NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: REVISED EDITION PUBLISHED A YEAR AFTER DENIAL

 

JULY 2010/DECEMBER 2011

 

WE REPORTED THAT ST. PAULS WAS BRINGING OUT A REVISED VERSION
OF THE 2008 NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE (THAT WAS PULLED BECAUSE OF CATHOLIC RESISTANCE INCLUDING A CRUSADE SPEARHEADED BY THIS MINISTRY WHICH TOOK THE MATTER TO ROME AGAINST ITS SYNCRETISTIC AND NEW AGE COMMENTARIES). ST PAULS DENIED IT.

EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER, THEY HAVE COME OUT WITH A “REVISED VERSION

 

In view of confusing developments, reports originally numbered 16 to 19 in the NCB series have been modified, updated and re-numbered. See the latest separate report on the denial issued by St Pauls at

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 18-REVISED EDITION COMING, ST PAULS IN DENIAL
JULY 2010/DECEMBER 2011,

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_18-REVISED_EDITION_COMING_ST_PAULS_IN_DENIAL.doc

 

Story in The Telegraph which was reproduced by CathNewsIndia, a service of UCANews (below):

Mary in sari in Indian Bible

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100614/jsp/nation/story_12563103.jsp

By Cithara Paul, June 13, 2010

Enter, a Bible “by Indians for Indians”, replete with quotes from the Gita
to Gitanjali.

The Indian Church is bringing out
an “Indianised” Bible
next month
that will show Mother Mary wearing a sari and even a bindi on her forehead, and her husband Joseph in a loincloth and a turban.

The illustrated Bible will also be annotated with the commentary that runs side by side with the original biblical text making references to Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi and quoting from Hindu texts and Rabindranath Tagore.

“This is a Bible made in India, by Indians and for Indians,” said Fr George Chathanattil of the Society of St Paul which is in charge of publishing the Bible written in English.

The commentary repeatedly refers to Hindu concepts to convey biblical teachings.
For instance, the Vedic interpretation of light is used to explain the Christian concept of Genesis. Similarly, Jesus’s words about storing “treasures in heaven” in the Gospel of Matthew is compared to the Bhagvadgita’s teaching that “work alone is your proper business, never the fruits it may produce”. The Bible has verses from the Ramayan
and the Mahabharat
aplenty. It draws comparisons between the biblical Ten Commandments and 10 basic precepts of ancient Indian scriptures, which include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth) and brahmacharya (celibacy).

Church sources said such “localised” versions of the Bible now existed only in Africa, and that Indian Christians so far mainly read the King James Version of the Bible. The new Indian version is an attempt on the Church’s part to “bring Indians and the Church closer”.

“Our attempt is to make people feel at home with the Bible. When one hears one’s own cultural expressions, it is easier for the Indian Christian community to understand the Bible,” Fr George said.

The new Bible will have 27 themed pictures that are quintessentially Indian, such as a family living in a slum in the shadow of a skyscraper, with a portrait of Mother Teresa in the background. Sources said many of the figures in the pictures have a slightly darker shade of skin than is usual in western biblical images.

Fr George said the commentary in the annotated Indian Bible was the product of 15 years of research by a set of 30 Indian biblical scholars. Each of the major divisions of both the Old and New Testaments opens with a brief but comprehensive introduction.

The Society of St Paul had done a test launch last year with a rough, early version of the new Bible.

“The response we got to the trial launch was amazing. People from all walks of life have responded positively to the new Bible and we are happy that the national edition is ready,” Fr George said.

To start with, the Society plans to print 50,000 copies, to be distributed among all the states.

 

Indian church to bring out Indianised form of Bible June 14, 2010

http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2010/06/14/indian-church-to-bring-out-indianised-form-of-bible/

See NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 18-REVISED EDITION COMING, ST PAULS IN DENIAL

 

All bold and colour emphases are mine; my comments and inclusions are in green colour –Michael

 

The CathNewsIndia/UCAN story is reproduced in The Examiner; St Pauls issues a denial:

In The Examiner, The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay,
June 26, 2010

A correction in news item ‘Indianised form of Bible’ (June 19, 2010). We reproduce a letter of correction sent by Fr. George Chathanatt whose comments regarding the Indianised form of Bible were quoted in the news item.

Sir, I am shocked to read on page 18 of The Examiner, June 19, 2010, a news item from New Delhi entitled ‘Indianised form of Bible’. This news is supplied by UCANews who in turn quotes The Telegraph.

I, Fr. George Chathanatt, the General Manager of St Paul’s and the person “in charge of publishing the Indianised form of Bible” as the news quotes me, am caught unaware of this exciting news! The news published in The Examiner says that I am going to publish it in July. I want you, the Editor and all the patrons and readers of The Examiner to know that this news is false. In fact, we published the said Bible in June 2008, and so it is a two-year old news!

I have not spoken to The Telegraph/UCANews of our plan to reprint it in the future, nor have I made any comments as quoted in the report, to any news agency. The news seems fabricated by someone who has some other intentions.

Therefore I request you to rectify this report in the very next issue of The Examiner.

Fr. George Chathanatt, ssp, Bandra

The News was taken from CathNewsIndia, a service of UCANews dated June 14, 2010 with no explicit mention of it being an old news. We regret the error – Editor

 

BUT THIS EXPOSE BY AN OVERSEAS NEWS AGENCY OF EIGHT MONTHS EARLIER CHALLENGES THEIR LIE AND CONFIRMS THE SAME: “A SECOND EDITION” IS DEFINITELY SET TO BE RELEASED:

INDIA’S NEW BIBLE WEARS A BINDI

By
Rick Westhead, South Asia Bureau/Toronto Star November 7, 2009

 


 

Father Devassy Athalathil, a priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who spearheaded the effort, says he isn’t worried about a backlash.

http://www.thestar.com/living/religion/article/722554–westhead-india-s-new-bible-wears-a-bindi
EXTRACT

The Virgin Mother in a sari, Joseph donning a turban. These are just some of the depictions in an Indianized version of the Bible. The controversy that followed means a toned-down second edition this year.

MUMBAI, INDIA– When Mary and Joseph discovered a power-hungry king was hunting their son Jesus Christ, they escaped to the safety of Egypt. But before Christianity’s first family fled, barefoot Mary slipped into a sari and put a bindi on her forehead, while Joseph tied tight his long loincloth and turban.

At least, that’s how their flight is illustrated in a Bible produced for Indians.

Released in India last year by the Roman Catholic Church, the “New Community Bible” became an immediate sensation – and lightning rod for controversy. Thanks to pictures of Biblical characters in traditional Indian clothing and a commentary that drew references to Bollywood, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible sold out 15,000 hardcover copies within weeks.

Yet amid its success, the New Community Bible also became ensnared in controversy. Right-wing Hindu groups accused the Catholic Church of laying the groundwork for illegal conversions, while Protestant Christian groups alleged it misrepresented original texts.

A year on, a longtime priest at the Society of St. Paul in Mumbai, who was a driving force behind the Bible’s release, is scrambling to release a second edition. This time, Father Devassy Athalathil envisions a print run of 50,000 copies with gilt-edged pages distributed in each of India’s 28 states.

 

 

Publishing a second edition has proven vexing since inflaming religious tensions is a constant worry for church officials in India. But Athalathil says he’s not anxious. “I wasn’t worried before the first edition came out and I’m not worried now,” said the 60-year-old, leaning back in a chair in his second-floor office, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling high stacks of books such as The Eight Beatitudes, My First Catechism and The Picture Book of Saints.

“It’s up to people whether they want to follow Jesus. Our job is to put the truth before the people. And these problems that we had weren’t God-made problems, they were man-made … They weren’t real problems.”

Still, Athalathil seems prepared to release a more toned-down version of “the truth” this time around, paring out references to Hindu texts.
Scheduled to be excised from the latest Indian Bible are references to Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of civil disobedience, and a comparison made between the Biblical Ten Commandments, and 10 basic precepts of the Indian scriptures, which include ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth) and brahmacharya (celibacy).

Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita are also gone, as is a narrative from the New Testament book of Luke on resurrection; in the first edition, the Bible’s commentary suggested the Hindu belief in reincarnation might cheapen the value of life.

But Athalathil says some of the key elements of the first edition will remain, including 27 Indian-themed pictures, such as a family living in a slum in the shadow of a skyscraper, and a portrait of Mother Teresa.

Religious experts say there’s little doubt why the church has released its Indian version of the Bible. India’s population is surging and the number of Christians as a percentage of the country is in danger of slipping…

In his office in New Delhi, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana*, the Holy See’s representative in India, concedes he’s worried about the prospect of a new Bible sparking more violence. He says that when religious fanatics, “put venom to the people, sometimes they create a monster you cannot control.”

While he doesn’t enthusiastically embrace Athalathil’s bid to publish another Indianized Bible, the 56-year-old Spaniard sounds like he wants to support the effort. “Conversion is a human right,” he says, fiddling with a large crucifix around his neck. “We cannot refuse to others our beautiful way of life.” *Shortly after this story, Quintana moved to a new assignment
-Michael

 

MY COMMENTS

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio, is “worried about the prospect of a new Bible sparking more violence“. But he did not respond to a single one of the many communications from this ministry about the heretical, New Age and syncretistic commentaries and drawings of the original edition and the demand of hundreds of outraged Catholics for the Hinduised New Community Bible to be withdrawn.

Worse, he was not worried about the detrimental spiritual impact that they would have on the Catholic faithful. What violence was he worried about? There wasn’t any, not from the scandalized Hindus nor from their saffronised militant cadres on the NCB release in 2008.

 

It is most intriguing that the story breaks in The Telegraph on June 13, 2010 and is reproduced by CathNewsIndia, a service of UCANews on June 14 after which St Pauls publishes a denial in the archdiocesan weekly of Mumbai, The Examiner. Fr. George Chathanatt, the General Manager of St Paul’s,
claimed that he was “caught unaware of this exciting news“, that the news was “false” and seemed to be “fabricated by someone who has some other intentions“. He demanded that The Examiner “rectify” the UCAN/Telegraph story that was carried “on page 18 of The Examiner, June 19, 2010“.

 

It might be Bombay archdiocese’s official weekly magazine but in report after report I have documented that The Examiner promotes New Age and syncretism; it is presently virtually run by feminists and liberals.

By implication, the Cardinal Archbishop Oswald Gracias and the Bishops of Bombay are complicit in all of this.

The editor Fr. Anthony Charanghat succeeded Fr. Benny Aguiar many years ago and has become a permanent fixture at The Examiner. We wonder why that is so, when all priests in the archdiocese are routinely transferred on a regular basis. It is under his stewardship that The Examiner has slid into error so subtly that few Catholics have noticed it (also because the trend is universal). Those Catholics who used to send in “Letters to the editor” challenging New Age, liturgical and other errors soon found that their letters were being censored or not published. This trend started in the early 2000s. I had been forewarned that this would be the fate of my letters too, by conservative Catholic activists in Mumbai. And that’s exactly what happened.

From publishing entire articles and letters of mine to printing portions of my letters to trashing them completely as the editorial board realized that we both were on different sides of the theological divide, I have seen it all.

Fr. Charanghat was one of the leading proponents of the hybrid (that’s how the Hindus and the secular press describe it) New Community Bible or NCB. That he personally saw to it that no letter condemning the NCB was published in The Examiner is chronicled in my May 2009 report NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 07-UNPUBLISHED LETTERS AGAINST ITS ERRONEOUS COMMENTARIES-THE EXAMINER

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_07-UNPUBLISHED_LETTERS_AGAINST_ITS_ERRONEOUS_COMMENTARIES-THE_EXAMINER.doc.

 

 

 

Almost the only true statement made by Fr. George Chathanatt SSP in his indignant protest in The Examiner was that the revised version of the June 2008 initial issue would not be published by him/St Pauls in JULY 2010 as claimed by The Telegraph/UCAN. Its released was announced in DECEMBER 2011 (see page 6).

 

During and after our vigorous 2008 crusade to have the New Community Bible withdrawn by the Bishops because of its erroneous commentaries, the following 18 reports were published on this ministry’s web site:

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 01-A CRITIQUE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_01-A_CRITIQUE.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 02-THE PAPAL SEMINARY, PUNE, INDIAN THEOLOGIANS, AND THE CATHOLIC ASHRAMS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_02-THE_PAPAL_SEMINARY_PUNE_INDIAN_THEOLOGIANS_AND_THE_CATHOLIC_ASHRAMS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 03-A FRENCH THEOLOGIAN DENOUNCES ERRORS IN THE COMMENTARIES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_03-A_FRENCH_THEOLOGIAN_DENOUNCES_ERRORS_IN_THE_COMMENTARIES.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 04-THE ONGOING ROBBERY OF FAITH

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_04-THE_ONGOING_ROBBERY_OF_FAITH.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 05-THE ANGEL GABRIEL DID NOT APPEAR TO THE VIRGIN MARY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_05-THE_ANGEL_GABRIEL_DID_NOT_APPEAR_TO_THE_VIRGIN_MARY.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 06-PRESS REPORTS AND READERS’ CRITICISMS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_06-PRESS_REPORTS_AND_READERS_CRITICISMS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 07-UNPUBLISHED LETTERS AGAINST ITS ERRONEOUS COMMENTARIES-THE EXAMINER

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_07-UNPUBLISHED_LETTERS_AGAINST_ITS_ERRONEOUS_COMMENTARIES-THE_EXAMINER.doc     

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 08-LETTERS CALLING FOR ITS WITHDRAWAL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_08-LETTERS_CALLING_FOR_ITS_WITHDRAWAL.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 09-LETTER TO THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_09-LETTER_TO_THE_CONGREGATION_FOR_THE_DOCTRINE_OF_THE_FAITH.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 10-CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE SECULAR MEDIA, AND WITH PRIEST-CRITICS OF OUR CRUSADE AGAINST ITS ERRORS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_10-CORRESPONDENCE_WITH_THE_SECULAR_MEDIA_AND_WITH_PRIEST-CRITICS_OF_OUR_CRUSADE_AGAINST_ITS_ERRORS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 11-VATICAN HELD RESPONSIBLE, BRAHMIN LEADERS DEMAND ITS WITHDRAWAL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_11-VATICAN_HELD_RESPONSIBLE_BRAHMIN_LEADERS_DEMAND_ITS_WITHDRAWAL.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 12-LETTERS TO ROME

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_12-LETTERS_TO_ROME.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 13-RESPONSES FROM THE BISHOPS AND THEIR EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_13-RESPONSES_FROM_THE_BISHOPS_AND_THEIR_EXECUTIVE_COMMISSIONS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 14-UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX GREEK CATHOLIC BISHOPS CALL IT A NEW AGE BIBLE, “EXCOMMUNICATE” INDIAN BISHOPS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_14-UKRAINIAN_ORTHODOX_GREEK_CATHOLIC_BISHOPS_CALL_IT_A_NEW_AGE_BIBLE_EXCOMMUNICATE_INDIAN_BISHOPS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_15-DEMAND_FOR_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS-FR_SUBHASH_ANAND_AND_OTHERS.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 16-CRITIQUE BY DERRICK D’COSTA
JULY 2010

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_16-CRITIQUE_BY_DERRICK_DCOSTA.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 17-EXTOLLED BY CAMALDOLI BENEDICTINE OBLATE
1/5/10 MAY 2013

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_17-EXTOLLED_BY_CAMALDOLI_BENEDICTINE_OBLATE.doc

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 18-REVISED EDITION COMING, ST PAULS IN DENIAL
JULY 2010/DECEMBER 2011
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_18-REVISED_EDITION_COMING_ST_PAULS_IN_DENIAL.doc

 

The New Community Bible (NCB) then sort of went underground. At some Catholic bookstores they were sold surreptitiously. At others, they insisted that copies of the NCB were sold out. At still others, inquirers were informed that there was “some problem” but they could not say what the problem was.

 

 

There was a period of around eighteen months when all media information about the NCB ceased completely, the exception being the November 2009 Toronto Star article on pages 2 and 3 of the present report.

The next mention of the NCB was in The Telegraph, UCANews and The Examiner in June 2010.

There is no word anywhere of its having been withdrawn for revision and significantly the stories in The Telegraph/UCAN certainly give the reader the impression that it is a first time release.

Only the Toronto Star reiterates unambiguously that a revised edition is forthcoming and I quote: “a toned-down second edition“, “(St Pauls)
scrambling to release a second edition“, and “publishing a second edition“. It also refers to “some of the key elements of the first edition” and “another Indianized Bible“, which meant that there was already one in existence and that a second was on the anvil.

Why did St Pauls not only have to cover up their plan to revise and republish the NCB but to LIE about it?

What or who were they afraid of?

 

The Toronto Star again refers to an existingIndianized version of the Bible” and “the controversy that followed” its release. From these details and other information in the Toronto Star piece, it becomes apparent that St Pauls felt safe in disclosing their plans to overseas media but did not want Indian Catholics to be alerted.

What was “the controversy that followed” the NCB release in 2008? None of the news stories discuss it.

Yet it was all over the secular and Catholic media in India and overseas (with almost the sole exception of The Examiner) in 2008-2009.

Admitting that the 2008 edition became a “lightning rod for controversy“, reports record the protests of “right-wing Hindu groups” and “Protestant Christian groups” against its aberrations. But not a single word was said about the sustained condemnation that met the NCB from Catholic organisations, ministries and individuals including priests.

Hindu individuals and outfits in India did not appreciate its religious plagiarism and condemned it. But Catholics protested vociferously against the religious pluralism and syncretism of its commentaries.

Considering that the NCB “was the product of 15 years of research by a set of 30 Indian biblical scholars“, during the fifteen-year long gestation period of the NCB, Catholics, meaning the laity as well as the majority of the priests and religious, were never consulted or taken into confidence, leave alone included in the scholarly preparation of the translation, the commentaries and the drawings. The entire project, financed heavily from overseas, was kept under wraps and came as a complete surprise even to Catholics like us who keep an ear to the ground. One even wonders how many of our Bishops were kept in the loop and came to know about the NCB only just before its release. It seems that the only ones who knew, outside of St Pauls and the senior hierarchy of the archdiocese of Bombay, were the liberal priest-theologians.

Why was such a high level of secrecy maintained? What/who were the Church/St Pauls afraid of?

 

Let me address a few other issues that arise from the Toronto Star story.

The NCB is repeatedly described as an “Indianized Bible“. It is not an “Indianized Bible“, it is a Hinduised one. There is a world of difference between “Indian” and “Hindu”. The reader already has my July 14, 2008 critique on the NCB and so I do not want to get into details here but reiterate that the great majority of references in the original commentaries are to Hindu texts and scriptures. News stories bear that fact out.

India is a land of diverse religions, cultures and traditions including tribal ones. One therefore has to distinguish carefully between what is thought to be “Indian” and what is the property of non-Christian religions in India. The much-referred to “bindi” or tilak on the forehead of the Virgin Mary, for instance, is intrinsically a Hindu religious symbol. Muslims and most Protestants, especially Pentecostals, abhor it. See

BINDI OR TILAK MARK ON THE FOREHEAD-INDIAN OR HINDU?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/BINDI_OR_TILAK_MARK_ON_THE_FOREHEAD-INDIAN_OR_HINDU.doc

Many of our nuns, priests and Bishops, and even the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Quintana sport it. See

HINDU RELIGIOUS MARK ON THE FOREHEAD 12-THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIO WEARS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HINDU_RELIGIOUS_MARK_ON_THE_FOREHEAD_12-THE_APOSTOLIC_NUNCIO_WEARS.doc

Various such issues are analysed in my many other reports. For example the dwaja sthambam or flag pole:

HINDU FLAG POLE AT CATHEDRAL OF ST THOMAS IN MADRAS-MYLAPORE ARCHDIOCESE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HINDU_FLAG_POLE_AT_CATHEDRAL_OF_ST_THOMAS_IN_MADRAS-MYLAPORE_ARCHDIOCESE.doc

 

What was the necessity for the Indian Church and St. Pauls to pull the 2008 edition of the NCB and decide to come out with a revised version? If everything in it (its drawings and notes or commentaries) was in order and faithfully Catholic and non-offensive to Catholics as well as to Hindus, where was the need to go through the laborious and expensive (St Pauls would simply hate that aspect) process of bringing out a “toned-down” clone with some portions, “paring out references to Hindu texts“, with some portions “scheduled to be excised from the latest Indian Bible“? After all the NCB had the approval of the hierarchy of St Pauls and the Church:

The Imprimi Potest for the NCB was given by Father Varghese Gnalian SSP, Provincial Superior, Society of Saint Paul.

The Nihil Obstat was given by Most Rev. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai, and Chairman, Doctrinal Commission, CBCI.

The Imprimatur was from Most Rev. Percival Fernandez, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, Former Secretary-General, CBCI.

 

 

If a BIBLE with the official sanction of such stellar Church figures, advertised in the Catholic media, and released to the faithful at grand ceremonies by Cardinals and Archbishops had to be pulled (withdrawn) and modifications done to it (“toning down”, “paring”, and “excising”) the reasons must be very grave indeed.

Will the truth ever come out? I very much doubt it. Openness, honesty and integrity are virtues that our authorities are not very familiar with.

By the way “a more toned-down version of “the truth”“… what on earth is that, Fr. Devassy Athalathil, SSP?

 

If the contents of an approved BIBLE have been found to be questionable what does that have to say about other Catholic literature brought out by the Church and St Pauls and sold at Catholic bookstores in India?

That could be the subject of a separate lengthy report from this ministry.

Some of the most spiritually-dangerous literature that Catholics can obtain is printed, published and sold by St. Pauls’ “Better Yourself Books”. They include books on occult eastern meditations, esoteric alternative therapies, and New Age psychological techniques and personality-typing tools by nuns and priests; among the very worst by a lay “Catholic” are the books of Luis LR Vas.

 

The series of 18 reports listed on page 4 contains scores of letters from laity and priests, including theologians, opposing the New Community Bible. It was the uproar from the Catholic community and the unfavourable press — and, we guess, the intervention of Rome in response to our communications — that prompted its withdrawal for “revision”.

But St Pauls has the audacity to dismiss the concerns of Catholics as “a couple of brickbats“, see the November/December 2011 advertisement for the NCB in the Catholic media:

The “revised” edition of the New Community Bible is announced:

The following full page advertisement was carried in The Examiner
(The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay), December 10, 2011 and in Chennai’s The New Leader, front inner cover, issue of November 16-30, 2011.

 


 

This ministry will be publish a separate report on the revised edition, examining what changes have been introduced vis-à-vis the original. Meanwhile, read the last two lines of page number 7.

 

 

LIES AND MORE LIES

We have seen that the management of St. Pauls technically lied when they got published a letter in The Examiner in June 2010 denying that they intended to bring out a revised edition of the NCB in July 2010 and the news reports stating that they were preparing to do so were “false” and “fabricated”.

There would have been no harm done and it would have been a free advertisement of sorts if they had used that opportunity to inform Catholic readers of the weekly that they were working on a revised edition which would come out in due course of time (it takes time to “revise” a book like the NCB!), December 2011 as it turned out. After all, they do want to sell the book, don’t they?

But no, they were ashamed and went and hid themselves (cf. Genesis 3: 7, 8).

The non-disclosure, for whatever reason(s), does not reflect well on the Catholic publishing house.

 

Recall that the 2008 edition was shrouded in secrecy. I reproduce a passage of mine from page 5:

Considering that the NCB “was the product of 15 years of research by a set of 30 Indian biblical scholars“, during the fifteen-year long gestation period of the NCB, Catholics, meaning the laity as well as the majority of the priests and religious, were never consulted or taken into confidence, leave alone included in the scholarly preparation of the translation, the commentaries and the drawings. The entire project, financed heavily from overseas, was kept under wraps and came as a complete surprise even to Catholics like us who keep an ear to the ground. One even wonders how many of our Bishops were kept in the loop and came to know about the NCB only just before its release. It seems that the only ones who knew, outside of St Pauls and the senior hierarchy of the archdiocese of Bombay, were the liberal priest-theologians.

Why was such a high level of secrecy maintained? What/who were the Church/St Pauls wary of?

 

I must record one more of my observations:

The Toronto Star story of November 7, 2009 as well as the The Telegraph/CathNewsIndia/UCANews/The Examiner story of June 2010 have a couple of striking parallels or similarities.

The Toronto Star cited St Pauls Father Devassy Athalathil and even posted a photograph of him with the NCB on his office desk open at page 2263*. They described his office. The interview had to have happened. He said that a revised second edition was on the way.

The Telegraph/CathNewsIndia/UCANews/The Examiner story cited St Pauls Father George Chathanattil. Yet he denies having spoken to any of the news agencies. Now why is it that I don’t believe him?

 

BOTH priests, in their respective interviews, mention the 27 Indian-themed illustrations of the NCB.

Now isn’t that too much of a coincidence?

Because if either of the stories was written at home by a reporter, all s/he had to do was check out a copy of the 2008 NCB and consult a Catholic telephone directory to get some facts in place for the piece to be published. But no, BOTH journalists arrive at the exact same amazing figure of 27 drawings!

But when I examined the NCBs, this is what I found:

The 2008 NCB on page viii states that it has “twenty-four delicate yet powerful line drawings”. It has.

The 2011 First Revised Edition on page viii states that it has “twenty-two“. It has.

24 and 22, but both journalists agree on a figure of 27!! Surely they did not manufacture their stories out of the air!! Don’t forget that they took the names of real priests of the St Pauls congregation!!

What would anyone have to gain by concocting a story on the impending release of a Bible?

 

And, it is very sad that Father George Chathanattil should describe the release of a Bible in these words: “The Society of St Paul had done a
test launch last year with a rough, early version
of the new Bible.”

 

Now, this priest, when writing to The Examiner, called himself and signed as “George Chathanatt“, the General Manager of St. Pauls. The Examiner too called him “George Chathanatt“. But the news stories call him “George Chathanattil“. So, which is it, and why the ambiguity?

The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) has this to say about “Fr. George Chathanattil” at

http://www.svdcuria.org/public/mission/newslbul/misscan/ms1089.htm

India: Indianised form of Bible

An Indianised form of the Bible will show Mother Mary wearing a sari and a ‘bindi’ (dot) on her forehead and her husband Saint Joseph in a loincloth and a turban. The Indian Church will bring out this form of Bible in July. The illustrated Bible will also be annotated with the commentary that runs side by side with the original biblical text making references to Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi and quoting from Hindu texts and Rabindranath Tagore. “Our attempt is to make people feel at home with the Bible. When one hears one’s own cultural expressions, it is easier for the Indian Christian community to understand the Bible,” said Fr. George Chathanattil of the Society of St Paul, which plans to print 50,000 copies for distribution.

 

*The illustration of a bindi-wearing woman performing the arati with a coconut and a flame on a plate has been removed from the 2011 Revised Edition of the NCB. Stand by for more.

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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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