JULY 27/29, 2016
The dubious prophecies and prosperity gospel of Fr. Jose Vettiyankal
This report follows closely on the release of three others on a Bangalore-based lay man named Johnson Sequeira who also preaches a Protestant prosperity gospel which has no basis in Catholic theology. To obtain a proper understanding of the errors and dangers of such a gospel, read the following four files as well as those listed at the end of the present report.
BRO. JOHNSON SEQUEIRA’S ‘WORD-FAITH’ THEOLOGY AND ‘PROSPERITY’ GOSPEL JULY 03, 2007/ DEC. 2009/FEBRUARY 2010/MAY 2012/APRIL/JULY/NOVEMBER 2013/JUNE/OCTOBER 2014/MARCH 2015
WHY JOHNSON SEQUEIRA MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO PREACH IN CATHOLIC PARISHES 15/25 JUNE 2016
WHY JOHNSON SEQUEIRA MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO PREACH IN CATHOLIC PARISHES-02 5/8 JULY 2016
WHY JOHNSON SEQUEIRA MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO PREACH IN CATHOLIC PARISHES-03 22/23 JULY 2016
The present report is going to upset a lot of sincere Catholics who go to Logos Retreat Centre regularly and who uphold Vincentian priest Fr. Jose Vettiyankal in great esteem. I am probably going to lose some of my friends and email correspondents after this report is published; but that is the price that this ministry has to pay for warning Catholics of spiritual dangers, speaking the truth on matters concerning the Catholic Faith, and adhering to our standards of impartiality.
We have engaged in all that is required to be done by us, writing to the priest and seeking clarifications from him for around two years without any response.
Over the past several weeks, we have also brought the attention of the errors and dangers of the prosperity gospel to several bishops including the Vicars General of our diocese in the context of Johnson Sequeira but received no firm commitment that anything would be done to check him.
Fr. Jose Vettiyankal was the mentor of Johnson Sequeira and the latter has ministered alongside the priest for several years (see my letter to Fr. Jose on page 12). It was only after my first report on Sequeira was released in July 2007 that Sequeira was restrained from ministering at the retreats of Fr. Jose as well as at all Vincentian retreat centres across several states.
I myself have had a high regard for Fr. Jose despite nagging concerns about some of his prosperity teachings and prophecies that failed to come true (I first met him personally in February 2001 at Logos), and a large number of my relatives have attended his retreats and used to repose great confidence in him. It was only when we started, quite casually, to compare notes and share some of our experiences with each other that concerns arose. That is the subject of this report.
A few weeks ago, I bumped into a person who had attended a retreat at Logos in February of this year. He expressed the very same concerns: a prosperity gospel, and dubious prophecies.
The sad thing is that he too shared with me some of his copious notes with great regret:
“I take no pleasure in listing these jarring points. Fr. Jose seems to be a good man and a priest who genuinely loves Christ and the Church… It is my sincere hope and prayer that his ministry is cleansed of the aberrations that have crept in and that he may be able to teach those who come to him the traditional teachings of the Church.“
I need to affirm that the February 2016 retreatant shared with me his concerns without my soliciting them. After I heard the gist of his experiences, I asked him if he would give me the details in writing, and he willingly agreed to do so for the good of Catholics who are being misled by certain questionable teachings on prosperity and suffering. On the matter of “prophecies” in the form of guidance or counseling given to him, he conveyed them to me in writing and I will record the same in the second section of this report. The individual remains unidentified but wrote, “However, if the Archbishop wishes to confirm the information, I am willing to meet or contact him and state the facts.”
The person is a scholar who is well-grounded in his Catholic Faith and was preparing for a doctorate. He consulted his note-book and sent me some of its contents (navy blue colour, pages 3 to 6) in four emails. I have not had to edit a single word of his for grammar or spelling. I have only rearranged, with his permission, some of the paragraphs for connectivity and coherence.
For the record, I reproduce here the most recent letter from this ministry to Fr. Jose Vettiyankal.
The letter was also sent to my Archbishop because of the Johnson Sequeira dilemma that our archdiocese is facing, with the Vicars General unable or unwilling to come to a decision even after my providing them with many inputs by email and the above three recent reports of June/July.
Subject: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU TO FR. JOSE VETTIYANKAL, VC
email@example.com, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2016 09:18:44 +0530
Dear Fr. Jose,
I heard about the unfortunate incident in which you were beaten up by some men outside Logos Retreat Centre in Bangalore a couple of months ago. The day that we came to hear of it, Angela and I prayed for you.
Several persons telephoned or emailed me with different versions of what happened. A friend of mine attended your last week’s programme at Logos but could learn nothing, and he has been coming there for years. I wonder why there is no transparency and the details are not shared with your well-wishers and retreatants.
You are also aware that you have not responded to any of my queries on matters of errors in the liturgy, etc. since March 2014, despite numerous reminders and follow-ups.
Recently I sent you my reports on Johnson Sequeira’s prosperity gospel and his other erroneous teachings and practices. At one time you were his mentor.
Those communications too were not answered by you.
However, that my emails are reaching you is evidenced by the auto response from your computer that every time replies within 10 seconds:
“Dear Child of God … I have received your email. I have noted down the content.”
Obviously that statement is not exactly true.
If you submit that you were recouping your health and so could not answer any of my communications over the last two months, I could understand that, except for the fact that several people have written to you by email and you have replied during the last 10 days, and they have shared your replies with me.
I have to presume that you have selectively decided to ignore communications from me, which is very surprising considering that during your preaching you have unilaterally mentioned my name, pointed me out, and commended my ministry as a Catholic apologist to the people gathered there (some were my close relatives) on at least eight different occasions between August 2012 and March 2014, in Bangalore and in Chennai.
On one occasion, you specifically mentioned that Michael Prabhu would not hesitate to expose on his web site anyone who (public) teaches wrong Catholic doctrine/heterodoxy. That is very true.
From December 2014 onwards, I had been asking you for clarifications on various matters concerning elements of your teaching and preaching after I began to receive questions from confused people who heard you speak.
I also, in the subject line of a few emails, noted that if I did not obtain clarity on certain perceived errors, I had the “intention to publish” them on my web site (my exact words).
Have I done wrong in seeking these clarifications from you on your teachings?
If I have not, then why is it that you have not answered any serious letter from me although
i) you yourself have sought clarification from me on the subject of my expertise;
ii) you used to respond to me earlier;
iii) you have been writing to people on frivolous matters like the result of the 2014 general elections and the missing flight MH 370 (for the record, your email is still available and both your “prophecies” were wrong).
This leads me to the issue of prophecies and “words of knowledge” and announced healings and prosperity blessings that did not materialize but instead went very badly wrong in some cases.
More and more people have been bringing these issues (quite unsolicited by me) to my notice for the past two years and I have to reconcile them with your ministry that is so reflective and reminiscent of Johnson Sequeira’s.
A person who attended your inner healing retreat at Logos in February 2016 has taken extensive notes. I met him for the first time very recently and he happened to question me about what he heard you teach.
I am presently going through his notes and, frankly, what I find is quite confusing and very disturbing.
I thought that, in all fairness, I should let you know what I now know. Michael Prabhu
SECTION A: TEACHINGS
From the notes taken by the retreatant (subtitles mine) at Logos in February 2016 interspersed with his comments (my comments follow in green colour from towards the end of page 6):
I have not attended a retreat by Bro. Johnson recently. I only attended a one-day programme of his way back in 2008, and there was not much time for him to get into any depth in his talks.
One thing I noticed that appeared a bit odd was that he asked an un-baptised person to pray using the words “Lord Jesus, I eat your body and I drink your blood. Please deliver me from my troubles.”
I had attended a retreat by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC at Divine Retreat Centre, Chalakudy in Kerala in 2008. In that retreat there was no overt prosperity gospel that I can remember.
One of my aunts, who is a sincere follower of
Fr. Jose Vettiyankal VC,
Bro. Johnson Sequeira, etc. told me in no uncertain terms, that “every problem has a remedy in Christ. Redemptive Suffering is a pre-Vatican-II notion that has been discarded now. So don’t follow those outdated ideas. Cast out all sufferings from your life by prayer.” My aunt used to be an ordinary Catholic. I used to wonder how it came to be that she suddenly developed Pentecostal prosperity gospel ideas.
One of my very good Catholic friends from Delhi recommended that I do a retreat with Fr. Jose at Logos Retreat Centre in Bangalore, and said that many had been helped by his inner healing retreats. My aunt too had extolled Fr. Jose to my parents and they were also telling me to do a retreat there. It was mainly the insistence of my friend which made me agree to go there. He assured me that Fr. Jose was quite orthodox in his theology.
So I went to Logos in February 2016 with an open and neutral mind. My friend, who was years ago involved with the charismatic renewal (but not these days) is quite orthodox in his faith. When, after the retreat, I told him these things I had heard Fr. Jose say, he was very much saddened and shocked. Only after coming back from the retreat did I start paying careful attention to the things my aunt says and I was able to pick out the influence of Fr. Jose, and also, I assume Bro. Johnson, on her thoughts. It was then that I recalled that she spoke of Fr. Jose and Bro. Johnson often. Thus I was able to trace the influence of her thoughts to the teachings of Fr. Jose.
So I was able to see quite clearly how the minds of others have been influenced by Fr. Jose’s teaching. No matter what I said, it was completely impossible to make my aunt understand the value of redemptive suffering, unfortunately.
The thoughts of followers like my aunt were influenced by the teachings of Fr. Jose and Bro. Johnson.
This is not the first time I am facing disquieting things within a Church-sponsored environment. Previously, I had gone to a Catholic nun for counselling. Her counselling was quite good and grounded in the faith, but her office was at a diocese operated campus where there was also a “Bach Flower Therapist” who operated in conjugation with her counselling. Hearing that extracts of flowers would help solve emotional/psychological problems was a red flag for me, and I stopped taking those medicines after I did some research and found that this therapy had roots in New Age.
The articles on your website also played a role in my “reversion” to the Faith, so to speak. By the grace of the Lord, I was led to read books by various saints and Church Fathers and was able to deepen my faith, since all of these resources were freely available on the internet. Also those were the happier days of the reign of Pope Benedict, and I devoured his writings with great happiness. I remember eagerly waiting for Deus Caritas Est to come out on the internet so that I could read it. I also read the books he wrote before he became Pope, and the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II and other Popes.
I am sending you some points which I heard Fr. Jose Vettiyankal mention during an inner healing retreat this February. Just as I was leaving, I observed the next retreat starting, and I found that he repeated the same points in the next retreat. So I think it is a safe assumption that he teaches these points to all retreatants.
Some of these ideas struck me as not exactly resonating with the unchanging Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church and so I noted them down.
I take no pleasure in listing these jarring points. Fr. Jose seems to be a good man and a priest who genuinely loves Christ and the Church. However, I cannot escape the conclusion that a prosperity gospel form of Pentecostalism has corrupted his message, even though he may quote from the CCC, the Compendium, YouCat, etc.
It is my sincere hope and prayer that his ministry is cleansed of the aberrations that have crept in and that he may be able to teach those who come to him the traditional teachings of the Church, especially the salvific value of suffering.
1. Health, wealth and prosperity
He claimed that if we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit* and pray the protection prayers he recommends, we will be protected from all ills, so much so that even mosquitoes will be prevented from biting us, since we are adopted sons of God and He will not permit us to suffer even small sufferings like mosquito bites.
God will redirect the mosquitoes to go away and bother only those who are not under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Thus there is no need to fear the Ebola virus or the Zika virus.
Likewise he claimed that
the above protection will also take care of our financial problems
and we will become wealthy. But then we must remember to tithe.
*At one point in the retreat, when listing out the things that we need to do for our healthy spiritual life, Fr. Jose said in his characteristic humourous fashion that we must all take a membership in a charismatic prayer meeting when we go back to our homes and we should pray, “Shu-shu-shu” (meaning, in tongues) on receiving the anointing of the Holy Spirit. So my conclusion is that when he talked about anointing, he meant that we must have a distinct Pentecostal experience.
Below is the teaching of Fr. Jose on the baptism of the Holy Spirit:
a. After the baptism of the Lord, He prayed and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him.
b. We also must receive such an anointing.
c. After this special anointing, we will no longer have any desire to commit sin.
d. We receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism, fulfilled in Confirmation and we grow in the Holy Spirit through the Eucharist.
e. However, Acts 4:31 describes another spiritual phenomenon: the re-kindling of the Holy Spirit. We need to do this every day. In addition to the Sacraments, another means to receive this anointing is by holy gatherings like charismatic prayer meetings.
f. If we do all this we will be protected from all harm – even debilitating illness like Alzheimer’s.
2. On premature death (before the age of 70)
Quoting Psalm 90:10, he says that God’s design for us is to live to the age of 70-80. If we are in a situation where we face death before that, we ought to contact him (Fr. Vettiyankal) and ask him to pray for us, whereupon we will be rescued from death. Above the age of 80, however, he said, even his prayers can’t ward off death from us.
At another point during the retreat, he assured us that
all the attendees of the retreat would have the special blessing never to die in any accident.
On Redemptive Suffering
Fr. Jose divides the history of the world into three ages. I’m not sure how well this division of historical periods squares with Catholic Tradition:
a. Age of Wellness (Jeremiah 29: 11)
b. Age of Suffering (Sirach 40: 1-8)
c. Age of Redemption (1 John 3:8) [Presently, we are not in the Age of Suffering]
During the initial days of the retreat, he said that the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a powerful means to “cancel all our sufferings” and thus there is no need to give any consideration to the ideas of “Redemptive Suffering.” He said that it was true that such an idea was popular in the pre-Vatican-II Church, and some saints had followed it, and therefore if we wanted to follow that, he would not prevent us but he certainly would not encourage or recommend us to do so, as in his opinion, it was totally unnecessary. Then he said, with a laugh, that there was some inherent hypocrisy in “Redemptive Suffering” since that meant believing at the same time that God is powerful enough to destroy our sufferings and also believing that God does not actually wish to do so.
He stated that according to Nostra Aetate, the Church teaches that any religion (excluding explicit Satanism) is sufficient for the salvation of the soul of the individual who follows that religion. Then what is the specialty of Catholicism? The Catholic faith, he says, is the only religion that gives power to cancel out our temporal sufferings. He says that this was acknowledged by a Hindu priest who used to come to his retreats saying, “I know that my religion satisfies my spiritual needs, but
only the prayers of this group can deliver me from the sufferings & problems I face in this world.”
Fr. Jose told us to look at the Acts of the Apostles and observe that St. Peter did not start a home for the handicapped – he healed them! From this he concludes that we are not meant to learn to live with our health problems caused by our genetics or other factors. The only thing that is meant to happen for Christians filled with the Holy Spirit is to be healed of their illnesses.
Going deeper into the problem of suffering, Fr. Jose offered a clarification that the only type of suffering that God permits us to endure is to be persecuted for our faith. All other types of problems like sickness, pain, poverty etc. are exclusively the plan of the devil.
The main cause of our problems according to Fr. Jose, is that the Devil randomly selects people to torment. If we are unlucky enough to be selected by him, our response should be to immediately come out of the suffering by prayer, faith, and sacraments.
At times Fr. Jose seemed to veer close to a Penal Substitution model of Atonement by saying that the Devil wants to collect his debt from us and he does this by making us suffer and enjoying our sufferings, but we pray to God for mercy and by this we tell the Devil to extract the suffering he wants from Christ. Thus God does not want our suffering – only our love and submission.
Another time, Fr. Jose said that Jesus substituted for us in the Passion and accepted sufferings. He took a cross upon Himself so that we should not have a cross in our lives.
After stating that if we are united with Christ we can come out of our suffering, at one point Fr. Jose admitted that if we wish we can retain our suffering and this can become a means of union with God. However, he immediately qualified this by saying that this retaining of suffering was purely optional, mainly practiced by pre-Vatican-II Saints, and we need not consider this a necessary part of our spiritual life. If any suffering manifests in our life, we are to cancel it by prayer, faith and the sacraments.
Fr. Jose said that God blesses us if we choose to retain our sufferings. However, we will still have the same blessings if we choose to cancel our sufferings. So why should we endure our sufferings? We are asked to offer the sufferings of Jesus Christ in the Divine Mercy Chaplet, no our personal tears and sufferings.
He said that we need to re-enact the sufferings of Christ as many times as needed to cancel out our sufferings. This is done by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Fr. Jose taught that since at the Second Coming of Christ, all suffering will be universally cancelled, we must understand that already, in this world, all suffering is cancelled for all those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit and have thus joined the tribe of Christ.
The Second Coming is delayed by two things:
a. The Jews need to accept Jesus as the Messiah
b. The Gospel needs to be proclaimed in every corner of the world.
After making the above points Fr. Jose said that Christ is the only Saviour of the world and thus, although adherents of all religions will go to heaven, only Christ can cancel suffering in this world.
He taught that CCC 680 states that all things are not under the control of God. There is a law of sin and the dominion of the devil operating in the world – this is a law, just as the law of gravity. Then he qualified this by saying that the power of God helps us to counteract the dominion of the devil.
[CCC 680: Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. The triumph of Christ’s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.]
He even made the grand claim that after this retreat, all of us who have attended the retreat would have no sufferings.
4. On satanic attacks
He traces all problems we face in the world to the direct agency of Satan, since the Devil is the lord of this fallen world. He never considered the idea that Divine Providence might allow some temporal misfortune to befall us for the sake of our salvation. For example, he talked of a lady (in France or Germany, I think he said, when he was on an European tour giving retreats) who was unable to be consoled after losing her daughter at a young age. Priests tried to tell her that her daughter was with the Lord (they tried to use old-fashioned words like saying that “the Lord plucks the most beautiful flowers early for his heavenly altar”) but that made her angry. Then Fr. Vettiyankal met her and revealed to her that her failure to pray protection prayers over her daughter was what had exposed her daughter to dangers and thus led to her death. On hearing this, the lady accepted that her daughter’s death was her fault and after accepting this she had peace of mind.
To explain this further, he used the analogy of a prison. If someone’s son is imprisoned for a crime, the parents can visit him in prison but are helpless to bring him out, since he is legally subject to punishment. Likewise, we are all imprisoned by Satan to whom we have handed over power over us, and thus God Himself is helpless to bring us out. The way we can help God to bring us out of the prison is to say the protection prayers so Satan no longer has power over us and thus God can bring us out of the prison.
5. On serving God
At one point he asked us what the purpose of human life is and one person answered, “To know, love and serve God in this world and to be happy with Him in the next” and Fr. Vettiyankal answered, “That is the old formula. Take a look at the new CCC: There is no mention of serving him. Thus we can conclude that there is no need to serve God. What use is our service to an all-powerful God? It is enough to love him.”
A Psalm [40:6?] was used by Fr. Jose as the basis to assert that God does not need our sacrifices and thus we need to serve our fellow-men, but God does not need our service, being self-sufficient.
The theology of the Divine Mercy Chaplet
He mentioned some sacrifices instituted by God in Scripture:
a. The sacrifice of animals done by God in the OT to give skins to Adam and Eve
b. The sacrifice of a Lamb in the place of Isaac.
c. In Hebrew tradition, the first male child redeemed by the sacrifice of the lamb.
d. The temple sacrifice of the lamb and the scapegoat.
e. Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on the cross.
f. The Eucharistic sacrifice in the Mass that re-enacts Calvary.
g. The priest himself is a sacrificial lamb since he hears confessions and “carries the consequences of the sins of the penitents and transfers them to the Eucharistic bread which is broken for the sins of the penitents.”
h. Now, to all this he finally added the last sacrifice which he labelled as the “Divine Mercy Lamb” and this is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy which, Fr. Vettiyankal says, was revealed by God through St. Faustina which Fr. Vettiyankal describes as a “sacrificial lamb that can be offered up by the laity by virtue of their sharing in the priestly office of Christ through their ordinary priesthood.” This Lamb [the Divine Mercy Chaplet] cancels all sufferings.
For this concept, he quoted Pope John Paul II in Dives Misericordia as an authority.
(This teaching of his can be read in greater detail on his website:
He gave compete assurance that all our personal problems, no matter how trivial, can be solved to our satisfaction through the Divine Mercy Chaplet. As an example for the trivial problems, he mentioned a child who was unhappy because his teacher at school gave preferential treatment to other students and treated him harshly. After the child met Fr. Vettiyankal, who asked him to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the behaviour of the teacher towards him changed and the teacher even made him the class monitor.
If even after praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we find that we still have problems in life, this only means that we have not prayed it enough times. If we continue to pray it more and more times, finally a point will be reached when all our sufferings are cancelled.
“Claiming our blessings”
In the session on financial healing Fr. Jose made some good points that those who trust in wealth will not enter eternal life, wealth is a gift from God, etc. but then he asserted that Christ wants to bless all Christians with material wealth. We only need to remember to be humble and help others with the wealth we receive. For this, he quoted the blessing of St. John to his disciple Gaius, where he prays that he may prosper in all things.
To explain the concept of “claiming our blessings” he used the analogy of a farmer who has taken large loans and whose crop has failed. Many such farmers commit suicide. However, the government sometimes offers waivers for such farmers. Other taxpayers have contributed to make this waiver possible. Thus the farmer must have the minimum humility to apply for the loan. Similarly, God gives us blessings, but we must “claim” them.
8. “We will be unable to commit sin”
At one point Fr. Jose stated that we cannot become good merely by trying, but we become good by God’s grace, but then from this
he drew the conclusion that if one has faith in Jesus, we will be unable to commit sins.
9. Fr. Jose asserted that CCC 1508 teaches that all priests receive the charism of healing on ordination.
[CCC 1508: The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that “in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church.”]
The frustrating point here is that all these dubious statements represent only around 5-10% of the things preached during the retreat. The vast majority of the things said were in accordance with Catholic doctrine. But this only makes it more problematic, since the idea of the prosperity gospel is well hidden among the other valid points that were taught and largely goes undetected by those attending the retreats. If only they could eliminate the prosperity gospel aspect, their retreats would be a very effective means of Catholic formation. [END]
This is exactly what a lot of good Catholics are going to be doing on reading this report:
In fact it is a uniquely charismatic phenomenon, where Catholics’ loyalties are not to the Truth or to the teachings of the Church but to individuals (prayer group leaders, retreat centre preachers, “elders”, the covenant communities that they belong to) and their personal interpretations of things Catholic.
They are going to be in denial that there could be any error in the preaching and teaching of Fr. Jose Vettiyankal. If there are any who want to debate the issue with me, I am not available for it.
My presentation here is complete. And final. I have attempted for more than a year to get clarifications from Fr. Jose himself, but he has elected to ignore every single communication from me even though he had several opportunities to explain himself and correct me if I was wrong.
Instead, they can have some of my comments on the scholar’s notes here (I am not theologically competent to rebut some of the issues that worry me, but I shall elaborate on those that I am certain about):
1. I have discussed the CCC, the Church’s teaching on suffering, redemptive suffering, victim souls, etc. in my JOHNSON SEQUEIRA 03 report. To teach that redemptive suffering is a “pre-Vatican II” concept is pure rubbish. There is a hermeneutic of continuity not of rupture between pre- and post-Vatican II teaching.
I am not aware that magisterial or catechetical teaching on suffering has changed since 1962-1965 (point no. 3 above).
I quote from “My Catholic Faith”, 1961 edition, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow of Krishnagar:
Sufferings should remind us that this is not our true home and that we are citizens of heaven. I will rejoice and be glad of your kindness when you have seen my affliction and watched over me in my distress (Psalm 30:8) Page 19
The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin. By original sin we become subject to disease and death. Page 49
The sufferings of Christ serve … as an example for us, to strengthen us under trials. Page 79
Even sickness and hardships are God’s graces and may be the steps by which to ascend to heaven. Page 89
Patience (is a moral virtue which) disposes us to bear up under trials and difficulties. In sickness and misfortune … bear fruit in patience. (Luke 8:15) Be patient in tribulation, persevering in prayer (Romans 12:12). Page 95
Those are blessed who suffer for Christ; they will receive an eternal reward. Page 101
So much for the no-suffering gospel of Fr. Jose!
Staying with point no. 3 above, I would like even one testimony, just one please, of any individual who has attended any charismatic retreat (Fr. Jose’s or any other) who has had no (even less) sufferings after that.
And I wonder what explanation Fr. Jose has for the brutal physical attack that was made on him a few months ago leaving him hospitalized and under medical treatment for quite some time to come.
When Fr. Jose cited CCC 680 he stated that “all things are not under the control of God“, but the CCC reads “all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him“. That’s two very different things!! Theologians please…
2. I have heard the “mosquitos will not bite” teaching (point no. 1 above) from Sr. Mary Usha SND during her Inner Healing retreat for the International Catholic Programme for Evangelization (ICPE) community in Bangalore in December 2000. She claimed that if we live holy lives and are under “the anointing”, the critters will not dare bite us! Fr. Jose provides for us the ointment of additional “protection prayers”.
The combination also ensures that our financial problems are taken care of. But of course, one must tithe.
My wife and I are baptized, have attended scores of charismatic retreats, (try to) live in the state of sanctifying grace and tithe well beyond the oft-cited 10%, but we fall ill, have surgeries, meet with accidents, and incur heavy expenses on vehicle breakdowns and household appliances’ repairs. And are bitten by mosquitos too! Obviously we do not meet God’s expectations somewhere. Or maybe we are not saying the right prayers. Oops, I forgot, we also recite the daily rosary… and the Divine Mercy Chaplet!!
Funny thing is, despite all of that topped with regular sacramental Confessions, we still are inclined to commit sin!!! So which part of the anointing have we missed out on?
3. This (nos. 2 and 4 above) I have heard from Fr. Jose in every single one-dayer or retreat of his that I attended. Psalm 90:10. Seventy is the sum of our years or eighty if we are strong. He once advised us to not attend the funeral of a person who dies before the Scripture-stipulated time. I hope he does not deny saying that.
A human being is expected to live for at least 70 years according to the Bible. If one dies earlier, Fr. Jose has a two-word diagnosis: “Satanic attack”. A relative of mine died suddenly at 51 leaving four young children. His grieving widow was given that analysis when she asked Fr. Jose “why?” And she was and continues to be a regular at Logos and wherever Fr. Jose preaches in Bangalore. Of course, when she protested, Fr. Jose offered some other explanation, and after that yet another.
The average life expectancy of an Indian man/woman is below 70. Where does that leave us?
That of a native of some African nations hovers around 50. Is their solution to that problem to convert to Christianity? Would Fr. Jose cite that Psalm in Sierra Leone which has the lowest life expectancy in the world (below 50)? And what would he say to the average Japanese who can expect to live beyond 80?
Recent projections for the year 2050 are over 90 years for many developed nations (presently in the high 80s) and will probably continue to rise with developments in science and medicine.
I reproduce here the lines of Fr. Jose’s teaching that I coloured red from point no. 2 above:
If we are in a situation where we face death before that, we ought to contact him and ask him to pray for us, whereupon we will be rescued from death. Above the age of 80, however, he said, even his prayers can’t ward off death from us… he assured us that
all the attendees of the retreat would have the special blessing never to die in any accident.
(Before someone starts ranting at me, please take a good like at all the lines in red colour on pages 3 to 6.)
4. Apart from the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, our extended family is habituated to this daily prayer:
In the name of Jesus, the Son of the Living God, in the name of Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, we confront every spell, spirit, power and work of darkness and command you to go to the feet of Jesus to be bound and never to return.
Lord Jesus, cover us your children with your most precious Blood and let us experience the fullness of your redemption.
But Fr. Jose, during personal counseling, instructed one of our relatives to refrain from saying that prayer, which precedes any family devotion, and many have done so, unfortunately.
I am not aware of what alternative “protection prayers” (point no. 4 above) Fr. Jose recommends as I have not attended longer than a two-day retreat of his.
This guilt instilled in a certain woman is also very dangerous and un-Catholic: “her failure to pray protection prayers over her daughter was what had exposed her daughter to dangers and thus led to her death. On hearing this, the lady accepted that her daughter’s death was her fault“. I do not need to elaborate.
5. However, it leads to two other teachings of his “Claiming our blessings” (point no. 7 above) and the repetition of the Divine Mercy Chaplet (point no. 6 above).
“God gives us blessings, but we must “claim” them“.
“If even after praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we find that we still have problems in life, this only means that we have not prayed it enough times. If we continue to pray it more and more times, finally a point will be reached when all our sufferings are cancelled“.
Fr. Jose has taken a beautiful thing, the Chaplet, and turned it into a burden for many. One is instructed to pray the Chaplet hourly for nine hours consecutively or for nine days… and so on. If that is somehow excusable, it after all being a pious devotion that can only do more good than harm, what happens once the prescription is filled out and the remedy is not forthcoming? It leads to a complex of guilt and possible loss of faith for some. The Chaplet has become a tool to promote a gospel of prosperity.
This is what Johnson Sequeira teaches… but by employing affirmations and repetition of Scripture verses.
The will of God does not seem to figure in their scheme of things. Neither does the gospel of suffering.
You’ve a God-given right to be healed and prospered, only you must do this or that over and over again.
Once, I pointed out to Fr. Jose that during a Divine Mercy week retreat he did not teach his listeners that they could gain a plenary indulgence along with the recitation of the Novena of the Chaplet. Now that‘s Catholic and a heaven-backed guarantee against some real suffering (Purgatory). The following year I came to hear that Fr. Jose mentioned the indulgence at the Divine Mercy week retreat.
He is a very humble and very teachable priest, and both my scholar friend and I hope and pray that this report will have a beneficial result after it reaches Fr. Jose, though I wish that he had answered my many emails and not allowed the report to happen.
In case I did not mention it before, people have orally (a few in writing) expressed their problems on the very same issues that my scholar friend has raised. And a few have made fruitless enquiries with Fr. Jose.
6. If I didn’t trust my scholar friend’s integrity completely, I would ask for someone else to confirm to me if they also have heard Fr. Jose say that the new CCC doesn’t mention that one is created to serve God (point no. 5 above) and give me the Psalm that the priest cites to reach the conclusion “that God does not need our sacrifices and thus we need to serve our fellow-men“. I would also ask for confirmation that Fr. Jose asserted that “if one has faith in Jesus, we will be unable to commit sins” (point no. 8 above). But the scholar is no still-wet-behind-the-ears charismatic initiate, and I believe that he wrote down what he heard.
He is correct when he says that Fr. Jose says that the present CCC does not mention “serving” God. It only talks of knowing and loving Him. But because it doesn’t say that one is created to serve God it does not necessarily mean that one is not created to serve God, that one does not “need to serve Him” and the rest.
When one wants to affirm a pre-decided statement, one can always make Scripture citations to that end.
Also, CCC 1508 does NOT say that “all priests receive the charism of healing on ordination” (point no. 9 above).
Instead, most interestingly it says “But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses” and “the sufferings to be endured can mean that “in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church.””
So the very same #1508 obliterates all of the prosperity gospel that Fr. Jose teaches on human illness, disease and suffering.
SECTION B: “PROPHECIES”
A person I met related to me in his own words this experience of his at Logos Retreat Centre:
During the retreat, another priest clearly mentioned during a talk that as part of the exercise of prudence with the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they had a strict policy never to tell anyone whether they had a vocation [to the priesthood] and if so, what it was, even if it was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.
So, keeping this in mind, when I met Fr. Jose at the end of the retreat, I […] merely mentioned that I was attempting to discern a vocation in order to ask for his prayers. However, he prayed for a few seconds and told me, “You get married. If you were meant to have another vocation, you would have entered the seminary before now.”
However, when I met the other priest later, he encouraged me to continue to discern a vocation, even after I told him what Fr. Jose had said.
Before I had ever introduced my ministry to Fr. Jose, I attended a one-day recollection at Logos in the first weekend of February 2001. Fr. Jose was the preacher. At the end of the day, he sat to pray for individuals and to counsel them. I was in the process of making a decision on whether to continue with the International Catholic Programme for Evangelization (ICPE) community which I had joined, or to leave and to go into ministry independently. After a few seconds of prayer, the priest asked me to “join ICPE”. I once again explained my dilemma more clearly and his advice to me was to “be there” in ICPE. Because I had been having such a strong inspiration to leave ICPE, I appealed to Fr. Jose a third time. After a brief prayer, he instructed me to leave the community. Which I did a few days later.
When I shared this the next day with Fritz Mascarenhas, the director of ICPE, he expressed strong reservations about Fr. Jose’s discernment, saying that the priest had advised an individual not to attend the first ICPE School in 2000. My reaction was to defend Fr. Jose since he had confirmed what I had being wanting to hear. It did not dawn on me until more than a decade later, that Fr. Jose had not given me one single clear response but three.
That was when my niece lost her young husband at the age of 51 (see page 7). During counseling, Fr. Jose called his premature death a “Satanic attack”. Of course, she protested, and Father prayed again and gave another, different explanation. This continued for some time, and she conveyed to me how distressing it was to hear Fr. Jose change his verdict several times over.
Please read the email letter from Name Withheld 2
towards the end of this present report.
I have heard shocking reports from people who are very close to both me as well as Fr. Jose and so they will have to remain unidentified.
In one case, an individual asked Fr. Jose two questions:
1. What happened to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370?
2. Which party would win the 2014 general elections?
Fr. Jose wrote back to him (and I have seen the email on his mobile phone):
1. The plane was hijacked and in the ensuing fight with the passengers for control, the plane went down into the sea. (This week’s news: the captain of MH 370 had taken the same route as the actual flight did on its disappearance, on his home flight simulator. Nothing to do with hijacking!)
2. Fr. Jose prophesied that no single party would win a clear majority. (We know that the Bharatiya Janata Party did!)
In a second case, a Bangalore couple with one of their parents from another city came to Logos in 2014 for prayer for two reasons:
1. A close relative was dying of cancer.
2. The lady was pregnant, having a hard time, and wanted to be prayed for.
Fr. Jose’s prophecies were:
1. Not to worry, the pregnancy would come to full term. (It didn’t she delivered six weeks before term!)
2. The relative would completely recover. (He died two days later!)
I suffer from many permanent disabilities including an ability to walk properly. Fr. Jose publicly announced my healing (see p. 15) and I discarded my walking stick, but I still cannot walk properly. I’m okay with that.
The first time that I heard Fr. Jose Vettiyankal preach was in 1999 at the Divine Bible College Muringoor, which I was attending. I was very impressed by his hour-long talk and his testimony.
The second time was at Logos Retreat Centre in February 2001 when I attended a one-day recollection.
At the end of the day, I went to him for discernment regarding a decision that I had to make. See Section B.
When I went online with my web site and email in 2003, I included Fr. Jose on my mailing list, and there were times when he would consult me for my opinion on matters like whether it was okay for some charismatic priests to be chanting the “OM” mantra.
At the XV National Charismatic Convention in Goa, November 12-15, 2012, Fr. Jose and I were hosted by a family at their spacious bungalow and we had several opportunities for discussions.
During one of them, he confidently advised me to complete my two unfinished Master of Arts degrees (Christian Studies; Religion and Philosophy) and then study for a Ph. D. (I almost obeyed him.)
From August 2012 to March 2014, after a gap of 11 years, I attended several day-long sessions of Fr. Jose in Chennai and Bangalore; a couple of times there were two-day sessions. They were always in churches, colleges or Catholic halls where he did not elaborate as much as my scholar friend reported in February 2016 and so, despite paying close attention, I did not find more than a few teachings that troubled me.
At each of the venues, Fr. Jose pointed me out in the crowd and commended my ministry of Catholic apologetics and my exposing teaching and other errors; he would do so at least twice in a single day.
In March 2014, I requested Fr. Jose to write the Foreword to my forthcoming (still incomplete) book on the New Age Movement, and he immediately agreed; so I have no personal agenda in writing this report.
After the two-day August 2012 retreat in Chennai, I wrote to Fr. Jose regarding some of the liturgical aberrations during his Masses, and to his great credit, he put an end to them all. See Section C, below.
About the Orans position (extending of hands during the Lord’s Prayer), Father stopped orally inviting the congregation to join him in doing so, but to the best of my knowledge he has not corrected them.
Seeing his simplicity and familiarity with me, as compared to most other priests and preachers, I allowed him a wider margin on the other issues that worried me. That turned out to be a mistake.
But as I began to raise other issues about his teachings with him, he started to ignore my communications.
As the increasing number of his false prophecies was brought to my notice by very reliable people, I became more and more concerned and started seriously questioning him from around December 2014/January 2015, announcing my “intention to publish” a report if he did not provide me with satisfactory answers.
He did not respond. All follow-up letters and reminders from me were also ignored by Fr. Jose.
As recently as the last few weeks, I once again sent reminders to him about them, followed by my reports on the dubious teachings and practices of his friend Johnson Sequeira, all of which he has chosen to ignore.
A few examples of the referred emails are reproduce below.
Finally, I wrote him and to my Archbishop on July 24, 2016, see the letter on page 2 of the present file.
A 2004-2012 SELECTION OF FR. JOSE’S MANY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF MY LETTERS TO HIM
This is to show the reader that he held my ministry in great esteem and despite that he chose not to reply to me on certain issues (e.g. the Johnson Sequeira issue in June 2007, in 2012, and finally in 2014/2015)
Subject: Re: WRITE-UP ON REIKI: 22/32
Thank you very much this article. In fact I was looking for the same, timely you have sent it. Thank you very much. May God bless your ministry. Fr. Jose
Thank you for this mail. I got all your material. All these materials and information are much useful in my ministry. May Jesus bless you more and more in your ministry. Fr. Jose
I appreciate your concern. I am in Kottayam as the new provincial superior. Thank you for subscribing for the magazines.
I keep all your prayer intentions in my daily adoration and holy mass. My present address is at the end of this mail, all in web nityaradhana.com. May God Bless you. Fr. Jose.
Dear Prabhu I received your mail. May God bless you. Fr .Jose
Dear Michael, I pray that Divine may not allow him to do some mission there. I am In Germany now for one month. I will be back to India on August 15th. Fr. Jose
Subject: Re: ELAVOOR CONVENTION: THE DIVINE MERCY CONVENTION, APRIL 13, 14, 15
Dear Prabhu, I appreciate your watchfulness and hard work for the church and catholic faith. I pray for the success of your ministry. Fr. Jose
Subject: Re: MAY I HAVE YOUR TELEPHONE NO. PLEASE
Dear Michael, Given below is my postal address and telephone no. Fr Jose
Fr. Jose Vettiyankal V.C De Paul Garden Sitharpatti P.O. Ganesapuram Theni – 625 512 Tamil Nadu Phone: 04546238081
Dear Michael, […] I am always in your service.
Could you clarify one thing? Is it allowed to Use “Om” symbol or sound by Catholics in the church? Priests in Varanasi are using it. Is it O.K. or is there any ban from CBCI? Fr. Jose
Subject: Re: SEVERAL NEW SECTIONS, OVER 200 NEW ARTICLES, REPORTS AND EXPOSES, TESTIMONIES AND COMPILATIONS ON OUR WEB SITE
Thank you for this previous information. Sent from my iphone
Subject: Re: PERSONAL FOR FR. JOSE – FROM MICHAEL PRABHU, CHENNAI
I have received your intentions and I pray for you. Jesus will give the answer.
I wish you a happy birthday in advance and God’s blessings upon you always.
Sunil may contact me after June 19th on my mobile phone no. 8086009609.
God bless you. Fr. Jose, Vincentian Provincial House, S. H. Mount P.O. Kottayam-6, Kerala
SECTION C: LITURGICAL ERRORS CORRECTED
Correction of liturgical errors during the Masses celebrated by Fr. Jose in August 2012 (some aberrations were praying in tongues, the invitation by Father to the faithful to extend their hands during the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer), and the sharing of healing testimonies to the applause of the congregation:
Subject: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU
Dear Father Jose,
First let me thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a good retreat under you August 17-19 at Nava Spoorthi Kendra in Bangalore.
1a. Your invitation, as the Celebrant at Holy Mass, for the faithful to extend their hands [in the Orans
position (sometimes called
orante)] while saying the Lord’s Prayer is apparently not allowed for the congregation.
NOT PERMITTED: HOLDING HANDS AND ORANS POSITION DURING THE OUR FATHER
Since no exceptions are apparently permitted, I trust that you will do the needful in the future.
1b. From the extensive studies, research and compilations of Catholic information made by me, I understand that the rubrics of the Holy Mass do not allow for either praying in tongues or applause at any time during the Mass itself. No one is allowed to innovate or add to or subtract from the liturgy.
HOLY MASS RUBRICS-FLOWER ARANGEMENTS, THE ALTAR, PRAYING IN TONGUES, NON-CATHOLIC LECTORS, ETC.
APPLAUSE, JOKES, AND SAYING GOOD MORNING AT MASS
CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
[EXCESSES, see page 3 of the file]
While these issues may appear to be very minor, as indeed they are, if viewed independently of each other, they accumulate and are repeated by charismatic leaders and faithful all over the Church, giving rise to a whole system of liturgical abuse.
2. The worship leader/key-board player Brother Ness.
I noticed a few significant errors and possibilities for improvement in his key role and approached him in all humility to ask him to consider the facts. I did this on the night of the 17th, the first day of the retreat as we were preparing to return to our lodgings.
Some of the points raised by me are enumerated below:
a) “I can still see some people sitting down” is close to what Bro. Ness repeated when some people continued to sit during action songs and ice-breakers.
There were around half a dozen retreatants who were physically disabled and cannot lift their arms or run around, and a couple of them shared with me their discomfort as attention was directed to them by repeated announcements. I simply suggested to Bro. Ness that he could qualify those announcements by suggesting an exclusion for those who were aged or disabled, handicapped or invalides. Having once been worship leaders [with my wife], I experienced how some retreatants — especially first timers or those with problems brought along by relatives for prayer — feel about these things.
b) i. One does not say “The First Reading” and “The Second Reading” before each of the Readings.
The corresponding notations in the Missal are only for our guidance/information, not for reading out.
ii. The Responsorial Psalm.
By virtue of its very description, there is a Psalm proclaimed by the lector and a response from the congregation. However, Bro. Ness led the congregation in a SONG. The Responsorial Psalm is NOT TO BE SUNG. We were obliged to sing a Responsorial Psalm even when there was no second reading.
iii. The reader’s invitation to “Please stand for the Gospel Acclamation”.
One does not stand for the Gospel Acclamation. One stands for the Gospel. Hence, only, “Please stand”; or use the “Hallelujah…” upon which the congregation will automatically rise.
I limit myself here to these few examples.
I would like to add that I was not the only retreatant to note the above issues. One of my two web masters was also making the retreat along with a couple of Catholic apologists as well as ministry-leaders from another State and it is their consensus too that has prompted my writing this letter to you. Our retreats can be vehicles for correction of error and abuse not only in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal but also in the Church at large.
Brother Ness did not take kindly to my suggestions and corrections. He said that no one has ever taken issue with him till now. He repeated the same things on day two as well as on the final day. Before leaving on the 19th, I approached him once again to see if he would listen to my advice and to my suggestions about educating oneself as a liturgy leader, but he remained adamant. Hence, I am obliged to write this letter to you, Father.
Subject: Re: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU
Glad to see you again soon in Bangalore. Your suggestions are very correct. I want to do everything as church wants to do. I will make all corrections as you suggested. It is very important. I will ask Ness also to do corrections. Your intentions are also in my daily prayers. Fr. Jose
SOME UNANSWERED LETTERS FROM ME TO FR. JOSE
The very first unanswered letter was my alert to him on Johnson Sequeira in 2007 (he also ignored two reminders):
Subject: BRO. JOHNSON SEQUEIRA/PASTOR ANTHONY SAMUEL
SUBJECT: BRO. JOHNSON SEQUEIRA OF MUMBAI
Dear Rev. Fr. Jose,
I was informed by several concerned charismatics from Bangalore that Bro. Johnson Sequeira of Mumbai ministered along with you at the recent Pentecost night vigil in Bangalore.
He is due to give a programme there again at Nirmala School in Bangalore, June 30/July 1.
Bishop Bosco of Bombay informed me that Bro. Johnson is banned from public ministry in his diocese.
This ministry’s alert on Bro. Johnson will be issued shortly.
This is for your kind information please. Kindly acknowledge receipt.
Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai www.ephesians-511.net
Another important letter that went unanswered, 2012:
Subject: 1. CONFESSIONS AND 2. PLENARY INDULGENCE
Dear Fr. Jose,
May I suggest that the organisers of all your programs anywhere in India arrange for a priest or priests to hear confessions?
Some people whom I brought along to your retreat at Loyola College yesterday were attending for the first time.
They were wondering about there being no priest available for hearing confessions despite the venue being a Catholic campus.
It is becoming more and more difficult to find priests waiting in confessionals in the parishes in Chennai even once a week.
When entire families attend your programs, it is a God-sent opportunity for children and grandchildren to be presented with the opportunity to utilise the Sacrament.
Even I myself was looking forward to making a confession yesterday to avail myself of the Plenary Indulgence which I understand was available to retreatants who attended your talks.
At your service in Jesus’ Name, Michael Prabhu
Two very important letters that went unacknowledged, March 2014:
Subject: CONCERNING THE LITURGY OF THE HOLY MASS DURING FR. JOSE’S RETREAT BCC:
Fr. Jose Vettiyankal
Dear Fr. Bernard Lawrence,
I attended the two-day retreat of Fr. Jose Vettiyankal VC at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Velachery, of which you are the Parish Priest, on March 22 and 23, 2014.
I thank you for making it possible for Catholics from all over Chennai to attend the programme and to receive Fr. Jose’s magisterial teachings from the Catechism, the Compendium and the YouCat.
Holy Mass was concelebrated by you and Fr. Jose on both days.
When Fr. Jose celebrates Holy Mass, he adheres faithfully to the rubrics of the liturgy and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). I have attended several Masses celebrated by him in other cities as well.
Unlike other charismatic priests in similar ministries, he does not use or permit testimonies, applause, praying in tongues, etc. between the initial and final blessings (that is, during Mass). He also does not invite or encourage the faithful to lift their hands a la celebrant in the Orans position. He is faithful to the rubrics.
To the best of my knowledge, the above are errors or abuses or aberrations, depending on which expert gives his opinion.
wherein I have collated and referenced Catholic teaching on these issues.
Please correct me, with proper documentation, in case I am wrong, so that I may learn what is correct.
On Saturday the 22nd, I was outside the hall, in the confession queue for the major part of the Mass.
But I was in the pews the following day and I noted with great dismay and sadness that after the Holy Communion service and before the final blessing, Fr. Jose was covered with a ponnadai (shawl) by you while you thanked him for preaching the retreat and he was also given a love-offering by your parishioners. Very naturally, the faithful followed your example and clapped their hands on both occasions.
Then you thanked — and invited us to join you in thanking — a number of people including the praise and worship team, the people who provided the sound system, etc. Once again, there was applause, during Holy Mass.
There is no provision for all this in the rubrics, and Rome strongly disapproves of our innovating and departing from them, but it has become commonplace because this is what is happening every Sunday in almost every parish church to a greater or lesser extent.
To Catholics like me who try to learn, teach and practice orthodoxy and orthopraxis, attendance at such Masses becomes very painful. How can one as a priest or lay person in ministry teach others to honour and obey Church teaching when one doesn’t first learn what is right and then fraternally insist that others adhere to the same?
During Holy Mass, the focus has to be on the altar and on Jesus Christ, not on dignitaries and animators.
The lack of fidelity of the priests and lay leaders to Church rules has resulted in a great pandemic of irreverence at Sunday Mass — which can be noted by observing the behaviour of the average Catholic during the services.
People have begun to see Mass as just another community gathering or entertainment.
I have noted just a few issues. There are even more basic infractions committed by celebrants, lectors, choir, etc. that have become routine (even for lay leaders in ministry); for instance priests wishing the congregation “good morning” after the initial blessing and receiving a response from them; priests asking questions of or dialoguing with the congregation during the homily; use of a hymn instead of the Responsorial Psalm; use of a pamphlet instead of a Lectionary by the “readers”; announcing the “First Reading” and the “Second Reading” and the request to “please stand for the Gospel Acclamation“, ad libbing by the celebrant, to name just a few.
In case you are certain that I am in error anywhere, I welcome your pastoral advice and correction.
Yours obediently, Michael Prabhu
Catholic apologist, 2461 1606
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:55 PM Subject: LITURGICAL DEVIATIONS
Dear Fr. Jose,
It was a blessing and privilege for me to attend your retreat last weekend. I also thank you for honouring me by speaking about my unique ministry on several occasions.
The prayer group leaders and praise and worship leaders and their families are all my close friends; they communicate with me on email and even visit our home. They do that because they know that my teachings are correct. However, they have never invited and will never invite me to speak to their prayer groups. In the final analysis, they seek to please men and not God. There are almost no exceptions except in Goa with all the prolifers.
It is in that context that I must thank you again… for agreeing to write a recommendation for my forthcoming book on the New Age. It will not only be a great boost for my ministry and my credibility but it will reach the hands and hearts of people who are now not made accessible to me by the leaders.
In respect of the liturgy too, there is no way of correcting the errors that now lay hold of the Holy Mass everywhere, especially the Sunday and Feast Day services. You have read by now the copy of my letter to Fr. Bernard Lawrence. If he responds, I wll let you know what he says. I marked BCC of it also to the praise and worship team and the prayer group leaders.
It is my strong opinion that since you are already so faithful in your preaching fidelity to magisterial teaching in all other areas, you might include ten or fifteen minutes in your retreats just to correct the people on the liturgical aspects that they so commonly err. Otherwise, how will they learn to conduct themselves correctly during Mass?
In some parishes, dances and small dramas are the order of the day. Applause is an integral part of Mass and so is thanking all and sundry for their contributions to entertaining the congregation.
I intend, with the grace of God, to bring out a second book, this time on common liturgical errors.
You noticed during the Sunday Mass that when you testified about a healing, the congregation spontaneously applauded. That is because they were already primed by past events in their parishes and by what Fr Bernard Lawrence had initiated earlier. Following that trend you yourself dictated a contact number and people took out their telephones to record the same. While one isolated instance is in itself not serious and is excusable, one has to look at the overall trend of things and so avoid any sign of violating the rubrics.
God bless you for being so humble and approachable.
Love and prayers, Michael Prabhu
Here’s one of December 2014:
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 9:27 PM Subject: PURGATORY, INDULGENCES, ANOINTING OF THE SICK, PREPARATION FOR A HAPPY DEATH, etc. — AND A QUESTION FOR YOU PLEASE
Dear Father Jose,
After hearing you say in a retreat that a Catholic who receives the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will not go to Purgatory but will go straight to heaven, I started to share that with all my relatives and friends.
I do not know if I heard that or if I misinterpreted you.
Somewhat later, I began to read up on the subject. It took me more than a month.
The titles and links below are the fruit of that study.
What I now understand is that the Sacrament forgives all sins, but the temporal punishment due to sin still remains.
For the latter, the sick or dying person needs to receive the Apostolic Blessing or Pardon which carries a Plenary Indulgence.
Please correct me if I am wrong as I do not want error on my web site.
Thank you. Michael Prabhu
INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA-WHEREBY THE REVISION OF SACRED INDULGENCES IS PROMULGATED
PAUL VI JANUARY 1, 1967
THE NEW ENCHIRIDION INDULGENTIARUM
ANOINTING OF THE SICK APOSTOLIC BLESSING AND A PLENARY INDULGENCE
PLENARY INDULGENCES AND PRAYERS FOR A HAPPY DEATH
REVELATION OF HELL AND PURGATORY TO ST BRIDGET
HOW TO ACQUIRE PLENARY INDULGENCES AND AVOID PURGATORY
Subject: Re: LITURGICAL DEVIATIONS
After a third unsuccessful reminder against all of the above, I convey my decision to Fr. Jose:
INTIMATION OF INTENTION TO PUBLISH ON MY WEB SITE – 1 – CONCERNING THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK AND PLENARY INDULGENCES
Dear Fr. Jose,
As per the impartial principles that I follow in my ministry, I will be constrained to publish on my web site that my emails to you seeking clarification on a very important issue related to the Faith and on which you have preached, have not been answered by you even after several reminders from me. […]
INTIMATION OF INTENTION TO PUBLISH ON MY WEB SITE – 2 – CONCERNING DELIVERANCE MINISTRY AND THE LITURGY
Dear Fr. Jose,
My emails to you seeking clarification on other issues have not been acknowledged by you. […] Michael Prabhu
INTIMATION OF INTENTION TO PUBLISH ON MY WEB SITE – 3 – CONCERNING LITURGICAL ABUSES
Dear Fr. Jose,
My emails to you reporting liturgical abuses by the parish priest at your retreat have not been acknowledged by you. […]
INTIMATION OF INTENTION TO PUBLISH ON MY WEB SITE – 4 – CONCERNING A RETREATANT’S LETTERS SEEKING TWO CLARIFICATIONS FROM YOU
Dear Fr. Jose,
The two questions concerning a liturgical issue (the Orans position) and a repeated teaching (about the longevity of man’s life) at your retreats have not been answered by you. […] Michael Prabhu
LATEST REPORT ON JOHNSON SEQUEIRA AND JCIL MINISTRIES-1
Dear Archbishops and Bishops and Reverend Fathers,
Please find the report attached.
If you have any responses they are welcome, to be included before the file is uploaded on our web site.
This email (July 2016) is the last, after which I wrote to my Archbishop (page 2):
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 16:37:42 +0530
Dear Fr. Jose,
You have persistently declined to answer my many emails to you over the last more than two years, all of them on serious issues, see below, despite your publicly acknowledging the faithful Catholicity of my ministry during the course of your preaching at several retreats that you gave in Bangalore and in Chennai which I attended with my family and relatives.
I would like to now inform you that I was not healed of my inability to walk properly as announced by you at a retreat that you gave at Loyola College, Chennai, or as made known by you later at a retreat in Goa and which was telephonically communicated to me immediately. I remain very much the same.
People have shared with me, and I concur with them, their uneasiness about your repeated insistence using Psalm 90:10 that if someone dies before 70, it is a matter of concern (you say that many things that happen to individuals are demonic attacks) and I once heard you say that we need not attend the funeral of a person who dies prematurely.
Some of my friends and relatives who are regulars since many years at your retreats have informed me that your prophecies of healing etc. for them did not materialise. In a few cases the exact opposite happened.
Messages that you gave me during anonymous counseling in February 2001 at Logos were incorrect and so was your advice for me during the Goa charismatic convention 2012 to pursue my higher studies.
Other email messages that you gave others on worldly matters, not spiritual ones, proved false. I was surprised to read them considering that you have not answered my emails on serious Faith-related issues.
All of the oral information that I have received is from very, very reliable persons, most of whom I know for the last 16 to 25 years. One person is a relatively new acquaintance but he showed me your email messages on his smart phone.
I have waited a long time for some response from you or a change in the prosperity-type teachings that you interweave in your otherwise good ministry. But neither is forthcoming.
You yourself have testified publicly to my impartiality concerning orthodoxy and orthopraxis.
I am sorry.
ONE EXAMPLE OF AN AUTORESPONSE
FROM FR. JOSE’S COMPUTER SHOWING THAT ALL MY MAILS ARE RECEIVED BY HIM:
(Subject: FROM MICHAEL PRABHU) Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 04:37:52 -0700
Dear Child of God
“Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in Jesus and His Father – (Jn 14:1)”. He will fulfil all your needs.
I have received your email.
I have noted down the content. I continuously pray for the fulfilment of your intentions. When you are blessed please contact me with a positive testimony.
Your Brother in Christ Jesus
Rev Fr Jose Vettiyankal V.C.
SOME LETTERS FROM OTHERS CONCERNING FR. JOSE’S TEACHINGS AND PROPHECIES
Dear Rev. Fr. Jose,
Not to keep my family spiritually dry, I had taken them for a Bible and success meet held by a bro. Joseph Louis* on 25th of this month. In the course of the meet Joseph asked a question on what was the life span of man? Having attended your retreats held at Chennai, I answered 70 to 80 years and quoted Psalm 90:10 to which he answered that it was wrong, God made it 120 years as mentioned in Genesis, and he then went on to say not to just quote from the middle of the bible but to read from Genesis and then answer. He said that the Psalm answer was wrong .Anyway I kept quiet because there were Hindus too there. *See list of files at the end of the present file
My next doubt is as I mentioned in the previous mail, Michael Prabhu is a very close and very good family friend who also guides us spiritually, advised us not to extend our hands while praying the Lord’s Prayer. But I see everyone extending their hands even at your Eucharistic celebrations. I am in a fix whether to extend my hands or not, because I have 3 children and like them to follow only the teachings of our holy Catholic Church, so please Fr. Jose kindly enlighten me on this.
Thank you and God bless and protect you always.
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 8:40 PM Subject: Reply
I sent that mail to Fr Jose because Father always mentions that we should live up to 80 years according to Psalm 90:10. Any untoward happening that causes a person to die earlier is from the evil one.
Name Withheld 2
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 09:41:44 +0530 Subject: A sharing
Regarding Fr Jose, I also had seen a recent prophecy not coming true where the timeline and a date was specifically given to one of my friends regarding a healing. But it did not come to pass. Upon inquiring with several people about why this happened, without disclosing his name, they all had no answer. They all did agree that if the Holy Spirit revealed certain specific timelines then it should have been definite. I also was in doubt for quite some time.
This friend of mine had to undergo a very critical operation. She is recovering well but I felt that she still has a doubt as to why the prophecy did not come true.
Nevertheless, this incident has taught me to depend on Jesus and not follow blindly any prophecy but to seek the Holy Spirit’s discernment. I hope I haven’t sounded judgemental about Fr Jose whom I have deep respect. I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals what is the truth.
1. This report is not about a person in ministry’s making mistakes. As this individual (a close friend of Fr. Jose) writing to me agrees, we all do. The issue is about being reachable and being teachable which we see that Fr. Jose was not, at least as far as this ministry is concerned, in the matter of the prosperity gospel, etc.
To: Name Withheld 3
Subject: Easter 2015 Greetings Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2015 21:29:01 +0530
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2015 07:33:19 +0530
[…] You may not want to write to me in future… I don’t know. The reason for this is that I intend to publish on my web site that there are errors in the preaching and counseling of Fr. Jose Vettiyankal. Everybody in ministry makes errors, even I do, and we need to acknowledge and correct them when brought to our notice; but the problem here is that Fr. Jose has not replied with clarifications to my several emails pointing them out.
If he does not acknowledge, explain or correct them, it is my ministry to make them known.
Please pray for Father and for me, because I like him very much and he is a good man. He has even kindly agreed to write a Foreword to my forthcoming book on New Age, but I cannot be partial to anyone.
Love and prayers, Michael Prabhu
Subject: Thanks for your Easter Greetings! Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2015 15:11:18 +0530
Dear Br. Michael, Sr. Angela,
[…] I am not aware of the errors in the counselling and preaching of Fr Jose as mentioned in your email.
I had met him in January and also had attended the Peniel Youth international conference during the last week of Jan.
Fr Jose is a good person and as you said all of us make mistakes.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT IS NEW AGE
2. It was informed to me that Fr. Jose, after the brutal assault on him a few months ago, went to Arya Vaidya Sala, Kotakkal, district Mallapuram, Kerala, for treatment.
Lord Viswambhara (our presiding deity)
If that is true, it must be said that Ayurveda is underlined by the Vedic (Hindu) philosophical understanding of the nature of man (which is antithetical to Biblical revelation) and these beliefs play a key role in the analyses, prescriptions and remedies of the vaids who treat their patients.
Some of the native Ayurvedic approaches would even qualify as New Age.
AYURVEDA AND YOGA-DR EDWIN A NOYES
AYURVEDIC REMEDIES CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR HEALTH
AYURVEDIC REMEDIES CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR THE SOUL
The scholar had note that in the Inner Healing retreat of February 2016, Fr. Jose had warned of the dangers of Divination, Clairvoyance, Vaastu Shastra, Feng Shui, the Ouija Board, Necromancy, Astrology, Black Magic, Horoscopes, NLP, Vipassana, Reiki and Pranic Healing. He doesn’t recall any mention of Yoga and Ayurveda.
3. Suffering in the life of St. Faustina and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
She died at the very young age of 33. She contracted tuberculosis (TB) a year before Jesus first appeared to her, though the disease was identified only much later. Faustina submitted herself to God as a “victim soul”: In the English-subtitled Polish move Faustyna (which I watched last night), she says, “All the graces that Jesus grants me come by way of suffering” and she prays, “If my suffering can rouse those who are suffering from a lack of trust in you love, then, Lord, take my pain. Accept my suffering and give me even more.”
The Nine Day Divine Mercy Novena is for nine different categories of souls in need of God’s mercy and doesn’t anywhere disavow suffering.
As a matter of fact, Fr. Jose himself has published a beautiful 96-page booklet with the devotions; in it, he says, “If healing does not take place, you will get the gift of joyful suffering” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I have in my possession two other good little booklets of Fr. Jose, Inner Healing, Deliverance and Infilling of the Holy Spirit (56 pages) and another with the same title (47 pages).
Jesus told St. Faustina: “I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners.” Read more at On the Mystery of Offering up Our Sufferings
How to Pray for Sinners
Jesus also tells us how we should pray for souls, which is that we should become united with Him through love and through everything that makes up our everyday human life. We should also take part in His salvific work. He instructed St. Faustina, “You will join prayers, fasts, mortifications, labours and all sufferings to My prayer and sufferings and then they will have power before My Father”. (Diary 531)
The Value of our Personal Suffering
A special role in entreating God’s mercy for the world is played by suffering. “There is but one price at which souls are bought”, Jesus told St. Faustina, “and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross” (Diary 324). “Every conversion of a sinful soul demands sacrifice” (Diary 961). The Lord Jesus told St. Faustina: “I have need of your sufferings to rescue souls” (Diary 1612).”Help Me, My daughter to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the Heavenly Father for sinners” (Diary 1032).
On this issue, one person remarked to me:
Fr. Jose could easily point out that he had always admitted the possibility of God permitting great suffering to befall Saints, but those are, according to him, special cases, which we could emulate if we wished, but he would rather recommend ordinary people pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to cancel their sufferings.
4. Ancestral sins
Catholics regularly ask me about Fr. Jose’s insisting that we are not burdened by the sins of our forefathers and ancestors while they point out to me that one of the Divine Mercy prayers says in part “forgive us our sins and those of our forefathers through Your bloodshed”.
Fr. Jose is correct in saying that one is not affected by the sins of our forefathers.
The prayer is a supplication to God to forgive the sins of our forefathers who may be suffering in purgatory the remainder of the temporal punishment due to sin. It is not a prayer asking God to cover us with His protection against any potential punishment (suffering) that we may have to endure for our ancestors’ sins.
For clarity on this issue, I recommend reading
The Sins of Our Ancestors
THE CATHOLIC JESUS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE PROTESTANT JESUS
PROSPERITY GOSPEL AND THE CATHOLIC-ERROL FERNANDES
PROSPERITY GOSPEL VERSUS THE POVERTY GOSPEL-EDDIE RUSSELL
PROSPERITY GOSPEL-SUSAN BRINKMANN
SCANDALS OF THE PROSPERITY AND SUCCESS GOSPEL PREACHERS
*PREACHER JOSEPH LOUIS MASQUERADES AS A CATHOLIC