YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH, BANGALORE
JULY 28, 2011/NOVEMBER 28, 2011/MAY 19/NOVEMBER 2013/FEBRUARY/JULY 2015
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 8:07 AM and Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 8:13 AM with this first page attached.
Dear Archbishop Bernard Moras,
This is to bring to your notice that the St. Patrick’s Church premises is being used to promote Yoga and other New Age techniques and therapies that are specifically named or whose philosophies are described in two Vatican Documents* [October 15, 1989 and February 3, 2003]. I trust that you will do the needful. *For details, please see my web site.
Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu, Catholic apologist www.ephesians-511.net
DR. G. FRANCIS XAVIER Ph. D. TAP* FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL *Think, Achieve and Prosper
358, 8th Main Road, Vivek Nagar, Bangalore – 560047 India Telephone: +91 80 2571 4897
Mobile: +91 9343 721820 Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Dr. G. Francis Xavier is the Founder-Chairman of TAP Foundation International, an organization dedicated to the philosophy of self-improvement. With a Doctoral Degree in Self-improvement, Dr. Xavier is a member of the Association of international Yoga Therapists, Los Angeles, USA, a full teaching member of International Yoga Teachers’ Association Sydney, Australia as well as a Registered Medical Practitioner in Ayurveda.
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Tantrik Kriya Yoga
In this well organised and scientific presentation, it is proved that palmistry can be of immense value to councelors, teachers, parents, professional palmists and all others who are keenly interested in the development of human personality. -END-
Subject: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
Dear Catholic friends,
Yoga classes are being conducted at St. Patrick’s Church in Bangalore.
The premises of Catholic institutions continue to be used for promoting New Age meditations and alternative therapies.
I have written to the Archbishop of Bangalore regarding at least 15 different yet similar-to-this-one issues — with no response.
See ARCHBISHOP OF BANGALORE–LETTERS FROM THIS MINISTRY
PRANIC HEALING CONVENTION AT CHRIST COLLEGE, BANGALORE
For the sake of the Faith of our friends and loved ones, please write to His Grace Most Rev. Bernard Moras expressing your concern. The Archbishop’s email address is email@example.com.
In Jesus’ Name,
A reverend sister
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
Thanks for your mail. Kindly say something more about yourself and the group, what needs to be done from my side I shall do the needful.
A priest, Executive Secretary CBCI, New Delhi
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 9:40 PM
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
I have noted your mail
A lay man
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:53 PM
Subject: FW: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
It is too bad news for our church. These events make a way to other denomination to laugh on us. Good and evil can not go together. One side Patrick’s Church conducts Pentecostal night vigil and other side Occult. Now Archdiocese should provide Do’s and Don’ts to every Parishes and catholic institutions. Stern action should be taken on those who violate it.
Whatever happened at St. Patrick’s is a grave offence against the Church.
A lay woman
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
Posted on my Facebook of 5000 friends…
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
They (Cardinals, Bishops or Priests or Nuns) or we (flock), have no excuse at all when they/we stand before the Lord for Judgement … Nobody can hide their deeds when their evil is exposed firstly through the Lady of Fatima, St Faustina, and … through your writings and may more like you who work for the truth in the present evil age. God bless you abundantly.
THE PRIEST SERVING AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH DEFENDS YOGA ON FACEBOOK:
FR. ADRIAN MASCARENHAS:
Adrian Mascarenhas: August 11, 2011
As assistant parish priest at St. Patrick’s, may I be permitted to comment on this?
Nostra Aetate, the official document of the Second Vatican Council, which states the Church’s position vis-a-vis Non-Christian religions, has the following to say with regard to Hinduism: “Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust.”…clearly referring to Yoga among other Hindu practices.
After discussing Buddhism as well, the document goes on to say: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.”
The [Vatican] document mentioned in the scribd.com* article is from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the first place, it carries far less weight than a document coming from an ecumenical council. Secondly, it is written to correct people who are on the wrong path, not to criticise people who are trying to implement the council’s teachings on respect for other faiths. Hence, this instruction on some ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN MEDITATION (1989) is very much in line with what St. Patrick’s Church is trying to do when it says:
“28. Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life. Giving them a symbolic significance typical of the mystical experience, when the moral condition of the person concerned does not correspond to such an experience, would represent a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations. That does not mean that genuine practices of meditation which come from the Christian East and from the great non-Christian religions, which prove attractive to the man of today who is divided and disoriented, cannot constitute a suitable means of helping the person who prays to come before God with an interior peace, even in the midst of external pressures.”
Hence, if yoga is even allowed as part of our prayer life, it is clear that it cannot be forbidden as a form of physical exercise.
The second document mentioned, on the other hand, is the 2003 document on Jesus, the Bearer of the Water of Life. It is against the New Age Movement as a whole, and does not criticise individual practices such as yoga. It mentions Yoga only in two contexts: first, as one of the many sources that flow into the modern New Age movement. (But just because new age involves yoga
that does not mean that all yoga involves new age). Second, it holds that we can attain several misleading psychological experiences through yoga. Fair enough. That does not say anything for yoga as a form of physical exercise.
I am sure that fair minded people will see that most Catholics do not deny the truths of our faith when they do yoga, and for them, it is a harmless physical exercise that results in improved health as well as mental agility. These documents are meant to guide those who have a wrong understanding of yoga or those whose faith is weak.
*Apparently, one of the participants in this Facebook discussion was referring to a couple of Vatican Documents he/she had uploaded on scribd.com. See my letter to Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas on page 10.
Thanks you very much for your comments.
I am able to see many missionaries on this blog. How many of you agree/disagree whatever Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas says is right. Be prophetic and faithful to the teaching of the Church.
Thank you for initiating and allowing this discussion. I try to uphold the faith of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Magisterial documents. If I am wrong, please correct me, but as far as possible mention the name of any Vatican document which will clarify the point at issue.
Please go through a commentary by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., EWTN PREACHER … Do you think he speaks wrong?
Also some preachers who are on this blog openly confessed YOGA IS WRONG in front of me. One preacher raised a concern 3 days back about this issue.
Nice to know this. However, his opinions, however learned they may be, have no official standing in the church unless they come out in a church document. The fact that new agers use yoga does not mean that yoga by itself is bad. So what Fr. Pacwa should be doing is writing to the Vatican and asking them to bring out a document on Yoga giving clear instructions. Until then, neither can the Archbishop of Bangalore tell St. Patrick’s to stop this practice, nor can St. Patrick’s condemn this poor person who is only doing what he thinks is right.
I don’t think I understand you clearly. The clip you gave me seems to be mostly about physics and not yoga (I just heard the whole thing, perhaps I missed some points? Or perhaps you gave me the wrong link?)
I have read one of the two physics books before (Gary Zukav – the Dancing Wu Li Masters – Pacwa got the name of the book wrong here) – I am not sure about Capra but I am pretty sure that Gary Zukav is not really a New Age guy – in fact I would suppose he is agnostic. Capra might be advocating a type of New Age spirituality – I don’t know, I haven’t read his book. The physicists also come out as agnostics. Yes, what Fr. Pacwa is saying is most probably correct (except for the name of the book), but I still (as a theologian) cannot see the connection between this and the issue of yoga. Fr. Pacwa does not mention or criticise the use of particular exercises, mantras, breathing procedures, postures etc. He is speaking of metaphysical aspects of the New Physics and why they are dangerous. He has not really proposed an alternative solution to the serious questions raised by modern physics…he has merely said that the solution proposed by the physicists themselves goes against Catholic teaching. Fair enough, but totally and utterly irrelevant to the issue of doing physical exercises in the ancient Indian style.
I am very sorry. I have given a wrong link. The real link is here.
Host – Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. iq_1676.mp3
Fr. Pacwa takes a look at the other ramifications of the division of the brain. He talks about meditation in the New Age movement. He talks about the way that some New Agers use to meditate like psychotechnologies and yoga and what is wrong with yoga. He also takes a look at Christian spirituality and how Christianity is to be lived… Also have a look at this:
Also you can have a look at “Yoga in philosophy and practice is incompatible with Christianity” by James Manjackal MSFS
I certainly feel you will say that even Fr. James Manjackal is speaking nonsense.
I feel happy to read your statement “neither can the Archbishop of Bangalore tell St. Patrick’s to stop this practice, nor can St. Patrick’s condemn this poor person who is only doing what he thinks is right.”
This is what one international missionary told me 3 days back “This is the problem with our church… and all depends on the powerful parish priest…”
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT: DANGER ON THE CAMPUS by Dr. Dominic F. Dixon, Evangelist,
Dr. Dominic F. Dixon says
“Yoga is dangerous because all of its forms involve occult assumptions, even hatha yoga which is often presented as a physical discipline. We have Christian leaders embracing New Ageism in the name of ecumenism and inculturation, but none of this is either Christian or ecumenical. Many Christian educational institutions in India have inculcated “Value Education” as a subject for their students. Value education has now also included Transcendental Meditation and Yoga. What do they have to do with Value education? What does this have to do with Christianity? Let’s do something before we lose an entire generation. Don’t allow the complacency of our society to subtly restrain you. There is too much at stake. We can’t afford to allow the themes of despair, occultism, mutilation, and witchcraft to become entrenched in the vulnerable minds of our children through our neglect. Jesus said, “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than for him to cause on of these little one’s to sin” (Luke 17:2 – NIV).
Parents need to get involved with academics and see what the children are studying. We need to be well informed about the subtle attacks through academics and gather support against these evil practices. Some educational institutions propagate and make it compulsory for the students to practice yoga and the like. Don’t get carried away, make an appeal to the directors of the institutions; if they don’t listen, appeal to the board of education. After all according to NAM all views are right; therefore your view should also be right.”
Also Dominic Dixon provided references:
1, 3, 8, Trevor Mander/ cultwatch.com/newage
2, 9, Seduction of our children, Neil T. Anderson & Steve Russo, pg. 62
4, What Is “New Age”? Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. Cult Observer, 1993, Volume 10, No. 1- Accessed July 2006
5, New Age Transformed J Gordon Melton, Director Institute for the Study of American Religion – Accessed June 2006.
Definitions: New Age Spirituality, http:/www.religioustolerance.org/newage.htm
7, New Age by Michael Prabhu – ephesians-511.net.
Thanks for your views and for the links. As it is late, I will go through them tomorrow. You do me an injustice in saying that I will feel Fr. James Manjackal is speaking nonsense. I have not yet heard or read his views, and I promise that I will pay close attention to them, despite my habitual lack of time. I merely speak the doctrine of the Church and I judge no one in my capacity as a priest. Personally I may have some private judgements but I will not allow them to cloud the issues at stake. I will merely inform you as to whether what Fr. James is saying tallies with the documents of the Church or does not tally. You can do the judging yourself, based on your own opinion of the value of
official Church teaching as opposed to the teaching or a private priest / preacher.
Thank you and sorry father, for all the trouble that i caused you through out the day. Goodnight
No trouble. I am preparing for tomorrow’s mass, and then going to sleep. Thanks for the posts. I was not able to answer because I had to attend a function for the whole evening, and just got back past 12 am! Good night.
I was able to go through only the first three things and I will respond to them. There are no documents specifically addressing the issue of Yoga – as I said, it is praised by the Second Vatican Council; at the same time the document Jesus the Bearer of the Water of Life says that New Age thinking derives some of its principles from yoga. This does not mean that all yoga is to be rejected. Only certain elements which give rise to New Age thinking are to be treated with caution.
1. Fr. Pacwa is correct but he is talking about certain extreme forms of yoga and not about yoga in general. What was demonstrated at St. Patrick’s and what is taught in Christian schools etc. is merely the physical practices and at most the breath control aspect. The aspect of IMPERSONALISM which Fr. Pacwa rightly criticises, is almost always ABSENT from the form of yoga taught in Christian institutions.
2. The pamphlet on “A Spiritual Health Warning” again is right in warning people against New Age practices. However, not all yoga belongs to the category of new age practices. The quotes from the practitioners are interesting but not to be taken at face value as they are basically trying to provide the deeper meaning – very few people will go into that deeper meaning.
3. Regarding Fr. Manjackal’s article, in the first place, a number of Christian saints and mystics have also spoken of union with God e.g. John of the Cross.
Yoga in fact is a dualistic system (originally atheistic and pre-Hindu, later Hindu-ized and made into a theistic system) and the form of Yoga taught by Patanjali should be understood as dualistic union with the deity in which the creature does not lose its identity. Many of our Christian saints (e.g. Irenaeus) have also spoken of the divinisation of the human being and hence we should not be unduly disturbed by terms like this. The nature of union with God in Yoga and in Christianity can be reconciled provided that we take the right interpretation of Yoga. On the other hand, Yoga as taught in Christian institutions is not the same as the Yoga which is being criticised here. In Christian institutions yoga merely serves as a form of healthy exercise to seek physical development and to control various complaints. Very few Christians go towards Yoga as a means of entering into communion with God. For that we have Prayer and Sacraments. I doubt very much that Yogic exercises CANNOT be separated from the philosophy of Yoga. Certainly many people who are practicing Yoga today do not share this philosophical worldview – hence they can be separated. However, if they are teaching a false philosophical worldview, they should certainly be corrected. It should be noted that certain scientific theories also can lead to false philosophical worldviews and ideologies such as atheism. Does that mean that we should ban the teaching of science in our church-run institutions? Rather we should accept what is correct and reject what is wrong. Similarly with Yoga, we can accept the fact that the exercises are good for health; we can reject the ideas of impersonalism (rightly criticised by Fr. Pacwa), New Age philosophy (criticised by the second article and the document) and personal union with God (criticised by Fr. Manjackal).
Thank you again for your comments.
I don’t know why you have not commented on Dominic Dixon’s article on HSI. I think Dominic Dixon conducts prayer meeting at St. Patrick’s Church. I also notice that you have carefully and smartly commented on the link which I sent you.
We are carried away from the real focus of JESUS and what Church teaches us, and we try to find out “JOY” in PAGAN RELIGION SPIRITUAL PRACTICES.
WE ARE EXPERT IN RESEARCHING IN HINDUISM AND BUDHISM, THAT IS WHY WE ARE VERY, VERY RICH IN “ASHRAMS”, OM CHANTING AT MASS, EVEN WE DON’T MIND TO DISTRIBUTE COMMUNION TO NON CHRISTIANS (OM symbol over the tabernacle) http://www.bedegriffiths.com/shantivanam/images-of-shantivanam/3104393
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE (HINDU BIBLE) BY INDIAN THEOLOGIANS published by St Pauls Publication is also a good example. Fr. Joachim Andrade, AND FR. SAAJU GEORGE ARE BEST EXAMPLES OF DANCE IN FRONT OF NATARAJA, AND DO NATARAJ DANCE ON THE PULPIT.
Don’t you think PRANAYAMA is extreme form of YOGA to AWAKENING THE KUNDALINI, AND KUNDALINI is the Power of Serpent? Occult nadi therapists know very well about this (Sarpa, Manduka, Hamsa).
TRAINER FRANCIS XAVIER CONDUCTS FOLLOWING OCCULT TRAINING
1) Activate Left and Right Hemispheres of the Brain
2) Awaken Kundalini (AWAKING POWER OF SERPENT (SATANIC SNAKE POWER))
3) Cosmic Consciousness
5) REFLEXOLOGY (OCCULT MASSAGE THERAPY)
6) TANTRA YOGA (focusing on the dynamic aspect of occult power or “the Cosmic Mother.”)
Church teaching says all forms of divination are to be rejected, including PALMISTRY.
APART FROM OTHER OCCULT PRACTICES, MY DEAR FRIEND FRANCIS XAVIER WROTE A BOOK ON PALMISTRY. Even I heard he was distributing his books during those YOGA Classes at ST. PATRICKS CHURCH.
IT IS SAD THING TO SAY A PRIEST IS PROMOTING SATANIC THINGS.
DO YOU THINK THE ARCHBISHOP OF BANGALORE BOLD ENOUGH TO CONFESS OPENLY YOGA IS GOOD FOR CATHOLICS FOR SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT AND THERE IS NOTHING OCCULT IN IT? HE WILL NEVER DO IT IF HE IS LOYAL TO VATICAN.
I HEARD FR. MITCH PACWA’S TALK YEARS AGO, I HAVE NOT FOUND WHAT YOU SAID.
THE INTRODUCTION OF LEAFLET FROM CATHOLIC ASSOCIATES STARTS WITH A QUESTION AND ANSWER.
1) Is yoga a suitable activity for Christians?
The simple answer to that question is – no!
2) There are many forms of physical exercise which can be undertaken “WITHOUT” putting oneself in regular contact with a practice which is based on, and rooted in, a non-Christian, Eastern spiritual philosophy and lifestyle.
3) No part of yoga can be separated from the philosophy behind it.
4) Someone who was deeply involved in New Age practices – says this: ‘Often it is thought that Hatha Yoga (the physical exercise form of Yoga) is benign and somehow disassociated from the rest of the total Yoga system. This is a potentially dangerous fallacy. Hatha Yoga is part and parcel of the whole of yoga, with many of the same dangers. In addition, it also functions as a door through which the curious sometimes walk to explore other aspects of the New Age.’
5) Catholic Bishops of Croatia objected the government proposal to teach yoga at schools and they urged the parents to oppose the plans too. “The long term effect could be incalculable” as per the bishops. I’D LOVE TO SEE THESE KIND OF BISHOPS AND CARDINALS IN INDIAN CHURCH.
6) YOGA IS A COMBINATION OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND THE SPIRITUAL, No part of yoga can be separated from the philosophy behind it. (Words of
Guru Rabi Maharaj).
(To another Fb participant:) PLEASE COMPARE MY POINTS WITH FR. ADRIANS POINTS BASED ON THE LEAFLETS. ALSO PLEASE CROSS VERIFY WITH THE LEAFLET. ALSO PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LEAFLET IS NOT WRITTEN BY MICHAEL PRABHU. ALSO THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT WHATEVER PRIEST SPEAKS IS RIGHT. HE MAY BE POWERFUL ANOINTED PRIEST. THIS DOESN’T GUARANTEE WHATEVER HE SPEAK IS RIGHT.
IF YOU READ JAMES MANJACKALS ARTICLE, YOU CAN FIND:
With all sincerity of heart I will say, 80 to 90% of the participants had been to Yoga, Reiki, reincarnation, etc of the Eastern religious practices where they lost faith in Jesus Christ and the Church. In Croatia, Bosnia, Germany, Austria and Italy I had clear instances where individuals who were possessed with the powers of darkness cried out “I am Reiki”, “I am Mr. Yoga”, identifying themselves to these concepts as persons while I was conducting prayers of healing for them. Later, I had to pray over them by the prayer of deliverance to liberate them from the evil possessions.
Experts on cults and Catholic spirituality agree that yoga cannot be divided from its own spirituality.
Ft Myers bishop bans classes at parish, Voice of the Faithful objects.
Yoga is primarily a spiritual discipline.
It is sad that now a days, many Catholics are loosing trust in the great spiritualities and mysticisms for prayer and discipline handed over to them by great saints like Ignatius of Loyola, Francis of Assisi, Francis of Sales, St. Theresa of Avila, etc.
AND are now going after the Eastern spiritualities and mysticisms coming from Hinduism and Buddhism.
This God is not a personal God
But it is an impersonal spiritual substance which is one with nature and cosmos.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the lord Krishna describes the Jiva as “my own eternal portion”, and “the joy of Yoga comes to yogi who is one with Brahman”.
Yoga is not only an elaborate system of physical exercises, it is a spiritual discipline, purporting to lead the soul to Samadhi.
Yoga is incompatible with the Christian Spirituality because it is pantheistic (God is everything and everything is God), and holds that there is only one Reality and all else is illusion or Maya.
The Centre of Christian faith is faith in the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, three persons in one God-Head, the perfect model of loving relationship. Christianity is all about relationships, with God and among men,
The practice of Yoga is pagan at best, and occult at worst.
This is the religion of antichrist and for the first time in history it is being wildly practised throughout the Western world and America.
It is ridiculous that even yogi masters wearing a Cross or a Christian symbol deceive people saying that Yoga has nothing to do with Hinduism and say that it is only accepting the other cultures.
Some have masked Yoga with Christian gestures and call it “Christian Yoga”.
Here it is not a question of accepting the culture of other people, it is a question of accepting another religion which is irrelevant to our religion and religious concepts.
Hatha Yoga, one which is wide spread in Europe and America for relaxation and non-strenuous exercises, is one of the six recognized systems of orthodox Hinduism, and it is at its roots religious and mystical, which is the most dangerous forms of Yoga
The desire to become God is the first and second sin in the history of creation as chronologically recorded in the Bible,
The philosophy and practice of Yoga are based on the belief that man and God are one. It teaches one to focus on oneself instead on the One True God.
I believe that these doubts and confusions, apostasy and infidelism, religious coldness and indifference came to Europe ever since the Eastern mysticisms and meditations, esoteric and New Age practices were introduced in the West.
So a Christian can not, in any way, accept the philosophy and practice of Yoga because Christianity and Yoga are mutually exclusive view points.
Unlike Yoga, Christianity views Salvation as a free gift, it can only be received and never be earned or attained by one’s own effort or works.
Again, we see that the control of the vital energy (prana) by way of breathing, like also asana, is not merely a physical exercise, but is accompanied by certain psychomental phenomena.
Yoga is, after all, a religious practice seeking to produce “union” with an impersonal ultimate reality.
I KNOW WHAT KIND OF YOGA SOME CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS TEACH, AND I ALSO KNOW A CATHOLIC NUN HAD BEATEN A CHILD IN MANGALORE FOR NOT DOING MUDRAS CORRECTLY.
FINALLY A WARNING FROM AN EXCORCIST ON DEMONIC POSSESION
Johnnette Benkovic, evangelist and creator of EWTN’s Women of Grace program.
YOGA, SURYANAMASKAR, GAYATRI MANTRA, PRANAYAMA TO BE MADE COMPULSORY IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
TRUTH, LIES AND YOGA-ERROL FERNANDES
WAS JESUS A YOGI? SYNCRETISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE-ERROL FERNANDES
YOGA-WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT IT?
I appreciate the fact that the last article distinguishes between Yoga and Pranayama / Asanas as such. HENCE THIS ARTICLE SAYS THAT CATHOLICS ARE ALLOWED TO PRACTICE PRANAYAMA AND ASANAS. In most cases, when Catholics use the word “Yoga”, they are basically talking about Asanas and some lighter forms of breathing exercises, but they are not speaking of the more serious forms of Yoga as described by these articles. Hence, what they are doing is not to be condemned. The article is right in saying that this mere exercises should not be termed “Yoga”. However, if we are going to be arguing about words like this, then many of our Catholics should not be termed “Catholics”.
Hence I would conclude that all these articles are referring to more advanced forms of Yoga and there is nothing in these articles that would stop us from practising the beginners’ level exercises such as asanas and breath control. If Hatha Yoga is only a stage on the path to Raja Yoga, it is also true that not all Hatha Yoga necessarily leads to Raja Yoga. Just as not all who visit Rome go there as pilgrims, so also not all those who practice yogic exercises need to go deeper into the philosophy or ideology of yoga. A person can practice Hatha Yoga without necessarily going to Raja Yoga, irrespective of the ideology and intentions of the ancient masters
Due to lack of time I have read only the posts by Dominic Dixon, Errol Fernandes and the last post. Thanks for sharing these documents.
Certain statements in these articles seem exaggerated and alarmist, and are probably applicable only to a few forms of Yoga and not to the less intense forms of Yoga which are generally promoted in Christian institutions:
From Dominic Dixon:
“Yoga is dangerous because all of its forms involve occult assumptions, even hatha yoga which is often presented as a physical discipline.”
“The goal of Yoga meditation is the emptying of the mind. We are expected to turn our minds off and make our minds a blank slate. It’s a great way of getting into a cult but not a good way of getting to know and enjoy God.”
From Errol Fernandes: “Plainly stated, the objective of yoga is the deification of man. Such a view is radically different from Christianity, which clearly distinguishes between Creator and creature, God and man.” [It is to be noted that a number of Christian saints especially in the Eastern Tradition also speak of the divinisation of human beings and hence it is a concept not totally alien to Christianity. Perhaps Yoga can therefore be reinterpreted in a Christian sense? In any case hardly any Christian who practices Yoga is aiming at becoming divine through the practice.]
The last article: It is untrue to say that the Vatican has virtually excommunicated Yoga. As I said, extreme forms of Yoga which involve identification of human and divine are to be rejected, as the various Catholic Bishops’ Conferences have done.
I have seen you are carefully avoiding what the truth written in those documents.
I quote the relevant portion of the last document:
“May Christians practise pranayama [yogic breathing exercises]?
What about the asanas – the postures or physical exercises of yoga? May Christians practise them?
To that question, the answer… is “yes”, but with some qualifications:
Deep breathing is a good thing. The increased intake of oxygen lowers the levels of carbon-dioxide in the blood, and is good for metabolism, and therefore for health. Good posture and physical exercise facilitate improved breathing and blood circulation, and tone up the muscles. So, then, a Christian may do yoga? We did not say that. A Christian may do the breathing and the exercises, but does not need to call it “yoga”. Call it simply proper breathing, and fitness exercising.
When we say we are doing ‘yoga’, there are usually other implications. If we closely question those who are teaching us yoga, we are certain to find that, along with their faith in yoga, they have accepted other beliefs, philosophies and practices which are not compatible with the Catholic faith and Biblical revelation. While trying to improve their health of mind and body through yoga, they have usually assimilated beliefs that endanger their faith and Christian spiritual life.”
The last portion of this is not true. We can assimilate false beliefs through anything – through studying science, through archaeology, through studying history, or through studying philosophy – through excessive sport – or, alternatively, through Yoga. It is each person’s duty to guard against false beliefs irrespective of whether he is a scientist or a yogi, and we cannot stop yoga and science on the grounds that they lead to atheism, pantheism etc.
We can even assimilate false beliefs through studying the Bible – Fundamentalism, some forms of Protestantism, Judaistic heresies like Seventh Day Adventism etc. The Norwegian killer claimed to be a fundamentalist Christian. That does not mean that the Bible is a dangerous book.
In what way am I avoiding the truth? I have pointed out what is true and what is false in the documents. They are true but they apply only to
extreme forms of yoga.
I would like to draw your attention to this sentence in the last article: “A Christian may do the breathing and the exercises, but does not need to call it “yoga”. Call it simply proper breathing, and fitness exercising.”
In other words, the argument is one about words and not about realities, because in reality very few Christians ever go beyond the breathing and the exercises.
I would also be interested in knowing whether Michael Prabhu is alleging that something more than breathing and fitness exercising was being taught at St. Patrick’s, and if so, what exactly was it?
AGAIN MISINTERPREATING AND LEADING PEOPLE TO SATANIC PATH. YOU CAN NOT SEPERATE YOGA FROM ITS PHILOSOPHY.
I HAVE WRITTEN 24 POINTS FROM JAMES MANJAKALS MSFS ARTICLE.
ONE POINT HE WROTE
a) Yoga is primarily a spiritual discipline,
b) The practice of Yoga is pagan at best, and occult at worst.
c) Hatha Yoga, one which is wide spread in Europe and America for relaxation and non-strenuous exercises, is one of the six recognized systems of orthodox Hinduism, and it is at its roots religious and mystical, which is the most dangerous forms of Yoga
I WILL ONCE AGAIN GIVE A VIDEO FROM A EWTN PREACHER “WOMEN OF GRACE”, PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AGAIN. IF YOU WANT I WILL ALSO POST 14 ARTICLES WRITTEN BY WOMEN OF GRACE MINISTRY ON YOGA
I request you for my own personal satisfaction to kindly answer the question raised by your own article: are the deep breathing and asanas allowed or not? And do you have any idea that something other than deep breathing and asanas is being… taught at St. Patrick’s?
I have work to do now. I will await your answer and go through the other articles later. Also I request you to ask specific questions rather than merely posting articles and asking for my comments, since it is obvious that different articles are using the word “Yoga” with different meanings based on what forms of yoga have been encountered by the person who wrote the article.
Yoga is a Hindu (pagan) spiritual discipline which attempts to unite one with the divine within oneself and unite one with all of creation through breathing, physical exercises, concentration, etc. The idea that the divine … is to be sought for and found within oneself is, of course, occultic. The idea that the divine permeates all of creation — the idea upon which the practice of yoga is based and toward which it is geared — is pantheism, reprobated by Vatican I and other councils and teachings of the Church:
The holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church believes and confesses that there is one, true, living God, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth… Who, although He is one, singular, altogether simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, must be proclaimed distinct in reality and essence from the world…” [Constitutio Dogmatica de Fide Catholic, Sess. III, Cap. i]
God is distinct in reality and essence from His creation. Pantheism teaches that God and the universe are one. Pantheism teaches that the grass, trees, rivers, lakes, oceans, etc., were all united with Christ by virtue of the Incarnation. Pantheism “divinizes” the material world and leads to the “Gaia” belief of the New Agers that the material world lives and has a soul, and to environmental radicalism, in which trees and whales have more rights that human babies.
Since the practice of yoga is based on the idea of union with the divine within oneself and within all of creation, the practice of yoga is therefore an expression of belief in the condemned pantheistic heresy that God and His creation are a single thing. Practicing yoga, therefore, is practicing a false religion and expressing belief in a false god.
The practice of yoga is pagan at best, and occult at worst…. For the first time in history, it is being widely practiced throughout the Western world and America. It is ridiculous that even yogi masters wearing a cross or a Christian symbol deceive people by saying that yoga has nothing to do with Hinduism and say that it is only accepting other cultures. Some have masked yoga with Christian gestures and call it “Christian yoga.” Here it is not a question of accepting the culture of other people; it is a question of accepting another religion.
NO YOGA ASANAS ARE ALLOWED. IT CAN BE OF DEEP BREATHING WITH MUDRAS OR SIMPLE FORM OF HATHA YOGA. WOMEN OF GRACE EWTN PREACHER CLEARLY EXPLAINED IN HER VIDEO.
IT SAYS WHEN WE DO IN ACTION “IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT” THERE IS A SPIRITUAL MEANING BEHIND IT. IN THE SAME WAY EVERY POSTURE AND BREATHING EXERCISE IN YOGA HAS A SPIRITUAL MEANING AND IT AWAKENS THE KUNDALINI (OCCULT POWER, POWER OF SERPENT)
Sorry, I had a programme in our college. Since this discussion has been continuing for various days, I would like to make my final comments before we move to other topics…
1. Asanas are allowed according to the article which you mentioned. I have quoted the relevant section above, and if you want I will quote it again:
“May Christians practise them?
To that question, the answer is “yes”, but with some qualifications…”
You may disagree with it but then you are only proving my point namely that all these articles are private opinions of various individuals and do not represent official teaching of the Catholic Church.
There is no such thing as power of Kundalini / serpent.
2. The official teaching of the Catholic Church comes not from preachers but from doctrinal documents of the Popes, the Councils and below them the CDF, bishops’ conferences etc. At the same time, these have to be interpreted by private individuals in order to put them into practice. The articles quoted by you are generally written by private individuals and may be useful as a spiritual guide but they DO NOT represent the official teaching of the church. Hence when you use words like “allowed” and “forbidden” you are claiming that this private individual has the authority to declare whether the Church allows / forbids certain practices – he
has no such authority to declare something as allowed or forbidden for the church as a whole – this applies only for his private congregation or whatever and certainly not to St. Patrick’s where the legitimate pastor has taken a different decision. I notice that you have used the same words with regard to Bharatnatyam.
3. Just for your reflection, I would like you to see this photo of Pope John Paul II watching the Mayan Creation Dance at a beatification ceremony: http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2002/aug/01/30015/ . Surely you are not going to claim that the Native American dances are less mythological than our dances. If the Pope has no problem with them, then the problem is obviously that of a few individual preachers rather than a question of church teaching as a whole. At this website http://whoislikeuntogod.com/category/catholic-church/novus-ordo-watch/sacrilege/ you can also see Australian Aboriginal dancers at a canonisation ceremony in the Vatican. Though the website claims it is a sacrilege, it is obvious that they are not in line with the Church teaching, since even the Pope
has “allowed” the ceremony – whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven. Or are you going to say that even if the Pope allows traditional dances, you are going to oppose them?
4. Rather than condemning other religions as pagan, the Catholic Church officially APPRECIATES the presence of the Spirit of God in other religions. I gave you one relevant quote from Vatican II. No doubt they have their limitations, as even Christians have limitations. Other religions cannot claim self-sufficiency without Christ. But they are certainly not Satanic, whatever your private preachers and exorcists may say. I post a few quotes from John Paul II in the hope that you will respect the Pope’s opinion more than the opinion of private preachers and the evil spirits who may tell lies saying “I am Reiki” etc. The following quotations are taken from just ONE letter of Pope John Paul II: Redemptoris Missio:
(1) The Spirit’s presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions.
(2) The Church’s relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: “Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man.”
(3) Excluding any mistaken interpretation, the interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that “every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart.”
(4) In Christ, God calls all peoples to himself and he wishes to share with them the fullness of his revelation and love. He does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression, even when they contain gaps, insufficiencies and errors.
I have finished saying whatever I wanted to say in public. I will await your views but will not pursue this topic any further. If you would like to continue this discussion, please send me a private message so that we don’t end up disfiguring this discussion group’s wall.
And Indian dance as well – I don’t know if it was Bharatnatyam. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2003/documents/madre-teresa_5.html
I hope your response will not be to say that Pope John Paul was ignorant / heretical when compared with the other preachers you are quoting.
Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge (# 7), March 14, 1937:
“Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God.” (The Papal Encyclicals, Vol. 3 (1903-1939), p. 526.)
Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 3, Chap. 1, On God the Creator of all things: “The holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church believes and confesses that there is one, true, living God, Creator and Lord of heaven and earth… who, although He is one, singular, altogether simple and unchangeable spiritual substance, must be proclaimed distinct in reality and essence from the world…” (Denzinger 1782.)
God is distinct in reality and essence from His creation. Pantheism teaches that God and the universe are one.
MY COMMENTS ON THE POSTS OF FR. ADRIAN MASCARENHAS
Dear Father Adrian Mascarenhas,
I have followed with great concern your conversations on Facebook commencing August 11, 2011.
You have spent much of your precious pastoral time on the internet studying the files posted on scribd.com by the originator of the Facebook conversation in order to refute the opinions and conclusions of all the eminent Catholic authors, including priests with well-known international ministries, that the Hindu spiritual practice of yoga may not safely be practised by Catholics.
Despite every information made available to you, you resolutely insist just the opposite. To justify your position, you cite only that one section of the Conciliar document Nostra Aetate #2 as do all others who are promoting the Hinduisation of the Liturgy of the Holy Mass in the guise of inculturation. To reinforce my point, I remind you that in part number 4 of one of your much-later conversations, you remind the other participants on Facebook that you had already given them “one relevant quote from Vatican II” to prove the point you attempt to make that “the
Catholic Church officially APPRECIATES the presence of the Spirit of God in other religions“. Don’t you think it strange — and pitiful — that you and your friends can find nothing or very, very little else, of the millions of words in Church Documents, to misinterpret in order to bolster your arguments for the paganization of the Catholic Church in India?
Just as you reject the views of those authors [priests and lay persons] as their personal opinions and not binding on any Catholic, so too are your opinions and interpretations personal ones. Did it ever cross your mind that they may be right and that you might be dead wrong, and if so, that you will be held personally responsible by God for the many souls He entrusted to your care whom you have allowed to be spiritually harmed by the New Age programs that you have encouraged in your parish?
From reading your conversations I perceive that you are a very intelligent and knowledgeable priest and I noted that you always responded to the originator of the dialogue with great patience and respect. Yet, what disturbs me is that you wrote
“neither can the Archbishop of Bangalore tell St. Patrick’s to stop this practice, nor can St. Patrick’s condemn this poor person who is only doing what he thinks is right.“
Does that mean that
1. the Archbishop of Bangalore is impotent or exercises no juridical control over the parishes in his archdiocese?
2. you will not admonish/correct a Catholic lay person who is in grave spiritual error if he is “only doing what he thinks is right“?
I concede that according to the Church’s definition of sin such a person is not guilty of sin [lack of ‘full knowledge’], but does that absolve you from your responsibility as a shepherd of souls? Ezekiel 34.
You desire that the Vatican “bring out a document on Yoga giving clear instructions” though you know that in today’s religiously volatile and politically-correct world, Rome will not offend the sensibilities of adherents of pagan religions by spelling out such things in detail. The two Documents [1989 and 2003] are clear enough for any Catholic who genuinely seeks the truth.
You wrote “The [Vatican] document mentioned in the
article is from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the first place, it carries far less weight than a document coming from an ecumenical council.” The Vatican II Documents are PASTORAL in nature, not DOCTRINAL. They may be modified, abrogated, revoked, and we already see the Holy See slowly but surely tightening up on the excesses that resulted from liberal and “progressive” interpretations of Vatican Council II. On the other hand, Rome’s 1989 Document on Meditations like yoga, T.M. and Zen is from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; her 2003 Document is the product of intense investigation by THREE different councils, “the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Interreligious Dialogue (which are the principal redactors for this project), the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity” which is unarguably something very unique.
The very fact that yoga is mentioned along with Zen Buddhism and Transcendental Meditation in two Vatican Documents means that yoga is a SPIRITUAL exercise, and not just a system of physical asanas. Rome would not concern herself with Documents cautioning Catholics on issues that do not concern their eternal salvation.
While a significant number of eminent priests from every continent as well as individual Bishops and Bishops’ Conferences have condemned yoga and even banned Catholics from indulging in yoga, [see the information in my several articles/reports/compilations on yoga at www.ephesians-511.net], I could not find even one single similarly eminent priest [except a few Indian theologians or ashram leaders] or Bishop or Bishops’ Conference that has okayed yoga, recommended yoga, promoted yoga or published an official Notification that yoga is spiritually or even physically beneficial for Catholics.
In your Facebook conversations, you have argued well though unconvincingly to defend your pro-yoga position. While I have already countered all these arguments in my published articles, I hope to be able to do so again soon with reference to your Facebook conversations.
However, I will continue and take up a few issues here.
Nowhere does the 1989 Document, to quote your fantastic interpretation of #28, even hint that yoga may
be “allowed as part of our prayer life“. It is purely your wishful thinking.
You said, “Just because new age involves yoga
that does not mean that all yoga involves new age“. Even if one concedes that you are correct, it still remains that yoga is incontrovertibly a Hindu meditational practice to achieve monistic unity with the Absolute, Brahman, and therefore a pagan SPIRITUAL practice. Its origins are in man’s blind groping for truth, the purpose and meaning of human life and death, God and eternity. It resulted in the doctrines of karma, reincarnation and the different yogas [margas or paths] to God. Jesus Christ and his teachings are God’s full and final revelation of truth and light. [What need then for yoga?] To reject that and still insist on yoga is to all intents and purposes to reject the Gospel. To me, that could be heresy.
Again, yoga is in no way, to quote you again, “a harmless physical exercise” as my research of the works of Catholic scholars has revealed. Certain forms of yoga invoke demonic spirits and there is also the occurrence of the powerful force of kundalini [more of that later]. Any power that cannot be explained scientifically or naturally is from the spiritual realm; and, as far as Christians are concerned, any such spiritual force or power that is not from God is from his enemy, Satan. THERE IS NO NEUTRAL POWER IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. In this context, practising, promoting or even condoning/allowing the practice of yoga would be a violation of the First Commandment of God.
You say that the 2003 Document is “meant to guide those who have a wrong understanding of yoga or those whose faith is weak“. In fact the Document itself states that its reflections are “offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work* so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith“.
*That means you, Father. There are a couple of other statements to that effect. We should be looking to YOU to warn us against using yoga. Instead you not only invite a New Age guru to infect your parishioners, you defend him and his occult programmes against the advice of good and faithful Catholics and you challenge your Bishop’s authority to intervene and correct you.
If on Facebook you recommend that Catholics adhere to “the value of
official Church teaching as opposed to the teaching or a private priest / preacher“, the same applies to you, even more especially not only because your words make it appear that you are not under episcopal authority but also because Catholics with impeccable credentials and in full submission to the authority of their Bishops have understood and taught that the said Vatican documents OPPOSE the practise of yoga by Catholics.
As an aside, I would like to say with certainty that you will not find one single lay Catholic preacher in the Archdiocese of Bangalore — and there are many of them — who will stand by you and your interpretations.
I would safely extend that challenge to cover every single diocese of this nation.
“Yoga – as I said, it is praised by the Second Vatican Council“. Where did you get that, Father? Aren’t you putting words into the Document that aren’t there? Not even the dozen liberal theologians who trashed the Document on the New Age**
made anywhere near such fantastic claims.
**THEOLOGIANS LAMBAST THE VATICAN DOCUMENT ON THE NEW AGE
As I said earlier, objections of yours like “This does not mean that all yoga is to be rejected. Only certain elements which give rise to New Age thinking are to be treated with caution“, “Very few Christians go towards Yoga as a means of entering into communion with God“, “they apply only to
extreme forms of yoga“, and “I doubt very much that Yogic exercises CANNOT be separated from the philosophy of Yoga” —
meaning that you believe they CAN — have already been addressed in my various articles on the evils and dangers of yoga from a Catholic-Christian perspective.
How do you expect that the Catholic faithful, the vast majority of who are uninformed, ignorant and innocent, “accept what is correct and reject what is wrong“? If someone in a cassock or having the prefix “Reverend Father” teaches anything — however erroneous, it is readily accepted as gospel truth. The Holy See releases Documents, the Pope issues Encyclicals and Motu Proprios and writes us Apostolic Letters, the Bishops do not convey them to us, and priests like you whom we look up to interpret them liberally and erroneously. One of the correspondents on Facebook writing as “JP”, is typical of such Catholics.
You are correct when you write, “However, if we are going to be arguing about words like this, then many of our Catholics should not be termed “Catholics”“. “Catholics” who are selective about which of Rome’s teachings they accept while rejecting others are described as “cafeteria Catholics”. Pre-Vatican II they were known as heretics. I recently read a well-known priest’s opinion that dissenters and liberals are really not Catholics in the true sense of the word! How I wish that I could locate where I saved it!
“Any type of activity that advocates personal ability to dissent to the teachings of the Catholic Church based upon freedom of personal choice or opinion is the result of very seriously malformed and mis-intentioned consciences.”
“Liberal Catholics are the worst enemies of the Church” – Blessed Pope Pius IX
Fr. Michael Müller in his work “The Church and Her Enemies” makes this point:
“A Liberal Catholic, then, is no true Catholic. The word Catholic is no vain and empty word. To be a true Catholic means to hold most firmly all those truths which Christ and his apostles have taught, which the Catholic Church has always proclaimed, which the saints have professed, which the popes and councils have defined, and which the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have defended. He who denies but one of those truths, or hesitates to receive one of them, is not a Catholic. He claims to exercise the right of private judgment in regard to the doctrine of Christ, and therefore he is a heretic. The true Catholic knows and believes that there can be no compromise between God and the devil, between truth and error, between orthodox faith and heresy. St. Stephen, the first martyr, was no compromiser. When accused of being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, he, in his turn, accused his enemies of being the murderers of Christ. All the holy martyrs of the Church were no compromisers. Being charged by the heathens with the folly of worshipping and following a crucified God, they, in their turn, charged the heathens with the impiety of worshipping creatures, and following the devil.”
You say, “We can even assimilate false beliefs through studying the Bible“. True. But as a priest you should know that that is why there are safeguards. We have the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Magisterium. So the analogy that you have drawn with yoga, like several others that you have drawn in your conversations, is bad and incorrect.
And, as I said earlier, when the Magisterium of the Church that includes you Father, fails to convey the orthodoxy that comes from above or misinterprets it to us, what can the poor lay wo/man do?
Since you address the following to me,
“I would like to draw your attention to this sentence in the last article: “A Christian may do the breathing and the exercises, but does not need to call it “yoga”. Call it simply proper breathing, and fitness exercising.”
In other words, the argument is one about words and not about realities, because in reality very few Christians ever go beyond the breathing and the exercises.
I would also be interested in knowing whether Michael Prabhu is alleging that something more than breathing and fitness exercising was being taught at St. Patrick’s, and if so, what exactly was it?“
and since it concerns an excerpt taken out of context with the article which you read as well as out of context with all the other hundreds of pages of Catholic anti-yoga evidence on my web site, I respond as briefly as I can:
With all due respect, I find that you are sifting through Church documents and writers’ articles looking for something, anything that will give you an opening to argue or justify your pro-yoga stance.
What you interpret is NOT what I meant, and that can be seen in the light of that entire paper from which you briefly quoted me and from the rest of my work on yoga. The argument is NOT about words as you say.
If people are maintaining proper posture, doing simple exercises and practising good breathing techniques –that is NOT YOGA is what I meant. So why call it yoga, I asked?
That is also what I meant when I said, as you so happily cited me in a later conversation, as saying that Catholics may do “asanas”. In the context of the whole article and all of my ministry, I was saying, yes, do the asanas but don’t call them asanas, don’t connect anything that you do with yoga. Postures and exercises are not the exclusive property of Hinduism. Yoga as a spiritual philosophy is. Surely you were not trying to say that I okayed yoga conditionally? No one who is familiar with me or my ministry would believe you if you did.
What I was also conveying is that such practices are beneficial for the physical body and the results will be visibly noticeable; the danger comes when Catholics term them as yoga and believing that yoga did good for them go deeper into the philosophical — and spiritual — underpinnings of the Hindu yogic system. Simple lay people have understood what I meant, so I am at a loss to understand why you couldn’t. Could it be that you just don’t want to?
“There is no such thing as power of Kundalini / serpent.”
Dear, dear Father, when you were exposed to yoga practice and philosophy in the seminary in your first and/or second year there [Oh yes, Catholics are aware that they inject the poison in right at the beginning and from there its downhill all the way for our future priests], did you not read yoga books authored by Catholic priests in your own seminary library? Or the Rscj nun Vandana Mataji’s [ed.] Shabda Shakti Sangam? On the almost non-existent possibility that you didn’t, I can assure you that in my huge private library, I do not find even one single such work that does not extol Kundalini serpent power! Shabda Shakti Sangam is chock full of it; the authors are learned priests like you, even “theologians”. Either they all are lying or deceived, or you are. The surprise is that few Hindu-authored yoga books discuss kundalini. The few which do — especially those of the Theosophical Society — strongly warn us about the MORTAL dangers of uncontrolled kundalini energy. Unfortunately our priests do not warn us of its SPIRITUAL dangers; and you even deny that it exists!
When referring to Catholic writers [priests and lay persons] who condemn the Hindu discipline of yoga, you commented, “[the]
private individual … has no such authority to declare something as allowed or forbidden for the church as a whole – this applies only for his private congregation or whatever and certainly not to St. Patrick’s where the legitimate pastor has taken a different decision.”
Are you saying, in the light of your earlier statement, “The official teaching of the Catholic Church comes not from preachers but from doctrinal documents of the Popes, the Councils and below them the CDF, bishops’ conferences etc. At the same time, these have to be interpreted by private individuals in order to put them into practice” that you represent the legitimate teaching authority of the Church of Rome when you promote and defend yoga? Can you be explicit and give us evidence of any Bishop or Bishops’ Conference that has given the all-clear to yoga? If you cannot do so, please retract your statements or you will be considered by informed Catholics as one of the Trojan horses in the Catholic Church.
I now come to your point 3 of one of your conversations. It was very clever of you to raise the issue of Pope John Paul II’s witnessing “Australian Aboriginal dancers” at a ceremony, concluding that “even the Pope
has “allowed” the ceremony” and so the web site that called it a sacrilege is “obviously … not in line with the Church teaching“.
For a priest, it is surprising that you took recourse to referring to a Traditionalist site to support your specious arguments. There are many such records and photographs on these RadTrad. sites, many of them pertaining to the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the “Spirit of Assisi”. They are not very edifying, are they? First of all, you have hopefully noticed that Benedict XVI has reversed that trend, from the Liturgy to the recent Assisi meet. All that transpired at Assisi in the presence of Pope John Paul II is now bad history. Ratzinger DISTANCED himself from those earlier events, especially Assisi — HE DID NOT ATTEND AND DID NOT APPROVE!
I can elaborate at length on this topic, but will include just this October 2003 statement from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation
for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
Did the pope arrange it? Poor Holy Father — he comes, the people arranged. He does not know what they arranged. And somebody introduces something funny — is the pope responsible for that? Does that mean it is now approved? Did they put it on the table of the Congregation for Divine Worship? We would throw it out! If people want to dance, they know where to go.
Well, I was in Delhi to witness — during Pope John Paul II’s 1980s visit — similar travesties. I can reassure you that the Pope was as flummoxed as I was. What can one expect when those in charge of the arrangements of these ceremonies are themselves corrupted? For example, what can one expect of Cardinal Ivan Dias who pays obeisance to the Hindu “god” Ganesha by lighting a lamp before it?
CARDINAL IVAN DIAS LIGHTS A LAMP FOR THE HINDU DEITY GANESHA
Or of Archbishops and Bishops who have
virtually fostered the institutionalization of New Age in their arch/dioceses.
Before I pass on, I cannot resist taking you up on your quotation “whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven“, when you infer that since the Pope “allowed” the dance, it becomes doctrine, because you end asking,
“are you going to say that even if the Pope allows traditional dances, you are going to oppose them?”
Father, if not in the seminary, we learnt at Sunday School that the “binding” and “loosing” refer to ex-cathedra pronouncements and new ones have been scarce since the Creeds. Why do you intentionally obfuscate the truth? Catholics know that Papal infallibility is restricted to the areas of “faith and morals”. Otherwise, the Pope is as human as you and I.
You ask, “Do you have any idea that something other than deep breathing and asanas is being… taught at St. Patrick’s?” To tell you the truth, I don’t know. Maybe one of these days I’ll walk in and park myself along with the other adepts and then inform you of what [I expect with certainty] I will encounter.
What I know right now is that the “Catholic” who conducts Hindu yoga at the hallowed ground of your parish, “DR. G. FRANCIS XAVIER Ph. D.“, “this poor person who is only doing what he thinks is right” [to quote you], is engaged in [to cite his web site]:
Activate Left and Right Hemispheres of the Brain
Akshaya Chakra Alpha Waves of Mental State
Meditation (16 Techniques)
Pranayama (5 Techniques)
Tantrik Kriya Yoga
If that is not occult and New Age, I don’t know what is!!!!
And you should chuck the guy out forthwith, not because he teaches Hindu yoga, because you’re all for it, but because
a) he does reflexology which is listed as New Age in the 2003 New Age Document [#2.2.3]
b) he’s into “Cosmic Consciousness” which is explained
in the 2003 New Age Document [#188.8.131.52]
c) he’s into palmistry which of course is divination, and in case you didn’t know, it’s there in Deuteronomy 18.
[The Church Document and the Bible are so clear on those that you can’t interpret them any other way.] [I can prove to you that ALL of the rest is occult and New Age, but you will discount my words as private personal opinion which is not binding on anyone in the Church. Anyway, it’s all at my web site.]
d) he awakens the kundalini power which you said doesn’t exist, which makes him a humbug.
Catholic apologist, Chennai
To be concluded… [See page 17]
THE ABOVE LETTER TO FR. ADRIAN MASCARENHAS WAS SENT BCC TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF BANGALORE.
LATER, IT WAS ALSO COPIED DIRECTLY TO THE ARCHBISHOP:
Subject: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
Subject: Fw: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
I. Continued from earlier page FR. ADRIAN MASCARENHAS’ RESPONSE –my comments in green. I have decided not to respond to most of the objections of this priest. Anyone who has read my writings on yoga will understand why. They have already been answered by me and by other reliable Catholic writers.
My final comments, following the supportive letter of a priest who is a Canon lawyer, are further below.
Subject: RE: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
Dear Dr. Michael Prabhu,
Thank you for your concern. I would like to clarify certain points:
(a) It is not really your concern at all as church teaching (to which you claim to be loyal) does not entitle you to challenge the ordained ministers in such a matter. If you feel that you are entitled to challenge me, please quote the relevant church documents which give you this right.
CANON LAW 212.3
“RIGHTS OF THE FAITHFUL”
They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their view on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the pastors, and take into account both the common good and the dignity of the individuals.
(b) I was unable to get your friend [FL] to declare on facebook that he accepted the teachings of Vatican II. I am sure that there are other followers of yours who are either not aware or not concerned about the teachings of Vatican II. Please try to spread awareness of Vatican II among them, after which they will be in a position to interpret the post-Vatican II documents.
FL was citing at least two post-Vatican documents!!!!!
So, why did Fr. Adrian have to doubt his Catholicity? I can assure Fr. Adrian that not only is FL not a Traditionalist but that he is also more loyal to the correct interpretation of Conciliar and post-Conciliar documents than the priest is.
(c) How I spend my precious pastoral time is AGAIN not really your concern as I am neither your pastor nor your subordinate.
(d) You mention eminent Catholic authors whose opinions I have rejected. I would like to balance that by mentioning the self-appointed Ukrainian bishops whom you quote.
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=616892 November 16, 2011
Q: Can a Roman Catholic become Ukrainian Catholic?
Is there any way for a Roman Catholic to become a Greek or Ukrainian Catholic? … Since there are no serious theological repercussions in switching from Roman to Eastern, I want to become an Eastern Catholic.
A: Start attending, there is nothing preventing you from attending regardless where you belong canonically. I’ve known people who have attended the Ukrainian Church for years and remained canonical Roman Catholics. You can indeed practice the praxis of the Ukrainian Church and follow all traditions if that is the spirituality you will earnestly follow.
I have not come across any evidence that the Ukrainian bishops are “self-appointed”. I have cited hundreds of other sources – Theological Commissions, Bishops’ Conferences, Cardinals, Bishops, priests and well-known lay persons; but Fr. Adrian ignores them and asks only about the Ukrainian bishops. If in case they are not loyal Catholics, they are at least good Christians as far as the First Commandment is concerned.
(e) One section of Nostra Aetate is worth a lot since it is the Church’s only decree with regard to Non-Christian Religions. Don’t dismiss it so lightly as you have done.
(f) The Assisi prayer meetings etc. adequately prove my point that the Catholic Church officially appreciates the presence of the Spirit of God in other religions. If that were not enough, this quote from Redemptoris Missio would suffice: “In Christ, God calls all peoples to himself and he wishes to share with them the fullness of his revelation and love. He does not fail to make himself present in many ways, not only to individuals but also to entire peoples through their spiritual riches, of which their religions are the main and essential expression, even when they contain “gaps, insufficiencies and errors.”” – RM 55. Hence the Church does not believe that the inadequacies and errors present in other religions are signs that God is ABSENT from them.
(g) About my mention of the archbishop, please quote the full context so that we know what you are talking about. I would certainly not voluntarily trespass on the authority of the archbishop, though it may happen accidentally in the course of a hurried discussion on facebook.
It is available in this report on page 3.
(h) You are right: I will not admonish a Catholic who is in grave spiritual error unless he comes to me for catechesis / confession / spiritual direction. Please allow me to interpret my pastoral ministry in my own way as you have no legitimate authority to intervene, unlike the shepherds and prophets mentioned in Ezekiel 18, 34 etc.
(i) If Rome does not offend the sensibilities of adherents of pagan religions, why do you want ME to do so? The two documents are talking about New Age and Christian Meditation and not about Yoga.
(j) I am sorry for you if you think that the 1989 and 2003 documents have modified the position taken by Vatican II. In spite of the three councils behind the 2003 document, it is a fact that it did not come out as a papal exhortation or encyclical, which surely relegates it to a lower position in the hierarchy of documents.
(k) Yoga is mentioned as one of the SOURCES for New Age. It is not condemned in any church document. New Age however is condemned. That condemnation does not include the SOURCES for the New Age movement, just as the condemnation of Martin Luther does not mean that St. Paul has been condemned, though Martin Luther claimed to follow St. Paul.
(l) The bishops’ conferences that banned Catholics from indulging in yoga are responding to a pastoral situation in their own dioceses. Their decisions are only partly relevant to our situation. The situation of yoga in India is very different from Croatia so it is strange (to say the least) that Croatian bishops’ views are to be taken into account by OUR pastors in making decisions. Rather, they should be listening to our bishops’ views on yoga, but still, neither side has the right to enforce its views on the other in this matter. You dismiss the views of Indian theologians, as if foreign theologians knew more about yoga than we do. Well perhaps they do, but that doesn’t mean that their views are applicable in our situation.
(m) let me quote the 1989 document: “That does not mean that genuine practices of meditation which come from the Christian East and from the great non-Christian religions, which prove attractive to the man of today who is divided and disoriented, cannot constitute a suitable means of helping the person who prays to come before God with an interior peace, even in the midst of external pressures.”
IMPORTANT WORDS. Not my wishful thinking. Genuine meditation practices CAN constitute a suitable means of helping people to come before God with interior peace.
(n) Yoga that invokes demonic spirits is bad. So if you are attacking yoga as practiced in Christian institutions, PROVE that they are teaching SUCH FORMS of yoga. Your statement that “there is no neutral power in the spiritual realm” has very little basis in the teachings of the Catholic Church. A number of things we do are spiritually neutral.
(o) YOU ARE FALSELY AND SLANDEROUSLY ACCUSING ME OF HAVING INVITED A NEW AGE GURU TO INFECT MY PARISHIONERS. Please defend your statement with appropriate quotes proving that (a) I have invited him and that (b) he has infected my parishioners. Otherwise apologise and accept the title of “liar” and “slanderer” like your friend Francis Lobo.
(p) Your so-called good and faithful Catholics are busy quoting schismatic self-appointed Ukrainian bishops in favour of their positions, so don’t blame me for attempting to refute them. Sorry if it wasn’t convincing to you, that shows that you regard these self-appointed bishops very highly.
But, Fr. Adrian steadfastly ignores the teachings of many loyal Catholic bishops whom I have quoted.
(q) Vatican II claims that there are rays of truth and goodness in non-Christian religions. “The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.” This means that Vatican II is promoting the first seven of the eight steps of Yoga, as below:
Step 1: non-violence, non-stealing, celibacy, truthfulness, financial independence
Step 2: cleanliness, contentment, penance, study, meditation on God
Step 3: various postures
Step 4: breath control
Step 5: Withdrawal of senses
Step 6: Focussing
Step 7: Concentration
Step 8: Union with the absolute: ONLY THIS STEP is forbidden by Vatican II as it is based on false pantheistic views.
(r) It is strange that you say that we can do asanas but not call them asanas, we can do breathing exercises but not call them Yoga. I suppose you know that the days of the week and the months of the year are largely named after pagan deities? You cannot deny your own debt to paganism, and bible scholars are aware of how much the Jews owe to paganism. No doubt your lay preachers will disagree with me, but I still hold that a person who goes to Church on SUN-day should have no problem in doing asanas and calling them asanas.
(s) Please provide me some scientific source about Kundalini serpent power. Some medical evaluations, or some journals like Nature and New Scientist. At least one or two.
(t) You mention “informed Catholics”. I would like to know whether you have shared with them the truth concerning the Ukrainian bishops I mentioned. Your website tends to spread a certain amount of disinformation rather than information, so I am a bit sceptical of these so-called “informed Catholics” of yours.
(u) So can you prove finally that Dr. G. Francis Xavier taught New Age techniques at St. Patrick’s? After all this whole discussion is not regarding Dr. G. Francis Xavier but regarding St. Patrick’s and in particular my role as an (assistant) parish priest. If you are trying to stop Dr. G. Francis Xavier kindly express your views to HIM and not to us. What do you mean by “chuck the guy out”?
Please look once again at Francis Xavier’s curriculum vitae on page 1.
AFTER RECEIVING THE FOLLOWING LETTER, I DECIDED TO DROP THE DEBATE WITH FR. ADRIAN
CANON LAWYER PRIEST
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
There is nothing wrong in questioning higher authority on teachings that come from their own thinking. The laity as responsible members can be involved at all levels and can respectfully question any teaching, provided it is from the official teaching of the Magisterium. There is no need to quote anything when the reasoning is self-evident. An arrogant priest may demand quotations from a lay man. Such tricks are not new. Priests are not teachers on their right but are given a share by their Bishops in the functions of sanctifying, governing and teaching authority that the Bishops have. Regarding Yoga it is difficult to argue because it is difficult to convince a person who has no anointing of the Spirit. The one who has anointing immediately senses it. But convincing another who belongs to the world is extremely difficult. This kind can be dealt with only through prayer and fasting. There is pride at the root of people who import new things, even from New Age to replace true sacramental practice, efficacy of the Word of God and prayers like the Holy Rosary. They are the dead referred to in the Gospel verses, “Let the dead bury the dead” and “Why do you look for the living among the dead”. But the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven are revealed only to the child like (Luke 10: 21-22).
So as Paul tells Timothy do not get involved in arguments; it is enough to point out the errors once. Those who are of God are humble and will at once accept correction; others who are proud belong to the devil and will reject correction.
May God Bless you
I had sent the entire correspondence to Fr. Nn and the above was his brief but lucid response.
Erika Gibello is the SECRETARY, ASSOCIATION OF EXORCISTS INTERNATIONAL [AIE] as well as SECRETARY, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR DELIVERANCE [IAD] — both Vatican-approved.
This is what she wrote to me today, edited:
Mrs. E. Gibello
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 6:30 AM
Subject: Re: SEVERAL NEW SECTIONS, OVER 200 NEW ARTICLES, REPORTS AND EXPOSES, TESTIMONIES AND COMPILATIONS ON OUR WEB SITE
Dear Michael, love and greetings from London…
I finally found the [withheld] who will publish my book [on New Age Movement and New Religious Movements] in English. So far it is in Russian, Ukrainian, German (2nd edition), Latvian and getting translated in Italian. All texts are original in English and I can send you whatever subject you want [for this web site] …In the meantime Holy Father sent me a letter of thanks for my book.
Erika works with priests who are in the exorcism and deliverance ministries. A leading authority on the subject, she too has written and spoken strongly against Catholics practising yoga. The subject is probably addressed in her book on New Age which the Pope has thanked her for.
Some of Fr. Adrian’s objections and questions are so naïve [e.g. (r) and (s)] that they do not merit answers.
Today, I am uploading on my site my latest compilation on yoga, which is also this week’s news headlines:
YOGA is satanic, it is the devil’s work, and leads to Hinduism- Fr. Gabriele Amorth, Vatican’s chief exorcist
Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas, over to you.
A comment sent by James Jose to the ephesians511 blog [not owned by me] on May 8, 2013:
Submitted on 2013/05/08 at 1:26 pm
SATAN JUST ENTERED EVEN IN VATICAN! AND NO WONDER Y HE IS NOT IN THE MIDST OF OUR PRIESTS AND NUNS! THEY ARE PRACTICING AND PROMOTING YOGA INSTEAD OF GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS THERE WILL NOT BE FAITH ON EARTH WHEN THE SON OF MAN COME FOR THE SECOND. SHAME ON YOU AND FELL PITY ON YOU DEAR CLERGY TO PROMOTE THIS OCCULT BY SITTING ON THE THRONES OF CHURCH.
JUST GO THROUGH EZEKIEL 8:15 -18. AND YOU STILL GO ON MISLEADING YOUR FOLKS DEAR BISHOPS AND CLERGY IT IS EASY TO AWAKEN THE SLEEPING WHERE AS TIRESOME TO WAKE THE PRETENDERS.
PLEASE FOR CHRISTS SAKE ITS TIME TO TURN BACK. STOP CRUCIFYING CHRIST AGAIN AND AGAIN.
STOP PROMOTING YOGA AND SUPPORTING OCCULT.
MAY THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDE YOU.
FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE WITH FR ADRIAN MASCARENHAS
Subject: RE: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
Dear Dr. Michael Prabhu:
I have been waiting almost two years for your reply* to my last email.
I just thought I would remind you.
I was attacked by a fanatic on Sunday – he insisted on receiving communion under both species, and created a scene in the Church.
I hope he was not one of your followers. Anyway you and he can get together, since both of you try to judge the priests and both feel that Catholics should “beware” of me. Unfortunately he refused to tell me his name.
This incident reminded me that I am yet to hear from you.
Once again I would like to assure you that I am a loyal Catholic priest; I may make mistakes at times but I am reasonably well educated regarding the faith and I do not normally preach against Church doctrine. In any case, I deny that you have any authority to judge me, but since you seem to have taken on the responsibility of being the conscience-keeper of the Indian Church, I am interested in hearing your views.
Have a good day, looking forward to your detailed reply which I should have received two years ago in the month of December.
Hope your mission in Goa and Bombay (almost two years ago) went well, though I am sceptical.
Regards, Fr. Adrian
I am going on mission to Goa and Bombay and will return mid-December after which I will respond to you.
Pro ecclesia et Pontifice,
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
Dear Fr. Adrian,
I regret the delay in responding to your current letter, the reason being that I am recovering from heart bypass surgery.
Regarding my November 27th assurance to respond to your earlier email of November 26, 2012, I must sincerely apologize to you for not honouring my word. All I can say is that I forgot as I returned from Mumbai very, very sick and I did not go back to the report that I had filed on you. The mission was anointed and a great success despite your unfounded scepticism concerning it.
I just perused the report once again and found that I had updated it on November 28, 2012 and you can take the updated portion of it as my response to you [which is as the report also says] if you like.
The link is
FR ADRIAN MASCARENHAS-YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
I do not know why you awarded me with the honorific “Dr.” which I have never claimed.
I am sorry that you were “attacked” by a “fanatic” in the matter of his wanting to receive Holy Communion under both species.
I am a knowledgeable Catholic apologist, Father Adrian, fully aware of the Church’s norms on such matters, and so such a person could never be one of my “followers”, to use your language. Since I do not indulge myself in the social networking sites, neither do I have “followers” there, unlike your good self who spends a lot of your pastoral time on Facebook, etc, which is where my friends picked up on your New Age activities and informed me.
The “fanatic” who “attacked” you in church is a product of little or no catechesis. I believe that if you spent more of your priestly time catechising people instead of what I have reported on concerning you, the faithful would greatly benefit.
If you had taken the trouble to visit the LITURGY and CATHOLIC ISSUES sections among others on my web site, you would have observed that it is the most informative Indian Catholic web site for orthodoxy and orthopraxis [fidelity to the Church].
I wish I could have heard you speak at the NBCLC during the Priests’ Renewal Programme, October 2-11, 2013 [The Examiner, Oct 26-Nov 1, 2013] on “The Priesthood of Jesus Christ as seen in the New Testament” because if you figure on my web site, I really can’t imagine what inspiration can come from you.
The NBCLC itself is the source of much serious error as dozens of reports on my web site, uncontested till date by theologians and bishops, can testify.
I am not surprised that the TE story noted the presence there of your other co-speakers such as liberal social justice theologian Fr Jerry Rosario SJ, another liberal Fr. Ronnie Prabhu SJ, and Fr. Errol D’Lima SJ — who was among those who lambasted Rome for releasing the Document Dominus Iesus on the unicity of Jesus Christ — among others. They all figure in my various reports, as you do.
Subject: RE: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING
Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,
Well apart from the health issues you mentioned (in regard to which I totally sympathize with you as you are under stress), it was at least interesting to read your response, though I would hardly consider it a response since you have ignored around 15 of my points, give cursory replies to around 3 of them, and replied in detail to only 3 points out of 21.
Here are some brief observations:
(a) As you rightly pointed out, Canon 212.3 allows the laity to give feedback to the hierarchy in keeping with their [the laity’s] knowledge, competence and position.
My whole point is that you do not hold any position that entitles you to criticise me, since you are neither my parishioner nor my superior nor my confrere, nor are you a member of any officially constituted committee. You are a self appointed and self styled apologist, who has never apologised for anything.
(b) From the same canon: the laity, in criticising the hierarchy, should show due reverence to the pastors:
Please explain how maintaining a blacklist of priests, without the approval of any bishop, amounts to REVERENCE to the pastors. [Please not the word “reverence”. I am not complaining that you are lacking in RESPECT but REVERENCE though respect is naturally included in reverence].
(c) I have not come across any evidence that the Ukrainian bishops are “self-appointed”.
Since you have waited two years before clarifying this, I am unable to find the link. Please let me know where you have quoted from Ukrainian bishops’ statements on Yoga. I believe it is connected with the borderline Catholics mentioned on this link:
(d) I have cited hundreds of other sources – Theological Commissions, Bishops’ Conferences, Cardinals, Bishops, priests and well-known lay persons; but Fr. Adrian ignores them and asks only about the Ukrainian bishops.
Well my argument is not with them but with you. Your authoritative sources are correct in their statements, you are wrong in your interpretation of their statements, especially the top level documents coming from the Vatican.
(e) You have ignored the vast majority of my points and have replied to only 3-4. Your justification for “dropping” this debate (while continuing to keep me on the blacklist?) seems to be connected with the following sentence from the anonymous canonist whom you quoted, as follows: “Regarding Yoga it is difficult to argue because it is difficult to convince a person who has no anointing of the Spirit.” –
Am I right?
I would like you to justify this sentence. Please contact a canonist, a liturgist, or a theologian, and provide me with a learned opinion as to how a validly ordained priest like myself can be described as “having no anointing of the Spirit” in direct contravention of the universal anointing mentioned in PO 2 “The Lord Jesus, “whom the Father has sent into the world” (Jn 10:36) has made his whole Mystical Body a sharer in the anointing of the Spirit with which he himself is anointed” and “Wherefore the priesthood, while indeed it presupposes the sacraments of Christian initiation, is conferred by that special sacrament; through it priests, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are signed with a special character” and PO 12 ” In like fashion, priests consecrated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit”. Your “canonist” (Fr. Nn) seems to be advocating some heretical understanding of the priesthood as lacking in anointing. Who are you to judge who is anointed and who is not? Once again, the question of your official position in the Church seems to be coming up.
I am sure that you are aware that our Archbishop has hosted a Diwali party this year. I would be interested to see your response on your website, evaluating whether our Archbishop is a syncretist or not. I am of the opinion that he has done an excellent thing by reaching out to Non-Christian communities in this manner. I notice you have refrained from condemning him, so it is possible that you agree with his approach, which would be a remarkable change of attitude on your part.
Please do not drop this debate, let us continue until we sort out all the issues that you have (illegitimately) raised. I would also like to know the names of these anonymous people who are supporting you – since you are revealing my name to them. Most of them seem to be semi-pentecostal (like you) in their attitude and approach; I am not sure of their credentials, so please let me know their background.
Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas’ resumed correspondence in February 2015
Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,
Greetings. How are you?
I was searching for articles on Fr. Ronnie Prabhu, and Google directed me to Ephesians511. I presume you are responsible for having published his articles there?
So anyway that reminded me, I am still waiting for your reply and detailed discussion concerning my mails. I think you have kept me waiting well over a year now. It might even be two years.
I realise that you are a busy person. However, I request you to take some time off to reply to my mails. It is not at all praiseworthy on your part to accuse a priest publicly on your website and then disappear without clarifying. Do you think that will help the church? As soon as you are free, please let me have a proper response to my previous emails.
Regards, Fr. Adrian
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 07:39:36 +0530
Dear Fr. Adrian,
Thank you for your two letters.
My final response to you is already reproduced by you in your letter to me
“Subject: Contents of our previous correspondence”, which is my letter
Subject: Re: YOGA AT ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH/BHARATANATYAM DANCING Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 02:55:42 +0530
and in the web site report
FR ADRIAN MASCARENHAS-YOGA AT ST PATRICK’S CHURCH BANGALORE
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 14:59:41 +0530
This is very disappointing, brother! In November 2013 you told me you would write to me, now you are claiming that your answer was already sent in 2011…so you have kept me waiting one and a half years for nothing! But I don’t find your answers matching my questions, that’s the only problem. Perhaps my IQ has been going down through excessive practice of yoga. So I have no further hope that you will stop slandering me on your website?
With thanks and regards
Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:34:17 +0530
Dear Father Adrian,
Slander, Calumny, Detraction, I know the sins and have been guilty of them all in my sinful life, but most definitely not in your case.
I am not ashamed to admit that I confessed one of those sins on Ash Wednesday when I was informed by a priest from Bombay that what I thought and said about him (based on third party/hearsay) to others was not true because he was innocent (of doing yoga and chanting OM). The priest absolved me in confession and the Bombay priest — who is a relative of mine as well as email correspondent with me for many years — forgave me last week and we continue as we were before. With Jesus’ help I had the courage (and it was VERY difficult for me to do so) to confess to both priests.
You may even accuse me of judgement in your case. But I have not judged you. My report is based on facts.
There is the biblically explained situation when one has to admonish a brother (even a priest) who is in error; there is also a prophetic calling to speak the truth and warn fellow Catholics about priests who would lead the faithful astray. But I do not have to explain anything more to you.
I ended my report with the inclusion of an email from a priest in Kolkata, if I recall correctly, that agreed with my stand on your matter.
I did not have to answer your many questions because
i) all the answers are in my report, the one that you refer to, and in various files at my web site; you have already rejected my position(s);
ii) you simply want to draw me into a debate and you will continue in your erroneous ways, defending them as you have already done.
I respect you as an anointed priest of Jesus’ Holy Church and I would definitely avail of your services — if necessary — for the Sacraments, but as an individual I can assure you, knowing what you stand for, that I would not risk my orthodox Catholic Faith or my eternal soul by approaching you for any sort of counseling or guidance; likewise, I would never recommend you to any Catholic, and it is my duty by my calling and vocation to also warn them about the danger that you represent to all of us who are under your pastoral care.
We will know the truth about our positions and decisions only before the Judgement Seat of God. I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of a priest who is recorded as doing and believing things that I expose on my web site as New Age, etc.
Remember that all of our correspondence goes into the update of the report on our web site because you have not abjured your philosophies, beliefs and practices that I consider to be New Age.
God bless you, Michael
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:51:27 +0530
Dear Mr. Michael Prabhu,
There is no question being “innocent of chanting OM” since Om is not forbidden by any Catholic moral theologian! I request you to please provide me with writings of qualified moral theologians who state that saying “Om” is a sin. That priest was certainly innocent but not in the way you suppose. I am glad that he has forgiven you but apparently there is no genuine conversion on your side so it is doubtful that the absolution given will be valid! Please do not assume that only you have the “orthodox Catholic faith” since it is certainly not reflected on your website. Have you removed the comments of the schismatic self-ordained Ukrainian bishops as yet? Sorry I forgot to follow up with you on that.
You claim that the Bible allows you to admonish a priest. I presume you are referring to Matthew 18. My question to you would be: Does the Bible not say (a) discuss it with him privately (b) take one or two others and discuss it (c) tell it to the church?
You have not followed these steps, instead you have publicly posted everything on a website (don’t kid yourself into supposing that the Bible permits this), and made it available to Non-Christians in addition to some Christians who will misuse this information to target the Church unjustly. The only one thing you did correctly is to bring it to the notice of my Archbishop for which I am grateful to you. Please ask him whether you are right or wrong on this matter, since he is the concerned authority. Until then, you have no right to state that my views are erroneous on this matter. By the way he has not spoken to me on this matter which means that there is a chance that he has not accepted your complaint.
About your so-called prophetic calling to speak out about priests who lead the flock astray, let me tell you directly that in this case, it is you who with your understandable ignorance of philosophy and theology are leading people astray and making them turn towards a superstitious and false belief regarding some imaginary dangers of yoga. A reminder: you have very little authority apart from your own self-assumed authority. Catholic religious beliefs are based on faith and reason and it is totally unreasonable to believe that a particular bodily posture or a particular word can be serving the devil. That is nothing but plain superstition which you are promoting as Gospel. If I stand on my head does that mean the devil will enter into me? If I eat an omelette can the devil take advantage of the fact that the word “Om” is used in omelettes? There is no meaning in these words except the meaning which is INTENDED by the one who uses the word. In the same way, when people make the Sign of the Cross without any meaning, do you think they are really blessing themselves? Definitely not. So also, people who use wrong words without a wrong intention can NEVER be guilty of serious sin.
All in all, you seem to be on the verge of starting your own sect, since, going by your website, almost all the top theologians and pastors in the Catholic Church are wrong, and only your own supporters (including sadly a few priests) are correct. I suggest you go the whole way, and start your own sect instead of creating trouble in the Catholic Church! Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can receive the sacraments in the Church while rejecting the pastors as heretics. True Catholics are bound by ties of faith, sacraments AND ecclesiastical governance. According to you, I am for practical purposes a heretic and therefore under a latae sententiae excommunication…yet you claim that you would receive the sacraments from me? I am honoured but puzzled by your confused state of mind.
Don’t give up so easily. Please continue this debate, you haven’t answered most of my questions yet.
Regards, Fr. Adrian
I thought it best not to respond to Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas’ letters.
UPDATE JULY 2015
On Facebook, Fr. Conrad Saldanha of Mumbai archdiocese posts a critique on yoga and the clergy who promote it, and Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas of Bangalore archdiocese attacks his post:
I. Should Christians dabble with Yogic Exercises?
By Fr. Conrad Saldanha,
June 21, 2015
(I was compelled to write this article in keeping with the urgency of the situation and the sham response of the hierarchy in India and Mumbai to the issue that is eating into the church like cancer)
Today the world will celebrate World Yoga Day. While the Muslims have raised their voice against the imposition of yoga, the voices in the government have managed to appease them by removing the suryanamskar from the routine.
The Catholics seem to have welcomed the World Yoga day minus the day chosen, which is a Sunday; a sacred day for Christian. Otherwise they don’t seem to have any objection to the practice of yoga.
Why would the Catholic Church in India not object to Yoga and the World Yoga Day?
It is solely because the hierarchy themselves, in search of the concealed “ray of that truth” and in seeking to separate the good elements from the bad are indulging in yogic spirituality. Unfortunately it is part of the formation in many of the seminaries in India too.
Could it be true that even the Catholic Church at the UN voted in favor of the World Yoga Day without assessing the deceptive claims? (Some of these false claims have been answered in this article without highlighting them)
Besides the practice of it, many of from the hierarchy seem convinced and have either written introductions to books on the subject, written or commented positively on the subject, conducted sessions and classes or invited others to do the same and some of them are even exporting it to other countries, earning for their lavish lifestyles. Some have either started ashrams or are even heading institutions which promote and claim that they use yoga to reach out in healing for the people; which percentage of claim stands in need of verification because deception is always a fruit thereof.
How compatible is yoga, even the exercise form (Hatha Yoga), with Christian spirituality? We need to especially look into what seems to be the most innocuous part of it: the physical exercises.
Unlike Hinduism which is free to adapt to a dual or even a multifaceted spiritual lifestyle, a Christian is supposed to be singular in his focus and cannot be dual in his ways, thinking and action. The word of God is supposed to be the primary focus and a basis for discerning and accepting every thought or action and these thought and actions are to ultimately be subjected to Christ through the Church tradition and magisterium. It is so because we are capable of self-deception, no matter how intelligent and hence the historical action of the Holy Spirit manifested through the rich Catholic Tradition and Magisterium needs to be respected in all humility
There are well defined moral standards too for a Christian, whether he puts it into practice or not. One is supposed to do so without any duality.
All this, for a striving Christian, is made possible on account of the Salvation which Christ Jesus has accomplished on the cross. Jesus offers one the hope, the healing, the health, consolation and courage and above all the eternal salvation.
Therefore, Yoga in any form is unacceptable to a Christian who believes in Christ Jesus, whether it is the meditations or the exercises thereof because Christ Jesus offers us the fullness of salvation and not a partial one.
Critical Analysis of the claims of Yogic exercises from a Christian point of view:
Yogic exercises are incompatible with Christianity because it is incompatible with truth. In other words, it doesn’t have a basis in truth. For Christians truth is the guiding factor. Unfortunately many may have been deceived into falsity in search of that ray of truth when they either through deception or wickedness of heart missed the fullness of it in Christ Jesus.
The reason why yogic exercises have a growing popularity is on account of its many positive claims; some of which could be true but many are deceptively false, especially from a Christian world view.
Yoga, it is claimed has nothing to do with religion: While many of promoters of yoga claim that it has nothing to do with religion there are some yogi’s who have clearly affirmed that it has everything to do with Hindu religion. Some even accuse and condemn the Christians of trying to separate yogic exercises from the Hindu system and then condemn the Hindus as damned. Even though they may be disputes as to its religious leanings but no one seem to dispute as to its origin, which is Hinduism. It should be noted that even if a Christian tries to Christianize the system, it cannot be as the root itself is Hindu.
Hence from a purely Christian point of view it has everything to do with religion. If one finds it difficult to understand that then let me put it differently: “Yoga and the exercises along with its goals and aims opposes the Christian understanding of Man created in the image and likeness of God.” And hence any such opposition to the Christian faith, and which is the standard, is a new religion or cult.
Secondly, for a Christian it is important to identify the source for further and right action. In the scripture, in the temptation narratives of Matthew and Luke when Satan comes to Jesus with the pure written word from the Bible, Jesus could have adopted the new principle of modern man in search of the ray of truth in other religions and separated the written word of God from him and observed it diligently but instead rejects it because the source and the application of it is not in God’s interest and thus in the interest of humanity.
Thus the Catholic Church in its document on New Age in 2003 makes this element of argument clear: “It is difficult to separate the individual elements of New Age religiosity – innocent though they may appear – from the overarching framework which permeates the whole thought-world on the New Age movement. The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others.” (#4:1, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life)
Hence anyone claiming that the church has not taken a stand is only abusing his office to deceive the ignorant laity. Similarly those suggesting that it can be safely practiced apart from its philosophy are already walking in deception and if they are shepherds then they should humbly step down for leading the flock astray for long and for acting to be wise in the ways of God.
Let’s arrive at the truth about the exercises from the existential point first:
The west, steeped in secular, scientific education and materialism, had failed to understand the Christian doctrine and many of them were left empty in their spiritual or psychological quest for God, peace, happiness, solace and relationships. They had the money to buy everything but didn’t realize that the fruit of the gospel was freely available to those who seek it in humility in Christ.
Many entered into the deception of yoga because it claimed that it has nothing to do with religion. Their rejection of religion mired in the pride of education made it difficult for them to see the truth. They may be right in their thinking from their perspective but specifically from a Christian viewpoint it has everything to with religion as you will see from the explanations below.
The Church, in such circumstances, too failed to communicate the gospel of hope to them.
Hence their materialistic pride thought them that they could buy everything, including truth and in return they got the deception they wanted. (cf. Rom. 1:17 ff.)
No human being can attain God on his own wisdom, knowledge or efforts unless they humbly seek it, with perseverance: “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
In the same vein yoga is considered scientific too. Though there are some verifiable facts about yoga and certain things about yoga can be verifiably affirmed but some the psycho-social benefits can be disputed about it. What is apparent or may be initial benefits or a deceptive feeling of well-being on account of partial difference may be claimed as achievements.
For example: India should have been a sporting giant on account of its roots in yoga and practice of yoga in sports but it is definitely a great giant in corruption and creating an index of unhappiness. We still need foreign coaches and trainers to train our sports personals.
The following are the practical reasons why one gets into yogic exercises and how compatible is it with the truth and with the Christian world view:
1. To fight stress or for distressing: Most of the stress we experience is due to hurts, un-forgiveness, guilt, every day conflicts and trials of life or taking decisions which are incompatible with one’s abilities. If a Christian can handle these through prayer, confession and sound counseling then does one need to practice yogic exercise to de-stress? I have seen countless people being healed of the symptoms of stress through the right approach to prayer and through the Sacramental ministry of the church.
2. To attain peace of mind: Yoga doesn’t offer anyone Peace of mind and those who claim that have not really experienced the real peace which Jesus offers to his followers. In fact what yoga definitely offers is a state of calmness and this is often or even deceptively referred to as peace. It is like a deceptive baker selling his bread as a cake because the natives have never seen a cake.
Since one may imagine that I am only disputing about words, let me explain: If one is disturbed on account of a public insult then yoga deals with it through its method of either breathing or mantra or physical exercises, either by ignoring it, rationalizing it or suppressing it. On the other hand the Christian deals with such disturbances in prayer, either through surrender, forgiveness, letting go of what one has held back. Further, to help the weak do it we have the wisdom of the cross and the grace thereof to attain the peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:6)
3. For good health: Exercises do give us good health but do they deal with the problem at its root? What is the main reason for most of our ill-health? The few reasons for ill-health:
– Our not being reconciled to the one true God is the primary reason for the ill-health we face in life and this ill-health working in us can ultimately lead us to eternal destruction, even though we may live long on account of our disciplined life of right eating, right sleeping, and right exercises.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.” (Romans 5:8-11)
– The bitterness of un-forgiveness can be also a big reason for ill-health and most of our sickness. What would be better: to eliminate the problem or to ignore or rationalize or suppress it or may be just rise above it?
– The guilt of wrongdoing could affect us and lead to some deep emotional problems too. But yoga will seek to ignore guilt as bad and thus suppress or ignore it rather than deal with it as catholic would do through the confessional.
– The pain of deep hurt and rejection can leave deep emotional scars which again could be suppressed through physical exercises.
– The deep rooted fears could be calmed too by yogic exercises with seeking to eliminate the root reason for it.
– Likewise, many other emotional issues are not dealt with in the true human spirit and thus yoga rejects the truth of man.
Yoga through its exercises seeks the physical and spiritual bliss by ignoring the reality of the above mentioned problem.
4. To lose weight/ slim down: On the one hand it is claimed that yoga brings about harmony between man and nature and deal with climate change and on the other hand it does encourage the reduction of weight through exercises; which means indulge yourself and then exercise to lose weight. Compare this with the ascetic spirituality of being frugal with our eating and drinking and thus donating and support the poor and orphans. Which would be more environmentally friendly? Most of these yogi’s are such vegetarian fanatics that they would want to preserve the bovines in order to increase the greenhouse gases in the universe but will not give up on their milk.
5. To remain young and youthful: The new self is self-confident, seeks to achieve, believes in oneself and adopts a spirituality that helps them in their selfish ambition to be achievers at any cost. There is very little of the moral principle at work. What is forgotten is that one could remain eternally young and youthful but lost forever into eternal damnation. Because scripture reminds us that God had reduced Man’s lifespan so that he may, reflecting on death would think of his creator and pay him homage (cf. Genesis 6:3; Ps. 39). Whereas yogic exercise has to lead you the other way: long life and youthfulness but eternal damnation.
6. For better performance: Indeed yoga could help one perform better in rote learning and may be alertness and in concentration minus the moral principles and emotional control! Unless one has brought their sense of morality along on account of their family or school background one is lost in the maze of a deceptively glorified idea. Much of the sound discerning wisdom is in the morality of life’s principles. In India a cow may be of more value and may be worshipped than a human being. I have seen how concern for human life is poor and the karma principle justifies the indifference.
The immense evil in Yoga vis-à-vis the human being is remarkable: Though yoga may offer some of the benefits which I have acknowledged and described above but in keeping with its tall claim it ignores the moral principle in human nature and even the emotional nature of man. The claim of peace, de-stressing, equanimity, etc. is at the cost of ignoring of the human conscience. What sets human beings apart from the animal world is their conscience which at times even needs to be formed so that he may respect the other, not cheat or give false hopes and promises and make lofty statements of assurances and not fulfill them and give different value or meaning to the same word of assurance given.
All that unity and harmony that it claims to achieve in man is done minus/without reference to the conscience of man which is either ignored or suppressed or harmonized in oneself in order to create a new situation of health, harmony, goodwill, etc. But what appears apparently to be good is nothing but a creation of an intolerable world view that will not tolerate opposition to its ideological claims once it attains full power.
Finally, a hint of the evil in certain physical exercise revealed in Scripture: “In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us.” This proposal pleased them, and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.” (1 Maccabees 1:11-15)
Choose: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days,” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
For a still more detailed write-up on the subject I plan to write a book. Those interested could kindly write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with name, address and the number of copies.
Adrian Mascarenhas Yoga doesn’t necessarily lead to death. For many, Yoga is purely a physical activity. Those who take up the spiritual side of Yoga should be careful.
Father Conrad Saldanha Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas Let me understand what you are saying: the first sin mentioned in the book of Genesis did not necessarily lead to death because Adam and Eve did not die after eating the fruit: is it in this sense then what you are saying is true. But remember spiritual death is a lot more dangerous and it requires a spiritual person and not rationalists to understand it. We both would agree that yoga is a physical activity. BUT what is the basis of your surety that it is PURELY a physical activity? Are you a Yogi too?
NOTE THAT FR. ADRIAN MASCARENHAS NEVER PREFIXES “FATHER” TO HIS NAME.
THAT IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE LAICIZATION OF THE CLERGY.
II. Catholic Bishop Thomas Dabre Obstinately Misrepresents Church Teachings
By Fr. Conrad Saldanha
(My comments are in red against Bp. Thomas Dabre’s explanations)
My article that was put up on World Yoga day on my blogsite and other social media network was widely disseminated and much appreciated by many. Some who opposed it said that they disciples of some yogi priests they argued with heretical arguments and misinterpretation of scriptures and church teachings. But the worst was yet to come, like a shocker, from none other than a Bishop who was formerly in charge of the CBCI Doctrinal Commission and who in seeking to present the correct Church position on Yoga confused and even was leading astray the gullible. Some, including the Association of Concerned Catholics, sent me this article and other such heretical postings in the social media page of the same Bishop. In my rebuttal below you can see for yourself how the Catholic Church teachings are audaciously misrepresented by him and this is not the first time that he has done this. Unfortunately, it has been going on in the social media for some time.
Bishop Thomas Dabre of the diocese of Pune has now ascended a new height of distortion and deception in what apparently seem to be through his yogic powers and practices to openly falsify the Catholic faith to ordinary people. One of the exposures on a popular blog site mentioned below clearly shows him leading the Archbishop of Goa on a wild goose chase. With the lapse of time he has become bolder, perhaps through the psychic powers of yoga to deceive gullible Catholics into believing what apparently seems to be “CHURCH POSITION ON YOGA” https://www.facebook.com/bishopthomas.dabre/posts/1789631837929982?fref=nf&pnref=story
June 22, 2015
Bp. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Poona, and a former chairman of the CBCI Doctrinal Commission, I greatly appreciate your initiative in seeking to answer your Facebook friends on the subject while a matter of your controversial answer, on the same subject, to Archbishop of Philip Neri of Goa, surgically analyzed and exposed by the great apologist of India, Michael Prabhu on his blog site, stands ignored by you. Alas for your concern for the truth! http://ephesians-511.net/docs/IS_BISHOP_DABRE_FORMER_CHAIRMAN_DOCTRINAL_COMMISSION_A_PROPONENT_OF_YOGA.doc
There are also other exposes of you on the same website, and it puts your doctrinal capabilities in a very bad light and hence you should stop all such reflections with immediate effect.
Yesterday, Yoga Day was celebrated both in India and in other parts of the world. It has raised awareness regarding the Indian tradition of yoga. Some of my face book friends have asked about the Vatican position on yoga and so I shall be sending a few messages on the issue of yoga and Surya Namaskar. –Bp. Dabre
Please be specific, unless you are communicating to us that India is synonymous with Hinduism; therefore what you are communicating, when you say, “Indian tradition of yoga, should be respected. Or maybe the confusion in your harmonious mind, post yoga, is no confusion for you!?!
The text of the Vatican document does not mention yoga nor does it out of hand reject, condemn or ban it. (VATICAN DOCUMENT “ORATIONIS FORMAS”) –Bp. Dabre
If you had not ignored Michael Prabhu’s article then you wouldn’t have sought to deceive ignorant flocks, who look up to you.
You appear right but any child versed in the basics will tell you that though the Vatican document Orationis Formas does not mention yoga in specific but the language of the document clearly and in no uncertain terms refers to Yoga and other eastern practices.
Further, the document itself clearly and in no ambiguous language asserts that in the footnotes No. 1: “The expression ‘eastern methods’ is used to refer to methods which are inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism, such as ‘Zen,’ ‘Transcendental Meditation’ or ‘Yoga‘.”
Why then does the Bishop of Pune stoop to such levels of misrepresenting an important document in the name of presenting the Church position on Yoga and that too repetitively? Could be that he himself has been a promoter and practitioner of it to keep himself fit and trim and gain the psychic powers of doublespeak, as done by most yogis in the Catholic Church. Outsiders and their doublespeak if any don’t interest me.
Surely, it seems to nurture the selfish ambition of popularity and power at the cost of truth. And do you not come across as a good Bishop when you deceptively speak of universal brotherhood and unity in deceit at the cost of truth and Catholic faith.
As you can see the following from the Vatican Documents are relevant to the issue of yoga.
The majority of the great religions which have sought union with God in prayer have also pointed out ways to achieve it. ”the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions”. –Bp. Dabre
Bp. Dabre you know how to further misrepresent by taking things out of context, let me quote to you from the same document what follows after this quote of yours from Orationis Formas, from the same para 16:
“On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured”
And you already seem to be obscuring ipso facto your presentation here is proof; hence incapable of even touching this subject!
Leave aside the concept of prayer you are even obscuring sound doctrine, as is done by most yogis like you in the Catholic Church.
Human experience shows that the position and demeanour of the body also have their influence on the recollection and dispositions of the spirit. This is a fact to which some eastern and western Christian spiritual writers have directed their attention. –Bp. Dabre
It is also a fact that for a Christian the position and demeanor of the body is NOT a prerequisite and thus is never an issue for prayer. A Christian can even lie down and pray or labor and pray, etc. (cf. Jn. 4:23-24, also OF: 28:2). They also take recourse to a position for a reason far different than a non-Christian. Since it is never an issue for a Christian, then to encourage him, apart from the public or communitarian worship, to get into bodily positions and disposition, especially into that whose root and origins are clear, leads to a definite suspicion as to the motives behind the practitioners and as to their commitment to the flock of Christ.
(But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24)
In prayer it is the whole man who must enter into relation with God, and so his body should also take up the position most suited to recollection. In some aspects, Christians are today becoming more conscious of how one’s bodily posture can aid prayer. –Bp. Dabre
So, does this mean that one should take up a yogic posture? Are there not enough postures already in existence in Christian circles from which Christians have taken enough benefit from?
The genuine practices of meditation which come from the great non-Christian religions, which prove attractive to the man of today who is divided and disoriented, can constitute a suitable means of helping the person to come before God with an interior peace, even in the midst of external pressures. –Bp. Dabre
Why dear Bishop Thomas Dabre have you chosen to quote partly and that too by getting rid of certain words from the quote. Why are you so intent on leading the flock astray like an imposter in Shepherds clothing?
Here below is the complete quote from the Document with what you have missed out as highlighted in RED. Before I do that let me assert: That
1) Quoting in part
2) Omitting certain important words from the quote; grave misrepresentation of facts
suits your insidious agenda to lead the flock astray, the specialty of a Catholic Yogi.
“That does not mean that genuine practices of meditation which come from the Christian East and from the great non-Christian religions, which prove attractive to the man of today who is divided and disoriented, cannot constitute a suitable means of helping the person who prays to come before God with an interior peace, even in the midst of external pressures. It should, however, be remembered that habitual union with God, namely that attitude of interior vigilance and appeal to the divine assistance which in the New Testament is called “continuous prayer,”34 is not necessarily interrupted when one devotes oneself also, according to the will of God, to work and to the care of one’s neighbor. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” the Apostle tells us (1 Cor 10:31). In fact, genuine prayer, as the great spiritual masters teach, stirs up in the person who prays an ardent charity which moves him to collaborate in the mission of the Church and to serve his brothers for the greater glory of God.” (Orationis Formas 28:2)
It would have been also nice while deceptively quoting half information from a Church document and by misrepresenting facts and while seeking to catechize the flock to whom you have committed to do so faithfully, you would have also explained what is that “genuine practices of meditation which comes from the non-Christian religion” and are beneficial to a Christian.
But I am glad you didn’t because that would amount to another grave error.
Such grave errors and lies are rampant expressions of Bishops!
Instead you could highlight the positive elements of prayer and how to pray the Christian way, which the documents mention and about which many of our Christians are not aware of.
Those who are interested in obtaining the whole document can do so by advising me of their email id. –Bp. Dabre
Wow! Such a request will definitely give your attempts at deceitful indoctrination a sense of legitimacy. And which documents Yogi Maharaji Thomas Dabre? Why have you ignored the other pertinent document of the church; viz. Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life? Is it also not a Vatican document too which is clearer on the subject?
Is not your action a selective picking and choose in order to suit your insidious agenda?
My reflection on this topic will continue. –Bp. Dabre
Should you continue to deceive, dear Bishop Thomas and create more confusion? And you have proved me right by do so in your subsequent posting on your timeline on Facebook.
As for the simple laity, I say: At least by their fruit know what manner of tree it is.
Fr. Conrad Saldanha
Adrian Mascarenhas As a student of Systematic Theology, with fairly good knowledge of Church documents and Church teaching, I would say that Bishop Thomas Dabre is in line with the official Church documents on this issue. He certainly has the majority of bishops in the world agreeing with him.
Leena Rego Thank you Fr. Conrad. Your article on this subject was very good and inspiring. Keep up the good work. God bless you and may Our Lady keep you under her motherly mantle.
Magdalen Kalaitzakis Duarte Good on you Father Conrad. The practise of manipulating body parts (yoga) requires full and undivided concentration and attention which would take AWAY from prayer to God. In the history of Christianity yoga IS NOT and has NEVER BEEN the way of prayer to God and was NEVER considered or used as a way of prayer by Christians in general until the last decade or so until the sprouting of ‘new age’ movements. When in doubt about Christian matters always look to Christ and the Church He founded for answers. Jesus showed us how to pray and that is by humbling ourselves on our knees with our hands joined….. Hear that! Humbling ourselves on our knees with our hands joined and not in ANY other way in the way of unnatural bodily distortions or contortions of ANY kind which can look crude, offensive and dirty at times.
Father Conrad Saldanha Thanks Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas for your comment in which you too have chosen to obstinately join the bandwagon of frauds ready to mislead the flock astray. 1) Have I been less clear on the term MISREPRESENTATION? Have I not shown it through concrete PROOFS? 2) On the other hand you also seem to have a sure statistical data of the following that this Bishop has or is it again your ways of deceiving by claiming an ingeniously invented mass support. 3) Finally, happy to know that you are a “student of Systematic theology”, “with fairly good knowledge of Church documents and Church teaching”. WHEN did you as a mere student of “SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY” has started issuing Nihil Obstat to a Bishop’s falsified assertions? 4) Besides the Bishop in question, you indeed are another wonderful example of what Yoga could do a person of theological learning.
Adrian Mascarenhas Well Fr. Conrad, I don’t know how you expect me to reply to these wild claims. Let me answer them in reverse order. (4) For example, how on earth could yoga have done anything to me when I myself don’t practice Yoga? (3) Secondly, even as a “mere” student of Systematic theology, I have sufficient loyalty to Christ not to criticise the Bishops he has appointed. True, they make mistakes, but none of us is perfect, and I am not convinced that YOU would do a better job as bishop or (ha ha) as Cardinal. Hence I am content to accept the bishops whom God has given me, without trying to undermine their authority. (2) You’re right, I don’t have any statistical data on this fact, but I also know that the bishops of India haven’t been speaking against Bishop Dabre, whereas at least some of them are speaking against you and your teachings. (1) No you haven’t proven anything. This kind of proof requires an extensive investigation of different varieties of Yoga, but your knowledge of Yoga is extremely superficial and you’ve obviously obtained it only from charismatic/Pentecostal literature and not from an actual study of Hindu philosophy.
Any further replies from me will be only with your explicit invitation: so if you want me to reply to your future comments, please explicitly ask me to reply to them.
Father Conrad Saldanha Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas, I don’t think I or anyone else is interested in your plausible rhetorics or justifications. When you have supported and are still approving of a criminal act of repeated and obstinate misrepresentation by ones in authority you are a participant in the same and you have no legitimacy to speak! Everyone knows the evil fall outs of the sin of such blind loyalism that doesn’t seek to correct a serious wrong except the IMPERCEPTIVE.
Tanya Nathalya Holy Thank you Father Conrad Saldanha for defending Truth and for denouncing bishops and cardinals who are misleading God’s Children and leading them to hell. Yoga is satanic and people who become possessed by the devil often needs exorcism to liberate them. Vatican issued the document JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE (http://www.vatican.va/…/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new…) to denounce the new age practices of yoga but many Catholics are unaware of this.
It’s really disgusting that catholic Priests are indulging in these satanic practices and thus become possessed and are unable to lead their flock to Heaven. May God always bless you so that you can defend His Church. There’s nothing innocent in yoga and the following articles may enlighten our brothers and sisters about the dangers of yoga.
2.2. What does the New Age claim to offer? 2.2.1. Enchantment: There must be an Angel 2.2.2. Harmony and Understanding: Good Vibrations 2.2.3. Health: Golden Living 2.2.4. Wholeness: A Magical Mystery Tour
Tanya Nathalya Holy Yoga in philosophy and practice is incompatible with Christianity by Father James Manjackal MSFS http://www.jmanjackal.net/eng/engyoga.htm
Tanya Nathalya Holy
Vatican’s chief exorcist warns that practicing yoga is “SATANIC” http://www.naturalnews.com/049612_Vatican_exorcist_yoga…
Tanya Nathalya Holy
“Harry Potter and yoga are evil”, says Catholic Church exorcist
Tanya Nathalya Holy Catholic Church’s Top Exorcist Claims He Rid World of 160,000 Demons