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DEBATE GOES ON
he will be friendly in this capacity, but his purpose has an obvious
ulterior motive. He is not coming here because he wants to make a
pilgrimage to honor the great yogis and swamis of India or to visit
her great temples and tirthas.
Today the Catholic Church is losing power in the
West. Most Catholics are only nominal in their beliefs. For example,
most American Catholics practice birth control that the church does
not approve of and don't attend church on a regular basis. The church can still get a fair amount
of money from rich Western economies but is clearly an institution
in decline. Without replenishing its population base it is facing a
severe crisis. India offers perhaps the best possibility for doing
this with a large population with a history of religious devotion
and monastic activity that could readily become priests and nuns.
2. Why do you believe it is
important for him to apologise to the Hindus for the forced
conversions in India?
The bloody history of the
Church in America, Africa and Asia is an open book and well known.
The Native Americans where I live in the United States still tell
stories about how the feet of their people were cut off for refusing
to walk to church or their tongues cut off for refusing to recite
prayers. The church has claimed that its intolerance is a thing of
the past. That the
church was prominent in Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy, and
never really opposed Hitler or Mussolini, should not be forgotten.