Rorate Caeli

"Hail, O great gods of Bharata!"

His Holiness' Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, lights a traditional Hindu devotional lamp before the statues of Hindu deities (source).

The Brahmins eat sumptuous meals to the sound of drums, and make the ignorant believe that the gods are banqueting. When they are in need of any supplies, and even before, they give out to the people that the gods are angry because the things they have asked for have not been sent, and that if the people do not take care, the gods will punish them by slaughter, disease, and the assaults of the devils. And the poor ignorant creatures, with the fear of the gods before them, obey them implicitly. These Brahmins have barely a tincture of literature, but they make up for their poverty in learning by cunning and malice. Those who belong to these parts are very indignant with me for exposing their tricks. Whenever they talk to me with no one by to hear them they acknowledge that they have no other patrimony but the idols, by their lies about which they procure their support from the people. They say that I, poor creature as I am, know more than all of them put together.

They often send me a civil message and presents, and make a great complaint when I send them all back again. Their object is to bribe me to connive at their evil deeds. So they declare that they are convinced that there is only one God, and that they will pray to Him for me. And I, to return the favor, answer whatever occurs to me, and then lay bare, as far as I can, to the ignorant people whose blind superstitions have made them their slaves, their imposture and tricks, and this has induced many to leave the worship of the false gods, and eagerly become Christians. If it were not for the opposition of the Brahmins, we should have them all embracing the religion of Jesus Christ.


The heathen inhabitants of the country are commonly ignorant of letters, but by no means ignorant of wickedness. All the time I have been here in this country I have only converted one Brahmin, a virtuous young man, who has now undertaken to teach the Catechism to children. As I go through the Christian villages, I often pass by the temples of the Brahmins, which they call pagodas. One day lately, I happened to enter a pagoda where there were about two hundred of them, and most of them came to meet me. We had a long conversation, after which I asked them what their gods enjoined them in order to obtain the life of the blessed. There was a long discussion amongst them as to who should answer me. At last, by common consent, the commission was given to one of them, of greater age and experience than the rest, an old man, of more than eighty years. He asked me in return, what commands the God of the Christians laid on them. I saw the old man's perversity, and I refused to speak a word till he had first answered my question. So he was obliged to expose his ignorance, and replied that their gods required two duties of those who desired to go to them hereafter, one of which was to abstain from killing cows, because under that form the gods were adored; the other was to show kindness to the Brahmins, who were the worshippers of the gods. This answer moved my indignation, for I could not but grieve intensely at the thought of the devils being worshipped instead of God by these blind heathen, and I asked them to listen to me in turn. Then I, in a loud voice, repeated the Apostles' Creed and the Ten Commandments. After this I gave in their own language a short explanation, and told them what Paradise is, and what Hell is, and also who they are who go to Heaven to join the company of the blessed, and who are to be sent to the eternal punishments of hell. Upon hearing these things they all rose up and vied with one another in embracing me, and in confessing that the God of the Christians is the true God, as His laws are so agreeable to reason.

Saint Francis Xavier
Letter from Goa to the Society of Jesus (Rome), 1543


  1. Anonymous2:55 PM

    John Paul the Great did worse.

  2. Anonymous4:05 PM

    There were Saints who went around destroying pagan temples and smashing pagan idols. It's about time we had some Saints like that.

  3. Uh, unless I'm wrong, the papal nuncio isn't supposed to do that AT ALL!

  4. Is this the same man who distributed Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians in the US?

  5. Anonymous5:13 PM

    Great, papal nuncios have clout in choosing new bishops. Or at least always have had. That's how we got the sad mob of morons we have now.

    Yes, anon, what you say is true. There are pics to prove it.

    Anonymous #2

  6. Good grief. This is why I maintain that if JPII is a saint, then no one is a saint, since one will be elevating to the altars an example of someone who did the opposite of the saints. It would be a disaster for the Church.

    Take this nuncio, how could we criticize him for basically committing sins against the 1st commandment in a public and scandalous way when the late Pope did more or less the same thing? How many martyrs did the Romans try to entice by saying "just offer one pinch of incense to the Sol Invictus, that's it, and you will be fine"? What did the martyrs do? They refused and they were brutally killed, and now they are celebrated by the universal Church for that refusal! With no force applied, this Nuncio willingly does the opposite in the name of Satan's doctrine, Ecumenism. He merits the condemnation of all the saints!

  7. Pasc: yes it is the same man with Archbishop Wuerl in Washington D.C. last year. The Papal Nuncio himself gave Holy Communion to John Kerry.

    If you want to see the proof go here:

    and here

    in both cases scroll down for about a second.

  8. Anonymous7:07 PM

    you know that there are more virtuous baptists and evangelicals who wouldn't do this.

    i'm convinced that many ignorant but faithful protestants will get to heaven before our enlightened cardinals and bishops.

    and we wonder why many catholics have embraced the world.

  9. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Are you trying to help me lose my appetite?

  10. Anonymous7:23 PM

    He's only telling the truth, anonymous #?. I do know many protestants who look down on us for our seeming inability to behave in a Christian manner.

    Holy people have died for their refusal to offer sacrifice or tribute to pagan Gods. Gone to the lions, been eviscerated, kaput.

    This nuncio is a pagan himself if he does this. It's time we were honest about these things.

    Anonymous #2

  11. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Does that really help, anonymous? Is paying tribute to some god of new age nicey nice any better than paying tribute to some 2 headed hindu thing?

    I remind you that Diwali is a pagan feast. There's no getting around it. The nuncio could have met his friends in other circumstances. He doesn't have to volunteer to perform this pagan act.

  12. It includes pagan idols. It must not be taken lightly.

    Holy Maccabee Martyrs, pray for us!

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  14. This has nothing to do with Dewali.

    I think this took place just before June 15th (that is the closest date I can get) 2006, perhaps the weekend of the 10th & 11th of June? Hard to pin down. I only got the date from a secondary source reporting on the event in a summary of recent goings-on in DC which was dated June 15th.

    From wikipedia:
    The origin of rangoli painting is traced to a legend recorded in the Chitralakshana, the earliest Indian treatise on painting. When the son of a King's high priest died, Brahma, Lord of the universe, asked the king to paint the likeness of the boy so that Brahma could breathe life into him again. This is how, it is believed, the first painting was made. Also, the son of the king painted a portrait of a girl whom the son liked very much. Although, the king would not let his son see her. Rangoli also became a form of a women self portrait.

    Another popular story is that God, in one of his creative episodes, extracted the juice from one of the mango trees as paint, and drew the figure of a woman so beautiful that it put the heavenly maidens to shame.

    What the statues or idols are I cannot tell, but it seems bad enough if he didn't know quite what he was there no instictive revulsion? No inward groan?

    It makes the Holy Communion thing with John Curry more understandable now...he probably thinks its just a tiny poppadum.

  15. Anonymous5:33 PM

    When John Paul II did the same as this man, and even worse...why is there any cause to be surprised?
    Unfortunatly, we have to wait for the legacy of JP II and his men in power to die away.
    At that could take YEARS !!!

  16. Anonymous5:42 PM

    I agree with a comment an Anonymous contributor said.
    "If John Paul II is a saint, then no one is a saint" because He did exactly opposite than the Saints.
    John Paul II was no saint. He was a good man who meant well, but he certainly should have know better.
    I think Sambi should be sacked. He won't be of course, but He should be.

  17. Even more scandalous is the archbishop lighting this candle in the presence of New Age guru Deepak Chopra who has been more than critical of the Catholic Church on many an occasion.

  18. Anonymous11:02 PM

    This news brought me great grief. I couldn't do anything but offer reparations before the Sacrament yesterday for the nuncio's lapse into paganism. He has dishonored himself and grievously wounded the Body of Christ. How can he act effectively as nuncio any longer?

  19. According to the source document (which I assume is reliable because it's cited) "Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Dr. Siva Subramanian, and Deepak Chopra light the candle of a traditional Indian rangoli". There's but one problem in that the rangoli does not seem to have any actual religious significance. Instead, it is cultural.

    I don't pretend to know what the Archbishop was doing and am certainly not qualified to judge him based on so little evidence. The altered caption (no doubt an innocent mistake) seems to have had bad consequences, though.

    I don't ask that you take me on faith. Go back to the source material in the link and research what a rangoli is independently.

  20. Yes, the caption says one thing; the statuettes say another.

    The struggle against religious relativism demands clarity from everyone, including prelates.

  21. Anonymous5:44 AM

    We should all e-mail the Vatican with a copy of this picture in protest, let them know there are some who find this despicable.

  22. Anonymous5:51 AM

    Chances are remote, but maybe if enough e-mails are received they will take note.


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