4 DECEMBER 2013
The Paganized Catholic Church in India
By Victor J. F. Kulanday, 1985
6. Nimmo Road’
San Thome, Madras-600 004.
$5 Rs. 25
The cover picture is that of SHIVA in his famous dancing pose. This is from an actual photo of the idol displayed in the Bishops National Centre Church* (Temple) in Bangalore. For over a decade priests, nuns and laity by the hundreds, who came to attend the various seminars and courses at the National Centre for the paganisation program sat in front of this idol, legs crossed in prayer and meditation to this Hindu God, Shiva the Destroyer whose phallus is especially worshipped. Though several petitions and appeals were made to the Bishops Conference to remove the idol, no action was taken. Later, a Hindu organisation filed a suit in the Bangalore court to have the Hindu idols in the Catholic Church removed. The Hindu case was argued by a great legal luminary-Shri Parasaran, now the Attorney-General of India in New Delhi. It is understood that supporting the court move militants also threatened violence if the idols were not removed since their presence in a Catholic Church insulted the religious sensibilities of the Hindus. Faced with legal action and threats the Bishops removed the idols of Shiva and of the Teenmurthi**-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva which was also on display in the Church for Christian worship. Bishops permitted the worship of Shiva until Hindus objected to it. Left to themselves they did not think that worshipping Hindu gods was in any way wrong. Readers can judge for themselves the morality of the Bishops in India and should not doubt support to the paganisation program.
*The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre [NBCLC] **Saccidananda
Note: The use of bold fonts, comments/notes in green, emphases in red/blue are mine. -Michael
1. Foreword Hamish Fraser
2. Author’s Preface
3. Chapter I lntroduction
4. Chapter II First Move to Hinduise the Church in India
5. Chapter III Church in India’s Grand Jamboree
6. Chapter IV Indian Rite Mass – Pagan Melodrama
7. Chapter V. Crisis in Religious Education
8. Chapter VI Inculturation or Paganisation?
9. Chapter VII Abominable Ouotes
THIS BOOK IS PLACED AT THE HOLY FEET OF OUR LADY OF MYLAPORE AND HUMBLY DEDICATED TO HER
It was before this image of Our Lady then enshrined near the sepulchre of St. Thomas that St Francis Xavier molested by demons prayed incessantly for grace to decide on his mission to the Far East. (1545 A.D).
We too implore Our Lady of Mylapore to crush the demons that are paganising God’s Church in India.
This book by my very good friend Victor J.F. Kulanday is most timely. It is a courageous attempt by an authentically apostolic Christian layman to stop the rot within Mother Church in India: his essential purpose being to alert the Holy Father and the appropriate Roman dicasteries ‘concerning the subversion of the Church in India by false shepherds who enjoy either episcopal rank or episcopal patronage.
In Europe and its extensions overseas, the emphasis ‘has been on Protestantising the Church and undermining Papal authority: This has indeed happened to such an extent that it is already the exception rather than the rule for national hierarchies NOT to be in material schism with Rome. It is therefore not altogether surprising to find analogous subversive forces at work in India. As Victor Kulanday explains, in India it is not Protestantisation but Hinduisation which is the means employed to de-Catholicise the one ‘ True Church’.
The purpose of this book is to give unanswerable documentary evidence concerning this diabolical process. Please god therefore that the book may be available -before the forthcoming Extraordinary Synod.
There is certainly no one better qualified for the task than Victor Kulanday, an Indian Catholic whose robust defence of Catholic principles has earned respect among honest Hindus. A journalist with more than half a century of editorial experience in a variety of publications, it was Victor Kulanday who initiated The Laity, the only Catholic publication edited and owned by lay folk ever to appear in India. The Laity is now in its 13th year, no mean achievement at a time when not a few large-circulation newspapers have gone out of existence.
Besides The Laity, Victor Kulanday organised the All India Laity Congress which has for a decade been in the forefront of the fight to defend the Faith.
May this book have the circulation and the influence it deserves, written as it is by a man who, more than most, has earned the right to be heard.
– Hamish Fraser
1 Waverely Place. Saltcoats
Ayrshire KA 21 5 AX Scotland
October 15, 1985
This book is yet another honest attempt to wake up concerned Catholics and Church authorities to face the tragic situation in which the Church in India is today and with God’s grace to stop the rot. St, Paul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, said: “Knowing the time, it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13-11)
God expects His people to be alert and militant. Truth is the only weapon which can isolate the paganisers, expose the evil and save the Church in India. In this book I have marshaled all the facts necessary to show how the paganisation of the Church has been planned and how that plan is being implemented. I have supplemented this with a weighty Appendix containing the opinion and writings of internationally famous Catholics.
Invoking the name of the Hindu God Krishna 34 times (OM) at Mass, reciting pagan mantras (magic words), worshipping the Sun and Fire with pagan ceremony and rituals, evolving new Indian theology and liturgy inspired by Hinduism and Marxism, all wrapped up in Sanskrit, a language that 99 percent of the Hindus them-selves do not know, is certainly not what Vatican II instructed the Church to do in the name of inculturation.
The worst that has happened, is the total disrespect shown to the Body, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist by worshipping Him with the LOWEST form of salutation in the Hindu religion a mere anjali hasta-which is done only among human beings and to minor road-side deities. But to God Almighty, the Prajapathi, a total Sashtangam (prostrating on both knees) is very reverently made. This lack of respect to the Holy Eucharist is very much in evidence throughout India.
At a meeting of the National Executive of the All India Laity Congress held on January 30th, 1983, the Chairman of the Laity Commission of the Bishops Conference of India H.E. Bishop Patrick D ‘Souza of Varanasi “waxed eloquent on the word Transignification as equivalent to Transubstantiation” though Section Eleven of Mysterium Fidei has categorically banned the use of the words transignification and transfinalisation. Priests at Holy Mass merely nod their heads at consecration and elevation of the Sacred Host and Chalice! The faithful wonder if this disrespect is what Vatican II has done to the Holy Eucharist in India.
The Divine challenge to alert those in a position to take action to stop the paganisation of the Church in India has motivated every page of this book where I have set forth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, perhaps at times too bluntly, but nonetheless with veracity for “If a trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (Corinthians 14-8)
My sincere prayer is that the sound of the trumpet is clear and will enthuse concerned Catholics to battle and its echo will travel down the corridors of the Vatican to alert the See of Peter to notice the darkness enveloping the Church in India which Holy Father will soon be visiting.
Feast of Saints Jude and Simon
Victor JF Kulanday
October 28, 1985
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister after she gained Independence from British rule, in his Autobiography wrote: “India was, it must be remembered, a country of many religions, in spite of the dominance of the Hindu faith in its various shapes and forms. Apart from Jainism and Buddhism which had largely faded away from India and been absorbed by Hinduism, there were Christianity and the Hebrew religion. Both of these had probably reached India during the first century after Christ and both had found a place in the country. There were a large number of Syrian Christians and Nestorians in South India and they were as much a part of the country as any one else”.
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, renowned philosopher and late President of the Republic of India in his book East and West in Religion has stated: “Christianity has flourished in India from the beginning of the Christian era. The Syrian Christians of Malabar believe that their form of Christianity is Apostolic derived directly from the Apostle Thomas. What is obvious is that there have been Christians in the West Coast of India from very early times”. Historical research backed with tradition and legends confirm the fact of St. Thomas coming to India A.D. 52. Also, there is enough evidence to prove that St. Bartholomew, the Apostle, was in India spreading the Message of the Gospel in the area which is now the Archdiocese of Bombay.
According to tradition, hallowed by time and strongly held by the Christians of Kerala. St. Thomas, after visiting Socotra, an island in the Arabian Sea, landed near Cranganore on the Periar estuary, north of Cochin in 52 A.D. He preached the Gospel and converted a number of people to Christianity. Later, he travelled further south and converted many more-Among those who embraced Christianity were several Namboodri Brahmin families considered among Hindus as the highest class. He ordained priests from four of these families… Pakalomattom, Shankarapuri, Kalli and Kaliankal. He founded churches in seven places Maliankara, Palayur, Parur, Gokamangalam, Niranam, Chayal and Quilon.
From the west coast he proceeded to the east and further to Malacca and China. He is believed to have returned after some time ‘to Madras. There his preaching aroused hostility among Brahmins and he was speared to death on July 3, 72 A.D. He met his end on a hill now bearing the name St. Thomas’s Mount, eight miles from the city of Madras. He was buried at a place called Mylapore in Madras. Over his tomb now stands the Basilica of San Thome.
The legends about St. Thomas, long cherished by the Syrian Christians of Kerala, have found expression in songs and other forms of literature in Malayalam. The most popular of these is a song called Thomma Paryam meaning Thomas’s Song. This is still sung on socio-religious occasions like marriage. Among other well-known poetic renderings are the Ramban Song (‘Ramban’ in Syriac means monk) and Margam Kali Song, a religious folk song.
One of the earliest documents which supports the traditional belief about the mission of St. Thomas in India is the Acts of Thomas. An apocryphal work, it is considered to have been written by one Bardesanesa, a Syrian and a native of Edessa in Mesopotamia.
There is no reason to deny the historicity of the apostolate of St. Thomas. Evidence of the knowledge of Jewish settlements in South India, carrying on a flourishing trade with various parts of the world and of the port of Kodungalior, a famous old sea emporium are many. Pliny’s Natural History and Ptolemy’s Geography among others mention both facts. Jewish traders have taken” rosewood, sandal wood and ivory form South India to embellish Solomon’s temple.
H.G. Wells in his outline of World History states that under the Roman Empire, Alexandria became the greatest trade center of the World. The Roman Alexandrian merchants had many colonies in South India especially at Cranganore on the Malabar Coast. Jews were collaborating with them. Therefore the tradition that Habban, a Jewish merchant, brought St. Thomas along with him to India cannot be brushed aside.
The fact remains that through the centuries from far and near pilgrims came to venerate St. Thomas tomb in Mylapore. In A.D 883 Anglo Saxon Chronicles record that King Alfred the Great sent two Ambassadors to India with offerings for the tomb of St. Thomas. Marco Polo visited the Shrine of St. Thomas at the end of the 13th Century.
Unfortunately these facts are hardly known in Europe and the Americas. Tourists who come to India visit many Hindu temples and the Taj Mahal. But being unaware of St. Thomas tomb and of the historic church on St. Thomas Mount they fail to pay their respects and venerate the great Apostle. Even from a purely art point of view the San Thome Basilica is worth a visit; so too the church on St. Thomas Mount to appreciate the beautiful painting done by St. Luke of the Blessed Mother and the Child. When St. Thomas was embarking for India with the merchant Habban St. Luke presented this painting to his friend. Tradition has it that wherever St. Thomas journeyed he carried this beautiful painting with him. When American and European tourists hear and know of these facts they are surprised that India had received the Message directly from an Apostle centuries before their forefathers ever heard of Jesus.
The Western Christian influence came centuries later. In 1498 Vasco da Gama arrived in Calicut and he was surprised to find that there were more than 200, 200 Christian in that region.
When questioned about their faith they answered that they were Christians of Saint Thomas. They also told Gama that they went on pilgrimage to Mylapore to their protecting Saint where he was entombed. Again in 1502 Vasco da Gama visited these Christians. With the capture of Goa by the Portuguese evangelical work started in full strength, especially since King John III of Portugal was more keen on winning souls for Christ than conquering countries.
Against this background arrives the Great Saint and preacher St. Francis Xavier. He travelled to Mylapore and stayed there for months praying at the tomb of St. Thomas for guidance in his evangelical work. The challenges were many and the problems he faced were manifold. Satan’s attacks on him were great and he fervently sought the protection and aid of Our Lady of Mylapore. Tradition has that Our Lady of Mylapore consoled and encouraged St. Francis to proceed with his work. This beautiful 400 year old statue of Our Lady is venerated in San Thome Basilica by thousands who flock day in and day out to invoke the blessings of this miraculous Mother.
St. Francis Xavier’s evangelical work along the coast brought in thousands of souls to Jesus. He was not only a pioneer but the founder of the Church of Rome in India. As Prof. George Moraes says in his book on St. Francis Xavier, “His work constitutes not only the foundation but more than half of the super structure that the combined efforts of the evangelical and Catholic sectors of the church have been able to raise, Just as Syrian Christianity is largely the results of the apostolate of another saint Thomas the Apostle.” St. Thomas tomb attracts thousands each year, so too St. Francis Xavier’s body preserved in Bom Jesu Cathedral in Goa. These two great saints are the God chosen evangelists who brought the gift of the Faith to India.’
Catholic activities in India were for a long time mainly under the control of the Portuguese. Goa was the centre of missionary work. Later, the pattern changed with missionaries from other parts of Europe coming in. The pioneering Jesuits and other Religious Orders like the Franciscans, the Augustinians and the Dominicans came to work in ‘the Lord’s vineyard. The Jesuits penetrated to the innermost parts of the country, even to the forbidden parts of Nepal, Tibet and Kashmir. They were, welcomed in the Court of Emperor Akbar who attended Holy Mass but was disappointed that he was not given Holy Communion. The Jesuits boldly professed their Faith and the people respected them and their religion.
To the Jesuit Mission in South India came Robert de Nobili who thought that by living like a local Brahmin he could attract souls to Christ. He became a Sannyasin (Hindu hermit). He mastered Sanskrit, the religious language of the Hindus, and Tamil the local languages. He dressed like the Brahmins, smeared sandal-wood paste on his fore-head, had a sacred thread like a cross-belt over, his shoulders and travelled like a Brahmin Pujari with the Brahmins failed to attract them to listen to the Gospel. In spite of de Nobili’s inculturation and Indianisation, the Brahmins and other high caste Hindus did not respond. The good priest totally failed in his evangelical work. In contrast to this St. Francis Xavier, also a Jesuit like de Nobili, without resorting to inculturation and Indianisation, without wearing Indian garb and sacred thread, brought literally several thousands of souls to christ.
Later came Fr. Constantius Beschi, also a Jesuit, who became a great Tamil scholar and is hailed in literary circles as an original contributor who enriched the Tamil language. He compiled the first Tamil Dictionary, reformed the Tamil script, wrote the first Tamil grammar and the first book in elegant Tamil prose. He wrote a Tamil epic on the Catholic theme of the Holy Family. Grateful Tamil people have honoured him by erecting his statue on the famous Madras Marina beach along with great Indians like Gandhi.
Between Beschi and de Nobili came John de Britto a dedicated Jesuit evangelist. He went all out to preach and win souls for Christ. He was very successful but the enemies were too many to allow him continue the good work. Fr. John died a martyr’s death and has been canonised. He lived like a good Catholic priest- without aping the Brahmins and preached to men of all castes. His phenomenal success was due to his saintly life and total dedication to Jesus.
The Jesuits have played by the most important
role in the evangilization of India in the early stages. They also made tremendous contribution in the field of education with schools, colleges and other institutions. In later years the Carmelites and the Salesians came on the scene and they continued to serve the church with educational and social work.
As an introduction to a small book on the sad state of affairs in the Church in India today, I shall not attempt to give an exhaustive historical account of the spread of Christianity in India and of the foundation of the Catholic Church. I am not even attempting to give the readers a sequential history of events. I am only highlighting some major facts which will help the readers to get an idea of how the Gospel reached India and how the Church began its work here, how through the centuries it has grown and established itself as one of the important religions in this sub-continent.
When Vatican II Council was convened, there was in India a well organised and flourishing church with 71 dioceses, thousands of priests, nuns and brothers and a catholic population of seven million. Certainly this number of the Faithful is not large in a country with a population of over 500 million. Certainly for a period of about 2000 years of Christianity in India evangelical progress has been slow and not spectacular.
But when viewed against the opposition of the Brahmins and caste Hindus to conversion, the historical background of a people steeped in fatalism, superstition and pantheism, the struggle and sacrifices of the early missionary have been blessed with a congregation strong in its faith, its devotion to tradition, its piety and its total loyalty to the Holy See.
Brahminical bigotism and its strength in Hindu society is very powerful. Even a religion like Buddhism which originated in India and had an Emperor (Ashoka) as patron, could not survive in India because the Brahmins seeing a threat to their power and Hindu hegemony fanatically opposed the new religion and literally chased it out of India. A Namboodri Brahmin, from the very area where St. Thomas converted many of their own caste men, raised the standard of protest against Buddhism. This first Shankaracharya with his followers did not rest until Buddhism was extinct in India. It had to seek refuge in nearby island of Sri Lanka and go to China and other places in the Far East.
Brahminical fury could only martyr St. Thomas but not wipe out Christianity in India which the Apostle established. St. Francis Xavier built the superstructure and later thousands of unsung, un-honoured heroes watered the Lord’s Indian vineyard with their blood, sweat and tears. They gave India a church spiritually rich, organisationally strong and respected by all as an institution serving the people at large without any discrimination of caste, creed or colour. Though less than 2 per cent of the population at the time of India’s independence, in 1947, Christians were a respected integral part of Indian society.
Christians did not betray any nervousness or lack of confidence in the totally new Government that took over from the British. On the contrary they openly professed their trust in a democratic government where naturally the majority (who are Hindus) will be in power. Their representatives in the Constituent – Assembly which was framing a new Constitution for India declared that Christians did not want or seek any constitutional reservation of seats in Parliament for themselves. On the contrary the seven million Christians will alongside the 500 million Hindus participate in the political life of the country in a democratic way where the law of survival of the fittest is supposed to operate.
This was a magnificent gesture and as Providence would have it, this declaration on behalf of the Christians was made in the Constituent Assembly by a Jesuit Priest. Fr. Jerome D’ Souza. The Constitution, however, provides protection for our educational and other institutions and gives every religion the right to preach and propagate its faith
Evangelical work of the Catholics has never been of the noisy, loud propaganda type. It has always been the solid, quiet hard work of dedicated missionaries. After 1947 also the same effective pattern could have continued if the Church leaders in India desired it. For over a decade after the British left missionary work was going on smoothly as in days of yore but revolutionary ideas were gradually being injected in the Church in India.
With Vatican II they became more pronounced and audible. No doubt organised opposition to evangelical work was already on the scene with the Jana Sangh and its Fascist type militant Youth wing, RSS, creating trouble in many parts of India against missionaries, foreign and Indian. A Bill was also introduced in Parliament to stop evangelical work. Called the Tyagi Bill against conversion from one religion to another it was still-born. The very government which surreptitiously sponsored it collapsed bringing back to power Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the Congress Party back to power.
It is not politics nor the threats from the Hindu bigots that created the main roadblocks to evangelical work. It is a new outlook on the role of the Church in India and on evangelical apostolate that has worked havoc and continues to do so. Under the false excuse of Vatican II ‘s urge for ecumenism and inter religious dialogue, to win souls for Jesus, to preach the Gospel, to enlighten minds of those who live in paganism is NO longer considered necessary.
It has been openly declared by many Bishops and echoed by priests and nuns that the job of the Church in a country like India is to MAKE A HINDU A BETTER HINDU AND A MUSLIM A BETTER MUSLIM!
If alongside with making others better, they also did their spiritual duty of making Catholics better and more fervent in their Faith, that would have been some consolation. But most tragically the very Catholics whose souls they are to care for are being enticed to paganism within the Church itself.
Actually there are many instances where genuine seekers of the Truth have had cold water thrown on their fervour and enthusiasm. They were advised to continue to be Hindus since all religions are the same! A few with determination continued their search, and God blessed them with good priests still loyal to their faith who gave them proper instructions and baptised them.
The very bishops who are inactive in evangelical work were most vociferous in their protests against the anti-conversion Bill. The obvious reason for this paradoxical behaviour is clear to all. Foreign funds keep pouring in to all bishops in India primarily for evangelical work. If a bill stops this work there will be no more donors to help the bishops. But bishops need all the foreign money that they can manage to get by hook or by crook to finance their multifarious non-evangelical work. They need, money to hold seminars to propagate pagan ideas, rituals, and rites and to expound eloquently on liberation theology. In short, every honest onlooker of the Indian scene can observe that evangelical work of the Catholic Church in India is limping to a stop.
There are, however, pockets here and there where some “old-fashioned” bishops true to their conscience continue quietly but effectively to win souls for Christ.
While on one side evangelical work has slowed down and is coming to a tragic halt, the millions who are already Catholics for generations are systematically, deliberately, and very effectively being misguided and roped in to accept pagan rituals, rites and mantras (magic words) that the inculturation pundits have grafted on to the liturgy and prayers of the church. lf this process continues, and the faithful bow to the bishops and fail in line with their paganising programme, and if Rome does not check this paganisation programme, when the 21st century dawns there will be a new pseudo-Catholic religion in India more Hindu than Catholic. The ecclesiastical votaries of this new religion will still pretend to belong to the Church of which the Pope is the head, Vicar of Christ. But this superficial allegiance will be merely for the financial benefits that accrue from a Roman connection.
EVEN TODAY IF ENOUGH MONEY CAN BE FOUND TO FINANCE THEIR VARIED ACTIVITIES FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE, LIKE THE SOVIET UNION, THERE ARE MANY WHO WILL TOTALLY PAGANISE THEIR CHURCH AND BID GOOD BYE TO ROME. IT IS A FACT THAT A BISHOP IN SOUTH INDIA OPENLY IN HIS SERMON SAID: THE POPE, YES, HE IS THE BISHOP OF ROME EVEN AS I AM THE BISHOP OF K—-
This bishop and some others who in more ways -than one discredit the Magisterium, will certainly be in the first row of VIP’s to welcome the Holy Father when he arrives in India next year (1986)
The process of brainwashing the faithful and paganising the Church is in full swing. The Hindu bigots and the Communists are watching this with avid interest. To weaken Christianity any-where, in any place at any time is a set policy of the Soviets. Readers will be interested to know that some of the various eastern cults now so popular in USA and in many parts of Europe which are attracting and destroying the faith of Christian youth are heavily financed by the Soviets. By selling, scented incense sticks and bunch of flowers in street corners no organisation can collect millions to meet their expenses which run into million of dollars.
Frustrated Christians are willing victims of any cult especially if its attractions are either mystic or sexy. The Communists are ready to use such cults to break the fabric of Christian faith and civilisation. The same can happen in India especially if paganisation of the Church creates schism and Catholics out of disgust leave their Faith and go elsewhere.
This little book only attempts to place before its readers several facets of the Hinduising process which began with Rome’s permission to use the Twelve Points. Rome thought that they were all just cultural and not pagan. The leaders of the paganisation movement have the full support of the Bishops Conference of India and the inner cabal which pulls the strings to orchestrate various activities towards the goal of paganising the Church. This cabal has powerful and dynamic bishops, who know what they are after and how to achieve the total paganisation of the Church.
The great tragedy is that the small minority of good bishops who in their heart of hearts do, not approve all this anti-church mischief lack the courage to stand up for their Faith and convictions.
Unfortunately they fail to realise that silence and inaction at this critical hour is very harmful and dangerous and will accelerate the total Hinduisation of the Church.
In the following chapters I shall expose the evil of paganising the Church as clearly, and truth fully as I can. I believe in the motto of every honest journalist- FACTS ARE SACRED; COMMENT IS FREE. Having followed this motto scrupulously for over 50 years, I pray to the Holy Ghost to bless me and help me to strictly adhere to it.
FIRST MOVE TO HINDUISE THE CHURCH IN INDIA
After Vatican II, ideas were simmering in the heads of a small but powerful coterie of ecclesiastics how best to initiate the process of Hinduising the Church especially its liturgy which in the final analysis is the centre of the religion and from which springs the beautiful rites and rituals for the Holy sacrifice of the Mass. A cunning strategy was evolved by which certain acts, gestures and words could enable to create a new Hinduised liturgy.
In 1969 the Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) had as its chairman of the Liturgy Commission, His Grace the Most Reverend D. S. Lourduswamy, Archbishop of Bangalore (now Cardinal), an ardent and dynamic votary of Hinduisation of the Church. It was in his Archdiocese that the National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre was established in 1967 by the Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and Archbishop Lourduswamy connived to bring his brother Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadass, a priest of the Salem Diocese, as its Director.
Archbishop Lourduswamy as Chairman of the Liturgy Commission set up a sub-Committee to find ways and means to Hinduise the liturgy.
This group, whose chairman was a Jesuit, chose Twelve Points purely from Hindu sources which when incorporated in the liturgy would remove the Catholic feature of the Holy Mass and give the sacrifice a purely Hinduised look. This pagan look incorporated in thee Holy Mass in the name of inculturation would facilitate the process of Hinduising the entire prayer life of the Church
Such a change would certainly be a revolutionary one, totally demolishing century-old sacred rites and rituals. Commonsense would dictate that if those who were anxious to Indianise the liturgy were honest and Catholic, they would have called an extraordinary meeting of the Bishops Conference of India placed the proposed changes before it, studied and discussed them in depth and then if a two-thirds majority supported the introduction of Hindu words ideas and rituals forwarded the same to Rome for approval. Moreover, since these changes would most seriously affect the faithful they should have been publicised and the faithful given an opportunity to have its say on such an important matter concerning their faith and spiritual lives. Cultural changes are not dogmas the teachings or the Church. As such the laity should have had a voice in their introduction in the liturgy.
Note: The Bishops were not properly ‘consulted’; the laity was not consulted at all. -Michael
But the clever artificer Archbishop Lourduswamy was not prepared to take any risks. His Machiavellian mind gave birth to a master-plan never before resorted to by the Bishops Conference even to decide matters of routine administration. The Archbishop printed the Twelve Points and carried out a postal ballot (a ballot by mail) among the 71 Bishops belonging to the Latin Rite. He instructed the Bishop to vote in one of three ways on the ballot paper he enclosed: either “placet” (affirmative) or “non-placet” (negative) or “placet juxta modeem” (giving explanation for the modees). The Bishops were asked to return the ballot paper within two days!
The Bishops were hardly given time enough even to think and ruminate about such drastic changes and totally new ideas; they did not have a chance to call their priests and discuss with them, the implications of introducing the 12 points totally alien to Catholic liturgy they never could have-ever contacted even the intellectuals among the laity. It was a school boys drill with a head-master dangling a dead-line within which he should receive the reply.
Considering the fact that the dioceses are far-flung from the southern city of Bangalore and the usual vagaries of any mail system where human error or sloth can delay mail, the time given to the Bishops to send in their replies was ridiculously meagre. It was a subtle device to rush through the bogus process of opinion poll.
The result was that only 51 Bishops (out of 71) responded to the Circular of March 12, 1969. It is vaguely stated by the Liturgy Commission that the placets were between 34 and 35! It is strange that in counting votes one could not be precise and say 34 or 35. This clearly shows that the Twelve Points DID NOT receive the two-thirds majority essential for approval of any proposal by the CBCI and any of its Commissions.
But without the constitutionally required majority, the Holy See was approached for the approval of the 12 Points of Hinduising the Church. To rush through the process of getting the Vatican approval, Archbishop Lourduswamy himself took the proposal to Rome on April 15 1969. It is now known to all that he himself demonstrated the squatting mass incorporating the 12 Points in the presence of some Vatican officials. Unless Archbishop Lourduswamy had misrepresented facts that the Bishops Conference of India had approved the 12 Points (they were not approved since the required two-thirds support was not there) NO Vatican sanction could ever have been given.
Yet, incredibly, Archbishop Lourduswamy was able to obtain Vatican approval of the 12 Points within ten days, with the sanctioning letter Prot. No. 802/69 dated April 25, 1969 signed by Archbishop A. Bugnini, Secretary, Consilium and Exsequendam constitution de Sacra Liturgia.
The Consilium acted undoubtedly in good faith relying on the words of the Chairman of the Liturgy Commission Archbishop Lourduswamy that the 12 Points had the approval of the Bishops Conference of India, which we repeat it never had. The Consilium’s letter Prot. No. 802/69 opens with the following words.
“The Cardinal President of the Consilium, His Eminence Benno Cardinal Gut has accepted the proposals of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India for certain adaptations in the liturgy, according to articles 37-40 of the Liturgical constitution…
Had the Consilium been aware of the truth, it would not have entertained the request for approval of the 12 Points. The whole episode was based on misinterpretation of facts tantamount to giving false evidence. It should be clear to the readers that the Hinduisers were in a hurry to get going with their job and were prepared to perpetrate even unchristian acts to achieve their pagan goals. Certainly an approval procured on the basis of false evidence cannot be valid.
Further, according to the study made by Dr. Prof. George Moraes MA, D. Litt. (Rome), D. Litt. (Strasbourg), D.A. (Vatican). The Twelve Points do not have the force of law for many reasons, in addition to those pointed out by knowledgeable persons like Bishop Gopu. [See page 63]
“The fact is that for the confirmation of the Twelve Points the CBCI applied to the Consilium (Cf. Word and Worship, August-September 1969, p. 564; Clergy Monthly, 1969, p. 522-23), whereas it should have approached the Congregation of Rites. This was on 15th April 1969 when the Congregation was still in existence. It was only on 20th April that Paul VI announced that ‘he decided to split the workload of the 404 year old Congregation of Rites between two new Congregations’: viz., Congregation of Divine Worship and the Congregation for the causes of the Saints. (The Examiner, May 10, 1969, p.295) Of course the Consilium had by now become a law unto itself. It confirmed the Twelve Points by its reply dated 25th April 1969 (Cf. Word and Worship, as above), and in doing so it acted ultra vires. The Consilium was a consultative body (with an “s” in the middle) and not a ministry and therefore had no power to legislate. Confirmation should have come from the Congregation of Rites which should have issued a notification to that effect.
“The Twelve points are therefore null and avoid.
“I am not hair-splitting. There is such a thing as rule of law in the Catholic Church; to which every one is subject, not excluding even the Holy Father. We have no Louis XIV on the Papal throne. The Pope is in fact the most constitutional monarch of all time, not in the sense of the British monarchy which is a cypher, but because he has to operate within a very narrow sphere which is limited by Revelation, by defined dogma, and by the consistent ordinary magisterium of his predecessors. Within these limits, however, the Pope is a very real monarch who is subject to no human person, institution or organisation, not even an oecumenical council of the universal Church. (Cuthbert Butler, “Papal Infallibility, Yes. Despotism, No”, Approaches, May 1978, p. 96).“
On the basis of both ethical and constitutional grounds the Approval given for the use of the 12 Points was invalid. The excuse that Bishops at a later stage approved or endorsed the invalid Vatican approval is immaterial. From the Hinduisers point of view, however, the end justifies the means and they had very diabolically manipulated to win and introduce the 12 Points in the liturgy of the Church. This gave them the green signal to go ahead and organize to establish a Church Of India with its own Indian theology, Indian liturgy and Indian ecclesiology all double-dyed in Hinduism.
Note: The bishops voted by postal ballot; the faithful were not consulted; time was not given to the bishops for prayer, discernment, consultation with one another and the faithful; only 51 out of 71 bishops even responded; and as one will see further, the whole matter was pushed forward in a tearing and inordinate hurry:
The date of Archbishop Lourduswamy’s circular: March 12, 1969
Time given to the bishops to decide on this major liturgical issue: just 2 days
Archbishop Lourdusamy takes the proposal to Rome: April 15, 1969; no two-thirds majority vote
Consilium and Archbishop Bugnini’s approval obtained: April 25, 1969, in just 10 days
The “Church in India” Seminar is held [we shall see that later]: May 15, 1969. -Michael
What are the Twelve Points?
1. The posture during Mass, both for priests and faithful may be adapted to local usage, that is, sitting on the floor, standing and the like; footwear may be removed also.
2. Genuflections may be replaced by the profound bow with the anjali hasta.
3. A panchanga pranam by both priests and faithful can take place before the liturgy of the Word, as part of the penitential rite, and at the conclusion of the Anaphora.
4. Kissing of objects may be adapted to local custom, that is touching the object with one’s fingers or palm of one’s hand and bringing the hands to one’s eyes or forehead.
5. The Kiss of Peace could be given by the exchange of anjali hasta and or the placing of the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient.
6. Incense could be made more use of in liturgical services. The receptacle could be the simple incense bowl with handle.
7. The vestments must be simplified. A single tunic-type chasuble with a stole (angavastra) could replace the traditional vestments of the Roman rite. Samples of this change are to be forwarded to this Consilium.
8. The corporal could be replaced by a tray (thali or thambola thattu) of fitting material.
9. Oil lamps could be used instead of candles.
10. The preparatory rite of the Mass may include:
a. the presentation of gifts.
b. the welcome of the celebrant in an Indian way, e.g., with a single arati, washing of hands, etc.
c. the lighting of the lamp.
d. the greeting of peace among the faithful is a sign of mutual reconciliation.
11. In the “Oratio fidelium”* some spontaneity may be permitted both with regard to its structure and the formulation of the intentions. The universal aspect of the Church, however, should not be left in oblivion.
*Prayer of the Faithful
12. In the Offertory rite, and at the conclusion of the Anaphora, the Indian form of worship may be integrated, that is, double or triple “arati” of flowers, and or incense, and or light. (Please See Appendix No.5).
These Twelve Points were explained in an “Official Commentary” by the National Centre of the Bishops Conference of India (CBCI). It is note-worthy that these Points which completely change the spirit and content of the Holy Mass are termed only as
“the first step towards adaptation” and is described as “modest”. The notes warn that “the faithful must be shown that we are by no means bringing Hinduism into our Churches, but only adapting the Indian peoples own way of expressing reverence and worship to God the Father and to Our Lord Jesus Christ”. The very explanation that they are not Hinduising is the act of a guilty conscience.
The explanations go to the extent of emphasizing that standing is “a characteristic Christian posture” because “We are no longer slaves, but can stand with respect, yet with full confidence and the dignity of those who are freed by Christ”. Point 1 of the 12 Points
To support more strongly the standing posture at Mass, the explanation goes to the unnecessary extent of adding a FALSE statement – “The kneeling posture being foreign to the Indian tradition of worship”.
To achieve their end the Hinduisers do not hesitate to LIE, to BLUFF, to bring in totally false evidence. Every Indian knows very well that the kneeling posture is as Indian as standing or squatting. In all the religions in India today the worshippers fall on their knees to pray – the Muslim is on his knees three times a day facing Mecca to recite his namaz, the Hindu falls on his knees and fully prostrates to worship his God, the Sikh falls on his knees to touch his forehead on the Granth Sahib, Holy Book, and kiss it. It was while Sant Longowal the great Sikh leader, was on his knees paying homage to the Holy Book that he was shot dead by the terrorists. To say in a public document of such importance to the liturgy of the Church that kneeling posture is foreign to Indian worship either reveals the colossal ignorance of the key Hinduisers or it is a clear proof of the deliberate lies they are prepared to user to achieve their paganised goals.
The correct posture for Prayer and worship is on one’s knees – whether he be a Christian, Muslim or Hindu. A basic fact is twisted and turned and falsified because the Hinduisers want to give a new look to Holy Mass- While proclaiming that standing is a proper gesture and it is Indian too, the paganised mass is celebrated by the new model priest squatting :throughout the Ceremony including Consecration of their own kind). The Hinduiser has no respect for Truth in the pursuit of his final Goal – the paganisation of the Church of God.
In the Bible it is very clear that Jesus Himself fell on His knees to pray. There are many instances in our Lord’s life where we clearly see that those who seek His favour and blessings fall on their knees. “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to Him, and saying – Lord have mercy on my son–(Mathew 17-14). Again in Mark 1-40 we find a leper beseeching Jesus and kneeling down to him. In Isaiah 45-23 we read – “Unto me every knee shall bow. Innumerable instances can be cited from the Old and New Testaments to prove that man worships God on his knees. It is a universal mode of adoration.
To support squatting on the floor throughout Mass, the Hinduiser again utters a falsehood so stupid and patently foolish when he states in his explanation – (2-C). “It is known that many village people do not know how to kneel, and find ‘the posture very awkward”.
The priests at National Centre are fully aware that Indians at Mass in the villages fall on their knees and loudly proclaim, My Lord and My God, at the precious moment of Elevation in the Holy Mass. Any Indian priest who does not know this fact is either blind or totally stupid or is a deliberate liar – kneeling posture is so common to Indians, in various activities of their lives – domestic chores, farming, and even to milk the cow some take on a kneeling posture to do this job efficiently. To say that Indians do not know to kneel is the height of absurdity and an insult to the Indian Villagers. Indians are so used to every type of manual labour and India is the home of Yoga exercises which demand all ‘types of body twisting and turning. To state villagers do not know to kneel is, as already stated, a deliberate lie to fool foreigners, especially Rome, so that genuflections and kneeling, two most common forms of worship and adoration are removed from liturgical ceremonies thus denying to God His due respect. Since Indians do not know to kneel or bend even one knee, throughout the Indian Mass they can just sit and watch the antics of the priest who is squatting on the floor before them.
Hence, the first of the 12 Points permits priest and faithful to sit on the floor or stand but taboos kneeling on false premises.
My comment: The elimination of reverence in the Christian worship of God
The Second Point, which does away with genuflections, is replaced with anjali hasta. This is a form of salutation with palms of the hands joined together, the hand lifted above the head. It is done ONLY to minor deities of the Hindu pantheon and is not a full measure of worship or adoration.
To worship God Almighty the Hindu falls on his knees and prostrates fully – Sashtangam or Ashtangam where eight parts of the body touch the ground in humble supplication to God.
If genuflection is western, as bending one knee is not Indian, the Hinduisers should have introduced a salutation with both knees bended in prostration as the Hindus do. But this is too much for the priest to perform. Instead a crude shortcut is introduced which in practice has become a mere nod of the head. This is the nod of the head that Jesus receives these days in India, both at Consecration and in the tabernacle. This nod is not by any stretch of the imagination either Indian or Hindu.
ANJALI HASTA AS IT SHOULD BE DONE IS NEVER PERFORMED, NOT EVEN AT THE BISHOP’S NATIONAL CENTRE IN BANGALORE.
Even this lowest form of salutation is denied to Jesus in the tabernacle.
Shri Paramanand, a Hindu pujari (priest) who accepted Jesus and was baptised wrote in The Examiner (Sept. 6, 1969) that “to the God of Gods it is a rule to prostrate one-self before Him; this is called Sashtanga Namaskar (salutation of all the organs of the body). WHY IS THEN THE CHURCH ALLOWING A MERE NAMASTE TO THE LORD ALMIGHTY?”
Two weeks later the Editor of the Examiner, a learned Monsignor, wrote: “Mr. Paramanand clearly showed that anjali hasta which is now introduced in the place of genuflection to the Blessed Sacrament is really a gesture used by Hindus to worship their gods or devas like Ganesh, Lakshmi, Hanuman, etc. By replacing the genuflection with anjali hasta, Catholics therefore are now being asked to give Our Lord the same worship which is given to Ganesh and Lakshmi etc., which is simply ridiculous. Mr. Paramanand’s contention is that only a gesture like Sashtanga pranama (involving all parts of the body) would do justice to the Supreme Being. Are Catholics prepared to do this instead of genuflection? Mr. Paramanand asked. If not then let them stop doing the anjali hasta, was his conclusion and it is hard to see how Mr. Paramanand’s logic can be faulted“ (The Examiner October 4. 1969).
The Third Point permits a semi-prostration as part of penitential rite.
The commentary clearly states that before Liturgy of the word, as part of the penitential rite, and at the conclusion of the Anaphora, there could be a panchanga pranam by celebrant and faithful.
“The panchanga pranam consists in KNEELING (emphasis ours) and touching the floor with one’s forehead and either both palms or the hands joined in the gesture of the anjali hasta.”
Kneeling and genuflection were ousted since it was categorically stated that Indians don’t know how to kneel. Now the Indian is asked to do a typical Hindu way of worship which consists in kneeling.
Readers can judge for themselves the inconsistency of those who selected the 12 Points and the fallacy of their arguments.
The Fourth Point replaces kissing of objects with some Indian gestures. The reason to replace kissing with these gestures is that kissing is western! Kissing is to the Hinduisers not a human sign of love affection and respect.
Even among the jungle tribes we have seen mothers kissing their babies and in some parts of India shepherd’s kissing their goats and sheep. We wonder where these children of the forests learned such western customs as kissing!
The Fifth Point is very interesting and reveals the mind of the paganisers. In point two God is offered anjali hasta: In point five, man is offered anjali hasta! So, God and man are placed on the same footing. Folded palms are the common form of wishing one another called a Namaste; it is a salutation among human beings. In practice anjali hasta is a mere namaste since no one raises the hands over the head.
The alternative way of giving the kiss of peace is “the placing of the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient”. In Indian custom shaking hands or touching or holding others hands is not a part of culture. No doubt today shaking hands, a purely western custom, has become very common. But men do not usually shake hands with women.
The Indianisers throw to the winds Indian culture and custom and at Mass they suggest a form of hand-shaking which is totally un-Indian. If a woman is by one’s side at Mass the process recommended by the fifth point would be considered an affront to the modesty of the lady.
The Sixth Point recommends more use of incense. It is immaterial whether a bowl is used instead of a more convenient thurible.
The Seventh Point concerns the vestments. The idea is to do away with the majestic and dignified vestments now in use throughout the Church and replace it with something which culturally is neither Indian nor Hindu.
The recommendation suggests a “single tunic-type chasuble with a stole (angavastra)”. This is not at all Indian. The priest already in western clothes, pant, shirt or bush shirt, wears part of the Roman vestments and uses a shawl thrown over his shoulders and the entire costume is looked upon as Indian. Just fantastic!
Again, I have to emphasise that the Hinduisers have not studied either history or Indian culture or Hinduism in depth. lf to perform a Hinduised mass they wish to look Indian without using the vestments, then like the Brahmin they should offer Mass BARE-BODIED. Indian culture and Hinduism do not allow any one to have any clothes above the waist when one performs puja (religious ceremony).
Nor does Indian culture permit the use of an angavastram, shawl or upper cloth over the shoulders when meeting a superior. For instance when an Indian has to meet a maharaja he has to take his upper cloth, tie it round his waist and bow low before His Highness. This is the historical, respectful, cultural behaviour.
At Mass where the Lord God of Hosts is arriving, the Hinduised priest cannot wear angavastram squatting on the floor. It is an insult to God. If he wants to throw away Roman vestments, he should go all Indian and not be a hypocrite in pants fooling the faithful with his own fancy dress and call it Indianisation.
The Hinduising priests in pants close their jaundiced eyes to the realities of life. The entire Indian army, navy, air force, police, ‘customs’ postal’ railway, staff etc are all in most modern western garb. The judges in the courts wear dignified black gowns, some even with attractive wigs; advocates, doctors, surgeons, nurses are all in their respective westernised costumes. Only this misguided’ narrow – minded anti-Rome human being of a Hinduised priest, wants to discard Roman vestments as foreign. How foolish, how hypocritical and how absurd.
Inspite of the absurdity of combining pants plus chasuble an Indian shawl thrown over the shoulders a most undignified garb, neither Roman, Western, Indian or Hindu, an increasing number of bishops and priests are performing the squatting mass in the comedian’s garb. To the best of our knowledge Rome has NOT given approval for this strange combination of apparel.
Points Eight and Nine are superficial: instead of a corporal, to use a tray and oil lamps instead of candle. The cultural expert thinks that candles are western. If he did some purposeful research he will find that in Buddhist monasteries as far back as 30 AD, some monks were preparing thick wicks like candles to illuminate their caves. Today, candles are used in millions throughout India for the Hindu festival of Deepavali – Festival of Lights. The orthodox Hindu does not think candles western and untouchable; He prefers candles to oil lamps which are messy and give much less light. The Hindus have beautifully electrified their temples with neon lights and chandeliers and have not banned them as colonial or western. Only our Hinduised priests with narrow vision and prejudiced minds go to the absurd length of discarding things useful since they once originated in the west.
Point Ten bristles with problems.
a) Presentation of gifts. This is purely an innovation, either Roman or Indian. It does not specify what gifts are to be presented and by whom.
b) Welcome to the celebrant in an Indian way with a single arati, washing of hands. Here we have arati a purely Hindu ceremony introduced.
Walker’s Hindu World Volume II (London 1968) informs us that “object of the arati rite is to please the goddess with bright lights and colours and also to counter act the evil eye, (p. 609). Dubois-Beauchamp, in their famous Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, Volume l, Oxford 1897, state that arati is one of the commonest religious practices of the Hindus. It is performed by married women and courtesans; the object is to counteract the influence of the evil eye and any ill-effects arising from the jealous and spiteful looks of ill-intentioned persons“.
The use of this Hindu ceremony at the beginning of Mass will give the impression that a pagan puja (religious ritual) is to commence. To introduce such a patently Hindu rite in Catholic liturgy and worship is clearly a deliberate move to Hinduise the Church. No one can claim or prove that arati is a cultural ritual because ONLY Hindus-(no other religious group in India) resort to this ceremony. Archbishop Bugnini accepts this as one of the 12 Points totally ignorant of what it signifies but fully trusting Archbishop Lourduswamy who presented the 12 Points to him for approval.
c) The lighting of the lamp. Here a typical Hindu temple lamp is used and the wicks are not only lighted but the priest walks round the lamp and then worships the burning wicks. Yet another Hindu ritual based on fire worship. Agni, fire, is a God, and this pantheistic idea is through C of the point no.10 of the approved 12 Points accepted by the Catholic Church. This also has nothing to do with Indian culture but is purely a Hindu religious rite.
d) Greeting of peace among the faithful is a sign of mutual reconciliation. No type of greeting is specified and in practice anjali hasta is normally used.
Point 11 permits “some spontaneity” in the “Oratio fidelium”*. Actually the Indian Mass and for that matter the Novus Ordo mass as offered in India is just one ad lib ad infinitum! Point 11 adds, “The universal aspect of the Church, however, should not be left in oblivion”. This tag at the end of the point only makes one wonder how far the 12 Points emphasise or support the universal aspect of the Church. On the contrary the points with Roman approval have pushed me Church definitely out of the orbit of a Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church. *Prayer of the Faithful
Point 12: The final point reemphasizes that at offertory and at the conclusion of the Anaphora “(the Indian form of worship” with arati may be integrated.
Archbishop Lourduswamy and his accomplices deliberately use the word “Indian” where “Hindu should be used in truth and honesty. But to hoodwink Vatican the word “Indian” is used as the use of the word “Hindu” would certainly have raised even Bugnini’s freemason eye-brows. As already pointed out arati is NOT an Indian cultural ceremony but is purely a Hindu ritual.
Recently a new Archbishop was consecrated for the Archdiocese of Madurai in South India. After the dignified consecration ceremonies were over, a woman performed arati for the new Archbishop to the surprise of many and the amusement of the Hindus. TV coverage of the event gave added publicity to the incorporation of Hindu rituals in a solemn Catholic religious ceremony. The excuse of the Hinduisers is to erase the so-called western image of the Church. In Hinduism women are never allowed inside the sacred precincts of the altar. By allowing women entry into the sacred area, the Hinduisation or Indianisation is totally lost and the orthodox Indian only sees western influences in the act.
So, the purpose of giving a Hindu touch is negatived because Hindu women do not perform arati to the Brahmin pujari (priest) inside the sanctum sanctorum. As already pointed out, Hinduisation of the Church liturgy not only causes confusion to the Catholics but provides material for the Hindus to laugh at our aping their ceremonies and that in a wrong manner. Like a frog in a well the Catholic Hinduiser is not aware of it or pretends not to so long as his final goal of Hinduising the Church can be achieved and a church of India duly established.
The official explanations given on the Twelve Points presented by the chairman of the Liturgy Commission of the Bishops Conference of ‘India to the Holy See and our comments on them can help the readers to realise that these Points cannot in any way enhance the beauty and the spiritual intensity of the liturgy. Far from it. Their use in liturgy does give the Mass the look of a pagan ceremony. They add confusion to an already confused and scandalised congregation. They do not in anyway Indianise the church but very effectively help to paganise – Hinduise her.
It should be very clear from the above analysis that the Twelve Points 1) did not get a two third majority support from the bishops of India; 2) the unconventional system of consultation by mail on a matter of vital importance to the liturgy of the liturgy of the church reveals the haste with which the whole opinion poll was rushed through. The bishops were asked to return the ballot papers within two days!
Further, the detailed explanations on the various points given by us should convince any one with an open mind that the liturgy was not undergoing inculturation’ or Indianisation but was being very effectively Hinduised. No one with even an elementary knowledge of Indian culture and Hinduism can deny that anjali hasta is NOT the salutation to God Almighty. Also the lighting of the temple lamp and venerating the burning wicks are not a part of the country’s culture but an integral part of Hindu worship of the fire God, Agni.
The late Bishop Ignatius Gopu* of Visakhapatnam in the columns of The New Leader, a Catholic weekly, tried to prick the conscience of the Bishops of India on June 22, 1978, and wrote: “For any major decision, a two-thirds majority of the house is needed. In this case, this was clearly lacking. Yet an approval was obtained from Rome and the 12 points were imposed on the country. This approval was based on a misunderstanding and it continues to be implemented. Even at this late hour this mistake may be corrected“. *See page 63
Please note that the ballot on such a major liturgical resolution was participated only by 50 bishops, 20 refrained from sending back the papers. This is tantamount to 2o bishops boycotting the poll for various reasons. Against this background the Bishops conference of India permitting Archbishop Lourduswamy to present the Twelve points to Rome for approval only proves the determination of the inner cabal to get going with the Hinduisation of the liturgy come hell or high water.
It must be said to the credit of the laity that there were bold and dedicated Catholics who were shocked at the Hinduisation of the liturgy. It has to be recorded that the Catholic Association of Bengal, Calcutta wrote protest letters to Rome.
In a reply to Mr. L.G. Stuart, Honorary Secretary of the Catholic Association of Bengal, Calcutta the Sacred Congregation of Rites (Prot. No. 256/70, dated July 30, 1970) confirmed the validity of the procedure and of the decision stating:
“The resolution of the Catholic Association of Bengal regarding the adaptations of the Mass in India have been carefully considered by this Congregation. At the same time the results of recent meetings of the Episcopal Conference of India in this regard have also been studied. In the view of the Indian Hierarchy these adaptations represent reasonable “Indianisation” and not “Hinduisation”. The adaptations in question, having been considered and reconsidered, were approved by a large majority of the Hierarchy of India. This Sacred Congregation, having followed the matter closely, accepted this judgement of the Indian Episcopal Conference”.
Not satisfied with this answer Mr. L.G. Stuart and Mrs. T. Williams of the same Catholic Association of Bengal wrote again raising further objections and requesting afresh re-consideration. To this the Sacred Congregation of Rites replied on the 16th October, 1970 (Prot. No. 3397/70), dated 17th November 1970).
“This congregation, after due enquiry, has found no cause to cast doubts upon the legality and wisdom of the CBCI in presenting for our approval the facultative adaptations promulgated in the Epistole “Consilii and excequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia” (Prot. No. 802/69).. We are satisfied that the introduction of this adaptation together with the dispositions of the episcopal conference in this matter, will not endanger the correct understanding of the liturgy or threaten the tenets of Catholic faith”.
Rome has to trust the Bishops. If the Bishops do not present the correct picture or give wrong information, Rome cannot be held responsible. Rome’s action was based on the reports and opinion of the Bishops Conference of India. Therefore Rome accepted the Twelve Points as reasonable “Indianisation” and not “Hinduisation”. The onus of thus misguiding Rome and initiating the Hinduisation of the liturgy clearly falls on the shoulders of the Bishops Conference which gave the green signal and support to Archbishop Lourduswamy to manipulate and succeed with their plan of Hinduisation of the Church.
I must confess that as a journalist living and working in India’s capital New Delhi, for over four decades I have had the opportunity to come in close contract with top political leaders, party whips and policy makers. I have also watched political activities within charmed circles when certain national crises took place – how politicians changed positions, how they to acquire strength, lied, cheated and fought and won their ultimate goals. When compared with all the hurly – burly of politics and the techniques used by the politician. I am ashamed to state that the dubious methods, the strategy, the machinations so cleverly resorted to by the Bishops Cabal equals that of the professional politicians. Why should men of God with mitre and crosier resort to mundane tactics in ecclesiastical and spiritual matters is very hard to say. But when one hears of communists and Freemasons operating at very high levels, one has to face the cruelty of life’s paradoxes.
Only the good Lord can save us from Satan’s smoke destroying the vision of ecclesiastical leaders who misguide the faithful.
With the Twelve Points fully approved by the Holy See, the Hinduisation process was effectively launched in India. The next obvious step was to extend the process to all the crucial areas of spiritual life. A comprehensive plan was needed to get the desired result – the total Hinduisation of the Church.
To this end a Church in India Seminar at the national level was considered a desideratum
CHURCH IN INDIA’S GRAND JAMBOREE
After Vatican II, the Indian hierarchy had to make a serious study of all the Documents in order to implement their recommendations. But unfortunately in spite of such an exercise, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) failed to discover the kernel. The spiritual content of the documents was never underscored by the CBCI but where the clarity of ideas demanded utmost attention and adherence to Truth, they were cleverly, misinterpreted!
A new strategy was evolved to use Vatican II as a valid excuse to introduce in the church in India ideas and activities which would help bishop’s cabal to establish a Church Of India. They initiated moves that suited their novel thinking, dedication to Indianise the church in its spiritual content and in its outward image.
To give direction and fillip to Indianise the Church, the Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) organised a magnificent jamboree in – Bangalore in May 1969. Two Cardinals , 15 Archbishops, 50 bishops, more than 200 priests, nuns and brothers and a motley crowd of the laity, men and women who would willingly toe the line of the inculturation experts participated in this ten-day Seminar. After many months of preparation and a mountain of paper work, (the official record of the Seminar states that 1688 pages of material were distributed to each of the participants and over 200,000 sheets of cyclostyled hand-outs distributed during the Seminar), the Church in India Seminar was inaugurated on May 15, 1969 in Bangalore*, then the headquarters of Archbishop Simon D. Lourduswamy, the chief architect of paganisation of the Church in India. Within a month after procuring the approval for the Twelve Points, the comprehensive planning to Hinduise the Church in India was in full blast. *at the NBCLC
Several workshops and many sessions were, held for ten days; many resolutions were passed with much acclaim and noisy support. The main trend was to push the Church into a totally Hindu mould, in its thinking, its theology, its liturgy, its pattern of spiritual life-et al. The underlying current of this national jamboree was to break away from the glorious past and to make the Church look Hindu in everything – outward appearance, in its inner spirit, in its symbolism, its actions, its rituals and ceremonies.
With this ultimate goal in mind, the Seminar declared:
“Recognising the role played by non-Christian religions in the divine redemptive plan and inspired by a genuine concern for God’s truth and love, the Church (in India) is set on seeking and dis-covering, meeting and worshipping God WHEREVER. He is present and active”. Idea 1
HOW, WHERE AND WHO managed to recognise or discover the role played by non-Christian religions in the Divine Redemptive Plan was never elaborated or explained at the Seminar by any of the learned speakers. It was taken for granted that the non-Christian religions of India – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism – have inherent in them a Divine Redemptive Plan. As far as this Seminar was concerned the non-Christian religion was ONLY Hinduism the religion of over 500 millions and the religion which as already explained in the Introduction had literally driven away Buddhism out of the country. From the Seminar experts point of view Hinduism has inherently a Divine Redemptive Plan.
God is Truth and He cannot be having various plans which are basically and intrinsically poles apart from each other. The Christian belief in a Redemptive Plan is the Blood Redemption by the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The Hindus can never understand or ever will accept this. Gandhi once said sarcastically that it is impossible to believe that by the death of one man on the Cross humanity can be redeemed. The idea of a Redemptive Plan is purely Christian and nowhere in Hinduism is there any idea or clue to a Redemptive Plan. The Hindus do not have the slightest notion or idea of Original sin.
The Hindu considers himself a part and parcel of God himself. He is a spark of God coming to earth, which itself is Maya – a mere illusion, and after this life he goes through a process of purification by a chain of births and deaths finally to be immersed in the creator (Brahma). In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says: Brahman is the Supreme, the Eternal, Atman is his Spirit of Man, Karma is the force of creation, where from all things have their life.
How can the Hindu’s transmigration of souls cycle of births and deaths, Karma (fate) and Maya <the world is all an illusion) be interpreted as a Divine Redemptive Plan in a Christian sense? How then can any religion other than Christianity have any role to play in the Divine Redemptive Plan? The experts should not take all the world for a pack of fools who just accept all the illogical and fantastic nonsense that they spell out in order that they can impose on the Church all that they think is “good” in Hinduism.
Can the Church accept Karma, Maya and cycle, of births and deaths which are the fundamentals of Hinduism? Krishna himself in Chapter 4 verse 5 of the Gita Says: “I have been born many times, Arjuna, and many times hast thou been born. But I remember my past lives and thou has forgotten thine”. Perhaps our Catholic Hinduisers like Krishna remember their past lives and thus have the know-ledge of Divine Redemption in non-Christian religions!
Again, let it be emphasised that the Hindu dogmas of life, death and ultimate “moksha” (release -from the birth-death cycle) are poles apart from Christian beliefs. There is no meeting point anywhere; each has to-respect the other and not claim that one exists within the other. The Brahmin will never accept any connection spiritual or celestial with Christianity. For the Brahmin’s orthodox attitude to touch a Christian would pollute him.
The Christian belief of Divine Redemption is not of the genre of cycle of births and deaths, even as that of the Hindus is not that of a God’s son coming down on earth and dying on the Cross. It is only the CBCI’s experts-who can imagine such Redemptive plan in non-Christian, religion, an idea which orthodox Hindus will reject with con-tempt. The craving to find common ground on important metaphysical and spiritual points in Hinduism is certainly a sign of inferiority complex.
Christian charity does not deny a, non-Christians the salvific blessings of redemption. The good Lord alone knows how best to redeem each and every one of his creatures, to give the grace to the deserving good soul and save it. But His Redemptive plan is positively not through a series of births and deaths, as man, as animal, as any form of animate object. Presuming without any basis the presence of a Divinely blessed Redemptive plan in non-Christian religions, was a clever strategy or the prime movers to Hinduise the Church to cloud vital issues at the Seminar. An avalanche of words solemnly uttered by bishops and priests at seminars is rarely challenged and never by a captive audience.
The strange fact is that NOT ONE of the hundreds who attended this jamboree ever raised his eye-brows or questioned any of the fantastic statements. It was a willing, docile, audience which was handpicked to agree to the Hinduisation of the Church. Let us not forget that Bishops were also present listening to all this; if silence is consent then they too found a Divinely-inspired Redemption Plan in non-Christian religions!
Idea 2: In keeping with the strategy of injecting novel false ideas at the jamboree, yet another fantastic idea propounded was that Christ is hidden in Hindu scriptures and in Hindu religion. This idea was mooted and propagated with much fanfare and gusto. This again is a strategy to confuse the non-Indians and a ruse to -make others think and believe that in Hinduism Christ is also present. From the time the Aryans crossed over to India from central Asia and from some parts of Europe, the Hindu religion has been in the process of crystallizing its ideas. Hundreds of saintly men have spent their whole lives sitting in meditation and contemplating God according to their own way of thinking.
But not one of them through the centuries has ever said that they found Christ in their dreams or thoughts or in their mysticism. This hidden Christ has not made himself seen or known or heard by anyone of these saintly Hindu men. It was left to the 20th century Catholic Hinduisers to proclaim that Christ is hidden in Hinduism. But this statement will be considered an affront to Hinduism and will be totally rejected by the Brahmins.
CHRIST AND KRISHNA
CHRIST AND SHIVA
CHRIST AND VISHNU
CHRIST AND BRAHMA
CAN NEVER CO- EXIST
Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and all Hindu avatars (incarnations) are of the Hindu religion where they are glorified, exalted and worshipped.
In this galaxy of idols, Christ is nowhere hiding. Christ will never hide His Divine presence anywhere. In His own inscrutable way He would have revealed Himself. His Redemptive plan is Not to hide somewhere for the Christian Hinduisers to use a telescope, a microscope or binoculars to dis-cover His presence.
The Cow is considered a sacred animal and is worshipped by Hindus. Even its urine is considered holy. Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave, a Gandhian and a staunch Hindu national figure, like most Hindus held the idea that the Cow is sacred. They went all out to protect the sacred Cow from any form of harm. Since the Cow is holy and an integral part of Hindu worship, are we to search for Christ in the Cow as well? Those who so firmly believe and publicise that they are looking for Christ hidden in Hinduism should search for Him in the Cow also.
It has to be admitted that the bishops and priests who are bent upon Hinduising the Catholic Church are a bunch of highly intelligent men. Archbishop (now Cardinal) Lourduswamy, Bishop Patrick D’Souza of Varanasi, Cardinal Parecattil, Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of New Delhi, and others are men of extraordinary abilities and knowledge. But they evidently have a kink in their heads, that the Church should put on a Hindu look and thus be popular with the majority in the country. They know philosophy, theology and anthropology but not simple psychology. They fail to realise the innate fanaticism of the Hindus who after India gained her freedom from the British, have become stronger and militant. They fail to see that a Hinduised Catholic Church will be an object of utter contempt for the Hindus who will most logically and triumphantly declare that the Catholic religion has openly accepted the superiority of Hinduism and hence Hinduised itself.
It was at this special Seminar jamboree that the strange idea of a hidden Christ, fantastic, foolish and a mere fantasy of the perverted imagination of the ring-leaders of the Hinduisation camp was again and again propagated and underscored. It was a satanic gimmick to hoodwink Rome and all Catholics that since Christ is a already present in Hinduism, what is wrong in totally accepting all that they judge is “good” in Hinduism from OM to the worship of the cow, snake and the phallus. Hindu thought, mantras (Gayatri mantra), rituals rites, ceremonies, superstitions and customs are all being systematically incorporated in the Catholic liturgy, prayers and other spiritual activities. With this one single (false) idea that Christ is present, though hidden, in Hinduism the manipulators of paganising the Church think they have a master-key to open all the doors to let in paganism in all its forms to enmesh the Church and give it a new but false and artificial look. If it is accepted that Christ is hidden in Hinduism, then it stands to reason that Christ has blessed all that Hinduism stands for and consists of. But every Catholic knows that Christ could never bless many of the basic Hindu dogmas.
That Christ is hidden in Hinduism is a deliberate ploy never before used by any bishop during the past one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine years of Christianity in India. It is now thought to the forefront and will certainly insult the Hindu who will rightly consider this as a ruse to make Hinduism a Christian religion. lt is only after Vatican II, when in many parts of the world Bishops started interpreting the Documents to suit their own thoughts and ideas, that such tricks and false interpretations began to surface to suit their own dubious methods to effect changes not envisaged in the Vatican II documents.
Catholic Hinduisers on totally false premises found excuses for their high voltage inculturation plans by giving absolutely new meanings to century old Hindu mantras, words and rites, grafting them on to the liturgy-and the prayers of the Church. The scaffolding for inculturation was cleverly done with much cunning that even Rome was hoodwinked to accept the Twelve Points. The Faithful were misled. They have always accepted without questioning whatever Bishop taught them fully, confident that they were from the Holy See. Now, they are being misled to accept many pagan rites and symbols, without questioning because they trust the Bishops honesty. Soon they will discover that paganisation of the church does not have the pope’s blessings. Then the real crisis will come. Already in the dioceses of Tuticorin and Bombay thousands have left the Church and joined Jehovah witnesses and the Pentecostal Church. Hundreds have lapsed back to Hinduism.
At the jamboree some time was spent in deciding whether to call the process of Hinduising the Church by its nomenclature Hinduisation or camouflage it and call it Indianisation. The clever Hinduisers know, very well that a large percentage of the Faithful would be shocked and would oppose Hinduisation.
Rome too will wonder how the Bishops could Hinduise the Church. So, they cleverly decided that it is best to call the paganisation of the Church as Indianisation. But anyone with even an elementary knowledge of Hinduism can see that the mantras (magic words) rituals, ceremonies, the chanting of OM are purely Hindu. The Catholic Hinduiser picks up a potato and asks the Faithful to accept it as a tomato!
That is exactly what they are doing giving their own meanings to words like
which for over 2000 years has had its own varied Hindu meanings and NEVER the false meaning now being imposed on it to cheat and misguide Rome and the Catholics.
In this context it must be stated very emphatically and candidly that the real orthodox good Hindus look askance at all the tom-foolery going on in the Catholic Church. The serious minded political leaders are disturbed and annoyed at the sham imitation of their rituals and rites so sacred to them through the centuries and held by the Brahmins as their prerogative that not even other Hindus can imitate them. They are rather puzzled why Catholics should resort to this type of Hinduisation of their religion. Some are firm in their opinion that Hinduising the Church is a trick to attract the lower caste Hindus to become Catholics.
A politician of high repute and a serious minded Hindu in discussing with me the Hinduisation process of the Church in India, (not yet known to the public at large) showed utmost contempt and disgust at what is being done by the Hinduisers. He said that he always felt extremely happy and spiritually elevated to attend Christmas midnight mass in Bombay. He also reminded me how a great Hindu intellectual and national leader, late Shri K.M. Munshi had publicly stated that Catholic religious ceremonies are most dignified and appealing to the spirit.
Finally, the politician ended his conversation with me saying: “A time will come when we will, have to pass a Bill (Law) in Parliament that NO religion can imitate another religion in its basic ceremonies, rituals, rites etc. as such imitation may be with the ulterior motive of drawing members of one religion to another thereby creating occasions for communal tensions and strife. It is best that each religion sticks to its own time honoured systems and ceremonies”.
Participating in the Seminar were two Cardinals – Cardinal Valerian Gracias of Bombay. India’s first Cardinal and Cardinal Parecattil, the first Cardinal in the Syro-Malabar rite. Cardinal Gracias advised the participants not to be carried away by the new ideas and opinions but to give “equal value to the opinions of the official teaching of the Church.”
In contrast to this, Cardinal Parecattil in his homily said that his deep conviction is that “the Church would not strike deep roots in Indian soil until and unless we take pains to Indianise her as far as possible, especially in regard to her liturgy and thought patterns”. The Cardinal from Malabar was certainly insulting the great heritage of St. Thomas Christians of his own State who have since AD 52 been good Christians, patriotic Indians, fully integrated in the society in which they live, and respected by the Maharajas who gave them high positions in the army. The St. Thomas Christians are considered a high caste community and hold equal status with the Nairs in society. All this they commanded without in any way compromising their Christian Faith by adapting the rituals or mantras of the Hindus.
Cardinal Parecattil threw to the winds truth and history. He knows too well that St. Thomas Christians will never bow to any process of Hinduisation as they are a proud race who publicly venerate the Cross and staunchly defend their Faith. The Cardinal* tried to Hinduise the Church in Kerala but failed miserably. He extolled Hinduism and visited Hindu temples. These antics failed to impress the good Syrian Christians. He even performed the squatting Mass scandalising his flock.
*He died at a yoga centre founded by him!
The multi-pronged attack to Hinduise the Church has many well defined projects; one which receives top priority is the creation of an Indian Christian theology. This, the Seminar said, has to grow out of the personal reflection of the People of God on the WORD of God by a process of meditation and by a proper reading of the Indian religious texts it should be possible for such a theology to grow from religious experience. This would be the womb of the new theology for India.” Idea 3
It continued: “Proper atmosphere must be created and the soil prepared for the evolution of an authentic Indian theology to enunciate our faith in the richness of Indian tradition, using Indian thought patterns, concepts and symbols”.
The evolution of an authentic Indian theology, the Seminar said, has to be achieved by recognising the seeds of the word hidden in the diversified Indian tradition, especially in its sacred scriptures and in its living religious experiences. The Seminar felt the need for an Indian theology very urgent since without a theology of its own they could not have a Church OF India.
From that time onwards there has been a systematic program to produce an Indian theology. An Institute for Theology and an Association for Theology have been established. In seminaries many a pseudo-theologian airs his own fantastic views on God and His Church brain washing the future priests with half-baked ideas. In propounding anti-Church theology they very often show their anti-Magisterium stance. Such professors go unchallenged and unchecked by their superiors or by the Bishops in whose diocese the seminary is.
Apart from trying to teach an Indian theology of their own making, they wax eloquent in favour of liberation theology in spite of Cardinal Ratzinger’s authoritative document on the subject. It is a sign of false superiority complex to snap one’s fingers at anything that comes from the Holy See, an impertinent but studied step in the process of establishing the Church OF India.
The evolution of an India theology is proceeding with much gusto inspite of Pope Paul’s statement at the end of the Roman Synod October 1974. “Thus we consider necessary a word on the need of finding a better expression of faith to correspond to the racial, social and cultural milieux. This is indeed a necessary requirement of authenticity and effectiveness of evangelisation; it would nevertheless be dangerous to speak of diversified theologies according to continents and cultures. The content of the faith is either Catholic or it is not”.
At the Seminar on May 22, 1969, 150 priests concelebrated a hotch-potch Mass of the new Indian liturgy. The Official Report of the Seminar says: 1
“The beauty of this liturgy is that it expresses the theme in terms relevant and meaningful in the Indian context… It has been modelled on the Upanishadic (Hindu Scriptures) pattern of worship, making a seven fold division of the entire Mass as follows:
1) Hinkara (Entrance hymn)
2) Prastav (Proclamation of the Word)
3) Arathana (Petition)
4) Udgita (Canticle of Praise)
5) Archana (Offering)
6) Pratihara (Heavenly Response)
7) Nidhana (Conclusion: Communion)” –The new Indian Rite Mass
The Report admits that wherever possible the inspiration has been drawn from Hindu scriptures; Hindu rituals and gestures were also used.
Please note in this Indian liturgy based on Hindu Scriptures, in the seven-fold mass NO WHERE do we find the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary – NO WHERE is the Sacred Consecration of bread and wine done but in the end called Nidhana or conclusion, it is put Communion. How can there be Communion without the sacrifice. There is NOTHING common in Hinduism with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which the Church has for centuries celebrated in Latin, Syriac, and other Oriental rites. The very idea of modeling the Holy Mass on Hindu Scripture shows how much respect the architects of Hinduisation have for the sacrifice and for transubstantiation.
This will also give the readers some idea of the havoc being done to the Holy Mass in India in the name of inculturation and Indianisation. Even in Churches where the Novus Ordo Mass is being celebrated, it is done as per the whim and fancy of the celebrant. In a Low Mass the celebrant will sing whenever it pleases him; in a Sung Mass he will not sing if it does not suit him! But the Indian rite mass surpasses all this with its total pagan approach and content incorporating whole chunks of Hindu Scripture in it totaling ignoring the central and most important part of the Mass–The Consecration.
All this tom-foolery and seven-ring circus is performed with the knowledge and under the aegis of the Bishops Conference of India. Certainly Rome’s representative in New Delhi cannot be unaware of the havoc being done to the Mass. Indian (Hindu oriented) masses are said all over India in many churches and in churches of religious orders especially at the National Centre of the Bishops Conference of India in Bangalore, at Aikiya Alayam Inter Religious Dialogue Centre, Madras, many other pastoral centres and in very many convents.
Having planned the Hinduisation of the theology, liturgy and the spiritual life of the Church in India, the Seminar turned its attention to moral issues. Here the strategy was to get the laity to attack Humanae Vitae.
Participants later gave the information that the most acrimonious, insulting and defamatory speeches were made denouncing the Papal Encyclical. They discussed the population control problem and conjugal morality, without the light of the Encyclical Humane Vitae. Serious pastoral problems which they felt the situation has raised were vehemently stated. On the one side the speakers said was the definite, though NOT IRREVOCABLE (emphasis ours) teaching of the Holy Father on Humane Vitae. On the other side were the many pronouncements of the various hierarchies, some of which had in effect given varying emphasis providing some latitude as far as the implementation of the principles was involved.
The Seminar admitted that “there can be only one norm for morality for all the world – a morality of which the anchor is Christ. We may have serious difficulties in knowing what it is but there is no doubting about the identity of the Christian norm and the true secular rule of conduct… “, it is very strange that Catholics should have difficulty in knowing the moral teachings of the Church.
In the cacophony of voices attacking the Encyclical, one clear voice rang true to his calling of loyalty to the church. Cardinal Gracias asked the participants to be “cautious and prudent.” He said: “In my recent talks with some top officials of the I.L.O. I gathered a general impression that many persons of responsibility in various parts of the world were of the opinion that under existing circumstances the Holy Father had rightly herd a firm line in the sacredness of the family, and if His Holiness had relaxed in anyway concerning family life, marriage etc., there would have been logically a complete breakdown of morality.
The inspired opposition of the laity at the seminar to Humanae Vitae is in keeping with the attitude taken by the Bishops conference on the issue of abortion. Right on the heels of the seminar the country was facing a public controversy on the Abortion Bill. The Congress party in power had a Bill in Parliament which was to enable those who wanted to use abortion to limit their families to easily have it. The Government appointed a Parliamentary committee to enable it to get public reaction to the Bill. Social welfare groups and associations presented their view point before the committee. But the Minister of Health, Dr. Sushila Nayyar, was surprised that NO Christian group or organisation or representative of the church came forward to pronounce or explain the Christian stand on this question. So, she invited Dr (Mrs) Daisy Kulanday*, then Director of Maternal & Child Health, Delhi, to appear before the Committee and present the views of the Catholics. Dr. Kulanday was ably helped by Rev- Anthony D’Souza S.J., then the Director of the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, to prepare a well documented paper on the problems which besides, stating in clear terms the position of the Church on abortion, also presented statistics to prove the evils of this crime in countries like Japan. *wife of the author
The lapse of the Bishops Conference in NOT presenting the Catholic view point was brought to the notice of the then Pro-Nuncio H.E. Maria J. Lemieux who took serious notice of the matter and encouraged me to bring out a handbook containing valuable material on the evil of abortion including the opinion of Hindu, Jain and Muslim religious leaders on the moral and spiritual danger of abortion.
The Hinduisers should have consulted orthodox Hindu opinion on artificial Birth Control. lf they are so keen that in every aspect of life we have to use the Hindu scriptures and thought, on this very important moral question they ought to find out what the Hindus think on artificial birth control. His Holiness Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharaya of Sringeri says: “Any step which is opposed to Dharma cannot be supported. The human being must discipline himself in the path shown by our sages and practise self-control to achieve happiness.”
“The Kathaka Samhita 31 :7 states that there is no sin as heinous as killing or destroying semen. lf the Hinduisers were honest they should in this, vital matter also fall in line with Hindu thought and religion and not conveniently forget the cultural and thinking pattern of Indian life.
Hindu morality is of a high order and there are set rules for the happy and moral life of husband and wife. One should not be misled by men like Rajneesh who is now in Oregon, USA, preaching salvation through sex. Such freaks are in every religion even as we have today, particularly in USA, men unashamedly parading as homosexuals to the extent that there are even some priests who openly conduct services for homosexuals. lt is a very clear case of hypocrisy that the Hinduisers do not bring in Indian culture and religion in the important area of birth control and natural living of husband and wife.
The Seminar discussions and attack of Humane Vitae should give an insight to the fact that the hierarchy and a large percentage of priests look with disapproval on the Encyclical and secretly and surreptitiously aid and abet open opposition to the Pope’s serious and most useful guide to family life. Artificial birth control has become more and more a way of life especially with the Government egging on the people, helping them to procure all the gadgets free, plus offering them other attractive material incentives. Priests have, even in Sunday sermons, openly stated that in the context of the population problems that India faces it is NOT a sin to resort to artificial birth control. I have heard such a sermon in one of the important churches in New Delhi.
In the context of this Catholic anti-Indian culture, anti Hindu and anti-church stand on artificial birth control, the 1981 census of India has some very revealing figures to tempt us to believe that the Christians have surely resorted to artificial birth control throwing to the winds morality and Christian principles.
The Census Report Says: “The census figures show that the growth rate among different communities is not the same- Among the six major religious communities the decadal growth rate between 1971 -81 was highest among Muslims (30.59) and lowest among Christians (16.77). The growth rate among Hindus was (24.15) Sikhs (26.15), Buddhists (22.52) and Jains (23.69). The percentage of Christians to the total population fell from 2.59 in 1971 to 2.43 in 1931.This is largely due to the fact that percentage growth of Christian population between the two census was 16.77 as against a national population growth rate of 24.69. In fact the percentage of Christians fell in all regions of the country except the North-East”
It is difficult in a small book to detail the plethora of ideas and plans that the Seminar discussed. Suffice to say that all of them were targeted to create a Church OF India with a total Hindu look. Even the term “Evangelisation” sparked a lively controversy and was finally rejected as being too closely associated with “Conversion”. It is too patent from such a decision that most of the Bishops are no longer honestly pursuing the command of Jesus at His Ascension (Matthew Chap 28:19-20)
With the population of Christians falling to the lowest level among all the Indian Communities and with evangelisation limping to a slow halt within a decade, the Catholic Church in India in the 21st century will not be the flourishing, evangelical institution it has been almost for 2000 years. The Seminar’s recognition of Marxism and secular humanism as “quasi-religious” movements whose cooperation was termed ‘absolute necessity’ reveals the extent to which the new-theologians are prepared to go to have e Church OF India.
What the Church OF India should be has been well defined by the Bishop’s own National Centre, Bangalore in its official magazine Word and Worship Jan – Feb 1975 page 87: It read as follows:
“The Local Church is the realisation of the mystery of the Church in a particular place, at a particular time, among a certain people with its own culture. It is not, therefore, a part or portion of the Church but embodies in itself the entire mystery of the Church in particular circumstances. lt should have its legitimate autonomy, its personnel and resources“ (Page 82 Word and Worship Jan – Feb 1975, Ban-galore). Mark the words: It will not be “a part or portion of the Church”. Those who openly propagate such a Local Church have already in intention broken off from the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church. They want a Church which will not be an integral part of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, not even a portion of it but totally independent of it.
Much time, talent (perverted) and huge funds are being invested to carefully plan the organisation of such a Church OF India as envisaged above. Cardinal Gracias in the Forward he wrote to the 627 pages official Report of the Church in India Seminar was very prophetic when he declared “NO MORE CAN WE BE THE SAME AS BEFORE”.
I had written about this proposed autonomous Indian Church commencing with my 2005 report on the seditious CATHOLIC ASHRAMS which was years before I came across Kulanday’s book. -Michael
Definitely NOT. The Church IN India is no more One, Holy, Apostolic or Catholic in the true sense of these words. It is leaping forward to the brink of disaster which can only be averted by prayers and through prayers proper action by the Holy See. The Holy See cannot for all time be unaware of the true state of affairs in the Church in India, the Holy See cannot on the face of stacks of evidence delay or deny action. The Holy See has to intervene to save the Faith of millions and to Defend the Faith in India.
From the following comments made by Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of New Delhi it can be clearly seen that the cockle sown at the jamboree is growing luxuriantly choking the good grain.
Within a few years of holding this Seminar bishops began to defy the Magisterium in many ways, openly and subtly. Evangelisation in its true and proper sense has no more any meaning for most of them. The following comments of Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of New Delhi on Cardinal Wojtyla (now Pope John Paul II) of Poland’s official theological Report at the 1974 Synod reveals the spirit of revolt revolution and reaction to all that the Church has held sacred through the centuries.
At a Press Conference the Archbishop said, “The Vatican II theology of the Church as the primordial sacrament is obscured and reduced to preaching and administration of the sacraments. The Church as sign and symbol of intimate union of man with God and of the unity of human race does not stand out to advantage. The old ecclesiology rears its head again. It is small wonder then that the notion of evangelisation is highly restricted to the preaching of the Word, witnessing by life and the administration of the sacraments. One of the points that came through quite clearly on the floor of the house was the necessity of integrating inter-religious dialogue into the very notion of evangelisation. (Sic) A new understanding of evangelisation! -Michael
“As for the link between human development, liberation and evangelisation, here again, over-emphasis on the eschatological dimension of salvation precludes the wide-spread thrust of men for fullness of life here and now, from finding its rightful place within the overall economy of salvation. By the same token, the concept of conversion remains ambiguous. It seems to limit the notion to conversion to the Church rather than place the emphasis on conversion to God for all men alike Christian and others and that too as a never ending process. Thus the document appears to be unduly Church-centered rather than on Him who is the Gospel, Jesus Christ the Lord. What is just as distressing is the almost complete neglect of the ecumenical dimension. The statements in the Synod have shown however, the growing awareness of the presence of the Mystery of the Church also in the other ecclesial communions. Perhaps the most fatal omission is the absence of the theology of the local Church which in point of fact has become the focal point of the voice of the witnessing Church in the Synod.
In the process, striking concepts that are emerging in a rather pronounced fashion in the Synod, like pluriformity in the Church, diversification of ministers and charisms and the place of basic communities have all fallen by the way aside. I am fully aware that the working paper does not pretend to be exhaustive in its choice of themes. However one cannot but wonder whether such a document would stimulate bishops into grappling with those crucial questions which many men of today are leveling at the Church and failure to deal with which would have them even more un-concerned than they already are with the message of the gospel. Hopefully, the Fathers of the Synod will go beyond the working paper to a broader and really challenging perspective and thus, with sense of mission, reach out to the multitudes that, consciously or unconsciously, are waiting to encounter the Lord“.
This was the view of an Indian Archbishop. But Bishop Thomas Holland of Salford, England called the same document “the greatest and most profound intervention at the Synod.
The theological adviser to the Indian delegates, Father Dupuis S.J. found it lacking in “theological vision” and proposing doctrinal themes in an “aprioristic manner’ (Vidya Jyoti, 29 (1975) p. 155); but the adviser of the Irish delegates, Fr. Kevin MacNamara (now Bishop) referred to it as a “magnificent theological report, listened to by the Bishops with admiration, immensely bracing in its confident reassertion of the Church, unshakably certain in its faith, as the centre from which all evangelisation radiates, and towards which it converges”. (The Furrow, January, 1975, p. 16)
Commenting on Archbishop Fernandes rebellious statement, Fr. Anastasio Gomes OCD wrote in The Laity of New Delhi:
“Such contradictory views bring out force-fully the need of a central authority which settles matters, and whose decisions are accepted with due humility, spirit of faith and love. And that authority by Christ’s will is the Pope who has given us the authoritative teaching of Christ in his Evangelii Nuntiandi. How one wishes that this document was accepted and studied and put into practice by all concerned. Especially we in India have an added reason for professing our acceptance of the teaching of the Pope as an official advisor of the C.B.C.I. expects us to dissent from Paul VI because he refused to accept the open approach to non-Christian religions which had been advocated by the Indian delegates. Need one remind this theologian that catechism teaches us that when the option is between Papal teaching and Indian Bishops view, (even the entire CBCI), we, the entire people of God–the Bishops priests, laity, including this “theologian” have no choice?”
Reporting on the Synod of 1974, Fr. Baker, S.J., Editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, had this to say: “More than one observer pointed out a certain centrifugal, anticentrist, anti-Roman direction of many interventions. The anti-Roman tendency came primarily from the Africans, but also from some Asians…”
Archbishop Fernandes’ comments betray anti-Papal stance. The Synod of 1974 revealed the spirit of defiance of the Indian hierarchy whose mind has been totally contaminated with neo modern ideas and permeated with paganism in all its forms from the time the Twelve Points were permitted followed by the massive efforts of the Church in India Seminar to Paganise the Church in India. To a large extent if the bishops in India are saluting the Magisterium it is more a salute to the funds that flow in than to the successor of Peter.
INDIAN RITE MASS
Totally Pagan Melodrama
The Twelve Points which received Rome’s approval were for implementation in the Holy Mass. A completely new type of mass was fabricated which the Hinduisers thought gives the sacrifice an Indian look though it is at the cost of throwing, overboard all that is sacred to the Faith.
Prof. Dr. J.P.M. van der Ploeg gives a very studied explanation of the Indian Mass and calls it “An example of Inter-religious syncretism” (Please see Appendix VI). This is the Mass which Archbishop Lourduswamy performed in Rome to impress Vatican VIPs that by squatting on the floor and chanting in Sanskrit the Mass is Indianised.
Obviously to the majority who do not understand Sanskrit or the significance of the many gestures, rituals and rites incorporated in the Mass from Hinduism, the novelty of the performance wins their approval of the ceremony. But when the Mass is analysed and the meaning of each word and act is explained, anyone with an open unbiased mind can see that the Mass is only a caricature of the Divine sacrifice on Calvary – nay it is a totally paganised ceremony where it is doubtful if transubstantiation takes place as there is no authentic consecration of bread and wine.
Below, following the official Text of the Hinduised Mass and the official commentary on it, I shall step by step, explain the meaning and implication of the mantras (magic words) verses, rites, and rituals.
The Mass starts with reception and welcome consisting of singing hymns and chants – “Where possible” people have to wash hands and feet leave their footwear outside, place their offerings and squat on the floor”.
Hindus who visit temples to participate in the puja (sacrifice) have a bath before going to worship. The pujari (priest) certainly has a bath and in most cases comes straight with his wet clothes dripping to offer the puja clad in a simple loin cloth, his body bare from the waist up. As already noted it is an insult to God or even a superior to wear a shawl over the shoulders in their presence. It is MOST UN-INDIAN.
After these preliminaries, the celebrant gives a commentary. He says the celebration to follow is “an authentic form of worship which springs from our religious and cultural traditions of centuries.” He forgets that the Holy Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary which does NOT spring from any Indian cultural or religious tradition, even as the computer does not spring from anything of India’s past. The celebrant then consecrates the “religious values of our ancestors, the whole heritage of the past: to the “author of all good”. The whole effort is to emphasise a pseudo-nationalistic aspect which no Mass ever contains. Its Holy nature is nowhere mentioned.
After the commentary the celebrant who is termed as a “sign of Jesus” is now given a welcome by two members of the congregation with the purely Hindu ritual of arati. For us believers the priest acts in persona Christi; he is “another Christ”, alter Christus. But in the Hinduised Mass he is ONLY a “sign of Jesus”.
The celebrant then takes the tray from the two and performs arati to the congregation. This is cent per cent anti-Indian as no pujari (priest) ever offers arati to the congregation. This is contrary to the custom of the land and its culture. This act of the celebrant is purely an innovation of the paganisers and is contrary to Indian cultural or religious customs.
After this the celebrant greets the congregation invoking the name of the Hindu God KRISHNA (OM). The illicit mass of the Hinduising “Catholics” commences in this blasphemous manner.
“Thou shall not have strange Gods before me” says the commandment. Yet, defying this important injunction the Holy Sacrifice of the mass is initiated with the chanting of OM which in Hinduism is a synonym for Krishna.
In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most holy books of Hinduism, Krishna very plainly says “I am – the – sapidity in water and the light of the moon and the Sun- I am the sacred syllable OM in all the Vedas” (SK VII 8).
There is no use for the Catholic Hinduisers to put forth all types of new meanings for a word which has its own unchangeable meanings from time immemorial. For the Hindus OM is the very essence of all that they hold most dear. It is not a cultural word; it is totally a religious invocation saturated with the quintessence of everything the Hindu holds most sacred to him. For nearly 2000 years the Church has existed without ever resorting to OM; the Church has always exalted the CROSS. Today the paganisers have insulted this sacred emblem by superimposing OM on the Cross. How diabolical it is will be realised when in the Indian context you see it – it means that OM is superior to the Cross thereby admitting to the Hindus that we not only accept OM but regard it as a superior symbol than the Cross on which the Saviour gave up his life to redeem mankind. But for those who see Redemption inherent in all forms of religion, from pantheism to tantric ritualism (black magic) the Cross has lost its unique significance.
Before going further to quote Hindu authorities on the real meaning of OM, readers ought to know that the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Rites made a serious study and has come to the conclusion that OM is intrinsically a Hindu word and should NOT be used in Catholic liturgy, prayers and spiritual life.
The Hierarchs of the Syro-Malabar church were informed by His Eminence Cardinal Rubin (Rome, 12-8-1980) that “Notwithstanding the attempt made in various quarters to offer an accommodated Christian interpretation. It (OM) remains so strongly qualified in a Hindu sense. is charged with meaning so unmistakably Hindu, that it simply cannot be used in Christian Worship………. OM is an essential, integral part of Hindu worship.”
Within the same country by the instructions of One Sacred Congregation the use of OM is prohibited, while in the majority of dioceses where the Latin rite is supposed to be in vogue OM is liberally used on tabernacle veils, Bishops cars, Church doors, on Crosses and religious symbols and above all is chanted scores of time in Holy Mass itself. This is a strange paradoxical situation where under the same Holy Catholic Church some are freely using OM while others have been categorically told NOT to use it for serious reasons which reveal the word to be purely Hindu.
Catholics are confused and the confusion becomes a serious matter of one’s conscience when as Indians we all know that OM is nothing but a Hindu mantra (magic word) and yet is used by Bishops, priests and nuns. What can the laity do except throw up its hands and cry in agony; Lord save us from this tragic dilemma.
OM is not one of the 12 Points permitted by the Holy See. The Indian mass is supposed to use only those 12 Points which received the Roman approval and nothing else. When the Indian anaphora was tried to be grafted on, Rome did not permit it. When readings from Hindu religious books were introduced in the liturgy, Rome categorically ordered that this should not be done. While these wise steps were taken most appropriately and on time, it just baffles the imagination to think that a patently Hindu mantra OM has not yet been prohibited.
Wherein lies the mystery? Has the Bishops cabal cleverly managed to convince the authorities that OM has a new Catholic meaning, that it is purely a cultural exclamation and its use enhances the Indianisation of the mass? Holy See has accepted arati and anjali hasta totally trusting the deceit of the bishops. We humbly urge catholics all over the would who read or hear of the vital paganisation of the catholic church in India to fervently pray that soon OM will be banned by the Holy See for the whole of Catholic Church.
When you read the following explanation of OM given by a renowned Hindu scholar you will agree with me that the Church should NOT use this Hindu mantra for any purpose especially for chanting it during Holy Mass.
Dr. Shankara Rao Balashankara Deekshit Joshi of Dharwar in the State of Karnataka is a renowned Hindu scholar, a linguist who besides Sanskrit knows Greek and many modern European languages as well. He is an international authority in anthropology, etymology, ethnology and toponymy.
This renowned savant in a special interview with the nationally popular daily Indian Express said on November 21, 1981, “I did not have a dirty mind- It is not my fault if our scriptures have been conceived with penis and vulva worship to counter the fear of death. In these texts my etymological tests have led me to discover the obsession with sex. It is the Vyasa-Vasistha line of religious hypnotists who are responsible, projecting the selfish nature of individual, pushing the universality of man into background. Take that word OM which figures in every one of our Scriptures and hymns. What is its meaning? It is YONI (VULVA). ”
So, according to this renowned scholar OM is vulva. Krishna says he is OM. Other writers say that OM is Shiva’s cry of joy when he is enjoying sex with Parvathi. OM is entwined in numerous ways with Hinduism in its multi-facet ritualistic and tantric (black magic) manifestations.
No Catholic liturgist, theologian or inculturist can wipe out the mystic layers of 2000 years of use of OM in Hinduism. It is the height of folly to tag a new meaning to it which is totally alien to it and contrary to its genius. The obvious idea in using and honoring OM is to give the Catholic liturgy a total Hindu image. This is not inculturation or Indianisation but as every intelligent, honest person can judge is Hinduisation pure and simple. Certainly Rome will never permit the Hinduisation of the Church in India.
Part B of the Indian Rite Hindu Mass starts with Purification Rites. Here again OM is chanted but the English translation of OM is given as Praise. No dictionary or Sanskrit scholar ever has given “Praise” as the translation of OM. This is a deliberate trick to bamboozle foreigners who cannot find any harm in using the word praise. Throughout the mass where OM is used more than 35 times, the translation given is PRAISE. The false translation is studiously kept up whereby using Goebbels’ technique that if a lie is repeated again and again it will be accepted as truth! Have the higher authorities unconsciously accepted this false translation by the force of repetition? To deliberately print a totally false meaning for OM is proof enough to what low level of ethics the Hinduiser is prepared to descend.
An important aspect of the Mass is the use of Sanskrit. Vatican II took the historic decision that Holy Mass can be offered in each one’s own language. In India today Holy Mass can be offered in more than 12 languages. This revolutionary change has brought the congregation nearer the altar and the faithful are able to participate in the liturgy in a more meaningful manner. Jubilate Deo is gathering dust in the libraries of bishops. Latin is no longer taught in the Seminaries. But a language which the Hindus themselves, except the pujaris (Brahmins), do not know is used right from the start in the paganised Mass. Latin discarded, vernacular shelved and Sanskrit used to celebrate mass! This is against the very spirit of Vatican II and the architects of the illicit Indian Mass do this without being questioned by any of the higher authorities. This is clearly a maneuver to give a Hindu look to the Mass and a Brahminical appearance to the ceremony. The Indian priest performing the mass can also tickle his pride feeling that he too is a Brahmin though he may be coming from a low caste.
Buddha whose philosophy and religion were a challenge to Brahmanism deliberately refused to use Sanskrit. He used only Prakrit the language of the common people. Brahmins have through the centuries kept Sanskrit as their own language and the non-Brahmin Hindu never got a chance to learn the language. Even today Sanskrit is a language of Hindu religion only and NOT understood by 99% of Indians.
But this Brahminical language is used in the most sacred of Catholic ceremonies in the name of inculturation. What a contradiction this is Inculturation is to bring the liturgy nearer to the people but it is obvious that use of Sanskrit only keeps the congregation further away from the liturgy. Latin which is now boycotted by most of the Bishops in India had the distinct advantage of being the language of the Church’s liturgy for centuries uniting in India the people of different languages. Today, in spite of the advantages of a vernacular liturgy, Tamils fight Kannadigas, Malayalees fight Tamils all over the language of the Mass. In Bangalore the situation became tense and violent. The Archbishop had to leave his headquarters and go elsewhere outside his archdiocese. Even in Indian villages the faithful knew to make the proper responses in Latin and with a Missal in their own language they were fully con-versant with the meaning of the liturgy.
There is no reasonable justification for the use of Sanskrit and the faithful have implored the Holy See to stop this.
All the rituals introduced in the Indian Mass are by themselves meaningless from the Catholic point of view. Water is blessed with a pagan gesture. NO where in this mass is the sign of the Cross ever used.
The commentary after section 9 makes it clear that the celebrant gives a General absolution. Please refer Appendix No. 7 from which it is clear that the Hinduisers do not believe in personal confession of the individual. Even this general absolution is given not with a sign of the Cross but with a Hindu gesture abhayamandra. In Hinduism there is NO ceremony where one confesses and is absolved. Yes, all types of Hindu mantras are involved in a specially concocted Confession ceremony ending with general absolution. Has the Holy See approved this?
This is followed by the ceremony of lighting the lamp. This again is purely a Hindu ritual tantamount to fire worship. The Commentary says: As the celebrant touches the flame the members of the congregation also stretch their handle towards the lamp and “take the flame in our hands and bring it to our forehead”. This is sheer superstition and an ancient form of worshipping the fire God Agni.
The excuse to use oil lamps according to the commentary is “Wax Candles are difficult to obtain”. Candles of all types and sizes are available anywhere even in the villages of India. Again a false statement!
No.13. The celebrant touches the flame with the tips of his fingers and then brings his fingers to his eyes! Fire worship pure and simple and this is part of an Indianised Catholic sacrifice of the Holy Mass.
The Commentary that follows the 20th section of the Mass instructs that eight flowers be offered to denote eight directions of the universe. This is not in any way inculturation but a positive way of imposing a superstition in the mass. These eight flowers are placed on a tray and simultaneously of offered with bread and wine to the celebrant. The celebrant offers the Hindu rite of arati with the eight flowers.
B – Eucharistic prayer – the Text says. But there is no prayer printed. Those who attended this illicit Mass in the Bishops of India’s National Centre in Bangalore have never heard any words of consecration said. When and how consecration takes place no one knows.
C – Communion Rite. The celebrant says Prasada Mantra. In Hinduism the food and other offerings made to their God by the pujari (priest) is called Prasada. This offering is then passed on to the congregation. This is a blessed meal. Here by using Prasada Mantra Holy communion is treated as a MEAL. Wine is called “immortal nectar”. All these terms are used in Hindu sacrifice and the sacredness of the Eucharist is never at any time brought to the attention of the Faithful.
The tray and cup are taken round. It is self – help! See page 41 -Michael
At the concluding rite the celebrant again makes gestures purely Hindu imparting blessings. Never once a sign of the Cross.
High pressure propaganda backed with huge funds are continuously being misused to popularise the Indian Mass. Nuns are the worst victims and in convents Hinduised priests go and perform all types of masses in the name of inculturation. Through the nuns school kids are brainwashed and the future generation of Hinduised Catholics are produced.
From the detailed description of the entire illicit mass along with the annotations given above it would be clear that this is NOT A HOLY MASS, the Sacrifice on Calvary. Prof. Dr. van de Ploeg’s comments (Appendix No. VI) will further elucidate the nature of this so-called mass. I have also noted that all out efforts are being made to popularise this mass and to get Catholics accept all of the pagan rituals, superstitions and OM so that a Hinduised Catechism can be established and the Church OF India can proudly raise its head in borrowed Hindu and pagan feathers.
The agony of the Faithful is great and their anguish stifles their spiritual lives. They pray that the Holy See expeditiously
BANS ANJALI HASTA
BANS USE OF SANSKRIT
and appoints a commission to review the Twelve Points. It is never too late to rectify mistakes made by being misled, never too late to save the spiritual lives of millions of Catholics in India. The best way to end this chapter is to quote an internationally known and respected Indologist the late great Dr. Paul Hacker W. Germany who in a special article contributed to The Laity magazine, New Delhi, wrote:
“Therefore, we, Catholics of Europe and America, supplicate and implore the Indian Bishops Conference, especially His Eminence Cardinal Picachy-to prohibit immediately the practice of the “Twelve Points”; to stop, without exception, the reading of non-Christian texts in the Liturgy of the Hours as well as in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and, above all, to disestablish and dissolve the pretentious and pernicious institution [NBCLC] which Father Amalorpavadas runs in Bangalore. If the Bishops will not heed this brotherly advice (correotio fraterna) the Indian Church is bound to lapse into Hinduism or into socialist atheism earlier than one generation has passed. On the other hand it would be desirable to go ahead with a careful translation of the whole Roman Missal into the principal languages of India but to stop speculation with a view to composing an ‘Indian Anaphora’. I say this not without experience but as a man who loves India more than his own country, who highly appreciates the achievements of pre-Christian Indian thought, but whose love for Our Lord and, His Church ranks first before all the rest“.
Although the commentary proclaims “This is a first modest step to give our Liturgy a more Indian setting and complexion” from the honest analysis and explanations given above it should be clear-that it is a MOST REVOLUTTONARY step boldly taken and aggressively propagated to Hinduise the Church. The official notes say, “The faithful must be shown that we are by no means bringing Hinduism into our Churches, but only adopting the Indian people’s own way of expressing reverence and worship to God the Father and to Our Lord Jesus Christ”. Again a totally false statement. With OM, arati, anjali hasta, abhayamandra, various mantras, plus Sanskrit it is obvious that the Mass is saturated with Hindu language, rites, rituals and superstitions which have NEVER been used in the Church in India until the Bishops Conference founded the National Center in Bangalore and organized a Church in India Seminar to plan the paganisation of the Church.
Time and again totally false statements are made. These tactics can not fool the Indians. This is obviously meant to hoodwink Roman authorities who naturally will believe coming as they do from bishops and priests.
For instance in finding an excuse for the celebrant to squat on a platform, the commentary says this is the “universal practice in the country”. Again a false statement. Neither for social nor for religious ceremonies does ANYONE sit on a platform.
The Hindu pujari (priest) never uses platform to squat. This is NOT “the universal practice in the country” as claimed by the Hinduisers but abnormal one introduced by the paganisers to make squatting more convenient and less painful.
Indeed, it is the fidelity to our Faith and loyalty to the Magisterium that inspires us to defend the Church, fight the good, battle against paganism and save the Church in India from being totally destroyed. While thousands are jumping into the inculturation-paganising band-wagon of the Bishops Conference of India, the Faithful remnant will stand for the TRUTH, live for the TRUTH, suffer for the TRUTH.
CRISIS IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
In the normal course of Catholic life, parents at home start teaching their little children brief but beautiful prayers like
“l lay my body down to sleep
I pray to God my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
I pray to God my soul to take”.
Step by step the parents guide the kids and by the time they go to school at the age of 3 or 4 they know Our Father, the Hail Mary and to reverently make the sign of the Cross.
With this as background the Catholic school takes on the important job of giving their pupils religious instruction. They prepare the children for confession, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
For a long, long time the schools have very successfully used the Penny Catechism. This book suits the Indian milieu because culturally speaking the Brahmins learn by rote everything sacred they are expected to know and memorising is in the Indian tradition.
For the Indian Catholic children the penny Catechism has been the ideal vehicle to impart religious knowledge. Further, the process of committing facts to memory for a child would be a most valuable asset in his general education as well.
Unfortunately in their misguided over enthusiasm to shun whatever they imagine is Western (except their own pants, modern Comforts, refrigerators. radio, T.V., air travel etc. etc). the Bishops threw away the Penny Catechism and every other orthodox and time honored Catechism books. They produced their own God With Us series of Catechism books authored by those who are paganising the Church in India.
In discarding, the Penny Catechism the Catholic Bishops of India (CBCI) Commission stated:
“The Commission views with painful concern the trend towards an exclusive question – and answer method using Penny Catechism in place of faith formation through reflection on the human experience in the light of God’s work”.
The Commission added: “It considers it its duty to express painful concern at a certain ‘Catechetical fundamentalists” that is being propagated here and there in our country, even today”.
The Commission failed in justice and truth to study what Cardinal Ratzinger Perfect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said on Catechetics or what Cardinal Silvio Oddi has explained in detail about the rights of the younger generation to know and learn the Truth. Cardinal Ratzinger in his classic exposition of the Crisis in Catechesis pronounced in very clear terms what: the Faith is and how the four principal components of catechesis have to be dealt with. It is reasonable to expect Episcopal Conferences to study the Cardinal’s analysis and advise their Catechetical Com-missions to follow His Eminence’s guidelines. Evidently the Indian Commission did not care to read or study Cardinal Ratzinger excellent speech in Lyons and Paris, January 15-16, 1983.
Intoxicated with their own ideas, the Bishops Conference of India anchored completely on the God With Us series which is the catechism book authored, edited and published by the National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre in Bangalore under the inspiration and direction of Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadas, brother of Archbishop (now Cardinal) Lourduswamy. This series now in use for over a decade is faulty in its contents and ugly in its illustration. Yet, this is the book which is used in hundreds of schools and which literally hundreds of thousands of Catholic children are forced to study.
This illustration is from Book IV Page 92 of the Bishops’ catechism book. It is supposed to portray our Blessed Mother with child Jesus. Indian modern art can certainly sketch a more attractive mother and child than this which will not in any way inspire respect or devotion in the hearts of children.
This picture is from Book II, page 23 to illustrate the lesson: God’s Family comes together-for a meal (lesson 9). This lesson is on the Holy Eucharist referred to as a meal in this catechism book. The mystery of the Holy Eucharist is hardly conveyed to the children either by the text of the lesson or by this illustration of a family at meal. The illicit Indian Mass is also offered by the celebrant with the congregation squatting oh the floor.
The NBCLC Catechism Books published by the Bishops Conference of India is replete with pictures which are totally meaningless. This picture is from Book 1 page 51 and illustrates the Lesson 23, Jesus Dies for us. Shown is a man milking a cow and two children drinking milk. Readers can judge for themselves what relevance there is to the theme of the lesson – Jesus Dies for us.
In the Chapter on Indian Mass you will read that the celebrant makes all forms of signs and gestures but not once the Sign of the Cross. Here Jesus is shown making a Hindu gesture. This is in Book 11 page 62 of the Catechism Book for Children published by the National Centre of the Bishops of India, Bangalore. Please read Chapter IV on Religious Education of Children.
Cardinal Silvio Oddi in his famous address on July 9, 1983 in Arlington, Virginia so clearly said “All I am asking is that the child be given the full Gospel and taught all Ten of the Commandments, for no one can love God without knowing in what the love of God consists: lf you love me keep my commandments”. (John 14-15). The mild, beloved short-lived Pope John Paul I chose to tell the bishops of the Philippines on the last day of his life: “One of the greatest rights of the faithful is to receive the word of God in all its purity and integrity”.
Unfortunately in India the Catholic children are not being taught the whole TRUTH but parts of it chosen by the authors of God With Us series to prepare the children to accept Indian liturgy and Indian theology in later days.
For instance the omission of original sin in a Catechism is not just a mere omission. The result will be a total distortion of the whole of theology. The author of the officially blessed and published Catechism book blacked out original sin. With original sin blacked out, the Immaculate Conception goes overboard, Hail Full of Grace becomes meaningless. The whole Catechism falls to pieces because cardinal Truths are obliterated.
This God With Us series Catechism book for Standard I to Standard X has over 1000 pages, published under the aegis of the Bishops Conference of India with the Imprimatur of the Archbishop Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Catechetics. Without mentioning the Fall of Man and original sin a new kind of Catholic Faith is being taught to the future generations in India.
Also, the books are full of illustrations in a style which the publishers call “Indian”. Indian art today has good talent available in plenty to draw and depict persons and ideas in attractive and dignified manner. Crude, ugly, and vulgar illustrations with far-fetched meanings and designs that are revolting to the aesthetic sense abound in these Catechism books.
In one such picture the artist presented the Blessed Virgin topless in the scene of Annunciation.
Angel Gabriel has announced the joyful news and Mother Mary stands there topless! Neither in Jewish, custom; or in cultured Indian custom do women go topless. The explanation given: Mary was overwhelmed with joy on hearing the angel’s news that she threw off her saree! The picture is vulgar and most insulting to the Virgin Mother and it is sheer cruelty to give school children such art.
For several years responsible Catholics appealed to the Bishops Conference to remove the obscene picture from children’s catechism book but to no avail. Finally, a Catholic organisation affiliated to the All India Laity Congress of India went to court and appealed for the removal of the picture from the book.
The learned judge, a Hindu, agreed with the plaintiffs that the picture is obscene and ordered that this picture of “Mother Mary” as the Hindu judge reverently addressed the Blessed Virgin, be removed from the book. It needed court action to remove from Children’s Catechism book a vulgar and obscene picture of Our Blessed Mother. The Bishops did not act.
Catholics from all walks of life led by Chevalier S. Arul Das, K.S.G. I.A.S. (Retired Secretary to Tamil Nadu Government) demonstrated before the Madras High Court holding aloft pictures of Our Blessed Mother requesting the court to order removal of the obscene picture of the Blessed Virgin shown topless and vulgar in the Children’s Catechism Book published by the Bishops of India’s NBCLC Center’ Bangalore. The learned Hindu Judge ordered that the picture be removed from the book.
It was a great victory for the Faithful but it shows very clearly that the Bishops were not willing to remove a vulgar picture from children’s book. They did not mind Our Blessed Mother being insulted. They were more keen to please Amalorpavadas the author-editor of the books than to please Our Blessed Mother. I am sure if the mother or sister of one of the bishops was shown topless in a magazine they would have all screamed and taken immediate action.
The God with US series is replete with ugly, vulgar pictures some of which as examples are printed in this book. Children still continue to use these books faulty in its contents and ugly in its- illustrations. A Hindu educator to whom the books were shown expressed surprise and shock at the low level of Catholic ethics and artistic sense.
This is the picture of Jesus as printed and published in the NBCLC Catechism book and the other a picture of Vishnu. Both have been drawn by Indian artists. But the artistic contrast of the two pictures is too glaring to be ignored by any one who looks at them. Jesus is depicted with a crude and cruel expression; no where in the world has He been so horribly depicted by any artist. It is a calculated perversion of Indian art; no modern Indian artist wishing to paint Jesus in an Indian idiom would have done such a vulgar picture unless his mind has been particularly conditioned to draw horror pictures. Through 20 centuries, Jesus has inspired the greatest artists and sculptors to produce masterpieces which they could be proud of and generations after generations could stand and admire.
The catechism book, coming as it does from the NBCLC, Bangalore, reflects not only in its controversial contents but also in its illustrations the mind of the indigenisers behind it. If you want to have a picture of Christ, who history has recorded as born a Jew, as an Indian (south, north, Punjabi or Gujarati) there is no need to paint him with the twisted face of a criminal. No one looking at this picture would ever say it is of Christ. Why commit such a heinous crime of insulting one whom history has recorded as a most beautiful person? Does indigenisation mean degradation? Does it mean your art cannot be even as decent as that of the drawings of the cave men? Are the indigenisers ideas of art so atrocious that nothing that they can get painted ever can be decent, artistic or even merely lookable? Why all this rot in the name of indigenisation? Why not be honest and call it vulgarisation?
Readers now please look at the picture of Vishnu. Look at his face; how charming and dignified. His smile so sublime and his posture so noble. His symbol, the conch, so beautifully held in his hand. Indian religious art has not felt it in any way wrong to take a western idea of a halo round the heads of gods and goddesses. Since a halo is a sign of godly and saintly persons, Indian artists (not so jingoistic and so full of pseudo-nationalism) have adapted the halo in their paintings of gods. They do not think this to be colonial! Vishnu really looks beautiful and dignified – a personification of some one heavenly and good.
We requests priests and nuns especially, to reflect on these two pictures please spend a few moments and meditate on this theme – the picture of Jesus Christ as scrawled in the NBCLC Catechism book and the picture of Vishnu as published in many of the newspapers. We especially appeal to those 17,000 who have had the misfortune to be brainwashed at NBCLC seminars through the years. Are you also a party to defame and insult Jesus? After seeing these two pictures do you have qualms of conscience in supporting the Indigenisation movement in whose name such atrocious art is given to innocent school children? A child if shown both these pictures and asked who he thinks is God would certainly point to the picture of Vishnu. May be in the spirit and thinking of Cardinal Parecattil this may be OK and perhaps a right answer. But, is it for this insult that Christ died on the Cross, the cross which the NBCLC Temple has discarded and elevated an empty pot?
Following description of Jesus is contained in a report written nearly 2000 years ago by a Roman Officer named Publius Lentelus, to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. In Hinduising Christianity the bishops have gone to the extent of depicting Jesus in a wicked and gruesome manner.
This is the “Temple” in the National Center of the Bishops Conference of India in Bangalore. Its tower is in Hindu style with an empty por on top Called Kalasam the Hindus believe according to Agamic rites the Kalasam (pot) becomes the embodiment or sacramental indwelling of the deity of the temple. Late Bishop Visuvasam of Coimbatore in a Pastoral letter (April 1974) wrote “Pastors of souls whose prime duty is to guard the purity of Faith & worship ought to see that the Agamic concept and practice of Kalasam is against the First Commandment and hence no Kalasam be used anywhere.” A Bishops’ Conference meeting in Ranchi in 1979 took note of the bitter feelings of Catholics at the Kalasam and absence of a Cross on top and said: “As there is no liturgical ruling in the matter of a cross on the roof of a church we do not see the imperative need to have a cross on top of the dome”. Not a word on the relevance of the POT! It is humbly suggested that since the POT has replaced the CROSS, in future all Indian Bishops hang a POT around their necks instead of the Golden Cross that they now wear. A pagan symbol continues to be atop the church of the Bishops in Bangalore. Is this not paganisation with the Bishops’ approval?
This idol is of the Hindu gods-Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva. It is NOT in a Hindu temple but in a CATHOLIC Church- Along with the idol of dancing Shiva (see cover page) this idol also was honoured in the “Temple” of the Bishops National Centre in Bangalore. Though for years Catholics protested and asked for its removal the Bishops did not oblige until Hindus themselves moved in the matter went to court and threatened violence.
Yet another example to what extent the Church is being paganized in India. Idol worship, sun worship, fire worship are all part of the process to paganise the Church; with the full consent-approval of the Bishops Conference of India!
“There has appeared in Palestine a man whose power is extra-ordinary. He has a title given Him, calling Him the Son of God. He raises the dead and heals all kinds of diseases. He is tall, well proportioned man and there is an air of gravity in His countenance which at once attracts one and inspires the reverence of those who see Him. His hair is the colour of new wine, reddish gold from the roots upwards to the ears and hangs upon his shoulders. Upon the forehead the hair, parts in two after the manner of the Nazarenes. His forehead is flat and fair. His face without blemish or defect and adorned with graceful expression. His beard is thick and is of the same colour as his hair. His eyes are grey and extremely luminous. In His reproofs He is terrible but in His exhortations and instructions He is amiable, gentle and courteous. There is something wonderfully charming about this face, with its mixture of life and gravity. He is never seen to laugh out, but He has been observed to weep. He is very straight, His hands are large and His arms very beautiful He talks little but with great quality. He is the handsomest man in the world”. [Emphasis theirs]
Hope lingers eternal in human hearts. The Indian Catholics fervently hope that the religious education of their children will be protected from false catechism and vulgar art. Appeal has been made to Rome to ban the books. Prayerfully and patiently the Catholics of India hope that even as some Catechism books have been ordered to be withdrawn in France and U.S.A., the God With Us Series books will also be ordered to be withdrawn by Rome.
Following is a detailed analysis of the books by a learned Jesuit. Anyone going through Fr. P.K. George’s critical study of the books will certainly pray with us in India that the nooks be immediately withdrawn from use.
Much harm has already been done to the innocent minds and souls of hundreds of thousand Indian Catholic school children.
In agony and anguish parents cry to Rome for speedy action to prevent more harm being done to more innocent minds. After withdrawal of the God with US series, new Catechism books approved by the Sacred Congregations alone should be used in schools. Or the clever men over -here will give children the same stuff in a different garb because their minds are totally saturated with new pagan theological ideas of God, man, Redemption, etc. Even the Ten Commandments are a matter for jokes and sarcasm.
I am very grateful to Fr. P.K. George SJ for giving us a detailed study of the objectionable Catechism books. His study has already been presented to the Holy See in 1984 and parents are anxiously waiting for the Holy See to act and thus save the Catholic children of India from being misinformed and brainwashed. If not as they grow older they will accept every form of paganisation forced on them without any qualms of Conscience.
Some Remarks on the God-With-Us Series Catechism Pupil’s-Texts Published by the National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, India
By Rev. Fr. P.K. George S.J., M.A. Ph.D.
The National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, owned by and operating under the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, has published ten catechism* books meant as pupil’s texts for the ten standards of the School course. The same centre has published also ten teacher’s guides corresponding to the ten pupil’s texts. We are concerned here only with the pupil’s texts. *“God With Us” series
The remarks here submitted do not make an exhaustive criticism. They are meant as a modest attempt, hoped to be sufficient, to expose the seriously defective character of the catechism texts in question. It is also hoped that this attempt will convince competent authorities of the need of subjecting the books to a thorough examination with a view to taking appropriate action.
(Note: For the purpose of reference and quotation we have used the 1977 edition of Books I- VIII, the 1979 edition of Book IX and the 1981 edition of Book X. These are the books currently on sale)
I. Very Serious Omissions
The greatest objection against this series of pupil’s texts is the omission of some of the fundamentals of Catholic teaching.
1. The Fall, Original Sin
In all the ten books taken together, there is nor even a single mention of the Fall of Man and of Original Sin. This one omission, whose consequences are far reaching, necessarily vitiates the whole of Catholic theology. It is such a vitiated theology that we find in the Catechism texts under discussion.
Having suppressed original sin, one cannot speak about baptism of children as a Sacrament remitting sin. Logically then, the author of this Catechism series, whenever he speaks about baptism carefully avoids mentioning that baptism effects remission of sins.
2. Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother has been totally blacked out in this catechism. The author is consistent. Having ignored original sin, he cannot do otherwise than ignore Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Session 19 (Page 74) of Book IX bears the title, ‘Mary, the Immaculate, Our Model’. But nothing is said about Immaculate Conception, either in that lesson, or in any lesson before or after.
3. Purgatory, Hell
Another basic doctrine of the Church, which the author has chosen to avoid, is the one concerning punishment for sin after death. In all the ten books taken together, running to more than a thousand pages, there is not a single mention of purgatory and hell. Let alone the words of Purgatory and Hell, the very idea that sin will have some sort of punishment after death is totally absent. Consistently, the idea of praying for the dead is also totally absent.
4. Necessity of Sacramental Confession
Nowhere in this Catechism is the student told that a person is obliged to go to confession in any circumstances. There are places in this Catechism where one would naturally expect the necessity of confession to be stated. But it is not done. Rather, we find the opposite stated. For example
(1) Lesson 18 in Book III describes a celebration of penance. In the course of the description it is said “we go to confession if we want to do so.” (Page 50)
(2) Lesson 24 of Book VI deals rather elaborately with confession under the title ‘I confess’. There we read ‘Individual Confession (optional). (Page 73)
5. That the priest absolves the sinner in confession
Speaking about confession the author avoids [the subject] saying that the priest absolves the sinner from his sins. There are places where this omission is very conspicuous. For example,
(1) We read in Book II lesson 2O (page 55) “In the Sacrament of Penance, I tell my sins to the priest and say I am sorry. When I tell my sins to the priest, I confess my sins. This is called confession. I go and kneel near the priest. I tell him my sins. I tell him I am sorry. I promise to do better. I promise I will always say ‘yes’ to God. The priest gives me a penance. I promise to do it”.
Why not say the priest gives me absolution? Why this glaring omission?
(2) In lesson 17 of Book III (Page 47) we read:
“I remember what I do when I go to confession, I ask God to help me and then think of my sins. I go to the priest, ask his blessing and tell my sins. I listen to what the priest says, then I tell God I am sorry. I come back and do the penance the priest gives me”.
Here too the omission of absolution is glaring.
On page 68, Book VI, there is a compromise statement which is true as far as it goes. “Through the mouth of the priest we hear God’s life-giving words, the words of forgiveness. I absolve you from your sins. Go in peace”. The statement though true, falls short of the doctrine that in the Sacrament of Confession, the priest acting in the person of Christ, absolves us from our sins.
II. Erroneous Teaching
Besides serious omissions there are also errors taught in the books under discussion. For example,
(1) Speaking about our share in the priesthood of Christ, the Catechism says in Book VI, Lesson 29 (Page 86)
“All of us Christians from the smallest child to the Holy Father share in the priesthood of Christ, but not all in the same degree. Baptism gives the ordinary Christian his share in the priesthood; a higher share is given to the deacon; still higher to the priest and the highest of all to the Bishop”.
This passage as it stands clearly conveys the idea that differences in priesthood are a question of degree which is not true. The priesthood (so called) of the ordinary Christian differs from the priesthood of an ordained minister not only in degree but essentially.
(2) On page 69, Book VI, we read
“We go to the priest for confession because he is the representative of the community. Every community has a head. ln this case it is the priest. So I confess to him and he pardons me in the name of the community”.
It is true that sin has got a social aspect. Therefore absolution also has a social aspect. But to say that I go to a priest for confession because he is the representative of the community and that he pardons me in the name of the community is certainly wrong. Sin in essentially an offence against God and God alone can really forgive sin. Therefore if I go to a priest for confession, i.e. if seek absolution from a priest for my sins, it is only because he acts in the person of Christ who is God, not because he represents any community.
III. Belatedly and Inadequately Dealt With
Another objectionable feature of the books in question is that many important parts of Catholic teaching are dealt with only belatedly in the school course and even then only inadequately, sometimes also defectively. Whatever may be said in favour of the principle that catechesis must be adapted to the students’ level of intelligence, the students have a right to be taught the full doctrine even at the early stage. Explanations can be given gradually in accordance with their capacity to under-stand. There is no justification for depriving children of basic Christian teaching till they reach the higher standards, under the pretext that they do not understand. It is important to remember that a good many students drop out of school before they reach their sixth or seventh standard, and that most of them will have made their first confession and received first communion and confirmation by the time they complete the fifth standard.
(1) The Ten Commandments
The first and only instance where the Ten Commandments are spoken of is in Book IV, lesson 21 (page 65-67). This is how the commandments are introduced.
“One day a young man came to Jesus. He wanted to please God and to show that he really loved him. He asked Jesus what he should do… Jesus answered “it you want to live a good life, keep the commandments (Mt. 19: 17). The violence done to the Gospel passage is clear. The young man asked our Lord what he should do to win eternal life. In the Catechism, reference to eternal life has been left out. In the answer given by Our Lord the words “to enter into life” (meaning eternal life) have been twisted into ‘to live a good life’. The connection between keeping the commandments and gaining eternal life has been suppressed. The ensuing explanation too makes it clear. We read “If we keep his commandments, we will be happy and we will help others to be happy too”.
“He has given me the ten commandments to show me what I should do to be happy”.
It may be relevantly remarked here that in all the prayers taken together in the ten books composed by the author and put in the mouth of the children, not even once they are made to ask for the blessing of eternal life either for themselves or others.
The Ten Commandments are not explained anywhere. The commandments themselves are given in an altered form. We read
1. Love God above all things.
2. Do not take God’s name in vain.
3. Keep the day of the Lord holy.
4. Honour your father and mother.
5. Do not kill, fight, quarrel, gossip, tale-bear.
6. Keep your mind and body pure.
7. Do not steal.
8. Do not tell lies.
9. Be satisfied with what is yours.
10. Respect other people’s property.
(2) The Holy Trinity
The first mention of Holy Trinity as a mystery occurs in Book VII, page 38. There it is said “The Blessed Trinity is a great mystery”. .Nothing is said as to what the mystery is. Later, in Book X, pp. 49-50 we read,
“So we have one God in three persons, the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. The unity of God is the unity of love and self-giving. It is not easy to understand this. In the early Church there was much discussion about this great mystery of our faith. Many held wrong beliefs on it. This led to the convocation of the first General Council of Nicaea in the year 325. They drew up a creed or formula of profession of faith in which the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly expressed. We recite this creed often at Mass on Sundays.” (God-With-Us series, Standard VII, Lesson 12)
N.B. The Book VII referred to above is a book of Church history, rather than catechism. In it, in lesson 12, something is said about the Council of Nicaea under the title “Fathers of the Church”:
As to the formula expressing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the relevant passages are
(1) At the Council a creed was drawn up and signed by the Bishops present. This defined that the Son is truly God, because he is of the same nature and being as the Father”. p. 39
(2) “There (in the Council of Constantinople) not only the Son but also the Holy Spirit was recognised as equally God with the Father”. p. 39
Though the passage quoted above from Book says
“We recite this (Nicean) creed often at Mass on Sundays”, it is strange that this Catechism, gives only the Apostles Creed, as the creed recited at Mass. (Book I p. 73, Book II p.71, Book III p. 78, Book IV p. 97, Book V p. 126)
In the Apostles’ Creed we do not get the Nicean formula about the Holy Trinity.
(3) Virginity of Our Lady
Apart from the expression ‘Virgin Mary’ used in the formula of prayers and the Apostles’ Creed reference to the Virginity of Mary occurs first in Book I, p. 20 then in Book IV page 19 where we read “Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary”. This does not suffice as an explicit assertion of Our Lady’s virginity. The first clear statement occurs in Book IX, p. 75, where we read,
“Thus Mary is both virgin and mother”. As to the perpetual virginity of Mary, apart from the phrase ‘Mary ever virgin’ used in the formula of the Confiteor and some prayers, no explicit statement is found in this catechism.
(4) The Assumption
Mary’s Assumption into heaven is spoken of for the first time in Book VII, pp. 122-123, after speaking about the Independence Day of India, which falls on August 15.
IV. Distorted and Ambiguously Presented
Perhaps the most dangerous feature of this Catechism is the distorted and ambiguous presentation of fundamental truths. Truth is mixed with error, and presented in a distorted perspective with much slant and misplaced emphasis cleverly built in. Any number of statements are there, which contain many an element of truth, to save them from outright condemnation but which are far from expressing the full truth as called for in the context. Errors are often so diffuse that correction is impossible.
(1) The Person of Christ Our Lord
Jesus is rightly introduced as the Son of God, the only Son of God, and the child is made to say “Jesus I adore you, Jesus I love you” (Book I, pp.18 & 20). This is well and good. The divinity of Christ is referred to and even affirmed in a few instances. This too is well and good. But this is against an overwhelmingly strong current in the opposite direction. The uniqueness of Christ’s sonship, as well as his divinity, will be lost in the mind of the children, on account of so much in book that is opposed thereunto. Examples:
(a) The children are taught insistently to address and speak of Our Lord as ‘my brother’.
‘Jesus, my brother, I love you’, Book I p. 35 ‘Here I am Jesus, my brother’, ibid.
‘Thank you for calling us to belong to your family, the Church, with Jesus our brother’ Book I, p. 66.
‘Jesus is our big brother’ Book IV p.
‘Thanking God our Father for sending Jesus to become our brother’ Book IV p. 17
There are many more instances. The traditional conclusion of prayers ‘through Christ Our Lord’, has been changed into ‘through Jesus Our brother, Amen’ Book II p. 38.
(b) The expression ‘Christ our brother’ has been introduced also into the formula of baptismal promise.
We read in Book II p. 21
I renew the promise of my baptism.
The priest asks : Do you know that by baptism you are a child of God?
I answer : I do
The Priest asks : Do you believe in God our Father, who made heaven and earth?
I answer : I do
The Priest asks : Do you believe in Jesus whom the Father sent to be our brother and who gave us a new life when he died and came back to life?
I answer : I do
The Priest asks : Do you believe in the Holy Spirit who makes us all one in the family of God?
I answer : I do
The Priest asks : Do you wish to live as Jesus did, so as to live with him always?
I answer : I do
Certainly this is not the formula of Baptismal promise used by the Church. Why the omissions and distortions? The answer is that it must suit the theology of the author of this Catechism. May be the omissions will show us some of the things that he objects to in Catholic theology.
(c) Children are asked several times to pray the ‘Our Father’. But they are asked to say ‘Our Father’ with Christ (added) Book I p. 70,Book II p. 69, Book III p. 75, Book IV p. 95, Book V p. 123. In another place (Book V p. 64) we read
“We pray the ‘Our Father’ together with Jesus our brother”. To say that we pray the ‘Our Father’ with Christ is equivalent to denying Christ’s divinity, because we make Christ ask for forgiveness of his sins.
(Incidentally, there is a Tamil Book published, from St. Peter’s Seminary, Bangalore, where it is said that when Christ taught the ‘Our Father’ he was giving expression to the relationship between himself and his father).
(d) The apologetic value of the miracles of Christ as proofs of his divinity is not recognised in this Catechism. The miracles are shown as proofs of Christ’s concern for others, a concern that is confined to man’s life on earth. The author even denies that Christ intended his miracles to be proofs of his divinity. “Nor did he cure them to prove that he was God”. Book VI, p. 75
(2) The Blessed Sacrament
The real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is very much out of focus. It is said just in passing that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus (Book IV, p. 83). Similarly in Book IV, p. 87 we read,
“He had made them priests at the last supper and had given them power to change the bread and wine into his body and blood… This is said in a lesson that deals with Christ’s meeting the Apostles on Easter Sunday. The idea of transubstantiation, i.e. the substance of the bread being changed into the body of Our Lord, is not expressed. Nothing is said as to the great mystery and miracle that the change is. No sense of wonder or admiration is aroused in the children towards this august Sacrament. The attention of the children is drawn more towards the Bible than the Blessed Sacrament.
On the very last page of Books VIII, IX and X, we find visit to the Blessed Sacrament proposed as a Biblical prayer. The theme proposed for silent reflection is,
“We ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love and whoever lives in love lives in God and God lives in him”.
Any direct reference to the real presence seems to be mischievously avoided.
(3) The purpose of Christ’s coming
To the basic question ‘What is the purpose of Christ’s coming?’ the Catechism under discussion gives a number of incomplete and ambiguous answers, rather, it gives substantially the same answer in varied wordings. The answer is that Christ came to make this world a better place, a dangerously ambiguous expression of a half truth in a catechism book. The answer can be rightly understood as far as it goes. But it does not go very far. It is liable to be misunderstood in a way contrary to the full truth.
Here are some examples:
-“Jesus comes to teach us how to be good and happy.” Book I, p. 18
– “We thank God Our Father for having sent Jesus to bring us joy and happiness.” Book II, p. 37
– “John the Baptist is the man chosen by God to introduce Jesus to all of us as the best friend we may have that is, as our Saviour”. Book IV, p, 26
— “Lord, you came on earth to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to downtrodden free”. Book X, p. 54
— “When Christ speaks of those who suffer from poverty and wretchedness, he declares that he has come to relieve their misery, to set them free.” lf we read Luke 4: 16-21 we can clearly see that Christ explains his mission. He has sent me to set free the oppressed. Book X, p. 61
As to the question why did Christ suffer, the Catechism gives this answer in Book III, p. 21. “There are times of joy in our life. There are also times of sorrow. Every one has to suffer sometime. Even Jesus when he lived on earth, had to suffer many things. He wanted to share in all our sufferings. He suffers because the people were jealous of the good things he did”.
The objection on the whole is not so much to what the catechism says about the purpose of Christ’s coming as to its silence over what ought to have been said and to the implication that there is nothing more to be said.
(4) The authority of the pope
We read in Book X p. 46,
“The Bishop in his diocese is the one to teach and guide his people. When problems occur he reflects with his people on the circumstances of their lives and gives them guidance. What happens when the problem affects a great number of people in many dioceses? The matter is referred to the Pope, the successor of St. Peter, for a decision. The Pope together with the whole Church, whom he consults, reflects on the problem, and after mature reflection comes to a decision. At times when there are many problems to be decided, the Pope calls a General Council of all the Bishops in the world. This has happened many times. The last time it happened was when Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council”.
This is a dangerously misleading passage. The student will get the wrong idea
-that the exercise of the authority of the Pope is limited to cases when, some problem which affects a great number of people in many dioceses is referred to the Pope by the bishops for a decision, or when on account of many problems a General Council is convoked, and
-that even when a problem is referred to the Pope for a decision, he can arrive at a decision only with the Church, and after consulting the whole church.
This is wrong teaching because the above mentioned conditions are not necessary for the Pope to exercise his authority even with infallibility.
Session one of Book X bears the title ‘Faith’. The student is taught that one becomes convinced of the existence of God through ones own experience of God’s love and kindness, and that such an acceptance of a loving God is faith. The student is not told that man by the right use of his reason can come to the knowledge of God’s existence. Nothing is said about faith in its traditionally accepted meaning. Namely an act by which man accepts something as true solely on the authority of God who testifies to it.
(6) The Resurrection
The Resurrection of Christ is dealt with in session two of Book X. It is taught here that the Apostles were convinced of the resurrection of Christ, not because they saw him, but because they had faith. We read (page 15, 16)
“To recognise Christ risen from the dead, they needed something more than their eyes. What did they need? Faith… For the Apostles, the resurrection of Christ meant accepting in faith something which they could not see with their eyes. What their eyes did see was a man or someone who looked like a man, a ghost who frightened them: what faith showed them was Christ risen from the dead”.
Apart from the arbitrary meaning given to ‘faith’ and its ambiguous use, these two sessions (one and two in Book X) go against two basic tenets of Catholic teaching namely the natural foundation for the acceptance of God’s existence, and the apologetic value of Christ’s resurrection as a historical event and a miracle.
V. Some General Observations, Conclusion
One who carefully goes through all the ten books of this catechism cannot escape the conclusion – that what is taught therein is a new Christianity with a man-centred theology and an earthbound message. Christ is presented as a temporal earthly messiah who had nothing to say, or who did not seriously bother to say anything about a future life after death. All what Christ aimed at, according to this Catechism, was to make this world a better place (as if this world could be made better without referring it to the next). We should follow Christ His main trait was his care and concern for others. But this care and concern are shown as confined to man’s life on earth. Considerations of eternal life do not come into the picture. The wonderful deeds – miracles – of Christ do not prove his divinity. They prove his nobility of character, his great concern for others, and his other wonderful human qualities. (What the incident of the woman taken in adultery reveals about Christ, is his tolerance and his quality as a sensitive gentleman. Book X, p. 56).
The overall message of the Catechism is that God wants us to be happy and that we should make others happy in this world. This would be the way of imitating Christ.
Against such charges against this Catechism, it will be possible to point out some expressions and sentences here and there and also some titles and captions in defense of the books. But these, whatever be their context, explanation and stress, cannot out weigh all that is to the contrary. They are against the run of the books; they may have of course an argumentative value. The direction of a mighty river is not judged by an occasional side current, or by the movement of water in an eddy within the river.
One wonders what serious defence can be put up for a catechism which never says that men is created for eternal life, and that the loss thereof is the greatest of all losses, a catechism which, with all its insistence on equality, liberation for the oppressed, making others happy, social justice and the like, leaves the children in ignorance of the danger there is of losing one’s soul for eternity and leaves out the mystery of the cross. It would be a good exercise to compare this God-With-Us series catechism with the [infamous] Dutch Catechism, and see in what way this is better. In fact this is nothing but the Indian version of the same, cleverly camouflaged.
Such is the nature of the catechism texts meant for school children in India published by the Bishops of India’s National Biblical Liturgical Catechetical Centre [NBCLC]. The books bear the imprimatur of an Archbishop who was, at the time of publication, the chairman of CBCI’s catechetical commission. A subsequent chairman, also an Archbishop says in a circular published in 1978 that these books are widely used all over India. The books have gone into several editions.
Thousands of students have been instructed, and teachers of catechism trained in accordance with these books over a period of more than a decade at an enormous expense of the money of the Propaganda Fide [Rome]. Protestations have been made to authorities at all levels. The books are still in the hands of our children.
Fr. P. K. George S. J., La Provedence, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India.
The pictorial illustrations given profusely in these books deserve special attention. Most of them are utterly profane. Even the depictions of holy persons like Our Lord, Our Lady and the Apostles, are in bad taste, hardly any of them can inspire love, devotion or a sense of holiness in the minds of children.
I. Many of them are even repulsive.
1. Book II, p. 31 Risen Christ
2. Book II, p. 62 Christ ‘sending us’
3. Book II, p. 67 Baby Jesus in Christmas scene.
4. Book IV, p. 92 Our Lady with the Baby
5. Book V, p. 69 The Good Shepherd
II. One picture is a clear falsification of the Gospel.
6. Book V, p. 84. Depicting Our Lord’s agony in the Garden.
III. Two (at least) pictures give new symbols to Christianity according to the whim of the author.
7. (1) Book I, p. 51 Cow giving milk, symbolising Crucifixion?
8. (2) Book IV, Front Cover Coconut trees, symbolising the eternal presence of the Lord.
See the explanation given by the author in the inner page of the cover.
IV. There are pictures where we cannot see any imaginable connection with the lesson. Even when there is some connection, we can’t imagine how they help the children to under stand the lesson. It should be asked whether these pictures will instruct the children or distract them. Here are some samples.
9. (1) Book I, p. 17
God our Father is all Holy
10. (2) Book I, p. 29
God our Father is speaks to me , I listen to him
11.(3) Book I p. 43
Mother and children engaged kitchen work
Jesus pleases father in all things
12. (4) Book I, p. 53
Jesus is Alive ‘Alleluia’
13. (5) Book II, p. 8
We become children of God through the waters of Baptism
14. (6) Book II, p. 11
A farmer sowing seeds
In Baptism we rise with Jesus to a new life.
15. (7) Book II, p. 15
Dancing as part of marriage feast
Ever since our Baptism God the Father calls us
16 (8)Book II, p. 23
A family meal
God’s family comes together for a meal
V. There are four pictures whose objectionable nature is left to the readers to find out.
17. (1 ) Book V, p.112
representing Holy spirit
18. (2) Book VII, cover
Spirit of Christ ever present in His Church continues to guide it and make it bear fruit.
19. (3) Book III, p. 73
Annunciation scene. Mary always says Yes to the God
The Annunciation picture has been the subject of a Court decision. A Hindu Judge in Madras Court, Ward V in October 1978 has issued a stay order against the sale, exhibition and class-room use of the book containing the picture, on the ground that it offended the religious feelings of Christians. No Ecclesiastical authority has forbidden the book. The book with the picture is still in use and has been reprinted for sale in spite of Court orders.
20. (4) Book III, p.52
Jesus saves us and brings us to the Father.
VI. There is a picture which falsifies history. Here are two examples.
21. Book II, p. 26
The Holy Eucharist is the Meal of God’s Family
VII. There is a picture which propagates an illicit way of saying Mass.
22. Book III, p. 15
Together in Church
(1) The picture speaks for itself. Yet attention may be drawn to the lamp* placed prominently in the centre. This is a type of lamp sacred to the Hindus, used in every Hindu temple. It has got explanations among Hindus, which are unacceptable to Christians. Some of the explanations are unprintably vulgar. *kuthuvilakku
To be specially noted is the three-forked tip (trident) of the lamp. The trident is the weapon of a Hindu deity, and well-recognised Hindu symbol celebrated in Hindu devotional literature.
(2) The Bishops Conference of India consistently observes silence when questioned by the faithful about the illicit way of saying Mass, as published in this Catechism text with imprimatur.
(3) This way of saying Mass is being practised in the name of Indianisation in many a religious house, and elsewhere with special groups of people.
Incidentally, to offer sacrifice (pooja) seated in a temple is most un-Indian. It is never done. The Hindu priest in the temple offers sacrifice standing, and facing the ‘Holy of holies’ never facing the people.
INCULTURATION OR PAGANISATION ?
Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi forcefully and clearly expressed that “The Gospel and therefore evangelization are certainly not identical with culture and they are independent in regard to all cultures. . . . Though independent of cultures, the Gospel and evangelization are not necessarily incompatible with them. Rather they are capable of permeating them all without becoming subject to any one of them. The split between the Gospel and culture is without doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times. Therefore every effort must be made to ensure a full evangelisation of culture or more correctly of cultures. They have to be regenerated by an encounter with the Gospel. But this encounter will not take place if the Gospel is not proclaimed” (No 20 Evangelii Nuntiandi). The Gospel/Evangelization/Proclamation regenerates culture -Michael
Every student of history knows how Christianity civilized cultures all over the world. The inhuman and vulgar aspects of pagan culture were given a fresh veneer of sweet reasonableness making them more natural and benign. It was the Christian touch that stopped the cruelty of suttee an integral part of Hindu culture which demanded that a woman who lost her husband should be also burned alive with the dead man. This inhuman religious-cultural act was stopped by the British. Many other crude and cruel aspects of Hindu culture were cleaned up by Hindu reformers themselves as they came in contact with modern thought and progress both of which had inevitably been influenced by the curative touch of Christianity. As the well known Hindu writer KA NA Subramanian has said “Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833) who founded the Hindu reformist movement had “imbibed enough Christian ideas to be affected by them in all his Hindu reforms”. Subramanian also states that the great Swami Vivekananda founder of the Ramakrishna Mission modelled it ‘on Catholic principles” KA NA adds” -we see that the nineteenth century in India was largely given to new kinds of religious activity. That every one of them derived in some measure or other from or as a reaction to Christian activity should be obvious to even the most causal observer”
While it is the fad of the jingoistic nationalists to talk in the most contemptuous manner of colonialism, an impartial observer can easily judge for himself that inspite of the inevitable drawbacks of foreigners ruling a country, the Christianity of the rulers did spur them to serve the people with law and order, schools, hospitals, sanitation etc. pushing the country into the 20th century with railways, telegraph system, and education. H.G. Rawlinson in his brilliant study of India through the ages says “Orthodox people, Hindu and Mussalman alike, were uneasy at innovations such as railways and telegraphs and at the teaching of Christian missionaries, which appeared to threaten caste to lead astray the rising generation, and to undermine the very foundations of their ancient creeds”.
Looking back today one has to admit that the social services and modern amenities which were introduced by the British by the end of the 19th century pushed India from the bullock cart era to the 20th century with a new generation which could see for itself the advantages of science, education and progress. As pope Paul VI stated so wisely, the Gospel did surmount thousands of years of superstitions and social injustice giving Indians a totally new outlook on life. This was indeed an “evagelisation of culture”.
Against this historical background the post Vatican II move in the Church in India to “Indianise” the Church by a process of inculturation has proved to be a melodrama replete with tragic and comic aspects. To take out of context the words of Pope Paul VI, “The split between the Gospel and the culture is the drama of our time” may be a clever publicity gimmick especially since the full sentence as NOT quoted.
The sentence ends with the words “just as it was of other times”.
More important are the Holy Father’s words that Gospel and evangelisation are not identical with culture.
This is the exact same way the inculturationists treat a famous verse from Nostra Aetate #2. They quote only the part that supports their designs, omitting the words that oppose them. -Michael
Therefore, the Holy Father’s words did not mean that today’s artificial confrontation between the Gospel and culture is the drama of our time. The drama is the one that the paganisers of the Roman Catholic religion are themselves consciously creating in order that this ancient Faith may be forced to wear a new mask painted with grotesque colours necessary to give it a purely Hindu look.
Amalorpavadas’ false assertions:
Explaining this process of inculturation, a booklet entitled Gospel and Culture has been written by D.S. Amalorpavadas, Director of the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, of the Bishops’ Conference of India.
1 The author begins by stating on the one hand Christianity has projected a bad image of itself in the course of its missionary enterprise and in its work of evangelization during the last five centuries”.
2 He makes yet another hyperbolic statement: “The Gospel had the trade mark of western Christianity”. The writer is not honest enough to detail even briefly what the “trade mark” of Western Christianity is and how Christianity has “projected a bad image of itself”. Blunt declarations as these without any explanation or elaboration of the point of attack is not honest writing. Any one who makes accusations must pin-point the errors and not fling across the page charges which are not supported with proper evidence.
3 In the same strain Amalorpavadas continues to sling his arrows. He makes statements which are historically totally false as: “Christianization meant Westernization in terms of socio-cultural life. Its consequence was alienation of Christian people from their own culture, social milieus and religious traditions and evasion from their people’s historical adventure and drifting away from the main stream of national life”.
Rebuttal of Amalorpavadas’ false assertions:
These sentences are from the very opening para of this booklet Gospel and Culture the aim of which is to justify the Hinduisation of the Church in India. The facts are
1. Christianization did NOT mean westernization in terms of sociocultural life. The millions of Christians in whole of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra, the Eastern states, Nagaland, etc., etc. are far from being westernized in any sense of the term. Amalorpavadas himself must know that coming from a Tamil family in the village of Kilacheri that until he and his brother became priests and began to have big money, the villagers of his home town were untouched by modern progress or any thing Western. Millions of Christian families live the same simple humdrum lives of their ancestors, following all the customs, manners and traditions of their own caste as they did when they were Hindus. Marriage customs, food habits, death ceremonies and social habits never became, westernized by their acceptance of Jesus as the Saviour. Again and again the writer deliberately makes false statements. He is not ignorant since he himself, as his name so clearly declares is an Indian, and though later on with his education in France he may have become westernised, he knows very well that his Indian catholic family because of its Christianity did not become westernised. It was purely an Indian family with Indian traditions and background living in an Indian Village.
2 Christians living with their Hindu neighbours all share the same ancient social order with its benefits and drawbacks. Christianity did not westernize them any more than an Indian learning English became automatically an English man! The very idea that Christianity Westernised Indians who accepted Christ is historically false and only an ignoramus will, ever make such a statement.
3 It is a fact that those who embraced Christianity during the Portuguese period took Portuguese names more as a ruse to win favour and patronage rather than to give up their Indian culture. The Goan Catholics, all with Portuguese surnames, have not lost or mortgaged their Indian culture, their Indian social habits, their local Konkani cuisine etc. They looked Western in their attire but they assiduously cling to their caste system until today. A Goan Brahmin Christian will not marry a Goan Kshatriya Christian. Have such persons by any stretch of imagination become westernised?
As India became more and more modernised, the educated classes were getting Westernised. It was not the sin of the Christians alone. The Sikhs, the Parsees, the higher class Hindus all were Westernised to keep up with the changing modern trends and for economic reasons. Amalorpavadas throwing stones at Christians as Westernised and thereby accusing them of losing their culture is talking through his hat. He is deliberately doing this to create a case for his program of Hinduisation.
Certainly the good Christians once they accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour would not hang on to the Hindu religion, its prayers and superstitions.
This rejection of Hinduism does not make them less Indian and cut them off from the main stream of national life, even as the millions of Marxists in India who are atheists are very much Indians though they reject Hinduism.
Amalorpavadas continues his litany of lies by stating that “Christians were considered aliens or at least second class citizens”. Again, an utter lie. One can give a long list of Christians in different parts of India who were considered not only highly qualified in their particular disciplines, but respected for their individual merit of character and integrity. My own father, the late Prof. R.P. Kulandaiswami, a fervent Catholic who proudly wore his knight of the Blessed Sacrament Gold Cross on the lapel of his coat, was a personal friend and tutor to His Highness the late Sri Mulam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore, one of the leading States of India. His being a Catholic did not debar him from the highest post the Maharaja could bestow on him. He was never treated as an alien or a second class citizen but respected as a Catholic intellectual, and an Indian. The Maharaja nominated him to the Sri Mulam Assembly, his legislative advisory body.
Like him there were and are literally thousands of Christians all over India, men like Dewan Bahadur, L.D. Swamikannu Pillai, the great Joseph Baptista Mukerjee, Governor of Bengal, Gilani, nationalist leader, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur princess of the Royal House of Kapurthala, Dr. John Matthai, internationally renowned economist and others, all first class nationalists and Indians respected by their fellow countrymen. Like Rip Van Winkle, Amalorpavadas wakes up from his Hinduisation dreams to see his Christian fellow country men aliens and second class citizens. He really should be having third class brains to discover such non-existing situations.
Dr. D.C. Pavate, former Governor of Punjab in an article to the Indian Express (August 15, 1973) wrote: “Dr. Ambedkar did not realise that a change of religion in India does not necessarily remove class distinctions. There are Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vyasya and Sudra Christians in India and there is hardly any social intercourse among them. . . They still retain their caste and sub-caste characteristics even as Christians. The point is that their conversion has made no vital differences to their mental powers, mode of living and social intercourse”,
This clearly shows how the Christians continued to be Indians to the extent of firmly following the caste system. The succeeding statement of Amalorpavadas that Christians were Westernised and lost their moorings as Indians and were in a ghetto is nothing but a figment of his imagination to put it in a most charitable way. lf bluntly stated they are all false, they are mere excuses to introduce Hinduism in the name of inculturation and to satisfy his ego that he has been able to revolutionise the church in spite of over a 100 Bishops, and a Pro-Nuncio of the Holy See watching the Hinduisation of the church. They have all fallen in line with the two brothers, Archbishop Lourduswamy who manipulated to get approval of Rome for the 12 Points and his brother Amalorpavadas who has fabricated a pseudo-mass, sun worship, fire worship etc.
For over a decade more than 30,000 priests nuns, lay men and women have been systematically brainwashed. seminars and courses are regularly held throughout the year at NBCLC Bangalore, to which Bishops send priests, nuns, school teachers, lay men and women who are initiated and trained to be propagandists for Hinduisation of the liturgy, who learn how to worship fire and the sun, how to pray to Goddess Gayatri, how to confess accord-ing to the Amalor rite. (See Appendix VII) Heavy funds are expended to keep this propaganda going Amalorpavadas and a few chosen priests trained by him also travel throughout India holding seminars in convents, parishes and for congregations. The implementation of Hinduising the church thus goes on with the cooperation of most of the bishops. In any case the Bishops conference of India has not objected to all these activities but on the contrary has publicly paid encomiums to Amalorpavadas for his contribution to the “Renewal” of the Church.
From the Hindu point of view the Christians are a minority community, educated, energetic and able to serve the nation in all spheres of life. Generally speaking until the sixties there was hardly any discrimination against Christians. For political reasons Hindu bigots have become more alert and sensitive to their being the majority and they are keen to capitalise on the strength of their numbers. The idea of a secular state plus the socialistic trends of Prime Minister Nehru’s policies made the Hindu politicians tear that their position in the country will be neutralised by the Democratic and socialistic ideas as propagated by Nehru.
Hence, fascist type of organisations of Hindu youth came to the fore. Any type of fascism has to have some common bogey to keep the spirits of youth at high pitch. It is only for this group of people that the statements that Amalorpavadas makes have any relevance. “The non-Christians have become allergic to mission work and look upon the evangelizing church as a foreign body, as a state within state, as a pressure group and alienating force”. The militants became conscious of the fact that with Hinduism still unable to give a fair deal to millions of low caste Indians, the social services of Christianity where human beings get a human treatment, plus the advantage of education, economic liberation from literally abject slavery of caste and Hindu bigotry are a magnet attracting the low and downtrodden. Hindu awareness of these facts brought open opposition to any form of evangelisation to the extent of introducing an anti-conversion Bill in Parliament to which reference has already been made in an earlier chapter.
Amalorpavadas: NO EVANGELIZATION
From a pragmatic point of view Amalorpavadass contentions are meaningless since the truth is that the church in India is NO LONGER an evangelising church at all. lt is a Church distorted and disfigured by pagan rites, rituals, ceremonies plus Indian theology and liturgy. As Amalorpavadas writes he wants a Church which will assimilate the “inspiring practices of another religion”. When there is salvation through all religions and Christ is hidden in them, obviously there is no need to evangelise!
Recently in Bombay Archdiocese more than 27,000 Catholics left the Church, in Tuticorin several hundred families have left. The exodus will continue because of paganisation.
While Pope Paul VI very clearly has stated that we must “ensure full evangelisation of culture” Amalorpavadas repeats ad nauseam that inculturation i.e., local culture must influence the Gospel, the church, an activity contrary to the pope’s ideas that the Gospel should influence and civilize cultures. Evangelii Nuntiandi –
See first paragraph of chapter VI -Michael
At this stage it is my duty to state that an intellectual rebuttal to Fr. Amalorpavadas booklet Gospel and Culture was made by an internationally known theologian and Bible Scholar Prof. Dr. J.P.M. van der Ploeg M. Professor in Nijmegen University, Holland and Member of the Royal Dutch Academy, of Sciences of the Netherlands. Prof. Ploeg’s rejoinder to Gospel and Culture is THE BANYAN TREE published by All India Laity Congress as a Cardinal Gracias Memorial Publication in 1979. In it the learned Professor knocks the bottom off most of Amalorpavadas imaginary theories and half-baked ideas.
Prof. Ploeg writes Amalorpavadas is obsessed by his idea of “Indianisation” and he puts it on the same level as the Incarnation! Amalorpavadas says there is “no preaching of the Gospel (evangelisation) without inculturation”. Prof. Ploeg comments “one who reads these words cannot but be astonished that Fr. Amalorpavadas has a false idea of the church”.
Prof. Ploeg is surprised at the fantastic statement of Amalorpavadas ‘one cannot believe in the Incarnation without an ongoing inculturation in the life and ministry of the church”. Again no comment, this was never in the Credo.
Amalorpavadas writes on p 26 of his booklet:
“The Pope is the visible principle of unity, the bond of charity and President of the Universal fellowship of churches. His ministry of presiding is a humble service and not domination, unification is realized from within by inspiration and not by imposition or uniformity from without”. Is this true asks Prof. Ploeg?
The great theologian of the Nijmegen University – adds: In these words the Catholic doctrine on the function and the powers of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter, is obscured and implicitly denied”.
This is not surprising since Amalorpavadas is one of the chief innovators of the idea of a Church OF India totally independent of Rome. But what is MOST SURPRISING is that there has been NO protest or action against the author of Gospel and Culture either from the Bishops Conference of India or from Rome. He is so well entrenched in his upstart revolt that no one dare say boo to him. Amalorpavadas goes to the extent of saying that if Christians “find it difficult in practice to accept customs, signs and symbols of other religions it is because they were trained to think that the other religions are erroneous, idolatrous, magical and superstitious”. He is unconsciously paying a rich tribute to the Christians of India whose faith and faith education has been so good that they realise that Christ alone and the church alone saves them while other religions with their mumbo-jumbo are false. The future generation may not be able to say so because they are being brainwashed with a Catechism authored by Amalorpavadas which will not confirm them in the faith but only sow doubts and confusion in their minds.
It is very clear from Amalorpavadas ideas and propaganda that [his idea of] inculturation includes “religious traditions as part of the total reality”.
The author proceeds to say that “inculturation means that the young churches in imitation of the plan of Incarnation, rooted in Christ take to them-selves, in a wonderful exchange, all the richness of the nations which were given to Christ as an inheritance (cf. ps 2, 8). This in Amalorpavadas opinion gives the freedom to take elements from other religions and integrate them into Christian theology, worship, prayer life. In this inculturation the author admits is some kind of “Hinduisation”. [Benedictine Father]
Bede Griffiths another propagandist for inculturation also says that the process includes Hinduisation of the Church.
Ad Gentes (22) is quoted by the writer Amalorpavadas as his authority to “borrow from other religions without the least hesitation or shame or complex”. AG 22 only speaks of customs and traditions of people, their arts and sciences, their wisdom and learning and NEVER of their philosophy, theology or liturgy – never even hints about the propriety of borrowing religious mantras, pujas, rituals, rites or ceremonies. Here is yet another example of how Amalorpavadas distorts facts and gives his own meaning to what the church has stated.
In the South nowadays the courtyard, the steps and the entrance to churches are decorated with artistic kolams – designs of flowers or geometrically attractive painting on the floor. This kolam painting decorates every household, Hindu and Catholic and has been done for ages. Now Kolam has been introduced to decorate churches also. It is very artistic and beautiful and being purely cultural NO sensible Catholic will ever object to it. NO Catholic objects to any form of decent art or painting to beautify our Churches; Indian music with Indian wind and string and percussion instruments – these are all integral part of a people’s culture which naturally will find its own place in the Church where the local language is now used for the liturgy.
But Amalorpavadas ideas are totally pagan and not cultural as can be seen from the text of the Indian Rite mass (Appendix VII) where even the sign of the Cross has been tabooed and replaced by Hindu gestures which majority of Hindus themselves do not know what they mean and hardly any Christian will ever know what they stand for. As already explained, (please see Chapter IV and Appendix No. VII), the Mass, the Confession rite, fire worship and sun worship and other rituals are purely Hindu religious ceremonies and do not belong in any way to the culture of the country. They are, to be more precise, purely Brahminical and the use of Sanskrit makes them fully a part and parcel of the Hindu religion and NOT of the culture of the people. The Sikh, the Buddhist the Parsee and the Muslims will never touch them.
From what has been said above it should be clear that the Christians in India are not a peculiar western-ised people. They are one among the different class and groups of people in India. Christians are very much in the main stream of Indian life in every sphere of activity. Christians have risen to the highest positions in the armed forces – the Indian Navy until last year had a Christian as its Admiral (Admiral Pereira), a Christian today heads the Indian Air-Force, Air Chief Marshall La Fontaine, there are many Christians holding high ranks as Lieut. General, Major General, in the Army. The police force has top officers who are Christians respected and honoured by the state. Just recently Mr. Ribeiro of Bombay Police has been honoured and appointed to the post of special secretary in the Home Ministry. Mr. John Lobo was head of the country’s Intelligence Bureau.
In the field of sports, Indian Hockey teams which were world Olympic Champions for over 50 years always had outstanding Christian players in it. Every branch of sport can boast of Christian Champions – Michael Ferrera is billiard World Champion, Young girls like Shiny Abraham are winning gold medals in international athletics, Charles Borromeo is Asian running champ etc. etc.
Amalorpavadas has only exhibited his total ignorance of what the Christian community is. Though a mere two percent of the population they are very much a part of the national life in every sphere of activity. A Westernised community cut off from the main stream cannot be making such valuable contribution to society and the nation. It is a community culturally attuned to India but a community which has rejected Hinduism even as far back as AD 52.
The accusation that the Church has a western image is also totally false. Church has an image of an international religion. Today the whole of India is being Westernised. If you wish to use that term everywhere there is progress and everything is being modernised. Even the villages have now a new look with radio, T.V. electricity transport and many other modern amenities. This does not mean Indians have lost their cultural values and are being Westernised. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is doing his best to take the nation to the 21st century on the wings of the World’s best scientific and technological ideas.
Amalorpavadas and the bishops of India are dragging the Church back to primitivism – squatting on the floor to offer Mass and throwing the sacred species on the ground Amalorpavadas forgets that he himself is 100 percent Westernised starting the day with brushing his teeth – a very Western habit while his grandfather did not use a tooth-brush but only his index finger. He knows the entire hierarchy lives in posh Westernised style of life with every modern comfort that money can buy. Many bishops use imported foreign cars causing envy among politicians and others. It is this external splendour and high living of many bishops and priests that gives the Westernised look to the Church.
Squatting on the floor to offer the Holy Eucharist and then at table for breakfast with spoon and fork is one of the many hypocritical acts of the Hinduisers. The Brahmins are very sensible. They continue their pujas as they did centuries ago but in life they adjust to the march of civilization. Ten years ago when we met one of the Shankaracharyas he was seated on the floor and we too sat a respectable distance from him on the floor. Later a couple of years ago one found him seated on a comfortable sofa offering me a chair near him. This time he did not throw an apple at me to pick up as his prasad but very politely handed over to me some fruits.
Everywhere progress marks the lives of men and communities. Only in the Catholic Church in India retrogression and primitiveness is being sought replacing the civilized and cultured rituals, ceremonies and inspiring music. By Hinduising the church there is NOTHING to be gained at all, not even the approval or applause of the Hindus. The good Hindu will have a righteous contempt for a religion which so shamelessly apes his ancient religious ceremonials and rites. As Cardinal Gracias pointed out they are taking the shell without the substance. If the Hinduisers are honest the right thing to do would be to leave the Church, join Arya Samaj and become Hindus as their forefathers were. If they did that, Hindu society will accept them only on the same level as they do their own low caste members.
The whole business of Hinduisation is so saturated with hypocrisy and chicanery that one is compelled to call it a master plan of Satan to destroy the Church in India and impose Hinduism on it. The following is a report by a young priest who attended one of the Seminars conducted by Amalorpavadas at the National Centre. The technique of Hinduisation can very well be seen from what happens at the NBCLC Seminars. Also, the priest’s report reveals how the National Centre openly flaunts the instructions of the Holy See.
By A PARTICIPANT IN A COURSE
The National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) arranged a course on the New Code of Canon Law with reference to Christian life from 30th May to 9th June, 1984. There were 65 participants: 11 priests, 2 clerics, 39 sisters, 13 lay people.
His Grace Archbishop Arockiasamy of Bangalore was present at the inaugural session. In his address he stressed the need of the Law to build up a more human Christian community.
There were a number of speakers among who were Fr. D. S. Amalorpavadass, Fr. Paul Puthanangady S.D.B., and Fr. George Lobo, S.J.
I am a young priest in my early thirties, returned recently from Rome after my training and my Ordination. This was my first course which I attended at the NBCLC about which I had heard so much- I went there with an open mind. If I were to sum up my impressions, I would just put them in one word- shock. And the readers would judge from what I am going to report whether my ‘SHOCK’ is justified or not. I will first give a number of practices which I witnessed and then many of the views I heard.
Holy Mass –
Four times we had what is known as the Indian Mass. When asked to show the permission for that the Director showed us the well-known approval of the 12 points. But what we were actually treated to was much more than that. The Mass was said sitting on the floor throughout, whereas the official interpretation appended to the 12 points in Notitiae and later on confirmed in a reply to a query from the Archbishop of Madurai says that the sitting posture is permitted only for the liturgy of the Word -all the more so since in non-Christian religions in India the sacrifice is offered always standing.
At times the first reading was taken from the ‘Vedas’. Besides being against the strict prohibition issued by the Sacred Congregation of the Divine Worship in the famous letter of Cardinal Knox* to the CBCI in 1974, this goes against the clear condemnation by the Instruction of 1970 and Inaestimabile Donum of 1980.
To refresh our memory, I quote from both Documents:- *See page 56
1. Instruction 1970: “Sacred Scripture above all the texts used in the liturgical assembly, enjoys a special dignity: in the reading God speaks to his people, and Christ present in his Word, announces the Good News of the Gospel. Therefore:
(a) The Liturgy of the Word should be conducted with the greatest reverence. Other readings, from past or present Sacred or profane authors’ may never be substituted for the Word of God”.
2. Inaestimabile donum: “It would be A SERIOUS ABUSE to replace the Word of God with the word of man’ no matter who the author may be”
During the Elevation always the female sex would come forward near the altar to swing the arati. Whatever be its legality by reason of the 12 points, it is highly regrettable. It is performed at the Most Solemn moment of the Sacrifice of the Mass (Consecration) and thus distracts the participants from the ‘Mystery Of The Faith’ to the swings of the women ‘aratiwalas’ hiding in this manner the view of the consecrated Host and Chalice – the purpose of the Elevation’
Communion – As we know, Communion in hand is not permitted in India and Eucharistic self service nowhere in the world. Yet at the Indian Mass a tray with particles and the Chalice are passed round to all the participants who help themselves to Communion. ‘Om‘ and the ‘Sanskrit’ hymns are used. The theological objections raised against ‘OM’ by the Sacred Congregation of the Oriental Churches apparently cut no ice with the theologians of the NBCLC.
We were asked to participate in what is known as Surya Namasakara (Sun Worship). All were asked to sit on the floor. Fr. Paul Puthanangady was the commentator, telling us: ‘Jesus is coming, He is filling the world’ and we were asked to bow our heads in the direction of the sun. I was so shocked, that I could not stand it any more, as I recollected that sun worship is a pagan practice-whatever may be the Christian interpretation put on it by NBCLC. So I walked out from the sunrise meditation. I cannot say what followed, since I was not present for the rest.
Divine Office – During the Divine Office the short reading was either from the Holy Bible or from the ‘Vedas’, against the express prohibition from Rome (Cf. Breviary, General lnstructio, m.m. 140,162).
All the above practices are obviously against the current norms of the Church: In other words, acts of rebellion and disobedience.
I feel that it is really a tragedy for the Church in India that the guilty ones of such sinful practices -is it not a sin to disobey Rome in such serious matters? -are none other than the people approved, supported and encouraged by the Indian Official Church. And this greatly increases the ‘DANGER’ which these people are for the sound renewal of the Church. Hence the urgent need of a direct intervention of the Holy Father Himself, to set right things in such a sensitive area.
How is it possible that what even an ordinary ignorant layman will not dare to do, the bigwigs of the NBCLC do with impunity? Perhaps the theology of these people which will be seen from their expressed views which we are going to give, accounts to a great extent for their incredible, rebellion and disobedience.
Views [of Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadas and Fr Paul Puthenangady SDB]
While explaining “the understanding of Authority and Government according to II Vatican Council” Fr. Amalorpavadass said that the New Code of Canon Law is to be interpreted in the light of II Vatican Council. But he forgot to add “and in the light of later Pontifical documents”. “In the beginning there was no law. Only in the course of time the Church began some laws and regulations under the authority of the Pope. Then slowly the popes began to rule the whole Christian Community. Finally the Popes began to make laws for the whole world,” he maintained. Referring to the New Code of Canon Law he said “we can change the Code according to our needs. The local bishops have the right to change the code of Canon Law according to the circumstances, places and culture”. He also added that “in India we need an Indian Law” i.e., Indian Canon Law. “The Church authority is oppressing the people”. He did not hesitate to criticise also the Indian bishops saying “our local bishops act as mini popes in their dioceses”.
Any student of Ecclesiology and Canon Law will realize from the above ideas that Fr. Amalorpavadas’ ecclesiology is very poor and his knowledge of Canon Law next to nil. Otherwise how could he say without the required distinctions that the local bishops can change the Canon Law? Any student of Canon Law knows that the general laws bind everyone including the bishops who can dispense from them only in cases provided for in the same Law.
Fr. Paul Puthenangady is originally from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam and is now entrusted by the CBCI with the renewal of Latin Rite; he too has his own strange views regarding the New Code of Canon Law.
According to him, the New Code of Canon Law is only a guideline which we can change according to our needs. In a tone sounding sarcastic he said “Rome is making Laws and telling us how we should live and what we should do”. His conclusion was that the Vatican has nothing to do with our way of Christian living.
Both Fr. Amalorpavadass and F. Paul Puthenangady told the audience that the Indian bishops are oppressing the priests, sisters and laymen.
Of course, the above remark is hardly conducive to build up a community of Faith, Hope and Love. When you are setting up one section of the people of God against the other, especially against our respected Pastors you are not building up the community but doing actually the work of the devil, the Father of all divisions.
The known contestator of ‘Humanae Vitae’, Fr. George Lobo, S.J. who is still on the staff of an important Indian Seminary, did not fail, in an answer to a question, to show his colour: “Contraception is not a Sin”, he pontificated. How such a man is still allowed to go about spreading this view is more than I can understand.
Regarding the reactions of the audience I feel sorry and sad to say that most of the participants were enthusiastic supporters of the views reported above. This is really sad, for it reveals the degeneration into which the Church in India has fallen. What a responsibility of those who by their connivance and inaction have allowed the church to drift so low! There is however a silver lining to this thick cloud: I understand from reliable sources that some of the bishops are dissuading their faithful, especially priests and nuns, from going for courses arranged at the NBCLC. May their tribe increase so that a day may soon come when either the present policy of the NBCLC will change or the institution will die a natural death, which in fact may prove a blessing in disguise.
Before concluding I should also point cut that there were three nuns among the participants who got scandalized by the talks of some of the speakers – this is consoling. But a nun serving at the institution declared: “There are some ‘Holy’ (sarcastically) priests who are telling people not to go for courses at the NBCLC.” I for one can only wish and pray that every one who loves the Catholic Church did the same, and also pray for this poor misguided nun who sees nothing wrong with NBCLC What blindness! (End of quote)
Paganising the church includes the worship -of Hindu deities as was done at the “temple” of the Bishops National Centre, Bangalore where Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu were all honoured and adored. The extent to which the paganisers can go to worship other gods is proved in Fr Bede Griffiths‘ book “Christ in India”. (Griffiths is a British Benedictine monk turned sannyasi (hermit) and his full time job is to paganise the Church.)
In Christ in India, Griffiths writes describing a temple that in it there may be nothing but a lingam, (phallus – representation of the penis) a “bare stone representing the formless divinity, the absolute godhead which is beyond all ‘name and form’. He adds that the penis is the natural symbol of the sacred source of life. Again, once while sitting on the banks of a river he saw a roughly carved lingam and yoni (male and female organs). It seemed to him “a touching expression of the sense of the sacred”, the awareness of the essential holiness of nature and of faith in her generative powers”.
All focus on the generative organs! In Genesis we read that after Eve and Adam had eaten of the forbidden fruit, the Lord God called unto Adam and said unto him: Where art thou? And Adam replied: I heard thy voice in the garden and was afraid because I was naked.
Adam and Eve were ashamed to discover they were naked; they sewed leaves together to hide their lingam and yoni. But Bede extols this nakedness and the generative organs as the “essential holiness of nature,” while it was only when Adam and Eve lost their holiness that they became aware of their nakedness!
Once a person dabbles with paganism, the depths to which he can sink is beyond the dreams of sensuality. Bede viewing the male and female sex organs does not turn away but delights in expressing his fantastic ideas on them. A Catholic priest, a religious, a celibate loses all sense of shame since his pursuit is a totally pagan one. Such men like Bede are leading the Church in India to paganism and eventual ruin.
Amalorpavadas has styled himself, “greatest theologian of India”. He has been propagating many kinds of pagan worship through the years at the National Centre. For over ten years dancing Shiva and Teen Murti (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) were regularly adored in the church of the center. The Church (temple) until today has NO cross on top of its Indian style tower but an inverted empty pot in which Amalor says there is Nectar!!! Though he talks and propagates such pagan ideas there are enough nuns, priests and bishops to revere him and accept all that he talks and does.
Though he has been practising sun worship for years and has taught literally thousands of nuns and priests and laymen and women to worship the sun, in the 1982 November and December issues of Word and Worship he gives full details of the pagan-pantheistic ritual with all the Sanskrit mantras (magic words) to be sung in praise of the sun. Pantheism, a doctrine that equates God with forces and laws of nature, is NOT Catholic. It is as all know sheer paganism, a primordial, primitive form of religion when men feared the forces of nature and worshipped the sun, moon, the stars etc. Even thunder and lightening were worshipped. Today when man has walked on the moon and science has revealed the marvels of nature and thereby the greatness and glory of the Creator, it is sheer madness for anyone to worship the sun, moon and the stars. But in India, Catholics are doing it under the leadership of Amalorpavadas and the Bishops have not stopped it though they know about it. They sponsor their priests and nuns to go to the seminars where sun and fire worship are taught.
The sun is but a creation of God and to bow down to it is most vulgar and superstitious unworthy of any man, more so of a Catholic and that a priest. The vulgarity and the paganism of sun worship cannot be neutralised by just reading a few passages from the Bible during the worship. This is adding insult to injury, a sacrilege.
Amalor calls the sun – “THE OBSERVER OF TRUTH”. This is beyond our comprehension. The purification process before the sun worship is by “Sipping of water three times”!! Then comes sheer blasphemy. “For us Christians, the sun is the symbol of Christ” he says. A created thing cannot be symbol of the Creator. This is absurd. He goes to make his own statements without any sense to adhere to truth. He says: “In all religions the rising sun has a special significance”. This is NOT true-in Christianity, in Islam and even in Buddhism. Then he jumps to some absurdities. ‘THE SUN ALSO AFEECTS OUR MORAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE”.
The sun worship consists in reciting Sanskrit mantras. He wants Catholics instead of singing the praises of the Blessed Mother Mary at Angelus to recite the Gayatri or Savitri mantra. Who is this goddess? What do the mantras do to those who recite it? According to tradition, Gayatri is an Aryan goddess unlike Kali and Durga who are original goddesses of those who lived in India before the Aryan invasion. Only Brahmins are supposed to recite Gayatri mantra. Women recite it to invoke the goddess to give their husbands virility and sex power; men recite it to achieve tantric powers (magic powers). What powers Amalor wants for himself?
In Hinduism the sun is Surya Narayana, the deity worshipped with fiery devotion. The Hindu scriptures and mythology are full of hymns in praise of Surya (sun). The name means one who while moving across the heavens creates life and infuses energy in people. He is the sustainer of all living things.
An important deity in Vedic times, Surya is invoked daily by devout Hindus. The Hindu God Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Book of the Hindus, says: FROM AMONGST ALL THE SHINING OBJECTS, I AM THE SUN. Krishna is also OM the word which His Eminence Cardinal Rubin has instructed the Church in India NOT to use as it is intrinsically Hindu but which, defying the Vatican orders NBCLC, many Bishops, priests, nuns and a Cardinal unabashedly continue to use even a Holy Mass. When one worships the sun, he worships Krishna. This proves to what extent Hinduism is being injected into the Church by the paganisers and how the Holy See is disobeyed.
An Indologist writes: “The Sun is the visible divine entity and He is the soul of all that moves and does not move. The Hindu concept of the Holy Triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is invested in the Sun. According to mythology, the rising sun is Brahma, the Creator, the midday sun in all its scorching splendour is Shiva, the Destroyer and the setting sun is Vishnu the Preserver… No where in the world are deities beheld in every striking phenomenon of nature as in India. India is a land where religion touches each and every corner of our hearts. The spirit of worship as that of the Sun holds strong despite the march of civilisation”.
Such is the significance and importance of sun worship to the Hindus. Our readers with an open mind can easily judge whether Sun worship is culture or religion. Since it is part and parcel of Hinduism and since Krishna the great god is involved in it besides the Hindu Triad, it is certainly in the very core a Hindu ritual. Please read what a good Catholic theologian says on
CHRIST AND SUN-WORSHIP
Prof. Dr. J.P.M. vander Ploeg O.P.
Last time I was in India, (Jan-Feb. 83) two articles on “Sunset Meditation” and “Sunrise Meditation!” written by the former director of the NBCLC, Bangalore, Fr. Amalorpavadas in his Word and Worship, Nov. & Dec. 1982, were shown to me. My opinion was asked and even more, to write it down.
All Religions Are True!
The articles mentioned above are a clear example of overall Hinduisation of Christianity. They make Christian religion and cult look like a form of Hinduism. That this is not an exaggeration appears clear from the last lines of p. 332 “Let us now enter into communion with all the people of our community. At this very moment (sunset) millions of Hindus on mountain slopes and river beds, from forests and house tops are facing the sun and performing samdhya prayers”. (This is not true. A total exaggeration. Hardly any do it these days. Editor).
In a former publication the author had written that since Vatican II there are no false religions any more. Not that the Council miraculously converted the whole world and its religions to Christ. No. This it did not do… But… It declared that hence forward no falsity is found in non-Christian religion. We prick up our ears ! lt is all a matter of understanding them. “Hermeneutics” as up-to-date theologians prefer to say. This startling news was by no means released for publication by the Council of Pope John XXIII, but, to be sure, by Swami Vivekananda who announced it to the participants of a world-congress of religions held in Chicago in 1893.
Vivekananda was not the first to announce this new doctrine: he was preceded, amongst others by the famous Bengali Ramakrishna (1836-1886), who had become convinced that all religions are true since all lead to the same ‘realisation’ of Brahma in the inner self of man (i.e. to salvation, Hindu model). Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and their followers would not have arrived at this supreme idea, had they not been influenced by western philosophical thought.
Same kind of influence is nowadays shown by those Christian gurus in India, who present the thought of Ramakrishna in a Christian version. But it is clear that the idea that all religions are equal or that they lead to the same goal is a product of wishful thinking, which has pushed aside the most essential claims or ordinary logic and common sense.
Reverting to our subject we a re bound to say that the proposals for a Christian “samdhya” provide us with a new example of religious syncretism, a plant so tenderly nursed by some. Its root is the desire to assimilate Christian religion as closely as possible to the Hindu one. This is misleading and therefore unacceptable, contrary to the whole of Catholic tradition. It was never before done in the Church, and has always been repudiated by her.
Profoundly at Variance
The Samdhya is a thoroughly Hindu complex of prayers to the Gods, especially the Sun-God with meditation, religious ceremonies, etc., all full of meaning for a Hindu, especially for a Brahmin. It is performed three times a day: at sunrise, noon and sunset. Its meaning is truly Hindu and therefore profoundly at variance with the tenets of Christian faith for this reason it cannot be taken over by Christians, or even be Christianized without doing violence to its meaning and to Christian faith.
When “christianized” the samdhya becomes a hybrid monster. I readily accept that this will not be perceived by some good Catholic nuns and the like who have no idea of what they are doing and are influenced by the personal ascendancy and charm of the NBCLC director. Having always lived in a Christian environment, nourished by Christian doctrine and liturgy, knowing hardly anything of Hindu religion and cult, they are fully aware of what they are asked to do three times a day because it is “Indian”. But this does not make good for its ambiguity to say the least or its indecency, because there is no communion of Christ with gods of another religion.
Also, wholesale borrowing from another religion and endeavouring to endow its symbols and holy texts with other meanings, is not showing much respect for this religion. One should never appropriate to his own cult texts and ceremonies which belong to another religion and to its distinctive signs and rites.
Esoteric Mental Exercise
Each religion has to cultivate its own heritage and its followers should not become intruders into the sacred domain of others. Only then everybody will clearly know: This person is a Catholic, this one a Hindu, a Sikh etc. The desire to be like others in the domain of religion is not rarely inspired by doubts concerning the validity or value of one’s own religion, or by a complex of inferiority. It is NOT a means of making one’s own religion more acceptable to others.
Let us not think that an ordinary Brahmin performing samdhya, pronouncing its sacred mantras, bowing down before the sun, worshipping it and gazing at it (all full of meaning in Hindu religion) be induced to consider it as an authentic worship of Christ! He will not be so foolish to accept it at all. If he still has to perform samdhya he will most probably think that he does not need Christ and Christianity at all.
On the other hand: will simple and not much educated people of whom there are so many millions in India and who know nothing of the intricacies of samdhya profit by learning them, making at the same time the esoteric mental exercise to give them another meaning as the obvious one? This cannot be a normal process. The present writer regrets that he is unable to think so. For his religious life he prefers to remain in his own tradition not entering into the one of other religions. (Quote ends).
(For Amalorpavadas ideas on Sex please read Appendix XII)
These are examples of the many rituals that have been introduced to paganise the Church. Except Hindus none others worship the sun in India. Knowing the full extent to which Amalorpavadas is taking the church on the road to paganism, the Bishops remain most unconcerned about the danger to the souls of millions. It is left to the laity to join hands and oppose the Hinduisation of the church. Here the great obstacle is “Father (priest) cannot be wrong attitude” of the majority. And when priests stoop low to lie and cheat and hoodwink Rome and the church, the laity is just flabbergasted and frustrated. Petitions, appeals, hundreds of cables to the Holy See have been sent. But action takes time especially when action has to be based on what the Bishops Conference has to say and how the Pro Nuncio acts in relaying the answers.
A Hindu author Nirad C. Chaudhuri, whose books are internationally famous and who knows his country – India – much better than Amalorpavadas in the Foreword to the book The Catholic Community in India by KA NA Subramaniam, says:
I am glad that so eminent an Indian writer as: Ka Na Subramaniam has taken upon himself to write about the Christians in this country, and more especially about their present and future position. If I could devote the time I too would have joined him in this work, for in respect of these Christians we Hindus as the majority community of India have as I believe, a grave moral and political duty to face and a moral and political problem to solve. To give only one illustration, the paradoxical fact that almost every socially ambitious Hindu wants to educate his children in a Christian school, and yet there is a strong movement to make conversion illegal shows that a majority of us are dead to the problem. If we are to have Christian education we are bound also to tolerate Christianity. But we seem to proceed on the assumption that the true function of Christianity in India is to educate Hindus and not offer a particular kind of religious life, which those who hold the Christian faith regard as the highest form of religious life. This just will not do.
I became aware of the true character of Christianity as a very young student when reading Roman history, and I am amazed to find how ignorant and mistaken even highly educated Hindus are about it. I ask them: What is the message of Christianity? At once they reply: ‘To love our neighbours’. They forget that this particular moral precept comes from Judaism and was only reiterated by Christianity. But they also forget the far more important fact that, primarily, Christianity is not a moral code, but a view of man’s relationship with God. The Christian kerygma we Hindus completely brush aside.
I have never forgotten that this is the main thing about Christianity, and the more I have considered it the more important has it seemed to me, irrespective of any belief in the established religions i have or do not have.
Another thing which has given me unbounded respect for Christianity is that it is the only religion in, the world which has been accepted, not only without any support from secular authority, but in spite of prolonged and continuous persecution by it. Even twenty five years before the final recognition by the State at the beginning of the fourth century there was a ruthless persecution. But though patronized by the State and even controlled by it up to a point, hence forth Christianity never subjected religious or spiritual freedom to the power of the State, and the question of the relationship between Church and State remained burning even down to the nineteenth century, and even in the Anglican Church of England which could be regarded as dominantly Erastian. No true Christian has ever consented to have his spiritual choice dictated by the State.
It is in the light of this history that I view the position of the Indian Christian today and his attitudes. Is he true to his tradition, or is he showing signs of exchanging the glory of immortal God for the image of mortal man, out of fear? On this question I can speak only as an outsider.
Today, it seems to me, that the Indian Christian is not confident about himself, and is too timid to assert his legitimate rights. On all scores, the Indian Christians, in contrast with the Muslims of India tend to be too submissive.
Other wise, all Christians would have insisted on maintaining that conversion is at the core of religious freedom, and if a government professes to give it, that government cannot forbid conversion. But the Hindu cannot get away from his genetic views, and so if a person adopts a religion out of his free choice and gives up Hinduism he is looked upon as a renegade by fellow-Hindus. When I have spoken about the Muslims of India I have got the angry report from my fellow-Hindus: “They are not true Muslims, they are only converts”. l could reply mildly: “Even in Arabia a Muslim is only a convert”‘. But this concept of religious choice, the Hindu has never arrived at. The Christian has to teach it to him, and to convince him that no man is born into a religion; he has to acquire it.
In addition, culturally too, the Indian Christian must be more positive. He is not taking enough share in the secular part of Indian culture, which is overwhelmingly Hindu culture. But it need not have an indissoluble link with the Hindu religion. It can be fully secularised.
But the Indian Christian is only contributing to the permanence of the religious complexion by joining in the Holi and the Diwali (festivals). By so doing he is helping neither his Christianity nor the professed secularism of the Government of India.
There is only one way in which a small minority can make itself respected by a majority. That is, by maintaining its integrity and showing a legitimate spirit of independence. The Indian Christian has to show more of this spirit in religion, social life, and politics. His future in India depends in the last analysis on his strength of character and energy. If he does not possess or develop them he will remain the member of a client community.” (Quote ends)
Every sensible Christian in India will agree with the opinion of Mr Nirad Chaudhuri. If we lose our Christian character and Hinduise our religion as well, we will certainly became a “client” community’ which will be submerged in the deluge of Hinduism. Unless the present mad craze to paganise the Faith is checked and given up, the 21st century will only see a hybrid form of Christianity hardly alive but suffocated and perishing. God forbid that such a catastrophe should happen. But happen it will unless the Holy See realises the danger and acts firmly and quickly. The few good bishops, priests, nuns and the laity will rejoice this day of salvation when Rome acts.
This effeminate looking male dancer dressed in typical women’s dancing garb is a Catholic priest-Barboza of Bombay Archdiocese. NO PRIEST OF ANY OTHER RELIGION HAS STOOPED SO LOW AS TO BECOME A PUBLIC DANCER. IT IS THE CATHOLIC CI IURCH IN INDIA THAT PROVIDES THIS VULGARITY. Indian classical dances all have their own century old signs and meaning. Barboza using them imagines that he can give his own new meanings. He has lowered the prestige of Catholic priesthood. This is another form of paganising the church. Archbishops & bishops have patronised Barboza. Francis Barboza has left the priesthood -Michael
This is a typical altar at which the Hindu-Catholic mass is offered. The svmbols, utensils, and other paraphernalia are Hindu. Please note the Snake right in front. Snake is an object of reverence and worship in Hinduism. This photo is of Bede Griffiths’ altar [in Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam].
This is the tabernacle in the “Temple” of the National Center of the Bishops Conference of India, Bangalore. The tabernacle is perched on top of a phallic design common in many temples in India. In front is-a brass temple lamp with a Hindu motif on top of it.
This cross with the Hindu sign OM superimposed on it is in front of Bede Griffiths Ashram [in Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam]in Trichy, South India. OM which stands for Hindu God Krishna is thus given superior honour than the cross. This is an example to what extent the paganisers go to destroy the sacredness and value of Catholic symbols including the Cross on which the Saviour gave up his life for the redemption of mankind.
Here is a picture depicting Jesus in a purely pagan setting. In Genesis we read that Satan took form of a serpent to tempt Eve. Snakes are worshipped and there are special temples for snakes. Such a picture is a sacrilege; it will neither please Hindus.
This picture of the crucified Christ but without a cross – is on page 140 of the Novus Ordo English Missal, Indian Edition, published by Theological publications Bangalore, 1974. It may be noted that beside this cross-less crucifix, there is no image of the crucified Lord in the whole missal. This way of depicting Christ has already replaced the real crucifix in some Churches’
Here is Bede Griffiths, the British Benedictine turned Hindu-Catholic sannyasin (hermit). Wearing a shawl over his shoulders and squatting on the floor he is offering Mass the illicit Indian way chanting Mantras and Hindu religious exclamations [at Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam]. A part of this cock-tail ceremony- Hindu-pantheistic and Catholic-is FIRE WORSHIP. You can see him holding the flame reciting mantras in the process of worshipping it. Until now this illicit mass with all its paganism has not been stopped by the Bishops Conference of India. The evil is fast spread in to many parts of the country.
This is the entrance to the temple of Bede Griffiths. In the centre is supposed to be the Holy Trinity depicted in the same style as in the figures of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva in the Bangalore National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre which has been removed by the action taken by Hindus.
IT IS FROM THE HEART’S OVERFLOW THAT THE MOUTH SPEAKS: A GOO D MAN UTTERS GOOD WORDS FROM HIS STORE OF GOODNESS, THE WICKED MAN FROM HIS STORE OF WICKEDNESS CAN UTTER NOTHING BUT WHAT IS EVIL. AND I SAY THIS, THAT IN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT MEN WILL BE BROUGHT TO ACCOUNT FOR EVERY THOUGHTLESS WORD THEY HAVE SPOKEN- MATTHEW 12:34 -36
Post Vatican Church in India
1. I personally think it is high time that the Church gives up the idea of conversion leading to Baptism… If the Church were to tread the same path as Jesus, it would mean that the Church in India really involves itself in issues of severe economic exploitation, social discrimination and political oppression of the poor. The condemnation of liberation theology as it is taking shape particularly in central and Latin America is certainly a cause of concern for any one who looks at the world situation of oppression of the poor. The real reason behind the action either of the Kerala Bishops or the Vatican is the hierarchy’s identification with the ruling capitalist classes at different levels.
Fr. Stan Lourduswamy S.J. Vaidika Mitram, June 1985, (Priests Journal) pp. 194-5
ON Liberation Theology
2. The Document of the Sacred Congregation on Liberation Theology will remain as yet another monument of the stupidity of the Church which is so human.
Fr. George Soares S.J. The Examiner, 9th Feb. 1985 pp. 123-4
3. “In a country such as ours, where the poor are surrendering their lives in total desperation to the structural forces of exploitation, no religion worthy of its name can take any other form except that of bread… The Church cannot question them (liberation theologians) of their theology, for it is firmly rooted in the Bible. The Church cannot question the Marxist leniency of this theology, for, the Christian and Marxist humanisms are complementary and not contradictory. Finally the church cannot question the validity of the Marxist approach to the understanding of society, especially in identifying the enemies of the poor, their interests and loyalties”.
Fr. Antony Raj S.J. Letter to the Editor, Indian Express Oct. 16, 1984. (Leading daily newspaper)
4. “The injunction about neither approving nor condemning is based on the teaching of some oriental masters, that approval and condemnation is not needed to reform your life and actions. The use of will power to make resolutions and the self-punishment involved in condemnation may provoke a resistance within you and you will be needlessly caught up in an inner conflict, action producing an equal and opposite reaction”.
Fr. Anthony de Mello
S.J. Sadhana – A way to God, pp. 94.
Notes: The injunction given by the author is,
‘It is very important that while you observe these events you adopt a neutral attitude, that is, you neither condemn, nor approve of what you are observing. . . . Just observe… Do not judge. Do not evaluate’.
What the author means by ‘these events’ are the actions you have performed during the day.
Comment: The objection is to the author’s acceptance of the teaching of some oriental masters that approval and condemnation (of ones own actions) is not needed to reform your life and actions. There would be no room for an act of contrition, and a purpose of amendment’.
5. “l am overjoyed to learn from your pages that every domestic meal, be it breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner, when the members are gathered together at the same table, and in a spirit of love and affection, share the food thereon, it is essentially a Sacramental Eucharistic meal in no way inferior to the Mass. All that is needed to give it some dignity and solemnity is to add a few candles and perhaps some incense and introduce some mantrams and Bible readings to make it perfect.
Fr. Rebello, Letter to the Editor. Vaidika Mitram, Feb. – March 1984.
6. “A religious sister has to be with people to promote their human development. She has to serve people in such a way that enables the people to lift up their hearts a new in true faith. In the light of these reflections, the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience acquire a slightly different perspective…
Obedience becomes obedience to people. By obeying people we obey God. By responding to the needs of the people. We respond to God. But which people? All, and in a very special way the poorest and oppressed ones who are 60 per cent of the population.”
Sr. Giovanna, New Leader May 1984, p. 10.
7. “Word and the Sacrament, two signs of the same Presence.”
Fr. Paul Puthenangady S D.B. The New Leader, 4-12-1983
He maintained that the Bible and the Blessed Sacrament contained the same presence of Jesus.
8. “Repent more for having hurt the feelings of others, than for having fallen under temptations of the flesh. God judges only the former”. (Translated from Tamil)
Messenger of the Sacred Heart, August 1984. p. 8.
9. “‘Jesus Christ thought of himself as God’s son and as anointed by the eschatological Spirit’ because in prayer he experienced, God as Father, and in ministry he experienced a ‘power’ to heal, the power of the ‘End time’ and an inspiration to proclaim a message (Gospel)… Incarnation was not getting into a human body. It was really ‘Yogic’ experience”
Fr Ignatius Hirudayam S.J. in a public speech in Madras on 26th Dec’ 1982, reported in Indian Express, Dec. 1982. Page 3
10. Mary is called ‘the flower that yielded the first fruit of redemption’ (Translated from Tamil) lesson 30, p. 46 Book II, Catechetical Centre, Tindivanam.
This would make Christ one (though the first) among the redeemed. He is the Redeemer not one among the redeemed.
11. “Christ is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Gandhi is the lamb of God who took away the sins of India” (translated from Tamil)
Messenger of the Sacred Heart, October 1983.
12. Means of getting absolution from mortal sins
1. The Sacrament of Penance
2. The penitential rite in the Mass
(Translated from Tamil) Book 7, p 95. Catechism text published by Tamil Nadu Catechetical Centre, Tindivanam.
13. We go to a priest for confession because he is the representative of the community. Sin is against my neighbour. So I must confess to a member of the community. Every community has a head. In this case it is the priest. So I confess to him, he pardons me in the name of the community’.
Book VI p. 69 Catechism text published by NBCLC, Bangalore Edition 1977.
14. “The Gospel tells us that Jesus was the Son of a carpenter. From his father St. Joseph, he learned his trade and worked with his hands to help him”.
Book VII p. 120 NBCLC Catechism
15. Jesus Christ himself was the son of a carpenter’
Book VIII p. 69 NBCLC Catechism
16. “Instead of looking for historical ‘proofs’ of the resurrection, like the empty tomb or devising theological arguments that may, never in fact convince us, let us spend our energies in a simpler but far more satisfying task: Opening our eyes and awakening our ears to the effects, of his life in us and around us today. Let us attempt to develop a sensitivity to the presence and action of the risen Lord in our own lives. Ultimately this is the only proof we can have, the only proof we require of the resurrection of Jesus: the fruits that it produces in our lives as individuals and as a community.”
17. ‘Whether we live an outstandingly devout life or a sinful life, it is all the same before God’. (Translated from Tamil) A hymn specially composed by Fr. Mark S.J. for the ordination service on 2-5-1985.
18 Question: The Jews misunderstand Jesus. They crucified him. How can we say that he died for me, on account of my sins?
Answer: (By a Jesuit priest) “It was an experience. The Apostles realized (felt) that Jesus was born on earth, lived and died for them, so that their sins may disappear”. (Translated from Tamil)
Messenger of the Sacred Heart May 1982 P. 4
19 “Partly echoing and partly responding to the numerous appeals in recent times from various sectors of the Catholic population, Cardinal Picachy put his finger on the problems of poverty and consequent disastrous effects’ as the’ main challenge modern India throws to the Church.”
New Leader editorial, 24-1-1982
20 ‘To console ourselves by saying that the foundation and cornerstone of the hope of ours, Christians, is Christ, shows our unwillingness to think and the fear of facing the uncertainties that search may cause’ (translated from Malayalam) Fr. Dr. Abraham Koothottil, Sathya Deepa, Nov. 12, 1980′
21. ‘The symbol of Christian is not the cross but love. Love alone is his symbol’
Bishop of Kottar, M. Arockiaswamy, Thinamalar, 2-6-1981
22. “I like to define religious life as a state of freedom and tending towards total and all round freedom… When one is deeply human and really Christian and when one is endowed with the gift to be so (charism) and when this is recognised by others, one is religious. That is what is expressed through religious profession’.
Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadas, Rays of Light, July 1 981 p. 27
Has not the Church defined Religious Life? Why then this new definition? Is it a definition? What does it mean?
23. ‘The only means for man to be fully liberated from sins such as hunger, poverty, cruelty, war, struggles and also from all sinful environments, is the Eucharist’.
Mariaiyaruvi (a Theological Quarterly of Tamil Nadu) July-September 1981 p. 7
Are hunger, poverty and disease sins? Is the Eucharist meant to stop poverty and hunger?
24. “It is obvious that if many of its (of a local church) members attach an undue importance to mere externals like the up-to-now special dress of priests and religious, they have a long way to go towards maturity”.
Fr. A.M. Varaprasadam
S. J. Auto-criticism of Churches in S. India p.3
25. One of the participants (in the Lay Leaders Seminar NBCLC April 1 979) was also an AICUF national leader. He was frank enough to admit that he came to realize from the Seminar that one who is not an Indian cannot be a Christian in India’.
The New Leader August 5, 1979.
26. “In order just to lead men to the next life, it was not at all necessary for me to come… I am a carpenter’s son… I was nailed to the cross because I resisted the fanatics of the Roman domination and their underlings. My death was the death of a champion of liberation. It was a political murder.” (Translated from Tamil)
Words put in the mouth of Our Lord. Messenger of the Sacred Heart Oct. 1984.
27. “Enough, Enough, Enough have we become cowards by looking at the crucified Christ and the pitiable Christ. Pull out and throw away those nails from the hands of the crucified Jesus. Put a whip into his hands. Change the pitiable Christ. Depict a majestic and just Christ who raises his voice against injustices.” (Translated from Tamil)
Messenger of the Sacred Heart April 1985 p. 3
28. “Without social, political, economic liberation, spiritual liberation is impossible, impossible… A God who does nothing to liberate us from a corrupt, society, unjust politics and a weakened economy, but only talks at length (bluffs) about love, soul and another world, is unwanted, unwanted, unwanted”. (Translated from Tamil) Messenger of the Sacred Heart August 1982.
29. “The ten commandments given by God through Moses, are no more useful. They have not helped to evolve a just society. So they should be withdrawn and ten new commandments should be promulgated.”
Note: This idea is inculcated in an article in the Tamil Messenger of the Sacred Heart in its May 1985 issue. Ten new commandments are given, in which there ‘is absolutely no place for God. The article makes fun of God as an old decrepit unable to read without spectacles, unable to put his own signature, except by thumb impression and ignorant of basic economics.
AMONG THE NEW COMMANDMENTS
I. I am man. The Son of God. Thou (the Church) shall not have any other concern except man’s glory.
V. Thou shall not divide thyself into two, as Religious, Laity.
VI. Change your bookish Mass.
IX. Give equal rights to women in the church.
N.B. In the new Commandments there is absolutely no reference to God. The article depicts God as approving the new Commandments in the place of the old.
30. “Violence is not excluded in Christianity. It is a Christian way to use violence for destroying evil. It is right to use violence once for over throwing the structure, since there is no other way, for the sole purpose of enabling people to have a decent life. The property of the Church should be confiscated”. (Translated from Tamil)
Fr. Mark Stephen S.J. Portraits drawn in Blood, p. 78
31. “Philosophies like Marxism, Socialism and Communism, out of concern for the liberation and development of man are engaged in creating a just society. Though the Church cannot fully approve these philosophies and their methods of action, she can join them also and co-operate with them to the extent they are constructive forces working for justice”. (Translated from Tamil)
Book XI, Part 1, p. 140, Catechism Text published by Tamil Nadu Catechetical Centre, Tindivanam.
32. “When such a structure has developed, can we except a time when the parishioners themselves will ordain ministers of the sacraments, according to their aptitude and, the needs of the parish? Certainly.” (Translated from Tamil)
Messenger of the Sacred Heart, July 1984, p. 10
33. “I try to summarise in a few lines what has been said in so many pages. God is man’s centre. As man grows, God too grows. Having grown, God invites man to grow further. Man goes on growing God, too goes on growing.”
L.X. Jerome S.J. Today Dreams of God’s Kingdom’ p. 17.
This is a Tamil Book published by the Madurai Jesuit Province as a souvenir of the ordination of eight Jesuits in May 1983. The book consists of articles written by the new priests. The passage quoted above occurs in an article whose title is ‘The Changing God’.
34. “When we say that Christ the innocent became a sacrifice to appease God’s anger, we make God lower than a school teacher who mistakenly punishes a student and satisfies his own anger equivalently.
Ibid. p. 25-26, Williams S.J.
35. “We should be prepared to shed blood and embrace death for the sake of social justice. For us the path of redemption is the path of making ourselves a sacrifice for the good of the society. A Christian is one who boldly walks along this path of redemption. This is the truth which becomes alive in the Gospel that is Christ.”
Ibid. p. 27-28.
36. “The hierarchical structure of the Church should disappear equivalently.”
Ibid pp. 52-53, M. Elias S.J.
37. “The only way to give a decent life to the oppressed is to have direct recourse to violence against those who do injustice”.
38. “The cross of christ was the result of his involvement with the Poor.”
Ibid P. 75
“Christ was crushed and unjustly put to death because he boldly stood for the good of the downtrodden”.
Ibid p. 87
G. Lawrence Amalraj S.J.
39. “Private ownership should be abolished.”
Idea inculcated. Ibid P. 90
40. “Christ became one among us to unite the oppressed, and to train, them gradually to resist and defy their oppressors.”
Ibid p. 91
41. “Christ was determined to show effectively that God’s kingdom is only on this earth.”
Ibid p. 108 G. Pushparaj S.J.
A General Remark: In the entire book “Today’s dreams of God’s kingdom” there is absolutely nothing which would even make the readers suspect that Christ, his Gospel and the Church have anything to do with a life after death. The same is to be said about the ordination Souvenir Published by 14 Young Jesuits in May 1982.
42 “This dialogue Centre is engaged in bringing together committed and practising members of various faiths, so that by listening to each other, they may enrich themselves in their own faith”… “There should be a sincere attempt on the part of Christians to listen to what Christ wished to tell them through non-Christian believers.”
Fr. Ignatius Hirudayam S.J., The Hindu, 1-11-74 and 7-11-74 (English Daily Newspaper)
Is it possible to reconcile the above passage from Fr. Ignatius Hirudayam, Director of Aikya Alayam Inter-Religious Center of the Vatican in India, with the following passage of the teaching Church?
“According to those writers the mission of the Church is to unveil Christ in the other religions and to make a Hindu a better Hindu, a Buddhist a better Buddhist, and so on. But we cannot accept this opinion. The other non-Christian religions may have fine things in their culture and thought. But they have no Christ”. (Joint Pastoral letter of Tamilnadu Bishops, 3-7 -1974, pages 6 7)
This center is now called IDCR, the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions. It is now situated in the Jesuit-run Loyola College campus in Chennai [Madras]. Note that almost all the “abominable quotes” are those of Jesuit priests. -Michael
43) “But here it (the Bl Sacrament) is to be considered not as something containing divine presence but as something which we should eat and have communion”
Tholan, March- April 1976, Page 12
“If the faithful that assemble in the Church do not receive Communion the Sacramentality of the Eucharist becomes meaningless”.
(a) Does not the Eucharist contain divine presence?
(b) Does the Sacramentality of the Eucharist become meaningless when the people of God who gather in the Church hear Mass, visit the Bl. Sacrament., make the holy hour and take part in the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament even if they do not receive Communion?
(c) Tholan is a Tamil theological monthly published by the Tamilnadu Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre, Tindivanam.
44) “The Evangelists are only compilers. Just as the Sangam works which are the glory of Tamil language, are a compilation of works produced by several poets of different ages, the Gospel too, we should say, are compilations.”
Mudiappan, Tholan, May-June 1975, page 217
Is it not the teaching of the church that the Evangelists are the human authors of the Gospel whereas the Holy Spirit is the divine author of the same?
(b) The Compilers of the Sangam literature have no responsibility for the ideas and literary merits of what they complied. Are we to hold then that the Evangelists should not be held responsible for the truth of the Gospel narratives?
45) “The Gospel passages that deal with the Risen Christ were written in the first Century. At that time there were some erroneous opinions that denied the humanity of Christ (Docetism).
In order to make them realize that Christ had also human nature, they (the Evangelists) have depicted those passages as if Jesus appeared in human form. We should not forget this.”
Duraisamy Narala, Tholan Sep 1976 page 339
(a) Does not this contradict the doctrine of Resurrection?
(b) Did not the Risen Christ really appear in human from?
(c) Did he not really take food?
46) “The purpose of indigenization* is only to foster the spiritual qualities and special features of the various races and nations. There is no other purpose.”
Bishop M. Arokiasamy of Kottar, Namvalvu 29-2-1975 page 7
The Vatican document says that the Church respects and fosters the spiritual adornments and gifts of various races and peoples. But the above statement of the Bishop makes indigenization an end in itself, which is not according to the teaching of the Vatican.
47) “You should give also to the Bible the same esteem, respect and veneration that you give to the Blessed Sacrament.”
Poyyamoli, Namvalvu 7-11-1976
(a) This is clearly against the traditional practice and teaching of the Church. We adore the Bl. Sacrament, but show respect to the Bible.
(b) The Holy Father says, “Therefore the Church gives to the Sacrament of the Eucharist a form of Worship that may be given to God alone.” (New Leader, July 2, 1978)
48) “I am a good Catholic but my constant companions are Thevaram and Thiruvasagam”.
Fr. Ignatius Hirudayam S.J. Indian Express, 1st week of June 1977).
This was said by Fr. Ignatius Hirudayam S.J. in a Parliament of World Religions held in Madurai. He was representing the Catholic Church, and so it was his duty to proclaim the uniqueness of Christianity, which he did not do. The two poetical works, Thevaram and Thiruvasagam, which he said were his constant companions, are two Tamil devotional books on Shiva. Was not this a betrayal of the Church on his part?
49) “He (Christ) is the Saviour from sin, and the consequence of sin, oppression, greed and injustice leading to poverty and all kinds of human misery in this world.”
Fr. A.M. Varaprasadam S.J. New Leader 8-1-1978.
Does the author mean that Christ came to save us also from the consequences of sin (human misery) in this world? If so he is wrong. Christ came to save us from sin. As to the consequences of sin, they will be on earth till the end and Christ has taught us how to profit by them.
50) “Inculturation is as old and as crucial as Incarnation itself”.
Fr. A.M. Varaprasadam S.J. New Leader 12-2-78
Sorry Father, you have not understood how crucial Incarnation is.
Priests even today compare inculturation with the Incarnation as the same thing -Michael
51) “Salvation implies not only liberation from Satan, Sin and death, but also liberation from social, political, economic and cultural obstacles” (Archbishop (cardinal) D.S. Lourdusamy, New Leader 23-10- 1977)
Does it mean that who suffer from social, political, economic and cultural obstacles did not have full salvation?
Those who suffer in this world for Christ’s sake have less of salvation than those who do not suffer?
52) “There is no doubt that in the past more stress was put on the care of souls. Today, particularly after Vatican II, this is no more the case. The Church has looked into herself very critically and has changed her views and approach to the world.”
Fr. John Vattamattam
S.V.D. New Leader, 15-1 -1978
(a) Can the Church ever change her views and approach to the world? She can’t.
(b) Can you support your statement from documents of Vatican II?
53) “Liturgy should start from the people; should be for the people, henceforth the centre of Liturgy is not Rome”.
Quoted in Namvalvu, 2-10-76 page 12, Fr. Dr. Gervin Van Leeuwen, speech in Papal seminary, Poona
Is he advocating a new relationship with Rome henceforth as regards liturgy?
54) “We are convinced that questions of worship of the use of indigenous Scriptures, of the Creation and use of indigenous anaphoras, can be settled only through our own experience, study, imagination and searching”. “No living thing grows according to rules written down in a book or orders given from far or near. Life develops from within according to its own inner dynamism. Any pruning found necessary is done not for uniformities’ sake, but to secure greater fruitfulness, and it is done by the responsible believing reflecting Community itself?”.
Fr. Samuel Rayan S.J. Jeevadhara, May-June 1976 Pages 257 & 262
Comments (a) The remarks of Fr. Samuel Rayan are part of his comments on Cardinal Knox’s letter* received and published by the Secretary General of the C.B.C.I. on 10-10-1975. The letter forbade the use of the unauthorised New Orders of the Mass for India published by the NBCLC Bangalore. *See page 56
(b) Is it not clear that Fr. Samuel Rayan’ s remarks amount to a clear repudiation of Rome’s authority in matters of liturgy in India?
(c) What is meant by indigenous scriptures? Scriptures are sacred writings belonging to this or that religion, not to this or that country. To say that we want indigenous scriptures amounts to saying that we want indigenous religions. Does Fr. Samuel Rayan imply that we in India should use the sacred writings of the religions? Does Fr. Samuel Rayan imply that we in India should use the sacred writings of the religions originated or practised by the majority, in India? Well, Catholics follow the Catholic religion with its sacred writings namely the Bible on account of its merit irrespective of the land of its origin.
(d) Does Fr. Samuel Rayan argue that man, certainly a living being, should be a rule unto himself?
55) “This is the reason why we find the recent prohibitory directives on worship surprising, distressing and impossible.”
Fr. Samuel Rayan S.J. Vidya Jyoti, August 1976, page 313
(a) The Prohibitory directives referred to here are those contained in the letter of Cardinal Knox mentioned above.
(b) Vidya Jyoti is a theological monthly published by the Jesuit theologate in Delhi. It is supposed to be the successor of the Clergy Monthly.
(c) Fr. Samuel Rayan continues to teach in that Theologate.
56) “To the question who Christ is, the full answer will be given only when the history of Creation reaches its completion in Christ.”
Fr. Marina Louis S.J., Theyavathirumakan Page 4
(a) Will the fulfilment of history give a better or a fuller answer as to who Christ is than what we know and proclaim in the words of St. Thomas ‘My Lord and My God, or what we believe, about him namely that He is the second Person of the most Holy Trinity?
(b) Theyavathirumakan is a Tamil Book published by Beschi writers Association of which the director is a Jesuit Priest.
57) “People start learning deeply the Gospels following the same research methods of Bultmann. As a result, they could acquire a somewhat clear correct knowledge of the Bible especially the Gospels.”
Theyavathirumakan, page 10)
Are we to say that all the official teachings of the Church on the Bible before the time of Bultmann did not give us even a somewhat clear correct knowledge?
58) “To say that John has meditated on Christ and his actions and has given us his meditations in a collected form is more correct than to say that he mentions what Christ said and did.
Theyavathirumakan, page 10
“Moreover the Evangelists are not direct witnesses of what they have written.”
Ibid. Page 12
(a) Are we then to say that we are not sure of any of the utterances of Our Lord, and that none of his actions have been recorded by eye-witnesses? What value then do the Gospels have? Does not such a position contradict clear Bible passage? (Cf. St. John’s letter I, Ch. 1.)
59) “The event of Christ’s resurrection, like His birth and death, is not a historical event. It is an event beyond the boundaries of history an event also unattainable by the research of Science. But it really took place. The Apostles and disciples experienced that event in their lives. That experience even changed their lives. It was a faith experience.”
If the resurrection of Christ is not a historical event, but a faith-experience what then is the-foundation of our faith?
60) “Your son Jesus showed how good you are when He became one of us the Son of Marry, a young woman, full of life and with a great capacity for love like all of us.”
New Orders of the Mass for India published by NBCLC Page 91
How strange that this only reference to Our Lady found in that entire Missal has nothing specifically Marian or Christian. The description suits any woman, good or bad.
61) “We are grateful to you Father, because You do not ask us to be Gandhiji Our Great Leader. You do not ask us to be Nehru our first Prime Minister.”
Ibid. Page 95
a) Why should the priest be obliged to say in the Canon of the Mass that Gandhiji is a great leader? One’s opinion of Gandhi is not part of one’s Christianity.
b) Let is to be noted that this Mass has no reference to Our Lady, Saints, Apostles, martyrs, Holy Father.
62) “The true idea of Revelation: Formerly Revelation was looked on as a series of truths about God. In this view of things Revelation was something impersonal, a thing that happened in a remote past, static and aimed mainly at the intellect. Today Catechesis is no longer aimed merely at man’s mind. Its aim is to bring about a deep interpersonal relationship between God and men and among men. This is because of a new understanding of Revelation.”
General introduction to the ‘teacher’s guide’ to the ‘God with us’ series Catechism books published by NBCLC Bangalore
(a) There have been people who wrongly understood revelation. There are people – the modern pseudo-theologians for example – who do so now. But the question is has there been in the official teaching of the Church a transition from a wrong understanding to a right understanding of Revelation?
(b) Does the specific aim of Catechesis include bringing about deep interpersonal relationship among men? Right relationship with God, which is the aim of religion and therefore of Catechesis too, involves the right relationship between man and men. Relation ship with God and relationship with man are not two Parallel relationships, and hence cannot be stated as two aims of Catechesis.
(c) Did not the old understanding of Revelation, according to the teaching of the Church aim at a deep interpersonal relationship between man and God’ and’ did not that relationship as a consequence, put every other relation-ship both between man and man and between man and the irrational creation in the right perspective? Does the Church now teach any new man-to-man relationship or some new teaching regarding Revelation?
HEALTHY HUMAN PERSONATITY
The Sexual Celibate by Donald Geonald Georgen, SPCK London
“The Author, a Dominican theology Professor, has eminently succeeded in showing that the apparent dichotomy between sexuality and celibacy is both meaningless and destructive. The main thrust of the book is to prove that sexuality and celibacy are integrating elements in human personality
A healthy human personality is a blend of femininity and masculinity. These two inter-personal traits are carried over into our inter-personal relationships. It enables us to have healthy, fruitful and comfortable homosexual and heterosexual relationships.”
Book Review by Swami Vikrant SDB, The Hindu, 30-3-76
Can any right minded Catholic read the above book review coming from a religious priest professor of a Catholic Seminary without being shocked?
64) AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation) looks upon Marxism, both in India and the world over, as a power to reckon with, not merely to fight and refute, but primarily, to understand, to dialogue and where possible to collaborate with.
Fr. J. Kottukappally S.J. New Leader, 10-12-1978
Is the attitude of the Catholic Church to Marxism, which aims at the destruction of all relations, and faith in God, primarily one of dialogue and collaboration?
65) “Christianity has no identity except spirit of Jesus Christ and the sign of fraternal love patterned on Christic love to the point of dying for others (Jn. 13/35). The rest is only a cultural, identity which is derived from a particular society and time, and which should be shed in view of a new inculturation in a new milieu.”
D.S. Amalorpavadas, Gospel and Culture, Page 15
Do not Incarnation, Redemption, Crucifixion, Resurrection, the Blessed Sacrament, The Holy Trinity etc., belong to the identity of Christianity? What about the four marks of the Church which is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC? Are these only a cultural identity which is derived from a particular society and time, and which should be shed in view of a new inculturation in a new milieu?
66) “We have listened to the Word of God. We realize that what is absolutely necessary for receiving Baptism is faith. Baptism is the building raised on the foundation which is faith. This building safeguards and preserves faith. It shines as the sacrament of faith.”
Fr. Xavier Irudayaraj SJ, Kutichepipom, Page 102
This is strange theology coming from a Professor of Theology. It contradicts the doctrine of the Church which tells us that Baptism remits sin and that Baptism confers the Supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
67) “Like any man he (Jesus) too had to grow in wisdom and in favour with God and man. He was a quester after truth; after the God who made him; and he found Him on the-banks of Jordan. On the day of his baptism at the hands of John the Baptizer, he was taken hold of by God. He was swept off his feet, uprooted from his familiar world and transplanted into the realm of the divine.
There he was given a new mind and a new heart, and he began to see the World in a new light, in the light of the reign of God. But his search did not end there. He had still to come to terms with God and reach a point of Clarity regarding his mission in life”.
Fr. S. Kappan S.J. Jeevadhara May June 1975 Page 171
Does the author of this paragraph believe in Christ’s divinity? How can he be Catholic? But according to the latest Catalogue of the Kerala Jesuit Province, Fr. S. Kappan is a member of that province, and he is designated ‘writer’ (scripter).
68) “Both his (Christ’s) message and the language in which it is couched need to be brought up to date in order that the/ may be relevant for us.”
Ibid. Page 175
69) “Seen in this light, the resurrection of Jesus is a continuing process achieved through our reinterpretation of his message and our commitment in response to it.”
Ibid. Page 179
1. Rome Speaks CBCI Bows
2. Valerian Cardinal Gracias on Cultural Experiments
3. Important Clarifications!-
4. Acta Conferentiarum Episcopalium
5. The Twelve Points. May a mistake be corrected
6. The Indian Mass
7. Order of the Mass for India-Reconciliation
8. Matters Liturgical
9. Adaptation – Indigenization Utilization
10. Bede Griffith and Indianisation
11. Good Priests Expose Growing Paganism in Church in India
12. NBCLC’S Tenth Intensive Training Course ‘X’ rayed by an important participant.
Appendix – I
Rome Speaks-CBCI Bows
A Letter from His Eminence Card. Knox, Prefect, S. Congregation for Sacraments and Divine worship, to His Eminence Card. Parecattil, President of the C. B. C. I.
SACRA CONGREGATIO PRO CULTU DIVINO
Prot. n. 789/75 Vatican City,
June 14th, 1975
I enclose with this letter a report on certain aspects of the liturgical situation in India with particular regard to the use of non-Biblical scriptures and the “Eucharistic Prayer for India”.
This report has been drawn up as a basis for treating of the matter with Your Eminence and the Episcopal Conference. We are confident that this co-operation will be of benefit in this field.
With the intention of ensuring, in a calm disciplined manner, the orderly and harmonious develop-ment of liturgical adaptation in India, this Congregation respectfully asks that the Episcopal Conference arrange for the following steps to be taken.
1. That the circulation of publications carrying texts of non-Biblical readings for liturgical use be ended.
2. That the publication and distribution of “New Orders of the Mass” with Indian anaphora be ended.
3. That the Conference make clear by public statement that the use of non-Biblical readings in the liturgy and use of the Ordo Missae containing the Indian eucharistic prayer is not permitted, either in solemn or private celebration.
4. Every future initiative in this field should first be agreed upon with this Congregation. No action should be taken without first having received the necessary written authorization.
l am sure that those measures will help to ensure that the liturgy is truly a part of Indian Christianity, which in its many centuries of tradition has shown such faithfulness to the Church’ and also in which many hopes rest for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom in Asia.
With sentiments of cordial esteem, I remain,
Yours sincerely in Christ
(sd.) James Card. Knox, Prefect
(sd.) A. Bugnini, Secretary
Sacra Congregatio Pro Cultu Divino.
Appendix – II
Valerian Cardinal Gracias on Culture and Experiments
It is absolutely necessary to bear this in mind lest we give the impression to our fellow countrymen, the majority of whom are Hindus, that at long last we are taking on forms of expression more suited to their genius and ideology than to ours. One of the radical differences between Christian worship and the non-Christian lies precisely in this, that, by and large, ours is a corporate worship. Accordingly, our churches are not built like Hindu temples or Muslim Mosques or Jewish synagogues or Parsi fire temples. Our devotions involve liturgical participation, which demand proper instruction of the faithful on one hand and disciplined ceremonial on the part of the ministers, in which there is no place for the inspiration of the moment. When the thousands of our non-Christian fellowmen were impressed by our ceremonial on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress at the Oval, it was so because it satisfied their devotion, even though some of the ceremonies were alien to their own manner of worship their pujas, their mantras, their slokas. Not by idle curiosity but only by reverence they were led to those grounds, as many are led to our shrines.
Being no expert, may I ask the “Experimentalists”:
(a) In adopting forms of expression alien to our Liturgy, Latin or Oriental, have they made sure of the specific Hindu ideology underlining those forms ?
(b) Will the Hindus be flattered by these adaptations on our part, or be resentful that we take their manner of worship the shell without the substance?
(c) Will it not be said that we are adapting ourselves to one type of Indian culture, that is specifically Hindu?
But, when all is said and done about cultures, we might bear in mind what Nehru said, speaking to the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in April of 1950 – “There is, I suppose, no culture in the world which is absolutely pristine, pure and unaffected by any other culture. It simply cannot be, just as nobody can say that he belongs one hundred per cent to a particular racial type, because in the course of hundreds and thousands of years unmistakable changes and mixtures have occurred.”
Appendix – III
The following is taken from the Diocesan News Letter, Madurai, of October 1978, No. 195. Readers will be happy that His Grace the Archbishop Most Rev. J. Diraviam is so concerned about matters of faith and morals. Let us in a special way thank God and pray for His Grace.
The Archbishop Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, by the letter dated 23-5-75 (Prot. N. 649/75), in reply to questions submitted by His Grace, Most Rev. Justin Diraviam Archbishop of Madurai clarified also certain points regarding liturgical experimentations and the so-called “Indian Masses” (See DNL, June 1975 for the clarification on bination for concelebration).
Following are the Questions and the Replies, which as anyone can see, are of no little practical interest:
Q “Do the norms laid down in n. 1 2 of the ‘Instructio Tertia’ apply to all experimentations in the Liturgy everywhere?
“As far as India is concerned, does the Commission of the CBCI for Liturgy or the National Liturgical centre have any general authorisation to establish experimentation centres and carry out experimentation whatever they find useful to make the liturgy ‘more relevant and creative’?
“Or can the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, in accordance with n. 45 of the Instruction ‘Inter Oecumenici’ entrust to its Commission for Liturgy ‘studies and experiments to be promoted’, without taking into account the provisions on n.12 of the ‘Instruction Tertia?”
R. “With regard to experimental centres the conditions and limits under which such centres should operate are set out in Notitiae 5 365-374”.
The pages of the Notitiae 1969, referred to in this Reply, contain the decree of the Consilium permitting the Bishops of India to allow, at their discretion. The 12 Points of adaptation of Indianisation’ (pp. 365-6) and a ‘Commentary prepared by the National Liturgical Centre” on each of these points (pp. 366-74).
The Reply thus makes it clear that no experimentation on the rites of the Mass other than those mentioned in the 12 points (which are concerned only with the Mass) has so far been approved by the Holy See. Even with regard to the 12 points, it must be noted that the Holy See understood them and approved their conditional adoption in the sense in which they were explained in the said commentary of the National Liturgical Centre. According to this commentary, squatting during the Anaphora is excluded, and is recommended only for the Liturgy of the Word. (Notitiae d1969, p.137) And the reason given. While the padmasana or squatting seems to be the best posture for private prayer, meditation and listening to the word of God, standing seems to be more appropriate for the Anaphora, in the context of both Christian and Indian tradition”. (ibid. p. 370)
From the Reply is also clear that, apart from the 12 points of Indianisation (where they have been allowed by the respective Bishops), all experimentations in the Liturgy in India, as well as anywhere else, are subject to the norms given in n. 12 of the ‘Instructio Tertia’, which says among other things: when liturgical experimentation is seen to ‘be necessary or useful, permission will be granted in writing by this Sacred Congregation alone, with clearly defined norms and under the responsibility of the competent local authority … The liturgical ,changes requested (for experimentation) may not be put into effect while the reply of the Holy See is being awaited. If changes are to be made in the structure of the rites or in the order of parts as given in liturgical books, or if actions differing from traditional ones or new rites are to be introduced, a complete outline and programme of modifications should be proposed to the Holy See before any experiments are begun. Such a procedure is required and demanded both the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium’ (on the Liturgy) and by the seriousness of the matter”.
So, not even the CBCI or its Commission can allow experimentations without the explicit and specific authorisation of the Holy See. And no such authorisation has so far been obtained except for the 12 points.
Q. “Is there one or more ‘Indian Masses’ (with the introductory rites, anaphora and all) duly approved by the Holy See for experimentation: at the National Liturgical Centre with any group anywhere at request?”
R. ‘ “The situation regarding the Eucharistic Prayer is set out in Notitiae I (1973) 77 n. 1. The Consilium approved on the 25th April 1969 the proposal of the Episcopal Conference that such a prayer be prepared. The note from Notitiae, of which I enclose a copy, will explain the situation to date”.
The answer to this question is, in a general way, included in the Reply to the earlier question. Hence the Anaphora alone because of its peculiar importance is dealt with in this Reply.
The “note 77 n. 1” in Notitiae, 1973 that is referred to in this Reply, shows that the text on an “Indian Anaphora” which was discussed at the General Meeting of the CBCI at Madras (April 1972) did not get the support of the required two thirds majority of the bishops belonging to the CBCI and right to vote (and consequently was never submitted to the Holy See approval). The “note” further pointed out that, according to the letter of the Consilium (25-4-1969), which welcomed the idea of preparing an Indian Anaphora, “the text of Anaphora before being proposed to the CBCI for approval, should have been sent to the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. This does not seem to have been done till now.” And the pre-sent Reply says that is the situation “to date”(23-5- 1 975).
The obvious meaning of the Reply, therefore is that no Indian Anaphora has ever been even submitted to the Holy See for approval or has in anyway been accepted or “approved by the CBCI. And so, the ” New Orders of ‘ the Mass for India published by the National Centre “for private circulation and experimentation and widely used in many communities and groups, both before and after publication, have no authorisation of legitimate ecclesiastical authority and their use is unlawful anywhere, including the National Centre and other “authorised centres of experimentation.
Appendix – IV
Acta Conferentiarum Episcopalium
Conferentia Episcoporum Indiae Apostolicae Sed quasdam aptationes genio et culturae locali in liturgiam introducendas proposuit, quae a “Comsilio ad exsequendsm Constitutionem de sacra Liturgia” confirmatae sunt, die 25 aprilis 1969 (Prot. n. 802/69).
Hic referre placet decretum concessionis et Commentarium super singula puncta petitionis, paratum a “National Catechetical and Liturgical Centre”Indiae.
Epistola “Consilii ad Exseguendam Cons-tutionem de sacra Liturgia”
“The Cardinal President of the “Consilium”, His Eminence Benno Cardinal Gut, has accepted the proposals of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India for certain adaptations in the liturgy, accord-ing to articles 37 -40 of the Liturgical Constitution. In his name I would like to establish what follows:
1. The posture during Mass, both for the priests and the faithful, may be adapted to local usage, that is, sitting on the floor, standing and the like; footwear may be removed also.
2. Genuflections may be replaced by the pro-found bow with the anjali hasta.
3. A panchanga pranam by both priests and faithful can take place before the liturgy of the Word, as part of the penitential rite, and at the conclusion of the anaphora
4. Kissing of objects may be adapted to local custom, that is, touching the object with one’s fingers or palm of one’s hand and bringing the hands to one’s eyes or forehead.
5. The kiss of peace could be given by the exchange of the anjali hasta and, or the placing ,of the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient.
6. Incense could be made more use of in liturgical services. The receptacle could be the simple incense bowl with handle or with agarbatti
7. The vestments could be simplified. A single tunic-type chasuble with a stole (angavastra) could replace the traditional vestments of the Roman rite. Samples of this change are to the forwarded to the ‘Consilium”.
8. The corporal could be replaced by a tray (thali or thamboola thattu) of fitting material
9. Oil lamps could be used instead of candles
10 The preparatory rite of the Mass may include:
(a) the presentation of gifts
(b) the welcome of the celebrant in an Indian way, e.g. with a single arati, washing of hands etc ”
(c) the lighting of the lamp
(d) the greeting of peace among the faithful in sign of mutual reconciliation.
11 In the “Oratio fidelium” some spontaneity may be permitted both with regard to its structure and the formulation of the intentions. The universal aspect of the Church, however, should not be left in oblivion.
12. In the Offertory rite, and at the conclusion of the Anaphora the Indian form of worship may be integrated, that is, double or triple ‘arati’, of flowers, and/or incense, and/or light.
The above-mentioned adaptations can be put into effect by the Episcopal Conference and local hierarchies in places where they see fit and in the degree and measure that they think fitting for the faithful. A catechesis, however, should precede such changes, and if necessary, a gradual implementation could be done.
A commentary on short-term adaptations in the Liturgy
We would insist that while these recommendations are for immediate implementation, they should not be enforced throughout the length and breadth of the country. All should be permitted to use them, but each one will weigh the circumstances of his particular congregation or parish. In any case they will be introduced only after a practical and pastoral preparation of the faithful.
(a) This is a first, modest step to give ‘to our Liturgy a more Indian setting and complexion.
The constitution on the Sacred Liturgy recommends liturgical adaptation “especially in mission lands” (SL 38) because “even in the Liturgy, the, Church has no wish to impose uniformity; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit” ((SL 37).
It seems beyond reasonable doubt that a country like India, with her ancient and distinctive culture, does qualify for such adaptation. If she would not, one wonders which other country can possibly be meant in the above words.
This liturgical adaptation is envisaged by the Constitution at two levels:
– one, “within the limits set by the typical editions, of the liturgical books”, which the competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established” (SL 22, 2) are empowered “to specify (SL 39).
– another, “even more radical”, which is “needed, in some places and circumstances”. This form of adaptation will generally require deeper study and even experimentation, and will have to, be submitted to the Apostolic See, for formal approval (SL 40)
The present recommendations correspond mostly to the first stage of this double process; they are mainly expressions and gestures, universally accepted in the country, which involve or affect no doctrinal principles, and which therefore require no deep study and investigation, theological or otherwise. As the Latin language has been replaced by the Vernacular, it seems but proper that the language of bodily expression postures be also Indian.
One or two of these recommendations may require the sanction of the Holy See or the Consilium but most of them are little more than an intelligent interpretation of the present rubrics (which will be still more flexible with the coming reform). A few, however, require no special permission from, anybody even now.
In the preparation of these recommendations, various types of people have been consulted -priests, religious and laymen who had actually participated in rites and paraliturgical services integrating these Indian elements. The subject has already been discussed with sympathetic and well-informed non-Christians, presenting to them the basic religious attitudes that have to be evoked and asking them how the ordinary man in this country would express these attitudes externally.
(b) Modest as this first step towards adaptation is, it cannot be imposed on unwilling or unprepared congregations. Pastoral considerations, leave alone practical down-to-earth realism, make it imperative that these recommendations, while being truly such -recommendations be left free; and this, both ways; in as much as nobody should be forced and nobody should be forbidden to carry them out. This is why in all of them expressions such as “may”, “can”, “might” and ‘could” have been used.
The Church in India today requires that our people be instructed about the true meaning and rightful extent of liturgical adaptation, and where they are ready and willing and well prepared, they should not be forbidden to apply this “short-term” adaptation. This will go some way to satisfy the zealous and the impatient, and will avert, or at least lessen, the very real danger of unauthorized and ill-advised practices. Such people, who have a necessary role to play in the Church, must not be just repressed, but checked and guided. This is the only way to avoid an “underground Church”. The wise counsel to “hasten slowly” cannot be made to mean immobility, and more than five years since the promulgation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, when the Church has already made so important changes, we can be expected to make a first move towards adaptation.
On the other hand, there are groups, especially in urban areas, which are known to be opposed, some bitterly so. They should not be disturbed. Any attempt to the contrary is likely to do more harm than good to the very cause of liturgical adaptation. This is all the more important because these people represent probably the most influential, section of the Catholic community in the country.
It should, therefore, be the responsibility of each pastor parish-priest, rector, superior, or whoever be the head of a given community or congregation, after due consultation and dialogue (cf. n. c) below), to see if, when and how these recommendations can be applied.
Finally, it will be the role of each Bishop in his diocese to see to it that due prudence is observed, Variety and plurality within the unity of the same rite are increasingly being given a place in the liturgical renewal; they are also the essential qualities of a genuine adaptation, especially in this period of transition. The programme’ must be carried out as smoothly as possible making due allowance for the feelings of those who favour or those who oppose adaptation.
(c) These changes must be preceded by proper instruction. lf this is necessary for any liturgical change, it is still more so in the sense of adaptation. A great deal of unnecessary hurt, disruption and bewilderment will be avoided if this is done. The underlying principles must be explained properly. A dialogue must be held to answer objections, to clear misunderstandings. The faithful must be shown that we are by no means bringing Hinduism into our churches, but only adopting the Indian people’s own way of expressing reverence and worship to God the Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ. If this is done, they will feel more at home in the church and in the country and pray better, because they will pray in a language that is really their own, in a more spontaneous expression of their devotion.
1. Since standing is a characteristic posture, and is at the same time used primarily in Indian worship, the faithful could stand at the entrance and departure of the Celebrant as a sign of respect and may also do so during the whole anaphora, which is the sacrificial action.
Perhaps paradoxically, the first recommendation will strike no one as Indianizing. The standing posture is widely observed not only to greet the Celebrant at his entrance and departure, but also during the Canon or Anaphora, perhaps more abroad than in India.
It is a characteristically Christian posture: the Fathers considered it to be the expression of the holy liberty of the children of God acquired at baptism. Christ has lifted us up and by his grace delivered us from sin and death. We are no longer slaves, but can stand with respect, yet with full confidence and the dignity of those who are freed by Christ. Besides, the Christian community stands in expectation of the Parousia, as a People who are always in readiness for the coming of the Lord.
In Indian worship, too, standing is the proper posture during the “parartha” or public puja, as opposed to the “atmartha” or private puja, which’ is done squatting (“padmasana”). While the padmasana seems to be the best posture for private prayer meditation and listening to the Word of God, standing seems to be a more appropriate posture for the Anaphora, in the context of both Christian and Indian tradition. The same could be maintained during the Lord’s Prayer and for the Kiss of Peace (cf. No. 7) immediately following. To have the people conform to the standing posture of the Celebrant seems to be in order, the kneeling posture being foreign to the Indian tradition of worship. Emphasis theirs
2. With a view to simplification, and at the same time to be in line with the common mode of the Indian at worship, sitting on the floor could be encouraged in our churches.
Two different things are suggested here: first that when sitting, people sit on the floor in accordance with the Indian mode (of sitting) when at worship; secondly, that the same posture be used instead of kneeling.
As for the first suggestion, while it is true that the use of chairs is spreading, the fact remains that in large assemblies and conventions, and especially in worship, the prevalent custom in India today is to squat on the floor (on mats or carpets), not to sit on chairs. This will be no innovation in our village chapels or churches, where the faithful already squat on the floor. As for other more modernized milieu, the recommendation is sufficiently flexible to allow for variety. Due consideration must be given to the background and mentality of each community.
As regards the squatting posture to replace the kneeling posture:
(a) It is almost necessary where no benches or kneelers are provided. Kneeling with no support is too uncomfortable especially for children and old people.
(b) It will also avoid too frequent changes of posture, which are most inconvenient when sitting on the floor than when sitting on a bench or a chair.
(c) It is known that many not know how to kneel, and find this posture awkward.
3. The Celebrant could be permitted to sit on a platform during the Liturgy of the Word.
That the Celebrant be allowed to “squat” on a platform instead of sitting on a chair may seem daring and novel if we took at the practice that has so far prevailed in our churches, but not if we consider the universal practice in the country.
Secondly, the recommendation is moderate and represents a compromise: it excludes squatting during the Anaphora, and recommends it only for the Liturgy of the Word.
Thirdly it very modestly suggests that this practice could be permitted”. It goes without saying that no one is obliged, that no priest should even start this custom if the people would be shocked, and that, even when such innovation be considered advisable, they should be prepared for the same.
4. Genuflections might be replaced by a profound bow with the anjali hasta.
Bowing, not genuflecting, is already the practice of all the oriental rites, in particular the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites, and, in the Latin rite in several countries of the East (e.g. Pakistan, Japan, etc.) The anjali hasta, a very appropriate and fine gesture, [Emphasis theirs] gives it an Indian touch and is only natural in the country.
5. Before the Liturgy of the Word, as part of the penitential rite, and at the conclusion of the Anaphora, there could be a panchanga pranam by Celebrant and faithful.
The panchanga pranam consists in kneeling and touching the floor with one’s forehead and either both palms or the hands joined in the gesture of the anjali hasta.
This form of prostration will, in some way make up for the absence of the kneeling posture at some important moments of the celebration, [Emphasis theirs] when deep reverence seems to be specially called for. The soul of the Indian people manifests itself in these spontaneous gestures. If the Liturgy is to be the expression of the mystery of Christ as lived in the sour of the people of God in India, these spontaneous manifestations have to be integrated as much as possible into the worship of the Indian people.
6. Kissing of the altar and of the Book could be replaced by touching the object to be venerated with one’s fingers or and palm bringing the hands to one’s eyes or forehead.
Kissing, which in the West be tokens respect for a sacred object, is not held in the same regard by the Indian. The Indian sense of the religious, finer and more sensitive than that of the westerner, considers kissing as excessive familiarity racking reverence, and hence finds it somewhat shocking. The traditional Indian rite of veneration is the one described here. Yet another usage is to touch directly the sacred object with one’s forehead.
7. The kiss of peace could be given by the exchange of the anjali hasta and/or the placing of the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient.
These are the usual ways of greeting in the country. The exchange of the anjali hasta among persons who are not known to each other and also between persons of different sex; placing the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient among friends and acquaintances of the same sex.
8. Incense could be made use of in our liturgical services. The receptacle could be the simple incense bowl with handle or with agarbatti.
(a) More use of incense than is usually made in the Latin Liturgy would be in line with Indian custom, where there is no sacred ceremony without burning incense or agarbatti. Such usage suits Christian liturgy perfectly.
(b) The receptacle and the actual way of waving it are no essential part of the sign, and hence there should be no objection to adopting the Indian way of performing this ceremony. The essential part is to burn a sweet-smelling substance in honour of the divinity in an act of worship, and this can be done either by waving the burning incense in any conventional manner or by just letting it burn on a stand [Emphasis theirs].
9. The vestments could be simplified. To avoid the appearance of luxury and the unpleasantness of heat, while preserving solemnity, a single tunic with a stole (angavastra) could replace the vestments of the Celebrant.
Vestments as we have them in the present rites originated from the common dress of the people of antiquity in the Roman rite, from ancient Rome, and there is no theological objection to their being fully adapted to a particular culture. In the case of vestments required for the celebration of Holy Mass, a simplification seems to be desirable, if not necessary, for two reasons:
The first reason is practical, owing to the tropical climate and the heat prevailing in most parts of the country for the greatest part of the year. Moreover, it is positively undesirable, because it is uncomfortable and unhygienic, to use four layers of vestments and subject the Celebrant to the torture of copious perspiration throughout lengthy ceremonies. This reason alone is cogent enough to apply for some measure of simplification of our vestments. It has already been done in Pakistan.
The second reason is adaptation proper to ‘the mentality and usage of the country. These, too, require some simplification without, however, going to undesirable extremes. Hence a simple tunic (no colour specified) is recommended with the addition of a garment indicative of the priestly .dignity, an angavastra, which is the nearest equivalent of the present stole, used in the Roman rite
A third reason may be added if the following recommendation (No. 10) is accepted the incongruity of overloaded vestments and bare feet.
The National Centre is invited to prepare designs: form, material, coloured, embroidered motifs, etc.
10. All those who celebrate or serve within the sanctuary could be encouraged to remove their footwear.
In no religion in India does a worshipper enter a place of worship shod. This gesture of reverence should apply to the whole church, but more especially to the sanctuary. Practical considerations rule out the possibility of asking the entire congregation to remove their footwear at the entrance, though this custom is praise worthy and deserves to be encouraged wherever it is not inconvenient. But the sanctuary does not present the same inconvenience and is, besides, the most hallowed part of the church. It will be in the fitness of things if those entering it do so barefoot. In colder regions some special footwear could be provided during the winter season. lf this is done, there will be some redeeming feature for the fact that the rest of the church does not receive the same distinction. This may have some ecumenical importance. Non-Catholics are understandably shocked to see us enter our places of worship with our shoes on. There is also some incongruity in the fact that we are expected, indeed obliged, to remove our shoes when entering temples and mosques, but do not accord the same reverence to our own places of worship. ..
11. The corporal could be replaced by e tray (thali or thamboola thattu) of fitting material.
This is a minor detail but one that will contribute in some measure to making our Liturgy more Indian, since such is the equivalent usage in the country. It can also make the rite of the offertory easier and is in itself more convenient from the practical point of view. The tray should be of “fitting material” not to be confused with trays destined for other usages, but sacred.
12. Oil lamps could be used instead of candles.
Again, what is important is the symbol of the light, not the material source of this light. Oil is suggested because:
(a) it is the material universally used in Indian worship, and
(b) wax candles are difficult to obtain.
If this is allowed, our churches can make theirs the art of Indian craftsmen, who make such beautiful deepaks and lamp stands. The paschal candle could very well be substituted by one of these.
Appendix – V
From The New Leader by “Observer”
The 12 Points, “May a Mistake be Corrected?”
The Bishop of Visakhapatnam has sent a letter to the Editor which we reproduce below
June 22, 1978
Will you permit me to add a footnote to the article of Sri B. Rodricks of Pune Published N.L. of 18th June 1978 in respect of liturgical adaptation, especially the 12 points, in the country?
As he mentions in the article, the CBCI members were consulted through post on the matter, in March 1969. I beg to furnish the following particulars from the letter of Archbishop Lourduswamy, the then chairman of the liturgical commission. This letter is still in my possession.
1. The total strength of the CBCI was 71 members.
2. 51 members sent in their replies.
3. It is vaguely stated that the placets were between 34 and 35 (i.e. 34 or 35 Bishops approved the introduction of the 12 points -Ed.)
For any major decision, a two thirds majority of the house is needed. In this case, this was clearly lacking. Yet an approval was obtained from Rome and the 12 points were imposed on the country (emphasis added).
This approval is based on a misunderstanding and it continues to be implemented. Even at this late hour this mistakes may be corrected
Bishop of Visakhapatnam
Apart from His Lordship’s observations, there are two puzzling dates which we find in Mr. Rodrick’s article (N.L. June 18, 1978). These are 15th April, 1969 and 25th April, 1969. On 15th April, 1969 the approval (given by 34 or 35 Bishops to introduce the 12 points into the liturgy) was conveyed to Rome. On the 25th April, 1969, Rome gave permission for using, the 12 points. We sought a confirmation of these dates from the authoritative article written by Mr. F. Jayachandra Raj entitled, “Reply on Liturgical Experiments in India” which was published in the New Leader of 5th March, 1978. The same two dates appear there. Mr. Jayachandra Raj says “…The result of the voting (by the Bishops) was forwarded to the Consilium in Rome on 15th April, 1969, seeking its approval for the proposal (to introduce the 12 points into the liturgy in India). The Consilium by its Prot. No. 802/69 dated 25th April 1969, approved the proposals. (Prot. No. 802/69 dated 25th April 1969 was published along with Mr. Rodricks’ articles, N.L. 18th June, 1978)
Permission in a few days
Rome thus granted permission in a very short time. Assuming that the letter of 15th April, 1969 reached Rome on 22nd April, 1969, a mere 3 days then remained for the Consilium to consider the 12 points. Three days seem woefully inadequate for this purpose. As an example, one may consider point No. 2 which permits Anjali Hasta, instead of genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament. The Consilium would surely have required to consult one or more Hindu Pandits about what Anjali Hasta means and whether it is an adequate recognition of the presence of God. Anjali Hasta is in essence a profound bow with joined hands. But according to Hindu teaching, the correct form of obeisance to God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, is not Anjali Hasta at all, but the Sashtanga, which is a prostration on the floor. Genuflection, or kneeling as a sign of our faith in, and adoration of God, has been in use by Catholics for hundreds of years. Probably Sashtanga, alone can replace it. A correct decision on this point could not possibly have been reached in three days.
Did the Consilium apply their mind?
As a further example of the impossibility of reaching a decision on the 12 points in the space of a mere three days, one may consider point one of Archbishop Bugnini’s letter permitting 12 points of (N.L. June 1978, page 4). Point one states that the priest’s posture during Mass may be adapted to local usage, like sitting on the floor. Those who have utilised this permission to squat on the floor and say Mass have made themselves figures of ridicule if not scorn. After offering the “squatting Mass”, they proceed to sit on a chair at a table and have a foreign breakfast! The fact is that sitting at a dining table or at a writing table or sleeping on a bed are not foreign customs any longer but Indian. It therefore appears ridiculous. if not blasphemous, to go back to the floor for offering the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass. This fact would have been brought home to the Consilium if they had gone into the 12 points in some depth before according their permission.
The present seems an appropriate time to mention some of the grave aberrations which are being perpetrated on the plea of experimentation.
One such aberration is to remove the Cross from the church and substitute deities from other faiths. Another experiment being “perpetrated” is to place the Tabernacle on a carved pillar, resembling a phallic symbol. Some Catholics may be forgiven for considering experiments like this as bordering on sacrilege. lf the Consilium had sought the views of a cross-section of Catholics prior to permitting the 12 points, they would have avoided wounding the religious sentiments of many Catholics.
We have not touched on the remaining ten points but we have said enough to show the Consilium would have required, not 3 days or 10 days but several months for adequate consideration of the 12 points. The reader may be forgiven for wondering, whether the Consilium applied their minds to the, 12 points before they granted their permission to introduce these points into the liturgy of India, albeit as an experimental measure.
Many Bishops are concerned
Many Bishops are concerned about the experiments being conducted with the liturgy. Bishop Mathias of Chikmagalur “wanted the Liturgy Com-mission to get in writing from Rome about whether the experiments are permitted or not” (c.f. page 6, N.L. June 25th, 1978). Bishop Patrick Nair of Meerut “did not want any experiments with the Mass”. Bishop Thumma Joseph of Vijayawada, expressed his concern about the confusion caused among the people about changes in the liturgy”. Archbishop Angelo Fernandes of Delhi “wanted information to be obtained from Rome about whether we are permitted to carry on the experiments”. Bishop Michael Arattakulam of Alleppey “was vehement in his stand that all experiments had to stop on 5th Sept. 1971 as per the circular from Rome. Bishop Leo D’Mello of Ajmer “wanted the people to be consulted before changes are introduced”. He added “the people are troubled about the changes”. Bishop Joe Rodericks of Jamshedpur said, “We have to give an appropriate and satisfying answer to those people (who oppose the changes), (extracts from page 6. N.L. dated June 25, 1978). The reader can form his own impression about the extent to which several Bishops are troubled and disturbed by these liturgical experiments which were permitted by the Consilium in the space of a few days.
20 Bishops failed to respond
His Lordship the Bishop of Visakhapatnam in his letter above as well as Mr. B. Rodricks in his article (N.L. June 18th, 1978) state that only 51 Bishops (out of a CBCI membership of 71) responded to the circular of 12th March, 1969, which asked their approval or disapproval of the 12 points. One finds the failure of 20 Bishops to reply incomprehensible. The possibility of course arises of loss in transit of the circular or of the replies. One wonders whether the 20 Bishops were approached again for their views, by telegram or other means.
The issue Bishop Ignatius Gopu raises, of course, negates the action taken by the CBCI, subsequent to the approval of 34 or 35 Bishops. His Lordship says, “For any major decision, a two thirds majority of the total house is needed.” The figure of 34 or 35 Bishops falls far short of a two thirds majority of the then CBCI’s membership of 71. The approval of the Indian Bishops to the 12 points would seem therefore ab initio invalid. Bishops lgnatius goes on to say that the permission obtained from Rome was based on a misunderstanding’
Approval Suffers fatal infirmity
The CBCI’s approval of the points suffers from the fatal infirmity of violating rules governing all major decisions of the CBCI. Since the 12 points were not approved by a majority, they are as His Lordship, says, “An imposition on the country”
We venture to suggest that an august body like the CBCI would not suffer by freely acknowledging a mistake. They would enhance their great reputation by taking the remedial action of with drawing the 12 Points. One would like to appeal to the CBCI in the name of lakhs of silent Christians whose religious sentiments are being ‘offended by the 12 points, and one would like to use the identical words of the Bishop of Visakhapatnam’ “Even at this late hour, this mistake may be corrected.”
Appendix – VI
THE “INDIAN MASS” – An Example of Interreligious Syncretism
Prof. J.P.M. van der Ploeg O. P.
The Laity of October 1979 published the text of a so-called “Indian-Mass’, without comment. It needed no comment at that moment, the text is bad enough and everybody can see this. But at the request of the Editor of this journal, I would like to give my impressions.
Some years ago I was present at the celebration of one “Indian Mass” in the chapel of a convent of nuns in the Holy city of Rome. At first the young Indian priest, with his band of drummers (it was too cold for them to be bare-bodied, Indian style), did not like to admit me, he evidently did not want me as a witness.
But I insisted and what I witnessed was a curious mixture of Hinduism, Protestantism and Catholicism. It had also a “central theme”, according to modern fashion (taken over from Protestantism), called … liberation (how original!). The celebration was not worth being called a Catholic Mass. The text now published by the Laity reminded me of what I saw in Rome. Here are my impressions. I follow the numbers of the ritual published
Nr 1, b. The washing of hands and feet before entering “a place of worship” (why not call it a church?) is unknown in the liturgy of the Catholic Church: it is a Muslim custom, whereas Hindu’s take a bath. In the North of India bath could not well be done in winter time. At the end of Nr. I there is an official “Commentary”. This is one of the worst passages of the whole text, revealing the intention of the author(s) of the Indian Mass. It does not contain any Christian, let alone Catholic term. According to it, the celebration has to be a national one, for national purposes, in national religious forms. Thus it ceases to be Catholic (universal).
Nr. 2. In the “commentary” the celebrant is called “a sign” of Christ. No! If he is a Catholic priest, he acts in the person of Christ (a doctrine denied by Protestantism), which is more than being only a sign. The celebrant is greeted with arati (the waving of a lightened lamp before his face). Walker’s Hindu World, Vol. II (London 1968) informs, us that “the object of the arati rite is to please the deity with bright lights and colours and also to counteract the evil eye” (p. 609). Dubois-Beauchamp, in their famous Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, Vol. 1, Oxford 1897, state that arati is one of the commonest religious practices of the Hindu’s. It is performed by married women and courtesans; the object is to counteract the influence of the evil eye and any ill-effects arising from the jealous and spiteful looks of ill-intentioned persons. With this intention, it is performed over persons of high rank or distinguished persons, over elephants, horses, domestic animals, idols, Therefore, arati, used at the beginning of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist is apt to create the impression that a pagan ceremony is to follow. This impression is strengthened by what follows immediately (3).
OM TOTALLY HINDU
Nr. 3. The celebrant greets the community with OM and words in Sanskrit which have no Christian meaning, but may reflect Hindu polytheism. This is definitely the case with the mantra OM (or Aum). Dubois, who completed his work about 100 years ago, states that the Brahmins of his time tried to keep the real meaning of this sacred word a profound secret, and the greater number of them did not even understand it. He himself did not have much doubt that OM is “the symbolic name of the Supreme Being, one and indivisible” (1, 143). But the editor Beauchamp added in a note, quoting an unnamed authority, “As long as there has been a Hindu Faith, the power of sound has been recognized in the sacred Word. In that word lie all potencies, for the sacred word expresses the one and latent Being, every power of generation, of preservation, and of destruction”, (1.c.) Walker notes that Om is the most solemn of the most powerful class of mantra’s (magic words) and magical utterances, called bijakshara. Every true bijakshara mantra ends with a nasal sound, actually going over in a kind of “vibration”. The bijakshara are used to worship the deities, like Shiva, Ganesha, Lakshmi, etc. The brief Mandukya Upanishad is entirely devoted to the mystic syllable Om. “It is compounded of three sounds, a u m, representing the three Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama), the three words (heaven, atmosphere, earth), the three chief deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). Embracing all the secrets of the universe which are, as it were, gathered to a point within it, it is used for invocations, affirmations and blessing and at the commencement and termination of prayer, meditation or work. It is said to be the mystical quintessence of the entire cosmos . . . -the monarch of all sounded things, the mother of vibrations, and the key to eternal wisdom and power” (Vol. II, 103-1 04).
Considering the above, I get the impression (in nr 3) that the mantra Om, by which the (Sanskrit) invocation in the “Indian Mass” begins, introduces Hindu worship. l am confirmed in this impression by the word “fullness”, repeated seven times, the words “to proceed”, repeated twice, “to remain” said once and “peace” said three times (according to the English translation of this Mass text).
Nr. 5. I get still more the impression that I am present at a Hindu ceremony, because it begins with what is called Suddhi. Walker’s Encyclopedia tells that sodhana (purification) and suddhi (purity) play a vital part in Hindu religious observance; they are related to the concept saucha (cleanliness) and he who practices this “is qualified to witness the Self”. The “Indian Mass” text published in The Laity has a commentary stating that the five-fold suddhi is meant to remove “all the barriers that stand in the way of … the wholeness of our person, our oneness (instead of “unity”) with the community of men and our total harmony with the universe”.
There is no Christian word in this, it may all be Hindu and many om’s have to be to said make the five-fold suddhi effective. Jesus did not practice the ritual washings and purifications of the Jews and the apostles abolished them except one: the holy sacrament of Baptism.
But now they are again fully introduced in the way of worshipping by Amalorpavadass to make Christian worship look like the Hindu one. What a complex of inferiority and betrayal of Christian principles and practice are revealed by this!
After the complicated ritual purification, a lamp is lighted and the commentary preceding Nr 11, says that by the ritual purification “all the barriers of sin have been removed and all darkness of sin dispelled.” This is a typically Hindu idea; in the Catholic religion only in an act of full contrition and in the sacraments of baptism and penance God forgives our sin, not by mere ritual activity. Sure, this is not said explicitly in Amalor’s text, but it is the impression we get from it, and which a Hindu necessarily gets also.
Only Sanskrit words are used; which only a few learned among the faithful may understand. This enhances the magic impression of the scene. There is again the repeated humming of Om.
Nr. 13. The fire, presumed to symbolize the presence of God among us, is venerated by celebrants and faithful by touching it with their finger tips and bringing the fingers to the eyes. This ceremony is totally unknown in Christianity and after all the preceding Hindu worship gives the impression of fire worship. This is still very much alive in India as everybody knows, not only among the Parsis (Fire worship and sun worship are both propagated by the NBCLC, Bangalore (Ed.).
Nr. 14. Homage to the Bible. This is taken over from Protestantism; which has a real cult of the Bible. The Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox venerate the book of Gospels, because it is representing Christ, the invisible Head of the Church, the High Priest of our faith, the one who is represented (not only symbolized) by the priest at the altar. The Bible (and not the Gospel) is incensed at the “Indian Rite” mass whilst the celebrant sings “Brahma is truth, knowledge infinite”. Brahma is, as we all know, no Christian, but a Hindu deity, the first god of the Hindu Triad. He who prays to Brahma denies Christian faith or adores the molten calf. The readers are blessed by the celebrant, not with the Christian sign of the cross but with a Hindu gesture of the hands called malamudra (mudra – “seal”, gesture). Readings are from the Old ‘Testament, the Epistles and the Gospel. Between the first and the second, a chant in Sanskrit, Hindu scriptures are not mentioned, but one remembers that Fr. Amalor in 1974 held a seminar on Non-Biblical Scriptures to introduce them into “Indian” liturgy, and published the lectures after a few months in a thick volume.
(Hindu Scriptures are read by many who perform this “Hindu Mass’ Editor).
A NEW RELIGION?
During the non-Hindu lectures at this Indian Mass one may get the impression that a being of Hindu and Jewish Christian worship is going on and that Christians are practising are the example of the Sikhs, a new religion, coming from Hinduism.
There is now (21 ss.) in the “Indian Mass” a procession of gifts in which “the whole universe and all mankind are brought back to God through Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Besides the fact
that it is most difficult, or rather impossible, to do this in a procession, the idea taken as a symbol is wrong. The Holy Eucharist belongs to the covenant concluded between God (Jesus Christ) and the faithful, as the words of the institution (Consecration) clearly say. All the gifts are to be laid (if possible on the little table called peeta behind’ which the celebrant is squatting all the time, watching the congregation. According to nr.23 the same celebrant invokes “the spirit of the Father” on the offerings (on all of them, not only on bread and wine).
According to Christian thought and eucharistic practice this is nonsense. It also does and appear that we have to do with the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. European modernists like to speak of “the spirit of the Father”. But the ceremony may have been imperfectly represented in the text published.
Nr. 23. Eight times Om is said; the author never has enough of this mantra and repeats it often in the true Hindu way. The more it is repeated, the more powerfully it is supposed to work.
Nr. 24B mentions the “Eucharistic prayer”, but does not quote it. This makes us suspicious because if one of the approved canons is to be used, at least the shortest of them might have been quoted. But we know that there is also an “Indian canon” forbidden by Rome, and still practised. So the silence of the formula leaves room for illegal texts.
A MAGICAL CEREMONY
The Canon is now followed by a Communion Rite. This is introduced by the celebrant in a few words called Prasada mantra. Prasada has a special and very living meaning in Hindu worship, as in, India everybody knows, it often means the food given to the gods, and, from this word one may get the impression that a magical ceremony is to follow, remembering temple worship. The blood of Christ is, not called by its name, but is called nectar. In Hindu mythology nectar or amrita is the drink of the gods, giving them immortality (as in Greek mythology). Sure, the Eucharist is for us a ‘food’ of immortality” (immortalitatis alimonia), but the taking over of a term (and necessarily the underlying idea) from another living religion is one more item of syncretism, apt to mislead the faithful, especially those who might come to the Church from a Hindu environment.
Nr. 28. We remark that nowhere in the text it is clearly said that the bread and the wine have been changed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord. The words used do not in fact have more than a symbolical meaning.
Nr. 31. Manasa puja! Flowers, light and the vessel of ointment are placed on the small peeta-table. A manasa is again a magic text, a mantra. The author never gets enough of making the impression that he is practising magic. On the Oriental rites (and originally in the Latin one as well) nothing could be placed on the altar-table except the Gospel, the Cross and the holy vessels and their contents needed for Mass.
Nr. 32. The celebrant tells God that the faithful “feel our limbs are made glorious by your touch” (a not very Christian expression), and that God made known himself to us today in “the breaking of the bread”. Again- no clear expression of the Eucharistic doctrine of the Church.
Nr. 34. The words of what is called the solemn blessing” the celebrant (nowhere called priest) mentions a “God beyond all name and form” … “who became manifest in Jesus Christ” (this is the language of the modernists of Europe; God became man in Jesus Christ, who is a divine Person), “the indweller in the cave of your hearts”. All these words may be understood with a pantheistic Hindu meaning (Christ mentioned as an avatar); they are not specifically Christian. Fortunately the last words of the whole ceremony are Christian ( a quotation from 2 Cor 13: 13).
We conclude. The impression we get from this strange rite is that of a curious mixture of Hindu and Christian elements. It purposely tries to do away as much as possible with the distinction between Hinduism and Christianity, and also between Catholicism and Protestantism. It tries to hide the unique character of the Christian religion, and consequently of Catholic worship. A liturgy like that of Fr. Amalor has never been produced in the whole of Christianity. The Holy Mass contains Jewish elements, but no pagan ones and introducing them lavishly into the holy liturgy, Fr. Amalor purposely breaks with the whole tradition of the Church
This is not only most serious, but bad. He wishes to introduce Hindu worship into the Church of India, led by the false idea, that liturgy should be national and that there are no ‘false religions” in India. His syncretistic liturgical blend will not attract any intelligent Hindu to the Church, but it will break the Church’s unity. In this way a new sect will be born: a Hindu-Christian one, and it remains to be seen whether this will be predominantly, Christian or Hindu.
Fr. Amalor s activities destroy peace in ‘the Church. But true revolutionaries do not mind their victims. Instead of promoting the virtue and the holiness of the Church and her members, they are obsessed by the idea of making the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world, “Indian”, “Hindu”, national. But the Catholic Church never was a national one, the word “catholic” meaning “universal”. Let us pray to God that the work of demolishing a flourishing Indian Catholic Church may be stopped as soon as possible.
Appendix VII (A)
Order of the Mass for India
1. INTRODUCTORY RITE
A. Reception and Welcome:
1. (a) As the people congregate devotional hymns and chants are sung. This serves as a remote preparation for the Eucharist.
(b) Where possible the participants wash their hands and feet before entering the place of worship.
(c) The participants leave their footwear out-side the place of worship as a mark of reverence.
(d) They place near the entrance the offering which they have brought with them’
(e) They squat on the floor covered with mat or carpet. Those who cannot sit on the floor may sit on chairs or benches.
(f) After the Bhajan singing, the commentator reads the following commentary
Today we celebrate the mystery of our salvation in the reality of our life and history through an authentic form of worship which springs from our religious and cultural traditions of centuries. Let us consecrate to , the author of all good the deepest yearnings of our countrymen, the highest religious values of our ancestors, the whole heritage of the past, the present achievements of our nation, and our plans for future progress.
2. Welcome to the celebrant
The celebrant as sign of Jesus Christ is now received with veneration by two members in the name of the Assembly. Arati is done with light and flowers. He receives the tray and makes the arati to the congregation. He then sits down on the floor having in front of him a low table (peeta) and facing the people.
3. He greets the community:
om purnam adah purnam idam
Fullness there, fullness here
purnat purnam udacyate
from fullness Proceeds
Purnasaya purnam adaya,
once fullness has proceeded from fullness,
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
peace, peace, peace
4. He introduces the Liturgy of the day (The lighting of the lamp may be done at this time or as indicated under nn. 11 -13).
B. Purification Rites:
Now we begin a process of five-fold suddhi or purification, in order to remove all barriers that stand in the way of realeasing the wholeness of our person, our oneness with the Community of men and our total harmony with the universe.
(a) Long Form:
5. Jala Suddhi: The vessel of water is placed on the peeta (low table) the celebrant makes an udbhavamudra over it and blesses it in order to make it a sign of purification, singing or saying:
Om shuddhaya namah
Praise to the most holy
Om pavanaya namah
Praise to the sanctifier
Om vishva jivanaya namah
Praise to the life-giver
O spirit supreme, O source of all life, O divine sanctifier, Be present in this water. May all that is sprinkled with it be made sacred for divine worship.
6. Sthola Suddhi: The priest sprinkles the water and purifies the place of worship- singing or saying:
Om jagat rakshakaya namah
Praise to the saviour of the world
Om iagannivasaya namah
Praise to the one who indwells the entire universe
Om jagannadaya namah
Praise to the Lord who rules over the universe
Om Sarualo mukhaya namah
Praise to him whose face is turned towards all things, or
You whose eyes nothing at all escapes, You who rules over the world
You who uphold the entire universe, Hallow with your presence this place of worship
7. Dehatma Suddhi: The celebrant washes his hands using the same water saying:
As our body is made clean by this water, may our soul be made spotless by your grace-then he sips the water thrice.
8. Janaloka Suddhi: The priest sprinkles the congregation with the water singing or saying:
Om vishveshvaraya namah
Praise to the Lord of all things
Om mukteshvaraya namah
Praise to the Lord of Salvation.
Om uttaneshvaraya namah
Praise to the Lord who is our resurrection
Om amreshvaraya namah
Praise to the Lord who imparts immortality, or
You in whom we rise from death to life, You in whom we are all made into one, Purify us through your saving grace.
9. Purna Suddhi: The celebrant invites all to review their life. The people do so keeping their hands, crossed on their chest in silence:
Cel. Om sarvasya brhatasharanaya namah
Praise to the great refuge of all
Om krpakaraya namah
Praise to the most merciful
Om nitya shuddhya namah
Praise to him who is eternal purity
Oh nirmalaya namah
Praise to the spotless one
Om pavanaya namah
Praise to the destroyer of sin
Om shishta rakshakaya namah
Praise to the protector of the just
Om ajnana nasakarine namah
Praise to the Remover of ignorance, or
Cel. You are the great refuge of all
Cong: Lord, in you we take our refuge
Cel. You are the most merciful
Cong: Lord, extend to us your mercy
Cel. You are the eternal purity
Cong: Lord, purify us
Cel. You are spotless one
Cong: Lord, remove our stains
Cel. You are the destroyer of sin
Cong: Lord, pardon our failures
Cel. You are the protector of the just
Cong: Lord, give us your justice
Cel. You are the remover of ignorance
Cong: Lord, lead us to the truth
(b) Shorter form of purification:
After blessing the water as given in No. 5 above, the celebrant sprinkles the place of worship and the people with the water.
He then invites all to review their life for a short period of silence. The rest as follows.
As an expression of our deep sorrow for our infidelities to the covenant with the Lord, yearning for full fellowship with Him and others, and determined to make a total commitment of ourselves to the designs of the Lord, let us bow profoundly with both hands folded at the forehead or do panchanga pranam and remain so till the celebrant gives the absolution.
While they are in this posture, the celebrant pronounces the following of another formula of absolution, holding the right hand in abhaya-mudra and the left on his chest:
May the God of peace who brought from the dead our Lord Jesus.
The great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant.
Equip you with everything good that you may do his will.
Working in you that which is pleasing in his right through Jesus Christ to whom be Glory for ever and ever
All arise. The celebrant himself does panchanga pranam.
10. When he rises, all exchange the sign of peace
C. Lighting of the Lamp:
Now that all the barriers of separation have been removed and all darkness of sin dispelled, we become aware of the presence of God among us. This is symbolized by the lighting of the lamp. (Samai)
11. The celebrant lights the big lamp with the arati lamp. The congregation sings either of the following invocations to Christ the light, or any apropriate hymn:
Refrain : Vande saccidanandam vande
Vande saccidanan-dam vande
Hail! The existent the knower the blissful
Hail! The existent, the knower the blissful
1. Bogi lanchita, Yogi Vanchita Charsmpadam, vande, vande
The furthest goal despised by the world, longed for by holy men
2. Parama purana parat param Purnama Khanda Trisanga shuddam asanga buddham dur-vedam vande.
The almighty, the ancient, the fulness the undivided Higher than the highest the far and the near. Related within, unrelated without. The holy the aware, whom intellect scarce can reach, or
Om jyotisham jyotishe namah
Praise to the light of lights
Om jagad jyotishe namah
Praise to the light of the world
Om tejorupaya namah
Praise to the form of brilliance
Om prabhakarava namah
Praise to him who spreads his rays
Om shudddha apadika paramiyotine namah
Praise to the pure crystal of the Supreme light
Divya jyotishe namah
Praise to the divine light
Satya jyotishe namah
Praise to the true light
Jivana jyotishe namah
Praise to the light of life.
Jugat jyotishe namah
Praise to the light of the world
Atma jyotishe namah
Praise to the light of the self
Antar iyotishe namah
Praise to the inner light.
12. Then the celebrant says:
Eternal light, shining beyond the heavens. Radiant sun illumining all regions, above, below and across.
True light enlightening every man coming into the world.
Dispel the darkness of our hearts and enlighten us with the splendour of your glory.
Cong: Your word is a lamp for our steps A light on our path, or
In you is the source of light And in your light we see light
As the celebrant touches the flame, let us also from our place stretch out our hands towards the lamp and take the flame in our hands and bring it to our forehead as a sign of our total acceptance of Jesus Christ in our-selves and in our life.
13. The celebrant touches the flame with the tips of his fingers and then brings his fingers to his eyes. lf the congregation is large all turn towards the light perform the same gesture. In a small congregation, the flame is taken around by the celebrant or a minister and each one does as the celebrant.
II. LITURGY OF THE WORD
14. Homage to the Bible
Homage is now paid to the Bible with double arati of flowers and incense (pushpa dhupa) accompanied by a song.
As the celebrant incenses the Bible he sings the following chant:
Satyam jnanam anatnam brahma
Brahman is truth, knowledge, infinite
15. The priest blesses the readers with malamudra using the following formula.
May he who quickens the intellect and kindles the heart strengthen you with his power proclaim the saving word.
As a sign of our openness to receive God’s Word into our life, we shall keep our palms open and turned upwards rest on our knees.
16. The Old Testament is read
17. This is followed by:
Asato ma sagdamaya
From the unreal lead me to the real
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
From the darkness lead me to light
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya
From death lead me to immortality
Om shanti, shanti, shanti
18. The reading of the Epistle. This is followed by a silent meditation. The people remain with one palm on the other resting on the lap, both palms turned upwards.
19. The Gospel is read by the main celebrant. At the end of the reading he venerates the book.
20. There follows the homily. The preacher (celebrant) holds the hands in upadesa mudra. The congregation remains (This is followed by a silent reflection).
Offerings are now brought in procession. In this procession the whole universe and all mankind are brought back to God through Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. This is best symbolised by the offering of eight flowers, the eight directions of the universe from which the Lord gathers his people.
A. Preparation of the gifts:
21. Offerings are brought in procession, accompanied by hymns. These can comprise symbolic gifts (flowers etc.), gifts for the poor and the Eucharistic gifts (bread and wine on one tray and 8 flowers an another). The celebrant receives the gifts and places them on the peeta.
22. The celebrant invites the community to formulate their intentions, some of which must be related to the liturgy of the day.
23. He concludes the prayer of the faithful in the following manner:
He makes the arati with the tray of 8 flowers as he says:
Father, send down your spirit upon these offerings.
The symbols of our self gift to You.
May we be pleasing in your sight.
May we be united with the sacrifice of your Son.
The celebrant places the 8 flowers on the tray in the eight directions saying each time one of the following attributes to Jesus Christ.
Om shri yesu bhagavate namah
Jesus, the Lord
Om shri deva putraya namah
Jesus, the son of God
Om shri mariya namah
Jesus, the son of Mary
Om shri deva naraya namah
Jesus, the God-man
Om shri sat purushaya namah
Jesus, the true person
Om shri yesu obhiskitaya namah
Jesus, the anointed one
Om shri sad guruve namah
Jesus, the true teacher
Om shri taraneshaya namah
Jesus, the saviour
Then making the dhuparati over the offerings, he continues:
To whom with you and the Holy Spirit be honour and glory now and for ever.
B. Eucharistic Prayer:
During the Doxology: triple arati of flowers, incense and fire.
After the Doxology:
As a sign of our identification with Jesus Christ in his total self-oblation of His Father and to His Brothers and Sisters, let us now either bow deeply or do panchanga pranam while the celebrant makes prostration.
C. Communion Rite:
25. The celebrant says a few words of introduction to the communion rite.
26. Then the celebrant says the prasada mantra:
This is the Bread that came down from Heaven: Whoever eats this bread will never die; this is the cup of immortal nectar: Whoever drinks of this cup will live for ever. For the Lord said, He will have eternal Life and I will raise him up on the last day!
Do you believe this?
Cong: Yes, Lord, we believe, for you have the words of eternal Life.
27. Then the celebrant invites the people to recite the ‘Lord’s prayer’. All recite with folded hands the Our Father ending with the doxology:
Our Father in heaven
Holy be Your Name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Do not bring us to the test
But deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
28. The celebrant breaks the bread for communion, saying:
The cup of blessing which we bless is the Communion with the blood of Christ. The bread which we break is the Communion with the Body of Christ.
Cong: Because there is one Bread, we who are many are one Body, for we all partake of the one Bread.
29. Then the celebrant invites the congregation, to partake of the sacred meal saying:
My feast is ready, says the Lord;
Brothers and Sisters, Let us joyfully share in His Banquet.
— The tray and the cup are taken round by the ministers for communion.
30. (a) The congregation sings a communion, hymn.
(b) After all have received communion, a short pause is observed. This is followed by nam jap; e.g. Jesu Om, Jesuve… Isane, Jesu – Idaya Vasane: Iswara.
(c) This leads to complete silence.
31. Manasa Puja
We shall offer our manasa puja to Christ who dwells in our hearts. To his humanity by flower, to his Divinity by light and to his Resurrection by ointment.
(a) The celebrant places the flowers on the peeta saying:
Cel: Hail Jesus fully man.
Cong: Accept, Lord, the homage of our hearts.
(b) The celebrant places the light on the peeta saying:
Cong: Come, Lord Jesus, come.
(c) Hail Jesus, our Resurrection and our Life
32. Celebrant says the following or another prayer after communion:
Lord the light of glory has flooded our eyes. Your face is bent from above and your eyes have looked down on our eyes. We feet our limbs are made glorious by your touch And now we humbly beg one final glance from your eyes and our lives will ever be your own. This we ask through the one who has made you known to us today in the breaking of the bread, Jesus Christ our Lord.
33. The celebrant addresses a few parting words, inspiring the community with a sense of mission,
34. Then he impart; the solemn blessing with abhayamudra of the right hand and varamudra of the left hand saying:
May God beyond all name and form, share with you His glory beyond measure and make you enter into the mystery of His presence.
May God who became manifest in Jesus Christ enlighten your minds strengthen your wills and fill your hearts with love.
May God, the indweller in the cave of your hearts, animate you with his life.
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
35. Concluding bhajan (No. 17 or 18).
Appendix – VII
Celebration of Reconciliation
(Rite of Penance) according to an Indian Order.
1. Opening Bhajan
Hum aaye tere dwar
We have come to your door, O Lord,
Karuna Karo Udhar
Have mercy on us,
Prabho hum aaye tere dwar
Lord, we have come to your good,
Hum aaye tere dwar
We have come to your door. O Christ
Karuna Karo Udher
Have mercy on Ds;
Christh hum aaye tere dwar
We have come to your door.
Sisters and Brothers, we are assembled now to undergo an all-round purification within and without, and to participate in a reconciliation with, all persons: God and our brothers and sisters. Thereby we shall experience total purity, a thorough well-being, wholeness and fulness. This will give us a fellowship in joy and peace.
Commentary: During the celebration we should experience the converging effect of purification and reconciliation from both Indian Religious Tradition and from Biblical Revelation.
In the Indian tradition we notice the development of three concepts and forms of purification.
(a) by cleansing bath (Snana), (b) by purifying knowledge (Gnana Shuddi) and (c) holiness (Pavitrata).
3. Prayer of the Assembly:
Loving Father, you have called us your daughters and sons this evening to make us experience your forgiving love and the fellowship based on all level reconciliation. We pray that appreciating your initiative and loving kindness, we may remove all the obstacles to your reconciling action. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
PART I: PURIFICATION by the cleansing bath (SNANA)
4. Commentary: The first one is purification by a sacred bath of triple cleansing (SNANA) by water, ashes and fire. This tradition comes to us from the Brahmanas around the 12th century B.C. It is needless to say that water, ash and fire are equally elements used in Christian ritual and liturgy.
5. A. By Water
(a) Commentary: Water is the primordial element of cleansing. This is done externally by washing and internally by sipping it.
(b) Reading: (VE)
(c) External: bathing or being sprinkled with water.
Blessing of water (see text elsewhere)
(d) Internal: The celebrant sips water three times, reciting Achamana Mantra
OM SHANNO DEVIRABHISTAY APRO BHAVANTI PITAYU
SAMVORABHI SRAVANTI NAH (Rg.X.9,4)
May Divine waters be gracious enough to gratify our inner craving and stream on us all blessings.
(e) Water is distributed to each one in the, hollow of the right palm.
(6)(a) Commentary: along with water we also find two other elements which have been, considered capable of cleansing man. They are ashes and fire.
(b) Reading: VE
(c) Blessing of Ashes: (Let us ask our Father to bless these ashes which we will use as the mark of our repentance- silent prayer) Lord, bless the sinners who ask for your forgiveness.
Bless these ashes by which we show we are dust + all those who receive these ashes.
May our repentance bring us the blessing of your forgiveness and the gift of a new heart.
Protect us in our struggle against evil. May we die to ourselves and live with the Risen Christ and experience his paschal joy.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
(d) Smearing his various senses and organs the celebrant recites Indriyasparsha Mantra:
OM VAK VAK (touching the corners of the mouth)
OM PRANAH PRANAH (touching both nostrils)
OM CHAK SHUCH CHAK SUUH (touching both eyes)
OM SHROTRAM SHROTRAM (touching both ears)
OM NABHIH (touching the navel)
OM HRDAYAM (touching the heart)
OM KANTHAH (touching the throat)
OM SHIRAH (touching the shoulders (for great and mighty acts)
OM KARATALA-KARAPRSTHE (touching the front and back of both hands).
“May the God of earth, sky all heaven, sanctify my head, eyes and throat;
May the Lord, Father and Judge sanctify my heart, navel and feet;
May the God of truth
Again sanctify my head;
Yes, may all my limbs be sanctified by the all-pervading being.”
Distribution of ashes to the community, each one receiving it smears it on his forehead and hands.
(C) By Fire:
7 (a) Commentary: Of all the elements fire is considered as having the greatest, cleansing effect as it transforms everything into itself. ”
(b) Reading: VE
(c) Blessing of Fire: Let us pray;
We have come to share in the light of your glory through your Son, who came to cast fire on earth and get it enflamed. Make this new fire holy and inflame us with new hope.
Burn our sins and purify us by this blessed fire of your spirit, and bring us one day to the feast of eternal light to be consumed with the fire of your love. We ask this through Christ our Lord Amen.
(d) Touching the flame: Trays of flame are carried round the assembly and the members touch the flame with their palms and make it to their forehead or eyes.
PART II: THE PURIFYING KNOWLEDG E (GNANA SHUDDHI)
8. Commentary: In the period of the Upanishads we pass from cleansing bath (Snana) to purifying knowledge (Gnana Shuddhi). First of all there was a search to discover the source which gives cleansing power to water and other elements. One discovered that the stain does not touch the real self, hence does not have any ultimate ontological value. It is a discovery of the non-ultimate character of all our defilements.
In the second stage one came to discover that ultimately it is Knowledge which purifies sin, it is wisdom which performs the catharsis of the soul. Hence we need to arrive at an experiential knowledge of the ultimate reality. This is Gnana Suddhi. The man who has reached this knowledge is freed from every stain and goes beyond the consequences of good and evil. He is liberated from the whole cycle of samsara and Karma (re-birth and action).
9. Pranayama (breathing exercises to breathe normally and evenly and to arrive at concentration).
(a) Guidelines for:
Mental purification and cleansing of lungs and nose.
(b) Pranayama Mantra (Invocation and Praise of seven of Divine names)
OM SHUH God of Earth
OM MAHAH Lord
OM PANAH Father
OM BHU VAH God of SKY
OM SATYAM God of Truth
OM SVAH God of Truth
10. Reading: VE
Saranam Ananta Saccidananda
I surrender myself to you O God who is eternal, self-Existent, Consciousness and Bliss
Vanda Saccidanandam Vande(2)
Hail! The Existent, the knower, the blissful
12. Experience of wholeness and harmony with the supreme spirit and the universe. Contemplation of all – pervading spirit and power in creation
“Om Universal order and truth come forth from the eternal source of energy; then were both chaos and the primeval ocean. From the primeval ocean came forth planetary motion. The Ruler of the universe without effort created day and night. In the beginning and now again the Creator made the sun and the moon, also the other luminous bodies, the earth, the firmament and heaven” (Rg. X, 190–1-3)
(This hymn of creation by the eternal unchangeable God can be summarised in the beautiful verses of the
Shukla Yajurveda Ishopanishad :
OM PURNAM ADAH PURNAM IDAM
Fulness there, fulness here
PURNAT PURNAM UDACYATE
From fulness fulness proceeds
PURNASYA PURNAM ADAYA
Once fulness has proceeded from fulness
PURINAM EVA BASI-SHYATE
OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI
Peace, Peace, Peace
PART III: PURIFICATION BY HOLINESS (PAVITRATA)
(Pavitr: God or a Saint as purifier)
Commentary: Both in Vedic times and in very late tradition purification was equated to holiness: the state of purity. God is basically the purifier; Pavitr. God, the holy one purifies us. In later tradition even the presence of a saintly person was considered to have a purifying effect.
15. Reading: VE. Col. 3:9-15
Pavana, Pavana, Pavana Ishvara
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
Swarga mahima dikatteri glory
Heaven shows your sthuti tave gati prithvi sari
The whole universe sings your glory
Jaya, Jaya, Jaya Prabhu Jaya ho teri
Lord we praise you.
IV: PURIFICATION BY RECONCILATION
A. GENERAL RECONC ILIATION
17. Commentary: ln Bhakti tradition and in Christianity grace is considered as relationship and sin as rupture or weakening of relationship. Purification means reconciliation with God and others. It is expressed through bhakti and Sharanam towards God and a genuine love and self-gift towards others (Karuna and thyaga).
18. Reading: Mt. 18:15-122
19. Upadesa: (Spiritual discourse /homily)
20. Silent review of Life: (By crossing one’s arms on the chest)
(a) Impurity – cleansing
(b) Error and ignorance – truth, knowledge, wisdom (satya, vidya, injana)
(c) Disorder-harmony and wholeness and holiness realised by the Holy One.
(d) Brokenness, weakened relationship-reconciliation in Christ.
21. (a) Signs of repentance, contrition, conversion (beating of the cheeks or striking of the chest)
(b) Sign of reconciliation and peace during the celebration continued after the celebration.
22. Absolution: May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring to everlasting life.
B. INDIVIDUAL RECONCILIATION
23. Those who wish may make individual confession and receive individual absolution.
During this time, some bhajans or hymns may be sung such as;
Asato ma sad gamaya
From the unreal lead me to the real
Tamaso ma Jyotirgamaya
From darkness lead me to light
Mrityor ma amittamgamaya
From death lead me to immortality.
Om Shanti Santi, Santi.
24. Prayer of Thanksgiving
25. Samarpana Mantra:
Jaya Jaya Bapa, Jaya Jaya Putra
Praise be to the Father and the son
Jaya Jaya Atma, Jaya Jaya re
Praise be to the Holy Spirit, Praise be
Jaya Jaya Traikya Jayalayare
Praise be to the Holy trinity
Jaya Jaya Bapa Jaya Jaya re
Praise be to the Father
Jaya Jaya Putra Jaya Jaya re
Praise be to the Son
Jaya Jaya Atma Jaya Jaya re
Praise be to the Spirit
26. Blessing by the President:
27. Valedictory: Namaskara Mantra
OM NAMAH SHAMBHAVAYACHA MAYOBHAVAYA CHA
NAMAH SHANKARAYA CHA MAYA SKARAYACHA
NAMAH SHIVAYA CHA SHIVATARAYA CHA
We bow to you, who are all joy
and the source of all our happiness,
the Dispenser of blessings and
the Fulfiller of our righteous desires,
all blissful and giver of all peace.
Rev Fr. Anastasio Gomes O. C. D.
During one of my frequent travels throughout the country, I happened to be sitting near an important Church dignitary in a flight from Calcutta to Madras. The 1974 CBCI biennial meeting had just concluded. As liturgy – I mean, the liturgy of the Roman Rite -happens to be one of my personal interests, our conversation turned to this topic. While discussing it, I was told about a certain interpretation of the instruction of September 3, 1970 given to the Bishops by their top liturgy expert to justify the continuance of meddling with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass without obtaining the required prior authorization of the Holy See. I asked him if he had read the text of the instruction, especially n. 13. And the answer was: No.
Yet, I thought that this was an exceptional case. How can we, simple priests, even imagine that heads of “local” churches do not read and study what the head of the universal Church teaches orders and desires? How else can they fulfil their obligation to implement Vatican orders or desires? I must now change my view after reading about the answer given by the Liturgy Commission of the CBCI at its meeting of 1972, which is reported in; The Examiner (26-1-1976).
Cardinal Parecattil in his inaugural address quoted from a letter of Archbishop Arokiaswamy, Chairman of the CBCI Liturgy Commission, dated October 26, 1973, in which among other things, it was stated “the Indian Anaphora can be used ad experimentum in places declared as experimentation centres”. Reporting the explanation of the Archbishop after the speech of the Cardinal (3-1-76) The Examiner tells us further that the archbishop stated that “at its Madras session in 1971 the CBCI had decided that experimentation should continue in spite of the third Instruction of the Congregation for Worship which said that the time for experimentation was over”. Thank God and all honour to His Grace the Archbishop of Bangalore who now confesses that the recent letter of Cardinal Knox said that the CBCI’s interpretation was “wrong”.
The Liturgy Commission justified in Madras this “wrong” interpretation with the following principle: “The Vatican Council’s Constitution on Liturgy had given the green light for experimentation to go on and what the Constitution had given, no instruction can take away” starting from this incorrect principle. The CBCI was wrong in deciding that “experimentation could go on, but only the National Liturgical Com-mission could authorize such experimentation, with the agreement of the local Ordinary.”
It must be said for the honour of the CBCI and the Church in India that this wrong decision was not unanimous there were many bishops who voted against it as they must have realized that it went, beyond the powers of the CBCI. And yet, it will remain as a dark chapter in the history of the Church in India for the majority of her bishops, with the best of intentions, did the very thing about which Paul VI had complained as early as Oct. 1968. Addressing to what was known then as Constitum Liturgicum, the Holy Father said: “We cannot pass over in silence some ways of acting which we have noticed in various parts of the Church and which are causing us no small grief and anxiety. This refers in the first place to that frame of mind which takes a miss anything emanating from ecclesiastical authority or legitimately prescribed. lt has happened in liturgical matters that even Episcopal Conferences have sometimes followed their own ideas more than they should (quandoque propriomarte plus aequo procedant)”.
“It has also happened that experiments have been made in an arbitrary fashion, and rites introduced which are clearly repugnant to norms established by the Church. Anyone can see that type of action is not only grave offence against the conscience of the Christian faithful. It is also injurious to the carrying out of an orderly liturgical renewal which requires from all prudence, vigilance and especially discipline” (end of quote) 14-10-1968).
Without judging anybody’s intention the road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions – you could illustrate every one of the abuses mentioned by Paul VI with examples of our Indian church’s,-official” liturgical renewal until the historic intervention of Cardinal Knox (1975). This writer had called attention to them on several occasions, but his was a vox clamuns in deserto – a voice in the wilderness.
I know an official of the NBCLC (Bangalore) who said last April (1975) to priests gathered for a seminar on prayer. “If bishops do not permit experiments in the liturgy, then celebrate an under–ground liturgy”. The quotation is from memory. Again this same expert, some time ago — he was an official of the NBCLC at that time also – celebrated Holy Mass during a Seminar organised by a priest who is now elected president of a new association, The Indian Theological Association, and the participants, sisters, laymen, were holding the particle of the Host in their own hands and he himself was consecrating from the altar. At the time of Holy Communion, each of the participants went to the altar, dipped the particle in the chalice and helped himself to communion. I doubt if anywhere in the world such a Mass has been celebrated. Recently, answering a question at a meeting at which he gave a talk on liturgy and Life, this same priest stated that the recent Letter of Cardinal Knox (1975) was written because of pressure from some groups especially The Laity. Charity prevents me from revealing his name here, but I am prepared to supply it to any authority if requested. In the meantime with a heavy and sad heart I can only say: when key positions on such sensitive areas as the Liturgy are entrusted to “experts” of this kind, one never knows where the church in India, now sought to be made and already called the CHURCH OF INDIA will end.
I said above that the Madras decision of the CBCI is logical if the explanation given by the Liturgy Commission is accepted. But that explanation everybody in India knows who is its real author -is factually wrong and theologically unsound.
“The Vatican Council’s Constitution on Liturgy has given the green light for experimentation to go on” the CBCI was assured by its Commission. This would be a revelation to all those who have read the Council’s Constitution.
There are three articles of the Council’s Constitution that must be read and understood for nowadays there are too many people who read and do not understand. They are no. 22, no. 39 and no. 40.
1. Regulation of the Sacred Liturgy depends solely on the authority the Church that is, on the Apostolic See (Pope and Roman Curia) and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore, absolutely no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything on his own authority.
Please note: Para 1 speaks of Rome and the individual bishop whose power in the matter is determined by the law. A number of things which before Vatican II were reserved to the Holy See”, may now be done by the individual bishop. We need not go into details here. Para 2, refers to various kinds of territorial bodies – this generic expression’ is used because at the time of Vatican II. Episcopal conferences did not exist everywhere- Now this territorial body is the Episcopal Conference for the Latin rite whereas for Oriental Rites, it is their Synod or any other similar institution. Episcopal Conferences have no power over the liturgy of Oriental Churches. Para 3, is quite clear. Here in India Father Amalorpavadass and his two hands Fr. Puthenangady, S.D B. and Fr Amirthraj absolutely have no power of their own to suppress even the sign of the Cross before the Mass when there is an Entrance Song. Let there be no mistake about this. [Emphases theirs]
No. 22 gives us the general principles concerning the authority over the liturgy. But the question of adaptation and experimentation is dealt with in nn. 39-40. No. 39 refers to local variations and adaptions that could be called “minor” for their adaption preserves the substantial unity of the Roman Rite.
Substance of the liturgy is one thing, substance of a Rite another. While the former is same in all Catholic rites, the latter differs from rite to rite. It is this special feature of a rite that determines its specific contribution to the variegated beauty of the Church. Commenting on no. 50 which directs that in the revision of the Roman Mass due care be taken to preserve its substantial unity. Theodore Schnitzler writes in a book edited by Bugnini soon after the promulgation of the Constitution: “Due care being taken to preserve the substance so that both Pius V and Gregory the Great, if they came to earth again, would recognise their Mass” (Commentary, p. 139). Whether this solemn and wise directive has been respected in the New Order of the Mass, is more that what this writer can say. I believe that it is doubtful whether even Pius XII and John XXIII would recognise the present Mass as their Mass. But Paul VI has the power to do it, and there the matter should end, even if one may prayerfully hope that mistakes if any be eventually corrected. I see that I have digressed a bit. Returning to our subject, I give here no. 38.
No. 38: “Within the limits set by typical editions of the liturgical book, it shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred ‘music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution”.
As is obvious from the text itself, this conciliar ruling could come into effect only after the revised liturgical books of the Roman Rite are published, which has since been done. Thus for example in the new Missal, General Instruction (nn. 20: 56) provides for such local variations which are to be decided upon by the Episcopal Conference. As the typical edition of all the books is already published the implementation of n. 38 should not create any special difficulty. After taking their decisions, the Episcopal Conference must submit them to Rome for confirmation they may not put them into practice” before getting Rome’s placet.
No. 40, which entails special practical difficulties, reads. “in some places and circumstances, however. an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy (pro-fundior liturgiae adaptation) is needed, and entails, greater difficulties. Therefore the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 22, 2 (Episcopal Conference) must, in this matter, carefully, and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and genius of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should then be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced” (end of quote).
Prudent and careful consideration is equivalent to what no. 23 calls a theological, historical and pastoral investigation. Theological! in our context where Hindu rites (mistakenly called Indian or indigenous) are sought to be introduced into the liturgy, as Cardinal Gracias put it well, we must “make sure of the specific Hindu ideology underlining”, these rites. Then we must ask ourselves whether this ideology as it stands in Hinduism is acceptable to the Catholic faith – faith, that is, in its objective content as proposed by the Magisterium. not just some emotional reactions of nationalistic minded local or foreign “experts”.
If the investigation shows that before being adopted, these rites have to be given a Catholic meaning a further question is to know whether- the Church in her present condition (1% of the total population) is in a position to change this meaning and GET THIS CHANGED MEANING ACCEPTED not only by the re-educated nuns, priests and laity, but also by the overwhelming majority of the population of the country, who are Hindus.
Genuine Scholar’s Views
It is never too much to reflect on the historical and theological wisdom of what Father Cyril Papali O.C.D. recently wrote:
“Another thing to be borne in mind is the great difference between the conditions prevailing in the West at the time when the Church adopted philosophies and religious rites from the pagan world, and those obtaining in the East today. The Aristotelian philosophy she adopted was in no way committed to any religion, while the religions from which she borrowed rites and symbols were long dead or dying. She could therefore freely modify the significance of those symbols and formulae to fit her doctrines”.
And in this connection, the Indian theologian quotes no less an authority (scholar) than Don Botte who writes: “All the evidence we have of the first Christian writers present them as determined to avoid any compromise with paganism, even in their language; these writers insist on what divides and separates Christianity from paganism. IT WOULD BE WRONG THEREFORE TO THINK THAT THE PRIMITIVE CHRISIANTY WAS IN A HURRY TO CHRISTIANIZE PAGAN USAGES. Nevertheless, as the means of paganism gradually waned, and the ‘Catholic Liturgy developed the Church adopted rites that were in use in all religions: holy water, blessed salt, candles, incense. It should be noted however that some of these usages could be traced to the Old Testament itself” (Chiesa n Preghiera Rome, p. 46) (end of quote). Moreover what little things the Church adopted after paganism was dead ‘concern only the peripheral elements of Christian worship”. The idea of composing an Eucharistic Prayer with the concepts and symbols of pagan worship did not even occur to the early Church / the idea was too obvious and absurd.
Father Papali continues: “But such is not the condition to the East today. Their philosophy is Part of religion, and the great religions, comparable in human terms to the Church herself, are a living force dominating every aspect of life An insignificant minority of Catholics cannot presume to give a new meaning to the theological formulae and religious rites of the non-Christian majority and make it prevail’, (National Theologies in the Living Word, 78 (1972 p. 406).
The duty of the Bishops
Before proposing these “radical adaptations” the Episcopal Conference must be satisfied that these changes are useful or necessary- n no. 23, the Council had told us that “there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them”. In India, this good is threefold- pastoral, ecumenical and missionary. Obviously, the primary, concern here should be the salvation and sanctification- of the faithful, not of the non-Christians
Can it be honestly claimed that this was the case of those famous 12 Points? The vote was taken by post, only51 of 71 Latin Bishops who alone had a right to vote on them, returned the ballot paper – they were to do it within two days of receipt. And two-thirds majority was obtained only of the two thirds that voted. Where was then the required theological, historical and pastoral investigation which the CBCI was expected to do? In his celebrated Open Letter to Indian Bishops. Fr. P. K. George, S.J. put a humble and relevant question: “Your Grace Excellency: May I ask by way of conclusion: “What good do you hope for the Church in India in terms of faith, devotion and apostolic efficiency, by the introduction of the so-called Indianised Liturgy, proportionate to the confusion, division, scandal and justifiable annoyance and irritation which it is sure to cause?’ (Cf. The Laity, 111(1975). His question is simply based on no. 23 of the Council Document. Will it ever receive any answer?
No. 42, 2 “To ensure that adaptations are made with all necessary circumspection, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial ecclesiastical authority to permit and direct, as the case requires, the necessary preliminary experiments over a deter-mined period of time among certain groups suited for the purpose”.
Here is clearly stated that even the preliminary experiments which may be necessary before deciding in these “radical adaptations”, may be carried out only with the faculty granted by Rome. At the level of the universal Church, before revising the liturgy, Rome itself promoted experiments in several parts of the world, granting Indults to certain groups. The Rite of Concelebration was a typical case in this regard- over 700 experimental concelebrations were conducted, if my memory does not fail me. With regard to local adaptations of substantial nature whether in the Mass or other parts of the liturgy, the procedure has been, always the same.
Hence it is wrong to think that the Instruction of September 1970 took away what the Council had given. The Instruction merely declared no longer valid those faculties which had been granted for conducting experiments in view of the reform of the rite of the Mass. As the new Rite of the Mass was already promulgated, the period of experimentation was declared closed as far as the universal Church is concerned. Yet if some further adaptations were deemed necessary the Episcopal Conference was empowered. lf permit “some practical experimentation” for one year. I this principle applies also for the Mass, then we are now in 1976, not 1971 . This experimentation further had to be carried out “with clearly defined limits-by well prepared groups, under the direction of judicious men specially appointed for the task, and were not to be made with large congregations nor give publicity. The experiments had to be few in number and carried out for periods no longer than one year, after which report had to be made to the Holy See. Certainly, seminaries and novitiates are not places for experimentation, otherwise the young seminarians and novices and young Sisters will become used, not only to seeing disrespect for law and discipline practiced by others, but also to promoting it themselves.
For any experimentation in the Mass or in other liturgical that involves a change “in the structure of the rites or in the order of parts as given in the liturgical books” or introduction of “actions differing from the traditional ones or of “new texts”, a complete outline and programme of the modifications should be proposed to the “Holy See before any experiments are begun”. This provides that the Vatican Instruction of 3 Sept. 1970 took away nothing from what the Council had given. lt merely further clarified the matter of experimentation as this was necessary at the stage at which the liturgy was in 1970, that is five years after the new liturgy had begun to take shape.
Archbishop Lourdusamy’s Intervention
At time of the preparation for the All India Seminar of 1969, unlawful liturgical Masses were celebrated in several parts of the country-the most notorious case was an experimental Mass in Poona, the available top-theologians and top-liturgists had prepared it and had convinced the local bishop that he could authorise it, which in fact he did. A stormy debate followed, in the Bombay Examiner for several months. As Chairman of the C. B. C. I. Liturgy Commission, Archbishop Lourdusamy issued a long statement the unlawfulness of that Mass. The Poona Bishop admitted that he made a mistake. The statement of the Archbishop was carried in the Examiner (10-1 1 -1968) and latter in he Roman Notitiae. There is no space to give even the gist what His Grace wrote. Anyone can see it in that issue and one will realize that the interpretation of No. 40 given here by me is the same as given by His Grace in 1968. According to the Vatican Council there are four stages in the procedure laid down in No. 40:
(a) Study and research; (b) proposal by the CBCI to the Apostolic see for approval; (c) preliminary experimentation with the authorization to experiment received from Rome; (d) Final approval by the Hierarchy and Rome. Hence you see, the green light for the experimentation to go on supposed or purported to be given by the Council, is non-existent.
Before concluding, Archbishop Lourdusamy quoted from Pope Paul VI whose statement is still relevant to our “Indian Context”…
“Rites and prayer formulae should not be considered as a private matter or as parochial matter, or as a diocesan affair or even as a national affair; they really belong to the universal church for they are expression of her living voice of prayer. Hence no one has the right to change these formulae, to introduce new ones, or to substitute others in their place. This is forbidden by the dignity of the sacred Liturgy itself which assists men to communicate with God. It is forbidden also for the good of souls and by efficient pastoral activity which is placed in jeopardy by this action” (Speech, Oct. 14, 1968).
An Expert Reacts
As could be expected the forthright statement of the Chairman of the Liturgy Commission did not please everybody. But what was disturbing was that one of the experts of the Liturgy Commission dubbed it “a drastic and purely legalistic statement”. And revealing further his own attitude to Rome, the same expert wrote: “Not one of those who where appointed on the sub-commission for studying the possibility of creating an Indian Mass would ever accept to chart out a new liturgy as a blue print to be sent for approval to the Roman Consilium, after being scrutinized by the CBCI”. (The Examiner, 7-12-1968) And then, he went on advocating equating, Sanskrit reading, introduction of non-Christian Scriptures in the Mass. There is no need to recall here the idea of this expert but for the fact that he was, I understand, one of the three-member commission who selected the so-called 12 points. His good intentions are not questioned. But the mentality, the mentality! No one will be surprised to read that no less a person than the Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Diraviam bluntly told the CBCI in Hyderabad (Jan. 1976) : “People who Indianize have no respect for the Hierarchy or the Holy See. They are members of the Church who are out to destroy the Catholic Church”. (The Examiner, 24-1-76).
The premise on which the CBCI vote in Madras was based is moreover theologically unsound. The CBCI Liturgy Commission told the Bishops’ that what the Council gave, no instruction can take away. We saw already that the Council never gave the green light for experimentation without reference to the Holy See as the Commission claimed. But even grant-ing that it had given it, it is theologically and historically wrong to affirm that “no instruction can take away”. Theologically: in matters of discipline and ‘of non-infallible doctrine of a council, the Catholic Theology, of the primacy of the Pope teaches that the pope has the power to suspend, change and even abrogate Conciliar decisions, even when he himself approved them at the close of the Council; Historically: there are many points of the Liturgy Constitution which Paul VI has actually changed through Instructions. The most obvious case is the vernacular in ‘the Canon and the Breviary as permitted by the Second Instruction (May, 1967). Did any expert protest against this Instruction?
Truth and Numbers
It is becoming a widely spread practice to decide matters of doctrine or interpretation by vote. The CBCI at Madras accepted the factually wrong and theologically unsound explanation of its Liturgy Commission. It decided to apply it by a majority vote -I suppose, two-third majority. All liturgical decisions whether definitive or “ad experimentum” require a two-third majority by virtue of the Motu-Proprio Sacram Liturgiam (No. 10) and the First Instruction Inter Oecumenici (No. 8). As both these Documents concern only the Latin Rite, one can understand that some non-Latin Bishops are not quite clear in their mind about this necessity.
Now, Archbishop Arokiaswamy of Bangalore who was the Chairman of Liturgy Commission admits that the CBCI interpretation was wrong. Fortunately for the prestige of the Church in India, that interpretation was not unanimous. The minority dissent was voiced by one of the senior members (Bishop since1952)of the CBCI, Mgr. M. Arattukulam of Alleppey, a theologian and canonist in his own right Repeating what he had said in Madras he stated in Hyderabad: obedience is most important in the life of the Church, especially obedience to the Holy See. I said in Madras that the time for experimentation was over. The Holy See can set a limit to experimentation. I said, permission should be got from the Holy See, but, instead the Liturgy Commission took its mandate from the CBCI, which gave it. The CBCI including the General Secretary thinks it can act independently of the HOLY SEE”
This incident reminds me of other similar incidents of the council, which proved that truth is not necessarily on the side of the majority. The question of collegiality (Nota-Praevia) Ecumenism (19 Papal amendments) condemnation of Communism in all these matters Paul VI intervened on the side of the minority. After the Council, we had Humanae Vitae again proving the same thing.
A Humble Plea
I am old enough in age (53), and older still in mentality. And yet, l believe that even after Vatican II, genuine Catholic renewal will still require that all – laymen priests, religious and bishops – carry out not only the mandatory injunctions but also the least wishes of the Holy Father. It is now nearly two years since Paul VI sent a personal gift to all Bishops, a little booklet Jubilate Deo, containing the minimum repertory of Latin Chants to be introduced into all parishes of the Latin Rite.
A covering letter of Cardinal Knox explained its purpose. And yet, the Indian Dioceses that have implemented the papal wishes can be counted with the fingers of two hands. [Emphases theirs]
In some places, the Bishops did not even inform their priests about it. And the people and priests who have read the Vatican document, and who see the reception that was given to it by their Bishops are, or should be rightly scandalized.
Is it too much to expect that at least now that everybody knows about it, our respected Bishops will do, something to carry out the desires of Pope Paul VI. Will not this act of obedience on their part be blessed by God and enhance their moral authority to get their own orders and wishes better accepted by their own subordinates?
Some may fear that I have been a bit blunt, even aggressive, in this long article. If in this land of ours there is a person that has supported the pope his magisterium and directives, and Bishops in union of mind and heart with him, that person is the present writer. And in spite of all post Vatican developments (new concept of obedience, freedom of the children of God charisms of the Holy -Spirit and other such ideas that are invoked to justify what in pre-conciliar days used to be called disobediences, I have not changed my basic attitude in this matter. please read all that is said in this article in the right of that attitude, and do not see any offence, let alone disrespect, for anyone whether in authority or not.
Another passage from the speech of Paul VI quoted at the beginning of this writing is a fitting conclusion to bring out the spirit which I try to live myself, and which I would like to spread around more effectively than my limitations permit:
“We want to place before you something which we most earnestly recommend to your special attention Take great care that your labour (in the liturgical renewal) does not depart too much from the usage and institutions of the Roman tradition where the liturgy had its origin in Latin, and there in found its growth and reached its highest peaks. “In recommending this to you we are impelled not so much by reasons of history or geography nor by any desire to increase authority rather are we inclined to it by the careful consideration of theological teaching and of the very constitution of the Church which in this dear City has centre of unity and the fortress of the Catholic faith.
“On this point instead of using Our own words’ you may hear the words of two men who are we I known as outstanding promoters of the liturgy. The first of them, Fr. Gabriel M. Braso, of the Benedictine order, has this to say: “He who does not feel him-self to be a Roman will find it difficult to be fully imbued with the breath and spirit of the liturgy. The spirit of Rome (Romanitas) safely protects the incorruptible genuineness of the liturgical spirit. Deviations in the field of the frontiers of the liturgy, as also in pattern of thought and in the usages of Christian life, have their primary cause in this fact: lack of the Roman spirit (Romanitas). He has a very narrow-minded out look who, as a result of misplaced patriot-ism considers Rome to be a rival, look upon her norms as incomprehensible and judges her laws to be a manifestation of an insensate love of power. The spirit of Rome is the foundation of our Catholicity.“ (Liturgy and Spirituality, pp. 307-308)
And after quoting the second liturgist (E. Bishops) Paul VI concluded: “There, beloved sons, let not Rome inspite you with feelings of diffidence or fear. On the contrary, she knows how to receive your labour with a willing heart, how to judge them wisely and how to make them truly and lastingly Catholic, not for her own glory but for that of the Church and for the glory of Christ our Redeemer” (Speech, Oct 14,-19,68.’ L’Osservatore Romano 24-10-1968).
Appendix – IX
Adaptation – Indigenization – Utilization
(Late) Dr. Paul Hacker, Professor of Indology, Muenster, W. Germany
There has been much discussion on “adaptation” among missionaries and missiologists even before the Vatican Council II. Starting from results of historical research and trying to get at a comprehensive view of the Universal Church, we find that nowhere on earth is there any form of Catholicism in which Christianity has not assimilated conceptual, ritual or simply linguistic elements which originally belonged to pre-Christian religions or were part of profane usage. But such assimilations have not disfigured the essential nature of the Gospel, nor have they as such split the Church into independent groups restricted to individual countries.
On the contrary in the course of history there have been several cases in which adaptations guided by the Holy Spirit, arose in one country but eventually spread to the universal Church. On the other hand, there has been what may be called spurious adaptation, that is, assimilation of local habits or individual preferences without the guidance of the Spirit. Examples would be Gallicanism the “Ger man Christians” of Protestantism during the National Socialist period, and a number of schisms and heresies in the course of history. The existence of local forms of popular piety does not nullify the fact of adaptations of universal validity, because they neither involve a claim to general adaptation, nor do they question the authority of the Hierarchy nor do they have any specific dogmatic implications.
However, the term “adaptation” itself does not seem to be felicitous. It is even susceptible to serious objections. After all, it is not the Gospel which has to be adapted to the world, but according to St. Paul’s diamond-like words, the Gospel demands that the world or rather (since evangelization and proclamation is neither a sort of universal conquest by force nor psychological warfare) man, the individual man in, the world, has to adapt himself to the Gospel : this is why, in St. Paul’s language, faith is almost coterminous with obedience (Rom 1 : 5, 6 :16f, 15 :19, 2Cor. 10:5; Phil. 2 :11 ; compare also Heb. 2 :1-4). Thus, one may feel jarred by terms like “adaptation” because they remind one of the Apostle’s exhortation (Romans 12:2): “Do not be conformed to this world”. On the other hand, terms like “indigenisation even more hurt the Catholic’s religious feelings, because they remind him of so many deplorable developments in the course of the history of the Church, recalling as they do quite a number of schisms, most, of which included heresies right from their beginning.
Thus both terms, adaptation and indigenization would seem to be questionable. But how to tackle the task of making Christian doctrine known in foreign countries, and how to explain such evangelization theologically, and by what term to give a brief expression or indication of the theological explanation? Such theological reflection and its expression in a brief term are by no means unimportant. For the term chosen evokes the theology that gave rise to it and this theology inevitably influences the style or even the content of the actual evangelization.
Certain changes or modifications are inevitable if we are to carry out the precept of the Risen Lord: “Go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19f). For this entails teaching the Gospel in different languages; but there are not even two languages whose concepts totally coincide. Thus it would seem that adaptation is quite legitimate in the sense of a means of making ancient texts understandable to people of other nations and of a later time, living in a different situation but is simply to be rejected if it mars the substance of the Gospel. The criterion for deciding whether what is described as adaptation is constructive or destructive is of course the Magisterium and, above all, the doctrines as defined by Oecumenical Councils and Popes. But an ambiguity regarding the meaning of “adaptation” would remain. Is this merely an outcome of linguistic awkwardness on the part of those who coined the term or is the unsatisfactory nature of the term “adaptation” an indication of a theology that fails to take account of the essence of evangelization?
It does not seem to be of great relevance to decide, this question. Both awkwardness or lack of proper reflection and a certain misconception may have played a part in this matter. The misconception that can disfigure evangelization is perhaps best illustrated by a reference to a saying of Our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says: “Seek first his kingdom” (i.e. the Kingdom of the heavenly Father) “and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt.6:33). Now there seem to be certain priests, especially in the missions, who seem to think that one can never be sure whether the other things will really be added and that, therefore. it seems safer first to see to it that other things are instituted and organized in mission fields – schools, social work medical care, etc. and that all this will be a good starting basis for taking disciples of the nations. However, there are examples to the contrary which show that such a calculation is wrong. A case in point is the Cistercians who worked in East Germany and in other countries of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. Our secularized schools taught us that those monks deserved well of their country because they laid the foundation of civilization. But such a thing as civilization was entirely outside the purview of the monks work. The contents of their life were prayer and penance, and their bodily labour was part of their penance. In this way the “other things”, in this case civilization (and what is today called economic “development”!) turned out to be among the things that were “added” to the monks’ fervour for the Kingdom, of God (“added” is the old translation, here more literal and more to the point than the Revised Version).
Indian View Distorted
In India today social, economic and political activities are represented as a form of evangelization (“Evangelization in India which is in the process of liberation and development should necessarily take the concrete form of man’s total liberation and integral human development”, Report of the General Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India’ January 1974 Appendix p.’ 50).
This gross misunderstanding of the Kingdom of God and the modish concept of “adaptation” have one tendency in common: the predominantly materialistic and anthropocentric bias (to which, obviously to uphold the semblance of Catholicism, a few protestations of the existence of the spiritual are added). We must be grateful to our Holy Father for rectifying, in his Adhortatio “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, this grave distortion of our religion in saying (I translate from the Latin original nos. 8-9): “Before all, Christ … announces … the Kingdom of God, and he attributes to it such importance that in comparison with it, everything else becomes “other things”, namely things that are to be added to it. Therefore, the kingdom of God is to be regarded as something absolute. Christ the Lord chose to describe the bliss of belonging to this Kingdom in various forms a bliss that consists of certain marvellous things which the world disdains. As the culmination and the centre of His good news Christ announces salvation, which is a great gift of God, to be regarded not only as liberation of man from all oppression but above all as liberation from sin and from the Evil One, and this is conjoined with that joy whose fruition is bestowed on him who knows God and is known by Him who sees Him and rests with confidence in Him…” (Christus NN primum omnium . . . . annuntiat Dei Regnum, cui tale attribuit momenturn ut prue illo omnia fiant cetera, duae videlicet, adictantur Quare Regnum Dei absolutum quiddem est habendum .. . .Christo Domino placuit multiformiter felicitatem ad hec Regnum pertinendi describere, quae quidem felicitas ex miris quibusdam tebus constant, quas mundus respuit . . . Tamquam Boni sui Nunti caput et veluti centrum, Christus salutem annuniat, scilicent mangoum Dei donum, quod habendum est non solum Xiberatio ab iis omnibus- quibes homo opprimitur, sed potissimum a peccato et a maligno liberatio cum gaudio conjuncta, quo quis fruittur, cum Deum cognoscit et ab Eo cognoscitur, Eum videt, in Eb fidenter quiescit… ) In these words of the Adhortatio, the supernatural dimension, totally neglected in the Indian documents, and generally neglected today in West, is brought out with clarity and firmness.
The words of the Apostolic Adhortatio are a ray of light in the gloomy confusion of our day. The document itself quotes Holy Scripture rather frequently, thus encouraging us to seek further light from scripture and Tradition, tradition as testified in the writings of Holy Father and Doctors of the Church.
The Fathers of the first centuries lived at a time when to be a Christian involved the daily risk of being put to death, of being sent to jail or being forced to hard labour in mines or being subjected to tortures. In such a situation, they nonetheless sought to defend an d even propagate their faith . Yet-amazingly enough they did not devise such a procedure as adaptation in order to make their religion more acceptable to their pagan environment. The faith of many of them as informed with holy exultation, most of all ” they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the Name ” (i.e. for the name of Jesus Christ, or for being Christians – Acts 5: 41), because such suffering joined them most closely to their Lord; “lf we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him, If we endure, we shall also reign with him ” (2 Timothy 2 : 11f). How, then, did Christians who expressed the self-understanding of their religion in such words, interpret their activity which they called “to evangelize”, that is, to make known the teachings of Jesus and the doctrine about Jesus the Messiah and Son of God?
The answer to this question seems to lead us back to the notion of “adaptation”, through the ancient Christians had no word to denote such a concern. Is it not a fact that the Fathers of the Church and the early hierarchy did practise on a large scale what we today are inclined to describe as “adaptation”? The Fathers assimilated quite a number of concepts that were originally non-Christian, pagan or profane , and the hierarchy of the early Church adopted and reinterpreted quite a number of gestures and other symbols that had been in use in non-Christian cult. A superficial evaluation might come to the conclusion that, if judged from the point of view of history, there is no essential difference between those “adaptations ” introduced by the early Church and most of the cases of “indigenization ” in present-day India – except those which involve idolatry or syncretism, such as the setting up of idols of Hindu deities or the decoration of windows with pictures of them in Catholic churches, or the praying of a Christian in a Hindu temple. Such a positive evaluation would refer to all the Twelve Points of adaptation granted on April 25, 1969, by the “Consilium ad Exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia” Report of the General Meeting of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Ernakulam, January 7-16, 1970, pp. 192 ff) None of these twelve points of adaptation in itself includes idolatry. However, as I said, the positive evaluation is superficial and ultimately, false.
Model of Adaptation
To understand this, let us first “consider the model of all “adaptation” in Antiquity, namely St. Paul’s speech on the Areopagus as recorded in Acts 17: 22-31. On the one hand the Apostle criticizes the idolatry and polytheism of the Athenians (Acts 17-16. 24t). Even here, the practice of the Apostle sharply differs from the “dialogue” which present day Indian progressives strongly recommend as the way Christians should converse with Hindus “dialogue” which carefully avoids criticism and mainly consists in what is innumerable times described as “sharing spiritual experience”, with one’s non-Christian friends. On the other hand, St. Paul appreciates the Athenians’ religiosity calling them “very religious”, (17: 22). He even makes use of more than one pagan idea in his short speech. But does, he cite certain Hellenic writings philosophical, poetical, hymnic or liturgic – explaining that Christ is already present in them though in a hidden form?
No. His procedure radically differs from that of Indianized ascetics like Le Saux (Abhishiktananda) and Bede Griffith as well as from that of theorists such as Dupuis, Amalorpavadass, R Panikkar and others. To put it in plain terms: the modern Hinduizers speak of Hinduism, the Apostle, however, speaks of Christ when St. Paul says that God wills that one should “feel after him” (17:27), he is using a Stoic idea, but the every fact that he utilizes it in his proclamation, frees it from the pantheistic system to which it had belonged. The sentence “In him we live and move and have our being” is probably inspired by a Stoic author, but the Christian idea of God’s omnipresence and of his keeping everything in being is certainly quite different from Stoicism. Again, the statement, which St. Paul himself expressly attributes to a (pagan) poet, “For we are indeed his offspring”, also expresses a Stoic idea; it is taken from the Phainomena of Aratos, who lived in the third century B.C. (17: 8). One of the many altars in Athens St. Paul found the inscription, “To an unknown God”, and he remarked, “What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you” (17: 23). This is now-days almost invariably explained as indicating that the Athenians already worshipped the one true God without knowing it.
Karl Rahner himself, in his famous essay has interpreted St. Paul’s remark as indicating that even the Apostle virtually confirmed the theory of Anonymous Christians (K. Rahner, Schriften zur Theologie, volume 5, 1962, p 158; English translation by K. H. Kruger: Theological Investigations, volume 5, p. 124). But this interpretation is an obvious blunder. We have to take due account of the data of sound textual criticism and of grammar. The oldest and most reliable manuscripts have the text which I quoted above (“What therefore…”) and which is the text of the Latin Vulgate as well as of the English Revised Standard Version (the King James Version, on the other hand, follows later revised manuscripts, “Whom therefore ye better ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you”). The difference between the neuter and the masculine gender, characteristic of the older and the later group of manuscripts, is of theological relevance. The neuter gender (“What”) expresses an indistinct feeling on the part of the Athenians that there might be a deity that they did not know, and in order not to incur its disgrace they erected an altar to it. It is this notion of the unknown which the Apostle takes up in a positive sense, saying, as it were, You are right; there is indeed something (again the neuter gender!) which you do not yet know. Only in the following sentence does St. Paul begin to speak of the one God, the Creator. Thus the passage can in no way be used to substantiate Rahner’s private ideas (according to which the Athenians already had a “transcendental” know-ledge of God which the proclamation merely trans-posed to the level of the “categorial” if such a translation of Rahner’s German neologism “kategorial” be possible).
A Special Theory
We now begin to understand that there is a chasm between the notions, modish in our day of “adaptation” and “indigenization”, on one hand, and, on the other hand, the practice of the Doctor Gentium, the Teacher of the Gentiles, the greatest Missionary of all times. St. Paul does not adapt the Gospel to the ways of thinking of the pagans. He acknowledges that all nations can and do know God, but he adds that “they did not honour him as God” (Romans 1:21). His speech on the Areopagus shows that he even recognized partial truth in the thought of the gentiles. But the peculiar way in which he culled this truth from contexts which he could by no means approve called for a special theory. This theory was evolved by the Fathers of the Church.
The Fathers used a very sober term (which I have already made use of above), in speaking of “utilization” (Greek Chresis). Today, at a time when the Fathers are little known and still less appreciated, it is impossible to use that term without incurring the accusation of presumption or even of offending non-Christian. But this is a fatal misunderstanding, emanating from a corrupt theology.
Only from a purely anthropocentric point of view is it possible to bring these accusations against the early Church. They would make sense if both paganism and the Church were human institutions, comparable, for instance, to two political parties. In such a case it would indeed be presumptuous to claim achievements of the rival group for one’s own community, and it would be offensive at the same time. The Church, however, is in her essence a supernatural entity. She is the Bride of Christ and at the same time – since no human word can bring out her mystery adequately the Body of Christ who is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity having assumed human nature. Now all truth, no matter where it is found, proceeds from God who is Truth Itself. Consequently, since the Church through Christ is intimately linked to God, to the Trinity. it is not only the right but the duty of the Church – not as a natural but as a super-natural entity – to put to her use all that is true and good though it may be found outside her. This idea was first expressed by St. Justin Martyr, though without the trinitarian implications. lt is the exact opposite of Rahner’s Anonymous Christians theory which has been devastating the Church in our day. For the discovery of truth outside the Church led the Christians to claim it as their property in so far as all that is good and true rightfully belongs to the Church whose members the Christians are on the contrary, Rahner acknowledges paganism as legitimate religion on the ground of the truth found in it, though this truth is distorted by demonic influences. In paganism the supernatural truth cannot shine forth because it is constantly vitiated by such influences.
This is why documents of Vatican II say that all that is good and true in non-Christian religion needs to be “illuminated”, to be “healed”, to be “elevated” and to be “brought to perfection” and that such activity of the Church confounds Satan, that is to say, precludes further influences of the Evil One (Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church, n. 3 g 1 ; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, n. 17)
We can observe this process of “healing” or “illuminating” even in the short speech on the Areopagus. The very proclamation of the elements of Christian doctrine gives an opportunity for reorienting a number of sayings of poets and ideas of philosophies, and it seems that the sense intended by the creator who made poets or thinkers compose their formulations or conceive their ideas, could shine forth only after the demonic admixture of paganism had been cleared away by the Christian context. Thus, the reorientation within the act of evangelizing is a form of that illumination, healing and elevation which the Council speaks of. This is obviously quite a different thing from the reading of, and meditation on, non-Christian religious texts as practised by Catholic indigenisers in India today.
Neither can it be said that the method employed by St. Paul was “adaptation”, if this word is to denote what is commonly meant by it in missiology today. Rather, it could be called adaptation in a sense exactly opposite to what this word stands for in present-day missiology. For the evangelical purity of the Apostle’s teaching is unimpeachable, but he utilizes non-Christian ideas and sayings precisely to expound the Gospel, and thus he “adapts” them, as it were, to the Gospel.
But is it not adaptation when the Apostle, as he declares 1. Cor. 9: 22, seeks to “become all things to all men”? This is indeed an important question, which leads us to the core of the issue. The answer is indicated by St. Paul himself, who says (1. Cor. 9 : 23; I quote the King James Version, which is more literal here than the Revised Version) : This I do for the gospels sake, that I might be par-taker thereof with (you)”. This means that adaptation in things that have no bearing on holy doctrine is quite unobjectionable and sometimes even advisable. But of the purity of the Gospel is jeopardized, or if Christians are scandalized, then the bounds of the admissible have been transgressed. It seems that these teachings of the Apostle provide some criteria for judging the experiments, doctrinal and liturgical, that are being carried an in India today. Both Progressives and Conservatives testify that these experiments scandalize Catholics exceedingly.
Christians of Antiquity wrote Apologies for their own religion; ideologists of our day, though professing Catholicism, produce apologies for paganism. The most famous of these, known in all countries of the world, is Karl Rahner’s Anonymous Christians theory. I cannot enter hero into the abstruse ideological foundations of this theory. The principal blunders which disqualify it as entirely un-Christian, are the total absence of the notion of conversion, which is the very goal of all evangelization. Rahner’s ignoring the reality of the devil, his minimizing of the notion of sin, and a peculiar association of religion and society. According to his theory, society receives a religious dignity which it has no where in Christianity. Rahner insists that man remains in his society, in which certain religious beliefs and rites are obligatory, until he is psychologically overwhelmed by the proclamation of Christian doctrine. This theory is so totally alien to Christian thinking that ours must really be a time of utmost confusion because a man advancing such opinions can hold the position of a teacher in the Church. In contrast to Rahner’s teaching, the New Testament states in quite, a number of passages that a man who wishes to follow Christ must be ready to sever bonds with natural societies in which he lives, and this with the small society that consists in one’s own family as with the larger religious society of the Synagogue (see Mt. 10: 37 and other passages: Mt: 17, 24: 9 and similar passages). The Fathers of the Church do not in the least differ from the ideas expressed in such passages. Furthermore, it is one of the traits that unmask the radically un- Christian character of Rahner’s philosophy (in spite of his Christian terminology), that martyrdom, the culmination of Christian spirituality, finds no place in his system. From the preceding it should be clear that a theory of “adaptation” can easily be based on his philosophy because according to Rahner every human being is already a Christian, whether he wishes to be one or not. So paganism can be represented as implicitly containing Christianity. Under such circumstances idolatry, the gravest sin in early Christendom and still today, can become a grace bestowing sacrament in the speculations of a follower of Rahner. In a word, the very core of Christianity has undergone mutation. Degraded Christianity of this sort is bound to be come in India one of the innumerable sects of Hinduism lf it is not, which is more probable, absorbed into materialism and Marxism, which are making headway every day.
But what to do in order to prevent a complete shipwreck? It need hardly be said that the initiators of the heresy and apostasy (syncretism, if seen from the point of view of canon-law, coincides with apostasy) ought to be tried and, if they refuse to recant, excommunicated. When will our Bishops muster courage as their predecessors did in the past? But disciplinary measures alone will not heal the wound. We must see that we in the West have elaborated the theories which priests and Bishops in India now feel obliged to put into practice, and that this practice is apt “to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13) and “to wound the conscience” (1 Corinthians 8: 12) of Indian Catholics.
The present situation has taught us a lesson which we could not foresee at the time of Pope Pius XII’s death. We now see that our learned schemes were Utopian and illusory or at least needed much differentiation and modification. Adaptation, in the sense of “becoming all things to all men”, is possible and can in certain situations even become imperative, provided the integrity of Christian doctrine is not impaired. In other situations it can be a serious offence to those who are already Christians. The light that can give us orientation is supernatural love or charity (it is deplorable that the Revised Version has replaced “charity” in 1. Cor. 13 with “love”). It seems that the theories of adaptation – all of Western provenance – did not take due account of the fact that this method cannot be practiced in all situations.
The Church in India, though forming only a small minority of the total population (between 1 and 2 per cent), is extremely variform in her ethnic, historical, and even ecclesiastical conditions: for besides the Latin rite there are the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites. The Catholics of the two last-named rites form a comparatively large group which has been Christian ever since Antiquity. Other Indian Christians stem from people who were converted since the 16th century. Few of the converts were formerly caste Hindus, the majority came from among the adivasis (i.e., pre-Dravidian aborigines) and low-caste people or out-castes (Harijans). It is quite natural that these people should have learned to believe and hope in God and to love Him in the forms that were prevalent at the time of their conversion. These forms were and are to them a ladder leading them up to the Triune Majesty. They had no idea that their conversion was an outcome of “colonialism”, that their churches imitated European styles and that many of the statues and implements of cult were, if seen from the viewpoint of art, trash, and none of them felt that the sooner all these things were replaced by things similar to those used in Hindu ritual, the better. No such aesthetic and nationalistic considerations were and are foreign to them. There were – and I hope, there still are many Indian Catholics whose faith was joyful and fervent, and they were well aware that they, while professing the true, namely the Catholic religion, lived among an overwhelming majority of non-Christians. It is quite natural that the very fact that their cult with its symbols, gestures and implements, and even the form of their church buildings, differed from all that was known to be characteristic of Hinduism, was for them a profession of their faith and a constant reminder to remain faithful to the Church.
lf we keep this is mind, it is easy to understand that attempts at “indigenization” as pushed ahead by Amalorpavadass, Dupuis, Griffiths and others – and favoured by the Indian Bishops’ Conference have roused vehement opposition. As I said, Progressives and Conservatives are agreed on the fact of this opposition; Catholics rightfully feel the sanctuary threatened, the sanctuary that made possible their union with God. Religion, after all, strives for union with God; it is not a manifestation of social togetherness or national feeling.
In an incomparably higher degree than in the liturgical reforms that are being carried on in the West the fundamental law of Christianity, which is charity, seems to have been violated in India in a higher degree, because Indian Catholics feet paganism penetrating into the Church and thus the First Commandment infringed. One may argue that all the twelve points of adaptation as granted by Mgr. Bugnini (but forbidden by one Indian Bishop for his diocese) are in themselves quite innocent, that they have no necessary association with Hindu worship and that their difference from the gestures, implements etc. as used till now consists only in the fact that they are of Indian origin whereas all the symbols that were in use before stemmed from the West. But this argumentation misses the point. In the first place, in the Universal Church it is relatively indifferent in what country a certain symbol was first used. Otherwise Germans would have to relinquish Roman Catholicism, as fanatical National Socialists actually because there is so much in this religion that is not “indigenous” to our country.
Violation of Charity
In the second place, we have to heed St. Paul’s teachings, which refer to analogous cases. In the cases to which he refers in his Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 14, and in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 8, the issue concerns meat of animals that had been immolated to idols: may a Christian eat such meat? The Apostle decides the problem entirely on the basis of charity. If a Christian knows that meat has been immolated to an idol and if his conscience is hurt when he sees others eat such meat or is himself if expected to eat it, them it would be a sin to “wound his conscience” and “put a stumbling. I block in his way”. Now all the things enumerated in the twelve points of adaptation granted by Mgr. Bugnini have a much closer association to cult than meat. Every Indian knows that they are part of Hindu worship (whereas meat need not necessarily stem from an immolation). Therefore the religious offense perpetrated on Indian Catholics lies by Amalorpavadass and Bugnini (to mention only the two only the two main initiators – the Bishops proved to be obedient servants) is really a very grave violation of charity.
Therefore, we, Catholics of Europe and America, supplicate and implore the Indian Bishops Conference, especially His Eminence Cardinal Picachy, to prohibit immediately the practice of the “twelve points”, to stop, without exception, the reading of non-Christian texts in the Liturgy of the Hours as well as in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and, above all, to disestablish and dissolve the pretentious and pernicious institution which Father Amalorpavadass runs in Bangalore.
lf the Bishops will not heed this brotherly advice (correctio fraterna), the Indian Church is bound to lapse into socialist atheism earlier than one generation has passed. On the other hand, lt would be desirable to go ahead with a careful translation of the whole Roman Missal into the principal languages of India but to stop speculation with a view to composing an “Indian Anaphora”. [Emphases theirs]
I say this not without experience but as a man who loves India more than his own country, who highly appreciates the achievements of pre-Christian Indian thought, but whose love for Our Lord and His Church ranks first, before all the rest.
Under the impact of Rahner’s Anonymous Christians theory it is virtually impossible today to adjust to the achievements specific to the Indian mind the method that the Fathers had evolved in dealing with pre-Christian religious and philosophical thought. I mean the method they called “utilization” (chresis) and whose theological justification I briefly delineated above. I have treated of it more elaborately referring to representative Fathers, in a study that appeared in a learned journal. I will add here only one more reference, and this to the greatest of all the Fathers of the Church, namely to St. Augustine. I am doing this because St. Augustine, in elucidating the God-centered nature of “utilization”, at the same time indicates the biblical foundation of this method. In Book VIII of his famous Confessions, Chapter IV, the saint reflects on the significance of the conversion of Marius Victorinus, a famous pagan philosopher. He interprets conversion as a victory over the Evil One. He says (l quote E.B. Pusey’s translation) : The enemy is more overcome in one of whom he has more hold; by whom he has hold of more. But the proud he has more hold of, through their nobility; and by them, of more through their authority. But how much the more welcome then the heart of Victorinus was esteemed, which the devil had held as an impregnable possession, the tongue of Victorinus, with mighty and keen weapon he had slain many: so much the more abundantly ought Thy sons to rejoice, for that our King has bound the strong man (cp, Mt. 12 : 29), and they saw his vessel taken from him and cleansed, and made meet for Thy honour, and become serviceable for the Lord, ready for any good work,, (cp. 2. Tim. 2 : 21). Here the objective notion of utilization is reduced to its subjective basis. Victorinus, heart, i.e. his faculty of thinking, and his tongue, i.e. his faculty of speech, had been the devil’s vessels, i.e. instruments, now Christ the King took them from him and cleansed them so that henceforth they could be used for His honour, that they be-came serviceable for i.e. useful to the Lord. The vessels”, that is, Victorinus” talents and know-ledge, once at the devil’s service, could now be “utilized” by him for the Lord’s honour.
The passage I quoted from St. Augustine shows with all desirable clarity that the “utilization” was understood by the Fathers primarily as an action of God (appropriated to Christ or to the Holy Spirit). Only after the cleansing of Baptism and the liberation from the power of the devil, could a man become an “instrument” (the Greek word translated by “vessel”) of God actively employing the knowledge he had acquired in his pre-Christian period and his intellectual abilities in the service of God.
Modish theories of our day have eliminated all the key concepts that describe the process of a man’s becoming a Christian in the works of the Fathers. There is no devil, no conversion, no cleans-ing from one’s sins. “In the documents published in the Report of the General Meeting of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India in January, 1974, spiritual concerns are verbally upheld, but the emphasis is clearly, on one hand on social, economic and even political activities (all described as belonging to evangelization), on the other hand, what is called “dialogue”. This “dialogue” is in the documents as follows: “Interreligious dialogue is the response of Christian faith to God’s saving presence in the religious traditions of mankind and the expression of the firm hope of the fulfilment of all things in christ” (p. 147, similarly p. 140). “The relation between the Church in India and the other religions of India should not (!) be understood in terms of truth and error… salvation and damnation, and by way of contrast and opposition. . . . It must be a positive relationship of mutual understanding…” (Appendix, p. 56). “Dialogue” conducted with non-Christians, but also with materialists and atheists, is a mutual communication and sharing of religious experience, of spiritual and moral values, enriching both the partners…” (p. 140f, nos 52 and 54; also p. 147)
It is clear that such CBCI ideas, entirely foreign to Christianity, are bound to ruin the Indian church in a few decades. We must, therefore, be grateful to the Holy Father for the clarifications he has given in his Adhortatio Apostolica “Evangelii nuntiandi”. A number of his admonitions seem to be directed precisely to the Bishops and the theologians of India. For instance, while the Council had unfortunately omitted to declare that pagan religions, not withstanding all that is good in them, are no means of salvation in the sense of eternal beatitude, the Adhortatii of 1974, at a time of extreme menace to the Church, does fill up this gap and this implies a clear check to Rahnerism. [Emphases theirs]
The text says (no. 53: 4, I translate from the Latin original): “If compared even with the most excellent forms of natural religions, the Church holds that she possesses something proper to her alone, namely that in virtue of the religion of Jesus… man is really united with God’s plan, with His living presence and His action;
and that the same (religion) brings it to pass that one encounters the mystery of divine Fatherhood, who bends down to mankind; in other words, that through our religion communion with God, real indeed and living, is actually established, while other religions cannot bring it about, though they seem, so to say, to lift their arms up to heaven”. (Ouare, etiam agitru de religionum naturalium formis, vel praestantissimis, Ecclesia hoc sibi proprium habere putet: vi religionis Jesu revera hominem hjungi con Dei consilio, cum viva ehjus praesentia cumque ejus actione; earrdem efficere, ut quis occurrat divinae mysterio Paternitatis, quae ad humanum genus inclinet; aliis verbis, per nostram religionem reapse cum Deo instituti commercium, verum nempe vivumque, quod aliae religiones instituere nequeunt, etiamsisua, ut ita dicamus, bracchia ad caelum attollere ipase videantur).
There is a long way from such a declaration to an actual reinstatement. Nevertheless, the Adhortatio, in giving an authoritative interpretation of, or addition to, certain Council documents, presents a priceless clarification.
Appendix – X
Bede Griffiths and Indianisation
Moti Lal Pandit
Fr. Bede Griffiths of Shantivanam, one of the leading supporters of Indianisation of Liturgy in the Church in India, has through his sentimental and subjective writings done much harm both to Hinduism and Christianity. His interpretation of Hinduism, particularly of the Vedanta of Sankara, has been guided by one principle; to interpret any Hindu doctrine in accordance with his own subjective norms, thus floundering all objective and logical principles of evaluating truth. This we can see by reading his booklet: Sachidananda Ashram, Silver Jubilee.
He starts this booklet by quoting the Vatican council to the effect that the “Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.” The crux of the problem lies in this very statement. What principle or methodology does he adopt in making a distinction between what is holy and true and what is unholy and untrue? His methodology speaks for itself when he mars the distinction between the Hindu concept of liberation and the Christian concept of the presence of God. To him both the terms mean one and the same thing. a person who has even a little acquaintance with Hinduism knows well that the Hindu idea of “liberation” or “salvation” is not at all guided by the idea of divine eschatology, but by an inherent motion of getting rid overtly or covertly, from the cycle of rebirth. The origin of rebirth is beginningless in the sense that creation is cyclic rather than linear. In cyclic notion of history the very term “God” becomes useless precisely because history does not move towards some purposeful goal, but rather moves, without knowing the reason, in revolvatory fashion. In other words, God does not create the world out of nothing; the world exists eternally. When there is dissolution of the universe, it recedes back into an unmanifest condition. After some period, it again comes into manifestation. This so-called law is inherent in matter itself. Hence God has no power to alter this situation. It is in this endless cycle of movement that man is caught. Man does not come into the world because Gold creates him. He has to suffer this endless coming and going in so far as he is operating under the law of Karma.
A Helpless God
Under such a situation God too is helpless. It is not the compassion or mercy of . God which can save man from this harsh and deterministic law, that is, Karma, it is rather one’s effort which enables man to transcend the state of action, so that dimension is reached in which inaction is achieved. Hence “techniques” have been invented. It is the “technique” rather than God who is responsible for liberating man from the cycle of samsara. A Hindu never thinks of salvation in terms of meeting his own creator. He is dominated by one idea: how to escape from this liberation, whether it is propounded by Sankara, or by Buddha, or by Ramanuja, ultimately turns out to be a form of escape from the human facticitv. It is travesty of truth to identity Hindu concept of liberation with the search for God. Moreover, Hindu’s concept of God is not only divergent from Christian God, but even in Hinduism every Sect has its own notion about the reality or nature of God.
In the system of Sankara, whom Fr. Griffiths extols, God has no place Personal God (Isvara), according to him, is an illusion, since he is a super-imposition on the differenceless Brahman. What is this differenceless Brahman? He is not a Being who self discloses himself to humanity; he is an IT, that is, a metaphysical principle devoid of any distinction or attribute. In other words, this Brahman is the void of Nagarjuna. It is for this very reason that Madhava called Sankara as a crypto Buddhist.
I do not understand how Fr. Griffiths reconciles this differenceless Brahman with the Biblical God. And yet he persists in saying that there are truths in Vedanta which Christians must adopt. Does he mean that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is lacking something? His contention seems to be so. If it is so, then I feel he is undermining the very truths which the Church holds.
Fr. Griffiths further writes that this presence of God in Hinduism is “fostered by contemplative silence and the practice of Yoga and Sannyasa”.
It is very sad to find the use of such expressions as, for example, “contemplative silence”, which has no meaning in relation to Hinduism. Now-a-days Yoga is being much extolled by our Christian monks. Is Fr. Griffiths here speaking of Yoga as a system of thought or as a way of “techniques”. It is very naive and sad to think of Yoga as a suitable means for the practice of meditation. What is the ultimate aim of Yoga philosophy? It is not to achieve union with God. The classical treatise on Yoga by Patanjali does not even have a clear notion of God. For him it is the technique which will deliver man from the vicious circle of rebirth rather than God’s grace. Or course, in one place the mention of Purusha is made Does this Purusha resemble in any manner the Christian God? The answer is negative. The aim of Yoga is to enable man to achieve the state of “isolation”, which is characterized by total “rest”. The whole philosophical basis of Yoga is derived from atheistic Samkhya. I fail to understand how this Father finds that the presence of God is being fostered through the practice of Yoga. He may, of course be having his own Yoga philosophy.
As far as Sannyasa is concerned, we have to consult some treatises on Sannyasa, which give us the correct perspectives on the origin and development of Sannysasa. Who is a Sannayasi? A person who has renounced the world? But is it as simple as that? Christ’s priesthood has absolutely nothing in common with the Hindu Sannyas precisely because the latter renounces the world not because he wants to consecrate to God but because he wants to that mode of existence in which he can transcend his humanity. Sannyasi is not in search of God, because he does not need God. To him the world as well as its Creator are just terms; they mean nothing to him’ .The fundamental basis of Hindu Sannyasa” is the realization that by negating the world one can achieve liberation from the cycle of samsara. The philosophy of sannyasa as it is practised today has its modern source in the Philosophy of Sankara.
As far as a Christian priest or monk is concerned he does not renounce the world in order to achieve liberation from a cosmic wheel. Christian renunciation is not something negative: it is positive in every respect. A Christian priest by renouncing the world, consecrates everything to God. . He is not in search of liberation for we have all been liberated not from the world but from sin which alienates us from God. He renounces the world so that he may be able to serve humanity in the same manner as our Lord did. He wants to preach the love of Christ, so that man may be able to participate in the love of God.
It is not difficult to see the error Fr. Griffiths has been committing by identifying Christian priesthood with the Hindu Sannyasa. I can even substantiate my point of view not only from the Hindu manuals, but from recorded conversations. Fortunately, I was able to tape the conversation on his very topic with leading Sannyasis. They in no uncertain terms told me that a Sannyasi is not at all concerned with prayer or God, as a Christian understands. It is a function of a “karmakandi”. Prayer and God are meant for those people who are bothered by ‘maya’ to the cosmic wheel. A true sannyasi transcends God, since he knows that God as a person is illusion, because there is only the differenceless Absolute. This Absolute and the self of man are identical and the liberation consists in recognizing this very fact. Where on earth does the question of God arise for a sannyasi?
In order to understand the whole idea of Hindu spirituality, it is necessary to find out what conception of man Hindus have. A Hindu never thinks of man as a contingent being. His conception of man is dualistic in the sense that he finds a dialectical polarisation between soul and body. Man is not a unity of mind, body and soul; to say that man is fundamentally somatic is the indication of “ignorance”. Man’s soul, somehow or the other, gets imprisoned in matter. Hence, every attempt is to be made in separating this soul from the body. One who succeeds in this finally achieves salvation in this very life. In other words salvation of man consists in realizing the fact that the soul is dissimilar to body and, therefore, must be detached from it.
However, it should be kept in mind that, accord-ing to Hindu philosophy, the soul is uncreated God. lf soul is eternal and uncreated, then where does the necessity of God for the salvation of man arise at all? The term God or religion has a sort of psychological function: it satisfies the inherent need of man for religion and God. But when we are concerned with the Hindu philosophy, we soon discover that a highly sophisticated Hindu has quite different notions about religion than that of a common man. An ordinary Hindu has nothing in common with a Hindu who is educated. Hindu religion, if I am allowed to use term religion, does not revolve around God: it revolves round man. I, too, can establish my own religion. Modern godmen are the best examples.
Fr. Griffiths further writes: “At our prayer we have from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagvadgita”. I do not know what is the purpose of Fr. Griffiths in reading these texts. lf one studies all these texts with on open mind, one soon discovers that there is nothing which can help one, as an Christian, in one’s faith. Then what purpose does the reading of these texts serve? Here below I may give a short account of all these texts.
The religion of the Vedas is inspired by the belief in the efficacy of gods. A Vedic hymn in a ritual act is always utilised with the purpose of accomplishing some material gain. In the hymns of the Rig Veda we find a naive belief in the destructive potency of the gods who unless invoked and propitiated would pour down wrath upon the helpless creatures in form of death, disease, famine, and so on. These hymns, as Max Muller points out, are the “native songs of simple herdsmen extolling mighty nature around them.” The belief in the magical power of the hymn is uppermost in the minds of the people. The belief in magic is such that some scholars think of the Vedas as the books of magical techniques.
Vedas and Efficacy of Sacrifice
The religion of the Vedas is inspired by the belief in the efficacy of sacrifice. It is a religion of the priest who, through sacrifices, barters with the gods of nature. These gods are the personfi-cation of the forces of nature. The Vedic religion is utility oriented combined with, and based on, the belief in the terrible potency of gods. The poets of the Vedas conceive these gods as mighty, terrible and full of devastating strength.
These gods are praised and extolled in so far as they prove helpful to the priest in obtaining material benefits. It is a polytheism in which no true reverence is shown to the gods. It is round these gods that the institution of sacrifice is developed the point is this: What sort of inspiration or revelation does Fr. Griffiths find in the Vedas? Is the Holy Scripture lacking in sacrifices? I want to know where he draws the line of distinction between the natural revelation and the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
As far as the Upanishads are concerned, we cannot, in the words of S. Dasgupta, find any coherent system of thought or doctrine in them. We find in them magic and esoteric mysticism, nihilism, pantheism and monism. The early speculation is materialistic in the sense that the ultimate reality is identified with breath, water, food, etc. There is even a tendency to transcend morality.
In the Vedas the fear of God is prevalent in the Brahmanas the fear of god’s is subdued through sacrifice, whereas the Upanishads teach to ignore gods in order to become God.
The philosophy of the Upanishads is permeated with deep pessimism. The world and human life have no value in themselves. The main thesis of the Upanishads is: myself is not different from the differenceless Brahman. Hence the conclusion: nothing exists apart from my own self. This theory is expressed in the following statements:
Thou art that; This individual soul is the absolute: I am Brahman, and Consciousness is Brahman.
In conclusion we may give the brief summary of the philosophy of the Upanishads:
(1) This would is not ex nihilo created by God. It emanates from the absolute. The absolute itself is not aware of this fact. The world is a sort of deceptive magic.
(2) The absolute and the soul are identical
(3) There is neither sin nor goodness. They are relative terms.
(4) Everything is a reflection of the absolute. Nothing is real.
I am astonished at the fact Fr. Griffiths, knowing all these things yet persists in Hinduising Christianity. Finally I would like to know whether he has obtained the permission of his local Bishop in practising Hinduism in the garb of Christianity especially now that the Sacred Congregation of Worship has explicitly forbidden any experimentation. Let him be honest. He cannot serve two masters in one breath.
Appendix – XI
Good Priests Expose Growing Paganism in Church in India
The Laity is happy to have secured two important letters written by two good priests which should make the readers realise that the campaign The Laity has been carrying on for the past many years is not a mere will-o-the wisp but a stark reality. Fr. Xavier’s letter to the Cardinal President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India and Fr. Chacko’s letter* to all the Bishops in India contain enough material written by two very responsible priests which should compel the attention of the Holy See and cause serious concern to the Holy Father. That such a sad state of affairs exists in India and has not been brought properly to the notice of the Holy See is a proof of how there are wheels within wheels even in Vatican which can camouflage facts and not let the Holy Father know them. But the Holy Spirit will act in His own Mysterious ways and not all the Lourduswamys and his allies can bluff the Holy Father for all time. Truth, like murder will one day be out and when it is known, we all confident Pope John Paul II will with strength and justice do the right thing to save the church in India. While we all legitimately cry ourselves hoarse over Tyagi’s Bill, it is a pity that we do not cry with shame and anguish at the internal state of affairs in the Church. Why cry and protest that our rights to convert are being threatened when we ourselves are being reconverted to all kinds of paganism? How many Bishops have openly challenged Amalorpavadas and exposed him? Most of them are scared of his brother. Lourduswamy who holds the purse strings of the Propaganda money. But how long will that money flow in? The ostentation and waste that we see around us is also seen with envious eyes by others so the laity have a serious reason to join the All India Laity Congress and protect the legitimate rights of the Church from mismanagement inside and oppression from outside. Awake, arise or be for ever fallen! (Editor) *See Appendix XII
H. E. Cardinal L. T’ Picachy
President of CBCI
32, Park Street
An introduction is needed to avoid misunderstanding as to why I write this letter. My intention is not to attack or denigrate any person in the CBCI or others holding positions in the Church but to express sincerely my views and feelings on their attitude and on their words and works affecting the church in India. It is a matter of conscience and I can not be a silent spectator to what is happening in the Church. The responsible persons in the CBCI may be doing things with good intention, but the following is the impression I get and what I feel.
Fr. K. D. Xavier
Diocese of Meerut
Diocesan Director of Catechetics
St. John’s Seminary, P.O. Sardhana- Dist.
Meerut (U.P.) 250342
Just yesterday I received from NBCLC Bangalore, a letter in the name of the Chairman of the Catechetics, Most Rev. Leobard D’ Souza of Nagpur, asking me to encourage parents to attend a seminar at NBCLC. But I can only discourage persons from going there for a seminar, because once a nun went from here for a seminar there and now she does not believe any more in the infallibility of the Pope. Besides I have my own experience of four months there for an intensive course! In the letter His Grace says that the Catechetical movement in India has made steady progress and has gone along sound lines. I do no think so. It may be correct to say: “the catechetical movement in India has made steady progress towards Hinduisation of the Church.” I read in the Catholic papers the praise and approval of Amalorpavadas’ work at the NBCLC by the same Chairman. But it does not correspond to the truth if one knows the criticisms levelled against the NBCLC in this matter. The so called progress exists only in the voluminous reports (better to keep quiet about the wastage of money) published by Amalorpavadas from time to time. From this it is clear that either the chairman does not know what is being done by the secretary but just puts signature to whatever the secretary present to the chairman, thus exploiting the Catholics in India under the name of the CBCI or the chairman and secretary are one in the programme of HINDUISATION of the church through NBCLC. [Emphasis theirs]
His Grace had conducted a Questionnaire on catechetics. I too had wasted my time answering it thinking that he is sincere about it. But the so called All India Catechetical Meeting passed without hearing any criticism of the catechetical works by the NBCLC. That means the Questionnaire was an eye wash. At least I had criticised the NBCLC series on catechism which are defective both in content and method according to the General Catechetical Directory which the NBCLC has ignored and left to the laity to publish it. The All India Laity Congress published it in 1977. Until then the Directory was not available in India. That again means every opposition voice or criticism of NBCLC is suppressed. In the same way, the Statement passed by all the 172 participants of the All India Catechetical Meeting is another proof that all the documents passed in the NBCLC are the results of manipulation behind the scene by the organizers who based on the mass psychology and techniques of group dynamics get all the participants to approve pre-prepared resolutions and statements. lf there were sincere freedom of expression and opinion and if they were, recorded, there should have been at least one or more participants among 172 who disagreed with the statement. Even the Ecumenical Councils record shows clearly that there are those who disagree with a document. But at the NBCLC in AII the ALL INDIA MEETINGS all the statements and resolutions are passed with-out a single dissenting voice!! Perhaps the same method is followed in the CBCI meetings. Thus he so called ALL INDIA MEETINGS at the NBCLC is a FARCE. The resolutions and statements passed there, let it be on Liturgy or Catechetics, are with-out value since they do not take into consideration the criticisms and dissenting opinions and because they were pre-planned and prepared by the organizers of such meetings who are fanatics of inculturation and Hinduisation. Besides such meetings are merely an exercise by the high command of the CBCI who are bent on Hinduising Christianity in India.
OPPOSITION BY MAJORITY
The majority of the Laity and many Bishops and priests oppose this unwarranted Hinduisation based on false premises such as: only Hindus are Indians and only Hindu culture is Indian culture.
Knowingly or unknowingly those Bishops and protagonists of Hinduisation and false inculturation, engaged in the brainwashing of clerics, Brothers, Nuns, and laity through the major seminaries and through seminars at the NBCLC, are betraying the Catholic Church. They are like agents of Jan Sangh and Aryasamajists, speaking the same language. And the Hindus know this. So no wonder they want to pass an anti-conversion bill. Naturally, if we all become Hindus, removing the crosses from our churches and exposing Hindu deities like Nataraja, Trimurthi, Shiva as Amalorpavadas had done at NBCLC (strange, no Bishop dares to pull down those Hindu idols and erect a cross on it!) there will be no opposition from the Hindus. And if we propagate that all religions are equally good and so stop conversion and Baptism, as the Hinduisation group is doing (see the editorial of Vaidika Mitram of January 1979 edited by disciples of Amalorpavadas) there will be no need for anti-conversion bill.
CHRISTIANITY HINDUSM BOTH FOREIGN ORIGIN
The question is whether we should be converted to Hinduism or we should uphold our God given right to follow a religion of our choice, Catholicism. lf we want to follow Christ and live ‘like Christians, we may have to face persecution which is the story of heroic Christians in the history of the Church. If we lose our identity as Christians and become one with Hindus in our life and worship, we betray Christ.
We cannot deny that Catholicism is a foreign religion founded by Jesus Christ in Palestine. So it is foreign to all countries except Palestine. And so is Islam in India and yet they remain with their identity of life and worship. Hinduism too is foreign, though the Hindus may not accept it, since it originated from Aryans and other foreigners who came to India 2 or 3 thousand years before Christianity came to India. So what? Have we not the freedom to follow a foreign religion? Can I not keep my identity as a Christian and yet be a true Indian? So why this attempt to Hinduise? Don’t fool me by telling that we are only Indianising & inculturating by removing missionaries (if people follow western culture, who can stop them? Am I not free to follow a culture of my choice? If it is, why are these Hindu deities exposed at the NBCLC? Why is there no cross on the chapel there? Why insist on Hindu Scriptures in our Liturgy. Why this talk of Indian theology based on Hindu thoughts. Why this OM, the Hindu religious symbol and word introduced into the church and sung at the meeting of Asian Bishops at Calcutta? And finally why the notorious 12 Points were drawn from Hindu religion and invalidly violating the regulations of the Constitution on Liturgy were imposed on the Laity who was never consulted on these points?
PAGAN 12 POINTS
Inspite of all the attempts to defend the 12 points and the propaganda that they were introduced according to the constitution, the fact remains that they were falsely presented to Rome and got the approval through His Grace Lourdusamy in 10 days I say falsely, for two reasons: first, it did not have the required two third majority of the then existing Bishops as proved by Bishop Gopu; secondly it violated the constitution on Liturgy by taking elements from Hindu religion while Constitution allows not from other religions but from their way of life by introducing elements which are bound up with error and superstition forbidden by the constitution by taking elements which do not harmonize with the authentic spirit of our Liturgy as demanded by constitution, by admitting elements which do not grow organically from forms already existing as required by the Constitution and finally by introducing elements which are innovations which the good of the church genuinely and certainly does not require.
Please read the article by Rev. Fr. Peter Lobo in the ‘LAITY’ of Feb. 1979 on inculturation’. Things from other religions cannot be just imposed on the Catholics. In the name of Indianisation and inculturation what is being done is systematic Hinduisation reducing Catholicism to Hindu religion. It is a matter of conscience for me. I cannot equate the Holy Trinity with Hindu Trimurti* or recite OM while claiming to be a Christian.
*Saccidananda or Sachidananda
HIGH AND MIGHTY
When I see the imperious attitude of the high command in the CBCI and of their agents in the Major Seminaries and at NBCLC and the derision with which they reject and suppress the dissenting voice let it be from Bishops, priests or laity (even the editors of the Catholic papers were warned by the Secretary of the CBCI not to publish opinions opposed to Hinduisation & most of the editors have become ‘yes men’ to the Secretary of the CBCI). Not even during emergency such censorship was enforced). I have a real feeling that today the church in India is ruled by a caucus in the CBCI, if I may be permitted to use a current political terms, imposing its will of Hinduisation of the church under the adjective ‘Indian’ by which they mean only ‘Hindu’, through the major seminaries and NBCLC. Many Bishops are silent Spectators while a few have come out giving expression to their feelings.
I also feel that His Grace Lourdusamy after his tour of India recently, praising all that the ‘caucus’ and their agents are doing will present a bright picture of the Church in India also to the Pope, ignoring the ‘agony of the church and the disastrous consequences of the Hinduisation movement in the Liturgy, Catechetics and Major Seminaries.
That is why I am not sending copies of this letter to all the Bishops of India and to the Pope. I am not sending it to the press, while I have no objection, if a Bishop wants to release it to the press, as there is nothing secret in this letter. I hope the Bishops in the coming meeting of the CBCI will take into consideration the article by Fr. Peter Lobo in the ‘LAITY and withdraw the notorious 12 points from our Liturgy. I also hope that the Bis-hops will take notice of the editorial in the Vaidika Mitram and stop this ill conceived Hinduisation and concentrate on more serious problems facing the church from outside forces. [Emphasis theirs]
Requesting Your Eminence’s blessing remain
Your Eminence’s obedient servant
Fr. K.D. Xavier
Diocese of Meerut
(The heading and emphasis are ours. Ed.)
Reprint from THE LAITY May, 1979
Appendix – XII
NBCLC’S Tenth Intensive Training Course X-rayed
By an Important Participant
To the members of the CBCI,
Some facts and observations from the 10th Intensive Training Course, conducted at the NBCLC of the CBCI, Bangalore, from Sept. 19th to Dec. 8th, 1978.
We were 91 in number and the majority of us were sisters. Others were mostly priests, a few brothers and one lay person. 20 of us were from other countries as Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, and Fiji Islands.
We felt that the course was quite well organized, interesting and useful in general. The director, Rev. Fr. Amalorpavadas is to be praised for his great knowledge, hard work, and his organizational qualities.
But unfortunately the course which had started so well was marred by certain unhappy incidents that gradually took away from the participants all the initial faith and confidence which they had placed in the director and his staff.
RULES COUNT, BUT NOT PERSONS
During the course we experienced that we were often treated as children to uphold certain rules. A certain sister came all alone and all the way from Bombay by train to attend the course. She arrived about 12 hours late, that too due to a train accident, being held up all the night in some lonely place beyond Bangalore. She was not admitted for the course until after a long time and after three interviews with the director, each time making her shed many bitter tears. She was even told that she should have foreseen that such accidents could take place and should have come well in time.
An Italian priest came all the way from Rome to attend the course, but arrived late. The reason was his own father suffered a heart attack on the very day he was to leave, He sent a telegram to Fr. Amalor, called his own brother from Argentina to look after his father, left immediately for Bangalore for the course and reached five days late for the three months course having not received Amalor’s telegram asking him not to come. He had to wait four and half hours to get an audience with the director. He was reminded of the rules and was told to wait till the following morning when he would be told after mature consideration and prayer whether he could join or not. He too waited in anxiety and prayer all the night, and in the morning he was told that he could not be admitted due to certain principles and values, and he was asked to go back. Some of the participants interceded and pleaded for him, but they were told not to interfere in the administration as that was not their business. But just when he was about to leave, he was told “you may stay if you like, but I want you to know that I am allowing you not because some fathers came to plead for you, but I am making a fresh and new decision”.
DEATH OR LIFE, RULE IS RULE
One of the participants, one parish priest from North Malabar got two telegrams and a trunk call one after the other informing him of the death of-a sister superior of his parish. As he was the only priest in the parish, and also being the founder of both the parish and the convent they insisted that he should bury the dead superior, especially as he could go and come back the next day or the following. But our “Guru” would not allow that and told him: “You may go if you like, but then don’t return”; and the poor parish priest stayed back in tears to the great shock and embarrassment of the sisters, his parishioners and all those who came to know about it.
NO MERCY, NO PARDON, GO
Towards the 2nd half of the course, one of the participants, a priest who is also the novice master asked permission to go for the religious profession of his only sister who was eagerly waiting for him. He was told by the director, “l would request you to drop the idea and stay back”. As it was only a request and not a clear command, the priest went without further permission. He came back after being absent only for two working days. He was promptly told to discontinue the course. He humbly asked pardon and even promised to ask pardon publicly from the whole community if he had caused bad example; no mercy was shown. The participants who by this time had built up such an intimate and deep relationship among themselves, finding their companion in tears took pity on him and wanted to plead for him with the following petition addressed to Fr. Amalor: “Dear Fr. Amalorpavadass, We the undersigned participants of the 10th IT Course would like to express our fraternal concern for Rev. Fr. N. who has been asked to discontinue the course. Although his mistake is evident in this case we would be happy if you kindly allow him to be with us till the end of the course. Yours Sincerely, NNN”.
INHUMAN AND INDECENT BEHAVIOUR
As the above petition was being signed by the participants, the director himself, being informed try his own well trained spies (i.e., his staff especially of sisters, who are nicely distributed in the hostels of both fathers and sisters for night and day duty) came personally and got the petition snatched away from the sisters’ hands as it was being signed, shouting at and insulting a priest and chasing him away in front of the sisters, giving him a warning. Then promptly he made arrangements to remove the priest concerned from the NBCLC with a sense of victory and triumph. But the faith and confidence of the participants were totally shattered and a terrible tension in the community mounted up almost to the point of an open rebellion. The good sisters from whose hands that pleading petition had been snatched away by force felt that their basic rights were violated in such a mean and indecent manner by the director who appeared no more a director but a tyrant dictator. Those very sisters who would have adored him before, now started remarking about him: “He preaches like Christ but behaves like the devil”. “Now we are frightened even to look at him.” “He has brain but no heart”. “He preaches liberation, but he is the biggest oppressor,” etc.
NOT THE POPE, BUT AMALOR IS INFALLIBLE
At the request of many of the participants the director agreed for a common discussion on the crisis and tension in the community. The director in his introduction which lasted over an hour spoke about himself, and then systematically justified each and every one of his actions as if he did not have even the slightest shadow of human weakness on his part. Inspite of that, 21 of the participants including sisters both Indian and foreign, spoke up during the discussion and some speaking more than once, and all of them directly or indirectly condemned the unchristian and inhuman behaviour of our director towards our community. Still our holy Guru would not recognize the Spirit working through the community, but have a self-justifying answer for each one and concluded the discussion inconclusively. So also the IT course came to a close still without easing the tension and without a farewell function to express a word of thanks to the director, staff or anyone else. The 8th of Dec. was the happy concluding day, the feast of Fr. Amalor himself, but he in his deep humility declined even to be greeted by the participants who wanted at least to wish him a Happy Feast.
INTER PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP (IPR) SEX?
One of the highlights of the course was the fostering of IPR. Besides the many lectures on IPR, we had a night long discussion on sex relationship, physical expressions of love etc. It started at 8.30 p.m. and lasted till 2.30 a.m. of the following morning which was very short compared with the one during the previous course which had lasted till 4.00 a.m. in the morning. Most of the participants persevered till the end anxiously and curiously waiting for the solemn conclusion given by the director as to how far and how deep one can go in fostering IPR, The happy and infallible conclusion given by the director, in short was:
“Let us begin from the end, say, intercourse; of course that is not allowed by the Church. But there are opinions that permit even that, I don’t hold it, and the magisterium does not permit it (nor do I condemn it as none has the right to condemn). As the attraction towards each other is good and normal, so also the physical expression of love is good and normal. Of course we have to be mature and honest, respect each other’s feelings, agree as to what sign to use and must not scandalize anyone… etc.
From this one can logically conclude the necessary consequences that would follow within the walls of the NBCLC of the CBCI, where all are taken to be mature and honest and well instructed IPR. No wonder, quite a few priest-nun pairs emerged and were noted deepening their IPR often through the greater part of the night, some even spending week-ends together elsewhere. Of course, no one has the right to judge or get scandalized. Even if all this is natural and normal for those who are mature and learned, as our director, many of us thought that it is a little too early to go that deep as most of us are not that mature, especially since the church’s law of celibacy is not yet abolished.
THE DEATH OF TWO POPES
It was during our courses that both Pope Paul and John Paul I passed away. Our course for self renewal and church renewal was so intense and important that not even a memorial service was arranged in the NBCLC nor could we attend one held elsewhere in the town. Instead we had two long conferences exposing all the dirty politics and intrigue played by the cardinals in electing both John Paul I and John Paul II, in such detail as if Amalor was one of those cardinals in the conclave. It undermined the usual love and respect one used to have for papacy and the hierarchy. (Emphasis ours).
AN EVIL CHURCH
Great stress was given on the negative influence of the church in the world as a stabilising factor perpetuating the evils of injustice and unjust political systems as capitalism and nothing is said about the positive side. This makes one lose his ordinary respect and esteem for the church.
Although inculturation is good and useful there was an exaggerated stress as though all that was done in the past was totally wrong and evil. We felt inculturation for the sake of inculturation even against the traditional feelings and background of the people does more harm than good. The traditional values and significations of the cross for example in our Christian life cannot be replaced so easily by other signs and symbols. The two court cases against the NBCLC should be an eye-opener for the hierarchy not to let minor issues such as an insignificant picture or a window grill be a cause of dividing the people of God in the name of inculturation.
TO THE SUPREME COURT
The participants were told by the director himself that the- CBCI would not hesitate even to go as far as to the Supreme Court in order to defend the case concerning the catechism picture, as values and principles are involved. What greater values can there be than that of Christian love and unity? Does going to the Supreme Court help the church in any way? If those who went to the court first acted an unchristian and foolish manner, should the CBCI be more unchristian by trying to appeal to the Supreme Court? What has the church or the CBCI to lose in replacing one or two pictures in a catechism book with others which can be a little more decent and more appealing to the ordinary people? One evil should not be corrected with a greater evil and this childish and ridiculous case could be settled with little more Christian charity, dialogue and good sense on both sides.
SUPER HUMAN OR SUPERNATURAL
Our director works, according to his own words, 20 to 22 hours a day and is always at peace, being in a continuous state of prayer. He must be a real saint for that matter, and a superhuman being. But the participants are ordinarily just human beings with whom the director must have found it difficult to adjust. That is why during almost all the long courses in the NBCLC we are told there were crises – tensions and protests. As the NBCLC is the organ and property of the CBCI, it would be very kind and charitable for the CBCI to alleviate the excessive burden of work of Fr. Amalor so that he can spare more time to relate himself better with the participants. Fr. Amalor is too precious a person for Indian Church that we cannot afford losing the benefits of his service in church renewal. But renewal should not come as it is coming from just one authoritarian and, superior individual imposing it on everyone else. It should be a combined effort of the whole hierarchy of India in friendly collaboration and corporation with the priests and laity of every region. For this purpose it would be proper that the NBCLC or the National Centre be run by a small team of experts taken from the different regions rather than one autocratic individual with a staff that knows just to carry out his orders. It that case also Fr. Amalor will be able to work only 9 to 12 hours daily instead of 20 to 22 hours. He will be able to write more books and give more lectures and he will be appreciated not only abroad but especially in India. He can also have time and leisure to devote to pastoral apostolate on church renewal not only in theory but especially in practice. Thus may be live longer and happier to do more good in the church.
SHARED VIEWS NOT MY VIEW
Although all that is written above is written by me personally, it faithfully represents the authentic views and feelings shared by the participants of the 10th IT Course at Bangalore and expressed in different ways on different occasions in small and big groups. This is also not meant to water down or counteract the many good things that we appreciated and experienced during the same course for which we are forever grateful to Fr. Amalorpavadass.
Father T. J. Chacko
Pastoral Principal Centre
Post Box No. 10, Imphal, Manipur
Fr. Chacko’s tongue-in-cheek letter to all the bishops of the CBCI is most revealing.
It reveals the autocratic and cruel nature of the founder-director of the CBCI’s NBCLC, Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadas, the brother of Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy who imposed both his brother as well as the NBCLC on the Indian Church in their plan to Hinduise it after obtaining the approval from Rome of the Twelve Points of Adaptation through a combination of fraud and subterfuge. This book has well documented that fact. What strikes me also is that Amalorpavadas exhibited all the symptoms of the leader of a cult: intolerance of dissent, a totalitarian attitude, the employment of well-distributed nun-spies as informers and enforcers, and significantly, the use of sleep deprivation techniques by holding sessions far into the night.
Fr. Chacko has also confirmed something else that I have been saying about the NBCLC for long: the NBCLC, like the Catholic Ashrams movement, seeks to undermine the authority of Rome, the goal being to break away from Rome and achieve autonomy, a Church OF India as several of the contributors to Kulanday’s book have pointed out. Several examples of this have been provided by Fr. Chacko alone and so there is no need for me to again refer to them here.
The Laity magazine is long since defunct. The All India Laity Congress, an organization that published the General Catechetical Directory when the Church failed to do so, went to court against the objectionable pictures in the NBCLC’s catechism, and whose meetings were attended by bishops, is also defunct.
Many of its members, ardent and conservative Catholics, seeing that their crusade to stop the Hinduisation of the liturgy and of their beloved Church did not bear fruit in their lifetimes, left the Church and became Traditionalists.
By a strange quirk of coincidence, I happen to have a connection with some of the contributors to this book.
Fr. Anastasio Gomes OCD died a few years ago, but my wife and I happened to be guests in the Carmelite Seminary in Mapusa, Goa, where he spent his last years and I was privileged to pray the rosary with him.
I wonder what happened to his treasury of books and regret that I did not get to examine and use them.
Moti Lal Pandit happened to be for some time a member of the charismatic group of St. Michael’s Church, Prasad Nagar, New Delhi, which I led from 1982 to 1991. He was a simple and unassuming character and never revealed to us his background which I came to know only after I came to Chennai in 1993. I wonder if he is still around. I hear that he was a renowned author and abhorred the Hinduisation of the Church.
As for Victor Kulanday and his wife Daisy, I got to know about them and their defense of orthodoxy only when I relocated to Chennai [formerly Madras] in 1993. They had already departed. I saw their side-by-side tombstones in the Quibble Island cemetery which also has the departed of my family members since 1964.
Since the 1920s, we had owned a huge property in San Thome, barely a hundred meters from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle and the Archbishop’s Palace [as it was then called]. We lost it to a clever, deceiving relative in the 1970s after which I left the city following different job offers. I learned that the relative could not hold on to the bungalow and grounds for more than a few years and was forced to sell it.
One of the seven people who purchased different sections of that property was Victor Kulanday. When I visited there to see who was occupying it, I found one-third of Kulanday’s portion occupied by the family of his servants to whom he had bequeathed it, having no heirs. The other two-thirds and the large terrace were occupied by the Fatima Crusader organization of banned priest Fr. Nicholas Gruner and renamed “Galilee”. I actually attended a Traditionalist Mass that was in progress in our former living room, unaware that they did not happen to have the requisite permission from the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore. However, there were a number of pious Catholics from the Legion of Mary and Sodality attending the Mass.
I also learned that part of the lower floor of the main bungalow was occupied by the family of Most Rev. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, Auxiliary Bishop of Madras-Mylapore, now Bishop of Dharmapuri.
—–END OF THE FIRST EDITION—–
An excerpt from my article BHARATANATYAM-I
National Biblical, Catechetical Liturgical Centre, (N.B.C.L.C), Bangalore
“Class diner [sic] with members of Nrityavani Dance Troup”
Click on the above link to see the pictures. You will find the
Nrityavani Dance Troupe
at table in the
with beer bottles and mugs filled with beer. For an institution that is hell-bent [literally] on “INCULTURATING” the Liturgy of the Holy Mass, this is as counter-cultural as it can get. This, too, is an example of the double standard — adopted by many priests who vigorously promote inculturation, doing the eastern act at Mass and walking the western walk the rest of the time — which I will expose in my forthcoming article “Inculturation or Hindu-isation?”
The following unfortunately is from a Traditionalist source. The author is Cornelia R. Ferrera, a follower of Nicholas Gruner. I reproduce the sections of it that have a bearing on the matter of Victor Kulanday.
Reader, I DO NOT AGREE with the Traditionalist expressions/interpretations of the author of this article.
Mother Teresa “beatified” with idolatrous rites
It was a triumphant day for paganism. Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy had reached the zenith of his career of Hinduizing the Catholic Church, whilst his opponent, the late Indian Resistance leader Victor Kulanday, was resoundingly defeated. It was October 19th, 2003, and in front of an audience of millions (courtesy of television), Mother Teresa of Calcutta was allegedly beatified in a Hinduized papal Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
The seeds of this false worship were sown back in 1969 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and the chairman of its Liturgy Commission, Archbishop Lourdusamy of Bangalore. Their subversion of the Faith in India is exposed in Kulanday’s book, The Paganization of the Church in India.(1)
Briefly, in the name of inculturation, and with much subterfuge, Lourdusamy incorporated twelve Hindu gestures and rituals into the Sacrifice of the Mass, thus effectively Hinduizing it. Yet, since the pantheistic hodge-podge was termed “Indianization” instead of “Hinduization,” and a means of “adapting the Indian peoples’ own way of expressing reverence and worship to God the Father and to Our Lord Jesus Christ,” it received Vatican approval within ten days.
In 1963, Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium (nos. 37-40) approved inculturated liturgies, but the Tridentine Mass could not be paganized because Latin, as noted by Pius XII, was “an effective safeguard against the corruption of true doctrine.”(2) Inculturation must involve the language of a particular culture. On April 3rd, 1969, Pope Paul, disregarding previous magisterial condemnations of Mass in the vernacular as “easily productive of many evils,”(3) promulgated the vernacular Novus Ordo Mass. Twelve days later, on April 15th, Archbishop Lourdusamy personally performed the Hinduized “Mass,” with its occult mantras and idolatrous rituals, for Vatican officials, including Freemason Father (later Archbishop) Annibale Bugnini. It was Bugnini, then-Secretary of the Consilium and main architect of the Novus Ordo Mass, who illegally approved the “Twelve Points” on April 25th.(4) India had taken the lead in the syncretization of the Church.
A Theology of Inculturation
Hinduization was rapidly expanded to all aspects of the Church in India — its theology, spiritual life and moral teachings — to produce an Indian Catholic Church. Kulanday describes the intense indoctrination of priests, religious and laity by Lourdusamy, his brother, Fr. D. S. Amalorpavadass, Director of the bishops’ National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (founded by Lourdusamy(5)), and their disciples. They taught that Christ is present, though hidden, in Hinduism. Hence, He has blessed Hinduism, so all its superstition can be grafted onto Catholicism.(6)
Victor Kulanday and his wife Daisy founded a newspaper and the All India Laity Congress to expose the paganization and defend the Faith, which they did for about two decades. A petition against inculturation signed by more than 7,000 Catholics was ignored by the Bishops’ Conference, so a Congress delegation went to Rome in 1984 to petition Pope John Paul to stop the paganization. They had documented the Hindu nature of the Twelve Points, the illegality of their approval, and the exodus of disgusted Catholics to Pentecostalism. Yet Rome also did nothing, although Kulanday was a prominent Catholic who had officially represented the Holy See at international meetings.(7)
Pope John Paul elevated Lourdusamy to Cardinal in 1985 and appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches. Yet Kulanday still believed Lourdusamy and his allies could not fool Rome for ever, and Pope John Paul would “do the right thing to save the Church in India.”(8)
However, universal approval for the Hinduization and syncretization of the Church was growing, thanks to the consciousness-raising Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, founded in 1970 and supported by Paul VI and John Paul II. Cardinal Lourdusamy observes that FABC publications, the fruit of its many seminars, “have had considerable influence in the thinking of non-Asian episcopal conferences.”
The FABC’s goal is inculturation and the formation of national churches independent of Rome. It developed a “theology of inculturation” rooted in the heresy of universal salvation. It teaches that inculturation means one must adopt the spiritual rites of indigenous religions, i.e., their “popular expressions of faith and piety,” because the “seeds of the Gospel have been planted in [them] previous to evangelization.” “If the church is truly to be a ‘sign [not the means] of salvation,’ it needs to be local, for it will only communicate God’s saving love when it ceases to be structured, governed and symbolized in a foreign way.”(9)
Lourdusamy was further able to spread his ideas by serving as Prefect for Oriental Churches and as Secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, and as a member of numerous Curial bodies. At the Asian Bishops’ Synod in 1998, in the presence of the Pope, he opined, “If Christianity in Asia is to take root and bear fruit, inculturation is a necessity. But inculturation must begin with the roots and not with the branches.” The Church in Asia “needs to listen to what the Spirit is saying to her through faiths other than Christian, where the ‘seeds of the Word … lie hidden.'” The Church in Asia must “inculturate the faith to allow Christ to be reborn and reveal His Asian face….”(10)
Their Man in the Vatican
But for a Mass incorporating pagan rites to be accepted by the whole Church, it would require a papal “imprimatur.” For this, the Hinduizers needed a man in the Vatican, and they found him: the Pope’s Master of Ceremonies since 1987, Archbishop Piero Marini. His credentials for actually Hinduizing a papal Mass would stem from his being personal secretary to Archbishop Bugnini,(11) the prelate who gave Lourdusamy permission to Hinduize the Mass in India.
Marini is Bugnini’s protégé. According to Inside the Vatican,(12) Bugnini personally recruited him from a small-town seminary to continue his ordination studies at St. Anselm Liturgical Institute in Rome. Immediately after ordination in 1965, Marini entered the Curia and was “involved in implementing” Vatican II’s liturgical revolution.
Marini is personally responsible for “creative” papal Masses. He does not seem to see the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary re-enacted by Jesus — i.e., God — Himself. He sees it as a “celebration” planned “with a view toward the result one wants to obtain.” The celebration is “acting upon a stage. Liturgy is also a show.”(13) Unfortunately, “[m]ore people have watched Masses planned by Marini than by any other liturgist in the world, which gives him enormous power to shape the public idea of what Catholic worship is all about.”(14) Undoubtedly, the Holy Father enjoys Marini’s confections because he consecrated him bishop in 1998 and archbishop in October 2003.
Remember that inculturation, as defined by the Asian Bishops, means using the popular means of expression of indigenous religions. Marini thanks Vatican II and the Pope’s travels for aiding the cause of liturgical inculturation. He makes the novel claim that native dances express the “universal” character of papal liturgies.(15) Nationalistic liturgies, however, not only fracture the unity and true universality of the Church’s worship, but they also introduce the element of paganism.
An important step in paganization was to get “liturgical” dance into the Mass. But the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, with Bugnini as Prefect, had said the following in 1975:
Dance has never constituted an essential part in the official liturgy of the Latin Church. If local Churches have introduced the dance, at times even in the temples, this was on occasion of feasts in order to show feelings of jubilation and devotion. But the dance always took place outside the liturgical actions.(16) Conciliar decisions have often condemned the religious dance, as not befitting worship, and also because it could degenerate into disorders … hence, it is not possible to introduce something of that sort in the liturgical celebration; it would mean bringing into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and this would mean the same as introducing an atmosphere of profanity….(17)
Nevertheless, an implicit imprimatur for profanity has been given by papal Masses featuring dancing. For Marini, inculturation means integrating the music, language and physical movement of a certain culture or religion,(18) so native dance has become de rigeur, not only “outside the liturgical actions,” but also during Mass. Once the profanity was explained away as a culture’s “expression of jubilation” on special occasions (like papal visits), then dance as an element of pagan rites could be introduced without anyone suspecting their true significance.
A Dress Rehearsal
The dry run for Mother Teresa’s beatification was the Pope’s Mass in New Delhi in November 1999. Secular news reports stated the event was “laced with Hindu [not Indian] symbolism” and involved “traditional temple rituals.”(19) Indeed, with papal approval, the podium, altar, decorations, vestments, the Mass, and speeches were all linked to Diwali, the Hindu “Festival of Lights” being celebrated that day. According to Father Ignatius, an organizer, the theme of the service was Diwali. Parallels were drawn between Christ, the Light of the World, and this pagan feast (20) whose major aspect is the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. (There is heavy gambling at this time.)
Besides material wealth, the goddess also brings the spiritual wealth of occult “inner illumination” and “self-enlightenment” into the darkness of spiritual ignorance, and this light is symbolized by the lit clay lamps that give the feast its name. Hindus worship light as the symbol of inner consciousness or knowledge, and they worship this knowledge as “the Supreme Lord,” the god within, the greatest form of wealth. Thus, “all auspicious ceremonies commence with the lighting of the lamp.”(21) So the papal Mass began with five people lighting an oil lamp.(22)
Equating Christ with this idolatry in which business account books are worshipped and cows receive special adoration as incarnations of the goddess Lakshmi(23) is blasphemy and pantheism, the heresy condemned by Blessed Pius IX, that teaches God is one with the universe, falsehood with truth, evil with good.(24) It is disingenuous for Abp. Marini to allege that the Hindu Diwali is a “non-sectarian feast of lights to celebrate life and thank God [which one?] for all his blessings and the righteousness of his dealings with human beings.”(25)
Now, during the Canon of the Mass, at the Doxology, with the Holy Father holding aloft the Sacred Species — i.e., with Jesus present on the altar — a triple arati ritual was performed by young ladies (Marini) or seven nuns (The Tribune).(26) This involved a pushpa arati, the waving of a tray of flowers with a burning light in the centre, and the showering of flower petals; dhupa arati, the homage of incense; and deepa arati, the homage of light, waving of camphor fire, and the ringing of bells, accompanied by a Hindu Tamil hymn.(27)
Camphor symbolizes the purifying cycle of reincarnations needed until one becomes divine. Hindus believe the ringing of the bell produces the “auspicious sound” OM, “the universal name of the Lord.”(28) OM is also the supreme Hindu god Krishna and it has sexual and black magic meanings. In 1980, Wladislaw Cardinal Rubin, Lourdusamy’s predecessor as Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, forbade the use of OM in Christian worship because it is “an essential, integral part of Hindu worship.”(29) So OM was slid into the papal Mass, disguised as bells!
The lamp lighting and arati rituals were also done at the beatification Mass of Mother Teresa. (The meaning of arati will be explained shortly.) Cardinal Lourdusamy, chief architect of Hinduizing the Church in India, was a co-celebrant with Pope John Paul at the Hinduized Mass of Beatification. Although taking place in Rome, not India, it was inculturated following another rule of Abp. Marini. Monsignor Michael Wren, a commentator on the Knights of Columbus-funded EWTN broadcast of the ceremonies, said Marini “has explained that there is an attempt to incorporate cultural expressions from the nations from which new saints or blesseds come.” The matter-of-fact patter of Monsignor Wren and co-host Raymond Arroyo added a surreal air to the broadcast as they seemed anaesthetized, unable even to express surprise at the obvious novelties. Their nonchalance helped tranquillize viewers into accepting paganism as a nice cultural touch. The mark of a Modernist is his love of novelty. In his condemnation of Modernism, Pope St. Pius X exclaimed, “Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and the obstinate mind.”(30)
The Abomination of Desolation
After the Kyrie of the Mass and the beatification, a Hindu puja (worship) ceremony commenced. Puja has varying steps, but always includes the welcoming of the deity and offerings of gifts of flowers, incense and lighted lamps to it, accompanied by prostrations and bows. Worship with these gifts is demanded by the gods, for their gratification and the prosperity of the offerer, in the classical Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata.(31) The temple lamp is lit wick after wick, following the placement of flowers at the foot of the idol. As explained above, lamp lighting denotes the worship of light and the beginning of a Hindu ceremony; it is also fire worship, fire being a god. The type, colour and scent of the flowers chosen are particular to each deity. To appease angry deities, especially females, gifts include the blood and flesh of sacrificed animals. The puja is also part of the worship of a guru, saint or honored guest, “as representative of the deity.” The ceremony ends with an arati.(32)
The beatification’s puja followed this pattern! There was a procession of “gifts” of flowers, candles in clay lamps, lit glass lamps, and a large framed heart icon and ampoule containing the blood of Mother Teresa. This reliquary was placed on a small table near the altar. (Monsignor Wren “believed” the blood “was extracted at the exhumation of the body.” This was either sloppy reporting or deliberate disinformation as it was well known that the body was not exhumed.) With deep bows, sari-clad women did a deepa arati with the clay lamps to the altar area, crowd and reliquary, accompanied by Indian chanting and drumming. Young girls laid blue and white flowers (signifying the colours of Mother’s habit?) at the foot of the icon on the table, and other people placed the glass lamps, one by one, on the lamp stand in front of it. A Hindu might be forgiven for thinking Mother Teresa — or her blood — was worshipped, perhaps in solidarity with those Hindus who consider her a goddess, and even equivalent to the bloodthirsty goddess Kali, who also embodies compassion.(33)
Monsignor Wren found what he termed the “gifts ceremony” “extremely moving,” and the chants “a very, very special treat for all of us.” He did not name the recipient of the gifts or explain why they were needed. The gifts ceremony is Point 10 of Lourdusamy’s Twelve Points for Hinduizing the Mass.(34)
Now, in the most solemn part of the Mass, the Canon, the faithful contemplate Jesus crucified. In the Tridentine Mass, the prayers are recited silently by the priest in memory of the awful hours during which Jesus hung on the cross, bearing in silence the scoffs and blasphemies of the Jews.(35) But, as in Delhi, just before the Our Father in the Beatification Mass, Jesus had to endure a blasphemous Hindu ritual.
Whilst two clerics held aloft the consecrated Host and Wine (i.e., Jesus Himself), after the Great Amen, a troupe of middle-aged-to-elderly women, dressed in saris the colours of the Indian flag, sashayed along the foot of the altar to the beat of a hokey tune. They held metal trays covered with flowers. Some trays had flames in the middle, others had incense sticks. Monsignor Wren (or Arroyo?) announced a “special liturgical rite, arati, according to the Indian cultural custom.” (Zenit News later reported that arati is an “Indian rite of adoration and reverence and intimacy with God, used in solemn Masses.”(36))
Suddenly one was jolted by the abrasive discordant wails of a Tamil chant and Indian instruments as the women went to work. The trays with flames were held aloft and circled around clockwise, flowers and petals were strewn (deepa and pushpa arati), and the incense sticks were offered up (dhupa arati). Viewers were told the chant was, “Lord, we adore you with light, we adore you with incense, we adore you with flowers.” Enthusiastic clapping and cheering greeted this “entertainment” that disguised a Hindu ritual.
As explained above, adoration with flowers, incense and light is demanded by the Hindu gods. Arati is defined as a temple ritual in which a fire on a plate is waved in front of a deity in a clockwise direction.(37) We have already seen that light is worshipped as the Supreme Lord of inner consciousness. The one who burns the arati becomes divine and escapes the purifying cycle of reincarnation.(38) The clockwise direction symbolizes one’s divinity, worshipped in the exterior idol.(39)
Now, an early-nineteenth century French Missionary, Abbé Dubois, who spent thirty years in south India, wrote a highly-acclaimed book, Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Like Sts. Thomas and Francis Xavier, he discovered no seeds of the Word (i.e., Christ) hidden in Hinduism; rather, he found that Hindus “appear to have surpassed all the other nations … in the unconscionable depravity with which so many of their religious rites are impregnated.” Regarding Hindu music, he said, “Every note of the Hindu scale has a mark characteristic of some divinity, and includes several hidden meanings….”(40)
Arati, he reported, is performed only by married women (which might explain the mature age of the women during the Canon) and courtesans (dancing girls and prostitutes of the temples).(41)
Arati is the most important Hindu ritual, performed during almost all ceremonies. Arati, meaning misfortune or pain, is also worshipped as the goddess Arathi, to appease her anger. The invocations are to her.(42) The ritual is done “to please the deity with bright lights and colours and also to counteract the evil eye.” It is thus also performed in public or private on idols, important people, children, new property, crops, animals and anything valuable, to prevent harm from the evil eye. The plate takes on the power of the deity and itself becomes an idol.(43)
Does Jesus Christ, True God, need protection from the evil eye? Or did the arati symbolize that Jesus is not the true living God, but a mythological idol on par with Hindu deities? Or was the ceremony done to protect the Pope and his concelebrants? In the Hinduized Mass in India, the celebrant is greeted with arati (Point 10).(44) But in Hinduism itself, women never perform the arati on a priest inside the sanctum sanctorum. It is considered an abomination. Women are not allowed near the sacred precincts of the temple altar.(45)
The triple arati is Point 12 of the Twelve Points.(46) Therefore, it is misleading to claim that arati is an Indian way of worship. Indian Catholics never did arati or puja. These ceremonies were imposed on them in 1969. Now, 34 years later, the world is conned into believing arati is a solemn rite they have always used on special occasions.
Professor J. P. M. van der Ploeg, OP, Doctor of Sacred Theology and Sacred Scripture, said the Hinduized Mass is a “syncretistic liturgical blend” that “will break the Church’s unity. In this way, a new sect will be born: a Hindu-Christian one and it remains to be seen whether this will be predominantly Christian or Hindu.”(47) Catholicism mixed with Hinduism is pantheism, not Catholicism. Therefore, was the syncretic ceremony a valid beatification?
Our first parents also worshipped the light of forbidden “inner” knowledge in order to become divine. All idolatry is worship of Satan. Jesus died on the Cross to redeem mankind from the damnation deserved by such an abominable sin. In Delhi and in Rome, whilst hanging on the Cross, He was once again subjected to man’s worshipping the light of knowledge, proclaiming his divinity. Could the worship of Lucifer blended into a papal Mass constitute the “abomination unto desolation” of the last days?(48)
The late Valerian Cardinal Gracias of Bombay stated that Hindu pujas and mantras are “alien” to Catholic ceremonies. “In adopting forms of expression alien to our Liturgy,” he asked, “have they made sure of the specific Hindu ideology underlining those forms?” Another Indian bishop bluntly declared, “People who Indianize … are out to destroy the Catholic Church.”(49)
In 1988 Kulanday warned:
Unless the present mad craze to paganise [sic] the Faith is … given up, the 21st century will only see a hybrid form of Christianity, hardly alive but suffocated and perishing. God forbid that such a catastrophe should happen. But happen it will unless the Holy See realises [sic] the danger and acts firmly and quickly.(50)
Mercifully, he did not live to see a Hinduized Papal Mass of Beatification, which gave a papal imprimatur to the abomination that will surely spread worldwide. As Archbishop Marini notes, “The liturgy of the pope has always been imitated…. the papal liturgy has always been a point of reference for the entire church.”(51)
The goal of syncretism is the universal brotherhood of the Luciferian Masonic New World Order. One of the intentions of the Prayers of the Faithful, at the Offertory of the Beatification Mass, was: “Lord… [f]avor a universal brotherhood, the promotion of … cultures, dialogue among religions. We pray to the Lord.”
3. Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, 1794, cited in Denziger: The Sources of Catholic Dogma (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1957), no. 1566. See also nos. 1533 (Pius VI) and 956 (Council of Trent); Mediator, ibid.
4. Kulanday, pp. 16-21, 23, 37-38, 66. The experts quoted by Kulanday asserted that permission should have been given by the Congregation of Rites, not the Consilium, which was only a consultative body without legislative power.
9. Father Stephen Bevans, SVD, “Twenty-Five Years of Inculturation in Asia: The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, 1970-1995,” FABC Paper No. 78, Part II, ucanews.com, 22 November 2003. Christ’s Gospel was spread through evangelization; so the allegation that seeds of the Gospel were planted prior to evangelization is a reformulation of the heresy that Christ has always been present, but hidden, in paganism.
13. La Civiltà Cattolica interview, cited in Sandro Magister, “New Liturgies. Bishop Piero Marini Doesn’t Like TV,” www.chiesa.espressonline.it, 29 November 2003.
20. Smeeta Mishra Pandey & Sunetra Choudhury, “Pope Prays for Peace as Piety Takes Centrestage,” indianexpress.com, 7 November 1999; “Indian Elements in Holy Mass,” tribuneindia.com, 2 November 1999; Constable, ibid. Bishop Piero Marini, “Pastoral Visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to New Delhi,” search.vatican.va, 5 November 1999.
23. Explanations of Diwali were obtained on 22 November 2003 from: “Deepavali,” ibid. “About Diwali,” diwali.indiangiftsportal.com; “History of Diwali,” indiaexpress.com; Sakshi, “Diwali — A Festival of Lights,” issues-mag.com; “Diwali,” www3kumc.edu.
32. Ibid.; “All About Hindu Rituals”; Kulanday, pp. 33, 36, 75, 163; Dubois, pp. 147-48; Benjamin Walker, Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism, 2 vols., (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1968), 2:608-9; “Puja” and “Flowers,” gurjari.net, 14 November 2003.
48. Cf. Dan. 12:11: “… the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up….” The interpretation in the traditional Haydock Commentary on the Douay-Rheims Bible is: “… the abolishing of the Mass as much as possible, and the practice of heresy and abomination, unto the end of antichrist’s persecution….” The commentary on Dan. 11:31 points to idolatry in the temple of Jerusalem as the abomination. That on Matt. 24:15 says Antichrist and his precursors will attempt to abolish the Sacrifice of the Mass.
—–THE SECOND EDITION—–
The Paganization of the Church in India
By Victor J. F. Kulanday, 1988
FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
In the month of August 1984 I had the privilege and pleasure of being the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Kulanday at their home in Madras. Mr. Kulanday and other officers of the All India Laity Congress had given me many insights into the extent to which Indian Catholicism had been undermined since the Second Vatican Council. In most western countries the Church is being destroyed by a mixture of Modernism and Protestantization. It would be euphemistic to refer to a decline in post-conciliar Catholicism in the west. We are witnessing its collapse. The well known liturgist and expert adviser at the Second Vatican council, Father Louis Bouyer, has remarked that “unless we are blind we must even state bluntly that what we see looks less like the hoped-for regeneration of Catholicism than its accelerated decomposition.” Pope Paul VI himself remarked that we are witnessing the “self-destruction of the Church.” There is certainly no country in which this self-destruction is more evident than India. The dominant faction among the Indian bishops appears as intent upon plunging their Church into ecclesial suicide as was the devout Hindu widow upon committing the act of suttee. It is no small part of the suffering undergone by the true faithful in India that their plight is largely unknown outside their country. Like Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, they must undergo their agony in isolation. Their agony consists of witnessing the self-destruction of the church in India not principally through Protestantism and Modernism, although the influence of both is clearly perceptible, but through the paganization of the Church under the guise of indigenization.
I had read of the paganization for the Church in India in Mr. Kulanday’s invaluable journal The Laity, which, alas, is largely unknown outside India. It is a journal to which every concerned Catholic should subscribe. But nothing I had read prepared me adequately for the reality that I met in India. Mr. Kulanday asked me to accompany him to Bangalore. He assured me that if I did so I would receive the greatest shock of my entire life.
After almost twenty years experience of the self-destruction of western Catholicism I had considered myself un-shockable, but I was willing to give my gracious host the opportunity to prove me wrong. We set off on the night mail for Bangalore and arrived there at 5 a.m. the next day. What, I wondered, could be shocking enough to justify such a journey, especially as we were to return to Madras the same evening?
We were greeted by members of the AILC and taken to the headquarters of the NBCLC (National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Centre). This centre had been established under the auspices of the Indian hierarchy, but now, to all intents and purposes, it appears to be autonomous and independent of any episcopal control. There are certainly bishops who disapprove of what is taking place there, but they appear unwilling or unable to take any steps to suppress it. The centre receives its funds from Europe and is thus financially independent.
My arrival at the Centre with my Indian friends appeared to evoke a good deal of consternation: Members of the staff emerged from various offices and evinced a great interest in us. I expressed considerable interest in the chapel, and a Dutch priest attempted to convince me that it was an admirable expression of the ethos of Indian Catholicism. Mr. Kulanday asked him what the pot (kalasam) which surmounted its Hindu style tower (gopuram) had to do with Catholicism as, according to the Hindu Agamic rites, it is the dwelling place of the deity of the temple. In a Catholic Church the deity resides in the tabernacle! This did not please the Dutch cleric at all. He was even less pleased when, after he informed me that we must remove our shoes before entering the chapel, as this is the custom of Indian Catholics, I replied that I had visited many Catholic Churches in India, and in not one of them did the faithful remove their shoes. His response was to-send a sister to fetch a camera and photograph us all. I also asked him why he was not dressed as a priest. He replied that in Holland very few priests now wore clerical dress. I pointed out that not only was he in India, and not in Holland, but that he had professed great enthusiasm for Indian customs, and that he was the first priest I had seen since my arrival who had not been wearing a soutane. He replied that I was obviously having difficulties with Vatican II and departed hastily in a far from amicable manner.
Words cannot express the revulsion with which this, centre filled me. My hosts told me of an Australian priest they had brought there who had felt obliged to leave without entering the chapel, so deeply had its evil atmosphere affected him. In the NBCLC at Bangalore there has been built-with finance sent from Europe-what is supposed to be a Catholic chapel, but which is in reality a pagan Hindu temple. I will not describe it in any detail here as it is dealt with very fully by Mr. Kulanday in the text of his book. The chapel of the NBCLC in Bangalore is the most dramatic instance possible of what is taking place in India, the Hinduization of Catholicism in the name of cultural adaptation.
The alleged justification for the chapel of the NBCLC and the entire Hinduization programme is the Liturgy Constitution of the Second Vatican Council. Number 37 of this Constitution includes the following:
Anything in these people’s way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy, and, if possible, preserves intact. She sometimes even admits such things into the liturgy itself, provided they harmonize with its true and, authentic spirit.
Number 38 of the same Constitution states: Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman Rite is preserved, provision shall be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in the mission countries
Article 40 goes even further and states that “in some places an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed”. Even more radical than what? Presumably more radical than the “legitimate variations and adaptations,” but no definition has been given of what such variations and adaptations are. Nor has any indication been given as to what is meant by the “substantial unity of the Roman Rite” which must be preserved. There is certainly no hint that the NBCLC chapel, and the strange rites which are enacted within it, have even the most vestigial connection with the Roman Rite. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council most certainly did not anticipate that in voting for what they imagined to be a very moderate programme of adaptation they would ever be interpreted as authorizing a movement which, unless halted, must inevitably undermine and destroy the Catholic Faith in India. The Catholic Church is indefectible, it can never fail, and it can never cease to exist. But Our Lord’s promises apply to the Church as a whole, not to the Church in any particular country. There are many nations in which Catholicism once flourished, and in which it now has either ceased to exist, or exists only as an insignificant remnant.
During centuries of Protestant persecution, faithful Catholics in England had a greeting and a watchword: “Keep the Faith.” The sole object of Mr. Victor Kulanday, his journal The Laity, and of the AILC is that the Faith brought to India by St. Thomas the Apostle and by St. Francis Xavier shall be preserved. They have fought for the faith valiantly for decades now, with little help and some-times with fierce opposition from the very bishops who should be leading the fight to keep the Faith.
This new edition of Mr. Kulanday’s book is certain: to be a powerful weapon in the fight for the Faith. It will prove to Catholics in India and throughout the world that what is at stake is nothing less than a fight for the soul of the Church. They deserve the prayers, the support, and the encouragement of fellow Catholics in every country. A most effective means of showing such support would be for every reader of this book to buy additional copies, distribute them as widely as possible, and write to Rome urging immediate action to keep the faith in India. Mr. Kulanday has done his part. Let us now do ours.
St. John Chrysostom’s Feast-
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
I am extremely happy that by the grace of God and the blessings of His Holy Mother a Second Edition of this book, The Paganization of the Church in India is now possible. The paganization of the Church in India is in full swing. Literally several thousands of Catholics have left the Faith since the false inculturation process started. Neither the Bishop nor the Pro-Nuncio seem to be conscious of the devastation of the Lord’s vineyard. Even Rome has not effectively moved to investigate the havoc or to stop the contamination of the Church by paganism.
As good Catholics we cannot ever despair. We should pray more ardently for Divine intervention to save the Church in India. I humbly appeal to all those who read this book to join us in praying and to spread the news of what is happening in the Church in India among their friends urging them also to pray and to STOP giving ANY material aid to the Bishops in India whose money power seems to make them blind to the disaster that they are creating to the spiritual lives of the Faithful.
Victor J. F. Kulanday
Galilee, 6 Nimmo Road,
Madras-600 004, (India)
[The following portions are exclusive to the Second Edition –Michael]
WORSHIP OF IDOLS, SUN, FIRE, SNAKE
The gorgeous multi-coloured picture on the cover of this book is of Lord Ganapathi* an important deity Hindu pantheon. He is very popular God and Hindus of all castes worship him. *Ganpati or Ganesh
In keeping with the present trend of imitating the Hindu in everything, Catholics are now being urged by priests to worship Ganapathi. This deity with an elephant head and large ears, an enormous paunch and four hands is the favourite God of Fr. Michael Gonsalves, parish priest, Our Lady of Fatima Church, Chulna, in the Archdiocese of Bombay, the region administered by the President of the Bishops Conference of India, Most Rev. Dr. Simon Pimenta. For the past few years Fr. Michael has done aggressive propaganda to brainwash Catholics to worship Ganapathi. In the media he writes extolling Ganapathi and placing this elephant-head god above Christ in all respects.
Writing in the Marathi mass-circulation journal “NAMRATA”, Michael Jee, as he calls himself, this Catholic priest has the following ideas to propagate:
1. Michael Jee states that “If anyone wants to know the concept of the Almighty, one must break all the barriers of various religions, and study their deities and by doing this the knowledge of the Almighty will be increased and one can reach Him without having any recourse to any particular tutelar deity”.
2. Michael Jee denigrates Christ
He says “Christ sacrificed his life on the cross for the salvation of mankind but this was the only aspect of his life. He cannot be a faithful and ideal husband because he was not married. And this is where Bhagavan Ramachandra comes in to prove as an ideal husband.
He further states that “though Christ pardoned his executioners yet Lord Krishna was Supreme because he slaughtered his relatives to fulfil his duty on the battle-field.”
3. Michael Jee Advocates Worship of Ganapathi
He says “With the aid of pictures, statues and symbols Catholics are allowed to worship God. Then Catholics could also adopt idol of Ganapati as one of the visual aids to reach the Almighty”.
4. Michael Jee says Catholics do not know the symbolic meaning of Lord Ganapathi
He says no so far Catholics have not tried to understand the significance of Ganapathi. He says Ganapathi is the Deity of Knowledge and hence his head is of large size and that is why he has been given large ears to hear all our complaints. His bulging paunch accommodates all our sins and his four hands indicate All-fulfilling Salvation of mankind. And through the help of Ganapathi one can acquire know-ledge and wealth which is necessary for one’s living.”
5. Greatness of Hinduism and Narrow-Mindedness of Catholicism
While explaining the magnanimous attitude of Hinduism, Michael Jee states that wherever a Hindu encounters the divinity of the Almighty he does not feel that he disowns his own deity whereas in Catholicism there is a strict order that symbols, sacred books and liturgical norms must be universally adhered to. One is not permitted to do anything according to one’s own liking and if one is not willing to agree with the symbols, sacred books and liturgy then one must quit the Church and after leaving the Church what remains? One is a Hindu. This shows narrow mindedness of the Catholic Church and greatness of Hinduism.
6. Christ as Ganapathi
Michael Jee Says, “All the deities represent the Almighty, so if a Catholic like me can pray and meditate in a better way by sitting before an idol of Ganapathi my Church authorities must not make any objection to it.”
Ho goes one step further and says “I believe in Lord Ganapathi. He is the form of Christ, and it is therefore most appropriate to call Christ a Ganapathi. There is therefore nothing wrong if I worship Lord Ganapathi.”
Propagating the worship of Ganapathi and extolling this elephant head god above Jesus has been brought to the notice of the Archbishop of Bombay, the Pro Nuncio and Cardinal Lourduswamy too. But no action has been taken and the idol worship plus insults to Jesus continues destroying the spiritual lives of thousands of Catholics especially in Bombay Archdiocese.
Ganapathi worship did not suddenly spring up from the paganised head of Michael Jee. From the time the National Centre was established, worship of Hindu idols was one of the main activities propagated by Amalorpavadas with the knowledge of the bishops. At the National Centre a Temple in Hindu architectural style was constructed with an empty pot on top of the tower. This pot is called Kalasam and the belief is that the deity of the temple resides in that pot! The protests of Catholics against this pagan symbol went unheeded by the bishops. On the contrary the Bishops’ Conference of India at its meeting in Ranchi (1979) announced: “As there is no liturgical ruling in the matter of a cross on the roof of a church we do not see the imperative need to have a cross on top of the dome”. But the Bishops would not say a word on the irrelevance of the POT or top of the church. Silence is consent and the Bishops silence or the Pot clearly shows their approval of the Pot, its significance and its holiness. Can there be any doubt that such bishops are paganised in their thinking and in their attitude?
Inside the Temple in the National Centre there was no cross or any Catholic icon. But the traditional idols of orthodox Hinduism depicting Shiva in his dancing pose, Brahma and Vishnu adorned the massive window grills of the temple. Priests, nuns and lay folks who attended the various brain-washing seminars that were held at the Centre were asked to sit in front of these idols and meditate cross legged, literally thousands have sat and meditated on these idols totally spurning the First Commandment ever given by God Almighty – Thou Shall Not Have Strange Gods Before Me.
Through the years Catholics appealed in vain to the Bishops to have these idols removed. But the Bishops spurned these requests. Providentially a Hindu organisation filed a law suit in the Bangalore court seeking that the idols be removed from this Catholic Church where they are p1aced on the window grills If Catholics are anxious to worship these gods, they argued, the idols should be placed on the altar. The Hindus engaged one of India’s top-most lawyers Shri Parasaran, now the Government of India’s Attorney-General, to argue their case. Supporting the court case Hindu militants threatened direct action. Even a great guy like Amalorpavadas could not stand the court plus the muscle power of the Hindus. The idols wore at last removed.
It can be clearly seen from these incidents that left to the Bishops, idol worship is perfectly O.K. with them. There are instances where priests took nuns to Hindu temple to worship during their retreats. In how many convents and seminaries idol worship in one form or other is done is difficult to say. Amalorpavadas and his retinue of priests who travel all over India preaching retreats and giving orientation talks are able to force nuns and priests to sit around a Temple Lamp (Kuthuvilakku), bow to the lighted wicks and in semidarkness chant OM a thousand times and meditate. Nuns who were meditating before the Tabernacle now meditate round a temple lamp after worshipping Fire. Only Hindus and Parsees worship fire. Sikhs, Jains, Muslims do not worship fire and this worship is purely a religious ritual and has nothing to do with India’s cultural nuances. As already pointed out even during Holy Mass the touching of fire and bowing to it is very much underscored.
Worshipping the rising Sun is an important religious rite for all Hindus. The Sun called Surya Narayana, the deity worshipped with fiery devotion, rides in a chariot drawn by seven radiant horses. The Gayatri Mantra is chanted at dawn calling on Surya to bestow his splendour on the worshipper. Krishna in the Gita says: “From amongst all the shining objects, I am the Sun.” The Hindu concept of the Holy Triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is invested in the Sun.
Knowing all this background and the religious significance of worshipping the rising Sun, Amalorpavadas makes sun worship a compulsory part of all the seminars and courses conducted at the National Centre. Hindu hymns are sung and the participants prostrate and worship the sun while at Mass priests only nod their heads even at the consecration. The Holy Eucharist receives less adoration than the morning sun!
In certain places the worship of snakes has started. It is not yet so popular. Bede Griffiths has a figure of a snake with its hood up right in front of the altar behind which he squats to offer his OM chanting illicit Mass.
The latest addition to the paganisation of the Church is the worship of Buddha. A Jesuit, Ama Samy, trained in Japan is teaching Zen meditation to nuns, priests, and lay people both Indian and foreign. An integral part of the meditation is for the teacher and students to fully prostrate and worship the idol of Buddha. Buddha never claimed to be an avatara (incarnation). Yet Zen a form of Buddhism has elevated Buddha and he is worshipped as a god. And priests are propagating this idolatry in India with the full knowledge of the Jesuit Provincial and the Jesuit Archbishop of Madras.
Readers can certainly gather from the brief account given above that worship of pagan idols, fire, sun, snake and Buddha have become an integral part of the paganisation programme. All of this is done publicly; everyone knows about them and certainly the bishops are fully aware of all this. . To the simple folks all this is a mystery which they are unable to fathom. They have begun to wonder why they renounced paganism and became Catholics while today the Church is accepting and propagating all of the idols, magic words, rituals and black-magic which they had rejected. They are indeed very much perplexed. The Church has NO answer to give. But the paganisation process is encouraged and pushed along.
PETITTON TO THE HOLY FATHER
Ever since the Twelve Points were approved by the Holy See, the paganisation of the church began to defile the liturgy. The illicit Indian Rite Mass, chanting of OM, Hindu rituals and mantras have all been propagated with much enthusiasm. Dedicated Catholics have done their best to bring this sad situation to the attention of the Holy See. Futile attempts to stop the rot continue while paganisation of the Church goes galloping along.
Early 1983 our good friend the late great Hamish Fraser after much serious thinking advised that the All India Laity Congress should send a delegation to Rome with an appeal to the Holy Father to act urgently to save the Church from total destruction. Besides Mr. Hamish Fraser, Dr. Eric M. de Saventhem, Rev. Fr. Fred F. Schell, Mons Arnaud de Lassus and Mr. Michael Davies urged us to go to Rome. They backed it with their prayers and assistance.
Consequently a delegation of three lay-men and a priest-adviser went to the Holy City in June 1984. The Delegation was able to meet the important Sacred Congregations and present a copy of the petition to the Holy Father backed with ample evidence to prove the facts mentioned in it, photos, slides, cassettes, printed material etc. supplemented the Petition.
At Easter 1988 with a sad and heavy heart as leader of the delegation I have to state that the Holy See did NOT initiate ANY action even to verify the facts much less to send a Commission to probe into the truth of the paganisation peril.
The Laity have through the years fought the evil. The Bishops have either kept quiet or have fully co-operated with the paganisation movement. Paganisation is spreading with the collaboration of most Bishops and with the silent acquiescence of the weaker ones. It is a great pity that the shepherds are themselves destroying their flock.
Following is the text of the petition given to the Holy See:
PETITION TO HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II FROM THE CATHOLICS OF INDIA THROUGH THE ALL INDIA LAITY CONGRESS
May It Please Your Holiness:
We, the elected representatives of the All India Laity Congress, the largest and most active organisation of Catholics for the defense of the Faith and its propagation, prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness beseeching your kind attention and action on this our petition. In order that our petition receives your Holiness notice, we are sending it to the Vatican through a delegation of our senior members accompanied by one of the spiritual Directors of our organisation. We are also presenting this petition to Your Holiness through the kindness of some of the Prefects of the key Sacred Congregations to underscore the urgency of the matter and the seriousness of the situation in India.
Holy Father, there can be no two opinions on the policy of inculturation that you have enunciated to the church. In your address to the Pontifical Council for Culture (January 18, 1983) your emphasis was “the evangelisation of cultures” in order that “the Gospel may penetrate the soul of living cultures…” The task is a stupendous one in a country like India whose cultural kaleidoscope with over a hundred castes, 15 major languages, 60 dialects and six major religions, staggers the imagination and challenges the statesmen who seek in vain for integration and unity.
Against such a background for the church in India to resort to a process of inculturation which is meaningful and acceptable to all of the 110 dioceses in India, a very cautious approach backed with study is needed. Perhaps this may be the reason why the protagonists for a local Church in India have resorted to an easier but dangerous method of Hinduisation instead of inculturation. The Hindu religion with its pantheon of gods and goddesses and a plethora of rites and rituals, signs and symbols, offers a rich variety, of material for the Hinduiser to choose from and graft them to the liturgy, sacraments and the prayer life of the Church. A topsy-turvy situation has thus been created. Instead of the Church evangelising culture in India, the Church is being Hinduised by the inculturation enthusiasts.
Ever since the Bishops Conference of India held a Church in India Seminar in Bangalore, May 1969, massive efforts backed by aggressive propaganda to Hinduise the Church have been going on. At this Seminar, Humane Vitae was scoffed at, the idea of a local church was mooted and the idea of introducing Hindu rituals, rites and Scripture into our Sacred Liturgy was pushed forward by a powerful lobby which is still at work at this nefarious program. The Faithful scandalised, confused and sad look on helplessly at the devastation of the Lord’s vineyard.
On the 26th of February, 1976, a petition signed by more than 7000 Catholics from all walks of life was presented to His Eminence Cardinal Picachy, Chairman of the Bishops Conference of India at the CBCI Office in New Delhi. The petition expressed the anguish of the Faithful at the chaos in the Church and appealed for appropriate action to save the Church from utter confusion. But the voice of the laity was totally ignored; NOT EVEN AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WAS GIVEN
By the Vatican Directive Prot. N. 802/69 dated April 25, 1969, 12 Faints of inculturation were permitted for use in India. The hasty and unconstitutional manner of their introduction has been a matter for deep sorrow to all loyal Catholics, including many bishops and priests. The 12 Points had not received the mandatory two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the Catholic Bishop, Conference of India. A hurried postal ballot was taken; a subject of such serious nature was NEVER discussed at the Bishops conference but rushed through as though it was an emergency measure!
The late Bishop Ignatius Gopu of Visakhapatnam exposed in clear terms the ruse employed by the lobby to get the 12 Points approval. His letter to the New Leader exposed the illegality of the whole affair,
The Squatting Mass
Holy Father, a direct result of the Prot N 802/69 dated April 25, 1969 is the Indian Rite Mass which today is being performed by Bishops and priests and which is being propagated with much gusto and propaganda
1. The Squatting Mass, as the Faithful call it, with Hindu rituals, rites, symbols and mantras (magic words) begins with invocations to the Hindu “God” Krishna by the priest chanting OM several times. In the Bhagavad Gita, one of the holiest of Hindu scriptures “God” Krishna very clearly states: “I am in the air, in the water, in every created thing, Bow low and worship me. I am the OM”.
How can the sacrifice of Calvary be offered to the Almighty when Krishna is invoked to start the Holy Mass?
The contention of the propagandists of the Indian squatting mass is that Prot. N. 802/69 of April 25, 1969, has permitted the use of the 12 Points and the Indian Mass has only implemented them. This is
NOT true because the 12 points do not contain any mention of OM at all nor does it give the permission for the use of Sanskrit in Catholic Liturgy.
2. No decree of the Holy See has given the church in India the permission to use the Sanskrit language. Sanskrit is the language of the Hindu religion even as Latin is of the Church. Sanskrit is ONLY used for Hindu pujas (sacrifices) and in Hindu rituals. Only the Brahmin priests use Sanskrit and the Hindu worshippers do not know this language at all. Vatican II with the wisdom of the church permitted the use of local languages thereby making it possible in India to offer Holy Mass in any of the Indian languages. The Hindus too are today revolting against the use of Sanskrit in their temples and especially in the south local languages are now being used. when the trend is to use the local language, the action of those who use the Indian rite mass to invoke God in Sanskrit is ONLY to give the mass the semblance of a Hindu puja (sacrifice):
Hence, Holy Father we appeal to you to please BAN the use of Sanskrit and OM in all the liturgy prayers and meditation etc. in the Church. Already OM has been researched by the Sacred Congregation for oriental churches and the Hierarchs of the Syro Malabar Church have been informed by His Eminence Cardinal Rubin (Rome 12-B-1980) that, “Notwithstanding the attempt made in various quarters to offer an accommodated Christian interpretation, it (OM) remains so strongly qualified in a Hindu sense, is charged with meaning so unmistakably Hindu, that it simply cannot be used in Christian worship … OM is an essential, integral part of Hindu worship.”
There can be No place at all for Sanskrit in the Church. When even Jubilate Deo is totally ignored and Latin not taught in the seminaries, we have no right to extol Sanskrit which even in Hindu society only the temple pujaris (priests) know and use. If a sacred language has to be used, it must be Latin or Syriac. [Emphases theirs]
Holy Father, squatting on the floor throughout the Holy Mass including the sacred moments of Divine consecration, is not only in vogue but is fast spreading throughout India. Many bishops and priests are performing the squatting mass.
His Grace Most Rev. Justin Diraviam, Archbishop of Madurai wrote to the Sacred Congregation of Divine worship and received reply dated 25-5-75 (Prot. No. 649/75) clarifying points regarding liturgical experimentation.
The reply of the Sacred Congregation made it very clear that no experimentation other than those mentioned in the 12 Points have been approved by the Holy See. According to the commentary given by the Bishops National Liturgical Center NBCLC) squatting during the Anaphora is excluded and is recommended only for the liturgy the Word (Notitiae 1969 page 371).
Sign of the Cross
3. But the Indian Mass contains many symbols and rituals which are not a part of the 12 Points. For instance the priest never even once uses the Sign of the Cross, not even to bless the congregation at the end of the ceremony. On the contrary he uses signs which are exclusively Hindu. He “blesses” water with Udbhavamudra, in the concluding rite he “imparts the solemn blessing with abbayamudra of the right hand and varamudra of the left hand…” Both these are signs exclusively of the Hindus whose gods are depicted with these signs. An important point to be noted is that none of the rituals, signs and symbols taken by the innovators of the Indian Mass are from any segment of India’s cultural mosaic but purely from Hindu religion. And none of them are used by any other religion in India for the simple reason that they are all of Brahminical origin and Brahmins are ONLY in the Hindu religion and Not in Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism or in Zoroastrianism. So, the plea that all this is a process of inculturation is false as the entire mass and other ceremonies are based purely on an imitation of Hinduism.
4. The Indian mass is replete with Hinduism pure and simple. Many other superstitious and blatantly Hindu rituals and rites have also been introduced in the life of the Catholic Church in India. None of them have any cultural connotation at all. Some of the chief ones are:
(a) Fire Worship: This is done also as a part of the Mass. A temple lamp is lighted wick after wick, after offering it flowers etc. and the priest worships the fire in the Hindu way: Touching the flame with the tips of his fingers and then brings his fingers to his eyes! Congregation is also asked to worship in the same manner. Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims -NONE worship the fire EXCEPT the Hindus to whom Fire (Agni) is a god. And now the misled Catholics of India also do.
(b) Sun Worship: The rising sun and the set-ting sun is most reverently worshipped with greater devotion and prostration than to the Holy Eucharist. During this worship the Hindu hymn to goddess Gayatri is sung. This Gayatri mantra is the prayer of the Hindu women to give their husbands sexual power and blessings. This is NO part of Indian culture at all but purely Brahminical and Hindu.
(c) Arati: This is a superstitious practice to wave lighted camphor along with flowers etc. at a person to ward off evil or the effects of evil eyes. In the Indian mass the celebrant is welcomed with a ceremony based on goddess Arati. This is Point 10 of the approved 12 Points!
(d) Anjali Hasta: This is point 2 of the 12 POINTS which replaced the age-old genuflection with an Indian sign-folding the palms of the hands and bowing. Anjali Hasta is done in Hindu religion ONLY to minor gods and goddess and NOT to the ALMIGHTY Creator. For him it is a total prostration called Sashtangam-the worshipper fully prostrates, his forehead and limbs touching the ground. So, when Hindus see Catholics just folding the palms and worshipping the Holy Eucharist, they take it that ONLY A MINOR GOD IS WORSHIPPED BY THE CATHOLICS.
Shri Parmanand, a Hindu priest, who accepted Jesus and was baptised wrote in The Examiner (Sept. 6, 1969) that “to the God of Gods it is a rule to prostrate one-self before Him; this is called Sastang Namaskar (salutation of all the organs of the body).
WHY IS THEN THE CHURCH ALLOWING A MERE NAMASTE TO THE LORD ALMIGHTY?
Two weeks later the Editor of The Examiner, a, learned Monsignor, wrote: “Mr. Parmanand clearly showed that anjali hasta which is now introduced in the, place of genuflection to the Blessed Sacrament is really a gesture used by Hindus to worship their gods or devas like Ganesh, Lakshmi, Hanuman etc. By replacing the genuflection with anjali hasta, Catholics therefore are now being asked to give our Lord the same worship which is given to Ganesh and Lakshmi etc., which is simply ridiculous. Mr. Parmanand’s contention is that only a gesture like sashtanga pranama (involving all parts of the body) would do justice to the Supreme Being.” Are Catholics prepared to do this instead of genuflection? Mr. Parmanand asked. If not then let them stop doing the anjali hasta, was his conclusion and it is hard to see how Mr. Parmanand’s logic can be faulted” (The Examiner October 4, 1969).
Holy Father, the fact that Anjali Hasta is not the salutation for the Almighty is clearly proved by point 5 of the 12 points. It says: “The kiss of peace could be given by the exchange of anjali hasta and/or the placing of the hands of the giver between the hands of the recipient.”
Anjali Hasta which is the salutation for Almighty God by the Hinduisers is the same salutation to each other at the Kiss of peace. Therefore, anjali hasta is a salutation only fit for use between human beings and by doing the same anjali hasta to worship the Holy Eucharist it is obvious that the design is to denigrate the sacredness of the Holy Eucharist.
Holy Father, such an insulting salutation to the living God in the Holy Eucharist must please be urgently put a stop to. There is no need for any investigation or research as Point 5 proves that anjali hasta is a common form of salutation among people. Therefore, a respectful and external form of sacred worship worthy for the Holy Eucharist has to be used. If full prostration is not very practical, at least one could bend both knees and bow low, as bending on one knee is condemned as feudal and western by the Hinduisers. Muslims fall on both knees and bend their heads low and pray five times a day; Hindus fall on both knees and worship. Only the Hinduised Catholic nods to his God!
Reverence to Holy Eucharist
As a sequel to the introduction of anjali hasta within the past decade reverence to the Holy Eucharist has become so meagre that self-communion, faithful passing the ciborium and the chalice, faithful holding hosts in their own hands while the priest does the consecration from the altar and the distribution of Holy Communion to non-Catholics at dialogue centers are practiced. All the time the meal aspect of the mass is underscored and nor the sacrifice of Calvary, nor the miracle of Transubstantiation. The Hinduisers frequently call Holy Communion Prasad, a term used in Hinduism for the food which the priests offer to gods and then distribute to the people.
Holy Father when the most sacred and Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is thus treated with scant respect, we the Faithful cannot, look on this desecration with equanimity. We beg of you to intervene urgently and stop all of these abuses
(e) Point 7 of the 12 Points says “Vestments could be simplified”. Actually those who perform Indian mass use only a shawl over their shoulders. This is culturally most un-Indian. No priest who offers sacrifice in any temple will wear any clothes above his waist. Indian culture and custom demands that in the presence of God you should not cover the body. So, by discarding the usual mass vestments, the innovators have introduced something most un-Indian. This arises from the fact that those who selected the 12 Points and those who are now implementing them totally lack an intimate knowledge of Hinduism or Indian culture. The 12 Points are a real hotchpotch of some rituals and symbols and not the result of a studied effort to really inculturate the Church with the introduction of non-religious ideas, symbols etc.
To discard the usual mass vestments as Western is illogical since in civil life Western clothes are very much in evidence all over India even in its remote villages; the Judges in the Courts wear flowing gowns and even wigs, the army, navy and air force are in most modern western uniforms and doctors and nurses are all in western clothes. Why only in the Church should the priest look like an uncivilized villager with a shawl over his shoulders? If like the Brahmin whom the Hinduising priest is so eager to copy, he too were bare-bodied, then there is logic and sense in his behaviour. Otherwise the sooner they discard the shawl and use at least the alb the better it would be for respect and reverence to the dignity and majesty of the mass.
(f) Women welcoming the celebrant: The Hinduisers have introduced a new ceremony not found even in Hinduism-women perform arathi to the priest and then place on his forehead sandal paste or red powder. This type of women’s welcome is done on many social occasions BUT NEVER before a priest performs his puja-sacrifice. The Brahmin priest bathes and cleans himself and comes to perform his puja. NO WOMAN CAN EVEN STEP INSIDE THE HOLY OF HOLIES. THEIR PLACE IS OUTSIDE THE INNER SACRED CIRCLE. AND NO WOMAN DARE TOUCH THE PRIEST. For the Hindu to see woman placing red powder etc. on the priest’s forehead just before he commences Holy Mass is a shocking scandal; it is an act which degrades the Catholic priest and lowers the sacredness of the sacrifice of the Holy Mass in the eyes of the Indians. The Catholic Church does not allow girls even to be altar servers; how much more ridiculous is to have a woman touch a priest just before he offers holy Mass?
Again, we emphasise that the innovators who are Hinduising the liturgy have done it without a study in depth either of Hinduism or the plethora of cultural nuances of the Indian scene.
In a country where western science and civilisation have made effective inroads and where every one accepts the fruits of modern technology, no, one thinks in terms of western or Indian. It is sheer hypocrisy to say that the Church in India has a western look and hence it should be Indianised (Hinduised). It is paradoxical to see the liturgy Hinduised by priests who after offering the squatting mass live a full-fledged western style of life with all modern comforts.
(g) Invoking names of Politicians in hierarchial messages and in the liturgy of the word scandalizes the faithful and is laughed at by non-Catholics. The name of Gandhi is the one used most often without thinking for a moment that Gandhi was first and last a politician and that by his own testimony he did not have much love for Christ or Christians. In his address to Christian Missionaries in Calcutta (July 28, 1925) Gandhi declared that:
“It is more than I could believe that Jesus was the only incarnate Son of God and that only he who believed in him would have everlasting life.”
“My reason was not ready to believe that literally Jesus by his death and by his blood redeemed the sins of the world!”
Gandhi by no stretch of the imagination is considered a saint even by Hindus and to ask the Faithful to “listen to the voice of Gandhi whom the Holy Spirit inspired” is irrelevant and misleading. Certainly the Holy Spirit could never inspire the politician Gandhi (who denied very clearly the divinity of Christ) with ideas which can be of spiritual value to the Catholics. In no other country has the local Church dragged in politicians names in Church’s spiritual matters. One has not heard Abe Lincoln brought in by American priests in any spiritual context.
(h) Dancing in the Church: The faithful view with deep sorrow and concern the diabolical way in which Indian dances have been brought into the liturgy of the Church and into the Holy of Holies under the false plea of inculturation. From ancient times temples had “Devadasis” (vestal maidens) who danced in the Mandapam (halls) of the temple but never anywhere near the place where the priest offered the sacrifices. No woman was allowed nor even now allowed to be anywhere near the holy of holies. This is not only in Hinduism but also in all other religions in India -Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. The introduction of dancing in the name of inculturation is totally UNINDIAN as Indian culture NOWHERE has allowed such an abomination in religious affairs.
The All India Laity Congress passed at its 1983 Mangalore Convention a Resolution on dancing expressing the deep sorrow of Catholics in India at the dancing in the Church. Also, Catholics are shocked and scandalised to see a priest (Fr. Barboza SVD of Bombay) publicly perform all types of dances with the excuse that it helps evangelisation. On the contrary non-Catholics laugh at us and remark that our priests are not at all holy men.
Priests of no other religion perform dances but keep up their dignity with respectful behaviour. Hence, by taking to dancing Catholic priests will not enhance their own image as men of God or that of the church.
Holy Father, all of the above mentioned aberrations, abuses and irregularities have taken place and continue to take place inspite of the action taken by His Eminence the late Cardinal Knox as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship. His Eminence addressed a communication Prot. N. 789/75 dated June 14th 1975 to the then President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Cardinal Joseph Parecattil requesting that experimentations in the liturgy should be stopped and any future experimentations be first agreed upon with the Vatican and the Vatican’s written permission be obtained. But Beloved Holy Father, Rome’s instructions are soon forgotten and with redoubled vigour, the Hinduisation of worship, of prayer, of meditation and of the Holy Mass has pressed forward and continues to be so. THE HINDUISERS HAVE PROUDLY PROCLAIMED “THERE SHALL BE NO TURNING BACK”. THIS IS THEIR SLOGAN.
In conclusion, Holy Father, as laymen we are more in touch with the thinking of politicians and of political parties. We know from authentic sources that the militant Hindu leaders who with their Fascist type youth organisation (RSS) are a great threat to the secular and democratic ideals of India, are more than annoyed with the ” aping ” of Hinduism by Catholic Church in India. They have openly said that this is a cunning ruse to cheat the ignorant masses who seeing their own type of rituals etc. in the Catholic Church may be allured to become Catholics.
If in the next general elections the militant Hindus win they are sure to pass a Bill making it a criminal offense to imitate and mislead people of one religion by another by using their forms of worship.
We have witnessed how the RSS group hit out in Kottar diocese three years ago resulting in the massacre of more than 200 Catholics, the destruction of two Churches and the desecration of the cemetery where all the Crosses were broken and thrown .
Hinduisation of the Church by the short-sighted jingoistic bishops and priests will result in creating a very major communal problem whereby the Church will suffer heavily. Evangelisation, as any honest onlooker of the Indian scene can judge is almost at a standstill. With the cry of the Hinduisers that the church’s role is to make a Hindu a better Hindu and NOT to bring him to Christ, the question of evangelisation is no more a part of the missionary work of the pilgrim Church in India,
With the Catholic Charismatic movement, heavily financed by American Pentecostals, making spectacular progress in many dioceses where the bishops are helping them and with the disillusionment in their Faith in seeing her being paganised, Catholics themselves out of spiritual frustration will start leaving the Church. This exodus has already begun as seen in the recent move of several hundred families in the diocese of Tuticorin joining the Pentecostal Church. They left the Church of their fore-fathers, these children of St. Francis Xavier, because as one of their spokesmen said “out of disgust with the paganisation of the Church”.
Holy Father, Our Lord will protect His Church. We know this and we totally believe in this. Yet, Our Lord expects us his children to act. We wish to act in all possible ways to protect the Church against all evil. We prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness and beg of you to immediately stop the use of OM, Sanskrit, Anjali Hasta and all pantheistic rituals so that the Church will once again look Holy, Roman and Apostolic.
Thanking Your Holiness
Your Children in anguish and Pain
VICTOR J. F. KULANDAY, Founder and Life President
Chevalier E. S. ANDRADES, K.S.G., Vice-President
Chevalier S. ARUDDOSS, IAS, K.S.G., Founder Member
Prof. GEORGE MORAES, M.A., Ph. D, Founder Member
Prof. L. J. DENNIS, M.A, B. Ed., Vice-President
Dr. A. A. DEVA, M.S., M.B.B.S., National Secretary
Mr. S. ALPHONSE, M.A., IRS, National Treasurer
Prof. A. BENNY, M.A., Founder Member, Executive Counseller
Mr GORDON SHEERAN, M.A., LL.B, Joint Secretary
Dr. M. S. THAMBA, Industrialist, Joint Secretary
Mr. D. F. KANTARAJ, Retired Secretary, Govt of Madras, Executive Member
June 4th, 1984
It is very clear that the idea of the Bishops’ National Biblical, Catechetical, Liturgical Center is to Hinduise the Church. It is with that idea that the figures of Shiva, the Destroyer, in his famous dancing stance was prominently displayed in the Bishops’ National Centre Church along with a figure of the three gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In the mass the priest invokes, Brahma also. On the top of the Bishops Church is a Kalasam-a pot which according to Hindu Agamic rites, contains nectar and the deity resides in it. While the figures of dancing Shiva and the three gods have been removed after the Hindus themselves strongly objected to the insult to their gods and went to court, the Kalasam (pot) still desecrates the Church. At the Bishops’ Conference held in Ranchi in 1979 it was officially stated as an excuse for not having a cross on top of the National Centre Church that there are many Churches in the world without a cross on top. But no word was said if there is anywhere a Church with a pot on top!
Theology-Liberation: Indian Theology: Those who shun the vestments and genuflection as western are most eager to embrace Liberation Theology and Marxist ideas, which are imported in toto from the west. At the other end of the spectrum are the avant-garde pseudo-theologians who are pushing ahead an Indian theology. In spite of the fact that the Holy See has on many occasions clearly said that there can be NO Indian or African theology, massive propaganda is going on to evolve an Indian theology. The final statement of the meeting of the Indian Theological Association (ITA) which held its meeting in Nagpur (Oct. 21-23-1983) declared that the present ecclesiology is a hindrance to evangelisation.
There is hardly a seminary where the novices are not misguided into the paths of Liberation and Indian theologies.
Victor J. F. Kulanday has been a Journalist since 1934. For over a decade he was employed by the U.S. Government as its Managing Editor for publications in India. For seven years he edited Orbit weekly, an anti-Communist publication published from New Delhi.
When His Eminence James Cardinal Knox was Pro-Nuncio in India, Kulanday was asked by His Eminence to represent the Holy See at two important international conferences. He is the only Indian until now who has represented the Holy See at international meetings. His participation at these conferences was highly appreciated by the Holy See.
Dr. (Mrs.) Daisy Kulanday was Director of Maternal and Child Health Services in Delhi. The Holy Father Pope Paul VI nominated her as Member of the Special Committee which His Holiness formed to study family problems. Dr. Kulanday was the only Christian whom the Minister of Health invited to give the Christian point of view on abortion to India’s members of parliament.
The couple, now past their mid-seventies, edits a Catholic monthly, The Laity, a journal of Christian thought, and action. This publication boldly exposes the paganization of the Church for past 16 years. The All India Laity Congress founded by them is in the forefront of defending the Faith for past 13 years.
The First Edition of this book was obtained by my second son from a family in Bangalore about four years ago. We had been searching for a copy of it since I first heard of its existence in 1997.
This Second Edition was purchased a couple of years ago by one of this ministry’s web masters through the Internet from Canada for a whopping US$ 40.00 plus another US$ 40.00 for shipping.
The copyright for this book belongs to the late Mr. Victor Kulanday.
To the best of our knowledge, we are free to reproduce this book on our web site. –Michael
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