Church's Paranoia

Published: Monday, Apr 01,2013, 00:08 IST
Church's Paranoia, Stone Age agenda, Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires

The earth is doomed to suffer fanaticism for many more years, especially that which emanates from the “developed” world. The new Pope Francis announced his Papal ambitions from the Vatican. As expected his speech reflected the collective ideas of the ageing College of Cardinals, furthering the weather beaten fanatic agenda of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his controversial address the Pope asked cardinals to have “courage” in “persever[ing] and search[ing] for new ways to evangelise”: “Let us never give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil tempts us with every day. Let us not give into pessimism and let us not be discouraged. May each one of us walk and listen to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening unity, persevering together in prayer and giving witness to the true faith in the continual presence of the Lord,” he concluded.

This one statement caught the fancy of the media worldwide. The western media has propagated it widely. His agenda is but a continuation of his immediate predecessor’s perception of other religions. This is another slap in the face of inter-faith dialogues and world peace.

The world is disappointed, although this was predictable.

Pope Francis, as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was in the middle of a similar controversy last year itself. He severely criticized Mr. Mauricio Macri, head of the government of Buenos Aires for holding FeVida 2012, an inter-faith spirituality program and for hosting and attending mass meditations organized by the renowned spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar!

At the same instance he criticized Mr. Macri for going easy on abortions and for supporting the gay rights movement!

His past and present actions all but confirm continuity in the Church’s Stone Age agenda.

Evangelism, the bane of society, is a priority of the new Pope; an outright admission that his Church indulges in callous conversion and does not care about finding common ground with other religions or in evolving the Christian faith into an accommodative modern religion.

As per the Indian Government, in the last decade itself India received foreign funds in excess of US $ 13 billion for evangelical and related activities.

With globalization it is essential to build bridges for lasting peace and much needed development. Social pressures from changing lifestyles, economic growth and scientific advancements continue to grow. A straight jacketed fanatic religious philosophy that governs the lives of a billion plus earthlings is bound to cause more trouble.

The western intellectual - secular, spiritual or religious - is well aware of the dogmatic politics of the church. While the former two are wary and worried, the latter class wages new wars each day. However, the onus of promoting a formidable, yet acceptable, alternate to organized religion and evangelism still remains with these secular intellectuals.

On the one hand Islam is a big threat to the expansionist polices of the Church – The Middle Eastern Islamic world competes shoulder to shoulder with Christian evangelists in Africa and Asia – while on the other hand a very significant threat to the Christian Church’s fiefdom comes from Indian Spirituality.

Indian Spirituality, inspired from the Vedanta is weaning people away from the Church’s own bastions like none else. The former’s inclusiveness, lack of a centralized power structure, acceptance of diversity in names and forms of God, of religions, their saints, of ideas, of agnosticism makes it appealing to peace loving people. Indian spirituality offers itself as a viable option yet it still waits to be promoted affirmatively.

Christianity found its biggest fillip in the last century in the propaganda following the popular Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Mother Teresa. That legacy is now under a cloud. Recently a research of the University of Toronto questioned her methods. Further still, matters of her dilemma of faith, towards the end of her life, continue to remain unanswered satisfactorily by the Church. The Vatican has never really bothered or worked towards world peace, yet shamelessly exploits her fame.

However, is it not time to give global recognition to Indian Spirituality by awarding an Indian Spiritual leader the same Nobel Peace Prize; to draw attention of the world to what India’s ancient wisdom from the Vedanta has to contribute to global peace?

This may be a significant answer to the Papal skullduggery being perpetuated on the world for centuries. The Church is the biggest violator of the legacy of love and peace of Jesus Christ.

— Anand Mathur (Views are personal) Follow the writer on

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