Indian Church leaders without Christian zeal or hope as epitomized by Fr. Augustine Kanjamala SVD



APRIL 2015

 

Indian Church leaders without Christian zeal or hope as epitomized by Fr. Augustine Kanjamala SVD


My comments as always are in green colour –Michael

 

‘The Christian mission has been a complete failure’, says Fr Augustine Kanjamala

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/interview-the-christian-mission-has-been-a-complete-failure-says-fr-augustine-kanjamala-2047741

By Yogesh Pawar, December 28, 2014

 


 

 

The Future of Christian Mission in India by Fr Augustine Kanjamala which recently released in the US has stirred up quite a hornet’s nest in the church even before its release here. Yogesh Pawar spoke to the priest about some of the contentious points he raises about conversion, exclusivism and the question mark he puts on the very relevance of the Christian mission. Excerpts

You say in the introduction to your book that the Christian mission in India is not relevant any more.
Yes. The Christian mission has been a complete failure both in India and across the world. The traditional concept of the Christian mission is just not relevant any more, definitely not in Asia at least given the ground realities. After nearly three to four centuries of Christian Faith arriving in Asia less than 3% of the population has accepted it. After so much time money and effort as many as 97% of the population has rejected the concept of Christianity.

Aren’t you worried taking such a stand since you’re yourself a part of the clergy? Did you get your work whetted before publication?
Why should I? I am merely making a logical argument. Asking the mission to introspect and correct itself can’t be wrong. As for asking anyone to whet my work, I don’t think that is necessary according to rules.

 

 

 

Are you discounting the good work that the church has done?
I am not saying that. My book argues that thought it has failed spectacularly quantitatively, qualitatively it has achieved a lot. And I am not merely talking only about institutions created for healthcare and education but also about a more fundamental Hindu mindset change. This led to socials changes like the rejection of socially ill practices like sati, child marriage and castration of young children. The religious identity many marginalised caste and community groups found with Christianity, has helped them find a voice to question their oppression and exploitation and assert themselves.

But has the church really been successful in breaking caste. In Kerala, your own state, you seen many denominations in keeping with the caste hierarchy.
How can you say that when 2/3rd of those who converted come from Dalits and tribals? 

But even within the church and within the clergy why do we then see that it’s not these 2/3rd but the 1/3rd from the upper castes who wield significant influence?
There are some tendencies like that, I agree. But you cannot take away from the act those from the Dalits and tribals who converted are doing better socially and in terms of quality of life, than those who didn’t.

Since there is such a hullaballoo over conversions right now, what is your take on conversions which are incentivised – financially and otherwise?
First of all this din over rising conversions is factually wrong. The latest census figures show the number of Christians reducing from 2.6% to 2.3%. Historically I know there have been some human rights’ excesses in the name of conversions during the Portuguese rule. Some of these new-fangled churches outdo the aggression of marketing companies when they reach out to people for conversions. That is bringing bad name to the entire community. This is especially unfair given the good work that the Roman Catholic Church has done in India both in healthcare and education.  

Would you agree that some of the problems are also to do with the exclusivism that the church propagates?   
You know when I was secretary of Bishop’s conference we conducted survey of over 15,000 nuns, priests and members of the laity to find out what they felt about this. A whopping 85% of them said that irrespective of their religion, if people lead a life of conscience, then salvation will be available to them as well. Only 15% even in the Catholic Church held on to the traditional belief that only Christ could lead to salvation. The church is changing its ideas too. It now believes that it should evangelise and civilise simultaneously.

How can the Church which has itself indulged in acts like burning people at the stake, take a condescending stand saying we are bringing civilisation to people?
When the church says civilisation it doesn’t mean it an offending way. We are simply brining education and awareness to people. You cannot deny that there are some communities less developed and some who have not seen any development at all. Surely there can be no problems with the asking for equitable development for all. You may have semantic problems with the way this is put forth. But you have to agree that where evangelisation has failed, civilisation has not. It has helped people.

Many accuse the church of fomenting dissent among poor tribals by exploiting them, some even going on to point out how powers like the US use the church to serve their own geo-strategic interests.
We have to see who is making these accusations. We all know members of the BJP government at the Centre make these kind of statements from time to time. This is part of the set pattern as this was the refrain even where the BJP is in power in various states. You know many of these states have passed the anti-conversion bill. So this is purely political. And I make the point in my book that conversion will have political consequences because people link it to the way people vote. One of the outstanding ideologues among them is Arun Shourie.

You and Arun Shourie go a long back, don’t you?
Yes. When I was secretary of the Bishops conference I invited him to a national consultation on evangelisation in Pune around 20 years ago. I told my superiors that instead of getting people who will only say good things about us, let us get someone who is against us. Accordingly I proposed Shourie’s name and he came spoke for an hour and participated in the discussion that followed. Within a month of the conference he wrote Missionaries in India which many bishops did not like.

And that wasn’t the only book?
Yes. Shourie was later invited to publicly debate the issues he had raised a few months after the book’s release. He and me had an over three-hour-long debate. Later that too was brought out as a book. It is not surprising that Hindu ideologues like him keep attacking the church.

Many voices from the US and Europe who aren’t Hindu ideologues like author Iain Buchanan have voiced similar concerns about the church
Yes. I’m aware there are some people within the church are increasingly uncomfortable with the traditional understanding of the Christian mission and particularly take poor view of what they call ‘aggressive zeal’ shown by some missionaries.

Some people have reservation about such aggressive missionaries being turned into saints and deities.
I know there must have been lot of appreciation for St Francis Xavier for the number of people he got converted during the early 16th Century but I argue in my book how in today’s times he is unacceptable. I think the church needs saints like Mother Teresa not Francis Xavier. Unfortunately for us, there will always be the small but powerful conservatives in every religion and they will take a long time to change. But the future belongs to secular rational thought.

 

 

 

 

 

Christian groups have raised concerns about the intentions of the Modi government vis-a-vis the community in light of the recent Good Governance Day.
The government is wrong if it thinks all Hindus are with them. Many Hindus have opposed this move. I don’t think it’s right to generalise all Hindus in one way. This mindset is only reflective of a miniscule right wing. Majority Hindus do not subscribe to such fundamentalism. Yes they’ve come to power on their own steam but let’s not forget that the parliamentary elections saw BJP get only 31% of the vote. Even these 31% may not be fundamentalists but just angry with the Congress.

A Texas-based magazine Gospel for Asia says: “The Indian sub-continent with one billion people, is a living example of what happens when Satan rules the entire culture… India is one vast purgatory in which millions of people… are literally living a cosmic lie! Could Satan have devised a more perfect system for causing misery?” How do you react to this?
This is both saddening and to put it mildly, most unfortunate. One can even ask in a reverse way if the people espousing such views are not agents of Satan themselves. Creating division and hatred even in God’s own name cannot be God’s work. I’ve lived in the US. I find them the least-informed people. I wonder if the people writing this can even find India on a map.

 

Some background information
Born in Kerala, South India, in 1939, Augustine Kanjamala, SVD, entered the Divine Word Seminary at the age of seventeen. He was ordained a priest in October 1970 and worked for three years among the tribal Catholics of Orissa in eastern India. He taught mission theology in major Indian seminaries and was a scholar in residence at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, in 1986. He is the author of Religion and Modernization of India (1981) as well as numerous articles. The Future of Christian Mission in India is the fruit of forty years of research, teaching, and publications.

 

Missionaries in India is a 1996 nonfiction book by Arun Shourie. The book was a catalyst for the reappraisal of the place and meaning of conversion and baptism in mission in India. Taking Arun Shourie’s challenge positively, the Fellowship of Indian Missiologists (FOIM) decided to re-examine the issue of conversion and baptism. At its Fourth Annual Meeting at Ishvani Kendra, Pune, the subject of conversion and baptism was taken up from the biblical, theological, historical, religious and cultural perspectives. The resulting papers, responses and group discussions during the meeting were put together in the book “Mission and Conversion, a Reappraisal”.

The idea for the book came after Arun Shourie reviewed the history of Christianity following his participation in a catholic conference. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the highest body of the Catholic Church in India, invited Arun Shourie to give a “Hindu assessment of the work of Christian missionaries” in a meeting held at the Ishvani Kendra Seminary at Pune on 5 January 1994. Many eminent archbishops, bishops, senior clergy and Christian scholars from all over India were also invited. Shourie was asked to write a paper so that it could be included in a volume containing the proceedings of the 50th anniversary celebration of the CBCI. 

Arun Shourie said about his book: “To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its establishment the C.B.C.I. convened a meeting in January 1994 to review the work of the Church in India. […] For some reason the organizers were so kind to ask me [Arun Shourie] to give the Hindu perception of the work of Christian missionaries in India. That lecture and the discussion which followed forms the scaffolding of this book.”

Fr. Augustine Kanjamala, Secretary of the CBCI, who had invited Shourie for the lecture at Pune, later criticized Shourie for his book and presented a critique of the book.

As the campaign against Shourie and his book on missionaries in India grew larger, Prajna Bharati, an intellectual forum with headquarters in Hyderabad, invited several senior churchmen to discuss Missionaries in India with Shourie on a public platform. Fr. Kanjamala debated with Shourie on the contents of the book in a debate that took place on 4 September 1994.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missionaries_in_India

 

MY COMMENTS

The book “The Future of Christian Mission in India” by Fr. Augustine Kanjamala was released in August 2014.

‘The Christian mission has been a complete failure’, says Fr Augustine Kanjamala” is the title of this dnaindia article, encapsulating in one sentence the verdict of this priest of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) on the evangelical mission of the Catholic Church in India after around two decades of research by him.

This conclusion of his must be taken with the utmost seriousness considering that he had served as Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India’s Commission for Proclamation and Communications.

Supposing that the Bishops concur with his opinions seeing that there is no indication to the contrary, and if such is the conclusion of the top prelates of the Church, it is certainly a great cause for concern for us.

Though the book is reported to have “stirred up quite a hornet’s nest in the church even before its release” in India, we cannot find a single word on that in the Internet.

We are greatly constrained by our ignorance of the statistics presented by him in his study as we are not in possession of a copy of his book, but we can get a fair idea of his mindset (and that of the stewards of the Indian Church) from the interview that he gave to Yogesh Pawar.

 

Since the SVD congregation’s Ishvani (Word of God) Kendra (Centre and Seminary) in Pune are mentioned in connection with Fr. Kanjamala’s attempts at “Dialogue” with other religious faiths (he was a former Director of the Kendra), I tried to find out from Google what programmes they conduct up there.

 

 

And this is the masthead of the Kendra that I immediately encountered:

 


 

Certainly not portending evangelisation, but definitely proclaiming interreligious dialogue!

But, their web page http://www.ishvanikendra.com/about-us reads:

The beginnings of the centre can be traced back to the mid-seventies. Fr. Englebert Zeitler, a great visionary of the Indian church, after having ensured a sure footing for the National Vocation Service Centre, turned his attention to the area of mission studies and research which he felt was suffering from gross neglect for far too long. This he saw as distressing especially when considered against the background that ever since the beginning of the modern missionary movement, India had been a scene of intense evangelising activity. Being a member of the Society of the Divine Word, a religious congregation which considered the work of evangelisation as its raison d’être, Fr. Zeitler felt convinced that it was precisely the area in which he as an individual and his religious institute should make a lasting contribution. Ishvani Kendra was born of this realisation…

In a brief speech made during the function, Fr. Zeitler maintained that the occasion marked a turning point in the history of the Indian church. The structure for which ground was broken then, he averred, would eventually lead to the dismantling of innumerable structures, both really and metaphorically. In his characteristically hyperbolic style the widely acclaimed missiologist was referring to the future task of the institute that he was founding. According to him, it would serve as the nerve centre of revolutionary thinking in the field of evangelisation.

 

Surely this masthead being used today is not the original that was used in the 1970s!

From the “raison d’être” and “nerve centre of revolutionary thinking in the field of evangelisation“, Ishvani Kendra has, in the span of less than forty years, metamorphosed into a centre for interreligious dialogue… or was that the intention of Fr. Zeitler (who had served as Mission Secretary in the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences) in the first place? I would not be surprised if that is the case. A detailed reading of the referred web page makes me suspect that, and I leave it to the reader to check that out.

 

The only other news report that I could find on the book does not add anything more to what we know:

Divine Word Missionary and author of the recent book, The Future of the Christian Mission in India, Rev Dr. Augustine Kanjamala … holds the view that the Church’s mission in Asia has been a failure in terms of numbers.

Source: http://www.ucanews.com/news/pope-francis-leads-way-in-interreligious-dialogue/72896, January 30, 2015

 

Fr. Kanjamala is a Ph. D whose field of specialization is “anthropology of missions”. He was a Provincial Superior of the Maharashtra province of the SVD or Societas Verbi Divini.

In “Redemptoris Missio and Mission in India, page 203,” Kanjamala criticizes Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptoris Missio saying, “Belief that ‘fullness of revelation’ and ‘fullness of the means of salvation’ are present only in the Church conveys the idea that the Church has nothing seriously new to learn. Genuine dialogue — which is of primary importance in the Indian context — seems impossible with such a mindset.”

If that is the position of Kanjamala, any possibility of evangelisation is completely vitiated.

 

Kanjamala is on the faculty of the SVD’s Indian Institute of Culture (IIC, est. 1950) on the Gyan Ashram campus in Andheri East, Mumbai. Next door is the Sacred Heart parish church which they administer.

Here too, the mission is “engaging in dialogue and collaborating with other institutes who share the same vision as ours” (http://en.pastoral-global.org/index.php/Institute_of_Indian_Culture) with only a single use of the evangelisation word on a total of about 15 web pages that I scanned through.

Check out their founder Fr. Stephen Fuchs, mission etc. on their web site which is http://www.iicmumbai.in/.

Dr. Fr. Charles Vas, the founder-secretary of Sangeet Abhinay Academy is a faculty member.

 

Who is Dr. Fr. Charles Vas SVD?

1.
Destruction of Catholicism in India

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1513798/posts
EXTRACT

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of attending an “Anticipated Mass” at a Jesuit Parish in Bombay where Father Charles Vas S.V.D. performed a Pagan Liturgical Dance in front of the altar in a semi-naked state aka “Bharat Natyam Style” on the Second Saturday in August 2005. He has been actively encouraged in this gross paganism by an infamous fellow Divine Word Priest Dr. Francis Barboza S.V.D. who is now resident in the United States and dances in a semi- naked state before the altar in a number of Catholic churches in the states of New York and New Jersey where he currently is based and promotes this evil nonsense. (Barboza married and left the priesthood –Michael)

 

 

 

 

2. A bhajan singer, he directs the Sangeet Abhinay Academy
institute of the SVD Fathers who also operate the Atma Darshan institute on the same campus where priests perform and teach temple dances like Bharatanatyam and Odissi, and conduct courses on the New Age/occult personality typing tool called the Enneagram and eastern meditations such as Yoga and the Buddhist Vipassana, and much more.

See pages 37 – 42 of my report DANCING AND BHARATANATYAM IN THE MASS

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

 

An extract on Gyan Ashram from the above referred report of mine:

http://www.svdinm.org/gyan.htm/http://www.svdinm.org/gyanlife.htm
(poor English/punctuation mistakes theirs)

Founding of the First Indian Catholic Ashram 1948

The inspiration of Mahatma Gandhiji (1869) at a Hindi Prachar meeting at Indore in 1935 in which Fr. G. Proksch was also a participant, triggered off the gigantic task which he accomplished for the Church in India during the following years.

Inspite of adverse surroundings and circumstances, Fr. G. Prakash realized the need to establish an abode to proclaim the message of the gospel to the Indian tradition. Fr. G. Proksch wrote, “Today I met a man who is able to hypnotise, because he is the image of a man of God. His life bore the seal of the ancient Ashram ideal. He seems to move between “Tapasya”= self discipline his successful proclamation. With these two ideals of self-discipline and sacred meditation he established the “Gyan Prakash Ashram”.

Life in this “Ashram” meant a chaste community living, a never-failing warmth of understanding to all persons, simple living with contemplating on the Sacred Scriptures culminating in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The specific aim of this Ashram was the Proclamation of the Word in
Indian art and form in a way that was true to Indian
culture and understandable to Indian people. This was the Ad Gentes initiated as early as in the year 1935 by Fr. G. Proksch.

Guru Gyan Prakash as he was commonly known by his Indian name claimed that the gospel message in India would not make any impact on the Indian people as long as this message was imported from Europe. When he came to India in 1932 he had no Bhajans=Hymns or Kathas (=sacred narrations) to preach like the century old Gurus of India. This forced him to study Indian languages. Hindi and Sanskrit, the sacred literature of the Hindus, the Vedas Upanishads and Puranas. He learnt a number of different folk dances, folk songs and a series of ragas of Indian music along with different Indian instruments like the Veena (=Harp) and sitar, warod (=Flute). During a number of which he attended with Mahatma Gandhiji, he was able to discuss the thinking of Indian people and their culture. This was again another missionary approach by Fr. G. Proksch. The establishment of an Indian form for the people in India and make available Catholic literature and material presented in Indian dance
and music for the missionaries working in India.

Fr. G. Proksch found little or no support in the early days; there were bishops and priests and even his own confreres who doubt his intentions and feared that he was turning Christianity into Hinduism; moreover this missionary method and idea did not conform to what other missionaries were busy with. Being convinced of this method, he finally got a temporary approval of his religious superiors and with the interest of an Indian priest Fr. Valerian Gracias, experimented in presenting Christian themes in Indian art and form.

The themes and context of the dances and dramas depicted the conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, life and death, a series of great. Hindu dramas like Ramlila and Mahabharata, besides these, there were Catholic themes focused on the unending love=Anupam Prema) Christ the good shepherd(=Mesphal Bhagwan) the promise of the Messiah, his life on earth, his suffering and death on the cross, the triumph of the resurrection with the ascension to heaven as conquering death and darkness. One reads in history of his first public presentation to an audience of 30,000 people at the Marian Congress held in Bombay in December 1954, where he depicted the Marian Mystery in six scenes: paradise, the fall, the shout of lost humanity, the promise of Mary, the immaculate conception and the annunciation; thereafter in several other mission areas of India, where the Good Shepherd theme became very popular; several performances in Europe, and the presentation of a special ballet, performed by 300 dancers and 250 musicians and 1000 singers, prepared for the XXXVIII International Eucharistic Congress at Bombay, in the year 1964, which was attended by Pope Paul VI, presented to an audience of 60,000 people. It must be acknowledged that for the first time, Catholic hymns were sung in Hindi in the Churches of Bombay and elsewhere, many of whose words and melody are tracked back to Fr. G. Proksch. The most famous were the hymns Shri Jesu Bhagawan and Tera Nur Jagame Huwa Hai Fr. G. Proksch can rightly be called the greatest pioneer of our times.

 

The Gyan Ashram, Andheri, Bombay

George Proksch wanted to give mission work another dimension. His name is Gyan Prakash, Gyan meaning knowledge, knowledge of Christ and Prakash meaning light/revelation. Song and dance is his material, he tries to religiously educate the Indian people.” This was a remark of an eminent guest at the Gyan Ashram after the performance of the Mesphal Bhagvan during the 38th International Eucharistic Congress. Fr. G. Proksch had already founded a Catholic Ashram and had given precedence for this kind of a missionary method in India. This ashram once thought of as a novelty in Catholic circles in India soon became a reality of great significance.

Life in this ashram equally called for tapasya penance a centre living, an option for simplicity in food clothing and demand a meaningful silence.

 

 

 

 

The personal study and understanding of the Sacred Scriptures a swadhyaya, in Catholic missionary perspective this was the study of the Holy Bible. The sacrifice and offering to the Almighty upasna was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist Sewa Prem was expressed to all who entered the ashram with the motive to bring them closer to Jesus Christ. Besides this meaningful way of life another aim of the ashram was to train lay persons to proclaim the gospel message of salvation in Indian form for the people in India, and to make available Catholic literature and material presented in Indian dance and music for missionaries working in India. To facilitate this work Fr. G. Proksch received an affiliation from the Lucknow University toward academic degrees in Indian music. The ashram was also seen as a learning centre which attracted non Catholic to learn Indian dance and music and these skills were used to present biblical themes. One reads in the history of the ashram that examinations were annually conducted by a professor from the Lucknow University Music College, and for the year 1968 there were more than 35 students.

 

http://www.svdinm.org/gyanlife.htm
EXTRACT

Present Activities of the Institute

Dance: Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Kathak

Music (vocal): Carnatic Sangeet

Fitness Exercises: Yoga, Aerobics, Acting and Personality Development course.

Names and Year of SVD (Directors) worked/working

Fr. George Proksch: 1958 – 1984

Fr. Francis Barboza: 1984 – 1997

Fr. Bernard Rodrigues: 1997 – 1999

Fr. Gilbert Carlo*: 1999 – 2000 *Author of very occult books on yoga and leading exponent of yoga including “Yoga Healing Masses

Fr. Charles Vas: 2000 –

 

So why and how did things go horribly wrong? I continue with the extract from my earlier referred report:

We see how even the best of Catholics with the best of intentions are burnt when they play with the fires of Hindu “art” and “culture”. George Proksch SVD became Gyan Prakash. That is acceptable Indianisation or inculturation.

But the transition from bhajans (Catholic hymns … sung in Hindi) in the church to Bharatanatyam in the liturgy is not. It is Hinduisation.

Fr. Proksch‘s intentions, to “proclaim the gospel message of salvation in Indian form” using “biblical themes“, “the Proclamation of the Word in
Indian art and form” are commendable. Another goal of his ashram was “simple living with contemplating on the Sacred Scriptures culminating in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist“. From examining the evidence on the previous pages and of more SVD priests on the succeeding pages, one can see that something has gone horribly wrong.

What started with the study of “Indian languages
Hindi and Sanskrit“, the use of “different folk dances, folk songs and a series of ragas of Indian music along with different Indian instruments like the Veena (=Harp) and sitar, warod (=Flute)” and “experiment[ing] in presenting Christian themes” has ended in adopting symbols and rituals that are particular to Hinduism, and a torrent of New Age. After all, one of the major influences on the New Age paradigm is Hinduism. Like most inculturationists in the Church today, Fr. Proksch did not realise or recognize the very thin line separating Indian from Hindu, culture from religion.

He crossed that line when he widened the scope of his inculturation to include “the sacred literature of the Hindus, the Vedas Upanishads and Puranas” and “Hindu dramas like Ramlila and Mahabharata“. That appears to have been fatal for the Catholic spirituality of many priests in the SVD congregation.

The writer of the above piece on Gyan Ashram admits that “Fr. G. Proksch found little or no support in the early days; there were bishops and priests and even his own confreres who doubted his intentions and feared that he was turning Christianity into Hinduism“.

I know a few SVD priests who believe that the opposite holds true today, that those who protest the ongoing Hinduisation find little support in the congregation and in the Indian Church at large.

 

3. VIDEO: LOTUS AND THE CROSS-THE HINDUISATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN INDIA http://ephesians-511.net/docs/LOTUS_AND_THE_CROSS-THE_HINDUISATION_OF_THE_CATHOLIC_CHURCH_IN_INDIA.doc EXTRACT

FR. CHARLES VAS SVD: SANGEET ABHINAY ACADEMY, Mumbai

NARRATOR: “Fr. Charles Vas is a Ph.D. in Indian classical music and wrote his thesis on East-West trends in music.”

Fr. Charles Vas: “The Sangeet Abhinay Academy was started with the aim of spreading the message of love through music and dance. I have in my troupe, people from all denominations (he probably means all faiths -Michael). I consider the one point that God loves us without any preconditions. It’s a different kind of dancing in the church and in the halls. We raise our hearts and minds to God through very devotional gestures. It’s not jumping around.”

WE ARE SHOWN, IN ELEGANT DANCE FORM, A DEPICTION OF THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE BY GOD.

Fr. Charles Vas: “With devotional gestures and mudras… we show the creation. Dance and music form is the best form of portraying our ideas, and the religious ideas also can be portrayed and depicted… Biblical ideas can also be depicted…”

 

 

“We have started singing bhajans in the church. A few years back it was considered as paganism, but now we praise and thank the Lord through bhajans. It helps to pray better…”

WE WATCH A DANCE DEPICTING THE FALL OF MAN AND HEAR THE COMMENTATOR SAY THIS ABOUT ADAM AND EVE:
AND
THOUGH THEY SINNED, BUT GOD WAS SO GENEROUS AND KIND THAT HE PARDONED THEM.

THERE IS NO MENTION OF ORIGINAL SIN, REPENTANCE FROM ACTUAL SIN, AND THE NEED OF A SAVIOUR AND REDEEMER IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD.

 

What else can one expect from an institute that teaches
Bharatanatyam, Enneagrams, Vipassana
and
Yoga to lay persons, priests, seminarians and nuns through retreats and seminars?

In the golden jubilee souvenir Saccidanandaya Namah of
Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam, Vandana Mataji’s list of ashrams
includes the Gyan Prakash Ashram. That means that the Catholic Ashrams movement acknowledges that Gyan Ashram
is one of its member ashrams, sharing the same heretical visions and goals. In fact the Gyan Ashram site itself lays claim to Fr. Proksch‘s “Founding of the First Indian Catholic Ashram 1948“. That might well be true. It was only followed by the Kurisumala Ashram, founded by
Fr. Bede Griffiths OSB
and
Fr. Francis Mahieu
at Vagamon in Kerala in 1955.

In my 2005 CATHOLIC ASHRAMS http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CATHOLIC_ASHRAMS.doc report I have briefly discussed the centres of the SVD Fathers in the Sacred Heart Parish of Andheri, Mumbai:
Gyan Ashram, Atma Darshan, Institute for Indian Culture
etc., where several
New Age
practices like
Enneagrams,
Vipassana,
Yoga

etc. are taught at ‘retreats’ which are advertised in the Bombay Archdiocesan weekly The Examiner.

Here’s more:

 

Atma Darshan

http://www.atmadarshan-svd.org/

  • Atma Darshan has evolved as a well-known Centre in Andheri – Mumbai that enhances the Psychological and Spiritual wellbeing of people in order to foster values of Love, Peace and Justice.
  • There are programmes designed which cater to all people irrespective of their religious background.
  • The course and retreats are based on well accepted psychological theories of human behaviour. We strive to achieve the spiritual quest of people through courses like Inner Healing; Family Retreat; Stress Management; Emotional Intelligence; Mid-Life Retreat; Aging Gracefully; Retreat for Widows, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Retreats for Priests and Religious etc.

ATMA DARSHAN MISSION

Inspired by the holistic mission of Jesus, we strive to bring about the awareness of the body-mind-spirit dynamics in all who come to Atma Darshan, so that the universal pursuit of happiness is realized in remaining true to our distinct human nature as both psychological and spiritual beings. We achieve this in facilitating through Atma Darshan culture and its programs, the process of discovering one’s true self as the image of the Divine and in promoting mindsets and practices that enhance personal, family and communitarian life.

A lot of that is New Age, one cannot really say unless one has the details, but my guess is that there are probably few courses or retreats here that do not use New Age to a lesser or greater extent; if by any chance they don’t, I still don’t trust the theology that will undergird any of the faith teachings of the faculty

The page also has a 7:09 minute YouTube video titled “Buddhist Meditation Music – Zen Garden“.

On the right side of the page, one is provided the dates for 21 courses and retreats that include “self discovery“, several types of psycho-spiritual counseling, vipassana meditation, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Christian prayer with yoga healing and so on.

 

The priests here are Fr. Henry D’Souza, Fr. Jos Vazhayil, Fr. Gregory Arockiam and Fr. Donald D’Souza.

 

Atma-Darshan

http://www.svdinm.org/atmadarshan.html

Atma-Darshan, Centre for Spirituality and Counselling, was blessed and inaugurated on October 1, 1998. Under the leadership of Fr. Gregory Pinto, Atma Darshan from the beginning of January 1999 started conducting a number of courses, workshops and retreats. Specific courses to address developmental issues such as adolescence, midlife and aging were organized.
Awareness and general wellbeing was promoted through courses like
Yoga meditation, Vipassana and naturopathy. Family retreats, marriage enrichment retreats and companionship retreats were organized to encourage and support families in Gospel values. 

 


Over the years Atma Darshan has evolved as a place for prayer, counselling, spiritual direction and personal renewal, courses like emotional intelligence, stress management, self-discovery etc. are arranged at the centre. Besides the courses and programmes, the staff at Atma Darshan strives to address individual concerns. The staff being well-qualified in the area of psychology and spirituality, free individual counselling is given to people struggling with their problems both in the area of their personal life and their relationship to God.

 

Dhyan Kutir – Inter-spiritual Dialogue point

http://www.svdinm.org/dyan-kutir.html

In 2001, Mumbai Archdiocesan Synod felt the need to have an Ashram in the diocese of Mumbai. The SVD administration was approached for that purpose. A meeting was held at Gyan Ashram with Bishop Bosco Penha, the Superiors of Andheri communities and some experts from outside. The idea was accepted by the SVD administration.  Fr. Gregory Pinto, then Provincial negotiated the ashram idea with Fr. Ittoop Panikulam. As he accepted the proposal, he was transferred from Nemi to INM Province to begin an Ashram in Andheri Campus. With that view in mind, in 2006, Fr. Panikulam was appointed a member of the staff of Gyan Ashram and as the HOD of Ashram Spirituality. On 3rd July, 2008 he was formally given permission to begin the ashram in the area that lies between the main building of Gyan Ashram and Soverdia house. On 13 March 2009 permission was given to begin the work of renovation of the existing kutir (the old dining hall – kitchen -storeroom) of Fr. Proksch time. The AISS administrator, Fr. Correa and Fr. Panikulam were entrusted with the work of renovation. The Archbishop of Mumbai, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias gave his consent and approval for this ministry on 31st July 2009.  Dhyan Kutir was inaugurated and blessed by His Eminence in the presence of Fr. Stanislaus Lazar SVD, the INM Provincial on November 6, 2009

 

Evangelisation? Ashram spirituality precludes it.

I have recorded many other aberrations of the SVD in several reports.

It is quite evident that the evangelistic mission of the congregation of Divine Word Missionaries has been an unmitigated disaster almost from the word ‘go’.

 

So we return to analysing the statements of Fr. Kanjamala

On page 2:

You know when I was secretary of Bishop’s conference we conducted survey of over 15,000 nuns, priests and members of the laity to find out what they felt about this. A whopping 85% of them said that irrespective of their religion, if people lead a life of conscience, then salvation will be available to them as well. Only 15% even in the Catholic Church held on to the traditional belief that only Christ could lead to salvation.

I am not surprised at that. When the Word of God is not preached (the charism of the SVDs), and the Catechism is not taught, and sin is not spoken about anymore, and Roman Documents are not transmitted to the faithful when they are issued, we are left with uncatechised Catholics who will believe anything.

And priests like Dr. Fr. Kanjamala will be held accountable by God if souls are lost for all eternity.

 

On page 2:

I know there must have been lot of appreciation for St Francis Xavier for the number of people he got converted during the early 16th Century but I argue in my book how in today’s times he is unacceptable. I think the church needs saints like Mother Teresa not Francis Xavier. Unfortunately for us, there will always be the small but powerful conservatives in every religion and they will take a long time to change. But the future belongs to secular rational thought.

He’s right in denigrating us conservatives except that we will never change and we are not “powerful” (if we were, he and his fellow priests wouldn’t be in the Hinduised mess that they are in today).

It has become politically correct for progressive Catholics like Fr. Kanjamala to distance themselves from St. Francis Xavier and the proselytization of the Portuguese missionaries… but to replace her with Mother Teresa! But that would not surprise some of us since we recall that she famously said, “Let a Hindu be a good Hindu, let a Muslim be a good Muslim…” (Paraphrased). After all, unlike the Divine Word missionary priests, her charism was service to the least of the least and not preaching the Word of God.

As an afterthought, if not for St. Francis Xavier, my wife and I and our parents and grandparents and theirs… wouldn’t probably be in the Catholic fold today, and there wouldn’t probably be this ministry.

 

From page 2:

You know many of these states have passed the anti-conversion bill. So this is purely political. And I make the point in my book that conversion will have political consequences because people link it to the way people vote. One of the outstanding ideologues among them is Arun Shourie.

You and Arun Shourie go a long back, don’t you?
Yes. When I was secretary of the Bishops conference I invited him to a national consultation on evangelisation in Pune around 20 years ago. I told my superiors that instead of getting people who will only say good things about us, let us get someone who is against us. Accordingly I proposed Shourie’s name and he came spoke for an hour and participated in the discussion that followed. Within a month of the conference he wrote Missionaries in India which many bishops did not like.

 

 

 

 

And that wasn’t the only book?
Yes. Shourie was later invited to publicly debate the issues he had raised a few months after the book’s release. He and me had an over three-hour-long debate. Later that too was brought out as a book. It is not surprising that Hindu ideologues like him keep attacking the church.

Those are the fruits of five decades of relativism, pluralism, interreligious dialogue, syncretism, inculturation (Hinduisation) and compromise on the fullness of revelation of the Christian Bible and the unicity of Jesus Christ leading to negative evangelization.

Almost every department of the Church in India is immersed in dialogue, and things should have become very comfortable for Catholics in this nation, but the reality is totally different. Things have gotten worse since the installation of the new government almost a year ago. The saffron brigade is manipulating the remote controls and holding the reins. Like the Jews under the Nazi regime in the late 1930s, Indian Christians wake up to new restrictions and proposals restricting their freedoms almost every morning.

I prophesy that no amount of what
we call interreligious dialogue is going to make things a jot better.

When my friends write in from the West voicing their concerns about events occurring in India, I tell them to in fact rejoice with me because I for one welcome possible persecution; for “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians” (Tertullian, c. 197) and today’s Catholic leaders have become too spiritually corrupt and have forgotten early Church history and need to be brought back to earth by ‘the sword and by fire’.

Fr. Kanjamala’s inviting Hindu ideologue Arun Shourie to address the Bishops of India is akin to St. Peter inviting Caesar, one of the ‘gods’ of the Roman Empire to address the New Testament church. We lost the little remaining self-respect that we might have had, and Shourie turned it into a series of book ops.

 

Arun Shourie and the Missionaries in India

http://www.hindunet.org/hvk/Publications/arun.html
EXTRACT

By Ashok V. Chowgule, September 1994

He was invited by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India “to give the Hindu perception of the work of Christian missionaries in India” (p ix).  The occasion, called the Pune Consultation, was the celebration of fifty years of the existence of the CBCI, and the meeting was held in January 1994 “to review the work of the Church in India”…

It is well known that Shri Shourie is a critical votary of Hindutva, and has come out in support of issues like the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. 

 

Fr. Kanjamala’s interview by dnaindia shows him up as lacking Christian hope and zeal having abandoned the mission of preaching the Word of God and walking in the flesh in false syncretized dialogue.

My regular readers would know that I rarely ever quote verses from the Sacred Scriptures (everyone else seems to be doing that) preferring instead to cite Magisterial teachings and eminent Catholic individuals (who anyway use the Bible as their basic reference).

But today, I would like to quote Scripture for Fr. Kanjamala.

 

Zeal for your house consumes me” Psalm 69:10

Isaiah saw that the Redeemer of the world had “wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal“, 59:17

And when Jesus’ disciples saw him driving the moneychangers out of the temple, they “recalled the words of Scripture, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’.”

 

Those who fear you shall see me and be glad because I hope in your Word” Psalm 119:74

 

For those who will preach the undiluted Word which is sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), “So shall my Word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it“, Isaiah 55:11

 

I hope that Fr. Kanjamala gets the message.

 

I end by referring my readers to my compilations/reports on Inter-religious Dialogue so that they will know the right type from its counterfeit, followed by three extracts:

INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 01-POPE BENEDICT XVI

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INTERRELIGIOUS_DIALOGUE_01-POPE_BENEDICT_XVI.doc

INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 02-GOA CATHOLICS OPPOSE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INTERRELIGIOUS_DIALOGUE_02-GOA_CATHOLICS_OPPOSE.doc

INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 03-THE FALSE KIND

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/INTERRELIGIOUS_DIALOGUE_03-THE_FALSE_KIND.doc

SPIRIT OF ASSISI

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

 

 

 

1. Benedict XV’s address to Bishops of India

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/benedict-xvi-s-address-to-bishops-of-india EXTRACT

May 16, 2011

With regard to interreligious dialogue, I am aware of the challenging circumstances many of you face as you develop a dialogue with those of other religious beliefs, all the while encouraging an atmosphere of tolerant interaction.

Your dialogue should be characterized by a constant regard for that which is true, in order to foster mutual respect while avoiding semblances of syncretism.

 

2. Evangelii Gaudium

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html
EXTRACT

Pope Francis, November 24, 2013

Interreligious dialogue

250. An attitude of openness in truth and in love must characterize the dialogue with the followers of non-Christian religions, in spite of various obstacles and difficulties, especially forms of fundamentalism on both sides. Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. This dialogue is in first place a conversation about human existence or simply, as the bishops of India have put it, a matter of “being open to them, sharing their joys and sorrows”.[194] In this way we learn to accept others and their different ways of living, thinking and speaking. We can then join one another in taking up the duty of serving justice and peace, which should become a basic principle of all our exchanges. A dialogue which seeks social peace and justice is in itself, beyond all merely practical considerations, an ethical commitment which brings about a new social situation. Efforts made in dealing with a specific theme can become a process in which, by mutual listening, both parts can be purified and enriched. These efforts, therefore, can also express love for truth.

251. In this dialogue, ever friendly and sincere, attention must always be paid to the essential bond between dialogue and proclamation, which leads the Church to maintain and intensify her relationship with non-Christians. [195] A facile syncretism would ultimately be a totalitarian gesture on the part of those who would ignore greater values of which they are not the masters. True openness involves remaining steadfast in one’s deepest convictions, clear and joyful in one’s own identity, while at the same time being “open to understanding those of the other party” and “knowing that dialogue can enrich each side”. [196]
What is not helpful is a diplomatic openness which says “yes” to everything in order to avoid problems, for this would be a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others. Evangelization and interreligious dialogue, far from being opposed, mutually support and nourish one another. [197]

 
 

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI breaks his retirement silence of 18 months by speaking of all things on what subject? On “relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith”” in connection with interreligious dialogue.

3. Retired pope says interreligious dialogue no substitute for mission

http://www.catholicregister.org/faith/faith-news/item/19040-retired-pope-says-interreligious-dialogue-no-substitute-for-mission

By Francis X. Rocca, October 23, 2014
VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation for missionary work is not to increase the church’s size but to share the joy of knowing Christ.

The retired pope’s words appeared in written remarks to faculty members and students at Rome’s Pontifical Urbanian University, which belongs to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict, read the 1,800-word message aloud Oct. 21, at a ceremony dedicating the university’s renovated main lecture hall to the retired pope.

The speech is one of a handful of public statements, including an interview and a published letter to a journalist, that Pope Benedict has made since he retired in February 2013.

“The risen Lord instructed his apostles, and through them his disciples in all ages, to take his word to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all people,” retired Pope Benedict wrote. “‘But does that still apply?’ many inside and outside the church ask themselves today. ‘Is mission still something for today? Would it not be more appropriate to meet in dialogue among religions and serve together the cause of world peace?’ The counter-question is: ‘Can dialogue substitute for mission?’ In fact, many today think religions should respect each other and, in their dialogue, become a common force for peace. According to this way of thinking, it is usually taken for granted that different religions are variants of one and the same reality,” the retired pope wrote. “The question of truth, that which originally motivated Christians more than any other, is here put inside parentheses. It is assumed that the authentic truth about God is in the last analysis unreachable and that at best one can represent the ineffable with a variety of symbols. This renunciation of truth seems realistic and useful for peace among religions in the world. It is nevertheless lethal to faith. In fact, faith loses its binding character and its seriousness, everything is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine,” he wrote.

 

 

 

 

Pope Benedict wrote that some religions, particularly “tribal religions,” are “waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ,” but that this “encounter is always reciprocal. Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom, their vision of the things.” This encounter can also give new life to Christianity, which has grown tired in its historical heartlands, he wrote. “We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members as possible for our community, and still less in order to gain power,” the retired pope wrote. “We speak of him because we feel the duty to transmit that joy which has been given to us.” Fr. Kanjamala, please take note!

2 out of 6 comments

1. At last a condemnation of “dialogue”.

“Go forth & teach all nations” Christ said. He didn’t say “go forth & dialogue”.

I have long held that ecumenism & dialogue are useless.

One can’t come to a consensus on Truth. Truth stands alone.

“Will you also leave me?” Our Lord said. He didn’t concur with error.

2. Too little too late, Emeritus Holy Father. You should have never retired in the first place. You will always be loved. –Fr. James

 

4. Francis: ‘Inter-faith dialogue is the most effective antidote to violence’

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/01/26/francis-inter-faith-dialogue-is-the-most-effective-antidote-to-violence/

January 26, 2015

Inter-religious dialogue must be grounded in a “full and forthright presentation” of different faiths’ respective convictions, Pope Francis has said. The Pope made the comments during a meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall during the first day of his papal visit to South Asia. […]

The Pope also warned of a “facile” approach to dialogue which “says yes to everything in order to avoid problems”.

“It would end up becoming ‘a way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others,'” the Pontiff said, quoting from apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

 

 

 


 

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Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, Liturgical Abuses, new age

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