Posts Tagged ‘Vatican Council – II’

Indegenization, Indianization or Hinduization: Dubious “Inculturation” activities of Christians without any ethics, morality and integrity

September 14, 2019

Indegenization, Indianization or Hinduization: Dubious “Inculturation” activities of Christians without any ethics, morality and integrity

St John church in Deshnur, Linga inside-Derek Fernandez

Bishop Derek Fernandes, wearing saffron robes and with a vermilion tilak[1]: Photographs on social media of Belagavi diocese Bishop Derek Fernandes, wearing saffron robes and with a vermilion tilak, have stirred a controversy for the Roman Catholic Church in the country[2]. The pictures of Fernandes accompanied by unidentified men – all in the same attire and with some sporting rudraksha malas – appear to show the bishop performing the sacrament of the Eucharist in a church with pictures of Hindu swamis[3]. The pictures, posted on Twitter by journalist-activist Savio Rodrigues, set off a firestorm of charges against the prelate[4]. Some accused Fernandes, whom Pope Francis appointed as the sixth bishop of Belgaum on May 1, of trying to mislead Hindus and described it as a ploy to convert them. Several Christians on Twitter warned the bishop against such activities and some charged him with blasphemy. Bishop Fernandes, currently in Rome, was unavailable for comment. In Karnataka, D. S. Amalopavadass (1932-1990) has already done such experiments inviting criticism from the Church itself. However, the CBCLC, Bangalore has been promoting such activities. Now, he is appreciated as “Indian prophet” and so on[5].

church in Deshnur, 28km from Belagavi.

Inculturation – not-known people may talk, and write anything: How the Hindus have been gullible, the Christians manipulative and the media biased, opportunistic to created sensation can be seen in these postings and the stuff created as news. Ever since, Vatican Council – II was created, the Catholic Christians have bee carrying on these dubious, fraudulent and fancy-dress theology in the name of “inculturation” to have “inter-religious dialogue” with gullible and idiotic Hindus, who do not know what these Christian guys have bee doing. In Chennai, the case of Arulappa vs Ganesh Iyer has been well known, where, the Archbishop Arulappa gave lakhs to Ganesh Iyer to manufacture forged manuscripts, copper plates etc . In the same way, highly arrogant, racist and fundamental Christians of Kerala have been engaged in similar activities. They too do not bother about any ethics, morality and other such values to follow in their activities. Though converted Christians, they behave as if they descended from heaven or born with the mythical Jesus Christ.

St John church in Deshnur, Linga inside

Activist receives threats for tweeting bishop’s pics: Philip Kutty Joseph, vicar general of the Belgaum diocese, said the photographs were taken on August 29 on a visit by Bishop Fernandes to a church in Deshnur, 28km from Belagavi[6]. “The church was earlier called Virakta mutt,” he said. “Jesuit priests first went there more than 40 years ago and adopted Indian practices such as donning saffron robes. In fact, the tabernacle is in the form of a Shiva linga.” Fr Nelson Pinto, a priest of the diocese who responded when TOI attempted to contact Bishop Fernandes at his residence by phone, explained that when the first Jesuit priests went to Deshnur, in a predominantly Lingayat region, they adopted the local culture[7]. “The Jesuit priests became vegetarians and embraced other local practices,” Pinto said. “They did not do it to convert the people who lived there.” Metropolitan Archbishop of Goa & Daman and Patriarch of the East Indies Filipe Neri Ferrão said he was unaware of the incident involving Bishop Fernandes, but said it appeared to be part of a practice that the Catholic Church calls inculturation. “The photographs appear to be of a ceremony that includes inculturation, which the Catholic Church advises in liturgy, attire and so on[8]. It’s the assimilation of local culture,” he said. Even as the Church played down the controversy, however, journalist and activist Rodrigues received threats for tweeting pictures of Bishop Fernandes[9].

St John church in Deshnur, 28km from Belagavi.

The present news have been planted for publicity: So the threatening and all clearly exposes that they have been doing this just for publicity. The photos have been planted, though such activities have been going on. In fact, many more photos are available in internet and it is a wonder how these alert Hindu guys or enthusiastic Christian guys do not know about it. The non-Catholic might oppose and criticize, but, they coolly enjoy as to how the gullible Hindus are being cheated since 1958. Books  like “Catholic Ashrams” have already come out running into several editions[10]. So in such Ashrams, the Christians would appear and roam as Swamis only. Ironically, the pastors, bihops and other clergy are called as “Iyer” in Tamilnadu. Therefore, these neo-Brahmins of Christianity have been experimenting with such “tamashas.”

St John church in Deshnur,inner side

Inculturation – lying Christians[11]: In May 2003, when Indian bishops met Pope John Paul II before concluding their ‘ad limina’ visit to Rome, the Holy Father said[12], “India, blessed with so many different cultures, is a land in which the people yearn for God; this makes the Indian liturgy very distinct.” Though the Roman Catholic Church did not take this incident seriously, the activist cum journalist Rodrigues, who posted the pictures on Twitter has received several threat messages. One of the message says, “Savio Rodrigues, Judas in the name of Catholic. Reward of Rs 50,000, if anyone makes his face black and garlands him with shoes.” Some other Catholics have felt offended by this post of Savio Rodrigues. One such person said, in reply to the tweet of Rodrigues, “Hey Savio or whoever you may be. Please do not speak against our Catholic religion. You have no right to talk against our religion.”

St John church in Deshnur,inner side-2

To add a bit more on the belief system of both cultures, here are similarities between Catholicism and Hinduism:

  • Hindus worship many gods and Catholics worship many saints, both with the burning of candles and incense before statues. Both use images, icons, music, and ritual prayers as means to create an atmosphere of worship. While Hindus chant ritual “mantras,” Catholics chant rosary prayers.
  • Both have a priesthood that acts as an intermediary between the people and God.
  • Both believe in the effectiveness of “holy water” in various cleansing rites.
  • Both believe everyone needs “perfecting” before going to the ultimate reward. Catholics see time in purgatory as necessary to perfection of character, while Hindus believe that reincarnation will give the necessary steps towards perfection.
  • Both believe in the effectiveness of repeated offerings and sacrifices. Catholics believe the mass will effectively offer Christ again and again as a sacrifice for sins, while Hindus will present their gods with sacrifices and offerings of flowers.
  • Both religions have a strong belief that spiritual exercises will lift the worshiper out of the usual round of daily living, and will promote a mystic and superior understanding of existence. St. Ignatius is not really very different in his outlook on “spiritual exercises” than the Hindu mystic in his concentration on escaping this physical world and entering nirvana.
  • Both religions worship a mother goddess. Hindus worship the Goddess Durga as the Supreme Mother, while Catholics venerate Mother Mary .
  • Of course it can be pointed out that Hinduism is polytheistic (worshiping many gods) while Catholicism is monotheistic (worshiping only one God). In practice, Catholicism encourages worshipers to see Mary and the saints as interceders between God and humanity.

St John church in Deshnur,pators standing

Thiruppali book, in Tamil was banned by Vatican[13]: This is cited as an example. A civil court here has banned the use of a 1993 Tamil translation of Catholic prayer book ‘Missal’ (‘Thiruppali book’) until prior approval is obtained from the Vatican. Noting that some words had been wrongly translated and some others removed in the Tamil version, the court recently declared the translation as incorrect and against the canonical law. The Tamil translation of liturgical prayers and texts was first published in 1970 with prior approval from the Vatican. The book was updated in 1975 and underwent some more changes in 1993. Against the last alteration, three suits were filed[14]. Claiming that the changes had been made without approval from Rome and that the authorities had disobeyed the law, the petitioners said it was a case where “additions and omissions from the prescribed text were made”. Further, the four tenets of liturgy – sacrifice, eternal life, sin and doctrine — were dealt in a superficial manner, they said. In their reply, the archbishops of Chennai and Puducherry said the petitioners did not have a locus standi as under the tenets of the religion, they did not have a right to question the translations. The prayers “involved spiritual and religious aspects of the church” and “the court did not have jurisdiction to go into the veracity of church’s authority.” If there was a doubt, “superiors and doctors of church” could be approached, they said. In his order, IV assistant judge T Chandrasekar said it was a mere translation of liturgical book and the priests had failed to prove that the translation had been carried out with approval of the Vatican. If the court was barred from dealing with the matter, “everybody would release translations to suit their convenience,” the judge said. It also prohibited the translated version of book from being used in churches till prior review and approval was obtained from the Vatican.

St John church in Deshnur,inner side-3

Hinduization – how praised and condemned: Swami Kulandaiswami condemned Hinduization like anything, as pointed out by K. V. Ramakrishna Rao. However, Amarlopavadass, Bede Griffiths and others were praised and condemned by the Christians, in spite of the Catholic and non-Catholic affiliations.  Under Vatican Council – II, they claim that it has been their right to do so. Thus, their duplicity is exposed in cheating the Hindus, misinterpreting Hindu scriptures etc., at one side and appropriating the Hindu culture, heritage etc., at other side is also noted. With all these, they also cry that the tribal are Hinduised and so on!

© Vedaprakash

14-09-2019

vatican council II

vatican council II

[1] Times Of India, Furore over Belagavi bishop’s saffron robe, TNN | Updated: Sep 13, 2019, 9:41 IST.

[2] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/furore-over-belagavi-bishops-saffron-robe/articleshow/71106070.cms

[3] MyNation, Belagavi bishop dons saffron robes, all hell breaks loose, By Team Belagavi, First Published 13, Sep 2019, 11:52 AM IST

[4] https://www.mynation.com/india-news/belagavi-bishop-dons-saffron-robes-all-hell-breaks-loose-pxrb1n

[5] Paul B. Steffen SVD, An Indian Christian Prophet:Duraiswami Simon Amalorpavadass (1932-1990),  NURT SVD 1 (2018) s. pp. 209-225 pbwsteffen54@gmail.com, Gregoriana University, Rome.

Father Duraiswami Simon Amalorpavadass (1932-1990) is one of the most significant Indian priests and theologians of the twentieth century. In 1967, he founded the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) in Bangalore, and then headed it until 1980. He developed an authentic Indian and Christian spirituality, liturgy and theology of evangelization and inculturation.

[6] Daijiworld Media Network, Unusual saffron cloak of Belgaum Bishop creates controversy, Belagavi, Fri, Sep 13 2019 02:10:54 PM.

[7] https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx?newsID=624208

[8] NewsTimeNow, Belagavi Bishop Stirs Row by Dressing as a Swamy, By Raj Shankar -September 13, 2019

[9] http://newstimenow.com/belagavi-bishop-stirs-row-by-dressing-as-a-swamy/

[10] Sita Ram Goel, Catholic Ashram, Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994.

[11] Indian Catholics Matters, Catholics Raise Eyebrows as Bishop Dons Saffron Robes!, September 13, 2019 Team ICM News, By Verghese V Joseph.

[12] https://indiancatholicmatters.org/catholics-raise-eyebrows-as-bishop-dons-saffron-robes/

[13] Times of India, Tamil version of Catholic prayer book banned, Manish Raj | TNN | Updated: Nov 7, 2013, 2:00 IST.

[14] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Tamil-version-of-Catholic-prayer-book-banned/articleshow/25338212.cms

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ஶ்ரீரங்கத்தில் கிருத்துவர்கள், கோவில்களில் கன்னியாஸ்திரிகள், நடப்பது என்ன? “உள்கலாச்சார மயமாக்கல்” அறியாத முட்டாள் இந்துக்கள் – பிரான்சிஸ் குளூனி விவகாரம் மறந்த மூடர்கள் (1)

May 12, 2018

ஶ்ரீரங்கத்தில் கிருத்துவர்கள், கோவில்களில் கன்னியாஸ்திரிகள், நடப்பது என்ன? “உள்கலாச்சார மயமாக்கல்” அறியாத முட்டாள் இந்துக்கள் பிரான்சிஸ் குளூனி விவகாரம் மறந்த மூடர்கள் (1)

Clooney, Hindu-christian dialogue-with Hindu Swami

கிருத்துவர்களின் போலித்தனம்உள்கலாச்சாரமயமாக்கலும், இந்தியஇந்து எதிர்ப்பும்: உள்கலாச்சாரமயமாக்கல் (inculturation) என்ற போர்வையில் கிருத்துவர்கள் இந்துக்களைப் போலவே நடந்து கொண்டு அல்லது வேடமிட்டு வாழ்ந்து வருகிறார்கள். அவ்வாறு வாழ்ந்து, சரியான சமயம் வரும்போது, எல்லோரும் “கிருத்துவர்கள்” என்று வெளிப்படையாக அறிவிக்க வேண்டும் என்பது அவர்களது திட்டம். ஆனால், இதுவரை, எந்த இந்துவும் கிருத்துவன் அல்லது முகமதியன் போல வேடமிட்டு, நடந்து கொண்டு, அம்மத நுணுக்கங்களை அறிந்து கொண்டு, அவர்களைப் போல ஆராய்ச்சிக் கட்டுரைகள், புத்தகங்கள் எழுதியாதாகத் தெரியவில்லை. அமெரிக்கா மற்றும் ஐரோப்பிய நாடுகளில் பல இந்து குடும்பங்களில் கிருத்துவ மாப்பிள்ளை மற்றும் மறுமகள், தாய் அல்லது தந்தை, மாமியார் அல்லது மாமனார் இருப்பது சகஜமாகி விட்டது. ஆனால், அவர்கள் அதை இந்தியாவில் தங்களது உறவினர்களிடம் கூட சொல்வதில்லை. இப்பொழுது மூன்றாம்-நான்காம் தலைமுறைகள், இந்திய உறவுகளை, சொந்தங்களை, மூலங்களை மறந்து விட்டனர். அவர்களால், இந்தியாவிற்கு எந்த பலனும் இல்லை. ஆகவே, அவர்களிடமிருந்து, இந்துக்களுக்கு சாதகமாக கிடைக்கும் என்ற நம்பிக்கையை விட்டுவிடலாம்.

Clooney, Hindu-christian dialogue-with Hindu ISKCON and Swaminarayan Swamis

இவ்விசயங்களில்இந்துஎதிர்ப்பில், கிருத்துவப் பிரிவுகள், டினாமினேஷன்கள் ஒத்துப் போவது: பரஸ்பரமான மதங்களுக்கிடையிலான உரையாடல் (inter-religious dialogue), மதநம்பிக்கைகளுக்கான உரையாடல் (Inter-faith dialogue) என்ற போர்வைகளில் வாடிகன் கவுன்சில் II) (Vatican Council – II) என்ற போர்வையிலும், படித்த, நாகரிகமான ஆனால் விஷயம் தெரியாத இந்துக்களைக் கிருத்துவர்கள் ஏமாற்றி வருகிறார்கள். சில குழுக்கள் இந்துமதத்திற்கு பாதகமாக யோகா, சுலோகங்கள் சொல்வது, பொங்கல், தீபாவளி கொண்டாடுவது முதலியவற்றை உபயோகித்து மோசடி செய்து வருகின்றனர். இதில் பெரும்பாலான குழுக்கள் / சர்ச்சுகள் கத்தோகலிக்கக் கிருத்துவத்தைச் சேர்ந்தது. அதற்கு எதிரானது என்று சண்டையிட்டுக் கொல்லும் புரொடஸ்டென்ட் கிருத்துவம் (Protestant), இந்தியாவில் கத்தோலிக்கர்களுடன் கைக்கோர்த்துக் கொண்டு அத்தகையச் மோசடி-ஏமாற்று-அயோக்கியத்தனமான வேலைகளில் ஈடுபட்டு வருகிறார்கள். இந்திய-இந்து எதிர்ப்பும் இங்குதான் ஒன்றாக வேலை செய்கின்றன.

Clooney, Bama Gopalan, Kumudam

ஒருதலைப் பட்சமான, போலி உரையாடல்கள்: “உரையாடல்” [dailogue], “மதங்கங்களுக்குள் உரையாடல்” [inter-religious dialogu], “மதங்களுக்குள் இடையே உரையாடல்” [inter-faith dialogue] என்ற ரீதியில் கிருத்துவர்கள் பரிசோதனை செய்து வருகிறார்கள். அதை அவர்கள் திட்டமிட்டு நடத்தி வருகிறார்கள். ஆனால், இந்துக்களுக்கு அது தெரியாது. படித்தவர்கள், “எல்லாம் மதங்களும் ஒன்று,” “எல்லா மதங்களும் ஒன்றைத் தான் போதிக்கின்றன,” “ஒளி பலவென்றாலும் வெளிச்சம் ஒன்று”, என்று ஏதோ மேலெழுந்தவாரியாக அல்லது முற்றும் துறந்த முனிவர் போல பேசும் ரகங்களைத் தான், இந்து சாமியார்களிடம், மடாதிபதிகளிடம், “துறவி” போன்ற வகையறாக்களில் காணப்படுகின்றன. இவர்களால் இக்காலநிலையில், இந்துக்களும், நன்மையை விட, எதிர்மறையான விளைவைத் தான் ஏற்படுத்துகிறது. உண்மையில், இந்திய மதநூல்களை எல்லாம் படித்து விட்டு, அதில் சொல்லப் பட்டிருக்கின்ற இந்து கடவுளர் எல்லாமே, கிருத்துவ மதத்திலிருந்து காப்பியடிக்கப் பட்டது, பெறப்பட்டது என்று முடிவாக விளக்கம் கொடுப்பது தான் அவர்களது திட்டம். மறைந்துள்ள ஏசு, உள்ளேயிருக்கும் கிறிஸ்து, ஞானகுரு என்றெல்லாம் சொல்வது அவர்களது வழக்கம். ஆனால், செக்யூலரிஸ, முட்டாள் மற்றும் படிக்காத இந்துக்கள் இதனை அறிந்டு கொள்வதில்லை.

Clooney, Vasudha Narayanan

கிருத்துவர்களின் கட்டுக்கதை மோசடிகள்: ஏசு, கிறிஸ்து அல்லது ஏசு கிறிஸ்து ஒரு கட்டுக்கதை, சரித்திர ரீதியில் இல்லை என்று மேனாட்டில், கடந்த 200 வருடங்களில் பெரிய-பெரிய கிருத்துவ இறையியல் வல்லுனர்கள் ஆராய்ச்சியாளர்கள் மற்றும் சரித்திராசிரியர்கள் எடுத்துக் காட்டி விட்டனர். இதனால், கிருத்துவர்கள், கிருத்துவ மதத்திற்கு சரித்திர ஆதாரம், தொன்மை முதலியவை குறைவு மற்றும் இல்லை என்ற ரீதியில், மற்றவற்றின் சரித்திர ஆதாரங்கள், தொன்மை முதலியவற்றை தமது போல காட்டிக் கொள்ள, ஆவணங்களை திரித்து எழுதி, போலி ஆதாரங்களை உருவாக்கி, ஒரு மாயையை உருவாக்கி வருகின்றனர். இவையெல்லாம் இன்றும் தொடர்ந்து வருகின்றன. “அதையும்-இதையும் இணைத்து, இரண்டும் ஒன்று” என்ற ஏமாற்று சமன்பாட்டை வைத்து, ஏமாற்றி வரும் போது, நம்பி மோசம் போவது, இந்துக்கள் தாம். “தாமஸ்கட்டுக் கதை,” “இந்தியாவில் ஏசு” போன்ற கட்டுக்கதைகளின் பின்னணி இதுதான். இதெல்லாம் பொய், பித்தலாட்டம், ஏமாற்று வேலை, மோசடி என்றெல்லாம் அடிக்கடி வெளிப்பட்டாலும், வெட்கமில்ல்லாமல் தொடர்ந்து செய்வது தான் அவர்களது கை வைந்த கலை. ஏனெனில், அத்தகைய விவரங்கள் ஒருசிலருக்கே தெரியும் மற்றவகளுக்குத் தெரியாது என்ற நிலையில், மோசடிகளை செய்து வருகின்றனர்.

Nuns inside Srirangam temple -08-05-2018

ஶ்ரீரங்கமும், கிருத்துவர்களும்: ஶ்ரீரங்கம் கோவிலுக்குள் கிருத்துவர் நுழைந்து விட்டார்கள் என்று புலம்புகின்றனர் “இந்துத்துவ வாதிகள்”, ஆனால் கிருத்துவர்களுக்கு உதவுவது இவர்களில் சிலர். 08-05-2018, செவ்வாய்கிழமை அன்று கன்னியாஸ்திரிக்கள் நுழைந்தது “குளூனி” விஜயம் போன்றதா என்று ஆராய வேண்டும்[1]ஏனெனில், குளூனி அங்கு வந்து சென்றபோது, யாரும், இந்த அளவுக்கு போட்டோ, போட்டு கேட்டதாகத் தெரியவில்லை. பொதுவாக வெளிநாட்டினர், மற்ற மதத்தினர் கோவிலில் குறிப்பிட்ட இடம் வரை அனுமதிக்கப் படுவது உண்டு[2]. அங்கு உண்மையில் என்ன நடக்கிறது என்பது தெரியாமல் இவர்கள் செயலாற்றுவதால் பலனில்லை. ஒரு ஶ்ரீரங்கத்து ஜீயருக்கும் அங்கிருக்கும் ஒரு கிருத்துவ செமினரி பாஸ்டருக்கும் நட்பு என்ற ரீதியில், ஜீயர் பாஸ்டருக்கு மாலை போட்டு கௌரவித்திருக்கிறார், இதை அந்த பாஸ்டரே பெருமையாகச் சொல்லிக் கொள்கிறார். ஆனால், எந்த சர்ச்சோ, செமினரியோ, கிருத்துவ மடாலயமே, இந்துவை உள்ளே விடுவதில்லை. அப்படியே, யாராவது சென்றாலும், “ஏதாவது ஒரு காரணாம் சொல்லி” திருப்பி அனுப்பப் படுவர்.

Francis Clooney at Laksmi temple

பிரான்சிஸ் சேவியர் குளூனி கோவில்களுக்குள் சென்று வந்தது: பிரான்சிஸ் சேவியர் குளூனி [ஹார்வார்ட் புரபசர்] என்பவர், தமிழகத்திற்கு பலமுறை வந்து, கிருத்துவம் மற்றும் வைணவம் இரண்டையும் ஒப்பீட்டு செய்து ஆராய்ச்சி செய்கின்றேன் என்ற விதத்தில் வந்து போக ஆரம்பித்தார். 1982-83, 1992-93, 2011 என்று பல வருடங்கள் வந்து, வருடத்திற்கும் மேலாக தங்கிருந்தார். “ஐக்கிய ஆலயம்” இவருடைய தங்கியிருந்த இடம், அங்கு தான் இக்னேசியஸ்ஸ் இருதயம் என்பவர் இவரை நன்றாக கவனித்துக் கொண்டார். வெஇயில் வரும்போது, கதர் சர்ட்டைப் போட்டுக் கொண்டு வந்ததால், ஏதோ அமெரிக்க பிராமணர் அல்லது “”ஹரே கிருஷ்ண” கோஷ்டி என்று நினைத்துக் கொண்டனர். இதனால், சைக்கிளில் ஊர்வலம் வந்து சென்னை முழுவதும் சுற்றி வந்து, ஏகப்பட்ட கோவில்களுக்கு சென்று வந்துள்ளார். அம்மன் கோவில்கள் இவருக்கு தனிப்பட்ட விருப்பமாகும். தமிழைக் கண்டு கொண்டுதால், அப்படியே பேசி சமாளித்து சமாளித்துள்ளார். பணத்தைப் பொறுத்த வரையில் கவலை இல்லை. தாராளமாகவே செலவழித்திருக்கிறார். தமிழகத்தை பஸ், ரெயில் என்று பயணித்து பற்பல கோவில்களுக்கு சென்று வந்தார். ஶ்ரீரங்கம் கோவிலுக்குள் பலமுறை சென்றுள்ளார். அமெரிக்க மற்றும் உள்ளூர் நண்பர்கள் உதவியுள்ளனர். திருமலை கோவிலுக்கு 1983 மற்றும் 1992 என்று இரு முறை சென்றுள்ளாதாக அவரே பதிவு செய்துள்ளார். அங்குள்ள பட்டரின் நண்பரான புரபசர் அவருக்கு உதவியுள்ளார்.

© வேதபிரகாஷ்

11-05-2018


Fr Clooney SJ - lecture -2011

[1] The Hindu, Christian nuns’ visit to temple causes flutter, R. Rajaram, TIRUCHI, MAY 10, 2018 00:00 IST; UPDATED: MAY 10, 2018 05:11 IST

[2] The visit of a group of Christian nuns to Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam on Tuesday evening caused a flutter on social media. The visit raised a furore after allegations were made on a social networking site that the nuns in their religious attire started to pray taking out their rosaries while inside the temple. Photographs showing a group of nuns standing and walking near Thousand Pillar Mandapam were also widely circulated on online messaging platforms. Officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department said the nuns had come from Kerala as tourists and were indeed in their religious attire, but did not pray with rosaries inside the temple. The nuns were near the Thousand Pillar Mandapam at the outer prakaram when it was brought to the notice of the temple authorities by some devotees. Temple officials said the nuns were politely asked to leave the premises as they were in their religious attire. The nuns left the temple immediately, an official said. Although people of other faiths, including foreign nationals, were permitted inside the temple, they were not allowed beyond the Aryapadaal entrance. Visitors of other faiths were not allowed inside any of the Sannidhis as well, the temple authorities explained.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/nuns-visit-to-temple-causes-flutter/article23830818.ece

The Christian-Vaishnavite dialogue continues: Clooney’s 2011 visit to Chennai!

August 12, 2011

The Christian-Vaishnavite dialogue continues: Clooney’s 2011 visit to Chennai!

Fr Clooney SJ - lecture -2011

Silent critics, active dialoguers and sleeping theologians: The visit of Francis Xavier Clooney to Chennai / India during July-August 2011 has not been informed, noted or publicized by his critics like last year or so[1]. Those who used to write something to him or to the newspapers have also been silent. Like last year, perhaps he has also not started his blogging at “American Catholic Journal” site[2]. However, from the media (mainly through browsing), I find there has been coverage about him attending seminars, conferences as usual. I have just tried to collect and post here for reference chronologically. Readers and interested dialoguers can add, point out the left outs and other comments as usual.

Fr Clooney SJ - Vidyajoti- lecture -2011

1. Hindu Texts for Christian Theology?—Prof. Francis Xavier Clooney SJ[3]: This was the topic of the special lecture given by Prof. Francis Xavier Clooney SJ at Vidyajyoti on July 27, 2011. He spoke of the importance of reading the texts of other religions while doing Christian theology[4]. Doing theology in the Indian context evidently calls for special attention to Hindu texts. In many ways, reading and reflecting on other religious texts are similar to reading and reflecting on biblical texts. In either case, one needs to give much time and go back to the text again and again. This leads to better understanding and newer insights. One needs to ask: What is the God experience hidden in the Hindu/Christian text? Dr. Clooney illustrated his ideas by bringing together select texts from Song of Songs of the Bible and Tiruvaymoli of the Tamil bhakti tradition.

Dr. Clooney is the Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions. He is well-versed in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hindu India and is an acclaimed contributor in the developing field of comparative theology. The scholarly lecture was very enlightening and led to a lively discussion moderated by Fr. George Gispert-Sauch SJ, an eminent Indologist and emeritus Professor at Vidyajyoti.

NOP Vaishnava college, Clooney- resource person

2. Shape of religious trajectories to come[5]: August 1, 2011:  No amount of praise will be enough for the Principal of the Chennai-based MOP Vaishnav College for Women and the Head of its Department of Sociology for organising an International Seminar on August 2, on the continuities and changes as well as the traditions and improvisations that are likely to influence the dynamics of religious trajectories in the decades ahead.
Not only is the choice of the theme imaginative and inspired in the light of the challenges, problems and dilemmas bearing on the precepts and practices of various religions, but it is also relevant and timely in the context of the debate provoked world-wide by the delusional rantings of Anders Behring Breivik who perpetrated the shocker of a carnage at Oslo (Norway).

The topics covered by the participants are a happy blend of the elucidation of the tantalising aspects such as the secularisation of bindi on the forehead, universalisation of religion in story-telling, Diwali as Nature’s nemesis and the power of Sanskrit, and the exploration of the important “affects” (as the sociologists call them to differentiate them from “effects”) of religion in relation to economics, environment, pluralism, globalisation and modernisation.

NOT A STAND-ALONE CONCEPT Karl Marx’s often quoted statement, “Religion is the opiate of the masses” is actually the concluding part of his observation which is not that censorious: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.” Religion is also the end-product of the quest of humankind for a dispenser of happiness and a refuge from forces of evil to which it finds itself unequal.

Saints, seers and sages have regarded religions as so many paths to the same Supreme Power by whatever name called. Scholarly writings based on a deep study of the real purport and purpose of religions of the world have quoted chapter and verse from every religious scripture to bring out the breadth of vision that looks at the whole humankind as one family and its total well-being as the paramount objective. Religion was never interpreted as a stand-alone concept but as being part of a continuum of religion-spirituality-ethics and morality-humanity.

Indeed, there are many passages in religious books enjoining respect for different faiths, harmony, fellow-feeling and compassion which are almost identical in language and content; if the information about the source from which they have been taken is undisclosed, it will be hard to tell which passage pertained to which religious teaching.

‘HEAVEN OF FREEDOM’ Of late, though, religious denominations are being exposed to severe tensions. First and foremost among them is the spread of religious prejudices, especially after 9/11. The Norway outrage cannot be dismissed as resulting from a single person’s sick mind, because there are many elsewhere too who entertain with varying degrees of intensity and conviction the same fears of being swamped by religious fanatics and immigrants with whom the native populations have little in common.

Second, social mores are undergoing a sea-change, throwing state-religion-society relations into a state of turmoil. As a paper on the subject of religious trajectories puts it, “demands for the recognition of gay marriage, teen marriage and inter-marriage…undermine existing religion-state agreements. Societies can….display secular trends, while state institutions remain bound to religious norms, or societies may become more religious while states remain, or attempt to remain, secular…” Third, the interconnectivities brought about by globalisation and the vast unknown of the new economy pose the dilemma of adjustment and threat of marginalisation to religion.

There are also unresolved questions about the impact on religion of advances in technology, such as space research poking into the Universe and genomics revolution abolishing death itself.

 Finally: Will the cumulative effect of all these changes be a situation in which either there will be no need for religion or the society will on its own be freed from the hold of any kind of religious identities, enabling the world to awake into that “heaven of freedom” described by Rabindranath Tagore in his poem “Where the mind is without fear…”.

Clooney at MOP Vaishnava college, Published on August 01, 2011

3. Religious Trajectories: Continuities and Changes, Traditions and Improvisations[6]:  CHENNAI: In the modern world, understanding of God has become smaller and there is a need to go deeper into tradition to understand what God is like, according to director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, Prof Francis X Clooney.

Addressing a seminar on Dynamics of Religious Trajectories: Continuities and Changes, Traditions and Improvisations at the M O P Vaishnav College here, Clooney said traditions were not the things of the past, they could cha-nge the world.

He said religion was not static and it kept changing as the modern world. “God is like a lover and tends to change. We can’t restrict him saying he belongs to me,” he said.

Clooney, who is also Parkman professor of divinity and comparative theology, said that in the current scenario the focus was more on power, politics as well as material gains and in the process, ireligion and tradition are ignored. He said the world could be changed by one who had religious values.

Clooney- gave Radhakrishna lecture -2011

4. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Endowment Lectures: Department of Philosophy organized Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Endowment Lectures on 5th August 2011. Prof. Francis X. Clooney, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, USA delivered two lectures on theme “Comparative Theology as 21st Century Christian Theology” and “The Drama of a God Who Comes and Goes: Reading the Biblical Song of Songs with the Srivaishnava Thiruvaymoli“.

The Principal, Dr. R.W. Alexander Jesudasan[7] presided over the function and the Bursar, Mr. C. Sundaraj and student and faculty of various departments were present on the occasion[8].

Loving God or devotee or dialoguer or incuturation? Only for the Indian Express report, I could respond as follows[9]: “Your report is partial, as Clooney’s intention has been otherwise. It is not that God is like a lover, but the question is the theologian’s attempt to impose enslaving act of restriction with the assertion that only “I can love him, you cannot”. Or “I can only love more than you”. But the the hidden agenda has been, “I love the God, but you do not; and you love a god that I cannot love”. As long as theocratic arrogance trots under the hypocritical religious superiority, love is lost!


[5] B. S. Raghavan, Shape of religious trajectories to come, http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/b-s-raghavan/article2311234.ece

[6] ‘God Is like a lover, can’t restrict him’,  Express News Service, Last Updated : 03 Aug 2011 09:23:22 AM IST, http://expressbuzz.com/cities/chennai/god-is-like-a-lover-can%E2%80%99t-restrict-him/300447.html<

[7] DrR. W. Alexander Jesudasan. Principal. Address: Madras Christian College TambaramChennai Tamil Nadu 600 059.