Catholic Clerics Attend and Support Hindu Festival

June 11, 2004

Source: Hindustan Times,00050006.htm

On June 11, 2004 the Hindustan Times ran an Indo-Asian News Service article that reported, "The annual 'Gayatri Chalisa' held in an Indian township in South Africa took a unique turn when two members of a Catholic church attended it and described it as 'an uplifting experience.' The event, sponsored by the local Gujarati community, was held at the Ramakrishna Hall at Lenasia, south of here. Father Werner Siegmund and Brother Damon Urbani of the St. Albans Liberal Catholic Church in Observatory, Johannesburg, said they had also attended many functions at Hindu temples as part of their approach that all religions have the same ultimate objective. 'We were glad to be part of what we found to be a relaxed, joyful atmosphere, and especially the hospitality of the members of the (organisation) Gayatri Parivar,' said Fr Siegmund. Those at the function were surprised at Br Urbani's deep knowledge of Hindu scriptures and other practices. 'It is all part of the open-minded attitude that we have in our church, where as part of our studies we are also required to study other religions,' he said."