In LA Episcopalians hold an Indian Rite Mass with Hindus and apologize for religious discrimination

Hindu nun Pravrajika Saradeshaprana, dressed in a saffron robe, blew into a conch shell three times, calling to worship Hindu and Episcopal religious leaders who joined Saturday to celebrate an Indian Rite Mass at St. John’s Cathedral near downtown.

The rare joint service included chants from the Temple Bhajan Band of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and a moving rendition of “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” sung by the St. John’s choir.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in worship service,” said Bob Bland, a member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church of Thousand Oaks, who was among the 260 attendees. “There was something so holy — so much symbolism and so many opportunities for meditation.”

During the service, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Hinduism, Inter-Faith Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Faiths, Theology

69 comments on “In LA Episcopalians hold an Indian Rite Mass with Hindus and apologize for religious discrimination

  1. Br. Michael says:

    Maybe we should review how YHWH views other Gods. Hint:
    [blockquote] Exodus 20:1-6 NIV 1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.[/blockquote]

    Now if Bruno has other gods then fine, but do not expect YHWH to be amused.

  2. Christopher Johnson says:

    What’s the difference between this and Trinity-Wall Street’s clown Eucharist of a couple of years ago?

  3. nwlayman says:

    Sigh. Once again apologies to Anne Redding. And, a period of silence while the Presiding Bishop fails to do anything in response to this blasphemy. Also, a question to moderators: What would it take to make any of you say “I cannot in good conscience remain in communion with this”? Anything?

  4. BCP28 says:

    This is a joke, right?

  5. AnglicanFirst says:

    Shouldn’t Bishop Bruno and the other Episcopalian clerics participating be brought up on charges under canon law?

  6. Words Matter says:

    The clown mass was liturgical syncretism, this is theological syncretism. The latter is much more serious. I’m assuming, btw, that the clown mass actually used the words of the BCP.

  7. SaintCyprian says:

    “”This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in worship service,” said Bob Bland”

    If only…

  8. Cennydd says:

    AnglicanFirst: Sure, they should……but will it ever happen? Only in your wildest dreams!

  9. Ad Orientem says:

    “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” II Corinthians 6.14-16.

    “Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he has permitted them to perform any service as clergymen, let him be deposed.” Apostolic Canon 45.

  10. Br_er Rabbit says:

    He’s headed for a reputation of Spong’s kid brother.
    The problem is, he’s more dangerous than Spong ever was. This is a man close to the levers of power in TEC.

  11. driver8 says:

    There are two Indian churches in full communion with the Episcopal Church – the Church of Sourth India and Church of North India. Patronising as ever TEC procedes to act as if they have any right to speak or act for Indian Christians. My experience of worship in South India, anecdotal as it is, would lead me to suggest there was nothing Indian about this eucharist. It was wholly, definitively, defiantley American.

    I hope someone in South India put on an “American” eucharist involving wafting around a burger, fries and coke and an Indian bishop promises that no longer will TEC be so arrogantly patronising.

    Of course, it won’t happen because the worship in the Church of South India is, largely, conservative and rather closer to the BCP 1662 than any modern liturgy in TEC or the COE.

  12. JGeorge says:

    First – there is an Indian Rite Mass but it does not involve conch shells, placing an icon (I am assuming this is a Hindu icon) on the altar and open communion.

    Second – it is not clear from the article if Bishop Bruno speaks for the Christians in India or for the Christians in LA when he issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them. What arrogance.

    Third – this involves the ISKCON which is a fringe Hindu cult.
    If true progress is to be made towards inter-religious dialogue, the effort should be directed at mainstream Hinduism not a cult formed in the ’60s. And unlike mainstream Hinduism, ISKCON does proselytize actively. It is telling that a Bishop of TEC can make a mockery of The Great Commission.

  13. athan-asi-us says:

    They should have invited the Moslem Priestess from Seattle to attend and make it a full house.

  14. JGeorge says:

    #11. driver8: AFAIK, the Church of South India is in limited communion with TEC after the consecration of VGR+ which is why George Koshy’s vote in NOLA was surprising.

  15. Jeffersonian says:

    I’m beginning to see that any mass overseen by John Bruno is a clown eucharist.

    And what is there to apologize for in attempting to convert idolators to Christianity? Could it be herein we see the reason for TEC’s long slide into irrelevancy?

  16. Alice Linsley says:

    I’ve had some interesting discussions in recent months at my blog with a well-informed Hindu. We’ve discussed linguistic, cultural and religious connections among the ancient Semites and the ancient Indus peoples. The connections are undeniable and we enjoyed the dialogue. We didn’t discuss Christianity because the period we were examining was long before of time of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. That’s were Hinduism is, in practice and in its six recognized schools. To attempt to blend Christian worship and Hindu worship is to deny Jesus’ Incarnation.

  17. driver8 says:

    I should say, for TEC of all churches, as Martin Luther King is remembered around the USA, to collaborate when christian minorities are being harried and persectuted (as in Gujarat or Orissa) is outrageously hypocritical.

  18. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Is there an Episcopalian rite for suttee?

  19. Tom Roberts says:

    18- figuratively that is what transpired in NH in 2003.

  20. Bob from Boone says:

    According to a commenter on this story on another blog, the news article has several errors in it. This person said that the Eucharist that was celebrated followed the rite of the Church of South India.

  21. Ian Montgomery says:

    This just proves that Episcopalianism is de facto another religion and not Apostolic Christianity. No one will discipline Bruno, least of all Mrs. Schori. Maybe the ABC will take note, but I doubt it. He does have an opportunity to announce tomorrow that Bruno is dis-invited – I am not holding my breath.

  22. Anglicanum says:

    Question One: What do the Christian martyrs of India, from St. Thomas the Apostle on, think of this ‘celebration?’ Apparently, they died for nothing: Kali and Christ are the same.

    Question Two: What do the Christian victims of Hindu violence in India think about it? I imagine they have an interesting perspective, since they are a persecuted and harassed minority.

  23. driver8 says:

    The principal English language rite used in the Church of South India is a revision of BCP 1662. I can’t recall a place in it for conch blowing or or Hindu priests receiving the sacrament or lathering icons with sandalwood paste.

  24. Jeffersonian says:

    But #23, Shiva is doing a new thing.

  25. driver8 says:

    The Church of South India is a traditional, largely conservative, Protestant church. If you wanted to enact a traditional Church of South India English langauge liturgy you would need to do something quite like 1662 with musical accompaniment provided by a harmonium and hymns in English sung extraordinarily slowly. You would need to be prepared too for a sermon at least 30 minutes long.

    Icons, Hindu priests, sandalwood paste, even Taize chants – definitely not required.

  26. driver8 says:

    One final thing, if the litturgy used was the English langauge eucharistic rite from the Church of South India, weren’t the TEC canons broken?

  27. Nikolaus says:

    It I my understanding that Christians fare rather poorly at the hand of Hindu’s. Was this ever discussed?

  28. Irenaeus says:

    “The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno…issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them”

    Any mention of Hindu nationalists murdering Christians and Muslims? Not centuries ago, but within the past decade or two.

  29. Brien says:

    Divine Comedy indeed. “Abandon Communion, all ye who enter here.” (with apologies to Dante)

  30. Dale Rye says:

    Re #26: Without even trying to justify the inexcusable features of this particular service, I can think of several ways that one could approach using the CSI Eucharist for a special occasion (not a principal parish Sunday liturgy) and be fully within the canons. The CSI eucharistic rite was in large part the model for the American BCP “Order for Celebrating the Eucharist” (the so-called Rite III). It also heavily influenced most of the other Anglican rites around the Communion since about 1960 (and, because CSI, the Church of North India, the Church of Pakistan, and the Church of Bangladesh are United Churches, global Methodists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians as well). All are based on the consensus of liturgists as to the pattern of the Eucharist in about the second century, as commended to the provinces by the 1958 Lambeth Conference.

  31. Irenaeus says:

    “Is there an Episcopalian rite for suttee?” —Pageantmaster

    That’s a stereotype. Not all Hindu widows burned themselves.

  32. HappyI'mGrkOrtho says:

    As a former Episcopalian, now happily Greek Orthodox, I absolutely couldn’t resist adding a note about this latest travesty. My Orthodox friends laugh themselves silly over the antics of TEC and here is more fodder, a real gut buster this time. What’s next? We’ve had the feminist-goddess, clown, Hindu, Muslim, and pet inclusive liturgies. When will they finally admit they are not Christian anymore?

  33. driver8 says:

    #30 1. The CSI rite is like the BCP rite in that they share a broadly similar structure. Unlike the BCP rite the CSI one is also like the BCP 1662 and has, compared to the 1970’s liturgical revisions, a decidely ‘traditional’ Anglican flavour.

    2. Could you point me in the direction of canonical permission to use any liturgy desired (with Bishop’s permisison I imagine) as long as it is not a principal Sunday eucharist?

  34. Ad Orientem says:

    Re 32
    Glad to see I am not alone in my Eastern corner here. In my experience when TEC becomes the topic of conversation among Orthodox the reaction ranges from not terribly charitable snickers to a sad shaking of the head and crossing one’s self to ward of the Evil One.

    As one rather old Greek priest recently commented… “When I was in seminary we treated the Episcopalians as not terribly far off the mark. No effort was made to convert them and unless they were marrying into the faith it was usually discouraged. Today we make sure they know the door is open and the welcome mat is out.”

  35. driver8 says:

    #30 – On reflection I think you are correct. The so called ‘Rite III” provision is broad enough that you could probably fit in a Church of South India eucharistic rite within its generous provision. The clear exception would be the eucharistic prayer which even in “Rite III” has to come from the BCP 1979.

    However the closer the rite came to the traditional rite actually used in many English lanaguage parishes, the more you would have to ‘shoehorn’ in structural elements closer to those of the BCP 1662 than the structure imagined in the BCP 1979.

    Nevertheless given the latitude with which TEC interprets some parts of its own canonical provisions (not all, of course) I guess it was probably a silly question to ask anyway.

  36. jamesw says:

    Well, I’m just glad that our PB has become so vigilant against bishops who abandon the communion of this Church by violating the doctrine and discipline of this church.

    What’s that? Celebrating Hindu masses and open communion don’t qualify????

  37. Daniel Lozier says:

    When Bruno was making the rounds to various parishes prior to his election, he was very clear…”I am certain that my Hindu friends will be with me in heaven. Jesus Christ is not the only way.” He has repeated this many times in many situations and has held required clergy conferences with keynotes speakers who promote Pluralism.

    This is among many other reasons we could not remain part of his diocese.

  38. Katherine says:

    My Indian Christian friends (CNI) would be appalled by this “apology” for conversions. They live the life of the New Testament disciples, witnessing to Christ in a land filled with worshipers of idols and fertility symbols perhaps similar to Baal (Shiva lingam). They are discriminated against and sometimes beaten or killed for their faith.

    While we have Hindu friends whom we deeply respect, it is fair to say that they do not understand Christianity. I would never offer a Hindu a piece of beef to eat, because it would be so offensive to him. Yet my husband was continually pressured to participate in Hindu rites INSIDE the manufacturing plant he managed. They simply could not get their minds around the idea that asking a Christian to offer worship to idols is asking him to abandon his faith.
    One would think Bruno would know about the Commandment forbidding the worship of idols.

  39. Katherine says:

    Irenaeus, sutee still occurs occasionally, according to the Times of India. Sometimes it’s voluntary, and sometimes it’s done under pressure from the family. But you’re right that it was never universal. Today it’s a crime in India, but it happens now and then. Much more frequent are the also-criminal dowry murders.

  40. driver8 says:

    I spent a day with a bishop in CNI and was deeply moved by his faith. He gently told of how hindu extremists would taunt and attack christians in his diocese. How christian children would be discriminated against in the educational system. How pastors would be threatened or beaten up. It all seems a long, long, long way from Bishop Bruno.

    People are living and dying for the faith all around the world whilst TEC gives away the store for nothing.

    (In India I was once sitting with a young christian man and he was making polite conversation with me before we left on a journey. “Do many people in England come to church” he said and I replied “No”. He looked surprised and seemed to think he had misunderstood. So he asked again, “Do people not worship their Heavenly Father”. Again I said, “No, many people don’t.” This time he was genuinely stunned and I could see he was thinking carefully what to say. He asked, “Which god do they worship then?” And then I was stunned and didn’t know what to say).

    Though I struggled to answer him, I thought then and still think now it is exactly the right question. If people are not worshipping the Living God, Father , Son and Spirit, which god are they worshipping?

  41. Katherine says:

    Indian Christians of all denominations tend to be deeply religious, not “surface” Christians. They do not have that luxury.

    Would Bishop Bruno die for his faith, whatever it is?

  42. D. C. Toedt says:

    When my kids were little, they’d sometimes play with a hover-toy that had helicopter-like rotor blades at the end of a wooden dowel. You pull on a string in the same way you would set a top spinning. The rotor blades cause the toy to fly up quickly.

    It never ceases to amaze me how little it takes to get some people similarly spun up ….

  43. Katherine says:

    D.C., what I want to know is what the “icon” was, the one to which flowers were offered. If, as seems likely, this was a Hindu idol, then this worship was no “little thing.” It was precisely what both Testaments reject. And lest I be accused of being unfair to Hindus, they do indeed refer to these things as “idols.”

  44. Philip Snyder says:

    D.C. Yes, it seems that it doesn’t take much to get reasserters here “spun up.” All it takes is denying the Christian faith while still receiveing the priviledges and payment as a bishop in the Church.
    All it takes is violating the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church wil accusing others of doing the same.
    All it takes is taking the food that our Master intended for His adopted sons and daughters and giving it to those who are not in the family. All it takes is denying the central truths of the Church (as a bishop in the Church) while accusing those who object of being “schismatic.”
    You’re right. It doesn’t take much!

    Phil Snyder

  45. Larry Morse says:

    What I don’t understand is how an good Episcopalian in Cleveland or Sarasota or Boston can read of such an event as this and not be outraged. Or is it that these people never hear of such TEC events?
    Surely many of them must care about such a travesty of The Mass and of Christianity? Or is it simply that they don’t care: “It’s not MY parish so why should I concern myself?” Larry

  46. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “It never ceases to amaze me how little it takes to get some people similarly spun up ….”


    DC, people who believe the Christian gospel care when those who do not fake it, and at the same time toss around the symbols of the faith with abandon and disrespect.

    You know . . . kinda like dissing Islam but without the car burning and rioting.

    Take this as an interesting multicultural phenomenon which you don’t understand, but are willing to observe and respect, since you yourself are not a part of that culture. In other words, DC — try to act like a liberal and open-minded man.

  47. Katherine says:

    Okay, it doesn’t appear to be as bad as I thought. It was an icon of Jesus. However, it was smeared with sandalwood paste and flowers were offered to it, so it was treated like a Hindu idol. I had a Hindu friend years ago who proudly showed me the little Jesus statue she had placed in her worship nook along with all the other idols. Her treatment, and most likely the view of the Hindus attending this service, makes Jesus just another manifestation of the divine, like their other 33,000 gods.

    So the errors here are (1) distributing the Host to people who are not Christian and (2) apologizing for obeying the Great Commission.

  48. Choir Stall says:

    Syncretism (theological, liturgical, etc.) is a gimmic often used by dying or irrelevant entities to put behinds in the chairs.

  49. Dave B says:

    +Bruno failed to apologize for condemning the caste system, Wilber Force’s work to ban slavery, etc he could have added a whole bunch more garbage to TEC with out much thought. Oh my mistake, +Bruno didn’t think!

  50. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #42 Are [url= ]these people[/url] spinning D.C.?
    Or [url= ]these[/url]?
    95 churches; 730 homes – away from the comfort of our lives fellow believers are paying a heavy price for their faith – and how do we support them?

  51. Daniel Muth says:

    Re #47 – Actually, “Katherine”, I would say that this is much worse than you initially indicated. What these people did was use an icon of the Lord as if it were a pagan idol. Please do not remove the trivialization of the Living God from your list of errors. It is the worst of them.

    In the Hebrew Museum in Jerusalem there is a collection of stones unearthed at Dan that represents God the Father, along with Astarte as His wife and one of the Baals as His son. This is precisely what the prophets condemned in far harsher terms than mere injustice to the widow and orphan – indeed pagan worship is considered the fount of such injustice, as we may contemplate during tomorrow’s Pro-Life March. I hope Bruno & co. really are as ignorant of the truth of the Gospel as they seem to be, that they are simply play-acting as priests and bishops of the Holy Catholic Church, and therefore are mired only in invincible ignorance when they trivialize our Lord and His Church – a far worse sin than simply rejecting Him – for they may well escape hellfire as you and I would not were we to indulge in such a disgusting display. That, of course, is up to the Living God to decide, for which we can all be grateful.

    There remains the question of how we are to respond to such fatuity. Mr. Bruno clearly is no more a bishop of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church than my terrier, however, the office he occupies is that of bishop within a Church that, while in serious danger – not least owing to its propensity for placing pagans such as Bruno in such a position – is not yet irremediably apostate. Leaving it is fully justified, as this grotesque travesty illustrates, yet there is a certain heroism in holding out under the Christian equivalents of King Manasseh until the very end, if it indeed comes. Let those who choose either option be good to one another during this time of tragedy, which is the inevitable result of faithlessness amongst our Church’s leadership. And we, of course are not without responsibility, for which we must continually repent.

  52. Ken Peck says:

    [blockquote]If a Bishop abandons the communion of this Church (i) by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church, … or (iii) by exercising episcopal acts in and for a religious body other than this Church or another Church in communion with this Church … ; it [b]shall be the duty[/b] of the Review Committee, by a majority vote of All the Members, to certify the fact to the Presiding Bishop and with the certificate to send a statement of the acts or declarations which show such abandonment, which certificate and statement shall be recorded by the Presiding Bishop. The Presiding Bishop, with the consent of the three senior Bishops having jurisdiction in this Church, shall then inhibit the said Bishop until such time as the House of Bishops shall investigate the matter and act thereon. [/blockquote]

    (Title 4, Canon 9, Section 1)

    OK, Bishops Henderson, Causey, Jones, Kirby, Kuhr, Ohl, Rivera and Waggoner, priests Scott and Kuhr, and laypersons Causey and Stokes — do your [b]duty[/b]

    What’s sauce for Cox, Schofield and Duncan is sauce for Bruno.

    But the rest of you, don’t hold your breath.

  53. Katherine says:

    Well, Daniel Muth #51, what they did certainly seems outside the limits of the Orthodox veneration of the holy icons. With the presence of the Hindus, it seems to me they were worshiping the idol.

    i had a conversation with a young Christian man in India. He had been arguing with a friend, a member of the Syrian Orthodox Church, about idols, with reference to the icons. I told him that the Orthodox do not worship the icons; however, that if his friend has an icon in his room, to which he offers flowers and incense and petitions for favors, then he would be treating the idol as a Hindu god, and this would be wrong.

  54. hanks says:

    Pageantmaster, thanks for those links to the virulent anti-Christian violence going on in India. [url=] Here is one more [/url] that catalogs the increased violence during 2007.

    Bruno ought to be ashamed of himself and needs to apologize to the Christians in India who really are willing to die for the sake of the Gospel.

    If ever there was a true case for abandonment of communion, the PB need look no farther than Bruno.

  55. Daniel Muth says:

    “Katherine” – I concur. However, I think that a serious discussion of the theology of icons vs. idols is not warranted by the circumstances of the banal and grubby little abomination on display here.

    To all the reappraisers out there: this is precisely what we reasserters mean when we speak of apostasy in TEC and certainly seems to these eyes to be of a piece with the reinvention of Christianity – which goes hand-in-hand with its trivialization – necessary to the task of approving of homosexual imitations of copulation in the name of the God of Israel.

  56. AnglicanFirst says:

    Who, exactly, can bring Bruno and the other participating clerics up on charges?

    Specifically, who has jurisdiction and what is the process?

    Now is the time to ‘charge’ these clerics. Such ‘charging’ will put the issues causing schism in ECUSA ‘front and center.’

    Let’s get the publicity bandwagon rolling. Let’s reveal to the general public just how non-Christian much of ECUSA’s leadership ‘is’ and how ECUSA’s General Convention has been making decisions that make ECUSA less and less of a Christian Church.

    Do it!

  57. Jeffersonian says:

    Sorry to burst all these bubbles floating about, but there are two chances of Bruno being brought up on charges here: slim and none. Such heresy today is known as “being prophetic.” Abandonment accusations are reserved for those who object to the “new things” being done by the Holy Spirit, namely the apotheosis of sodomy and the Millenium Development Goals.

  58. Ken Peck says:

    AnglicanFirst, Title IV, Canon 9, Section 1 states that it is the [b]duty[/b] of the Review Committee to certify to the Presiding Bishop that a bishop has abandoned doctrine, discipline or worship or acting for a religious body not in communion. Bruno is probably also presentable for violation of the canons on who may be invited to receive communion, and for failure to discipline clergy who violate that canon and perform “unauthorized” rites “without his permission.”

    It is doubtful, though, that the Review Committee will do its [b]duty[/b]. Other presentments would require ten bishops. After the Righter fiasco, I doubt that ten bishops could be found willing to put their heads on the block.

    The other consideration coming out of the Righter trial is that the Trial Court could decide that the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds (with their affirmation of “one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit”) are not “core doctrine.” and that bishops were at liberty to teach that the goddess Kali is part of The General Convention Church’s pantheon of gods and godesses.

  59. Cennydd says:

    The Episcopal Church is tumbling down around Mister Bruno’s ears……..only he doesn’t know it…….yet! He’s in for a big surprise.

  60. Tom Roberts says:

    Agree with 57+58, Bruno isn’t going down for a ‘spasm of overenthusiasm’, given the way ecusa has historically rigged such trials for good ole boys like Bruno. Schori has ‘other fish to fry’.

  61. Ken Peck says:

    Also, remember what happened to the recent presentment of the Bishop of Connecticut — where the Review Committee found that he had violated the canons, but that that violations did not merit inhibition and trial.

    There is definitely a double standard when it comes to discipling bishops.

  62. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to #61 who said,

    “There is definitely a double standard when it comes to discipling bishops.”

    Ken, I agree with you. But it is essential that we make this “double standard” visible to all of the laity and clergy of ECUSA. That’s why preferring charges and making the “heresies” and the “double standard” so obviously clear that they cannot be denied by the laity of ECUSA is so important.

    The laity must be forced to make a choice, even if its only the passive choice of acquiescence. If they make that choice, then they are damning their own souls. But, we owe it to them to force them to comprehend and aknowledge just how far ECUSA has drifted and is drifting from “the Faith once given.”

    If we don’t put these issues ‘front and center’ within ECUSA, then we are putting our own Salvation at risk.

    It is my intention to do this within my own parish and my own diocese.

  63. nwlayman says:

    This suggests several more unique rites that might be in the new Proposed BCP. First off, if it’s a Hindu Eucharist, then by definition it isn’t “once in a lifetime”, as described. Maybe once in *this* lifetime would be more appropriate terminology. The other rite might be an Episcopalian Seder. In this case, the Seder will include readings and alot of wine consumed to try and forget the actions of bishops over the last 40 years of bondage. Start with “A Time For Christian Candor”, “If You Marry Outside Your Faith” (try and read that with a straight face), By James Pike. Continue with the apologist Stringfellow’s “The Bishop Pike Affair”. Continue with “The Resurrection Moment” by Spong, refill glasses……Finally the latest, “Wing And A Prayer” by KJS. Then the climactic moment; a chair has been left empty, anticipating the arrival of the Presiding Bishop. The door is opened, left ajar for a decent interval to wait for the arrival of Katherine. If she does not arrive to confiscate the property, the door is closed. Bitter herbs consumed, more wine. Finally, a Conservative Episcopalian is roasted and eaten in haste. Nothing is left til morning.

  64. Steven says:

    A [url=]press release from the Los Angeles Diocese[/url] announced the mass as follows:[blockquote][b]Indian Rite Mass scheduled for January 19[/b]

    An Indian Rite Mass will be held at 2pm on January 19 at St. John’s Cathedral, 514 W. Adams Blvd., in Los Angeles.

    The Mass is to be in the tradition of Bede Griffiths and the Indian Rite of the Church of South India. The Mass will include Arati (the Service of Light) and Kirtan (congregational chanting of the Holy Names). Music will be provided by the Temple Bhajan Band. Spiritual leaders of the Los Angeles Hindu community will be honored guests.

    This Mass will be hosted by the Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno, who will take this opportunity to ask for deepening dialogue with the leaders of the Hindu community and offer an historic apology for the religious oppression that has been imposed on Hindu by many Christians.

    The Diocesan Hindu-Episcopal Dialogue Group and the Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Concerns and its chairperson, the Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, are sponsoring this service.

    Celebrant and homilist for the Mass will be the Rev. Karen MacQueen, who is an oblate of Shantivanam Ashram, a Camaldolese Benedictine community in India, made famous by its former prior, Bede Griffiths.

    An Indian vegetarian meal will be served after the Mass. For more information, contact Robin Spearman at 213.747.6285.[/blockquote]

    I had the opportunity to meet several Dalits (“Untouchables”) while attending the last Lutheran World Federation Assembly in Winnipeg, though not nearly as many as I should have been as most of them were [url=]denied entry into Canada[/url]. That’s an apology to Christians one ought not hold his breath waiting for. spt+

  65. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Ah [url=]Bede Griffiths[/url] and the Shantivanam Ashram. I have heard some fairly hair-raising things coming out of people from this [Benedictine!] Ashram who seem to have gone further than Griffiths did although he was well on the way. These include:
    1. Seeing Christianity, Judaism and Islam as branches of the world tree of religions;
    2. Questioning the Trinity and relating it to Hindu deities;
    3. Denying that Christ is the one way to God;
    4. a peculiar form of meditation that requires one to empty one’s mind of thought and reject any thoughts that come into it [from God?] and so reach deeper levels where one can gain a deeper understanding of God.

    All very interesting but bearing little relationship to Christianity.

    [url= ]Christian Meditation[/url] has of course been practiced over the centuries and John Main is well regarded and I believe the practice has the encouragement of the ABC but I cannot personally vouch for its orthodoxy or efficacy.

    The problem comes when you stop seeing it as part of a way of deepening prayer and start altering your theology to create a synthesis with other religions.

  66. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Here is a Roman Catholic [url= ]critique[/url] which pretty well sums up the concerns.

  67. libraryjim says:

    Very good article. I liked the closing summation:

    [blockquote]The purpose of true Catholic inculturation is to express the richness of the Gospel and the Catholic faith through concepts and symbols, which reflect the native culture. Anything that is “good or honorable and beautiful” within the culture can be adapted or absorbed by the Catholic faith–be it a gesture, mode of dress, or spiritual concept. Bede Griffiths, however, appears to offer a form of Neo-Hindu Christianity which obscures rather than enriches the Catholic faith. A close examination of his theology reveals a superficial attempt to give Hindu concepts Christian meaning or Christian concepts Hindu meaning. The result is a system, which is neither truly Hindu nor Christian.

    Our underlying intuition is that Griffiths reflects a theosophical rather than a Christian point of view. Theosophy here can be discerned by three common characteristics. First, it posits that there is a transcendental unity behind all religions, and that their doctrinal and institutional features are only accidental. Second, it generally expresses itself in Western European languages, rather than Asian ones, and employs a vague and mystical sounding vocabulary to describe vaguely understood concepts of religions identified as “oriental.” Third, it displays an ambivalence to what it calls “dualism,” which it professes to despise while constantly employing dualistic polarities like East/West, rational/mystical.

    Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Griffiths’ attempt at inculturation is that it can obscure true efforts to create an Indian Christian theology. Within Hinduism, there is a preparation for the Gospel, which is extraordinary in its theological and spiritual depth. Indeed, Vatican II openly acknowledges that, “in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery.” Moreover, it was in Hinduism that some mysteries which Christian theology recognizes as wholly supernatural were first enunciated. In the ancient Hindu writings we find the concept of the mysterious plurality of beings in the unique and transcendent being of God; the assumption by this being of creaturely form (the incarnation); the intimate personal union with this being as constituting man’s supreme happiness (the Beatific Vision); and the unattainability of that Being except through his favor (grace). It is arguable that some of the mysteries distinctive of the Christian revelation can be found in the Hindu scriptures. [/blockquote]

    Unfortunately, as in all branches of the Christian family (aka, denominations), there are some weird and borderline heretical teachings coming out by people who claim to be Catholic Christians, yet who pervert the teachings of the Church in their efforts to become more ‘tolerant and inclusive’.

    Ranging from learning Christian spiritualilty from the Tarot; to embracing yoga and TM as ‘just another spiritual practice’ while hiding their spritual origins; to the occultic Enneagram; all these teachings can be found in one place or another by Catholic priests, nuns or monks.

    It just goes to show, the devil can get his foot in anywhere when someone is willing to crack the door open a bit for him.

  68. Alice Linsley says:

    More research is needed to determine whether the Hindu Trimurti (three gods as one reality) was influenced by the Christian understanding of the Trinity, or if Judaism (before the rabbis), Christianity and Hinduism (in its earliest Vedic form) share a tradition dating back to the time of Abraham and his ancestors in which Afro-Asiatics believed in a creator God associated with the number 3, in Hebrew “Baal Shalishah”. For more on this, see:

    Even if these archaic peoples shared a common religious view, that does not mean that we can understand God by adhering to our choice of these religions or a syncretic blend of them. Jesus’ claim that to see Him is to see the Father, makes Him the unique revelation whereby God, according to ancient promises, has fulfilled and will fulfill salvation.

  69. Br_er Rabbit says:

    #13, #22, #50
    Violence against Christians comes not only from some Hindus but also from some Muslims; Athanasi-us’ suggestion to include the Islamoepiscopalian priest may be on the mark when it comes to apologizing to the violent. A leader in my communion was killed earlier this month for preaching the Gospel.