The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

 

MARCH 2015

 

The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI)

 

Traditionalist Michael Davies reports on his October 1984 visit to the NBCLC in Bangalore:

On This and That

http://www.sspx.ca/Angelus/1984_October/This_That.htm

http://www.angelusonline.org/index.php?section=articles&subsection=print_article&article_id=934

http://www.angelusonline.org/index.php?section=articles&subsection=show_article&article_id=934

By Michael Davies

I have just returned from a visit to India, a visit which gave me much to think about. The most profound impression I received was that of the almost indescribable poverty I witnessed in Bombay. The worst slums in any British or American city would appear almost luxurious beside what I saw there. I have written a long article on this subject in The Remnant, and as I know many Angelus subscribers read both journals I won’t repeat it here.

By an interesting coincidence, Father Schmidberger had been to Bombay a few days before me. Many of the people I met had also met him, and had been to one of the Masses he celebrated. The impression he had made could hardly have been more favorable, and traditional Catholics in India are now hoping that he will be able to send them a priest. There are no priests offering public Tridentine Masses anywhere in this vast sub-continent and there would certainly be difficulties in getting the Society of St. Pius X established there. Finance would be a particular problem as few Church institutions in India are self-supporting. I assisted at a Syriac Rite Mass in Bangalore at a church set in a seminary complex so large that it is referred to as the “Indian Vatican.” There was a large congregation, but when the collection was made I doubt whether more than ten per cent made any contribution at all. I inquired about this afterwards and was told that this particular seminary is financed entirely by money collected abroad. It is a Carmelite foundation, and there are Carmelite priests on a permanent circuit in Europe making mission appeals which bring in huge sums each Sunday. It would require a comparable effort by traditional Catholics in Europe and the U.S.A. to establish the Society in India, and as all our own foundations are in continual need of financial assistance this would certainly present a considerable problem.

 
 


 

This is the NBCLC Church in Bangalore. It is constructed in Hindu style with a typical “Gopuram” tower. On top of the tower is an inverted POT called Kalasam. According to Hindu Agamic rites, inside the POT the deity of the temple resides. NBCLC claims there is nectar inside the POT! While the bishops removed the idols inside the church they did not remove the POT on top, giving the excuse that there are many churches in the world without a cross on top! The bishops did not say if there is any Catholic church anywhere in the world with a POT on top! Thus Hindu signs and symbols get encouragement from the Bishops Conference of India!

 

 

What was it at Bangalore that made this priest and the rest of the staff so sensitive about visitors?

I had been assured that if I made the long journey from Madras I would receive the greatest shock of my life. As a longstanding student of the antics of Archbishops Hunthausen and Weakland, I considered myself unshockable, but, in the true spirit of Vatican II, I am always willing to enter into dialogue and revise my opinions. Thus, after such a dialogue with my very gracious Indian hosts in Madras, I took the night mail for Bangalore and arrived there at about 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I was to return the same way on Sunday night. What, I wondered, could be shocking enough to justify such a journey? I had been assured that I must absolutely see what was to be seen for myself so that I could inform Catholics in the West of what was happening from first-hand experience.

I don’t quite know how to express my reaction to what I saw. To say that I was not disappointed does not seem the right phrase as it would imply that I was glad about what I discovered. All I can say is that my hosts had not come anywhere near to conveying the horror of what I found there. It was truly the most distressing experience of my entire life.
In the NBCLC at Bangalore there has been constructed with finance sent by European Catholics a pagan Hindu temple which purports to be a Catholic Church.
I can fully appreciate that many readers will feel that I am exaggerating in a most unbritish manner. I would have reacted in the same way had I not seen the temple for myself. Never before have I been so aware of the presence of Satan. I was told later that Father Gerard Hogan of the Society of St. Pius X had been taken there, but had insisted on leaving without entering the church, so greatly had the evil atmosphere affected him.

 
 

Inculturation or Paganization?

I have just mentioned my difference of opinion with a Dutch priest at the Centre on the teaching of Vatican II, but I would not like this incident to give the impression that I am an admirer or disciple of this disastrous Council. In my book, Pope John’s Council, I have quoted Archbishop Lefebvre on the subject of “time-bombs” in the Council texts. These were apparently innocuous phrases which would not have alarmed the Council Fathers, but which could be exploited after the Council in a manner conducive to the destruction of Catholicism. It would be wrong of us to condemn the Council Fathers for approving these texts. Archbishop Dwyer of Portland, Oregon, admitted that if the Fathers who voted for the Liturgy Constitution had been told of the manner in which it would be interpreted they would have laughed; it just did not seem possible. Cardinal Heenan, Primate of England & Wales, has testified that Pope John XXIII had no idea of what the experts who drafted the texts were actually planning. I had better point out here, for those who have not read my book or Father Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, that the most influential men at the Council were not the bishops who voted for the documents but the expert advisers who drafted the documents, men like Charles Davis, Gregory Baum and Hans Kung. Pope John Paul II has declared that Kung can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian but the bishops at the Council were pressured into attending lectures given by him to “up-date” them.

 

Among the time-bombs in the Council texts none could have wreaked greater devastation than Numbers 37 and 38 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Number 37 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 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.

Well, if we interpret Number 38 strictly, the Council cannot be used as a justification for the pagan church in Bangalore; the “substantial unity of the Roman Rite” has certainly not been preserved. Not only does the so-called church appear to be a Hindu temple, but the rites conducted within its precincts appear to be Hindu ceremonies. The most profound Catholic writer of this century was probably Christopher Dawson. Unfortunately, he never achieved the popularity of Chesterton, Belloc or Ronald Knox. Dawson observed that culture and religion tend to be synonymous. This is certainly true in India, where the national culture is inextricably bound up with the religion of the overwhelming mass of the people, Hinduism.

 

Ganapati

As few readers of The Angelus will know anything about the Hindu religion I will just recount one aspect encountered during my visit, “the Festival of Ganapati, which takes place at the end of August and is particularly popular in Bombay. While a young soldier in Malaya, in the late nineteen-fifties, I purchased a statue of a half-man, half-elephant god in an Indian bazaar. (There are many Indians in Malaya.) I had no idea of who or what this god represented. I now know that his name is Ganapati. His story is rather sad. His father is the god Shiva, the destroyer. Despite being a god, Shiva had the misfortune of being childless, which I find somewhat surprising for a person with divine power, but let us leave that aside. The god’s wife was very disturbed by her failure to conceive, and, while her husband was away from home, made a clay model of a boy which came to life and was named Ganapati. Shiva arrived home eventually, just when his wife was in the house taking a bath. Ganapati, not knowing who Shiva was, informed him that he could not enter the house as his mother was bathing. Shiva, wondering who the handsome young man was, promptly beheaded him. Needless to say, Ganapati’s mother was far from pleased, and made her views known in no uncertain terms.

 

 

 

Shiva instructed his servants to bring him the head of the first creature they found facing north, which happened to be an elephant. The elephant’s head was placed upon Ganapati who, like his mother, was none too pleased. He is now probably the most popular god in India, which, we may hope, provides him with a certain degree of consolation. I happened to be in Bombay this year in the midst of the Ganapati festival. More than one million Ganapati idols are sold in this city alone; none are cheap; some cost a fortune. During the festival those who have set up an idol in their home must provide refreshments for anyone who cares to call, a gesture which can impoverish a family. Then, after a few days, the idols are taken to the shore and thrown into the sea. This apparently provides great blessings. I had the misfortune of making several long journeys by car in the city during the festival when a ten minute drive could take up to two hours. The streets were packed with processions taking idols to be immersed in the sea.

 


This is Shiva in his cosmic dance which was installed in the NBCLC church in Bangalore. It was finally removed because of Hindu agitation against its presence in a Catholic church!

 
 

Back to Bangalore

The story of Ganapati is not without a certain folkloric charm. There are other aspects of Hinduism which simply could not be narrated in a Catholic magazine, but, as I have stated, Indian culture means Hindu culture; including Indian cultural practices in the liturgy means incorporation of pagan practices into the worship of the one, true God. Such a step would appear to be ruled out by Number 37 of the Liturgy Constitution which forbids practices bound up with superstition and error, but unfortunately, in India it seems to be the NCBLC which has the final say as to what is or is not tainted with superstition.

“Inculturation” is the watchword of the proponents of the Hinduization of the liturgy.
What these cranks seem unaware of is that Catholics in India have their own culture. Some, converted by the Apostle Thomas, have a Christian culture going back 2,000 years; others, converted by Portuguese missionaries, belong to Catholic families dating back almost five hundred years—few Catholic families in Britain can trace their faith back more than two or three generations. Proponents of inculturation point to the fact that some pagan ceremonies have been incorporated into Catholic worship—facing the east to pray provides an example. As I have shown in Chapter XIX of Pope Paul’s New Mass, the practice of celebrating Mass facing the east, adopted by the early Church, was derived to a large extent from the cultural milieu in which the first Christians found themselves, though it was in no sense a direct borrowing from pagan worship.

There are other aspects of the traditional liturgy derived from the customs of different people. But such practices were absorbed in a gradual and natural manner. What the proponents of inculturation in India are proposing is something totally different and totally artificial. They are attempting to impose pagan customs by edict onto an existing and flourishing Christian culture. They claim that Indian Catholics must always be conscious of their Indianness, even while assisting at Mass. The same claim has been made by so-called liturgical experts in the U.S.A., i.e., that the way Mass is celebrated there must reflect the American way of life, whatever that might be.

 

I doubt whether even the proponents of Indianization would claim that their objectives represented any substantial grassroots opinion. Before Vatican II there is no doubt whatsoever that 99.99% of Indian Catholics were totally satisfied with their Church as it was; the same can be said of Catholics in the U.S.A., Great Britain, or any other country! Take the case of the vernacular as an example. How many Angelus readers can recollect any of their Catholic acquaintances or priests, nuns, or laymen, agitating for Mass in the vernacular before Vatican II? Such demands did come from the odd person, and most Catholics considered such people very odd, but I would stake a year’s salary on the fact that they did not constitute 0.01% of the Catholic population. But after the Council the 0.01% of “odd” Catholics, “crazies” in the American vernacular, took over control of the Church from the bishops. My favorite Catholic novelist of this century is Evelyn Waugh. He has never been appreciated as widely as his writing deserves, though the television production of Brideshead Revisited seems to have given his popularity an extraordinary boost. As early as 1965 he was so alarmed at what was taking place in the liturgy that he felt it necessary to speak out in public “to warn the submissive laity of the dangers impending.” He claimed (and rightly so) that those propagating the theories now being imposed upon Catholics throughout the world had been looked upon as “harmless cranks.” He then made a statement which, while totally accurate, is still hard to accept, even though we know it to be true from our personal experience: “Suddenly we find the cranks in authority.”

 

 


 

The figures of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu Thirumurthi (Trinity), was prominently displayed in the Bishops National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) Church in Bangalore. It was an object of veneration and meditation for all priests, nuns and laity who—in the hundreds—attend seminars held at the NBCLC throughout the year. They violated the First Commandment by venerating idols. The All India Laity Conference waged a continued agitation for the removal of these idols but in vain. Then the Hindu Asthika Sabha of Madras went to court against the bishops’ NBCLC Church, demanding the removal of the idols as they were disrespectful of the religious sentiments of the Hindus. India’s Attorney General represented the Hindu cause. The action of the Hindus had the desired effect. The bishops had the idols removed—idols which had been there for over a decade. They saw the danger of serious confrontation with the Hindus. They, of course, never saw the spiritual danger to the Catholics who attended NBCLC!

 
 

Universal Crankery

My initial shock at what is happening in India modified gradually as I began to realize that it is identical in every aspect to what has taken place in English-speaking countries.

It was precisely what Archbishop Lefebvre
had warned would happen in a speech delivered to the Fathers of Vatican II in October of 1963. He warned the bishops that their belief that collegiality would strengthen their authority was an illusion. Whereas prior to Vatican II each bishop had been the absolute ruler in his diocese, subject only to the Pope, collegiality would mean that individual bishops would have to act in accordance with the decisions of national episcopal assemblies and that, in fact, it would not even be the episcopal assemblies but their commissions which would “hold the exercise of that authority.”

This is precisely what happened. In the U.S.A., for example, the BCL (Bishops Committee on the Liturgy) is under the effective control of a group of clerical cranks served by a subservient clique of episcopal “yes-men.” Whatever act of liturgical lunacy the cranks dream up, their episcopal stooges endorse, and what the episcopal stooges of the BCL endorse is eventually ratified by all the American bishops. Thus, as Mgr. Lefebvre warned, the faithful are being governed not by their bishops but by episcopal commissions, which, to all intents and purposes, means crank commissions.

 

In India the cranks have a fixation on turning Catholics into Hindus.
From what I have been able to discover, few if any bishops have any enthusiasm for this process; but few, if any, bishops will make a stand to resist it. This pattern is only too familiar to English-speaking Catholics. In the first chapter of his book, The Devastated Vineyard, Dietrich von Hildebrand castigated bishops who “make no use whatsoever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God.”

“They fear men more than God”; this, alas, is the verdict that one must pass upon the Indian Bishops as one must pass it on the bishops of the U.S.A., Great Britain, France or almost every country in the West.

The only effective and coordinated resistance to the paganization of Indian Catholicism comes from the AILC—the All India Laity Commission. This lay organization is fighting a courageous and unceasing battle to keep the Church in India recognizably Catholic, in spite of the commissions and the bishops! Their campaign has not been without its successes, although, as a whole, the tide seems to be moving against them. During my visit to India I spent a great deal of time in the company of the officials of this fine body, and I can testify to their absolute orthodoxy and zeal for the Faith. The AILC, and the AILC alone, is fighting to preserve the Faith in India. The commissions which are destroying it have access to virtually unlimited funds; the AILC must depend upon its own members, most of whom are very poor. I am sure that many readers could afford, say, twenty dollars or more, to help them in their fight to uphold the Faith. I would urge those who could to send a donation to Mr. V. J. Kulanday, President Emeritus, AILC, “Galilee,” 6 Nimmo Road, San Thome, Madras, 600004, India. This organization is the only one working on a national level to stem the tide of Modernism and paganization sweeping through India. It deserves our support.

 

 

The photographs which accompany this article provide just little of the evidence available to prove the extent to which proponents of “inculturation” in India are prepared to introduce Hinduism into Catholic worship. The Indian bishops declined to order the removal of the Hindu idols in response to the protests of outraged Catholic laity, but did so only as a result of legal action taken by Hindus who considered the presence of images of their gods in a Christian church to be sacrilegious.

The NBCLC published a catechism in which Our Lady was depicted topless. The bishops declined to act and so a group of laymen took the matter to a civil court which ordered the Centre to remove this illustration which was so offensive to the religious feelings of Christians. Ironically, the judge who made the decision was a Hindu!

 

About the kalasam (inverted pot) that is mentioned on page 1:

The late Bishop Visuvasam of Coimbatore in a pastoral letter (April 1994) wrote, “Pastors of souls whose prime duty is to guard the purity of faith and worship ought to see that the agamic concept and practice of kalasam is against the First Commandment, and hence no kalasam may be used anywhere”.

 

The 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 of the NBCLC temple 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 the top of the dome.”

 

Brian Michael of Bandra, Mumbai, in his Yoga and Paganization of the Catholic Church in India, 1999, wrote, “It is humbly suggested that since the POT has replaced the Cross, in future all Indian Bishops hang a POT round their necks instead of the golden pectoral Cross that they now wear.”

 

Take note of the NBCLC‘s depiction of the crucified Jesus as, left, a Nataraja-like “dancing Jesus” and right, a saffron-robed “dancing Jesus” but this time superimposed on a stylized cross. (Nataraja is the dancing aspect of the Hindu deity Shiva, centre, the same image that you find on page 3. It was installed in the NBCLC temple but was removed because of Hindu litigation against its presence in a Catholic “church”)

 




 

Here, below left, is an illustration of “Jesus” from the
CBCI‘s NBCLC’s “God With Us” series of catechism books for children, 1977 to 1981, with the Imprimatur of the Archbishop Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Catechetics. To the right is the now-ex-SVD priest Fr. Francis Barboza performing Bharatanatyam dancing in the Nataraja pose. Nataraja is the dancing aspect of the Hindu deity Shiva.

 



 

 

Brian Michael of Bandra, Mumbai in his Yoga and Paganization of the Catholic Church in India, 1999, said this about the
NBCLC:

“The paganization of the Church in India was devised by Fr. Amalorpavadas and his brother Archbishop Lourduswami. The temple of the Centre of the Bishops’ Conference in Bangalore was built by Fr. Amalorpavadas. Its tower is in Hindu style with an empty pot on top called kalasam. The Hindus believe that, according to agamic rites, it becomes an embodiment or sacramental in-dwelling of the deity of the temple… A pagan symbol continues to be atop the church of the Bishops in Bangalore. Is this not paganization with the Bishops’ approval? (Inside the temple,) on both sides there are grills. One grill is of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Another is that of the dancing Shiva (Nataraja).”

 

Sentinels of Cantonment

http://archive.deccanherald.com/Content/Jun92008/metromon2008060872410.asp
EXTRACT

By Michael Patrao, June 9, 2008

Bangalore: The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre is located on Da Costa Square. It has been at the forefront in the work of inculturation and of the promotion of the arts in religious and spiritual practice. They are home to the liturgical dance troupe Nrityavani. It integrates Indian musical and dance traditions into Christian devotional music and dance…

Sachidananda, the chapel attached to the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) is built in the traditional temple style of architecture. Its design is based on a Chaturasra Hindu temple.  Samarpan is an extension of the chapel. The building structure and display of grills works manifest Indian cultural symbols.

Here we see a classic example of what I have been arguing against and condemning all along. Michael Patrao describes the grill works as “Indian cultural symbols“. On page 4 too, we have seen that these are actually depictions of Hindu deities. So, inculturation as claimed by the NBCLC or Hinduisation? We shall see.

 

Extracts from the book “The Paganized Catholic Church in India” by Victor J.F. Kulanday, 1985:

 


Cover Picture

 

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

**Saccidananda, the Hindu trinity of gods

 

 

 

 

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

 

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 [sic] 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.

 

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.

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.

 

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 anyone who looks at them. Jesus is depicted with a crude and cruel expression; nowhere 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 someone 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?

 


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 pot 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!

 

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 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.

Practices

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:-

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.

Sun Worship

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 anymore, 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 Instructio, 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.

 

Cardinal James Knox’s letter received and published by the Secretary General of the C.B.C.I. on 10-10-1975 forbade the use of the unauthorised New Orders of the Mass for India published by the NBCLC.

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

Your Eminence

    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 development 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

Seal

Sacra Congregatio Pro Cultu Divino.

But 40 years down the line, Cardinal Knox’s letter of instruction and warning has been disobeyed and the liturgy continues to be violated all across India.

(WHY I NOW AVOID THE NOVUS ORDO MASS AND ATTEND THE TRIDENTINE MASS-MICHAEL PRABHU

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WHY_I_NOW_AVOID_THE_NOVUS_ORDO_MASS_AND_ATTEND_THE_TRIDENTINE_MASS-MICHAEL_PRABHU.doc)

For the entire contents of the book, see

THE PAGANIZED CATHOLIC CHURCH IN INDIA-VICTOR J F KULANDAY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_PAGANIZED_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_IN_INDIA-VICTOR_J_F_KULANDAY.doc

 

There’s New Age at the NBCLC:

Bombay priest Fr. Prashant Olalekar‘s
Interplay workshops, which are New Age, have been given at, among many other Catholic institutions, the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre in Bangalore.

In some of the articles in the Interplay 2010 souvenir such as the one written by Sr. Alba Rodrigues PBVM, recounting her Interplay experience at the NBCLC, the language is so riddled with New Age terminology that if I wanted to cite from it I would need to copy the entire article here. She also records that the theme of the retreat was “Prophetic Play and Mystical Movement – A Feminine Spirituality“, adding that Fr. Prashant Olalekar is “a great supporter and promoter of Feminist Theology“.

Interplay is associated with the labyrinth and the “Touching the Earth” Meditation, both of which are New Age.

See FR PRASHANT OLALEKAR-INTERPLAY AND LIFE POSITIVE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_PRASHANT_OLALEKAR-INTERPLAY_AND_LIFE_POSITIVE.doc
and

THE LABYRINTH IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOMBAY

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_LABYRINTH_IN_THE_ARCHDIOCESE_OF_BOMBAY.doc

 

I received this (edited) letter in 2006 from a knowledgeable, well-connected Catholic who ministers on a regular basis in India but resides overseas:

From:
Name Withheld
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 7:34 PM Subject: OM etc.

Dear Michael,

We are to respect and find the good and true in the culture of other religions. (Nostra Aetate, Vatican II)

In 1986 (?), I asked Father Amalorpavadass if he thinks that Tantric symbols could be baptised. He then reacted in such a way which was endangering my health. He actually threw the coffee table which stood between us at me, he knocked it over and it fell towards me! He also was a frequent visitor to Fr. Bede Griffiths and had extended discussions with him AS HE WAS USING HINDU SCRIPTURES DURING HIS MASS (at the NBCLC). His chapel, till this day, is looking more like a Hindu temple than a Catholic Church.

 

 

The devil is always only after souls, by making the power of the Cross irrelevant by replacing it (as in NBCLC) with another symbol.

Now these are not stories to be told, but they reflect the evil aspect of inculturation. The artist, who designed the NBCLC chapel in Bangalore, Jyoti Sahi, is a Catholic who told me in person when we were walking around during a conference that he visits every year with his family the Kali shrine in Tamil Nadu (?), as he is very much afraid of her!!! THIS IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. I have never told this to anyone as it will unleash endless evil and will not help our goal.

Aristotle teaches that “No symbols
are without reality beyond it”. That means we have to understand from where these symbols are coming. The evangelical answer is simplistic: OM is a compound of short forms of all gods!

But Advaita teaches that OM is the UR sound or vibration of the Universe — see what we have to consider here: “In the beginning was the Word…” Secondly: We have to consider St Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 6 and 10. A Christian can do everything (as all is seen in the light of Christ), but we have to take care not to make our weaker brother in faith to fall! This is what we can use as India is a mission country and most of our brothers belong to this group. They are not internally as yet separated from their ancestral traditions.

The people, who live around Bede Griffiths’ Ashram told me the following (1983): “We do not want a Christianity, which is a version of Hinduism, we are attracted by the ‘otherness of Christianity’.”

But the population of the village around his Ashram, all Hindus, told me that when they want to join Christianity, they want to leave behind Hinduism and are not interested in similarities between Hindu believes and Christianity.

 

The NBCLC has a history of association with error

Danger in “story”

The New Leader, December 1-15 and 16-31, 2007, Letter to the editor

Fr Thomas D’Sa, the Director of NBCLC Bangalore announced at the Centre’s recent Ruby Jubilee celebrations that “retelling the story of Jesus” will be NBCLC’s new way of conceiving and doing its mission in the coming years. The new approach echoes the call of the Asian Mission Congress that took place in Thailand last year. My question is: Should we emphasize so much on the ‘story’ of Jesus?

Stories are certainly powerful mediums that convey meaning and values. But there is danger when we emphasize too much the word ‘story’. Usually stories are seen as something imaginary. The recent controversy in India regarding the Sethusamudram project and Ramayana brings out this clearly. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Sri M Karunanidhi, does not accept Rama and Sita as real persons – as many of us also do – because Ramayana is only a story.

So my concern is: “Will the people in Asia, and especially in India, where the vast majority belongs to other religions, regard Jesus also as a mythical character told by the evangelists and Christian missionaries?

Instead of saying, “Retelling the story of Jesus” why not say simply “Retelling the Life of Jesus”?

Fr Paul P Thomas

 

Recognise All Cultures in India as Indian

The Examiner, The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay, July 24, 2004

Fr. Michael G., (see pages 22-24) invited to speak at an inter-religious meeting said, “India has many cultures and all of them should be recognised as ‘Indian’ or Bharatiya especially by the Majority Group people of this country!” The meeting was organised by Swami Smruti Samiti on 4th July on the occasion of the punyatithi (death anniversary) of Swami Vivekanand at Yashwantrao Chavhan Natyagruha, Kotharud, Pune on the theme “We Indian, Our Culture Indian”.

Fr. Michael G. spoke of the beautiful Indian Mass composed with Sanskrit slokaas and Indian rituals by the NBCLC, Bangalore. “But,” he said, “Our inculturation movement has come to a halt because of the opposition to it voiced by the Dalit and the tribal groups in the Church! They oppose this kind of inculturation because it brings back Sanskritic and Brahmanic (sic) culture that imposed on them inhuman life conditions for centuries with the tools of the oppressive customs like casteism and other superstitions.”

 

Towards a wholly Indian Church with aarti and bhajan

http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=147759&cat=India

October 27, 2005
It may be a while yet to see a Christian priest attired in saffron or women performing aarti in the church, but the process of inculturation and Indianisation of the church is irreversible, say church leaders.

These and other issues will be discussed during the upcoming golden jubilee celebrations of the Papal Seminary here.

Father Kuruvilla Pandikattu… told UNI that… among the issues taken up for discussion would be reforms in the Indian Church… This is part of the Catholic Church’s efforts at inculturation (the incarnation of the Gospel in native cultures and introduction of these cultures into the life of the Church) besides reducing the use of the cassock (traditional robes of Christian priests), he said. “The Indian Church has already come a long way and aartis (aratis) are already being performed in a few institutions like the Papal Seminary here and the National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), Bangalore, where we provide training to priests to be truly Indian and genuinely Christian,” he added… Christians are interested in Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Christian Mission is grounded in Indian tradition, [he said].

Pune-based Catholic leaders like
Kurien Kunnumpuram, Francis X D’Sa and Joseph Neuner have been stressing on opening up the Church with lesser control from the Vatican and imparting training to be Indian.

 

 

 

Shabda Shakti Sangam

Vandana Mataji RSCJ (edited), 1995, 800 plus pages, printed by
St Pauls;
sold by the
NBCLC (See more on pages 22-23; the St Pauls/NBCLC combine too has a history of co-association with error)

WHAT IS
Shabda Shakti Sangam?

Shabda Shakti Sangam
is
loaded from cover to cover with occult material
on kundalini, chakras, nadis, the sushumna, energy fields, the astral/vital body, yoga, the OM mantra etc., often accompanied by vivid diagrams, in her own articles as well as those by other Catholic and Hindu contributors. Most of the Catholic authors are priests, a full two-thirds of who are JESUITS! while a few are nuns. Most of these priests are theologians, authors, editors, rectors, retreat preachers, scholars, seminary professors, teachers, heads of institutes, etc. A few, like RSCJ nun Vandana Mataji, are ashram founders or closely connected with the ashram movement.

There are also lay persons, even a clerk at the NBCLC, and a number of Hindu gurus, yogis and swamis who contributed.

 

Fr. Paul Puthanangady SDB
is one of the contributors to Vandana Mataji‘s occult book Shabda Shakti Sangam belonging to the heretical and New Age Catholic Ashrams movement; he wrote the Foreword to ashram leader Sr. Sarah Grant RSCJ‘s
Descent to the Source, 1987.

The front cover
shows the symbol of the Om flowing into the shape of the heart surmounted by a cross.

Fr.
Puthanangady

was the third Director of the
National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, Bangalore, an institution that is part and parcel of the Ashram Aikiya, the heretical federation of ashrams of Catholic initiative and at the forefront of the Hinduisation of the Church in India.

During 2005 alone, the NBCLC offered 30 seminars, symposiums, leadership courses, catecheses, workshops on liturgy, dance and drama, art, architecture, music and culture, Indian Christian Spirituality and Dialogue, God-experience, contemplative retreats etc. for laity, priests and religious. I know lay persons, nuns and priests who have attended these programmes.

Without exception, they have been exposed to ashram spirituality. Some of them confess that they picked up their interest in occult alternative medicines like reiki and pranic healing from their animators at the NBCLC. Fr.
Puthanangady

had himself told me (when I was a student at the Divine Bible College, Muringoor, where he was one of the visiting lecturers in 1999) that these therapies were harmless and Catholics could practise them. One of my distant relatives, a nun, is an “OM” and yoga enthusiast thanks to the NBCLC.

 

Most Rev. Maria Calist Soosa Pakiam, Archbishop of Trivandrum, was Chairman, Bible Commission, and
Chairman of the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), Bangalore, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India institution that promotes the most error, both liturgical, New Age, among religious and laity in the Church. He wrote the preface to the 2008 St. Pauls New Community Bible or NCB praising the “competent team of Indian Bible scholars” that wrote the commentaries. But, following a crusade launched by this ministry against its heresies, syncretization and Hinduisation, the NCB was pulled by the CBCI and the commentaries thoroughly revised.

 

From:
Fr. Joseph Vas SVD, Indore
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:39 AM Subject: Re: NBCLC

I received this letter from NBCLC:

Thank you for your e-mail to Fr. Thomas. I am the new Director of NBCLC.
The Bishops and the Resource Persons of the NCB, with the cooperation of St. Paul Fathers have addressed the difficulties regarding the Bible. Modifications will be made regarding the publication of the next edition.
With regards Fr. Cleophas D. Fernandes.

Yours in the Divine Word, Fr. Juze

 

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India site

http://www.cbcisite.com/NBCLC.htm
EXTRACT

In October 1966, C.B.C.I. instituted the Commissions for Catechetics and Liturgy and decided to start the Centre to organize and animate liturgical and catechetical renewal in India. In 1971 the Centre’s area of service and research was broadened and became known as the
National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre
. It was “set up in Bangalore to promote and co-ordinate the renewal of Christian life in the Church according to the principles outlined by Vatican II council.”

Its present chairman is
Most Rev. Thomas Dabre, the bishop of Vasai and former Chairman of the CBCI’s Doctrinal Commission

 

As
NBCLC Founder-Director
(1966-1985),
Fr. Amalorpavadass
was responsible in forming the
Ashram Aikiya
fellowship. So
the NBCLC is a founding member of the heretical
Catholic Ashram Movement. The NBCLC journal “Word and Worship” was started during the period of
Fr. Amalorpavadass.

 

 

 

In Find Your Roots
and Take Wing, page 27, ashram-founder

Vandana Mataji
says, “A very significant document was published in 1974 by the
NBCLC after a research seminar of about
50 scholars on non-Biblical scriptures.
In virtually ALL of the ashram writings the authors cite or appeal to the NBCLC, for which I can give numerous references.

 

Nrityavani

http://www.kulturimpuls.net/indiandance/NRITYAVANI.pdf
EXTRACT

Our Nrityavani
is a small dance troupe set up in 2001 June at National Centre or popularly known as NBCLC (National Biblical Catechetical & Liturgical Centre), Bangalore…

Nritya means ‘dance’ and vani means ‘voice’. Nrityavani, therefore, stands for ‘Voice of Dance’ literally speaking. In our context, it could mean ‘the music of dance’. Dance is communicative, so also is music. We wish to communicate the Gospel through the medium of dance and music, as a new step in our
mission of evangelisation and inculturation.

The voice of God, the loving
Words of God* have been communicated through dance and music in Sacred Scriptures to his beloved people.

*The NBCLC promotes all scriptures equally. That is why “Words of God” and not “the Word of God”.

Bangalore: NBCLC Conducts Inter-Religious Prayer Service by Jessie Rodrigues, February 7, 2010

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=71879&n_tit=Bangalore:%20NBCLC%20Conducts%20Inter-Religious%20Prayer%20Service
EXTRACT

The NBCLC group gave an introduction to the prayer service, followed by bhajans and a prayer dance. The uniqueness of the programme was the reading from Hindu scripture, Holy Quran and Holy Bible followed by reflection and prayer after every reading.

We have already noted above, that just a few years from its inception, the NBCLC hurriedly published “A very significant document… after a research seminar of about 50 scholars on non-Biblical scriptures.”

 

Bangalore: Young Talents Present Beautiful Blend of Art and Spirituality

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=46425&n_tit=Bangalore%3A+Young+Talents+Present+Beautiful+Blend+of+Art+and+Spirituality
EXTRACT

By Jessie Rodrigues

Bangalore, May 6, 2008: Sunday May 4 was an auspicious day in the history of Nrityavani at St Charles School Auditorium, wherein 25 girls had the opportunity to present two months of hard work and dedication in a beautiful form of art and spirituality. Nrityavani of NBCLC presented ‘Nrityarpana,’ an initial performance of children’s dance career.

The chief guest of the event was Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore. Picture below.

 


 

The programme began with lighting of the lamp with ‘Gayatri Mantra* sung by Suchita and Elizabeth… Fr Thomas D’Sa then took the opportunity to welcome the guests…

The children then performed ‘Padam’ enacting the fondling of Krishna as a child.
Immediately after that, there was the ‘Keerthanai’ based on ‘Bhakti Raga’ in praise of Lord Natrajan of Chidambaram.

Note: The NBCLC programme was mostly about Krishna and Natrajan [=Shiva]

*See MANTRAS ‘OM’ OR ‘AUM’ AND THE GAYATRI MANTRA

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MANTRAS_OM_OR_AUM_AND_THE_GAYATRI_MANTRA.doc

 

Institute for International Theological Education: NBCLC, Bangalore

http://iitheoed.com/nbclc.htm, http://archive.deccanherald.com/Content/Jun92008/metromon2008060872410.asp
EXTRACT

N.B.C.L.C. has been at the forefront in the work of inculturation and of the promotion of the arts in religious and spiritual practice. They are home to the liturgical dance troupe
“Nrityavani,”

… as well as many gifted pastoral theologians.
At N.B.C.L.C. we will have discussions on inculturation,
attend a mass which includes the use of traditional Indian Dance


Tribal Women
dancing during mass to celebrate the harvest, photo: Annette Kletke

Note: there is dance during the Mass; “traditional Indian Dance” means Bharatanatyam temple dance –Michael

 

 

 

NBCLC turns 40

http://www.sarnews.in/details.php?n=552 EXTRACT

SAR News, February 21, 2008

The National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, founded in February 1967 in Bangalore by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, turned ruby this year. The objective of the Centre is ‘Renewal in Bible, Catechetics and Liturgy’.
Father Amalorpavadoss, also known as Swami Amalorananda, was the founder-director of NBCLC. Over the years, it organised a hundreds of training programmes, which have been attended by thousands of priests, nuns and the laity.
The present NBCLC director, Father Thomas D’Sa, spoke about the Centre’s achievement in the last forty years, in an exclusive interview to Amarnath Dinesh Roy.
SAR News: Father Amalorpavadoss strove much for inculturation, especially in liturgy. But don’t you think a lot of ignorance still prevails with regard to inculturation. Don’t the laypeople still misread it as ‘Hinduisation of the liturgy’, especially when other scriptures are read during Christian services?
D’Sa:
Our people have failed to make a distinction between Indian culture and Hinduism. These are two realities that are so blended with each other. But there is a subtle distinction between Hinduism and Indian culture.
Indian culture existed in India even before Hinduism came into existence. Hindus have imbibed the Indian culture before us. That is why Indian culture looks seemingly identical with Hinduism. So when we go for inculturation, we take elements from Indian culture and not from Hinduism. When Indian culture is interpreted according to Christian theology, we call it Christianisation rather than Hinduisation. (All of my reports prove those explanations as lies -Michael)
SAR News: With the overwhelming influence of the West on our culture, especially in cities, do you think inculturation is acceptable?
D’Sa: Inculturation is becoming a difficult process because of globalisation and westernisation, which are spreading across the world and affecting all the cultures. However, there is more consciousness among the peoples of the world to keep their cultures alive; not only in India, every culture everywhere in the world is trying to preserve its culture.
There are 10 percent of people among the Christians who are trying to keep the Indian culture alive even though they are westernised. For example, there are 120 Christian children learning classical dance.
(Read as ‘Bharatanatyam’)
SAR News: The present day liturgical music seems to be too jarring and lacking rules. Don’t you think there should be some effort to bring in the Gregorian climate?

D’Sa: I believe all the music of all the countries is good and there is nothing against Gregorian music or Indian music. It has its own solemnity, gentleness and ability to lead you into contemplation. You get that divine feeling when it is done in a proper manner. Even our bhajans are very devotional, slow, and meditative. Ordinary people find it easy to sing.
SAR News: Pope Benedict XVI is opening the doors once again to the Tridentine Mass. Wouldn’t that be undoing the process of inculturation?

D’Sa: I wouldn’t say its undoing the purpose… it is to bring more “reconciliation” and “inclusiveness”. The purpose seems to be good, but it goes against the Vatican Council II. In itself, it’s a good objective. (The inculturationists’ greatest nightmare is a comeback of the Tridentine Latin Rite Mass)
SAR News: Would it be right to look at NBCLC as a religio-cultural centre?

D’Sa: This not a religio-cultural centre. It makes use of culture and art forms to achieve its objectives. It is not a centre where culture is promoted but it studies the culture and relates according to the context. It is largely a centre for the three Rites to come together. It is known as a centre of unity and still remains biblical, catechetical and liturgical. These three renewals are brought about through inculturation.
SAR News: Has NBCLC opened its doors to programmes for dialogue between other religions?
D’Sa: This has been so from the beginning. Now, the momentum has changed; it is down to earth and more practical. We have people of other faiths coming here to learn the cultural art forms. There is a dialogue of faith… people of different faiths living together and children from other faiths reciting ‘Our Father’ in chapel.

 

Hindu woman assists Catholic faith formation

The New Leader, October 1-15, 2004

The 45-year-old Hindu woman,
Durga Devi, is the most senior staff
at the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. There she also
edits Catholic publications and drafts training schedules for Catholic Religious and laity, besides preparing the altar for Mass.

Fr. Thomas D’Sa, director to the faith formation centre acknowledges Durga as “the link” between the directors. Through her service, “she has played a major role in shaping the Indian face of Christianity,” the priest said.

Like her priest and nun colleagues, Durga has chosen not to marry. She says she is married to Christianity and that the center is her “second home” where she is treated as a family member. Fr. D’Sa said Durga has become “a role model” for many visiting Church people through “her spirituality and devotion”.

 

My comments

At the Indian Church’s premier Catholic
“Faith Formation Centre”- the
NBCLC, a Hindu woman Durga Devi plays a pivotal role. She “edits” – that is, she decides – what may or may not be carried in Catholic publications! A self-confessed Hindu, not a Catholic with a thorough understanding of the Bible, the Catholic Catechism, the Documents of the Vatican Councils, etc. is permitted by Fr. D’Sa and the ecclesial authorities to play “a major role in shaping the Indian face of Christianity”.

 

 

 

In this supposedly Catholic “faith formation centre”, it is not faith in Christian revelation that is primary, but “spirituality”. Fr. D’Sa eulogizes the “spirituality” of Durga Devi. It would be interesting to know what exactly the spirituality of Durga Devi — who chooses to continue as a Hindu in the heart of India’s premier Catholic catechetical and liturgical institutions — is.

In several reports, I have underlined the trend of more and more Catholic priests to propagate a religion-less spirituality, a New Agey spirituality that does away with any form of religion, especially an organized, structured, hierarchical one, a syncretistic spirituality that rejects any claim of Catholic superiority over others’ faiths and with which people of all religious persuasions are equally comfortable.

Unless I am completely wrong in my assessment of the NBCLC‘s activities from all these news reports that I reproduce here, having a Durga Devi at the helm of affairs in the CBCI body, the NBCLC, would be like appointing this writer to take executive decisions at a Brahmin Math (or Mutt).

 

Maundy Thursday Observed at NBCLC in Indian Style

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=32115
EXTRACT

By Jessie Rodrigues, April 06, 2007

Bangalore: Maundy Thursday was solemnly observed in NBCLC, Bangalore in Indian Style* with hymns, bhajans and shlokas in English, Hindi, Kannada and Konkani on Thursday, April 5. *The Indian Rite Mass

NBCLC director
Fr Thomas D’Sa
and nine concelebrants offered the Mass.

The ceremony started with a
Bharatanatyam
dance depicting the Last Supper, by Nrityavani troupe.

 





The Hindu Bharatanatyam
dance is the “classical dance” that Fr. D’Sa refers to on the previous page.

 

Bangalore: NBCLC Celebrates St Cleophas Feast

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=66215&n_tit=Bangalore%3A+NBCLC+Celebrates+St+Cleophas+Feast
EXTRACT

 


 

 

 

By Jessie Rodrigues, Bangalore (SB), September 28, 2009

It was a joyous moment for the religious, staff of NBCLC and faithful to join in the celebration of St Cleophas feast, the birthday of the director of NBCLC, the first celebration in the centre here recently.

Fr Antony Kalliath*, assistant director of NBCLC in his welcome address appreciated Fr Cleo
(Fr Cleophas Dominic Fernandes) ** for his friendly approach with everyone in the centre.

*above left with the Hindu religious mark on his forehead

**above right with the Hindu religious mark on his forehead

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

 

The Indian Rite of the Mass

http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A216rcHinduMass.html
EXTRACT

 


 

You are at St. Ann’s Church, Toronto, Canada. It is July 2, 2006 during Sunday Mass. The co-celebrating priests are Fr. Thomas D’Sa from India and the parish priest of St. Ann’s. Fr. D’Sa is the Director of the National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre, NBCLC, a department of the
Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, which officially endorses and promotes this Indian Rite of the Mass. The Mass was announced in the parish bulletin as the “Indian Order for the Eucharistic Celebration.” It was also announced on the Archdiocese of Toronto’s website.
The Mass is conducted following the rituals of a puja, a Hindu worship service.
A group of girls dance and sing during parts of the Mass, their words and actions having symbolic meaning in Hinduism. They belong to a group called Nrityavani (the voice of the dance) directed by Fr. D’Sa.

In the first part of the Mass, equivalent to the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the girls dance and sing in honor of the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, the chant features the mantra “OM,” the supreme vibration in Hinduism. OM also represents the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

 




 

At other parts of the Mass, fire, incense and flowers are offered on plates as shown, during the Consecration. This gesture in the Hindu religion is made to honor an external deity or the divine inner consciousness of a person. The name of the ceremonial is arati, which signifies that the goddess Arathi is appeased by the offering of fire, incense and flowers.
At the Our Father, preceding the Communion, a Hare Krishna chant is sung. After Fr. D’Sa says the Our Father (four times), the response is indeed “Hare Krishna.” Now, Hare Krishna means “O energy of the lord (hare), O lord (Krishna), engage me in your service.”

During the Mass both priests sport a white dot between their eyebrows. The most common meaning of this dot is to proclaim oneself Hindu.
The Indian Rite of the Mass presented by Fr. D’Sa is the fruit of decades of
effort by the Indian Bishops Conference to “inculturate” the Catholic Faith to the pagan religion of India…
In reality it is a syncretist ceremony that incorporates pagan deities in the Holy Sacrifice.

 

 

 

 

Hindu “Mass” Sparks Violent Altercation in Toronto Churchyard

http://canisiusbooks.com/articles/hindu_mass.htm, http://www.cfnews.org/CF-HinduMass.htm
EXTRACT

By Cornelia R. Ferreira

The flyer below reads: Roman Rite Liturgy of the Eucharist with religious cultural adaptations of India approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. DIVYA YAGAM Indian Order of Eucharistic celebration St. Ann Church (corner De Grassi St. and Gerard St. East) Presider: Fr Thomas D’Sa Director of the
National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre (CBCI)
Bangalore, India


The “Indian Rite of Mass” was in full swing at St. Ann’s Church in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday, July 2, 2006…

It should be noted that the event was advertised on the Archdiocese of Toronto website although there is no “Indian Rite” or “Ordo” that has official Vatican approval. Also, there is no exclusively “Indian” religion or culture, as many religions co-exist in that country.
The “Mass” concocted in 1969 by the Indian bishops has always been a Hindu-Catholic syncretic hybrid, the version at St. Ann’s being an obvious adaptation for Western audiences.[3] As for dance during Mass, which has always been forbidden, even the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, in 1975, said dance “desacralizes” the liturgy, “introducing an atmosphere of profanity.”[4]

 


 



 

The service (photographed and video-taped by the intrepid band of traditionalist protesters) was a consciousness-raising workshop, with Fr. D’Sa explaining the significance of each dance and ritual. Though cloaked in Catholic terminology, the explanations made it clear that he would be conducting Hindu worship or puja, with the barest essentials of the Mass grafted onto it…

It was announced that Fr. D’Sa and his dance troupe were on a workshop tour. They had been in Europe and their next stop was the University of Winnipeg (“Celebrating Spirituality and Dance,” as advertised on Winnipeg’s Archdiocesan website).

 

 

 

A little background on the troupe is in order. Named “Nrityavani,” which means “the voice of dance,” it is an official organ of the Indian Bishops’ Conference. It was devised “to inculturate Catholicism through dance”[6] – in other words, to Hinduize Catholic liturgy and belief worldwide, through its adaptations of Indian classical dance, which is an expression of Hinduism.

Directed by Fr. D’Sa, Nrityavani features Catholic dancers as young as nine, and at least one dancing priest. [7]

On April 1, 2006, the Indian bishops honoured Sri Sri Ravi Shankar‘s* Jubilee with a function at the NBCLC… Following NBCLC Director Father D’Sa’s welcome speech and Hindu devotional songs, Nrityavani dances depicted that “Wisdom is divine and the divine gifts are to be distributed freely.” […]

Let us now return to the Hindu Ordo Mass at the century-old St. Ann’s Church in Toronto. Site of a Native Peoples’ Parish for two decades, it had already been desecrated by Canadian Indian rituals. Before the Mass, Father D’Sa announced he would be explaining the dance gestures and postures as used in “the Indian culture.” He said the Entrance Procession would be preceded by an opening dance honouring the Blessed Trinity. The three barefooted Nrityavani dancing girls positioned in front of the altar were introduced respectively as representing, by their gestures, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Another abomination took place at the Our Father. Instead of reciting the prayer together as a congregation, the people were asked to sit down while the girls launched into another interpretive dance number. Most gestures were completely unfathomable, with the exception of receiving bread and forgiving trespasses (a shove, hurt feelings, forgiveness, hugs all around). The musical accompaniment was a
Hare Krishna
chant!
Father D’Sa intoned the words “Our Father” four times. The response each time was the mantra “Hare Krishna”; towards the end of the prayer, the mantra was repeated over and over. Krishna, the reincarnation of Vishnu, who represents the Absolute Lord, is said to have seduced 16,000 women, and a whole occult, erotic literature has been developed around this aspect of Krishna. [17]

The Blessed Trinity Dance featured the chanting of the magic (occult) mantra OM as each “Person” of the Trinity came “on stage.” […] Father D’Sa was the main celebrant, and the pastor of St. Ann’s the concelebrant… After the Great Amen, the dancing girls performed a triple arati of flowers, fire and incense to the accompaniment of more pagan chants whilst the celebrants held aloft the consecrated Sacred Species.

See http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=5b0239730766360447be8d4a66d67b0b&topic=1318868.msg12366625#msg12366625 and http://joycegimfil.blog.friendster.com/2006/09/inculturation-wrong-in-the-first-place-and-going-too-far/

 

NOTES

3. Victor J. F. Kulanday, The Paganization of the Church in India, 2d rev. ed. (San Thome, Madras: 1988).

4. Cornelia R. Ferreira, Catholic Family News, January 2004.

6. Father Aidan Turner, “Man of Vision Bring [sic] Indian Dancers to Mass,” in “Diocesan News,” The Voice, thevoiceonline.org, August 2005.

7. Ibid.; http://www.st-augustines-high.lancsngfl.ac.uk/index.html (click on News, “Recent Events,” Nrityavani, June 1, 2005). The website lauds the troupe for spreading the Gospels “via Asian Dance,” thus disguising its Hindu-evangelizing nature even further.

17. John B. Noss, Man’s Religions, 3d ed. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1963), pp. 287, 289-90. Kulanday, pp. 82-83, 151.

*See NEW AGE GURUS 1 SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR AND THE ‘ART OF LIVING’

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_AGE_GURUS_1_SRI_SRI_RAVI_SHANKAR_AND_THE_ART_OF_LIVING.doc

 

I reproduce here a report from www.daijiworld.com which, incidentally, is owned by Catholics:

NBCLC honours Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=20020&n_tit=Bangalore

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=20020&n_tit=Bangalore%3A+NBCLC+Honours+Art+of+Living+Guru+Sri+Sri+Ravi+Shankar

Report and pics from Jessie Rodrigues for Daijiworld News Network – Bangalore, April 2, 2006

The NBCLC is a place owned by Roman Catholics. But as the word ‘Catholic’ stands for a universal outlook of encompassing everyone, NBCLC respects every religion and honours the neighbours. As part of this programme, NBCLC honoured HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday April 1, 2006, the theme being “Pilgrimage towards inner Harmony” and “Living with people of other faiths”. Sri Sri is the founder of the ‘Art of Living Foundation’, which propagates to live in harmony with other religions. This foundation is wide-based and spread all over the world and it recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee in Bangalore in a fitting manner. 

The NBCLC took this opportunity and held a function to honour him.
Fr Ronnie Prabhu
(right)
presided over the function, while the local Corporator Mohan and
Carmelite superior general Sr. Victorine
were chief guests. The programme began with Bhajans – Karuna Sagara followed by
dance programme by Nrityavani of NBCLC (centre), which depicted that Wisdom is divine and the divine gifts are to be distributed freely.

 

 


   

 

NBCLC director Fr Thomas D’Sa (left)
in his welcome speech said that Sri Sri may be called the “Apostle of Harmony”. 

Rector Ronnie Prabhu introducing Sri Sri to the gathering, said that with prayer and love one can become Pandit and Sri Sri has shown the way. He was proud to mention that Sri Sri was a student of St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. Sri Sri advised the assembly to have strong faith in God. He said that the faith makes one to believe in oneself
and to see God within. The next step is, he said, to see God in neighbours. Always believe in the positive qualities and abilities of people around you and try to acknowledge and recognize them, he exhorted. Regarding other faiths, he stated that there is no ‘other’ at all. It is like all lengths of waves in one ocean. During the question and answer session that followed, Sri Sri said by celebrating the diversity, and adoring it, one can bring harmony in life. He concluded with “Keep smiling, come what may,” which he said is the essence of “Art of Living”. The programme came to a close with a vote of thanks by Sr. Lily Fernandes who added that simple truths of life bring peace and inner freedom as we all are part of the divinity.

Fr. Ronnie Prabhu is former Jesuit Provincial of Karnataka, and director,
Fatima Retreat House, Mangalore

See FR RONNIE PRABHU-NEW AGE PRIEST

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_RONNIE_PRABHU-NEW_AGE_PRIEST.doc

FR RONNIE PRABHU-PROPHECY FULFILLED

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_RONNIE_PRABHU-PROPHECY_FULFILLED.doc

 

OUR LETTERS TO THE ARCHBISHOPS OF BANGALORE AND DELHI

1. From:
prabhu
To:
Archdiocese of Bangalore ; bgarchdi
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 11:22 AM

Subject: SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR AND THE ‘ART OF LIVING’

KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV.  BERNARD MORAS
ARCHBISHOP  OF  BANGALORE

Your Grace,

The Art of Living Foundation, Bangalore has just written to me informing me that you attended Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Silver Jubilee celebrations at the Jakkur airfield in Bangalore in February 2006.

Also, their website carries a photograph of your good self, felicitating the guru on the main stage at the function.

At another Catholic programme, NBCLC-Bangalore and its “director Fr Thomas D’Sa
honoured HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday April 1, 2006… Fr Ronnie Prabhu S.J.
presided over the function, while the local Corporator Mohan and
Carmelite superior general Sr. Victorine
were chief guests,” according to news reports.

Till February, the Art of Living was apparently not overtly active in Catholic circles in India.

However, within a span of two weeks, I have received telephone calls and letters from lay persons in Bangalore, Goa and Mumbai, expressing concern that this organisation is now making its entry into Catholic schools and parishes.

I have just completed an extensively-researched and lengthy report on the Art of Living guru, his organizations, his writings, his discourses, his philosophies, his teachings, and the nature and content of his ‘Art of Living’ courses.

It is my findings that the guru’s teachings are, among other things, advaitic and New Age. It is not possible for me to go into the details here, but I can reassure you that, for a dozen other reasons, the ‘Art of Living’ is spiritually most unsafe for Catholics, and for all Christians.

Your Grace may not have had the opportunity to go into the specifics of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s programmes, and so you may not be aware of its erroneous teachings and spiritual dangers, which are too many to detail here.

If Your Grace is interested to know them, it will be my privilege to send you by email, as an attachment, my detailed report before it is publicly circulated by the end of this week.

At your service in Jesus’ Name, Michael Prabhu

COPY TO: MOST REV.  THOMAS DABRE, CHAIRMAN, DOCTRINAL COMMISSION, CBCI

REMINDER LETTERS SENT October 5 and 7 and DECEMBER 8. NO RESPONSE RECEIVED

 

2. From:
prabhu
To:
archbishopdelhi@yahoo.co.in
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 11:33 AM

Subject: SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR AND THE ‘ART OF LIVING’

KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV.  VINCENT CONCESSAO
ARCHBISHOP OF DELHI

Your Grace,

The Art of Living Foundation, Bangalore has just written to me informing me that you attended Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Silver Jubilee celebrations at the Jakkur airfield in Bangalore in February 2006.

 

 

 

 

At another Catholic programme, NBCLC-Bangalore and its “director Fr Thomas D’Sa
honoured HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday April 1, 2006… Fr Ronnie Prabhu S.J.
presided over the function, while the local Corporator Mohan and
Carmelite superior general Sr. Victorine
were chief guests,” according to news reports.

Till February, the Art of Living was apparently not overtly active in Catholic circles in India.

However, within a span of two weeks, I have received telephone calls and letters from lay persons in Bangalore, Goa and Mumbai, expressing concern that this organisation is now making its entry into Catholic schools and parishes.

I have just completed an extensively-researched and lengthy report on the Art of Living guru, his organizations, his writings, his discourses, his philosophies, his teachings, and the nature and content of his ‘Art of Living’ courses.

It is my findings that the guru’s teachings are, among other things, advaitic and New Age. It is not possible for me to go into the details here, but I can reassure you that, for a dozen other reasons, the ‘Art of Living’ is spiritually most unsafe for Catholics, and for all Christians.

The New Indian Express of September 25, 2006 has this news report that you are a member of the 13-member committee for Peace for Sri Lanka led by the convenor, Kolkata-based Mr. B. K. Modi of the Mahabodhi Society of India, of which “Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar” is also a member. While we admit that it is for a very commendable cause, less-informed Catholics will be led by such association to believe that this guru’s Art of Living Courses are episcopally endorsed and must similarly bring the ‘peace’ that they supposedly offer.

Your Grace may not have had the opportunity to go into the specifics of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s programmes, and so you may not be aware of its erroneous teachings and spiritual dangers, which are too many to detail here.

If Your Grace is interested to know them, it will be my privilege to send you by email, as an attachment, my detailed report before it is publicly circulated by the end of this week.

At your service in Jesus’ Name,

Michael Prabhu

COPY TO: MOST REV. THOMAS DABRE, CHAIRMAN, DOCTRINAL COMMISSION, CBCI

REMINDERS SENT October 5 and 7.

RESPONSE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF DELHI:

From:
archbishop vincent
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 11:05 AM Subject: Shri Ravi Shankar

Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,

Thank you for your email regarding Shri Ravi Shankar and his teaching. I would certainly be interested in knowing his philosophy of life. In fact in Bangalore I had told him that I wanted to know more about his philosophy of life and he had invited me to his ashram but I could not make it. I would be happy to receive the findings of your research.

With warm regards and God bless, Yours sincerely,

+ Vincent M. Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi

NO RESPONSE
FROM THE ARCHBISHOP DESPITE THREE MORE REMINDER LETTERS SENT ALONG WITH THE REPORT
NEW AGE GURUS 01-SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR-THE ‘ART OF LIVING’

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_AGE_GURUS_01-SRI_SRI_RAVI_SHANKAR-THE_ART_OF_LIVING.doc

 

In adopting forms of expression alien to our Liturgy … have they made sure of the specific Hindu ideology underlining those forms? Will it not be said that we are adapting ourselves to one type of Indian culture that is specifically Hindu? † Valerian Cardinal Gracias of Bombay

Source: http://canisiusbooks.com/articles/hindu_mass.htm

 

Swami (Father) Devaprasad
is the author of
Yoga for Integral Health and Growth. He writes:

“The ultimate aim of yoga is God-realization or mystical union with the Absolute” [Page 11].

In the Acknowledgements, he says “I express my gratitude to Fr. Jacob Theckanath, the Director of the National Centre [NBCLC] who guided me in the work and made its publication possible[Page 7].

Fr. Devaprasad was also then on the staff of the NBCLC, the CBCI’s National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre.

Thus we see yet again [as documented in all my major reports] that the NBCLC- which should be the guardian of liturgical and doctrinal purity- is a leading force in promoting New Age error from within the heart of the Catholic Church. The book is sold by the NBCLC and St Pauls.

Devaprasad
is also the author of

Surya Namaskara
and other Asanas andYoga, An Abundant Life and Wholesome Health
[Malayalam].

 

Here is another book that is sold at the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre with which the Jesuit priest-author Fr. Michael G. is closely associated. He is one of the priests (see pages 13 and 23-24), who are pushing for the so-called Indian Rite Mass and the kind of Inculturation that is best described as Hinduisation.

Psychic Power Meditations for Achievement, by Fr. Michael G.,
SJ
,
St. Pauls Better Yourself Books
, 1996

I have purchased and examined this book and my verdict is that it is a thoroughly occult work.

The leading Indian New Age site http://www.lifepositive.com/spirit/world-religions/christianity/belief.asp quotes this priest as saying:

 

 

 

 

“We must substitute the Old Testament of the Bible with Indian history, scriptures and arts. For us, the Holy Land should be India; the sacred river the Ganges; the sacred mount-ain the Himalayas, the heroes of the past not Moses, or David, but Sri Ram or Krishna.”

(See more of the horrid books sold by the St Pauls/NBCLC combine on pages 14 and 22)

 

An excerpt from my report

YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR, GAYATRI MANTRA, PRANAYAMA TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA_SURYANAMASKAR_GAYATRI_MANTRA_PRANAYAMA_TO_BE_MADE_COMPULSORY_IN_EDUCATIONAL_INSTITUTIONS.doc:

MY COMMENTS ON FR. MICHAEL G. AND THE NBCLC:

1. I have always maintained that, despite weak arguments to the contrary from inculturationists, many of the experimental innovations in the Indian Rite Mass as conducted by the NBCLC, the leaders of the Catholic Ashram Movement and priests influenced by them, are inimical to the interests of dalits and tribals as they are more Brahminical than Indian. The above statement by Fr. Michael G., part lamentation and part truthful observation, coming as it does from a priest who is himself closely associated with the NBCLC, (see pages 13 and 24), supports my contentions.

2. Consider this Jesuit priest, his beliefs, his statements, his writings, and the organisation that he is part of, the NBCLC.

The priest is deeply into New Age. His statements reveal his syncretism. His actions exhibit thorough disregard for the holiness of the Eucharistic celebration. He is also guilty of grave liturgical abuses.

The NBCLC is a centre of the Bishops’ Conference of India. It is supposed to give us the right catechetics, liturgy, etc. etc. But, as I have been pointing out to our Bishops [and to Rome] for years now, it is a centre for New Age and other errors.

And I am not the only lay person to be doing that, or to have done that. There have been several others before me.

The NBCLC is also an integral part of the Catholic Ashrams movement, both spearheading the Hindu-isation of the Church.

And, the future of the Indian Church is in the hands of such priests like Fr. Michael G. and organizations like the NBCLC.

 

Scandalous Ecumenism with Hinduism

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/goancenter/conversations/topics/227
EXTRACT

(The) revolution of Inculturation or Hinduisation was begun intensely in the 1970’s by a
priest, Fr. Amalorpavadas, the younger brother of Cardinal Lourduswamy of the Vatican Congregation for Promotion of Inter-Religious Dialogue. He built a centre for Inculturation known as NBCLC (National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre) at Bangalore, modeled in the form of a temple with symbols of all religions engraved on the door of the temple. It is here that lay people even today are taken, even sponsored by dioceses and parishes, to be “brainwashed” into paganisation by drinking the poison of the “Indian Rite Mass” fabricated by Fr. Amalorpavadas, who himself died a most cruel death being crushed under a truck that left him “faceless” in his death. The Indian Rite Mass is a further perversion of the already “abomination of desolation” which is the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI. Fr. Amalorpavadas is the first to construct the ‘Indian Rite’ incorporating in it all the Brahminical rituals of Hinduism with the chanting of Vedic and Upanishadic mantras. It includes readings taken from the Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita. The words of consecration keep evolving and changing as per the “creativity” of the celebrant. The mass is said squatting on the ground, on a little table surrounded by small lamps. The priestly vestments were completely cast away, the celebrant being in his civil clothes wears a saffron shawl with the character OM in its centre. All the mantras and prayers in this abominable mass begin with ‘OM’. (I have explained its perverse significance in “Hinduism at a glance”)

Tilak‘ is applied on the foreheads of priests and people. Aarti (an act of worship performed by moving in a circular fashion a plate with incense-sticks) is done with a bronze pot, leaves and coconut (it symbolises the 3 deities Shiva, Ganesh and Parvati – the fertility cult of the Hindus). The reason given is that it is a sign of welcome. The Mantras invoking Vishnu and Shiva are attributed, of course falsely to Our Lord Jesus Christ. The ‘Indian Rite’ yet stands unapproved by Rome and yet is widely practiced in all seminaries, convents and gradually in many parishes.

 

The Indian Rite Mass may incorporate only the following:

From:
CBCI commission for Social Communication
To: RM Satur
cbcimo@bol.net.in
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 9:01 PM
THE TWELVE POINTS OF ADAPTATION:

1. The posture during Mass, both for the priests and the faithful, may be adapted to the 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 hands 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.

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 be 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:

the presentation of gifts; the welcome of the celebrant in an Indian way, e.g. with a single arati, washing of hands, etc.; the lighting of the lamp; the greetings 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.

See THE TWELVE POINTS OF ADAPTATION FOR THE INDIAN RITE MASS-WAS A FRAUD PERPETRATED ON INDIAN CATHOLICS?

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_TWELVE_POINTS_OF_ADAPTATION_FOR_THE_INDIAN_RITE_MASS-WAS_A_FRAUD_PERPETRATED_ON_INDIAN_CATHOLICS.doc

 

Drama for Creative Liturgy

Review by Fr. C.M. Paul S.D.B. in Catechetics India, August 2003 EXTRACT

The (NBCLC), Bangalore released a video CD, 7th May, on Drama for Creative Liturgy. Scripted and acted by Fr. Michael G. This hour-long VCD has 10 thought provocative dramas with titles like The Encroaching God, Cursed Be The Day! …

Each drama is earmarked for bringing creativity at different parts of the Eucharistic celebration.

Dramatised themes include: acting out a Scripture reading solo, dramatising a Scripture reading, acting out a Gospel passage involving the audience for catechesis, narrating a homily as a storyteller, using a newspaper report in the liturgy of the Word as an interview. Other creative ways are: presenting the entire liturgy of the Word in one story, for bringing a dramatic change of attitude in the faithful, and praying the formal prayers with images.

Fr. Joshy Illath directed the film in which Redemptorist theology students and Sacred Heart novices in Bangalore acted.

 

Drama in Eucharist provokes people

http://www.ucanews.com/story-archive/?post_name=/2001/10/25/drama-in-eucharist-provokes-people&post_id=19432

October 25, 2001

Bangalore: A priest began Mass with the usual Sign of the Cross. However, before the congregation could say 'Amen', came a shout from behind the sanctuary, 'Hell with it, Hell with it!' Shouting anti-Christian slogans, some youths then barged into the sanctuary carrying placards that ridiculed Christianity.

The congregation was stunned. Some rushed forward to fight. However, Fr. Michael Gonsalves, the celebrant, turned to the demonstrators to answer their questions. He also let the congregation, participants of an October 9-31 training on the new ways of catechizing, answer some questions.

Fr. Gonsalves, a staff of the NBCLC
					uses such interventions to "avoid monotony"
					and shatter the perception that current realities have little relevance in Christian worship. According to him, people join liturgy "meaningfully" when their minds are disturbed in such a manner and jolted from a state of complacency.

After the October 9 Mass, some participants told UCAN that it was the most meaningful Eucharistic celebration they have participated. Fr. Gonsalves told UCA News that he began incorporating aspects of drama in the Eucharist 12 years
					ago when as a parish priest he saw liturgy being reduced to a mere "tranquilizer", not a catalyst that changes lives.

According to the 48-year old priest, mass-goers would respond to the drama better if they faced similar situations in life.
					The drama usually takes place before the Liturgy of the Word or after Communion. It ends with a call for repentance following the depiction of socio-economic inequalities, poverty, corruption, communalism, and other evils.
				

During one Mass, Fr. Gonsalves received a call on his cellphone, and he engaged in a "conversation" as the congregation watched. He says drama has the same relevance as hymns and dance in liturgy.
					

Some resent his innovations as they see drama only as entertainment, he admitted. Some elderly parishioners who opposed him initially began appreciating the dramas after a while, he said.

"My dramas," he added, "are simple, sober, and use minimum costumes," and always address "down to earth" issues.

He says he does not “strictly follow the order of the Mass, but I don’t leave out any important aspect also.”

What we see promoted by Fr. Michael G., Fr. Joshy Illath and the NBCLC and supported by a cast of Redemptorist and Sacred Heart seminarians is improvisation, innovation, experimentation and dramatization -- and contempt for -- the rubrics of the Holy Mass. Abuses and aberrations in the Liturgy have virtually been made official! What on earth are our Bishops and their watchdog Commissions doing?

Fr. Michael G. is Jesuit
						Fr. Michael Gonsalves SJ, a staff member of the NBCLC, see pages 13 and 22-23.

 

The influence of the NBCLC on the Hinduisation of liturgical music in the Indian Church

Research – Bibliography

http://www.thecmsindia.org/research.html
EXTRACT

 

 

 

Palackal, Joseph J. 2003. Kudumba praarthanayum bhajana gaanangalum [Family Prayer and Bhajan Songs]

Fr. Proksch SVD* (1904-1986) was one of the pioneers in adapting the bhajan style of music in Catholic worship in India.

In the 1960s, Dharmaram College and the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Center (NBCLC), Bangalore,
gave leadership in creating an “Indian liturgy” that adapted Hindu terminologies
and Indian classical music. Although Indian liturgy has lost popularity, Christian bhajans continue to have currency among the Catholics in Kerala. Kudumbadeepam (March 2003), pp. 6-8, 14. Language: Malayalam.

 

Unique Meet Discusses Music and its Positive Effects on Human Life

The Examiner, January 1, 2005
EXTRACT

Music has been a great source of inspiration for both promoting life in its various aspects and thinking creatively when life is negated, because music penetrates our being and thus provides alternatives… Jesus too used artistic images to communicate life…, said Fr. Thomas D’Sa… delivering the keynote address at the National Music Consultation, November 11-14, 2004. He was speaking on the topic Music for Personality Growth. The music consultation, the first of its kind in the country, saw the participation of 37 musicians trained in Western and Indian musical traditions. They have worked as instrumentalists, vocalists, liturgists, choir leaders and teachers of music for years in the Church life in India.

These four days of sharing and consultation under
the guidance of NBCLC brought a fresh vision for the future of liturgical music in India,” said a participant. “We hope that this united vision of sacred music may become a powerful creative expression of God’s life in us to bring about peace, harmony, and spread the Gospel of truth in our country,” said another participant.

Sr. Sheila Kunnath CMC spoke on “Music-The Elixir of Life”. She highlighted the effects of music for healing, relaxing and problem-solving. After four days of consultation, there was a “Sangeet Retreat” in which 52 persons from all over India participated. In his concluding remarks Fr. D’Sa… promised to continue research in music along with the other art forms of the Indian cultural milieu. In his concluding remarks Fr. D’Sa… promised to continue research in music along with the other art forms of the Indian cultural milieu.

 

A further excerpt from the above SAR news release will serve to highlight the thrust of the “consultation”:

According to Indian tradition, music is ‘Brahma Sakti’ (Creator’s power) and
it can awaken the latent powers lying dormant within a person, said Fr. Paul Poovathinkal*, the first Indian priest to obtain a Ph.D. in Carnatic music for his paper on ‘Nadayoga: A Meditative Approach towards Absolute Music’. Whether it is pure ‘raga sangeet’ or ‘bhava sangeet’, whenever it is pursued in the true spirit of ‘Yoga Sadhana’, music will manifest its supra-mundane powers in many ways and in different situations.

The priest appeals not to “Indian” tradition as he wrongly claims but to Hindu tradition, which two are quite distinct from each other if one is precise in delineating the two. Moreover, Indian tradition encompasses a diverse range of cultures including a number of tribal ones and not just the Hindu one upon which our NBCLC and Ashram priests appear to have a fixation.

Also, in the tradition of Christian worship music, western or eastern, there is no such concept of “awakening” any “latent powers lying dormant within a person“.

 

*Fr. Paul Poovathinkal CMI lectures
on Yoga at the CBCI institutions NBCLC and at NISCORT.

NISCORT is the CBCI‘s National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training.

Some of his research papers:

‘Inculturation of Music’ Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad, Kochi, January 2004

Yoga and Music meditation, NBCLC, Bangalore, November 2004 and 2005

Yoga and Spirituality of Indian Music, NISCORT, New Delhi, March 2006.

See more at THE HINDUISATION OF MUSIC IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_HINDUISATION_OF_MUSIC_IN_THE_CATHOLIC_CHURCH.doc

DANCING AND BHARATANATYAM IN THE MASS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DANCING_AND_BHARATANATYAM_IN_THE_MASS.doc

LITURGICAL DANCING AND DANCING IN CHURCH

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LITURGICAL_DANCING_AND_DANCING_IN_CHURCH.doc

 

The following extracts in Georgia font are taken from “The Golden Sheaf – A Collection of articles from The Laity monthly dealing with current ecclesiastical aberrations and written by Indian and international writers of repute” edited by Dr. A. Deva, published by Elsie Mathias for the [Cardinal Valerian] Gracias Memorial publications of the ALL INDIA LAITY CONGRESS, released at the Inauguration of the Fifth Annual Convention of the A.I.L.C., May 14, 1980 at Tiruchirapalli.

The Agony of Indian Catholics

Dr. A. Deva, Bangalore [EXTRACT]

A leading Catholic weekly of India recently reported the text of the Holy Father’s address to eleven Bishops of India, from the Bengal and North-Eastern region, who were paying their ad limina visit to him. The Holy Father moreover is reportedly receiving each Bishop in private audience at the ad limina visit. I hope that the President CBCI, Cardinal Picachy, who was one of the 11 Bishops, or at least one of the ten Bishops, reported to the Holy Father the true state of the Church in India.

 

Briefly, our agony is our knowledge that, every day, an illicit Mass is performed under the aegis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). This mass is said in the central teaching institution of the CBCI, the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical centre (NBCLC), Bangalore. The Centre’s Director is Father D. S. Amalorpavadass who is a brother of His Grace the Most Reverend D. S. Lourduswamy, secretary, Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, the Vatican. The Director, NBCLC, has made up his own Mass and has named it the “Indian Rite mass”, or the “Mass according to an Indian order”. He performs his mass squatting on the floor throughout, even during the Consecration.

 

A Mass or a Mess?

I attended the “Indian Rite mass” on May 2, 1979, at the NBCLC. The-participants were loaned a copy each of Fr. Amalorpavadass hand-book for his mass. As described in the hand-book, the laity self-communicate during the “Indian Rite mass”, the tray and chalice being passed around by the priest among the squatting laity.

Although self-communion under both species is known to occur when the group is smaller, it did not occur at the mass I attended. Apart from that, Fr. Amalorpavadass performed his mass exactly according to the hand-book. He consecrated only one large host, about 18 cm in diameter, as large as a chapatti. He later broke this host into fragments and, at communion, placed a fragment on each communicant’s tongue, many fragments and particles remaining on the tray. Towards the end of this mass, a religious sister came forward, took the tray with the particles and fragments, walked to the back of the room and placed the tray on a table there. A perusal of the mass hand-book would leave no Catholic in doubt that the “Indian Rite mass” is illicit. The blasphemy and sacrilege occur when Fr. Amalorpavadass places the consecrated species practically on the floor when he prays to Our Lord at mass with the Sanskrit word “OM”. (OM according to one accepted meaning, is the cry of exultation which the Hindu god, Shiva, and his consort, Parvati, give vent to at the moment of their sexual orgasm), when he squats on the floor and says the words of the consecration, and when he sends the tray containing particles of the sacred species to be placed open on a table at a far corner of the church.

 

The CBCI established the NBCLC in 1967, Fr. Amalorpavadass being continuously its Director. Initially, the “Indian Rite Mass” was said almost in private, the only spectators being the NBCLC staff and the unfortunate lay people, priests and nuns whom their superiors had directed to attend the NBCLC seminars (which are held throughout the year). For the last few months, however, the NBCLC’s Director Fr. Amalorpavadass has been advertising his mass by means of hand-bills which his representatives distribute at parish churches on Sundays which reveal that Fr. Amalorpavadass claims Vatican and CBCI approval for his “Indian Rite Mass”. This claim is false. A parish priest of Bangalore revealed the falsity of this claim in a letter to Editor of India’s national Catholic weekly, the “New Leader“, which was published in the April 15, 1979 issue.

Fr. F. A. Pinto’s letter follows:

 

Puzzled by Circular

Sir,

A circular captioned “Indigenous Forms of Eucharistic Prayer and Meditation” is being distributed to the faithful following Sunday Masses in the parish churches in Bangalore by NBCLC, Bangalore. It has also been published in the New Leader of 25-3-1979.

We are puzzled by this circular because of the statements made in it.

Some of these statements are “The renewal launched by the II Vatican Council includes indigenisation”. This statement confuses us because nowhere is indigenisation mentioned in the Vatican II Council documents. Another such statement is “The renewal … includes indigenisation … in keeping with the incarnation of Jesus Christ…” This looks like a misleading use of the word “incarnation”, which may delude simple Catholics, and, the statement itself is without meaning.

Another such statement in the circular is this, “Celebration of the Eucharist according to Indigenous forms, approved by the Holy See and the C.B.C.I.”

Readers’ attention is invited to the issue of the New Leader dated 9-7-78 wherein Bishop Ignatius Gopu‘s letter to the Editor is published. The Bishop clearly points out that the “Eucharist according to indigenous forms” was not approved by the C.B.C.I. The number of Bishops votes for the proposal to introduce this Mass was less than two thirds of the total membership of the C.B.C.I. The proposal, therefore, was mistakenly sent to the Vatican, as having been approved by the Bishops of India, as clarified by Bishop Gopu. Subsequently Cardinal Knox of the Vatican wrote to the Bishops of India requesting them not to proceed with Indianization (see his letter of 14-6-75*).

The use of the word “indigenous” is also puzzling and may be an appeal to nationalism.

We are puzzled more because the Director, N.B.C.L.C. claims the Archbishop of Bangalore’s approval for the distribution of this circular.

Fr. F. A Pinto, Bangalore.

 

Church’s Misfortune

Our agony is due to the lack of any public condemnation, either by the C.B.C.I. or by the Vatican of Fr. Amalorpavadass’ claim that he has their approval for his mass. (I am convinced, however, that the Holy Father is unaware of the “Indian Rite mass” or of Fr. Amalorpavadass’ claim).

Many Catholics are astonished at the coming into existence of the “Indian Rite mass”. The account I shall give is extraordinary though not complete, and its veracity is fully documented. The virus of the “Indian Rite mass” entered the Church in India in 1966, when a small, influential group of Bishops, priests and laymen began discussions on Indianising the Mass and the liturgy. Periodical meetings were held and it was not difficult, under the banner of “renewal under Vatican II” for this group to obtain cognisance of the C.B.C.I. for the Indianisation idea, C.B.C.I. Cognisance, however, is not the same as C.B.C.I. approval, but, as I shall describe C.B.C.I. approval was ultimately secured by the use of devious methods, the year being 1969.

 

 

 

The mistake the Indianisers make is to equate Hindu with Indian and to transfer the religious rites of Hinduism, the living religion of 600 million people, into the Mass and into Catholic liturgy, inevitably, resulting in doctrinal confusion among Catholics, and in Hindus thinking that we at last recognize Hinduism’s truth.

The idea of introducing Hindu rites into the mass and the liturgy would, have been fruitless without powerful advocacy, but, to the misfortune of the Church in India, just such advocacy did exist in 1969. In that year, the C.B.C.I.’s Chairman of its Liturgy Commission was His Grace the Most Reverend D. S. Lourduswamy, Archbishop of Bangalore, who is a votary of Indianisation (We shall hereafter call this process by its correct name, Hinduisation). The NBCLC was established in his Archdiocese and he was instrumental in placing his brother Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadass, who is a priest of Salem diocese as director of NBCLC, in 1967. With his assistance, the ideas about Indianisation, referred to, were crystallised and formulated into “12 points“. Please note that the chairman of the sub-committee that selected 12 points has since left the Society of Jesus and priesthood, and married a nun…

 

An Illicit Mass

I have already stated that the NBCLC’s “Indian Rite mass” is illicit, because it far exceeds, in its Hinduisations, even the 12 points of 1969, which alone the Vatican (erroneously) approved. I shall give details of another unauthorised innovation contained in the “Indian Rite mass” and gradually being introduced into the liturgy, in some dioceses of India. I refer to the Sanskrit word, “OM“. This word is not found among the 12 points and its use in the Mass or in the liturgy is, therefore, at the very least, unauthorized. James Cardinal Knox, President, Sacred Congregation for sacraments and Divine worship, further, banned the use of any such word by his directive Prot. N.789/75 dated June 14, 1975, addressed to the President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

 

The revolt against the “Indian Rite Mass” by a block of 9 Bishops, though welcome, is a matter of the utmost gravity. The reason is that the NBCLC is a CBCI-sponsored institution, and the Director, NBCLC, daily performs the “Indian Rite Mass” in the NBCLC church. The 9 Bishops being members of the CBCI, a quiet split has clearly occurred in that body on the “Indian Rite Mass” and this is good for it will encourage other Bishops to come out into the open in defence of the purity of Catholic worship.

 

In the delicate stage that the Catholic Church in India has now reached, the position and power of Archbishop Lourduswamy are significant. I have shown that Archbishop Lourduswamy was responsible for the 12 points being introduced into India, by taking the proposal to Rome without proper approval by the CBCI and then erroneously obtaining Rome’s approval. The priest-director of the NBCLC is Archbishop Lourduswamy’s brother. Archbishop Lourduswamy is now Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples as well as President of the Pontifical Mission Aid Society (PMAS) and he has large funds at his disposal. The NBCLC receives annual grants from him. Any single Bishop standing up against the NBCLC’s “Indian Rite Mass” has to reckon with the possibility of PMAS aid to his diocese drying up or being reduced. Such retributive action becomes less likely, however, when the Bishops of a whole region of India stand together, as has now happened in the Andhra Pradesh State of the Indian Union. These 9 Bishops, however, are deserving of early and public moral support from their brother bishops as well as from the Vatican, which I hope they will soon receive.

 

Bishops worried by Hinduisation

The Andhra Pradesh Bishops have come out in a block against the “Indian Rite Mass”. There are other Bishops who are perturbed at the progressive Hinduisation of the Church in India after the 12 points were introduced. These Bishops voiced their misgivings at the last General Body Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, which was held in Mangalore in January, 1978. The Bishops Conference of India was held in Mangalore in January, 1978. The Bishops’ discussion on the NBCLC and the liturgy is very revealing. An abbreviated report appeared in the “New Leader”, of June 25, 1978 and I shall quote extracts from that paper…

Archbishop Lourduswamy’s presence in Rome restrains the CBCI from taking action against the NBCLC. Another restraining factor is that Archbishop Lourduswamy’s disciple, Bishop Arokiaswamy of Kottar, is Chairman, Liturgy Commission of the CBCI, and the NBCLC works directly under the Liturgy Commission.

 

Matters Liturgical

By Fr. Anastasio Gomes, O.C.D.
[EXTRACT]

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 underground 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 organized 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.

 

Liberal theologian who was castigated by Rome, Fr. Michael Amaladoss was involved in the formation of the NBCLC‘s Indian Rite Mass, promotes Carnatic music and composes songs for
Bharatanatyam dance:

I studied vocal music. Although originally I began also playing the violin, I couldn’t continue too long. As a Jesuit, given all the other commitments, I had not much time to practice, so I gave it up. After the ordination, I began composing liturgical songs. I must have composed over 200 songs and bhajans. I ran for some years a liturgical music publication with the title Isai Aruvi (“Fountain of music”), which also brought out discs and cassettes.

I have also published a small “teach yourself” book with lessons in Karnatic music – Isai Elithu (“Simple music”) – introducing 60 ragas to beginners. More recently I have composed some songs with Christian themes for Bharata Natyam (South Indian classical dance)…

I also got involved with his (Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadass‘) work at the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) in Bangalore. I used to lecture in the many courses there regularly, till I moved to Delhi. I was present at all the major research seminars tackling the problems of the Indian Church and Indian theology like the one on the Inspiration of Non-Christian Scriptures, the Ministries, the Indian Church in the Struggle for a New Society, etc. I was involved with the group that prepared the “Indian Rite” for the Eucharist…

Source:

“Faith meets faith”. Living with cross-cultural experiences

www.franziskanerinnenheute.de/Mission/Interview_Amaladoss_mwi.doc

Interview with Michael Amaladoss SJ

See

INDIAN JESUIT THEOLOGIAN FR MICHAEL AMALADOSS UNDER INVESTIGATION BY ROME

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INDIAN_JESUIT_THEOLOGIAN_FR_MICHAEL_AMALADOSS_UNDER_INVESTIGATION_BY_ROME.doc

 

Photo gallery – Nrityavani

http://www.st-joseph-tutzing.de/images/phocagallery/thumbs/phoca_thumb_m_nrityavani2.jpg

 

 


A member, possibly a priest or seminarian, of the dance troupe of the NBCLC’s “Nrityavani” performing at the altar of St. Joseph’s Church, Tutzing, Germany

 

“Class diner [sic] with members of Nrityavani Dance Troup”

National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre, (N.B.C.L.C), Bangalore

http://iitheoed.com/nbclc.htm

 



 

Click on the above link to view the pictures. You see the
Nrityavani Dance Troupe
at table in the
NBCLC
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 when they’re out of the sanctuary.

 

 

 

Pilgrimages deepen Catholic faith, Vatican official says, urging its Asian church promotion

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=23380
EXTRACT

March 14, 2007

At
an international consultation in India… held March 12-14 in Bangalore… Cardinal Renato Rafaele Martino,
president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, attended as papal envoy.

The consultation drew 108 participants including two cardinals, two archbishops, six bishops and rectors of the international shrines of Lourdes, in France; Fatima, in Portugal; and Padua, in Italy. Its theme was Walking toward the Wellspring of Salvation. The Cardinal addressed the meeting… The event was part of a yearlong program celebrating 40 years of the
National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC).

Was Cardinal Renato blind to what is going in the NBCLC? What about the second cardinal, the two archbishops, the six bishops and the rectors of the great Catholic shrines of Europe? Has spiritual blindness enveloped a large section of our hierarchy, or is it that no one wants to be the first to say, “But the emperor is not clothed”? How is it then that many ordinary lay Catholics are questioning if those on the road taken by the NBCLC are indeed “Walking toward the Wellspring of Salvation” or in the opposite direction?

 

The NBCLC is perceived by laity as an integral part of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI]. Indeed, to the lay Catholic, when one says ‘NBCLC’, one thinks ‘CBCI’.

If wrong teachings and wrong praxis emerge from the NBCLC, it is understood that they are with the full knowledge, permission and authority of the CBCI.

The NBCLC appears to represent a serious danger to the orthodoxy of the faith. My research shows that, right from its very inception under Fr. Amalorpavadas, the NBCLC has served more to Hinduise and secularise the Church and syncretize its teachings than to properly inculturate it, and especially because it is a lynch pin of the heretical Catholic Ashrams movement.

The Federation of Ashrams of Catholic Initiative in India was formed in 1978. It was constituted at a gathering of ashramites at the NBCLC, in Bangalore at the invitation of Fr. D.S. Amalorpavadas (Swami Amalorananda, 1932-1990) who was its Director, and Secretary of Liturgy (Aikiya= Unity). Here, Fr. Amalor (as he is known) helped define “the main elements” of an ashram.

The above is a quote from my 2005 exposé
CATHOLIC ASHRAMS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CATHOLIC_ASHRAMS.doc.

While Amalorpavadass was in Mysore, he founded a Christian ashram and named it “Anjali Ashram” and served as an Acharya-Guru for many “seekers” till his death in 1990.

The Catholic Ashrams movement, which is spawned by the NBCLC and receives sustenance from it, aims to desacralize and desacramentalize the Indian Church. My report charges that it promotes New Age, and is guilty of blasphemy, sacrilege and heresy. It revolts against the ‘patriarchy’ of Rome and would love to have an autonomous Indian Church. And much more.

Its leaders also reject the teachings and exhortations of some of the recent Vatican documents (Dominus Iesus, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life) and abhor evangelization.

Many “experiments” in the Mass being carried out in the Ashrams reflect those of the NBCLC, and, to the best of my knowledge, they do not have the official sanction of the CBCI. Many such “experiments”, which are aberrations and abuses, are transferred to Masses celebrated outside the ashram circuit by priests who are sympathetic to the cause or are compromised by attending the NBCLC programmes.

 

Below is an extract on Fr. Amalorpavadass and his infamous Anjali Ashram constructed on tantric-yoga principles from the book “Yoga-A Path to God” by Fr. Louis Hughes O.P., a leading proponent of Yoga:

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/YOGA-A_PATH_TO_GOD-FR_LOUIS_HUGHES.doc

ANJALI ASHRAM AND FATHER AMALOR

    D.S. Amalorpavadass was born in 1932 in Kallery near Pondicherry in South India. After completing second-level education in 1949 he joined the Minor Seminary in Cuddalore where he stayed from 1949 to 1953 whilst studying at St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirapalli. He then became a student for the priesthood at St. Peter’s Major Seminary in Bangalore. In spite of weak health during his seminary days, he was a brilliant student and authored several booklets in Tamil. He was ordained priest in 1959, following which he joined the staff of the Regional Catechetical Centre, Tindivanam. There he published a monthly review and established a documentation centre and library. He organised many seminars all over Tamil Nadu.

    From 1962 to 1965 Father Amalor did higher studies at the Institute Catholique in Paris. His Master’s and Doctoral theses were both published as books entitled respectively: ‘l’Inde e la rencontre du Seigneur’ and ‘Destinee de l’Eglise dans l’Inde d’aujourdhui’. On his return to India, Amalor was appointed Secretary of the Indian Bishops’ Commission for Liturgy and Catechetics. More significantly in 1966 he began the work that led to the establishment of the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) in Bangalore. Under his guidance the NBCLC was to have an enormous influence on the Catholic Church in India. Its main thrust was to build up an authentic local church rooted in India’s cultural and religious heritage. Amalor continued to direct the NBCLC until 1982 when he left to give his full attention to the new directions his life’s work was taking in Mysore.

 

 

 

    The University of Mysore was the first state University in India to institute a Chair and a Department in Christianity. In 1982 Amalor was appointed the first Professor of Christianity there. However, some years earlier in 1979 he had already taken the first steps towards establishing Anjali Ashram close to the entrance to the University. The University and the Ashram were the two focuses of Father Amalor’s attention for the remainder of his life, a life that was prematurely cut short by a fatal road accident in May 1990. [1].

    Anjali Ashram is situated about four kilometers from Mysore City, overlooked by Chamundi Hill with its 800 year old Chamundeshwari Temple. Because of its location, thousands of Hindus pass its entrance each day on their way to have darshan (literally ‘sight’) of the gilded idol of the goddess Chamundeshwari. The spacious ashram entrance with its gates permanently open stands as an invitation to passers-by to “come in and rest awhile” – even for as little as half an hour.     

    Founded in 1979, the ashram passed through several stages over the following five years or so to reach its present form. It is built along an axis perpendicular to the main road. Entering on foot one passes through a series of single-storied buildings in a South Indian garden setting of coconut palms and banana trees. The buildings merge into a carefully planned and cultivated environment. The first to be encountered is the viswagopuram (cosmic cupola), a small eight-pillared pavilion symbolizing “cosmic order and harmony”. From there one moves on to the large open rectangular satsang mantapam (community hall), symbolizing “social order and sharing”. This is used for meetings with groups of up to 200 people.

    From the satsang mantapam one proceeds to the swagata nilayam (reception area) which provides facilities for short-term visitors, and the atma purna nivas which houses the chapel, library, kitchen/dining area and cells for fifteen ashram-dwellers. It is encircled by a group of ten tree-shaded cottages, each providing accommodation for an additional individual resident or visitor.

Continuing along the path in a straight line, one passes by other buildings whose names and designs have spiritual significance. Sat-cit-ananda temple or the temple of ‘being-knowledge-bliss’ is at the end of the path. Its title and position are intended to signify the life that is to be found in Brahma or the Holy Trinity. The pilgrim need go no further. He has reached his goal, the supreme and ultimate reality.

Each element in the lay-out of Anjali Ashram has been designed and named to express a particular meaning. This was also the case with the National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre in Bangalore, the buildings of which were also designed by Father Amalor. Commenting on the structure of the National Centre, Amalor wrote; “The more one looks for meaning, the more he will find it and the more the campus will appear and unfold itself as meaningful.” [2]
His method of using architecture to give detailed expression to a spiritual system was repeated more than a decade later at Anjali Ashram. Here too one is justified in looking for meaning at different levels in the way in which the ashram is designed and laid out.

    The basic message of the plan is that the individual is invited to embark on the quest for wholeness or personal integration “facilitated by the practice of an integrated spirituality system of India, yoga…” [3]. This is expressed by walking on the ashram’s straight central path, deviating neither to the right nor to the left. In this context Amalor uses the image of an arrow “moving non-stop towards the target, Brahman” [4].

The objective of the pilgrim’s quest is symbolized in the temple which lies at the path’s end. This journey to God has a number of distinct stages at any one of which the seeker is free to perform a U-turn or simply drop out to the side. The different stages in the spiritual journey are expressed in the different groups of buildings.

    A rough map of the as yet incomplete ashram is contained in an early edition of Anjali Ashram, the official guide to the ashram, authored by Amalor. On the map the ashram’s looped service road looks vaguely like the outline of a human body. On this map the five main features of the complex referred to above resemble a diagram of five ‘cakras’ in the human body. The viswa gopuram at the bottom of the page, corresponds to the base cakra, while the sat-cit-ananda temple at the top has a circular path round it that makes it appear like the head of the ‘body’, thus reminding one of the sahasrara cakra. Subsequent development of the ashram buildings did not follow this plan exactly, particularly in regard to the location of the temple. Nevertheless, this earlier plan gives an important clue to Amalor’s vision at the time of writing.

    The architecture of Anjali Ashram appears to be based on tantric and specifically kundalini philosophy. In its layout the ashram mirrors the human body and expresses a spirituality that is lived within the body. In common with Hindu temples, the layout also forms a yantra – a shape which is used in tantric yoga as an aid to meditation. A yantra is “divisible only along its vertical axis (divided horizontally, the parts are asymmetrical); this vertical orientation…makes it a pattern for the ascending movement of kundalini-shakti…” [5]
As mentioned earlier, kundalini yoga conceives of a straight central channel within the human body, along which the spiritual energy called kundalini or shakti has to travel through various cakras until it meets God-consciousness or shiva at the crown of the head. This journey is not completed for all aspirants. For most, the kundalini energy will go no further than the first or second cakra – symbolized by those visitors who do not reach the head, or even the heart of the ashram.

    As further evidence of his interest in tantra and kundalini, in his earlier work at the National Centre Amalor used kundalini symbolism in his design of the Centre’s chapel – a symbolism whose meaning he spelt out at that time. The tabernacle which is the chapel’s central focus is located in the middle of “the cosmic tree”. This (he wrote) represents “the communion between God and Man, heaven and earth, in and through Jesus Christ. The ascending energies of the earth and the descending energies of heaven meet in Jesus Christ, God made man” [6]. These words and the artwork they describe express the Christian mystery in the language of kundalini yoga.

 

 

 

    A few years later Amalor refrained from stating in his pamphlet that the plan of Anjali Ashram was in part at least intended to incorporate tantric kundalini ideas – and perhaps with good reason. In designing the National Centre, Amalor had placed on top of the Centre’s chapel or temple a representation of the Kalasam or ‘Sacred Vessel’, rather than the more traditional Cross. The Vessel or Chalice is a symbol that is common both to Hinduism and Christianity. Its erection was to prove controversial. In later writings he justified its use, but in the end acknowledged that “in spite of this clear explanation and evidence of tradition some people continue to misinterpret it and allege that the Cross, a Christian sign is replaced by Kalasam, a Hindu symbol” [7].

Given the fact that much tantric practice is highly controversial even within Hinduism, it is hardly surprising that, rather than spelling out its significance in detail, Amalor might have opted to allow the layout of Anjali Ashram to “unfold itself as meaningful” to the one who looks for that meaning. In this regard he would have been echoing the *tantric yoga tradition which over the centuries has tended to transmit its practices, partly at least, in secret.

Notes

1.
Fr. Amalor’s biodata is taken from an obituary written by Fr. Paul Puthanangady, current Director of the NBCLC, in The Examiner [Bombay], June 9, 1990.

2. “The NBCLC Campus a Living Synthesis of Indian Christian Theology and Spirituality” in Indian Christian Spirituality, 239

3.
Anjali Ashram, [a pamphlet issued by the Ashram and written by Amalor], 18

4.
Ibid, 14; see also Amalor’s “Main Categories of Hindu Philosophy and Spirituality” in Indian Christian Spirituality, 151

5. Thomas Matus, Yoga and the Jesus Prayer Tradition [Ramsey, N.J., 1984], 39

6. “The Chapel ‘Saccidananda’, Unique Place of God-Experience” in Indian Christian Spirituality, 256c

7.
Ibid., 249

 

NBCLC Turns Forty

SAR News, 2007

The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre, founded in February 1967 in Bangalore by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, turned ruby this year. The objective of the Centre is ‘Renewal in Bible, Catechetics and Liturgy’.

Father Amalorpavadoss, also known as Swami Amalorananda, was the founder-director of NBCLC. Over the years it has organized hundreds of training programmes, which have been attended by thousands of priests, nuns and the laity.

The present NBCLC Director, Fr. Thomas D’Sa, believes that the vision/goal (of the Centre) is being fulfilled. It is the vision of Vatican Council II, which is still considered unfinished. It’s an ongoing process; ultimately, it is to form communities of life and create better Christians, so that they can live in harmony and peace with the people of other faiths – in the context of their own culture and in the context of religious fundamentalism and globalisation.

He says, “Our people have failed to make a distinction between Indian culture and Hinduism. Indian culture existed in India even before Hinduism came into existence. Hindus have imbibed the Indian culture before us. That is why Indian culture looks seemingly identical with Hinduism. So when we go for inculturation, we take elements from Indian culture and not from Hinduism. When Indian culture is interpreted according to Christian theology, we call it Christianisation rather than Hinduisation. Inculturation is becoming a difficult process because of globalisation and westernisation, which are spreading across the world and affecting all the cultures.

NBCLC is not a religio-cultural center. It makes use of culture and art forms to achieve its objectives. It is not a center where culture is promoted, but it studies the culture and relates according to the context. It is largely a center for the three Rites to come together. It is known as a center of unity and still remains biblical, catechetical and liturgical. These three renewals are brought about through inculturation. People of other faiths come here to learn cultural art forms. There is a dialogue of faith… people of different faiths living together and children from other faiths reciting ‘Our Father’ in chapel.”

 

Valedictory Function of NBCLC Summer Camp
Held

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=21936
EXTRACT
By Jessie Rodrigues, Bangalore, May 27

The National Biblical Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) organized summer residential/non-residential courses in Indian art forms as a new step in its mission of inculturation.
The objectives of the course are-
To spread the ‘good news’ through the medium of dance and music

This dance as I mentioned earlier is the Hindu temple dance Bharatanatyam and “inculturation” is Hinduisation –Michael

 

Let me cite from

Sacrosanctum Concilium and Inculturation of Liturgy in the Post-Conciliar Indian Catholic Church

By Jon Douglas Anderson of the Franciscan University of Steubenville who spent six weeks in India in 2009 researching Inculturation in the Liturgy and writing his thesis “Theology and Inculturation in India”

http://wisc.academia.edu/JonAnderson/Papers/237033/Sacrosanctum_Concilium_and_Inculturation_of_Liturgy_in_the_Post-Conciliar_Indian_Catholic_Church

 

 

 

 

Addressing himself first to the sitting posture prescribed for observance of the Indian rite Mass, Amalorpavadass articulated several reasons for the desirability of following this prototypical Indian custom, appealing not only to its cultural resonance and historical foundations, but moreover to its most favorable psychological and spiritual effects:

[…]
The squatting posture facilitates a greater contact with ‘Mother Earth’ through which man can enter into communion with the whole universe (cosmos) which is permeated by God’s presence*

*D. S. Amalorpavadass, “The 12 Points of Adaptation in the Liturgy and Their Commentaries.” (Bangalore: National Biblical, Catechetical, and Liturgical Centre, 1981).

So that’s the basis for Amalorpavadass’ conjuring up the squatting Indian Rite Mass!?!

In another context Jon Anderson elaborates on a 1978 survey on “liturgical innovations” “(nearly a decade after the introduction of ‘the twelve points,’) and stored in the records of the NBCLC in Bangalore“:

58% accept them with enthusiasm. They consider that the 12 points enable them to worship God in keeping with the spirit and genius of India. They are conducive for a deeper experience of the Mystery and helpful for maintaining a prayerful spirit throughout. The use of symbols, the chants and bhajans sustain involvement and a contemplative spirit…

89% felt that such elements have contributed to a deeper prayer and worship. They appreciate the Indian atmosphere. They reported in particular that the chants, bhajans and some symbols and gestures helped them to pray better.

Finally, among the remaining respondents, Theckanath reports a mixture of qualified, detailed endorsements and specific criticisms, as well as a minority who expressed outright opposition to liturgical inculturation:

…Some oppose inculturation (17%). They feel that it creates confusion. Distinctiveness of Christian worship may be watered down.
Some 8% have reservations on the “passive” posture of sitting on the floor throughout the Mass, and others on panchanga pranam, arati, etc. Some others mention that the postures at Mass should [only] be those adopted for daily life. 12 % feel that all of this amounts to Hinduization.
They say that the Christian identity will be lost if inculturation is pursued.

He adds, “The common denominator I discovered in the course of my own field research was simply that everyone I asked, from prominent bishops and theologians to the humblest parish priest and lay parishioner had some opinion of ‘inculturation,’ whether good, bad, or (rarely) indifferent…
although one may rightly wonder about the accuracy of statistics and the debatable representative nature of the survey’s sample—whether it might not be skewed toward a relatively more ‘elite’ clientele which has been exposed to seminars at the NBCLC.

My comment is:

I would be more interested in the “12 % (that) feel that all of this amounts to Hinduization (that) say that the Christian identity will be lost if inculturation is pursued”. God bless that 12%. May their tribe increase.  

 

The Paganized Catholic Church in India

By Victor J. F. Kulanday, 1985 [page numbers in brackets]

This book is of 180 pages plus 12 pages of Introduction etc., with an additional 144 pages of Appendix.

Appendix XI. Good Priests Expose Growing Paganism in Church in India

Extract from a letter addressed to Cardinal L. T. Picachy, President of the CBCI, by Fr. K. D. Xavier, Diocesan Director of Catechetics, St. John’s Seminary, Sardhana, Diocese of Meerut. Reprinted from The Laity, May 1979.

Your Eminence…

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. If 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. [130]

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 and inculturating by removing missionaries (if people follow western culture who can stop them?) Am I not free to follow a culture of my own 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 in 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 were never consulted on these points? [131]

Please read the article by Rev. Fr. Peter Lobo in The Laity of February 1979 on “Inculturation”. Things from other religions cannot be just imposed on Catholics. In the name of Indianisation and inculturation what is being done is systematic Hinduisation reducing Catholicism to Hindu religion. I cannot equate the Holy Trinity to Hindu Trimurthi [Saccidananda, Satchitananda, or Sachidananda] or recite OM while claiming to be a Christian. [132]

 

The programmes of institutions like the NBCLC are one reason why Catholics are leaving the Church.

An extract from the Vidyajyoti Journal of Theological Reflection 61 (1997), pp. 307-320

The Challenge of Neo-Pentecostalism – An Empirical Study

By Paul Parathazham

Neo-Pentecostalism is arguably the fastest growing religious movement in the world today. In less than a hundred years it has emerged as a mass movement that is 400 million strong.

 

 

 

In recent years the membership of the Pentecostal churches has been rising so rapidly that some observers believe that in the next century there will more Pentecostals than Catholics in the world. It is estimated that in Latin America alone eight thousand Catholics leave the Church every day to join the Pentecostal sects.
In India, I too, the number of Catholics who join the Neo-Pentecostal groups have been growing steadily over the past two decades. It is in this context that the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI and NBCLC, Bangalore, jointly commissioned a scientific study to investigate the reasons why more and more believers feel attracted to this movement.

The study was designed and administered in 1995 by the students of the second year theology, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (Pontifical Athenaeum), Pune, under the direction of the Department of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Theology.

 

Catholics are leaving the Church because of the destruction of its liturgy and catechetics by the NBCLC:

A Letter to Rome, subject: ‘New Age’ in the Catholic Church in India:

In my May 2004 letter with the above title, written in connection with the 3rd February 2003 Vatican Provisional Report “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of
Life, A Christian reflection on the ‘New Age'”, I had also informed Rome:

ASHRAMS, & THE NATIONAL BIBLICAL CATECHETICAL AND LITURGICAL CENTRE

The Ashram culture was originally meant to be or projected as an Indian Christian way of life and worship that would find mass appeal, and remove the impression that has been created that Christianity is a ‘foreign’ religion, in a country where just over 2% of the population has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. But the actual history [as seen from the true believer’s point of view] is sadly different, and warrants close scrutiny from Rome. What it is now can be easily seen from the writings of any of the Benedictine or Jesuit priests or RSCJ (Sisters of the Sacred Heart) nuns connected with the ‘Ashram Movement’. It is difficult to see the unique monotheistic dualism of the Bible in the different shades of advaitic monism that colour all their ‘Christian’ writings.

From there it was just a short step to the New Age. One of the pioneers Fr. Bede Griffiths not only ended up as a yogi but also opened his center to New Agers from the West (one of whom wrote his famous New Age thesis in the Ashram). Bede also traveled to Europe to participate in an international New Age conference. His teachings greatly influenced many people who, along with some of his former disciples, are today influential in the major religious congregations and Church hierarchy and who continue to promote the Hindu-isation of the Catholic Church in India. It is no coincidence that the founder of DHARMA BHARATHI is one of these disciples.

He (Swami Sachidananda Bharathi) met with his first New Agers from the West at Bede’s Ashram. They have influenced his beliefs and his vision and he in turn now passes it on to our children (in Catholic educational institutions) through his organization which has the recognition and support of the CBCI. These Ashrams have not brought anyone to a saving knowledge of the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Rather, the use of gross iconology, cross-breeding of sacred religious symbols, yogic exercises, temple-dances and dubious rituals and liturgies of an inculturation gone awry that emerged from the Ashram culture and were disseminated in the Church through the NBCLC continues to be one of the major reasons for Catholics leaving the Church.

The Ashram movement is nothing but a Hindu way of life thinly disguised as Christianity. It has opened the door to a multitude of evils which, as in the case of the other issues here already reported on by me, will be the subject of a detailed report from this writer in the near future.”

LETTER TO ROME AND A RESPONSE MAY 2004

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LETTER_TO_ROME_AND_A_RESPONSE.doc

DHARMA BHARATHI-NEW AGE IN CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/DHARMA_BHARATHI-NEW_AGE_IN_CATHOLIC_EDUCATIONAL_INSTITUTIONS.doc

 

Widening the Horizons-1 and 2

By Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay in The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly,

October 20 and 27, 2007

The Archbishop, in 2 plus 3 pages, lauds the NBCLC and the role it has played in the Indian Church, which means that he is completely unaware of or does not recognize the evil and damage it is doing to the Faith.

In the October 27 issue, the NBCLC is the cover story.

In the October 20 issue, he records that “It was at the CBCI General Body meeting held from October 13 to 20, 1966 at New Delhi that the decision was taken to establish a National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre that would assist the Church in India to implement the thrust and vision of Vatican II. Liturgy was seen as the first priority.” He concluded by saying “I visualize
the NBCLC from becoming a
Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre to a truly national pastoral centre which competently responds to the pastoral needs of the Church in India, continuously reflecting, continuously animating and continuously updating our pastoral approaches.

The Archbishop devotes a paragraph each to the first 4 priest-directors of the NBCLC. He describes Fr. Amalorpavadass, the Hinduiser of the liturgy as a “visionary“.

 

The Examiner, April 5, 2008 page 4 OFFICIAL from Cardinal Oswald Gracias (on priest-director no. 5):

The services of Fr Cleophas Fernandes have been lent to the CBCI. He has been appointed by the CBCI Standing Committee as Director of the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), Bangalore.

+Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay

 

 

A few letters:

From: B. John, Bangalore
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 2:37 PM Subject: A letter to the Indian bishops on inculturation

Dear Reverend Bishops, Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus.

This email is regarding the issue of inculturation in India. As is now evident, the Vatican has issued strong statements against the trends in Asia and has even rejected the experimental Indian form of prayer/mass at centres like NBCLC, Bangalore due to incompatibilities /heresies by usage of non-Christian verses, chants, rites, etc.

I understand that all this began with the Indian bishops given a go-ahead for some experimentation to Indianise the mass in the 1970s. However, it has caused a lot of confusion due to syncretistic aspects that have crept into the whole effort. As a result, some years back a leading newsmagazine had a cover page issue titled “Hindu Christians” and reported on the extremes to which this experiment was carried out in some Catholic ashrams, convents, etc. In spite of all this, it is quite surprising that the CBCI is not making its stand clear publically when the Vatican has come out strongly against the whole exercise. WHY? Is it wary of confronting /de-licensing some ‘popular’ theologians in India (who even subtly attack the papal directives on various occasions)?

I feel the CBCI should sum up the necessary courage and come clean on this issue quickly. There are still ashrams, convents, etc., that have symbols like the ‘Om’ sign being used. As a result, many religious and lay Catholics are confused, angry, and some even doubt the Indian Church’s authenticity itself.

Hence, please do something soon for the good of God, the Church and the Kingdom. It should basically begin by first acknowledging that the endeavour to experiment itself was wrong and against basic Christian principles. As Paul asks, how can light and darkness sign a pact together? I am sure that being guardians of the ‘deposit of the faith’, you will surely give serious thought to this issue and take the necessary steps to bring forth clarity in this area (that is a dark spot in the Indian Church currently ).

 

From:
Ivan Pinto, Kuwait
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 1:51 AM

Subject: LATEST UPDATES FROM THIS MINISTRY

Dear Br. Prabhu,

Good to hear from you. On going through the articles you have sent me I am astounded by the way UCAN is manipulating things. I used to wonder if they are really Catholic when I used to read some of their daily mails. I found their questionnaire very manipulative by forcing participants into a corner. I felt regret after I answered it and I am glad to know that I was not the only odd one out. I thank you for enlightening me on this. I will definitely pass this on to others so that they read this.

As far as the NBCLC in Bangalore is concerned, I went there once and I feel ashamed that the CBCI is pulling us out of the Roman Catholic Church towards Hinduism with all its unusual ways.

I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless
(My priest brother and one more excellent and dedicated priest who is very close to me are also copied on this email)

 

DIRECTORS OF THE NBCLC
1. Fr. D. S. Amalorpavadass (late) (Founder & First Director) February 1967 – September 1982
2. Fr. Paul Puthanangady SDB September 1982 – May 1991
3. Fr. Jacob Theckanath June 1991 – October 2001
4. Fr. Thomas D’Sa November 2001 – June 2008
5. Fr. Cleophas D. Fernandes July 2008 – June 2014
6. Fr. Sagaya John July 2014 onwards

Fr. D. S. Amalorpavadass, who pioneered the vision of the Centre, was appointed as the first Director of the Centre in October 1966.  The centre was erected on 6 February 1967. This day is celebrated as the foundation day of NBCLC. The Centre was officially inaugurated by His Eminence late Valerian Cardinal Gracias, President of the CBCI on 7 March 1967.

During the first 15 years, more than 25,000 persons participated in one way or the other in the programmes of the Centre, as it systematically and creatively promoted and implemented the vision of Vatican II. NBCLC from its humble beginnings has focused on seminars, research in the fields of Bible, Catechetics and Liturgy, publication of journals, animation of various commissions of the three Ritual Churches in India and expression of faith through Indian art and culture.  Till today, 77,338 persons have benefited through the courses and seminars.

Source: http://nbclcindia.in/?page_id=248

 

Present NBCLC Director, Fr Sagaya John: dirnbclc@yahoo.com; sagayajohn@gmail.com;

NBCLC Hutchins Road 2nd Cross Cox Town Bangalore 84 Tel: 25472369


 

Fr. Sagaya John belongs to the diocese of Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu. He is specialized in Catechetics and Inter-Religious Dialogue. At present he is the Secretary of the TNBC Commission for Vocations in Trichy.

 

 

 

An extract from the NBCLC site

http://en.pastoral-global.org/index.php/National_Biblical,_Catechetical_and_Liturgical_Centre_%28NBCLC%29

Main areas of work

Bible, Catechetics, Liturgy, Inculturation, Inter-religious dialogue, Indian Spirituality, Socio-Pastoral issues, Women empowerment (Gender), Eco-spirituality.

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

Our pastoral opinions are assigned to us by the CBCI. They are: Bible, Catechetics, Liturgy and Laity formation. We also work towards building up of a holistic spirituality.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

Christian spirituality, understood in a holistic manner permeates all aspects of our own lives and our programmes. Since our programmes are residential, we deal with the participants in the course of the day which touches personal prayer and reflection, community prayer and the celebration of the sacraments in a relevant manner. In order to help build up a holistic spirituality, we offer three retreats with the following slants: Socio-Pastoral Retreat; Indian Contemplative Retreat; Earth-centred Retreat and now a retreat that reflects on the vocation of the laity in the Church. (Aren’t “Earth-centred retreats New Age? See FR PAUL VAZ-ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOPS AND EARTH CENTRED HEALING RETREATS
http://ephesians-511.net/docs/FR_PAUL_VAZ-ENNEAGRAM_WORKSHOPS_AND_EARTH_CENTRED_HEALING_RETREATS.doc
–Michael)

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Our focus areas are: Inculturation, Social Justice, Inter-religious dialogue, Ecological concerns, Laity empowerment. (Did I miss EVANGELIZATION, CATECHESIS…? –Michael)

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

We maintain an inter-religious outlook in all our programmes. For example we study the Word of God from the Hindu, Islamic, Sikh perspectives. We integrate different forms of meditation from other religious perspectives. On important occasions we organize inter-faith prayer services. We have one programme in the year on Value Education which is attended by teachers and professors of different faiths. We also undertake visits to other religious places of worship. (No, I didn’t. The “Word of God” at the NBCLC is also the Scriptures of Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism… and they integrate spiritual practices from “other religious perspectives”… They didn’t find the need to mention the name of “Jesus” on that page or use the word “Christian” either. –Michael)

 

“Word and Worship” is the quarterly “liturgical journal” of the NBCLC that was started during the period of Fr. Amalorpavadass.

 

Images concerning the NBCLC downloaded from the Internet:

 




The squatting Indian Rite Mass

 



Fr. Amalorpavadass

 

 

 

 


Religious texts of other faiths on the altar

 

 



 

THE NBCLC OF THE C.B.C.I

 

Related reading:

THE GOLDEN SHEAF-A COLLECTION OF ARTICLES DEALING WITH ECCLESIASTICAL ABERRATIONS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_GOLDEN_SHEAF-A_COLLECTION_OF_ARTICLES_DEALING_WITH_ECCLESIASTICAL_ABERRATIONS.doc

THE ONGOING ROBBERY OF FAITH-FR P K GEORGE

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

 

Episcopalians hold an Indian Rite Mass with Hindus

What the Episcopalians did, below, is not very different from what goes on at some of the NBCLC “Masses” as well as at “Masses” where Catholic priests like Fr. Ronnie Prabhu SJ distribute prasad instead of Holy Communion to non-Catholics who line up in a separate queue. As recorded by me in my CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report, Holy Communion is distributed at Mass even to Hindus as witnessed by me at Saccidananda Ashram.

http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/index.php/blog/comments/episcopalians_hold_an_indian_rite_mass_with_hindus

January 21, 2008

Service celebrates 2 beliefs 
Episcopalians hold an Indian Rite Mass with Hindus and apologize for past religious discrimination.
By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, January 20, 2008

Hindu nun Pravrajika Saradeshaprana, dressed in a saffron robe, blew into a conch shell three times, calling to worship Hindu and Episcopal religious leaders who joined Saturday to celebrate an Indian Rite Mass at St. John’s Cathedral near downtown LA.

The rare joint service included chants from the Temple Bhajan Band of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and a moving rendition of “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” sung by the St. John’s choir.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in worship service,” said Bob Bland, a member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church of Thousand Oaks, who was among the 260 attendees. “There was something so holy—so much symbolism and so many opportunities for meditation.”

During the service, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them.

“I believe that the world cannot afford for us to repeat the errors of our past, in which we sought to dominate rather than to serve,” Bruno said in a statement read by the Rt. Rev. Chester Talton. “In this spirit, and in order to take another step in building trust between our two great religious traditions, I offer a sincere apology to the Hindu religious community.”

The bishop also said he was committed to renouncing “proselytizing” of Hindus. Bruno had been scheduled to read the statement himself, but a death of a close family friend prevented him from attending the service.

 

 

Swami Sarvadevananda, of Vedanta Society of Southern California, was among about a dozen Hindu leaders honored during the service. He called Bruno’s stance “a great and courageous step” that binds the two communities.

“By declaring that there will be no more proselytizing, the bishop has opened a new door of understanding,” Sarvadevananda said. “The modern religious man must expand his understanding and love of religions and their practices.”

All were invited to Holy Communion, after the Episcopal celebrant elevated a tray of consecrated Indian bread, and deacons raised wine-filled chalices.

In respect to Hindu tradition, a tray of flowers was also presented. Christians and Hindus lined up for communion, but since Orthodox Hindus shun alcohol, they consumed only the bread.

During the service, the two faiths also blended practices during the handling of an icon of Jesus.

The Rev. Karen MacQueen, an associate priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pomona, who was the celebrant, carried the icon, a large painted image, during the procession. She placed it before the altar.

Then, as she and the others knelt before the icon, a second Hindu band, Adoration Chant Band, sang a hymn while the icon was anointed with sandalwood paste by the Episcopal celebrant. A flowered garland was placed on it and a lamp was lighted, a sign of Christ, the light in the darkness

Both Hindu and Christian texts were read.

In her homily, “A Vision for Inter-Religious Dialogue,” MacQueen said in both Hinduism and Christianity devotees believe that “the Divine Presence” illuminates the whole world.

MacQueen, who spent two years studying Hinduism in India, said both faiths revere “great figures who embody the divine light, who teach the divine truth.”

For Christians, Jesus preeminently embodies the divine light, she said. For Hindus, she said a number of figures embody the divine light and teach the divine truth.

“To my knowledge this is an unprecedented event in L.A., California and the U.S.,” said the Rev. Gwynne Guibord, head of the ecumenical and inter-religious affairs for the diocese, which initiated Saturday’s project.

“My personal, prayerful hope is that it will serve as a ‘model’ of good will toward building up of a ‘beloved community,’ ” she said.

Updated-LA Times’ Correction:

An article in Sunday’s California section about a joint religious service involving Hindus and Episcopalians said that all those attending the service at St. John’s Cathedral in Los Angeles were invited to Holy Communion. Although attendees walked toward the Communion table, only Christians were encouraged to partake of Communion. Out of respect for Hindu beliefs, the Hindus were invited to take a flower. Also, the article described Hindus consuming bread during Communion, but some of those worshipers were Christians wearing traditional Indian dress. 

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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India

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