The saffronised Indian rite “squatting-on-the-floor Mass”- Michael Prabhu

The saffronised Indian rite “squatting-on-the-floor Mass”


SEPTEMBER 24/30, 2016

The saffronised Indian rite “squatting-on-the-floor Mass”


The “squatting Mass” is the only “Mass” of the heretical Catholic Ashrams movement and has a number of aberrations apart from those “approved” (read as “fraudulently obtained from”) by the Vatican.

It has spawned some variations such as the “shawl” Mass in which priests do not squat but are not vested.


To understand the genesis of these squatting and shawl-sans-vestments Masses, read CATHOLIC ASHRAMS,


and the starred files* in/at the end of the present file.

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The wilful misinterpretation of Church documents by Indian inculturationist theologians- Michael Prabhu

New post on EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

The wilful misinterpretation of Church documents by Indian inculturationist theologians


OCTOBER 22, 2016

The wilful misinterpretation of Church documents by Indian inculturationist theologians


The Document Nostra Aetate declares that “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men” #2.



In my three-plus decades of Catholic ministry, I have heard the arguments and read the writings of many priests, theologians, progressives, liberals, modernists and inculturationists (Hinduisers) who cite those two sentences to justify what they believe, teach and practise and which conservatives find to be erroneous, New Age, and even heretical.

But not a single one of them EVER reproduces the sentence that IMMEDIATELY follows in the very same paragraph:
“Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.”


The Document says absolutely NOTHING about our being obliged to assimilate, adapt, adopt or incorporate the “ways of conduct and of life, those rules and teachings” of the adherents of pre-Christian religions into our faith, rituals and way of life. It simply says that Catholics need not reject but may respect what is true and holy for them.

Those first two sentences are made out of deference to the religions that non-Christians hold to because of their “invincible ignorance” and to remind Catholics who have through no merit of their own received from God the free gift of the Faith through Baptism to treat with dignity those not similarly blessed by God with the fullness of revelation and who live in partial or complete ignorance of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

They are not a mandate for Catholics to imitate or borrow what they might think is “holy” from those religions.


Psalm 95:5

For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils…

The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

Psalm 96:5

For all other gods are worthless idols…

(Even the syncretistic) St. Pauls 2008 New Community Bible


St. Paul’s teaching on Christians’ being “all things to all men” does not give licence to believers to participate in idol worship and pagan rituals, no matter what some liberal or modernist interpretations might say even using a sentence or two from Nostra Aetate (#2) or other Pontifical Documents in isolation from the context.

I prefer to reflect on our ‘jealous’ God’s many warnings to His Chosen People especially in the Old Testament books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. He wanted the people of Israel to maintain not their racial purity but also their spiritual purity. He knew that any interest by the Israelites in the religious activities of the neighbouring tribes would lead to the assimilation of their rituals, practices and even adoption of their gods, and to monumental disaster to the Jewish people, and this is exactly what happened several times over.

“You will be lured into following them*.

Do not inquire regarding their gods, ‘How did these nations worship their gods? I, too, would do the same’.”
Deuteronomy 12:30, New American Bible


*The New Jerusalem Bible:
“Beware of being entrapped into copying them.”

Whenever that passage comes to my mind, I like to imagine that God was saying “Do not EVEN inquire regarding their gods.”

The Philippines Bishops’ Conference’s Christian Community Bible translation reads as “Do not look at their gods, saying…”

The Knox Translation, Catholic, 1955, reads “Do not hanker after their observances.”


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Sharing the Bad news of Donald Trump’s “Theology of Glory” BY MATTHEW DODRILL, NOVEMBER 23, 2016

Sharing the Bad news

of Donald Trump’s

“Theology of Glory”



Photo of Clarence Jordan at Koinonia Farm, 1940s

(Note: Matthew J. Dodrill is an ordained Baptist minister in Southwest Virginia. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, his interests include liberation theologies, apocalyptic readings of Paul, and the intersection of mysticism and prophetic ministry.

Churches and churchmen around the world are analyzing political happenings or upheavals around them to see how they are a reflection of their religious beliefs and convictions or a total

negation of them, like preaching a theology of the Cross and practicing a theology of Glory. According to Dodrill the triumph of Trump is a telling example of one at variance with the other. Not only they are at variance but poles apart.

Apply this equally to what is happening in India where both the political class starting with Modi triumph and the religious leadership in dressing up, building churches worth crores and reveling in expternal show while proclaiming themselves to be servants of the poor and oppressed. Words and works of those at the top are an exhibition of deadly conflict, leaving the common people wondering if a compromise is ever possible.

In short Christians have to stop being admirers of Jesus and start becoming His followers, not up to, but on to his cross. james kottoor. Editor.)

The Baptist theologian James William McClendon once reported a story about Clarence Jordan, the founder of an interracial community called Koinonia Farm. Jordan, who described his community as a “demonstration plot” for the Kingdom of God, asked his brother, Robert, to assist him in the struggle against the racial injustices of the Jim Crow South.

Robert was keenly aware of the community’s hardships: Local citizens boycotted the farm, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the produce stands, and ominous letters flooded the mailbox. The cost weighed heavily on him.

“Clarence, I can’t do that,” Robert said, declining his brother’s request. “I follow Jesus, Clarence, up to a point.” “Could that point by any chance be—the cross?” Clarence replied. “That’s right. I follow him to the cross, but not on the cross. I’m not getting myself crucified.”

Today we find ourselves in the cleft between Clarence’s invitation and Robert’s refusal. White Christianity in America is mounting a breach that’s too wide to straddle. A house that sits on a fault line will crumble, forcing those who have lived in it to leap the gap to one side or the other.

This predicament is common to the entire cosmos, a certain theological reading would have it—this is the stage on which God’s apocalyptic incursion births a new Adam. And this cosmic dualism—old age/new age, old Adam/new Adam—gives rise to an ethical dualism. Either we participate

in the suffering service of Jesus Christ, our tradition tells us, or we don’t. Either we’ll follow him onthe cross, or we won’t. At this juncture of the ages, resurrection life is hidden and revealed in our cruciform service to the least of these, and everything else is in league with Sin and Death. There is no third way. There is no straddling the chasm.

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States is a moment of reckoning for white Christianity. According to the exit polls, approximately 81 percent of white evangelicalsvoted for a man whose campaign was fueled by demagoguery, Islamaphobia, the exploitation of racial animus, and the criminalization of his political opponent.

Trump has incited violence at his rallies, expressed desire to commit war crimes, and re-inserted coded racial language into the social lexicon (“law and order”). He denies the reality of climate change, flirts with the idea of forcing Muslims to register, plans to deport undocumented immigrants by the millions, and picked a running mate whose hostility toward the LGBTQ community is stunning. He effectively promised to hand over “all these kingdoms” if evangelicals fell down and worshipped him, and they chose a mighty lion over the peaceable lamb whose power is manifested in weakness.

Back in July, episcopal priest and theologian Fleming Rutledge claimed that the status confessionis was upon us. She was right. This Latin term, often associated with the Confessing Church’s opposition to the Third Reich, describes a moment during which the essence of the Gospel is at stake.

It declares that the mistreatment of aliens is an affront to divine precepts, and that building walls interferes with the baptismal communion that transcends borders. Racial provocation is antithetical to the new humanity created in the flesh of Christ, and the principality of whiteness should be resisted with the full armor of God. Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are among the fruits of the Spirit, but what we find in Donald Trump are works of the flesh: sexual immorality, licentiousness, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, and envy. Most troubling of all, the president-elect and his cabinet pose a threat to the most vulnerable among us—the ones we’re called to serve: the widow, the orphan, the hungry, the naked, the prisoner and the stranger.

Despite claims to the contrary, the ascension of Donald Trump is not an American aberration, but a particular iteration of empire’s loathsome cruelty. Indeed, “Trumpism” is not a phenomenon unto itself, nor is it merely a symptom of party ideology, cultural polarization, or the implosion of establishment politics. Rather, it’s an extraction of a deep-seated desire that has been at the core of the American experiment all along—namely, the mastery of black, brown, and indigenous bodies. This quest for mastery is often manifested in ways that make it difficult to locate, embedding itself in systems of class and economics and even geography, which illustrates the insidious nature of white supremacy.

But when white nationalists and members of the KKK are galvanized by the racially tinged rhetoric of an autocrat who wins the presidential election, that’s a good indication that the implicit logic of American imperialism are becoming explicit. This beast is rising out of the sea for all to behold.His number is 666.

He has always been there. He finds covert ways to carry out his mission, but there are times when the beast steps fully into the light, making it easier to discern allegiances. These moments accentuate the vast chasm between a theology of the cross and a theology of glory, and it is our responsibility to expose the latter’s deceit.

A theology of glory, said Martin Luther, calls evil good and good evil. It prefers strength to weakness and wisdom to folly, and it orchestrates a grand collusion between Christianity and the powers of darkness. It gets into bed with the strongman rather than plundering his house, and it uses the Lord’s name in vain every time it ascends the pulpit. In Donald Trump’s America, a theology of glory is bad news for immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, the disabled, and members of the LGBTQ community. It is not good news. It is not the Gospel.

If the status confessionis is truly upon us, then a theology of the cross must be proclaimed with greater urgency than has ever been required in many of our lifetimes. It will require, at minimum, a public repudiation of the false gospels that bolster violence, racism, ableism, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia and transphobia. Preachers must do the work of unmasking the principalities and powers that animate these false gospels, and the church must embody an alternative social reality that counters the perception that this election was a referendum on the character and integrity of God’s people.

Quite possibly, bearing the cross might mean opening our homes to immigrants, confronting our racist uncles at Thanksgiving dinner, taking to the streets, and putting our bodies on the line. Following Jesus to the cross won’t cut it. We must follow him onthe cross.

As McClendon tells the story, Robert’s denial of crucifixion elicited a candid response from his brother:Then I don’t believe you’re a disciple. You’re an admirer of Jesus, but not a disciple of his. I think you ought to go back to the church you belong to, and tell them you’re an admirer, not a disciple.

“Well now,” Robert replied, “if everyone who felt like I do did that, we wouldn’t have a church, would we?” “The question,” Clarence said, “is, ‘Do you have a church?’Do we have a church?


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Four Cardinals Throw Down Gauntlet Before Cunning Pope

Four Cardinals Throw Down Gauntlet Before Cunning Pope Featured

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cardinali204For the past three-and-a-half years we have witnessed the bizarre, completely unprecedented spectacle of a wayward Roman Pontiff engaged in clever maneuvering to impose upon the Church a disastrous fracturing of her bimillenial moral and Eucharistic discipline respecting the divorced and “remarried”—and, even worse, via Amoris Laetitia (especially Ch. 8, ¶¶ 300-305), a form of situation ethics that would institutionalize admission to the sacraments of all manner of people living habitually in situations that are mortally sinful.

The entire sinister program, the centerpiece of Bergoglianism, is summed up in Francis’ shocking declaration at ¶ 303 of Amoris:

Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. In any event, let us recall that this discernment is dynamic; it must remain ever open to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized.

Francis here reveals nothing less than an insane attempt to conjure up exceptions to exceptionless, divinely imposed negative precepts of the natural law respecting intrinsically immoral conduct, such as adultery, reducing those precepts to mere “ideals” to which God does not expect strict conformity “amid the complexity of one’s limits.” This, of course, would represent the total destruction of the moral order in practice.

To accomplish this moral sedition, Francis, post-Amoris, has been winking and nodding to prelates who are now admitting divorced and “remarried” people to Holy Communion, purporting to “absolve” them of their continuing adultery in “certain cases.” At the same time, he observes a studious silence in the face of urgent entreaties from other prelates and large numbers of the laity that he “clarify” his position and retract the errors of Amoris.

Respecting that stonewall of silence, however, Francis’ cunning has finally caught up with him. Having refused to answer a private petition for clarification of Amoris submitted by four cardinals in September, these Princes of the Church—Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmuller, Joachim Meisner and Raymond Burke—have taken the extraordinary step of making the document public. EWTN’s National Catholic Register and The Catholic Herald are among the Catholic organs that have just published the entire text of the intervention, which presents five questions for the Pope to answer. The contents are explosive, to say the least. More than that, they constitute what will undoubtedly be a landmark in the history of the Church.

As even the resolutely mainstream Catholic Herald put it in the headlines of its story: “Pope Francis declines to answer four cardinals’ Amoris appeal. The cardinals have taken the unusual step of publicly requesting clarification on Communion and the moral law.” Let me stress the key phrase: “publicly requesting clarification on Communion and the moral law.” That is, the four cardinals recognize that Francis, who is supposed to be the Vicar of Christ, has called the moral law itself into question. Leaving no doubt of this, they note that “while the first question of the dubia is a practical question regarding the divorced and civilly remarried, the other four questions touch on fundamental issues of the Christian life.”

The five questions the cardinals presented to Francis, and now to the Church at large, express grave doubts about his teaching in Amoris:

1.     It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio [as if they were married, including sexual relations] without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84 [ending the adulterous relationship by separating or living as brother and sister for grave reasons, such as caring for children], and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio?

2.     After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 79, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

3.     After Amoris Laetitia (301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, “Declaration,” June 24, 2000)?

4.     After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 81, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?

5.     After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 56, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

These five questions are a direct challenge to Francis to declare whether he purports to contradict infallible teachings of the Magisterium “based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church” as well as “absolute moral norms.” The polite language of petition aside (the reader may consult the document as a whole in that regard), the four cardinals are essentially demanding publicly that Francis declare whether he intends to teach heresy and undermine the entire moral edifice of the Church!

Further on in the document the cardinals provide an analysis of each question that has clearly been written to force Francis to declare himself. Respecting the first question, the cardinals write that admitting divorced and “remarried” people to Communion while they continue to engage in sexual relations would mean that, in practice, Amoris is teaching “one of the following affirmations about marriage, human sexuality and the nature of the sacraments”:

  • …[That] people who are not married can under certain circumstances legitimately engage in  acts of sexual intimacy.
  •  A divorce dissolves the marriage bond…. The divorced and remarried are legitimate spouses and their sexual acts are lawful marital acts.
  • A divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond, and the partners to the new union are not married… [but] the faithful can approach the Eucharistic table even with consciousness of grave sin, and receiving absolution in the sacrament of penance does not always require the purpose of amending one’s life. The sacraments, therefore, are detached from life: Christian rites and worship are on a completely different  sphere than the Christian moral life.

Regarding the second question, the cardinals inquire whether Francis accepts the teaching of the very Pope he canonized, in Veritatis Splendor, that “that there are acts that are always evil, which are forbidden by moral norms that bind without exception (‘moral absolutes’),” including “‘Do not kill.’ ‘Do not commit adultery.’ Only negative norms can bind without exception.” Here the cardinals target Francis’s novel moral notion of “discernment” of “particular situations,” requesting to know whether Francis accepts that: “with intrinsically evil acts no discernment of circumstances or intentions is necessary. Uniting oneself to a woman who is married to another is and remains an act of adultery, that as such is never to be done… and that it is enough to know the species of the act (‘adultery’) to know that one must not do it.

Quite simply, the cardinals—incredibly enough—are asking a Pope to clarify whether he accepts the most basic moral teaching of the Church, which even a child can understand: that God’s commandment “thou shalt not” admits of no exceptions under any circumstances.

Respecting the third question, the cardinals further inquire whether Francis accepts the teaching of John Paul II, also the constant teaching of the Church, that “the question of the admission to the sacraments is about judging a person’s objective life situation and not about judging that this person is in a state of mortal sin.” The cardinals wish to know whether “even after Amoris Laetitia, it is still possible to say that persons who habitually live in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, such as the commandment against adultery, theft, murder or perjury, live in objective situations of grave habitual sin, even if, for whatever reasons, it is not certain that they are subjectively imputable for their habitual transgressions.”

That is, the cardinals wish to know if Francis has overthrown the bimillenial Eucharistic discipline of the Church respecting habitual public sinners!

Respecting the fourth question, the cardinals further inquire—rather archly, I must say—whether:

Amoris Laetitia,too, is agreed that any act that transgresses against God’s commandments, such as adultery, murder, theft or perjury, can never, on account of circumstances that mitigate personal responsibility, become excusable or even good.

Do these acts, which the Church’s Tradition has called bad in themselves and grave sins, continue to be destructive and harmful for anyone committing them in whatever subjective state of moral responsibility he may be?

Or could these acts, depending on a person’s subjective state and depending on the circumstances and intentions, cease to be injurious and become commendable or at least excusable?

That is, once again, the cardinals query whether Francis purports to undermine the entire moral order by condoning intrinsically evil acts as excusable or even commendable in certain situations!

Finally, respecting the fifth doubt, citing the astounding affirmation of ¶ 303 of Amoris, which I quote above, the cardinals wish to know if Francis is in accord with the teaching of John Paul II—once again, also the constant teaching of the Church—rejecting attempts “to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.”

Here the cardinals note that if this “creative” pastoral approach were permitted “it will never be enough for moral conscience to know ‘this is adultery,’ or ‘this is murder,’ in order to know that this is something one cannot and must not do.” That is, the cardinals indicate that Amoris appears to condone situation ethics, and they ask Francis to “clarify” that this is not his intention—quite an astonishing public request to make of a Roman Pontiff.

To their eternal credit, the cardinals have politely demanded from Francis a simple yes or no answer to each of these five questions, noting that they have presented them in the form of dubia precisely to avoid further Bergoglian equivocation: “What is peculiar about these inquiries is that they are worded in a way that requires a “Yes” or “No” answer, without theological argumentation. This way of addressing the Apostolic See is not an invention of our own; it is an age-old practice.”

In sum, what the four cardinals have issued is, in essence, a politely worded indictment framed in such a way that Francis must, if he says anything at all, plead Guilty or Not Guilty—Guilty or Not Guilty, that is, of teaching objective heresy and engaging in ecclesiastical treason, no matter what his subjective culpability may be in the sight of God.

In the face of an accusation—which is what the cardinals’ document is—a common criminal can remain silent and his silence cannot be used against him in a court of law. But the Catholic Church is not a court of law. It is the Household of the Faith, and the head of that household now has a duty to speak clearly, for once, to the souls who inhabit it, for whose eternal welfare he is directly responsible. If Francis continues to refuse to speak, even when four of his cardinals publicly call upon him before the whole Church to give an answer, his silence will speak for him; the truth he refuses to affirm will convict him, and the bar of history will pass sentence on his disgraceful pontificate, just as it has done with other wayward Popes.

To recall the eerily apt condemnation of the infamous Pope Honorius I by his own successor, Leo II: “We anathematize… also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted.” May the good God deliver us from the profane treachery of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter.

Catch Chris Ferrara’s regular column in the print/e-edition of The Remnant.

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Ayurveda and Christianity- Detailed articles of Michael Prabhu











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Congrats to the Victor! Trump Triumps in us james kottoor




          Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

                      Man proposes, God disposes! Triumph of Donald Trump, 70 years young, but oldest ever to become US president, is proof you can never trust people’s judgments starting with your own. CCV was terribly upset and disappointed already, when Bernie Sanders was sidelined for Clinton to lead the Democratic party. So as in India, there was no candidate to choose from. In fact people there were thirsting for change, tired of a two time rule of many unfulfilled promises by Democrats.

                    But when Obama himself, the ruling president and Michel Obama the first lady put their necks on the block as if for their own election victory – something US presidents never do — we reluctantly thought she might manage to pull through, but failed miserably. The election day itself was memorable, called Super Tuesday and 9/11.

                   The  underdog, Trump called the most divisive, inexperienced in politics seems to have surprised everyone  the world over, with  his  brief-bright-begone victory speech. To the cheering crowd  the unexpected  his words: “It is time for us to come together as one united people. Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.” To the “white Americans” WASP(White American anglo-saxon protestant), to revive old memories, he said: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” And he added: “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” He repeated over and over again: “I will never ever let you down!”

Office Makes the Man

              “Office makes the man”, it is said. If the weight  of  the office of  presidency made him rethink globally, it augers well for US and to the whole world. For this we wish him well and extend our sincere congrats for rising up to the demands of his office as President, not just a controversial billionaire with whom the  Republicans themselves are not in full agreement. Factr is he wants to make America Great again.


                On relations with other countries his comment was: “We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.” As for India and Indians, he has professed himself to be a  “friend of Hindus” and he was all praise for Indians whom he labelled as brainy and smart. What he wanted of Indians is to stay in  US and build America, not to go back after yearning degrees there. There are already  five Indians in the US Congress.

                What is more his words on Hilary conceding defeat was very gracious: “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for service to the country, I mean that very sincerely.” During campaign he had called her a liar who should be locked up and other unprintable names. In short the triumph of Trump was a literal repeat of “Brexit”, an explosion of the pent up frustration with the status quo of White people in UK and USA,  jobeless and slipping out of  better possibility and visibility.


Contentless Campaign

                    What surprised  us most and the whole world  was the hollowness of the whole election campaign debate which was focussed totally on trivialities, name-calling and vilifying the contestants, instead of discussing  burning issues bothering the majority of middle class Americans like domestic insecurity, terrorism, influx of Muslims with radical vision of Islam, racial conflict killing blacks most of the time, job-loss to Mexicans ready to work for  $5/- per hour, minimum wage, influx of illegal immigrants, education, and health (threat to scrap Obama care), building walls of division instead of opening  boarders, outsourcing, Chinese debt and goods suffocating US, foreign policy and diminishing military might of the country, in short the election promises and platforms for the forthcoming four year period. Usually  parties contesting elections publish in advance their policies and  promises. Of course these platforms are to run on and not to stay on (stay on and fulfil).


       What is worse American media known for its excellence seemed to have chosen play ball with (especially with Hilary) the candidates to please as bedfellows,   not critics. The media went the whole hog, to live up to their present de-facto practice of “embedded journalism”. Not only the   American media, but printed and visual TV and electornical channels seems to have got fooled totally. All predicted a Clinton Victory and wrote off Trump from the realm even of possibility. Some even prepared in advance their cover page for Clinton. She on her part, for comfort, reportedly emerged as the winner of top popular vote catcher. As for electoral votes she could garner only 232 compared to 306 (only 270 needed to win) in a total of 538 electoral votes. Why? Because both the American and World press were totally focussed only on the positive side of Clinton and  the negative side of Trump. The fifth estate, supposed to be the watchman, critique of ground realities and predictor of danger signals appearing on the horizon failed miserably in this US elections. (Qui custodiet ipse custodies)Who will guard the guards themselves!


Urgent Need: Change

                      The need of the day, any day, is not continuity but change for the better.  To stay still or to tread beaten track  is to slide down, not to go up or make progress. This was immortalized by the famous Ottaviani(cardinal) motto: “Semper Idem”, do the same, never change, which was and still is to some extent, the practice of the Catholic Church which was shell-shocked out of its practice of stagnation by Pope John XXII with his call for aggiornomento (updating) by letting open the closed doors and windows to light and breeze form the outside.


                        It was this principle that Cardinal Newman hammered in years ago when he said: “It may be different in a higher world! But here below, to live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed more often.” That is why a fixed term – 4 year rule – is assigned for US presidency and similar rule for any public office in secular democratic governments. This must also become the thumb rule in the Catholic Church for office bearers – priests and bishops  — through constant transfers or retirement, since the proclaimed principle is “Ecclesia simper reformanda” (Church is to be constantly reformed). CCV has to assess happening around and apply them for its own better functioning, so this comment.

                The church preaches ad nauseam for change for the better, constant, reform, dialogue, discussion and consensus of the people of God, collegiality, coresponsibility, subsidiarity, in short, all best modern practices of secular institutions, but  practices  hardly any of them. To start with bishops, they hardly ever consult the laity, never respond even to their legitimate queries, never set up even mandated Parish and Financial committees at parish and diocesan councils. Bishops are elected for life, never retire even when incapacitated on their own like Pope Benedict. So they ought to forfeit their right to preach.


Hoping against Hope

         To come back to the topic we started dealing with. President  Trump’s elevation to US presidency, is an eye-opener for the whole world. He is a business man billionaire and real estate Mugul, married thrice with four children, with no experience in politics except his tree failed attempts to run for it.


              Recall the monkey jumping for the bitter grapes and not reaching it. But this time he succeeded and succeeded well surprising the world with additional number of votes than required. Still a green horn in politics, the world leaders are vying with one another to get into his good books. Even those who expressed worst fears are now sending  best compliments in an effort to make friends and influence people.

         To begin well is  half done, they say. One who has been notorious for off-the-cup dirty language has started on a very civilized and polite speech of camaraderie, collaboration, cooperation and conflict (enmity)  with none, augers well for the defeated candidate Hilary and critiques in US and the all over the world. It is said we all have to live in hope even if we have to die in despair. So may better light lead American democracy the oldest, Indian democracy the largest and all democracies around the world for a better world order building bridges, not walls of separation. God  bless Donald Trump, God bless America and God bless the comity of nations working in harmony!

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Catholics must seize the moment of Protestant anniversary

Bishop , If you are so impressed can you make your stand clear on these subjects
1. Do you want  Women Priests like the Lutherans?
2. Do you believe in  transubtantiation  or not? Lutherans state  bread and wine  is symbolic.
3. Does your bible have 73 books or do you follow the Lutheran bible which has 66 books?
4. Are you advocating married priests like the Lutherans?
5. According to you , can any way be used to reach heaven?

Inline image
Archbishop Felix Machado, Bishop of Vasai


Catholics must seize the moment of Protestant anniversary

Catholics must seize the moment of Protestant anniversary

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is seen with Archbishop Antje Jackelen, primate of the Lutheran Church in Sweden, as Pope Francis arrives Oct. 31 in Malmo, Sweden. (Credit: CNS/Paul Haring.)
As children of the ecumenical era in the Church today, we must consider it an opportunity for us and seize the occasion of the 500 years of the Protestant Reformation which Martin Luther led, in order to exploit it for closer ecumenical ties with Lutherans and others.


[Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai, India, published this essay in the Indian ecumenical journal Sampreeti in October 2016, and he will also deliver a version of it as a talk to the Catholic bishops of India at their plenary meeting scheduled for January 2017. It appears here with his permission.]
Next year will have completed 500 years of the Protestant Reformation (1517-2017). It was initiated by Martin Luther, who was born on November 10, 1483. Do we Catholics have anything to do with this event? Can we just let it go, as if we have nothing to say and nothing to do with it?
Was what happened in the 16th century just a result of personal drama in an individual’s life, whose name was Martin Luther? What led to this “Lutheran explosion”? Why was Luther finally at peace to declare: “Only Faith which Jesus Christ justifies in us can save us, whereas our works are nothing but our sins.”
From then on, Luther built the whole “Truth of the Church’s Faith” on the unique principle of the Word of God. By becoming a reformer, Martin Luther led an immense religious movement and thereby his personal anxiety caused trembling in the entire Christian world.
I would like to present to the readers what I have learned personally from both Cardinal Yves Marie Congar – my professor of happy memory, and from Cardinal Walter Kasper – a friend and collaborator in the Vatican.
It’s interesting to ask in what time of history Martin Luther was born. Sadly, it was a time of many evils in the Church, above all because religiosity was becoming worse and superficial. A reform from the head to the last member of the Church was needed.
The schism of the West (1378-1417) had heavily damaged the papacy, and at one point there were three popes at the same time, one excommunicating the other. There was much confusion in the theological world, mainly about the doctrine of grace. With the discovery of the new world in the 15th century by Vasco da Gama and Columbus, it was the beginning of a “new era.”
Luther was born between the two eras, medieval and modern. He certainly was a man of his time, not of our time. This transitory character of the world is also manifested in the church of Martin Luther’s time.  It was a time of both renewal and decadence.
There was also a Catholic reform, which took place before the attempt of the reform by Luther. As a student Martin Luther had also known a “new religiosity” (devotio moderna), the protagonist of which was John Tauler in the Germany of Luther’s time. There was also interest in the Bible, even before Luther undertook his work of Protestant Reform.
It must be noted that Luther did not enter a fallen religious order, but the reformed order of the Augustinian Hermits in Erfurt. Luther grew up under the influence of Bernard of Clairveaux. Young Luther, therefore, was an ardent Catholic who was full of desire for reform.
Luther was also influenced by people like Erasmus of Rotterdam, who propagated ideas of Christian humanism and did not spare criticism of Christian bigots, hypocritical monks and corrupt popes.
As children of the ecumenical era in the Church today, we must consider it an opportunity for us and seize the occasion of the 500 years of the Protestant Reformation which Martin Luther led, in order to exploit it for closer ecumenical ties with Lutherans and others.
Luther himself was not an ecumenical person in the sense we understand ecumenism today; neither were his adversaries of the time. Both were inclined towards polemics and controversies.
Because Martin Luther found that the popes and bishops were refusing to proceed with reform, he, being convinced of its absolute necessity, went ahead, fully confident that the evangelical truth would impose itself, and thus he left the gate fundamentally open for a possible reform.
To add to it, from the Catholic side at that time, there wasn’t any single ecclesiology harmoniously structured – what existed were only approaches and a kind of doctrine on hierarchy – to face the challenge.
Today’s ecumenical movement has opened the gate a bit more. Controversies and polemics have now been replaced by cordial and friendly dialogue; obviously, however, dialogue does not mean that we throw the baby out with the bathwater. An authentic dialogue cares for the truth; it is an exchange of gifts.
Therefore, listening to and recognizing the truth of the other, acknowledging one’s own weaknesses and courageously and patiently declaring the truth in charity, is of utmost importance.
The Second Vatican Council, even after 50 years, has not yet been “received.” Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has inaugurated a new phase in ecumenical relations.
He is underlining the “ecclesiology of the people of God on a journey”; he is explaining the meaning of the faith of the Church for the people of God; he is exploring the synodal structures of the Church to continue the journey, and taking risks to trod new approaches to collaborate with others, even though, as he knows well, the goal of real unity seems still far away.
The unity of the Church is not imagined by Pope Francis as concentric circles around a “Roman Center,” but a multifaceted reality, not a puzzle to be solved from outside, but a whole which reflects the light of Christ. Pope Francis has once again resumed the concept of “reconciled diversity,” to use Oscar Cullmann’s phrase.
In Evangelii Gaudium, the Holy Father invites us to conversion, not as single and individual Christians, but conversion of the episcopate together with the primate. This is where we find Martin Luther’s contribution conducive to resume our dialogue, namely, his call to the Gospel of grace and mercy and invitation to conversion and renewal.
Not only have we not yet reached the “reception” of the Second Vatican Council, but we have not yet reached the end of the “history of reception” of the Protestant Reformation.
Unlike Ulrich Zwingly, Luther remained decidedly faithful to a realistic understanding of the Eucharist, an understanding which cannot be blocked in a rigid manner in a religion of pure interiority. Luther also had openness to the issues of historical succession of the episcopate.
Thus, while understanding Martin Luther, we should not refer only to the polemics and controversies, but go to the other side of Martin Luther. We must and we can resume the question, fundamentally for the sake of ecumenism, of understanding the relationship between the Church, Ministry and Eucharist, the title of a document from the US Catholic Conference of Bishops and Lutheran Church in the USA in 2015.
Martin Luther’s many writings also point to his mystical slant, and we must take that seriously. Luther excels in mystical writings, not only as young Luther but also as a decided reformer. This can open us up to a mutually enriching dialogue. In fact, unity and reconciliation do not only come out of heads but, in the first place, from hearts, from personal piety, practiced in daily life and in meeting persons from across the boundaries.
We are in need of a warm and welcoming ecumenism, as against cold and rigid ecumenism; we need to be ready to learn from one another. Only this way can the Catholic Church concretely and fully realize its “catholicity.” We do not still have any common solution, but a way towards full unity has been opened.
The most important contribution of Luther to ecumenical dialogue is in his original orientation to the Gospel of grace, mercy of God and to the call to conversion.
The message of the mercy of God was an answer to his personal quest, problems and needs. However, the truth is that only the mercy of God can heal the deep wounds which divisions have caused to the Body of Christ and to the Church. The mercy of God can transform and renew our hearts, so that we may be well disposed to conversion and through the mercy of God we may grow and forgive reciprocally the injustices of the past.
We must not lose sight of the eschatological vision: “Even if I know that tomorrow the world will end, I will still plant a sapling of apples in my garden,” is the phrase attributed to Luther. One who plants a small sapling, nourishes much hope; we need also patience.
We must go to the origins and roots (ad fontes e ad radices). Today we need spiritual ecumenism in the common reading of the Scriptures and in common prayer. We cannot “produce” ecumenism by ourselves. We cannot organize ecumenism, or pretend to impose it. Ecumenism is God’s gift in the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God has initiated the work of unity. He will bring it to fulfillment, not the unity as we want, but as He wants. The small sapling must grow widely. This means that we must allow unity in a big, multiple reconciliation, and give the world today a common witness of God and of his mercy.
Christian Unity today is closer than it was 500 years ago. In 2017 we should not think of ourselves as if we are still in 1517!
That was the unfortunate time of separation. Today we are fortunately on the way to unity. Let us journey forward with courage and patience. 2017 is an opportunity both for Protestants and for Catholics. We must exploit this moment of God’s grace. We need to give our world
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