CORRESPONDENCE ON THE ERRORS IN THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLERESPONSES FROM THE BISHOPS AND COMMISSIONS TO OUR INTIMATION* & CRITIQUE



NEW WEBSITE:
www.ephesians-511.net
AUGUST 2009

 

CORRESPONDENCE ON THE ERRORS IN THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

RESPONSES FROM THE BISHOPS AND COMMISSIONS TO OUR INTIMATION* & CRITIQUE

*The record of the large number of letters sent to St Pauls, the Bishops & Commissions available on request

 

1. From: <lobobp@vsnl.com> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 8:43 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Michael, Greetings of peace and love to you.
Thank you for your mail with the comments on NCB. I have not seen it nor am I interested in it. I am happy with the RSV and New Jerusalem Bible which are authentic in translation and foot notes.  They are affordable even to a lower middle class and poor family. God bless you, your work and your family.
+ Salvadore Lobo Bishop of Baruipur

From: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> To: <lobobp@vsnl.com> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:05 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Salvadore,
I thank you very much for your kind and informative response. I fully endorse your view on the RSV.
However it does not have a commentary which the NCB has, and the problems lie therein.
I am taking the liberty of attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.
Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

2. From: <abpstanny1@dataone.in> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:12 AM Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu,
I do not recall any conversation of ours on phone regarding the Community Bible. Sorry to send this note. Sincerely,

Abp. Stanislaus Fernandes, SJ (Gandhinagar)

From: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> To: <abpstanny1@dataone.in> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:19 PM Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Stanislaus,
Our records show that I talked to you at 10:30 am on July 16 on the telephone number 079-23227541. We had also talked to some other senior Bishops of the CBCI Executive, or their secretaries. If there is an error in
our records, kindly excuse me.
We had contacted you all as representing the other Bishops and the laity, and you in particular as Secretary General, CBCI. We are surprised that, in that capacity, you did not ask us for the eight-page report with the details of the problems that we perceive in the NCB. If we are wrong in our analysis, we are always ready to learn from the teaching magisterium which you represent. There is always the possibility that there might be truth in what we say we have observed.
Accordingly, I am taking the liberty of attaching here our report on the NCB for your study.
Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 16:19:27 +0530 From: prabhu <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> To: abpstanny1@dataone.in
Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE
Your message cannot be delivered to the following recipients:
Recipient address: abpstanny1@dataone.in  Reason: Over quota

From:
prabhu
To:
abpstanny1@dataone.in
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 8:59 PM

Subject:
YOUR SERVER REJECTED MY RESPONSE

Your Grace, Here is my response that bounced, and right down below is the reason given. Regards, Michael Prabhu

[continued on page 27]

 

3. From:
Diocese Belgaum
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:24 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael, I read your note on the Community Bible. I am in Australia just now for the World Youth Day celebrations and will be back only on 3rd Aug. I am sure the other Bishops will react on the issue, if there is anything.
Bp. Peter Machado
[Bishop of Belgaum]

 

From:
prabhu
To:
belgaumdiocese@rediffmail.com ; Peter Machado
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:04 PM

Subject: Fw: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Peter,

Many thanks. Have a swell time at WYD.

I am taking the liberty of attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

4. From:
marcel barla
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:38 AM Subject: Re: Greetings from Marcel Barla

Dear Fr. Prabhu Greetings from Fr. Marcel Barla! Thanks for sending the alert with regard the NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE (NCB) I shall make the study of the intense research done.

By the way how are you keeping? Is your health allright. I am fine and trying to pick up the work here in the Provincialate as a secretary and treasurer of the Province. I know I'll be able to carry out my responsibility since I have the assurance of your guidance and prayers. 

Dear Fr. I would like to thank you for your very person. Your very life was an inspiration for me. Quite number of Priests, religious and faithful have high regards for you in Jamshedpur and outside. 

There is the episcopal ordination of Bp. Ambrose Madtha on 27th Aug in Lucknow.
Please come. Perhaps you know that our new Provincial is Fr. John Barla. Regards from him

For the time being I take your leave. Rest will follow later on. In union with prayers

Fr. Marcel Barla [Jamshedpur]

From:
prabhu
To:
marcel barla
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:31 PM Subject: Re: Greetings from Marcel Barla

Dear Fr. Marcel Barla, WITH NCB REPORT

I presume that you must be the Father Secretary to His Grace, the Bishop [of
Jamshedpur from whom also I hope to receive a response through your kind favour]. I truly appreciate your prompt and warm response.

Father. I am not a priest, but a lay Catholic apologist with a long standing ministry not only to defend the Church but also to create awareness of errors that might arise in the Body of Christ.

I am in contact with all the Bishops of the CBCI, receive responses from a majority of them, and am encouraged by many priests from India as well as overseas.

I think you have confused me with some other priest you have known in the past, though I might have met you and forgotten your name. If that is the case, please forgive me.

I suppose that you are a Jesuit. God bless your priestly vocation and your ministry.

Thank you for the invitation for the episcopal ordination of Bp. Ambrose Madtha. Which is the vacant diocese in that region which he will minister?

I am taking the liberty of attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

5.
From:
William DSouza
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 12:29 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Prabhu,
Thanks for your communication titled “Problems with the New Community Bible.”
Since I have not yet seen the ‘New Community Bible’ I have no comments or observations to make. I use for the past 44 years the RSV Bible and I am happy with that.
I suppose the Doctrinal and Biblical Commission of the CBCI will respond to your difficulties. Gratefully yours,
+ William D’Souza, S.J.
Archbishop of Patna

From:
prabhu
To:
williesj@rediffmail.com
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:33 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop William,

I thank you very much for your kind and informative response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.
I fully endorse your view on the RSV.
However it does not have a commentary which the NCB has, and the problems lie therein.

I am taking the liberty of attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.
Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

6. From:
George Pallipparambil
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 3:09 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mike,

Thank you for the note. We shall all join in this. Love and prayers

+P K George sdb [Bishop of Miao]

From:
prabhu
To:
pkgsdb@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:33 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop George,

 

 

 

Many thanks for the confidence that you have in me and my ministry.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.
I am taking the liberty of attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

Could you please respond after you read it? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
George Pallipparambil
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:14 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mike, Thank you for the note. I am on a journey. I shall surely make a study and write to you soon. Love and prayers

+PK George sdb

 

From:
George Pallipparambil
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:14 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mike, Thank you for the details. I made a printout and went through. Out of the many things that you all have so well pointed out, the point on the caste system is the one that I really find as horrible. It deserves much greater and deeper attention from the entire church. You are very right in that according to me.

Be sure of my prayers. Please pray for me. Love +P K George sdb

 

7. From:
Oswald Gracias
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 3:13 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr Prabhu,
I am now in Bangalore where I have seen you email. Please do let me have your comments on the NCB bible.  I will have the comments studied. Thank you for your interest. With kind regards,
Cardinal Gracias [Archbishop of Bombay]

From:
prabhu
To:
abpossie@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:23 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Cardinal Gracias,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

8. From:
Rt. Rev. Joseph Aind
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 3:51 PM

Subject: RE: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Prabhu,
I am happy to know that you have found some problems with the New Community Bible (NCB). May the Lord’s Spirit continue to inspire you and lead you to right knowledge.
I will be meeting soon Fr. Joy Pallikunnel and I will have a discussion. As far as I know there is no Catholic Diocese of Jorhat. He might have celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the parish of Catholic Church, Jorhat.
Just now I am out of the country, As I reach back I will do the needful. Yours sincerely
Bishop Joseph Aind sdb. [Bishop of Dibrugarh]

From:
prabhu
To:
Rt. Rev. Joseph Aind
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 9:31 PM

Subject: RE: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Joseph,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

Fr Joy could not have had the opportunity to examine for himself beforehand the contents of the NCB, Your Grace. You are correct in your observation. In Jesus’ Name. Michael

9. From:
Dominic Veliath
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:14 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu 

Thank you for your mail. I would be glad to have a copy of your report. Perhaps I could send it over to Bishop Thomas Dabre. With every good wish Yours in Our Lord

Dominic Veliath
[Executive Secretary, Doctrinal Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
dominicveliath@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:56 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Dominic,

 

 

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.

Bishop Dabre has not yet responded to our seven emails on this issue, four addressed to him and three copies of letters to other Bishops, since July 8 after I had personally spoken with him. It will be a blessing if you can reach our document to His Grace.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

10. From:
Agnelo R. Gracias
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 1:40 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

My dear Michael Prabhu,
I am back in India. Right now I am in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, since the Holy See has given me an assignment to look after a missionary Society of priests which is having problems. I am in Andhra for at least 3 weeks every month and only return to Mumbai for a few days to attend to work there.
I checked the Inbox, but there was no e-mail from you on July 8.  But that does not matter.  Let me reply to your query immediately.  I form part of the Censor Board of the archdiocese – but I am not the head. The head of the Censor Board is the Archbishop. You realize that the Community Bible would not be a venture of the archdiocese as such.  Yet, I feel that, as bishops, it is our duty to check and “supervise” what is being circulated in the archdiocese.  If you can send me the analysis the group has made, indicating the points on which there seems to be a divergence from Christian doctrine, I would bring this to the notice of the Archbishop.  He might ask me to study the matter and I would be willing to do so – or he might ask anyone else.  He has the final say on this matter. 
I will await a further communication from you sending me the results of the study of the group.  In the meanwhile, let me commend you for the trouble you have taken in this matter.  It shows your eagerness to safeguard the purity of Christian doctrine. In Christ,
+ Agnelo Gracias [Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay]

From:
prabhu
To:
Agnelo R. Gracias
Cc:
Ditoza Maria Noronha
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 5:06 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

My dear Bishop Agnelo,

I thank you very much for your kind response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our study.

It appears that every other email from me to you is bouncing, as I have written to you several times. You have replied to my letter of July 16. However, if you read your Secretary Ms Ditoza’s email to you dated July 17, which I have reproduced below, you will see that she has forwarded you the referred report. Will you please confirm that you have now received it?

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you have receive/read the report? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

[From:
Ditoza Maria Noronha
To:
Bishop Agnelo Gracias
Cc:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:55 AM

Subject: From Michal Prabhu

Dear Bp. Agnelo, I am forwarding the document sent by Michael Prabhu ….. its a Word Document. Regards, ditoza]

From:
prabhu
To:
Agnelo R. Gracias
Cc:
Ditoza Maria Noronha
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 9:53 PM

Subject: REMINDER: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Bishop Agnelo,

I trust that you received our analysis of the NCB sent to you as a Word attachment by email from Ms Ditoza against the following correspondence starting July 8. I await your kind confirmation of the same. Regards, Michael

Your message cannot be delivered to the following recipients:  Recipient address: agnelog@rediffmail.com
Reason: Remote SMTP server has rejected address

From:
prabhu
To:
Ditoza Maria Noronha
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 8:30 AM

Subject: Fw: REMINDER: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Ditoza, Your assistance requested once again in getting Bishop Agnelo’s acknowledgement for the following reason, Regards, Mike

From:
Ditoza Maria Noronha
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 12:21 PM

Subject: From Bishop Agnelo Gracias

Dear Michael,
Yes, I have received the attachment you sent. I have spoken to Cardinal Oswald Gracias. A two member Commission has been appointed by him to study the New Community Bible. I am sure he will reply to you. With every good wish, I remain

In Christo,

Agnelo Gracias 

Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay

 

11. From:
Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 6:49 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,

 

 

Thank you for your information with regard to errors in the NCB. I suppose you are in touch with all other Bishops too, especially the CBCI Bible and Liturgical Commissions. Since I have not gone through the Bible, I would be happy and thankful to have your/Team’s comments on the Bible. God Bless You! 

+ Sarat Chandra Nayak

Bishop of Berhampur

From:
prabhu
To:
bishopofberhampur@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2008 8:21 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Sarat Chandra,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

12. From:
Kuriala C
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 9:50 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael Prabhu,

I am in receipt of your e-mail. I have not gone through the Bible and all its commentaries. I will be happy to have your comments.

Fr. Kuriala [Executive Secretary, Education and Culture Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
ckuriala@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 1:46 PM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Father Kuriala,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 
 

13. From:
Varghese Pullan
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 10:05 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Micheal Prabhu,

Greetings!!!!! Thanks for your e-mail. I appreciate your concern over the ‘New Community Bible’.

Which is this NCB? when and where was it released? Do you mean that book on the four Gospels in one narrative in Gujarati language- Muktidata Isu– which was released on July 4 at the Catholic Information Service Society (CISS) office premises in Ahmadabad?. If you are referring to Muktidata Isu, I am aware of it. I have not seen the book.

As per the information I have received, it is not an official edition of the Bible. It is a book in Gujarati language based on the four Gospel narratives. I was told that the book is written by a well-known writer, Yaswant Mehta, and edited by a Jesuit Father Varghese Paul. The book is published jointly by CISS Ahmadabad and Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, Anand.

And the book is dedicated to “all devotees of Jesus in Gujarat”.

Therefore, Kindly let me know whether you are referring to the same book or some other?

Also let me know what are those objectionable parts/ or not presented correctly? What are you planning to do? Thanks, 

Fr. Varghese Pullan sac
Executive Secretary, Laity Commission, CBCI

From:
prabhu
To:
vpullan@yahoo.co.in
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 1:41 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Varghese,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I hope that your Laity Commission is already aware of such attitudes by many of the hierarchy towards the laity.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you. No, Father, it is not the Gujarati narrative of the Gospels. The NCB [in English] was release on June 28 in around 25 cities in India.

I quote from the St Pauls website, “Rev. Fr Eugene Pereira, Vicar General of the archdiocese of Trivandrum, released The NCB and inaugurated the Year of St Paul on 29 June 2008, 6.45 p.m., at St Theresa of Lisieux Church, Vellayambalam, Trivandrum.” I understand that your office is in the same city.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Varghese Pullan
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:54 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu, Greetings!!!!!

Thanks for sending me your report/observation on the recently published NCB. I just had a glance at the report. But I would like read the NCB and consult experts before I make any comment on it.  

 

 

 

As I understand the commentary that runs along with the Bible text have been written by the well known Bible scholars and theologians of our country. Later, an expert team (which also includes Bishops) have approved them after having gone through it. It has been jointly published by two every important publishers (as far Catholic Church is concerned) in our country. Above all the NCB was released by the Cardinal, Archbishops and Bishops of the Church in India. Therefore I wonder how far we are in a position to doubt the authenticity of NCB. Nevertheless I do admit that they are human beings and can make mistakes. And it is good that we are vigilant and express our opinions/observations on matters of this sort.

Thanks, let us continue our reflection and discussion on the issue. God Bless you.

Fr. Varghese Pullan SAC

 

14. From:
gcosmon gabriel
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 11:01 AM

Subject: RE: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear in Christ,

Thanks for the mail. Kindly send further details. With regards,
Fr. Cosmon [Executive Secretary,
SC/ST/BC Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
gcosmong@hotmail.com
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 1:33 PM

Subject: RE: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Cosmon,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

15.
From:
Archbishop of Goa and Daman
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 12:09 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,

This has reference to your e-mail on “Problems with the New Community Bible”. I am certainly glad to know that an intensive study of the NCB has been made by a group of Catholic laity and priests resulting in a detailed eight—page report.

Although I am not a qualified expert in Biblical matters – and, accordingly, may not feel competent to make appropriate expert comments on the issues dealt with in your report – I would appreciate and be interested to have a copy of the report referred to by you. Thanking you in anticipation and with prayerful best wishes, Yours in Christ,

+ Raul N. Gonsalves [Archbishop Emeritus of Goa and Daman]

From:
prabhu
To:
archbpgoa@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 1:30 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Raul,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

16. From:
Fr.Babu Joseph
To:
prabhu Cc:
Youth ; Women ; CBCI SCSTBC ; Nithiya Sagayam ; NBCLC padma ; NVSC ; NISCORT ; nbclc ; Laity ; Labour ; st john’s ; Lilly Francis ; Education and Culture ; Thomas Aquinas **

Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 10:51 AM Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael Prabhu,

Thanks for your mail expressing your concern over the contents of the new NCB that was released in Delhi a few weeks back. I would certainly welcome your comments on the same, and I shall pass them on to the CBCI Doctrinal Commission for their comments.

At this point of time I cannot make an comments on it as I have not studied it nor have elicited the opinion of the CBCI Doctrinal commission. Looking forward to hearing from you soon, Yours in the Lord,

Fr Babu Joseph, SVD
Spokesperson, CBCI

From:
prabhu
To:
CBCI-PRO
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 2:21 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Babu Joseph,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

 

 

**[Youth : icym@bol.net.in; Women : lillypoove@rediffmail.com; CBCI SCSTBC : cbciscst@gmail.com; Nithiya Sagayam : nithiyas@gmail.com; NVSC : benjoesj@redifmail.com; Laity : vpullan@yahoo.co.in; Labour : cbcilabour2000@yahoo.co.in;

Lilly Francis : com_womcbci@yahoo.co.in; Thomas Aquinas : cbci@vsnl.com; All these were sent letters without NCB attachment. Education and Culture : spcidelhi@satyam.net.in; Sent under two other email ids.

NBCLC padma : padmanbclc@yahoo.com; nbclc : dirnbclc@vsnl.com ; st john’s : tkalam@vsnl.com; NISCORT : niscort@vsnl.com; These were not sent the letter.]

Your message cannot be delivered to the following recipients: Recipient address: cbcipro@ims-ms-daemon
  Original address: cbcipro@bol.net.in  Reason: Over quota

From:
prabhu
To:
cbcipro@vsnl.net ; mediacommission@hotmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 7:33 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father,

I sent it earlier this evening to the id that you wrote from, but my email bounced as you can see below.

Hence I am sending it again to the other two addresses that I have. Regards, Michael

From:
Fr.Babu Joseph
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:47 AM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Prabhu, 

I got your mail and I shall certainly go through it. Thanks very much and God bless

Fr Babu Joseph

 

17. From: “Cyprian Monis” <bishopmonis@yahoo.com> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 9:13 AM Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,
Thank you for sending the message and to be cautious. Kindly send us the draft where you have found some serious problem regarding the text and the commentary. With all the good wishes,
Fr. Alwyn Fernandes
Secretary [to Bishop Cyprian Monis of Asansol]

From:
prabhu
To:
bishopmonis@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:10 PM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Alwyn,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder, on behalf of Bishop Cyprian.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you and His Grace will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

18. From:
Chacko Thottumarickal
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 10:16 AM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,
I thank you for your email. But I have not got your study regarding the NCB

Bishop Chacko [Thottumarickal, SVD, Bishop of Jhabua]
you may send replies on the following addresses: tjchacko@hotmail.com ; bishopchacko@gmail.com

From:
prabhu
To:
tjchacko@hotmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:07 PM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Chacko,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

19. From:
henry d’souza
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:25 PM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael Prabhu,

Thank you for the mail and for the keen interest and concern expressed concerning NCB.

You are right that the Bible should be error free.

If you have noticed any errors and problems, pl inform the Publisher and suggest what you expect from them.

I strongly believe that the Word of God should unite us and not divide us! With best wishes,

Henry D’souza Bishop of Bellary

 

 

From:
prabhu
To:
hdsouzain@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:04 PM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Henry, WITH DETAILS OF MY LETTERS TO ST PAULS

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I have written to the publishers, the Society of St Pauls, as you will see from the records which I have reproduced below.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

20. From:
Archbishop’s House, Guwahati
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:17 PM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu,

I am glad that you studied the New Community Bible. It is true I distributed a few copies of them in Guwahati when the Pauline Year was being inaugurated. But it was released, I believe, in Mumbai. Please contact the Pauline family there.

As for finding fault with a document prepared by scholars over 15 years or so, please do that only after much thought, wide consultation… in addition to humility and prayer. 

+ Thomas Menamparampil [Archbishop of Guwahati]

From:
prabhu
To:
Archbishop’s House, Guwahati
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:01 PM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Thomas, WITH DETAILS OF MY LETTERS TO ST PAULS

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I have written to the publishers, the Society of St Pauls, as you will see from the records which I have reproduced below.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

21. From:
Bp. Sebastian
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:44 AM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Thank you very much for your note. Have you discussed this matter with the editorial committee and had a session with them. It will be critically important to listen to their explanation so that all our efforts will enhance the work for the Kingdom of God.

Bishop Sebastian [Adayanthrath, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly]

From:
prabhu
To:
sebastianad@ernakulamarchdiocese.org
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:55 AM

Subject: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Sebastian, WITH DETAILS OF MY LETTERS TO ST PAULS

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I have written to the publishers, the Society of St Pauls, as you will see from the records which I have reproduced below.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

22. From:
Abp Dominic Jala
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:36 AM

Subject: from Shillong, Abp Jala

Dear Mr. Prabhu,
Greetings in the Lord. I did get your earlier message but later that day our internet went out of gear. I was away and this morning I see your reminder.
The Daughters of St. Paul have been campaigning for the buying of the Community Bible… I do not have one yet. We are urging our people to buy our vernacular Bible and New Testament which is a text book for catechism in schools.

 

 

 

I was not part of any of the programmes organised by the DSPs – because we had our Archdiocesan events to inaugurate the year of St. Paul. Anything that the DSPs conducted was on their own initiative since they bear the name of St. Paul, and are not exactly archdiocesan events.
I would be grateful for an early copy of the observations that your team has made on the bible.
God bless you and your mission.
Archbishop Dominic Jala, sdb
[Archbishop of Shillong]

From:
prabhu
To:
archbpdj@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:23 PM

Subject: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Dominic, WITH DETAILS OF MY LETTERS TO ST PAULS

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even want to see our analysis.

I thank you for your sharing with me.

I have written to the publishers, the Society of St Pauls, as you will see from the records which I have reproduced below.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested by you. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

23. From:
Raphy Manjaly
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:37 PM Subject: Re: thanks

Dear Prabhu,

Peace ! Many thanks for the concern expressed. My opinion is that before you make your findings available to the general public, you should have a discussion with the experts who worked on the project. You could also seek the opinion of the President of the CBCI and The Chairman of the commission for Bible.

Bp. Raphy Manjaly

From:
Rt. Rev. Bishop Raphy Manjaly
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:57 PM

Subject: reply

Dear Michael Prabhu, 

Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I have your email of July 23. My suggestion to you is that you first write to Archbishop Soosa Pakiam, Chairman Biblical Commission and Archbishop of Trivandrum. He should be able to do something about it.

God bless you! Yours in Christ Jesus 


Raphy Manjaly

Bishop of Varanasi

From:
prabhu
To:
manjalyraphy@yahoo.co.in ; Bishop Patrick D’Souza
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:27 PM

Subject: Re: Re: thanks / Re: reply WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Raphy,

I thank you very much for your two kind and very prompt responses to my reminder.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB. None of the Bishops whom we spoke to on the telephone has replied to our letter or the reminder.

I have written over 20 emails to different addresses in India of the publishers, the Society of St Pauls.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

It is an impossibility for laity to find out the email addresses of any of the experts [scholars] who worked on the project [wrote the commentaries]. If we got them, we would certainly write to them.

After talking to Fr. Antony Punnassery, his Chancellor, I have written twice to Cardinal Varkey, the President of the CBCI, but we have received no response.

I have also written THRICE to Archbishop Pakiam, and so have some of our team, but he has not responded either. If we wait for much longer, the NCB will have completed its second printing [the orders have already been placed by St Pauls].

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though it was not requested for by you. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

24. From:
Prakash Mallavarapu
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:22 PM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Greetings of peace!  
Thank you for the mail about the New Community Bible. Thank you for sharing the news about the issues related to this publication. Hope will review the matter and see how the limitations can be assessed and corrected at the earliest.

 

 

 

Hope to look into the matter in some detail when I return to the diocese on 31st July. Please continue your prayers for me.
Assuring you the same and wishing you well,
+ Prakash Mallavarapu
(Bishop of Vijayawada)

From:
prabhu
To:
bishop_pksh@hotmail.com
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 6:20 AM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Prakash,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

25. From: “Fr. Sharma” <anath@wlink.com.np> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 11:18 AM Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,
Thank you for your timely warning. To date I have not seen a copy of the NCB though I had heard of its publicity. Yes, I shall be grateful to receive a copy of your report. God love and bless you, Michael!
+A. Sharma, SJ [Most Rev. Anthony Francis Sharma SJ, Apostolic Prefect of Nepal]

From:
prabhu
To:
Fr. Sharma
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 5:28 PM

Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Anthony,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

None of the Bishops whom we spoke to on the telephone has replied to our letter or the reminder.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name, Michael

From: “Fr. Sharma” <anath@wlink.com.np> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 7:53 AM Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,
Thank you for the report. I wanted to take a printout of it but am having difficulty as the margins are set outside the printable space available… With good wishes,

+A. Sharma, SJ

From:
prabhu
To:
Fr. Sharma
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 10:10 AM Subject: PRINTOUT

Dear Bishop Anthony,

I have this nasty habit of packing as much information into a page because of commercial reasons [reducing the no. of sheets for photocopying, postage etc.]. Sorry.

I am not very proficient in the use of computers, but what I know is that even if the screen indicates that the margins are outside the printable space, one can override that problem by simply giving the instruction to print.

I have done that successfully both on my home printer [dot matrix] as well as in the shops [laser] outside. Just go ahead and try it. I am sure that it will work out. I am edified by your interest in the matter. Kind regards, Michael

 

26. From: “orlando quevedo” <abpquevedo@yahoo.com> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 4:19 PM Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Yes, of course, I would be interested in your report. However, what would be most helpful is for you to direct your message to the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. With prayers and best wishes — in the Lord,
Archbishop Quevedo, O.M.I. [Orlando B. Quevedo, Secretary General, Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Philippines/Hong Kong]

From:
prabhu
To:
abpquevedo@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 5:34 PM

Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Orlando,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Referring to your suggestion to “direct your message to the Catholic Bishops Conference of India”, none of the Bishops whom we spoke to on the telephone has replied to our letter or the reminder.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, I have written over 20 emails to different addresses in India of the publishers, the Society of St Pauls.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. Your intervention is requested.

It is an impossibility for laity to find out the email addresses of any of the experts [scholars] who worked on the project [wrote the commentaries]. If we got them, we would certainly write to them.

After talking to Fr. Antony Punnassery, his Chancellor, I have written thrice to Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the President of the CBCI, but we have received no response. However, the Vice-President, Oswald Cardinal Gracias has written requesting for the report.

I have also written THRICE to Archbishop Pakiam, and so have some of our team, but he has not responded either. If we wait for much longer, the NCB will have completed its second printing [the orders have already been placed by St Pauls].

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From: “orlando quevedo” <abpquevedo@yahoo.com> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 4:06 AM Subject: Re: SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Thank you very much for your report. From an ecclesiastical point of view it is enough that Cardinal Gracias has shown interest. He will surely consider the options re your report very seriously and take it up from there.

Prayers and best wishes — in the Lord,
Archbishop Quevedo, O.M.I.

 

27. From:
valerian d’souza
To:
‘prabhu’ ; punedioc@vsnl.com

Cc:
response2communitybible@gmail.com ; cyriljohn@vsnl.net ; ‘nco’

Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 6:32 PM Subject: RE: REMINDER. LETTER No. 4: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael,

Apparently you have not received my reply to you dated 19th July sent from punedioc@vsnl.com. I shall ask my PA to send it to you again.

From the very beginning I had asked you to send me the objections raised. But did not receive anything from you except reminders.

A few hours ago I returned from the meeting of the Western Region Bishops’ Council where the matter of the New Community Bible was discussed. Naturally the bishops are worried when people are disturbed. Cardinal Oswald Gracias will collate the objections and have a thorough study made. Articles and explanations will have to be given.

You could have made your points without insinuations and judgements.  Wishing you God’s abundant blessings,

+Valerian [Valerian D’Souza, Bishop of Poona, Chairman, Clergy and Religious Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
valdsouz@vsnl.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:38 AM Subject: TEAM REPONSE TO THE NCB

WITH NCB REPORT

Your Grace, My reply to your letter follows in a few minutes. Here is our response to the NCB. Love and Prayers, Michael

From:
prabhu
To:
valdsouz@vsnl.com ; punedioc@vsnl.com

Cc:
response2communitybible@gmail.com ; cyriljohn@vsnl.net ; nco
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 7:11 PM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. LETTER No. 4: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

BCC:
judejp@yahoo.com; julesbarry52@gmail.com ; aishwarya_ent@vsnl.net ; rahuli98@gmail.com ; RMascarenhas@trowers.com ; valdal@rediffmail.com ; brvalerian@gmail.com ; sjbenny@yahoo.com; rhemars@gmail.com ; derrickdcosta@yahoo.com ; rohitds@gmail.com ; deepakferrao@gmail.com ;

Dear Bishop Valerian,

I thank you for your letter dated 26th July which I received last evening. I postponed my reply so that I could pray before writing.

Meanwhile I have sent you as an attachment by another email, a copy of our team’s response to the NCB. In that email, I assured you that I would be replying to you in a few minutes, but this letter has taken much longer than I thought it would.

I note that your first response was on the 19th of July. I regret that I did not receive that letter, and I eagerly await it to read what you have to say. Now, permit me to respond to the points of your letter below, and to share what else I have in mind.

1. If you would read my personal note of July 8 below [already sent to you], I noted that you asked me to send you the information received from other Catholics [priests and laity]. As I shared with you when I telephoned you, the information was by way of telephone calls as well as email letters. I informed you that I would have to first ask them for their permission or suggest that they write to you, which I did. I do not know if any of them wrote to you.

2. Most laity share among themselves that they have a very low confidence in many of their Bishops. All priests who are in contact with this ministry are reluctant to be quoted by me, and believe that they are already being victimised for their orthodoxy.

This ministry has received dozens of letters supporting the demand for the withdrawal of the NCB. Very few Catholics believe that anything will come out of their writing to their Bishops, having more confidence in this ministry to express their concerns.

I have invested 12 to 16 hours a day from July 8 onwards on nothing but the NCB issue alone. Believe me when I say that I have a few hundred more laity and priests, whose names are in my directory, to write to. It takes time for me because a majority of my letters are personalised [not group mailed], and then all correspondence is meticulously recorded.

 

 

3. The Bishops themselves, as my records demonstrate, mostly never respond to any communications, even more especially if they are concerned with problems coming under their episcopal jurisdiction. If they do so, their language is couched in diplomatese.

One cannot usually extract anything very substantial and assuring from these letters. They also almost always direct the writer to take up the issue with other Bishops and Commissions that they feel are more directly concerned, as if such issues are not their concern though they always relate to matters of faith or spiritual dangers that affect Catholics everywhere in the Indian Church.

These letters always express the hope that some other Bishop somewhere would surely do something about the problem.

You yourself have not replied to some of my alerts and postings.

Except two, all the Bishops and Archbishops whom I contacted, along with you, by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the problematic commentaries of the NCB which was completed only on July 14. 

None of the Bishops immediately concerned with the publication of the NCB has responded to my several letters. One of them, who I spoke to on the ‘phone, could be described as having become hostile at my suggestion that there might be problems with the NCB.

Some important Bishops, excepting Cardinal Gracias, have not responded to from three to SEVEN reminders on the NCB issue!

4. Apart from my initial letter of July 8, I wrote to you again on July 16 and on July 18, only after which you have written the letter of July 19 that I did not receive. My letters of July 16 and 18 mention our eight-page analysis of the NCB, completed July 14.

If you had asked for it, I would have sent it to you at once. Maybe you did so in your letter of July 19 which I failed to get.

Failing to receive even one response till July 18, a full ten days later from July 8, from the Bishops whom I first contacted, I wrote to other Bishops or dioceses connected with the release of the NCB as per information obtained from St Pauls’ website.

Though our team report was completed and ready, I did not send it to any single Bishop along with my letters. We were looking to see how many Bishops, and which Bishops would evince interest in reading it, and would ask for it. We thank God that a few did.

5. I am already aware that the NCB was discussed at the Western Region Bishops’ Council which met from July 23.
I presume that our eight-page report was presented there, as a very aged emeritus Bishop had graciously asked for a copy when I telephoned him, and it was couriered to him on the 19th. However, the “disturbed” laity are yet to know what the consensus of the Bishops is.

6. No Bishop who finally responded to our letters, and just two of those who we spoke to on the telephone, admits having seen the inside of the NCB. At least two Bishops have written that they would never think of using this publication. We also spoke, in the absence of the Bishops, to some Secretaries, Chancellors and Vicar Generals. Not one of them had seen the NCB. In one major Kerala archdiocese where there had been a grand archdiocesan release of the NCB, the priest in the Bishop’s office had never even heard of it and he was patient enough to listen as I explained the details to him for 15 minutes over the ‘phone.

Will you not agree with me that it is not just strange but highly illicit that a new “Bible” with localised commentaries was released for the spiritual consumption of the faithful without the full consensus of the CBCI and the CCBI?

Why is it that, when contacted, not one single Bishop of the Church in India, including Your Grace, was able to back the NCB and state with full and total confidence that there could possibly be NO error in the NCB? That SHOULD have been the case.

We don’t believe that the reason for a lack of such confidence is only that there is possibility of human error in human works. After all, the NCB was EIGHTEEN YEARS in the making. Who decided the “scholars” who wrote the commentaries?

We have hundreds of lay Ministers of the Word and products of charismatic-spirituality Bible colleges apart from dozens of long-standing, reputed lay preachers and lay ministries, a few of who could have been invited for the preparation of the commentaries.

Can the theologians interpret doctrine and Biblical themes according to their own “theologies” [very evident in the NCB], or are the Bishops the teaching magisterium of the Church?

Are the Bishops prepared to vouch that the contents of the NCB commentaries are totally above reproach and are faithful to the Catholic interpretation of Biblical revelation/Church teaching? Are you?

If they or Your Grace are hesitant to state an immediate, confident and unequivocal “yes”, then why is the NCB still in circulation?

7. We
were given to understand that the NCB has now been “withdrawn” from the St Pauls bookshop of at least one major city. If that report is true, we salute the Bishop of that diocese. We also salute the laity without whose protests this could not happen.

But the laity do not know the reason[s] for that reported “withdrawal”. Why aren’t they being informed of the reason[s]? After all, it was because of their representation to the Bishop that the reverend Bishop has given that instruction to St Pauls. What are the immediate and long-term proposals of that Bishop and his peers?

Is the NCB being sold surreptitiously from behind the counter? Or will it be like the banned Jesuit Tony De Mello’s books which have made their way back to St Pauls [they anyway publish as well as sell books which are MUCH WORSE, overtly occult and New Age]?

 

 

 

If the problems with the NCB are serious enough to warrant local [diocesan] censure, why not at the national level?

Or is this action taken to humour the laity till their concentration relaxes or their interest wanes with the passage of time?

8. I deny insinuating anything or judging you and your actions or non-actions, Your Grace. I still back my statements.

I was asking relevant questions on a most serious issue concerning my Faith, which is well within my rights as per Canon Law.

I admit that I might sometimes go overboard in my enthusiasm and by my lack of theological competence vis-à-vis our learned theologians and scholars, but my simple faith, built on a good Catholic education, Bible and evangelisation training at many Catholic centres, study of the Early Church Fathers and Church documents, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church ensure that my theological positions are not tainted by what is passing off as formation in the seminaries today [taught by these same scholars].

We are not accusing anyone. I am sure that you will agree with me that there is no harm in thinking aloud, because that is what laity in that diocese and elsewhere are doing and I am only reproducing their concerns and their questions, as I have full confidence in their love for the Church and their personal integrity as informed and practising Catholic Christians.

9a. The laity have no genuine forum for representation, no voice. Even priests on the CBCI and CCBI Laity Commissions have concurred with me [orally]. Two such priests did not simply agree with me.

They themselves promote that truth and desire more [qualitative] representation for laity. The Bombay Catholic Sabha, All India Catholic Union [I am not demeaning their mission], etc. are more of political bodies. I doubt that their leaders [one of them has welcomed — in the secular press — the NCB] have the Catholic faith and spirituality of those who have taken up the NCB issue! I have reason to believe so because I have corresponded with some of them. They are NOT the voice of Catholics. They would not even UNDERSTAND what the commotion [raised by us] is all about. After all, what is really important are the SEZs, the attacks on Christians, and so on. Why worry about some little problems IN the Church — like commentaries in a Bible — when we have so many problems facing us from the outside?

9b. From parishes to synods, and even in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal [I say that with experience of 27 years] there is politicking, nepotism, sycophancy… I am sure that you know it. I stand accused of “generalising”. I expected to face this charge for daring to speak out. But, I can take a case by case study of the CCR in several major India cities to show you how much is “controlled” by money, by individual leaders, by groups, by families, by teams, by priests, even by Bishops, who either hold on to power and position past their tenures, block a second line of leadership from growing, stifle genuine charisms and the voice of prophecy, and so on, ad infinitum. Prophets or critics are viewed as dangerous [only “yes-men”, please], and the word goes out. It is seen that they are either not “elected” or denied a platform under a number of convenient “rules”. However, Protestant “Catholic” ministries flourish and the CCR leadership and Bishops will [or cannot?] do nothing about them. These views are shared with me [in writing] by the scores of genuine and simple people [and a few very, very honest senior leaders] in the charismatic prayer groups in many cities, many of who have left and do not want to be associated anymore with the term “charismatic”.

Their confidence in this ministry is expressed by their contacting me when in doubt or faced with problems like the NCB.

It is also reflected by the attitudes, to me and my ministry, of many leaders and priests in the Renewal. Private pats on the back, but no association in ministry. The scavenger is needed to do one’s “dirty” work, but letters on issues like the NCB are politely ignored. Would you still insist that my extremely poor opinion of them as spiritual leaders is insinuation or judgemental?

I am only comparing their attitudes and actions [or non-actions] with Biblical standards — the OT prophets, Peter, Paul…!!!

Of the many so-called leaders in the Renewal who preach and write fine things, and of heads of ministries and retreat centres, the majority do not even bother to acknowledge receiving the reports that this ministry produces and sends out.

In the case of the NCB, the eight-page report was sent to many of them, and ONLY ONE, I repeat — ONLY ONE, very senior leader [who is in the Bcc to this letter] responded in the right spirit, displaying the exemplary courage to oppose the NCB and demand its withdrawal IN WRITING. God bless him and his community. He is the future of the Indian CCR and the Indian Church.

A couple of others did write back, but gave Bishop-like, evasive and educative replies. A list of such excuses made by many Bishops and these leaders would make laughable reading if it were not a tragedy for the Church.

The consensus among simple charismatics is that the leaders are afraid of antagonising the Bishops; the Bishops have no real “power” or “will” to resolve such matters; there are greater external crises and the internal ones can be buried as the laity cannot anyway do much about anything except talk or write or make representations which never seem to elicit a clear and concise and binding and permanent response.

9c. Do you believe that there is freedom of speech in the Church? If you do, your Grace, you are sadly not in touch with reality at the grassroots. You Bishops never get to hear the truth because you mostly surround yourself with people who want to ingratiate themselves with you, so you hear only what you want them to say. You might want to encourage those who would say “no” even if they might sometimes be proved wrong. As for me, I would write this very same letter to you [or to the President of the CBCI or to the Chairman, Doctrinal Commission] even if I were already invited to give a seminar to the National Service Team of the CCR.

I know formerly good lay ministries and their members who have compromised on their prophetic speaking and writing to stay safe — and popular — with the priest-members and the Bishops. Many of them tut-tut in private with me over the goings-on, and then go ahead and preach/write all the routine stuff, often at the very places where error is being openly propagated.

 

 

 

You probably know about the slander campaign launched in Bandra by laity — led by priests — against the late crusader Errol C. Fernandes and his prophetic ministry. A Commission of Enquiry set up by the Archdiocese exonerated him and his group. He was awarded the Archdiocese’s highest civilian honour, “The Order of the Rose”, a few weeks before he went to the Lord. His authoritative but critical letters [copied to me] were more often than not rejected by The Examiner which is otherwise shockingly FULL of all sorts of — mostly New Age — errors. I can — and certainly will — write a huge report compiling and dissecting them.

So, too, are my letters not published. Catholic magazines seem to have a discreet, unwritten code of censorship put in place not to embarrass the Bishops. I can see no other reason for it.

Do you think that if I wrote a letter [I did not even think too much about it because I know the outcome from experience] even mildly criticising the NCB to ANY Catholic magazine — The Examiner, The New Leader, The Teenager, Jivan, Charisindia, Petrus, Satyadeepam…] — it would be published? What is your honest answer?

If it is no, can you say that there is freedom in the Catholic press, or will you agree that the Catholic media is “organized” and controlled? Even if that control is not “official”, and it is not, it undeniably exists. If you give me the permission to test my “theory” under intimation to you, I will be glad to go ahead.

However there is, it seems, unlimited freedom to print error, because I have made hundreds of records of such instances.

The secular press in Bombay and Pune have not published letters written by me and others –objecting to the NCB being thrust on Catholics as a “Bible” — in response to their reportage on the NCB.

Summary: There is no way that Catholics can make their voice heard.

10. We are inclined to be very afraid for the Church if the decision taken at the Western Region Bishops’ Council is simply that “articles and explanations will have to be given” by Cardinal Oswald Gracias to the faithful.

Do we take it to mean that the Bishops will justify the commentary contents and foot-notes of the NCB even though Faith-educated Catholics have raised very serious objections to many of them? If that is so, I risk saying that it will become a permanent and festering cancer in the Indian Church. With due respect, I assure you that not one of us is prepared to accept the explanations, because — apart from a miracle — they are not going to be new. We have heard them before, unofficially, and we have seen some of them in the Preface [Archbishop Soosa Pakiam] and Presentation by Dr. Augustine Kanachikuzhy SSP in the NCB.

Is it so difficult for the Bishops to do the right thing and admit that the release of the NCB was a grave mistake?

If the Bishops do not want to tell the whole truth, surely they are now experts in knowing what to say without looking too bad?

Or is it simply impossible for them to give credit [which no one wants] to the laity and priests. They must remember Who they will have to account to for the souls of millions if the NCB is allowed to become the flagship of the Indian Church.

The Bishops will have to seriously consider the implications of justifying the commentaries that have been found objectionable. Forever after, error will continue to be justified by pointing to the contents of the NCB which, even if its texts are faithful to the originals in translation, we totally reject as a Bible. The responsibility for this tragic situation will rest completely on our Bishops.

Many lay people have written to you, and there are priests of all ages with us. Surely their claims or judgements cannot all be frivolous or ill-informed and be explained away by arguments from exegetical or hermeneutical approaches or by clever isolated excerpts from two or three Vatican documents which will only serve to further confuse or fool many of the laity.

We will refute these by quoting dozens of passages from these same and other Vatican documents, encyclicals and Apostolic Letters to justify our contention that the Church in India has failed to implement the letter and spirit of these exhortations, that they have been subverted by the skilful manipulation and semantics of our liberal and modernist “theologians” and that the Church is drifting away from Rome under the leadership of some very powerful priests.

I wonder if you have seen the book prepared by a dozen such dissenting theologians led by ashram-founder and yoga-enthusiast Fr Sebastian Painadath SJ, expressly brought out for the purpose of trashing the 2003 New Age document. It was sent to me from the library of a seminary by a priest who was scandalised.

In it they repeatedly declare that Rome is patriarchal, living in the Middle Ages, ignorant, out of touch with reality, and many other things, and is not in sync with modern pluralistic approaches or relevant to India. Our report on that book is in the making.

We pray that our fears are not unfounded and that these explanations from the Bishops will honestly admit that there ARE errors in the NCB and that the NCB sets the precedent for a most dangerous — and possibly mortal for the Indian Church — trend for a lot more of such error which is at the moment not yet given “official” sanction like the NCB has. The NCB is a Trojan horse in the Church, and justifying its contents will be opening a Pandora’s box. History may one day confirm the truth of our apprehensions.

11. Your Grace, please do not take any of the above statements as disobedience to the magisterium.

We are as Catholic as the next person in the Church. But, we want to know what Rome thinks about these matters.

We have printed information that Rome has refused to sanction certain aspects of inculturation [Indianization, or whatever euphemisms are being used to describe Hinduism and Brahminism] proposed by our Bishops/theologians. We will study them and on their basis prepare a report to be sent to Rome along with a lot of other information that we have been carefully noting over the years. There are about TWENTY such almost-completed intensively-researched documents in my files. They include one on the DVD called “India: The Lotus and the Cross” which was filmed in the Archdioceses of Goa and Bombay and the Diocese of Pune.

 

 

 

There is also an update on the MMS nuns’ Holistic Health Centre in Bibwewadi, Pune, the mother-house of every sort of esoteric and occult New Age alternative therapy, spawning a number of such centres across India, and also a document on the errors that are being taught by priests to the seminarians in the Papal Seminary, Pune. They will be of particular interest to you, Your Grace, and you must surely be aware of them if laity and priests can find the information objectionable enough to bring to my notice. Either by foundational grants and funding, official recognition, Church participation, protection, or silence, such errors and the people and places that promote them have been institutionalised. It seems that no one notices, or if they do, they don’t care.  

If only you know how many, many laity feel about the pathetic condition of the Church, you might be shocked.

But maybe you and the other Bishops do know but cannot do anything about it.

Like the Church today asking for forgiveness for crimes committed decades ago, will the Indian Church go through that same procedure only after true believers are decimated and after its Roman Catholic identity has been eroded?

When American charismatic pioneer Ralph Martin wrote about the priests’ pedophilia issue in his 1994 book “The Catholic Church at the End of an Age”, he was viciously attacked in The Examiner, June through August 1998, by “Catholics” for his “crime” of “washing the Church’s dirty linen in public”. When the whole thing blew up a decade after Ralph Martin wrote, it cost the Church heavily, and I don’t mean just bankrupt dioceses but also bankrupt souls. Will compensations and apologies bring back the lost?

I humbly suggest that this “Indianisation” business is going to land the Indian Church in a much worse situation — SPIRITUALLY.

The Bishops and the silent renewal leaders must very seriously reflect on that before they stand before the Judge.

12. Later this evening, the Federation of Catholic Faithful [Registered] are meeting in Chennai to discuss the NCB issue [I am not attending, though a member and invited, as I am working on my correspondence].

Having studied the commentaries, they are planning to take action to demand withdrawal of the NCB and to make their protest known through the secular media by a public demonstration etc., the details of which are partially known to me but will be finalised only tonight. I pray that Catholics everywhere will come out of their lethargy and make their voice heard.

In regard to the NCB, the Tamil Catholics have a precedent or should I say precedents. The details can be found in a twenty-six page booklet titled, “Ongoing Robbery of Faith” authored in 1996 by Fr P K George SJ. 

It makes some startling and fearful allegations of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ deceit in matters of Faith. Fr George analyses 3 issues:

a) The newly translated Tamil Missal, 1993

b) The new translation of the Holy Bible in Tamil, 1995

c) A book titled. “Yar Intha Yesu?” [“Who is this Jesus?”] by theologian Fr Paul Leon, 1995; it has the Imprimatur of a late Bishop.

Fr George documents the serious errors in these books, including the Bible, which have been perpetuated on the ignorant faithful. The priest insists that a fraud has been perpetrated on the Tamil Church, more precisely that Catholics have been blatantly lied to.

The fraud or lie that he mentions is that the Bishops of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council [TNBC] have stated that the contents of the new Missal were approved/authorised by Rome whereas they were not. I am producing a soft copy of this booklet and will send it to you as soon as my correspondence regarding the NCB slows down –which does not seem likely for some time. Your Grace will have to wait for the details as I do not want to quote out of context in this delicate matter.

Tamil Catholics whose children now use the English translation of the Bible fear that the same fate awaits them with the NCB.

At the national and international level people are calling for a email signature campaign. Considering the lethargy and fatalism of most Catholics, it might take time, but is not impossible.

Hence also the need to go to Rome. There is not much confidence that Ivan Cardinal Dias will be of any help in any of these matters after the circulation [on the internet as also hardcopies distributed] to Catholics by ex-Catholic Pentecostals and by traditionalists, of a picture of him lighting the lamp in front of an idol of Ganesha at an inter-faith programme

13.  Your Grace, I have received copies of many letters such as the one here addressed to you by one Shane who I do not know. He is evidently a young man. I am edified by his firm and clear stand on the NCB. May his tribe increase.

After compiling the letters I will send you those who do not object to their identities being revealed, and obscure the names of the others.

From: Shayne Barretto <shayne.jb@gmail.com> Date: Jul 22, 2008 3:08 PM Subject: New Community Bible

To:
valdsouz@vsnl.com
Dear Bishop Valerian,

I am greatly disturbed by the New Community Bible. The commentary is highly debatable and contentious.

I am shocked by the stand or the lack of it taken by you. You have sat on the fence with the release of your statement – something that has come as a shock to me and my fellow youth. You being in a position of authority have failed to take action. The Lord stamped his authority whenever the Pharisees questioned it. But you haven’t taken a cue.

This Bible is aimed at the youth, apparently!

Is it really??? It gives a distorted image of Christ and Christianity. Now the already misled youth are even more confused as to who the real God is? If you and the priests of the Catholic Church direct them otherwise – then there is no hope for Christianity in India. We often complain why Protestants target Catholics and lead them to their churches?

 

 

 

Now you have vindicated their stand. I am in talks with other members of the Church and we are up in arms against this Bible (NCB) and the sale of it in various book stores.

Best Regards, Shayne # +91 9823025250

14. I do not want to do it but must include the oft-repeated cliché that laity are expected to pray, pay and obey.

Your Grace, this is not a pastime or hobby for us. We are called by God, and we have a great sense of responsibility, mission and burden for the Church. We LOVE the Church. We ARE the Church. Have you ever seriously considered what we laypeople who have families are investing in terms of time away from our spouses and children, energy and money in these unnecessary exercises, unnecessary because we should instead be out implementing Jesus’ mandate in the Great Commission, evangelizing and baptizing. There again I will fall foul of the theologians who distort what Jesus meant by the first and probably don’t even want to talk about the second [except in the safe context of conferring the Sacrament to infants born to Catholics].

I have been abused and threatened verbally and in writing by Catholic priests for saying what I say and doing what I do. 

My ministry has been threatened with legal proceedings, again in writing, by the priest-Director of a CBCI-associated organization. I have received a threatening letter from the priest-Executive Secretary of a CBCI Commission, definitely without the knowledge of the Chairman/Member Bishops of that Commission, instigated by a Catholic “Swami” who propagates New Age ideas and practices in Catholic institutions, and whose activities I exposed in a report. These threats have not deterred me.

When I open a can of worms or write letters like this, I know that I can expect retribution, subtle or overt. The Church is divine, as well as a powerful human organisation with much evil in her.

But I also know that I have chosen to do the will of the Lord, having carefully counted the cost of discipleship.

Some years ago, I wrote a letter to a Bishop. There was and still is a lot of open error, on which I had reported without any acknowledgement, in his diocese. In concluding, I said that when I used to see that Bishop conducting his ministry I was reminded of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning. A friend who examined the draft deleted that paragraph. But it always comes back to my mind. Today, for many Indian Catholics, Rome is burning. Let us pray for the Neros of today in our beloved Church. Yours in Jesus’ Name, Michael Prabhu

 

28. From:
John Moolachira
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 6:33 PM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu, Greetings in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.

I am in receipt of both your letters and appreciate your concern for the true teaching of the Church.

I, Yes I would like to study your report on the serious problems with the New Community Bible.

Please tell me also whether the problem is with the Bible or the commentary.

Requesting your prayers for me and my diocese, Yours sincerely,

Bp. John Moolachira Bishop’s House, Diphu 782 460, Assam

From:
prabhu
To:
jmoolachira@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:22 AM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Bishop John,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my third letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Your Grace, to answer your question, the problem is not with the text but with some of the commentaries.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

29. From:
Bishop Jose Mukala
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 6:32 PM Subject: Reply

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your emails and the reminders. I have to get first a copy of the same and then go through it before I can say anything about it. We are in the North East, and publications reach us very late. Please have patience with me as I am still to get copy to go through. Thanks for your concern and love for the Church. Praying for you, I remain, Yours in Christ Jesus,

Bishop Jose [Bishop of Kohima]

From:
prabhu
To:
bpjose@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:22 AM Subject: Re: Reply
WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Jose,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my third letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

 

 

30. From:
Virginia Saldanha
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 7:44 PM Subject: NCB

Dear Michael,
I am on a long holiday away from India and so have not heard about the NCB.  However if there is anything that is troubling you I think you should take it up with the authorities in the Church by going through the structures of subsidiarity i.e. your local bishop, the regional bishop, perhaps the doctrinal commission of the CBCI, and then the CBCI executive.  It is only when you do not get a satisfactory answer at all these levels then it is advisable to go to the Vatican. 
I would be interested to have more information about this. Yours truly,

Virginia Saldanha Executive Secretary, FABC Office of Laity & Family Phone 91-22-26490161

From:
prabhu
To:
fabclaity@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:21 AM Subject: Re: NCB
WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Virginia,

I trust that you are having a swell vacation. I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Referring to your suggestion to “take it up with the authorities in the Church”, none of the Bishops whom we spoke to on the telephone has replied to our letter or the reminder, till last night. We have experienced this as routine.

Meanwhile, we have written over 20 emails to different addresses in India of the publishers, the Society of St Pauls.

They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will.  It is an impossibility for laity to find out the email addresses of any of the experts [scholars] who worked on the project [wrote the commentaries]. If we got them, we would certainly write to them.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

31. From:
Nithiya Sagayam
To:
prabhu ; Clement Selvaraj
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 1:51 AM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

To Mr. Michael Prabhu 

Dear and Respected Brother,

I got your email with regard to the withdrawal of the NC Bibles immediately due to some problems. I am happy about your enthusiasm as well as commitment. I continue to admire your wonderful initiative towards the education of the marginalised. This year, the Church in India for the Justice Sunday ( 17th August, 2008), focuses on the Empowement of women. Our Holy Mother Church has shown great initiative on various dimensions of Gender Rights, under the light of Jesus and the Holy Gospels. Our Commission has highlighted them in the special prayers and message of that day. I would like to get your team’s help in spreading this important aspect also. This way, your committed members will be able to contribute to another way as true children of Mother Church. I have great hope that your team will take this theme to the Basic Christian Communities. I shall send the materials in another email.

WIth regard to the Community Bible, I am yet to read that special edition. So far, I have not come across this version. Since you seem to have an extensive explanation of 8 pages through a team of experts, it would be good to find out some biblical experts to get their guidance in its exegetical and hermeneutic approaches. Both these approaches are accepted by our Holy Mother Church already. Besides, I am neither a bible scholar nor a theologian and hence I may not be the right person to give a satisfactory and perfect reply.

I hope you are in touch with some theologians on this matter already. You have already mentioned about some bishops who have noted the errors. If those bishops could directly contact the writers for more clarity, it would be great to settle the issue instead of adding to misunderstanding and gap. I am sure that under christian charity, we have the privilege to amicably settle any issue instead of weakening our relationships. We are more answerable to God and to His people for our lack of charity than for our lack of theological clarity. Wishing you all the best and in prayers

Nithiya ofm. cap [Fr. Nithiya Sagayam, Exec. Secretary, Justice, Peace and Development Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
nithiyas@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 9:21 AM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father Nithiya,

I pray that all is well with you. I thank the Lord for you, your vocation, and your apostolate.

I also thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my reminder. It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I have written over 20 emails to different addresses in India of the publishers, the Society of St Pauls. They have not replied, and I do not expect that any priests of the St Pauls fraternity will. It is an impossibility for laity to find out the email addresses of any of the experts [scholars] who worked on the project [wrote the commentaries].

Regarding your sharing on issues like “gender rights”, etc. While these are genuine social concerns, our team [it is not the same as the Federation of Catholic Faithful, Chennai, but a group connected to each other via internet] is presently more concerned about the subversion of the Word of God by our own “scholars”, the liberal theologies that they propagate, etc.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

 

 

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Nithiya Sagayam
To:
‘prabhu’
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 3:15 PM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

From:
Nithiya Sagayam
To:
‘prabhu’
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 8:48 PM

Subject: RE: REMINDER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Brother Michael,  

I come to know from the PRO of the CBCI that your material has been sent to the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI. I think that this would be the right thing to do as they would be able to go through the text you had sent.

Wishing you all the best, I remain yours

Nithiya

 

32. From: <mystery_ngc@sancharnet.in> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 11:22 AM Subject: From Thuckalay

Dear Michael Prabhu,
I have received your email letters expressing your anxieties about the New Community Bible. 

To tell the truth I have not yet gone through it closely.  The Theological Commission of the CBCI must be studying the matter.  Let me first of all read the footnotes about which you have raised objections. With best regards,
Bishop George Alencherry [Bishop of Thuckalay]

From:
prabhu
To:
mystery_ngc@sancharnet.in
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 6:38 PM Subject: Re: From Thuckalay

Dear Bishop George, WITH NCB REPORT

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my third letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

33. From:
Isaac Mar Cleemis
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 1:54 PM

Subject: RE: THIRD LETTER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu,
Greetings! Pls send me the details. thanks.

Mor Baselios Cleemis.

[His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum, Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Church President, Syro-Malankara Bishops’ Synod, Vice President, CBCI, Member, CBCI Special Commission for Evangelization]

From:
prabhu
To:
imarcleemis@hotmail.com
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 6:37 PM

Subject: RE: THIRD LETTER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Mor Baselios Cleemis,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my third letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

34. From:
Ferdinand Fonseca
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 12:07 PM

Subject: RE: MY THIRD LETTER: FOLLOW-UP ON THE NCB

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu, You have been communicating with me and I have received your letters, your email messages and also by courier your analysis of the New Catholic Bible. 
I placed this matter before the Cardinal and other Archbishops and Bishops, members of the Western Region Council of Bishops at our meeting recently held in Nagpur. All the Bishops are fully aware of the concerns and reactions you have described about the New Catholic Bible. Others too have expressed similar concerns.
The CBCI are studying this issue thoroughly and an Official Statement can be expected on this matter. In future kindly address the CBCI directly. With all good wishes, Yours sincerely,
Bishop Ferdinand J. Fonseca [Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay]

From:
prabhu
To:
Ferdinand Fonseca
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 1:10 PM

Subject: Re: MY THIRD LETTER: FOLLOW-UP ON THE NCB

Dear Bishop Ferdie,

I thank you very much for doing what you did for us, the laity, and the priests who are with us on this issue.

 

 

Yes, I am now in touch with the CBCI. Cardinal Gracias had also written on the 19th and we sent him our analysis by email. I was informed by another Bishop of the Western Region about the proposed responses from the Cardinal [on behalf of the Bishops] to our concerns, but we are not optimistic given the background of the preparation of the NCB, and the history of the so-called inculturation in our Church.

If the Bishops understand what we feel, and why, they would not seek to justify the commentaries.

If there was NO problem at all with the NCB commentary, we ask why no Bishop could confidently state so when first contacted, without now having to give detailed explanations, and why the Bishop of Poona has banned the sale of the NCB to laity in his diocese.

I am afraid that we will have to launch an internet campaign, collect signatures, and take our matter to Rome.

I say this with no disrespect to you or to the Bishops while exercising our privileges as laity. Yours in Jesus’ Name, Michael

 

35. From:
Henry Dsouza
To:
prabhu
Cc:
spbcbandra@rediffmail.com ; Kolkatabc@paulineindia.org

Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 5:15 PM Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Friends, I have been through the Community Bible cursorily- I will be happy to have your report. The bible has the Imprimatur of Bishop Dabre and some well-known biblical scholars are named as commentators. Best wishes, Sincerely
Archbishop Henry [Henry D’Souza, Archbishop Emeritus of Calcutta]

From:
prabhu
To:
abishop26@rediffmail.com
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 6:25 PM

Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Henry,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB. We are also edified by the interest that you have shown at your age. We pray that the small print will not trouble your eyes.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

May our great God continue to bless you with wisdom, health and peace. In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Henry Dsouza
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:51 AM

Subject: Re: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael
I’ve read the report. I am not in agreement. The Incarnational Mystery of God’s plan for his Kingdom is very deep and challenging. At this age, I would prefer to stay out of controversy. Thank you for kind words, Sincerely

Archbishop Henry

From:
prabhu
To:
abishop26@rediffmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 6:02 PM

Subject: Re: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Archbishop Henry,

We thank you for your feedback on our report. If a very senior Bishop like you finds no problem with the NCB commentaries, we can only imagine what the condition of the juniormost Bishops is in respect of those beliefs that were traditionally taught and accepted by Catholics. 

If you are not in agreement of our report, it means, to take just one point from the NCB, that you do not reject the commentators’ interpretations on stuff like prana, yoga, etc. It means that you endorse them.

I pray that if God grants me your age of eighty-plus, I will have the joy of still being in the thick of “controversy” if that is what you meant by our being like the Christians of Berea who carefully examined against Scripture [and Church teaching] the words of St Paul [Acts 17:11]. Michael

From:
Henry Dsouza
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:44 PM

Subject: Re: Re: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael, Thank you for your letter. You remain in my prayers, Sincerely
Archbishop Henry

 

36. From:
Bishop of Karwar
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 5:02 PM Subject: reply

Ref. No. 158/723/08                                                             28/7/2008

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,

I have received your e-mail. Every time you sent the mail I have tried to open your site without success.  I have neither seen the NCB nor your 8 pages report nor have I participated in the release of NCB as you claim.

With kind regards, Yours sincerely,

+ Derek Fernandes

Bishop of Karwar

From:
prabhu
To:
bishopkwr@sancharnet.in
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 6:20 PM Subject: Re: reply

Dear Bishop Derek, WITH NCB REPORT

My most sincere apologies. I was quite shocked to read what you wrote and I checked up my records. I found that indeed I had written that you participated in the release of the NCB.

 

 

That sentence was meant for the twenty-odd Bishops who did participate, and it was inadvertently sent to you, but as you might notice, only in the third letter [reminder]. I am awfully sorry.

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my alert.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Our website is functioning and people have accessed it even today, but I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Bishop of Karwar
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 7:16 AM

Ref. No. 158/743/08                                                                        31/7/2008

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,

I have received your attached report regarding the NCB. I have rapidly gone through your report but will wait till I see the copy of the NCB which I have not received as yet. However I will bring out this topic with the other Bishops when there are opportunities. With kind regards, Yours sincerely,

+ Derek Fernandes Bishop of Karwar

 

From:
prabhu
To:
bishopkwr@sancharnet.in
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 9:55 AM Subject: NCB

Dear Bishop Derek, Thank you, and may our God continue to bless you with wisdom, good health and peace. Michael

 

37. From:
Secretary Kumbakonam
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 7:13 PM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr Michael Prabu,

I am in receipt of your mail. i was the Diocesan Administrator until 9th July 2008. Now we have a new bishop appointed and he is ordained and has taken charge of our diocese on 9th July, 2008. Only he can say anything positive or negative about your proposal. since he is a new bishop he is very busy travelling to different places. Sorry for my inability to respond to you.

Yours fraternally,

Rev. Msgr. C. Peter Francis.

From:
prabhu
To:
kumdio@yahoo.co.in
Cc:
kum_dio@dataone.in ; chinnappanpf@yahoo.co.in ; petfrachi@hotmail.com ; Bishop Thomas Dabre ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:25 AM

Subject: RESPONSE TO FR. PETER FRANCIS

Dear Fr. Peter Francis,

This is to confirm my telecon with your goodself [July 29 at 10:10 am] on my receipt of your letter reproduced below which was in response to my third reminder [also reproduced] on the issue of the New Community Bible. I telephoned you because of the following reasons:

1. You did not give me the name of the newly-installed Bishop;

2. You did not indicate that you would communicate my three letters to His Grace;

3. You showed no interest in an important issue that should have evinced your interest since you were the Diocesan Administrator [what happens when priests like you are elevated as Bishops?] till the new Bishop took charge.

When I talked to you, I found you most uncooperative. It was with difficulty that I could convince you to even give me the name of our Bishop [he is as much mine as he is yours].

Despite repeated requests, you could not, or would not assure me that the Bishop would see my letters. You would not give me the name of the person, Secretary or otherwise, who would do so, so that I could talk to him. When I said that it was an issue of doctrinal importance, you asked me “so you are speaking doctrinally?” to you. You also suggested twice that there are other Tamil Nadu Bishops so why not I write to or contact them.

Not only am I convinced that you do not have even the slightest interest to know what problems we find in a new Bible meant for the Indian Church, your attitude towards a lay person was condescending and impatient. Yours in Jesus’ Name, Michael Prabhu

Copies to:

Most Rev. Francis Antonysamy, Bishop of Kumbakonam

Most Rev. Thomas Dabre, Chairman, Doctrinal Commission, CBCI

 

38. From:
archbishop vincent
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:18 PM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael, Greetings from Delhi and thanks for your e-mails. As perhaps you know the New Community Bible released on the 28th of last month at the Cathedral has its Imprimatur by Most. Rev. Percival Fernandez, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, Nihil Obstat by Most Rev. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai and Preface by Most Rev. Maria Soosa Pakiam, Chairman of the Biblical Commission, CBCI. Naturally I took it for granted it did not call for any study on my behalf. I have not received your report yet nor will I have the time to study it. My suggestion is that you send it to the above and give them an opportunity to reply to you. With warm regards and God bless, Yours sincerely in Christ,

+ Vincent M. Concessao Archbishop of Delhi

 

 

 

From:
prabhu
To:
archbishop vincent
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 6:31 PM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE. REPORT ATTACHED

Dear Archbishop Vincent,

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to our third reminder. We are sorry to disturb your schedule. It is encouraging for our team that you even found time and inclination to reply, as we know how busy our Archbishops and Bishops are in administrative, political and other issues and official functions and meetings, and have very little time for real pastoral work or to try and understand why some laity and priests might believe that there are errors in a so-called Bible.

The Imprimatur and the Nihil Obstat are not infallible. It is not from the highest and final authority, which is Rome, and there is every possibility of human error in any writing, most especially if they are those written by liberal Indian theologians.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study, even though you have declined to accept it for lack of time. We wonder what could be more pressing than an issue like this one. Though a number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein, there is every possibility that we too may be wrong.

Yet, I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed. Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

May our great God continue to bless you with wisdom, health and peace. In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

39. From:
Joseph Kunnath
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 10:04 PM

Subject: RE: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael Prabhu,
I would like to examine your report in which you claim that there are serious problems with the Community Bible. Send me the report by post.

Bishop Joseph Kunnath [Bishop of Adilabad]

From:
prabhu
To:
adilabishop@hotmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 8:07 AM

Subject: RE: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Bishop Joseph,

I thank you very much for your kind response to my third letter.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I will send you the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please send me your postal address so that I can post the report to you? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Joseph Kunnath
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:26 AM

Subject: RE: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,
My postal Address: Bishop Joseph Kunnath CMI Bishop’s House, Mancherial P.O. AILABAD dt. A.P.  504 208

NCB REPORT BY POST ON AUG 1

From:
prabhu
To:
adilabishop@hotmail.com
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 9:55 AM Subject: NCB

Dear Bishop Joseph,

I have sent you the report by ordinary bookpost today. It should reach you by Monday. I thank you for giving me your address and I request to be excused for the delay in posting you the report. I look forward to hearing from you after you receive it. May our God continue to bless you with wisdom, good health and peace. Michael

 

40. From: “Frederick d’souza” <jhansidiocese@yahoo.co.in> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 8:59 AM Subject: Reply

Dear Michael Prabhu,
I would like to examine your report in which you claim that there are serious problems with the commentaries in St Paul’s New Community Bible. I browsed in your website ‘www.ephesians-511.net’ but no report were found.

Hereby I request you to send the Report of Yours concerning errors in NCB as early as possible through an Email.

Thank You Yours In Christ,
Rt. Rev. Frederick D’Souza [Bishop of Jhansi]

From:
prabhu
To:
Frederick d’souza
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:02 PM Subject: Re: Reply

Dear Bishop Frederick, WITH NCB REPORT

I thank you very much for your response to my third reminder about the NCB.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Our website is functioning and people have accessed the NCB report even today, but I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

 

From: “Frederick d’souza” <jhansidiocese@yahoo.co.in> To: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 10:17 AM Subject: Reply

Dear Mr Michael Prabhu,
Thanks for your observations and quite weighty criticism on the commentaries by great scholars. I have requested the Doctrinal Commission of CBCI to review your critical evaluations and attend to the same effectively. Thanks for your attention to the general feeling among ordinary non-literate (in scriptural matters) Catholic believers.
Personally I am appreciative of your service to the Church as an enlightened layman. We need people like you to assist us in the governance of our flock. In union of prayers, God bless you
Rt. Rev. Fredrick D’souza

From:
prabhu
To:
Frederick d’souza
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 4:59 PM Subject: My sincerest thanks

Dear Bishop Frederick,

May I thank you for what you have done and for the nice things that you wrote. They are a great encouragement and blessing to me. Please do remember my ministry and my family during your celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

May our God continue to bless you with wisdom, good health and peace. Love, Michael and Angela Prabhu, Chennai

 

41.
From:
majorarchbishop@gmail.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:55 PM

Subject: Re: FOURTH LETTER: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Prot. No. 538/2008

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu

Your e-mails regarding the New Community Bible were brought to the attention of the Major Archbishop.  He appreciated your efforts,
along with other priests and lay persons, to study the commentaries of the scholars in the NCB, and to indicate the ”serious problems’ you have noticed in them.  There is a commission for doctrine at the CBCI level to study these issues.  The Major Archbishop requests you to refer this matter to the Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Doctrine:

Bp Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai, Bishop’s House Barampur, Vasai Road, Thane Dt. – 401 202. Maharastra.

Tel. (O): (0250) 23 80 220, 23 81 521, 23 80 898 Fax (O): 23 83 333, E-mail: vasaidiocese@vsnl.net

Thanking you and with warm greetings,

Fr. Antony Kollannur, Chancellor, Major Archiepiscopal Curia [for His Eminence Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil CSsR of Ernakulam Angamaly, President, CBCI], P.B. No. 3110, P.O. Kakkanad, 682 030 Kochi, Tel: 0091-484-2424780, Mob: 0091-9447027817 Fax: 0091-484-2422727 Principal ID: frklnr@gmail.com
Other IDs: ak2156@hotmail.com; frklnr@yahoo.co.uk; frklnr@rediffmail.com

From:
prabhu
To:
majorarchbishop@gmail.com ; frklnr@gmail.com
Cc:
cardinal@ernakulamarchdiocese.org

Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:27 PM

Subject: Re: FOURTH LETTER: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

KIND ATTENTION:
Fr. Antony Kollannur, Chancellor, Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Kochi

KIND ATTENTION: HIS EMINENCE VARKEY CARDINAL VITHAYATHIL C.Ss.R

MAJOR ARCHBISHOP OF ERNAKULAM-ANGAMALY

PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA

PRESIDENT, SYRO-MALABAR BISHOPS’ SYNOD

Member, CBCI Special Commission for Evangelization

Dear Father Antony Kollannur,

I thank you very much for your response to my fourth reminder about the NCB, on behalf of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Starting July 8, I have sent NINE letters to the Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission, six personally addressed, and at least three copies. So far he has not replied, but I am confident that he will. 

So, I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you, and through you for His Eminence who is the President of the CBCI. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you and His Eminence please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

In Jesus’ Name. Michael

From:
Fr. Jery Njaliath, Secretary to the Cardinal
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:36 AM

Subject: Re: FOURTH LETTER: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Michael Prabhu,

Thank you for your emails regarding the problems with the New Community Bible. I have asked His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias to deal with the matter and he will be doing so shortly. With prayerful regards, 

Yours sincerely in the Lord, 

+ Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil

Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly &

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

From:
Cardinal’s Office
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 4:15 PM

To:
Secretary
Subject: Fw: FOURTH LETTER: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

 

 

42. From:
CBCI COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 4:32 PM Subject: please send

Dear Mr. Prabhu, 

Thanks for the mail about the NCB I was out of station and is back in Delhi. Please do send the report you have made about the Bible. with best wishes

George Plathottam sdb [Executive Secretary, Social Communications Commission, CBCI]

From:
prabhu
To:
cbcimo
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:07 PM Subject: Re: please send
WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Father George,

I thank you very much for your response to my alert about the NCB.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

43. From:
bpjoseph perumthottam
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:59 AM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Prabhu,

The mail is handed over to Archbishop. with love,

Fr. Secretary [Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam, Changanacherry]

From:
prabhu
To:
bpjperumthottam@yahoo.co.in
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 10:57 AM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Fr. Secretary, Archbishop Joseph,

I thank you very much for your kind response to my third letter. Meanwhile I had sent a fourth letter on July 29th.

We had telephoned and written to other Bishops, but many did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB. I am attaching herewith the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.

Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

44. From:
BISHOP’S HOUSE
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 11:01 AM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Prabhu,

Bishop isn’t at home now to reply your letter. He has gone for a medical check up. therefore, kindly excuse us for not sending his comment.

secretary, [for Most Rev. Lucas Kerketta SVD, Bishop of Sambalpur]

From:
prabhu
To:
BISHOP’S HOUSE
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 5:23 PM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Fr. Secretary, Bishop Lucas,

I thank you very much for your kind response to my third letter.

We had telephoned and written to other Bishops, but many did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB. I am attaching herewith the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you.

Kindly ensure that the Bishop sees it, as he has always in the past responded to my letters.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you, too, will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed. Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

45. From:
gerald john mathias
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 11:30 PM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Prabhu,
Thanks for your email and reminders.
As I was away in Australia for the World Youth Day and when I returned, I was busy with the Episcopal Ordination of Archbishop Amborse Madtha, Apostolic Nuncio in Ivory Coast, I could not reply your email.
I do appreciate your concern for orthodoxy but am unable to make any comment as I have not seen a copy of the NCB. I saw only an advertisement of NCB and some news report about it.
I am surprised at your statement in the email that I was present at the release of NCB! I do not even know when and where it was released or who did it! From where did you learn that I was present, when I was not?
I am only a member of the CBCI and a small fry. You should appraoch the Office bearers with your complaint and recommendations. I wish you well. God bless you.

Bp. Gerald Mathias [Bishop of Lucknow]

 

From:
prabhu
To:
gjmathias@rediffmail.com ; cbisluck@hotmail.com
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 6:37 AM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Bishop Gerald, WITH NCB REPORT

My most sincere apologies. I was quite shocked to read what you wrote and I checked up my records. I found that indeed I had written that you participated in the release of the NCB.

The inclusion of that sentence was erroneous; it was meant for the twenty-odd Bishops who did participate, and it was inadvertently sent to you, but as you might notice, only in the third letter [reminder]. I am awfully sorry.

I thank you very much for your kind and very prompt response to my alert on your return after your work overseas.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you. As a Bishop, you represent the teaching magisterium of the Church and that is why I must write to you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed in our analysis.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.
Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

46. From:
Archbishop Lucas Sirkar
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 9:51 PM

Subject: Re: FOURTH LETTER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Thank you very much for your kind Email letter regarding the New Community Bible, and comments. I have not yet seen that Bible except an advertisement came to me by Post recently. I asked the local community of Sister of Daughters of St. Paul. They told me they have not got their consignment as yet!

Kindly let me know the place, date and person who released / inaugurated you have referred to. It may be some Sr. of the Daughters of St. Paul who just spoke about this Bible to a group of laity who attended a Bible course every Saturday. I am not sure about the fact at all. I would appreciate if you write to me the points of grave concern you found out. May God bless you for your alertness. With good wishes, and union of prayers,

+ Abp. s. Lucas. [Most Rev. Lucas Sirkar, Calcutta]

From:
prabhu
To:
Archbishop Lucas Sirkar
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 8:41 AM

Subject: Re: FOURTH LETTER. PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Archbishop Lucas,

I thank you very much for your response to my fourth reminder about the NCB.

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Regarding the information about the release of the NCB in Calcutta, we read the following in the report on the St Pauls’ website: “Fr Elias D’Mello, Parish Priest, released The NCB and declared the Year of St Paul open during the Holy Eucharist at St Mary’s Church, Rippon Street, Kolkatta at 6.30 a.m. on 29 June 2008.

I am attaching here the report on the NCB for your study as graciously requested for by you. A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.

Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

47. From:
Bishop Jacob Manathodath
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 8:36 AM

Subject: Re :THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

From:
Diocese of Palghat
To:
prabhu
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 8:37 AM Subject: thanks

Dear Mr. Prabhu, I thank you for the E-mails you sent to the Bishop.
As he was away in Europe and presntly attending some busy sheduled meeting, please excuse him for not replying the matter studied. With every good wishes,
Fr. Shaiju
Secretary. [Most Rev. Jacob Manathodath, Bishop of Palghat]

From:
prabhu
To:
palghat_diocese@dataone.in ; manathodath@rediffmail.com
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 11:40 AM

Subject: Re: THIRD LETTER: REQUESTING WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE / Re: thanks

Dear Fr. Secretary, Bishop Jacob, WITH NCB REPORT

I thank you very much for your two kind responses to my third letter.

While I am very grateful for that, I must admit that I am surprised that neither you nor His Grace is interested in reading the details of our apprehensions of serious problems in a so-called Catholic Bible. This is an issue that every Catholic should be keenly interested in, so I presume that you have inadvertently not asked for our report.

So, I am attaching herewith the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.

Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement? In Jesus’ Name. Michael

 

48.
From:
Savarinathan [magtine@sancharnet.in]To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 5:10 AM

Subject: New Community Bible

 

 

 

Dear Sir/Fr. Please send me a copy of the report. Thank you

The Most Rev. Dr. S. Michael Augustine
Archbishop Em. of Pondicherry & Cuddalore
India

From:
prabhu
To:
magtine@sancharnet.in
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 10:37 PM
WITH NCB REPORT

Subject: UPDATE and ALERT: CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Your Grace Rev. Dr. S. Michael Augustine,

I must sincerely thank you for taking interest — at your senior age — out of love for your Faith, the Bible and the Church, and requesting for the report on the NCB against our letter to you of July 20, 2008.

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]

Dozens of ordinary laypeople, leaders of Catholic lay ministries, and senior leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal — and a number of priests — have responded to this ministry and to the response2communitybible@gmail.com id that was created for those who would like to express their opinion of the NCB.

A few laity have courageously not only replied, but written to some of the Bishops. A number of letters were received from people who have never been in contact with this ministry before. We received letters from Indians living overseas and from non-Indians.

Not a single Bishop when contacted on the ‘phone or by letter was able to confidently tell us that there could possibly be no error in the NCB. In fact, most Bishops and senior CBCI and diocesan priests admitted that they have not even seen the NCB. Now, we are informed that in one major western diocese the Bishop has ordered St Pauls not to sell the NCB to laity. Thus, there is an admission by the Bishops that there are problems with the NCB.

Our report was discussed at the Western Region Bishops’ meeting at Nagpur, July 23 to 26. Oswald Cardinal Gracias [who also wrote to me and asked for my report] is preparing an answer to it. He has again written to me in confirmation. So has the Cardinal Archbishop, Ernakulam-Angamaly.

We are not optimistic. Barring a miracle, the Bishops will justify some of the commentaries of the NCB in the name of “Indianisation”. Are you prepared to let that happen? The priests and other laypersons who reject the NCB are not.

The Roman Catholic Faith of our children and grandchildren is in grave danger.

We have planned a signature campaign, which most respondees have agreed to join, and we are thinking of approaching the vernacular secular media who have either reported on the release of the NCB or are unaware of it.

We will also take up the matter with Rome if necessary.

One can respond to response2communitybible@gmail.com and also to Orkut:
http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=49533812

You can register your response on the community page on Orkut created for this purpose. Please login to your Orkut id, click on ‘Communities’ and search for “community bible”. If you have a problem, let us know.

The NCB report is available at this ministry’s website on the homepage: www.ephesians-511.net .

The title:
A NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

The link:
http://www.ephesians-511.org/documents/A%20NEW%20AGE%20BIBLE%20THE%20NEW%20COMMUNITY%20BIBLE.doc


Michael Prabhu michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

 

49. From:
galibali@hotmail.com
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 10:00 AM

August 17, 2008 Dear Michael Prabhu,

Greetings of Joy and Peace to you in the Lord.

I herewith acknowledge your e-mail letters of 22nd and 26th July 2008 regarding the problems with the new community Bible. I am sorry that I couldn’t reply earlier as I have been out of the country for the last two months.

While I appreciate your Good will, concern and efforts you have made along with some priests and laity to find out the errors in this community Bible, I would like to inform you that this subject doesn’t fall under the purview of my commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism of CBCI. You need to refer it to the Chairman of the CBCI Doctrinal Commission who is Bishop Thomas Dabre, Vasai; he may examine your complaints with the help of some experts and do the needful.

With kind regards and prayerful wishes. Yours Sincerely,

+Gali Bali Bishop of Guntur.

From:
prabhu
To:
Gali Bali
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:52 PM Subject: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Bishop Gali Bali, WITH NCB REPORT

I thank you very much for your kind responses to my letters of July 2008 after you have returned from your overseas sojourn. 

It is encouraging for our team as some Bishops and Archbishops whom we contacted by telephone and email were quite indifferent and did not even ask to see our analysis of the commentaries of the NCB.

Starting July 8, I have sent NINE letters to the Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission, six personally addressed, and at least three copies. So far he has not replied, but I am confident that he will. 

From the contents of the commentaries which many feel has made the NCB an inter-religious book, we believe that this is also a matter for the CBCI Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism, of which you are Chairman.

While I am very grateful for the nice things that you said and for your suggestions, I must admit that I am surprised that Your Grace is interested in reading the details of our apprehensions of serious problems in a so-called Catholic Bible.

 

 

This is an issue that every Catholic should be keenly interested in, so I presume that you have inadvertently not asked for our report.

Your Grace, you are the teaching magisterium of the Church; not the scholars who wrote the commentaries in the NCB.

You must have your individual episcopal opinion and pronouncement on such a basic issue as the Word of God, and that is why we wrote to you — so that you will examine them and give us your unbiased and informed decision.

So, I am attaching herewith the report on the NCB for your study even though it was not requested for by you.

A number of priests and laity share the concerns expressed therein.

I am confident that you will share our concern about the sections of the commentaries that we have only briefly analysed.

Could you please respond after you receive/read the report, in acknowledgement?

God bless you, Michael

50. FROM: MOST REV. THOMAS DABRE, BISHOP OF VASAI

Several Bishops [above] had written to me suggesting that I contact the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI which, they wrote, is the most competent Catholic Church body to deal with the NCB problem. This is what I had replied to them:

Starting July 8, I have sent NINE letters to the Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission, six personally addressed, and at least three copies. So far he has not replied, but I am confident that he will.”

The Reverend Father Executive Secretary of the said Commission had already acknowledged receipt of my letter as long back as July 20 and was immediately sent the eight-page NCB analysis.

On August 25, I received a package bearing the rubber-stamp seal of the Bishop of Vasai. Inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find a book, released recently, titled “Eucharist, God’s gift for the life of the World”. The author? Bishop Thomas Dabre.

On page 1, the Bishop has penned me the following message:

“Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu, Greetings of peace in the Lord.

I have carefully noted your zeal for the Church and the Lord. God bless you.

+Thomas Dabre

The back outer cover says this about the Bishop of Vasai, that he is:

“The Chairman of CBCI Commissions for (a) the Doctrine of Faith, and for (b) Theology.

Bishop Dabre is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Rome, and the official CCBI delegate to the International Eucharistic Congress at Quebec City, Canada in June 2008.” [ctd. page 27]

 

51. From:
prabhu
To:
bp_bosco@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 9:59 AM

Subject: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE — CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH NCB REPORT

Dear Bishop Bosco,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inordinate delay in sending you our team’s analysis of the NCB.

Your email address is not recorded in the 2008 CBCI Directory and so we did not / could not write to you as we did to the other Bishops of Bombay Archdiocese in the second and third weeks of July 2008. I just happened to see your letter to me of November 7, 2007 with your e-address and I hasten to send you our report with the latest covering letter/update as sent out me on behalf of our team.

I am confident that you will read the analysis and acknowledge receipt. God bless you, Michael Prabhu

From:
bp_bosco@vsnl.net
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 4:14 PM

Dear Michael,

I write to acknowledge your email of August 25 with regard to the NCB. Here are my comments:

1. Your interest in this matter and the time you spent you in studying this publication is very commendable. It is also very characteristic of you – your deep love for the church.

2. For the sake of the record I have to state that no one in this large metropolis of Mumbai has mentioned any serious criticism of the NCB.

3. I also know that there are many who have appreciated it much. As an example I quote from an article by ‘chhotebhai’ in ‘The Secular Citizen’ on August 11:

“And now St. Paul’s Publications have exceedingly enhanced the charm, beauty and appeal of that Love Letter, with the publication of the special Indian edition of The New Community Bible (NCB)…… But I have fallen unabashedly in love with the NCB, released on the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul on 29th June in India. It is quite simply a labour of love. The recipient of such a Love Letter cannot but feel elated, even ecstatic.”

4. I am therefore reluctant to make any condemnations of the NCB.

5. Your critique as well as those of others will be studied by scholars of the Bible and corrections if necessary will be made.

6. Thank you and with affectionate good wishes,                                                                                                    +Bosco Penha Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of Bombay

 

52. RESPONSE FROM THE AUXILIARY BISHOP, MADRAS-MYLAPORE DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 2008:

Dear Mr Michael Prabhu

Thank you for your letter of 26th September with enclosures.

I appreciate the research you have done and shall go through your notes. May I get in touch with you in the near future?

With my most cordial blessings and assurance of prayers

N.B: I received your second packet, too

 

 

 

Devotedly yours in Christ

Sd/- + Rt Rev Dr Lawrence Pius D Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General [RECEIVED BY POST, OCTOBER 6TH]

 

2. [continued from page 1]:

From: “prabhu” <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> To: <abpstanny1@dataone.in> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:19 PM Subject: Re: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE WITH NCB REPORT

From:
prabhu
To:
abpstanny1@dataone.in
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 11:25 PM

Subject:
REMINDER. NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE;

From:
Archbishop Stanny
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 7:19 AM

Subject: Re: REMINDER. NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,

The points you have raised will be considered by the Standing Committee of the CBCI that meets at the end of September. The commentaries are not the Scriptures, and should be taken as commentaries. Scripture scholars and theologians have prepared the commentaries and a better understanding of the purpose of the commentaries will be presented to the Catholic community. Sincerely in Jesus,

Abp. Stanislaus Fernandes, SJ (Secr. General: CBCI)

 

50.
[continued from page 26]:

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:30 AM Subject: Re: NCB criticism [content same as in the following email]

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:31 AM Subject: urgent

Dear Mr. Prabhu, Greetings of peace and joy. Trust you and family are well.

I am sure by now you have received my booklet on the Eucharist. As I wrote to you I have been noting all the comments on the NEB. I have already set up committee as I wrote to you. So do not have any anxiety. It is my duty not to allow any errors about the matters of the faith. I can sense that you too get a flak but be at peace. Also do not get involved in the war of words. Among us we should not get personal and give cause for disturbing relationships among us. As ST. Paul teaches, charity is the highest and we should not quarrel among ourselves. I am studying all the reactions I have received from you and others. I may give my own assessment to the Standing Committee of the Bishops. So let us take this occasion to give a good example of dealing with faith errors and controversies. You have my prayers and good wishes.

BISHOP THOMAS DABARE [DABRE] CHAIRMAN, DOCTRINAL COMMISSION, CBCI

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 7:45 AM

Subject: Re: REMINDER: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [content same as in the following email]

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 7:46 AM Subject: urgent

Dear Mr. Prabhu, Greetings of peace and joy. I sent you my booklet and also an email but no reply. I am submitting a report to the Standing Committee of the Bishops shortly. I have not yet received the eight-page document you all have prepared regarding errors in NEB. SO PLEASE HURRY UP AND SEND it to me immediately. We have taken your concerns seriously
and are duty bound deal with them as the Lord wants it. God bless you.
Bishop Thomas Dabre

 

From:
prabhu To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:36 PM

Subject: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]

Dear Bishop Thomas,

Thank you. I had received all your emails as under. I also acknowledge with thanks the book on the Eucharist, authored by you, and which was delivered by post to me on August 25.

I had been meaning to write to you, but I am still involved with correspondence on the NCB apart from normal routine ministry against the New Age, and these together have been keeping me engaged up to 16 hours a day almost without a break since I first contacted you over the telephone on July 8 on the NCB issue.

Since that time I had written nine letters to you, six personally addressed, and at least three copies of letters to others. I finally did not know what to think or do.

When I saw your letter of September 9, I had a two-day backlog of correspondence and I cleared it all only just now. I kept your letter for the last so that my mind would be clear, though extremely tired.

I had sent copies of our team’s eight-page analysis of the NCB only to those Bishops who had specifically asked us to send it to them or who even just acknowledged receipt of our emails from July 8 till around the end of that month. I had posted a hardcopy only to Bishop Ferdie since he asked me to, in time for the Western Region Bishops’ meet at Nagpur in July and I presumed hat he must surely have taken photocopies and given to you all. Since you had not written till now, I had not mailed it to you.

I am sending you separately the NCB report as an attachment with a covering letter. Kindly acknowledge receipt.

 

 

 

Your letter of the 9th was in response to your copy of my letter to a St Pauls priest who wrote to another priest calling my crusade a “misinformation campaign”, and alleging that I must have “cooked up” the letter with the second priest’s name on it. My reaction was not personal. It was a defense of the truth of the entire matter.  

In Jesus’ Name, Obediently, Michael

PS. In your letters of the 9th as well as of today, you had wrongly called the New Community Bible the NEB.

1. Can you let me know at once the exact dates on which the Bishops’ Standing Committee is meeting, when the NCB is going to be discussed? And where?

2. Have the Bishops considering inviting if not some laity, then a couple of priests who stand with us on this issue, so that our voice may be heard?

3. We have been collating the letters coming in to us. Would you like to read them? They will give you an idea as to why Catholics [many priests of all age groups and religious congregations INCLUDING ST. PAULS, who are seminary professors, theologians, doctorates and retreat preachers, as well as laity] reject the NCB.

4. We are preparing a follow-up to the first report on the basis of the wide feedback that we have received as well as from the propaganda of the pro-NCB lobby which have described us variously as fundamentalists, narrow-minded, lacking in Biblical scholarship, etc.

5. If we are not satisfied with the decision taken by the Bishops regarding the NCB commentaries, we intend to take up the matter with Rome.

6. In regard to the NCB, the Tamil Catholics have a precedent or should I say precedents. The details can be found in a twenty-six page booklet titled, “Ongoing Robbery of Faith” authored in 1996 by Fr P K George SJ. 

It makes some startling and fearful allegations of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ deceit in matters of Faith.

Fr George analyses 3 issues:

a) The newly translated Tamil Missal, 1993

b) The new translation of the Holy Bible in Tamil, 1995

c) A book titled. “Yar Intha Yesu?” [“Who is this Jesus?“] by theologian Fr Paul Leon, 1995; it has the Imprimatur of a late Bishop.

Fr George documents the many serious errors in these books, including the Bible, which have been perpetuated on the ignorant faithful of Tamil Nadu. The priest insists that a fraud has been perpetrated on the Tamil Church, more precisely that Catholics have been blatantly lied to. Because there was no organized protest, the Bishops ignored the few individuals who wrote to them  

The fraud or lie that he mentions is that the Bishops of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council [TNBC] have stated that the contents of the new Missal were approved/authorised by Rome whereas they were not. I am producing a soft copy of this booklet and will send it to you as soon as my correspondence regarding the NCB slows down –which does not seem likely for some time.

Your Grace will have to wait for the details as I do not want to quote out of context in this very delicate matter.

Tamil Catholics whose children now use the English translation of the Bible fear that the same fate awaits them with the NCB.

The Bishops of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council have the dubious distinction of not having acknowledged receipt of three rounds of letters on the NCB sent to them by this ministry or written to them by other lay Catholic organizations. I have copies of their letters.

We intend to publish the report on the new Tamil Missal and new Tamil Bible in October.

Michael

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:46 PM

Subject: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE — CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH NCB REPORT

YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE — CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]

Dear Bishop Thomas Dabre, As requested by you, Michael

Please acknowledge receipt.

Dear Reverend Fathers and friends,

The New Community Bible (NCB) was released by St Pauls on June 28, 2008 “with commentary prepared by the best Bible scholars in India”. Price Rs 250.00. In the Preface, the scholars/theologians [attempt to] justify the contents of the book.
This book is part of the “inculturation” drive of our Indian theologians.

In the commentaries, parallels are repeatedly drawn with Hindu deities, Hindu religious texts and mythology; biblical incidents and personalities and Christian philosophies have equals in Hinduism. The impression is forced on the reader that one religion is as good as another. Biblical incidents are downplayed by flippantly commenting that they must not be taken literally. Creation is a story, Eden is a mythical garden, Adam and Eve’s sin was probably a sexual one, the report on the plagues of Egypt is not supported by science – and they are repetitious and inconsistent, the parting of the Red Sea was used for box office effect and is not a factual or historical account, and so on. Read more about the NCB in the attachment.

I have been on the team of priests and lay Catholics conducting this campaign in opposition to the New Community “Bible” [NCB] since the first week of July 2008. This letter with the eight-page attachment of our analysis of the errors and problems in the NCB commentaries will be reaching many of you very late. The reasons for the delay?

 

 

 

A number of priests and laity read the secular news stories on the release of the NCB in the papers or on the internet, and some of them checked out the NCB and began writing to me. The exchange of hundreds of letters with them started.

We have written around 25 letters to St Pauls but we have received no response.

I sent out a first round of letters to a couple of hundred priests and laity who are in regular correspondence with this ministry. And their responses began to come in. Those who did not reply had to be sent reminders. Records had to be maintained.

Our analysis of the NCB was first sent out after July 16, and a week later it was uploaded on our website
www.ephesians-511.net. It was picked up by Orate Fratres, a Catholic apologetics site in the US, and reproduced almost in its entirety.

Meanwhile, a couple of Indian news agencies, TOI and DNA, interviewed me telephonically from Mumbai, and asked me for information that had to be carefully compiled. It resulted in two newspapers carrying the story on August 9 of the faithful’s opposition to the NCB, two of them quoting us, and one more referring to us on August 6 without naming this ministry. Our letters to the editor were carried in the Mumbai Age and the Asian Age. Hindustan Times also reported our story.

There are still several hundred Catholic friends whom I have not yet written to, including most of the newer ones in my address book since the last one year, so please forgive me, if you are one of those that I missed out, for having not written to you earlier. A few people who have not yet responded might receive this as a reminder. If this attachment is coming to you for the second time, please forgive me for that too as I am not able to manage the logistics of this exercise. For that, thank you and God bless you.

Please find the time to read our attached report on the NCB, which must be withdrawn immediately by the Bishops.

THE NCB IS A BRAHMIN IMPOSITION ON THE CHURCH.

THERE IS A SUBLIMINAL “OM” SYMBOL ON THE NCB COVER.

THE NCB DOES NO GOOD FOR THE DALITS AND TRIBALS UNDER THE YOKE OF CASTE.

Get your family members to join in the crusade. And pass this on to all your Catholic friends. We need more and more responses opposing the publishing of the NCB. Please do write in your support for our campaign and your rejection of the NCB to the team email address which is
response2communitybible@gmail.com

under copy to me at
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net.

If you do not want your name to be disclosed, please inform us clearly and we will reproduce your letter while obscuring your identity. The collated letters will be sent to the Bishops of India along with a follow-up analysis of other errors and problems in the NCB that have been brought or come to our attention.

From all over India and from overseas, overt two hundred ordinary laypeople, leaders of Catholic lay ministries and communities, founders of internet Catholic ministries and senior leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal — and a good number of priests and theologians — have already responded to this ministry and to the
response2communitybible@gmail.com.

A number of letters were received from people who have never been in contact with this ministry before.

A few laity have even written to some of the Bishops.

The Roman Catholic Faith of our children and grandchildren is in grave danger.

Are you prepared to let that happen? The priests and other laypersons who reject the NCB are not. We urge all Catholics to please speak up, to allow their voice to be heard for the sake of the Church in India.

Additionally, one can also respond to Orkut:
http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=49533812

You can register your response on the community page on Orkut created for this purpose. Please login to your Orkut id, click on ‘Communities’ and search for “community bible”. If you have a problem, let us know.

We have planned a signature campaign, which most respondees have agreed to join, and we are thinking of approaching the vernacular secular media who have either reported on the release of the NCB or are unaware of it, through a press conference which will be arranged by a lay Catholic organization that is also calling for withdrawal of the NCB.

We will also take up the matter with Rome if necessary.

The NCB report is available at this ministry’s website on the homepage:
www.ephesians-511.net .

The title: A NEW AGE BIBLE? THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

The link: http://www.ephesians-511.org/documents/A%20NEW%20AGE%20BIBLE%20THE%20NEW%20COMMUNITY%20BIBLE.doc

Michael Prabhu michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

JUST THREE SAMPLE LETTERS FROM PRIESTS…

RECENT SAMPLE LETTERS FROM THREE LAY PERSONS…

From: FR C. M. PAUL, FORMER PRESIDENT, INDIAN CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION…

 

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 8:36 AM

Subject: Fw: ALERT and UPDATE : CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]. YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE –CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

THIS IS BEING SENT A SECOND TIME.

ALONG WITH THIS LETTTER, ANOTHER LETTER ON THE NCB ISSUE WAS MAILED YESTERDAY EVENING

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 3:15 PM

Subject: Fw: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB]

THIS IS BEING SENT A SECOND TIME.

 

 

 

ALONG WITH THIS LETTTER, ANOTHER LETTER ON THE NCB ISSUE — WITH THE NCB REPORT AS AN ATTACHMENT — WAS MAILED YESTERDAY EVENING

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com ; Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 3:52 PM

Subject: A REMINDER, PLEASE {WITH COPIES OF MY LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER 11}

Dear Bishop Thomas,

I understand that the Bishops are meeting tomorrow. I was waiting to know if you wanted the around 300 letters that have been sent to us opposing the NCB. Thanks, Michael

 

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 11:00 AM

Subject: urgent

To: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Subject: Re: Fw: DEAR BISHOPS, PLEASE READ THIS UNSOLICITED LETTER ON THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE
Dear Michael Prabhu,
Greetings of peace and joy. this is to inform you that the CBCI Standing Committee has set up an episcopal panel for reexamining the New Community Bible. The Panel will submit its report to the Standing Committee for necessary steps. You and your sympathizers have flooded me with emails just because I gave the nihil obstat and they may all be expecting replies from me. Please note that I have no such office facilities to handle all that correspondence. Also henceforth you too should contact the CBCI office in Delhi and not me for the problems re. the new community Bible. I am sure you will understand. I am in charge of Vasai diocese. Also keep in touch with the publishers of the Bible edition. God bless you. Bishop thomas dabre

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: “conrad saldanha” <conradsal@yahoo.com>

Cc: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 11:09 AM Subject: Re: REMINDER

Dear Conrad,
Greetings of peace and joy. First, thanks for the parish souvenir which you kindly sent to me when I attended the programme at a leprosarium in Panvel. I am impressed by your zeal and dedication. Keep it up. Thanks also for your emails re the new community Bible. Now I am copying to you a letter i have written to Michael Prabhu which will clarify where you should send your correspondence. But since you are my friend for the last so many years and you were present when I addressed the charismatic rally in Thane I am writng this note to you. Also please take up your case with the bishops of Bombay Archdiocese who will guide you. Stay well and keep up your good work.] Bishop thomas dabre

From: “Bishop” <vasaidiocese@gmail.com> To: <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net> Cc: <conradsal@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 11:19 AM Subject: urgent [same letter as above]

 

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Cc:
Agnelo R. Gracias
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:29 PM

Subject: MY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF YOUR THREE LETTERS OF OCTOBER 20

Dear Bishop Thomas,

1. I thank you for your three letters of October 20. Except for a brief interval during which I could access some email, I experienced a series of problems with my computer for about a week and hence I could not respond to you immediately, which kindly excuse.

I am confused as to why you combined your response to my correspondence with that of Fr Conrad Saldanha. If he wrote to you, it was in his individual capacity as he is just one of around 30 priests who have written to me that they do not accept the NCB as a Bible. I am sure that there are many more such priests in the Indian Church but few who would take the prophetic role seriously as he has, and write to their Bishops. A few priests who did write against the NCB to my ministry later wrote asking me not to disclose their identities as they fear retribution from the Superiors of their Congregations or their Bishops. To tell you the truth, it took a fair amount of letter writing on my part to make some of the priests come out in the open and give their written comments.

Why must our priests be so afraid of sharing their convictions on issues of faith?

You must seriously consider the fact that if I received 30 letters from priests, there will be dozens more who share our view.

2. Over 250 laity, many of them ministers of the Word, senior preachers, prayer group leaders, evangelists, directors of Catholic missions and Schools of Evangelization, leaders of ministries, regional chairpersons of the Service Teams of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, apologists with internet ministries from India and overseas have rejected the NCB and want it withdrawn.

I admit that I wrote letters to about 5,000 email addresses to get the “just” 300 or so responses that have come in.

But, I probably have at least another 5,000 addresses that I have not yet written to. In fact, proceeding alphabetically, I have not got beyond the letter “P” in my general correspondence file because of the heavy load of work I face since the publication of the NCB. Most Catholics are apathetic and not inclined to speak up whatever the provocation. So, I believe that each letter represents hundreds of Catholics who might object to the NCB if they examined one or saw our report on it. Therefore, they are not just 300 letters but representative of the voice of the faithful that the Bishops are called upon to heed.

3. Predictably, an issue as controversial as this has “separated the boys from the men”. Many laity in ministry who have otherwise supported us in writing on other issues have now chosen to ignore my alerts and reminders. They have simply not replied. The reason is obvious.

 

 

 

They are in popular ministries which depend on the goodwill of the Bishops and Catholic centres where they hold their programmes. Accordingly, they do not want to be quoted. I admit that I have now parted ways with most or all of them because of their non-response, despite the requests of some of them to not delete their names from my mailing list.

The NCB issue strikes at the heart of our Catholic faith, and this ministry would gain nothing from association with those who prefer to compromise or remain silent when it is the time to speak and defend the correct interpretation of the Word of God which they otherwise so eloquently preach. Still, I am sure that all of them without exception would orally agree with the report filed by our team. Only, they are happy to let someone else stand publicly in the line of fire. One lay Catholic site which otherwise reports every single hiccup and general newsworthy issues in the Indian Church has imposed a total blackout on the NCB. It is no surprise when one finds out that the concerned moderator is studying theology at a seminary and cannot afford to antagonise any of his professors. Ministry has become a career for him and some others.

4. I am also very sad that you used the term “your sympathizers” to describe those, including Fr Conrad Saldanha who wrote to you on the NCB issue. I had not individually requested a single person to do so. Maybe you inadvertently used that word.

I am in a ministry that I take very seriously and that has cost me in expenses over one hundred thousand rupees a year over the last five years since I went on the internet, apart from which I had given up my highly successful professional career and the directorship of two small companies to come into fulltime ministry since January 1993 with not even a thousand rupees in savings or investments, and with a family to maintain. People who support me are impressed by my dedication, integrity and sincerity but mostly by my fidelity to the teaching of Rome. I hail from a rich, business family and I could have left a different life if not for this ministry that the Lord has called me to. My wife and children have had to do without many comforts and good things, and share in the sacrifices that I have had to make. I continue to suffer from a debilitating disease that crippled me a few years ago for two years till Jesus healed me of the pain and the paralysis, and I have lost 90% of the vision in my right eye in May this year.

I am obliged to share some of these details with you because though we have corresponded much, there is little that you know about me personally. None of those of my friends who know these things “sympathize” with me. If they associate with me, there is nothing that they can gain from me except to be included in the same category as me by my detractors.

5. I am privileged to have given talks and seminars to groups of Catholics from New Delhi to Nagercoil, from Kolkata to Mumbai.

Last year I gave a two-day seminar on Catholic apologetics to the core group and service team leaders of the Bangalore Renewal.

There were two senior priests with us. Not then or ever, in 27 years of my ministry, has anyone ever found my teaching to be anything but Catholic. On the contrary, I have always been felicitated by the organizers.

Naturally, I have many enemies who promote the New Age in the Church, which I fight, but no one has been able to fault me.

My articles have been published in Catholic magazines including The New Leader and The Examiner.

I have attended a number of reputed Catholic Bible “Colleges” and Schools of Evangelization and trained under priests and lay leaders who have national-level and international ministries.

The only people who disagree with me are those who differ with me on my conclusions on New Age issues and those who do not believe in evangelization [by which I mean a proclamation of the Good News of Jesus as Lord and Saviour] but in a “gospel” of “liberation” purely through social action and in an interfaith dialogue that precludes the said evangelization and proclamation.

6. I am happy to know that the Bishops are reviewing the NCB. However, I have always written to your Lordship not so much in your capacity as the Bishop of Vasai but in your position as the Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI.  Even if you were not, I would be obliged to write to you as a Bishop who is the representative of the teaching authority of the Church, the Magisterium.

Many of the Bishops who wrote to me asked me to write to your Lordship. Also, the publishers did not reply to around 25 letters that I wrote them.

So, I must continue to write to you and I trust that you will find the time to respond to me as you are bound to by virtue of your Holy Office. I must send you the collated letters of the priests and laity who wrote to this ministry. When you read those letters you will find that many of them have reached their conclusions on the NCB based on their own studies and not after reading our report.

Then, there is the 38-page follow-up report that I have prepared on the NCB. It is attached to the email following this one.

I must also send you about 20 letters that the faithful have written to The Examiner. Apparently, none of them have been published.

On the other hand, The Examiner, whose editor Fr Antony Charanghat is the spokesperson of the Bombay Archdiocese on behalf of the NCB has published at least three letters defending the NCB. Does this not indicate that there is a control by the Church on what the faithful are reading? What does it have to say about the Church being a democratic institution? We can only conclude that the inculturation [Brahminisation] lobby is so powerful that it controls the Catholic media. The priest-editor of a reputed Catholic magazine wrote to me “one of my confreres brought to me an interview with a bishop to be published in xxx. I am not publishing it.

A Bombay Bishop, apparently favouring the NCB, wrote to me advising me to read the pro-NCB article by “Chhotebhai” in The Secular Citizen. I know Chhotebhai Noronha as a man who trained under the New Ager Fr Bede Griffiths at Saccidananda Ashram.

 

 

Is it right for a Bishop to respond to my letter to him by referring me to the writings of a layman who is himself compromised?

Which brings me to the conclusion of this letter:

7. I came to know about 10 days ago that Bishop Agnelo Gracias has released an undated 14-page response to my 8-page critique on the NCB. As I would like to study it, respond to it, etc. may I request you to please send me a copy of the same?

Thanking you, Michael Prabhu

From:
prabhu
To:
vasaidiocese@gmail.com
Cc:
Agnelo R. Gracias
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:38 PM

Subject: FOLLOW-UP REPORT ON THE NCB

Dear Bishops Thomas Dabre and Agnelo Gracias,

I trust that you have read my earlier email.

As I had written there, please find enclosed our follow-up on the first NCB report.

This is of 38 pages. It will be hosted on our website in a day or two. Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu

SUMMARY: NEARLY 700 EMAIL LETTERS SENT TO:

ST PAULS: 24
plus 3 reminders  

CARDINALS: 3.
Minimum 4 letters each [3 as reminders], except for one early responder

ARCHBISHOPS: 27.
4 letters each, except for a couple

BISHOPS: 139 out of 140.
Minimum 3 letters each [2 as reminders], except for a few early responders

BISHOPS EMERITUS: 31

CBCI/CCBI, COMMISSIONS and OFFICES: 25

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO: 1
plus 2 reminders

OVERSEAS [NEPAL/FABC]: 6

 

52 EMAIL RESPONSES FROM [and to whom the eight-page report was then sent]:

2 CARDINALS: Bombay, Ernakulam-Angamaly,

8 ARCHBISHOPS: Gandhinagar, Patna, Guwahati, Shillong, Trivandrum [Syro-Malankara], Delhi, Changanacherry, Calcutta,

28 BISHOPS: Baruipur, Belgaum, [Jamshedpur], Miao, Dibrugarh, [Aux.] Bombay, Berhampur, [Asansol], Jhabua, Bellary, [Aux.] Ernakulam-Angamaly, Varanasi, Vijayawada, Poona, Diphu, Kohima, Thuckalay, Karwar, [Kumbakonam], Adilabad, Jhansi, [Sambalpur], Lucknow, [Palghat], Guntur, Vasai, [Aux.] Bombay, [Aux.] Madras-Mylapore,

4 BISHOP EMERITUS: [Archbishop] Goa and Daman, Bombay, [Archbishop] Calcutta, [Archbishop] Pondicherry-Cuddalore,

7 CBCI, COMMISSIONS and OFFICES: Doctrinal; Education and Culture; Laity; SC/ST/BC; Spokesperson-CBCI; Justice, Peace and Development; Social Communications;

3 OVERSEAS: Bishop Anthony Sharma, Kathmandu, Apostolic Prefect of Nepal; Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, O.M.I., [FABC]
Philippines/Hong Kong; Virginia Saldanha, Executive Secretary, Office of Laity, Family & Women’s Desk [FABC];

 

JUST 2 CARDINALS AND 16 BISHOPS/COMMISSIONS/OFFICES HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF THE EIGHT-PAGE NCB REPORT:

Bishop of Miao; Fr. Varghese Pullan, Exec. Secretary, Laity Commission, CBCI; Fr. Babu Joseph, Spokesperson, CBCI; Bishop Anthony Sharma, Kathmandu, Apostolic Prefect of Nepal; Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, O.M.I., [FABC]
Philippines/Hong Kong; Fr. Nithiya Sagayam, Exec. Secretary, Justice, Peace and Development Commission, CBCI; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay; Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Calcutta; Bishop of Karwar; Bishop of Jhansi; Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay; Cardinal Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly & President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India;
Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay; Bishop of Varanasi; Archbishop of Gandhinagar and Secretary General of the CBCI; [Aux.] Bombay; [Aux.] Madras-Mylapore; Bishop of Vasai and Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI;

 

NOTE: THE ABOVE LETTERS ARE NOT COMPREHENSIVE. ALSO, THE DETAILED INDIVIDUAL LETTERS SENT BY THIS MINISTRY TO ALL THE BISHOPS AND COMMISSIONS ARE SEPARATELY AVAILABLE. THEY ARE NOT POSTED ON THE WEBSITE.

 

***********************************************************************

 

NOTE: LETTERS FROM THIS MINISTRY ON THE NCB RESUME IN FEBRUARY 2009:

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:16 AM

Subject: XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

CC [BOMBAY BISHOPS AND VASAI BISHOP]: percival_fernandez@vsnl.net; vasaidiocese@vsnl.net; agnelog@rediffmail.com; vasaidiocese@gmail.com; abpossie@sancharnet.in; abpossie@gmail.com; bombaydiocese@gmail.com; diocesebombay@gmail.com; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in; bp_bosco@vsnl.net;
KIND ATTENTION: Most Rev. Pedro López Quintana

Apostolic Nuncio to India

 

 

 

[COPY TO] ALL BISHOPS OF THE CBCI AND CCBI AND TO ALL COMMISSIONS OF THE CBCI 

Your Eminence, all the reverend Bishops of the Indian Church, and reverend Fathers [of the Executive Commissions],

We are glad to learn about the XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly to be held at Mysore from February 12-18, 2009.

We pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all the participants during their deliberations and on their decisions that will guide and affect the future course of the Indian Church. 

We are also greatly encouraged to learn that the theme of the Assembly is
‘Word Of God, Source Of Life for People In India’.

In this connection, we would like to draw your kind attention to our several letters to each of you, commencing July 2008, on the serious problems with the some of the commentaries in the New Community Bible [NCB] published by St Pauls, and to which we received dozens of responses at a personal level from many of you who were then sent our eight-page critique on the NCB. The critique is readable at www.ephesians-511.net , this ministry’s website:

URL: http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/A NEW AGE BIBLE THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE.doc

We understand that the Western Region Bishops’ Council and the
Bishops’ Standing Committee discussed our critique and have ordered a revision of the commentaries. We greatly appreciate and thank you for that.
 

However, we have not received any official communication from the Bishops as to what exactly these revisions would be.

In the meantime, we had prepared a lengthy thirty-eight page report in which we have given evidence of the connection of some theologians/commentators with the ‘Catholic’ Ashrams movement which is inimical to the spiritual welfare of the Catholic Church.

In the referred report, we have also examined some of these theologians/commentators who serve at the Papal Seminary, Pune, concluding that several of the NCB commentaries written by these theologians are influenced by New Age, modernism, liberalism and religious pluralism.

The report, which was emailed to a few of the Bishops, is readable at www.ephesians-511.net , this ministry’s website:

URL: http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/PAPAL SEMINARY_NCB.doc

The Bishops are requested to also examine the detailed research and analysis of the ‘Catholic’ Ashrams movement at:

URL: http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc

We have received a couple of hundred letters from lay Catholics and priests who do not accept the spirit of the commentaries of the NCB which is only a symptom of a deeper malaise that afflicts the Indian Church. We ask for a serious examination of the issue.

These compiled letters, more than one hundred pages of them, will also be posted shortly on this ministry’s website.

We fervently hope that the Plenary Assembly will fulfill our expectations, considering that the theme of the Plenary Assembly agrees that the Word of God is the “Source of Life for People in India”, and ensure that the NCB in its second edition does not continue to be an apology to other religions, or an inter-faith book, endangering the faith of our children and future generations of Catholics.

Priests and laity alike are skeptical about the nature and extent of the revision ordered in the NCB commentaries. About 20 letters [copies received by this ministry] from laity and a priest to The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay, were not published. There may have been many more sent directly to the Examiner, whose editor Fr Anthony Charanghat, a spokesperson for the NCB, however published three letters which condemned our critique and supported the NCB.

Does that reflect Fr. Charanghat’s personal prejudice or the control of the Catholic press by the Archdiocese of Bombay?

The copies of these twenty letters will also be available shortly on our website.

Bishop Percival Fernandez, who gave the Imprimatur for the NCB, bluntly told the undersigned who contacted him soon after the NCB release that he did not want to discuss the issue! A senior Bishop has requested not to be contacted again about the NCB.

We have received, from our sources, a copy of Bishop Agnelo Gracias’ response to our critique. Much of it belittles or dismisses our concerns with sarcasm and comments that are not befitting the office of a Bishop who is supposed to encourage the laity who love their Church, teach orthodoxy and defend the Church against error, not promote it.

We have prepared a detailed answer to Bishop Agnelo’s response and it will also be available shortly on our website.

In it we quote extensively from the recently concluded Synod on the Word of God in Rome, and other Catholic sources.

From the correspondence of the Bishops with us, we are aware that individual Bishops share our concerns about the dangerous trend in the Church reflected by the commentaries in the NCB. We are however concerned that the Bishops may collectively decide to continue with retaining the disputed issues in the second edition, thus requiring us, having failed through proper recourse, to widen the scope of our protest by a specific public action, or a series of them, to draw the attention of a wider audience. We hope and pray that this will not be necessary.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu

He who has undertaken the pastoring of souls must prepare himself to render to God an account of them.

— St. Benedict of Nursia

 

From:
CBCI COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS
cbcimo@bol.net.in
To:
prabhu

Cc:
Archbishop Bombay
diocesebombay@gmail.com; abpossie@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 5:57 PM

Subject: Re: XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

Dear Mr Michael Prabhu, I went through the mail send to us in our mail id.

Since I happened to read it I would like to respond to you.

 

 

I do not know much about your group or your intentions. I wish you devote your energy more earnestly to teach the faith and educate thousands of catholics who need catechism and faith education rather than pick quarrel and argue with the bishops. The bishops by virtue of their office are entrusted with the teaching authority in matters of faith and so questioning their competence is not befitting of any good catholic lay person or organisation. Your letter refers to protest, public action etc. Church teachings are not decided on the basis of majority voice or protests and agitations.

You have also dragged in the name of Fr. Charangatt who is a distinguised editor of a well reputed weekly, which i thought is not in good taste. Every editor has certain discretionary powers to accept or reject letters to the editor. Do you think all the letters written to a newspaper are getting published?  In addition, if the church authorities had any hestiation about his faith and credentials he would not have been entrusted with a responsibility like that of editing the Examiner.

Christ and His Word do not need defenders. What he needs is people who can commit their life to communicate him to others, to show his love in action.

I am open to listen to you and read through your comments and critiques on the NCB, but the disciples of Christ do not use the kind of intimidating language that you seem to be using. With best wishes

Fr. George Plathotam sdb Executive Secretary, CBCI Commission for Social Communications New Delhi

 

From:
prabhu
To:
cbcimo@bol.net.in
Cc:
diocesebombay@gmail.com ; abpossie@gmail.com

Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:37 PM REPEAT,
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:42 PM

Subject: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FR. GEORGE PLATHOTAM’S LETTER

BCC [BOMBAY BISHOPS AND VASAI BISHOP]: percival_fernandez@vsnl.net; vasaidiocese@vsnl.net; agnelog@rediffmail.com ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; bombaydiocese@gmail.com; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in; bp_bosco@vsnl.net;

Dear Fr. George Plathotam, I thank you very much for your kind response and I view it as an opportunity to answer some of your questions and thoughts.

1. You had kindly written to me on July 30, 2008 requesting me to send you my critique on the NCB which I did the very same day, but I did not hear from you after that. It was similarly the case with several Bishops who requested for it.

As a matter of fact, though I have never made any ‘intimidations’ at any time, some Bishops have blocked my letters, for example:

baruipurdiocese@rediffmail.com; bishopthummabala@rediffmail.com; “You have been blocked by the recipient“.

CANON LAW 212.3
“RIGHTS OF THE FAITHFUL”

They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their view on matters which concern the good of the Church.

They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the pastors, and take into account both the common good and the dignity of the individuals.

I have been writing to the Bishops on the NCB issue since the NCB was released end June 2008, and on other serious issues concerning the Catholic Faith for nearly 10 years. I have followed the procedures Scripturally, I believe, first going to my Archbishop, then writing to other Church authorities concerned, next getting other Catholics to write to the Bishops, and finally going public to a wider audience when there has been no response or action at each stage.

2. I have no intentions, except to bring certain errors to the attention of the Bishops who are the teaching authority of the Church. They have also the obligation to correct error to safeguard the Faith.

The reason I do it is because of a calling I have received from God, as a lay apostle. I am Catholic-trained at several institutions in understanding the Bible, in pastoral counseling and in evangelisation. I have also studied the rudiments of philosophy, theology and world religions when I prepared for two Master of Arts degrees from recognized universities.

I have given talks, retreats, and seminars to Catholic communities and groups, including seminarians, all over India since 1982. I would very much like to continue to teach catechism, the Catholic Faith, and to evangelise, as recommended by you. The reason is that I am first of all a Catholic apologist. My last two-day seminar was on Catholic apologetics in Bangalore in December 2007. However, over the years I found that there are dozens of charismatic ministries and retreat centres all over India who are doing an excellent job renewing Catholics, but there was not a single ministry willing –and possibly not knowledgeable or courageous enough — to identify error in the form of New Age etc., and as I started speaking out and writing, this ministry developed.

My intensively-researched and unique articles from a Catholic perspective have been published in several magazines including The Examiner [Mumbai], The New Leader [Chennai], Shalom Tidings [Kerala] and Streams of Living Water [Kolkata], etc. I have just received a request to write for another magazine, but I am not able to find the time for that or for existing commitments.

Last year I was to publish a book, my first, on Catholic apologetics [and NOT New Age]! It was shelved because from July onwards, I was involved continuously for almost four months only with the NCB issue. After that I was quite ill for two months.

Maybe if there were fewer unaddressed errors [I have a number of partially-completed reports] in the Indian Church, I could turn back to my first love: catechising, apologetics and evangelisation.

Because of my ministry against the New Age and my campaign against Hindu-isation in the name of inculturation, I do not receive invitations to give programs on apologetics. I have received hundreds of letters against the NCB; yet there are dozens of my friends who declined to put down their opposition in writing.

 

 

 

Some did not like my taking the issue to the public arena; but mostly they are laity in popular ministry who do not want to jeopardise their security by associating with this ministry and the possibility of having prayer groups or parishes closed to them as has gradually happened to me.

There are priests who strongly support this ministry from the background but do not want their letters published by me or identities revealed because they apprehend that they might face victimisation from their Superiors or their Bishops.

3. You are in Delhi. The following can vouch for me:

Fr Victor D’Souza, former Vicar General, my former parish priest and confessor.

Fr Susai Sebastian, with whom I helped established the first Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Delhi.

Bishop Anil Couto of Jullundur, my former asst. parish priest.

There are many others, including the saintly late Fr Irenaeus dos Santos who told me on January 4, 1992 as I left for Chennai that God had a prophetic ministry for me here, and Archbishop Angelo Fernandes.

I served the Church in Delhi faithfully from 1982 after my conversion. I have nothing to gain from this ministry, having given up service as well as directorship of two firms in Delhi to follow God’s calling. So, I have no ulterior motive in doing what I do.

4. Father George, since the NCB already had received a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from two Bishops, are you maintaining that if someone had not raised objections to the commentaries, the Bishops would have still ordered a revision of the NCB?

 

5. Surely, bringing problematic issues of Faith to the attention of the Bishops is not a bad thing?

There have been cases of priests
agitating against their Bishops during the last few months, in full glare of the media [Trichy, Bp. Anthony Devotta {the priests used a coffin symbolically}. You should have seen the Tamil dailies and weeklies! Cochin, Bp. John Thattumkal {over his adoption of a young woman as his ‘daughter’}] and those were on personal/ financial/moral issues. The secular press had a field day when the priests went public with their grievances.

This ministry is crusading on matters concerning the CATHOLIC FAITH.

When lay people are forced to fight institutionalized error by exposing it [Ephesians 5:11], why is it suddenly a bad thing?

I remember when Ralph Martin’s book The Catholic Church at the End of an Age, What is the Spirit Saying? 1994, was released, he was trashed in The Examiner, Letters to the Editor, for “exposing the Church’s dirty linen in public”, particularly the pedophilia issue among the clergy.

The Bishops, it is common knowledge, and Rome, ignored the issue. When it became a public scandal through exposure in the secular media a decade later, Ralph Martin was vindicated. But by then, lives and souls had been damaged and it has cost the Church credibility and millions of dollars, resulting in moral and financial bankruptcy in many dioceses.

His latest book, personally autographed and couriered to me is The Fulfillment of All Desire, 2006. This work draws on the writings of seven Doctors of the Church! So, Ralph Martin is not just another rabble-rouser or sensationalist. He loves his Church. So do I.

Ralph Martin is a modern-day prophet. In a Church assailed by liberalism and post-modernism, who wants a prophet?

It was the Church who condemned both St Jean de Arc and Galileo, and who put severe restrictions on St Padre Pio, and I believe, St Faustina as well before reinstating them. I am neither surprised nor offended that my intentions and motivation are questioned.

Ralph Martin has also been a constant supporter of this ministry.

He wrote in my copy, “Michael, the journey continues, keep on!”

6. Today, I read [The New Indian Express] that the New York Times exposé of Tom Daschle’s tax-evasion caused his nomination as Health Secretary to be withdrawn. President Obama could apologize to the nation and the world that he “screwed up”.

Can Catholics not expect more from our Bishops who are not infallible?

Can we expect the Church, the Body of Christ, to be more democratic than a government?

Yes, I agree with you that Fr Anthony Charanghat, as editor of The Examiner, has every right to publish what he wants and to reject what he wants. But you still did not answer my charge which was in the form of a question, not an accusation:

Does that reflect Fr. Charanghat’s personal prejudice or the control of the Catholic press by the Archdiocese of Bombay?”

The fact remains that with no prior reference to my critique on the NCB, The Examiner published a letter criticising it, followed by two more, all eulogising the NCB. Then he does not publish twenty letters against it. I doubt if a single criticism of the NCB as having problematic commentaries was published in The Examiner or anywhere in the Catholic press except by UCAN who did an interview with me. The Church’s arm is long and powerful, and I expressed to UCAN my apprehension that if the powers-that-be in the Church came to know about it, they would see that a critical report was not published. Please forgive me for my lack of confidence in my Bishops, something that has accrued from personal experience.

7. To return to The Examiner, when I publish my report of New Age [especially] and other errors in The Examiner, documented over several years of collecting the material, you will be the very first to receive a copy.

I can safely say that there is hardly a SINGLE issue of The Examiner that does not promote New Age or have some information or news that does not belong in a Catholic Christian newspaper. In fact, most issues have multiple problems, promoting acupuncture, enneagrams, homoeopathy, magnet therapy, martial arts, vipassana, yoga, zen, centering prayer, the list is endless, by way of advertisements or articles, even as official diocesan level programmes, conducted by priests, on Catholic premises. There are sometimes such lapses in The New Leader too, but not anywhere as numerous and regular. And, to be fair, one can write to Fr M.A. Joe Antony, the editor of The New Leader and be assured of a response.

 

 

 

 

Even though he personally disagrees with some of my opinions, he has had the grace to publish all of my letters. That cannot be said of The Examiner.

The redoubtable crusader against New Age error, Errol Fernandes of Bandra, Mumbai, who was awarded the highest archdiocesan lay recognition — almost posthumously — when he was in his last stages of cancer five years ago, used to mark copies to me of his prophetic letters to The Examiner so that I would see that they were not being published. However, the liberal lobby and the anti-charismatic lobby always escaped the editorial scissors on those particular issues.

Errol also gave me the lowdown on some of the Bombay Bishops who were permitting error. I can reproduce these letters for you before I upload them on my website. They remind me of Ralph Martin’s writings in which he too named the Bishops. That did not make either of them less honorable Catholics. In my opinion, they are true Catholics who were ready to face criticism and ostracism because ‘when good men keep silent, evil triumphs’.

8. Dear Father George, you are a Salesian priest. I did my schooling under Salesian missionaries. Today, my alma mater has demolished the historic chapel and is constructing in its place an air-conditioned community hall and an inter-faith prayer hall or meditation room. The Blessed Sacrament, the beautiful Italian icons and all the pews with the boarders’ prayer books, relics, holy pictures and rosaries will be gone. It was proposed that they will be replaced with the Bhagavad Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Quran, and of course the most suitable companion to them would be the inter-religious book, the New Community Bible, because a Bible is one of the many holy books.

Confessions will be replaced by counseling, and the Salesians today are as much deeply into secular non-biblical psychological counseling [largely New Age] as the Jesuits are into dissent and liberation theology [both congregations and issues are the subjects of articles that will be published during the course of this year, God-willing].

I am the ONLY dissenting voice. Most other old students, including Catholics, find no problem with all that. They come for their annual get-together for drinking alcohol in the parking lot and even rioting [damage to school property] because of which the school locked its gates on them the following year. I have two grandchildren and would not want any of my family to study in that school.

The other Salesian school has yoga classes as part of the curriculum, and my godson and his brother were obliged to chant OM and ‘meditate’. What will be the future of these young men?

Yesterday, I read the report quoting your Salesian Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chavez on the occasion of their platinum jubilee, in The Hindu. He said that the slogan of the Salesians was “To educate, empower and transform“.

On the face of it, it is an excellent objective. But, as always, I beg to differ from what everyone else, or almost everyone else — because I am certain that there are many who will agree with me, if I voice my criticism in case they have not already realised for themselves — thinks.

I have read the life of Don Bosco and that of his pupil St Dominic Savio whose motto was “Death Rather Than Sin”. As an adolescent, these two saints were my role models. The NCB substitutes such model saints and the Early Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church with Hindu deities and mythical figures. And, why do we need saints and even Biblical heroes?

The NCB takes great pains to emphasize that there are equivalents and parallels in Hinduism for many Biblical characters and events.

9. THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

Don Bosco promoted the cult of the rosary and Mary, Help of Christians. The commentary on Luke 1 in the NCB virtually explains the appearance of the messenger angel to Mary as a figment of her imagination!

The commentary Luke 1 [page1796 of the NCB, right hand column] denies that the angel Gabriel literally appeared and spoke to Mary. The commentator, the late Fr. George Soares Prabhu SJ now teaches Catholics that “The story of the annunciation is not to be read as a literal report of what happened, but as a dramatization of the inner experience of Mary’s call to be the mother of the Messiah.” In effect, he is saying, “The angel Gabriel did not appear to Mary. It was not a real, historical, external event. The Annunciation is just a story explaining how Mary experienced internally the call of God and responded to it.”

Frankly, to me that sounds like heresy. A theologian who is faithful to tradition and Church teaching might be able to explain better the wider implications of such liberal theology as the above. He would also be able to find many more such errors in the other NCB commentaries, subtle untruths that have earlier escaped my team and me [I have not included this point in my original critique].

If the Bishops have given the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat for the NCB, it means that they have endorsed the new teaching that the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary was not an actual historical event. It also means that all the Bishops who have released the NCB, the priest-editor of The Examiner and all others who defend the NCB, print and publish it and promote its sale are in agreement with this teaching that is not in any catechism or other Catholic study Bible. Or else, they did not see it.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias took so much of pains to study the commentaries of the NCB to write a long rebuttal [please expect my response to it] of my critique of the NCB. May I point out to him that he has missed this.

But, this is not an isolated error. It is typical of the problem that Catholics are finding with the entire NCB. Right from the Book of Genesis, the commentators keep stating that certain events/narratives are ‘stories’, ‘myths’, ‘dramatizations, etc’. While a person like me who has made a scholarly study of the Bible from a Catholic perspective can understand what the commentator means, for example when he explains the Creation story or the Flood, the average Catholic ends up confused over what to believe anymore.

 

 

 

10. Just a few days ago, a Bishop sent me a book, and its title is 40 Dreams of St John Bosco. I did not find anywhere in the book that Don Bosco shepherded his boys into the Oratory or preached to them or shared his dreams with them or founded the Salesian Order to look after future generations of youth in order “To educate, empower and transform” the young boys whom he loved.

These might be laudable additional goals as the Order spread into non-Christian lands and ventured into new fields of service and knowledge impartation. But Don Bosco was almost exclusively concerned about the SPIRITUAL welfare of his Catholic wards. His main concern was to save them from hell. He incessantly preached to them about the evil of sin, and the devil as a real entity whose only goal was to keep the youth from repentance, confession of sin and eternal salvation.

That is the Catholic Faith that I have transferred to our two sons and wish for our grandchildren, not the faith of the NCB.

These values and truths are permanent. They do not change with the times, and certainly have not changed in the less than 150 years since the saint’s death. But it has taken less than two generations for most of the Salesians in India to get secularised.

The NCB will only give further impetus to this downhill slide.

So, I am compelled to speak, to act, to protest, if no one else will.

The same Bishop wrote to me:

16th January 2009

Dear Mike, I do hope that this book reaches you before the feast of Don Bosco. I really had to make a search in the region to find this. Thank God I got it. How are you? I do hope that both of you are doing well and enjoying your days. Though I am not regular with my correspondences for the sole reason of not having time, I do think of you and pray for you.

I read whatever you sent. Congratulations for being so alert and alive to the situation of today. Be sure of my prayers.

Please do pray for me and my people. +signed

So, there are several good Bishops in the Indian Church, who love, trust and respect me, reading the reports and articles that I send them, the very same that others find objectionable and threatening. They pray for my mission, send me material, information and even money on occasion, as I live by faith since 1993. I can say the same for many priests. It is how I received a copy of Bishop Agnelo’s response to my critique on the NCB.

Should not the Bishops listen to these voices that speak along with my ministry?

The Bishops have been receiving my reports and articles since 1999 by postal mail. From mid-2003 by email.

February 9-11, 2002, I gave bunches of them personally by hand to several Cardinals and Bishops at the 10th World Day of the Sick at Velankanni. In the presence of the Papal delegate and Pro Nuncio and 3000 delegates, I also took the microphone and challenged them about their permitting the occult exhibition, promotion of Human Universal Energy [HUE] and Reiki and Pranic Healing and Tai Chi martial arts and sale of New Age and Freemasonry books being conducted under the auspices of the CBCI by individual priests, nuns and Catholic organisations.

I have written with full documentation exposing the New Age error [meditations and alternative therapies], blasphemy, sacrilege, heresy and rebellion against Rome, propagated by the Catholic Ashram movement, the CBCI-funded Catholic Health Association of India [CHAI], the different Dharma Bharathis [one founded by a lay disciple of New Ager Fr Bede Griffiths and two by priests], the Bandra, Mumbai-based KRIPA foundation, New Age Holistic Health Centres run by mostly MMS and ICM nuns in Pune, Chennai and Kerala, the production at a cost of Rs 1.5 crores [Rs 15 million / 300,000 USD] of a CD in praise of the Hindu deity Shiva by a Catholic priest using the Santhome Communications Centre,
Chennai, which is under the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council [TNBC]’s Office for Social Communications [of which you are the Executive Secretary at the (CBCI) national level], and so many others.

Several of these articles
and reports are already on my website. Others have been taken down for updating [addition of new information], while still others are being transferred from hardcopy to my pc by my painfully slow one-finger typing.

All will be complete in a few months, God-willing, and will be emailed to all the Bishops while being placed on my website.

11. I am confident that at least some of the Bishops must have actually read some of my reports. [I have dozens of letters from Bishops who have congratulated me on my diligence, research, correctness of doctrine, and love for the Faith.]

I have also sent a large number of these reports both by postal mail as also by email to the President/Prefect of every Congregation and Pontifical Council in Rome, including the then Cardinal Ratzinger, since March 2002.

So, I have three questions:

Where is the (Church’s) corrective action if my conclusions are right?

Where is the disciplinary action against me or a re-education of me if I am wrong?

And, if I am wrong and in error, since I started my writing in 1999 and internet ministry in mid-2003, why is it that…???

i) I have received no official letter from Rome or the CBCI, analysing and detailing such errors as being detrimental to the Catholic Faith, in contradiction with the teaching of Rome, prejudicial to the interests of the Church, etc. [Rome issued the Document on the New Age in February 2003. I first wrote to Rome about the New Age in the Indian Church in March 2002]

ii) I have written support and agreement both by email as well as on letterheads, on my stand on these issues, from the founders/ leaders and members of almost every single Catholic retreat centre, ministry and Catholic lay community in the country; I also have the moral encouragement of some non-Indian overseas Catholic lay ministries.

iii) A large number of priests, diocesan as well as from almost every major religious congregation [some are theologians and Canon Law experts] write me regularly firmly supporting my ministry from India and overseas [some are non-Indians].

iv) Hundreds of lay Catholics, many of whom are have been to Catholic Bible College, trained in Catholic schools of evangelisation or attended courses in Word of God ministry agree with this ministry.

 

 

 

Father George, if you have read this lengthy letter through to the end, I must ask you to read just a few letters, in continuation of their support on the NCB issue, reproduced below, that I received from laity and priests to whom I had copied my letter dated 4th February to the Apostolic Nuncio and to which you have so kindly responded. I had copied initially to just a few people and I will be receiving many more replies over the next few days.

I do hope and pray that you now have a clearer appreciation of me and my ministry. God bless you, Michael

 

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Cc: [THE BOMBAY BISHOPS AND VASAI BISHOP]

Percival Fernandez ; Bishop Thomas Dabre ; Agnelo R. Gracias ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com ; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; abpossie@gmail.com ; bombaydiocese@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com ; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in ; bp_bosco@vsnl.net

Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:30 AM Reminder Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:38 AM

Subject: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

[COPIES SENT TO] ALL BISHOPS OF THE CBCI AND CCBI AND TO ALL COMMISSIONS OF THE CBCI 

THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY: NCB

Your Eminence,

I trust that you received my letter of 4th February {below} addressed to you, copy to all Bishops and Commissions as under:

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:16 AM


Subject:
XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

CC:
percival_fernandez@vsnl.net; vasaidiocese@vsnl.net; agnelog@rediffmail.com ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; abpossie@gmail.com ; bombaydiocese@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com ; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in ; bp_bosco@vsnl.net ;

KIND ATTENTION: Most Rev. Pedro López Quintana…

In that connection, I have now separately written to them as follows: 

The commentary on Luke 1 [page1796 of the NCB, right hand column] denies that the angel Gabriel literally appeared and spoke to Mary. The commentator, the late Fr. George Soares Prabhu SJ now teaches Catholics that “The story of the annunciation is not to be read as a literal report of what happened, but as a dramatization of the inner experience of Mary’s call to be the mother of the Messiah.” In effect, he is saying, “The angel Gabriel did not appear to Mary. It was not a real, historical, external event. The Annunciation is just a story explaining how Mary experienced internally the call of God and responded to it.”

Frankly, to me that sounds like heresy. A theologian who is faithful to tradition and Church teaching might be able to explain better the wider implications of such liberal theology as the above. He would also be able to find many more such errors in the other NCB commentaries, subtle untruths that have earlier escaped my team and me [I have not included this point in my original critique].

If the Bishops have given the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat for the NCB, it means that they have endorsed the new teaching that the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary was not an actual historical event. It also means that all the Bishops who have released the NCB, the priest-editor of The Examiner and all others who defend the NCB, print and publish it and promote its sale are in agreement with this teaching that is not in any catechism or other Catholic study Bible. Or else, they did not see that in the NCB.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias took so much of pains to study the commentaries of the NCB to write a long rebuttal [please expect my response to it] of my critique of the NCB. May I point out to him that he has missed this?

But, this is not an isolated error. It is typical of the problem that Catholics are finding with the entire NCB. Right from the Book of Genesis, the commentators keep stating that certain events/narratives are ‘stories’, ‘myths’, ‘dramatizations, etc’. While a person like me who has made a scholarly study of the Bible from a Catholic perspective can understand what the commentator means, for example when he explains the Creation story or the Flood, the average Catholic ends up confused over what to believe anymore.

I trust that you will do the needful,

Michael Prabhu, Chennai

 

From:
Oswald Gracias
abpossie@gmail.com
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 7:31 PM

Subject: Re: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

Dear Mr Prabhu, 

We are having the commentary studied. You have mentioned Bishop Agnelo’s report. I have also seen that.

I am conscious of our serious responsibility to ensure that the correct doctrine is taught. God bless.

Cardinal Gracias
[Archbishop of Bombay]

 

From:
prabhu
To:
abpossie@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:54 AM

Subject: Re: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

From:
prabhu
To:
abpossie@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 8:30 AM

Subject: Re: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

 

 

 

Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

I sincerely thank you for your letter acknowledging mine.

While I have received dozens of acknowledgment letters from individual Bishops since we brought the problems with the NCB to their kind attention from July 2008, your letter is one of the very few from a senior Church leader which reassures us that you are aware of the seriousness of the issue and the Bishops’ responsibility to study the commentaries thoroughly.

As I emphasized in my recent letters to you all, just as the Annunciation issue was overlooked by Bishop Agnelo when he studied the commentaries in order to write his long response to our critique, there are many more such in the NCB, and there needs to be a thorough examination of the entire NCB especially in the places where similar comments are to be found throughout the footnotes.

The other broad issue is the inclusion of references to Hindu deities, and the unnecessary and often contrived parallels of Biblical characters and events to mythical figures and fables of Hinduism.

There are also the references to yoga and to prana that must not be legitimised by their being included in the pages of a book that is supposed to be the Holy Bible for Indian Catholics. Those references must be expunged. The Hindu philosophy behind the use of prana and yoga is contradictory to Biblical revelation of the nature of God, man, sin, redemption, salvation and genuine Christian prayer.

We are also greatly disturbed by the references to the Gayatri Mantra and OM mantra.

May I request you to once again study my original eight-page critique on the NCB.

My website www.ephesians-511.net has a number of intensively-researched articles, probably the most comprehensive in the Catholic world, on the subjects of yoga, prana, pranayama, surya namaskar, gayatri mantra.

Individual Cardinals, Bishops and priests, Bishops Conferences, Theological Commissions and two Vatican Documents have made pronouncements on these issues, rejecting them as incompatible with and inimical to Christianity.

They are quoted in my articles, giving the authoritative sources of the information.

See:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA.doc 

and http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc

One cannot comprehend how our Bishops have permitted their inclusion in the commentaries of a Bible and endorsed them by giving their Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.

May I request you to read our follow-up report on the NCB at

http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/PAPAL SEMINARY_NCB.doc

and the earlier but related report on the Catholic Ashrams at

http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc

I am completing a few more articles/reports on the NCB issue and will send them to you by this month’s end:

1. Compiled letters [a few hundred of them] from priests and laity rejecting the NCB [commentaries] and calling for its withdrawal

2. Our answer to
Bishop Agnelo Gracias’ response to our critique on the NCB. In it we will quote from the recently concluded Synod on the Word of God in Rome, and other Catholic sources.

Meanwhile, please find in the attachment herewith some of the twenty letters to The Examiner, that we believe were not published by the editor because they protested against the NCB whereas he published at least three letters– one of which even denigrated my critique — that eulogized the NCB.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu

 

From:
prabhu
To:
BISHOP OF NEPAL and several addresses of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (F.A.B.C)

anath@wlink.com.np; amulyanath@hotmail.com; fabc_osc@pldtdsl.net; fabcosc@gmail.com; abpquevedo@yahoo.com; fabc@hkdavc.com; fabcgs@gmail.com ; fabc@hkdavc.com;
fabclaity@yahoo.co.in ; fabclaity@gmail.com;

Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:00 AM

SENT AGAIN, THIS TIME INDIVIDUALLY ADDRESSED, ON FEB. 24 UNDER DIFFERENT COVERING LETTER

Subject:
HERESY: THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB] TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY [UPDATE]

Our crusade started in July 2008, protesting against the NCB and asking for its withdrawal.

It resulted in the Bishops examining the issue and proposing a revision of the commentaries.

Please go through this letter and the following email to understand that I have been writing to the Bishops of the CBCI [as well as to Rome] to keep the issue alive, to let the Bishops know that we are still very concerned

You will be happy to read the response from Cardinal Gracias. It acknowledges my letter on this particular heresy in the NCB [there are several other similar problems and I will be pointing them out shortly]

I thank you all for your continued prayers and support of all kinds without which my voice would not have been heard by the Bishops’ Conference. Michael Prabhu, Chennai, India

[Rest of the contents same as in our letter Friday, February 06, 2009 10:30 AM to the Nuncio /all Bishops]

[Simultaneously also sent, to all of the above, copies of the following earlier general letter]

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:16 AM

Subject: XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

 

 

 

From:
prabhu
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 8:50 AM Subject: THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB] TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY [UPDATE]
ALL RETIRED BISHOPS

Dear Reverend Bishops,

In July 2008 I had sent you a copy of my critique on the NCB which has many errors in its commentaries.

There are many more. Here is one more such example. Kindly see that the NCB is withdrawn.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu, Chennai

THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY: NCB…

 

From:
magtine@sancharnet.in
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:04 AM Subject: Your Letter

Dear Mr. Prabhu, Thank you for your mail. I am now a retired Archbishop. The present one is Archbishop Anandarayar.

I am given to understand that, having heard of the objections, the CBCI (Catholic Bishops Conference of India) has entrusted the work of reexamination of the NCB to a team of scholars. Hope something good will come of it.

+S. Michael Augustine, Archbishop Emeritus of Pondicherry

 

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com

Cc:
Percival Fernandez ; Bishop Thomas Dabre ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com ; bishopdabre@gmail.com ; Agnelo R. Gracias ; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; abpossie@gmail.com ; bombaydiocese@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com ; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in ; bp_bosco@vsnl.net

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:19 PM REMINDER,
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 6:24 PM

Subject:
A FRENCH THEOLOGIAN DENOUNCES SOME ERRORS IN THE NCB COMMENTARIES

KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV. PEDRO LóPEZ QUINTANA

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO INDIA

CC: BOMBAY BISHOPS AND VASAI BISHOP, CHAIRMAN OF THE DOCTRINAL COMMISION OF THE CBCI 
COPY TO ALL BISHOPS OF THE CBCI AND CCBI AND TO ALL COMMISSIONS OF THE CBCI 

Your Eminence, all the reverend Bishops of the Indian Church, and reverend Fathers [of the Executive Commissions],

I trust that you received my three letters earlier this month as under [letter no. 2 sent only to the Bombay Bishops/Vasai Bishop]:

1. From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Subject: XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

2. From:
prabhu
To:
cbcimo@bol.net.in
Cc:
diocesebombay@gmail.com ; abpossie@gmail.com

Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:37 PM REPEAT,
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:42 PM

Subject: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FR. GEORGE PLATHOTAM’S LETTER

3. From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com

Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:30 AM Reminder Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:38 AM

Subject:
THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

I thank those of you who responded.

In continuation of above letter no. 3, please find herewith, in the document attached to this letter, the comments of a summa cum laude theologian on some more errors in the commentaries on the Gospels of St Matthew and St. Luke, along with a couple of related reports [on the address of Pope Benedict XVI] from the Synod on the Word of God which was held in Rome in October. 

Next, as informed to you in an earlier letter, I will send you the copy of a twenty-six page booklet titled, “Ongoing Robbery of Faith” authored in 1996 by Fr P K George, SJ., in which he analyses the problems with

a) The newly translated Tamil language Missal, 1993

b) The new translation of the Holy Bible in the Tamil language, 1995

c) The mind of the theologians behind the above translations through his examination of a
Tamil book entitled “YAR INTHA IYESU?” [“WHO IS THIS JESUS?“] written by a seminary professor, and having, like the NCB, an Imprimatur. 

Through that study, Fr George exposes the “deviant theology” and “faith-eroding cerebrations of new-fangled theologians.”

A few Tamil voices protested in writing to the Tamil Nadu Bishops, but their letters were never even acknowledged.

A revised edition of the Kannada language Bible was released by the Karnataka Bishops on February 19, 2009.

Quote from SAR News: The translation of the revised Bible has been done by Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars and published by the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council and the United Bible Societies of India.

With the NCB and the Tami Bible and Missal in mind, one wonders whether its translations are faithful to Church teaching or not.

Apparently, the NCB is part of a larger problem, one of a correct exegetical approach and a correct
historical-critical method of interpretation of Scriptures by our scholars and theologians, something that most lay Catholics will be unable to perceive when they read these new translations and interpretations. The best that many of them can say is that they are “confused” by the statements of these translators and commentators. A few priests have been able to express themselves better. I have received hundreds of such letters since July, and I will be sending them all to you, eventually.

 

 

 

 

From the contents of this attachment and the critique which I have already sent you earlier, there is no doubt that the NCB is not only an inter-faith book which compares Biblical persons and events to mythical figures and deities of pre-Christian religions, but is not in line with orthodoxy, tradition and Church teaching. This “Bible” also includes positive references to New Age [yoga, prana].

We find all these completely objectionable. 

I trust that you will acknowledge this letter and ensure that the St Pauls’ New Community Bible is withdrawn.

Yours obediently

Michael Prabhu
PLEASE SEE ATTACHMENT

SENT INDIVIDUALLY TO THE
BISHOP OF NEPAL and the addresses of the (F.A.B.C)
 Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences ON FEB. 23.

 

From:
Henry Dsouza
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:56 AM

Subject: Re: A FRENCH THEOLOGIAN DENOUNCES SOME ERRORS IN THE NCB COMMENTARIES

Dear Mr Prabhu,
It is not possible to agree with your conclusions about the NCB. The authors are reputed scholars of the bible and they give us insights into the relevance of the bible to other scriptures, traditions and also to the literary forms which are acceptable interpretations in reading the bible.
The text of the bible is intact and scholars can make their own interpretations always remaining faithful to the message given by God in the inspired texts.
Years ago, (perhaps 1975-76) there was a seminar for bishops on the bible. It was considered important that bishops be updated about the research findings on the bible and that they know what are the recent theories and interpretations. Naturally, there was much controversy. Many of the interpretations seemed to go against our faith. Among them was the story of the Annunciation. Bishops easily accepted that the events in Genesis were described using a literary form- but found it hard when it came to the New Testament.
More than 30 years have passed. None of us have lost our faith, nor have we said things which contradict the faith. I have remained grateful to that seminar, as it gave me new insights and very enriching ones into the way God speaks with human persons.
The NCB is now introducing the Catholic laity into these research findings. Not every one will agree with the interpretations given- and I suppose that such dissent is normal. However it is good for the laity (now literate and knowledgeable) that they get to know the possibilities from orthodox theologians- instead of getting them through other sources. The NCB is a good point of reference and can help laypersons to understand how God speaks and how we have to accept his word. The literal way can only lead to fundamentalism and rigid stances, which could be even unacceptable.
When I first heard that the Annunciation story may not be historical, but a literary device, I too was shocked. Archbishop Athaide of happy memory took my hand and said “We will believe that it was historical, wont we?” I agreed with him and have been inspired by the story, its message and relevance without worrying about the “historicity” as such. I find no problem for the NCB to offer the interpretations to a learned audience of lay Catholics and to let persons know of the various interpretations which are being offered. Lay persons can no longer be treated as children or infants. They can only grow stronger in their faith as they become conscious of the ways God communicates with us.
I assure you of my understanding of your feelings- but there is no reason to panic or get disturbed. The NCB is offering new insights into the bible and seeking to find links with other sacred writings- all of which are part of God’s message to humankind.
God bless you, Sincerely
Archbishop Henry D’Souza

 

From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Cc:
Bishop Thomas Dabre ; vasaidiocese@gmail.com ; bishopdabre@gmail.com ; Agnelo R. Gracias ; Percival Fernandez ; abpossie@sancharnet.in ; abpossie@gmail.com ; bombaydiocese@gmail.com ; diocesebombay@gmail.com ; ccbi@airtelbroadband.in ; bp_bosco@vsnl.net

Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 3:13 PM REMINDER Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 4:00 PM

Subject:
ONGOING ROBBERY OF FAITH: PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW MISSAL AND NEW BIBLE IN TAMIL LANGUAGE

KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV. PEDRO LóPEZ QUINTANA

APOSTOLIC NUNCIO TO INDIA

FIRST CC: BOMBAY CARDINAL/BISHOPS; VASAI BISHOP, CHAIRMAN OF THE DOCTRINAL COMMISION OF THE CBCI 
COPY TO ALL BISHOPS OF THE CBCI AND CCBI, AND TO ALL COMMISSIONS OF THE CBCI 

Your Eminence, all the reverend Bishops of the Indian Church, and reverend Fathers [of the Executive Commissions],

I trust that you received my three letters earlier last month as under [letter no. 2 sent only to the Bombay Bishops/Vasai Bishop]:

1. From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Subject: XXI CCBI Plenary Assembly at Mysore – Feb 12-18, 2009 / THE ST. PAULS’ NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE

 

 

 

 

2. From:
prabhu
To:
cbcimo@bol.net.in
Cc:
diocesebombay@gmail.com ; abpossie@gmail.com

Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:37 PM REMINDER
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 10:42 PM

Subject: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FR. GEORGE PLATHOTAM’S LETTER

3. From:
prabhu
To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com

Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:30 AM REMINDER Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 10:38 AM

Subject:
THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE TEACHES THAT THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO MARY

4. From:
prabhu To:
nuntius@apostolicnunciatureindia.com

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:19 PM REMINDER
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 6:24 PM

Subject:
A FRENCH THEOLOGIAN DENOUNCES SOME ERRORS IN THE NCB COMMENTARIES

As assured in my last letter, I have now attached herewith the exact copy of the twenty-six page booklet titled, “Ongoing Robbery of Faith” authored in 1996 by Fr P K George, SJ., in which he analyses the problems with

a) The newly translated Tamil language Missal, 1993

b) The new translation of the Holy Bible in the Tamil language, 1995

c) The mind of the theologians behind the above translations through his examination of a
Tamil book entitled “YAR INTHA IYESU?” [“WHO IS THIS JESUS?“] written by a seminary professor, and having, like the NCB, an Imprimatur. 

Through that study, Fr George exposes the “deviant theology” and “faith-eroding cerebrations of new-fangled theologians.”

A few Tamil voices protested in writing to the Tamil Nadu Bishops, but their letters were never even acknowledged.

A revised edition of the Kannada language Bible was released by the Karnataka Bishops on February 19, 2009.

Quote from SAR News: The translation of the revised Bible has been done by Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars and published by the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council and the United Bible Societies of India.

With the NCB and the Tami Bible and Missal in mind, one wonders whether its translations are faithful to Church teaching or not.

Apparently, the NCB is part of a larger problem, one of a correct exegetical approach and a correct
historical-critical method of interpretation of Scriptures by our scholars and theologians, something that most lay Catholics will be unable to perceive when they read these new translations and interpretations
. The best that many of them can say is that they are “confused” by the statements of these translators and commentators. A few priests have been able to express themselves better. I have received hundreds of such letters since July, and I will be sending them all to you, eventually.

From the contents of this attachment and the critique which I have already sent you earlier, there is no doubt that the NCB is not only an inter-faith book which compares Biblical persons and events to mythical figures and deities of pre-Christian religions, but is not in line with orthodoxy, tradition and Church teaching. This “Bible” also includes positive references to New Age [yoga, prana].

We find all these completely objectionable, and we pray that the NCB will be withdrawn from circulation.

I trust also that, as the guardians of orthodoxy and the teaching authority of the Church, you will acknowledge this letter and do the needful to examine the issues raised by Fr P.K. George SJ., about the Tamil Missal and Tamil Bible.

Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu, Chennai PLEASE SEE ATTACHMENT NO RESPONSE RECEIVED

 

Even as the NCB controversy was raging, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) held its weeklong Plenary Assembly, February 12 to 18, 2009 at Mysore.

Its theme: “The Word of God in the Life and the Ministry of the Church”

116 Bishops attended. It appears, from all the news reports, that the problem of the New Community Bible was not considered important enough for discussion by the Bishops:

 

French missioner calls for focus on Bible

February 16, 2009 MYSORE, India (UCAN) Knowledge of the Bible is not just one of the “beautiful and optional” devotions in a Christian’s life but the “very identity” of that life itself, said a theologian missioner. A good knowledge of the Word of God would spiritually strengthen Indian Catholics, including clergy, said Paris Foreign Missions priest Father Lucian Legrand, at a gathering of Indian bishops.

The retired professor, who taught the Bible for several years in Bangalore’s St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, was addressing the annual plenary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India.
About 120 bishops and six lay leaders are presently attending the Feb. 12-18 meeting in southern India’s Mysore city, under the theme “Word of God: the source of life for all people.” The meeting is only for Latin-rite bishops, who head 128 of India’s 160 dioceses. The other dioceses belong to the Oriental-rite Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Churches. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India comprises prelates from all three rites.
Father Legrand, one of the few foreign missioners remaining in India, warned the bishops that Church structures would be “dead skeletons” if a deep biblical spirituality does not animate them.
The bishops need to create an intense thirst for the Word of God in their people and stress the Bible for laity formation, said the septuagenarian French missioner during his keynote address. Knowledge of the Bible is “the most powerful” spiritual weapon that a Christian has when facing situations such as anti-Christian violence, terrorist attacks and talk of war, he stressed.

 

 

 

Father Legrand said the laity in India appear to be more interested in the Bible than priests. The Word of God is the “very identity of Christian life,” he said. He pointed out that Protestants have developed more thirst for the Word of God than Catholics. Catholics, on the other hand, spend more time on statues and ornaments in church, he said.

 

New ceremony suggested for presenting Bible

February 18, 2009 MYSORE (ICNS): Latin rite bishops have suggested a new ceremony of presenting bible ritually to children as way of promoting Bible among people. The suggested this as their general body meeting in Mysore, southern India, that ended Feb.18. Some 120 bishops and six lay leaders attended week-long meeting discussing “Word of God: the source of life for all people.” They suggested several concrete ways of popularizing the Bible among the Christians, such as providing cheap editions, Bible enthronement in families. They also proposed a new initiation ceremony for children presenting a Bible. While only Baptism and First Communion are so far celebrated for children, perhaps at the age of reason, the Bishops proposed also what they called ‘Ceremonial Handing over of the Bible to Children,’ they said.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India discussed the centrality of Sacred Scriptures in the life and mission of the Church. There was also open sharing among the bishops coming from different parts of the country. The Bishops noted with concern the many challenges the country is facing today: the effects of the worldwide economic meltdown; the scourge of terrorism; the injustice of discrimination based on gender, caste and creed, etc. The Bishops in their final statement said they were especially concerned, ‘about the phenomenon of religious bigotry and intolerance which has led to repeated attacks and violence.’ Referring to extensive religious literature, sacred writings, spirituality and traditions of India, the bishops call them ‘patrimony of the human family.’ ‘We appreciate, among other things, the respect our people have for sacred texts and their thirst for contemplation,’ they said.

 

FOR PEACE AND HARMONY LIVE ACCORDING TO SACRED WRITINGS
The Catholic Bishops of India appeal to all citizens of India
Mysore, February18, 2009 ‘All scriptures call for a life of peace and harmony! If Christian and all other believers live according to their scriptures, there will be peace!’ This is the message of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), concluding their weeklong Plenary Assembly. The CCBI, consisting of 166 Bishops in 128 dioceses is the biggest conference of Bishops in Asia and the fourth biggest in the world. The Conference held its Plenary Assembly at Prabodhana, Pallottine Centre for Theological and Religious Formation, Kalawadi Gate, Rayanakere, Mysore. ‘The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church’ was the theme chosen for the meeting which was attended by over 116 bishops from all over India. Bishop of Mysore, Most Rev. Thomas A. Vazhapilly, together with his team, had made elaborate arrangements for the success of the meeting, first time held in the historical City of Maharajahs fragrant with sandalwood and silk goods!
…Study and Message
The CCBI spent two days in the study about the centrality of Sacred Scriptures in the life and mission of the Church. There was also open sharing among the bishops coming from different parts of the country. The Bishops noted with concern the many challenges the country is facing today: the effects of the worldwide economic meltdown; the scourge of terrorism; the injustice of discrimination based on gender, caste and creed, etc. ‘We are especially concerned’, the Bishops write in their statement, ‘about the phenomenon of religious bigotry and intolerance which has led to repeated attacks and violence’
Patrimony of human family
Referring to extensive religious literature, sacred writings, spirituality and traditions of India, the bishops call them ‘patrimony of the human family’! They further say, ‘We appreciate, among other things, the respect our people have for sacred texts and their thirst for contemplation’.
A Call for Renewed Zeal for Bible
Stating the importance of Scriptures for the people of all religions, the bishops underlined the utmost importance of Bible for Christians. They lamented the neglect of the Word of God among the Catholics. ‘There is a lack of sufficient bible culture’ the Bishops acknowledged and called for a renewed interest and devotion for the Bible among all Christians.
Biblical Fundamentalism! Implicitly referring to some Christian sects, the Bishops also condemned what they called as ‘Biblical fundamentalis’, alluding to a literal verse by verse interpretation of the Bible. The Bishops of India want that every Catholic should own a Bible, handle with reverence and read it regularly. They also urged them to understand the message of the Bible and all sacred texts, which speak of love, justice and peace. They urged the Christians to live according to what they read and give witness.
Presentation of Bible, A New Ceremony Proposed
The Bishops came out with many concrete ways of popularizing the Bible among the Christians, such as providing cheap editions, Bible enthronement in families, etc. They also proposed a new initiation ceremony for children presenting a Bible. While only Baptism and First Communion are so far celebrated for children, perhaps at the age of reason, the Bishops proposed also what they called ‘Ceremonial Handing over of the Bible to Children’!
All people addressed
In their final message, the CCBI Bishops appealed to the priests, nuns, especially the Catholics and all the people of the country to live in unity and fellowship, according to the sacred writings.
Rev. Fr. Udumala Bala, Deputy Secretary General, CCBI

 

 

 

 

CCBI XXI PLENARY ASSEMBLY, FINAL STATEMENT Feb. 19, 2009
The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church

1. PREAMBLE
We, the 116 member-bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), gathered at Prabodhana, Mysore, from February 12 -18, 2009, the year dedicated to St. Paul, for the XXI Plenary Assembly, reflected on the theme: ‘The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church’, as a follow-up of the XII Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2008. God has communicated himself down the ages in different ways: in creation, in the Word-made-flesh, in the inspired text of the Holy Bible as understood in the Church’s Tradition. Our Plenary Assembly focused on the written word, the Bible, as proclaimed by the Church in the fulfillment of her ministry.
2. THE CHALLENGES TODAY
India is a land of saints and sages with a rich spiritual and cultural heritage of literature, beliefs and traditions. We appreciate, among other things, the respect our people have for sacred texts and their thirst for contemplation. We praise God for this ‘patrimony of the human family’ (John Paul II, The Church in Asia, no. 6). Our gathering, however, takes place at a crucial moment in the life of our nation which is facing many challenges: the effects of the worldwide economic meltdown; the scourge of terrorism; the injustice of discrimination based on sex, caste and creed, etc. We are especially concerned about the phenomenon of religious fanaticism and intolerance which has led to repeated attacks and violence against the minorities in India. This near-crisis situation shows the importance of building our lives on the firm foundation of the Word. ‘The word of God is the basis of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realists, we should count on this reality’ (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to XII Synod of Bishops).
3. THE WORD IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH
3.1 The Church came into existence under the impulse of the Spirit of the Risen Lord through the ministry of the word. All the activities through which she fulfils her mission consist basically in the proclamation of the word which is carried out in three stages: In the first place, the listener is confronted and invited to a change of heart: this is evangelization; secondly, the listener is initiated into community of faith and love: this is catechesis. Thirdly, the listener is constituted a witness of the Gospel through the participation in the liturgy. In the liturgy, people listen and personalize the proclaimed word which has become a sacrament, transforming them and making them witnesses of Christ. The same Lord is present and active as word and as sacrament: during the Liturgy of the word, the proclamation is: The word of the Lord; during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the proclamation is: The body of the Lord. Scripture is the foundation and the Eucharist is the culmination of the Church’s proclamation and life.

3.2 Hence, at Holy Mass, the Lord Jesus is venerated in both, the Scriptures and the Eucharist. Vatican II, in its Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (DV), no. 21 affirms: ‘The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord in so far as she never ceases, particularly in the sacred liturgy, to partake of the bread of life and to offer it to the faithful from the one table of the Word of God and the Body of Christ. ‘Such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life’ (DV, no. 21). Further, the Council affirms strongly: ‘Just as from constant attendance at the Eucharistic mystery the life of the Church draws increase, so a new impulse of spiritual life may be expected from increased veneration of the Word of God’ (DV, no. 26). Devotion to the word of God is not just one of many devotions, beautiful but somewhat optional. It belongs to the heart and very identity of Christian life. The word has an inbuilt power to transform lives. ‘Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit” (Heb 4:12).

3.3 As we bishops listened to the reports from different Regions, we were pleased to learn that Catholic editions of the Bible in the main Indian languages are already available. We were heartened to note the many initiatives to make the Bible have its rightful place in Christian life. Several Regions have Bible Sundays, Bible festivals, Bible schools and so on. We are especially happy with the efforts to make the word of God the mainspring of the Small Christian Communities (SCC).

We appreciate the Ecclesial Movements for having popularized Bible reading among Catholics, creating in them a genuine hunger and thirst for the word of God.
3.4 On the other hand, a number of Catholics do not give due importance to the word of God. While we appreciate their receiving nourishment from the Eucharist, we lament their insufficient attention to the word. There is a lack of a ‘Bible culture’ amongst Catholics as a whole. The situation is further aggravated by the poor quality of many homilies which fail to break the word relating it to the daily life of the people. We are aware that much more needs to be done to realize the desire of the Second Vatican Council ‘that by the reading and study of the sacred books’ the treasure of Revelation entrusted to the Church may more and more fill the hearts of people’ (DV, no. 26). With this in mind, the Bishops at the Plenary Assembly have committed themselves to carry out the initiatives mentioned below:
4. TASKS AHEAD
4.1 To make the Bible available in editions which are affordable in price and in different formats, equipped with necessary and adequate explanations. To make this possible, we appeal to those who have means to contribute generously. We will explore the possibility of greater ecumenical collaboration in the translation and production of the Bible especially in tribal languages. We will bear in mind the bidding of Vatican II that editions of sacred Scripture, provided with suitable notes, be prepared for the use of people of other faiths, adapted to their circumstances (DV, no, 25).
4.2 To energize our Regional and Diocesan Bible Commissions and, to establish, where possible, Regional Bible Societies.
4.3 To make our own homilies more Scripture-based and life-oriented. This presupposes that our own lives are word-centred.

 

 


4.4 To ensure that seminarians are taught to read Scripture as the living word of God, acquiring an experiential knowledge of the word as the Church has always interpreted it – and thereby become effective proclaimers of the word. The Second Letter to Timothy reminds us: ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction and for training in righteousness’ (3:16).
4.5 To exhort the consecrated men and women who share with us the ministry of the word to make their lives a convincing witness to the Gospel and to transform their institutions into centres of proclamation of the word of God.
4.6 To organize ongoing formation courses for our priests to help them update themselves in the sacred Scriptures and to inter-relate, in the fulfillment of their ministry, the word, Eucharist and life.
4.7 To avoid the danger of a literalist interpretation of the word, often called ‘biblical fundamentalism’, we encourage our lay faithful to become familiar with and to interpret the written word of God in keeping with in keeping with Catholic Tradition. Our goal is that every Catholic should have a Bible. Hence, we urge everyone to acquire a copy of the Bible, handle it with reverence and read it regularly.
4.8 To ensure that the word of God is properly proclaimed at the Eucharist, and that all the externals linked with the act of proclamation highlight the importance of the word. We will take care, for example, that in our parish churches, the word is read from a well-bound Lectionary (not from a leaflet) placed on a suitable lectern and that the lectors are trained to proclaim the word audibly, distinctly and meaningfully.
4.9 To utilize, as the Message of the XII Synod of Bishops recommends, the mass media and, in particular, the E-media in the service of the word.
4.10 To foster even more initiatives, such as:

The practice of Lectio Divina (meditative reading of Scripture). Pope Benedict XVI affirms ‘If the practice of Lectio Divina is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church.’ Other methods of reading and praying the Holy Bible are also encouraged. Meaningful use of the word of God at all meetings and on all occasions, such as imparting blessings and administering sacraments and sacramentals.
Enthronement of the Bible in every family. In particular, we encourage the use of the word of God in family prayer, having, for example, the Rosary interspersed with readings from the Bible. The family is the place where the word is reflected, prayed over and shared. Popularizing the Bible through the use of quizzes, magazines, Bible festivals, dance dramas, folk arts, exhibitions, penitential services, Bible study camps etc. Ceremonial Handing Over of the Bible to children and youth on occasions like First Holy Communion and Confirmation. We strongly request especially parents to ensure that their children from their earliest years become increasingly familiar with the Bible.

5. APPEAL
5.1 We address you, our lay faithful: We are happy to note the thirst for God’s word which is in the hearts of so many of you. We rejoice that some of you are already engaged in teaching the word and we will organize courses so that many more can be trained to conduct Bible classes in small groups on different occasions. We want to ensure that, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus you encounter Jesus in the word, allowing your hearts to burn and leading you finally to the breaking of bread and the community and to mission (cf. Lk. 24:13-35).
5.2 We address you particularly, our young people, so dear to the Church. The Holy Father exhorts the youth: ‘I urge you to become familiar with the Bible’. In the Bible, you will find the strength to face the challenges of daily life and to remain close to the Lord Jesus and to the Church.

5.3 We address you, our consecrated men and women: You are called to show forth Christ with ever-increasing clarity to believers and non-believers (Vatican II, Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, no. 40).

Vita Consecrata affirms so aptly: ‘Consecrated persons will be faithful to their mission in the Church and the world, if they renew themselves constantly in the light of the word of God’ (no. 85). We invite you to come forward in large numbers with rekindled zeal for God’s word, to share, according to your charism, in the ecclesial community’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
5.4 We appeal to you, our priests, co-workers in the Lord’s vineyard: Vatican II reminds you that your first task is to preach the Gospel to all. You owe it to the people to share with them the truth of the Gospel in which you rejoice in the Lord (Vat. II, Decree on the Priestly Ministry and Life, Presbyterorum Ordinis, no. 4). Recall what you were told at your ordination: ‘Believe what you read, preach what you believe and practice what you preach’ (Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate).
6. CONCLUSION
As we conclude our Plenary Assembly, we turn to Mary, our Mother, the one who heard the word, treasured it in her heart and said her perfect ‘yes’ to the word and brought the Word to the world. Through her intercession, may we, indeed, with the apostolic Church proclaim: ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’ (Jn. 6:68).
Fr. Udumalabala, Deputy secretary general, CCBI


 

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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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