Perhaps you are aware that Judith's dad is a nearly full-blooded Cherokee, descended from those ancestors who fled to the mountains 150 years ago, escaping from the tragic Trail of Tears that led to Oklahoma. And she is proud of that inheritance.
This summer, during our Fishnet conference in Vermont, her inheritance was marvelously confirmed by a vision in which Jesus appeared to her as she stood at a favorite childhood spot — a natural bridge overlooking the Red River Gorge in her native Kentucky. Stretching out his arm over the beautiful forests below Jesus said, "All this is yours." When she asked what that meant, he added, "This is your inheritance!"
Jesus had come to counterbalance a very real but disturbing experience of 20 years before when Judith came up against the negative aspects of that same Native American heritage. At that time she was a missionary in Jerusalem lying in bed with a mysterious fever which did not respond to medical treatment. Into her room marched a woman whom she scarcely knew and who was not acquainted with Judith's Cherokee ancestry through any ordinary, natural means. She proceeded to ask Judith if she was of Cherokee descent and when Judith confirmed that she was, this missionary said that the Lord had told her that Judith needed to have her bloodlines cleansed of shamanism. When Judith gave her permission to pray, this woman uttered a powerful prayer of deliverance. And immediately Judith's fever disappeared!
These two incidents from Judith*'s life contain a teaching that is specially timely today, when some Christians believe that it really doesn't make much difference whether they are Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu: "We all have our own paths up the mountain, and we will all meet at the top" - that kind of leveling attitude. What needs to be affirmed is the age-old Christian belief that many traditional religions are a mixture of good elements and (it needs to be said openly) the demonic — especially if they feature witch-doctors and shamans. *wife of Francis MacNutt There are two extremes. First, there are those Christians who tend to condemn anything unfamiliar that comes from a foreign culture — say, from Asia or Africa. They are like those Christians in Paul's time who were understandably afraid of eating food offered to idols** (I Corinthians 8: the entire chapter); yet Paul was not afraid to eat such food, provided his eating did not offend those of a more tender conscience. (I have to admit I probably would take the safer course and refuse to eat meat offered to idols if it were sold in our supermarkets today.)** known as "prasad" or prasada in Hinduism On the other extreme we have the more common problem today of those who will accept anything "spiritual" that comes from another religion and automatically consider it good and valuable, simply because it is spiritual. Because the existence of the demonic realm is often dismissed as primitive superstition in today's church world, many Christian leaders tend to disregard the dangers of the demonic in those religions that are not in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. They have lost the ability to discern the difference between the Holy Spirit and the realm of evil spirits.
I would like to share one remarkable example: in 1977 I spoke in India and there met a fine priest, Fr. Rufus Pereira, who in a brief two years had prayed to free more than 400 individuals from demonic influence! He estimated that about one-third of them were delivered from demons identifying themselves as Hindu gods. I should mention that Fr. Rufus was not a wild-eyed enthusiast, but was a highly-educated cleric who had studied Scripture in Rome. 112.
He taught in the seminary and was highly regarded by the Indian bishops, who gave him permission to work in deliverance. Rufus graciously granted me an interview in which he said:
"I love my country very much and have a great respect for Indian religion, but perhaps there is no religion that has within itself such a wide spectrum, all the way from the highest form of religious endeavor to the lowest degradation of humanity—all in the name of religion. I have been led to believe that many of the gods and goddesses in Hindu mythology are nothing other than demons.
During one conference at which I spoke five cases of possession surfaced in the congregation, so Rufus asked me to come and observe one young woman — a Catholic - whom they had taken to a classroom. There she was stretched out on a table, assuming the dancing posture you see in some statues in Hindu temples. If you tried to straighten her out, she would immediately contort her body into its original artificial posture."
Later Rufus told me what this all meant:
"You will remember what she looked like: this girl taking on the poses of the Hindu dancing god (This dancing god is one aspect of the god Shiva). What is really remarkable is that this girl knows nothing about Indian dancing, because she was brought up in a Western culture home. Yet, here she was, assuming the absolutely correct dancing poses in her fingers, her wrists, her hands and feet, the exact poses of this very god. It was something fantastic to watch, if it were not also so very cruel, so very abominable. Even her very face — her eyes and her mouth were all changed into the features of this Hindu god. I later found that it got into her because of a spell cast by a Hindu doctor (who perhaps had lustful motives when he was treating her). Probably he called up his favorite god, the dancing god, to possess her so he could get power over her."
You will notice how Fr. Rufus talks about the noble aspects of religion in India but is also quite willing to face the darker, the demonic side, of Hindu culture.
Somehow Christians need to rediscover the fact Jesus is primarily our Savior (not just a teacher), the son of God who has the power to rescue us from a very real, personal world of evil that is present in traditional religion — whether it is Asian, African, Irish, or Native American. Jesus is not simply a great teacher or prophet, standing on a level with Buddha and Confucius. He is our Redeemer, with healing in his wings, ready to free all of us from the evil that tries to drag us down. It does make a difference — a great difference whether or not we are Christian.
The Fr. Rufus account is also available at http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/25010765/m/16810206
To know more about Francis S. MacNutt, Ph.D., visit
http://www.christianhealingmin.org/, http://www.christianhealingmin.org/about/ 5. This is a Traditionalist blog
2008 Catholic Blog Awards: Best Overall Catholic blog, Best Apologetic blog, Most informative and Insightful Catholic Blog, Best Group Blog, Best New Catholic Blog.
"INDIA, THE CRADLE OF RELIGIONS" is a jargon that is used by the secularists in the most positive sense to depict "Communal harmony" among the people of diverse religious backgrounds. While the reality differs to a great extent ranging from religious fanaticism to caste distinctions under the One banner of "Hindutva", that is a characteristic feature of India today. The West, however, is attracted to the hollow facade of the Eastern religious 'Anubhava" i.e., 'Experience' made manifest in various forms ranging from the Exoteric dimension of Hindu polytheism of thirty three crores (330,000,000) of deities to the exoteric dimension of 'Self-realisation', 'Yogic disciplines or meditations' to the occult practices of Tantra which includes animal as well as human sacrifices.
From the abstract speculation of Vedanta resulting into Egocentricity, we now move on to the Hindu Polytheism wherein lie the dangers of "spiritism" and "idolatry" that are inseparably intertwined in Hinduism. The deities are the evil spirits that are invoked and propitiated by performing various rituals, prescribed in the Veda—also animals as well as human sacrifices — bloody offerings to placate the fierce deities like Shiva, Kali, Durga etc. The cult of Kali well known as "Shaktaism" consists of occult practices which are technically called 'Tantra" which form the major part of Hinduism. Religious procession exhibit men and women who are possessed with these deities. There have been instances, which I have witnessed, of exorcisms performed by an old priest of Bombay, Fr. Rufus Pereira, who was till recently on the Pontifical Commission for Exorcism (now Parish Priest of St. Pius X Church, Mulund in Bombay), whereby many people who entered Hindu temples or in any way participated in Hindu prayers (ceremonies) or even consumed food offered to idols (prasad) were possessed by the deities, of whom Kali, Ganesh, Shiva, Krishna were common. [See also page 137]
In the Hindu practices, even that which appears as a merely social element is not really free of the 'spiritual' significance (I mean in the occult sense) such as men and women applying the red powder (Tilak) on their foreheads which signifies the third eye of Shiva known as "Jnana-Chakshu,", (Eye of Wisdom) from which flows the 'river of fire' and destroys everything, for Shiva is the destroyer of the worlds (hellish indeed).
The Hindu syllable 'OM' (which today is adapted and used in the Inculturated Novus Ordo Indian Rite Mass) is the abode of the 33 crores (330 million) of deities that are contained in the infinite cosmic sound 'OM'.
The Hindu Puranas (Epics) demonstrate that 'OM' is the sexual sigh of Shiva while engrossed in mystical union of generation with his consort Parvati (Shaiva Purana). 113.
One of us, Anthony Rodrigues, has witnessed Fr. Rufus Pereira exorcising a woman possessed with the spirit of 'OM'. Hence, we see magical practices as well as witchcrafts performed with the help of Tantra. There is a vast array of practices to suit every temperament. Hence, the chosen deity may be with form or formless. At the time of initiation, the Guru gives his disciple a 'mantra' and this determines the path he will follow and the practices he will take up. The disciple then, according to the instruction of the Guru whom he regards as 'Shiva' or 'Krishna' incarnated (Guru: Sakshat Parabrahman), performs Japa, i.e. chanting of the magic mantra.
Another form of Hinduism that fascinates many is the 'Exoteric' part of Yogic meditations, Yogic exercises (Asanas), exercises regulating and retaining breath (Pranayama) and concentration (Dhyana) that hideously contains the exoteric world of 'spirits' and 'gods'. The ultimate purpose that is spelled out in the Exoteric practices is to attain 'peace' (shanti), 'Equanimity' (Ekagrata) and finally 'liberation' (moksa) from the cycle of 're-birth' (punarjanma).
Meditation is a 'One-pointed Concentration' on the chosen deity such as Shiva or Krishna who are both called "Yogeshwara" [means Lord of the Yoga]."
I would like to elaborately dwell a bit on 'Yoga' towards which many in Asia as well as in the West are fascinated.
The Yogic meditations are the highest stage of meditations, beginning with physical exercises, then concentration, culminating in 'Samadhi' — union with the deity. This union is attained by the releasing of the 'serpentine power' [Kundalini Shakti] which Yoga believes lies asleep in the generative organ [sexual energy]. By practicing Yogic exercises, concentration and Pranayama, the Kundalini Shakti is released thus travelling through the 7 wheels (chakras) invisibly present in every human body, it reaches its climax in the 7th chakra present in the mind that results in the illumination of the mind, like Shiva himself, who facilitates this illumination in 'Samadhi'. Even the physical exercises are evil, for they implicitly contain the influence of the higher states of meditation and hence, Yogic exercises too are to be refrained from.
Buddhism, as we have seen earlier was in the traditional ethos considered heterodox. But later, in the 8th century A.D., the Brahmins (the Hindu priestly caste) included the 'Buddha' as an incarnation of Vishnu in order to prevent the Lower Caste Hindu masses from converting to Buddhism, which they were doing, being tired of suffering oppression from High Caste Brahmins. Hence now Buddhism too falls under the banner of Hinduism, though not very successfully. Nevertheless there are other Buddhist forms of meditation such as Vipassana, Zen meditation, centering prayer, Transcendental meditation (of Maharshi Yogi) that today ensnare many people. Also many other occult practices such as Reiki and Pranic healing that are practices dabbling with the element spirits of the universe (which they call 'energies').
Hinduism is called "A Way of Life". Indeed so, for the diabolic pervades every aspect of a Hindu. Every little food cooked by a Hindu is offered to the deities (Saraswati, Durga who is called Annapurna — which means 'the One who completes the deliciousness of the food'). The idols installed in houses, temples or on the roadsides are diabolic too: the spirits of the deities they represent are breathed into them through the ceremony which is called "prana pratishta" ('prana' is breath; 'pratishta' is to install) performed by the Brahmin, who by chanting efficacious mantras infuses into the idol the spirit of the deity. Such is this all-comprehensive phenomenon called 'Hinduism'.One among the many forms of the 'diabolos', who cunningly has distributed and manifests himself in various religions and cultural forms according to times and places.
All that can be said is "Watch out! For your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the Faith! (1 Peter 5: 8-9). Ave Maria
COMMENT Thanks to all who emailed regarding this article that was posted. It is five years old but priests and lay people must be aware of this. Many priests and nuns have encouraged and promoted this Hinduism and these false religions.
This is a letter I wrote 5 years ago to the author of the Charisindia article, to the then Chairman of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and to Constantine Fernandez who is its current Chairman
Thank you for Fr. Paolo Scarafoni's article on New Age, pages 18, 19 in the referred April 2006 issue of Charisindia.
Another very similar one is INTERVIEW: Responding to the Lure of New Age, With Father Paolo Scarafoni of the Academy of Theology, ROME, MARCH 2, 2004 ZE04030220.
It discusses more of what is useful in the Indian context:
-"New Age is nourished by Jung's psychology, whose approach is clearly anti-Christian." [Jungian thought is reaching epidemic proportions in Catholic institutions].
-The "fad of trips to India"...
-"The new mysticism, also practiced by many Catholics, is nourished by the most varied traditions of prayer, especially Eastern." etc.
Fr. Rufus' article in the March 2006 issue was simply illuminating. And greatly overdue. The one in the April issue was, too. Praise the Lord.
I was long awaiting the day when subjects like these would be dealt with in the pages of CHARISINDIA.
I had always questioned the reason as to why these 'delicate' issues are avoided in India, whereas there is no hesitation in our preaching or sharing about them away from home.
I recall that Fr. Franklin D'Souza* [of Shimoga] had recently shown me his copy of the book, and we found that the particular section, that I have in the original publication with me, has been completely removed! 114.
I do not recall if this new edition of Fr. Francis MacNutt’s book is published in India, and hence the editing.
The information has been included in the draft for a future report from this ministry on Bharatanatyam dancing.
The article is much more detailed in CHARISINDIA, than it was in [then] Fr. Francis MacNutt's book, and therefore more instructive. And while MacNutt uses it to illustrate the need for greater understanding of the ministry of"deliverance from so-called Hindu gods and goddesses", I find that Fr. Rufus highlights the importance of Intercession. Whatever it is, it's now there for all to read, and learn from.
However, there are some differences, if I may point them out. *Now Regional Chaplain of Karnataka YCS/YSM, Bangalore
The Appendix [An Interview with Father Rufus Pereira] clearly specifies that "the girl was taking on the poses of the Hindu god who is called Lataranjan** [sic]- the dancing god.(This dancing god is an aspect of the god Shiva)." **Nataraja, the spirit-deity ofbharatanatyam.
The interview in the Appendix is very clear that the girl wasdiabolically possessedby that 'deity'.
The rest of the analysis of this particular incident as well as the interview are most informative.
As the Church in India slides inexorably into "inculturated" practices and worship forms of other religions, from the chanting of "OM" to the practice of yoga and to Bharatanatyam dancing in the sanctuary, is it not time that CHARISINDIA took the lead in writing and speaking prophetically? What are we waiting for? Who are we afraid of hurting or displeasing?
Have we counted the cost? Are we not ready to pay the price? Are we to be pleasers of God, or pleasers of men?
Unless the Renewal fearlessly speaks out, it will have to increasingly carry, in its individual hearts, the unbearable burden of the knowledge that thousands of Catholics are coming under bondage, and that those that are in bondage STAY THAT WAY, because they who minister to them are fearfully ignorant, while the few who know, maintain silence.
I draw bro. Cyril's attention again to my [unanswered] email letter dated 24th February, in respect of his February CHARISINDIA article, WHEN YOU BECOME UNPOPULAR FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST. Cyril?
On the question of yoga, Fr. Rufus concluded, "The purely practical aspects of yoga can be accepted so long as they are deliberately placed under the Lordship of Jesus."
I am confident that, 28 years of experience after he wrote that, Fr. Rufus would not make that statement today.
One very senior Renewal leader, a priest, once wrote to me the same about the "OM" mantra.
I could safely challenge him to make a public statement on that today, or give it in writing.
He cannot, and he will not.
That being the case, why doesn't he, and others, say what has to be said, "Do not even enquire about the things that they do"? [cf. Deuteronomy 12:30] More and more Catholic preachers in India have decided that not everything can be "placed under the Lordship of Jesus". To be more precise, they MUST all be brought under the Lordship of Jesus, but not all such things may then be used by Catholics for whatever reason. Does one place "OM" or the ShivlingorBharatanatyam under the Lordship of Jesus and then actually USE them in the Church?
Well, that's exactly what's being done. Then, why not use them in ministry? Who is to decide whether they have been "placed" successfully under the Lordship of Jesus? There are dozens of questions that I could sincerely ask of you.
Yours, Michael Prabhu
The only later additions in the letter, inserted by me just now, are the few words that are in italics. I trust that the reader got the gist of what exactly I was trying to convey to the leaders of the Renewal through my letter. They did not respond of course. Let me explain with some examples. A SPIRIT OF FEAR, A SPIRIT OF COMPROMISE, AND A WALL OF SILENCE
Most of the leading ministries in India appear to be dominated by a spirit of fear or a spirit of compromise. This includes the entire leadership of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR]. Some of the more outspoken against New Age -- and that includes priests -- in national-level leadership as well as at regional levels in the CCR have been eased out of office or themselves left because of the subtle hostility, resistance and confrontation that they faced.
The wall of silence was breached only on a couple of occasions, like with the publication of Fr. Rufus’ editorial in Charisindia in April 2006. Charisindia, the voice of the CCR in India published a few articles exposing New Age error but mostly in general terms with hardly any specifics that would have been useful to the local Church in confronting a lot of institutionalised evil in its midst.
That does not mean to say that all these leaders are either themselves in error or condone it.
A fair number of them, including regional chairpersons have confidence in this ministry, concur with me on what I write, consult me, and even recommend my ministry to others. 115.
They lament the situation in the Renewal and in the Indian Church, but remain silent in public.
Fr. Rufus Pereira is one of them. He has been conducting his ministries of exorcism and deliverance in India for almost four decades and has a wealth of practical experience such as the case that he wrote about in his Charisindia article, but he chooses not to share them with others. Though he has personally blessed my ministry, I do not hesitate to say that he is accountable for the many Catholics whose lives would have been changed if his knowledge had been imparted to others.
I have appealed to him to change this attitude of his for the good of the Church but he has not replied, though on other occasions he has written to me. He once informed someone to tell me that he appreciates my work but lacks my courage or something to that effect.
The reader must know that a copy of this report, like most others that I wrote on similar subjects, will be sent to Fr. Rufus, and I hope that he will open it and read these lines. There are many “discrepancies” in Fr. Rufus’ testimony when compared to the account narrated by Francis MacNutt. When Angela, my wife, read the Charisindia story her conclusion was that the girl was affected by the picture, probably of the god Krishna depicted as a child, on the restaurant wall.
Then why did Fr. Rufus have to start it by describing the girl’s quite obvious Bharatanatyam pose?
Did he change his mind half-way through writing? Did he decide to write a half-truth knowing that many Bombay and national leaders are keenly aware that the girl WAS affected by Nataraja, Shiva, the deity of the “Cosmic Dance”? Did he decide that the reader would work it out for himself?
Whatever the answer, my firm belief is that in spiritual warfare a half-truth is no truth at all.
If one did not know differently, one would think that Francis MacNutt’s account is of an entirely different event. But, it is the very same one. The young Catholic woman WAS afflicted by the spirit-deity of Bharatanatyam! In my letter, I had pointed out to the CCR leaders that THE INDIAN EDITION OF MACNUTT’S BOOK DOES NOT HAVE THE STORY OF THE BHARATANATYAM CASE IN APPENDIX 2, whereas it is there in the foreign editions! I believe that its omission in the Indian edition was intentional. I wonder if the recipients of my letter on the previous page got my message.
Next week at this time, I will be giving a retreat to a convent high school. The content of one of the talks that I have in mind can be presented under any one of different themes- my testimony, the will of God, sacrifice, obedience, and so on.
Fr. Rufus wrote that Charisindia testimony in the context of “intercession”.
That was no “INTERCESSION” although any prayer on behalf of someone else can be termed “intercession”. That was a case of deliverance and is rightly categorised as such by MacNutt. I strongly dispute the conclusions of the Charismatic Service Team and Fr. Rufus, see 3a. page 111, on Yoga! First of all, since 1975, Rome has issued TWO documents explicitly mentioning Yoga and warning of its spiritual dangers. One of the Documents is entirely dedicated to yoga meditation.
Secondly, WHO IS THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY IN THE INDIAN CHURCH to demarcate for the faithful the thin, invisible line between the spiritual-religious-philosophical aspects of Yoga and its supposedly beneficial “physical” aspects? All evidence in the hundreds of pages on Yoga on my web site definitively proves that Yoga simply cannot be called a physical regimen and that a Christian cannot take up any aspect of its practice without compromising his Faith, albeit unknowingly. In October 1983, it was in Delhi, when someone in deliverance ministry happened to pray over a member of the prayer group of which I was the leader, at our home. The minister, who had come to preach the first English charismatic retreat in almost a decade, was staying at our home which was close to the venue, St. Michael’s Church, and prayed over the prayer group member but NOT for deliverance though we were repeatedly cautioned that it was an unwise thing to do because it was discerned that ministry to that person needed “prayer and fasting”. Overruling the objections, as I was new to such things, I asked the minister to start the prayer. Within a minute, the person began to react violently, a foul smell enveloped us, the person’s head actually began to rotate and the person’s body, hands and legs had to be firmly held down by the spouse, my wife, Angela, and me.
We had never seen anything like that before or even imagined such things as possible.
The person who was prayed for was a member in good standing of our prayer group since its inception in June 1982 and visited the church thrice daily for adoration and prayer.
The word of knowledge received thrice in succession was that the person who had lived earlier in Calcutta, the city whose deities are Kali-Durga, had propitiated the goddess Kali to obtain a favour.
The person had been to the Kali temple for that purpose. The person repeatedly declined to admit guilt or to accept the advice to confess the matter to a priest, and ever after that, we had to endure seeing the person’s head vibrating funnily throughout our prayer meetings.
It so happens that the preacher who prayed for my friend is a relative of mine and is very well known to Fr. Rufus Pereira having studied with him in the first batch of the Bible College, Bombay, a few years before this incident. Fr. Rufus admits that the spirits behind Hindu deities are demons [the devil, Satan] in this YouTube video, the contents of which I copy here, the entity in question here being the very same Kali.
Fr. Rufus Pereira - Google Videos.flv December 19, 2009 10:34 minutes interview with a Spanish-speaking priest, translated from English into Spanish by a nun, Sr. Jacinta of the Sisters of St. Ann of Providence in Secunderabad, India
Father Rufus, you are in this ministry of deliverance because you are in the charismatic movement. How did you get into it?
Well, it is a long story, to make it short, I encountered the Charismatic Renewal in May 1972 on Pentecost Sunday. It was when I met some American sisters in my parish of St. Andrew’s, Bandra, Bombay, that I came in contact with the Charismatic Renewal. They invited me for their prayer meeting which had started that very week; and when I heard the speaker speaking about St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, that moved me very deeply. Even though I had done my doctorate in biblical theology in Rome, the way he spoke made the Bible so alive to me that I decided to attend the meeting every week. And then I invited them to my big school hall and then it became the first and biggest prayer meeting in India and from there we went all over the country bringing the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
The second step … exorcism, how did you get into it?
After I came in contact with the CCR, I began to be invited by the bishops of India to give charismatic retreats to their priests, and within few/five years I had given such retreats to 60 of the 120 dioceses of India.
Then, it was on the feast of St. Anne, the 26th of July 1976 that I had my first case of deliverance, and it took place in the convent of Sr. Jacinta, and that was the beginning of my ministry of deliverance…
[To the nun translating] It was in your convent. [See also page 119]
It was a lay woman, whose ancestors were high priests of the goddess Kali, one of the Hindu gods, and then, at that time I did not believe that devils existed, and if they existed I was very frightened of them, and when I was confronted with this person that was obviously possessed, I hid behind the sisters to protect myself.
I suddenly experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, and I began to pray for this woman in tongues, and immediately I saw a great change in the woman. Her face became like that of an angel, her hands were before like claws forming to choke me and then her hands were raised up in praise of God. And then I was convinced that devils do exist and I was more convinced that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can defeat the enemy. From that day I must have had about 20,000 cases of healing, deliverance or exorcism.
One of the last cases I had was in Brazil. The last weekend of September, I was invited to preach an Inner Healing retreat to 40,000 people in the stadium and that program was seen by 7 million people over … TV.
And on the 22nd of September after the program the ministry of deliverance brought one case to me for prayers, a case that was being prayed over for years sometimes the whole night There was a young girl of twenty-one who had consecrated herself to satan, whose parents consecrated her to satan when she was born, and when I began to pray for her, she became so violent that six men had to hold her. At one point she even jumped upon me and threw me on the ground. It was the fourth time I was really attacked by satan. The next day they brought her again to me for prayers and by the power of the prayer of deliverance, she changed. She was completely freed from the power of evil. She invited me even to sit next to her; and she told me done be afraid let your men hold me but I want you to sit next to me. I went and sat next to her and she collapsed on my lap and she held on to me seeing in me a father. And her face was that of an angel and she had a very beautiful smile on her face.
[At the above link, one can find other videos of Fr. Rufus Pereira on his ministry of deliverance.]
One wonders why he doesn’t mention these cases of deliverance from spirit-deities of Hindu gods when he preaches in India. I have attended his talks and seminars in Delhi, in Chennai and in Ernakulam but I have never, ever heard him share experiences such as these.
One such was the February 2004 three-day Asian Seminar on Healing and Deliverance in Kaloor, Ernakulam, Kerala, given along with Fr. Larry Hogan, Chief Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Vienna.
That was when both priests had twice publicly confirmed my stand that homoeopathy is New Age in response to doubts that arose [over the correctness of my position in a 38-page article which I had distributed there] and in response to questions that were raised by some regional leaders. 117.
Fr. Rufushad admitted to a group of us - who asked why it was named a healing seminar when there was no teaching on healing - that it was really a Seminar on EXORCISM and DELIVERANCE – which was self-evident -- but the Bishops would not permit the use of the term "EXORCISM"!!!!!
At the first Catholic Apologetics Seminar in India in Kochi [Cochin], May 18 to 20, 2007 given by a lay person from the US, Indian expatriate Dr. Francis Thomas, and organized by the Jesus Youth, some Kerala Bishops had disallowed the use of the term “Apologetics”out of fear of the Hindutva forces or something like that, I was informed by reliable Jesus Youth sources!!!!!
Apparently the Charismatic Renewal is not a prophetic voice as it should be in the Indian Church but a pious activity that the bishops regulate even in minor issues. It is no wonder that some of the leading speakers at charismatic retreats are themselves priests and lay persons who are guilty of indulging in liturgical abuse or New Age. New Age and other error have popped up at several retreats or seminars that I have attended as in the one that I am going to refer to next, and that is one big reason for the unhappiness of certain senior leaders when they see me show up anywhere.
I actually had my registration money RETURNED to me AFTER I had successfully registered and been accepted at the subsequent “Seminar on the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit”, see below, in New Delhi! The incident that I am going to relate below was left uncorrected despite my immediately taking issue with the CCR leaders and speakers present, one of whom was Fr. Rufus Pereira. No wonder I am so popular with them! The information below is extracted from my article
PENDULUM DOWSING, RADIESTHESIA AND WATER DIVINING-SUMMARY
TWICE - FORMER NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE CCR PRACTISES DIVINATION BY DOWSING
"In January 2005, the National Service Team [NST] of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal [CCR] held a Seminar on the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit at Dhyana Ashram here in Chennai. I attended the entire programme. One speaker was Rev. Fr. A. J. Thamburaj S.J., twice former National Chairman of the CCR.
On the 24th of January, at 5:45 pm., Fr. Thamburaj gave us a workshop on how to learn the practice and exercising of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
For the best results, our gifts must be constantly and diligently exercised, he said.
Next, he took the occult practice of pendulum dowsing as a practical example of developing the gifts.
He proudly announced that he possesses the 'gift' of water divination!
While admitting to having exercised the 'gift' with a divining rod, he explained that if he were to now devote his time and continue to 'use' it, he would not have time for his charismatic ministry.
It is obvious that Fr. Thamburaj would not be aware that he has this 'gift' if he had not previously 'used' it with 'positive' results.
As a second example, Fr. Thamburaj also spoke with enthusiasm about a seminarian friend of his who used a bunch of keys which started 'turning very quickly' when he was divining for stuff, and who "now uses this gift to mint money". All this was said, most regrettably, while introducing us to the development and use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit!!
There were about 40 persons attending this Seminar on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The other speakers and those present at the Seminar included Fr. Rufus Pereira, and other national-level CCR leaders including Benjamin Gonzaga, then Chairman of the Madras Service Team [MST], Thomas Manuel, former and again later Chairman of the MST, the national-level leader of the CCR youth, and several more.
During the next intermission, I tried to bring the issue to the attention to some of the organizers and leaders but was not reassured that any corrective measures would be taken.
A few of them listened to me sadly, heads down, silent, with no comment.
Mr. Gonzaga informed me that he himself is an engineer, and learnt dowsing during his college studies, and that he did not think that it was wrong. After saying that he tried to hurry away saying that he was busy, and had things to organize. When I tried to press the issue, he turned hostile, and walked away.
Despite my objections, which were conveyed to all those who mattered, a retraction was not made by either Fr. Thamburaj or by the organizers during the remaining two days of the seminar.
I then wrote to selected leaders of the CCR at the national level, including some of those who were present, explaining that Fr. Thamburaj once again** [mis-]used his position of leadership and authority in the CCR to promote a New Age practice, and that I intended to bring out a pamphlet on such forms of divination, and mention this incident in it. I RECEIVED NO RESPONSE FROM ANY OF THE CCR LEADERS.
In the preceding talk that Fr. Rufus gave on Inner Healing, he had mentioned that 80 to 90% of Catholics have at one time or another indulged in some form of occult healing. He noted that it constitutes "the most common and most damaging obstacle [to healing] in a Christian's life".
I would safely add from my personal experience that roughly 25% of charismatics, maybe much more, including leaders in the renewal, have used occult alternative medicines and dubious meditation techniques either pre-renewal or even while continuing to be in prayer groups.
However many leaders have steadfastly continued to reject the possibility that anyone in their groups have ever been involved in such things and do not even permit these issues to be discussed or lectured on.
If Fr. Rufus’ statement is to be taken seriously, how are priests like Fr. Thamburaj permitted to continue to preach and to minister in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
**'Once again': In the initial stages of this ministry, I have reported that Fr. Thamburaj has been associated with the practise of pranic healing and reiki. He has later studied Zen meditation at Fr. Ama Samy S.J.’s Bodhi Zendo ashram. He has attempted to introduce charismatics to these New Age therapies and meditations by frequently mentioning them at charismatic meetings and by inviting people to try them out.
These earlier reports and numerous letters to the concerned leaders are presently available only in hardcopy. They will be soon be copied into my computer and uploaded on this ministry’s website.
Meanwhile, this ministry’s efforts to bring these issues to the attention of CCR leaders has been the cause of certain retaliatory reactions which will be revealed in due course. Why does Fr. Rufus Pereira speak and act fearlessly only outside India?
Healing by Francis MacNutt (from the Jan/Feb 2002 issue) Christian Healing Ministries ~ The Healing Line
Back in the 1970’s, I met a brilliant young priest, Fr. Rufus Pereira, who had gotten involved in exorcism back in his native India. Then in 1978,he, among others, invited me to bring a team to preach in India, where he showed me how many people were inhabited by demons in the form of Hindu gods. (You will find an interview with Fr. Rufus in the Appendix to my book Deliverance from Evil Spirits.)
One of my many happy reunions in Rome was meeting Fr. Rufus again after 25 years, and to hear him give a 20-minute talk on exorcism. He presented a remarkable narrative about the amazing breakthrough in this ministry in which he has labored so long during an often lonely walk, as he has tried to communicate his knowledge about the need for deliverance from evil. Now, at last, the "glass ceiling" seems to be pierced and he is seeing a dramatic growth in interest among Church authorities… In one diocese in Africa, after Fr. Rufus gave a talk to priests on deliverance, one priest stood up and said that all of them, including the bishop, had been involved in the occult as part of their cultural, family background. He admitted that they send their difficult cases to the local witchdoctors. He asked if Rufus would tell them how to deal with these cases. Instead, Rufussaid, "I’ll show you what I do."On the last day of the retreat the priests brought him some 30 cases of demonic oppression and all were delivered with the help of 120 priests, within just 30 minutes!
Now, Fr. Rufus has taken to praying for entire countries. In Haiti, for example, at a congress for 60,000 people, he prayed for deliverance for this land that has been so subject to violence, poverty and voodoo, since that country’s leaders dedicated Haiti to Satan 150 years ago.
Talking with him after his presentation, I asked him whether he wasn’t meeting skepticism and resistance on the part of some leaders; he responded by saying that he now finds many bishops open to this topic, but the most resistant group are theologians who teach in seminaries.
One conclusion that Fr. Rufus has come to – with which we certainly agree: deliverance is a ministry of compassion for the afflicted, more than a ministry of power against the oppressing spirits.
If African Catholics need to be delivered, one can only imagine the condition of Catholics in India with so much abuse -- one being Bharatanatyam -- in the name of inculturation and adaptation. The MacNutt interview was not a one-off thing that resulted only because he was an eye-witness at the Bombay deliverance case.
There is the YouTube video whose link I provided on page 117*. There are certainly many more instances which I could find if I could spend more time searching on the Internet. *the same incident [here, the mention of Kali is again studiously avoided] from another Indian-run site: My First Case of Deliverance by Fr. Rufus Pereira July 29, 2010
It was in 1976 that I had my first case of Exorcism or Deliverance…
Retreat to the Sisters of St. Ann of Providence
I went to a town in Central India, called Secunderabad, to give a charismatic retreat to the Sisters of St. Ann of Providence. I had hardly retired to my room for a much-needed rest, after the solemn Mass and festive lunch on the last day of the retreat, 26th of July, the Feast of St. Anne, when, to my annoyance, there was a knock at my door. The Provincial, the Superior and the Novice Mistress, apologised for disturbing me but they said that two women, blood sisters, of a well known Catholic family in the parish, wanted me to come and pray over the son of one of them who was hospitalised in the mental asylum in the city. For, after hearing my talk on healing at the outreach the previous evening, they felt very strongly that the young man was not mentally sick but possessed. 119.
I just laughed quietly to my self, since I could not accept that in these modern times people could get possessed, and said that I would not be able to come with them to pray over the young man, but that they should pray by themselves. They went on, however, insisting that the many physical sicknesses and emotional disturbances tormenting their families were due to the affliction of a popular demon goddess, whose high priests their pagan ancestors had been, and that in spite of attending daily Mass and saying the daily family Rosary they were not getting any better.
I did not believe then that such demons really existed.
In fact when I received the minor order of exorcist at the Collegio Urbano de Propaganda Fide, in Rome, I took it very lightly, not foreseeing that this would turn out to become for me a major disorder in my life, so to say. Moreover, I must admit, I was even somewhat irritated with the Sisters and the family for disturbing my siesta. So I just told them to keep on praying even more. As the last resort they pleaded, "But can't you pray for us now." I retorted that I would, hopefully, pray for them later by myself.
But just then it seemed as if the Lord was speaking to me, "Rufus, these people have come asking you as a priest to pray for them now. You pray for them NOW."
Well, I was somewhat annoyed with the Lord. Anyway I did pray, rather reluctantly and casually, I am sorry to say, and softly, that Jesus would free this family from that demon — again if he existed.
The reaction was instantaneous and most unexpected.The shorter woman, the pious one, who had been narrating to me all their woes while continuously fingering her rosary beads, was hurled to the ground with great force, and —for the first time in my life, I came face to face with the evil one.
I hid behind the nuns, as it screamed obscenities at me and shouted at me to return to Bombay — in English, which she did not know, and tried to spring on to me and throttle me. I did not know what to do — since I was not trained in the seminary for such unexpected hazards. I just felt powerless to do anything at all. I had no courage to ask it to come out of the woman — I presumed by now that it was the devil himself or herself.The 20 young novices did come to my rescue as they poured bottles of holy water onto the woman — but to no avail.
Suddenly I felt a reassuring anointing of the Holy Spirit, empowering the grace of my priesthood, and guiding me to pray softly but confidently in tongues, the doorway, I had been told, to the charisms of knowledge and power. I realised later that I had been unwittingly duplicating the experience of St. Paul, "The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words" (Rom 8:26). There was an equally instant transformation in the woman, from a devilish face of hate and claw like hands, to an angelic countenance of gentleness and hands lifted up in praise of God — even though she was still flat on her back on the floor. She was now so weak and lifeless, but peaceful and joyful, that the family had to take her home in a vehicle.
A week later I was once again in Secunderabad for a retreat to priests. As I was praying for the general public one by one at a healing service on 4th of August, the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron of priests in the pastoral ministry, victorious in his daily conflict with the Evil One, suddenly there stood in front of me the same two women, that had come for prayers in St. Ann's Convent the week before, and their families. On noticing them, I said to myself, "Oh, not again!" and spoke rather curtly, "But, I have already prayed for you." They said that they had come this time not to ask but to thank God for the great deliverance and healing that they, even as a joint family, had experienced.
The daughter of the woman, that had been oppressed and was now freed, related how their father had left the family when they were very small, and they had blamed their mother for his desertion, since she was just impossible to get on with. But ever since that day of liberation she had become a totally different woman — so gentle and caring, and then they knew that the family break up had not really been her fault. They added that their mother had lost complete vision of one eye and had only 50% vision in the other, due to a thorn poke. But ever since that day she had recovered complete vision in both her eyes. The nuns also confirmed that the whole family had become thereafter a healthy and happy family.
This was my first case of deliverance, and it was a case that ended so quickly and completely — only with the authority of Jesus and by the power of his Holy Spirit (and, I believe, through the intercession of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and of St. Anne), and like St. John Mary Vianney, not through my intelligence, knowledge, experience, training or special gift. There was a time when I myself was afraid of evil spirits, even though I was not sure if they existed, till I realised right from this first case that they are more afraid of the power of our Baptism and especially of the power of the Priesthood, just as the seventy-two could say triumphantly, "Lord, even the devils submit to us when we use your name" (Luke10:17).
It is sad that today many of our people in their many and diverse needs go either to unquestionable spiritists or to questionable neo-Pentecostal healers. Fortunately the Catholic Charismatic Renewal has been helping in this spiritual warfare through a renewed ministry of deliverance, activated by the emergence and manifestation of this specific charism of the Holy Spirit, when the priest, or layperson exercising this ministry under ecclesial authority, prays for a person that is presumably under demonic influence.
This is because, in preparation for Vatican Council II, Pope John XXIII had led the Church in a prayer, "O Holy Spirit ... Renew thy wonders in this our day as by a new Pentecost." That prayer has been answered in an incredible manner, by a revival and profusion of charisms, which, as the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church states, "are useful for the renewal and expansion of the Church." This is what Pope John Paul II meant, when in 1983 he called for a New Evangelization, new in zeal, in methods and in expressions. This is what he had in mind, in looking forward with glorious expectation to the New Millennium becoming "a great springtime for Christianity" (RM 86).
“Christ To The World” is an India-related overseas Catholic ministry. 120.
Two more articles by Fr. Rufus Pereira from another Indian-run Dubai-based site in which the ‘gods’ behind the cases of possession/deliverance are not named:
1. Holy Spirit Interactive Issue #105, March 12, 2006 Category: Intercession. The same as the Charisindia article http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/rufuspereira/ledbythespirit/38.asp
During the 3rd National Charismatic Convention in Mumbai, India, in 1978, the prayers and rituals, of all those in the ministry of deliverance, from India and abroad, made the whole day over a girl, who was so obviously possessed by some evil spirit, proved fruitless. When a month later the family brought this girl again for prayers, we made it clear to them that we would rather first ask the Holy Spirit for a word of knowledge directly to us or though the girl, so that we could know clearly and correctly what to pray for. As we were together in prayer, the girl suddenly cried out that she remembered something about herself and her family, which she felt she should share with us. This turned out to be the root cause of her oppression and the entry point of the evil spirit, proved by the fact that a short and simple prayer of inner healing and deliverance now acted instantly and completely…
When our prayers of hours, made by me with the Sisters and the college girls, who had accompanied this young collegian, who had come under a violent demonic attack during the prayer for the Baptism of the Spirit at the end of another National Charismatic Convention, proved futile, we stopped praying for deliverance and instead asked the Holy Spirit for a Word of Wisdom, to enable us to know what we should do to help this girl to be set free. As if in quick and direct answer to our prayer, the Lord seem to tell us very clearly, both during our prayer and soon after through the girl, that we should do exactly what he did in the case of the young man, who was tormented by an unclean spirit, as related in Mark's Gospel (9:14-29). We did just as God's Word directed and inspired us to act and the girl was finally set free quickly in the same way…
A young school teacher, whose life was dramatically changed ever since she had attended our retreat, where she had experienced a great deliverance, was now drawing crowds, including priests and nuns, with her prophetic words and healing prayers. But the Sister Principal of her School, very disturbed by all this, asked me when I was passing through that town to discern the authenticity of this ministry, saying that it is during the singing of the hymn to the Holy Spirit that she claims that the Spirit has now come upon her and she then prophesies and prays over people. This also happened when I was with her and she was now saying, "Rufus, my son…" etc. I looked straight into her eyes and said, "I know who you are". She at once replied in another voice, "I knew I could not fool you". That was the end of her crowd pulling but bizarre phenomenon, and a continuation of her former humble ministry of an evangelistic school teacher.
I was caught unawares and by surprise when a village woman, whose ancestors were supposedly devil worshippers, manifested such frightening signs of demonic possession, on just being prayed over in a convent, even somewhat reluctantly, by a simple and short prayer of deliverance, for the first time in my pastoral ministry. I just stood passively and safely at a distance, as the nuns kept pouring bottles of holy water on the woman, who was staring at me with devilish eyes, wanting to rush me down with her claw like hands, and screaming at me in perfect English to leave that town, - when suddenly I was inspired to pray in tongues over her. This was the first time I ever used this charism for a person in need. To my astonishment she was instantly delivered, with her face now looking like that of an angel and her hands raised gently in praise, even while still lying peacefully on the floor.
Here, Fr. Rufus does not elaborate on what that “something about herself and her family” that caused the “violent demonic attack” and left the girl “tormented by an unclean spirit” was. We know by now that it was the spirit of Shiva-Nataraja the deity of Bharatanatyam. In the second case, the woman “whose ancestors were high priests of the goddess Kali, one of the Hindu gods”, see page 117, suddenly becomes a “woman whose ancestors were supposedly devil worshippers”. What happened to Kali?
Why is the truth obfuscated? It is apparent that this is being done only on India-connected sites.
One more thing becomes clear in this obfuscation of the truth: by Fr. Rufus’ own admission, although inadvertently, the “high priests of the goddess Kali, one of the Hindu gods” were “devil worshippers”, which means that, as far as Catholics are concerned, to pay homage to Hindu gods is to worship the devil. This is because, in doing so, they break the First Commandment.
I repeat what I said earlier - that one cannot, and must not, ever say the same for a Hindu who, in good faith and according to the knowledge that he has, worships his or her god. Is the unwillingness of Fr. Rufus Pereira and other ministers of deliverance like him to literally “name the devil”, the “spirit of fear” or the “spirit of cowardice” that St. Paul condemns in his letter to Timothy [2 Timothy 1:7, New American Bible]? God did not give it to us, he says.
Is that spirit also the reason why the Bishops of India refuse to allow the Church to exercise a ministry of exorcism in a nation that needs it as much as the African continent or Haiti with their voodoo culture do? Let us recall the words of a Bishop already quoted on pages 12-13, 17 and 107:
Some dances and gestures from pre-Christian traditions relate to cults or worship of false gods, even demons, not to mention the erotic overtones of some dances that would also exclude them from Catholic worship. Borrowing from another religious culture, for example Hinduism, may also raise problems of catechetical confusion or even syncretism- Most Rev. Peter John Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Australia
FR. RUFUS PEREIRA CONTRADICTS HIMSELF ON HOMOEOPATHY!!!!!
Check out my short page 117 account of the Kaloor February 2004 three-day Asian Seminar on Healing and Deliverance where Fr. Rufus Pereira along with Fr. Larry Hogan, Chief Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Vienna condemned the use of homoeopathic medicine before a galaxy of senior charismatic leaders and priests. They even held up in their hands a copy of the book “Esoteric Practices and Christian Faith, An Aid to Discernment*” by Fr. Clemens Pilar COp, Vienna, 2001, translated from the original German by Frau Felicitas Piccolomini, evangelist from Germany, 2003.
An extremely helpful book, which very carefully, yet in a totally practical way demonstrates, where, when and how esoteric concepts are being insinuated into our daily life – without our being aware of it. Out of his own experience the author explains why this can often be quite dangerous. His logical explanations greatly encourage the development of the – nowadays so necessary - gift of discernment in the reader.
http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/pm_herin.htm In that book, Fr. Clemens Pilar, who works with Fr. Larry Hogan, clearly states:
Apart from its scientific questionability, homoeopathy is an important carrier of esoteric ideas.
If somebody asserts… that homoeopathy has nothing to do with esotericism, then this is factually wrong…
We see an introduction of an impersonal force as the life giving principle.
This idea is found in Gnostic tradition as well…
(In homoeopathic teaching) behind the visible material body of man, there is an energy body (depending on your culture- or in the esoteric sense- on your taste, whether it is called chi, prana, Vis Vitalis… etc…)
Vitalism teaches that man is animated by a ‘vital soul’ i.e a ‘spirit-like vital energy’ (as Hahnemann himself put it).
This Vis Vitalis (Latin for life force) is nothing else but a ‘second soul’ or an ‘unconscious’ soul… Here homoeopathy depends on the idea that- seen from the Christian point of view- very definitely can be characterised as problematical.
There is a historical trail from homoeopathy to the [occult New Age therapy] Bach-flowers (Eduard Bach, the inventor of this therapy began his career as a homoeopath). Even today, many patients follow the same trail. Once the door to irrationalism has been opened, there is no stopping.
It is not correct to say that a rejection of homoeopathy only happens due to a lack of knowledge. Scientifically founded criticism comes from highly competent experts. Prof. Otto Prokop in his book Homoeopathie- Was leistet sie wirklich? quotes a whole list of such scientists. One of the outstanding critics, Prof. Fritz Donner, was even a former homoeopath himself. We can hardly attribute his critical attitude to lack of competence. A professor of pathology, Dr. Werner Dutz said, 'Homoeopathy is voodoo. That is the only thing doctors can say about it. As far as the philosophical aspect is concerned, it should be assessed by the priests, who should rack their brains about it, but it is not the task of the medical sciences to deal with this.'