“What the Vatican is trying to do in India is simply invasion through the twin strategies of “Interfaith Dialogues” and “Inculturation”. The Congress led UPA government facilitates it by allowing the mushrooming of Christian NGOs and inflow of foreign funds to them. Pseudo Secular political parties turn a blind eye to the machinations of the Church for the sake of votebanks. The foreign controlled secular and slavish media connives with the Church and its devious agenda.” – Thamizhchelvan
On 7 November 2011, the Indore edition of DNA newspaper carried a news item titled, “Vatican Cardinal, Swamis to join hands at meet”. The report said that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from the Vatican, would lead a 30-member Catholic delegation for dialogue with a 30-member Hindu team led by Swami Shrikantananda, Head of the Ramakrishna Mission, at the Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, from Nov. 6 – 9. The theme of the four-day Hindu-Christian meet was: ‘Enhancing Hindu-Christian relations and collaboration for justice, peace and harmony’. (1)
The Cardinal’s visit was well planned, with an itinerary covering senior Hindu, Sikh and Jain religious leaders. Yet despite arrangements being made well in advance, the Hindu Samaj in general, including major organizations like RSS and VHP and many traditional Mathams and Peethams, was not aware of it. As the four-day meet concluded, “Vatican Insider” dated Nov. 10 reported:
- Before the assembly, composed of forty Catholic leaders and some thirty Hindu leaders, Cardinal Tauran said that religions are instruments of peace and unity, but was sorry to see that some groups still use violence in the name of religion, thereby creating mistrust between the communities: “It is urgent that we turn our backs on hatred,” said the Cardinal. These words are particularly important in the context of inter-religious tensions that exist in some parts of India, as reported by Eglises d’Asie, agency for Foreign Missions in Paris.
- Attacks against Christian communities have in fact resumed in Karnataka, a state South of India regularly plagued by waves of collective violence. On 3 November in Kankanady, the Catholic Church of Saint Alphonsa, of Syro-Malabar rite, was desecrated in the night by a group of young Hindus who wore saffron-colored bracelets. One of them was a guest of the student college located in the vicinity. (2)
The Mangalore incident quoted in the above report is a white lie. While it is true the said Church was stoned, the police and media reports clearly establish that a man was arrested on the spot for the crime, in an inebriated condition. The story of stoning by a gang of Hindu youth wearing saffron bracelets etc was concocted. (3)
This is how the Church makes use of events like Interfaith Dialogue! There seems to be no report from the Hindu side about what exactly had happened at the four-day meet; who accompanied Swami Srikantananda; the various websites of RK Mission seem to be silent.
The Amritsar Dialogue
Cardinal Tauran had a two-day meet with Sikh leaders at Amritsar, Nov. 11 & 12, on “Enhancing Sikh-Christian Dialogue for World Peace”. He visited the Golden Temple and was presented with a replica of the Golden Temple by the Chief of the Akal Takht. Here, the Cardinal is reported to have said, “The purpose of organising this Conference was to bring attitudinal changes in the human being, so that they can relish the positive points of all religions and see the message of God in unison”.
Selling the usual stuff of universal brotherhood, he said, “we all are sons of God and we must learn to accept the individualities of every religion and every religion gives the message of universal brotherhood and peaceful co-existence and these conferences would reduce the mutual trust deficit between different religions.”(4)
The Delhi Meet
At New Delhi, he then met with the Jain community and spoke of the “need” for the joining together of Christian and Jain communities. He said, “Christians and Jains have many things in common. As Christians, we believe that life is very precious and the Jain religion too upholds the sanctity of life and urges its promotion and protection. Our vocation to promote respect for life, non-violence, peace and harmony in today’s world brings us together with the common bond of mutual affection for each other.”
Sadhvi Sadhna ji said, “A person has to believe in his/her religious scriptures as no religion teaches hatred or non-violence. We have to shun violence, ego, hatred from within ourselves, only then we will be able to bring a change in the world. The world will not have to conduct such conferences to promote peace and harmony if we bring a change in ourselves.”
The Christian side was well-prepared, marking specific areas like protection, preservation and promotion of life, work for betterment of ecology and environment, and preparing religious texts on major themes like family, social life, diversity and equality, etc., for “joint work” with the Jains. The seminar was organized by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Archdiocese of Delhi, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and World Fellowship of Religions. (5)
It is an irony that the world’s worst persecutors talk of non-violence, peace and respect for life to the most non-violent and peaceful religion! While the Hindu contingent was sold “Freedom of Religion”, Sikhs were served “Universal Brotherhood” and Jains got “Protection, Preservation & Promotion of life”.
Had the Vatican Cardinal been sincere in his mission, he should have continued his dialogue with Kanchi Sankaracharya whom he met in June 2009 in Mumbai. Realizing he would face inconvenient questions – on the issue of conversions – he simply engaged with a different set of sanyasis.
The Assisi Prayer
The Pune-Amritsar-Delhi are significant in that they happened within days of the “Prayers for Peace” Meet organized by the Vatican and led by Pope Benedict XVI in Assisi on 27 Oct, where, Catholic Free Press reports, 300 delegates from various religions and countries participated. Here again, Hindu society at large was kept in the dark and the person(s) who participated as “representatives” of Hindus have not identified themselves so far. The internet has revealed that Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami from Sri Radharamana Temple, Vrindavan, attended as a “representative of India”, and Shri Rajmohan Gandhi was present (he attended a similar meeting in Assisi in 1986, convened by Pope John Paul II). Three other “representatives” are believed to have participated, but their names are still not known.
While the Pope and others spoke of environment, terrorism, rich-poor divide, etc., Acharya Shrivatsav Goswami spoke about “inward journey”, without a murmur about the atrocities being perpetrated by the Church in India. The Pope conveniently avoided topics like conversion, which is also a form of terrorism. Unsurprisingly, the Indian “representatives” also avoided conversions. (6)
The Diwali Gift
After the Assisi prayer meet, the Vatican sent “Deepavali Greetings” to Hindus, audaciously proposing “religious freedom” as the answer to religiously-motivated conflicts:
“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right. When it is jeopardized or denied, all other human rights are endangered. Religious freedom necessarily includes immunity from coercion by any individual, group, community or institution. The human freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion or belief can take place in public or private, alone or in a community. The right to religious freedom also involves a “serious obligation” from civil authorities, individuals and groups to respect the freedom of others. It also includes the freedom to change one’s own religion. Respect for religious freedom allows believers to be “more enthusiastic” about cooperating with their fellow citizens to build “a just and human social order.” Its denial stifles and frustrates “authentic and lasting peace.
We cordially wish you a joyful celebration of Deepavali.” (7)
The Catholic News Agency pontificated: “The message comes after several years of tensions and anti-Christian violence in some parts of India. Hindu radicals have participated in deadly attacks that have driven Christians out of their homes and destroyed their churches.”
After sending this insult in the name of greetings, Cardinal Tauran had the temerity to visit India to dialogue with selected Hindu leaders, who did not have the wits to question the Vatican Padires about the threat they pose to Hindu dharma on this bhumi.
Farce and futility
The farce of Interfaith Dialogue has been going on for some time, always convened by the Church, and joined in a shoddy manner by Hindus. The Church has clear political objectives – to weaken the spiritual strength of Hindu India. Hence, it cleverly separated Religion from Politics and slowly captured the political establishment in the name of secularism. As “western secularism” got well entrenched in the polity of Hindu India, the nation’s ethos was removed from governance, leading to westernization of education and other important sectors like art and culture.
This led to a spurt in separatism, fanned by the Church, by Maoists, LTTE and other anti-national organizations and NGOs. And another western concept called “Human Rights” entered the polity, furthering the growth of separatism and disunity.
Despite having control over the political establishment, the Church feared Hindu Religious Institutions and their strengths. So it created conflicts between castes and divisions between sampradayas, along with inculturation techniques. To sustain both, it kept religious leaders engaged via interfaith dialogues.
Our religious leaders fell into the trap. Instead of talking to the various caste leaders and reaching out to the oppressed and discriminated communities and united them, they moved away from them and started having dialogues with other religionists, particularly Christian Padires. As the distance between the common man and Hindu religious leaders increased, the Church entered the scene and wreaked havoc.
Besides money and allurement, inculturation is the most potent weapon with the Church to convert masses. Inculturation is the copying of Hindu traditional practices like wearing saffron robes, rudraksha and tulsi malas, pilgrimage by padayatra, chanting ashtotra and sahasranama archana for Jesus, composing songs on Jesus and Mary on the tune of our devotional hymns, calling Mary as Maari (Mariamman), planting crosses and constructing prayer houses and churches (unauthorized) on hills and creating a ‘girivalam’ path around them and so on.
This writer had personally heard some of our religious leaders welcoming this danger, thinking that the Christians are now following our culture and method of worship! Naturally, in the recent interfaith dialogues, Hindu leaders did not speak of this insidious concept of inculturation, or the flow of foreign funds and construction of Churches out of proportion to population.
The clear talk
Confident of its approach, in 2009 the Vatican engaged Hindu traditional mathams and organized a dialogue with Kanchi Sankaracharya in Mumbai. The group included Sri Sri Ravisankar, Swami Vageeshananda (Ramakrishna Mission), Dadi Janakiji (Prajapati Brahma Kumaris), Swami Nirmalananda Nath (Karnataka), and Swami Chidananda Saraswati (Divine Life Society, Uttaranchal). Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran was accompanied by the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of “Indian Bible” fame, Vatican envoy to India Pedro Lopez Quintana, Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik, Bishop Thomas Dabre of Pune, and Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Varanasi.
He [the Kanchi Acharya] floored the Vatican team with his explicit assertions that:
- Pope Benedict XVI visited Jerusalem and gave Jewish religious leaders an undertaking to “desist from all missionary and conversion activities” among the Jews. Swami Jayendra Saraswati demanded a similar pact with the Hindu community in India.
- Regarding Pope John Paul II’s call for planting the Cross in Asia to cause the Second Coming of Jesus, Swami ji demanded that Vatican explain the rationale for the First Coming of Jesus Christ when there was no Christianity or Church to undertake the mission of christianising the world.
- Kanchi Acharya strongly condemned the [then] proposed visit of the USCIRF and said Hindus would not permit such interference in the internal affairs of India.
- He demanded the setting up of a common pool to collect all foreign funds received by the Church and their equal distribution amongst all social welfare organisations, irrespective of religious affiliation. He urged all Hindu organisations to work together to eradicate the menace of conversion.
- He called for an immediate end to all devious ‘inculturation’ methods being adopted by various Christian denominations and the canard of preaching that conversion to Christianity would cure-all diseases, which is violative of the DRUGS AND MAGIC REMEDIES ACT, 1954.
- He endorsed the proposed anti-conversion law in Sri Lanka, mooted by the Joint Council of Buddhist Organisations.
- Emphasising Sanatana Dharma, he said the soul of India is religious and spiritual, and urged the government to declare India a “Spiritual” and not a “Secular” country, as secularism is an administrative quality and cannot be the soul of the nation.
- Kanchi Acharya condemned the usurping of Hindu scriptures for incorporating them in the so-called ‘Indian Bible’ and demanded immediate withdrawal of copies of the book, if necessary by the government.
The Acharya underscored the importance of faithful adherence to points agreed at the meeting; else failure would result in the futility of such meetings. No wonder Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran dodged the Kanchi Acharya this time! (8)
Institutions of Inculturation
The Pune venue amply proves that Interfaith dialogue and Inculturation are a twin-strategy of the Church. While “Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth” sounds like a Hindu institution, it is actually a Christian body blatantly indulging in Inculturation. Attempting to give a Hindu colour to its emblem through the Kathopanishad, saying that the tree in the emblem denotes asvatha and the meditating figure is seeking Brahma-vidya; the game becomes clear when it says that, all the components of the emblem merge at the summit in the Cross of Christ which, as the linchpin of time and eternity, interlocks the human and the divine. (9)
Its mission is to mediate the vision of Jesus for India. For this, it will “promote dialogue among religions, cultures, communities and secular movements, all of which will be facilitated by a positive thrust towards inculturation…” (10)
Other institutions concentrating on Inculturation include “Shantivanam”, founded in 1950 by two French Priests Fr. Jules Monchanin, a diocesan missionary and Fr. Henry le Saux (Abhishiktananda) from the Abbey of Kergonam. They named it Saccidananda Ashram, equating “Sath-cith-Ananda” with the “Holy Trinity”.
Later Fr. Bede Griffiths, who came to India in 1955, took charge of Shantivanam in 1968 on the invitation of Fr. Henry le Saux, after short stints at Bangalore and Kurisumala in Kerala, where he took the name Dhyananda and adopted saffron robes.
The Saccidananda Ashram inside Shantivanam has a temple built like a Hindu temple but with idols of various Christian saints and a “Cosmic Cross”. The Ashram spends much time and money for “Academic Research” on Inter religious understandings and meeting points, encounters of Christianity and Hinduism, Christian Vedanta, etc. Jesuit Priests from the West regularly land here to establish Christianity. (11)
Another institution has been established exclusively for fine arts – Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Trichy. It is nationally accredited with Grade A by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) and recognized by the Government of Tamil Nadu; it has tasted success in christianising the divine Hindu art of Bharat Natyam. It also focuses on vina, mridangam, and violin; all classical music and dance are taught on Bible themes. (12)
Thiruvannamalai based Swami Devananda Saraswati has exposed the Atma Jyoti Ashram which has infiltrated into Sri Ramana Ashram in Thiruvannamalai. The Atma Jyoti Ashram operates from Cedar Crest, New Mexico and is well-connected with Shantivanam, Trichy. The padres from both bodies masquerade as Hindu Sanyasis and visit Ramana Ashram where some members of the Ashram’s management seem to be hand in glove with them. (13)
The “International Sanatana Dharma Society” run by one Frank Morales masquerading as “Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya” targets US-born and bred Hindu youths who are distanced from their native culture by two to three generations. His seeks to establish Jesus as “Dharma Master” through the Hindu scriptures, like the local fraudsters Sadhu Chellappa and Vedanayagam Sastri.
The Yoga Marketers
Then we have some Indian cults that do not want to identify themselves as “Hindu”. Corporate yoga teachers who lead these cults, dress up like “Jesus” to sell their yoga globally. The precedent was set by Paramahamsa Yogananda who set up his Yogada Satsang Society’s International Headquarters in Mt. Washington in 1925. He may be the first Indian Hindu yogi who legitimised the legend of Jesus and gave the Christian god a permanent place in the pantheon of Hindu Gods, next to Krishna. Now his Yogatha Satsang Society is almost christianised. (14)
An American ballet dancer called Shivaya Subramanian Swami who met Shivagnani and Siddhar Jnanaguru Siva Yoga Swami in Jaffna in the 1950s, exposed the claims made by Paramahamsa Yogananda in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi”. (15)
Hindu yoga is marketed by Corporate Gurus who identify themselves as secular or spiritual, but not Hindu. The disciples are foreigners with huge money; ashrams are worldwide; and after endless globetrotting they end up selling Jesus in India and help inculturation leading to the christianisation of Yoga.
Tamil Chauvinists and their Tamil Saivism
Sadly, some traditional Saiva Mutts in Tamil Nadu are opposed to the Vedas and Sanskrit and fall prey to the Church’s Tamil card. They are so chauvinistic, they fail to realize the damage they are causing to their own philosophy. World Saiva Council headquartered at London organizes World Saiva Conferences with the sole aim of promoting Tamil Kumbabishekams, Tamil Marriages, Tamil worship in temples, all sans Vedic hymns and Sanskrit Mantras. They also peddle something called “Tamil Agama”. (16).
Some sectarian and racist Tamil outfits subscribe to Shaiva Siddhanta and pretend it has nothing to do with Vedic Hinduism. These people have been wittingly or unwittingly christianised by the early missionaries who tried to identify Shaiva Siddhanta with Christianity and separate the Tamils from the greater Hindu family. Some chauvinistic saivite heads brazenly flirt with anti-Hindu forces such as atheistic Dravidian parties and Christian inculturation institutes. (17)
Church’s Missionary Agenda
From the day the Portuguese, French, Dutch, German and British missionaries landed on our soil, they have been working to convert the nation. “Roman Brahmin” Robert de Nobili, “Italian Munivar” Constantine Joseph Beschi, “German Iyer” Barthalomaus Ziegenbalg, “Italian Iyer” G.U. Pope, “Racist” Caldwell and other rapscallion padires from the 16th century to the contemporary reverend Francis Clooney, have all been working with the same objective. (18)
Late Sitaram Goel, in “Catholic Ashrams: Sanyasins or Swindlers?” explained the church agenda: “Christianity has to drop its alien attire and get clothed in Hindu cultural forms. Christianity has to be presented as an indigenous faith. Christian theology has to be conveyed through categories of Hindu philosophy; Christian worship has to be conducted in the manner and with the materials of Hindu puja. Christian sacraments have to sound like Hindu samskaras; Christian churches have to copy the architecture of Hindu temples; Christian hymns have to be set to Hindu music; Christian themes and personalities have to be presented in styles of Hindu painting; Christian missionaries have to dress and live like Hindu sannyasins; Christian mission stations have to look like Hindu ashramas. And so on, the literature of Indigenization goes into all aspects of Christian thought, organization and activity and tries to discover how far and in what way they can be disguised in Hindu forms.”
The Jesuit “Jackals”
Even two decades after Sitaram Goel wrote this warning, we have learnt nothing, and our own people support dubious characters like Francis Clooney of “The Society of Jesus”, a Roman Catholic Religious Order founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). This society is notorious for its evangelical works in the guise of charitable, educational and social services; its members are bound by the Vows of Apostolic Order. Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was the first Jesuit to work in India facilitating the “Inquisition of Goa”. (19)
Pope Clement XIV (1705–1774) abolished the Jesuit order in 1773; but it was reconstituted in 1814 by Pope Pius VII. They are well established in India with hundreds of schools, colleges and other educational institutes.
A section follows the “Inculturation” of Robert de Nobili, experimenting with a Hinduised version of the Mass that incorporates Hindu serving dishes, Hindu music, language, and postures of prayer. They adopt the life-styles and manner of Hindu sanyasis while working as Roman Catholic priests. Two such Jesuits were Swami Amalananda and Swami Animananda, who worked in remote, poor villages in the state of Mysore. (20)
Francis Clooney, a Jesuit Padire and Professor at Harvard Divinity School, easily deceived some self-centered Vaishnavites in Tamil Nadu with his “studies” on “Comparative Theology”. For over two decades he has made regular visits to India, especially Tamil Nadu: “I work in certain traditions of classical Hinduism, including Mimamsa Vedanta and Srivaishnavism. Of course, my work as a professor leads me to write on other topics and themes at times, but these are my areas of focus in the study of Hinduism. Beyond these, I am also a comparative theologian, and so, I reflect on what I learn from Indian traditions alongside my understanding of my Christian bearings. And, to understand comparative study, I am also a bit of a historian, studying how Western Jesuits over the centuries have understood Hinduism.” (21)
Declaring Srivaishnavism to be parallel to Roman Catholicism, with similar depth, breadth, and wholeness, he adds, “I have several book projects in mind, including more work on the Srivaishnava Bhagavatha Visaya, certain songs and commentaries compared with medieval Christian commentary on the Biblical Song of Songs. I have also been doing research on the Jesuit tradition of inter-religious learning in India, and may soon have something more to write on that.” Wikipedia says his current projects include an introductory volume on comparative theology, and a study of yoga and Jesuit spirituality (whatever that means). (22)
During annual sojourns in Chennai, he makes it a point to address Hindus either in a College or a University organized by Vaisnavites who aid and abet him with all details, information and relevant references. They feel no shame or guilt when he compares and equates “Sri” (Goddess Lakshmi) with “Mary”, or Mariamman with Mary, or Francis de Sales with Sri Vedanta Desika. Clooney’s deliberately misinterprets Indian religious texts and “invents” similarities between “Hindu Theology” and Christian Theology.(23)
Barring half a dozen individual Hindu nationalists in Chennai, no organization feels the necessity to scuttle this devious strategy. Blogger-historian Vedaprakash closely followed Clooney and his activities and exposed him by carefully documenting his mischief. (24) – Vijayvaani, Chennai, 9 Dec 2011
- http://www.mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=broadcast&broadcastid=274620 and http://mangalorecitypolice.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-11-08T17%3A55%3A00%2B05%3A30&max-results=7
- http://www.catholicfreepress.org/international/2011/10/27/in-assisi-poep-says-believers-must-oppose-violence-to-promote-peace-true-faith/ and http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1671586.php/
- http://www.yogananda-srf.org/tmp/py_notitle.aspx?id=44 and http://www.yssofindia.org/programmes/150-Years-of-Kriya-Yoga
- http://www.saivaworld.org/pageview.cgi?iD=201&cat=2 and http://www.saivaworld.org/pageview.cgi?iD=1016&cat=10
- http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/13/stories/2006061310820400.htm and http://www.kutcheribuzz.com/news/20030124/phd.asp
The Church itself provides ample evidence of its true face as one of the most barbarous persecutors in the world. Everywhere that it invaded, it persecuted the natives and destroyed their culture, converted them and christianised the entire land. Christian Clergy world over has an ugly track record of child abuse, sodomy, rape, and what not. Their sex crimes date back officially to the Didache [2nd century AD] which instructs, “Thou shalt not seduce young boys!” (1)
A few snapshots are in order:
- January 2002 – Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan was defrocked after he was found guilty of indecent assault and battery
- 29 April 2002 – Cardinal Law of Boston admitted he allowed a pedophile priest to continue serving within the church
- 2 May 2002 – Retired Catholic priest Paul Shanley arrested for child rape
- 25 May 2002 – Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland resigned after acknowledging that his archdiocese paid $450,000 to settle a claim of sexual assault against him
- 2005 – US Diocese spent $467 million on legal settlement with sex abuse victims
- 28 July 2006 – Simon Thomas, paedophile church minister in Britain, jailed for life
One website provides information of Clergy Abuse over the years, another maintains a database of accused priests. The shocking details they document are damning proof of the stink surrounding the Church and Christianity. Even Popes John Paul and Benedict XVI played a role in covering up the clergy’s misdeeds. (2)
Pope John Paul II protected Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer who abused an estimated 2,000 boys for decades with impunity. He failed to encourage bishops to report accusations of paedophilia by priests to the police; ignored accusations against senior members of the clergy, at times promoting them to higher office; allowed priests accused of paedophilia to be transferred to a new diocese without anyone being warned of their record. He also decreed “pontifical secrecy” must apply to cases of sexual abuse in church trials. (3) The incumbent Pope is also accused of inaction and cover-up when he was archbishop of Munich or as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer. (4)
As the sordid history of child sex abuse was exposed across the world, the Pope was forced to tender apologies everywhere he went. But Papal arrogance and contempt for victims was visible when he equated their sufferings with the “sufferings” of Jesus. On 21 March 2010, apologizing at a Sunday Mass at Ireland, Pope Benedict XVI said, “It is understandable that you find it hard to forgive or be reconciled with the Church. In her name, I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel. I appeal to you to find hope and healing in knowing that Jesus was also a victim of sin and close to you in their suffering.” (5)
Though he admonished the priests of Ireland’s Catholic Church for their sins, the government of Ireland was not convinced and broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. The Prime Minister of Ireland complained, “Rome is stonewalling, if not obstructing, official enquiries into the abuse which went on as late as 2009. The Church is guilty of dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism.” (6)
On 18 Sept. 2010, amidst huge protests in London, the Pope apologized at a solemn Catholic service in Westminster Cathedral. But his leadership itself was questioned by the representative of the victims. In response to this latest papal denunciation of abuse, Peter Isely of Milwaukee of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said: “Why, if the pope feels so much remorse, won’t he take action? As Pope, he’s removed two paedophile priests and demoted no corrupt bishops. He’s disclosed not one document about the cover up. He’s backed not one secular law that better safeguards kids. He’s not defrocked a single bishop who secretly moved known predators. Showing remorse isn’t leadership. Taking decisive action is leadership.” (7)
Again on 19 July 2011, faced with continuing sexual abuse scandals across Europe and the United States, Pope tendered another apology to “all those beautiful precious little children” who suffered at the hands of paedophiles in the Catholic Church. Yet even while tendering the apology, the Pope kept “smiling” and said, “We must never allow this to happen again,” he continued, “no matter how enchanting we find their playful little smiles.”
Enraged by his “smiling” arrogance, the victims said, “We felt a bit freaked out by the way the Pope kept smiling at us. Words are not enough; we need the Church to act so that child abusers are punished.” (8)
The anniversary of an apology
Three years ago, the Canadian government apologized to the survivors of “Indian Residential Schools” for the “death & abuse” caused by the Catholic, United and Anglican Church authorities since the early 19th century. Troy Media reported, “From 1831 to 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were taken from their communities and sent to one of the 130 federally-funded boarding schools administered by Catholic, United and Anglican Church authorities. The record of death and abuse in these schools is well documented. As early as 1909 Dr. Peter Bryce reported that mortality rates at residential schools in Western Canada ranged from 30 to 60 per cent. Over time, more than 12,000 individual allegations of physical and sexual abuse were brought to Canada’s courts.”
Survivors of these residential schools lament most the loss of language, cultural traditions and the spirituality that was once the life blood of their communities. Despite the government’s attempt at reconciliation, non-aboriginals maintain a racist attitude. (9)
Catholic act of stealing babies
Last month, the BBC produced a damning documentary titled, “Spain’s stolen Babies” exposing the ugly (50-year) scandal of “baby-trafficking” by the Catholic Church in Spain. Investigations show that up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, and that the children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early 1990s.
The mothers were told their babies were stillborn or died soon after birth, and that they could not see the body of the infants. They were not even allowed to attend the “funeral”. In reality, the babies were sold to those faithful to the Church. Documents were forged to include the adopted parents’ names. (10)
The “Xian Tradition” in India
The Church in India is no way better. Despite connivance of “secular” governments run by “secular” political parties and attempts by “secular” media to hide the ugly stories from public eye, several cases come out in the open and expose the culpability of the padires and nuns.
The Church operates through well-networked groups of NGOs and so-called “Children Homes” and “Adoption Agencies”. The individual traffickers associated with these NGOs masquerade as evangelists and missionaries. Citing a few cases may be in order.
In January 2010, 76 abused and malnourished children from Manipur (54 kids) and Assam (22 kids) were rescued from Bethedsa Blessing Home in Kanyakumari, run by Pastor Shaji. At the same time, 16 more children from Manipur were rescued from Reach Home Children Foundation in Mogappair, Chennai. They were found to be terribly abused and malnourished with severe attack of scabies. (11)
The traffickers promise the poor parents in insurgency-hit areas that they would give their children the best education with food and a good environment, in Tamil Nadu. The Times of India, 26 January 2010, reported: “While 1,096 children’s homes, housing 3.5 lakh children, are registered in the state, almost an equal number operate without registration, evading government scrutiny. The children aged six to 15 are kept in pathetic conditions and are often made to do jobs like carpentry, cooking and laundry. There have even been cases of children dying under suspicious circumstances and some being molested and abused.”
Incidentally, a majority of homes charged with trafficking are run by missionaries or evangelical societies. The present case is only the tip of a vast network, which receives crores of rupees from churches and agencies abroad by showing a large number of children under their “care”. (12)
A former nun, Florence Mary, who wanted to pursue her studies (MA Music) in 2006, was repeatedly raped by a Jesuit Priest Fr. R. Rajarathinam, the Principal of St. Joseph’s College in Thiruchy, Tamil Nadu,). He allegedly gave the lady a cool-drink laced with drugs and raped her and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed it. Taking advantage of her fear, he abused her repeatedly and forced her to undergo abortion when she became pregnant in 2008. Three other padires, Fr. Devadoss, Fr. Xavier Francis and Fr. Xavier, were also accused of conniving with Fr. Rajarathinam to silence Florence Mary. The latter got acquainted with Mary during his frequent visits to Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, where she was studying MA Music. Though he obtained bail from the High Court, the Supreme Court admitted Mary’s petition and directed him to reply within four weeks why his bail should not be cancelled. (13)
In September 2011, 33 children including 10 girls in the age group of 10 to 18 years, were rescued from an orphanage named the Grail Trust, patronized by a British national, Jonathan Robinson. Investigations revealed that Jonathan Robinson is a paedophile who made frequent visits to the home and sexually abused many children. British paedophile Duncan Grant, convicted by the Supreme Court along with another British paedophile Alan John Waters in March 2011 for 6 years for sexually abusing boys in an orphanage in Mumbai, is also believed to have visited this Grail Trust. (14)
The same month, 42 girl children including 23 from Nepal, were rescued from Michael Job Orphanage in Sulur near Coimbatore. Though the orphanage had a valid licence, it simply admitted the girls without checking the veracity of the claims made by the “social welfare organizations” which brought the “orphaned” girls. (15) The orphanage, in its website, claims that the girls were daughters of martyred and persecuted Christians. The truth is that this is actually a huge evangelical institution running a Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Arts & Science College and a B. Ed College, blatantly indulging in conversions also. The Founder Chairman P.P. Job is a self styled evangelist indulging in illegal conversion activities. (16)
In November 2006, a Hindu girl, Sukanya, studying in the 12th standard in Fathima Higher Secondary School in Omalur, near Salem, was found floating dead in the school’s well. The school claimed she committed suicide on scoring low marks. But a few more girls before Sukanya had committed suicide in the same school, which came to light after Sukanya’s death. Initially the police accepted the school’s story, but public pressure resulted in CB CID investigation. The State Minority Commission submitted a report to the then DMK government attesting to the version of the school authorities. But during the investigation, 8 suspects including a friend of a priest-teacher were identified as accused. Liquor bottles, used and unused condoms and broken pieces of bangles were found in the school. In November 2010 their DNA samples were sent for clinical analysis to find out if they matched with the spermatozoa taken from the vaginal swab of the girl in 2006. Even after one year, the result is yet to come! (17)
In September 2011, Ms. Lasi Bosco, Principal of AKT Matriculation School in Kallakurichi, near Villupuram, was arrested along with another teacher, Ms. Boshiya, for sexually abusing a four year old girl child. (18)
In July 2010, one Justine running Arumai Packiam Manuel Orphanage was arrested for indulging in homosexuality and voyeurism while orphanage girls were bathing, besides involving those kids in begging. His orphanage in Kanyakumari was raided by officers from the Child Welfare Committee and Social Welfare Department, and 18 girls and 14 boys rescued. (19)
Such ugly episodes of the Catholic way of living are aplenty in India, a la Europe and America.
Just two years ago, Dr. Sister Jesme Raphel shocked the Catholic Church by exposing all the ugly sexual abuses perpetrated on her by the clergy through her explosive book “Amen”. Close on her heels, ex-Vincentian Catholic Priest K.P. Shibu came out with his own experiences of homosexuality at seminaries, sexual misconducts of clergy, ugly approach of superiors and looting of money in his book “Here is the heart of a Priest.” It was an elaborate account of his 24 years in the Catholic Vincentian congregation.
His remarks about Jana Deepa Vidyapeeth are important and revealing in the sense that this was where the recent Hindu-Christian Dialogue took place. K.P. Shibu says he was sexually abused by senior seminarians in JDV, “Homosexual relations were rampant in seminaries. The victims had to suffer silently. If they complain…, both the accused and the victim would be shown the door. Hence, succumbing to the urges of the seniors was the only option…”
“During pastoral work, the seminarians used to travel on cycles. While moving around on a cycle, seminarians made a point to give lift to children. They (children) would be asked to tightly embrace the riding seminarian. Such acts were done with deliberate sexual intention,” he alleges
in the book. “There had been incidents of senior seminarians pretending as priests and hearing confessions.” (20)
Giving away children in adoption illegally is yet another Xian tradition followed religiously in India. Some NGOs indulge in illegal adoption rackets by giving children in adoption to foreigners quite often. Most cases deliberately escape the attention of the authorities.
A famous NGO, Guild of Service, was caught on the wrong foot by the Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Department in November 2011. Between 2006 and 2010, this high profile NGO gave 202 children in adoption, including 54 to foreign countries, violating all rules, after receiving huge money as donation. The mandatory NOC was not obtained from the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), the authorized apex body. Founded by a group of British women in Chennai in 1923, it came under the control of a high profile lady, Mary Clubwallah Jadhav. It has many branches across the country and claims to serve for empowerment of marginalized women and children. (21)
Its Delhi unit has some very high profile women on its board with connections with high-placed government personalities. Though the Delhi and Chennai units have different URLs for their websites (http://www.guildofservice.org and http://www.guildofservicecentral.org), they have the same Emblem (Logo). The high profile Delhi unit cannot wash its hands off its Chennai unit, especially on the issue of the adoption racket which has come to light.
What is disgusting is the fact that while 4000 childless couples are waiting in Tamil Nadu for months in queue to get a child in adoption, this NGO had sold children abroad after collecting huge sums/donations. It is alleged that such NGOs have connections with many hospitals, which reminds us of the Spanish racket exposed by BBC. (22)
Even while writing this column, Sri Lankan media reported that a Matron (Sr. Mary Eliza), from Mother Teresa’s Missionary Sisters of Charity Home, Prem Nivasa, in Moratuwa, was arrested for alleged sale of children. (23) So much for the Catholic way of serving the children cause!
The flow of money
Trafficking and sexual abuse of children, kidnapping, rape, sexual misconduct of padires and nuns, looting of money, and the ever profitable business of conversions, have become the norm today. Despite all these shameless shenanigans, Churches in India get huge money from Western countries. Thousands of dollars flow into the coffers of thousands of NGOs and phony organizations to achieve the Church’s twin-objective of destroying the great cultural heritage of India and christianizing it.
Financial expert and columnist, Prof. R. Vaidyanathan who has closely observed the money-spinning world of foreign-funded NGOs, says:
“I have tried unsuccessfully to get the annual reports including annual accounts from the website of the top 25 recipients (NGOs), many of whom are often mentioned or quoted in newspapers and TV channels and stress the importance of “transparency” in the functioning of the government. Many do not have any information in their websites. Some of their websites contain all razzmatazz but nothing on finances…
Given the declaration by various Evangelical groups in the USA and Europe that Asia is the next major place to “harvest souls” and “plant the churches” India should exercise caution in allowing foreign funding of these groups. They affect social harmony and foment communal disturbances by their conversion activities in small towns and tribal India. (24)
Financial expert and researcher Sanjiv Nayyar says that leading donor countries [US, Germany, UK, Italy etc] have between 2002-03 and 2008-09, pumped in Rs. 34.33 billion [US], Rs. 11.30 bn [UK], Rs. 11.03 bn [Germany], Rs. 5.47 bn [Italy], Rs. 5.13 bn [Netherlands] and Rs. 4.37 bn [Spain]. Obviously, these funds are purely for proselytizing activities in the name of educational and medical services.
For instance, in a single year, World Vision International, USA pumped in Rs. 706 crores out of which World Vision International of Tamil Nadu received Rs. 192 crores. Gospel for Asia Inc, USA donated Rs.596 crores, Fundacion Vicente Ferrer, Barcelona, Spain gave Rs. 459 crores, Christian Children Fund, USA sent Rs.197 crores, etc.
The advent of the UPA, with an Italian at the helm, saw an alarming rise in the receipt of foreign funds; Tamil Nadu tops the line with Rs.1650 crores in 2008-09 as compared to Rs.775 crores in 2002-03. Next, Andhra Pradesh got Rs.1244 crores and Karnataka Rs.1009 crores and Kerala Rs.991 crores. In all, registered NGOs, mostly Christian, received over Rs.10,000 crores in 2008-09, a 12% increase over 2007-08. These are only the official figures from the Ministry of Home Affairs; then there is unofficial money through hawala… (25)
Columnist Anuradha Dutt observes, “Foreign influence pervades the Government and the NGOs that are dependant on external funds for their projects. Because of their money-power, foreign funding organisations command an influence in finalising the agenda of sovereign nations.”Referring to Graham Hancock’s path breaking book, “Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business”, 1989, Dutt notes, “the book bared the truth about the vicious cycle of international aid/funding and consequent dependency and indebtedness of emerging nations. It ensures that poverty is never dispelled though billions of dollars are ostensibly poured into the charade of dispelling it. A sinister spin-off is insurgency, rebellion and regime changes at the behest of alien forces.” (26)
Ironically, many members of Sonia Gandhi’s NAC and Team Anna have been recipients of rich foreign funding, recognition and awards. In a masterly work, “NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds; Anti-Nation Industry,” Krishen Kak and Radha Rajan marshaled a wealth of information to expose the political and anti-nation agenda of some well-known NGOs and activists, their foreign sponsorships, donors and funds, and their sheer lack of public accountability. They stressed the urgent need for a mechanism to counter this anti-nation industry. It is only now that the government is beginning to stir. (27)
Too many Christians are allowed by the Secular State to serve their religion at the cost of the nation. A classic example is IAS Officer Uma Shankar from Tamil Nadu. In July 2010, he was suspended by the then DMK government for producing a fake caste certificate to join the IAS.
When reinstated in September 2010, he told the media, “All my 11 siblings have all along remained Hindus. But my mother named me Ashok and got it recorded in my SSLC book that I was a Christian Pallar. My father was agitated over that and there used to be a lot of violence at home. Finally, when I was doing my final year in college, my father got me officially converted to Hinduism, changed my name to Uma Shankar and also got it notified in the government gazette.” He added, “My community certificate was verified by state government officials twice, based on a request from the Union Public Service Commission in 1990. On the government’s instruction, the Tirunelveli collector had once again summoned me for yet another inquiry about the community certificate, but the state government has no locus standi to initiate such an inquiry when my employer was the UPSC or the central government. Let me make it clear now. For the past two years, I am a practising Christian. However, I have not changed my religion legally.” (28)
Speaking to the media in Thirunelveli on 21 September 2010 on the issue of reservation for dalit Christians, he advised Hindu Dalits to convert to Christianity personally and remain as Hindus officially (legally), to enjoy reservation benefits. “I have been a Christian for the past two years. However, while joining the service, I was a dalit Hindu,” he boasted. He urged the dalits to go out of the Hindu fold, that “promotes untouchability”, but be careful not to mention this in their certificates. “Be baptised but don’t get the certificate. Go to churches of your choice but don’t sign in the church records.” Mr. Umashankar called for a constitutional amendment to extend benefits to dalits Christians. (29)
When AIADMK came to power, he gave an interview to a Tamil weekly, “I believe in Jesus… Jesus told me that DMK would bite the dust in the elections… Within days of my suspension Jayalalithaa issued a press statement in my support. Then itself I knew that Jesus had blessed her to be the next Chief Minister…” (30)
When Jayalalithaa appointed him Managing Director of Co-optex in June 2011, he ordered the removal of pictures of Hindu deities from the office complex. When he attempted to do the same in the showrooms, public anger forced Jayalalithaa to shift him from Co-optex. (31) Of late, he takes part in evangelical congregations. On 1 Oct. 2011, he addressed a congregation organized by evangelist S. Thangasami of Berachah Prophetic Ministries in Ambattur, in his ‘personal’ capacity, whatever that means.
In all the four pillars of democracy, such persons serving a religious imperialism can be found. They do not serve the nation. They support insurgency; collude with Maoists and separatists; and fund organisations and individual persons who act against the nation. Both Islam and Christianity are out to convert the entire world to their respective religion. They do not believe in the sacred concept of “Mother Nation”. Only followers of Sanatana Dharma worship their bhumi, their nation, their territory. Only dharmis serve the nation. Those who are out to destroy others can never be dharmic.
We are thus witnessing a classic conflict between those who want to invade the religion and culture of the nation, and those who want to protect it. Time is running out, and we need to put in place some urgent measures, if we are to save the nation.
- Religious conversions must be stopped with an Anti Conversion Law. Foreign tourists who indulge in conversion activities must be punished with jail sentences and deported after serving the sentence, and never given visas again.
- Inculturation activities must be stopped; Church must not be allowed to use any term or ritual which resembles, even remotely, Hinduism. Government must punish violators.
- All NGOs must be screened; Government must stop inflow of foreign money. NGOs indulging in conversion activities, child trafficking, child abuse, inculturation, etc., must be brought to book and their licences cancelled.
- Places of worship must be proportionate to the population of respective religionists, and no new places of worship must be allowed to be constructed where there is none/negligible population of the respective religionists.
- One religious place must not be constructed in the vicinity of another religious place.
- No political activity must be allowed inside a place of worship.
- Hate literatures must not be printed and circulated. Defaulters must be severely punished.
- Dubious writings in the name of “comparative theology” must be banned.
- Preaching and propagation must be restricted within the campuses of respective religious places and not allowed in public places. Freedom of religion to preach and propagate is not freedom to convert.
What the Vatican is trying to do in India is simply invasion through the twin strategies of “Interfaith Dialogues” and “Inculturation”. The Congress led UPA government facilitates it by allowing the mushrooming of Christian NGOs and inflow of foreign funds to them. Pseudo Secular political parties turn a blind eye to the machinations of the Church for the sake of votebanks. The foreign controlled secular and slavish media connives with the Church and its devious agenda.
Hindus will now have to be proactive, alert and aggressive and expose these shameless shenanigans. Instead of wasting time on inter-faith jamborees, Hindu religious leaders must negotiate with government; with jati leaders to solve inter-caste issues; to state governments to solve inter-state issues like Cauvery and Mullaperiyar. They must be in regular touch with the common people to stress the importance of unity among Hindus across caste and linguistic lines. Once unity is achieved, everything will fall in place.
Enough of inter-faith farce; it’s time for action within! – Vijayvaani, Chennai, 10 Dec. 2011
- http://www.rickross.com/groups/clergy.html and http://www.bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp?op=assignments
- http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article690448.ece and http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article690659.ece
- http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-10-13/chennai/28250807_1_tiruchi-criminal-intimidation-dire-consequences and http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2010/10/19/jesuit-priest-seeks-bail-after-rape-allegation/
- http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-why-more-scrutiny-of-foreign-funds-to-ngos-is-needed/20110517.htm and http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1073&Itemid=1
- http://www.niuzer.com/India/Umashankar-wants-law-for-dalit-Christian-quota-433324.html (Deccan Chronicle dated 22 September 2010.)
- Tamil Biweekly “Junior Vikatan” dated 25 May 2011
» Thamizhchelvan is a freelancer
Filed under: catholic bishops council of india, cultural relativism, hindu dharma, inculturation, india, interfaith dialogue, religion, roman catholic church Tagged: | inculturation, interfaith dialogue, roman catholic church india, vatican, vatican sex scandal