Errors in Charisindia – 05
Banned from attending the XV National Catholic Charismatic Convention, Goa, November 12-15, 2012
“CHARISINDIA is a monthly magazine, published on behalf of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (NCCRS) which has been recognised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) as the principal coordinating agency of the CCR* in India.”– CHARISINDIA *Catholic Charismatic Renewal
THE REASONS FOR OUR CONTINUING THIS SERIES ON CHARISINDIA/THE CCR
1a. It has been my observation for a very long time that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in India has been the propagator of errors and abuses especially in the liturgy of the Mass, something that, as an apologist, I now find impossible to ignore.
I admit participating in most if not all of them at one time or another for several reasons, the chief among them being ignorance; moreover, no one objected to them and almost every charismatic priest, religious and lay leader practised them.
However, circumstances — and the personal counsel of some good CCR leaders who would like to see these abuses and errors stopped — make it imperative that they be now exposed.
1b. It has been my experience — when I have pointed out these abuses and errors on certain occasions — that most “charismatics” are not very receptive to correction of any sort. Their responses have ranged from indulgence to hostility.
My pointing out that I am only repeating the teaching of the Church has not saved me from being labeled “anti-charismatic”.
It is almost as if “charismatics” are “superior” to other Catholics and have a licence to modify the rubrics of the liturgy.
No one is above the liturgy, not any priest and not any bishop. The rubrics must be followed by the Church to the letter.
Since my antecedents are not known to many who visit our web site, I proudly affirm that my spirituality is charismatic.
One of my spiritual directors, a holy and orthodox French Benedictine priest, actually finds it impossible to reconcile my “conservative” ministry with my being “charismatic”. To him it’s an oxymoron. To me, it seems a natural thing.
1c. My wife and I helped plant several prayer groups in New Delhi starting 1982 and I was a founder-member of the very first Service Team of the CCR in New Delhi. As a life member and benefactor of CHARISINDIA, a stockist of the magazine in the ‘mid 80s, and possessing back issues of CHARISINDIA almost from its inception, I have a relationship with the magazine that cannot be deterred either by criticism or by the ignoring of my letters by those who now run the magazine.
I invite the reader to read pages 2 to 4, especially the section sub-titled “Errors and excesses” on page 4 of my April 2011
CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
The article will give the reader an idea of what to expect in this series on CHARISINDIA and the CCR in India.
In this series, I will name names. I am constrained to do so because, over the 30 years of my sojourn in the Renewal, I have seen the condition of things deteriorate, while at the same time not a single prophetic voice has been raised in protest.
My scores of letters to the senior-most leadership have either elicited unfulfilled assurances or been studiously ignored.
I must stress here on one point that I mention under point 5 on page 3 of my above-cited April 2011 article: the loyalty of too many rank and file charismatics is to their leadership instead of to the teaching authority of the Church.
If the reader dismisses my statements as generalisations, the true incidents that I will record in the articles in this series — justifying my having to name certain people — should convince him that this is not so.
2. The immediate reason for this series on CHARISINDIA/the CCR is the CHARISINDIA July 2012 issue.
A pro-contraception article authored by a Protestant was published. On learning of it, I personally contacted the CCR’s Episcopal Advisor
Most Rev. Francis Kalist, the bishop of Meerut by ‘phone and by email. He was cordial and expressed his thanks and appreciation of my initiative on the ‘phone as well as in writing*. However, all subsequent letters to the bishop have remained unanswered. Furthermore, all letters from me to
Constantine Fernandez, the publisher of CHARISINDIA, its Chief Editor
Cyril John, and to the National Charismatic Office [NCO] staff,
Gilbert Faria and
were also completely ignored by them. While I had spoken on the ‘phone to Fernandez, Faria and Shaji, Cyril John simply declined to take my many calls or call me back. Two months have passed. The August and September 2012 CHARISINDIA issues had no correction of the error.
See our report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-01.
The July 2012 CHARISINDIA also carried a story on the funeral of Fr Rufus Pereira. I detected in that story what I believe to be an error:
eulogies given during the Mass. 1.
Between July 13 and August 8, I had written four letters to the CCR’s Episcopal Advisor
Most Rev. Francis Kalist, but the Bishop terminated correspondence with me after responding to the first letter. The first three emails concerned the pro-contraception article. I reproduce the fourth letter immediately below as published in my report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-01
*My first email & the Bishop’s response are copied here.
I wrote to Bishop Francis Kalist and the CHARISINDIA/NCO team once again on January 4, 2013 in connection with errors in the January 2013 issue, covering two points. There was no response as usual.
4b. On January 30, 3013, in follow-up of that, I wrote yet another letter to Bishop Francis Kalist and the CHARISINDIA /NCO team in which I provided them the details of the errors against point 1, the contents of which are now reproduced in my report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-04 http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CHARISINDIA_ERRORS-04.doc,
with that of point 2 to be included in my report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-06. If a response is received, it will be included in the report.
5. On January 29, 2013,
Bishop Francis Kalist and the CHARISINDIA/NCO team about an error in the September 2012 issue of CHARISINDIA. If a reply is received from any of them, the report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-03
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CHARISINDIA_ERRORS-03.doc will be updated accordingly.
I am a life member of CHARISINDIA and a several-times donor to NCO/NCCRS activities.
Apart from being a founder-member of the Delhi Service Team in 1983 and the main organiser for Delhi-level CCR programmes till 1990, too numerous to record here but for which I possess most of the records, here are just three of the national-level CCR programmes that I attended before moving to Chennai in January 1993:
-Youth Leaders Conference, St. Alphonsus School, Bangalore, May 1984 [Delhi Service Team representative]
-VI National Catholic Charismatic Convention, Madras, January 1985 [delegate from the Delhi Service Team]
-Kairos National Catholic Youth Convention, Chennai, December 27-30, 1990
Since many years, I have elected not to be a “member” of any charismatic prayer group in the city of Chennai where I now live for a variety of reasons which I will detail in a separate report. In summary, the reasons are i) the closed, elite mentality of long-time leaders and members, ii) the stifling of genuine charisms and rejection of ministries that do not owe their origins and allegiance to the institutional Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR], iii) various forms of New Age practised by the core-group leader in the local parish prayer group and by the former Service Team chairman, a priest who dominates the CCR in the city and the State since over three decades, iv) the unquestioning loyalty of members to their leaders and of leaders to their leaders and so on up the ladder, instead of to the Church, and this at the expense of Truth, v) the ignorance of the Faith, of the majority of senior leaders observed by me over the decades, leaders elected and appointed by their senior or co-leaders through “elections” in which the Holy Spirit apparently plays no role, vi) the rejection by charismatic prayer group members as well as their leaders of fraternal correction even in the case of grievous spiritual error, and vii) the rampant liturgical abuses prevalent in the Eucharistic celebrations of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
This does not mean that I have had nothing to do with the CCR since I moved to Chennai in January 1993.
I have attended a number of regional and national level programmes that include, among many others, [details for which I have to dig into my archives]:
-IX National Catholic Charismatic Convention, Madras, January 14-17, 1993
-Golden Jubilee Youth Retreat, Chennai, January 12-14, 1997
-Chennai Youth Convention, Stella Maris college campus, Chennai, August 1-3, year not known
-XII National Catholic Charismatic Convention, Vijayawada, October 2-5, 2003
-Seminar for Healing and Deliverance for India and Neighbouring Countries, Ernakulam, February 9-13, 2004
-Kairos National Catholic Youth Convention, Chennai, December 27-30, 2004
-Seminar on the Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit, Chennai, January 24-26, 2005
-National Grand Conference of Leaders of Prayer Groups and Ministries, Bangalore, May 14-18, 2005
-National Leaders’ Conference, Mangalore, May 14-17, 2007
Apart from these, I have participated in National Days of Intercession, night vigils, day rallies, and retreats under both CCR auspices as well as non-mainstream charismatic renewal ministries without number. I myself have given talks to numerous prayer groups [including several for the Jesus Youth] and in a few seminaries, jointly conducted retreats in several cities with other non-mainstream charismatic renewal ministries, delivered [along with Errol Fernandes] a Seminar on New Age under the auspices of the Bandra Service Team in Mumbai, March 2004, at which the Bombay Service Team Chairperson and the National Service Team Chairman were present, and have even given a Seminar on Catholic Apologetics to the Bangalore Service Team, December 1 and 2, 2007 [along with a priest who I invited to accompany me] at which the Bangalore Service Team Chairperson and its Spiritual Director were present throughout. 2.
Read also LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY GENERAL, CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF INDIA, AND MY RESPONSE http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LETTER_FROM_THE_SECRETARY_GENERAL_CATHOLIC_BISHOPS_CONFERENCE_OF_INDIA_AND_MY_RESPONSE.doc
If my earlier statements about the CCR leadership are unbelievable to the reader, they will be substantiated in the rest of this series of reports on CHARISINDIA and the CCR. In fact, for a start the reader should again read up the 5 points on the preceding pages of this report and note that not the Episcopal Advisor to the CCR, and not a single member of the NCO responded to this ministry’s letters alerting them about serious errors commencing with the July 2012 issue of CHARISINDIA, thus necessitating this series of reports. What’s more, Constantine Fernandez, the present unpopular [even with leaders of some regional service teams] Chairman of the National Service Team [NST] and Publisher of CHARISINDIA since June 2010 actually blocked my email address after my two October 27 letters to him regarding my ban from the Convention so that I am unable to send email letters to any CCR group in which his email id is included. He or/and some particular NCO/NST leaders appear to have convinced the Episcopal Advisor not to engage in correspondence with me. This is very evident as seen that after his first very cordial letter to me on July 13, 2012, Bishop Francis Kalist has refused to acknowledge any further communication from me. Cyril John, the former three-time Chairman of the NST and current Chief Editor of CHARISINDIA who has corresponded with me regularly for years, has also adopted the same strategy of burying his head ostrich-like in the sand. When I met Gilbert Faria, the person in-charge of the NCO in New Delhi a couple of years ago along with my wife Angela to personally hand over our donation to CHARISINDIA, he enquired as to why he had not received my regular updates since a long time and I had to tell him it was because he never acknowledged any of them.
What else does all of that convey except that, as I stated earlier, the leaders of the CCR have developed and sustained a culture of ignoring fraternal correction at the cost of compromise and sliding deeper into error.
Why do my records show an almost complete cessation of my participating in CCR programmes from 2005?
My attending the National Leaders’ Conference in Mangalore from May 14-17, 2007 was simply because I happened to visit there on other ministry work before proceeding to the Jesus Youth CREDO Apologetics Conference, May 19, 2007 in Kochi. But there was an event in 2005 that affected my interest dramatically.
I registered with the NCO*, New Delhi, in July 2005 by sending the required payment by Money Order for the National Charisms Seminar to be held October 9-11, 2005 in New Delhi. A few days after I received the Money Order receipt, signed and stamped by the NCO, the money was returned to me by the NCO stating that since I had attended the seminar when it was held in Chennai, and they had to retain seats for others, I was being disallowed from attending a second time**. Would the same standard have been applied to anyone else, say someone with connections in the CCR? I doubt it. *A centralised NCO registration and its alternative, routing one’s registration through the local prayer group is a subtle form of screening those who participate.
A member of the Delhi Crusaders, an intercessory group, as well as Jesus Youth leader, wrote to me a few days later, on July 18, 2005:
“The only one name written in the register of participants for the National Charism Seminar to be held on October 9-11 at the time of my registration was yours. I enquired about it and they told me that it is the same Michael who used to be staying at Rajender Nagar and very active in Delhi Charismatic Movement and he is now relocated to Chennai. Since then I was very thrilled to [hopefully] see you in person. Anyway there is still enough time. I could not understand your sentence that you were told gently that you are not wanted. How can one say that? You were [to be] a participant to the Seminar which is to be conducted for all Catholics in India. Is there any discrimination? Who to attend who are not? I am bemused. Lord have mercy on all of us.” [**Read more about this on pages 19 ff.]
At the Bandra, Mumbai, New Age seminar that I gave in March 2004, Cyril John, the National Chairman of the CCR not only publicly endorsed my ministry but also gave two public assurances:
i) Errol Fernandes and I would be invited to give a series of seminars on the New Age to regional and national level leaders.
ii) My articles would be serialised in CHARISINDIA and he would appoint someone to work with me to that end.
These unsolicited promises were made after Cyril John apologized for the negative and critical attitude that the Renewal had shown to both our ministries over the years. Several other national level CCR leaders were witness to his words that evening. At the instance of Cyril John, Constantine Fernandez, who was on the Charisindia editorial board wrote to me on April 29, 2004 and asked me to submit my articles for publication.
We corresponded with each other continuously till mid-2005 on the details of the serialization of my articles on various New Age therapies in CHARISINDIA. During that period of time, he led me on with reassurances and encouraging words. At his requests, I submitted a number of articles to him. I was also asked to send him my photographs, which I did. Then, one fine day, he stopped corresponding with me.
I managed with the greatest of difficulty to obtain a meeting with him on May 18, 2005, after the National Conference of Leaders of Prayer Groups and Ministries in Bangalore, when I was able to ask him why he had stalled on the publishing of my articles in CHARISINDIA. He explained that he found my writings “irritating”.
See pages 19 and 20, and page 23 for the transcript of my discussion with Constantine Fernandez. 3.
One should read his year-long correspondence with me to know that there was not the slightest hint of that in any of his letters. He now suggested that if I changed my style and wrote more objectively, he might review his decision. I responded that as soon as he commenced serialization of my articles, I would respond by “changing my style”, meaning that my approach would be less subjective and I would stop exposing New Age enthusiasts in the Church and in the CCR by name. I pointed out to him that with neither the institutional Church nor the Catholic media nor even the CCR which is expected to be a prophetic movement in the Church identifying and elucidating on New Age dangers, Catholics needed to be made aware of them, and my ministry was doing just that. If the CCR assumed that prophetic role, then I could be objective in my writing.
The CCR leadership is also well aware that since 15 years I have been writing to their leadership at all levels and to the Bishops about Jesuit Fr. A.J. Thamburaj, twice former National Chairman and CCR strongman since over three decades in Chennai and Tamil Nadu, singularly responsible for the almost total annihilation of the once-thriving Renewal in Tamil Nadu and the complete absence of a second line of capable and gifted leaders, who is or has at some time or the other been into eastern meditations like yoga and Zen Buddhism and alternative therapies such as pranic healing and reiki. Most of those letters are in hard copy as I did not use a computer and the Internet till 2003. I believe that it is time that those files are resurrected.
I would like to present here one incident that fits into the 2004-2005 period of time that we are examining.
The following is an extract from my 2006 article
PENDULUM DOWSING, RADIESTHESIA AND WATER DIVINING-SUMMARY
TWICE FORMER NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE CCR PRACTISES DIVINATION BY DOWSING
In January 2005, the National Service Team [NST] of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR] held a Seminar on the Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit at Dhyana Ashram here in Chennai. I attended the entire programme. One speaker was Rev. Fr. A. J. Thamburaj S.J., former National Chairman of the CCR.
On the 24th of January, at 5:45 pm., Fr. Thamburaj gave us a workshop on how to learn the practice and exercising of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
For the best results, our gifts must be constantly and diligently exercised, he said.
Next, he took this occult practice of pendulum dowsing as a practical example of developing the gifts.
He proudly announced that he possesses the ‘gift’ of water divination!
While admitting to having exercised the ‘gift’ with a divining rod, he explained that if he were to now devote his time and continue to ‘use’ it, he would not have time for his charismatic ministry.
It is obvious that Fr. Thamburaj would not be aware that he has this ‘gift’ if he had not previously ‘used’ it with ‘positive’ results.
As a second example, Fr. Thamburaj also spoke with enthusiasm about a seminarian friend of his who used a bunch of keys which started ‘turning very quickly’ when he was divining for stuff and who “now uses this gift to mint money”. All this was said, most regrettably, while introducing us to the development and use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit!!
There were about 40 persons attending this Seminar on the Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit.
The other speakers and those present at the Seminar included Fr. Rufus Pereira, and other national-level CCR leaders including Benjamin Gonzaga, then Chairman of the Madras Service Team [MST], Thomas Manuel, now Chairman of the MST, a national-level leader of the CCR youth*, and prayer group leaders.
During the next intermission, I tried to bring the issue to the attention to some of the organizers and leaders but was not reassured that any corrective measures would be taken. *ordained priest in 2012
A few of them listened to me sadly, heads down, silent, with no comment.
Mr. Gonzaga informed me that he himself is an engineer, and learnt dowsing during his college studies, and that he did not think that it was wrong. After saying that he tried to hurry away saying that he was busy, and had things to organize. When I tried to press the issue, he turned hostile, and walked away.
Despite my objections, which were conveyed to all those who mattered, a retraction was not made by either Fr. Thamburaj or by the organizers during the remaining two days of the seminar.
I then wrote to selected leaders of the CCR at the national level, including some of those who were present, explaining that Fr. Thamburaj once again** [mis-]used his position of leadership and authority in the CCR to promote a New Age practice, and that I intended to bring out a pamphlet on such forms of divination, and mention this incident in it. I RECEIVED NO RESPONSE FROM ANY OF THE CCR LEADERS.
In the preceding talk that Fr. Rufus gave on Inner Healing, he had mentioned that 80 to 90% of Catholics have at one time or another indulged in some form of occult healing. He noted that it constitutes “the most common and most damaging obstacle [to healing] in a Christian’s life”.
I would safely add from my personal experience that roughly 25% of charismatics, maybe much more, including leaders in the renewal, have used occult alternative medicines and dubious meditation techniques either pre-renewal or even while continuing to be in prayer groups.
However many leaders have steadfastly continued to reject the possibility that anyone in their groups have ever been involved in such things and do not even permit these issues to be discussed or lectured on.
If Fr. Rufus’ statement is to be taken seriously, how are priests like Fr. Thamburaj permitted to continue to preach and to minister in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. 4.
**‘Once again’: In the initial stages of this ministry, I have reported that Fr. Thamburaj has been associated with the practise of pranic healing and reiki. He has later studied Zen meditation at Fr. Ama Samy SJ’s Bodhi Zendo ashram. He has attempted to introduce charismatics to these New Age therapies and meditations by frequently mentioning them at meetings and by inviting people to try them out.
These earlier reports and numerous letters to the concerned leaders are presently available only in hardcopy. They will be soon be copied into my computer and uploaded on this ministry’s website.
Meanwhile, this ministry’s efforts to bring these issues to the attention of CCR leaders has been the cause of certain retaliatory reactions which will be revealed in due course.
Fr. A. J. Thamburaj S.J.* is not the lone New Age proponent in the CCR. Till-recently-NST-member and retreat preacher, IMS priest Fr. Anil Dev conducts yoga and OM chanting at his Matridham ashram on the banks of the Ganges. Tamil Nadu CCR “pioneer”, Fr. John Valdaris propagates an eclectic mixture of dream therapy, affirmations, New Age psychology, meditation and yoga. Goa Service Team leaders have promoted New Age,
SANGAM INTEGRAL FORMATION AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE, GOA-NEW AGE PSYCHOLOGY, ETC.
The list goes on. When contacted by me, there is no response from anyone in the leadership of the CCR. Instead of either admonishing or debarring from service the offending leader or even at least educating Catholics through CHARISINDIA or seminars using the wealth of information provided by me or even using other Catholic resources, the leaders only become more hostile to this ministry, because it puts them in a spot. They “love” each other too much. They’re one big, happy family, and here I am rocking their boat.
There’s another reason, according to my thinking, that they remain silent in the face of New Age error and rampant liturgical abuse: everyone is doing it. All my reports reach most of the Bishops and I have received hundreds of responses from them over the past decade. But what matters in the final analysis is whether the Bishops have taken any corrective or remedial action. I cannot see that happening except in a few isolated cases, and there too where the repercussions will be minimal. Unlike say the US Bishops’ Conference where individuals speak out against error at regular intervals, our Bishops remain silent on all the different forms of New Age that are being promoted in our dioceses, in our parishes, in our institutions, even in archdiocesan magazines. Some New Age promotions are organised and led by powerful clerics flush with foreign funding. Others are institutionalised, promoted by different religious orders that appear to specialize, the Salesians in Jungian psychology, the Jesuits in deep ecology, the Society of the Divine Word in Eastern meditations like Vipassana and psycho-therapies, and so on. These cases are documented in detail in my various reports.
The Bishops are afraid of these independently operating priests. The leaders of the CCR are running scared of both the Bishops as well as the religious orders. No one wants to antagonize the other. It’s live and let live.
I know decent priests in different cities who have fallen afoul of the Bishops, their religious superiors and the CCR for attempting to confront New Age and speak about it or write about it. The CCR in particular has much to lose. There are senior as well as middle level CCR leaders from every major city in India who have opened their hearts to me in personal meetings, over the telephone, and by letters and emails. If they publicly assumed a prophetic role, they would be neutralised. Preachers depend on the goodwill of other leaders for invitations to speak at seminars and retreats. Upsetting a Bishop — or anyone in authority for that matter — by critical speaking against yoga or acupuncture or homoeopathy for instance would almost certainly result in an adverse reaction. The bishop himself or one of the powerful priests in his diocese, or a major local retreat centre, or the very institution being used as the venue for the programme, or the priest or fellow-leader who invited him to speak might be practising that New Age meditation or using that New Age therapy or favouring it or someone who propagates it. Why should one risk censure and disfavour when one can say nice things, preach the usual safe, compromised, sugar-coated gospel, get away with it, and have a popular ministry with plenty of speaking invitations? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening.
The CCR has a
system of controls in place to completely stifle any prophetic voice in the Church in India.
At one time, any lay person who fancied himself or herself a preacher, could speak anywhere in the Church.
Usually backed by influential local “Catholics”, some ministries poisoned Catholics with Protestant doctrines, resulting in the exodus from the Church of spiritually-thirsty Catholics. Some of them have been exposed over the years but others still operate freely despite the Bishops who often, if at all, do little more than make announcements against them. There are several reports on these “ministries” at this ministry’s web site.
This has rightly had the CCR concerned. The “remedy” has been to ensure that any lay person who wishes to minister must be routed through the local CCR leadership or obtain the clearance of the local Ordinary or submit a letter from one’s parish priest. This requirement has virtually made certain that no one other than the CCR leaders themselves get to speak anywhere in the Church outside of the homilies at Mass. Any prophetic lay voice is effectively muzzled. A fall-out of this is that most CCR leaders remain as ignorant as they were at any time in the past because all they hear is one other saying the same things that they have already heard ad nauseam. If one is “connected” and if one’s preaching is “safe”, all doors are open to the preacher, lay, religious or priest.
This system does not prevent priests that are tainted by New Age from marauding among the sheep, since they do not have to clear the three hurdles that the lay preacher confronts. 5.
Before I come to the subject of this report, I must mention that I have attended two Bible Colleges, two Schools of Evangelization, two training programmes in pastoral counseling, and several leadership formation and development programmes, all of them Catholic.
While I am self-taught, with a library of over 10,000 books and a subscription to a large number of Catholic periodicals, I have appeared for post-graduate exams in Christian Studies as well as in Philosophy and Religion at recognised Indian universities. But my mainstay has been the writings of the Early Church Fathers, the Lives of Saints and a fair amount of study of the Catechism, Church Documents and the like. Made confident by this, and always discerning the will of God in my life, I describe myself as a Catholic apologist.
I believe that I am the only lay Catholic in India who has given a two-day seminar on Catholic apologetics. Impressed, the then Chairman of the Bangalore Service Team, Anthony Sagayaraj, as well as its spiritual director Fr. Jacob Britto, CSsR voluntarily gave public assurances that I would be invited to give talks to prayer groups across the city as well as to the Redemptorist priest’s seminarians.
As with Cyril John’s almost identical unsolicited public assurances made almost four years earlier, they were never kept. Neither was the report of the seminar carried in CHARISINDIA’s regional news stories which is otherwise routine.
After all, I had never really been accepted as one of “them”, and I say that without malice.
Information announcing the XV National Catholic Charismatic Convention in Goa from November 12 to 15, 2012, in the “Ruby Jubilee Year of CCR in India”, first appeared in CHARISINDIA on the back outer cover of the January 2012 issue. Registrations, to be made with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office in Goa were first invited in the CHARISINDIA issue of May 2012.
From my July 2005 unsuccessful attempt at registering with the NCO, Delhi and well aware – from my experience at the January 2005 Charisms seminar in Chennai – that the leaders of the CCR had identified me as a Catholic who would insist on correction of any errors that I might note, I requested some of my contacts in Goa who have a Catholic pro-life ministry to register me along with their members. This was done and the identity badge was handed over to my friends against a payment of Rs. 200.00. A few days later, the Goa Service team deputed a minion to demand the return of the badge against a refund of money. The person, on enquiry, repeatedly maintained that the recall of my badge had been ordered by “Professor Constantine“. Under great pressure from his immediate bosses in Goa to ensure that “Professor Constantine” was satisfied, the minion harassed my Goa friends for a couple of weeks to the extent that they almost capitulated and returned the badge. However, during that period I had telephonically contacted over a dozen senior national CCR leaders and written about the matter to Catholics who believe in what this ministry stands for.
Only one of these leaders, displaying the usual evasive CCR behaviour, declined to comment either way.
Every one of the other leaders expressed shock and dismay at the action of the top leadership of the CCR.
Email letters expressing solidarity with me and condemnation of my banning started to come in.
In a matter of days, I was informed telephonically by a senior former NST member that I was free to attend the Convention and that no one would attempt to debar me. The information was accompanied by a request that I maintain a low profile by not discussing the ban issue with other delegates. I politely regretted that I could not accede to that request as other delegates would quite certainly ask me about it, the news having got around, and that I would most definitely raise the issue with those I believed responsible in case I met them. Such a request would not have been made of me by the senior former NST member unless the information about my having been debarred by the top brass from attending the Convention were true and the request was being conveyed to me through the intermediary after the top brass had had to face flak – and possible greater embarrassment in future when other senior CCR leaders questioned them about the ban.
On the following page I reproduce the letter enquiring about the reason for my having being banned from participation in the Convention that I wrote to the Episcopal Advisor of the CCR and the NCO/CHARISINDIA team, followed by some of the letters that I received when I made the information public.
I had to send the letter from an alternative yahoo email address for the reason that my vsnl server was down for a few days. A copy of the letter was marked to Mr. Arcanjo Sodder, a Mumbai lawyer and Catholic activist, who volunteered to come to Goa and do the needful in case my entry to the Convention was debarred.
my yahoo id
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:20 AM Subject: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU, CHENNAI
my yahoo id
email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 7:28 AM
Subject: Fw: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU, CHENNAI [WITH ADDITIONAL MESSAGE]
SUBJECT: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA. 1
PROF. CONSTANTINE B. FERNANDEZ
Chairman, National Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR],
October 25, 2012
Dear Professor Constantine Fernandez,
Praise the Lord!
Under the name of “Michael Prabhu, Chennai”, I registered last week by paying the Registration Fee of Rs. 200/- through a would-be participant from Goa, in order to attend the XV National Charismatic Convention at the Carmel College grounds, Nuvem in Goa from Monday, November 12th through Thursday, November 15th, organised by the National Service Team of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services [NCCRS].
After over a week, the person who registered me was contacted telephonically by a person from Goa and instructed to return the badge of my registration and collect the refund of Rs. 200. He accordingly advised me of the situation and informed me that he would have to cancel my registration and collect the refund paid to the National Convention Office, CCR-Goa by him.
My contact in Goa advised me that he was informed that the Goa Catholic Charismatic Renewal representative has acted under the personal instruction of “Professor Constantine“.
I have requested him not to return the badge until they hear from me after I contact your good self and some other senior members of the National Service Team — which I am doing through this letter to you under copy to him — and receive a reply from one of you in case there is a mistake in communication somewhere.
Surely a man of your stature in the Renewal would not ban any Catholic from attending a National Convention or any other CCR program, especially the undersigned who
1. Planted a number of charismatic prayer groups across Delhi in the early and mid-1980s;
2. Was privileged to be a founder-member of the first Delhi service team;
3. Declined chairmanship — to better serve the Church — on at least three successive occasions of election; was member of all service teams till around 1990 or 1991 [approximate dates because I cannot recall them];
4. Along with our then spiritual director and then Chairman was personally responsible for obtaining clearance to freely conduct our ministries by Archbishop Angelo Fernandes [he approved our monthly newsletter which was already in circulation and offered to meet the financial shortfall at any or all of our programs. These concessions were obtained at a meeting attended by some 20 plus priests — some of them openly hostile to the Renewal — from all across Delhi];
5. Helped organise the first ever retreats, night vigils and rallies, especially the introduction of multi-lingual programs.
My wife, Angela, played the guitar and used her lovely voice to conduct praise and worship while I often did the teachings;
6. Housed and subsidised the book ministry for Delhi [in coordination with the NCO, Bombay] at great financial loss;
7. Has been a member of the NCCRS publication CHARISINDIA since 1982 or so and a life-member since many years now;
8. Has been a [financial] benefactor of the NCCRS for nearly 30 years, [I am sorry to have to include this bit] the last time being on my personal visit along with my wife to the National Charismatic Office [NCO], Delhi, around two years ago, and who contributes tithes to several charismatic ministries;
9. Attended my first national-level programs — the Youth Convention at St. Alphonsus’ grounds followed by a retreat — at Bangalore, with my wife and children, in the summer of 1984; attended several national conventions traveling across the subcontinent;
10. Has been privileged to attend scores of charismatic retreats [by mainstream renewal preachers as well as by other charismatic ministries] over the past thirty-odd years, the last three — totaling 7 days — being during the last two months;
11. Has given talks, retreats and seminars to prayer groups, schools, schools of evangelization, communities and seminarians — apart from Delhi — in Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi and Mangalore among other places [two significant occasions being (on New Age) for the Bombay leaders in February or April 2004 (at which then NST Chairman Mr Cyril John and several senior leaders were present) and for the Bangalore leaders (on Catholic apologetics) in December 2007 (at which the Bangalore Chairman and the Spiritual Director-priest were in attendance);
12. Has been in part-time ministry from 1982-1992 in Delhi and full-time since 1995 in Chennai;
13. Continues to serve the Catholic Church at large and the Indian Church in particular — at an immense personal sacrifice if I may be permitted to add — in a most unique and prophetic internet ministry since 2003;
14. Continues to attend Renewal growth programs, seminars and retreats all over India in order to increase in spiritual knowledge and anointing.
I would like to recall two events to you:
1. At the Vijayawada national convention a few years ago, after failing despite repeated attempts to get about two dozen occult and New Age books removed by the priests who were in charge of the St. Pauls bookshop, I approached other members of the Service Team for help upon which they directed me to you and with your assistance, I got them removed;
2. A few years ago, I registered several months in advance for a Charisms Seminar in Delhi.
A few days later the money that I had sent by Money Order was returned to me, and I was informed that I could not be permitted to attend as I had already attended the same program earlier in Chennai and place had to be assured for others who had not attended the program. I did not appeal against that decision, considering the role I was blessed to play in the development of the Renewal in Delhi, but one of my friends there visited the NCO and informed me that my name was registered in the records at no. 2 and then struck off.
I can give you names and exact dates, documents and correspondences against most of the above in case you so desire.
It will entail a fair bit of searching as I have entire shelves of records, but I may turn up a lot of information, and remain at your service. Moreover, all my statements can be vouched for by a number of people including laity, priests and a few who are now bishops.
In the event that, by any chance, it is true that you have instructed the service people in Goa not to permit me to register, I would like to hear from you confirming that in writing, while giving me the reason as to why you took that decision.
In case you have taken the decision unilaterally, I feel that other senior national leaders ought to know about it so that they are given the opportunity to reassure me that I will be permitted entrance to the Convention venue and the program.
Catholic apologist, Chennai
Most Rev. Francis Kalist, Episcopal Advisor to the CCR
Mr. Cyril John, Chief editor, CHARSINDIA and Vice-Chairman, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Council
Mr. Gilbert Faria and Mr. Shaji K.P., NCO-Delhi
National Convention Office, CCR-Goa
Mr. Arcanjo Sodder,
Association of Concerned Catholics, Mumbai [as telephonically discussed this evening, October 25th]
email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; National Charismatic Office ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:30 AM Subject: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA. 2
MY VSNL-TATAINDICOM CONNECTION HAS NOW BEEN RESTORED. YOU MAY SAFELY REPLY TO MY VSNL ID
If what you have stated is true, this is a new form of untouchability being practised in the Church. This is a fit case where the concerned persons should be prosecuted for human/civil rights violation for banning a person from religious worship.
You are free to use my name.
Adv. A. M. Sodder
Secretary AOCC [Association of Concerned Catholics] Mumbai
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2012 12:40 AM Subject: Re: MY VSNL-TATAINDICOM CONNECTION HAS NOW BEEN RESTORED. YOU MAY SAFELY REPLY TO MY VSNL ID
Dear Michael, this shows the effect of your ministry on exposing the new age errors in the Church. I am not able to understand on what parameters Mr. Constantine banned you. Also he created havoc amongst the faithful. Today it is you; tomorrow it can be me or somebody. If you really love the Church, you should go and attend the meeting. If they promote non-Catholic, non-Christian doctrine, please raise a voice. Are there any New Agers preaching in this event?
Praying for you and for your ministry. Francis Sunil Lobo, Bangalore
Subject: Re: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU, CHENNAI To:
my yahoo id
Date: Monday, 29 October, 2012, 7:18 PM
I was shocked to hear of the ban imposed by the NCCRS on you for their forthcoming XV National Convention and more so without assigning any reasons.
What could it be that has made them take such drastic measures? I see where the renewal has failed there you have established yourself as a one man crusader against the contamination and corruption that exists in the church, especially in India. In the process you are bound to ruffle many feathers. 8.
“No prophet is accepted in his own town” (Luke 4:24)
These above words of Jesus apply here to the action of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (NCCRS) in India against you.
Canonically, I see it as a severe deviation.
I am compelled to ask: When there is no canonical injunction on you in any form, can a body that calls itself Catholic, under recognition of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), with its appointee, Moat Rev. Francis Kalist, Bishop of Meerut as episcopal advisor, impose such a ban on you?
Looks like the NCCRS has usurped an extra-juridical position, far above any juridical body in the Catholic Church.
Further, I am sure if a careful examination is carried out there may be many heretics and apostates who will be attending this Convention organised by the NCCRS in Goa dishing out their wares.
We pray that such a ban on you may expose the fraudulent elements in the renewal in India. Priest, Mumbai
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 9:24 PM
Subject: About your being banned by the CCR to attend the National Convention in Goa
We were shocked to hear that you have been effectively “banned” from attending the 40th Anniversary National Convention of the CCR to be held in Goa in November.
We have heard you speak at several meetings in Goa and we have also spent time with you getting to know you personally and so we have no hesitation in endorsing that you are a staunch Catholic who is passionate about defending the Catholic Church from liturgical abuses and educating the clergy and lay Catholics of the Dangers of the seemingly innocuous New-Age practices like Yoga, Reiki, Pranic healing, etc. through a most effective email and web-site ministry, material from which has been quoted by Catholic Apologists in different parts of the world. We are aware that most Bishops and many priests are not comfortable with your direct and explicit communication with them whenever you are informed of any errors in their jurisdiction. Yet no one has been able to find any doctrinal errors in whatever you write because it is so meticulously researched and documented.
Your “banning” appears to be a very panicky decision taken by the local organisers in an attempt to protect themselves in case you notice any liturgical errors or New-age type practices that may be endorsed at the National Convention. If everything is above board, then why should they be so afraid of you?
We love and respect you Michael. Take courage in your suffering.
The Lord is blessing you and your ministry Catholic ministry, Goa
my yahoo id
email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 8:13 AM
HOW ANOTHER CHARISMATIC PUBLICATION RESPONDS TO CORRECTIVE CRITICISM
This is in pursuance of my letter to you, SUBJECT: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA. 1 and 2, sent thrice on October 27 and to which I am yet to hear from you, preceded by my several letters of August and September 2012 concerning the errors in the July 2012 issue of CHARISINDIA all of which received no response from the CCR hierarchy.
Please reflect on your sustained silence against all my — as well as others’ — letters on the CHARISINDIA issue as compared to the humility and immediate response of the priests at this charismatic Renewal Retreat Centre in Bangalore.
N.B. Those in the BCC: Kindly do NOT circulate or use this letter without consulting me
Anil ‘Joseph’ Alexander To:
Renewal Retreat Centre, Bangalore
Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM Subject: “The Family of God” by Fr. Jothi Fernando
Dear Rev. Fr. George Cheppila
This email is with reference to the article titled ‘The Family of God by Fr. Jothi Fernando’ in the November 2012 issue of Renewal Voice. I presume the picture of the family used in the article was done erroneously without due consideration to what the family picture represents. The family picture is the poster of a very successful sitcom titled ‘Modern Family ‘ that was aired on Star TV. This ‘Modern Family’ can in no way represent the Family of God as it is set against a background that normalizes same sex marriage (a gay couple that adopts a child) and divorce (a grandfather wedded to a divorcee old enough to be his daughter).
We find several catholic magazines using articles and pictures from non catholic or secular sources (downloaded from the internet) that do not represent catholic teaching. I presume the error here was unintentional.
Love in Christ & Mary,
Shijo Paul To: Anil ‘Joseph’ Alexander Date: Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM
Subject: Re: “The Family of God” by Fr. Jothi Fernando
Praise the Lord!!
Thank you very much for your mail and the information.
We really appreciate such timely responses.
It was not intentional and to be honest, we weren’t aware of it.
But we promise you that such things will be taken care of in the future.
Please do feel free to write comments on Renewal Voice.
Thanking you and praying for you,
Yours fraternally in Christ Jesus
Fr. Shijo Amenanickal CST
Renewal Retreat Centre
Copies of this letter were sent to CCR leaders/others on my mailing list. It is followed by selected responses
my yahoo id
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 8:40 AM
MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Leaders of the CCR [in the Bcc],
The letter below was sent thrice by me to the named addressees on October 27, seven days ago. I have yet to be favoured with a reply clarifying whether the use of the name of Prof. Constantine Fernandez by Francis Fernandes of Margao, Goa [mobile: 98237 72475] in recalling my badge and cancelling my registration was a mistake, or, if true, a unilateral decision by Prof. Constantine Fernandez, or a decision of the Goa Service Team [GST] or maybe a consensus arrived at by leaders of the National Service Team.
As I had been denied participation in an earlier NCCRS program, a Seminar for which I had registered by making payment, I need to have IN WRITING the reason for my repeated exclusion from NCCRS programs.
Meanwhile, Mr. Francis Fernandes who collected my registration fee, has been exerting extreme pressure — to put it very mildly — on my contacts in Goa to retrieve the registration badge.
I have spoken to over two dozen senior and middle level leaders [national and regional] in the Renewal both before and after writing the letter to Prof. Constantine Fernandez to inform them of the situation. Every one of you — with one single exception who declined to comment — was not only unaware of any such decision but also expressed your serious concern and shock that anyone would be denied permission to attend a Charismatic Convention. I am quite certain that there will be dozens more CCR leaders and members who will share the same view as you.
As no reply has been received from the NST Chairman or the NCO, this letter is now being copied to all of those of you whom I spoke to as well as all of those of you who I could not get on the ‘phone, and additionally, to members of the GST and others who have not yet been contacted by me. Due to the fairly large number of email addresses, I will be sending this letter out in batches of 10 or 15. In case you respond to me, and I would obviously greatly appreciate that, I assure you that your name will be kept confidential. If you do not respond, I understand your difficulty.
In His Name, Michael Prabhu
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 11:30 AM Subject: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA… … … … …
The registration badge
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 2:45 PM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I hope the Holy Spirit intervenes in this case to bring wisdom to those who are making decisions in matters like this. You surely should not be denied participation.
With best wishes, Priest, S.D.B., Kolkata
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 8:49 PM Subject: charismatics
I do support you in your struggle, although I do not understand what’s happening there so far in India…
Pax et Bonum. Mark, Catholic
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 9:10 PM Subject: RE: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I am quite shocked by your recounting of the turn of events below – do you have any idea what is the motive behind this decision to turn you away?
I have often seen parts of your ministry as a prophetic voice in the church – and like the prophets of old – persistent, strong, unrelenting, and for many an irritant. However as I was thinking of this the Lord also reminded me of the persecution of the prophets that just seems to be part of that calling, and the persecution of many anointed people who are now canonized as saints. So I want to encourage you with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ at this time of experiencing rejection and injustice with Mt 5:11-12, “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake, then rejoice and triumph, because your reward is great in Heaven, for just so they persecuted The Prophets who were before you”
One of the reasons I believe that the charismatic renewal is not growing in many parts of the world and not attracting the youth as it used to is because the movement has forgotten its prophetic calling to the church and has rushed to conform or get defensive in the midst of objections and persecution from elements within the church. The movement has the blessing of multiple Popes, and many wonderful Bishops, the preacher to the papal household for over two decades Fr. Cantalamessa is deeply charismatic. There is great support within the church, and the renewal is a work of God. I do pray that the prophetic anointing on the charismatic renewal is taken out from under the bushel, and that it shines forth in grace, power, and wisdom in order to bless the whole church. May we be freed from fear.
I pray that in the midst of maintaining your prophetic voice, you also rejoice, walk triumphantly, and living out the life of praise to our God who works all things together for our good, and that you are blessed with deep wisdom andd spiritual prudence in action and speech while you deal with these challenges. Blessings in Jesus
Mathew Jacob, USA
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 11:30 PM Subject: RE: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Looks like I missed your mail about asking me to identify myself. Anyway, I am from Kerala – grew up in Bangalore. Came into the Charismatic Renewal in 1979 through the ministry of Fr. Marcelino Iragui, who was a professor of Theology at the Alwaye seminary. In those early days there were very few prayer groups in Kerala (where I was studying at that time). Just one in Cochin/Ernakulam with people like Edward Edezhath etc. I came to the Lord after a deep involvement in drugs and the occult – was very involved with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and influenced a lot by Swami Sivananda, J Krishnamurti, etc. I was set free instantly in 1979 and grew to make Jesus the Lord of my life, and love His Word, and the church that He founded. Was very blessed at that time to be very active in the renewal in India before all the politics and power grabs happened – and did work with Fr. Marcelino, Fr. Rufus (RIP), Fr. Borst, Fr. Gino, Br. Fritz and others.
I left India in the early 90’s and I’m now based in the US and continue to be active in the renewal.
I have visited your website occasionally and been inspired by your prophetic stance on new age in the church and the abuses that are being practiced particularly liturgical and sacramental.
Glad to be in touch and I will be praying about your situation.
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 12:48 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
PRAISE THE LORD! INDEED I TOO AM SHOCKED TO READ THESE MESSAGES OF YOURS – SURELY, THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE SOMEWHERE. A PERSON OF YOUR SPIRITUAL CALIBRE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WASTE PRECIOUS TIME LIKE THIS OVER MATTERS LIKE THESE. IF TRANSPARENCY EXISTED IN THE NST, BY NOW THIS MATTER SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMMEDIATELY CLARIFIED AND RECTIFIED.
I DO HOPE AND PRAY THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE OF “A PROPHET FINDS NO HONOUR IN HIS OWN COUNTRY…!”
PEOPLE LIKE US FROM CHENNAI ONLY KNOW HOW HARD YOU HAVE WORKED AND WITH WHAT PERSONAL FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS YOU FACED FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FAITH AND OUR CATHOLIC CHURCH – TO KEEP IT PURE AND HOLY; UNTAINTED AND UNBLEMISHED – TO BE PROUDLY PRESENTED BY JESUS TO HIS HEAVENLY FATHER (WITHOUT THE LOSS OF ONE SOUL!!!) AT THE END OF THE AGE.
THE PAINS YOU WENT THROUGH TO KEEP GOOD CATHOLICS (EVEN THE WEAK ONES) AWARE OF MISCONCEPTIONS ON VARIOUS TOPICS AND BELIEFS, NO ONE CAN EVEN GUESS AT! YOU GAVE SUCH LUCID AND ELABORATE EXPLANATIONS WHICH, OF COURSE, NO ONE WOULD REALLY TAKE THE TIME TO EVALUATE AND APPRECIATE THE EFFORT YOU PUT IN!
HOWEVER, OUR GOOD LORD AND MASTER KNOWS AND SEES EVERYTHING AND NOT ONLY WILL VINDICATE YOU – BUT WILL GREATLY REWARD AND HONOUR YOU…
AFTER KNOWING YOU SINCE 1991, IF IT WILL HELP I’M PUTTING THIS ON RECORD – JUST IN CASE, OUT OF IGNORANCE, PEOPLE/AUTHORITIES HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD YOU AND YOUR INTENTIONS & SO REACTING ACCORDINGLY.
MAY THE GOOD LORD HELP YOU & BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY IN YOUR SINCERE WORK FOR HIS KINGDOM!!
YOURS IN JESUS,
PATRICIA EMMANUEL CHENNAI
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 8:52 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Mr. Prabhu,
Thanks for the information that I received from your desk. If you are registered for the convention, then you are eligible to attend it. So your clarifications with the chairman of the convention is quite in place.
Hope everything turns out to be for the Greater Glory of God (AMDG) and for the amicable well-being of everybody.
With kind wishes
Priest, OFM. Cap., Mysore
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 9:28 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Mike I tried calling you 04424611606, its 9.30 am. It’s regarding your ban. I spoke to Francis and Merwyn R. from Goa.
Call me or give me a missed call and I will call you. Catholic Ministry, Mangalore
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 10:18 AM Subject: RE: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
As the Lord said, “Truly I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Let us pray for the true light of wisdom in our church. Constantly remembering you in our prayers,
Rex and Divya, Chennai
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 11:24 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I am surprised and SHOCKED at what i am hearing from you!!
I would really like to know WHO and WHAT can ban a practising Catholic from attending a public Catholic convention.
If what you are saying is true, we need an answer to this. This is simply crazy!!
Are we afraid of a Michael Prabhu?? And if so why?? And for what?? And if we are afraid then I seriously doubt if we are led by the Spirit of God.
Keeping in tune with the New Evangelisation, i think the Charismatic renewal must first learn to introspect and get things right.
Please do let me know what action has been taken. I would be interested to know. Yours in Christ Jesus,
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 11:10 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Sorry to hear this, my dear brother, but praise and thank God forgive them for they do not know what they do. They are the Pharisees of today who want to crucify everyone who questions them. We pray for you and God bless you and the work of your hands. LD’M, Dubai
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 1:52 PM Subject: Hello
Dear Prabhu, Praise the lord!
I mail this to you from UAE. I understand your pain. I pray the truth will set you and all those who oppose you free. May his will be done. Yours in Christ, JAI, Dubai
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 3:42 PM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Hi Mike Thanks for your email. It’s greatly distressing to hear the news. This is certainly a new low for the CCR!
I pray the Holy Spirit gets through to the leaders somehow. God be with you. Spouse of CCR Regional Chairperson
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 4:06 PM Subject: Christ betrayed
Thanks for your letter of intimation. I am much worried over the denial of permission for a person of your stature, who has been toiling years, for the purification of the church. 12.
What people want is to sit on the palanquin and not be the bearers. The Indian church must feel ashamed of your termination. Please send them a lawyer notice, demanding your right to participate. Please sue them.
Do not get humiliated. We will stand by you. Prof. Kulandai Raj, Prayer Group Leader, Karaikudi
Sent: Saturday, November 03, 2012 10:17 PM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Mike, Praying for a resolution to the matter. Jesus Youth Leader Leader, USA
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 4:06 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION,
I feel the whole rejection problem is rooted in our stance against Yoga and other New Age practices. It would be interesting to know if Fr Thamburaj, who gives at this moment a seminar to priests on Healing and Deliverance in Mira Road, Mumbai, is still promoting Yoga. Has he changed his stance? I wonder what he knows about deliverance if the answer to my question is “no”. Fr Rufus and I found that the practice of Yoga will block Deliverance.
It might not lead to “possession”, but it definitely is a spiritual block. Maybe because the classical path of Yoga is still as
prescribed by Patanjali and hence dedicated to a “divinity” (ISWARA), and as such could be a transgression of the First Commandment.
Anyhow, even if you are “banned”, do not be upset. It only confirms that your work is very important for the Church, especially in India but also worldwide, and the enemy of God is not at all pleased with you.
I also had and have to tolerate many rejections, also from the CCR, as the subject is too hot for some and their trust in Jesus is lukewarm.
With my love for you and your family, In Christ,
Erika Gibello, the late Fr. Rufus Pereira’s secretary, London
PS. I am planning to promote you over here, but wonder if you have written a book. […]
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 8:57 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Michael, Praise the Lord!
I am sorry to hear that NCCRS has deliberately blocked your email id.
You must have sent emails to many people and must have got their responses by now. Fr LM has come to Bangalore yesterday from Goa and he is preaching in Bangalore. You must know him since you have been in the renewal for decades. I will speak to him and tell him to contact you with regard to the problem you are facing.
[Nn] is the Chairman of [X] Charismatic Service Team and he also can communicate with the other service teams. You must know him since you also have been in the renewal for long. His address is as mentioned below. PV, Bangalore
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 10:56 AM
Subject: XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION
Dear Michael, PRAISE THE LORD!
Thank you for your letter and all the information. I am surprised at this situation that you are not being allowed to attend the XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION. I am of the opinion that you should be allowed to attend the programme and that no one has the right to stop any person from attending the said programme.
I am astounded at the audacity of Francis Fernandes. VG, Goa
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 12:01 PM Subject: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Michael Prabhu,
It seems very unfortunate that you were registered for the NCCC and then cancelled. I feel, it is wise to wait for the reply to come. There is still time for the Convention to begin. As you have publicised the issue, they have to respond and give you the reason for cancelling your registration. I wish you all the best and success. God bless you.
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2012 9:46 PM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
It is really so, so sad that the people in the Charismatic Movement have taken a stand like this. Obviously, there is more to this action than meets the eye. Today when you stand up for the TRUTH on any front, especially in the Catholic Church, you are ostracized. You can rest assured that I will keep this intention in my prayers, as under the circumstances I feel only prayer can work. I am pretty sure they will not respond to your email as they have no genuine excuse for recalling and canceling your registration. It is a shame though, after all you have done for them in the past.
If there is any way in which I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch. God bless you, EM, Mumbai
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 7:22 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Are the vested interested folks scared you will make too many skeletons tumble out of the closet? FM, Lonavla
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 9:23 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
It is really shocking that any human being leave alone a Catholic, could be stopped from attending the Convention. I do hope and pray that all this is really a mistake and that this terrible mistake would be rectified at the earliest for the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God Bless. Leader of a Catholic Charismatic Community, Bangalore
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 2:59 PM Subject: Charismatic Renewal [Convention] at Goa
You have been sending to me mails from time to time expressing your dealing with the Church and it’s institutions.
I am sure you have the welfare of the Church, at your heart. But the authorities that be try to keep you away on many an occasion. Maybe your forthright approach does not find favour with them. It may be hurting their egos.
Many a time truth is not acceptable, as it hurts very badly and the person is labelled as a rebel very soon. But, a time will come when all have bow before truth, when it is revealed by the Almighty.
Such an approach of the establishment may hurt you too. Since your allegiance to our Master Jesus Christ is unalienable, you should not take all these disappointments to heart. If, the organisers at Goa do not want you to be there, please don’t go. Keep away and pray for the success of the Renewal Programme GD, Bangalore
Maria Laura Pio
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 3:02 PM
Subject: You have all my support
I was shocked by your latest mail regarding the refusal of your registration to the Catholic Charismatic Convention. Do insist in having a written explanation given to you. I have participated in many conventions and congresses – religious and not – and have even organized conventions as a professional, and NEVER have I heard of such a thing as refusing registration to someone (unless the event is accessible only to people of a certain profession or group, and the limitation is clearly stated in the registration forms and applies to everyone). Keep me informed. Maria Laura, Catholic Apologist, Switzerland
Sent: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 23:10:46 +0530 Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Bro., Don’t worry about this. Just Rejoice and Praise God.
Jesus said, ‘If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too’. We should be happy when the worldly people reject us. We have to praise God for giving us an opportunity to drink a drop from his cup of suffering.
But I am really troubled about this behavior. They are behaving like the Pharisees.
Also I think collecting a registration fee is not a healthy practice. Collecting money optionally for food, accommodation, etc is okay. To regulate the crowd, they can allow registration without any fee, like how people register for the Papal Mass in Vatican during Christmas and Easter.
Also someone told me that the charismatic retreat teams, preachers are demanding certain amount as fee for conducting prayer meeting. They should abide the words of Christ, ‘you received without charge, give without charge’. They should accept whatever they get. If they believe that the Lord will feed them, they should depend on him for everything. This is how the apostles and saints carried out the mission.
Finally, targeting someone and trying to stop someone attending a Catholic Convention is really embarrassing.
Antony Vijayendran, Bangalore
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:01 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Michael, Thanks for your e-mail. It would be nice if you had a personal meeting with the organisers to sort things out.. If you personally feel you are doing a good job, then, let no one stop you. Please continue your good works in the name of Catholicism. God bless you in all your endeavours. God bless you and your family. JGR
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:01 AM Subject: RE: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Michael, This is something very serious that you have mentioned in your e-mails and if it is true it is a great evil that is happening … I do agree with all you say. Satan has attached the CCR in India at the highest level and has tempted then leaders with 1) money, 2) position and 3) power! Besides this, the nine gift and fruits of the Holy Spirit are missing and because of them succumbing to the top 3 temptations, other evil has come in like pride, envy, jealousy, false witness, lying, false prophecy and wrong teachings, and I can go on. How the mighty have fallen years ago and still falling, and refusing to be corrected and to reform, stay fallen and their lives are a lie.
Remember the Lord’s promise “Those that endure and are victorious I will give the crown of glory!” RFS, Mumbai
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 10:11 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Lord Jesus and Mother Mary and all Saints and the entire Heaven and Catholic Church is with you. Your Brother, SJ, Kochi
Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 10:57 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I am quite surprised reading your mail. Knowing you, a staunch protector of the faith and who speaks without fear, they probably had much to hide than to reveal in their agenda. Well, I am eager to know what happens next and how the NST, NCCR, Cyril John react to this. Richard Mascarenhas, Oman
Sharon Lee Giganti
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 6:51 AM
Subject: I’m praying for this situation Michael!
I’ll be praying that this unfortunate situation be cleared up and that you be treated fairly, Michael! I am with you in your struggle — I pray for all of us in the battle for good to overcome evil.
I continue to recommend your website to all who need good clear info on the dangers of New Age practices. The last time I recommended your site was on the Catholic Answers radio show that I do, in late September. Keep me in your prayers too! You will be rewarded in Heaven for all the great work that you do.
God bless you, Sharon Lee Giganti, Speaker on EWTN, Catholic Answers, etc., USA
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 10:50 PM Subject: Re: Fw: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Very sad to hear such “good” news. Persecution comes from insiders and not outsiders. Age old saying. On what grounds have they put a ban on you. Any idea? And who has given Constantine the authority to put the ban? What is the NST doing? Looks like Constantine is playing the pipe while all the “rats” follow him. Is there no “man” on the NST who can stand up to the nonsense that goes on in the name of Christ? Or do they guise themselves under the cloak of obedience and humility? If Christ Himself came down on this earth they would have banned Him too!!!!!! What a state we are in!!!
In politics we have the same scenario. Those who should be in politics are shirking their duty and all the murderers, thieves are chosen to take the coveted posts. In the same way all those who cosy to those in the NST are given the post while a frank and forthright person and one who crosses swords with them are sidelined. People are afraid of people who stand “naked”. They want them dressed. And dressed in the clothes that they have chosen.
Oh Mike. I feel sorry for you. If they don’t want you, stay away. Breaking your head against the wall.
You can use my name freely. I already dealt with some of these people. They do things sneakily. They are bootlickers. No place for you and me in this world. We do not belong here. Jesus was killed by His own and so we will be too. Praise the Lord for such a death! Melville Almeida, Mumbai
It is surprising and sad to hear that you have been banned from attending the Convention in Goa. Are the organisers afraid of people like you, and why? They should pull up their socks, sit, and think. Priest, Goa
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 11:26 PM Subject: Q&A
Hello Michael. I am nearly finished with your Q on laying on of hands – just have to find a few more scriptures. Very sorry to hear that you were turned away by the Charismatic Conference. However, when people such as you and I defend our faith, we will end up on certain ‘black lists’ of modernists. As they say, ‘It comes with the territory’. But continue to imitate St. Paul and ‘fight the good fight’. God B with U and Angela. Ron Smith, Catholic Apologist, USA
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2012 11:40 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
My Dear Prabhu,
Very Sorry and Actually Shocked to hear that you are not being allowed to a Catholic Charismatic Convention! In my own, Inimitable way, let me call it: Stupidity. Badges can only be useful in such situations to help organize, see to seating, accommodation, etc. It would be downright silly to think that we can ‘Screen’ People through Badges. If people intend mischief, they can get in any number of ways, disrupt or cause mayhem. The Greatest of Sinners could Profit, and might Get Converted by attending a convention. To deny a Person permission to Attend is Meaningless.
It is not a question of receiving Holy Communion, after all! And there are enough Souls doing that, without adequate Preparation, or even Faith. Badges cannot control that.
I strongly condemn your being denied Attendance.
Kalist might remember me from our Ranchi days. Doubt that will be of any use. You may Freely Use my Words if they would be of any Use. I Understand Your Pain. Keep Your Chin Up. Take this as Another Test, from the Lord, to Strengthen You. My Love to Angela and to You. Keep praying for me too. Priest, Trichy
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 8:57 AM
Praise the Lord in everything. Thanks for your two messages with references to the many articles. Your system of recording all your data and correspondence is excellent and a gift in itself.
I find your articles are clear and respectful. And I can guess it is difficult for people to accept, acknowledge. But we [charismatics] of all people should be able and willing to accept and acknowledge errors like Bishop Kalist did in regard to the article by that Protestant guy. I too have had my issues with Charisindia and NST but let this not do the rounds because ‘that’ I think may not be the Spirit’s way.
Regarding Cyril John’s response to your being banned for the Convention, if he wrote like that to the general public I can understand that he does not want it to do the rounds. But to me, I cannot accept his explanation and wanted to take it further but the wife says – look you have done your bit by bringing it to the notice of the NST, leave it to the Lord. Nn’s [former NST]
[on your behalf]
must have turned the tide.
To what extent do we keep on pushing, fighting for the truth? Would I be right in saying perhaps you have been called to the same. As for me, it suffices to bring matters to their attention and then leave it. If they respond surely I will take it further. If a Bishop himself does not respond what does one do?
Mike, the only advice I might be able to give you is this: whatever you do, do it in such a way that the opposite person continues to feel your love for him/her and the Church. Amen.
God Bless as I request you and Angela to keep us and our ministry in prayer.
Senior Leader in Charismatic Ministry
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:27 PM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Dear Br. Michael, Very sad to read this. I hope the Holy Spirit will guide them. NCD, Mumbai
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 12:38 PM
Subject: your ban in CCR Convention
Very sorry this email comes late. Now coming to the topic, I am quite disturbed with the way the CCR leadership in Goa treated your registration issue. First of all I personally think that it is very unfair on any Christian group to deny entry for a programme where Christ is proclaimed. In my opinion it goes against the mandate of Christ, ‘Go into the whole world and make disciples of all nations.’ (Mt. 28:19) If Michael Prabhu is a sinner then Jesus Christ came for him (Mk. 2:17).
Secondly, you mentioned that NST leadership [Cyril John] referred the ban issue as ‘your work of getting attention and that there was no trouble regarding your registration’. This according to me is a blatant lie. Now who is lying to whom is another issue. But if it serves your purpose I wish to say the following:-
We in Goa your friends registered you as Michael Prabhu from Chennai, paid your fees of Rs. 200/- and collected your badge. A few days later we received a call from one of the CCR leaders that we must return your badge under instructions from Prof. Constantine. Now after contacting you we told them we cannot return your badge as we have paid for it. Once we buy apples from a hawker we own them. We are not obliged to return them because the hawker wants them back!
The above analogy was explained to them but the particular person was persistent in his request. In fact there was such a painful tone in his pleadings. This was suggestive enough of the gravity of your un-wantedness by the CCR authorities for the Convention.
I am sure we are being looked upon with displeasure as your associates in Goa and promoting your cause.
I saw in the Convention pandal a tall figure much disapproved (though unofficially) by the Church for the aberrations he has been causing in his style of delivering people in evil bondages wearing a badge royally and I am just thinking someone who has been defending the faith for several years now is banned from entering a Convention where 7 to 8 thousand people are gathered!
I was at the Convention for two days. I wasn’t too happy with the harsh tone of volunteers. In the same line I feel your banning issue was not a tone of charity we are all required to possess as followers of Christ.
God bless the good, unique and noble work you do.
Today you are persecuted. Some day you will reap your reward from the Lord and the Church itself.
Much love and prayers, dear Michael. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Letters that I would have received from some leaders were substituted by telephone calls. A few of them were former regional chairpersons of the CCR. There are those who would write to me but didn’t, reluctant to have their opinions made public on this site. But the reader would have observed that while some correspondents have no issue with my using their names, the rest are not identifiable from their letters.
Moreover, I have not made available the email addresses of any of those who have written to me.
In case Bishop Francis Kalist wishes to verify the genuineness of any letter[s], he is free to contact me.
A well-known preacher wrote to Cyril John. The preacher’s letter and Cyril John‘s reply are reproduced below:
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:07 PM
Subject: Fwd: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I sent attached e-mail to Cyril. He might answer me if he did not answer you…
Sent: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 22:07 Subject: Fwd: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I am forwarding this e-mail, which arrived today from Michael Prabhu and beg you to clarify this situation.
I know Michael for many years and much of his research has helped the Secretariate for Dialogue with Non- Christians in the Vatican. I would call him “my off spring” as, after my accident in 2004, I was not able anymore on regular basis to publish in India information about New Religious Movements and New Age practices. My book on these subjects was responded to by the Holy Father Benedict XVI himself and he wrote a letter blessing me and my family for my effort. I had sent him a German edition (which is now in its third edition). It was translated into many European languages and is just on the way to be published in USA. I am mentioning this as a ban (if this is the fact indeed??) on Michael Prabhu, who is a lonely voice in India against false teachings and wrong inculturation practices, would indeed be un-Christian, definitely not in line with the Charismatic Renewal, and personally very sad. I beg you again clarify this situation.
I mention here shortly that our beloved Fr Rufus Pereira valued Michael very much.
I also like to mention here that Fr Rufus valued yourself very much and so do I. In matter of fact I did express this to Charles Whitehead before you came into the ICCRS council.
Charles is a long time good friend of mine. I am in the CR since 1975, when the Lord appeared in my house and shortly later send me out to gather the “lost sheep”, those young people, who had fallen prey to NRM. From 1978 I worked in the Vatican for this cause, and had been supported by my membership of the International Dialogue Centre in Danemark and Germany since 1976, which finally brought me to India, since literally thousands of youngster stream into your wonderful country, lured by all sorts of phantastic philosophies and hopes for a spiritual renewal, without knowing the Lord Jesus. I had a centre in Goa (with the help of the Pallotine Fathers of Assagao) and in Bangalore (Banesvadi) with the help of its late Archbishop. Only 1987 Fr. Rufus and myself started the now worldwide known Inner Healing Retreats.
In the meantime I carry on giving those retreats, but more and more demands for seminars for priests are coming in, in view of the need for information about the subjects Michael Prabhu is researching.
Please, I am asking you again clarify if he is really banned to take part in Goa’s Charismatic Convention. As you can read in his letter, he hopes that this is only a mistake.
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2012 11:29 PM Subject: Fwd: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
Here the letter of Cyril.
Sent: Wed, 7 Nov 2012 16:18 Subject: Re: Fwd: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
It is indeed nice hearing from you after I met you in Mumbai at the funeral of Fr Rufus.
This is a quick mail and hence very brief. I have not been able to attend to mails because I am busy getting ready my house to which I am to shift on 18th November.
I have got it verified and have come to know that no one has been banned from attending the Convention. Prabhu from Chennai has been issued a registration and he is coming for the Convention. This raises the question if people are using the e-mail to gather sympathy and support. Since the allegation itself has no substance, I did not go into any detail regarding it.
I do not feel that the issue warrants devoting much of your precious time.
We wish everyone well and look forward to a fruitful Ruby Jubilee Convention.
Hope you are keeping well. With regards and prayers,
During the Convention, I moved around only during the lunch and tea breaks. I made no attempt to identify or meet any of the more senior leaders. However, I happened to bump into a couple of them who welcomed me warmly and commiserated with me about the “banning”. There were a few middle-level regional CCR leaders whom I met and who shared the same sentiments. I also identified one of the senior-most leaders of the Goa Service Team who virtually turned tail and scooted almost without a word when I introduced myself.
Someone pointed out Francis Fernandes, the Goa minion who was given the dirty work of harassing my Goa friends, taking back my badge and handing over the registration refund. I introduced myself to him as the person he was deputed to stop from coming to Goa, and was pleasantly surprised by his apparently sincere apology in which he said that he was just carrying out orders from his handlers, “…what to do?…”
I had been constantly praying to the Lord to enable me to meet only those whom he wanted me to meet. So, I was not surprised when I literally bumped into Constantine Fernandez on the climb up the steps to collect my lunch packet. He was alone. He greeted me with a big smile and an equally big “Hello”, but I came to the point and asked him the reason for which he had had me banned. He simply denied having done so. I told him that I would be recording the matter in a story on my web site. He sad it was fine by him and walked away.
A while later I saw Cyril John standing right in my path, engaged in conversation with someone. I interrupted them and he gave me a welcome that rivaled that of Constantine Fernandez. I called his bluff and asked him why he had slandered my name, falsely accusing me of sending the email about the ban to “gather sympathy and support” and further stating that my “allegation itself has no substance“. He flatly denied doing so.
Well, the reader can decide for himself who the liar is, the great Cyril John or I, as we have above his letter to Nn, as well as
the letter from my Goa friends who describe
Cyril John‘s statements as “a blatant lie“. 17.
In my brief discussion with Cyril John, after he repeatedly denied having slandered my name by alleging that my claim to having been banned was a sort of publicity stunt of mine, he wanted to know what proof I had. I submitted to him that I had written evidence in the form of an email sent by him to a common friend. His retort was that I could not prove that it was concerning me. When I said that the subject of the correspondence was me, he retorted that he had nowhere mentioned me by name. Once again, I leave it to the reader to decide on the truth after reading his letter above which I have reproduced verbatim.
That Cyril John responded to Nn
who is an influential international speaker but has ignored my letters for years just because they contain information about liturgical and New Age errors in the CCR [and elsewhere] in India, speaks very poorly of his character. So, I told him that.
I added that I had held a good opinion of him till about a week earlier when I saw his letter to Nn and thought he was one of the few good persons in the CCR senior leadership but now my opinion had changed and I was lumping him along with the rest. He coldly and dismissively replied that I could think what I want.
Shocked by his deviousness and overt cover-up for his colleagues who were responsible for the incident, I assured him that I would be writing a report on this incident and publishing it on my web site. He finally said something like “India is a democracy and one is free to write and publish what one wants to.”
That made me recall that when he was introduced to us at the Convention, the speaker mentioned that Cyril John was no ordinary person. We were told that he is on, or heads, a sub-committee of the Lok Sabha that is investigating the 2-G scam, or something to that effect. Is it really possible for one to be a practising Christian in the corruption-ridden environment in which Cyril John works? Or does he play there the same “games” that he played with me – not just in the ban incident – but all along.
I went through my correspondence with Cyril John from around May 2003 till he completely stopped replying to communications from as far back as July 2, 2008.
I reproduce here only a few of my letters to Cyril John so that the reader gets a clearer perspective.
I have been writing to Cyril John “prophetically” if you will, all along, but there has never really been any committed response, any action… his letters were by and large brief, totally non-committal – and this fact did not strike me till now as in my books I had mindlessly included him along with the good guys!
FROM THE ARCHIVES: LETTER TO CYRIL JOHN 1
Subject: WHEN YOU BECOME UNPOPULAR FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST
Dear Bro. Cyril John,
I congratulate you on your article in the February issue of CHARISINDIA.
The theme is completely different, innovative and refreshing. I can well empathise with the person whom you wrote about in the first paragraph, who finally felt depressed.
You probably are aware that many Catholics have even left the Church because their zeal was quenched and their ministries were maligned. But there are others with prophetic ministries, like one of the early contributors to CHARISINDIA who quit what he was doing simply because those in authority read what he wrote but showed little interest in addressing the wrongs that he wrote about*. *Vijay Martis
How many Charismatic leaders are willing to ‘rock the boat’? ‘Playing to the gallery’ ensures a popular ministry, not a Spirit-filled one. It produces life-less numbers and members. Many leaders are engaged in trying to keep others pleased, instead of pleasing the Lord. Preaching a sugar-coated, safe Gospel.
There are some leaders in the Renewal who preach the Full Gospel overseas, where it is safe to do so, but avoid touching on certain issues when they preach at home.
There are others who know the truth, but do not speak it lest they not be invited again by the local Church or service Team.
Years ago, I used to say that there is too much ‘prophecy’ in the Renewal, and too few prophets. The prophets of Israel, as today, were rejected by their own people.
If Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Isaiah were around today, they would not be welcome in many places, not by the aam aadmi, but by the leaders who exercise control over them.
Much of the Renewal is still being fed on milk, not Solid Food. One international lay preacher wrote to me that the [English] Renewal in India is all about seminars and rallies and vigils, whereas it should be about evangelization, use of the charisms and exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
If there has been any impact on the Renewal in recent years, it has only been from the preaching of selfless, committed servant-leaders and preachers, mostly not from the charismatic mainstream, who call a spade a spade.
I admit that there were times when I too have been depressed, but not for a long time now. It was silly of me to have expected applause when I answered the call to this ministry. Sadly I did not have support from leaders that the Lord provided your friend through you. I had forgotten what the Word of God says, and your article helped me to recall how I picked myself up with the Lord’s help. God bless you.
LETTER TO CYRIL JOHN 2 [continued on pages 24, 25]
email@example.com Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 2:33 pm Subject: Fr. Loi
I thought that you should know about this:
THE VOICE OF DELHI,
[The official newsletter of the Archdiocese of Delhi]
Om Saccidananda, Om Shanti, Shanti
Fr. Ignatius Mascarenhas, our man in search of truth in various ashrams in India writes from Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam, Trichy, that he is ‘enjoying the quiet and silence spending lots of time in prayer and reflection and reading.’ He has just completed two months in Kalady, the birthplace of Aadi Shankaracharya and in Kurishumala [ashram] ‘going deeper into the deep things’. Fr. Loi is expected to come back with lots of insight and inner light as that of Ramana Maharishi.
It is also informed to me that Fr. Susai Sebastian, who was the spiritual director of the charismatic renewal in Delhi from around 1983 was also involved in the practice of certain alternative therapies which are ‘new age’.
Yours in Jesus’ Name, Michael
Warm Greetings! Thanks for the mail. Fr Ignatius is the Chairman of DST now. I have forwarded your mail to him for his response. With regards, Cyril John
I wrote to Cyril John about Fr. Ignatius Mascarenhas precisely because I was aware that he was then the Chairman of the Delhi Service Team. How, I wondered, could a chairperson of a charismatic service team have dual spirituality, ashramic as well as charismatic, chanting both OM as well as Alleluia with the same tongue? To understand the seriousness of exposure to the heretical, New Age Catholic Ashrams movement, see CATHOLIC ASHRAMS OCTOBER 2005 http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CATHOLIC_ASHRAMS.doc. He is presently [since 03.04.09] the Bishop of Simla-Chandigarh. When I met Fr. Ignatius Mascarenhas at, if I remember correctly, the National Grand Conference of Leaders of Prayer Groups and Ministries, Bangalore, in May 2005, he was hostile, as if I had done him great wrong, mentioning that he received my letter to Cyril John.
Fr. Susai Sebastian was the Spiritual Director of the Delhi Service team in my time as well in Cyril John‘s. I met him on a recent visit to Delhi along with my wife and found him so spiritually flat, one would never say that he had once been our spiritual director. He also condoned New Age practices when we talked.
From my archives, the background to the denial of permission for me to register and attend the National Charism Seminar, 9-11, 2005 in Delhi, see also page 3
my close friends
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 7:40 PM Subject: NCO
I AM WRITING TO A FEW SELECT AND TRUSTED FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN A SOURCE OF STRENGTH TO THIS MINISTRY.
I BELIEVE THAT THIS LETTER [FOLLOWING PAGE] TO ME FROM THE NCO DENYING ME PERMISSION TO REGISTER FOR THE CHARISMS SEMINAR IN DELHI IS THE RESULT OF MY GENTLY BRINGING TO THE NOTICE OF THE NCO A FEW MONTHS AGO THAT THE NEW PRESENT CHAIRMAN OF THE DELHI SERVICE TEAM FR IGNATIUS MASCARENHAS WAS SEARCHING FOR SPIRITUALITY IN HINDU ASHRAMS LIKE RAMANA MAHARSHI’S FOR SEVERAL MONTHS IN 1991, AND ALSO FOR OBJECTING IN PERSON AND IN WRITING TO THE NATIONAL LEADERS CONCERNING FR. A J THAMBURAJ‘s PROCLAIMING – DURING HIS TEACHING AT THE CHARISMS SEMINAR IN CHENNAI EARLIER THIS YEAR* — THAT HE HAS THE PSYCHIC GIFT OF WATER DIVINING. MY CONCERNS WERE DIPLOMATICALLY IGNORED BY CYRIL JOHN IN BOTH CASES.
*See pages 4, 5
YOU COULD ACCUSE ME OF JUDGING THEM WRONGLY SIMPLY ON THE BASIS OF THE NCO LETTER, BELOW.
BUT THERE IS MORE.
FROM AROUND APRIL LAST YEAR TILL VERY RECENTLY I RECEIVED SEVERAL LETTERS FROM PROF. CONSTANTINE FERNANDEZ ON BEHALF OF CHARISINDIA ASKING FOR ALL MY ARTICLES IN HARD AS WELL AS SOFT COPY WITH A VIEW TO PUBLISHING IN CHARISINDIA. YOU CAN READ FOR YOURSELF THREE SELECTED LETTERS BELOW. HOWEVER LAST MONTH I WAS ORALLY INFORMED BY THE SAME PERSON THAT CHARISINDIA WILL NOT BE PUBLISHING MY ARTICLES BECAUSE SOMETIMES MY WRITING IS ‘IRRITATING’. ** I WAS ALSO INFORMED THAT WRITERS FROM OVERSEAS WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE NEW AGE SERIES COMING SOON IN CHARISINDIA***. AND, I WAS GIVEN TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A PLAN TO HOLD A NATIONAL SEMINAR ON THE NEW AGE [SPEAKERS AGAIN FROM OUTSIDE INDIA] AND THAT THE NUMBER OF DELEGATES WILL BE LIMITED TO IMPORTANT PERSONS IN THE CHURCH AND THE RENEWAL WHICH I TOOK TO MEAN THAT MY PARTICIPATION IN ANY FORM WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE.***
IT IS MOST SURPRISING SINCE, THE LATE ERROL FERNANDES APART, I AM THE PIONEER OF THE ANTI-NEW AGE CAMPAIGN, AND CURRENTLY THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY WHO CONTINUES THE CRUSADE TO WARN THE CHURCH OF NEW AGE ERRORS. **See page 3 ***that series/seminar never saw the light of day!
ALSO, NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THIS MINISTRY OVER THE PAST ONE YEAR. IN FACT I HAVE NOT WRITTEN ANY NEW ARTICLES SINCE THE ONES SUBMITTED TO CHARISINDIA AS MY TIME WAS WASTED.
SO, TO ME, IT APPEARS THAT SOMEONE IMPORTANT DOES NOT WANT THE TRUTH TO BE HEARD.
SOMEONE SOMEWHERE DOES NOT WANT THE BOAT TO BE ROCKED.
LET US PRAY FOR THAT PERSON OR PERSONS.
ONE CAN GIVE TALKS ON THE GENERALITIES OF THE NEW AGE WITHOUT RUFFLING ANY FEATHERS. BUT THERE ARE SPECIFICS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED TOO, AND IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE ARE STILL A FEW PEOPLE IN THE RENEWAL WHO DO NOT WANT THESE SPECIFICS TO BE AIRED.
YET, THOSE WHO HAVE ATTENDED ANY OF MY PRESENTATIONS GIVEN TO PRAYER GROUPS AND COMMUNITIES IN DIFFERENT CITIES CAN TESTIFY THAT I HAVE NEVER ENDANGERED THE SECURITY OF THE LOCAL LEADERSHIP AND THE RENEWAL AT LARGE. IN FACT THE LEADERS HAVE ALWAYS EXPRESSED THEIR APPRECIATION FOR THE ENLIGHTENMENT THAT THEY RECEIVED.
IF THERE IS NO CHALLENGE, THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE.
THE HUNDREDS OF LETTERS THAT I CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FROM LAY PERSONS, PRIESTS AND BISHOPS ARE EVIDENCE TO ME THAT IT IS APPRECIATED WHEN SOMEONE FINDS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP AGAINST COMPROMISE AND THE SPIRIT OF SILENCE. HOWEVER, ONE HAS TO PAY A PRICE FOR THAT.
I APPREHEND THAT THIS MAY BE ONLY THE FIRST ATTEMPTS TO PUT A LID ON OR RESTRICT THIS MINISTRY.
BUT, I DO NOT INTEND TO BE DISHEARTENED. RATHER, I AM NOW GEARING UP FOR A FRESH SERIES OF ARTICLES, AND NEWSLETTERS THAT WILL INCLUDE ISSUES SUCH AS THOSE DISCUSSED HERE AND WITH DETAILS THAT I HAVE FOR NOW WITH HELD. I BELIEVE THAT I HAVE A MANDATE FROM THE LORD TO EXPOSE THE ENEMY WITHIN, AND WITH THE MIGHT OF HIS ARM AND YOUR PRAYERS, SO I SHALL.
Dear Mr. Prabhu,
Praise the Lord! I acknowledge receipt of your money order for Rs.250/- towards registration fee for the Seminar on Charisms to be held in Delhi in October 2005. Since seats in Delhi are very limited the NST has decided to register those who have not attended a Charism Seminar organized by NCCRS in the recent past. Since you have already participated in the Seminar on Charisms held in Chennai, I am sorry I cannot register your name for the Delhi Seminar. Hence I have sent your registration fee back to you by MO. Kindly acknowledge receipt. Yours in Christ Jesus,
Gilbert Faria Administrator, NCO
A FEW SELECTED RESPONSES TO MY LETTER TO my close friends
OF JUNE 28, 2005
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 3:12 PM Subject: Re: NCO
I like your unbending prophetic stance, but I feel that a dose of unconditional love, forgiveness and a pinch of openness would take your ministry and you a lot further. It’s the great and holy people who absorb the brickbats and unfair treatment and return flowers of forgiveness and love in exchange.
I think you are being challenged to do saintly things for God and all great things are done with great love. I will pray for that to take greater effect in your ministry. Love in Christ, A seminarian, now a priest
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 3:10 PM Subject: NCO
Dear Michael, It was very disheartening to read your message on the NCO. We do appreciate you keeping us abreast of such confidential and important matters. God bless you and Angela, Lorraine, Goa
As you suffer discrimination so do I … I just had a similar experience in Ireland. Too long to tell. Praise God and carry on. You do invaluable work. Without your research I could not have written on Martial Arts. The material is enormously large.
Please do not write to any person before seriously praying and discerning. I know the Church and humans a bit longer then you! Only prayers break through, and for that matter, only deliverance prayers! For the leaders of the Church in this age, the Lord has spoken very harshly! INDIA NEEDS CONVERSION, AND THE ENEMY CAN ONLY STOP THIS IF HE INFILTRATES THE CHURCH ITSELF AND THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL! I tried to warn you about writing to too many and also about the length of your articles. But the facts you uncover are important, and you must not give up. Most people who read Charisindia are not up to understanding what you are writing about. This includes also some priests. Spiritual blocks are inherited! So do not blame anyone. Fr. Thamburaj’s father was a Yoga addict. We say … the apple does not fall far from the tree! Love to you both. Author, Charismatic Renewal, Europe
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 8:20 AM Subject: Re: NCO
It was sad to note the goings on with regard to you. I don’t think you should be too disturbed about the entire issue. You are doing “His” work, and serving “Him” and not humans. If some authorities reject the truth, they will be held accountable for not allowing the truth to be shared to the people, in the day of judgement. You have done your best. Why don’t you try to arrange a meeting with Cyril John – just so that you and the N.S.T. can have a heart-to-heart chat about the entire subject which is of serious importance? Maybe Cyril could also get some one from the N.S.T. who has some knowledge on the subject of the “New Age movement”, so that there is a healthy exchange of views and knowledge. In the meantime, you continue being in my prayers. CCR leader, Goa
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 7:22 PM Subject: Re: NCO
Michael, Dear brother in Christ, my response to you:
1. While you might be “irritating” to some, I know your heart is clean, true and without animosity. So keep doing what you have to be doing. Perhaps if you write to Bishop Vally, not in complaint but putting your side in love, he might be able to help.
2. While Fr. Ignatius might have been “searching” way back in 1991, is he still doing so through New Age today – this would be the relevant and valid question. After all who has not tried different things over the years. New Age is so subtle that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it. But today, especially in leadership, are they still compromising with New Age etc. — This would be important to define and highlight.
3. Yes, the truth might not be easy to accept. And so you have to be another Jesus.
Former NST member
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 9:45 AM Subject: RE: LONG TIME?
I have been rather busy and I did receive your long email about the NST not publishing your articles on New Age, etc. I have not been able to go into all the detail of it, but from the face of it, it appears that there is some hanky panky as usual from their side. Mike, don’t worry about that, just keep your eyes on Jesus and continue to trust him. He will bring things through at the right time and in the right way. Your ministry does have our prayer support and blessings- not to worry about that either. Have you released any latest works? If so do send me a copy. Former Bombay Service Team member
A FEW SELECTED LETTERS FROM CONSTANTINE FERNANDEZ THAT LED ME ON WITH FALSE HOPES
From: jojo To:
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 2:20 PM Subject: New age
Dear Michael, Charisindia is planning to bring out an issue on New Age. Probably this is an answer to your prayer and a dream come true for you! Now I want your help in the form of an article to be published in Charisindia- topic on Yoga, Martial Arts and related subjects. Pranic healing and reiki, I have asked another person* to write on. Vipassana- I have with me another article. There is a time target: I want the article by May end or June by 5th the latest. Hope you would do your best much ahead of time. Thanking you in advance, Yours in Christ, Constantine *Errol Fernandes
Dear Michael, I am wanting to collect as many material as possible on the various topics of New Age in a presentable manner in Charisindia. Any help, guidance in those lines are welcome. Constantine
This is to check with you as to whether you would have any objection to editing your articles with a view to shorten it and avoid some of the explanatory parts without material changes prior to publication. Looking forward to your response,
As per the present plan first of your articles is to come in June issue of Charisindia. Constantine
AND THE LATE CRUSADER AGAINST NEW AGE ERROL FERNANDES’
I’m overjoyed that Prof Constantine has turned to you as a resource. I received an e-mail from him a couple of days ago asking if he could reproduce some of what I had written on New Age in EMMANUEL. Naturally I said yes. I just knew that you would be a major contributor to the issue. Apparently they have an urgent deadline to meet — but praise God they are willing to take a public (published!) stand.
It looks like Cyril John turning up at our [Bandra] seminar was a master stroke by our Lord. Love in Jesus, Errol
A major problem with the CCR, even at the level of the ICCRS, has been a fear of bishops and clergy and a consequent attitude of suppressing even prophetic protest from charismatics. In Jesus, Errol
A CONFIDENTIAL LETTER FROM ME TO A PRIEST, NOW MADE PUBLIC, REGARDING MY MAY 18, 2005, MEETING WITH CONSTANTINE FERNANDEZ CONCERNING PUBLISHING IN CHARISINDIA
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 11:41 PM Subject: METAMORPHOSE
Dear Father [priest in the CCR, a close friend],
IMPORTANT and CONFIDENTIAL
Father, I may reproduce much of the following in an update to follow, for general circulation, after concealing certain identities. I feel that this must be made publicly known to all my well-wishers. Your comments? 21.
I had informed you earlier that in March 2004, after I had helped give a seminar on the ‘New Age’ in Mumbai organized by the Bandra Service Team [BST], Bro. Cyril John, the Chairman of the National Service Team [NST], had made two public assurances in the presence of several leaders of the Renewal including Mrs. Luz Maria Engineer, the Bombay Service Team chairperson.
They were that CHARISINDIA would soon devote an entire issue to New Age, and that seminars on the New Age would be organized by the NST for leaders in the Renewal all over the country.
He, Luz Maria, the Bombay chairperson, Anthony and Christina Lobo and others felicitated [the now late] Errol Fernandes and me for our pioneering work and relentless crusade. Bro. Cyril John admitted that the Renewal instead of supporting us had stood watching from the sidelines for years while we took the brickbats and rejection and they gave us every assurance that things would be different for us in the future.
Errol passed away from leukemia on June 25th. Less than 10 days later there was a ‘follow-up’ seminar, organized by the same service team. Even though they had corresponded with me about the preliminary plans, eventually I was not asked to speak or even invited to attend.
My dear friend Erika Gibello who was then in London and always is in close contact with me was invited to be the speaker. Since the organizers had given me every encouragement both privately and in public, and both before and after the BST seminar of March, you could well imagine how discouraged I became for a short period of time.
I learnt much from that episode. Mainly, not to put my trust in anyone but the Lord, and that helped me through the following events.
When my article on CONYBIO was released around that time, I received an email from Prof. Constantine Fernandez [the Asst. Editor of CHARISINDIA] asking me if they could publish it. I was delighted and said that they could. Over the next 9 months there was lengthy correspondence with him, during which he asked for all my other articles twice over since once everything was lost when his computer crashed. I even received a specific request for my 4-page summary of the Vatican Provisional Report on the New Age Movement [which was carried in The Examiner as far back as May 2003]. At no time did I ever request anyone in CHARISINDIA or on the NST to have my work published.
During this period of time, I continued to receive letters of encouragement from Constantine, as well as from almost all of the past as well as present NST barring just two or maybe three national-level leaders whom I have never had the opportunity to meet. A few on the NST who have never communicated in writing with me have however reassured me in person of their approval of my work and have blessed this ministry. During the same period of time and until my writing, I have had the privilege of meeting with more leaders of regional service teams, even their chairpersons and spiritual directors, and leaders of the NCCYC and NIN, all of whom have assured me of their prayers and moral support. An increasing number of these leaders respond to my letters and write-ups and let me know how they have found my work useful in their ministries.
Just before the June 2004 Bombay seminar on New Age from which I was excluded I had written my 4-page “Letter to the Vatican”, a hard-hitting expose of the “New Age in the Catholic Church in India”. This summary was sent to around 15 Vatican addresses as well as to all Indian Bishops [around 160 of them!] by email as well as by post. June and July 2004 were months of desolation for me. Errol was no longer there for me to talk to, on what had become a daily basis. A few devoted friends including priests kept writing in but it did not help much. Encouraging responses to the Letter to the Vatican began to trickle in from laypersons, a couple of Bishops, a few priests. Then came the deluge: The Bishops began to write in, dozens of them, including two of our three Cardinals [the third wrote much later]. And so did some international leaders like Allan Panozza [Director, ICCRS] and Ralph Martin [one of the founding Fathers of the Renewal]. There was not one letter of disapproval or criticism barring two or three that suggested an approach of caution and love.
I took that as a sign from the Lord, not to believe in the assurances of men but to carry on the good fight, and that if one open door is shut, several other doors will be opened. And, so they have.
STREAMS OF LIVING WATER, the Kolkata CCR monthly, began to serialise my articles from end of 2004.
KAIROS 2004 carried a full page advertsement for my ministry in their Souvenir for the CCR Youth Convention in Chennai, and so did STREAMS. They elicited responses from Catholics [including priests] from all over India, and also from an important Protestant organization…
SHALOM TIDINGS which first published a write-up of mine [PRANIC HEALING] in July 2000 carried my article on MARTIAL ARTS in their May/June 2005 issue to be concluded in the following one.
Fr. Rufus Pereira and a few other leading preachers have regularly referred to me by name at seminars where I was present [and even where I was not], and directed people to contact this ministry for information.
Leaders and members of other organizations and ministries like the Jesus Youth are in regular correspondence with this ministry.
I have received numerous invitations from individuals across the country to visit their cities, stay with them at their homes, meet their prayer groups, and move around to reach the ministry to more Catholics.
To come back to the NST and CHARISINDIA, I recently had the opportunity to meet Prof. Constantine.
He had called for, at the Bangalore Conference for Leaders, articles to be contributed for publishing in CHARISINDIA, and also solicited advertisements at Rs 10,000 per page, to meet the printing and circulation costs of the monthly.
The meeting with him went something like this
Michael Prabhu: What are the developments on the proposed CHARISINDIA New Age issue and New Age seminar?
Prof. Constantine: The CHARISINDIA New Age issue will be out shortly. A seminar too is being planned.
MP: So, my articles will finally be published?
PC: No, we will be publishing articles by eminent writers from outside India.
MP: But you asked for contributions of articles…
PC: STREAMS is already publishing your articles on New Age and if we do so, then Fr. C. J. Sebastian may not like it. There is a rift between us and him. [Exact words used escape my memory].
MP: CHARISINDIA has a much wider and different reach and circulation and it will benefit the readers. It would still be useful to the Renewal to publicise my research and findings. Anyway I can ask STREAMS to discontinue serialising my articles so that only you can reproduce them. They will surely oblige.
PC: No. There are certain difficulties involved in publishing your articles… The way you write….
MP: But there was no criticism or complaint up to now… Both STREAMS and the KAIROS Souvenir carried my ad….
PC: Ah, but CHARISINDIA is not STREAMS or KAIROS. We have a different standard.. We are very careful about what we publish in CHARISINDIA [Not exact words, but close to that. He spoke of STREAMS disdainfully.]
MP: Since you called for advertisements could you instead/at least carry an ad for my ministry as STREAMS/KAIROS did?
PC: But that would cost Rs 10,000. It is a lot of money…
MP: I would find sponsors. It is important for the readers of CHARISINDIA…
PC: Michael, you are now trying to blackmail us.
MP: Not so. I am just wondering how to get some outreach through an important publication like CHARISINDIA. I am now a life-member of CHARISINDIA, subscriber since around 25 years, have every issue preserved till date, founder-member of the first service team of Delhi  and have never been able to see my contribution to the Church and the Renewal mentioned in CHARISINDIA till date. Isn’t it strange…?
PC: But we did mention your Bandra seminar on the New Age… [NOT TRUE. I did not see it, even though I was closely looking for it in every issue for several months.]
MP: I did not see a report on that seminar. Anyway, why does CHARISINDIA still need to ask for contributions from outside India? There are surely Indians who are capable of writing authoritatively on New Age… You could use them… My work is a pioneering one…
PC: Michael, sometimes the way you write can be … how shall I say … “irritating”.
MP: True, but the Truth can often be irritating. Don’t you expect me to write the Truth which no one else does?
PC: It is true, the Truth needs to be spoken, and you are doing it. We have really admired the depth of your research, and the content of your articles, but … there is an image about you that needs changing…
MP: There are good reasons that I write the way that I write, and for that image. When I first encountered New Age, it was being practised by members and leaders of the Charismatic Renewal. I approached the concerned authorities at the local, regional and national levels but I was either ridiculed or dismissed or was treated patronisingly. I met the local Bishop unsuccessfully. Finally I took recourse to writing and publishing the way that I do. You surely don’t blame me for that? Catholics have a right to know… Even now a public platform is denied to me…
PC: But maybe you could change your way of writing.
MP: Under the present circumstances it is not possible. Maybe if the Renewal/CHARISINDIA first provides me a platform…?
PC: Don’t you think both should go together? [Meaning, you change your style of writing first]. People have noticed a lot of change in you. Unlike earlier they now see you always smiling…
MP: In a ministry like mine, would you or anyone else have been smiling under the earlier circumstances I faced? I had maybe 2% acceptance and 98% rejection from Renewal leaders. I am very much human. Today the acceptance level is greater and it is natural for me to smile… So, what about the seminar?
PC: Yes, we are planning a major one. It will be for Bishops and selected priests and renewal leaders only……..
[I got the message that I may not even rate an invitation to participate at the listening end].
LETTER TO CYRIL JOHN 3 [continued from pages 18, 19] AND HIS REPLY
Subject: NATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, HYDERABAD, CHARISINDIA, and the CCR IN INDIA
I read in the
of JULY 2008 that “130 leaders… participated”. That’s really great. Or is it?
Because I am sure that you might have noticed that the number is reducing considerably every year for this conference.
Just 130 leaders in attendance from the population of charismatic Catholics in India — and during summer holiday season — must surely be a concern for the CCR leadership. [One consolation, I suppose, is that it simply cannot get worse than 130.]
A fair number of those attending are anyway not leaders. They are usually ordinary prayer group members.
A number would also be first-timers, as I have noted.
There are a very, very few leaders who will attend such programs to sit like ordinary people in the audience, especially from out of town. If you take out the locals [including the organizers], and add to that the number of speakers, how many charismatic leaders must be actually attending these programs?
I know senior leaders [in Chennai, at least]
who might have attended just one national level program in all of 10 years. It does not take much to realize that they attend usually if the program is in their own hometown or if they are speaking.
Very senior and middle level CCR leaders, apart from ordinary prayer group members from all over India, write to me. The composite picture that I get is that many of those in leadership are unhappy with a large number of issues. 23.
In some major centres, groups with roots sunk deep over years of activity [and with connections and money] control and manipulate the Service Teams even when they are not holding positions of power. Selections and appointments [some call them elections] are too often made [even at senior and top levels] not because of a person’s gifts or calling or commitment to serve, but because of extraneous factors that would do a commercial organisation proud.
I know leaders of regional teams who are suspiciously Protestant [Bangalore for instance] in their beliefs and practices. I know Catholic charismatic ministries that strictly do not talk about Mary or say the rosary. I know even more extreme ministries that are operating with impunity in Catholic charismatic circles, preaching the same false gospels of prosperity that CHARISINDIA once upon a time had the courage to write against. They are often supported and defended by the regional service team, even by power centres operating parallel to the service team.
Too many chairpersons of regional service teams disappear into oblivion after their tenures. One person will never serve on a regional team in whichever city he is, unless he is elected as the chairperson. This has been going on for over 20 years.
Not only are many former very senior leaders tired of what they see perpetuated in the Renewal, as shared with me, but also hundreds, maybe thousands of ordinary prayer group members.
There was this exemplary Catholic family who fellowshipped at our home on Sunday; they were formerly Praise and Worship leaders, but now do not want to be associated with the term charismatic. I meet many like them.
The funny thing is that many of the leaders who share these experiences with me are the very next day preaching and ministering in the renewal circles that they criticise. They do not dare to speak openly because of the consequences. Have there not been leaders who were removed just because they dared to speak boldly?
Yet there are leaders who have made solemn PUBLIC oral assurances and some who have WRITTEN similarly and later reneged on these very same promises. How difficult it must be for a person to see these leaders write or preach, knowing their true integrity.
What about those leaders who give false testimonies [include a chairperson], those who have practised and propagated occult New Age therapies [and not known to have renounced them; again include a chairperson], who have publicly said that CHARISINDIA was wrong and not to be believed [once again include a chairperson] when it did the rare exercise of publishing some prophetic articles], who have brazenly lied at public functions [yet again a chairperson], and those who invite to preach those involved in practices condemned by a Vatican Document [it is to be repeated at POWER 2008 this month end in Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor]?
There still exists a prayer group where, for 20 years, the core leaders and members are involved in New Age therapies, New Age gurus’ teachings and New Age meditations. What do you have to say for the local and national leaders who know about it and condone the situation by their silence?
What about those leaders who know the truth but circumvent it, who fellowship with the same people who are mentioned above, who provide the platforms for them to speak from and to thus increase their influences, who do not reply to letters from ordinary people on crucial issues [like that of the use of the OM mantra in the Praise the Lord hymn book of the CCR]?
Two programs in this CHARISINDIA issue record attendances of 2,000 and 3,000 people at Mumbai and Bangalore.
What type of programs attracts these crowds?
After 40 years of CRR in India, how many charismatics attend seminars for “solid food”? You know the answer.
Try a seminar on Apologetics, Liturgy, New Age, Bio-ethics [all my subjects of course] and even the local service team will not attend.
Could it be that these programs, if ever held, would not even merit a mention in CHARISINDIA because they do not bring any credit to the big leaders?
But a retreat that focuses on any of the more sensational “gifts” will draw the multitudes. People want visions, healings, prophecies… and it is the leaders and decision makers who perpetuate this condition. God help them!
Which leader in the CCR today really knows anything different from the next leader? Generally speaking, any one leader who is scheduled to preach can be replaced by another preacher at the very last minute.
The subjects and contents are mostly the same, maybe in slightly different packages.
There are dozens of crucial 21st century issues which almost every leader in the Indian CCR today is absolutely ignorant. I can list them out for you. The responsibility for the continued ignorance of the laity rests on such leaders.
I am tired of hearing the repeated refrain of the NCCRS, quoting a casual complimentary remark which can only be expected from a visiting foreign preacher, that
is the best magazine in India, or one of the best.
Even CCR leaders privately joke about this. Let us be honest with ourselves.
CHARISINDIA is simply a good magazine, certainly not unique, and most certainly not the best. I spend MUCH more time studying the contents of many other Indian Catholic publications, than I do CHARISINDIA.
We are in 2008, but we still need to reproduce foreign articles in every issue. This is a symptom of what is happening at all levels in the Renewal. If there is a dearth of Indian contributors, something is seriously wrong, and you know where.
I have a number of foreign Catholic magazines, both charismatic and non-charismatic. THIS ROCK, ENVOY, and the now defunct NEW COVENANT are just three examples. I have issues dating back to the 1970s [even as I have CHARISINDIA issues from number 3 issue onwards] in my library.
I can assure you, brother, that they are much more informative and educative than ANY Indian publication. In fact, through pioneering [original] articles written 15-30 years ago, they have regularly analysed issues that CHARISINDIA has either never dealt with, or even reproduced. If you look up these magazines, you will understand what I am talking about. They remain far and away ahead of anything that CHARISINDIA brings out.
A vast number of Catholic websites too will reflect this.
It is good to know [check out the space allotted in this issue] the testimonies [mostly of very senior leaders], reports of past programs and announcements of future programs, and renewal Indian history [the glory of the past]. [I am grateful for just two pages of commercial ads. in CHARISINDIA as compared with other Catholic publications]
But why not some solid food, something original written by our own leaders? May I guess that it is because they have nothing to give? It is possible, you know: the internet provides the opportunity to cut and paste. At least then our charismatics may learn something new in addition to the usual fare.
[My comment: Copy-pasting is the order of the day now; see my recent exposures of CHARISINDIA errors]
I knew a different Cyril John a few years ago, and I have always tried to keep that image as a reference. But when you, as Chairman of all India, now sitting on the ICCRS, choose not to reply to letter upon letter, and things continue to deteriorate all over the country, I have become seriously concerned.
I worked in senior positions in industry in Delhi for many years, in different organizations. I saw companies vanish, some going under the BIFR, and in several cases it was known that the CEO did not know of the plundering and mismanagement that was going on below him. Subordinates always painted a rosy picture for him. I am sure that it is not the case with you.
You are fully aware. I know of issues that have been brought to your notice but nothing has been done by you. Sincere and genuine people have been discouraged and hurt just to protect powerful people. May I humbly suggest that you look at some of your most excellent and thought-provoking editorials including the current one, and evaluate the situation for yourself.
I can go on with more of my observations, but I sign off here.
There’s one more thing, Cyril. I have read in CHARISINDIA about the pioneering work done in Delhi in the 1970s and then again “revival” from the 1990s. That is very good.
But, what happened between 1982 and 1990? Let me write it out for you in another letter. It beats me why everyone seemingly wants to [re]write CCR Delhi history without ever discussing that period of time.
Though I have destroyed most of it [I even preserved registration cards till about 10 years ago], I have uncovered a lot of material pertaining to that period, the dates of the different seminars and retreats and vigils, the names of the teams of preachers, even the details of the programmes and the notes taken down during the talks. And our correspondence from Delhi with CCR headquarters in Bangalore and Bombay. I am sure it will interest you to know how and when the Renewal there grew from about 10 people to a few thousand. There are still priests in Delhi who can give you information on these 10 lost years. Would you like to know my story?
Love and Prayers, Michael
Subject: Re: NATIONAL LEADERS’ CONFERENCE, HYDERABAD, CHARISINDIA, and the CCR IN INDIA
Thanks for the mail. I do read every mail and try to act on it in the best way possible. I also realise my limitations.
You will kindly appreciate that with my job, family and renewal commitments I am left with very little time for correspondence.
Thanks for all your valuable comments in this mail. I will be happy to know more about the CCR in Delhi from your own experience. When a building is constructed, it is done on a solid foundation, but what people usually see is the beautiful structure on top and not the solid foundation that holds it. With regards and prayers,
More of my letters to NST/NCO leaders regarding the state of the CCR will be published separately -Michael
MY MOST RECENT LETTERS TO THE EPISCOPAL ADVISOR, NCO
firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com ; National Charismatic Office ; nco*; charisindia ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
*bounced, mail box full
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 11:40 PM Subject:
CHARISINDIA ERRORS-05, PREVIEW OF REPORT
Dear Bishop Francis Kalist,
Please find attached a 17-page preview of my report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-05 [the first in a series of two on the Convention] on my being banned from attending the Goa Convention in November. I await your response before I post it on my site tomorrow night after adding a few closing comments.
May I request you to please open the attachment and read a few of the letters that I received, at least the ones which I have reproduced in dark blue color.
It is sad that you as Episcopal Advisor to the CCR have elected to participate in the unmerited punitive action against this ministry which Catholics, including many CCR leaders see as unique in defending orthodoxy and exposing error. 25.
Your continued silence only indicts you. It is never too late to break your silence and step out on the side of Truth and be seen to be doing the right thing for the Church and the glory of God.
Updated revised versions of reports CHARISINDIA ERRORS-01
will be posted tomorrow.
My next report CHARISINDIA ERRORS-06 will be ready in a few days. It will record serious liturgical abuses that I observed and noted along with a charismatic priest while attending the Eucharistic services at the Convention, and more.
It is indeed a very, very sad day that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in India today has abandoned its prophetic mandate under leaders who play dirty, lie brazenly and condone error of all kinds.
We need righteous, courageous bishops who will do what is needed to be done.
God bless you. Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu
Subject: Fw: CHARISINDIA ERRORS-05, PREVIEW OF REPORT
Dear Bishop Francis Kalist,
If you have observed any error[s] in the preview or in my previous letters, please do let me know so that I can do the needful.
Kindly do me a favour and forward this letter with attachment to Prof. Constantine as he has blocked my email id which means that I cannot include his email address in my outgoing email.
Also, the copy to firstname.lastname@example.org has bounced as the box is full.
Kind regards, Michael
email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; National Charismatic Office ; nco*; charisindia*; email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2013 8:53 PM
CHARISINDIA ERRORS-05, COMPLETED REPORT ATTACHED WITH 9 ADDITIONAL PAGES
The report will be available on our web site tomorrow along with
and new report 07.
*bounced, mail box full
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16
A LETTER THAT I FORGOT TO INCLUDE
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 4:45 AM Subject: Re: MY BEING BANNED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE XV NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC CONVENTION, GOA.
I received your e-mail stating that you have not had a reply to your letter and may be banned from participating in the in the XV national Catholic Charismatic convention GOA. I am storming heaven that this is not the case. But it would not surprise me the way our world is going concerning the acceptance of the New Age. We are experiencing rejection of the promotion of your website and of speaking out against the new age here in the archdiocese of St. Paul,
Minnesota, and concerning the testimony of my own experiences with the new Age movement. After giving access to your website to others, some are saying that it is being prejudiced of other religions, which is far from the truth. I will keep you in pray in this matter. Please keep our archdiocese in your prayers. We will shine victorious in the end but in the meantime we must suffer and pray that all will see and come to the truth concerning the New Age.
In the hearts of Jesus and Mary, MC, USA
I recently heard from a friend of mine in Goa that a senior member of the Goa Service Team [GST] shared with him, not knowing his close association with me, that the GST “broke their heads” over the problem with me. This further underlines the lies of Cyril John and Constantine Fernandez –Michael Prabhu, Feb. 13, 2013