Indian Catholics propose to include Sanskrit in Prayers

A synod of archbishops and bishops was studying a proposal to include the word "Sachidanand"...
( [email protected] ) Dec 06, 2003 10:10 AM EST

India., Dec. 6 - Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in India said recently they were considering adding a Sanskrit word to liturgical prayers to make Christianity more acceptable to Hindi speakers.

A synod of archbishops and bishops from India and Philippines, which commenced in Patna, was studying a proposal to include the word "Sachidanand" in liturgical prayers. "The word 'Sachidanand,' meaning the Trinity of Gods, also conforms to the Christian precept of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," said B. J. Osta, the archbishop of Patna.

Indian Christians generally say prayers in English or in literal translations into local languages.

Osta said the church was also considering publishing a Hindi-language magazine and setting up a press to publish liturgical books in Hindi.

The three-day meeting was called to find ways to make Christianity more amenable to Hindi-speakers in the wake of a number of attacks on Christians and their churches.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Vincent Concessao, the archbishop of Delhi, expressed concern about the "deplorable" attacks on Christians, saying they went "against the virtues of love contained in Christianity." Hindu hard-liners, who view Christianity as a "foreign" religion, have alleged that in the past missionaries forcibly converted Hindus to their religion.

The church has charged that far-right Hindu groups were involved in several gruesome murders of missionaries in the past few years.

Christians account for just 2% of India's population.