Hindu Organization Welcomes Pope, Remains Cautious

April 19, 2005

Source: Navya Shastra


On April 19, 2005 a Navya Shastra press release reported, "Navya Shastra, a global Hindu organization of scholars, practitioners and priests with members in over ten countries, has congratulated the Catholic Church for selecting Joseph Ratzinger--now Benedict XVI--as its new Pope. However, the organization expressed concern over Ratzinger's stance towards Hinduism. 'Ratzinger has described Hindu meditative practices as "auto-erotic" and has stated that the Hindu doctrine of karma is "morally cruel,"' said Vikram Masson, Navya Shastra Co-Chairman, 'clearly he is misinformed about the central practices and tenets which bind the world's 800 million Hindus,' he added. At a time when religions must work together to spiritually regenerate an increasingly secular planet, such doctrinal narrowness and lack of understanding of other traditions will only serve a divisive function. 'What is needed now is ecumenism and mutual trust,' said Dr. Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Co-Chairman, 'we hope that the new Pope comes to understand this because religious difference and competition is causing mounting global conflict,' she added.