“INCULTURATION” “ACCOMODATION” “CAPITULATION”
LAY WOMAN THEOLOGIAN ASTRID LOBO GAJIWALA
WEARS A HINDU MARK IN THE CENTER OF HER FOREHEAD
THIS MARK, CALLED THE “TILAK” IS OF RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE TO HINDUS.
IT IS NEVER APPLIED BY MUSLIMS OR CHRISTIANS [ESPECIALLY PROTESTANTS].
MANY CATHOLIC WOMEN HOWEVER COMMONLY FLAUNT A STYLISED “BINDI”.
NOW THERE IS AN ALARMING TREND OF ITS INCREASING USE BY NUNS
AND BY CATHOLIC MEN – NOT SO MUCH AMONG LAITY,
BUT AMONG PRIESTS, BISHOPS, CARDINALS, AND EVEN THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIO
FEMINIST “THEOLOGIAN” ASTRID LOBO GAJIWALA AND THE BINDI
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala
“Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, India, holds a Ph. D. in Medicine and is the head of the Tissue Bank in Tata Memorial Hospital. She is a founding member of the Satyashodhak, a Mumbai based group of Christian feminists and is
a member of the CBCI Commission for Women, Mumbai Women’s Desk Core Team. As a writer Astrid has published articles in the journal In God’s Image, Daughters of Sarah, Magnificat, Women’s Link, The Month, Vidyajyoti, Jnanadeep among others; Books: Body, Bread Blood; Community of Men and Women and a couple of others.“
EXTRACT “Astrid has a Masters in Microbiology and Doctorate in Medicine, as well as, a Diploma in Tissue Banking and a Diploma in Theology for the Laity. She has published theological reflections in books, theological journals and other publications, worked on the Executive Team and served as a Resource Person for the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, Indian Theological Association, Indian Women’s Theological Forum-Mumbai Women’s Desk and Satyashodhak, a feminist collective. From 1992 she has been a Consulter for the Indian bishops’ CBCI Commission for Women, and the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC). She has served as Secretary of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Mumbai, and as a member of the parish council, parish Liturgical Team and core team of the Zonal Basic Christian Communities.”
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala is
a visiting faculty member of the St. Pius X College, Mumbai, and the Jesuit Regional Theologate, Gujarat.
Since November 2011, she is also on the editorial board
of The Examiner —
the Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay that stood by the errors in the New Community Bible and did not publish even a single one of the almost two dozen [known] letters to the editor condemning it.
She claims to be Catholic, while the Church in India has acclaimed her as a theologian. Is she either of those?
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala has only completed “4 years of part-time study” in “theology for the laity” which Church leaders describe as a “diploma in Theology for the Laity“, and that qualification appears sufficient for the Indian church to recognize her as a theologian who now even teaches our unfortunate seminarians!
On the basis of that “part-time study“, and with the tacit support of some bishops, she has joined other feminist nun-theologians to lead women theologians in an Asian Women Theologians’ Forum.
Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA]
— of which she is a key figure — is the forum of Asian Women Theologians. She is one of two Indian lay women in the leadership – the other is Virginia Saldanha.
Ecclesia of Women in Asia [EWA]
has had five Asian conferences from inception till date. I have documented enough of their anti-Catholic deliberations, activities, liturgies and statements for the bishops to be able to come down heavily on them and restrain their movement – if they have the mind and courage to. Their “liturgies” appear to be aberrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
As for the EWA discussions on women’s sexuality, vaginas and orgasms, and not excluding an unprintable four-letter word relating to an organ of the female anatomy, the less said by me here, the better.
Gajiwala was felicitated
“contributed to the journey of women’s empowerment in Mumbai”,
receiving her citation
“from Bishop Bosco [Penha] amid loud cheering”. Source: The Examiner,
March 6, 2010.
The Church’s Gender Policy, 2010,
mentions Astrid Lobo Gajiwala as one of those who drafted the document: http://www.cbcisite.com/Gender_Policy.pdf.
Now she uses that to further her demands for women’s ordination.
While ostensibly militating against the sexual abuse of women, and for the “empowerment of women” and “gender parity”, their true goal is the ordination of Indian women as priests. A detailed report on Astrid Lobo Gajiwala is under preparation on the same lines as the parallel reports on her colleague and lay feminist-theologian Virginia Saldanha at
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE
Why is all this relevant here? Because despite her Catholic credentials Astrid Lobo Gajiwala arrogantly flaunts her syncretistic and anti-Catholic ideologies.
“Theologian” Astrid Lobo Gajiwala finds that “membership in the Catholic Church can become oppressive” and “said that she belongs to the Church on her own terms“.
Ex. 1a: She holds that all religions are at par.
“Catholicism and Hinduism lead to the same Divine.”
Ex. 1b: “It is my belief that this bid to convert stems from an inability to understand the saving grace of God in other religions.” http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Bindis-and-Baptism.html.
“Teachings that ‘only Jesus is God’ stand in direct opposition to what her children learned at home… “Tell them you are a Hindu who wants to know more about Christ,”
she taught her children.“
Ex. 4: “I have no inhibitions about my children worshipping the Hindu pantheon… I settle for the more universal “Om Shanti”… With much regret,
I also make Jesus take backseat… Sometimes
I find it awkward praying before the picture of Krishna and Radha“. “[W]e were teaching them about the One Universal God.“
Ex. 5: She and her husband are not open to life and to God’s will and plan in their lives: They “decided to have only two children.” http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/wscfap/arms1974/Regl_womens_prog/Community%20of%20Women%20and%20Men/journeying%20into%20communion.htm.
Ex. 6a: “[D]espite the misgivings of the hierarchy, I agreed to bring up my children in two religious traditions, leaving them free to choose their own response to God.” http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/asia_meet/fabcaug19.htm.
Ex. 6b: She gave her children “the essence of religion without getting entangled in dogma, rituals etc.”
Ex. 6c: She calls her children “Hindu-Catholics”.
What, for instance do we write as our children’s religion when filling up their school admission applications? So far, we have settled for “Hindu-Catholics”. http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/wscfap/arms1974/Regl_womens_prog/Community%20of%20Women%20and%20Men/journeying%20into%20communion.htm.
Ex. 7: No family prayers: “as a couple somehow we never succeeded in saying “daily” prayers together.”
Ex. 8: “Hinduism affirmed my yearning for a Mother God who had been denied to me for so long.
It put me in contact with the Universal God whose revelation cannot be limited.” http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/wscfap/arms1974/Regl_womens_prog/Community%20of%20Women%20and%20Men/journeying%20into%20communion.htm.
Ex. 9: “We are no longer concerned about what the church or the community expects, but about how we can express our respect and love for each other… As a result, our lives have been enriched with a cultural and religious diversity, and God, divested of so many limiting beliefs.” http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Bindis-and-Baptism.html.
I have not quoted Astrid Lobo Gajiwala on women priests, leaving that information to the larger report.
Of “Bindis and Baptism”
I reproduce the following from a June 2010 report of mine THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15 – PRIESTHOOD UNDER ATTACK, DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS – FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_15_PRIESTHOOD_UNDER_ATTACK_DEMAND_FOR_ORDINATION_OF_WOMENPRIESTS.doc:
“As a new bride, I was aghast when Kalpesh’s family happily set about choosing a name for me. “Astrid” was to be relegated to the past. I had to take on a new identity. Dresses had to give away to sarees. My forehead was to be marked forever with a “tikka”, sign of a Hindu wife… Today I proudly flaunt my crimson “tikka” as a sign of my “shakti”* (power) (despite my mother’s disapproval) and delight in being mistaken for a Gujarathi when I don a saree.” Journeying into Communion, http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/wscfap/arms1974/Regl_womens_prog/Community%20of%20Women%20and%20Men/journeying%20into%20communion.htm
“My family, not to be outdone, comes laden with sweets to my in-laws’ home at Diwali, even my 86-year-old mother who once objected (because it was Hindu) to a
bindi (the red dot on a woman’s forehead, usually a sign of marriage, but also a symbol of shakti*, or “woman power”).“
Bindis and Baptism,
*In Hindu cosmology,
primal feminine psychic energy.
subtle female energy
that is awakened in the muladhara chakra in the practise of
Astrid Lobo Gajiwala must be taken very seriously. After all, she is an accredited theologian, her husband is a devout practising Hindu, she was married according to Hindu rites [Kalpesh and I took the seven pheras around the sacred fire], they avoid family prayer, her children have been denied baptism, she and her husband are regarded as a model couple held up to other Catholics and a shining example of an inter-faith marriage and she swears by the bindi/tilak!
Many of the above references are sourced from Astrid Lobo Gajiwala‘s article in patheos.com which caters to Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons, “Progressive Christians”, etc, and even has sections for atheists and pagans!
See separate article on feminist “theologian” Astrid Lobo Gajiwala.
I have scoured the internet and my research library seeking information, any information which says that the bindi or tilak is a purely Indian cultural phenomenon. While I didn’t find a shred of evidence that says that, I found tons of evidence to the contrary. My findings are compiled in a separate article titled, “BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?”
MAY 15, 2012