NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net OCTOBER 2005/SEP 2007/AUGUST 2009/JULY/OCT 2012
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 1
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 2
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 3
NEW AGE:FR.JOE PEREIRA,KRIPA FOUNDATION,
HEADQUARTERS: MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH, BANDRA, BOMBAY CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE.
IMPORTANT SUB-CENTRES: VASAI DIOCESE AND [ANJUNA AND MAPUSA] GOA CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE
ALSO OPERATING IN BAREILLY, BARODA, DARJEELING, KOHIMA, MANGALORE AND PUNE CATHOLIC DIOCESES,
AND IN CALCUTTA, DELHI, GUWAHATI, IMPHAL, RANCHI AND SHILLONG CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESES
And more INSTITUTIONALISED NEW AGE: The WCCM,
THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
NOTE: SEE INDEX [LIST OF CONTENTS] ON PAGE NUMBERED AS 106*
INTRODUCTION: This report on KRIPA Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira was prepared in three stages. At first, it was the last ten pages in the ninety-six page New Age in the Catholic Ashrams report published in October 2005.
The Kripa report was updated in September 2007, but not published, and the current updating was done again in May 2009.
After my visit to some Catholic Ashrams, I could boldly accuse the movement of “New Age, heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege”. In that initial report, I showed that Kripa Foundation is loosely linked with the Ashrams movement.
The initial report provided enough evidence that Kripa Foundation is New Age, no matter that its founder is a priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. The Catholic Ashrams report with the Kripa report appended to it was sent to most of the Bishops who possess email ids, commencing the first week of October 2005. To a number of them it was sent twice, even thrice. To the Cardinals and some Bishops and the Nuncio, a hardcopy was posted, again twice in a few cases including the Nuncio.
The list of Bishops and Commissions who did not even acknowledge receipt is too lengthy to reproduce. About 40 did.
The Apostolic Nuncio to India, who asked for the report as early as January 2005 in response to my pilot letter informing him about the problems at the Ashrams, has steadfastly refused to acknowledge receipt of it despite 10 reminders and follow-ups. The office of Cardinal Toppo of Ranchi finally acknowledged receipt only after the 10th reminder.
The offices of Cardinals Toppo and Vithayathil assured this ministry that the Cardinals were not in India and that the report would be placed before the Cardinals on their return. The third Cardinal, Ivan Dias, like the other two, did not respond.
Even among the many Bishops’ reponses, there was no firm commitment to do anything about the very serious issues that I brought to their notice. Some of the assurance turned out to be empty promises. As time passed, the report has been completely forgotten and I have watched the Catholic Ashrams continue their campaign to destroy the Church from within.
A follow-up report on the Catholic Ashrams movement is under preparation.
I have also watched Kripa Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira grow from strength to strength, receiving prestigious Church as well as National awards, enjoying the patronage of more Archbishops and Bishops, and expanding their operations into new archdioceses and dioceses. It is well known that this priest and his Foundation have received the equivalent of crores of rupees in aids and grants from foreign associates. Money and power buy silence and compromise. It cannot be disputed that Kripa Foundation is doing a great humanitarian service “weaning people away from chemical dependency on alcohol, tobacco and other narcotics, and rehabilitating people affected with HIV and AIDS”. But does the end justify the means?
This priest is the diehard devotee of a Hindu yogi who practices the occult forms of Kundalini and Tantra Yoga. What the disciple learned from his guru and Master, philosophically and practically, he teaches and applies in his programmes.
The priest admits that he “follows the 8-fold path set down in the yoga sutra of Patanjali.”
I have completed two intensively researched reports of around 100 pages each that show conclusively that yoga is a Hindu religious practice and there can be no “Christian yoga”. See:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA.doc and http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc.
As if the above were not serious enough, “Kripa blends Western techniques [not only] with Indian yoga, [but also with] Buddhist vipassana meditation, Chinese Tai Chi martial arts and Japanese Shiatsu massage”.
There is also another “blend with Western techniques”. Kripa has linked with the WCCM or World Community for Christian Meditation, London-based, founded by two Benedictine priests, the late John Main and the current head, Laurence Freeman.
*NOTE: THIS PAGE IS NOT NUMBERED. THE NUMBERING COMMENCES FROM THE FOLLOWING PAGE WHICH IS PAGE 1
In this report, I provide ample evidence that the “Christian Meditation” that they promote is not really Christian at all.
They use a “mantra”-based meditation technique which was taught by a Hindu Swami to Fr. John Main OSB. They also incorporate the enneagram personality-typing tool which the Vatican has warned Catholics about in a Document.
The WCCM website FAQ admits that there is an “essential harmony” between Centering Prayer and their “Christian Meditation”. Centering Prayer is not Christian. They hold joint seminars and workshops with New Age personalities who use “tai chi, chi gung and Iyengar yoga”. Theirs is an “ecumenical” meditation, Fr. Freeman finally admits, pages 61- 63, 90.
Kripa Foundation advertises itself as
a project of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay. His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, heads its Board of Trustees. Fr. Joe states that Mumbai’s Cardinal Ivan Dias, who was in 2006 appointed Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of People, strongly backs him. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai and Chairman, Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI blessed the Kripa Vasai centre. He felicitated the priest at a special Holy Mass on April 2, 2009. Bombay Bishops Agnelo Gracias and Bosco Penha celebrate Masses for the WCCM.
And, The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly is a platform for the promotion of both the WCCM and Kripa Foundation.
KRIPA AND WCCM IN THE SECULAR PRESS, WITH MY COMMENTS:
India Today, September 19, 2005, The High Rise by Malini Bhupta and Aditi Pai EXTRACT:
“The Kripa Foundation centres are partly funded by the Central government, and one of the three in Mumbai has 50 beds to accommodate the in-house patients… The patients are initiated to meditation, yoga, counselling and reading.”
The Times of India, [date missing in my records] December 2003, Christian Mantras and Meditation by Christopher Mendonca in The Speaking Tree column.
“Chanting of mantras and the practice of meditation are time-honoured traditions in oriental religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. But because of the universal validity of this practice, the Desert Fathers adopted it and made this the starting point for the ‘tradition of pure prayer’ which they handed down within the Christian context.”
While the first part of his statement is indisputable, is Mendonca claiming that the Christian contemplation of the Desert Fathers is borrowed by them from or inspired by Buddhist and Hindu tradition? The two are as different as chalk is from cheese, in their content, in their ‘technique’, and in their aspirations.
He continues, “Christians use the concept of chanting in a variety of ways in their prayer. The Divine Office or the Prayer of the Church is a rhythmic recitation or singing of the Psalms in monastic communities. The Rosary is the successive repetition of the ‘Hail Mary’. But perhaps the most popular mantra used by Christians is ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me’.” Another mantra that he recommends for use in meditation is “Ma-ra-na-tha, meaning, ‘The Lord Comes’.
Repeat the word, the mantra ‘Ma-ra-na-tha’ for the entire time of your meditation. That is all. You listen to the mantra as you repeat it, and you do not think about yourself, and that is the power of the mantra.” 91.
From ‘meditation’ to ‘chanting’ and ‘successive repetition’. Again Mendonca is being willfully deceiving. If the reader has understood what has been recorded above here, there is no similarity between the Christian and the Hindu practices. Certainly, the alleged Christian ‘mantras’ are no mantras at all, if one goes by the Hindu understanding of what a mantra is.
Instead of a “sense”-less repetition of ‘Maranatha’, [1 Corinthians 16:22, Revelation 22:20], it would be spiritually more profitable for the Christian to reflect on the Word of God [see Psalm 119] in the light of the use of the Aramaic expression which was “a prayer for the coming of Christ in glory at the parousia” [New American Bible], not an attempt to experience self-realisation or union with ‘the god-within’ which is the goal of Eastern meditation systems.
Mendonca, one of the leaders of the WCCM in India ends his long article in the Times of India by eulogizing John Main and “Laurence Freeman [who] has continued his good work establishing what is now known as The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) in London. He is active in the contemplative meeting of the different faiths and led the ‘Way of Peace’ initiative with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
Mendonca does not let on that the WCCM is more Buddhist than it is Christian, and that it is allied with various Buddhist centres, inter-faith organizations and even New Age groups, as we have seen in this report. It is not surprising that, alongside Mendonca’s article, the Times found fit to quote the Upanishads, Swami Sivanand, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and Rudolf Steiner on “meditation”.
In the leading yoga magazine Yoga International issue of October/November 2000, there is a six-page article on “The Transforming Power of Mantra in the Eastern Christian Tradition” by one Abbot Joseph. Yoga International informs us that “Abbot Joseph is the Superior of Mount Tabor Monastery, a Byzantine-Ukrainian Catholic community in Redwood, California.”
My priest relative, page 31, wrote, “My association with [Fr. Joe] is in the group in Mumbai known as
“Christian Meditation” This is a diocesan association
seems OK because other priests are involved.”
How wrong one — even a good priest — can be, trusting something just because it is invented by a priest, or propagated by a priest or permitted by some Bishops.
The Indian Journal of Spirituality published by the Indian Institute of Spirituality, Bangalore, Vol IX, No. 2 of June 1996, editor-in-chief Dr. Antony Kolencherry MSFS., carried Fr. Kolencherry’s book review of Laurence Freeman’s “Everyday Christian Meditation”. Would you be surprised if I tell you that the book review following the above was The “A to Z of Palmistry” by Hari Dutta Sharma? Birds of a feather!
The Tablet, a Catholic periodical carried a three-part “Lenten series”, “Path to the Still Centre” by Laurence Freeman in March 1992. There must be hundreds, even thousands more, of such instances.
We have seen that one cannot trust the Christian authenticity of the meditations promoted by many who identify themselves as priests and monks. When I was checking out the many websites linked to the WCCM, I found a number of them – Trappists, Benedictines, mostly. What many of them do not reveal immediately is that they have been ordained also as Buddhist priests or trained in yogic or tantric meditative disciplines. Their overtures to other faiths through dialogue and inter-religious prayer make them compromise heavily on the unicity of Christian beliefs, leading to syncretism.
Despite the abundance of evidence available to show that Kripa and the WCCM are New Age, it seems that few Catholics are discerning enough to notice.
KonkaniCatholics, [see pages 21, 22], a strongly-Catholic faith-based group posted two reports about Kripa in the space of a few weeks, closely followed by this one on the WCCM:
Posted by Mahesh Lobo, Konkani Catholics Digest no. 1548 dated July 21, 2008
Inmates Share in Youth Day Experience Benedictine Leads Meditation to Bring Spirit Inside Prison
By Anthony Barich
[complete article on page 107]
SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 18, 2008 (Zenit.org) A British Benedictine monk has taken World Youth Day into a women’s prison in Sydney, leading inmates in an ancient form of Christian meditation.
The World Youth Day cross previously paid a visit to Silverwater Women’s Correctional Center, and Thursday, Benedictine Father Laurence Freeman led the inmates in meditating…
What are the leaders of KonkaniCatholics to do when
i) a reputed Catholic News Agency like ZENIT in this case [or UCA News] publishes the original report?
ii) the WCCM and Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB., associate themselves with a major international Catholic event like the World Youth Day?
iii) the key figure is a highly publicised Benedictine monk?
THE VATICAN DOCUMENT ON THE NEW AGE WARNS US:
#1.4, The New Age and Catholic Faith
Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation.
In Western culture in particular, the appeal of “alternative” approaches to spirituality is very strong. On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have become very popular among Catholics, even in retreat-houses, seminaries and institutes of formation for religious. 92.
MORE ON THE WCCM: NOTE HOW THE SINISTER SIDE IS COMPLETELY CAMOUFLAGED
WELCOME to The World Community for Christian Meditation. If it’s your first visit we hope it will introduce you to the Community globally and locally. Contact us if we can help. There is probably a National Coordinator or Contact in your country listed here. If not, contact the International Centre in London: email@example.com
very welcome to this home of The World Community for Christian Meditation. As a global spiritual community it took form in 1991. But it continues the 30 year long work begun by the Benedictine monk John Main. His legacy is found in his teaching Christian meditation as part of the great work of our time of restoring the contemplation dimension of Christian faith in the life of the church.
The Community is now directed by Laurence Freeman, a student of John Main and a Benedictine monk of the Olivetan Congregation. We have our International Centre and a Meditation Retreat centre in London. There are also many other Centres in other parts of the world that you are welcome to contact or visit.
The Community is a kind of ‘monastery without walls’, a family of national communities and emerging communities in over a hundred countries. The spiritual foundation is the local meditation group, which meets weekly in homes, parishes, offices, hospitals, prisons, schools and colleges – pretty well everywhere that people live and seek.
The World Community is ecumenical and serves a universal ‘catholic’ unity in its dialogue both with Christian churches and other faiths. We encourage and try to support the daily prcatice of meditation knowing its power to change hearts and so to transform our world.
Each year we run the John Main Seminar and The Way of Peace. You can find previous Seminars and the upcoming ones on these pages. We also sponsor retreats, ‘Schools’ for the training of teachers of meditation and other programs. We contribute often to interfaith dialogue particularly, in recent years with Buddhists and Muslims. A quarterly spiritual letter with global and local news is mailed by national communities and also available online. Weekly readings can be sent directly to your email if you like to subscribe.
You can also link to many national community sites and sites with a particular focus such as children and meditation, how to start a meditation group and soon a site for the Eleventh Step in Recovery and the spiritual search of young adults.
Information on retreats and other programmes, places to visit and stay, pilgrimages, connections to national coordinators and the location of meditation groups can also be found on this site. You can also find online audio talks for listening or downloading.
Medio Media is the publishing arm of The World Community. Our online bookstore is linked here offering a wide range of books, audiotapes, CD’s and videos to support your practice of meditation. We are always trying to improve the way this site can serve your spiritual journey and especially your regular practice of meditation. Feel free to share your comments or suggestions with us. Please… come in and browse and feel welcome in our Community.
I wrote to the remaining* Cardinals and Arch/Bishops of 6 arch/dioceses where KRIPA is operative
*[For my first letters of April 15, 2009 to the Cardinal and Bishops of Kripa-affected arch/dioceses, see pages 23 – 27]
Archbishop’s House, Guwahati ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; telesphore p. toppo ; 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 ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:38 PM REMINDER:
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:45 AM
FR. JOE PEREIRA OF KRIPA FOUNDATION PROMOTING NEW AGE THROUGH YOGA AND MANIPULATION OF ESOTERIC “ENERGY” PRANA/CHI/KI
Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the CBCI’s Doctrinal Commission,
and the archbishops of
Bombay, Goa, Calcutta, Delhi, Imphal, Shillong; Guwahati and Ranchi archdioceses,
and the Bishops of Pune, Vasai, Mangalore; Bareilly, Baroda, Darjeeling and Kohima dioceses,
[the fifteen places where Fr. Joe Pereira has reportedly established at least 48 Kripa yoga centres under Church governance or on Church property for the de-addiction of alcoholics and treatment of HIV-AIDS patients].
The activities of the Kripa Foundation are regularly announced in The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay. It is also a Bombay “Archdiocesan project”. Fr. Joe Pereira is “consultant to the Archdiocese of Bombay for alcohol and drug abuse”.
In my October 2005 96-page report on the Catholic Ashrams movement, the last 10 pages are about the Kripa Foundation of Fr. Joe Pereira. It is available at http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc.
In that report, I have given evidence that Kripa is New Age. 93.
This report had been sent to many of our Bishops. However, Kripa Foundation and Fr. Pereira continue to promote New Age in the Church as this Times of India [TOI] article [below] shows.
Jesus is not a yogi, even a “supreme yogi” [yogi: one who seeks “self-realization”, “enlightenment”, a monistic union with the Absolute through withdrawal from the physical and mental senses in Hindu religious teaching]. He is the Son of God, the Enlightened One. If one has to “realize” that one is God, one cannot be God.
Only yogis like Fr. Pereira and his master, BKS Iyengar, seek self-deification. Yoga is salvation by works.
It is not surprising that Fr. Pereira would use a quote from the Vatican-banned Jesuit Tony de Mello’s works to support his New Age theories.
It is a blasphemy and a tragedy that on Good Friday, the day when the Church remembers the sacrificial and redemptive death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the sins of mankind, a Catholic priest goes to the secular media and makes a mockery of it with New Age statements about occult energies, even likening the bloody, pain-racked face of the crucified Christ to that of the “Laughing Buddha”.
The vocabulary of the priest in the TOI article below reeks with New Age. The February 3, 2003, Vatican Document on the New Age clearly demonstrates that when terms such as Fr Joe Pereira’s are employed, it is New Age.
The New Age paradigm is anti-Bible, anti-Jesus Christ, anti-Church.
Fr. Joe Pereira promotes Iyengar Yoga. In my 2005 report I have shown that Fr. Joe Pereira himself admits that his master and yoga guru BKS Iyengar’s Kundalini Yoga/Tantra Yoga is occultism.
This priest advocates the “removal of celibacy for priests”, and “teaching young priests not to be inhibited with the opposite sex and to acknowledge their sexuality through yoga”.
Are the Bishops unwilling or unable to stop this New Age and occult organisation? Will they take action against the yoga-priest? Will the Bishops respond to this letter?
Our records show that “Kripa has 48 facilities in 11 states in India” Source 19 Feb 2009, TNN:
If the Indian Church is operating 64 AIDS treatment centres, as stated by Cardinal Gracias, I presume that they include at least 48 of these centres that are operated by the KRIPA Foundation which uses YOGA to de-addict alcoholics as well as to treat AIDS patients instead of employing pastoral counseling and the use of the Sacraments.
It would mean that the Indian Church has institutionalised the use of yoga by honouring Fr Joe Pereira and encouraging the proliferation of these yoga centres [I have abundance of evidence to establish that].
Do these yoga centres “back our Pope” as the AsiaNews headline claims or actually go against the teachings of the Church of Rome which has issued two Documents that warn of the spiritual dangers in the use of Hindu yoga?
It is known that Fr Joe Pereira receives large amounts of foreign aid, is very powerful, influential, and untouchable.
I have been repeatedly warned by knowledgeable Catholics that it is most risky and dangerous for me to write against this priest.
An updated fully detailed report on this priest and his New Age yoga foundation, and the spiritual errors that they promote in the name of holistic health care, will soon be released. Michael Prabhu
Christ, the supreme yogi 10 April 2009,
by Fr Joe H Pereira
When an Indian reads the gospels for the first time, one is impressed by
the energy that radiates from the person of Jesus. William Johnston in his Mystical Theology says that it is a reminder of
the ‘ki’ the ‘chi’, the prana, the energy that forms the very basis of Asian Culture and religion. Energy goes out of Jesus when he heals the sick and casts out demons.
Light, blinding light, radiates from his body and clothing when he is transfigured on Mount Tabor.
On Good Friday, as we recall his last days on earth, as he says, “I am” in response to those who came to arrest him,
the crowd falls to the ground overpowered by his magnetic presence. And finally
with a burst of energy he dies
as recorded by the evangelists, “crying out with a loud voice, he yielded up the Spirit” (Mark 15, 37).
Those Christians who practise Iyengar Yoga as a path way to God and as contemplative prayer, do consider Jesus as a supreme example of a Yogi who claims that the “Father and I are One” and prays that we may be one as he and the Father. This journey is absolutely yogic. For his call to discipleship is, “if you wish to be my disciple, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me”. It is a lifelong process like the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies to bear much fruit. When Bill W, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous described addiction as “self-will running riot” he was referring to the third step of the Twelve Step programme which suggests, “to make one’s will and life over to the God of one’s understanding”. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the prayer of Jesus was, “Father if it is possible let this chalice of suffering pass away but not my will but thine be done.”
The Supreme Sadhana is a way of the Cross. Iyengar always repeats his own journey of Yoga as “Pain being my Master”. It is by dying to oneself that one is born to eternal life. This energy is at work in the world even today.
In the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, it is said that, “Christ is now at work in the hearts of men and women through the energy of the Spirit. But the greatest energy and the greatest gift is love. For “greater love than this no one has than to lay down one’s life for one’s loved ones”. And again, “If I speak in the language of mortals and angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong and clanging cymbal” (I Cor, 13, 1). For as St John tells us, “God is love”. 94.
In the process of dying to oneself lies the pathway of forgiveness. In the world of growing individualism and self-righteousness, the path of forgiveness demands a supreme act of surrender. To extend this love and understanding even to one’s enemies by finding an alternative to “a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye” demands a unique sense of transcendence into the realm of the `Purusha’.
It is only from that realm can one interpret the words of the crucified Jesus, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” Only an act of total `Ishvara-pranidhana’, the final `Niyama’ can generate the energy to utter such words of love at the height of agony. Paradoxically as a supreme yogi, Christ had entered into the final state of ‘Anandamaya-kosha’ (the blissful body) for his cry of forgiveness itself was a cry of Joy and Resurrection at the victory over sin and death.
Fr Tony D’Mello, who often spoke like a Sufi Mystic
“If you ‘look’ at the serene countenance of the crucified Saviour, you may see a ‘laughing Buddha’!”
1. The April 10th Times of India report “Christ, the supreme yogi” quotes Fr Joe Pereira as saying,
“In the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, it is said that, “Christ is now at work in the hearts of men and women through the energy of the Spirit. But the greatest energy and the greatest gift is love.”
A priest pointed out to me that “I am sure even the so called Vatican II quote is false“. I thought that he was probably correct because, in my 2005 report on Fr Joe/Kripa [pages 87 to 96 of http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc.], I have recorded a lot of Fr Joe’s blatant lies and misquoting. So I asked some of our virtual team to check it out, and this, further below, is what one of them found.
Unless Fr Joe can give us some other reference to support his statement, we must believe that, as recorded in my 2005 report, Fr Joe continues to deceive people by lying, even to the extent of twisting the words of Vatican Documents to suit his occult requirements.
The words of Gaudium et Spes have nothing to do with the context in which Fr Joe quoted them to exploit the use of the word “energy” in reference to the Holy Spirit of God, when in the previous lines [the TOI report] he talks of yoga, prana, chi and ki and “energy going out of Jesus”. He employed the same technique that is used by all promoters of New Age therapies, especially those who propagate alternative medicine, likening the Holy Spirit to an energy that can be manipulated for healing, or the “power that went out of Jesus,” as in the case of the woman who touched His cloak and was healed, to the occult energies that the Vatican Document on the New Age warns us about..
2. Immediately after the letter from Name Withheld, I have copied just one excerpt from the blog of Fr Joe’s website [several others will be included in a separate detailed report which is under completion].
Does any one need more evidence than this, that Kripa programmes are New Age and Fr Joe Pereira is a New Ager?
Does it not mean that the Church is supporting and nurturing a New Age organisation, a Trojan horse?
Subject: Re: FOLLOW-UP Re: Fw: FR. JOE PEREIRA OF KRIPA FOUNDATION PROMOTING NEW AGE…
Dear Br. Michael
YOUR QUESTION: The April 10th TOI report “Christ, the supreme yogi” quotes Fr Joe Pereira as saying, “In the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, it is said that, “Christ is now at work in the hearts of men and women through the energy of the Spirit. But the greatest energy and the greatest gift is love.”
Can any one of you find out the document from which Fr Pereira has taken this line?
Christ is now at work in the hearts of men through the energy of His Holy Spirit, arousing not only a desire for the age to come, but by that very fact animating, purifying and strengthening those noble longings too by which the human family makes its life more human and strives to render the whole earth submissive to this goal.(Para 38)For this reason, love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment.(Para 24)
He quotes from 2 disparate paragraphs in Gaudium et Spes and bends and moulds them to provide comparisons between I am assuming Kundalini (or as he puts it `ki’ the `chi’, the prana) and the Holy Spirit. I am [hesitant] of putting my thoughts to paper regarding this very sad and painful comparison, but at the moment will only say that VC II was quite orthodox and any reading of Gaudium cannot and should not be used to support error. If you look at the text they are speaking of different things and not at all speaking in terms of occult energy and “the greatest energy and the greatest gift is love”
is simply referred to as what it is the greatest commandment. Truth is always simple. Name Withheld“
Fr. Joe’s blog!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
My visit to Kripa By Mayte Gómez, Vida Plena, Spain
On the first Sunday I spent at the Kripa Foundation in Vasai, near Mumbai, I joined the staff, the residents, and many members of the local congregation in a Mass celebrated by Father Joe Pereira. 95.
As I sat in the multi-purpose hall that was now being used as a Chapel and heard Father Joe welcome me as a new member of the Kripa family, I felt I was a very lucky person. Lucky because in my life I have travelled to many different parts of the world, not in order to see the tourist attractions and sights, but to share daily life with real people in real situations. And there I was, this time in India, feeling this fresh, intimate connection with people who live so far away from me but whose hearts vibrate with the same joy and the same hope. As Vedanta teaches us, when we feel this true connection with other human beings,
we know we are all One, and feel closer to Brahman/God.
I had arrived in Vasai a few days earlier, with the intention of spending a month living in Kripa as part of some research I’m conducting for the benefit of my own not-for-profit organization:
Vida Plena (Life in Plenitude) (http://www.vida-plena.org/). Vida Plena brings together professionals from alternative therapies (Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Reiki, Reflexology, etc); humanistic and transpersonal psychotherapy (Gestalt, Psychosynthesis); natural medicine (Naturopathy, Homeopathy, etc) as well as Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi and other practices for health, personal work and spiritual growth. …As I prepare to go back to the UK, where I reside, and then to Spain, for a few days of meetings for Vida Plena, I am thinking of what I am going to tell my friends and colleagues about my trip. They are all very happy that after more than ten years practicing Yoga and Meditation, I have finally come to India, a country which, in so many ways, is my spiritual home.
But I will have no pictures of the Ganges, the Taj Mahal, or Gandhi’s ashram to show to them. … Instead, I will tell my friends about the yoga classes in the mornings, and about the special sessions with Wilfred; about the input sessions with Francis, Father Matthew, Atul and Vijay. I will tell them …
how they took us to their houses and temples, to the nearby ashram…
And I will explain to them the real meaning of my first-ever trip to India – my spiritual home – because, by the Grace of God, I have been the witness of daily miracles.“
Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu
As in the earlier round, there was no response from the two Cardinals or the many Archbishops and Bishops.
I once again wrote, on May 14 and 15, 2009, another round of letters INDIVIDUALLY to each of the Cardinals and Archbishops and Bishops whose arch/dioceses foster Kripa and the WCCM, as well as to the Papal Nuncio and to Ivan Cardinal Dias, now the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples who, as Archbishop of Bombay, had first promoted the WCCM as well as Kripa Foundation.
These letters are available at the website in a separate report.
THREE RESPONSES RECEIVED:
Subject: from Archbishop’s House
My friend Michael Prabhu,
I do admire your zeal, but am unable to identify myself with eagerness to eliminate anyone who does any creative thinking in the church. Yours Sincerely,
+ Thomas Menamparampil sdb
Archbishop of Guwahati
Subject: NEW AGE IN YOUR ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
A HUMBLE REQUEST TO BE HEARD
Dear Archbishop Thomas,
Thank you for your response which I appreciate as your present opinion of Fr. Joe Pereira’s work.
I have always highly valued your writings as coming from a sincere and knowledgeable Bishop, and I have quoted from them in my work to defend the Catholic Faith. However, it is possible that in certain areas you can still be uninformed.
My letter of May 14 to you was very clear that I have intensively researched the issue over a long period of time before most confidently writing to the Bishops who have opened their dioceses to Fr. Joe Pereira’s Kripa Foundation. The New Age evidence is overwhelming. Not only in his own statements and actions but in his links to the supposedly Catholic “World Community for Christian Meditation” which is in fact fully New Age. When I spoke to a theologian in Rome a few days ago about the WCCM, his immediate response was “Oh, they are New Age”.
You might have requested me for my report to examine the evidence for yourself, which is your duty as a pastor and a teacher. After that, if I cannot definitively prove my case, you are not only free to reject my report but you are also in duty bound to take suitable action against me and my ministry for submitting a false and mischievous report to you.
Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu Catholic apologist, Chennai www.ephesians-511.net
Subject: Re: FR. JOE PEREIRA OF KRIPA FOUNDATION PROMOTING NEW AGE THROUGH YOGA AND MANIPULATION OF ESOTERIC “ENERGY” PRANA/CHI/KI
Thanks for the letter. I will look into the matter and respond to it at the appropriate forum. That’s all for the moment. God bless you.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Delhi Mobile 0091-9871831676
Subject: Re: NEW AGE IN YOUR ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
Yes, please do send a copy. God bless you.
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Delhi
Dear Bishop Franco Mulakkal,
Praise the Lord! I thank you for your two responses to my two letters to you.
When the report is fully completed, I will send it to you. I was away from home on mission for the last one week, hence the delay. May God abundantly bless your archdiocese and all that you do for God’s people.
Obediently, Michael Prabhu, Catholic apologist, Chennai
Subject: Re: NEW AGE IN YOUR ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
Greetings from Delhi.
This is to acknowledge your e-mail of 14th May which I have just recd after my return to Delhi from the South.
I am forwarding it to Bishop Dabre for his comments and see what needs to be done.
With warm regards and God bless, Yours sincerely in Christ,
+ Vincent M. Concessao
Archbishop of Delhi
Copy to: Bishop Dabre, Pune
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:33 PM Subject: Re: NEW AGE IN YOUR ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
Dear Archbishop Vincent,
Thank you for your response which I greatly appreciate.
I had already written a similar letter to Bishop Thomas Dabre because the Vasai and Bombay centres were not only the earliest ones to be established, but also the Vasai Kripa centre was blessed by Bishop Thomas who also publicly felicitated Fr. Joe Pereira after he was awarded the Padma Shri. Bishop Thomas has so far not acknowledged my letters to him on this subject. However, I did receive from him, today, his kind invitation to attend his installation as Bishop of Poona on June 7.
I know that you are all very knowledgeable about many things, and we learn much from you all.
However, it is possible that in certain areas the Bishops can still be unaware or uninformed, and we laity can be of help.
In my letters of April 13, April 15 and April 20 and
May 14 to you, I stated that I have intensively researched the issue over a long period of time before most confidently writing to the Bishops who have opened their dioceses to Fr. Joe Pereira’s Kripa Foundation. The New Age evidence is overwhelming. Not only in his own statements and actions but in his links to the supposedly Catholic “World Community for Christian Meditation” which is in fact fully New Age. When I spoke to a theologian in Rome a few days ago about the WCCM, his immediate response was “Oh, they are New Age”.
While I thank you for forwarding my letter to you to Bishop Thomas, you might have requested me for my report to examine the evidence for yourself, which is your duty as a pastor and a teacher.
After that, if I cannot definitively prove my case, you are not only free to reject my report but you are also in duty bound to take suitable action against me and my ministry for submitting a false and mischievous report to you.
Yours obediently, Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia, Michael Prabhu Catholic apologist, Chennai www.ephesians-511.net
SELECTED LAITY RESPONSES RECEIVED:
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 4:59 PM Subject: RE: FEEDBACK – from a lay Catholic………
Dear Br. Mike Prabhu, Thanks for all the work you are doing to expose serious errors in the Indian Catholic Church – now actively mixing New age with Christian spirituality.
I hope and pray that the Church listens (sometimes, today, i even wonder as to who the ‘Church’ really is due to all the apostasy that is happening – as Jesus prophesied long ago).
One thing is clear – the march of many Catholics into Pentecostalism (even in Asia – after Latin America) is precisely because of these factors and the subtle attacks and sidelining of the Charismatic Renewal by many of the clergy within (they don’t like the noise, they say – why don’t they be honest and say, ‘we don’t like the praise of God’)
So, anyhow keep your eye focussed on Jesus – He marches on and His kingdom is spreading – happy are those who follow Him in spirit, truth and orthodoxy. Rgds, Binny BANGALORE
*CC: Cardinal Ivan Dias
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 10:36 PM
Subject: RE: NEW AGE IN YOUR FORMER ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
A very good letter, Michael. It will be interesting to see what he replies to you. It is amazing how Catholics are trapped into following this non-Catholic Meditation. I suppose the devil grabs the opportunity offered by the crisis in the Church and the massive religious ignorance – even among clerics. Love and prayers, Daphne McLeod, Catholic ministry, LONDON
Sent: Saturday, May 16, 2009 12:09 AM
Subject: Re: NEW AGE IN YOUR FORMER ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
Dear Michael, thank you for sending a copy of the letter which you wrote to Card. Ivan Dias.
It is long and difficult to relate to the subject. I understand that you made specific research into the subject of “Christian Meditation”, and found that it is not truly Christian.
To succeed, if you permit me to advise you: write even repetitively what is wrong with the group which promotes so called “Christian Meditation”. You see human nature is lazy and in the clerical circles truly uninformed, not just about New Age, but all sorts of things which are affecting our Catholic people.
…We have to pray for Fr. Joe and aim at breaking the spiritual influence of Iyengar, then there is a chance for Fr Joe to understand, not before. His Eminence will not have any priest denounced unless there is a very indecent behaviour.
Send me your write up about Christian Meditation as presented in this world organization. I might get it to the Holy See. The Holy Fathers office sent me a letter to thank for my book which is in German, and the Holy Father has got it, I hope he finds time to read it. Your name is mentioned as the one who researched Martial Arts. Love E Catholic ministry, LONDON
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: NEW AGE IN YOUR FORMER ARCHDIOCESE: FR. JOE PEREIRA…
Thanks Mike. Shall keep praying that you will make a breakthrough. Joe seems to have Bishop’s house in his grip. I wonder if diabolical.
Senior lay leaders in ministry, MUMBAI
MORE: JOHN MAIN, THE WCCM, BEDE GRIFFITHS, THE CATHOLIC ASHRAMS MOVEMENT, CONTEMPLATION/MEDITATION AND THE HINDU-BUDDHIST-NEW AGE CONNECTION*
Since this article is self-admittedly written by and for “fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians“, even if one dismisses some associations and connections as contrived or exaggeration, there still remain enough of facts that confirm what we have seen already – that the meditative and contemplative techniques including Centering Prayer – conceived and propagated by many Catholic monks are of pagan origin and are New Age in nature. Once again, the connection with the Indian Catholic Ashrams movement is documented.
*See Eddie Russell’s article, pages 72-77. [Words emphasized in capital letters are as in the original article]
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES ARE A BRIDGE TO PAGANISM
by David Cloud August 26, 2008
Filed in: Apostasy | Contemplative Mysticism | Roman Catholicism; http://wayoflife.org/catalog/catalog.htm
The Catholic contemplative practices (e.g., centering prayer, …the Jesus prayer, Breath prayer, visualization prayer) that are flooding into evangelicalism are an
interfaith bridge to eastern religions.*
Many are openly promoting the integration of pagan practices such as Zen Buddhism and Hindu yoga.
In the book Spiritual Friend (which is highly recommended by the “evangelical” Richard Foster), Tilden Edwards says:
“This mystical stream is THE WESTERN BRIDGE TO FAR EASTERN SPIRITUALITY“ (Spiritual Friend, 1980, pp. 18, 19).
Since Eastern “spirituality” is idol worship and the worship of self and thus is communion with devils, what Edwards is unwittingly saying is that contemplative practices are a bridge to demonic realms.
The Roman Catholic contemplative gurus that the evangelicals are following have, in recent decades, developed intimate relationships with pagan mystics.*
*”new mysticism”, see page 101
Jesuit priest Thomas Clarke admits that the Catholic contemplative movement has “BEEN INFLUENCED BY ZEN BUDDHISM, TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION, OR OTHER CURRENTS OF EASTERN SPIRITUALITY” (Finding Grace at the Center, pp. 79, 80).
Consider just a few of the many examples we could give.
THOMAS MERTON, the most influential Roman Catholic contemplative of this generation, was “a strong builder of bridges between East and West” (Twentieth-Century Mystics, p. 39). The Yoga Journal makes the following observation:
“Merton had encountered Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Taoism and Vedanta many years prior to his Asian journey. MERTON WAS ABLE TO UNCOVER THE STREAM WHERE THE WISDOM OF EAST AND WEST MERGE AND FLOW TOGETHER, BEYOND DOGMA, IN THE DEPTHS OF INNER EXPERIENCE. … Merton embraced the spiritual philosophies of the East and integrated this wisdom into (his) own life through direct practice” (Yoga Journal, Jan.-Feb. 1999, quoted from Lighthouse Trails web site).
Merton was a student of Zen master Daisetsu Suzuki and Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. In fact, he claimed to be both a Buddhist and a Christian. The titles of his books include Zen and the Birds of the Appetite and Mystics and the Zen Masters. He said: “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. The future of Zen is in the West. I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can” (David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West,” Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969, http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/dsr_merton_recol2.htm).
Merton defined mysticism as an experience with wisdom and God beyond words. In a speech to monks of eastern religions in Calcutta in October 1968 he said: “… the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. IT IS WORDLESS. IT IS BEYOND WORDS, AND IT IS BEYOND SPEECH, and it is BEYOND CONCEPT” (The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, 1975 edition, p. 308).
In 1969 Merton took the trip of his dreams, to visit India, Ceylon, Singapore, and Thailand, to experience the places where his beloved eastern religions were born. He said he was “going home.”
In Sri Lanka he visited a Buddhist shrine by the ocean. Approaching the Buddha idols barefoot he was struck with the “great smiles,” their countenance signifying that they were “questioning nothing, knowing everything, rejecting nothing, the peace … that has seen through every question without trying to discredit anyone or anything–without refutation–without establishing some other argument” (The Asian Journal, p. 233).
This alleged wisdom is a complete denial of the Bible, which teaches us that there is truth and there is error, light and darkness, God and Satan, and they are not one. The apostle John said, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). True wisdom lies in testing all things by God’s infallible Revelation and rejecting that which is false. Proverbs says, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Prov. 14:15).
Merton described his visit to the Buddhas as an experience of great illumination, a vision of “inner clearness.” He said, “I don’t know when in my life I have ever had such a sense of beauty and spiritual validity running together in one aesthetic illumination” (The Asian Journal, p. 235). Actually it was a demonic delusion.
Six days later Merton was electrocuted in a cottage in Bangkok by a faulty fan switch. He was fifty-four years old.
Merton has many disciples in the Roman Catholic Church, including David Steindle-Rast, William Johnston, Henri Nouwen, Philip St. Romain, William Shannon, and James Finley.
JOHN MAIN, who is a pioneer in the field of contemplative spirituality, studied under a Hindu guru. Main combined Catholic contemplative practices with yoga and in 1975 began founding meditation groups in Catholic monasteries on this principle. These spread outside of the Catholic Church and grew into an ecumenical network called the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM).
He taught the following method:
“Sit still and upright, close your eyes and repeat your prayer-phrase (mantra). Recite your prayer-phrase and gently listen to it as you say it. DO NOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING. As thoughts come, simply keep returning to your prayer-phrase. In this way, one places everything aside: INSTEAD OF TALKING TO GOD, ONE IS JUST BEING WITH GOD, allowing God’s presence to fill his heart, thus transforming his inner being” (The Teaching of Dom John Main: How to Meditate, Meditation Group of Saint Patrick’s Basilica, Ottawa, Canada).
is heavily involved in interfaith dialogue and promotes the use of contemplative practices as a tool for creating interfaith unity. He says, “It is important for us to appreciate the values that are present in the genuine teachings of the great religions of the world” (Finding Grace at the Center, 2002, p. 76).
Keating is past president of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (MID), which is sponsored by the Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries of North America. Founded in 1977, it is “committed to fostering interreligious and intermonastic dialogue AT THE LEVEL OF SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE.” This means that they are using contemplative practices and yoga as the glue for interfaith unity to help create world peace.
MID works in association with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Consider one of the objectives of the MID:
“The methods of concentration used in other religious traditions can be useful for removing obstacles to a deep contact with God. THEY CAN GIVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE ONENESS OF CHRIST AS EXPRESSED IN THE VARIOUS TRADITIONS and CONTRIBUTE TO THE FORMATION OF A NEW WORLD RELIGIOUS CULTURE. They can also be helpful in the development of certain potencies in the individual, for THERE ARE SOME ZEN-HINDU-SUFI-ETC. DIMENSIONS IN EACH HEART” (Mary L. O’Hara, “Report on Monastic Meeting at Petersham,” MID Bulletin 1, October 1977).
Keating and Richard Foster are involved in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project, a group that associates together Zen Buddhist monks and nuns, universalists, occultists, and New Agers.
Members include the Dalai Lama, who claims to be the reincarnation of an advanced spiritual person; Marianne Williamson, promoter of the occultic A Course in Miracles; Marcus Borg, who believes that Jesus was not virgin born and did not rise from the grave; Catholic nun Joan Chittister, who says we must become “in tune with the cosmic voice of God”; Andrew Harvey, who says that men need to “claim their divine humanity”; Matthew Fox, who believes there are many paths to God; Alan Jones, who calls the doctrine of the cross a vile doctrine; and Desmond Tutu, who says “because everybody is a God-carrier, all are brothers and sisters.”
M. BASIL PENNINGTON*, a Roman Catholic Trappist monk and co-author of the influential contemplative book Finding Grace at the Center, calls Hindu swamis “our wise friends from the East” and says, “Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM, and similar practices…” (25th anniversary edition, p. 23). *Centering Prayer
In his foreword to THOMAS RYAN‘s book Disciplines for Christian Living, HENRI NOUWEN says: “[T]he author shows A WONDERFUL OPENNESS TO THE GIFTS OF BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, AND MOSLEM RELIGION. He discovers their great wisdom for the spiritual life of the Christian and does not hesitate to bring that wisdom home.”
ANTHONY DE MELLO readily admitted to borrowing from Buddhist Zen masters and Hindu gurus. He even taught that God is everything: “Think of the air as of an immense ocean that surrounds you … an ocean heavily colored with God’s presence and God’s bring. While you draw the air into your lungs you are drawing God in” (Sadhana: A Way to God, p. 36).
De Mello suggested chanting the Hindu word “om” (p. 49) and even instructed his students to communicate with inanimate objects: “Choose some object that you use frequently: a pen, a cup … Now gently place the object in front of you or on your lap and speak to it. Begin by asking it questions about itself, its life, its origins, its future. And listen while it unfolds to you the secret of its being and of its destiny. Listen while it explains to you what existence means to it. Your object has some hidden wisdom to reveal to you about yourself. Ask for this and listen to what it has to say. There is something that you can give this object. What is it? What does it want from you?” (p. 55).
THOMAS RYAN took a sabbatical in India in 1991 and was initiated in yoga and Buddhist meditation. Today he is a certified teacher of Kripalu yoga. In his book Prayer of Heart and
Body: Meditation and Yoga as Christian Spiritual Practice (1995)
and his DVD Yoga Prayer (2004) he combines Catholic contemplative practices with Hindu yoga.
All of these are influential voices in the contemplative movement, and those who dabble in the movement will eventually associate with them and with others like them. This the Bible forbids in the strongest terms.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
SOME OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CONTEMPLATIVE PRIESTS HAVE PURSUED THEIR INTERFAITH VENTURE SO FAR THAT THEY HAVE BECOME HINDU AND ZEN BUDDHIST MONKS. FOLLOWING ARE A FEW EXAMPLES:
JULES MONCHANIN and HENRI LE SAUX, Benedictine priests, founded a Hindu-Christian ashram in India called Shantivanam* (Forest of Peace). *or Saccidananda Ashram, see report on the Catholic Ashrams
They took the names of Hindu holy men, with le Saux calling himself Swami Abhishiktananda (bliss of the anointed one). He stayed in Hindu ashrams and learned from Hindu gurus, going barefoot, wearing an orange robe, and practicing vegetarianism. In 1968 le Saux became a hermit in the Himalayas, living there until his death in 1973.
The Shantivanam Ashram was subsequently led by ALAN BEDE GRIFFITHS (1906-93). He called himself Swami Dayananda (bliss of compassion). Through his books and lecture tours Griffiths had a large influence in promoting the interfaith philosophy in Roman Catholic monasteries in America, England, Australia, and Germany. He eventually came to believe in the reality of goddess worship.
WAYNE TEASDALE* (1945-2004) was a Roman Catholic lay monk whose writings are influential in the contemplative movement. As a student in a Catholic college in Massachusetts, he began visiting St. Joseph’s Abbey near Spencer and came under the direction of Thomas Keating. This led him into an intimate association with pagan religions and the adoption of Hinduism. Teasdale visited Shantivanam Ashram and lived in a nearby Hindu ashram for two years, following in Bede Griffiths’ footsteps. In 1989 he became a “Christian” sanyassa or a Hindu monk. Teasdale was deeply involved in interfaith activities, believing that what the religions hold in common can be the basis for creating a new world, which he called the “Interspiritual Age” — a “global culture based on common spiritual values.” He believed that mystics of all religions are in touch with the same God. He helped found the Interspiritual Dialogue in Action (ISDnA), one of the many New Age organizations affiliated with the United Nations. (Its NGO sponsor is the National Service Conference of the American Ethical Union.) It is committed “to actively serve in the evolution of human consciousness and global transformation.” *see report on the Catholic Ashrams
WILLIGIS JAGER, a well-known German Benedictine priest who has published contemplative books in German and English, spent six years studying Zen Buddhism under Yamada Koun Roshi. (Roshi is the title of a Zen master.) In 1981 he was authorized as a Zen teacher and took the name Ko-un Roshi. He moved back to Germany and began teaching Zen at the Munsterschwarzach Abbey, drawing as many as 150 people a day.
In February 2002 he was ordered by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (currently Pope Benedict XVI) to cease all public activities. He was “faulted for playing down the Christian concept of God as a person and for stressing mystical experience above doctrinal truths” (“Two More Scholars Censured by Rome,” National Catholic Reporter, March 1, 2002).
Thus, Ratzinger tried to stem the tide of eastern mysticism that is flooding into the Catholic monastic communities, but he was extremely inconsistent and ultimately ineffectual. Jager kept quiet for a little while, but soon he was speaking and writing again. In 2003 Liguori Press published Search for the
Meaning of Life: Essays and Reflections on the Mystical Experience, and in 2006 Liguori published Mysticism for Modern Times: Conversations with Willigis Jager.
Jager denies the creation and fall of man as taught in the Bible. He denies the unique divinity of Christ, as well as His substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection. He believes that the universe is evolving and that evolving universe is God. He believes that man has reached a major milestone in evolution, that he is entering an era in which his consciousness will be transformed. Jager believes in the divinity of man, that what Christ is every man can become. He believes that all religions point to the same God and promotes interfaith dialogue as the key to unifying mankind.
Jager learned these heretical pagan doctrines from his close association with Zen Buddhism and his mindless mysticism. He says that the aim of Christian prayer is transcendental contemplation in which the practitioner enters a deeper level of consciousness. This requires emptying the mind, which is achieved by focusing on the breathing and repeating a mantra.
This “quiets the rational mind,” “empties the mind,” and “frustrates our ordinary discursive thinking” (James Conner, “Contemplative Retreat for Monastics,” Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Bulletin, Oct. 1985). This is the same practice that is taught in the 14th cent. Catholic writing The Cloud of Unknowing, which is very influential in modern contemplative circles.
Jager says that as the rational thinking is emptied and transformed, one “seems to lose orientation” and must “go on in blind faith and trust.” He says that there is “nothing to do but surrender” to “THIS PURE BLACKNESS” where “NO IMAGE OR THOUGHT OF GOD REMAINS.”
This is idolatry. To reject the Revelation God has given of Himself and to attempt to find Him beyond this Revelation through blind mysticism is to trade the true and living God for an idol.
THERE IS ALSO AN INTIMATE AND GROWING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CONTEMPLATIVE MOVEMENT AND THE NEW AGE.
The aforementioned Thomas Keating is past president of the Temple of Understanding, a New Age organization founded in 1960 by Juliet Hollister. The mission of this organization is to “create a more just and peaceful world.” The tools for reaching this objective include interfaith education, dialogue, and experiential knowledge (mystical practices).
Shambhala Publications, a publisher that specializes in Occultic, Jungian, New Age, Buddhist, and Hindu writings, also publishes the writings of Catholic mystics, including The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton, The Writings of Hildegard of Bingen, and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
Sue Monk Kidd, who believes in the divinity of mankind and considers herself a goddess, was asked to write recommendations to two Catholic contemplative books. She wrote the foreword to the 2006 edition of Henri Nouwen’s With Open Hands and the introduction to the 2007 edition of Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation.
New Ager Caroline Myss (pronounced mace) has written a book based on Teresa of Avila’s visions. It is entitled Entering the Castle: Finding the Inner Path to God and Your Soul’s Purpose. Myss says, “For me, the spirit is the vessel of divinity” (“Caroline Myss’ Journey,” Conscious Choice, September 2003).
On April 15, 2008, emerging church leaders Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt joined the Dalai Lama for the New Age Seeds of Compassion InterSpiritual Event in Seattle. It brought together Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, and others. The event featured a dialogue on “the themes common to all spiritual traditions.” The Dalai Lama said, “I think everyone, ultimately, deep inside [has] some kind of goodness” (“Emergent Church Leaders’ InterSpirituality,” Christian Post, April 17, 2008).
In his book Velvet Jesus, Bell gives a glowing recommendation of the New Age philosopher Ken Wilber*. Bell recommends that his readers sit at Wilber’s feet for three months! “For a mind-blowing introduction to emergence theory and divine creativity, set aside three months and read Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything” (Velvet Elvis, p. 192).
The aforementioned Catholic contemplative monk Wayne Teasdale conducted a Mystic Heart seminar series with Wilber. In the first seminar in this series Teasdale said, “You are God; I am God; they are God; it is God” (“The Mystic Heart: The Supreme Identity,” http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7652038071112490301&q=ken+Wilber). *pp. 79, 88
Roger Oakland remarks: “Ken Wilber was raised in a conservative Christian church, but at some point he left that faith and is now a major proponent of Buddhist mysticism. His book that Bell recommends, A Brief History of Everything, is published by Shambhala Publications, named after the term, which in Buddhism means the mystical abode of spirit beings. … Wilber is perhaps best known for what he calls integral theory. On his website, he has a chart called the Integral Life Practice Matrix, which lists several activities one can practice ‘to authentically exercise all aspects or dimensions of your own being-in-the-world’ Here are a few of these spiritual activities that Wilber promotes: yoga, Zen, centering prayer, kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), TM, tantra (Hindu-based sexuality), and kundalini yoga. A Brief History of Everything discusses these practices (in a favorable light) as well. For Rob Bell to say that Wilber’s book is ‘mind-blowing’ and readers should spend three months in it leaves no room for doubt regarding Rob Bell’s spiritual sympathies. What is alarming is that so many Christian venues, such as Christian junior high and high schools, are using Velvet Elvis and the Noomas” (Faith Undone, p. 110).
In Up from Eden: A Transpersonal View of Human Evolution (1981, 2004), Ken Wilber calls the Garden of Eden a fable” and the biblical view of history “amusing” (pp. xix, 3). He describes his “perennial philosophy” as follows:
“… it is true that there is some sort of Infinite, some type of Absolute Godhead, but it cannot properly be conceived as a colossal Being, a great Daddy, or a big Creator set apart from its creations, from things and events and human beings themselves. Rather, it is best conceived (metaphorically) as the ground or suchness or condition of all things and events. It is not a Big Thing set apart from finite things, but rather the reality or suchness or ground of all things. … the perennial philosophy declares that the absolute is One, Whole, and Undivided” (p. 6).
Wilber says that this perennial philosophy “forms the esoteric core of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, AND CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM” (p. 5).
Thus, this New Ager recognizes that Roman Catholic mysticism, which spawned the contemplative movement within Protestantism, has the same esoteric core faith as pagan idolatry!
This article is derived from our new book Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond. This is available from Way of Life Literature. If it is not yet available through the online catalog, it can be ordered by phone or e-mail with a credit card.
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CATHOLIC STATEMENTS FOR ONE TO REFLECT ON, WITH MY COMMENTS:
A. CONTEMPLATION/MEDITATION [SEE SEPARATE ARTICLES ON THESE AND ON CENTERING PRAYER]
1. What’s in a word?
By Catholic Evangelist, Eddie Russell, FMI
Sep. 23, 1998
“If your prayer life is only meditation, it is like being married and only thinking about your spouse.”
2. Responding to the
Lure of New Age, Interview with Father Paolo Scarafoni of the Academy of Theology, Rome, March 2, 2004 (Zenit.org) Extract:
Q: Of what does the new mysticism consist, which they [the New Age] propose?
Father Scarafoni: The new mysticism, also practiced by many Catholics, is nourished by the most varied traditions of prayer, especially Eastern*. It rejects the vision of a transcendent God, separated and far from us. It provides for inner purification, signs and wonders, a phase of interior emptiness and, finally the attainment of an encounter with “oneself,” the real self, which is one with God, with the universe, and with all that exists.*
*Does this not confirm the conclusions of the fundamentalist Baptists, pages 98-101?
3. The Examiner, September 24, 2005, “Benedict XVI promotes Biblical Meditation” http://www.zenit.org
Benedict XVI believes that the recovery of the practice of “lectio divina”, prayerful meditation of Scripture, will bring a “new spiritual springtime” for the Church. When meeting with more than 400 experts attending a Congress in Rome on “Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church,” the Holy Father recommended the ancient practice which literally means “divine reading”. “Assiduous reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer makes that intimate dialogue possible in which, through reading, one hears God speaking, and through prayer, one responds with a confident opening of the heart,” the Pope said. Over the past 40 years, this proposal has received attention throughout the Church after the publication of the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, “Dei Verbum”.
“If this practice is promoted with efficacy, I am convinced that it will produce a new spiritual springtime in the Church,” stated the Holy Father… “One must never forget that the Word of God is a lamp for our steps and a light for our path,” he said… The monastic rules of Sts. Pacomius, Augustine, Basil and Benedict made the practice of divine reading, together with manual work and participation in liturgical life, the triple base of monastic life.
Around 1150, Guido, a Carthusian monk, wrote a book entitled “The Monk’s Ladder” where “he set out the theory of the four rungs: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation*,” according to the Pope. “This is the ladder by which the monks ascend from earth to heaven.”
*The Pope is talking about meditation and contemplation on the Word of God and NOT the New Age brand that the WCCM and Fr. Joe Pereira propagate.
B. THE PRIMACY OF THE EUCHARIST AS OPPOSED TO “MEDITATION”
1. The Examiner, August 6, 2005, The Heart of the Priesthood is the Celebration of the Eucharist
Editorial “Pastoral Priority” by Fr. Anthony Charanghat.
Because a diocesan priest is actively engaged in the many demands of a busy ministry like counseling, teaching, visiting the sick… he can quickly run into shallow activism… It is significant that Pope Benedict XVI has called priests to live this year of the Eucharist rediscovering the friendship of Christ and making it the key of their priestly existence in his Discourse to the Parish Priests of Rome (May 13, 2005).
It is significant that Pope Benedict XVI has called priests to live this year of the Eucharist rediscovering the friendship of Christ and making it
the key of their priestly existence,
in his Discourse to the Parish Priests of Rome (May 13, 2005).
Pope John Paul II in his addresses to diocesan priests has described priestly spirituality as relational or one that stems from a relation with Christ present in the Eucharist… Benedict XVI tells priests that their relationship with the Eucharist grounds their relationship with the Church as the ecclesial Body of Christ.
It is from the Eucharist that pastoral charity is born and constitutes the fundamental attitude of the diocesan priests which is one of service and love.
The invitation of Christ himself, “Stay in love, you are my friends,” …underlines that the relational dimension of friendship with Christ through the Eucharist is the key or secret of priestly existence.
2. Pope says Eucharistic is secret to holiness [from The Examiner, September 24, 2005] A ZENIT news item.
Extract: “The Eucharist is the secret to holiness” particularly for priests, says Benedict
In his Angelus address to crowds gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Hoily Father dedicated his words to the topic of the Eucharist and its importance in the spiritual lives of priests… Benedict XVI directed his address in particular to priests, “in order to underline that in the Eucharist is precisely the secret to their sanctification. In virtue of Holy Orders,” he continued, “the priest receives the gift and the commitment to repeat sacramentally the gestures and words with which Jesus, in the Last Supper, instituted the memorial of His Pasch. In the priest’s hands, this great miracle of love is renewed, from which he is called to convert himself into witness and herald, every day more faithful,” the Holy Father said.
“For this reason, the priest must be, before all else, the one who adores and contemplates the Eucharist.” 102
Why does the priest-editor of The Examiner on the one hand promote New Age meditations which themselves are promoted by priests, and on the other hand contradict himself when he quotes the voice of the Church? Is he not guilty of trying to mislead the Catholic faithful by his duplicity?
3. The Eucharistic celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer
Vatican City, May 3, 2009 http://www.zenit.org/article-25770?l=english
Extract: Benedict XVI is encouraging priests to pray a lot and pray well, saying that in this way they will be increasingly united to Christ. The Pope made this invitation today when he ordained 19 new priests for the Diocese of Rome at a Mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica…
“The Eucharistic celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer and constitutes the center and the fount from which the other forms of prayer receive their ‘sap’: the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic adoration, lectio divina, the holy rosary, meditation*,” the Holy Father stated.
“The priest who prays a lot and prays well becomes ever more detached from himself and ever more united to Jesus, the Good Shepherd and Servant of his brothers,” he went on. “In conformity with him, the priest too ‘gives his life’ for the sheep who have been entrusted to him.”
*Again, the Pope is talking not only about the primacy of the Eucharist, but also about meditation and contemplation through lectio divina and NOT the New Age brand of the WCCM and Fr. Joe Pereira.
Thousands of the faithful are approaching Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where the age-old tradition of the 40 Hours Devotion has been taken up in preparation for this Thursday’s feast of Corpus Christi.
The basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary is part of the Pope’s traditional celebration of the feast of the Body of Christ; there, Benedict XVI will give the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the procession that starts after Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran…
The archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Cardinal Bernard Law, has promoted the 40 Hours Devotion.
Monsignor Adriano Pancelli, master of liturgical ceremonies at St. Mary Major, told ZENIT that the initiative aims to remind Catholics of the central role of the Eucharist.
“It’s enough to look at the lives of the saints,” he said. “The Eucharist is the living rock of the Church. It’s about adoring the Blessed Sacrament and feeling that the Lord is present. The most sublime, most high, most true and effective mystery.”
THE FINAL WORD ON FR. JOE PEREIRA AND KRIPA FOUNDATION
COMPARISON: INDIA’S BOMBAY ARCHDIOCESE AND KOREA’S SEOUL ARCHDIOCESE
This article was reported in The New Leader, October 16-31, 2004
Bible-Reading Program Helps Families Recover From Wounds of Alcoholism
October 4, 2004 SEOUL (UCAN) — Families of alcoholics also need to recover from the hurt caused by alcohol abuse, and spiritual reading of the Bible can help them.
“Alcohol addiction is a spiritual disease. It causes chronic soul disease not only in alcoholics themselves but also in their families. Both need to overcome the disease spiritually through Catholicism and be born again,”
says Father Augustine Kim Tae-kwang, spiritual advisor of Seoul archdiocese’s Catholic Alcohol Pastoral Ministry Center.
The center provides a 12-step Bible-reading program based on the 12-step program popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous to support alcoholics in their struggle to control their addiction. The steps involve acknowledgment of the problem, self-forgiveness, turning to a higher power and making amends.
The center estimates that 7.3 million of South Korea’s 48 million people abuse alcohol or are dependent on people who do.
Father Kim told UCA News the Bible program aims to cure hurts caused by alcohol abuse.
“I combined the Bible with the existing 12-step program to lead alcoholics to Jesus Christ,” he said.
Every week he distributes to about 20 participants a Bible phrase based on one of the 12 steps. During the week, they reflect on the phrase and share their meditations. The program is for both alcoholics and their families.
“The Bible has the power to cure spiritual diseases. Through continual reflections on Bible phrases, patients come to know God and look deep into themselves. This process can help them understand themselves and cure the internal scars caused by alcohol abuse,” the priest explained.
Viviana, 54, wife of an alcoholic, told UCA News that she joined the program expecting to meet God through reading the Bible. “I feel that following the steps of recovery cures my hurts,” she said. “While meeting people and sharing in the meditation on the Bible phrases, I feel sympathy with other participants who have the same pain and hidden sorrow caused by alcoholism,” she added. Viviana’s husband was hospitalized thrice for diseases related to alcoholism including a ruptured vein and decay of his thighbone due to poor blood circulation caused by his drinking. “Now he has stopped drinking and has a job. But the hurt he caused my children and me still affects us. Later, I’ll bring my children to this program,” she added.
Theodotia, 51, said she tried every way she could think of to stop her husband’s drinking. “I shouted, comforted and threatened my husband to make him stop drinking but I failed and became disheartened.” She admitted that during the Bible-reading program, “I found many problems and hurts inside me, and realized that my efforts to stop his drinking were incorrect and that I was only pouring oil on the fire of his addiction.”
Another participant thought her husband’s alcoholism was just drunken rowdiness. But she said that through the sharing of participants in the recovery group, she realized her husband was had a serious alcoholism problem.
Besides the 12-step Bible-reading program, the pastoral center provides various other programs for alcoholics and their families. It runs meetings for total abstinence from alcohol and organizes groups of recovering people. It also offers programs for children of families in which alcohol is abused and conducts prayer meetings for them.
Father Bartholomew Heo Keun, director of the center, told UCA News the treatment of alcohol-related diseases requires a long period of time. “To overcome the disease, relating to and reconciliation with God should be a preferential option, and we should commit ourselves to God’s care by following God’s words,” he added.
Father Heo founded the center in 1999 after he overcame his own alcohol addiction. Before that, Columban missioners worked with alcoholics from 1979 until Father Mortimer Kelly, who worked with urban working-class alcoholics, died in 1990.
MY CLOSING COMMENTS:
Compare the priest of this story, Fr. Bartholomew Heo Keun, founder-director of
Seoul archdiocese’s Catholic Alcohol Pastoral Ministry Center and Fr. Joe Pereira, founder-director of
Bombay archdiocese’s Kripa Foundation.
The recovery programmes of both archdioceses are institutionalized, supported by the Bishops.
The Seoul programme is Catholic and based on the Bible, the living Word of God.
Fr. Bartholomew understands that “the Bible has the power to cure spiritual diseases“.
He leads the patients and their families “spiritually through Catholicism and [to] be born again“; he “leads alcoholics to Jesus Christ“.
The Bombay programme is non-Catholic, anti-Christian, excludes the Word of God, and is New Age.
“Yoga gave me back my life,” [page 17] Fr. Joe Pereira told UCA news, the same agency that reported the above story. On page after page we have read that this priest’s mainstay is yoga and “Christian Meditation” blended with “Buddhist vipassana meditation, Chinese Tai Chi martial arts and Japanese Shiatsu massage“, page 18. He leads Catholics away from Jesus Christ and to spiritual death.
I quote Bombay auxiliary bishop Agnelo Gracias from a long defense, privately circulated among the Indian Bishops last year in criticism of my eight-page critique of the New Age St. Pauls’ New Community Bible [NCB]* which has the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat of two senior bishops:
“I do not enter into the question of the compatibility of Yoga with the Christian faith, nor the question of whether homeopathy, acupuncture etc. are “New Age” therapies. These are complicated issues which would need much more study than has been done till now. I realize that a study of these topics would need to be done but it goes beyond the scope of the present Response and, perhaps, that could be a task undertaken by the CBCI Doctrinal Commission to study and give guidelines to the Church in India…
Commenting on Gen. 2:7, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, NCB says: “God infused into the human body an immortal soul, the atman (derived from the root and meaning ‘to breathe’), the principle of life (prana) which vivifies and pervades the human being. Every person’s life is a gift from God”…
Mr. Prabhu objects to this interpretation on the grounds that prana is a pagan concept, an essential component of yoga, the same as chi, qi, or ki in Taoism-Buddhism-Chinese-Japanese. As I mentioned above, I have no desire to enter into a controversy over Yoga or New Age.”