Inculturation: Crime and cunningness of Catholic Church
by B R Haran on 17 Jun 2009 9 Comments

Cardinal Oswald Gracias was one of the brains behind the designing, printing and releasing of the “Indian Bible” which contained hundreds of sacred verses usurped from Hindu texts such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Mahabharata and the Bhagwat Gita.

The motive was to cheat the gullible masses and covertly lure them to follow Christianity. At the time of the Indian Bible’s release in June 2008, the Cardinal had stated that this Bible, made in India and for Indians, would bring the word of God closer to millions of people, not only Christians.

Yet the very same Cardinal Oswald Gracias stoutly denied any knowledge about this Indian Bible at the press conference held immediately after the interfaith dialogue on 12 June 2009 in Mumbai. So much for Catholic honesty!

Ironically, the Cardinal is a founder patron of the Global Foundation for Civilisational Harmony (GFCH). Even during the interfaith dialogue, the Cardinal and other Catholic leaders, including the representative of the Vatican, denied the ‘inculturation’ charges against them and put the blame on other denominations of Christianity. Their ‘honesty’ regarding the Indian Bible was exposed during the press meet; what follows is an exposure of their honesty regarding inculturation techniques.   

Secular Melmaruvathur


Melmaruvathur Adhi Parasakthi Temple is situated on the Chennai-Trichy National Highway (NH45), in a place called ‘Melmaruvathur,’ approximately 95 kms from Chennai. This is ‘believed’ to be the sacred abode of 21 Siddhars (saints), male as well as female, from different religions (!) and their “Jeeva Samadhis” (spots where they attained ‘siddhi’ and left their human forms, while living still as holy spirits) are believed to be inside the premises over which the temple has been constructed. 

Starting as a Temple built by Sri Bangaru Adigal, lovingly called “Amma” by his devotees, it has diversified into many fields of ‘charity,’ such as education and health. Goddess Adhi Parasakthi herself is believed to have performed many miracles through Bangaru Adigal’s “Oracles” (‘Arul Vaakku’ in Tamil) and that is why he is devotionally addressed as “Amma” (Mother). This place is totally ‘secular’ in the sense that people of all caste, colour, creed, gender and religion are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum and perform pujas to the presiding deity of Parasakthi. The full name of the Temple is “Suyambu Arulmigu Annai Adhi Parasakthi Siddhar Peetam” and Shri Bangaru Adigal has millions of devotees.

Christian Achirupaakkam Hillock

Going from Chennai to Melmaruvathur, one has to cross a place called ‘Achirupaakkam’ (after Chingleput and Madurantakam) where one can see the huge slogan “Mariye Vaazhga” (long live Mary) written on a hillock. Moving closer, a huge statue of Jesus on a Cross will be visible on the top of the hillock. It is more than five years since the Catholic Church encroached upon the hill and took it over. 

The Catholic Church has built a prayer house at the top and placed a statue of Mary inside it; this Mary is called “Mazhai Malai Maadhaa” (Rain-Hill Mother). The Church also laid a stairway from the basement by digging the ground, breaking the rocks and rearranging the boulders. In between it constructed two arches, one with the slogan “Mariyin vazhiyil manitham malara” (“Let humanism blossom by the path of Mary”) and the other identifying the place as “Arputha Nagaram” (Miracle Town).

The hill falls under the Pallipat Panchayat and the porumboke land on the hillock comes under the control of the Forest Department. A huge Church is under construction and all these conquests, constructions and occupations are illegal and unauthorized, but achieved with the connivance of government authorities who have been “taken care of” by the Catholic Church. 

Hindu Achirupaakkam 

The Achirupaakkam town is situated opposite the hillock and houses a famous ancient Shiva temple. The Pakkapureswarar Temple’s presiding deities are Sundaranayagi (female deity) and Atchikondanathar or Pakkapureswarar (male deity). The Sthal Purana (temple history) states that: Bhagwan Shiva once set out on a mission in a chariot to destroy the Tripura demons (Tripurasamharam). Bhagwan Shiva forgot to think about Bhagwan Vinayaka who has to be worshipped by all before commencing any kind of work for success.

In view of this, the axle (‘Achchu’ in Tamil) of Bhagwan Shiva's chariot broke here and hence this Sivasthalam came to be known as ‘Achirupaakkam’(‘Achchu-Itru’ or ‘Axle-broken’).

It is said that the axle of a Pandya king's chariot also broke down here as he was bringing soil from the Ganges for building a dam across a river. Kannuva Munivar and Gautama Munivar are said to have worshipped Bhagwan Shiva at this Sivasthalam and Thirugnaana Sambandhar composed and sung a Thevaram hymn praising the presiding deity.

Catholic Church’s nefarious designs

After planting the cross, constructing the prayer house and placing the statues of Jesus and Mary with the full connivance of government authorities, the Christians indulged in a heavy harvest of souls in and around the villages near the hillock. They have already converted 40% of the local populace by fraudulent means.

They have organised “Hindu” rituals (inculturation techniques) like lighting lamps (instead of candles), incense sticks (agarbati) and performing of ‘Archana’ inside the prayer house. They stop the devotees of Melmaruvathur Adi Parasakthi Temple midway and force them to visit the prayer house by saying that the same “Adi Parasakthi” of Melmaruvathur is blessing devotees here on the hillock in the form of “Mary Amman.”

Similar to the “Girivalam” of Tiruvannamalai hills, the padris here have arranged for “Girivalam” (circumambulation around the hillock) during full moon (Purnima) days. A large section of the ignorant and innocent masses who visit Melmaruvathur have started visiting this hillock on their way to and from Melmaruvathur. As the inflow of ‘devotees’ increases day by day, Christians have started collecting money from them for the construction of the new Church. 

The weakness of Hindus  

The absolute absence of any Hindu organisations in the locality has come in handy for the Catholic Church to go ahead with its nefarious designs very fast. Though the local Hindus were against the Church, they couldn’t do anything due to the absence of an organised Hindu body.

Four years ago, the VHP gathered information and published a story about the Church’s activities in its official organ “Indumithran”. The Church briefly kept a low profile after planting the cross due to protests form local Hindus.

Meanwhile, the Church converted a considerable section of the local people and again started construction activities on the hillock. After the completion of the stairway, tar road and the prayer house, the Church erected the huge ‘Crucified Jesus’ statue on the top and the statue of “Mazhai Malai Maathaa” (Mother Mary) inside the prayer house. Hindus woke up from their slumber only after seeing the huge statue of Crucified Jesus.

Corrupt government’s connivance and anti-Hindu stance

The officials belonging to the Forest Department, Collectorate, District Revenue office and other departments such as Panchayats, turned a blind eye to the unauthorised and illegal construction activities by the Catholic Church. They also refused to cooperate with the Hindus. When Hindus gave a protest memorandum a year ago, the authorities including the Collector and District Revenue Officer deliberately failed to take any action against the Church. 

The local people and Hindu Munnani activists from Chennai say there is a Shiva Temple on the hillock on the other side, which was desecrated and looted by Islamic forces when Malik Kafur invaded South India. As the Church has done everything illegally, Hindu activists attempted to place a huge “Vel” (spear) near a “Neem” tree under which the village deity (grama devata) once stood, and write “Om Nama sivaya” on the top of the hill. But police acted swiftly and arrested all of them; they were released only after paying a fine of Rs.5000/-.  

Meanwhile the Catholic Church made a false claim that it had got the land on a 99-year lease. When Shri Parameswaran, a Hindu Munnani activist, applied for the details through the RTI Act, the Collectorate replied that no lease was given to the Church and no permission for construction of either roads or stairway or buildings was given. Based on the information given by the government itself, when Hindu Munnani organised a ‘signature campaign’ and submitted a protest memorandum two months ago, the district authorities and local Panchayat President assured them they would take immediate action; so far no action has been taken. 

Parameswaran recalled that, “Until 1977, the Shiva temple with a Ganesha murti (Uchchi Pillayar) was also there though in a dilapidated condition, and people used to visit it regularly. As the priest found it very difficult to go up and down twice a day due to absence of a proper pathway, he brought the deity down and placed it at the basement. During the year 1977, anti-social elements at the behest of vested interests, hung a dead body at the entrance. The issue became a police case after which the people stopped visiting. After years of prolonging the police closed the case ten years back saying it was a suicide. The officials have not given us permission either to place the Trishul or Vel near the neem tree or to write “Om Nama shivaya” or even to dig a borewell for want of water. But the same officials have allowed the Church to construct everything illegally. We are finding it difficult to construct even a stairway to the Shiva Temple, which has been there for ages.”    

This is a clear case of “Dravidian-Minority” nexus which is wreaking havoc in the state against the Hindu majority. 

Present status

Hindu Munnani activists under the leadership of Parameswaran conducted an awareness campaign followed by another protest demonstration on 14 June 2009. Hindu Munnani has also uploaded a three minute film on “You tube,” which shows a glimpse of the statues, prayer house, arches, stairway, tar road, and construction activities, after a small introduction in Tamil by Shri Parameswaran.

The snippet, titled “Achirupaakkam Hill & Land Grabbing by Christian Missionaries,” can be viewed at:

The author is a senior journalist; he lives in Chennai  

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