Papal Nuncio lights a lamp to Hindu deities|
The Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, attended a ceremony at John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC, to give awards to those who "built bridges" between religions, in order to establish the union of all religions.
On the occasion, Archbishop Sambi lit a candle in a devotional lamp to Hindu deities, which can be seen in the picture above.
One of the main feasts in the Hindu religion is made in homage to Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance and wealth. At this ceremony, a ritual lamp with five candles is placed on a painted mat and lighted in honor of the goddess Lakshmi and god Ganesh the conqueror - an elephant [see photos below]. Flowers, incense, and songs are also offered to the idols. In the villages of India, the cows are adorned and worshipped at this festival, because Lakshmi would be incarnated in all cows.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who served in India during his diplomatic career, must be aware of these symbols and their meanings. Notwithstanding, he participated in the pagan worship service, as we see in the picture.
Some time ago, Cardinal Ivan Dias was pictured lighting a candle to Ganesh in India. Then, in 2006, he was chosen by Pope Ratzinger to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples. Judging from these two events - far from the only ones - it would seem that part of Benedict XVI's agenda is to promote idolatry.
It appears that we are not so far away from that episode in the Old Covenant of Aaron, the high priest of the Jews, who ordered the Golden Calf to be built and adored by the Chosen People (Ex 32:1-6).
Below left, an idol of the goddess Lakshmi, right one of the god Ganesh.