You are not ‘lords of the manor’: Pope Francis’ tough words to curia

Pope Francis in Paul VI Hall on March 16, 2013. Credit: InterMirifica.net.

Pope Francis in Paul VI Hall on March 16, 2013. Credit:

Vatican City, Dec 24, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis issued a strong message to members of the curia this week, warning them against careerism and urging them to live the reality of the priesthood – as servants.

“Sometimes,” the Pope said Dec. 22, curia members “feel themselves ‘lords of the manor’ – superior to everyone and everything,” forgetting that their lives should be rooted in humility and generosity.

The pontiff made his remarks Monday during a traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with Vatican officials. During his message, he delved quickly into listing out the numerous signs of “sickness” in the curia and what impedes its ability to service the wider mission of the Church.

Number one, he said, is the “sickness of considering oneself ‘immortal’, ‘immune’ or ‘indispensable’, neglecting the necessary and habitual controls.”

“A curia that is not self-critical, that does not stay up-to-date, that does not seek to better itself, is an ailing body…It is the sickness of the rich fool who thinks he will live for all eternity, and of those who transform themselves into masters and believe themselves superior to others, rather than at their service.”

The second sign of sickness, he said, is “’Martha-ism’, or excessive industriousness; the sickness of those who immerse themselves in work, inevitably neglecting ‘the better part’ of sitting at Jesus’ feet.”

“Therefore, Jesus required his disciples to rest a little, as neglecting the necessary rest leads to stress and agitation. Rest, once one who has brought his or her mission to a close, is a necessary duty and must be taken seriously: in spending a little time with relatives and respecting the holidays as a time for spiritual and physical replenishment, it is necessary to learn the teaching of Ecclesiastes, that ‘there is a time for everything.’”

Number three is: “the sickness of mental and spiritual hardening: that of those who, along the way, lose their inner serenity, vivacity and boldness and conceal themselves behind paper, becoming working machines rather than men of God…It is dangerous to lose the human sensibility necessary to be able to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice! It is the sickness of those who lose those sentiments that were present in Jesus Christ.”

Another is the “ailment of excessive planning and functionalism: this is when the apostle plans everything in detail and believes that, by perfect planning things effectively progress, thus becoming a sort of accountant…One falls prey to this sickness because it is easier and more convenient to settle into static and unchanging positions. Indeed, the Church shows herself to be faithful to the Holy Spirit to the extent that she does not seek to regulate or domesticate it. The Spirit is freshness, imagination and innovation.”

There is also the “sickness of poor coordination develops when the communion between members is lost, and the body loses its harmonious functionality and its temperance, becoming an orchestra of cacophony because the members do not collaborate and do not work with a spirit of communion or as a team.”

“Spiritual Alzheimer’s disease, or rather forgetfulness of the history of Salvation, of the personal history with the Lord, of the ‘first love’: this is a progressive decline of spiritual faculties, that over a period of time causes serious handicaps, making one incapable of carrying out certain activities autonomously, living in a state of absolute dependence on one’s own often imaginary views. We see this is those who have lost their recollection of their encounter with the Lord…in those who build walls around themselves and who increasingly transform into slaves to the idols they have sculpted with their own hands.”

And still another is the “ailment of rivalry and vainglory: when appearances, the color of one’s robes, insignia and honors become the most important aim in life…It is the disorder that leads us to become false men and women, living a false ‘mysticism’ and a false ‘quietism.’”

There is also the sickness of “existential schizophrenia: the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of the hypocrisy typical of the mediocre and the progressive spiritual emptiness that cannot be filled by degrees or academic honors.”

“This ailment particularly afflicts those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic matters, thus losing contact with reality and with real people. They create a parallel world of their own, where they set aside everything they teach with severity to others and live a hidden, often dissolute life.”

And then there is the sickness of “chatter, grumbling and gossip: this is a serious illness that begins simply, often just in the form of having a chat, and takes people over, turning them into sowers of discord, like Satan, and in many cases cold-blooded murderers of the reputations of their colleagues and brethren. It is the sickness of the cowardly who, not having the courage to speak directly to the people involved, instead speak behind their backs.”

“The sickness of deifying leaders is typical of those who court their superiors, with the hope of receiving their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, honouring people rather than God. They are people who experience service thinking only of what they might obtain and not of what they should give. They are mean, unhappy and inspired only by their fatal selfishness.”

“The disease of indifference towards others arises when each person thinks only of himself, and loses the sincerity and warmth of personal relationships,” he added. “When the most expert does not put his knowledge to the service of less expert colleagues; when out of jealousy…one experiences joy in seeing another person instead of lifting him up or encouraging him.”

“The illness of the funereal face: or rather, that of the gruff and the grim, those who believe that in order to be serious it is necessary to paint their faces with melancholy and severity, and to treat others – especially those they consider inferior – with rigidity, hardness and arrogance. In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity.”

Still another is the “disease of accumulation: when the apostle seeks to fill an existential emptiness of the heart by accumulating material goods, not out of necessity but simply to feel secure…Accumulation only burdens and inexorably slows down our progress.”

“The ailment of closed circles: when belonging to a group becomes stronger than belonging to the Body and, in some situations, to Christ Himself. This sickness too may start from good intentions but, as time passes, enslaves members and becomes a ‘cancer’ that threatens the harmony of the Body and causes a great deal of harm – scandals – especially to our littlest brothers.”

There is also “disease of worldly profit and exhibitionism: when the apostle transforms his service into power, and his power into goods to obtain worldly profits or more power. This is the disease of those who seek insatiably to multiply their power and are therefore capable of slandering, defaming and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally in order to brag and to show they are more capable than others.”

After his listing out the numerous sicknesses that threaten to infiltrate the mindset of curia members, Pope Francis stressed that they are “required” – especially during this time of Christmas – “to live ‘speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.’”

“I once read that priests are like airplanes: they only make the news when they crash, but there are many that fly. Many criticize them and few pray for them,” he said.

“It is a very nice phrase, but also very true, as it expresses the importance and the delicacy of our priestly service, and how much harm just one priest who falls may cause to the whole body of the Church.”

Tags: Christmas, Pope Francis, Curia Reform

O Come And Set Us Free: Team ,’SILENT VOICE’;

christmas-greetings-17189886 - Copy

Jesus chose to come into this world
as part of a human family that He Himself had formed,
but God made Man and Man made Slaves.

Let each Christian Family make Space in Our Hearts to Welcome
Jesus as Mary and Joseph did.
Our Savior was born.

Jesus Mary Joseph

The Nativity and the Christmas Tree are Signs of Light and Hope
TO ALL OUR PATIENT FAMILIES
FOLLOWERS SUPPORTERS & CONTRIBUTORS TO
“SILENT VOICE” – “THE VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY”
WE EXTEND OUR BLESSINGS WITH JOYOUS GREETINGS AT
CHRISTMAS AND A PEACEFUL YEAR THROUGH 2015

The ever so dormant situtation in our Christian Archdiocesan community both before and after the New Government has been put in place. The atrocities towards our community has been on the rise with not even a feeble response from our Bishop Cardinal Oswald Gracious nor from the Pro Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio at the center New Delhi. Let us pause in prayer to remember all those who have lost their lives, been persecuted, abused and disrespected by our very own shepards in disguise. The Soul knows what to do to heal itself but for the challenge to silence the mind.
Going through the events during the year. December 2012 we were in the midst of protest to save church lands at our lady of Assumption church and St. Anthonys church malwani Malad. December 2013 Pope Francis dismissal of the Australian priest Fr Reynolds from the clerical state and declared his automatic excommunication because of his public teaching on the ordination of women contrary to the teaching of the Church and his public celebration of the Eucharist when he did not hold faculties to act publicly as a priest.” Fr Reynolds is also a supporter of same-sex marriage and presided over such ceremonies. Now at this year end the chilling events over forced conversions, burning and destruction of church and carol singing christian groups being asaulted beaten and thrashed mercilessly, whilst there has not been a whimper of protest from the hierarchy or any parish communities in the Bombay Archdiocese.
However we at silent voice continue to live for today doing our very best to elevate the desrespective wrong doings to the silent majority and for the unknown someone who can never repay us.
However the road to success is not straight but a curve called failure, a clover called confusion, speed bumps called Family, a spare called determination, an engine called faith and a driver called God with which we will arrive at a place called Success.

Whilst we are caught up in our daily lives with endless thoughts and concerns, we hardly notice our guardian angel pass by sent by the Lord Jesus to elevate our sufferings. We need to trust our Lord completely as Mary did, ” THIS GIFT OF THE FAMILY IS THE CONFIRMED MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION.”  O Lord, infant Jesus, give us Your peace! You are the Prince of Peace and the ultimate fulfillment of your incarnation brings us to you in heaven where peace will come to perfection. We pray for our community and for those through out the world who specially need our Prayer, for Peace this Christmas and always.
Therefore we need to be aware of this favorable moment in which Jesus passes in our lives asking for a ready and generous answer. If we feel best this way, with a sincere and personal “YES”, it is He who is knocking. Don’t let him pass you by!” “Peace on Earth to Those on Whom His Favor Rests”

We at Silent Voice just want everyone sending your inputs and reading our blogs to be Healthy, Happy, Loved and be Blessed Always.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT ALL ABOUT PRESENTS, BUT OF HIS PRESENCE

Silent Voice Team

Savior.1

Pope Francis criticizes Clergy, “Lustful for Power”….

Will the Archbishop of Bombay follow the Pontiff?

GREG

Pope roasts the Vatican: Pontiff blasts his own top cardinals and priests for being ‘lustful for power, living hypocritical lives and suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s instead of being men of God’

  • Pope Francis issued blistering critique while delivering festive message
  • He suggested some of the Holy See had developed ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’
  • And produced long list of their faults – titled ‘The 15 Ailments Of The Curia’ 
  • Cardinals were not amused giving speech muted applause in Vatican City

Pope Francis today issued a blistering critique of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him while delivering a Christmas message to cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See.

Rather than offering a traditional good-willed festive greeting, the pontiff described how some of those under him lust for power at all costs and lead hypocritical double-lives

He suggested others suffer from ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’ and forget they’re supposed to be joyful men of God – while offering a sobering catalog of the 15 sins of the Curia.

Attack: Pope Francis seen today issued a blistering critique of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him

Attack: Pope Francis seen today issued a blistering critique of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him

The sins, or ailments as he called them, included how the ‘terrorism of gossip’ can ‘kill the reputation of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood.’

Another of the sins was how cliques can ‘enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body’ and eventually kill it by ‘friendly fire’.

He said: ‘The Curia is called on to always improve itself and grow in communion, holiness and knowledge to fulfill its mission.

‘But even it, as any human body, can suffer from ailments, dysfunctions, illnesses.’

Pope Francis blasts Vatican’s greed and gossip in Christmas…
 

Non-traditional: Rather than offering a good-willed festive greeting, the pontiff described how some of those under him lust for power at all costs

Non-traditional: Rather than offering a good-willed festive greeting, the pontiff described how some of those under him lust for power at all costs

Francis is the first Latin American pope and never worked in the Italian-dominated Curia before he was elected.

He has not shied from complaining about the gossiping, careerism and bureaucratic power intrigues that afflict the Holy See.

But as his reform agenda has gathered steam, he seemed even more emboldened to highlight what ails the institution.

The cardinals were not amused. The speech was met with tepid applause, and few were smiling as Francis listed one by one the 15 ‘Ailments of the Curia’ that he had drawn up, complete with footnotes and Biblical references.

The annual Christmas greeting comes at a tense time for the Curia, the central administration of the Holy See which governs the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church.

Not amused: The cardinals in attendance were said to have met the speech with muted applause

Not amused: The cardinals in attendance were said to have met the speech with muted applause

Meticulous: The Pope read a list of sins the Holy See were guilty of - calling it the 15 Ailments Of The Curia

Meticulous: The Pope read a list of sins the Holy See were guilty of – calling it the 15 Ailments Of The Curia

Francis and his nine key cardinal advisers are drawing up plans to revamp the whole bureaucratic structure, merging offices to make them more efficient and responsive.

The Vatican’s finances are also in the midst of an overhaul, with Francis’ finance czar, Cardinal George Pell, imposing new accounting and budget measures on traditionally independent congregations not used to having their books inspected.

Yet it was perhaps Pell that Francis had in mind when he complained about the temptation to lust for power even if it means defaming or discrediting others ‘even in newspapers or magazines, to show themselves as more capable … in the name of justice and transparency’.

Cardinal Pell recently wrote an explosive essay in Britain’s Catholic Herald in which he said his team had discovered that the financial situation of the Holy See was ‘much healthier than it seemed because some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet’.

Getting tough: The sins on the list included how the 'terrorism of gossip' can 'kill the reputation of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood'

Getting tough: The sins on the list included how the ‘terrorism of gossip’ can ‘kill the reputation of our colleagues and brothers in cold blood’

All smiles: At the end of the speech, Francis asked the prelates to pray that the 'wounds of the sins that each one of us carries are healed'

All smiles: At the end of the speech, Francis asked the prelates to pray that the ‘wounds of the sins that each one of us carries are healed’

The Vatican later clarified that the money hadn’t been hidden and that nothing illicit was going on –  just that the funds didn’t appear on the Vatican’s balance sheet.

Over the weekend, the Jesuit magazine America reported that an internal Vatican memo had undercut Cardinal Pell’s claim of having found the cash in the first place.

It said the funds kept in the Vatican Secretariat of State were well-known, duly reported, were used to cover Vatican losses and special projects and actually had been well-managed over the years.

Francis started off his list with the ‘ailment of feeling immortal, immune or even indispensable’.

Then one-by-one he went on: Being vain. Wanting to accumulate things, having a ‘hardened heart’, wooing superiors for personal gain.

Having a 'funereal face' and being too 'rigid, tough and arrogant,' also made into on to the shameful list

Having a ‘funereal face’ and being too ‘rigid, tough and arrogant,’ also made into on to the shameful list

Muted applause: Few were smiling as Francis listed one by one the 15 'Ailments of the Curia' that he had drawn up, complete with footnotes and Biblical references

Muted applause: Few were smiling as Francis listed one by one the 15 ‘Ailments of the Curia’ that he had drawn up, complete with footnotes and Biblical references

Other faults were having a ‘funereal face’ and being too ‘rigid, tough and arrogant,’ especially toward underlings – a possible reference to the recently relieved Swiss Guard commander said to have been too tough on his recruits for Francis’ tastes.

Some critiques could have been seen as worthy of praise: working too hard and planning too much ahead.

But even those traits came in for criticism as Francis noted that people who don’t take time off to be with family are overly stressed, and those who plan everything to a ‘T’ don’t allow themselves to be surprised by the ‘freshness, fantasy and novelty’ of the Holy Spirit.

‘How good it is for us to have a healthy sense of humor,’ he said.

At the end of the speech, Francis asked the prelates to pray that the ‘wounds of the sins that each one of us carries are healed’ and that the Church and Curia itself are made healthy.

ARE YOU GUILTY OF ANY OF THE POPE’S ’15 AILMENTS OF THE CURIA’?

During today’s Christmas speech Pope Francis read out 15 sins that he believed the Curia was guilty of complete with footnotes and Biblical references. These included: 

1) Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. ‘A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.’

2) Working too hard. ‘Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.’

3) Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. ‘It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.’

4) Planning too much. ‘Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.’

5) Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. ‘When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head ‘I’m in charge.”

6) Having ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s.’ ‘We see it in the people who have forgotten their encounter with the Lord … in those who depend completely on their here and now, on their passions, whims and manias, in those who build walls around themselves and become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands.’

7) Being rivals or boastful. ‘When one’s appearance, the color of one’s vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life.’

8) Suffering from ‘existential schizophrenia.’ ‘It’s the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of hypocrisy that is typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness that academic degrees cannot fill. It’s a sickness that often affects those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic work, losing contact with reality and concrete people.’

9) Committing the ‘terrorism of gossip.’ ‘It’s the sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs.’

10) Glorifying one’s bosses. ‘It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor people who aren’t God.’

11) Being indifferent to others. ‘When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.’

12) Having a ‘funereal face.’ ‘In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity. The apostle must be polite, serene, enthusiastic and happy and transmit joy wherever he goes.’

13) Wanting more. ‘When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he’ll feel more secure.’

14) Forming ‘closed circles’ that seek to be stronger than the whole. ‘This sickness always starts with good intentions but as time goes by, it enslaves its members by becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much bad — scandals — especially to our younger brothers.’

15) Seeking worldly profit and showing off. ‘It’s the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2883753/Pope-criticises-Curia-lusting-power-s-sake-Christmas-message-Cardinals-Bishops.html#ixzz3MmI2gZA3
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CONNECTING WITH YOUTH – A BLESSING!: By Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ

 

CHRISTMAS 1Youth are vivacious, innovative, enterprising, hardworking and adorable! Yet they perpetually seem to be getting into trouble with parents, teachers and elders. When I look closely at each of my encounters with youth, I find that I have a lot to learn for myself, about how to deal with them, especially when I as an educator want to draw out the best in them together with achieving the goals I dream for them and imparting some of the values and principles I live by.

Youth have always been a bundle of energy, who enter into a web of relationships each day. Not all of these relationships are cordial and growth producing! My life as an educator has helped me to ponder, struggle and find a few answers and helps to make such strained relationships truly positive and growth inducing.

CHRISTMAS 2

My treasure trove of experience with youth has taught me a few tricks of the trade. I begin with self- disclosure, telling them a little about myself, who I am, my role as an educator and my methodology of teaching by example. I communicate to them that I am available for them 24X7 as a friend and guide. We teach each other and I learn from them as much or more than what they learn from me. I ask them to share something about themselves which will impact the others around and help us to remember them. This helps me to understand the person, find out where s/he is hurting or needs healing and go about in a concerted manner to slowly fill in the gaps whenever and if possible.

I live by a few dictums which I gently help youth to see, understand and imbibe. This I do in a fun-filled manner in order to make it acceptable. For example:

  • God does not make junk. Each of us is unique. We all have a purpose in life which no one else can fulfil. Life is worth living, to be faced boldly as only cowards quit.
  • Nothing is impossible as every problem has a solution and the essence of life is to find or work out the right solution to every problem.
  • There is no substitute for hard work. We ought to put in our best and leave the rest to God. Each of us is the maker of our own destiny.
  • Miracles take place daily. We have to cultivate the eyes and heart to recognize them in our lives. We are God’s hands and feet as He works miracles through us for others and vice versa.
  • We ought to live in peace and harmony with all God’s creatures by finding God in everything and everything in God. Treating human beings as persons, not as commodities or a piece of furniture is the secret to life.

Youth are live wires teeming with energy and enthusiasm. Disrespectful engagement or non-engagement depletes their energy, eats away their reserves of innovation, motivation and commitment and worse still increases burnout while generating a large amount of negative energy. My heart bleeds, when I even think about the unemployed educated youth of our nation. No wonder there is such anomie in society!

CHRISTMAS 3

The key to transforming the youth of today into enlightened citizens and leaders of tomorrow is to build and nurture what could be called ‘high-quality connections’ – marked by mutual positive regard, trust and active engagement. This will enable the young to instinctively feel more open, alive, competent and brimming with ideas. They are thus ready to give, the very best of themselves generously, readily and positively. Besides it will also ensure a friendly, co-operative, productive and conducive atmosphere all around.

Encouraging respectful engagement among the young creates a sense of social dignity that confirms everyone’s self worth and re-affirms competence. It empowers and energizes youth giving them a heightened sense of their abilities. Conveying a sense of personal presence, being genuine, communicating affirmation, effective listening and supportive and helpful communication are five major strategies educators of today can employ to foster respect and thus encourage quality connections among youth. Used in conjunction, these tools can help eliminate the corrosive relationships that sap youth of their creative zest, often pushing them to indulge in temporary pleasures, relief, vices or even suicide.

It is very important to convey a sense of personal presence to youth. Psychological availability, eye contact, turning one’s full attention to youth, helps in activating a synergizing sense of mutual connection and making contact with them leads to positive emotion.

CHRISTMAS 4

As educators dealing with youth let us greet them with a smile, help them decipher a positive love filled culture, ensure that they have access to interesting tasks and introduce them to the ‘right’ people. By being their advocate at their side, encouraging them to provide input, expressing interest in all they do and providing them with dozens of personal contact points we can help them forge ahead. Once youth feel at home in the environment around and experience love, they reciprocate with whole hearted love, give their very best and astound all with a cornucopia of pleasant surprises. God bless all youth. They are indeed a blessing! They keep us young. This Christmas, let us make our youth feel honoured by taking the time and trouble to notice them and give our very best to them.

May you feel young at Christmas and all through the New Year. Happy Christmas 2014 and a youth filled New Year 2015 full of youthful surprises.

Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ

Christmas 2014

Patna, Bihar, India

Ayodhya sadhus criticise reconversion drive, say RSS is playing politics with blood

Does Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangh Chalak of RSS have answers to the statement by Shri Gyan Das, President of All India Akhara Parishad? The entire Population of this Peace Loving Country called INDIA, would be eagerly waiting to know.
GREG
**************
They are criminals who should be booked, says All India Akhara Parishad president Gyan Das.

Dec 19, 2014 · 05:30 am

Photo Credit: Prakash Singh/AFP
Prominentsadhus inAyodhya have stood up against forced religiousreconversions by theRashtriyaSwayamsevak Sangh and its affiliated outfits, saying this kind of politics will divide the country.Yeh log khoon ki rajniti khel rahe hain ,” All India Akhara Parishad president Gyan Das told Scroll.in over the phone. These people are playing politics with blood. The Parishad consists of 13 akharas or ascetic orders, seven belonging to the Shaiv sect and three each to Vaishnavism and Sikhism.

Gyan Das, who is considered the most influential sadhu in Ayodhya, added, “Religion is a matter of personal faith. No one has the right to interfere in this. The RSS and its wings are committing heinous crimes by forcing members of minority communities to convert to Hinduism. They are criminals who should be booked.”

Turbulent ties

Ayodhya’s sadhus have long had a shifting relationship with the RSS and especially the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Sangh wing that seeks to mobilise Hindu ascetics.

In the early 1990s, the VHP succeeded in winning over a majority of Ayodhya sadhus, but after that differences surfaced between them. The divide continued until the Lok Sabha elections this year, when the sadhus once again jointly supported the Sangh and its political arm, the Bharatiya Janata Party.

However, the issue of forced conversions seems to have cleaved a rift again.

Take stern action

Gyan Das is not alone in Ayodhya in denouncing the forced conversions in Uttar Pradesh, though he is the most outspoken in attacking the RSS and its affiliates, the VHP and Dharma Jagaran Manch.

“Earlier, they tried to create communal conflagration in the name of Ram, and now they want to divide the nation by forcing Hinduism on the minorities,” Gyan Das said. “This is illegal and the government must take stern action against them.”

Equally vocal in his criticism is Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of Ramjanmabhoomi temple, a makeshift structure at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

Satyendra Das blames the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for the “increased communal acts” by the Sangh Parivar’s constituents. “Politics is an instrument for settling conflicts, it should not be used to create conflicts,” he said. “What the RSS and its affiliates are doing is to produce conflict in society. They know that only by generating conflict can they survive.”

Polluting society

According to Satyendra Das, Hindu scriptures have no place for the kind of conversions being practised by the RSS. “Hinduism does not get strengthened by these activities,” he added. “In fact, these weaken our religion. Only the Sangh Parivar benefits from forced conversions. These acts are political and have nothing to do with religion.”

Ramdineshacharya, who is considered the head of the Ramanandi sadhus of Ayodhya since he has been given the title of Jagat Guru Ramanandacharya, is also critical of the forced conversions. “These acts have started polluting our society,” he said. “They must be stopped immediately by the government.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Courtesy: scroll.in

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