NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net MARCH 23, 2007
THE PAGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH IN INDIA:
ROMANCING WITH HINDUISM AND OTHER NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS – POSTING NO. 1
Borrowing in faith: Kerala church creates ripples
By Nandagopal Nair
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 (Kollam, Kerala):
A new church in Kollam district in Kerala has adopted the motifs and religious practices of other faiths during its various ceremonies.
It is an attempt on part of the Latin Catholic church to promote inter-faith dialogue and understanding, but it has been received with caution.
Fr Romance Antony
conducts Sunday Mass at the
Jagat Jyoti Mandir
in Neendakara Panchayat.
Both the priest and his congregation sit cross-legged on the floor listening to bhajans. The pulpit and pews are missing. There isn’t even a crucifix behind what should have been the altar.
Christ is represented as seated in padmasana like the Buddha under the Bodhi tree.
“There is a paradigm shift from a closed community to a community which is able to accept other values and symbols,” said Fr Antony.
Confluence of religious symbolism
Inside the Church, there are reflections of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and even Zoroastrianism.
Even the Last Supper as portrayed by Da Vinci reflects a strong indigenisation. Christ and his disciples are shown seated eating from banana leaves.
And atop the Church is a huge “Om” where there’s normally a crucifix.
Father Antony insists there’s a method to this confluence of religious symbolism. “Most of the Rig Veda symbols are neutral. They do not pertain to any religion, not even to Hinduism. Say “Om” or the kirtans in Rig Veda – they go beyond religion and Gods.
They are part of a universal religious search
and can be practiced by all religions,” he added.
Public opinion is divided in this small fishing hamlet. While some see it as an attempt to convert people to Christianity, others view it as a dilution of the Christian ethos.
“Initially, Christians were opposed to it. Now they are slowly accepting it,” said Francis, Devotee.
“Without any discrimination on the basis of caste or religion and seeing everyone as equals, it is a good thing,” added Joseph, Devotee. It is yet another feather in India’s secular cap. The Jagat Jyoti Mandir at Neendakara Panchayat is one of a kind – a church that assimilates the best of all religions – an example that others could well emulate. END
In connection with the news report, this ministry wrote to the Bishop of the Catholic Latin rite diocese of Quilon [Kollam]:
THE PAGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH IN INDIA : ROMANCING WITH HINDUISM AND OTHER NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS
KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV. STANLEY ROMAN
BISHOP OF QUILON
I refer to the NDTV programme of March 20, 2007, and the [above] news from the NDTV website:
The CBCI has approved only “12 POINTS OF ADAPTATION” towards ‘Inculturation’ or ‘Indianisation’. But what we read in the NDTV report above is a blatant Hindu-isation of the Faith by our priests.
Fr. Romance Antony’s statement that “Most of the Rig Veda symbols are neutral. They do not pertain to any religion, not even to Hinduism”
is untrue. This ministry’s soon-to-be-released reports on Vedic and Vedantic motifs, symbols, rites, rituals and customs will provide the necessary conclusive and irrefutable evidence in complete detail.
“There isn’t even a crucifix behind what should have been the altar… And atop the Church is a huge “Om” where there’s normally a crucifix. ”
The Bishops’ Conference’s NBCLC [Bangalore] Mandir [temple] already has a ‘kalasam’ or pot in place of the Cross on top of the building.
No altar, no Crucifix. What next? ‘Prasad’ replacing the Eucharist? By extension of Fr. Romance’s arguments, will the ‘Om’ or the ‘kalasam’ replace the pectoral Cross that our Bishops wear?
“Christ is represented as seated in padmasana like the Buddha under the Bodhi tree.”
Jesus is the Enlightened One, not a yogi seeking enlightenment; Padmasana is a limb of yoga, a Hindu religious practice which the Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu State governments, and the UPA at the Centre, have proposed making mandatory in all educational institutions, and which the minority religious communities in M.P. have recently protested against.
Hence, it is wrong to depict Jesus thus.
“They are part of a universal religious search…”
We, Catholic Christians, are not on a ‘religious search’. We have the Truth [John 14: 6], and a mandate from Jesus in Matthew 28: 19, 20; or has the priest not been given it during his formation?
“…some see it as an attempt to convert people to Christianity.”
The tragedy of it all is this: We are becoming less distinguishable from our Hindu majority in thought, word and deed; but, Hindu fundamentalists are simply not able to perceive the ongoing suffocation of the Faith being carried out from within. They believe that it is a cunning, new Christian plot to convert Hindus to Christianity by appearing to be more like them. THEY understand the unicity of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
Regrettably, we [not enough of us] don’t.
This ministry will shortly publish a series of reports identifying by name the dozens of priests and nuns who are promoting error [such as in the news item above]; and various New Age meditations, psychotherapies and alternative medicines], and identifying by name the dioceses in which they are being propagated unchecked.
I have written to you by email several times over the last three years, but I have not received any response from you. This morning I telephoned your office, and the lady there confirmed this email id. is correct. However I am posting a copy to you separately tomorrow. I would be privileged if you let me have your response to the priest’s actions, the news report, and my comments.
Sd/- Michael Prabhu
Individually addressed personalized letters have been sent by email to the approximately 170 bishops of India [excepting 7 whose e-addresses I do not have; 5 dioceses are presently without Bishops]. This includes our 2 Cardinals, and 27 Archbishops and Metropolitans. Similar e-letters were sent to the Apostolic Nuncio, the Bishop-Designate of Nepal, the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Hong Kong, the Directors of the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre [NBCLC] and Pontifical Mission Societies [PMS], the National Secretary of the Conference of Religious, India [CRI], and the Executive Secretaries of 12 of the 13 CBCI Commissions and Offices, and to the CCBI Laity Commission.
Additionally, I have printed individual letters on the ministry’s letterhead, and posted them first to the Apostolic Nuncio, the Bishop of Nepal, the 2 Cardinals, all 27 Archbishops, to 30 Bishops, and to 3 CBCI Commissions; then to all the remaining.
Included with each is a separate letter on the serious danger from the proposal of the Indian government to make the practice of yoga compulsory in all educational institutions in India.
[See Posting No. 2 and detailed reports on YOGA and SURYA NAMASKAR following shortly]
BISHOPS’ RESPONSES TO POSTING NO. 1 AND POSTING NO. 2 ARE AVAILABLE AT THE WEBSITE
Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India