NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

NEW WEBSITE:
www.ephesians-511.net
JUNE 25, 2009. UPDATED DECEMBER 2009

 
 

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

 
 

From:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
To:
pcid-office@interelg.va
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:58 AM

Subject: as above

KIND ATTN:
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

THIS IS REGARDING YOUR RECENT VISIT TO MUMBAI, INDIA

 
 

Secular media reports claim that Rome is behind the New Community Bible [NCB], but this has not been refuted either by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India or by the Society of St. Paul, the publishers of the NCB.

I reproduce below extracts from eight of the many such reports:

1. Mother Mary in sari, Joseph in turban
Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=&id=b16c27be-01f4-497b-be40-e4c5b325ed09&&Headline=Mother+Mary+in+sari%2c+Joseph+in+turban&strParent=strParentID
As congregations decline in the West,
the Vatican hopes to attract more believers to its fold with an ‘Indianised’ Bible
depicting Virgin Mary in a sari and Joseph clad in a loincloth and turban…

2.
Bible ‘Indianized’ to attract converts
Ottawa Citizen, Citizen News Services July 26, 2008

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=49f13bcf-c2e3-4f57-962c-b97ac4ab7be2
The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts in the world’s second-most populous country as congregations decline in Europe and North America.

3. Vatican aims to spread the word with ‘Indianised’ Bible

By Jeremy Page in Delhi July 26, 2008 © The Times, London

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/vatican-aims-to-spread-the-word-with-indianised-bible-1441317.html?service=Print
The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts…

4. Vatican for sari-clad Virgin Mary on ‘Indian’ Bible

http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1585800
July 26, 2008

5. Vatican hopes Indian Bible will translate into surge of converts
Times of India
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4402482.ece

“The New Community Bible is part of an attempt by the Vatican to attract more converts…”

6. Vatican banks on sari-clad Virgin Mary
Sakaal Times,
Pune,
July 27, 2008

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/vatican-banking-on-sari-clad-virgin-mary-in-indian-bible-to-draw-in-converts_10076012.html

“The Vatican is hoping to attract more people into turning to the Catholic church in India…”

7. Vatican puts Mary in sari for Indians Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, July 27, 2008

London, July 26 ANI:
With the picture of a sari-clad Virgin Mary and a loincloth and turban –clad Joseph in the first “Indianised” Bible,

the Vatican is hoping to attract more Indians into turning the Catholic Church, as congregations decline in Europe and North America… page 1

8. Vatican banks on Indianised Bible Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, July 27, 2008

London, PTI “As congregations decline in West, the Vatican hopes to attract more believers to its fold with an “Indianised” Bible…” page 15

The detailed reports, along with readers’ comments, can be read at http://ephesians-511.net/documents/PRESS%20REPORTS%20AND%20READERS%20CRITICISMS_NEW%20COMMUNITY%20BIBLE_6.doc

I have already informed the Bishops of the Church in Rome of the above situation through one of my email letters.

Three of my priest-friends had met very senior leaders of the Church in Rome even of the rank of Secretaries of a Congregation and a Pontifical Council, and handed over copies of the New Community Bible to them for their examination. None of them had even seen a copy of this “Indianised” Bible before, and one Archbishop whose department should be fully aware of the production of a new Bible admitted that he had not even heard of it.

 
 

In Mumbai, India, on the 12th of June, 2009, an “inter-faith dialogue” was held between the Catholic Bishops led by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona and Apostolic Administrator of Vasai, Bishop Gali Bali of Guntur, Bishop Felix Machado of Nashik, Bishop Ralph Manjaly of Varanasi and Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio, on the one hand,

 
 

 
 

and the leaders of the Hindu faith led by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Jayendra Saraswati, and represented by the godman Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living movement, Sudheendra Kulkarni, senior BJP member and adviser to Mr. L.K. Advani, etc. on the other.

 
 

From the pro-Hindutva media reports, the Church came across as being apologetic and on the defensive: “The Catholics did not expect HH* to hit them so hard – well revealed in their faces.”

We were asked by the Hindu leaders for our assurance on several issues ranging from desisting from (forced) conversions, to the management and disbursal of funds received by Catholic institutions. The Catholics were also asked to bring along with them the representatives of the Protestant churches — whom the Catholics have accused of being behind the forced conversions: “The Catholics denied that they are involved in conversion and it was only the Protestants who do the same. So HH* asked them to bring the Protestants for the next meeting, scheduled for December” — for the proposed follow-up meeting. One blog quotes the Sankaracharya as saying that the next such dialogue will be held only if and when the Catholic leaders meet their demands: “The next meeting like this, according to Periyava* will only happen when they do what they have agreed to do”. *The Kanchi Sankaracharya

It is common knowledge that the Kanchi Sankaracharya is the main accused in a case relating to the murder of his temple manager and his case is still pending before the courts. Apparently he has used the “inter-faith dialogue” to strengthen his political clout among fellow-Hindus by aggressively making a number of demands, eleven to be exact, which are listed on the Kanchi Math’s web site http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535.

One of the eleven points, the last one, is reproduced below:

11. The Church in India must stop forthwith the use of Hindu religious words, phrases and symbols like Veda, Agama, Rishi, Ashrama, Om and other such in what is referred to as ‘inculturation’ tactics, but which are only intended to deceive the vulnerable sections of our people who are the intended targets for religious conversion. This is also insulting to and wounding the religious sensitivities of Hindus.

Similarly it has been brought to our notice that some churches are scripting a new Bible for the new converts by usurping sections of our sacred Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas and incorporating them into the Bible. This must stop immediately and all such Bibles must be withdrawn from circulation. We urge the Indian government to look into the issue and do the needful.” [See pages 7, 8 for the rest]

The Sankaracharya is referring to the St. Pauls’ New Community Bible.

It will be a year, June 28th, that the New Community Bible was released. To mark that date, I will be publishing on this ministry’s web site the hundreds of letters that I received from Catholics, laity as well as priests, rejecting it and calling for its withdrawal by the Bishops of the Catholic Church in India.

To their voice is now being added that of the Sankaracharya whom we have accepted as the spokesperson for Hindus.

The following unsolicited letter, used here with permission, is from a very knowledgeable Catholic lay man whose area of interest is the study of the Early Church Fathers:

“From:
derrickdcosta@yahoo.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:21 PM

Subject: Re: NCB in the meeting with the Sankaracharya

Dear Michael, I feel the NCB has in fact not been very appealing to the right wing, the very constituents that the NCB appeared to please. The unnecessary focus on Brahminical Hinduism which characterised the NCB seems to have pleased a small section of liberals, estranged the dalit Christians who have already rejected Brahminical Hinduism, and also enraged the Brahmins themselves… God bless, Derrick [BAHRAIN]

I quote again from the kanchiforum web site. EXTRACT:

After their Press Briefing, when question time arrived, I put a question to Cardinal Oswald Gracias:In the Indian Community Bible released by Mumbai Catholic Church, you have included hundreds of verses from Vedas and Upanishads.
Does this not amount to steeling [sic] the intellectual property of Hindus?

The answer given by the Cardinal was “I am not aware of this.”

P. Deivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice, 210 Abhinav, Teen Dongri, Yeshwant Nagar, Goregaon West, Mumbai 400062. Tel: 022-28764460, 28764418, 09324728153.

 
 

The New Community Bible is opposed by Catholics, by the Dalit community, and by Brahmins, though for different reasons.

A total of ten different reports on the New Community Bible are already available at this ministry’s web site, and a further two or three will follow shortly.

We once again appeal to the Magisterium to take note of the genuine concerns of the people of India as well as the people of your Church, concerning the Church’s efforts in what is perceived as inter-faith dialogue and inculturation; and the erroneous New Community Bible which is both a vehicle and product of that inter-faith dialogue and inculturation.

We can achieve much more against the forces of communalism in India by walking in the Spirit than acting in the flesh.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu, Catholic apologist www.ephesians-511.net

 
 

SIMILAR LETTERS SENT TO ALL CONGREGATIONS AND PONTIFICAL COUNCILS IN ROME

See LETTERS TO THE HOLY SEE_NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE_12

 
 

 
 

ONE SELECTED RESPONSE FROM PRO ECCLESIA ET PONTIFICE MINISTRY, U.K.

From:
Daphne McLeod
To:
michael Prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 12:02 AM Subject:
RE: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

Thank you for forwarding me a copy of your latest letter to Rome, Michael.  This is an appalling situation and you have voiced an excellent protest, explaining how harmful such ‘inculturation’ as it is called, is.  Indians just like everyone else on earth need and deserve an honest, complete exposition of the Faith and that includes the true approved Bible we have all used since the third century.  It will be interesting to see what reply you get.
On Monday I am going to Scotland to help in a Catholic Summer School for teaching children the faith.  I will be working with two young nuns, members of the Argentinian Order “Sisters of the Incarnate Word”, one of our excellent new religious orders.  So, among all the dissent, there are some good things happening in the Church and they are coming from the young. With my love and prayers, Daphne.

 
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

INTER-FAITH MEETING IN MUMBAI ATTENDED BY THE POPE’S ENVOY, CARDINAL JEAN LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

Inter-faith meet reproves conversion, Kandhamal riots

http://in.christiantoday.com/articles/inter-faith-meet-condemns-conversion-kandhamal-riots-seeks-peace-and-harmony/4029.htm

By: Babu Thomas Christian Today India Saturday, 13 June 2009, 15:19 (IST)
Religious conversion and Kandhamal violence remained the central argument at the inter-faith dialogue between Hindu and Catholic leaders in Mumbai.
Among noted personalities from the Hindu faith were Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Jayendra Saraswati, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Mumbai Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Cardinal Jean Louis P Tauran, the Pope’s representative from the Vatican, represented the Catholics.
The two-day meet at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall was organised in the wake of recent violence on Christians and the still-paralyzing consequences of the Kandhamal carnage.
The Hindu pontiff, Jayendra Saraswati, pointed ‘conversion’ as the chief reason for the growing violence on minorities. He sought an assurance from the Catholic Church to halt such activities, which the latter has refuted and blamed on Protestants.
“Although conversion is a personal choice, I want to endorse that there will be no forced conversions. It has no meaning, and is considered invalid. The Catholic Church is totally against forced conversions. The Vatican documents are clear about that,” media quoted Cardinal Gracias saying.
At a press conference, religious leaders from both the sides condemned the violence on Christians and even agreed to jointly associate in social work and charity.
A press statement released by Sankaracharya urged churches and Christian groups to use charity funds for social causes like health and education. The Hindu seer apart from conversions also disapproved foreign funds used for running educational and charity projects. Furthermore, he also objected to the visit of U.S Commission on Religious Freedom to India. “We will not allow external interference in our internal affairs,” he commented.
A senior BJP member and adviser to Mr. LK Advani, Sudheendra Kulkarni, was also present at the meeting. Such events will “pave way for greater understanding,” he said.
The Vatican representative Cardinal Tauran expressed much hope in the inter-faith meeting, which he said, will have a positive outcome. “India is a cradle of many religions. I am also very impressed that Indians are open minded and tolerant with positive values,” he praised.


Conversion focus of inter-faith talks

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_conversion-focus-of-inter-faith-talks_1264434

Linah Baliga / DNA Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:09 IST

Mumbai: An inter-faith interaction between Hindu and Catholic religious leaders, held at Mumbai’s Shanmukhananda Hall on Friday, appears to have focused a lot of time on the issue of conversions and the killings at Kandhamal in Orissa last year.
While the Hindu side was represented, among others, by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Jayendra Saraswati, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Christian side was represented by Mumbai Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Cardinal Jean Louis P Tauran, the Pope’s representative from the Vatican.
According to sources, the Vatican representative wanted to know why Christians were facing violence when India was supposed to be a tolerant country. The Sankaracharya reportedly sought an assurance that conversion activities would be stopped, and referred to the assurances sought by Jewish rabbis last month from the Pope.
The Vatican did not comment on the aspect of stopping conversions, but pointed out that there were many Protestant groups doing conversions, and the Catholic Church had no control over that.
The Sankaracharya, who spoke softly in Hindi, said the meeting can be considered useful if the points agreed are faithfully followed. “Unless the church reassures Hindus that it will not conduct itself in a manner that wounds Hindu sensibilities and follows up on those assurances, such inter-faith meetings, no matter how frequently held, will be futile and not serve any meaningful cause,” he added.
“Although conversion is a personal choice, I want to endorse that there will be no forced conversions. It has no meaning, and is considered invalid. The Catholic Church is totally against forced conversions. The Vatican documents are clear about that,” said Cardinal Gracias.

 
 

 
 

At an impromptu news briefing after the dialogue, it was announced that the two religious groups would work together, where possible, in charity and social work.
The Sankaracharya noted that “very large amounts of money come into this country for churches and Christian groups, ostensibly for charity work. These funds should be used only for social causes like health and education. Similarly, Hindu temples and Hindus will share their resources,” he said.
The Sankaracharya said he wanted India to be a spiritual country. “We should take moral lessons from each religion and educate our children.” To which Cardinal Gracias responded: “Our country is spiritual and we must continue to deepen the spirituality of our people. Moral lessons should be included in the school syllabus, to help make better human beings,” said Cardinal Gracias.
Among the other Hindu leaders who attended the dialogue were Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Uttaranchal, Swami Vishveshwarananda Giri Maharaj of Mumbai, Swami Nikhileshwarananda of Vadodara, the Prajapita of Brahmakumaris from Rajasthan, and Chaturvedi Swami of Chennai.
The Catholic side was represented, apart from Cardinal Gracias and Cardinal Tauran, by Archbishop Quintana of the Vatican Nunciature in Delhi, Cardinal Topno of Ranchi, Archbishop Gali Bali of Guntur, Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik, and Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune.
Cardinal Tauran had this to say: “India is a cradle of many religions. What impresses me is that Indians are open minded and tolerant with positive values. We know this inter-faith meeting will have a positive outcome. It gives an orientation and a beginning of something.”
The Sankaracharya also said that there should be no interference from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in the internal affairs of the country, including the attacks on Christians in Kandhamal and Gujarat.
“We see the USCIRF as an intrusive mechanism of a foreign government to interfere in the internal affairs of this country. The USCIRF, which has been permitted to hold meetings with our people to ascertain religious freedom in our country, must no longer be permitted to enter this country on this intrusive mission. We will not allow external interference in our internal affairs,” the Sankaracharya asserted.

 
 

A positive Hindu-Vatican dialogue
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-positive-hinduvatican-dialogue/476103/0
Sudheendra Kulkarni sudheenkulkarni@gmail.com Posted online: Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 0150 hrs
Stupendous two days. {June 12th/13th}
I’ll never forget these two days lived in love and trust and engaged in Hindu-Christian dialogue.” This is how Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, president of the Pope’s Council for Inter-Faith Dialogue, Vatican City, described the interaction between Hindu and Christian representatives in Mumbai on Friday and Saturday. Coming from someone who experienced the depth and breadth of the spiritual tradition in India for the first time, this effusive response seemed natural.

Hindu participants too were unanimous that this was a fruitful dialogue.
There have been several useful dialogues in the past between Hindu religious leaders and representatives of the Catholic Church. By and large, the themes of these dialogues were “academic” in nature, as they sought to explore the theological common ground between the two faiths. But the Mumbai meet was different for three significant reasons.

First, this was the first formal interaction between the two sides after the unfortunate flare-up of conflict in Orissa last year, which highlighted two inter-related facts: the condemnable violent attack on churches and innocent Christians on the one hand and, on the other, the rising Hindu disquiet over a sustained campaign of conversion to Christianity.

Second, this was for the first time that the Catholic delegation was led by the Pope’s highest emissary heading the department of inter-faith dialogue.

Third, this was also for the first time that Hindu religious leaders of high eminence participated in the dialogue, sending a clear message that the Hindu side is ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with Christians of all denominations.
Swami Jayendra Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, led the Hindu delegation, which included Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living movement; Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh; Rajayogini Dadi Janki of Brahmakumaris; Swami Nikhileshwaranandaji and Swami Vigishanandji, two senior monks from Ramakrishna Mission; Sri Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swami of Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust and Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vishveshwaranand Giri Maharaj of Sanyas Ashram, Hardwar.

Catholic participants included Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Vatican’s ambassador in India; Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik; Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune and Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Varanasi.
I was surprised to be invited to participate in the event, which was hosted by the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, a genuine bridge-builder between the two communities. My only qualification, perhaps, was that I had participated in a global inter-faith meet on religious conversion in Italy in 2006, which was jointly organised by the Vatican and its Protestant counterpart, the Geneva-based World Council of Churches. It was the first ever inter-faith dialogue, organised by the two large Christian establishments, focused exclusively on the thorny issue of religious conversion. The joint statement adopted at the end of that meet has become a landmark document. Even the BJP’s manifesto for the recent parliamentary elections carried an appreciative endorsement of it, and called for the “setting up of a permanent inter-faith consultative mechanism to promote harmony and trust between communities”.
The good part of the Mumbai meet was that, even though the issue of conversion dominated it, the deliberations were marked by candour as well as cordiality. The Hindu leaders unequivocally condemned anti-Christian violence. Catholic participants were equally unequivocal in affirming that forced conversion, and conversion with allurements of any kind, is invalid and rejected. They stated that all faiths were worthy of equal respect. This is an affirmation that Hindu leaders have been waiting to hear for a long time, since many Christian and Muslim scholars make a thoroughly untenable distinction between “People of the Book” (Jews, Christians and Muslims) and those outside the “Book”.

 
 

The long history of religious conversion in India has shown how Hinduism was, and still is in many places, presented as a “pagan” and “false” religion, whose adherents could attain salvation only by abandoning “falsehood” and embracing the sole “True Path”.
Cardinal Tauran, a godly man of deep reflection, has imparted a refreshing new perspective on the Vatican’s relations with Hinduism and other oriental faiths. In an interview last year, he had categorically stated that “he would be travelling to India soon and there he wanted to give this message that all religions are equal…We mustn’t get the impression there are first-class religions and second-class religions.” His remarks in Mumbai have created a sound basis for carrying forward the Hindu-Christian dialogue in a positive direction. The genuineness of the interaction was also evident from the fact that, after the first day’s closed-door deliberations, Cardinal Tauran led the Christian delegation on a goodwill visit to Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak Temple. This was followed by the Hindu delegation visiting the Holy Name Catholic Cathedral.
The scope of inter-faith dialogue got enlarged on the second day when Cardinal Tauran was the chief guest at a soulful all-religion prayer, followed by an enlightening colloquium, in which eminent Muslim, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist personalities also participated. It was organised by Shantilal Somaiya, a renowned octogenarian educationist, who has been striving for better inter-religious understanding for many decades.
The road of reconciliation and durable harmony and peace is a hard one. Several important questions need greater debate leading to convergent positions. In the months ahead, both Hindu and Christian leaders also have a duty to crystallise mutual trust and understanding into a practical and collaborative agenda of action at all levels, including the grassroots level, to remove the sources of prejudices, tension and conflict. How to move ahead? One clue was given by Swami Chidananda Saraswati, who said, “Apni apni bhakti, parantu sabse badhkar rashtra bhakti.” (Let us love and follow our respective faiths, but keep love of the nation above all.)
[please note that the above views are of Advani’s advisor, and has therefore certain academic merit, it does not address his party’s endorsement and promotion of anti-minority violence]

 
 

HINDUS STRONGLY OBJECT TO THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE & INCULTURATION

ARCHBISHOP OF MUMBAI LIES

http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535
P. Deivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice, June 13, 2009 4:36 am

Subject:
MUMBAI’S R. C. CARDINAL GRACIAS PREACHES WHAT HE IS NOT AWARE

I attended the Press Conference, held today (12th June 2009) at 3.30 p.m. at the Shanmukhananda Hall, King Circle, Mumbai, addressed by Kanchi Shankaracharya Swamiji and the Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, subsequent to the Inter-Religious Dialogue held at the same venue.

After their Press Briefing, when question time arrived, I put a question to Cardinal Oswald Gracias: “In the Indian Community Bible released by Mumbai Catholic Church, you have included hundreds of verses from Vedas and Upanishads. Does this not amount to stealing the intellectual property of Hindus?”.

The answer given by the Cardinal was “I am not aware of this”

Now look at the press reports published by Mumbai newspapers datelined July 09, 2008, reproduced below:

==========

Mumbai, July 09, 2008: The Catholic Church has released a special Bible for India, one that has reference to Indian scriptures, uses Indian cultural and religious themes, and will appeal to the new generation.

The liberative knowledge of the spirit (atman) is to be attained through ‘seeing, listening, reflecting and meditating’ This verse from the hoary Brihadaranyaka Upanishad explains chapter 51 of the Book of Isaiah, in The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition) for India.

Church leaders called the book, that was released in Mumbai last month by the Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, “a work of lasting importance”.

Christened the ‘Indian Bible’, the book is the culmination of a significant 18-year long experiment by the local Catholic Church to adapt the Bible for the Indian community.

Thus, apart from using Indian cultural and religious themes in the narrative, the book also uses English that is familiar to Indians, unlike the older editions of the holy book.

This Indianised bible also depicts Virgin Mary in a sari and Joseph clad in a loincloth and turban.

============

Having himself released the Book – The New Community Bible – the Cardinal had the temerity to say that he was not aware of it, in the presence of about 30 journalists and photographers. If this is not a blatant lie, what is it?

My subsequent question was: “Does that mean that Bible was written by human beings, and has nothing to do with Jesus Christ?” His answer was: “It was spoken by the God and written by people”.

P. Deivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice, 210 Abhinav, Teen Dongri, Yeshwant Nagar, Goregaon West, Mumbai 400062.

Tel: 022-28764460, 28764418, 09324728153.

Also at: http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=8801 June 12, 2009

 
 

Subject:
Was it an inter-faith dialogue or a confrontation?

From: Allwyn Fernandes, Mumbai allwyn.fernandes@gmail.com

To: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009, 1:06 AM

Was the Bombay meeting between some Hindu leaders an inter-faith dialogue or a confrontation? And was Jayendra Saraswati, a man who is still facing a murder charge (pending in a Pondicherry court since 2005) the right man to dialogue with for such a meeting, given his controversial background (he has been accused of being a politician in religious garb)?

 
 

 
 

From all accounts in the Mumbai media and from the website of the Kanchi Mutt it seems to have been more a confrontation (http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535) than a dialogue! And we seem to have fallen into the same trap as Bishop Aloysius Paul of Mangalore who merrily told NDTV with a smile on his face on Day One of the attacks of Christian churches in Mangalore last September – “I don’t know why they are attacking us when it is the Pentecostals who are converting people?” This later led to Home Minister Acharya saying, “Your bishop is complaining that the Pentecostals are troubling him also.” So he was doing us a favour by beating them up! If some of our people got beaten up, it was a case of what the Americans call “collateral damage”!

From what one reads in the papers here, from Jayendra Saraswati’s statements to the media and from what is on the Kanchi Mutt’s website, it seems the Kanchi “seer” or “Pontiff” as he is variously called, was aggressive and did not give an inch.

One also wonders why a dialogue in the presence of so high ranking a Vatican dignitary like Cardinal Tauran was only with some representatives of the Hindu community when India has followers of six major religions and a Minister for Minority Affairs?

Why were lay people excluded from such an important meeting, if indeed it was important? Aren’t lay people, who in fact interact more with their brothers and sisters from other communities, not involved in a dialogue with those of other faiths? How is that that one sees only names of bishops involved in the “dialogue”? Even scholar-priests have been excluded. And if the discussion focused on Kandhamal and Orissa, who were the representatives from there? Why were they excluded? Why were priests like Cedric Prakash and others actively involved in working with people of other faiths in civil society groups for the human rights (of which religion is one) of people of all faiths not present at the meeting?

In the final analysis, what matters is the outcome from such meetings, not the output (which we are seeing in the media now). What is the outcome from this meeting?

From calls and mails I got today, it is apparent that people are asking questions. And in today’s world it is only fair that their questions be answered if we seek their help and understanding to take the process forward. Even if our bishops decide to be secretive and not speak to people from the community, the Kanchi group has already laid out its terms for carrying the “dialogue” forward in December on its website.

Some questions that are being asked:

What was the preparation made for this meeting? What kind of preparations? Who were involved? Because for any real outcome from these meetings, there has to be a lot of preparatory work off stage. And outcome or results are slow and long in coming. Was there any preparatory work in this case or was everyone rushed into it because Cardinal Tauran was coming? We didn’t hear about any of this before? Why/why not?

Was the timing right? At a time when the entire edifice of aggressive Hindutva built up over 25 years (from the time of “Garv se kaho hum Hindu hain’) is beginning to crack up and crumble before our eyes, when the man who mocked secular-minded people for many years as “pseudo-secularists” and got away with it is now being dubbed a pseudo by his own followers, was this a right meeting at the wrong time? Would it not have been wiser to wait a few weeks?

There is also an issue of propriety — propriety in associating with a man accused of murdering a temple official in the temple premises. Jayendra Saraswati and his “junior pontiff” Vijayendra were both accused, along with 22 others, of murdering the temple manager who had spoken out against him and accused him of financial wrongdoing. Jayendra Saraswati has admitted he was greatly disturbed by the allegations, though he denied being involved in the murder. He was refused bail by the TN High Court and twice by the Supreme Court. He was granted bail only on the third appeal before the Supreme Court in January 2005 and the case is now pending in a Pondicherry court. He has not been acquitted of the murder charge. Why then are we associating with him publicly, a man who is desperately seeking acceptance by civil society? True, innocent until proven guilty but then so are so many MPs and politicians who are facing murder cases, some of whom have been elected to Parliament. If civil society says that these men should be shunned, shouldn’t Jayendra Saraswati also be shunned till he is acquitted of all charges? Would the bishops share a platform with Narendra Modi tomorrow? He at least has not been formally charged in a court with a heinous crime like murder?

Let us also not forget that Jayalalitha brought forth anti-conversion legislation at Jayendra Saraswati’s instance. They were pretty thick till the murder charge tumbled out. So it is not as if he is the victim of false charges by a hostile government. Quite the contrary.

As for the outcome, it is worthwhile to visit the Kanchi mutt’s website:

“The Catholics denied that they are involved in conversion and it was only the Protestants who do the same. So His Holiness Jayendra Saraswati asked them to bring the Protestants for the next meeting scheduled for December” – Did we, for lack of adequate preparation, end up falling into the same trap as the Bishop Aloysius Paul of Mangalore who told NDTV on Day One of the attacks of Christian churches in Mangalore – I don’t know why they are attacking us when it is the Pentecostals who are converting people? This later led to the Karnataka Home Minister Acharya saying, “Your bishop is complaining that the Pentecostals are troubling him also.” So he was doing us a favour by beating them up!

Did we fall into the same trap and really blame the Protestants?

I could be wrong, but judging from media reports and from what is on the Kanchi mutt’s website, it seems we were on the defensive. I hope I am wrong!

Allwyn Fernandes

Journalist & Communications Professional

 
 

 
 

 
 

From:
Derrick D’Costa
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:21 PM

Subject: Re: NCB in the meeting with the Sankaracharya

Dear Michael,

I feel the NCB has in fact not been very appealing to the right wing the very constituents that the NCB appeared to please. The unnecessary focus on Brahminical Hinduism which characterised the NCB seem to have pleased a small section of liberals, estranged the dalit Christians who have already rejected Brahminical Hinduism and also enraged the Brahmins themselves… God bless Derrick

CONVERSION MUST STOP- HINDU CHRISTIAN DIALOGUE

By arisebharat June 16, 2009

http://arisebharat.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/conversion-must-stop-hindu-christian-dialogue/ 

Interfaith Dialogue – a synonym for cowardice and conspiracy

http://psenthilraja.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/interfaith-dialogue-a-synonym-for-cowardice-and-conspiracy/

It has been a fashionable statement to see reports in newspapers about interfaith dialogue.  People, particularly Indian middle class, would think, that this is an attempt and opportunity for different religions, to come together and understand each other. 

Added to that, the parties who initiate this, would advertise this effort as an attempt to establish religious peace.

However, not all that glitters are gold.  The interfaith dialogue is mostly initiated by christian missionaries, and recently by catholic pope.  However, we have to note that point, that it is the christian missionaries who spread venom and hatred, under the guise of service to poor, that they often insult the other religions as pagans, false religion, false god, and particularly towards hinduism, they had been vehemant in calling hindu gods as satans, and those hindus who worship idols as prostitutes.

Where is the logic in such a body or institution, who doesnt respect other religions, and in whose holy book is stated that “Jesus is the only true god”, calling for an interfaith dialogue.

What actually are they going to discuss in that dialogue, when their very scripture is an extreme ideology, intolerant of other religions.

IF we consider a typical dialogue b/w a christian missionary and a hindu, the hindus will agree that Jesus is also a god to be reverred, while the church will say (either directly or indirectly), that jesus is the only true god (which by implicit means all other gods are false), and that man can get salvation only by worshipping jesus.

To a common sense, its not an interfaith dialogue..  Rather a bullshit… an attempt to intimidate the other religious leaders, and through soft persuasion, to collapse the resistance of the other religious leaders in opposing conversion activity of the christian missionaries.

When a person really wants to understand others, there are lot of ways or sources to understand (in this internet age). 

Its very silly to say, that i will understand christianity only through a dialogue.

Please read the following press briefings by kanchi sankaracharyar, highlighting very important points.

HH Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya’s briefing on June 12, 2009

http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535

The Points that Pujya Shankaracharya made at the inter-faith dialogue and was made into a press statement.

1. Exactly one month ago to the date, the Pope went to Jerusalem where Jesus was born, for a similar dialogue that the Vatican had undertaken with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. At the end of that meeting when the Pope and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzer jointly addressed the Press and Media, the Chief Rabbi thanked the Pope for assuring the Chief Rabbinate that the Catholic Church would desist and cease from all missionary and conversion activities among the Jews. This is construed as endorsed and agreed by the Pope since he was present at the press meet. We need a similar commitment from the Church for Hindus.

2. After such inter-faith meetings, the points agreed have to be faithfully abided. Otherwise there will be no point in holding such meetings. Unless the Church reassures Hindus that it will not conduct itself in a manner that wounds Hindu sensibilities and follows up on those assurances, such inter-faith meetings, no matter how frequently they are held, will be futile and not serve any meaningful cause.

3. In 1999, Pope John Paul II had stated that the mission of the Vatican was to plant the Cross in Asia in the third millennium to facilitate the Christianizing of the world, which alone would cause the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Pope must tell us the rationale for the First Coming of Jesus Christ when there was no Christianity or the Church to undertake the mission to Christianize the world.

4. We see the USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) as an intrusive mechanism of a foreign government to interfere in the internal affairs of this country. The USCIRF, which has been permitted to visit this country to hold meetings with our people to ascertain religious freedom in our country, must no longer be permitted to enter this country on this intrusive mission. We will not allow external interference into our internal affairs.

5. We know that very large amounts of money come into this country for Churches and Christian groups, ostensibly for charitable work. These funds should be used only for social causes like health, education etc and should not be used for religious conversion. During these dialogues, it should be agreed that the funds should be distributed to all Organisations who do charitable work, irrespective of the organisations’ religious faith.

 
 

 
 

A common pool should be created and a Committee formed to distribute and monitor the usage of these funds.
6. It has become easy for the Missionaries to convert Hindus. All Hindu Organisations and Associations should work together to educate Hindus and eradicate the conversion activity.

7. Hindu dharma is by nature diverse and so all different panthas and sampradayas co-exist on this bhumi without seeking to destroy the others. Hindu dharma has nurtured and supported all faiths and religions because that is the way of dharma. We expect that religions which have come into this bhumi from other lands will respect this vital characteristic of Hindu dharma and not do anything to subvert or disturb the sense of nationhood of this country. Hindu dharma and the Hindu people welcome Christians and Muslims, Parsis and Jews to make this land their home. We expect from these religions that they will not seek to destroy our faith, our religion and wound our religious sensibilities. We encourage all religions to live with mutual respect and harmony in a shared sense of nationalism which should bind us all as one nation. Nationalism should come first.

8. We are aware of the propaganda that they [the church] will cure diseases and ailments if the individual converts to their faith. This is illegal as per the DRUGS AND MAGIC REMEDIES ACT 1954 and we call upon the Indian government to take action under the provision of law.

9. Most of the countries in the world (USA, UK, Japan, Middle-east nations, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc.), adopt national resolutions and statements of intent proclaimed by their governments and their tallest religious bodies, affirming their determination to protect and defend the culture and the religion from which their cultures derive. In India alone we pass resolutions which officially and legally promote an irreligious and unspiritual creed called secularism. Secularism is an administrative quality; it cannot be the soul of this nation. The soul of this nation is religious and spiritual. We call upon our government and other important religious bodies to recognize this truth and affirm their commitment to protect the soul of this nation.

10. The Buddhist Mahasangha and the Joint Committee of Buddhist Organizations have declared their intention to get the Sri Lankan government to pilot and pass a national anti-conversion Bill and make it law. We welcome this move and strongly endorse this measure.

11. The Church in India must stop forthwith the use of Hindu religious words, phrases and symbols like Veda, Agama, Rishi, Ashrama, Om and other such in what is referred to as ‘inculturation’ tactics, but which are only intended to deceive the vulnerable sections of our people who are the intended targets for religious conversion. This is also insulting to and wounding the religious sensitivities of Hindus. Similarly it has been brought to our notice that some churches are scripting a new Bible for the new converts by usurping sections of our sacred Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas and incorporating them into the Bible. This must stop immediately and all such Bibles must be withdrawn from circulation. We urge the Indian government to look into the issue and do the needful.

Post by: kanchi mahan. Namaskar.
It was a closed door session attended by 2 priests from Vatican, the priests from Mumbai, Kasi and Saurashtra, representatives of Ramakrishna mutt, Brahmakumaris, Swami Sidhananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Chaturvedi, Iyangar Swami.
After welcoming everyone, the Mumbai priest spoke for some time and the Vatican priests spoke, then all representatives spoke for 15-20 minutes and HH was the last to speak.
Then both HH and the Cardinal from Mumbai spoke to the Media. HH mentioned almost all the points mentioned in the press note.
The Catholics denied that they are involved in conversion and it was only the Protestants who do the same. So HH asked them to bring the Protestants for the next meeting, scheduled for December.
The press note along with the “Jerusalem Post” press clip was then circulated to everyone.
HH then briefed the Tamil media – Dinakaran, DinaThanthi and a TV channel when He described what He spoke in the closed door meet.
The Catholics did not expect HH to hit them so hard – well revealed in their faces. One of the 2 priests from the Vatican agreed to Periyava that he was present when the Pope agreed “not to convert” Jews in a closed door session with the Jews as mentioned in the Jerusalem Post. The next meeting like this, according to Periyava will only happen when they do what they have agreed to do.

 
 

CARDINAL HAILS SUCCESS OF CATHOLIC-HINDU MEETING

Says Its Opens New Chapter in Dialogue http://www.zenit.org/article-26205?l=english
MUMBAI, India, JUNE 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is reporting that an unprecedented Catholic-Hindu meeting in India has opened a new chapter in relations between the two faiths.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran affirmed this Tuesday in a Vatican Radio interview, after participating in a June 12 Catholic-Hindu summit in Mumbai.
In the two-hour meeting, Catholic and Hindu leaders discussed recent violence against Christians in that country.

 
 


The Union of Catholic Asian News reported that since last August, around 90 people, mostly Christians, were killed and thousands displaced during four months of violence in Orissa and other regions.
Jayendra Saraswathi, who is the current Sankaracharya of the Hindu monastic institution Kanchi matha, noted that these attacks were a reaction to “forced conversions,” and asked Church leaders that these acts be stopped.
The Kanchi matha is one of the most important religious institutions of South India, and the Sankaracharya is a leading religious figure in the nation.
Cardinal Tauran affirmed that for the Catholic Church, forced conversions have no value.
A Catholic participant who requested anonymity told UCA News that his delegation assured the Hindu leaders that the Church is not involved in these forced conversions, and has no control over the groups performing them. The Hindus responded that in this case, they want the other groups involved in dialogue as well.
Cardinal Tauran reported that there is a region in India where 160 churches are being constructed, which shows a growing presence of evangelical communities throughout the country. He explained, “It is evident that these are not Catholic churches, but rather buildings of Protestant headquarters.”
Therefore, the cardinal said, “I had to explain to one of the principal Hindu religious leaders the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant, and I have to confess that he did not have his ideas very clear in this sense.”
“Our meeting had the great advantage of clarifying some important points,” and above all of hearing that in general the Hindus “have nothing against the Catholics,” he affirmed. Rather, he noted, some fundamentalist groups are the ones who perpetrate the violence against Christians.
The Hindu leaders distanced themselves from the violent instigators, asserting that “this is not India; we are a peaceful people.”
The two delegations shared their concern over the violence perpetrated in the name of religion, and asked for respect for all faiths as the only way to guarantee harmony in the country’s multi-religious society.
After the discussion,
the Catholic leaders witnessed a Hindu prayer in one of the temples, and the Hindus attended the celebration of vespers in the Mumbai cathedral.
The day passed in an environment of friendship, the cardinal noted, which is necessary for interreligious dialogue.
The prelate affirmed that the summit “opened a new chapter in the relations between Catholicism and Hinduism,” and that now it is up to the local communities to keep the dialogue alive.
Cardinal Tauran concluded the interview by inviting Christians in India to “not be afraid of showing themselves as Christians” because they “have been planted in this land of God in order to bring forth flowers.”
Along with the issues of violence against Christians and religious conversion, the meeting participants discussed cooperation in social work such as health and education.
In a press conference Jayendra Saraswathi and Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai reported some of the summit’s conclusions.
The Sankaracharya underlined the spiritual nature of India and the need to respect minorities, but emphasized the need for assurance that the Catholic Church would not “offend Hindu sensibilities.”
He called for Hindu organizations to educate their members so as to decrease conversions.

Cardinal Gracias reiterated that forced conversion does not happen in the Catholic Church: “It has no meaning, and is considered invalid.”
The archbishop of Mumbai called for a deepening of the “spirituality of our people,” added that “moral lessons should be included in the school syllabus to help children become better human beings.”

 
 

INCULTURATION AND THE HYBRID BIBLE by G. P. Srinivasan*
July 07, 2009

http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Inculturation-Hybrid-Bible/blog-291.htm

*Author’s Home Page: http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/blog-columns-GPSrinivasan-1.htm
It is not at all surprising for me to know that the Archbishop of Mumbai**
lied to editor, Hindu Voice while answering his question on The New Community Bible during the press meet held on 12th June 2009, 3.30 p.m. at the famous Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai. **Cardinal Oswald Gracias
Just read the following quote.
“When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality with unity (of the Church) as the end; the use of every means is sanctified, even cunning, treachery, violence, simony, prison, death for all order is for the sake of community and the individual must be sacrificed to the common good” – Bishop of Verden, AD 1411. (Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler, Time Reading Program, 1941, Macmillan Co., Page 77).
Ends justify the means
Inculturation, as propounded by the Vatican Council II Documents 1, is the plan of Christians being within the folds of culture, tradition and heritage of any people, posing as faithful devotees and declare the “hidden Christ” at right moment, so that they (dubbed as heathens, infidels & unbelievers) would become “Christians”. Till such time, they have to adapt and adopt their culture and related customs, practices and manners.

They even build Temple-like Churches, use Hindu symbols and paraphernalia extensively and the Christian priests roam as Hindu Sanyasis and Sadhus. By the Vatican Directive Prot. N. 802/69 dated April 25, 1969, Twelve Points of Inculturation were permitted in India.

 
 

 
 

 
 

So far, the “Inculturation” activities carried out by the Christian missionaries among the Saivites have been the topics discussed in selected and published books also. The authors have come across a Jesuit, who has been carrying out his activities among the Srivaishnavas for around 30 years. He is Professor F.X. Clooney from Harvard University’s Divinity department, following the steps of Roberto de Nobili. It is well known as to how Roberto de Nobili, a Jesuit came from Italy claiming as a “Roman Brahmin”, donned ochre robes, learned Indian languages, forged “Yasur Veda”, was tried by the Ecclesiastical Court and finally died in Chennai itself without any news.
In 2000, after the Pope’s condemnation of the practice of Yoga and other Eastern Meditation methods by the Catholic priests and others, some Christians have also started criticizing the inculturation programmes. However, the ongoing activities by the inculturation and Inter-religious / Faith groups / programs clearly prove that they are pursued vigorously with the same old plans. Though, Fr. Bede Griffiths has not openly recorded in his writings, Jesuits like Ignatius Hrudhayam, Francis X. Clooney, Amaladas and others have revealed that they follow Roberto de Nobili as their role model. Thus, the succeeding Jesuits in India have taken his method of “Inculturation” as a “role model” overtly and covertly. The mushrooming Catholic Ashrams and increasing ochre rob clad Christian priests and preachers amply prove their game-plan.
Gullible Hindus
Gullible Hindus are found often helping Christians in their Inculturation directly and indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly. They simply think that these Christians want to know Hinduism and they are happy that the white skinned foreigners too want to follow their religious practices.
Academic Iron Curtain
Dr. Bettina Baumer, a German is based in Varanasi. She is well versed in Sanskrit. She has studied Kashmir Saivism also. She has ingratiated herself with Hindu Scriptures. About 18 year ago (1991), she arranged a conference in Dehradun. Selected Scholars about twenty in number participated in this closed conference which lasted six days. The theme of the conference was “Mysticism in Christianity and Saivism”. The Director of the International Institute of Saiva Siddhantham Research located at Dharmapuram (Tamilnadu), presented a paper on Saivite Mysticism. It was well received. Years later eventually Dr. Bettina Baumer, brought in a book form the papers presented. However the paper on Saivite Mysticism did not find a place in the Printed book. When confronted, by the Director of IISSRC, Dharmapuram, she told him that English was so rich, and high, that even Englishmen, were unable to follow it. However the reason given for omission of this paper was that the paper on Saivite Mysticism was not received in time. The fact is that the paper was handed over well on the very day, after it was presented and discussed. It was also the best paper, and appreciated by the participants. When confronted with this fact, she only said “I am really sorry.” When elegant papers on Hinduism are presented, Christians in Hindu garb never fail to draw an iron curtain over them.
Misguided Sri Vaishnavas helped Father F X Clooney
The Vatican sees India as the last bastion of the sacred, and hence seeks to infuse that spirit into Christianity in the West. Harvard Professor F X Clooney says, he wants to infuse the inspiration that he has derived from Nammalvar”s “Thiruvaimozhi” into Christianity. Western values are driven by adventurism, pop music, evangelizations, sports, commerce, politics, technology and humanism; a fact which our policy makers should take note of.
Thomas Paine (1737- 1809) wrote:
“Everything in the Old Testament is perverted and distorted into meanings never intended by the writers. The practice which the writers of the books employ is not more false than it is absurd. They state some trifling case of the person they call Jesus Christ, and then cut out a sentence from some passage of the OT and call it a prophecy of that case. But when the words thus cut out are restored to the places they are taken from, and read with the words before and after them, they give the lie to the New Testament.”
Robert L. Johnson wrote in “The Bible’s Ungodly Origins”:
“Many rank and file Christians sincerely believe the Bible is a direct communication from God to man. I know I used to believe it was when I was a Christian. And from recent conversations with many sincere Christians I know this is currently true for many believers. Once it is proven to our God-given reason that the Bible is strictly a man-made collection of mythology the mind loses yet another shackle of “revelation” and is soon on its way to full freedom and progress. The Bible was not handed to mankind by God, nor was it dictated to human stenographers by God. It has nothing to do with God. In actuality, the Bible was VOTED to be the word of God by a group of men during the 4th century.”
Thomas Paine in his work titled “The Age of Reason” noted the very basis upon which Christianity was raised, was on “flawed methodologies,” for example the taking of alleged Old Testament prophecies and claiming that they referred to Christ who was born some 700 to 500 years after they had been uttered by the Hebrew prophets.
H.G. Wells in the world famous, “The Outline of History”, Vol. I, pages 462-463, wrote: “It (the Council of Nicaea) marks the definite entry upon the stage of human affairs of the Christian Church and of Christianity as it is generally understood in the world to-day. It marks the exact definition of Christian teaching by the Nicene Creed.” Constantine ordered and financed 50 parchment copies of the new “holy scriptures”. It seems with the financial element added to the picture, the Church fathers were able to overcome their differences and finally agree which “holy” books would stay and which would go and following its true tradition
the Indian Bible has been written with over one hundred quotations from Hindu scriptures incorporated.
Late Major Vedantam, who pioneered the investigation of Christian missionaries in India over thirty years ago wrote:

 
 

 
 

 
 

“Theocentric and theocratic eclectics are as dangerous as nuclear, chemical and other warheads. The concept of ‘My God is your God, but your God is no God’ does not foster understanding, co-operation and goodwill.” The concept should be changed to “Your God is my God and my God is your God” and accepted by all religions.
According to Professor John Crossan of Biblical Studies at DePaul University, USA:
“The Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered ‘holy’ and thus ‘the word of God’ and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.
“Emperor Constantine, who was Roman Emperor from 306 CE until his death in 337 CE, used what motivates many to action – MONEY! He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the ‘word of God’ into existence. (I wish to thank Brian Show for pointing out in his rebuttal to this article that the final version of the Christian Bible was not voted on at the Council of Nicaea, per se. The Church leaders didn’t finish editing the “holy” scriptures until the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church pronounced the Canon closed. However, it seems the real approving editor of the Bible was not God but Constantine!
And the Holy Bible has been once again tampered with in 2008 Edition – only this time with additions from Hindu Scriptures.

Why would Christian Church copy Hindu Scriptures?
The answer is here. “Such, indeed, is the exuberance and flexibility of this language (Sanskrit) and its power of compounding words, and when it has been, so to speak, baptized, and thoroughly, penetrated with the spirit of Christianity, it will probably be found, next to Hebrew and Greek, the most expressive vehicle of Christian Truth.” – M. Monier-Williams (1861:54).
When we hear that at least a hundred quotations from Vedas, Yogasutra and Upanishads have been incorporated into the Indian Bible published in 2008, we are worried. We are also shocked when we hear the cross behind the Jesus has been removed about which a leading archeologist commented “this is tribanga pose of Sri Krishna and also resembles the Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in ecstasy”. The pain and trauma in face of Jesus has been erased and to be replaced with the picture of Joy found in Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Nataraja. The transformation is not yet complete, and the words “he is dancing with joy has been interpolated in the adjacent page”. Hindu musical instruments used in religious Bhajans like Tambura is on the right side, Tabla is on the left side and a violin is on the upper left, dangles in the air, and there are twinkling stars all around in the space. A pair of cymbals (jalra) is found at the right foot of Jesus. He has been adorned with a long Yahnopavitham, which extends up to the left ankle, instead of the traditional one that stops at the waist. We Hindus are legitimately worried at the blatant plagiarism.

Kalakshetra controversy

Whenever we hear the name “Golden Temple”, we tend to think of the beautiful Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. There is another Golden Temple in South India – the great Nataraja temple at Chidambaram in Tamilnadu that is associated with the cosmic dance of Nataraja. These are sacred cultural and religious symbols of Bharat and of great importance and immense sacrifices have been made by both Sikhs and Hindus respectively to save and protect their holy symbols and sacred places. Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, an Institution established for promoting Hindu Dance forms, is used for inculturation by its Jew-Christian Director. She has removed the Nataraja and Ganesh statues from its premises, which is certainly a matter of concern for Hindus (Hindu Voice, Sept. 2007).
The classic Bharat Natyam cannot be separated from Hinduism by Vatican ideologues in India, as they have found it a useful tool of evangelizations.

“(Christian) inculturation is cultural plagiarism (and) cultural vandalism, with the idea of ultimate conquest says ” Swami Devananda .He says “We must be beware of Christians with their flattery and money, taking over our sacred art forms such as Bharatanatyam, even as they did to those of ancient Greece and Rome, and calling them their own”. Drawing from his four decades of dealing with Christian Missionaries, he gave this ominous warning to Hindus “Christianity is a parasitical religion, which attaches itself to a host culture and feeds off it, absorbing its spirit and lifeblood into itself until the host culture dies and become Christian.” This was articulated by Art of Living fame Sri Sri Ravishankarji:

“How can you separate Bharatanatyam and Hinduism?” and again echoed by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswathy, “Dance is Sacred. You cannot think of Dance without Nataraja”, and now Hindus have the double duty to defend their fellow religious people and also their texts from poachers. (Hindu Voice, Sept. 2007).

Conclusions:
“To understand the Hindu Concept of Cosmic Nataraja we have to understand the Hindu Concept of dance itself. When it comes to natya the greatest inimitable exponent, Balasaraswathy had stated that Bharat Natyam is nothing but “Natya yoga”. Bharat Natya originated with Tapas and Nataraja himself is the supreme teacher of Natya and codified by Bharatha Muni in his Natya Sastra. Bharat Natya is the Supreme cultural Symbol of Perfection in dance form. When the most revered cultural symbol of Sikhs was threatened as happened some months ago when the blue attire of their most revered Guru Govind Singh was copied by Dera Sacha Sauda founder Baba Ram Rahim, the entire Sikh community of Punjab and Haryana were outraged.

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

They came to streets, and the two states came to a standstill. It was a war-like situation. This incident was an eye-opener, as to what the consequences will be if religious sacred religious symbols and traditions of one section of the population are misappropriated illegitimately.
In the absence of any law whatsoever in India to protect the original indigenous cultures, heritage and knowledge, the entire gamut of Hindu is under threat of unholy poachers. Its heritage and dominant concepts and Ideas, Icons, Scriptural lore and Philosophical heritage. It is well known that Basmati, Neem, Turmeric, Yoga and Bharat Natyam have has now become endangered,
and now it is the very Vedas, Yoga Sutras, having been plagiarized*** and hence the crying need to enact strict legislations. ***in the New Community Bible- Michael
Food Items like Basmati, Neem and Turmeric have since been protected after stiff legal battles in international courts. Now it is the turn for the other rich symbols of Hindus, Buddhist, Sikh and Jaina literature in books, sacred objects, icons, temples, sacred forests, mountains, caves, rivers, religious spaces like bathing ghats, sacred trees , groves, passages, ashrams, mutts, properties, lands endowed to them, unique customs, leadership , sampradhayam, follower ship, rituals, practices, worship methods, mantras, tantras, yantras, associated with these traditions, padarthas, aushadas, pathways, places, religious, cultural icons, art, architecture, music, dance, folk art, instruments, dress, jewellery, festivals, methods, stories and organizations, sanctity, even food and gastronomic effects, need urgent documentation and immediate protection from our authorities. Acts like intellectual property rights must me enacted, and copyright provisions must be extended for Cultural objects and the religious space of Hindus must be protected as holy sanctuaries, but before that Hindus have to be sensitized for the great work that lies before them.

SELECTED
READERS’
COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE
2 out of 26 comments as on November 15, 2009:

July 28, 2009, by
Swami Devananda Sara:
It is important that Hindus (and Christians) be made aware of what
the Catholic Bishops Council of India is up to vis-à-vis inculturation. The hybrid bible was their project
and they promoted it. Now it has been withdrawn, but too late…

August 11, 2009, by
Vijayalakshmi:


Even “OM”, the Pranava mantram and Gayatri mantram have been plagiarised by them. This is nothing but downright fraud! I happened to pass by a place called Kolathur in Chennai, when I saw a place of worship. It looked deceptively Hindu. I read the words “Idho un Thaai”(Here is your Mother), written on the top. When I looked at the image, I was shocked to find that it was an idol of Mary swathed in a sari, covering her head with the palloo! It was preposterous and meant to deceive the illiterate and gullible Hindus!
Hindus must take steps to educate the gullible ones about the fraudulent religion of christianity. The Bible was written and re-written many times. There was a time when King James was so shocked by the vulgarity in the Bible that he re-wrote it completely.
Anybody can follow Hindu religion, but
trying to superimpose christianity on Hinduism must be strongly opposed.
I used to be a truly secular person. Now, with all these fraudulent methods of “inculturation”, I have developed total contempt for christianity, because this religion is a political one and has nothing to do with spirituality.

SEE MY COMMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE WITH MR. SRINIVAS ON PAGES 18 ff- MICHAEL

 
 

DECISION AT THE INTERFAITH DIALOGUE

P. Deivamuthu Hindu Voice Op-Ed Contributor July 11, 2009

http://newsblaze.com/story/20090711173051zzzz.nb/topstory.html

I attended the Press Conference addressed by the Kanchi Sankaracharya Swamiji and the Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias on June 12, 2009 at the Shanmukhananda Hall, King Circle, Mumbai, subsequent to the closed-door Interfaith Dialogue.

But I am surprised at the way the decisions are reported by the press. This also shows the quality of our reporters who attend such Press Conferences. The Swamiji and the Cardinal were spelling out the important decisions taken at the meeting. While Swamiji was softly speaking in chaste Hindi, the Cardinal was explaining it in Hindi as well as English. But how many reporters understood their briefings and reported it to their respective editors is a matter of suspicion. Or is it that the editors are trying to black out something, especially the first two decisions?

Here is the decision taken at the Meeting, which both spelt out.

1. That India should be declared a Spiritual Country, instead of a ‘secular’ country.

2. All the school text books should carry moral stories from all religious books and scriptures.

3. The Catholic Church is against forced conversion, and they will not support any forced conversion.

4. Moneys received from foreign countries for the purpose of serving the poor should be used only for that purpose (as seva is a religious duty), and not for converting the poor.

5. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) should not be allowed to visit our country. Both Hindus and Christians consider it as interfering in the internal affairs of our country.

6. Since, the Catholics say that conversion is done only by Protestants, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc., a comprehensive meeting comprising all denominations of Christians should be held in December 2009.

While briefing about these decisions, they both also explained the rationale behind taking such decisions.

I have already posted in this group my question to the Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias and the lie he told about the “Indian Community Bible”.

 
 

 
 

 
 

REPLY TO KANCHIFORUM BY CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CENTRE, ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY

http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535

Subject: REPLY TO COMMENT ABOUT MUMBAI ARCHBISHOP Posted: Tue July 28, 2009 6:10 am

This is in reference to your report on Cardinal Oswald Gracias’ statements made at the Press Conference subsequent to the closed-door Hindu Catholic Inter-Religious Dialogue at Shanmukhananda Hall, King Circle, Mumbai, on 12th June 2009 at 3.30 p.m.

1. The statement made by the Cardinal was that “‘conversion’ for Catholics is a ‘personal right’ that has to be respected; but ‘forced conversion’ for Catholics is never accepted as it is invalid and self-contradictory”. The Cardinal further added that he could speak only on behalf of his own religion. Any other statement accusing other religions of forced conversion goes beyond the verbatim representation of the Cardinal’s comment or intended meaning.

2. The allegations that the Cardinal had lied is untenable and unwarranted.

When asked a pointed legal question, whether the Christian Community Bible in quoting from the Vedas and Upanishads had committed an infringement of intellectual property rights, the Cardinal had said “I am not aware of this”.

This statement was clearly in reference to the legal implications of the question and was not a denial of ‘being aware’ of the Christian Community Bible. It was an honest admission and a spontaneous response of a prudent religious leader who had not gone into the intricacies of the footnotes as a matter of detail.

Catholic Communication Centre, Mumbai

MY COMMENT:

The Cardinal himself, like several bishops who wrote to this writer, not forgetting the two senior Bombay bishops who gave the NCB the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur — despite which it had to be taken down for REVISION of some problematic references!! — admits that he has not examined a new Bible with new commentaries released personally by him in his archdiocese where the producers, St Pauls, have a formidable presence.

Is it hereafter possible for Indian Catholics to trust their bishops who have the obligation of ensuring that Catholic publications, and most especially a Bible, are free from error and controversy?

 
 

REPLY BY KANCHIFORUM TO CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CENTRE

Subject: Re: REPLY TO COMMENT ABOUT MUMBAI ARCHBISHOP Posted: Fri July 31, 2009 5:40 pm

I have read this many times and I can not get past the following question:

So, if the Cardinal’s remark/reply pertains only to the ‘IP legalistic question’, then does that not imply that he is aware of the Hindu scriptures being used in Indian Bibles? Because if he is not aware of such texts being included, then where does the question about ‘IP’ even arise?

So, he is aware. If that is so, is this not contradictory to the Church’s position that all ‘other’ theologies except the Christian (catholic) theology as advocated by the Church is the ‘true’ theology to be followed by Christians? Where is it sanctioned in this framework that other non christian scriptures can be included in a bible?

So, while the statement that the Cardinal ‘lied’ may be not technically correct or ‘unwarranted’, the implication of his legalistic response only points to him not willing to answer the question in a forthright manner. His intent is then to mislead and obfuscate. Regards, KRS Kanchiforum.org

 
 

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE HIERARCHY OF THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE SPIRITUAL HEAD OF THE HINDUS

From:
prabhu
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:37 PM Subject: as above BCC: Select persons

Dear Reverend Fathers and friends,

On the 12th of June, there was a meeting at Mumbai. Please read the reports below, especially the portions that I have highlighted in bold as they concern the aspect of our attempts at “inculturation”, and the New Community Bible.

See point no. 11 of the Sankaracharya’s demands.

Also read Allwyn Fernandes’ post completely.

He has written to the Cardinals/ Bishops and just received a “lame and weak” response from C. Gracias, not included here.

Just yesterday, I came to learn that a Catholic activist had posted three copies of the NCB to the RSS/VHP/BJP several months ago.

What interests me most is that it is the Brahmins who might finally be instrumental in putting a full stop to the NCB, though our crusade has already resulted in the brakes having been put on it. Their objections might also finally affect the seditious Catholic Ashrams movement against which I have been constantly writing, I sincerely hope.

Kindly acknowledge receipt, Michael

PS. I intend to send a separate report to Rome on this issue.

 
 

 
 

 
 

My scrutiny of the many July 2008 secular press reports on the NCB reveals that most of them have written that the VATICAN has encouraged or is behind the release of the NCB to make more converts in India. Nothing could be further than that from the truth. The NCB is an inter-faith book that precludes conversion, finding good equally in all religions.

[Headlines of the copied news reports:]

Conversion
focus of
inter-faith talks Linah Baliga / DNA Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inter-faith meet reproves conversion, Kandhamal riots By: Babu Thomas Source: Christian today, 13 June 2009

A positive Hindu-Vatican dialogue Sudheendra Kulkarni Posted online: Sunday, June 14, 2009

Post subject:
Mumbai’s R. C. Cardinal
Gracias preaches what he is not aware June 13, 2009 4:36
am

Archbishop of Mumbai Lies
http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535

Conversion Must Stop- Hindu Christian Dialogue By arisebharat

HH Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya’s briefing on June 12, 2009
http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535

Was it an inter-faith dialogue or a confrontation? By Allwyn Fernandes

 
 

10 SELECTED LETTERS RECEIVED BY THIS MINISTRY AGAINST OUR ABOVE REPORT ON THE “INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE”:

From: roseferrao To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:13 PM

Subject: Re: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Dear Michael, Hope you and Angela are well by the grace God. We too are fine.

Thanks for the informative mail. I pray that the NCB is withdrawn as it poses a great danger to the new generation of Catholics in the years to come as no one will know the purpose of the NCB and might be led away from the truth.

Regards, Rose [Kuwait]

From:
Ian D’Souza
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:58 PM

Subject: Re: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Hey Mike, This is great news!  I truly hope this will be the end of the NCB.  However, on the other hand the other points put forward by the Sankaracharya’s demands – such as – no conversions, no foreign funds, etc, could be problematic for Christians in India. 

But I suppose we have to trust God for the road ahead.
With warm regards, Ian [Senior leader, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai]

From:
Richard Mascarenhas
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:23 PM

Subject: Re: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Dear Mike, If one can accept that all religions are equal, what more is there to say.  The Soul is already Sold to buy peace and there seems no hope.  The Vatican representative, if he has come to find common ground among religions, well that sounds the end of any assertion that Christ is the only true God.   

Is there any information as to what the Catholics did when they visited the Siddhi Vinayak Temple?  Did they fall down and prostrate thereby showing that all gods are equal?   

I now wonder, why did the early Christians accept death to life refusing to do what the then pagan kings asked them to do. Did Peter, Paul and all other martyrs die in vain preaching Christ as the only God and Saviour, when the actions of the present day priests and Bishops show that it was not necessary? God Help us. Love Richie [Oman]

From:
Daphne McLeod
To:
michael Prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:31 PM

Subject: RE: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Poor Michael, You have such a long and difficult battle on your hands and unfortunately you cannot rely on much help from Rome.  Archbishop Burke, the very good American Archbishop is now in Rome.  I wonder if he would be able to help you.  Cardinal Kasper is worse than useless, in my opinion. God Bless you and all your efforts,

Daphne proecclesia.com
[Director, Catholic ministry, London]

From:
Alphonse Babu
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:02 PM

Subject: Re: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Hi Mike, Thank you dear Mike for the mail which I read from its first line to the last syllable. I am really shocked and surprised at the “playing safe tactics” of our Clergy.

For a moment it gave me an impression as though they represented some politician of this country.

So nice of you to have mailed me such an important and an eyeopening article filled with worthwhile information.  I felt miserable at the irresponsible comments by our own clergy. Let us hope some good sense prevails over our Clergy to stop circulation of the NCB at least after hearing the Hindu Seer’s comment on not to be borrowing from their Vedas, Upanishads, etc. for the “conversion tactics” as they claim.

I really appreciate your “one-man-army” battle for the True Church founded on the Only True, Catholic & Apostolic Faith.

May God lead you to continue your good work despite so many physical handicaps.

With Love and regards Alphonse Surender [Music ministry, Chennai]

 
 

 
 

 
 

From:
Luz Maria Montes
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:17 PM

Subject: RE: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Dear Mike, Thanks for sending these. I had already read them and was about to post them to you. God has his own wonderful way of answering our prayers! Minoo and I are in the States visiting our daughters… Do pray for us, as we do for you and yours. Love,

Luz Maria [Chairperson, CCR, Bombay]

From: Priest, Name Withheld To:
prabhu

Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:52 PM

Subject: Re:
PROPOSED LETTER TO THE BISHOPS. IS IT OK?

Dear Mike,

I do not know what to write about, but the situation is grim if what is communicated in the HH website are true facts: 

1) If the Chief Rabbi has made a statement against conversion and the Pope has agreed to it, then it is the most unfortunate trend. It is the betrayal of the Master who ransomed them. Peter denying Jesus once again……!

2) If we are apologetic and are separating ourselves from the Protestants concerning conversion…then again it is unfortunate…the need of the hour is to stand as one. Remember we are also in the business of conversion unless we feel there is no difference in religion. Though I may not agree with all the theology of the Protestant s, I see them as God’s plan in the midst of this crisis in the Church to bring his saving message to the non Christians.

3) True the church by getting into dialogue with a man accused of criminal activity has given much credence to him.

4) I had pointed out to you an article in The Examiner which appeared earlier which clearly communicated the mind of the Cardinal (Oswald) on inter-religious dialogue. The thinking was clearly heretical in nature… we have started on a wrong premise!!!!!!!!!! Nor do I have a very high regard for Card. Tauran either especially in the way he has been handling this IRD as I read him in the Zenit news. This was not the original purpose why dialogue with other religions were first mooted.

5) One should not be making too much of dialogue because dialogue by its very nature has its limitation.. this is the very reason the N. T. Church never had this concept of dialogue but rather Proclamation…even John ch. 4 which is given as an example is a case of proclamation though a dialogical approach.. While Paul on the other hand either proclaimed or argued with the Jews! Correct me if I am wrong…

6) Finally and this is important…. THE CHURCH NEEDS TO LEARN TO DIALOGUE WITH ITS OWN.

I too would demand this of them but my experience with them has been only judgemental, and non judgemental when it comes to other IRD faiths…. and you will agree with me on this…… Even the laity has come of age AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE TREATED AS OUTCAST. Just a few of my thoughts.

Father ZZZ

From:
Richard Mascarenhas
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 3:06 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

Dear Mike, It is very surprising and disturbing to note that the Vatican itself is behind this deceiving game plan.  I hope it is not true not when a person like Pope Benedict the XVI is in the chair, who is considered to be deeply concerned with getting the Church back to its original roots, projecting Christ in the same manner in which our disciples, apostles and other martyrs and also the early fathers of the Church preached.  If the Vatican is involved in this deceiving tactics of getting converts at any cost by diluting the Bible and the faith of the people comparing other religions on equals with Christianity, they will be for a rude shock for it will definitely do more damage to the faith of the believers that bring others any closer. 

If this is from the Vatican, then we are moving away from the Bread of Life, Jesus the Word, to Bread Alone (the world with all its deceit.)  I pray and sincerely hope the Vatican will come out strongly against this and will demand an immediate withdrawal and ban any further publication of the NCB, demand a public apology from the Bishops and Theologians involved in the creation of an “Occult Bible”.  If priest like Fr, Jerry Sequeira [Mulky] could be banned from celebrating mass on basis of his disobedience to the Bishop’s order, here is something greater than that. With Love Richard [Oman]

From: mauriced’almeida
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 6:43 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

Dear Michael, Your efforts of all these years have started bearing fruit. God bless you. It is the Lord who is doing this in His own time. He is a faithful God and a shield for those who trust in Him.  We do not need “Kichdi” in our Christian life but a Spirit filled and led life which gives eternity as you mentioned in your last sentence. Let the Holy Spirit guide the Church in India and not a few priests and bishops who act as if they are the authority and have gone wrong completely in publishing the NCB by mixing up with pagan ways and polluted the Holiness of the Word of God, hence a lot of confusion prevails among the faithful, due to lack of Spirituallty in their leaders. They are led by fleshly desires and human intellect. At least now let the eyes of those who are in darkness be opened now. Compromise is not the way in the Church with other faiths but purity and truth given by Jesus, led by the Spirit will lead us to the Heavenly Father.
Thank you Michael for the great help in opening my eyes to the day to day events of what is happening in the Church in India.  God bless you and your family mightily. Yours in Christ Jesus Maurice [Dubai]

From:
Ms maria judith
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 1:07 PM

Subject: Re: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: DEMANDS MADE ON THE INDIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH BY THE SANKARACHARYA, THE HEAD OF THE HINDUS

Dear Brother, Praise the Lord! I am writing to you after a very long time but thank God i found some time at least now. Hope you are doing well and all at home too. 

 
 

 
 

Brother i have been going through all the mails u have been sending me. i just want to say one thing as a response to this meeting held between Hindus and Catholic leaders. “The state of the Church today is awful!!!” The early Christians gave their lives for the truth though most of them were uneducated and simple people and spread the love of Jesus to the whole world. But today the so called shepherds of the church have become dummies. For a Catholic to see their leaders sitting in front of criminals in saffron clothes and giving them clarifications and assurances that we will not convert people is really pathetic. it is like making Jesus bend before Pilate again. Our own leaders are persecuting Jesus today. Great cardinals and men of the Church they call themselves but none of them have spoken a word about Jesus during the meeting. Truly is seems like a confrontation and not a dialogue. The Hindu leaders are so strong in their ideas about their religion and our people have bent them selves down so miserably.

Another good thing that has happened is that the Hindus refused to accept the NCB that shows how badly our people are blindfolded by the devil. God knows how to shut things that do not belong to Him!

If these people can not stand for the truth and demand safety for our people and discuss the many other needs of the church from the Government just like how the Hindus did rather than just coming back fruitless, what is the use of them being the Shepherds of the Church? I wonder where we are going. When we face persecution will these people stand by us? i doubt.

i am not saying that they should have argued and fought but there were better and more important things for them to discuss. There were lot more good things and deeds that our Church is doing and contributing to India that they could have enlightened those people about.

May God open the hearts and minds of our leaders to the truth and give them the courage to stand for Jesus and His Word rather than seek the safety and security of their own lives and their future. Lord have mercy on us!!!

Pinky [Ministry leader, Secunderabad]

 
 

LETTER FROM THIS MINISTRY TO THE CARDINALS, BOMBAY AND RANCHI, COPY TO THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIO, TO THE BOMBAY, VASAI, GUNTUR, NASHIK AND VARANASI BISHOPS

From:
prabhu
To:
ccbi@airtelbroadband.in ; abpossie@gmail.com ; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; Archbishop’s House ; diocesebombay@gmail.com

Cc:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com ; manjalyraphy@yahoo.co.in ; Bishop Patrick D’Souza ; cathdionsk@sancharnet.in ; Gali Bali ; Bishop Thomas Dabre ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com ; bishopdabre@gmail.com ; punedioc@vsnl.com ; ranchiarchdiocese@gmail.com ; telesphore p. toppo ; cardinaltoppo@gmail.com

Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:58 PM SENT A SECOND TIME:
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 8:20 PM

Subject:
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE:

BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL [THE INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE]

Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay,

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi,

Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona and Apostolic Administrator of Vasai,

Bishop Gali Bali of Guntur,

Bishop Felix Machado of Nashik,

Bishop Ralph Manjaly of Varanasi, and

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio,

I have read several media reports of the “inter-faith dialogue” between you, the Catholic Bishops led by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, on the one hand,

and the leaders of the Hindu faith led by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Jayendra Saraswati, and represented by the godman Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living movement, Sudheendra Kulkarni, senior BJP member and adviser to Mr. L.K. Advani, Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Uttaranchal, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vishveshwaranand Giri Maharaj of Sanyas Ashram, Hardwar, Swami Nikhileshwarananda of Vadodara and Swami Vigishanandji, two senior monks from the Ramakrishna Mission, Rajayogini Dadi Janki, the Prajapita of Brahmakumaris from Rajasthan, and Sri Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swami of Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust, Chennai on the other, held on June 12th in Mumbai.

   
 

The clergy keep reassuring us that the laity is also the Church, but I did not find any lay person representing us. Even if there had been, I am sure – from past experience — that those representatives of the laity would have been chosen only for their lack of independent thinking. Or am I wrong and does the Church still encourage prophetic voices?

There are even priests who do not agree with some aspects of the Indian Bishops’ stance on inter-religious dialogue.

Would such priests be permitted to engage in the discussions? I don’t think so.

Despite ensuring that the Catholic representatives were of one mind, it seems that we did not come off well.

[From: Allwyn Fernandes allwyn.fernandes@gmail.com
Subject: Was it an inter-faith dialogue or a confrontation?]

Allwyn Fernandes’ reports on the proceedings of the event must be true because they have not been denied.

He has written to you [Cardinal Oswald Gracias] and a few selected responses from priests and lay persons to his reports [published in MangaloreanCatholics yahoogroup] are included below [see following page].

 
 

 
 

   
 

From the pro-Hindutva media reports, the Church came across as being apologetic and on the defensive:The Catholics did not expect HH* to hit them so hard – well revealed in their faces.”

We were asked by the Hindu leaders for our assurance on several issues ranging from desisting from (forced) conversions to the management and disbursal of funds received by Catholic institutions. The Catholics were also asked to bring along with them the representatives of the Protestant churches — whom the Catholics have accused of being behind the forced conversions: “The Catholics denied that they are involved in conversion and it was only the Protestants who do the same. So HH* asked them to bring the Protestants for the next meeting, scheduled for December— for the proposed follow-up meeting. One blog quotes the Sankaracharya as saying that the next such dialogue will be held only if and when the Catholic leaders meet their demands:The next meeting like this, according to Periyava* will only happen when they do what they have agreed to do“. *The Kanchi Sankaracharya

   
 

It is common knowledge that the Kanchi Sankaracharya is the main accused in a case relating to the murder of his temple manager and his case is still pending before the courts. Apparently he has used the “inter-faith dialogue” to strengthen his political clout among fellow-Hindus by aggressively making a number of demands, eleven to be exact, which are listed on the Kanchi Math’s website
http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2535.

One of the eleven points, the last one, is reproduced below:

11. The Church in India must stop forthwith the use of Hindu religious words, phrases and symbols like Veda, Agama, Rishi, Ashrama, Om and other such in what is referred to as ‘inculturation’ tactics, but which are only intended to deceive the vulnerable sections of our people who are the intended targets for religious conversion. This is also insulting to and wounding the religious sensitivities of Hindus. Similarly it has been brought to our notice that some churches are scripting a new Bible for the new converts by usurping sections of our sacred Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas and incorporating them into the Bible. This must stop immediately and all such Bibles must be withdrawn from circulation. We urge the Indian government to look into the issue and do the needful.”

   
 

The Sankaracharya is referring to the St. Pauls’ New Community Bible.

Two days ago, June 28th, it was a year that the New Community Bible was released. To mark that date, I have published on my ministry’s website the hundreds of letters that I received from Catholics, laity as well as priests, rejecting the New Community Bible and calling for its withdrawal by the Bishops of the Catholic Church in India.

To their voice is now being added that of the Sankaracharya whom we have accepted as the spokesperson for Hindus.

The following unsolicited letter is from a very knowledgeable Catholic lay man whose area of interest is the study of the Early Church Fathers:

“From: derrickdcosta@yahoo.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:21 PM

Subject: Re: NCB in the meeting with the Sankaracharya

Dear Michael, I feel the NCB has in fact not been very appealing to the right wing, the very constituents that the NCB appeared to please. The unnecessary focus on Brahminical Hinduism which characterised the NCB seems to have pleased a small section of liberals, estranged the dalit Christians who have already rejected Brahminical Hinduism, and also enraged the Brahmins themselves… God bless, Derrick” [BAHRAIN]

   
 

I quote again from the
kanchiforum
site.
EXTRACT:

After their Press Briefing, when question time arrived, I put a question to Cardinal Oswald Gracias: “In the Indian Community Bible released by Mumbai Catholic Church, you have included hundreds of verses from Vedas and Upanishads. Does this not amount to steeling [sic] the intellectual property of Hindus?

The answer given by the Cardinal was “I am not aware of this.” P. Deivamuthu, Editor, Hindu Voice, 210 Abhinav, Teen Dongri, Yeshwant Nagar, Goregaon West, Mumbai 400062. Tel: 022-28764460, 28764418, 09324728153.

The New Community Bible is opposed by Catholics, Dalits and Brahmins, though for different reasons.

A few more letters from Catholics, laity and priests, on the topic at hand, are copied below.

A total of ten different reports on the New Community Bible issue are available on this ministry’s website, and a further two or three will be hosted next month.

We once again appeal to you to take note of the genuine concerns of the people of India as well as the people of your Church, concerning the Church’s efforts in what is perceived as inter-faith dialogue and inculturation; and the New Community Bible which is both a vehicle and product of the inter-faith dialogue and inculturation.

Cardinal Tauran led the Christian delegation on a goodwill visit to Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak Temple. This was followed by the Hindu delegation visiting the Holy Name Catholic Cathedral.  [http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-positive-hinduvatican-dialogue/476103/0]

We can achieve much more against the forces of communalism by walking in the Spirit than acting in the flesh.

Yours obediently,
Michael Prabhu

 
 

 
 

 
 

10 selected letters received by this ministry against our report on the “inter-faith dialogue”: [see pp. 13-15]

Selected letters received by Allwyn Fernandes in MangaloreanCatholics:

MangaloreanCatholics Digest no. 1492
dated June 21, 2009 

Re: Cardinal Ossie Gracias’ response and my response to him

Posted by: “Fr. C M PaulMangaloreanCatholics@gmail.com Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:10 pm (PDT)

Hi Allwyn, That was a well thought out and very practical suggestions for the next “Christian-Hindu” meet.
I wish you were on the team, to spell out the Christian position clearly. CM Paul

MangaloreanCatholics Digest no. 1493
dated June 21, 2009 

Posted by: “John Pereira, Advocate, Ghatkoper” 
Re: Cardinal Ossie Gracias’ response and my response to him

Dear Ancy, I feel Allwyn’s observations are very thoughtfully made and worth considering by the Catholic hierarchy before going in the next meeting in December ’09. I also suggest that worthy lay representatives such as Allwyn, Joseph Dias [CSF] and/or some eminent Christian member of minority commission should be considered to be a part of Christian delegation. John Pereira

Re: CARDINAL HAILS SUCCESS OF CATHOLIC-HINDU MEETING

Posted by: “John Pereira, Advocate, Ghatkoper”

Dear Ancy, KUDOS to Cardinal Oswald Gracias for initiating a beginning of Christian Hindu dialogue. The shortcomings which have been noticed as mentioned by renowned journalist Allwyn Fernandes, can be taken care of by the time next meeting is held in December ”09. I know Cardinal Gracias personally who was my Professor of Theology and my mentor even before he became a Bishop when he was a Professor at St. Pius Seminary. I am sure, he will take care of the constructive suggestions to include even rep. of Protestant and other Christian denominations and eminent lay reps as well in the Christian delegation for next meeting. With regards, John Pereira

MangaloreanCatholics Digest no. 1506
dated June 30, 2009

Thank you, Allwyn!

Posted by: “Rev. Donald De SouzaMangaloreanCatholics@gmail.com

My dear Allwyn,
I have been reading your thoughtful, wise and critical interventions on several issues pertaining to the Church in India. Congratulations! Hope many people will read them and be enriched and educated through them. However, MangaloreanCatholics reaches only a few people. I wish that you discover a forum through which you can enlighten many many more people. We certainly need an informed laity in the Church in India. Rev. Donald De Souza

 
 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

MY COMMENT, POSTED ON 15.11.2009 at http://www.forum.ivarta.com/Inculturation-Hybrid-Bible/484844.htm :

Dear Shri Srinivasan,

I am a Catholic layman, apologist and evangelist.

I only recently came across this article written by you.

Like me, there are many Catholic priests and lay persons who are greatly concerned about the “inculturation”– much of what is the “Hindu-isation” of Catholicism in India.

I say this with absolutely no disrespect to the Hindu religion, but we share your concern about the borrowing of Hindu Scriptures, mantras, rituals, dances, symbols, etc.

This does not have the approval of Rome [the Vatican]. However, gradually, infected priests, bishops and cardinals are convincing Rome that the Church in India has to be inculturated but there are few like me who resist this alarming trend. After all, St Thomas the Apostle, St Francis Xavier and others could never have been accused of inculturating in order to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and convert people without using coercion or inducements.

To be fair, I must add that it is NOT for conversion of the minority, though I would have like it to have been the reason, for the present inculturation.

Our clergy are mortally afraid of being accused of converting anyone, forcibly or otherwise.

The inculturation that you and I are witnessing, and the new “hybrid” Bible, are symptoms of the loss of Christian faith by our religious leaders, and it is leading to syncretism.

I am fighting this problem through my ministry and you can read my several articles crusading against what I perceive as aberrations and errors, on my site www.ephesians-511.net.

Sincerely wishing you all the best, and God’s blessings, Michael Prabhu, Chennai

You can send feedback to the author [Mr Srinivasan] at http://www.ivarta.com/feedback1.aspx?author=gp.srinivasan@gmail.com&com_srno=484844&title=Inculturation-and-the-Hybrid-Bible

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

MY FEEDBACK, November 17, 2009:

From:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
To:
gp.srinivasan@gmail.com
Cc:
Indiacause@gmail.com

Sent: Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 8:12 AM Subject: Comment on your article at iVarta.com
Your article at iVarta: Inculturation-and-the-Hybrid-Bible

Dear Shri Srinivasan,

I thank you for posting my comment on your blog on November 15.

We understand that the “hybrid” New Community Bible is to be released after some revisions in the near future.

Kindly read

India’s new Bible wears a bindi,
November 7, 2009, Rick Westhead, South Asia Bureau/Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/living/religion/article/722554–westhead-india-s-new-bible-wears-a-bindi

We wish you all success in your campaign against the borrowing of Hinduism by some Catholic priests and bishops in the name of inculturation.

Regards, Michael Prabhu and Team

Michael Prabhu 117.193.40.138
Thank you, iVarta Team http://www.ivarta.com

From:
GP Srinivasan
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net ; karanthapar@itvindia.net;

Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 1:45 PM Subject: Fwd: Comment on your article at iVarta.com

Dear Shri Michael Prabhu: 

Subject: Indian community Bible 2nd edition 

Thanks for your feed back. Thanks for passing on the star url. Someone had already sent it me. I am only a journalist and not a campaigner by the way. I feel each tradition should maintain its integrity and remain as they are. They should and cannot plagiarise from other religions and call it their own. If some one does it at kindergarten level, school level or college level it is called copying, when the person does it at research level it is plagiarism. When somebody does it in copying some one’s new invention or discovery, it is violation under patent acts. A person if he or she copies from some one’s work it violates copyright acts. If some one copies the Microsoft code it violates licensing agreements. In USA and Europe there was an attempt to copy Turmeric and basmathi rice. The cultural heritage of India. This was fought stiffly in international courts, and judgement was favourable to us. In the absence of any such law to protect the religious rich heritage of Hindus, Philosophy and Concepts, have become victim to cultural theft. This is cultural vandalism and robbery by Vatican, and its agents in India. This is blatant cultural colonism and another wave of Imperialism which we must resist. Thank you for your interest.

I wish to know what is stand of Protestant churches in this regard? Sincerely, GP.Srinivasan

 
 

From:
prabhu
To:
gp.srinivasan@gmail.com
Cc:
karanthapar@itvindia.net

Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:19 PM Subject: Re: Fwd: Comment on your article at iVarta.com

Dear Shri Srinivasan,

I thank you for your kind response. I am also thankful to you that you do not take offense at my ministry to defend the purity of the Catholic faith against borrowings from other religions. [I have many very good friends of other religious affiliations.]

We both share a common purpose but with different perspectives [worldviews] and goals influenced by our choice of religious faiths.

Like you as a devoted Hindu, as a Catholic by personal choice, I am greatly concerned if the spiritual traditions of another religious philosophy are borrowed to embellish my own for whatever reason.

I am not against “inculturation” per se. It means that, living in India, I am Indian. I may have an Indian name, speak the local dialect, dress in the attire of the local tradition, eat with my fingers off a plantain leaf squatting on the floor, etc., but I may be Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist or Parsi as per the freedom given to me under the Constitution, worshiping the God of my choice, or no God at all.

However, I am against “inculturation” when that means “borrowing” from Hinduism or Buddhism any of their spiritual traditions [philosophical, symbolical, ritual, and the like].

There is a very thin and ill-defined line between what is cultural and what is religious. In India, where the majority of Indians practice various forms of Hinduism all across the nation, it is often very difficult to separate the two.

It appears that an increasing number of Catholic theologians believe that there is no distinction between Hindu [Brahminic] religious practices and Indian culture. Hence we find Catholic priests chanting OM and the Gayatri Mantra, practising Surya Namaskar, dancing the Bharata Natyam, wearing kavi and bindi, performing arati in our liturgical services, distributing prasada, doing yoga and pranayam, and so on.

Our teaching Church, known as the Magisterium, has not defined the specifics of “inculturation” for India. When insisting on “inculturation”, Rome [the Vatican] is only inviting Catholics to be like the others around them and not stand out as citizens of an alien culture. Rome has never suggested that Indian Catholics must assimilate the spiritual practices of a local culture.

We are obedient to Rome in matters of faith and morals. [This does not preclude us from being patriotic Indians].

 
 

 
 

 
 

However, Indian theologians, many of who have now become bishops, are engaged in what we call “Hindu-ising” [with no offense to our Hindu brothers and sisters] the Catholic Church in the guise of inculturation. It is, as I often remark, an inculturation gone awry. In some of our liturgical services, a Catholic has to tweak himself to realize that he is not at a Hindu service but a Catholic one.

I assure you that there are many Catholics like me, including priests and a few bishops who are greatly disturbed and concerned, but their voices are stifled. The Church is a koinonocracy but in India it is run in an authoritarian matter. The Bishops are surrounded by sycophants and yes men and the ordinary lay person and even the ordinary priest cannot make himself heard. Letters to the senior bishops and cardinals are not answered.

Commencing July 2008, we conducted a campaign against what you call the “hybrid” Bible. We wrote hundreds of letters to the Indian bishops and even to all the Pontifical Councils and Congregations in Rome. We even sent several copies of the “Bible” to Rome along with our critiques.

While the “Bible” was apparently withdrawn from the shelves of Catholic book shops under some directive of the bishops or of Rome, it still sells in a few places and, as you know, a revised and supposedly corrected edition is to be released shortly. We are quite confident, after reading the Toronto Star report of their interview with a priest who is publishing it, that this version too will not be acceptable to us.

This “Bible”, like the “inculturation” of our liturgy and worship, is not authorised or approved by Rome. It is a product of a religious congregation, St Pauls, co-published by the Claretians, authorised by a couple of Bishops, and approved by a few others.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is very different from their counterparts in say the United States or Canada. A lay person from India like me can identify the extreme left as well as the extreme right among the Bishops of America, Canada, England and elsewhere.

Dissenters and liberals as well as the orthodox among the Bishops are internationally known because of the causes they espouse or their pronouncements. In India that is not the case. They do not say much. If they at all do, they avoid any controversial issue, especially if it has anything to do with the religious sentiments of the majority community.

The truth is that Hindus like your good self have nothing to fear by this “inculturation”. The Catholic Church in India will, at this rate, soon be “Hindu” to all intents and purposes. That exactly is why people like me are so concerned.

There is another section of Christians who are deeply disturbed. They are the “Traditionalists”. They belong to the SSPX or the Society of St Pius the Tenth. They have centres of worship as well as seminaries in India but are a minority whose voice is not heard anywhere, though quite powerful internationally.

I am sending you separately, in an email following this one, a recent
article
“The Inculturated Mass: Forerunner of the Abomination Unto Desolation?” by Cornelia Ferreira. It may be painful reading for you, as a Hindu, in some places, and I pray that you will read it academically and not be offended.

Traditionalists claim to be Catholics who are faithful to the PRE- SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL Rome. They reject the directives and teachings of the conciliar [=of the Council] documents as being not doctrinal but pastoral and therefore not binding on Catholics. They also believe that the Council heralded this whole “inculturation” thing and a lot of other experimentation and dilution of theology and doctrine.

While Catholics such as I do not agree with some of their positions, especially their rejection of post-Vatican II Rome and her Popes and their teachings, these Traditionalists are at least upholding and fighting for orthodoxy which has been seriously undermined by misuse of the freedoms given to the Church since Vatican Council II.

In case you are not already aware of this group of people, you will be able to understand more after reading the article which also discusses inculturation and the Hindu-ised “Bible”.

A point that seems to have escaped even the Traditionalists is that Indian priests are engaged in exporting this Hindu-ised Church to the West where there is a shortage of priests.

It is not only the liturgy of the Indian Church that is being destroyed, but also traditional Catholic theology. The commentaries in the “hybrid” Bible are an excellent though not isolated example.

The Catholic Ashrams movement, about which I have written much, and the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre [NBCLC] in Bangalore are spearheading this thrust. The theologians associated with the above organizations and the major seminaries in India are almost without exception of the same mind. We are unaware of any who openly object to what is going on though we do receive letters from priests who stand with us in our struggle. Through Bishops partial to the inculturationists, they have convinced Rome about the “Twelve Points of Adaptation” which have been approved for use during the primary liturgical celebration of Catholics- the Eucharist or Holy Mass. This includes the performing of the arati. All the other innovations that are being practised, including all the experimentations and syncretism going on in the Catholic ashrams, have NOT been officially approved by Rome. However, with their growing influence, with some of them now posted as officials and even Indian Cardinals as heads of Congregations in Rome, we anticipate the worst. Now to come to your question on Protestants.

Rome, for Catholics, is the Central teaching authority on doctrinal matters and Catholics believe that such doctrinal teachings are binding and infallible, coming as they do by Apostolic Succession from Sacred Tradition and the interpretation of the Bible which we hold as the Word of God. Such teachings cannot be changed, even by a Pope. The Twelve Points of Adaptation do not fall into that category, and if the voice of Catholics in India can make itself heard in Rome, the Vatican can re-examine such permissions or directives and retract them. In fact, under Benedict XVI, a reform of the liturgy is under way, opposed naturally by liberals, modernists, dissenters and their ilk.

 
 

 
 

 
 

This reform presently does not include the inculturation that is going on in certain parts of the world including India.

We understand that Hindus do not have a central teaching authority such as Catholic Christians do. Followers of the Hindu faith might choose to adhere to the teachings of the Shankaracharyas of the different maths, or various religious leaders and god-men. Not so Catholics.

The local ordinary or bishop represents Rome and is obliged to transmit faithfully the teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles to the faithful. In practice, this is not always the case, and Canon Law gives Catholic faithful the duty and right to protest and resist such wrong teaching if any. We believe that the “hybrid” Bible contains such wrong teaching.

Protestants do not accept such a central teaching authority. The thousands of denominations that do not accept Rome may have as many interpretations of the Bible as there are pastors. Major mainline churches such as the Anglicans do have an earthly head but unlike Catholics most Protestants believe in “sola scriptura” which simply means “only the Bible” and that they can interpret the Bible to mean to them whatever they believe that they are being inspired by God.

I have not come across any official Protestant understanding of what inculturation means to them. But, my experience has been that Protestants have been largely unaffected by “Hindu-isation” [they would not commonly for instance wear the bindi or replace their Communion service with the distribution of prasada] while being more properly “inculturated” [=Indianised].

The Vatican has nothing to do with what is being undertaken in our Church by our Indian theologians and bishops. I have privately received letters from officials in the Vatican Curia expressing their great concern about what is happening here. But, the wheels of Rome grind slowly.

I close by once again wishing you all the best in your endeavours to highlight the problem and arouse public opinion, though our reasons and goals may be different. God bless you, Srinivasan,

Michael Prabhu

PS. If you would like to have the email addresses of Indian bishops and Rome officials, I could send the same.

 
 

From:
prabhu To:
GP Srinivasan
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:06 PM

Subject: Re: “The Inculturated Mass…” [as promised in my mail earlier this evening]

Dear Shri Srinivasan, You’re most welcome.

There are many other allied aspects to the problem that were omitted by me.

One of them is that our liberal theologians want an autonomous Indian church. They protest against the “hegemony” of Rome and want the freedom to do as they please. We conservative Catholics of course do not want that. Again, I must explain that our turning to Rome is only for the sake of maintaining the purity and orthodoxy of our Faith. If our theologians have our way, we will be practising a religion that is Catholic in name but Hindu in philosophy and practice [because of the “borrowing”].

Another thing is that many of these theologians want to do away with the Holy Mass [Eucharist] which is central to Catholic Christian life. I have documented this in my various reports including the one on the Catholic Ashrams. They would replace it with yoga and meditation. They see the Eucharist as a barrier, a hindrance, a stumbling block to their attempts to commune with people of other faiths at their centres. If they introduce some form of yoga and meditation, they believe that it unifies a group of people some of who would otherwise not participate.

Hinduism can accept other gods, Jesus Christ among them, even his Mother Mary who is deified by some Hindus; they may offer prayers at dargahs and at gurudwaras. Christians on the other hand have the Commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Worship of any other entity is the most grievous sin. Such worship can be wrongly given to Mary even by Catholics. We must ensure that no power, no force, no superstition, no other religious philosophy detracts from our complete adoration of the one God.

The Documents of Vatican II at the same time exhort Catholics to respect what is good and true and holy in other religions.

With my prayers, Michael

From:
GP Srinivasan
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:35 PM

Subject: Re: “The Inculturated Mass…” [as promised in my mail earlier this evening]

Dear Sri Michael Prabhu:

Thanks. I do expect that all religions must maintain their integrity i.e. their original purity as they were given to us by our parents/ and / or as they we have inherited them/ and / or as they have been given to us /and or as have come to us and or as we experienced them in our life. I am very clear that Catholic faith must maintain its integrity as you have seen and experienced it.

I also feel that Hindu knowledge systems should not be copied and inserted into any other scripture .They should be not meddled with by vested interests. I do welcome your stand and all inputs from you so that it can shape my views and knowledge.

I have had lengthy discussions with leading Jesuits who are engaged in this type of activity. I have come away empty handed. Best regards, GP.Srinivasan

 
 

From:
prabhu
To:
GP Srinivasan
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:27 AM Subject: THE JESUITS

Dear Shri Srinivasan,

I am not surprised that you returned “empty-handed” when you had discussions with the Jesuits. Many Catholics feel the same way about them. Most of them have no personal experience of Christ, so they cannot give what they do not have.

 
 

 
 

Their houses of formation [seminaries] ensure that they churn out priests who conform strictly to their new ideologies. They are engaged in social work and not pastoral. Even Catholic priests feel that it is better that Rome closes down the Order. One reason is that Jesuits are in the forefront of radical liberation theology, dissent and New Age error. In India, Jesuits like Sebastian Painadath of Kalady and Korkonius Moses of West Bengal/Puduchery are leaders of the Hindu-isation of the Church through the Catholic Ashrams movement. They have the full support of those bishops who are Jesuits. Blessings, Michael

From:
GP Srinivasan
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:20 PM Subject: Re: THE JESUITS

Dear Shri Prabhu: 

Thank you. I have had some chat with FX Clooney. He is in close collaboration with some of the names you have mentioned. His current project is Jesus Sahasranama. Best Regards, GP.Srinivasan

 
 

THE REVISED EDITION OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE IS COMING!

India’s new Bible wears a bindi

Rick Westhead, South Asia Bureau/Toronto Star November 7, 2009

Father Devassy Athalathil, a priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who spearheaded the effort, says he isn’t worried about a backlash.

http://www.thestar.com/living/religion/article/722554–westhead-india-s-new-bible-wears-a-bindi

The Virgin Mother in a sari, Joseph donning a turban. These are just some of the depictions in an Indianized version of the Bible. The controversy that followed means a toned-down second edition this year

MUMBAI, INDIA– When Mary and Joseph discovered a power-hungry king was hunting their son Jesus Christ, they escaped to the safety of Egypt. But before Christianity’s first family fled, barefoot Mary slipped into a sari and put a bindi on her forehead, while Joseph tied tight his long loincloth and turban.

At least, that’s how their flight is illustrated in a Bible produced for Indians.

Released in India last year by the Roman Catholic Church, the “New Community Bible” became an immediate sensation – and lightning rod for controversy.

Thanks to pictures of Biblical characters in traditional Indian clothing and a commentary that drew references to Bollywood, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible sold out 15,000 hardcover copies within weeks.

Yet amid its success, the New Community Bible also became ensnared in controversy. Right-wing Hindu groups accused the Catholic Church of laying the groundwork for illegal conversions, while Protestant Christian groups alleged it misrepresented original texts.

A year on, a longtime priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who was a driving force behind the Bible’s release, is scrambling to release a second edition. This time, Father Devassy Athalathil envisions a print run of 50,000 copies with gilt-edged pages distributed in each of India’s 28 states.

Publishing a second edition has proven vexing since inflaming religious tensions is a constant worry for church officials in India.

But Athalathil says he’s not anxious. “I wasn’t worried before the first edition came out and I’m not worried now,” said the 60-year-old, leaning back in a chair in his second-floor office, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling high stacks of books such as The Eight Beatitudes, My First Catechism and The Picture Book of Saints.

“It’s up to people whether they want to follow Jesus. Our job is to put the truth before the people. And these problems that we had weren’t God-made problems, they were man-made … They weren’t real problems.”

Still, Athalathil seems prepared to release a more toned-down version of “the truth” this time around, paring out references to Hindu texts.
Scheduled to be excised from the latest Indian Bible are references to Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of civil disobedience, and a comparison made between the Biblical Ten Commandments, and 10 basic precepts of the Indian scriptures, which include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth) and brahmacharya (celibacy).

Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita are also gone, as is a narrative from the New Testament book of Luke on resurrection; in the first edition, the Bible’s commentary suggested the Hindu belief in reincarnation might cheapen the value of life.

But Athalathil says some of the key elements of the first edition will remain, including 27 Indian-themed pictures, such as a family living in a slum in the shadow of a skyscraper, and a portrait of Mother Teresa.

Religious experts say there’s little doubt why the church has released its Indian version of the Bible. India’s population is surging and the number of Christians as a percentage of the country is in danger of slipping.

Today, about 2.5 per cent of Indians, or 24 million people, are Christian. It’s worrisome enough that in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the Catholic Church has encouraged Christian families to give birth to more children – even as the federal government urges fewer babies. In some instances, the church has provided treatment to infertile couples and even paid for women to reverse tubectomy procedures.

 
 

 
 

“The church has always looked at India as fertile ground,” says Mathew Schmalz, who once lived in India and now teaches religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. “It tends to lead to a great deal of tension,” he says. “The church will never say it’s trying to win new converts, but it clearly is.”

That approach has often led to violence. In the summer of 2008, in the state of Orissa, Christians were blamed after a Hindu monk and four of his associates were killed. In the ensuing violence, 122 Christians were either killed or went missing, and hundreds of homes and churches were razed.

To be sure, the Christian church sometimes doesn’t do itself any favours in its mission fields. Drivers in New Delhi tell stories of missionaries coming to their villages with free textbooks and medicines. But after a while, there was a catch: some missionaries would continue their good works only if locals agreed to convert.

There are more recent examples of Christian shenanigans in India, which years ago banned foreign missionaries.

A Canadian trade official recently scheduled a meeting with someone he thought was an executive from a U.S.-based food and beverage company. “We sat down to lunch and I had this guy’s card and wanted to talk business,” the trade official said. “He said to me, `You know I’m not really here as an executive, right? I’m a missionary.'”

In his office in New Delhi, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana*, the Holy See’s representative in India, concedes he’s worried about the prospect of a new Bible sparking more violence. He says that when religious fanatics, “put venom to the people, sometimes they create a monster you cannot control.”

And while he doesn’t enthusiastically embrace Athalathil’s bid to publish another Indianized Bible, the 56-year-old Spaniard sounds like he wants to support the effort.

“Conversion is a human right,” he says, fiddling with a large crucifix around his neck. “We cannot refuse to others our beautiful way of life.” *Shortly after this story, Quintana moved to a new assignment

MY COMMENT:

A diluted, syncretized “Bible” is not going to generate any real “conversions”, at least not to the Jesus preached by the early European missionaries.

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

‘Dancing Jesus’ in the New Indian Bible – Swami Devananda Saraswati

‘Dancing Jesus’ in the New Indian Bible – Swami Devananda Saraswati [See picture on previous page]

December 20, 2009
http://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/dancing-jesus-in-the-new-indian-bible-sds/

[Picture] On the left is the dancing Jesus illustration in The New Community Bible (Catholic Edition) for India published by The Bombay St. Paul’s Society, 2008, and released by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. The “Indian Bible” as it is called, contains invented and interpolated phrases such as “he will dance with songs of joy for you” for Zephaniah 3:17, and numerous quotations from the Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas. These slokas are described as sourced from “Indian Scriptures”, not Hindu Scriptures.

The newfangled Bible has been strongly condemned by Hindus in India and abroad, and by many Christians in India.

It is designed to subvert and subsume the Hindu scriptures to the Christian scriptures, and assist in the mission of “fulfilling” Hinduism in the saving truth of Jesus Christ. The Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram Sri Jayendra Saraswati made special mention of the Indian Bible to the Vatican’s representative Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran at a private interfaith meeting in Mumbai on June 12, 2009. He demanded that the Indian Bible be withdrawn
and that the Catholic Church cease and desist from further use and abuse of Hindu dress, scriptures, symbols, and rituals.

He also demanded that the Catholic Church give up its mission to convert Hindus to Christianity, and that a firm commitment to this end be given to Hindus by the Vatican even as a similar commitment to stop evangelizing Jews was given to the Chief Rabbi of Israel by Pope Benedict XVI in Jerusalem on May 12, 2009. [Picture on previous page]

  

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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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ephesians-511.net Testimonies

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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