats for the reason that the preaching of the Word of God at the DRC has led to the transformation of many lives.
However, it is generally accepted that the contents of the retreat programmes have not evolved much since their inception over two decades ago and the retreats have continued to be by and large what can only be termed as an “initiation” into the Faith. This has resulted in little growth in the spiritual lives of most regular retreatants for whom the Centre becomes a place of pilgrimage and recourse when in need. Many, lacking “solid food” which they now pursue, end up as Pentecostals.
2a. It has been my observation for a very long time that the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, has been the propagator of errors and abuses, including in the liturgy of the Mass, something that, as an apologist, I now find impossible to ignore.
I admit adhering to and participating in most if not all of them at one time or another for several reasons, the chief among them being ignorance; moreover, no one objected to them and almost every charismatic priest, religious and lay leader practised them. However, circumstances — and the personal counsel of some good CCR leaders who would like to see these abuses and errors stopped — make it imperative that they be now exposed. Some teachings at the DRC are not Catholic.
2b. It has been my experience — when I have pointed out these errors and abuses from time to time — that most die-hard devotees of the Divine Retreat Centre are not very receptive to fraternal correction of any sort, or even discussion of the possibility of the Centre being in error. Their responses have ranged from indulgence to hostility. My pointing out that I am only appealing to the teaching of the Church has not saved me from being labeled “anti-Divine Retreat Centre”.
The DRC has become a holy cow for many both within and without the institution and any criticism is viewed as bordering on the sacrilegious. I can truthfully state that this attitude goes right up to the top of the administration. In case my statements appear outrageous, let the reader be assured that, in the course of this series,
I will provide the necessary evidence
to support them.
3. The focus of the first article in the series was on DRC‘s Enneagrams proponent, Sri Lankan preacher Lalith Perera; see DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01,
It was originally published as ENNEAGRAM PRACTITIONER MINISTERS AT DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE.
The Enneagram is a New Age, occult personality-typing system. See ENNEAGRAMS SUMMARY
for more information on Enneagrams.
Despite the evidence provided to its Director, Fr Augustine Vallooran VC and letters of protest sent to him by several Catholics, DRC continues to invite occult-tainted Lalith Perera to minister at the Centre every year sine our report in 2006.
4. The immediate reason for this series on the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, was the refusal of priests at the Centre to engage in civil correspondence with us in regard to our genuine concern about their promotion of a controversial mystic, see our September 2012 report MAUREEN SWEENEY-HOLY LOVE MINISTRIES
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MAUREEN_SWEENEY-HOLY_LOVE_MINISTRIES.doc. This resulted in the report DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DIVINE_RETREAT_CENTRE_ERRORS-02.doc.
If that attitude was an isolated one, there would have been no necessity for this series. Unfortunately, it was a repeat of the 2006 enneagram preacher DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01 issue. These first two reports of the series do indeed confirm that the Divine Retreat Centre indeed does not take kindly to fraternal correction or attempt to correct serious error. More evidence of that will be provided.
5. In closing DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02, I wrote, “Apparently, the Divine Retreat Centre has made a habit of promoting false mystics, one such being a Greek Orthodox woman, Vassula Ryden whose messages have been condemned by Rome as dangerous” and to be shunned by Catholics.
The present report is on the use of Hindu and superstitious marks on forehead and face by the Centre’s Catholic devotees and retreatants.
While it is admittedly not the fault of the retreat preachers if retreatants wear those marks to the centre, the centre can be held responsible for not exhorting them to get rid of those marks. If they argue that it is not any of their business, I ask them why they selectively cite Ezekiel 13: 18-20 to get retreatants to remove the “sacred” threads and bands that many Catholics purchase from mosques, temples and even from outside Catholic churches and tie on their wrists and arms to ward off evil.
Below are pictures from pages 19 and 20 of the February 2013 issue of VACHANOLSAVAM, the magazine of the Potta Ashram, a sister concern of the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor run by the Vincentian Fathers.
The black dot on the lower portion of the left cheek of the baby in the first photograph is “drishti”, meant to ward off the evil eye. The forehead dots on the kids in the other two pictures are probably the same.
Dots on children’s foreheads are usually “drishti” rather than decorative or religious.
The May 2012 issue of Vachanolsavam which I happened to come across today had two such photographs.
It is a certainty that these photographs are a regular feature of this charismatic publication.
The earlier referred February 2013 issue of Vachanolsavam had a number of pictures [almost 50% of the photographs] of Catholic women wearing the Hindu bindi. The May 2012 issue also had a few.
To understand why these forehead and facial marks must not be sported by Christians, see my reports
BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?
SUPERSTITION 01-DRISHTI OR THE EVIL EYE
The Vincentian Fathers have either never replied to my letters drawing their attention to errors that are propagated at their retreat centres and in the Indian church at large, or if they ever did, as in the cases of the Enneagram proponent Lalith Perera [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-01] and the controversial mystic Maureen Sweeney‘s devotions [DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE ERRORS-02], the letters are evasive or harsh.
Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India