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Last week, we at the Fatima Center issued the call to save Saint Joseph’s Oratory from pagan influence. A recent report from Life Site gives more details of the August 14 event at which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will speak at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. Shankar, according to the Associated Press, “has become the rage of New Age spiritualism”.
Life Site reports that it had difficulty contacting Saint Joseph’s Oratory, due to the high volume of concerned Catholics telephoning about the event. The Oratory staff tells callers that Shankar’s visit is not a religious event, despite the fact that Shankar is to speak in the church itself. The cost of the two-hour session is $15.00 per person. It is scheduled to take place on the eve of a major Catholic Holy Day, the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption.
But if the Sri Sri event is not a religious one, why is it being held at one of Canada’s most hallowed Catholic Shrines rather than at a local Fire Hall or a school gymnasium? Why are Catholics involved with organizing it in the first place?
The Life Site report explains that many Catholics are concerned that Shankar’s visit will be more than a courtesy call, a concern that deepens upon visiting Shankar’s website. Here one encounters what seems to be a cult of personality around the New Age leader. “The page” says the report, “hints of personality cult — every click brings new images of the guru’s ecstatic smile and young people lined up in lotus position.” The guru is referred to as ‘His Holiness’ by followers (a religious term) “and presumably will be addressed as such during the Saint Joseph’s Oratory event.”
The New Age leader advises his followers to choose the religion or spirituality that suits them, which defies Our Lord Jesus Christ Who mandated belief in Himself and His Teachings to be the one and only way of salvation.
Shankar’s message is one of humanistic New Age globalism, wherein he teaches breathing exercises based on Hinduism’s Transcendental Meditation.
Glasgow’s Herald reports that Shankar also tells his audience, “we are all one human family across all religion and culture”. This is nothing more than a Masonic religious indifferentism condemned by the Catholic Church, which exalts our common humanity over the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Shankar also laughs off the idea that any religion can contain the whole truth. In a California lecture posted on one of Shankar’s webpages, he said that to insist “the Bible is truth” to the exclusion of any other religion, is one of the signs of being an unenlightened man.
Likewise, Life Site reports that Shankar tells his followers that the truly enlightened are more than mere believers: “An atheist bases himself on reason, and a believer on faith … Death shakes them both! When someone close dies, an atheist eyes are opened, and a believer’s faith cracks. Only a Yogi — a wise one — remains unshaken. For that person has transcended both reason and faith.” (Intimate Note to a Sincere Seeker Vol 6.)
A man who preaches such pagan ideas is not fit to speak at a Catholic institution of any kind. We urge concerned Catholics to contact the authorities listed below and those from our previous email to lodge their formal protest.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory: (514) 733-8211.
Oratory’s Rector: (514) 733-8211 or (877) 672-8647 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Papal Nuncio to Canada - His Excellency Luigi Ventura
Another Montreal chancery email address: email@example.com