Dance in the Liturgy



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Photos from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles website  
Here we have a Trad. site saying that the above pictures were taken “during the Mass”. To me, it appears to be outside the Eucharistic service. On page 6 we had noted the Cardinal’s position. He was not firmly opposed to liturgical dance. He insisted on safe conditions for its use. One cannot be entirely safe in these matters. This is a classic case of dance introduced into a religious programme.

Those pictures are taken from radical Traditionalist sites that condemn the entire Novus Ordo [post Vatican II] Mass and not just the aberrations and abuses that are taking place in parishes across the globe in the guise of experimentation and innovation. I am in possession of many more pictures, most of them worse -- if such a thing is possible -- than those shown on the previous pages.

What these Trad. sites don’t mention is that even Rome condemns these horrible “liturgies”.
I now summarize what we have learnt from the priests, Bishops and Cardinals and even our present Pope, in the above articles, pages 1 through 13:

"Liturgical dance" is not expressly mentioned in the 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. There has never been a document from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments saying that dance is approved in the Mass.

Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. None of the Christian rites includes dancing”- Pope Benedict XVI



The tradition of the Latin Church has not known the dance.

"Liturgical dancing" can find no place in the celebration of holy Mass and the sacraments.

Liturgical dance can be included in the overall prohibition on introducing elements not contemplated by the liturgical books.

It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy "attractive" by introducing dancing”- Pope Benedict XVI



Proponents of liturgical dance say we're made to worship God in body, soul, and spirit -- with our whole being. But with liturgical dance, people's minds are fragmented by the attention they pay to the "performers." Liturgical dance becomes a distraction, an act of sensory stimulation. Hence, liturgical dance undermines the primordial objective in true worship of God: To adore and place our whole being before Him who transcends our human existence.

Modern liturgical dance, like the Gnostic-Docetist attempts of old, detracts from the heart of the Mass, which is the sacrifice of Christ, the sacrifice of the cross. Modern man will do anything and everything to escape the cross and replace its pain with something soothing, something pleasurable to the senses.

By the spectacle of liturgical dancers, the symbolism of the priest acting in persona Christi is diminished. If you diminish the priest, you diminish the importance of Jesus Christ.
Religious dance in church conduces little to worship and it could degenerate into disorders.

Most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment”- Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments



Dance of any kind must always take place outside of liturgical services at a time and place where they are not considered liturgical celebrations. It can never, under any circumstances, take place in the sanctuary of the church.

Some priests and lay people think that Mass is never complete without dance. The difficulty is this: we come to Mass primarily to adore God -- what we call the vertical dimension. We do not come to Mass to entertain one another. That's not the purpose of Mass. The parish hall is for that. Most dances that are staged during Mass should have been done in the parish hall. And some of them are not even suitable for the parish hall. I saw in one place -- I will not tell you where -- where they staged a dance during Mass, and that dance was offensive. It broke the rules of moral theology and modesty. Those who arranged it -- they should have had their heads washed with a bucket of holy water! Why make the people of God suffer so much? Haven't we enough problems already? Only Sunday, one hour, they come to adore God. And you bring a dance! Are you so poor you have nothing else to bring us? Shame on you! That's how I feel about it”- Cardinal Francis Arinze



Priests must always be excluded from the dance.
Most of the articles in the preceding pages concern liturgical dance or secular Western dance in the Latin Rite Church in the Western world.

However when it came to discussing such dances in the wider Church in respect of Africa and Asia with their indigenous religious and cultural traditions, the inevitable topic of “inculturation” surfaced. The issue immediately becomes sensitive and controversial.

Cardinal Arinze spoke about religious dances that are native to the African and Asian continents, see page 4, and which have been permitted on occasion, but only “as exceptions”:

16.
In some countries, in a legitimate form of "inculturation" of the Liturgy in these regions, ritual dance has been introduced into several papal liturgies in recent years -- on occasions usually connected with African or Asian culture. These are special exceptions”- Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.

With few exceptions, the Holy See has said "no" to liturgical dance.

Even in these exceptions, “Liturgical dance should never dominate or overwhelm the celebration of the Eucharist. It must be tasteful, and must always lead us to deeper prayer and reflection. If liturgical dance leads to applause by the participants, then it failed”- Cardinal Roger Mahony

Though the Second Vatican calls for a healthy inculturation in matters liturgical, in such an inculturation one must be faithful to the major Church documents that give directives on how this inculturation is to be made. They are Sacrosanctum Concilium, 37-40, the 1994 Instruction: Roman Liturgy and Inculturation, and Chapter IX of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments warned the bishops of Asia against liturgical "idiosyncrasies" and false conceptions of inculturation, in an August 2009 homily at the closing Mass of the plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Manila. He also sounded a cautionary note against liturgical dance.

Somebody can say, "But the pope visited this country and the people danced". A moment: Did the pope arrange it? Poor Holy Father -- he comes, the people arranged. He does not know what they arranged. And somebody introduces something funny -- is the pope responsible for that? Does that mean it is now approved? Did they put it on the table of the Congregation for Divine Worship? We would throw it out! If people want to dance, they know where to go”- Cardinal Francis Arinze

The best approach would be to make a clear distinction between liturgical dancing in the West and religious dancing in other cultures in the wider world.

When we turn to the wider Church, beyond the West, we find cultures where traditions of religious dance pre-date evangelization. This is where dancing in worship seems "natural"; hence we should cease calling it "liturgical dancing". It is religious dancing. In these countries in recent decades Christian religious dancing or movement such as swaying, rhythmic clapping, etc., has become well established and it is regulated by the competent authorities, the local Ordinary and the Episcopal conference. But I would underline a major difference between this appropriate inculturation and what happened in the West. This is really religious dance and the people often spontaneously take part in it. This activity does not come under most of the strictures of the 1975 ruling from the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.



Therefore, in 1994 in the Instruction on Inculturation and the Roman Liturgy, from the same Congregation, we find that dancing may be incorporated into the liturgy where dance is an inherent part of the culture of the people and is not simply a performance. This activity may even be promoted in places where dancing has a religious meaning compatible with Christianity.”- Most Rev. Peter John Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne

But the same conferences and other authorities have pointed out that even in traditional cultures a blanket approval for all forms of dance during worship must be avoided. 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, Aux. Bishop of Melbourne


IN INDIA – DANCING BY PRIESTS, DANCING IN LITURGICAL AREAS AND AT HOLY MASS

I now wish to examine evidence on the use of dance in the Indian Church and understand whether it is in the category of permissible inculturated religious dancing of the type envisioned by the Bishop of Melbourne or if they are, to quote him, “gestures from pre-Christian traditions [that] 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.

I will concern myself with the type of dances that are commonly performed in churches in India.

Having lived for many years -- in the 80s and early 90s -- in the north of India, I can vouch that I never had the misfortune of being subjected to any sort of dancing in the liturgy except at the Pope’s Mass in Delhi in 1986, see page 68. The only dances that were performed in connection with the Eucharistic services were the folk dances of tribals; and they preceded the Holy Mass. The dancers accompanied the celebrant to the foot of the altar and dispersed to their seating places.

I cannot say how things now are in the Delhi or Lucknow or Simla-Chandigarh dioceses, but I am pessimistic seeing that the older Bishops have retired and been replaced by younger men who have been exposed to the liberal and ashram theologies that I have written about in a number of reports.

After moving to Tamil Nadu, I am constrained to attend low-key Masses on major feast days and take great care to avoid the main masses which are conducted in Tamil, the local language, because they are heavily “inculturated”. I might add also that the same applies to almost all parish and diocesan functions -- often bi-lingual -- that incorporate the celebration of the Holy Mass. If the reader gets the impression that I have a problem with “inculturation”, the reader is wrong. I’m all for it. But I’m opposed to most of what passes for inculturation. Since “inculturation” is addressed by me in a separate report, I will refrain from explaining here why these Masses distress me.
In 2005, a member of the Konkani Catholics yahoo group list raised a question on this dancing:

From: Deepak Ferrao Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 11:24 PM Subject: [KonkaniCatholics] Regarding Liturgy

Liturgy is one aspect, which is given due importance and is given a lot of reverence. I understand there are many norms also which are been laid down for our Liturgy. I wanted to know whether so-called liturgical dancing is allowed in our Liturgy. What I actually mean is that we may have observed a kind of dance by some lay people (which may be the culture there in that particular state) during the procession of priests as they walk towards the altar.


I came across the website zenit.org which gives news from Vatican and which also has some question and answers about Liturgy. This is what it has to say:
"The article is labeled as a 'qualified and authoritative sketch.' It is considered by the Congregation as 'an authoritative point of reference for every discussion on the matter.' Therefore it is commended for study by diocesan liturgical commissions and offices of worship. (The English translation below first appeared in The Canon Law Digest, Vol. VIII, pp. 78-82.)"
"The article was later republished with permission in the April/May 1982 Newsletter of the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, which consequently published directives that "all dancing, (ballet, children's gesture as dancing, the clown liturgy) are not permitted to be 'introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever'." It also says a little later after some explanation:
"certain forms of dancing and certain dance patterns could be introduced into Catholic worship. Nevertheless, two conditions could not be prescinded from.
The first: to the extent in which the body is a reflection of the soul, dancing, with all its manifestations, would have to express sentiments of faith and adoration in order to become a prayer.
The second condition: just as all the gestures and movements found in the liturgy are regulated by the competent ecclesiastical authority, so also dancing as a gesture would have to be under its discipline."
I would want to know that the cultural dance that is being incorporated in our Liturgy, does it express sentiments of Faith and Adoration?
The reason I have this confusion in my mind is that I feel that some of our Indian culture and tradition may have been handed down by some non believers or even by pagans who had been idol worshippers.
How far can this liturgical dancing be justified? Deepak Ferrao

Dear Group Members,


I believe Deepak seems to be referring to the post on ZENIT by title "Liturgical Dancing" which may be found at : http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=59931

I'm providing the link for the reference of members who wish to help Deepak with a response. Austine, Moderator.



The moderator did not answer the question.

The above Zenit link simply takes one to the original article at http://www.zenit.org/article-11200?l=english.
One Konkani Catholics member responded as follows

Hi Deepak, I think the liturgy would be more meaningful if dances are introduced that make sense to the rest of the congregation. For e.g. if we say incorporated the Bharata Natyam - we could not justify it as our cultural dance because it has no part or parcel of our Mangalorean culture. It would make great sense in Nagapattinam or some Tamil city where Bharata Natyam is in vogue and understood.

With Vatican II there has been some relaxation towards local cultures. Before that of course since the Catholic Church was

universal with a myriad of cultures the Roman culture (Latin et al) was used to have a common bond for all Catholics even though Latin for that matter was not even the official language of Italy. I for one feel that if we culturally do a welcome dance it would look good and strike a chord in us. We are not dancing to a pagan god/goddess but to the Lord and Master of our lives and our Supreme Creator God the Father as we know him of the bible!

In New Zealand for e.g. before a major mass the Maori Haere Mae Welcome is sung by a Maori female - something that is done to welcome a visiting dignitary to a marae or meeting house.

To the rest of the Konkani Catholics group - any ideas to add? Ron Porob December 11, 2005  


The moderator did not moderate the discussion by pointing out either that “Liturgical Dancing” is not permissible at Holy Mass or that Bharatanatyam is a Hindu temple dance.

18.

My letter of February 6, 2006, which was posted in Konkani Catholics

Hi, KCs, I am about 2 months behind in [some of my] correspondence as you can see. I do not know if this discussion progressed as: [1] I have still over 200 more emails to check out; [2] many mails to me had bounced [due to a long computer failure, boxes full etc].


I may find other responses in due course, but I just want to inform Deepak and all of you that in my studies and write-ups on different aspects of Inculturation, the aspect of worship through use of Indian dance forms is yet to be taken up by me. However, I have been collecting information on the subject in preparation for that article. [And I would welcome more].
For the moment all I can say is that in the name of Inculturation, a lot of liturgical abuse is taking place, and one area is dance during the Eucharistic celebration.

Another thing that I can boldly state in this forum is that Bharatanatyam is not a dance form that can be used by Catholics, not at Mass, not even before or after Mass, not ever.

If anyone knows Fr. Jerry Sequeira SVD* who used to excel in these temple dances and finally gave them up and founded the Divine Call Centre, Mulki, he will understand the issue better. Just last month there was a deliverance case at a charismatic programme in Chennai where the evil spirit was a manifestation of Bharatanatyam**.
Michael Prabhu, Metamorphose Ministries, Chennai *See pages 21, 142, 143 **See pages 21, 107 ff.
PS. Deepak, I am greatly impressed by your concern and interest in such issues.
In December 2010, I wrote to the moderators of Konkani Catholics [I had unsubscribed from membership in July 2010 because of an increase in the posting of uncorrected New Age errors] concerning the December 2005 post in the forum, but I did not receive a response

From: prabhu To: Austine J. Crasta; RUPERT VAZ; Rohit D'Souza Sent: Monday, December 27, 2010 6:34 PM

Subject: LITURGICAL DANCING/BHARATANATYAM BCC: Deepak Ferrao and eight other members

Dear Austine,

I am writing an article on the above subject.

In my records, I found that there was a pro-Bharatanatyam post that you, as moderator, permitted five years ago.



I copy here the relevant portion from the draft of my report. In case you have changed your mind and now believe that this Hindu dance cannot be included in the Liturgy, I would be pleased to have your statement. Love, Michael NO RESPONSE
In respect of the comments of Most Rev. Peter John Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, see page 17, Deepak Ferrao’s concerns raise very pertinent questions.

What are the more popular dance forms in India? Are they INDIAN or HINDU? Who perform them? Do Catholics use them or promote them in the Eucharistic Liturgy or otherwise? If “yes”, who are they, and what are the backgrounds, associations, religious beliefs and motives of these Catholics?

I would like to sub-title this article as Bharatanatyam-I. That is because I intend to write Bharatanatyam-II. Why single out Bharatanatyam? There are seven classic “Indian dance” forms.

Of them, Bharatanatyam leads the pack. One will find more Catholics involved in this dance form than in all the others put together.

In this first part, my intention is to demonstrate that Bharatanatyam is not an “Indian” art form but is originally a Hindu temple dance, that Catholics who dance it and promote it are seriously compromised in their Catholic Faith, that it has been introduced into the Indian church and into the Liturgy of the Holy Mass, that the Bishops themselves, and institutions founded or funded by them, are responsible for this, and that Catholic priests themselves are exponents of Hindu dance.

In examining the above issues, I will avoid submitting any evidence from secular or Hindu religious sources that show that Bharatanatyam is Hindu to its core. I leave that to part II. Instead, we will see that Catholics exponents themselves admit that one cannot separate Bharatanatyam dance from its Hindu religious affiliations as well as other Hindu/New Age practices like yoga.

This dance form is spelt variously as Bharatanatyam, the spelling of my preference, Bharata Natyam, Bharathanatyam, Bharatnatyam, etc.

Because I quote from certain sources, it does not mean that I approve of them. Neither does it mean that I recommend their sites. The URLs/links are provided by me solely for documentation.

I include pictures from a number of Traditionalist authors/web sites in this study because they are the main source of evidence of such abuses in the Liturgy of the Mass. The pre-Vatican Council II or Tridentine Latin Rite Masses provided absolutely no scope for such aberrations. Traditionalist writings endeavour to show that after the Conciliar reforms opened the doors to 'aggiornamento', innovation in and experimentation with the Liturgy of the Novus Ordo Mass -- which was neither the intention nor the spirit of the Council -- led to these abuses.

Unfortunately, the Traditionalists do not admit to the latter, while the Bishops fail to check -- and Rome is exceedingly slow to condemn --the former. 19.

As we saw above with Deepak Ferrao’s question, there is a lot of confusion in the minds of Catholic laity about the use of “Indian” dancing in the Church.

In 2007, I had been to the Holy Land on pilgrimage [separate report to be published]. I was compulsorily subjected by my parish priests to attending a Nile cruise that treated me to a female belly-dance and I wrote about this obnoxious “pilgrimage” experience in Konkani Catholics [KC].

My post was objected to by some members, including a few priests. The owner-moderator finally took sides against me in the debate in which I found many sympathizers including another moderator. This was one of the criticisms leveled at me by a KC member, Edwin Coutinho:
From: "Austine J. Crasta" <jesuvera@gmail.com> To: "prabhu" <michaelprabhu@vsnl.net>

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5:51 PM Subject: Fw: [KonkaniCatholics] Re: A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

From: "edwin coutinho" To: <KonkaniCatholics@yahoogroups.com> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5:31 PM
Subject: Re: [KonkaniCatholics] Re: A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land EXTRACT
Hello everyone
I have been following this interesting debate on this website for quite a while right now and it is very interesting to see how people have been reacting to one situation. Looks like this situation has divided the community right from the middle to either pro or against the report that Prabhu wishes to make public. However, I am right now taking a more neutral view…
4. Regarding the belly dancing on the Nile cruise, I do not know how 'indecent' it was but belly dancing is an art form and that is how one should look at it. It is not greatly different from our own Bharatnatyam or jiving and waltzing which most of us do not seem to have a problem with because these are in tune with our culture. Mind you, we use Bharatnatyam in churches to welcome priests, etc during high masses.

However, belly dancing at times may cross the line and yet, it does not give one a reason to be condescending… Edwin C



Edwin Coutinho’s letter was not only forwarded to me by the owner-moderator Austine Crasta without a comment, but it was also posted in the Forum, digest no. 1240 of October 11, 2007.

It seems that Edwin Coutinho has a greater problem with belly-dancing than with Bharatanatyam.

As on the previous page, I wrote a second letter in December 2010 to the moderators of Konkani Catholics concerning the October 2007 post in the forum, but I did not receive a response

From: prabhu To: Austine J. Crasta; Rohit D'Souza; RUPERT VAZ Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 4:27 PM

Subject: LITURGICAL DANCING/BHARATANATYAM – 2 BCC: to twenty members of Konkani Catholics

Dear Austine,

Further to my letter of yesterday evening to which I have yet to receive your response, I found one more bit of information on the subject of Bharatnatyam dancing which Edwin Coutinho posted in KC on October 10, 2007, and which you took great care to forward directly to me even before it was received through yahoo in the digest format which I was subscribed to. […] The contents of this one have your complete approval because you personally forwarded it to me.

In December 2005, you permitted one member to say that if Bharatanatyam dancing was incorporated in the liturgy, the Mass would be more meaningful. Almost two years later, Coutinho equates belly dancing with the Hindu temple dance, finds the latter to be in tune with Indian culture and boasts that "we use Bharatnatyam in churches to welcome priests, etc during high masses". If you believed that there was error in those statements or clarifications had to be made, you would have done so. Since you didn't moderate Edwin's letter -- how could you when you sent it to me within minutes and then permitted it to be posted in the KC forum, thus teaching error and misguiding hundreds of members -- can I take it to mean that you still endorse the inclusion of dancing, including Bharatanatyam, in the Liturgy? …Love, Michael


Here is a discussion that took place in another forum, “Catholic Priests”; it so happens that both writers are my good friends: JP is in fulltime Catholic ministry and BR designed my masthead

Subject: Indian Classical Dancing
http://groups.google.com/group/catholicpriests/browse_thread/thread/39b503a0825b10a3?hl=en

Date: Thurs, Nov 15 2007 4:19 am From: JP [Delhi]
Would anyone like to comment on whether it is right for Catholics to be doing Indian classical dances? A whole lot of Catholic girls perform Bharatanatyam and Kathak. There used to be a priest in Mumbai who was a Bharatanatyam dancer. Most Indian classical dances sing praises of Hindu Gods but it does not seem to bother anyone. JP

In catholicpriests@yahoogroups.com, BR [Chennai] wrote:

In the strictest of senses and relevance, the answer to your question is a big NO!! The principal reason for this is that Bharathanatyam is a form of classical dance which, as you rightly said, is performed in praise of a Hindu deity - chiefly, Lord Shiva, who is supposedly the founder and mentor of this form of dance.
Hence, Christians who practice this form of dance can just never get away with the alibi of saying that this is merely for exercise, body toning and so on.  The dancer HAS TO CONSCIENTIOUSLY PAY OBEISANCE TO SHIVA BEFORE HE OR SHE CAN COMMENCE A PARTICULAR TRAIT OF DANCE, A MUDRA OR AN ALARIPPU.
How can one ward this off by saying this is just dancing like tap or bolero or ballet or disco? The picture is very clear!!! BR
Date: Sun, Nov 18 2007 9:43 pm From: JP
Thank you so much. I am glad that there is at least one person who feels the same as I do. But I have seen an Orthodox bishop and some Catholic priests encouraging these arts in their parishes. And it is not out of any lack of knowledge... 20.
Some justify Catholics learning these dances by saying that if we have to "purify" the idolatrous Indian culture, we have to learn these art forms and then turn them into dances that speak of Christ. That is a very noble thought indeed, but one which usually never happens. Actually, even Carnatic music has numerous references of and praises to various Hindu Gods. I am really concerned about this issue since I constantly meet youngsters in Catholic schools and colleges who are studying Indian art forms. At a time when a lot of Westerners are turning to the East and are especially attracted to our dance and music, it is really challenging to tell our youth to stay away from all this. Do let me know if any of you are dealing with similar issues and how you tackle them? JP
Lay Catholics have been bringing up this topic with me ever since I started my ministry. A friend informs about a priest trying to promote Bharatanatyam at a charismatic programme in Chennai:

From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 2:26 PM Subject: Re: BHARATANATYAM

Hi Mike Yes that's the programme alright, now I vaguely remember! Did my best to get the card/poster, but everyone seem to have thrown it away, sorry! This person suddenly came backstage to have this programme announced. He came there along with two Jesus Youth full-timers. When this person introduced himself to me as a priest and showed me the card and poster, I understood what this was about and slowly walked away. EDITED



From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 5:07 PM Subject: Re: BHARATANATYAM

Fr. Saju George, he's not involved with Youth Service Team, I'm sure! The other priest is Fr. Laurance, he was in Loyola College, now he's in Satya Nilayam [Jesuit seminary in Chennai] I think... EDITED

Apparently, Fr. Saju George, see pages 67-76, tried to push Bharatanatyam at a charismatic rally!

I seem to have lost my side of the correspondence with Name Withheld.

Now, here’s an indication of what Bharatanatyam can do to Catholics:

From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 10:57 AM Subject: RE: REPLY JAN 06

In one of the school retreats, I saw my first deliverance case* also. She started dancing bharatnatyam in the middle of the infilling [of the Holy Spirit] session, poor girl! *See page 19 From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 11:34 AM Subject: RE: REPLY JAN 06

When that bharatnatyam announcement took place, I took it up strongly with the Youth Service Team. But then I realised they did it more out of ignorance than anything else. When that deliverance case happened soon afterwards, it only vindicated what I had told them and then they realised. So I am confident they will be more careful in future. EDITED



From: Name Withheld To: prabhu Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 9:25 AM Subject: RE: BHARATANATYAM

[Enclosed information on Fr. Saju George SJ., and photographs of Fr. Francis Barboza SVD., Bharatanatyam dancers]


Catholic institutions and priests who were or are promoters or exponents of Bharatanatyam dance:

1. Fr. Jerry Sequeira SVD. This priest of the Society of the Divine Word received an award from the Government of India in recognition of his proficiency in Bharatanatyam. After a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, he abjured the dance and returned the award saying that Bharatanatyam dance is incompatible with the Christian life. He founded a charismatic retreat centre near Mangalore.

See also pages 19, 142, 143.
A 1994 UCAN report mentions a Fr. Jerry D’Souza, again an SVD priest, as having trained in folk dance. The report is no longer accessible on the Internet. No other information about this priest could be located. My enquiries reveal that UCAN might have mistaken Fr. Jerry D’Souza SVD, a Bombay priest who has no connection with music or dance for Fr. Jerry Sequeira SVD.

Priest-Dancer Promotes Body as Medium of Evangelization February 2, 1994

VIJAYAWADA, India (UCAN) -- Divine Word Father Jerry D'Souza evangelizes through dance. "The easiest way to drive home the message is through audio-visual media," he asserts. As part of his six-year training in "Janapada" (folklore dance), Father D'Souza, 30, performed last Dec. 20 in Vijayawada, southern India, where the priest and his troupe enacted a Gospel scene. "People see Gospel events taking place before them and the impression remains," he told UCA News. Asked how they react to a dancing priest, Father D'Souza said they welcome him.

"In the present media age, we have to use local culture to present Christian themes to be effective among non-Christians," he explained, adding that people are attracted to messages such as Jesus the healer, savior or peacemaker.

Father D'Souza justifies his ministry as not so unique by noting Divine Word Father Francis Barboza* has done well in the same field. "His ministry is effective and our congregation wants others to follow his example," he said.*See page 22

He enjoys support and encouragement from his superiors and congregation, and at the performance here, Bishop Joseph Thumma of Vijayawada lauded such steps to spread Christian themes in local culture to villagers and the illiterate.

"I felt as though I was participating in a prayer service," Pulivedi Ramu, a Hindu, commented on the dance in which Father D'Souza projected Jesus as peacemaker, first by creating a scene with people indulging in violence.

The dancer-priest, dressed as Jesus, then entered the scene, extended his hands, smiled and said calmly, "Peace be with you." Touched by the divine presence the fighters stop their violence. The need for peace in a violent society was presented by symbolic swords and burning lamps. Sword dancers symbolized anger, hatred and enmity. Then dancers dressed in white entered, with burning lamps in their hands, surrounding the fighters. Their graceful movement and joy accompanied by an appropriate song, gradually made fighters surrender and join the peacemakers. Peace was symbolized when the fighters leaned on each other and peacemakers supported them from all sides in a different dance pose. 21.
2. Fr. Francis Barboza SVD and the SVD’s Gyan Ashram*, Atma Darshan, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Fr. Jerry D’Souza SVD describes Fr. Francis Barboza’s “ministry” as being “effective” in evangelization through dance and tells UCAN that it has inspired the SVD congregation to follow Barboza’s example. Let us examine Fr. Francis Barboza’s “ministry”. *see also pages 37 - 42

Gyan Ashram is an institution run by the fathers of the Society of the Divine Word [SVD].
1. Destruction of Catholicism in India

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1513798/posts EXTRACT

Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of attending an "Anticipated Mass" at a Jesuit Parish in Bombay where Father Charles Vas S.V.D.** performed a Pagan Liturgical Dance in front of the altar in a semi-naked state aka "Bharat Natyam Style" on the Second Saturday in August 2005. He has been actively encouraged in this gross paganism by an infamous fellow Divine Word Priest Dr. Francis Barboza S.V.D. who is now resident in the United States and dances in a semi- naked state before the altar in a number of Catholic churches in the states of New York and New Jersey where he currently is based and promotes this evil nonsense.


He has a web site to boot namely www.drbarboza.com – For crying out loud will some one tell me whether he is a male, a female, or what? You will be definitely shocked to see what he does as I was when I accessed that web site.
I just cannot understand this. Why doesn’t some orthodox Catholic Bishop, Archbishop, or the Pope do something about this? They could easily excommunicate these heretic priests after pulling them up if they still do not mend their ways.
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005 11:40:12 PM by MILESJESU
I agree that all Indian Catholic Priests are not raving liberals and heretics such as Dr. Father Francis Barboza S.V.D., Father Charles Vas S.V.D.** and many others. It really depends where their Seminary Formation took place. If they were in a Seminary with orthodox Catholic Professors and Bishops then the likelihood of being indoctrinated with this crap is negligible but if they were at the Papal Seminary*** in Pune -- then who knows what they have been taught. That Seminary to me seems to be Satan's own home especially with the crap the Priests have been teaching, promoting, and endorsing there. By the way, do not be shocked at what you have seen. What you see is what you get. By that I mean, he really does that stuff in Catholic Churches in India whenever he visits India. He is also known to engage in such Pagan Dances in Catholic Churches in Germany and in the United States where he is based. He desperately needs our prayers in this regard as he is training a large number of young Indian priests to do this crap. That means he is just poisoning a lot of priests of the younger generation.

Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 12:32:24 AM by MILESJESU

**See pages 37 - 42

*** NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 02-THE PAPAL SEMINARY, PUNE, INDIAN THEOLOGIANS, AND THE CATHOLIC ASHRAMS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_02-THE_PAPAL_SEMINARY_PUNE_INDIAN_THEOLOGIANS_AND_THE_CATHOLIC_ASHRAMS.doc
2. http://www.drbarboza.com / http://www.drbarboza.com/inno.htm

   INNOVATIONS

 

Contact:


Dr. Francis Barboza,   23 Falmouth Road, Iselin, 08830 NJ. USA   
Tel: (1)-(732) 636-1651 e-mail: Francis@DrBarboza.com



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