Home/Rod Dreher/‘Hare Krishna’ in a Catholic Church?

‘Hare Krishna’ in a Catholic Church?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyVEHn3-bCE?rel=0&w=525&h=330]

Jesus wept! That’s a group of Hindu devotees chanting “Hare Krishna” this fall in Our Saviour Roman Catholic Church in New York City. They chanted for an hour as part of an “interfaith prayer service.”

Our Saviour used to be pastored by Fr. George Rutler, who was transferred out by Cardinal Dolan. The new pastor, Fr. Robbins, removed much of the iconography that Fr. Rutler had installed. This is definitely a video taken inside Our Saviour, where I have been on several occasions. It was uploaded on November 6. The description says:

Published on Nov 6, 2015
Devotees conduct kirtan in a Christian church, New York (1 min video)
In late September, a few friends and I were asked to organise and participate in an interfaith prayer session in New York City. Members from The Bhakti Center led kirtan for an hour.

The Bhakti Center is an ISKCON (Hare Krishna) establishment in lower Manhattan.

Does anybody have anything more on this? If this really happened with the approval of the pastor, he ought to be sacked, and the church reconsecrated. If he were a Russian Orthodox priest, he would be defrocked too. This is really an unspeakable desecration. An hour-long prayer service to a non-Christian god, in a Catholic church! You aren’t surprised anymore when you hear of such abominations in an Episcopal Church (the Cathedral of St. John the Divine held a praise service for pagan gods back in 1993). But a Catholic parish?

I hope there’s a good explanation for this. Readers?

UPDATE: It appears that this was part of an interfaith prayer vigil for action on climate change, as part of Pope Francis’s visit to New York. Not clear yet if this particular form of prayer was approved by the pastor (though hey, if it’s “interfaith” and it’s a “prayer vigil,” shouldn’t everyone invited be able to pray as they wish?). Whether it was approved in advance by the pastor or not, that church might need to be reconsecrated. Not sure what Catholic canon law requires in such a case.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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