Elephantine Blunder

It is significant that, close on the heels of an elephantine blunder that we have witnessed in our archdiocese, this Sunday’s liturgy of the Word comes down heavily on those who scandalously turn to other gods.


In the First Reading (Ex 32: 7-11, 13-14) God is rightfully angry with His people for forgetting Him Who had delivered them from the slavery of Egypt. Now they worship abominable little gods of their own making.

How is this any different from Catholics ‘jumping on the idol worship bandwagon’ [1] in Goa? More than one priest is known to have gone on pilgrimage to Ganesh household shrines. If it was a plain social visit, this priest’s prayer posture absolutely begs an explanation.

What is the rationale behind bowing before idols? It is one thing to build bridges on the social plane, say, by having colleagues from other faiths and enjoying their company at work or in the neighbourhood; it is quite another to be praying before their deities. If this is not a breach of the First Commandment, what is?

The laxity in the practice of our faith seems to be a natural consequence of an ‘inculturation’ gone awry. It has shown us the true colours of the so-called ‘inter-faith dialogue’. And the project is rendered even more sinister by the fact that there is a concerted effort to play to the gallery, at the national and international levels. And playing the game is a clique of fifth columnists that collects funds for a misplaced ‘evangelization’.

That is to say, what we have witnessed in Goa is not an isolated incident; it is not a case of one priest going astray but rather a case of one expressly led astray. It fits the bill.

If we are not to sit in judgement without listening to the other side, it is sincerely hoped that the matter will be clarified by the ecclesiastical authorities in the archdiocese and by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), of which our Archbishop and newly-appointed Cardinal is the president.

At any rate, we also hope that the teaching of our religious doctrine will stop being fuzzy; that its practice will be truthful and firm, and that we will decidedly stop walking on the razor’s edge.

(This post was first circulated on Whatsapp, Sunday, 11 September 2022)  

[1] https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/goa-new-cardinal-winks-at-ganesh-idolatry