Excellent way to sell movie, create controversy and sale will be zooooooooooom. <!--emo&
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I hope pirated copies on road side shop in India must be making good money. Yet to see road side Hindi version. <!--emo&
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<b>Pope condemns Indian bans on conversion</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Paris, May 18: Pope Benedict condemned Hindu nationalist attempts to ban religious conversions in India in a speech on Thursday reflecting growing tension among major faiths about the role and nature of missionary work.
In unusually strong language, the Pontiff told New Delhi's new ambassador to the Vatican that efforts in some states to outlaw conversions were unconstitutional and should be rejected.
Anti-conversion laws were "unconstitutional (and) contrary to the highest ideals of India's founding fathers," he said, according to the text of his speech released by the Vatican.
The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has been advocating conversion bans in recent years as it gained ground in state elections. India's 1.1 billion population is 80 percent Hindu, 14 percent Muslim and <b>3 percent Christian</b>.
Now vatican will write India's consitution.
Pope should allow Hindu temple in Vatican.
Please contribute money to built temple in Vatican.
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+May 16 2006, 08:23 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ May 16 2006, 08:23 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sunder-ji
Going by the above I have an idea. We should setup a website which analyses why christianity failed in India and damn Hindoo Heathens just wont play along. I think good old Hindoo gentleman did a fine job there, we need to continue in the same vein to help out our missionary brethren.
An example here.. http://cricket.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdis...x?cid=2699
I agree Rajesh Bhai. We already have a very good compilation by Sri Sita Ram Goel on the tactics of the missionaries. We need a list of counter measures and a way to effectively communicate it and implement it amongst the masses.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I was searching for this book of Mark Twain, which is well written travelogue just for it's beautiful and captivating narration. Of interest is Mark Twain relating how (and partly why) Christianity failed to make a fast progress in India.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Sunder you might find the following compilation (it's in the graphic format) even more interesting, it outlines the observations of the nutcase Abbe J.A. Dubois on why he thought conversion of Hindus to xtianity was not practicable:
In the intro it says:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->During that time, he has vainly in his exertions to promote the cause of Christianity, watered the soil of India with his sweats, and many times with his tears..... Everywhere the seeds sown by him have fallen upon a naked rock, and have instantly dried away.
Dubois himself says:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->it is my decided opinion that under the existing circumstances there is no human possibility of converting the Hindoos, to any sect of christianity
I support the idea of a Hindu Temple in the Vatican. The promoter of tolerance that the Pope is (Ignoring the brutal history of course), he must champion the recognition of Hinduism as a religion in Italy and France, where Islam, Judaism and even Buddhism are recognized. When a member of the Hitler Youth talks, the world must listen, it's the Master Race talking.
Also, the Pope should stop complaining about Protestant Evangelists converting Catholics in South America, because that would be hypocrisy.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Which Good Book? Missionary Education and Conversion in Colonial India</b>.
Semeia; 1/1/2001; Seth, Sanjay
The following essay in postcolonial criticism narrates the tale of how an attempt to accommodate to colonial "difference" led to a slippage of meaning, which in turn produced an outcome altogether different from that which had been intended. Though the history of Europe is frequently narrated as one in which science came into conflict with and triumphed over religion, in colonial India it was missionaries themselves who came to see Western science as an ally in their proselytising efforts. Given the "natives" stubborn attachment to his own religions, they concluded that here the prelude to conversion would have to be the introduction of Western science and learning, which would serve as a solvent of Hindu and Islamic belief, thus paving the way for the introduction of the true Word of God. This view yielded a corresponding strategy, namely, the extensive involvement of Christian missionaries in education. However, missionary efforts to educate the native led, not to a weakening of old values and their replace ment by new ones, but (in the view of some) to a nihilism so alarming that it led many colonial officials to advocate as a solution the introduction of instruction in the religions of India into the very schools and colleges that, it was once hoped, would be the solvents of such false religions.
Colonialism was always more than the ruthless exploitation of natural resources, labour, and captive markets, though it was always that. It was also a process of "export" (of peoples, of social processes, and of technologies, even of viruses and diseases) and exchange, albeit highly unequal exchange undertaken in coercive circumstances. In this process, that which was exchanged assumed new forms and meanings in changed circumstances. It has often been observed that economic and social forms that were part of the history of Europe, when introduced to the colonies, often had entirely different and unexpected consequences; for instance, the long debate within the colonial administration in Bengal on the system of land ownership and revenue collection to be instituted in Bengal did not result in measures that facilitated the emergence of a class of improving landlords and a yeoman peasantry, as desired, but rather produced a rentier feudal landlord class and rack-rented peasantry. The significance of widely cited examples such as this, however, is sometimes misunderstood. It was not that in the colonies things had unexpected consequences simply because the different (colonial) "conditions" meant certain processes were bound to have different effects, in the same way that light travels at different velocities in different media. In this example, it is not just that the permanent settlement in Bengal had the results it did because systems of land tenure were very different in India, thus frustrating and falsifying the intentions of the authors of the permanent settlement. Such an understanding of history treats "event" and "process" as lying outside of "meaning" and "language." In fact, the enactment of changes in land ownership, the introduction of technology, the despotic nature of colonial rule--these were never simply events or processes that existed independent of the significations and meanings they carried and that were ascribed to them. For the transfer of institutions, structures, and processes, and the enactm ent of intentions and desires in the colonies, required that they be cast in the "idiom" (in the linguistic as well as extralinguistic sense) of the colonial theatre. This always created the possibility of a slippage of meaning, of a sign coming to signify something other than, or in excess of, its intended meaning; and such misreadings were characteristic, even constitutive, of the colonial encounter. The colonial theatre was not where the intentions of the colonized were calmly enacted (civilization exported, capitalism transplanted), nor where the "cunning of history" did its work, with the dialectic producing outcomes opposite to those intended by the rulers. Rather, it was the site where dissemination and displacement occurred, where processes and tales of Western provenance were enacted with a slippage.
An essay in postcolonial criticism, this essay examines one such displacement. One of the artefacts that Europe sought to export to the colonies was Christianity. Here there was no question but that what was being introduced was a matter of meanings, ideas, and belief. As this essay seeks to document, the agencies responsible decided that in India the revelation of God's word would follow a distinct trajectory; for it to be heard and embraced the recipients of it had first to be remade so that they were in a position to appreciate it. Education was to be the means of this. Such education was not, however, to be entirely or even principally religious. In the "special conditions" of India, secular learning, the relation of which to religion was a matter of debate in Europe, was unambiguously seen as an ally of Christianity, indeed, as an essential preparatory phase for the reception of Christianity. In India science and enlightenment came to be seen as the handmaidens of true religion. But India proved to be ev en more "different" than missionaries had allowed for; Western education paved the way, not for conversion to Christianity, but rather--or so at least missionaries and many others came to believe--to scepticism and impiety. The hoped-for outcome was deflected because the meaning and significance of Western learning was absorbed in an unauthorized, "mistaken" way. Western education, the answer to the riddle of how to spread the message of Christianity in India, came to seen as part of a new problem, that of educated Indians losing their moral bearings, to which problem instruction in their own religions was, ironically, advocated as a solution.
Apart from a few Christian communities in south India, left behind from contacts with Christianity in earlier centuries, the progress of Christianity in India was intimately tied up with the activities of its British rulers. British rule facilitated Christian and missionary activity indirectly in a host of ways, and directly through the sometimes sympathetic intervention of colonial officials. Yet it was one of the peculiarities of the Raj that in its official capacity the British Indian government resolutely refused to champion Christianity. From the mid-eighteenth century, when the East India Company went from being a trading monopoly to also becoming ruler over a large and growing territory, it pronounced a policy of religious neutrality and social noninterference--it sought the obedience of its subjects, but not any transformation in their beliefs or practices. Even if on occasion the colonial authorities--usually with great reluctance--could be prevailed upon to outlaw certain practices, such as sati or widow-burning, they repeatedly professed their religious neutrality. After the Mutiny, when the British Parliament took over direct administration of India, the Queen's proclamation assured her subjects that their faiths would continue to be respected. As long as her subjects paid and obeyed, those subjects could profess whatever they chose; even the civil law under which they were administered was for a long time Hindu and Muslim law, as interpreted by British-established courts.
Indeed, until 1813 missionaries could only operate on Company-controlled territory with Company permission, and subject to many constraints. One of the earliest missionary bodies, the Baptist Missionary Society, active in India since 1793, chose to found its chief mission at Serampur, then under the control of the more welcoming Danish authorities, rather than in British India. It is true that the powers Company officials had to limit and if need be prohibit missionary activity were not always vigorously exercised; in fact, many a devout colonial official assisted those propagating the faith. But at other times the prohibitions were strictly enforced, as for instance after the mutiny of native troops stationed in the southern Indian city of Vellore in 1806, a mutiny widely attributed to a reaction against overzealous and insensitive missionary activity.
The charter of the East India Company was renewed--and revised--by Parliament at twenty-year intervals. In 1793 efforts by the Clapham sect evangelists to insert a "pious clause" requiring Company support for missionary activity was rebuffed, but the renewal of the charter in 1813 was accompanied by missionary bodies being given a free hand to carry out their activities, as well as the establishment of a bishopric and of archdeacons for the three presidency towns of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. The revised charter also committed the Company to accept some responsibility for the education of its Indian subjects, even if initially only to the tune of a miserly one lakh (sc. 100,000) of rupees a year. Both measures in their different ways marked the advance of the idea that British rule was to be justified not just for its economic benefits to Britain, nor even for the peace and law and order allegedly provided to Indians, but that the ultimate and "providential" reason why Britain had been granted India was to ensure the "moral and material progress" of India, soon to be charted in annual "Moral and Material Progress" reports.
The changes wrought in 1813 marked increased tolerance and even a limited measure of support for missionary activity, but not, the government avowed, a retreat from its policy of religious neutrality. Government now allowed missonaries to operate freely, but government itself remained neutral. For instance, the schools it established after the revision of its charter did not permit religious instruction, and it continued to resist all efforts to make state-supported education a vehicle for the propagation of Christianity, as when the Court of Directors in London disallowed a proposal from Madras to permit the use of the Bible in class in government schools, declaring, "We cannot consider it either expedient or prudent to introduce any branch of study which can in any way interfere with the religious feelings and opinion of the people." (1)
In missionary ranks the idea that education would be a powerful and even predominant aspect of the mission to win over souls was taking firm root. By the early decades of the nineteenth century conversions had been few, and those overwhelmingly among low castes, outcastes, and tribal groups; the "heartlands" of Hinduism remained not simply unconquered, but almost untouched. Caste in particular seemed to be an insuperable barrier to conversion, for conversion meant placing oneself outside of caste and thus severing most social ties and forms of social intercourse. Time and again missionaries complained that the institution of caste, and a stubborn attachment to their own "superstitions," made the work of winning over natives all but impossible. Thus, the Abbe Dubois, who had spent a lifetime in India, went so far as to declare that if the Hindus went to Europe to win converts to Siva and Visnu they were more likely of success than missionaries in India (73). Even those who had not, like the Abbe, despaired of success, found that street preaching, "exposing" the fallacies of Hinduism and Islam, and engaging in controversies with votaries of these religions--among the standard forms of proselytising activity (2)--succeeded in drawing audiences, but they were largely ineffective in securing converts. The Herculean efforts of the Serampur missionaries in translating the Bible into Indian languages--it was fully translated into six (including Sanskrit), and partly translated into another twenty-nine--was widely admired in England and seen as proof of the advance of the Christian cause. However, in India the quality of the translations was much criticized (Bryce, 1839:100-103), and more importantly, scepticism was widely voiced over the efficacy of such means in spreading the Word. The Abbe Dubois, for instance, prophesied that "these soi disant translations will soon find their way to bazaar streets, to be sold there, as waste paper, to the country grocers, for the purpose of wrapping their drugs in them" (112).
It was because a measure of disenchantment with prevailing methods had manifested itself that the idea of education as a means to conversion came to be accorded greater importance. This did not derive from the commonplace idea of "getting them young," for most champions of Christian education agreed that its potential did not principally lie in the prospect of numerous individual students converting. Rather, the importance accorded to education derived from the conviction that because Hindu society was particularly resistant to conversion, in India the saving of souls might have to proceed along a more time-consuming, and circuitous, path. The first bishop of India, T. F. Middleton, wrote in 1818, "The minds of the people are not generally in a state to be impressed by the force of argument, still less to be awakened to reflection by appeals to their feelings and to their fears .... [W]hat is further required seems to be a preparation of the native mind to comprehend the importance and truth of the doctrines proposed to them; and this must be the effect of education" (qtd. in Neill: 206). In a somewhat similar vein Bishop Cotton pronounced in 1860: "The general clearing away of ignorance, folly and superstition effected by education are as likely to pave the way for Christ's spirit as the plan of hurrying from village to village, preaching for a day or two, and not reappearing" (qtd. in Metcalf: 131).
The Reverend Miller, Principal of Madras Christian College, itself an outcome of this emphasis on education, went even further and told the Allahabad Missionary Conference of 1872 that conversions were not the measure of the success of Christian education, nor even what it principally aimed at: such education sought instead "a change of thought and feeling, a modification of character and formation of principles tending in a Christian direction ... to leaven the whole lump of Hinduism," aiming "not directly to save souls, but to make the work of saving them more speedy and more certain than it would be without it" (qtd. in Mathew: 56).
Most missionaries involved in the provision of education did hope to effect individual conversions; but, like Miller, they saw the chief value of education as lying in the fact that it served as a "leaven," acting upon Hindu society so as to gradually, in a molecular fashion as it were, transform it and "prepare the people at large, for the general ultimate reception of Christianity" (Duff, 1839:351) There was opposition as well--mission societies back home were wont to wonder why their emissaries were expending so much energy and resources on teaching rather than preaching--but from roughly the 1830s on many of the missions in India came to see the provision of education as one their chief tasks, especially in urban areas. The notion had taken hold that educating the young was necessary to prepare the minds of Hindus for later receptiveness to the Word of God--that education was, in a phrase often used at the time, a "praeparatio evangelica."
SCIENCE AS SOLVENT
The Scottish Church was especially active in educational work, and none more so than its first Indian missionary, Alexander Duff. Duff's General Assembly Institution opened in Calcutta in 1830, aiming to provide the boys of native gentlemen with religious instruction as well as with a grounding, through the medium of the English language, in Western arts and sciences. Duff was emphatic that education had to be at advanced rather than elementary levels, and in English rather than the vernaculars, if it was to have the desired transformative effect; and it had to be directed at the upper classes of native society if its impact were to flow through Hindu society as a whole, rather than be confined to its immediate recipients. His school began with much fanfare, with more applicants for admission than it could accommodate, and in subsequent years, as it expanded, it never experienced difficulty in filling new vacancies.
A demand for English education was developing among metropolitan elites in this period, a demand that grew at a rapid rate after 1835 when the British Indian government decided to patronize English over Oriental education and also began to make government employment increasingly dependent upon possession of educational qualifications. In 1854 the government announced that it would make government funds available to private (including missionary) schools and colleges, and thereafter there was a rapid growth in the numbers of schools and colleges offering Western education. The prestige attached to the conqueror's language, the access it gave one to the emerging colonial public sphere of courts, local and provincial councils, and the like, and, not least, the fact that it aided in what was many an urban middle-class colonial subject's highest aspiration--a goverment job--all combined to make English education a highly sought after commodity.
Mission schools and colleges provided this commodity, and some of them were thought to provide it exceedingly well. Such institutions were sought out by parents despite, rather than because of, the religious instruction they provided. Of course, missionaries were well aware of this, as the Scottish Church's James Bryce acknowledged of Duff's school:
The native youths do not come to it to obtain religious or Christian instruction, nor is that the object for which their parents send them there. What they are seeking is that education which is best to qualify them for earning a future livelihood; and they only do not refuse to take at the same time the instruction which you offer them, or rather, which you make an express condition of their receiving, in order to get the secular education which they want. (Bryce, 1856:23-24).
Thus there followed a cat-and-mouse game in which the missionary institution offered the bait of an English education, while the student and his parents sought to take the bait without swallowing the hook. Lal Behari Day, a Brahmin who had attended Duff's school, reported that his father answered friends who urged him against sending his son to a missionary school by saying that "he did not intend to make of me a learned man, but to give me so much knowledge of English as would enable me to obtain a decent situation; and that long before I was able to understand lectures on the Christian religion, he would withdraw me from the Institution, and put me into an Office" (Day: 474). Occasionally conversions did occur--Lal Behari Day was one such--but when "a conversion does occur," as a colonial official observed in 1859, "it is well known that the school is at once emptied, and only by slow and painful degrees that it attains anything like its former condition." (3) More often, parents succeeded in getting their sons an education without the disaster of conversion befalling them.
The secular education provided by mission schools and colleges was not included in the curriculum simply as a carrot dangled in front of Indian parents. It was seen as having a critical role to play in preparing the minds of India's elites for the ultimate reception of Christianity. Alexander Duff provides an enthusiastic and revealing description in his mammoth India and India Missions of how he came to the important discovery that the "truths of modem literature and science" could function as "the handmaid of true religion." He recounts how soon after the opening of his school he was conducting a junior class in which he asked, "What is rain?" A student replied that it came from the trunk of the elephant of the god Indra. Pressed for his source, he replied that he learnt this from his guru, whose authority in turn was a Shastra, a Hindu text. Instead of directly contradicting the student, Duff describes how he led his students through the everyday example of rice boiling in a pot: the rising of steam, conde nsation, the re-formation of water--at each point explaining the process and gaining the assent of students for the explanation. Assent is spontaneously given--heat causes the evaporation of water in the form of steam, and so on--until suddenly one boy, "as if ... finding that he had ... gone too far" manifests alarm and exclaims, "Ah! What have I been thinking? If your account be the true one, what becomes of our Shastra?" (560). The explanation, Duff writes, introduced the first doubt, the first suspicion, regarding the truth of the Hindu faith, and thus was the first step in "a mental struggle, which, though painfully protracted ... only terminated in the case of some, with the entire overthrow of Hinduism" (560). If this encounter with Western scientific knowledge was a revelation for his student, the incident was also, Duff declares, something of a revelation for himself. Literature and science were taught at his school because they were adjudged as "indispensable to an enlarged and liberal education." B ut this incident revealed to Duff a further, and more compelling, reason: "It now seemed as if geography, general history, and natural philosophy,--from their direct effect in destroying Hinduism,--had been divested of their secularity, and stamped with an impress of sacredness. In this view of the case, the teaching of these branches seemed no longer an indirect, secondary, ambiguous part of missionary labour,--but, in a sense, as direct, primary, and indubitable as the teaching of religion itself" (563).
This was close to the view of senior English officials like Macaulay and Trevelyan, who had been responsible for the introduction of Western education in India and had thought that it would ultimately pave the way for the triumph of Christianity. Western science--and English literature, as Gauri Viswanathan notes and argues in an important study--would, it was thought, be corrosive of Hinduism and thus would serve to disseminate and secure not only the colonial power's hegemony and legitimacy but also its religion. Here too it was recognized that India was different from Europe, and thus by undermining faith in Hinduism Western education might initially lead to scepticism, or the embrace of deism or various forms of "reformed" or Protestantized Hinduism, rather than a direct embrace of Christianity. Some thirty years after Macaulay penned his famous Minute, his nephew and biographer, Sir George Otto Trevelyan, judged that while very few educated Hindus had become Christians, his uncle's expectations had not b een falsified, for "an educated Hindoo almost inevitably becomes a Deist" (202), and once sufficient numbers of Hindus had forsaken "Brahminism" for deism, "we may trust that the majority of cultivated Hindoos will not be averse to accept the creed of their rulers" (204).
There was, however, an important difference between this and the position of Duff and most other missionaries, for to accept the legitimacy of the secular education provided in government schools was to accept a very secondary role for missions and missionaries, and moreover was directly counter to debates that were to rage in Britain over denominational education. Most missionaries were critics of what they described as the "godless" education provided in government schools, and they campaigned to overturn the exclusion of religious instruction from such schools. In a related manner, they insisted that even if it were the case that Western education led to some form of deism or to scepticism, the decoupling of loss of faith from discovery of another, or of "destruction" from "construction," was a danger rather than something to be welcomed. As Duff told a House of Lords Committee in 1853, "it is certainly not good simply to destroy," and thus his institution aimed "to combine as it were together, in close, i nseparable and harmonious union, what has been called a useful secular, with a decidedly religious education" (Mahmood: 72). Western science and literature were negative and preparatory, for they destroyed Hinduism and paved the way for the true faith. Christian teaching was positive; it replaced what had been destroyed. Secular knowledge on its own could be harmful; religious preaching to those unprepared for the gospel could never be harmful, but it could prove inefficacious. They were joined together in a properly Christian education, where each could do its work simultaneously with the other and act upon the youth of the educated and influential classes, whose example and influence might then act as a "leaven" upon Indian society.
Duff and others found confirmation in this view of things in the controversy surrounding Hindu College. The college was established in 1817 by some of the leading upper-caste Brahmins in Calcutta as a nondenominational centre for the teaching of the new, European knowledge. It was to become the home of a rationalist and sceptical "movement" led by a young and charismatic teacher, Derozio. Although it never had more than a handful of students, "Young Bengal" scandalized Calcutta society by its mocking of established convention (including through the eating of beef and consumption of alcohol) and religious beliefs, and its espousal of agnostic and atheistic doctrines. The commotion caused in respectable Calcutta society and the resultant dismissal of Derozio from the college staff led to endless speculation and denunciation of the immoral and "sceptical" effects of Western education or, at least, of secular education. Missionaries were often to use the example of Hindu College as an example of the "dangers" of secular education, and Duff very often presented his Institution as an alternative model to that provided by Hindu College, and even as a measure to "reclaim these wanderers, whose education and worldly cirumstances invest them with such mighty influence among their fellow-country-men." (4) But while Hindu College provided missionaries with a useful example of the dangers of secular education, and an opportunity to extol the virtues of their own schools and colleges, nonetheless there was still a very real sense in which government secular education was seen as an ally in their struggle (Viswanathan: 62), even if one much inferior to the desired alternative of Bible-teaching government schools. Reverend Summers told an international conference of Protestant missions in London that "90 per cent of the Hindu youth trained in Government colleges have ceased to believe in Hinduism and have become sceptics.... God be praised for such a beneficient result and [may] he lead them on through scepticism to a reasonable faith in Christ" (qtd. in Mathew: 68). James Bryce wrote indulgently,"'Young Bengal'... are indulging the very silly, but not perhaps unnatural pride, that their 'little learning' is carrying them beyond... priestcraft, as they designate all religious belief whatever. Teach them to drink a little deeper of the stream, and they may bend submissive to the apostles of the Cross" (1856:9). And even Duff approvingly quoted the editor of the Inquirer newspaper, a former student at Hindu College and a convert to Christianity, to the effect that "the Hindu college ... has ... destroyed many a native's belief in Hinduism.... No missionary ever taught us to forsake the religion of our fathers; it was Government that did us this service" (1850:88).
A STALLED TRANSITION
The relative confidence of this earlier period--that Western education would eventually lead to more and more of the educated classes being weaned from their own religion and, perhaps via detours through reformed Hinduism such as the Arya Samaj or the Hindu-Christian eclecticism of the Brahmo Samaj, would be won over to Christianity--began to give way to concern in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The concern was fueled by a number of developments. One was simply that the hoped-for transition to Christianity did not seem to be in the offing. Most of those who became dissatisfied with existing forms of Hinduism and joined reformed versions such as the Arya Samaj treated them not as staging posts in an onward journey, but as the terminus. Morever, from the latter half of the nineteenth century the Arya Samaj became more aggressively anti-Christian and even began to make efforts to reconvert Hindus who had converted to Islam or Christianity (Jordens). More importantly, however, the fear of "Scepticism, " initially raised partly as a bogey against "godless education," became part of a more generalized and widespread concern, and complaint, about educated Indians-that they were undisciplined, had lost faith and all the restraints that went with it, and that they were morally "adrift," with no strong sense of right and wrong.
The nature of this complaint was so broad and amorphous, and the evidence for it so general and varied-indiscipline in the form of nationalist protest and criticism, a decay in manners, alleged impiety, growing disrespect for parents and other elders (5)--that it was voiced by a range of sources, not only by missionaries, but often by government and by many Indians. (Indeed, so varied and vague is the complaint that it is best treated as evidence for the existence of a generalized anxiety, rather than as evidence for the existence of the phenomena said to be causing anxiety.) With some important differences in inflection, the complaint and the explanation generally offered for it took the following form: through their contact with Western learning, educated Indians, it was argued, had lost faith in their religion and traditions and customs, without having found substitutes that were not so alien to their (not wholly abandoned) traditions that they could be grafted onto them. The transition from idolatry to Ch ristianity had dangerously stalled, the effect and symptoms of which were impiety, unrest, moral decay, and so on.
While addressing a conference, Governor Sir George Clark of Bombay adverted to "certain evils" to which the introduction of Western education had given rise, among them that "The restraining forces of ancient India have lost some of their power; the restraining forces of the West are inoperative in India. There has thus been a certain moral loss without any corresponding gain." (6) Keshab Chunder Sen warned that "In times of transition ... we always find that men for a while become reckless. The old faith is gone, and no new faith is established in its place. Society is unhinged and unsettled" (Murdoch: 3). By 1913 a Government "Resolution on Educational Policy" noted that "the most thoughtful minds in India lament the tendency of the existing system of education to develop the intellect at the expense of the moral and religious faculties" and described this as "unquestionably the most important educational problem of the day" (Indian Education Policy 1913: par. 5).
The density of this discourse on moral decline, and the relation of this idea of a "stalled transition" to one of the justifying premises of British rule-- namely, that this rule would facilitate a transition from decay to dynamism, from backwardness to civilization--warrants separate treatment elsewhere. What is significant here is that the symptoms of this failed transition were seen to manifest themselves especially acutely in the form of a moral crisis, a loss of moral moorings; and that from there it was an easy step to ascribe this to the absence of religious instruction which might accompany and temper the effects of the new education. Even the British Indian Government came to embrace this conclusion, at least in part. However, bound by its policy of religious neutrality in government schools, the "correctives" it proposed took the form of advocating the introduction of special "moral textbooks," exhortations to teachers to seek to exercise a moral influence over their charges, schemes for housing stu dents in hostels where good influences could be brought to bear and discipline instilled, and so on.
For others, not so constrained, the remedy was obvious-that religious instruction be a prominent feature of all schools, including government schools. The establishment of Hindu and Muslim "denominational" schools of a modern type, and the drive to establish colleges and universities that would combine Western learning with Hindu and Muslim religious instruction, made such arguments with great effect. For instance, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Congress politician and member of the (ultimately successful) movement to found a Hindu University in Benares, would refer to government acknowledgements that "moral education" was the Achilies heel of the educational system and suggest that "this is one of the strongest arguments in favour of a denominational university.... it will be able to make up an acknowledged deficiency in the present system of education" (29). Arguments of this type had of course long been used by missionaries to urge the teaching of Christianity in government schools; but now they were not the sole p reserve of missionaries, but were being used more assertively and effectively by those urging education in the religions of India.
The missionary emphasis on the necessity of Western education as a praeparatio evangelica grew out of a recognition that India was "different" and that the manner in which the word of god was disseminated would have to be adapted to the specificities and peculiarities of India. Another measure of India's difference was that here, far more than in its European birthplace, secular learning was seen to be an ally of evangelization. But these attempts at adaptation and translation themselves underwent an unintended slippage. As we have seen, the Western education that was thought to be an aid in the dissemination of Christianity came to be widely seen as a source of irreligion and immorality. Nor was this by any means the only slip between intention and outcome, the only instance where a reproduction presented a distorted image of the original. Science itself never fully worked in the way that Alexander Duff anticipated, that is, to dispel "superstition" and undermine Hinduism. Gyan Prakash has powerfully argued that to wrest from Indians an acknowledgment of its authority, science had to be cast or staged in terms that made it accessible to the native, had to "dwell in the religious dispositions and literary writings of the 'natives'." But if this established science's authority, it was a "paradoxical legitimation," for Western scientific knowledge was thereby opened up to an indigenization, documented by Prakash, which assimilated it by finding its antecedents in an earlier, Hindu science--a curious case of "the establishment of science's power in its estrangement" (64). The mode by which Indians acquired Western knowledge through modern schools and education itself militated against the "proper" acquisition and absorption of this knowledge--for over a hundred years, virtually from the beginnings of Western education in India to Independence in 1947 (and beyond), it was to be a persistent lament that Indian students missed the point of and defeated the intent of the new knowledge by "learning" it in the "old" manne r, namely, by committing it to memory.
These examples bring us back to the point with which this essay began. Colonialism, precisely because it could only function by presenting metropolitan processes and structures in a "native" idiom, invited "mis"-understanding, appropriation, and hybridization. That Western education did not prove to be as potent in spreading Christianity as had been expected, but instead led--or so some believed--to many educated Indians being deprived of the certainties of an old world and its moral code and yet without any replacements, is but one of many instances of this. The irony to be savoured lies, then, not in the fact of falsified intentions, for examples of this abound, but in the fact that even some missionaries came to find themselves sympathetic to the teaching of Hinduism in schools and colleges. As early as 1879 a critic of the missionaries observed that "complaint is made that somehow or other this 'Young-India' has lost the moral control of the old religions, and has not adopted that of the new," and went on to note the curious fact that "Regret seems to be felt for the extinction of the Hindu religion"(Cust: 14). And in 1910 H. W. Orange, Director General of Education for the Government of India, observed that "it is curious to find that there is among Christian missionaries some movement towards religious instruction in the faiths of this country." (7) The feeling was shared in government circles, which early in the new century relaxed the prohibition against religious instruction, allowing (optional) religious instruction, out of school hours, in government schools in the United Provinces and Punjab--in full recognition of the fact that in most cases this instruction would be in Hinduism and Islam. This policy was extended to Burma in 1910, where the Burma correspondent of The Times welcomed the new policy enthusiastically on the grounds that "The sanctions provided by Hinduism and Buddhism, though, as we believe, greatly inferior to those provided by Christianity, are immeasurably better than none at all." ( 8) And thus Western education, the "solution" to a problem---how to disseminate Christianity in India--itself became the problem of impiety and moral decline, to which one widely advocated solution came to be that instruction in the religions of India be introduced into the very schools and colleges which, it was once hoped, would be the solvents of such false religions.
(1.) Selections from the Records of the Madras Government, no. 2 ("Papers relating to Public Instruction") Madras 1855, Appendix VV.
(2.) For a discussion of the experiences of street preaching of the Serampur missionaries based on their diaries, see Mani (ch. 3). For the Hindu responses in some of these early controversies, see Young. In a letter (30 July 1833), Duff said of the crowds which gathered to hear street preachers, "Those who attend are, for the most part, stragglers of the lowest orders of natives.... They come ... solely for the purpose of scoffing and blaspheming" (Church of Scotland Foreign Mission Papers, Ms. 7530, National Library of Scotland).
(3.) Correspondence Relating to the System of Education in the Bombay Presidency: 65.
(4.) Letter 15 October 1830, Church of Scotland Foreign Mission Papers, Ms. 7530, National Library of Scotland.
(5.) One gets a flavour of this from a letter (17 June 1908) of the Inspector General of Education in the princely state of Mysore: "Irreverence of all kinds and disrespect for authority have been on the increase. Modesty, self-restraint and good sense are largely at a discount, while presumption, vanity and unrestrained aggressiveness appear to be increasing" (Home Education, August 1910, 1-3[A], National Archives of India).
(6.) Report of the Proceedings of a Conference on Moral, Civic and Sanitary Instruction: 2.
(7.) Education Department 74-76A, Sept. 1911, National Archives of India.
(8.) Education Department 74-76A, Sept. 1911, National Archives of India.
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1991 "Reconversion to Hinduism: The Shuddhi of the Arya Samaj." Pp. 215-30 in Religion in South Asia. 2d ed. Ed. Geoff A. Oddie. New Delhi: Manohar.
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Malaviya, Madan Mohan
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1988 Christian Missions, Education and Nationalism. Delhi: Anamika Prakashan.
1964 The Aftermath of Revolt: India 1857-1870. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
1904 India's Greatest Educational Need: The Adequate Recognition of Ethics in Her Present Transition State. London and Madras: n.p.
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1910 Bombay: Bombay Guardian Mission Press.
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Young, Richard Fox
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COPYRIGHT 2001 Society of Biblical Literature<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->INDIA: 'JESUS PRINCIPAL' CREATES STIR IN ASSAM
Guwahati, 17 May (AKI/Asian Age) - A school run by Christian missionaries has created a major controversy by claiming the "second incarnation of Jesus" in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam. The controversy began after the principal of the Christian missionary Oriental School at Silchar, in Assam's Barak Valley, claimed that Jesus Christ's "second incarnation is inside the bodies of the children behaving abnormally in his school."
The principal, S. Sailo, was so confident that he also made these claims in front of the district administration. The Silchar deputy commissioner G.D. Tripathi told the Indian newspaper Asian Age: "We have ordered an inquiry and closed down the school in view of increasing tension in the area. The ongoing examination has also been suspended for an indefinite period."
The local guardians of some students said the children reported to them that some of the other students had been behaving abnormally â dancing or falling senseless at prayer time in school. The principal, Sailo, instead of taking them to doctors, told the students that "Jesus had entered the bodies of these children and that was the reason for their abnormal behaviour".
"Some of the guardians complained, so we decided to check," said Tripathi. He added that "the principal of the school told us that abnormal behaviour in children is a religious phenomenon and that such references are also found in the Bible."
The matter was reported in some local newspaper, leading to tension in the area. "We have verified it with doctors, who say that the children exhibiting abnormal behaviour are infected with 'possession syndrome' so they should be isolated from other students. This disease also affects its surroundings," Tripathi said.
Meanwhile, some activists associated with the hardline Hindu group Bajrang Dal and National Students' Union of India of the Congress Party ransacked the school premises to protest against the claims of the principal.
"We are keeping a close watch on all developments and will not at any cost allow it to take a communal turn," the deputy commissioner of the district said, adding that the district administration has already sought the help of senior citizens and prominent religious leaders of the area to pacify the situation before it turns communal.
How Christian Evangelists Target Hindu American Students
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In âReaching The Hindu Worldâ, Christudas observes, âsince Hinduism "converted" into a missionary religion during the last century, it is growing more than ever before around the world.â
A recent report received by Henrietta Watson, head of the Institute of Hindu Studies at the U.S. Center for World Mission, states: "The Indo- American Society in Chicago overtly stated their goal is to have a Hindu temple and a training center in every American city with a population over 500,000 ...They are on target with imported idols and priests from India." Should we wait to hear more such reports before we begin to act, asks Christudas.
Another research report contains specific tips based on the field experiences of a senior evangelist, including detailed âdo's and don'tsâ :
âDo not criticize or condemn Hinduism. â¦. Criticizing Hinduism can make us feel we have won an argument; it will not win Hindus to Jesus Christâ¦Never allow a suggestion that separation from family and/or culture is necessary in becoming a disciple of Christ. â¦Avoid all that even hints at triumphalism and pride. â¦Do not speak quickly on hell, or on the fact that Jesus is the only way for salvation. â¦Never hurry. Any pushing for a decision or conversion will do great harm. â¦. Even after a profession of Christ is made, do not force quick changes regarding pictures of gods, charms, etc. â¦Do not force Christian ideas into passages of Hindu scripture. â¦ Empathize with Hindus. â¦. Learn to think as the Hindu thinks, and feel as he feelsâ¦. Those who move seriously into Christian work among Hindus need to become more knowledgeable in Hinduism than Hindus themselves areâ¦A new believer should be warned against making an abrupt announcement to his or her family, since that inflicts great pain and inevitably produces deep misunderstandingâ¦.â
Indian Christian evangelist Rajendra Pillai of Clarksburg, Md., gives the following advice in the Baptist Press of August 15, 2003: âLearn to think as the Hindu thinks, and feel as he feelsâ. Based in Clarksburg, Md., he is the author of a new book, "Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard."
Pillai explains: âWe are slowly realizing that our neighborhoods, communities and workplaces are changing. We're waking up to the fact that we now have new kinds of neighbors -- they look different, they speak a different language, they eat different kinds of food and speak with a foreign accent. We know they aren't Christians, because they worship other gods.
âNorth America has always been a land of immigrants, but now we have a new wave of people coming from countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East adding to the growing religious diversity in North America. We don't have to go overseas to meet someone from another culture. Each one of us can now be a missionary in our own communities.
âBetween 1990 and 2000, Hinduism has emerged as one of the fastest-growing religions in America. The number of Asian-Indians, most of whom are Hindu, has doubled every 10 years since 1980 to reach a record 1.7 million in 2000. USA Today reported that there are currently 1.3 million Hindus in the United States. The Pluralism Project of Harvard University (www.pluralism.org
) lists more than 700 Hindu temples in the United States, many built in the last 10 years. Many more are in the construction stage.â
Pillai observes, âWe can effectively reach Asian-Indians by knowing a little about their culture, beliefs and practices. First and foremost, we need to learn as much as possible about Hinduism.â
And he offers the following pointers:
âThe Indian culture is highly collectivist. This means that most Indians will consider their acceptance of the Gospel in light of how it will impact their families and friends. There is also a strong possibility of being rejected by family members if a person changes his or her religion. Chances are you will not get an immediate response. Be prepared to walk with and support your Indian friend if he or she wrestles spiritually.
âAs Indians come from a collectivist society and yearn for community, many will be open to coming to church if it means being a part of a community where people are genuinely concerned about each other. You might start by inviting them to less-threatening events outside of a Sunday church service.
âMost Asian-Indians yearn for community. Coming from a collectivist society, they have a tough time adjusting to the American individualistic culture. This is where Christians can step in, and the church can become the community they are seeking.â
Pillai warns: âOne thing that turns off many Asian-Indians is when Christians in this country just share the Gospel but are not interested in them in any other way. So if they say "no" to the Gospel, the same Christian friends and acquaintances disappear from their lives. Christian Asian-Indians who used to be Hindus say the most convincing argument for following Christ came through the love Christians showed toward them.â
Finally, asks Pillai: âIf His heart beats for people from every nation and if Jesus died for all nations, then how can we keep the great news of the Gospel to ourselves, especially now that they live next door?â
In Mission Frontierâs article âpersonal evangelism among educated Hindusâ, H.L. Richards writes: âFriendship evangelism is usually easy to initiate with Hindus. Most Hindus esteem religion in general and are free and open to speak about it. A sincere, nonjudgemental interest in all aspects of Indian Life will provide a good basis for friendship. Personal interaction with Hindus will lead to a more certain grasp of the essence of Hinduism than reading many books. A consistently Christ-like life is the most important factor in sharing the gospel with Hindus. The suggestions that follow should help to break down misunderstandings, of which there are far too many, and help to build a positive witness for Christ. Yet learning and applying these points can never substitute for a transparent life of peace and joy in discipleship to Jesus Christ.â
He advises: 1. Do not criticize or condemn Hinduism. There is much that is good and much that is bad in the practice of both Christianity and Hinduism. Pointing out the worst aspects of Hinduism is hardly the way to win friends or show love. It is to the credit of Hindus that they rarely retaliate against Christians by pointing out all our shameful practices and failures. Criticizing Hinduism can make us feel we have won an argument; it will not win Hindus to Jesus Christ.
5. Do not speak quickly on hell, or on the fact that Jesus is the only way for salvation. Hindus hear these things as triumphalism and are offended unnecessarily. Speak of hell only with tears of compassion. Point to Jesus so that it is obvious he is the only way, but leave the Hindu to see and conclude this for himself, rather than trying to force it on him. Richards says that a Hindu who professes faith in Christ must be helped as far as possible to work out the meaning of that commitment in his own cultural context.
He also warns: A new believer should be warned against making an abrupt announcement to his or her family, since that inflicts great pain and inevitable produces deep misunderstanding. Ideally, a Hindu will share each step of the pilgrimage to Christ with his or her family, so that there is no surprise at the end. An early stage of the communication, to be reaffirmed continually, would be the honest esteem for Indian/Hindu traditions in general that the disciple of Christ can and does maintain.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Religious intolerance: Pope stirs conversion cauldron
[ Friday, May 19, 2006 11:53:28 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
LONDON/NEW DELHI: The domestic dispute over religious conversions got an external dimension on Friday with an increasingly assertive Vatican coming down hard on India for initiatives taken by BJP governments to enact anti-conversion laws.
Thirteen months into his papacy, Benedict XVI upbraided Indiaâs new ambassador to the Holy See, Amitava Tripathi, as he presented his letters of accreditation, with the grim warning that there were "disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation, including the reprehensible attempt to legislate clearly discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom."
This was a reiteration, though sterner, of the seven-year-old message put out by the Popeâs predecessor, late John Paul II, on a visit to India in 1999 that religious conversion was a human right and it would be unconstitutional for India to ban it.
The Popeâs warning comes at a time when the emotive issue of conversion has again hit the surface following attempts to outlaw conversions in a BJP-controlled state.
A Bill passed by the Rajasthan assembly, which evoked strong protests from Christian groups, Left and liberals, has been lying with President APJ Abdul Kalam after it was referred to him by governor Pratibha Patil, a UPA government appointee.
In the full text of the popeâs comments to Tripathi, seen by TOI, Benedict XVI, once dubbed the âPanzerkardinalâ and 'Godâs Rottweiler,' said the attempt to restrict religious freedom "must be firmly rejected as not only unconstitutional, but also as contrary to the highest ideals of Indiaâs founding fathers, who believed in a nation of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups."
Back home, the foreign ministry, usually sensitive to any whiff of interference in Indiaâs internal affairs, chose to tread cautiously when approached for a response to the papal strictures.
"It is acknowledged universally that India is a secular and democratic country in which adherents of all religious faiths enjoy equal rights," it said.
BJP, however, did not have any compunction in taking on the hardliner Pope. It called his comments "grossly unjustified and an unnecessary interference in our internal affairs."
Da Vinci Code sparks wave of resentment
It is commercialisation of religion, say Catholic leaders
# Views The book has done great injustice to the authenticity of Christianity as a faith
# The film has tried to undermine the spirit of religion for monetary gains
# The book has done a great injustice to the authenticity of Christianity as a faith
# The film has tried to undermine the spirit of religion for monetary gains
# Certain congregations of the faith had been depicted in a poor light
# Many individuals and small groups of community leaders have written to the Government to make suitable changes
MANGALORE: A feeling of resentment over Da Vinci Code has gripped this coastal city, which is known as known as "Rome of the East."
It is "commercialisation of religion" and "selling the lives of great souls for profiteering," feel leaders of the Catholic community.
Senior administrator and priest Fr. Lawrance D'Souza said it had disturbed a section of society. Certain congregations of the faith had been depicted in a poor light. he said.
That over 290 Christian groups had appealed to the Government against the film pointed to the fact that there had been considerable resentment in the country against it, he said.
Fr. D'Souza said he was personally against sensationalising religious beliefs. The film, Da Vinci Code, was a product of fiction and the matter should stop there, Fr. D'Souza added. Senior scholar of Christianity at the St. Joseph's Seminary at Jeppu Fr. Santhosh told The Hindu that the book had done great injustice to the authenticity of Christianity as a faith. There was unnecessary reference to the administration of Vatican and the various congregations, he said.
Fr. Santhosh said there was no doubt that the book and the film were products of fiction, but one could not project something untrue as true even in fiction.
He said there was no factual or historical evidence showing that the books written by Peter and Thomas could be recognised as gospels. Hence any reference to the happenings in the life of Jesus Christ â whether he married Mary Magdalene or he died in India â could not be established with authority.
Kingdom of God
"As we know, Jesus Christ lived to proclaim the kingdom of god and there cannot be any other joy to true Christians than that," Fr. Santhosh added.
This was a major attack on the very roots of Christianity, which had to be condemned in no uncertain terms, said Fr. Francis Serrao, Rector of St. Aloysius institutions.
Christianity had been attacked so many times in the recent past, but this was the worst.
Spirit of religion
The film had tried to undermine the spirit of religion for monetary gains, he said. Christianity had always stood for proclaiming compassion, but this time it had gone beyond limits, and the pain had gone to the heart Fr. Serrao said. Many individuals and small groups of community leaders had written to the Government to make suitable changes in the film.
05-20-2006, 05:30 AM
(This post was last modified: 05-20-2006, 05:30 AM by agnivayu.)
The unelected dictatorial Pope is interfering in India's internal affairs, this is a national security threat.
This will actually backfire, I hope the new Hitler Youth Pope is a real hardliner, and shoots his mouth off more often.
Quote:=Bharatvarsh,May 20 2006, 02:59 AM]
BJP, however, did not have any compunction in taking on the hardliner Pope. It called his comments "grossly unjustified and an unnecessary interference in our internal affairs."
Pope targets India for Conversion
Mumbai, May 20: Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday appointed Cardinal Ivan Dias of Mumbai the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (CEP). He will oversee territory spanning 64 million sq km across five continents, in areas "where Christianity is still young".
<b>The appointment comes a day after the Pope upbraided Indiaâs new ambassador to the Holy See, Mr Amitava Tripathi,</b> about attempts by the BJP government in Rajasthan to enact anti-conversion laws. Mr Tripathi, presenting his credentials on Friday, was told that there were in India "disturbing signs" of attempts to "legislate restrictions" to the right to religious freedom. The ministry of external affairs had reacted mildly, saying, it was "acknowledged universally" that India is secular and all religious faiths enjoy equal rights.
Cardinal Dias, 70, is a member of the eight dicasteries (departments) of the Holy See. He has been asked to continue as administrator of the Archdiocese of Bombay till he leaves to take over his responsibilities at the Vatican, where his office will be at the famous Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps). Cardinal Diasâ new post is very prestigious. It is the third most important in the Vatican hierarchy, after the Pope and the Vatican secretary of state, and the person who occupies this position is informally called "the Red Pope" because of the red garments worn by cardinals. In his new capacity, Cardinal Dias will also oversee the appointment of cardinals.
The late Pope John Paul II had said in India a few years ago that the earlier centuries saw Christianity in Europe and the West, and that the 21st century was Asiaâs turn. Asked if this meant Cardinal Dias would be responsible for the conversion of the people in this 64 million sq km area, Father Anthony Charanghat, the official spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Bombay, said, "No. It does not mean conversion. Conversion cannot be external, it is a personal choice and it is a freedom and the right of a person. It cannot be imposed. Evangelisation is preaching the gospel. In the gospel it is said âGo forth and proclaim in the name Jesus,â and this seems to have been forgotten. It is a living word, and this is an element which is missing today as we seem to be playing down the message for lack of conviction." He said today Catholicism has been relegated to doing good work and watered down to social work.
Asked how evangelisation is different from conversion, he said, "Evangelisation is a blend of good work and example. People are always in search of truth and beauty and this is in Jesus and his life. The motivation for all action is God, a surrender to the person of Jesus, who embodies the love of God."
There is a view in the church that alternative religions are driving people away from God the person, hence the need to preach the gospel of Jesus, he said. "We are not looking for numbers. We are a small minority, but we want the Christian influence to pervade the universe," Father Anthony Charanghat said.
Cardinal Dias is well acquainted with Africa, Asia and eastern Europe as he has served in various capacities at the Vatican.
The CEP, founded in 1622, is the Vatican department entrusted with the coordination of programmes "aimed at spreading the good news of Jesus Christ in territories where Christianity is still young", said the statement sent out by the Catholic Communications Centre. It said at present this would cover 64 million sq km on the five continents where the Catholic population totals 185 million. In this area, there are some 1,100 dioceses and other ecclesiastical units; 2,400 bishops in active service or retired; 85,000 priests; 4,50,000 religious women; 28,000 religious brothers and 1.65 million catechists. Candidates to the priesthood receive spiritual and academic formation in 280 major and 110 minor seminaries with 65,000 major seminarians and 85,000 minor seminarians. In the mission territories the Catholic Church runs 90,000 educational institutes, 1,600 hospitals, 6,000 clinics, 780 leprosaria and 24,000 social and welfare institutions.
No Trial, No Punishment for Accused Molester Says Vatican
May 19, 2006 9:46 AM
Maddy Sauer Reports:
A well-connected Vatican insider accused of molesting young priests in training will not face a trial or be severely punished, the Vatican said today. Instead, Father Marcial Maciel was asked to give up all of his public ministry appearances.
A statement issued by the Vatican earlier today invited Father Maciel, who retired in 2005, "to lead a reserved life of prayer and penitence." There was no official finding of guilt.
A number of former priests told Vatican investigators they were abused by Father Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, a small but wealthy Catholic order that operates in the United States and 25 other countries.
Many of Maciel's accusers had waited for years for the Vatican's decision. "It has to come, we are so many victims of this man," Juan Vaca, one of the accusers, told ABC News earlier this week. The accusations go back to the 1950s.
The allegations were presented to Pope Benedict XVI in 1998 when he was a Cardinal. Some of the accusers said then-Cardinal Ratzinger attempted to cover up the case because of Maciel's prominence and close relationship with Pope John Paul II.
The then-Cardinal Ratzinger became visibly upset when asked about the Maciel case by ABC News' Brian Ross in April 2002.
"You do not ask such questions," he said and then slapped Ross's hand.
Any finding of guilt "would automatically become a stain on the legacy of Pope John Paul II, who was a huge supporter of Maciel," according to Jason Berry, author of "Vows of Silence," which deals with sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church.
The Legion of Christ issued a statement on his behalf saying that despite the allegations against Father Maciel, "he declared his innocence and, following the example of Jesus Christ, decided not to defend himself in any way."
Complete statement by the Legion of Christ follows:
In reference to the news regarding the conclusion of the investigation of the accusations made against Fr. Marcial Maciel, our beloved father founder, the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ offer the following statement:
1. Fr. Marcial Maciel has received during his life a great number of accusations. In the last few years, some of these were presented to the Holy See so that a canonical process would be opened.
2. Facing the accusations made against him, he declared his innocence and, following the example of Jesus Christ, decided not to defend himself in any way.
3. Considering his advanced age and his frail health, the Holy See has decided not to begin a canonical process but to "invite him to a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing to any public ministry."
4. Fr. Maciel, with the spirit of obedience to the Church that has always characterized him, he has accepted this communiquÃ© with faith, complete serenity and tranquility of conscience, knowing that it is a new cross that God, the Father of Mercy, has allowed him to suffer and that will obtain many graces for the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.
5. The Legionaries of Christ and the members of the Regnum Christi, following the example of Fr. Maciel and united to him, accept and will accept always the directives of the Holy See with profound spirit of obedience and faith. We renew our commitment to work with great intensity to live our charism of charity and extend the Kingdom of Christ serving the Church.
its funny how papa-razzi misses no chance to condemn the anti conversion bills in some indian states and even calls these acts of "injustice" towards minority religions, but never bothers to apologise for the genocides that the vatican themselves carried out in goa and other parts of india. spineless hardliners!!
<P>What exactly did the Pope say ?</P>
<P>The Holy Father told Ambassador Amitava Tripathi of his concern for the âdisturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation, including the reprehensible attempt to legislate clearly discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom, [and which] must be firmly rejected as not only unconstitutional, but also as contrary to the highest ideals of India's founding fathersâ who believed in a nation in which ethnic and religious groups could live in peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance</P>
<P>So the Pope has made 3 significant remarks. </P>
<P>- First that there are disturbing signs of religious intolerance</P>
<P>- second that attempts to legislate are unconstitutional</P>
<P>- thirdly that these legislations are contrary to the highest ideals of the founding fathers.</P>
<P>Well Offstumped analyzes all 3 of these charges by the Pope as well as throws futher light on what else is happening here. Interestingly enough Offstumped is now on the radar of the Christian activists in India, so this post welcomes the attention and invites comment.</P>
<P>So Offstumped has done some digging around. The current Pope previously when he was a Cardinal authored what is referred to in Vatican Lingo a Doctrinal Note. This Doctrinal Note was on the subject of <FONT size=4>The Participation of Catholics in Political Life</FONT>
<P>In this note, then Cardinal Ratzinger makes a very interesting observation:</P>
Quote:<P>Promoting the common good of society, according to oneâs conscience, has nothing to do with <<CONFESSIONALISM>> or <B style="COLOR: black; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #a0ffff">religious intolerance </B></P>
<P>All the faithful are well aware that specifically religious activities (such as the profession of faith, worship, administration of sacraments, theological doctrines, interchange between religious authorities and the members of religions) are outside the stateâs responsibility.Â The state must not interfere, nor in any way require or prohibit these activities, except when it is a question of public order</P>
<P>First important item to be observed in the statements above, there is no reference to Propogation or proselytization. So in effect the catholic doctrine acknowledges that regulating proselytization is within the State's responsibility and can be prohibited.
<P>The second important to be observed is that acting of one's conscience to promote the common good of society is not to be confused with religious intolerance.
<P><FONT color=#ff0000>So one can conclude by the Pope's own prescription that if the State were to act of its own conscience to promote common good and regulate proselytization (which by the way doctrine does not deem to be outside the state's responsibility) the State would not be guilty of Religious Intolerance and would be acting well within its limits</FONT>
<P>Now let us examine the other 2 questions that these attempts are unconstitutional and against the ideals of the founding fathers.
<P>We once again turn to the Constituent Assembly Debates when this issue was first discussed on 29th April 1947
<P><A style="BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: groove" href="http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol3p2.htm">http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol3p2.htm</A></P>
<P>THE HON'BLE SARDAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL,Â Chairman. Advisory Committee on Minorities, </P>
<P>Fundamental Rights, etc. when introducing the Fundamental Rights submitted the below annexure which clearly stated:</P>
Quote:<P>All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience, and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion subject to public order, morality or health,Â Â </P>
<P>Conversion from one religion to another brought about by coercion or undue influence shall not be recognised by law</P>
<P>The freedom of religious practice guaranteed in this clause shall not debar the State from enacting laws for the purpose of social welfare and reform</P>
<P dir=ltr><FONT color=#ff0000>So the founding fathers were very much alert to the issue of illegal conversion through coercion or undue influence and did indeed make provisions for the right of the State to enact laws to deal with it in the interest of social welfare.</FONT>
<P dir=ltr><FONT color=#ff0000>As far as the question of Constitutionality of the Law is concerned, the Pope and his christian fellowship would agree that it is for the Courts of India to deem what is Constitutional or Unconstitutional and not for Vatican or anyone else for that matter.</FONT>
<P dir=ltr><FONT color=#000000>What is even more interesting is that the Christian bodies across the globe are acknowledging the lack of guidelines within the Church on Do's and Donts on how to convert and are engaging on a 3 year project to come up with the same</FONT></P>
Quote:<P dir=ltr><FONT face=Arial size=2>planned a series of meetings aimed at assessing the nature of religious conversions and creating "a code of conduct" for Christian churches </FONT></P>
<P dir=ltr><FONT face=Arial size=2>some Christian organizations can be very aggressive in their attempts to convert people of another faith,</FONT></P>
<P dir=ltr><FONT face=Arial size=2>We want to convert people; we don't hide that," </FONT></P>
<P dir=ltr><FONT color=#000000>best of luck with that
<P dir=ltr><FONT color=#ff0000>Offstumped Bottomline: The Pope's remarks are out of line by his own doctrine and reflect a lack of understanding of the Founding Fathers ideals and were clearly out of bounds on what is and what is not Constitutional.
05-22-2006, 07:36 AM
(This post was last modified: 05-22-2006, 08:51 AM by agnivayu.)
This loud mouthed monkey boy pope needs to shut his mouth. He needs to first recognize Hinduism as a religion! These dogs don't even have the common courtesty to recognize our religion in France and Italy and other hateful Catholic countries.
Mr. Hitler Youth Pope, Jesus told me that you are going to hell and only Hindus will be going to Heaven. How do you like a taste of your own medicine ?
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+May 24 2006, 09:06 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ May 24 2006, 09:06 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Some distrubing trends lately
Y.S. Reddy should stop his zealous evangelists
Christian Preaching in Bhadrachalam Sri Rama Temple
Why don't some hindus take photographs of such events and distribute over internet? Current christianaggression.org doesn't provide links to the original news source and hence lacks credibility.
<b>There's no fundamental right to convert:Â SC</b>
NEW DELHI: <b>The Vatican's stand that the fundamental right toÂ practice andÂ propagate religion includes the right to convert was an issueÂ considered andÂ rejected by the Supreme Court. </b>
In a 1977 judgement in theÂ Rev Stanislaus versus the State of MadhyaÂ Pradesh, the court had upheld theÂ constitutional validity ofÂ conversion-prohibiting laws enacted by Madhya PradeshÂ and Orissa.
The two states, which were then controlled by the Congress,Â had passedÂ anti-conversion laws in 1967 and 1968, respectively. <b>What theÂ ConstitutionÂ grants is not the right to convert another person to one's ownÂ religion, but toÂ transmit or spread one's religion by an exposition of itsÂ tenets,Â theÂ court had ruled.</b>
According to the SC, <b>organised conversion,Â whether by force or fraud or byÂ providing help or allurement to persons, takingÂ undue advantage of their poverty and ignorance, is anti- secular.Â </b>
The court had said respect for all religions was the essence of ourÂ secularism, <b>whereas religious intolerance constituted the basis of plannedÂ conversion</b>. Given this, conversion cannot be a secular activity.
BesidesÂ Orissa and MP, three other states have anti-conversion law in the statute. TheyÂ include ChhattisgarhÂ which retained the law after the bifurcation ArunachalÂ Pradesh and Gujarat.
Tamil Nadu, too, had passed a law in 2002, butÂ repealed it when the AIADMK succeeded in projecting the law as one aimed atÂ minorities in the state.
Ratzinger of Hamelin
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->His is how the Vatican has reacted to Muslim demands for constructing the mosque next to the Basilica of Annunciation Ã¢â¬â
"The decision (by the Israeli government to revoke prior decision permitting the construction) "re-establishes legality, the respect of holy sites and the consideration of a community of believers," Holy See spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said, quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP)."
"This is not a decision against Muslims, as religious and political authorities in the region and in the world came out against a project that harmed the sensibilities of the Christian world and its pilgrims," Navarro-Valls said.
"In an unprecedented public attack, the Vatican representative dealing with the controversy surrounding the Shihab al-Din mosque in Nazareth described the construction project as "a clear provocation."
Addressing the special ministerial committee convened to assess the dispute among the Christians and Muslims in Nazareth, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa said that the initiative to build the mosque in close proximity to the Basilica of the Annunciation "is unacceptable to the Christian world."
"The mosque, at this site, is solely meant to interfere in one of the holiest places of the Christian world," he added."
Big Daddy must be told firmly that religious freedom, like all other Christian charities, must begin at home<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->