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Vatican Envoy Calls Hindu Temple
‘a Symbol of Religious Integrity’

Mark Stabinski
The papal envoy to India was in Thanjavur last September attending the Velankanni festival. During his stay, following Vatican post-conciliar inter-religious policy, Fr. Salbetore Tennacchio made it a point to visit the Hindu Brihadeeswarar Temple.

papal envoy and India bishop at big temple, india

The papal envoy and Bishop Ambrose express joy after visiting the pagan temple
He and the Bishop of Thanjavur Devadoss Ambrose, who accompanied him on the tour, humbly listened to a Hindu guide explain the great cultural, social and religious heritage of that pagan complex. The papal envoy added his stamp of approval for the temple, praising the Emperor Raja Chola who constructed it to honor the false god Shiva in the late 10th century.

“The temple is simply amazing and indeed a marvelous structure. It showcases the religious and cultural significance and is also a symbol of religious integrity,” he affirmed. (1)

Despite his complacency with the errors of that pagan religion and enthusiasm for the temple, the envoy was denied entry through the main entrance into the temple.

Instead, he was directed by the temple officials to use the side entrance. An official explained, “we allow people of all religions when they are not in their religious attire. However, the envoy was in his religious attire.”

The papal envoy accepted this insult, and he humbly entered by the side as directed. It is an affront not just to his person, but to the Pope he represents and the Holy Catholic Church he should honor and defend. At the end of his tour, he expressed his happiness “to visit this temple after attending the Velankanni festival.” Yet another example of Vatican post-conciliar docility marked by an abandonment of militancy and zeal for the one true Faith.

A temple dedicated to the Devil

The shiva linga prominently displayed at Brihadeewarar Temple
And what is this iconic temple of Thanjavur that the papal envoy called “a symbol of religious integrity”? This ancient temple, called also the Big Temple, is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and death. A common depiction of this demon, considered a supreme god, is a phallic symbol, called the Shiva Linga or Lingam, a cylindrical pillar protruding from a circular base that is worshipped as the male power of Shiva.

The papal envoy and Bishop Devadoss Ambrose undoubtedly walked past and admired the large Shiva Linga in one of the principal altars of the Big Temple during their tour, as well as the many statues of supposed ‘deities’ that are actually devils.

Thus we see religious tolerance reaching the point that the papal envoy and a Bishop of Thanjavur admire and show respect for the devils of the false religions inside their places of worship.

A true zeal for souls

A true zeal for souls is marked by Catholic militancy and a necessary corresponding hatred for the errors of false religions that lead souls astray. Nothing could be clearer – and different from the examples above – than what we read in the letter of St. Francis Xavier to the Society of Jesus in Rome in 1543. He reports and praises this edifying behavior of the Catholic converts in India:

"As to the numbers who become Christians, you may understand them from this, that it often happens to me to be hardly able to use my hands from the fatigue of baptizing: often in a single day I have baptized whole villages. Sometimes I have lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and again the Credo and the other forms. The fruit that is reaped by the baptism of infants, as well as by the instruction of children and others, is quite incredible. These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine Law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our Holy Religion and imparting it to others.

“Their hatred for idolatry is marvelous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, and whenever their own parents practice it, they reproach them and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honor and worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage." (2)

Before Vatican II, in accordance with the true missionary spirit, the Church would have worked to convert Hindus from their false religions and abandon their idols, such as those exposed at the Brihadeeswarar Temple in India. Today, sad to say, the official papal envoy praises those idols and indirectly affirms the “integrity” of this idolatric false religion.

  1. “Big temple symbol of religious integrity, says Vatican envoy,” Express News Service, Sept. 09, 2012
  2. St. Francis Xavier, Letter from India, to the Society of Jesus at Rome, 1543

Big Temple India

The papal envoy was forbidden entrance at the main door


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Posted December 19, 2012

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