Tamil Nadu Catholic bishop and priests venerate the Hindu deity Ganesha


					22 FEBRUARY 2014

Tamil Nadu Catholic bishop and priests venerate the Hindu deity Ganesha


Ganesha [Ganesa, Ganesh] or Ganpati [Ganapati] or Vinayaka [Vinayaga] as he is variously known [he has 108 names], the elephant-god of the Hindu pantheon, is by far the most popular deity among Indian Catholic clergy. Shiva [Nataraja, his dancing aspect] is a close second*.

In Bharatanatyam dancing, promoted by several Catholic priests and diocesan “cultural” institutions, Ganpati is venerated before the programme while the performance itself honours Shiva/Nataraja.








A Catholic journalist’s impression of the present Hinduised Indian Church:

Indian Church Divided on Inculturation Strategy to Entice Hindu Converts http://www.christianaggression.org/item_display.php?id=1131077207&type=news EXTRACT

Mario Rodrigues, The Statesman, November 2, 2005

Note: The original link is not available, so the information is copied from

Prayers begin with “OM”, readings are taken from the Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagvad Gita, tilak is applied to foreheads of priests and people, priests wear a saffron shawl instead of a cassock and sit on the ground at a table surrounded by small lamps rather than stand at the traditional altar. In addition, Indian music is played at Church services, the entrance procession for the Mass has girls dancing the Bharatnatyam, kirtans and bhajans are sung at Communion. Priests and nuns are encouraged to adopt Indian religious values and customs in their religious practices and participate actively in Hindu festivals such as Ganesh-visarjan (immersion*) and Raas Lila…

*of the idol of
in the sea. In the cities of Maharashtra state, it is not uncommon for Catholics to take active part in the local communities’ immersion of the idol, chanting “Ganpati bappa moriya” [Lord Ganesh, return next year].


JULY 2011






Catholic affinity for the Hindu deity Ganesh [Ganpati/Ganapati] is not new. An extract from my 2005 report



[Transcript from a DVD titled “India: The Lotus and the Cross” made by Vishnu Mathur, Toronto, Canada]

Fr. Hillary Fernandes of Our Lady of the sea Church, Uttan, Thane, Archdiocese of Bombay]

Fr. HF: [laughing heartily] By being [words unclear] inculturated idea was that I have installed Jesus in the form of a Ganapati. [laughs]. [Video: Pictures of Ganapati and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are shown side by side on a wall altar].

“We call elephant-god. People understand, no, elephant-god.
similarity between Christ and Ganapati: Ganapati is Lord of the community, and Christ is called Lord of the community. [Cut to picture of Jesus Christ next to one of Shirdi Sai Baba].

The elephant had a big head, okay, and he had a big brain, so he would have wisdom. Christ is called the God of wisdom. His [Ganapati’s] stomach was the big stomach. That means that it takes all your sins and forgives you, and Christ takes away all the sins of the world. And these are several things I saw so similar.
[Father Hillary continues to laugh] But people got shocked to their life and said How can you, eh, compare Ganapati with Christ? Ganapati is a language through this statue and through all this symbols to express the concept of Almighty God.”


An Intro to Indian Dance by Sangeeta


Ganesha is traditionally worshipped at the beginning of any endeavour*. He is the remover of all obstacles and is known to be very wise. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati and the brother of Murugan.


*apparently even by Catholics

Mangalore: Bharatnatyam ‘Aramgetram’ of Ester Noronha on January 29


January 27, 2006, Mangalore: Not long back that these columns had carried the success story of Ester Noronha who is rocking the Mangalorean stage right now with her power packed performances in singing.  With her melodious voice, she has already captured thousands of fans.

But as reported earlier, her talent is not only limited to singing.  She plays piano and guitar, has an aptitude for acting etc.  But another dimension of her wonderful talent is her aptitude and excellence in Bharatnatyam.  She is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer.  She has been training under ‘Natyavisharada’ Vidwan U K Praveen at ‘Nritya Vidya Nilaya’, Kadri.

Now she is all prepared to make her “Rangapravesham” (Aramgetram) on Sunday January 29 at 5.30 in the evening at the Town Hall.  Vidwan U K Praveen announced this in a press conference here on Wednesday January 25

Ester during her maiden Bharatnatyam show on the stage will present theGanapati Stuti (praise of Lord Ganapati)Msgr. Frederick Pereira will preside over the function while … Fr Dennis D’Sa, secretary, Sandesha Kala Kendra and Konkann Kogull Wilfy Rebimbus will be the chief guests.


Mangalore: Ester Noronha’s Rangapravesham – Photo Album


January 29, 2006, Mangalore: Thirteen-year-old bunch of talents, Ester Noronha, made her parents and dance teachers proud by presenting an impressive ‘rangapravesham’ in the Town Hall in the city on Sunday, January 29 evening.




Trained under Natyavisharada Vidwan U K Praveen, Ester presented various facets of the dance form like Thodayam, Ganapati Stuti, etc.


Men (purush) in religious dance – Are Men Dancers more suited for handling Christian Themes?

http://www.drbarboza.com/purush.htm EXTRACT

About Dr. Francis Barboza SVD Afternoon, Sat. April 22 1995. Bombay. [Review written by Hima Devi]

“With Barboza a new type of man has entered the field of Indian classical dance… Francis Barboza and his spell binding singers and musicians took us on the wings of sound and dance to those distant lands, where we dwelt with superman who lived in a state of divinity. For how could an ordinary man have lived and died like Jesus Christ or Buddha or Lord Shiva? …Francis enters the stage imbued with fervor abundant belief in God, which flows over the audience in waves of ardour. This is what must have been meant when the Natya Shastra says that a dancer in this Kaliyuga must give his audience a glimpse of God. We literally see Christ and Ram and Sita in the prayer to Ganapathi.”


The Singing Priest – 2009 US and Europe (Carnatic) Concert Tour


(News item taken from: http://www.thesingingpriest.com/)

About Dr. Fr. Paul Poovathingal CMI

Music concert at Rashtrapathi Bhavan Thrissur 21.07.07

Fr. Paul started his concert with the famous keerthana
‘Vatapi ganapathim’
*. Then ‘Salathulla Salamulla’ taken from the Holy Koran set to ‘Anandabairavi’.


*Vathapi Ganapathim Bhajeham is a favourite choice for singing at the commencement of any Hindu religious programme to obtain the blessings of Ganapati.

About 125 Bishops of the Latin Rite in India, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) held their biennial meeting 6-12 January 2011 at the Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai. “Catechetical Education” was the theme of the meeting. The seven-day plenary began January 7. On January 9, the prelates attended a public reception by the Madras-Mylapore archdiocese at which Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was invited to preside. Karunanidhi is an avowed atheist. The Bishops are the successors of St. Peter and owe sole spiritual allegiance to Jesus Christ.

But guess who welcomed the atheist and the disciples of Christ at the public reception at the Salesian St. Bede’s School grounds in Santhome?

The Hindu deity Ganapati did.

The procession of Bishops led by the Apostolic Nuncio to India, Salvatore Pennacchio, processed to the venue from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Thomas to the unmistakable Carnatic
music of Vathapi Ganapathim Bhajeham!!!


Watch this YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOk0Y7T6UNc sung by Yesudas, and another by M. S. Subbalakshmi at http://www.hindudevotionalblog.com/2009/02/vathapi-ganapathim-bhajeham-lyrics-ms.html


We now come to the subject of this report: the clergy of a diocese of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ council participate in the worship of Ganapati.

“Thiruvarut Peravai” or “Thiruvarul Peravai” is the name in the Tamil language of an organization with the apparent aim of promoting harmony between different religious communities.

Thiruvarul (Thiru + Arul) = Holy or Divine Grace; Peravai = Forum, Assembly, Community

The two words could be translated as Sacred Forum, Grace Assembly, Blessing Movement or Holy Community.

One of the founders of this organization was the late Archbishop
M. Arockiasamy.


Archbishop M. Arockiasamy dead


March 23, 2007, Madurai

Former Archbishop of Madurai M Arockiasamy died of prolonged illness here today, March 22. …He was instrumental in founding the ‘Thiruvarut Peravai’, a forum of spiritual heads of all religions for communal harmony.


January 22, 2011, Pioneer School (CBSE), Nagercoil



Inaugurating the forum (Thiruvarul Peravai School students club), the District collector Mr. Rajendra Ratnoo, I.A.S., appealed the youngster incubates the Communal Harmony in their minds. The participants were President of Thiruvarul Peravai Most Rev. Dr. Peter Remigius [BISHOP OF KOTTAR], Founder Member Mr. Ahmed Khan, Swamy Padmendra, Vicar General Fr. Maria Dhasan, Pioneer Institution Director Mr. Kumaraswamy, and office bearers from Thiruvarul Peravai also seen in the picture. Source:


May 4, 2011



Blessing: Office bearers of Thiruvarul Peravai who greeted the special representative of Pope Benedict XVI of Vatican, Salvatore Pennacchio, who recently visited Kanyakumari district. Source:


May 5, 2011

Thiruvarul Peravai’s efforts appreciated





The special representative of Pope Benedict XVI of Vatican, Salvatore Pennacchio, who recently visited Kanyakumari district, appreciated the efforts made by Thiruvarul Peravai for ensuring communal harmony in the district.

He came here as part of offering English mass St. Xavier’s Church at Kottar when the office-bearers of Thiruvarul Peravai met and explained to him the activities of the peravai which was propagating humanity, brotherhood and communal harmony among people from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

Peter Remigius, Bishop of Kottar Diocese and president of Thiruvarul Peravai said that it had been decided to invite him not only to attend the special mass but also to show communal harmony and brotherhood observed in the district.

Swamy Padmendra, president, Vallalar Peravai, said that the main aim of the meeting of the special representative was to strengthen communal harmony.

The founder of Thiruvarul Peravai M. Ahamed Khan said that the efforts of the peravai in Kanyakumari would be known world with the visit of the representative.

Vicar General of Kottar Diocese Maria Dhasan Adigalar, Parish Priest of St. Xavier’s Church, Berkmons and the Secretary of the peravai R. Arul Kannan offered Bouquet to Salvatore Pennacchio.


March 18, 2012

Communal harmony in Mondaikadu Bhagavathi ammam temple

All religious representatives taking the pooja things to Bhagavathy Amman.

Mr. Palani Swamy District Revenue Officer, Mr. Ahamed Khan Founder-Thiruvarul Peravai, Fr. Maria Vincent- Coordinator, Thavathiru Swamy Padmendra, Mr. Mohana Chandran Revenue Divisional Officer, R.J.K. Tiluck President, Kalkulam Taluk, Thiruvarul Peravai, Mr. Arul Kannan Joint Secretary, and others. Source: https://www.facebook.com/KK4PP


Fr. V. Maria Dhasan, Parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church, Vattakarai, Nagercoil – 629 004, Phone: 04652-265775, Mobile: 94432-84527
figures in the Mandaikattu Bhagavathy Amman Temple Ganapati pooja ceremony He previously served as Vicar General of Kottar Diocese. Prior to that he was the director of the Tamil Nadu
Biblical, Catechetical & Liturgical Centre, TNBCLC, Tindivanam – 604 002




September 22, 2012

Communal Harmony – Vinayaga Chaturthi, Nagercoil




November 18, 2012

Thiruvarut Peravai welcomes followers of ‘Ayya Vaikundar’, Nagercoil


The Thiruvarut Peravai, as part of ensuring communal harmony in the district headed by its president and the Bishop of Kottar Diocese, Peter Remigius, accorded a warm welcome to the followers of Ayya Vaikundar who had undertaken a ‘padayatra,’ near Anna statue junction at Vadaserry on Saturday.

The Bishop further added that the Thiruvarut Peravai was formed in 1982 by Kuntrakudi Adigalar at Nagercoil to ensure communal harmony in the district (immediately after Mondaicadu riot). It yielded good results in the coming years as leaders as well as the people irrespective of caste, creed and religion participated with each other in successfully conducting the various festivals in the district.



Harmonious welcome: The Bishop of Kottar, Peter Remigius (right), and other religious leaders giving a warm welcome to the followers of Ayya Vaikundar who undertook padayatra in Nagercoil.


The ‘padayatra’ was started at Swamithoppu, where the ‘Thalami Pathi’ of Ayya Vaikundar was situated. It was led by Bala Prajathipathi Adigalar, one of the founder members of the Peravai.

The retired Superintendent of Police, Abdullah Ismath, while speaking, said that all religions preached only love, affection, brotherhood and communal harmony and hence there was no need for hatred among the people.

The vice-president of the Peravai, K. A. Kumaravel said that it has been decided to start branches of the Peravai in all schools with an intention to promote brotherhood and communal harmony and motivate the younger generation to lead peaceful life in future. The vicar-general of Kottar diocese, Fr. Maria Dhasan Adigalar, co-ordinator of Peravai, Maria Vincent, secretary S. Natarajan, joint-secretary R. Arul Kannan and others attended the reception function extended to the devotees of Ayya Vaikundar. The padayatra would reach Thiruvananthapuram on November 21.


Source: https://www.facebook.com/KK4PP


December 13, 2012

Peace march taken out by Thiruvarut Peravai


Nagercoil – To spread the message of communal harmony among the children and youth, a peace march was organised by Thiruvarut Peravai on Monday. Bishop of Kottar diocese, Peter Remigius who headed the peace march said that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had rightly said that the children of today were the leaders of tomorrow. Kanyakumari district’s Thiruvarut Peravai was committed to mould the children and youth of today as prospective leaders of India by instilling in them secular values and policy of tolerance. More than ten thousand school and college students walked the streets of Nagercoil spreading the message of religious and social harmony. They held placards with messages of peace and harmony. The march, which began at Scott Christian College was flagged off by Peter Remigius along with Boojithaguru Bala Prajapathy Adigalar, the founding father of Thiruvarut Peravai and Swamiji of Ayya Vazhi cult. James R. Daniel, General Secretary, introduced the aim and purpose of the peace march and welcomed the gathering. The valedictory address was delivered by District Revenue Officer S. Palanisamy and Lok Sabha member J Helen Davidson felicitated. S. Natarajan and Mohammed Ali, secretaries of Peravai, R. Arul Kannan, joint secretary co-ordinator, Maria Vincent, the vicar general of Kottar diocese, Maria Dhasan and others participated in the march.

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September 16, 2013

Office-bearers of Thiruvarut Peravai accorded a warm reception to the Vinayaka idols in front of the Karpaga Vinayakar Temple at Parvathipuram by offering puja materials as part of ensuring communal harmony in Nagercoil. https://www.facebook.com/KK4PP and https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.690853567610110.1073741827.158076990887773&type=3 :


The Hindu







The faces of the Catholic priests are circled in red in most of the above photographs.


September 16, 2013

Ganesh Immersion went off peacefully – Hithokthi

http://hithokthi.com/viewsamachar.php?story_id=3034. Source: The Hindu, September 16, 2013

Ganesh Immersion went off peacefully

Nagercoil – The immersion of as many as 2,000 Vinayaka idols in more than 10 places in the district passed off peacefully on Sunday.

Idols were immersed at Nagercoil, Sanguthurai beach, Suchindrum, Pallikondan dam, Thuckalay, Vettumadai, Pammam, Kuzuthurai, Tamirabharani, Midalam, Thirparappu, etc. under tight security. More than 1,200 police personnel from other districts were pressed into service to prevent any untoward incident.

Office-bearers of Thiruvarut Peravai accorded a warm reception to the Vinayaka idols in front of the Karpaga Vinayakar Temple at Parvathipuram by offering puja materials as part of ensuring communal harmony.



Karunaiyananthar Ashram is a spiritual retreat center established to realize the dharma of Jesus Christ. The Ashram is built on the banks of the river Cauvery in a coconut grove with a quiet and peaceful environment conducive to study, worship and meditation. It is located 8 miles away from Thanjavur town on the way to Kallani water reservoir at the outskirts of the Thirupanthuruthi village… The Ashram serves as the center for inter-religious dialogue and service.  People from different religious tradition meet on the last Sunday of every month to listen to the religious discourse presented by the experts of various religious sects and denominations. Besides, the Ashram. in conjunction with Rotary club, Gandhian society, Thiruvarul Peravai (an inter-religious organization) and Red Cross conducts eye camps, medical camps, blood donation and charitable services… Christian worship is conducted in Indian style.

We believe in: One God, One World and One People*

Sages of the New Covenant
76-A, Agasthiar Street
East Tambaram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600059, India
ph: +914422390400

My comments:

1. Thiruvarul Peravai is connected to the New Age/heretical Catholic ashrams movement.

*2. “One God, One World and One People“: If that is not New Age, what is?

There are several cases in my files pertaining to Catholics who have been delivered from evil spirits which afflicted them after their taking temple prasada, performing a pooja [puja] to a Hindu deity, and so on.

Most of them have been received by email, and I reproduce just one here, [I reserve others for a future article, while still others have to be located as I had not categorised them while filing] after editing it heavily in order to protect the identities of those involved.

Name withheld [a young family member] had a strange experience… He was suffering acute pain in the stomach as usual… when suddenly he spoke to me that
he had a bad dream of Ganapati [Ganesh] some days before and it was ugly and black. No sooner he spoke and said “I hate the dirty Ganapati”, he felt some object leaving his abdomen with a noise and after that all his trouble and left eye pain has gone. We rang Fr. Rufus Pereira and told him and [later] went to see Father who prayed over him. He is fully okay after he felt that Ganapati leaving his body!! His decision to talk to me and denounce Ganapati made the healing and he is ok now fully though still feels a little tenderness in the stomach so can’t eat too spicy food. Thank God and Praise God as I was so worried about him…

















Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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