Bishop Thomas Dabre consorts with the enemy – the Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham and the Bede Griffiths Sangha

AUGUST 13, 2015


Bishop Thomas Dabre consorts with the enemy –

the Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham and the Bede Griffiths Sangha


I. Larger source:, 2005 EXTRACTS

In Georgia font is what I reproduce. My comments are, as always, in green color Tahoma 10 font -Michael


A. K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham & Hindu-Christian Inter-Religious Dialogue

The Peetham has many activities; the prominent among them is organizing seminars at National and International level. The Hindu-Christian Inter-religious Dialogue is a salient feature of the Peetham. The Peetham believes in the true spirit of tolerance & reverence for all faiths. The scholars from the Church regularly deliver lectures on Christianity as a part of the course in Comparative Religion and the faculty members of the Peetham participate in Seminars and inculturation programmes arranged by the Church. The Peetham has been working as a nerve centre of the Hindu-Christian Dialogue in India. The honest and earnest attempts of the Peetham to establish an open platform for Hindu-Christian Interfaith Dialogue have been appreciated by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican. The institute has organized four seminars; the first one in Mumbai (India), the second at Parma & Rome (Italy) and the third & fourth again in Mumbai. The second meeting which was held in October 98 at Parma-Rome, Italy was a resounding success. With utmost humility and sincerity, the participants, viz. K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham, DIM, St. Giovannis Benedictine Monastic [sic] sought inspiration from ‘Persons of Peace in a troubled World’.

The efforts were blessed by H. H. Pope John Paul II when the participants had the golden moment of having audience with the Holy Father. 
The response to the Inter religious meetings has reawakened the hope in search of concord. The differences no more threaten. A bridge of understanding is built from a mere academic deliberation, the meetings are elevated to the status of a noble cause and the participants and the institutes represented by them commit themselves to the said cause.



The Peetham has successfully conducted the following National and International Seminars:

1. October 1997: International Seminar on Hindu-Christian Cosmology and Anthropology in collaboration with the Institute for Asian Studies, Sassari, Italy, University of Turin, Italy and the Inter-religious Monastic Dialogue.

2. October 1998: International seminar on Persons of Peace in a Troubled World in collaboration with the Institute for Asian Studies. University of Turin, and DIM, Italy, at Parma-Rome (Italy).

3. February — March 2000: International Seminar on Religious and Ethical Foundations of Family and Social Life in Hinduism and Christianity.

4. February 2001: International Seminar on Mahavakyas in Hinduism and Christianity.

5. June 2002: Interfaith Dialogue Symposium on ‘Bhakti in Hinduism & Christianity in Collaboration with Focolare Movement at Castel Gandolfo, Rome.



1. ‘Hindu-Christian Cosmology & Anthropology’, edited by Dr. Kala Acharya, Fr. Nicolas Manca & Dr. Lalita Namjoshi.

2. Soon to be published: “Bhakti — Path way to God”, Proceedings of the Interfaith Dialogue Symposium.

Dr. Kala Acharya has been the Director of the Peetham since its inception in 1989. She has contributed a scholarly chapter to the book ‘Jnaneshavri — Path to Liberation’ by Msgr. Felix Machado. She is specially invited to participate in the Inter religious meetings organised by Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue at Vatican.



1. Our theologian priests and Bishops do not preach the Gospel as per the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20), they do not witness to Jesus Christ, and they certainly do not evangelize in the real sense of the word. In our seminaries they imbibe liberal interpretations of the Bible and Church documents and modernist teachings, immerse themselves in the study of pagan religions, do their doctoral dissertations on related topics, and teach “Comparative Religion“.



2. Please re-read the 5th and 6th lines on the preceding page. The Sanskriti Peetham talks of “inculturation programmes arranged by the Church” and then state that they are Peetham is the “nerve centre of the Hindu-Christian Dialogue“.

That underscores what I have been affirming all along, which is that the “inculturation” engaged in by the Indian Church is nothing but “Hinduisation”. Sanskrit is the sacred ritual language of Brahmin (upper caste) Hinduism. There are a myriad of cultures in India, but the Church in India adopts the symbols and rituals and practices of Brahmin Hinduism.

Dalit Catholic leader Mr. John Dayal says,

QUOTE The Church’s inability to separate Hindutva from Hinduism:

This is a direct result of the Church’s failure to have dialogue with non-Brahmin Hindus.

The same is the issue of inculturation, where we happily adopt the culture of Brahmins but are reluctant to assimilate the worship forms of OBCs and Dalits. Perhaps it comes naturally for a Brahminical hierarchy {of the Church} to see an ally with another Brahminical political ruling group. UNQUOTE.

September 25, 2006

These are just a few of this ministry’s reports that expose the Church’s false inculturation and dialogue:







3. Note, on the preceding pages, the leading role (as recorded by the Peetham) of the ‘Catholic’ “Focolare Movement” in the Hinduisation of the Church (also recorded in the pages following). My study of Focolare reveals that it is a Trojan horse in the Catholic Church. Please refer to



4. The role played by Pope John Paul II in promoting a false ecumenism and dialogue that Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, stayed clear off is documented in my report/collation of information


It is an unfortunate and undeniable fact that certain individuals and offices in the Vatican/the Holy See/Rome are greatly compromised through the interventions of Indian prelates like Bishop Thomas Dabre (whom we will come to later) and “Msgr. Felix Machado“.

Bishop Felix Machado (earlier a lecturer at the St. Pius X seminary, Goregaon, Mumbai, later Undersecretary, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue) of Nashik and now in Vasai diocese, groomed Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, the lay woman “theologian” who spearheads the Indian arm of the UK-based movement for the ordaining of women as priests, revealing to her “the Hindu face of God”:


NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS He notoriously appears in several other of this ministry’s reports.


B. Address by S.K. Somaiya, Chairman, K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies, Mumbai at the Inaugural Function held at the Rabindra Sadan, Calcutta, November 24, 2003

On this occasion, I would like to make a reference to a series and practice of annual “Hindu Christian Dialogues” initiated by the K. J. Somaiya Trust six years ago. Every alternate year, scholars from Turin (Italy) and from the Vatican come and have week-long Dialogues and Discussions at our Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham at the Vidyavihar Campus. In turn, our scholars also go the next year to Rome and visit the Vatican and have corresponding discussions. Thus a unique symbiotic Inter-Religious Communion has been established leading to greater understanding and appreciation of faiths on both sides. 
The last Dialogue at the Vatican was held in April 2003. This was based on the concept of devotion under which “Narada” and “Shandilya” Bhakti Sutras were presented to Vatican scholars at an intense Workshop which lasted for four days.



I may mention that next month from 15th to 19th December 2003, as a part of this Hindu Christian Dialogue an important “Inter Religious Symposium on Meditation” has been fixed at our Campus which would be inaugurated by Cardinal Fitzgerald, President, Pontifical Council for Inter Religious Dialogue Vatican. Further, Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham, Mumbai and Focolare Movement, Italy have decided to hold Conference and Dialogue in Rome from 17 to 21 April 2004 on the subject of “Streams in Spirituality”. During the Seminar private audience with His Holiness the Pope* is always held at Vatican. *John Paul II


C. Address by S.K. Somaiya at the Inaugural Function, Somaiya Vidyavihar, December 15, 2003

I have great pleasure in extending a warm and hearty welcome to His Grace Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican;
His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias, Archbishop of Mumbai; H. E. Cardinal Simon Pimenta and Msgr. Felix Machado, Under Secretary, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican and all other dignitaries on the dais.
The religions have to undergo change in changing times. Sir Arthur Keith says, “No creed is final. Such a creed as mine must grow and change”. One may argue that religion is God-made phenomenon and hence man cannot and should not interfere with it; rather he has to make an attempt to fit in its design. However one cannot deny the reforms that take place from time to time in religions in order to respond to the changing world. If a religion remains static it would lose its relevance for the life of mankind.
With the onset of the 3rd Millennium of the Christian Era, the world is becoming a “Global Village”. Rigid barriers of different practices are disappearing, and I do feel that the world is ready for the birth of a “UNIVERSAL RELIGION”. Indian Sástras had proclaimed, bhavatu viùvameka nèãam/ Let the world be a single nest because all religions are meant to lead us to the Ultimate Reality. This Ultimate Reality may be pursued differently by different people. The Vedic seers said, ekam sat vipráç bahudhá vadanti / “Truth is one, the wise speak about it in different ways”. The pioneers and visionaries of different faiths want to break out of the narrow bonds of religions or sects. Each individual should have freedom to practice his own faith as a matter of choice. Further an individual should not be compelled to be tied down to only one faith and should be free to adopt the practice of various religions of his choice depending on his temperament, attitude and perception. This would create a climate in which all of us can live in peace and harmony.
 It is extremely heartening to note that Vatican created a special Department “Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue”. On this occasion I pay my humble tribute to His Holiness, the Pope for having inspired the entire process. This Conference being inaugurated now is a sterling example of Interfaith Dialogue initiated by this Pontifical Council. This process has aroused an intense interest to understand each others’ viewpoints with great reverence and has been a very satisfying and enriching experience. 
My personal experience of Hindu-Christian Dialogue is encouraging. The Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham has successfully organized five interfaith dialogues, namely, International Seminar on ‘Hindu Christian Cosmology and Anthropology’ wherein Sáñkara Advaita was discussed in depth. This was in collaboration with the Institute for Asian Studies, University of Turin, Italy and the Inter religious Monastic Dialogue, Italy in October 1997; it was followed by International seminar on ‘Persons of Peace in a Troubled World’ in collaboration with the Institute for Asian Studies, University of Turin, and DIM, Italy, at Parma-Rome (Italy) in October 1998; International Seminar on ‘Religious and Ethical Foundations of Family and Social Life in Hinduism and Christianity’ in February-March 2000; International Seminar on ‘Mahávákyas in Hinduism and Christianity’ in February 2001; Interfaith Dialogue Symposium on ‘Bhakti in Hinduism & Christianity’ in collaboration with Focolare Movement at Castel Gandolfo, Rocca Di Papa, Rome in June 2002. Every seminar is a step ahead in the field of Dialogue. The present seminar is on ‘Meditation’. The next Conference is proposed to be held in April 2004 in Italy.
We in Somaiya Vidyavihar are trying to provide a Value Based Education to about 25,000 students. We believe, that peace, understanding and harmony among different faiths is an important component of value system. We, therefore, consider it appropriate that we play host to the International Symposium for Hindu-Christian Interfaith Dialogue.
Before I conclude, I would like to express my gratitude to His Grace Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President, Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue, Vatican, Italy; His Eminence Ivan Cardinal Dias, Archbishop of Mumbai and H. E. Simon Cardinal Pimenta for having graced the inaugural function.



1. The affair between the Peetham and the Church is ongoing, with a “dialogue” alternating every year between India and Rome/the Vatican. A galaxy of Indian and Roman church leaders are involved.

2. What the Peetham indoctrinates our Church leaders with is stuff like “‘Meditation’“, what other meditation but Hindu.

3. What does the Peetham believe? “The religions have to undergo change in changing timesthe world is ready for the birth of a “UNIVERSAL RELIGION”Let the world be a single nest because all religions are meant to lead us to the Ultimate Reality an individual should not be compelled to be tied down to only one faith and should be free to adopt the practice of various religions of his choice

Now if that is not syncretism and New Age, I don’t know what is!

If “Sáñkara Advaita was discussed in depth” at one such seminar, it means that our Church leaders have no issue with the monistic (all is one, one is all) advaita of Adi Shankara, when Christianity is a dualistic faith believing in a personal God (not the Ultimate Reality of New Age and Hinduism) distinct from creation.

So it is no wonder that the then Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, Bishop Thomas Dabre, now openly advocates Surya Namaskar and the Hindu meditation, yoga.


D. Report on the inauguration of the Hindu-Christian International Interfaith Dialogue Symposium, 24th August to 27th August 2005

The Hindu-Christian International Interfaith Dialogue Symposium on ‘Religion and Secularism’ was organised by K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham in collaboration with Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican from 24th August to 27th August 2005. 
The inaugural function was held on Wednesday, 24th August 2005 at 3.00 p.m.

His Excellency Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio, Delhi inaugurated the symposium. He spoke about religious freedom as provided by the Indian Constitution. He said that Dialogue between religions is the only way to religious freedom. 
H. H. Swami Jitatmanandaji focused on the point that all the religions have the same essence. Most Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre spoke about the need of a dialogue amongst different religions to bring about peace. Prof. Alberto Trevisiol, Dean, Faculty of Missiology, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican read the message sent by Mons. Giuseppe Cavallotto, Rector, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican on the occasion. Dr. Kala Acharya read the message sent by Fr. Felix Machado, Undersecretary, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican.
The paper presentation sessions were held on Thursday, 25th August 2005 from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., on Friday, 26th August 2005 from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., and on Saturday, 27th August 2005 from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.

The following scholars participated in the symposium:

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya, Chairman, K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham, Mumbai, India

Prof. Alberto Trevisiol, Dean, Faculty of Missiology, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Agnes DeSouza Pereira, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Benedict Kanakappally, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Carmelo Dotolo, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Gianfranco Colzani, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Luciano Meddi, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Paola D’Inzeo, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Paul Steffen, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Pombo Kipoy, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Prof. Sandra Mazzolini, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican

Rev. Fr. Adam Bunnell, OFM Conv., Ph.D. General Delegate for Ecumenism and Inter religious Dialogue, Assisi, Italy

Prof. Oscar Pujol, Casa Asia, Barcelona, Spain

Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre, Diocese of Vasai, India

Rev. Fr. Carlo Torriani, PIME, Mumbai, India

Dr. Mr. Mariano Iturbe, University of Navarra, Spain



1. As one can observe, the rot has reached to the very top of our Roman Catholic Church.

2. “His Excellency Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio, Delhi inaugurated the symposium.

It is therefore not surprising that Nuncio Quintana as well as his successor Most Rev. Salvatore Pennacchio ignore all our communications to their New Delhi office on the matters of the Hinduisation of the Liturgy, New Age in the Indian Church, etc. Other Catholic lay organisations like the Association of Concerned Catholics, Mumbai, can attest to this: one cannot evoke a single response out of the Apostolic Nuncios.


August 25, 2005

The second session in the morning was chaired by Dr. Oscar Pujol.

Prof. Carmelo Dotolo presented a paper on the theme ‘Is Christianity a Religion of Secularization’. He preferred to use the term ‘secularity’ instead of secularism’ and stated that Christianity is a religion or the religion of secularity.

Dr. Shantilal K. Somaiya presented a paper on ‘Religion and Secularism’. He stated that in India over the ages, followers of diverse creeds and faiths have lived a life of co-existence in harmony and peace in spite of minor differences. He also stated that virtues such as purity, humility, kindness and love are prescribed by all religions. 
The second session in the afternoon was chaired by Prof. Gianfranco Colzani and Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre.

Dr. S. H. Agashe presented a paper on ‘Patanjala Yoga: A Synthesis of Religious and Secular Thought’. He said that Yoga unites all religions of the world and includes the secular thought in its embrace.

Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre
spoke on the theme ‘Secularism in practice in Multi-religious Culture’. He explained the role of secularism in bringing about harmony amongst religions.


August 27, 2005

On Saturday 27th August 2005 the first session in the afternoon was chaired by Prof. Paul Steffen.

Dr. G.U. Thite presented a paper on ‘Religion and Secularism in Indian Context’. He stated that in India the concepts religion and secularism remain together and even they are complementary to each other.

Prof. Benedict Kanakappally presented a paper on ‘The Upanishads and the Question of Secularization/ Secularism: Some Considerations from a Historico-Phenomenological Perspective’.





He said that rather than indifference or antagonism towards religions, secularism implies, in the spirit of the Upanishads, religious tolerance, freedom of individuals to practice the religion of his choice. He further stated that the Indian sense of secularism rests effectively upon a subjective and spiritualized notion of religion that allows for neither an exclusive nor an exhaustive claim to truth.

Dr. Lalita Namjoshi presented a paper on ‘Transcending Religion and Secularism with special reference to Kabir’. She stated that in modern Indian context secularism has been equated with religions freedom and equal respect to all religions.



Bishop Thomas Dabre chairs a session at which a paper on Patanjali Yoga is presented as a “Synthesis of Religious and Secular Thought”, opining that “Yoga unites all religions of the world“. For Bishop Dabre to chair such a session indicates his accession to the syncretistic philosophies of the talk which is absolutely preposterous considering that he has been appointed by Rome to maintain and safeguard the unicity and purity of the doctrines of the Catholic Faith in India.

I have only discovered now, in 2015, that Bishop Thomas Dabre’s obsession with Hindu yoga goes a long, long way back since the above events date back to ten years ago. I may safely presume that he had already come ‘under the influence’ much earlier, maybe even when he was researching for his Ph. D. submission on Sant Tukaram in 1979 or even prior to that*.


E. Dignitaries on the dais at the fourth Interfaith meeting

1. His Grace Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican, Italy

2. His Eminence Ivan Cardinal Dias, Archbishop of Mumbai

3. His Eminence Simon Cardinal Pimenta, Mumbai

4. Msgr. Felix Machado, Under Secretary, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican, Italy

5. Fr. Nicolas Manca, PIME, Interfaith Dialogue Centre, SASSARI, Italy

6. Prof. Giuseppe Maria Zanghi, Focolare Movement, Rome, Italy


*The Catholic friend who alerted me to the above links also informed me that the Bishop was in cahoots with the U.K. based New Age organization called the “Bede Griffiths Sangha“. The grievous implications of this can only be appreciated if one knows what the Sangha is and does (which I shall detail in my comments).

In Georgia font is what I reproduce. My comments are, as always, in green color Tahoma 10 font -Michael

II. The Bede Griffiths Sangha news letter, Summer 2014 EXTRACTS

Sister Sarah Grant

By Bishop Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Pune

My association with Sr. Sarah (sic) Grant dates back to the mid-seventies, when I was working on my doctoral research, I was working on a Hindu spiritual and religious poet Tukaram (1608-1650/51). He was born, brought up and completed his life’s mission in and around what is today the modern city of Pune, Maharashtra. Sr. Sarah Grant and the Congregation of the Sacred Heart Sisters, were all fi red with zeal for the promotion of inculturation in the Church. Those were the years immediately following Vatican Council II which promoted inculturation, local church, lay leadership and renewal of the church’s life and particularly the religious life in the Church.

The authorities and leadership of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart displayed a remarkable sense of vision and mission and many of the Sisters were erudite and scholarly. They were really, in my view in the footsteps of Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Sr. Sarah Grant, an Oxford graduate, had already completed her doctoral dissertation on Shankaracharya. She was well versed in Indian Vedantic philosophy. She sought to build a bridge between Indian philosophy and Christian thought. So accordingly, she related the philosophy of Shankaracharya to St. Thomas Aquinas, on account of which I felt a spontaneous admiration for Sr. Sarah Grant. However, Sr. Sarah Grant was not a dispassionate, detached, ivory tower academician. I found her deeply devout and religious. In fact one of the images of Sr. Sarah Grant, that is well etched in my memory is a nun emerging from her visit to the Blessed Sacrament, in a quiet and somewhat removed chapel in the Papal Seminary in Pune. I felt she was deeply in communion with Jesus and was a sprit- filled person.

In the course of time, I would regularly visit Christa Prema Seva Ashram, an ecumenical prayer centre in Pune, consisting of both Anglican and Roman Catholic sisters. They lived there as a community, centred around Jesus Christ. They were living their religious lives in consonance with Indian culture; which greatly touched me. They would squat for prayers, worship and meals. Their dress/religious habit, lifestyle diet and house settings etc., was all very local Marathi and Indian. Being a thoroughbred Marathi Indian, I immediately identified with the Sisters, in their Ashram and Sr. Sarah Grant along with some others were the leaders in the community. I remember that for a while Sr. Sarah Grant was addressed as Acharya, which means head teacher. In their prayers, they would chant hymns composed by Tukaram, and other Indian spiritual persons, of course with appropriate modifications and adaptations. I could easily sense that Sr. Sarah Grant was fully and genuinely involved in that Ashramic Indian-Christian spirituality Centre and she was easily the driving force of the community. I was always amazed by Sr. Sarah Grant’s scholarship and depth of understanding of both Indian philosophy and Christian theology. I am so glad and thank God that He brought me into contact with this wonderful woman. And so I would consult with Sr. Sarah on matters related to Indian philosophy, which needed to be interpreted correctly in my thesis. And what a shot in the arm that was.




My first manuscripts when I submitted them to Sr. Sarah, were sent back with few significant corrections, but an overall approval. Subsequently, it was all a regular interaction with her and what a pleasure it was to deal with Acharya Sr. Sarah Grant. Over the years, we developed strong fraternal bonds with each other.

Though of course in my heart of hearts, I looked upon her as a venerable mother. She would always attend my programmes and also invite me for the programmes in her Ashram. It was a great international recognition of her scholarship, when she was chosen to deliver the three part series of Teape Memorial Lectures at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. I had the good fortune of attending those meticulously prepared erudite presentations. She also gave these lectures at Cambridge University in 1989 and repeated them at Bristol University on the invitation of Dr. Ursula King, Head of the Department Of Theology and Religious Studies in that University. These lectures were published in book form titled “Toward An Alternative Theology – Confessions of a Non Dualist Christian” by Sarah Grant R.S.C.J. I am inclined to think that Sr. Sarah Grant was ahead of her time and was somewhat of an avant-garde intellectual, philosopher and theologian. And therefore it was not always easy to gel with some of her views and they would well need some careful nuancing and editing. This may well be with regard to her views on Baptism, the Eucharistic hospitality and interreligious dialogue. Of course, being a very devout Catholic sister but also a scholar of special merit, it is not easy to scrutinize her views. With all her depth, far- sightedness and inclusiveness Sr. Sarah Grant, was a truly humble, welcoming and unpretentious woman of God. Such persons are the glory of us all. She will continue to inspire a trail blazing leadership in the church and among the Religious Orders as well.



1. First of all, it’s Sara, and not Sarah, Grant.


2. I have written about this notorious nun first in my October 2005 report on the “Catholic” Ashrams movement which I described as New Age and heretical after visits to some of the ashrams of the Ashram Aikya and did about a year of research on them.

In December 2004, I stayed for a week at the Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam, synonymous with Benedictine Father Bede Griffiths, attended the daily satsangs of its de facto acharya Br. John Martin Sahajananda and interviewed the foreigners who were living there.

I concluded that, apart from heresy being openly taught at that ashram, some of the teachings and practices could only be describe as blasphemy and sacrilege. Most of what I personally experienced at Shantivanam is common to other ashrams in the “movement”.

Bishop Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai, Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI, was one of the recipients of my ninety-seven page 2005 report




Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 3:05 PM

Dear Michael and Angela,

Greetings of Peace and Joy!

Thank you for your email regarding the New Age. I share your concerns and I understand them. I am sure the Lord will guide us to protect the Church from the dangers of the New Age. God Bless You. Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Thomas Dabre


Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 11:08 AM

Dear Michael Prabhu, 

Greetings of Peace and Joy! Trust you are well. I share your anxiety about the Catholic faith in Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam. Now, please let me know clearly the points which you feel need corrections. It is very important to note clear errors and abuses*. Then, I will take the matter up with the people concerned. Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Thomas Dabre



Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 2:34 PM

Dear Michael Prabhu,

Greetings of Peace!

I have received your emails on the situation regarding New Age. I share your concerns and I think we need to pay attention to the issues you have raised. It is true that we need to warn people in our institutions against New Age tendencies. I will get back to you. Certainly you have a contribution to make to the Church in India.

However, let us all do it with love, understanding and sensitivity as they say Veritas in Caritati, Truth in Love. Of course, I am with you with my prayers and support. Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Thomas Dabre



Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 3:46 PM

Dear Michael,

Greetings of Peace and Joy! Thank you for all your emails. I think I have written to you to say that I have received your study report. But I said it needs careful reading. In your report regarding Fr. Joe Pereira in which I am supposed to be quoted from Vidyajyoti, but I don’t think it is from my article. You may please check the original.

I appreciate your zeal for the faith and I also feel that people need to be guided and they need to be taught to integrate everything properly and smoothly into the faith, always giving first place to the faith. Otherwise there will be dangers which you seek to point out. Do pray for me as I do the same for you. Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Thomas Dabre



Bishop Thomas Dabre
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:02 PM

Your Grace, Thank you for your gracious and encouraging response.

I notice that you have read my report very carefully, as you have referred to Fr Joe Pereira [mis]quoting you, which is on page 90. I am unable to verify the same from the Vidyajyoti journal as he does not specify the issue.

The Archbishop of Goa has also written to me denying a statement attributed by Fr. Joe Pereira to him.

I am confident that you will follow up on my report with the concerned people who are causing dangers to the Faith.

I also await your kind response to the other email with subject: PAPAL SEMINARY, PUNE- JUBILEE which I sent several times and am sending again. I have written to the Bishops who I understand were present, but have received no responses. Yours obediently, Michael

Well, I heard nothing more from the Bishop on the subjects of the Ashrams, Fr. Joe Pereira or the Papal Seminary issue.

Several Bishops advised me that Bishop Dabre was the one to deal with the issues raised by me in my report:


1. From: “Gali Bali” <> To: <> Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 7:19 PM Subject: Bishop Gali Bali

Dear Prabhu,
Greetings of Joy and Peace to you in the Lord. Thank you for your e-mail and for your prayerful greetings for my episcopal Anniversary. My secretary told me that the attachment you have sent is running into 100 pages or so and hence, it is not advisable to down load it. Bishop Thomas Dabre of Vasai is the Chairman of the CBCI Doctrinal Commission and as such he is the competent person to make a study of your paper about the Ashrams and take action if anything is really wrong. You may therefore send the attachment to him with your suggestions.
With kind regards and prayerful wishes. Yours Sincerely,
+Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur


Your Grace, I thank you immensely for your acknowledgement of my report.

I beg to submit to you that my report on what is happening in our Catholic Ashrams is a matter of extremely serious concern for ALL Bishops, and even your Father Secretary. While I have received a very encouraging response from Bishop Dabre who has very kindly been in touch with me for almost a couple of years now, may I request you to please examine the report, which is thoroughly researched, and give this ministry your valued support. You may be aware that there are several of these Ashrams in your own State of Andhra Pradesh. I am confident that, as a Pastor and a part of the Church’s teaching authority, you will do so. God bless you,

Michael Prabhu


2. From:
Archbishop’s House
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 10:25 AM

Subject: Re: NEW AGE in the Catholic Ashrams

Dear Mr. Prabhu,

Thank you for your e-mail of 1.11.05. I have downloaded the attachment. Kindly send the entire thing to Bishop Thomas Dabre, Chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI. His e-mail address is:

With warm regards, Yours sincerely in Christ,

+Vincent M. Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi  


Your Grace, I thank you immensely for your acknowledgement of my report.

I beg to submit to you that my report on what is happening in our Catholic Ashrams is a matter of extremely serious concern for ALL Bishops.

While I have received a very encouraging response from Bishop Dabre who has very kindly been in touch with me for almost a couple of years now, and also from one Vatican Pontifical Council, may I request you to please examine the report, which is thoroughly researched, and give this ministry your valued support. I am confident that, as a Pastor and a part of the Church’s teaching authority, you will do so. God bless you, Michael Prabhu


In response to my report on the heretical/New Age Catholic Ashrams movement, I must have received almost one hundred replies from around 75 Bishops and Executive Commissions of the CBCI.



Nothing was done by anyone in the Church hierarchy to investigate the Catholic Ashrams and rectify errors.


3. A brief biography of Sr. Sara Grant RSCJ who Bishop Thomas Dabre eulogizes:



Sara Grant, RSCJ (19 December 1922–2002) came to India in 1956, as a missionary and member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, became actively engaged in interreligious dialogue in India. In time, she became a leading figure in the inculturation movement. Her association with Swami Abhishiktananda further led to working on the Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) teachings of Hindu philosopher Adi Sankara, as revealed in her spiritual autobiography, Towards an Alternative Theology: Confessions of a Non-dualist Christian (1991).

She taught philosophy in Mumbai and Pune for several years, and remained spent many years as co-acharya of the Christa Prema Seva Ashram in Pune, which combines the Hindu ashram and sannyasa model and Christian monasticism. She did a doctorate in the University of Bombay on the concept of relation in Adi Sankara, (ca. 700 C.E.), the authoritative Hindu exponent of the doctrine of non-duality (Advaita). Her work with Sankara, and focus on the understanding of Advaita Vedanta, culminated in the drawing parallels with Christian doctrines.

Bishop Dabre in his Sangha article admits to Sr. Sara Grant’s influence on him. He too, is an ardent proponent of interreligious dialogue and inculturation.

Bishop Dabre gave the 2008 heretical St Pauls New Community “Bible” the Nihil Obstat after which it was withdrawn following a crusade launched by this ministry, because like Sr. Sara Grant’s works, it cited Hindu scriptures against which it “drew parallels with Christian doctrines“. The 2011 Revised Edition, which is far from acceptable to Catholics though 90% of the errors in the original have been excised, has been accorded the Imprimatur by Bishop Dabre!


b. Sr. Sara Grant in Towards an Alternative Theology says about her Christa Prema Seva Ashram,
“Everyone knows that they are welcome to join in whatever is going on in the ashram, page 61.

True indeed. At Bede Griffiths’ Saccidananda Ashram, even Hindus and unmarried sexual “partners” receive Holy Communion at the daily Indian Rite “Mass”. Those are the sacrileges that I mentioned earlier.


c. In her work Gurus, Ashrams and Christians, pages 114 and 121, Sr. Vandana Mataji RSCJ has said about
Sr. Sara Grant’s ashram,
“During our very first month at [our ashram in] Pune, Swami Abhishiktananda had initiated us into using Hindu scriptures and integrating them into our liturgical life.”


d. The front cover of her book Descent to the Source, ATC, 1987
shows the symbol of the OM flowing into the shape of the heart surmounted by a cross.
The cover of her Towards an Alternative Theology- Confessions of a Non-Dualist Christian, ATC, 1991 is
a picture of Jesus the


e. Appreciation of her theological positions is revealed in a review of the book “Lord of the Dance” in a journal:
“Sara Grant’s is a refreshing perception
that is willing to consider
any claim that
Christ is the unique saviour as an intolerable narrowness.’ [Page 78]

In Towards an Alternative Theology: “Our presentation of the theology of salvation would seem to be one of the areas where [such] reformulation is most urgently called for… It is surprising how many Christians alienated from the Church have been encouraged to look again, and more closely, at the faith of their origins by discovering a community that is open to the truth of other Churches and other religions. [Pages 79, 91]


f. She merited a full page in The New Leader of June 16-30, 2000 which said,
Only a month before her death, she wrote in a letter, ‘I’m wrestling with advaita and religious pluralism‘. It could be the summary of all her life.!


What is the Bede Griffiths Sangha which has, in the 20 pages of its Summer 2014 issue, a two-page contribution by Bishop Thomas Dabre?


I have written briefly about the Sangha in my CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report and I will cite from it further below. But before that, it must be known that the Benedictine priest Fr. Bede Griffiths was a New Ager.

The evidence of that may be read in the CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report. Prominent New Agers from the West came to his ashram and he visited them in Europe and his later writings were greatly influenced by them.

The Sangha:

It is located in Kent, England. The Bede Griffiths Sangha [sangha=a Buddhist community of believers] describes itself as a loose community of men and women whose lives have been inspired by the life and work of Father Bede. During the summer of 1994, Ria Weyens, then at the Christian Meditation Centre in London, gathered together about 15 people for a weekend retreat at the Rowan Tree Centre, to see whether there was enough interest to establish a Sangha dedicated to the vision of Father Bede.


The weekend was spent mostly in silence with meditation, chanting bhajans and structuring the day around the rhythm of life at Shantivanam, greeting the sun in the morning with the Gayatri Mantra and closing the day with nama japa… The mornings were dedicated to a period of work, food preparation, and to an activity such as yoga. Out of this sharing came the vision of the Shantivanam Sangham as a broad contemplative community, seeking to live the experience of Shantivanam and Father Bede’s wisdom and compassion, and to support the renewal of contemplative inter-faith life in the United Kingdom. In 1996 the Sangham renamed itself The Bede Griffiths Sangha.

A summer retreat is held at Park Place Pastoral Centre in Hampshire, where the Indian order of sisters is delighted at the celebration of their Indian spirituality to enrich their vocation as Christian nuns. A winter retreat… has been held at St. Peter’s Grange, Prinknash Abbey, where Bede started his monastic career. The support of the Abbot and community of Prinknash in their endeavors is much valued. At many of these retreats they celebrate mass in the Indian style, and in their worship include Indian music and readings from all the religious traditions. The Sangha, of which many members are Christians, publishes a quarterly newsletter of the same name.

The saffron-coloured printed brochure of the Sangha states that Brother Martin Sahajananda, who was with Fr. Bede for 9 years, regularly offers teachings to visitors at Shantivanam and is the Sangha’s anam cara (spiritual friend).

A perusal of the 12-page September 2004 issue of the Sangha newsletter is revealing. The Sangha is in close association with the Kalai Kaveri Dance and Music College in Trichy which is a Catholic institution, and they arrange for the dance troupe to visit the UK to “dance in liturgies [at] several cathedrals” which is a grave liturgical aberration. One of the main dance forms used is Bharatanatyam.



The Sangha in Scotland provided a photograph of its members “relaxing in a yoga session.After listening to Bro. Martin Sahajananda‘s tapes [no substitute for him in person], the group delved into the Upanishads, performed in our chapel some of the rituals used at Shantivanamand found that the Bluffers Guide to Hinduism proved useful.

Advertisements offer an India Body and Soul Tour ’06; a Meditation* in London which would look at Father Bede’s injunction to develop the
mind; and a session titled ‘Tomorrow’s Christian’ by Adrian Smith, a leading advocate of the need to find radical new expressions of traditional faith.

*The meditations they use are the thoroughly New AgeChristian Meditation” promoted by the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM).


Their website says, Father Bede referred to (WCCM founder) John Main as ‘the most important spiritual guide in the Church today’. In Griffiths’ book Return to the Centre, the Sangha’s London address is that of the WCCM.


Co-editor Ken Knight uses a whole page to explaining the intricacies of the meaning and proper intonation of the word OM: It may mean ‘Peace, man’… [or] ‘The whole vibrating universe’.”

For those interested in advaita, he suggests a reading of some Upanishads to learn the different qualities of consciousness relating to the sounds from ‘waking sleep’ to ‘samadhi’. The brochure too has a picture of Bede on the front page, and a bold OM on its last page.

There is a contribution by one Jackie, a black belt and expert in judo, aikido and tai chi, on the martial arts.



The purpose of my providing these seemingly irrelevant details is to emphasize that there is NOTHING remotely Catholic or Christian being experienced at Sangha gatherings or promoted by this fans-of-Father Bede organization. […]


The Bede Griffiths Sangha Newsletter carries an article The Ashram and the Eucharist by Bede in which he presents his theological arguments on the ‘real’ meaning of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and for the primacy of yoga and meditation over the Eucharist.

The Vatican Council said that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the activity of the Church. I have always found difficulty with this.”

It is suggested that the good Bishops read this and other writings of Bede including the series on The Church [in the same Newsletter] in which, among other things, he rejects the Church’s claims to being ‘One’ and ‘Apostolic’.

Another quote of his: There’s no evidence that Peter founded the Roman church. In fact, there’s very positive evidence that he did not.”

Bede also writes, “Meditation is an art whereby we seek to go beyond the body and the senses. We try to calm the body, by the practice of yoga if necessary, and then to calm the senses… often by using a mantra.” For support he refers to Trappist monk Thomas Merton who was actually a proponent and Master of Zen


Bede rejects the Eucharist for “meditation” as do other ashram leaders for the simple practical reason that non-Catholics cannot participate in it while meditation can be practised by all and sundry! I have gone into detail on this in my CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report and elsewhere.


One has simply to go to the Internet for the volumes of revolutionary anti-Catholic and New Age material posted on websites connected with Fr. Bede Griffiths’ legacy — the Bede Griffiths Sangha, Russill Paul, Sr. Pascaline Coff OSB, Wayne Teasdale, the New Monk Project, the Camaldoli monastery, the Sangha newsletters, and many others.

I’m not doing that, but we will take a look at the Summer 2014 Sangha newsletter (10 years on from the 2004 one that we just examined) to which Bishop Thomas Dabre contributed:


Nothing much has changed. It’s still New Age. It’s still allied with the New Age WCCM. There’s a three-page write-up on the New Age meditation and an advertisement on page 19. There’s another ad. for a non-duality advaita course.

Prominent New Ager Rupert Sheldrake, a frequent visitor to Bede’s ashram, is cited on page 15.

Prints of a painting of Arunachala, the mountain of “Lord” Shiva are offered on sale:




Bro. John Martin Sahajananda


Martin Sahajananda of Saccidananda Ashram who openly defies and denies Catholic Church teaching on every conceivable issue (see the CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report) and has published numerous books that propagate his rebellious teachings is still very much in control of the Sangha. He tours Europe (giving seminars at the residence of Rupert Sheldrake in London) and the USA for several months every year, disseminating his heretical anti-Eucharist, anti-Sacraments, pro-autonomous Indian Church views.


If Bishop Thomas Dabre had actually read my CATHOLIC ASHRAMS report in 2005 as assured by him to me, why would he be writing for the Sangha newsletter?


Global Catholicism and the politics of yoga

By John L. Allen Jr., August 8, 2015 EXTRACT

Back in 1989, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog agency, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a document expressing caution about eastern spiritual practices such as Zen meditation and yoga. It drew howls of protest from outraged Western devotees of those pursuits, many of whom saw the warning as typically blinkered and reactionary.

Especially in the case of yoga, most Americans and Europeans don’t attach any real spiritual significance to it – many would be hard pressed to explain what role it plays in Hindu devotion, and some might not even realize it has a link to Hinduism. As a result, the idea of the Vatican being threatened struck them as saying more about the defensiveness of Rome than about the dangers of yoga.

Today, however, that document is enjoying a new vogue in what many Westerners might consider an unlikely setting: India, where yoga was born.

If nothing else, the ferment in Indian Catholic circles offers a lesson in one of the core truths about Catholicism in the early 21st century. It’s a global faith, and trying to see issues in the Church exclusively through Western eyes just won’t cut it.




By way of background, India elected a new government last year under Prime Minister Narendra Modi that’s closely allied with the country’s burgeoning Hindu nationalist movements, especially the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS. Since taking power, Modi has moved aggressively to promote India’s Hindu identity, a trend that critics refer to derisively as the “saffronization” of the country.

(Saffron is the golden yellow color of the robes worn by Hindu sages, and also the color of banners carried by Hindu nationalists.)

One priority in this campaign has been the promotion of yoga. On June 21, the government sponsored a first-ever “International Yoga Day” featuring a mass yoga demonstration in one city and a large international conference in another extolling the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits of yoga. All in, Modi’s team spent more than $5 million US on the event.

That pro-yoga drive is of a piece with a number of other recent initiatives, including beef bans and anti-conversion laws in several Indian states, and even a new national science project intended to demonstrate the health benefits of cow urine. (Given the cow’s status as a sacred animal, Hindu devotees will sometimes drink cow urine or rub it on their heads and bodies.)

Religious minorities generally view the saffronization campaign as indirectly aimed at them. Christians in particular were irked that the government set “International Yoga Day” for a Sunday, seeing it as a deliberate poke in the eye.

These trends help explain the row that’s broken out among Indian Catholics over what the Church ought to be saying about yoga.

Earlier this summer, the official newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay published a series of articles that struck most readers as yoga-friendly. One such piece, by Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune, suggested that yoga can have positive therapeutic effects on both mind and body.

It was especially striking since Dabre is a respected intellectual and a former head of the Indian bishops’ doctrinal commission.

Ferocious backlash ensued on-line, with various Catholic pundits, bloggers, and activists tossing around terms such as “heresy,” “apostasy,” and “schism.”

Those critics prominently cited the 1989 Vatican document*.

Many Indian Catholics applauded the reaction, not necessarily because they shared the doctrinal assessment, but because they felt Dabre and other Catholic leaders were being feckless in failing to stand up to the government’s pro-Hindu agenda. […]

John L. Allen Jr. is a liberal –Michael



On 6 Aug 2015 19:28, “Erika Gibello” wrote, BCC to Michael Prabhu:

Dear Christopher,

I am attaching my article on Yoga, which is accepted by Pope Benedict XVI emeritus already in 1989. It is quite clear that in the publication: Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life, Yoga is negatively evaluated for a Catholic.

From experience working for many years with Father Rufus, he had found that practising yoga was a block to deliverance from evil spirits. Bishop Dabre might not believe such. When in Bombay I will try to speak to him. […]

In Christ,

Erika Gibello, Secretary, International Association for Deliverance, London


Sent: Monday, August 10, 2015 1:53 PM

Dear Michael,

Congratulations on your excellent work informing about yoga’s incompatibility with our faith. I found it particularly disturbing the “yoga therapy” to cure illnesses promoted in a Catholic Church. Not only is it contrary to our faith, but also extremely dangerous, since those types of “alternative” therapies have been repeatedly proved useless and dangerous, since patients who chose them instead of conventional science-based medicine can suffer serious consequences, even death.

As Christians, we protect life, and therefore yoga offered as a “healing cure” is unacceptable spiritually as well as physically.

Maria Laura Pio, Switzerland


*Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:17:32 -0700

Dear Michael 

I hope Bishop Dabre does read the 1989 encyclical as well as understand his role as a prince of the Church.

I think there are many in the hierarchy implicit in John Allen’s note that are silently resisting this foolishness of yoga promotion though. It would help immensely if they ceased emulating Nicodemus and come out and oppose teaching of error.

God bless,

Derrick D’Costa, Bahrain/Mumbai










Since June 2015, Bishop Dabre has used the social media as well as the print media (both secular as well as that of the Church: The Examiner) to give Catholics as well as non-Catholics a totally deceitful picture of the Catholic Church’s position on yoga, and this is what has incensed Fr. Conrad Saldanha.

My own report, collating all the information from different sources, has been delayed for over 8 weeks because of injuries sustained by me in a motor accident, but it will soon be published as


Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, new age

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