Saturday, August 12, 2006

Italian Bestseller Cause for Concern in Vatican

From the Times UK Online:

The former Communist, whose mother was a devout Catholic, outlines a philosophy of Indian spirituality, communion with nature and “the harmony of opposites” that he said helped him in his fight against cancer. He deplores the impact of Western materialism on Asia and describes how his growing pacifism made him a bitter opponent of war, and especially of the Bush Administration’s War on Terror.

This week Avvenire, Italy’s leading Catholic daily, accused Terzani of “leading people astray”. He had “completely lost sight of the incarnate and historical dimension of religious experience”. Alessandro Gnocchi, a Catholic author and television presenter, accused Terzani in the conservative newspaper Libero of peddling “a confused mixture of Oriental philosophy, Marxism and Christianity” that muddled “St Francis with Zen Buddhism”.

Vatican sources said that this was anathema to Pope Benedict XVI, who, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, warned of the dangers of trying to reconcile Oriental and New Age spirituality with Catholicism.