UPDATE: Our Saviour Church in Manhattan – “Hare Krishna!”

A reader alerted me to something at Fr. Rutler’s former parish in Manhattan, Our Saviour Church.



At Dandavats we find the video:


Devotees conduct kirtan in a Christian church, New York (1 min video)
In late September, a few friends and I were asked to organise and participate in an interfaith prayer session in New York City. Members from The Bhakti Center led kirtan for an hour.

Just thought you would like to know.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    If this is an Eye of the Tiber thing…it has to be, this can’t be real.
    If it is, I don’t think the word “horrified” would be too strong for this situation.
    Who, WHO, gave permission for this outrage? To allow Hindu deities to be called on and worshipped in a Catholic Church…why this one, of all churches? Holy Innocents has been in the crosshairs of someone for quite some time, it has seemed. So one wonders why this, why now?
    I don’t know Holy Innocents, but seem to recall that the pillars were whitewashed recently. These pillars are not whitewashed, so I am wondering about the actual date of this taping.
    Cardinal Dolan should answer for this. And anyone else who gave their permission. This is beyond understanding.
    Someone needs to explain who gave permission, and why.
    Doesn’t this mean the church needs to be “rededicated” to Christ? Shouldn’t there be a ceremony to go with that? My God.

  2. the little brother says:

    hmmmmm….that reminds me of another Tale of hari:

    “There was a time during this violent struggle that I truly believed I was dying,” (recounts George H. of the Beetles), he said he chanted “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna” at Michael Abrams who was armed with a knife & part of a stone sword broken from a statue of St George & the Dragon at the couple’s Oxfordshire mansion because he was on a mission from God to kill the pop star.

    dunno, but this stuff seems fraught with peril.


  3. tm30 says:

    When Lord?

  4. majuscule says:


    It says it’s Our Saviour Church in Manhatten. The columns on either side of the pillars are where the frescos were removed. An image web search will show you what it looked like before. Or a search of this blog’s archives I suppose.

    I opened the video in YouTube to look at the stats and it appears to have been uploaded November 6, 2015.

    So it is possibly very current. And very sad.

  5. zama202 says:

    As one who stopped into Our Saviour for Mass or for a quick prayer when I worked in Manhattan this is quite sad.

    It also reinforces my intention to send as many Calendars and Ordos prepared by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, to as many parish priests I can for Christmas.

    Anything I can do to expose a priest – especially a young priest – to the Traditional Mass, may prevent the type of tragedy seen here in the future.


  6. Stephanus83 says:

    Is this one of those times when it would be appropriate to write a letter to the Bishop complaining about your pastor?

  7. monknoah says:

    The Seleucids profaned the Second Temple with statues of Greek deities. Judas Maccabeus solved that problem. We, and the parishioners at Our Savior, await the arrival of a similar figure (Pius XIII?).

    Seriously, how much worse is this going to get? I don’t just mean Our Savior. The Church is a total mess at this time.

  8. snoozie says:

    the francis effect.

  9. THREEHEARTS says:

    A little scriptural aside, “The devil entered the world through man. How about that truth? Is not the church with the tabernacle heaven upon earth? It is amazing how the jezabels of the second chapter of revelation can continue to be so foolish.

  10. “Ecumenical prayer services” like this have been going on in the local cathedral parish for years, every November, with the blessing and even participation of the bishop. It is a slap in the face to the countless martyrs who submitted to the most cruel and violent deaths rather than pay divine honors to mere human beings and to demons (cf. Psalm 96). It is a slap in the face to the children being decapitated in the Middle East right now with the name of Jesus on their lips, because they will not submit to Islam. It is a frontal assault on the First Commandment.

    The annual Thanksgiving “ecumenical prayer service” is billed as making all welcome within our sacred space. Well, all are not welcome. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is not welcome. I suppose I ought to be thankful that at least the Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle for this. But faithful Catholics surely should never countenance a “prayer service” that requires Jesus in the Eucharist to be evicted from His own house.

  11. Athelstan says:

    Horrifying. Some Masses and prayers of reparations would seem to be in order.

    So would some communications to the chancery. Even on a broad reading of Canon 1210, this one gives all evidence of crossing a line. If it doesn’t, then it’s hard to see what event *would* run afoul of 1210. A Satanic black mass? This isn’t the Methodists down the street asking to use the undercroft to host a prayer service.

  12. Rocha90 says:

    This is completely unacceptable! Idolatry in God’s house.

    Cardinal Dolan must take action on this.

  13. jflare says:

    I will give due credit to eastern religions or philosophies for introducing me to chanting prayers; I had cause to wonder why Catholics couldn’t do something similar. …And thus I had inducement to more clearly seek Gregorian Chant, leading away from the…music…of the past few decades.
    Other than that, well, I’m not surprised by this sort of idiocy.

  14. MarkJ says:

    This is indeed a denial of all the martyrs died for in all 20 centuries of the Church. This is why we need to keep telling and retelling the stories of the glorious martyrs, that people will know our Faith is still worth dying for… and worth living for! Holy Martyrs, pray for us!

  15. RobW says:

    Horrible. Take down beautiful artwork…get rid of good priest…slippery slope.

  16. Chon says:

    Ha ha, very funny spelling of “Beatles”! I still remember how creepy it was to go to their movie “Help!”

  17. benedetta says:

    I should think perhaps the altar shall require a re-consecration? Was the Blessed Sacrament present? Worshipping something considered a deity by some but not the Triune God, in a Catholic Church? Call the exorcist. Not ecumenical, not interfaith, but blasphemous. Paging our dear Cardinal please (begging) his help and serious prayers for him. I can’t imagine that he would in any endorse or encourage this.

  18. benedetta says:

    At this point, whatever good will was entrusted to this pastor in acquiring this appointment appears to be wearing rather thin. Would he indeed take advantage of his Cardinal’s largesse thusly? This is not the way to pastor a flock, in any pastoral sense, in any Pope Francis sense, in any sense.

    Our Lady of Mughal, ora pro nobis.


  19. stuart reiss says:

    Would this be one of those occasions when a liturgical use of an AK 47 is permissible?

  20. KateD says:

    I’m no theologian, but isn’t it this sort of thing that caused the Babylonian captivity?


  21. Kathleen10 says:

    I am not comprehending this. This “goes on”??
    When people jabber about ecumenism, I always assume they are meaning Lutherans, Methodists, etc. It never occurred to me that would include religions that are not even monotheistic. The idea that a pagan group would use a Roman Catholic church for services, invoking their many gods into that sacred space, well, what kind of idiocy is that.

  22. Semper Gumby says:

    If this video is not some sort of hoax, this is definitely not good.

    While we’re at it, something similar is afoot at the Nada Hermitage in the Sangre de Christo mountains near Crestone, Colorado. According to the Spiritual Life Institute (a “Roman Catholic ecumenical community”), the Nada Hermitage was established in 1982 for “…communal life according to the primitive Carmelite ideal” for Christians and “practitioners of other spiritual traditions.”

    Their website adds: “The Spirit within will ordinarily be your director, but a monk is also available at the beginning of your retreat…” During a stay at Nada Hermitage one can visit nearby “Buddhist groups and a Hindu Ashram.”

    According to Wiki, Crestone CO became an international spiritual center after a wealthy Canadian businessman and his wife began donating land and money to “qualified religious and spiritual projects.”

    There is a generally approving, but anecdotally interesting, article about the 23 “projects” near Crestone in the LA Times Travel section by David Kelly on June 19, 2011.

  23. Paulo says:

    Now, everybody, join Marty Haugen Magical Mystery Tour and sing along: “All are welcome, all are welcome IN… THIS… PLACE!”

  24. Prayerful says:

    That church needs to be re-dedicated.

  25. frahobbit says:

    Does this qualify as the abomination of desolation?

  26. benedetta says:

    *Except icons, EF worshippers, kids and prolifers, HUMMMM! In this place!

    But truly. Call the excorcist. Not really funny at all. Horrible actually.

  27. Father Bartoloma says:

    Nostra Aetate.

  28. mburn16 says:

    Kathleen hit the nail on the head….there’s a minimum standard for ecumenical worship – namely, that all those present be worshiping the same thing. Catholics can worship jointly with Methodists, Lutherans, the Orthodox, Baptists, even Muslims and Jews; because the object of the worship is the same. We are, in our own ways, praying to our common God.

    It doesn’t seem to me that either Hindus or Catholics are being particularly well served by the above exercise. Are the Catholic faithful truly joining in the prayers of the Hindus? Not likely. Then it has ceased to be prayer and become performance. And we can say the same in reverse.

  29. Tricia says:

    Lord, have mercy. Heartbreaking.

  30. Pingback: Par pa??v?bu uz Dievu | Una Voce Latvija

  31. iPadre says:

    snooze wrote: “The francis effect.”

    NO – the stupid effect!

  32. ChesterFrank says:

    Have not been to NY in a long time. I wonder how far this church is from the Archbishops cathedral? Does anyone think the Archbishop knew about this, or approved it?

  33. Riki says:


    Penance Penance Penance
    to avoid Divine vengeance
    for not showing any remorse
    and trying our will to enforce

    The reign of the Impostor has arrived
    the Church, of TRUTH is being deprived
    the whole world hangs on his lips
    while being readied for a total eclipse

    The true followers of Christ
    trying to pull off the heist
    are persecuted for non-compliance
    and being countered with defiance

    When it will seem that all is lost
    everything sacred has been tossed
    God will deliver us from our agony
    and reign forever in all His Majesty

    A M E N
    Rita Biesemans, December 19 2013

  34. Riki says:

    The Ship of Peter is torn apart
    Martyred in its Holy Teaching
    It sinks and sinks, no work of art
    The bottom though never reaching
    Dissidents are screaming loud
    Leaving behind an awful niff
    Pretending to be proudly stout
    Gearing the Ship into a cliff
    Jesus shows His wounded Heart
    Smitten with a deadly dart
    Peter the Rock in desolation
    Deploring severe desecration
    Wake up, you Christian Brother
    Show now your truthful face
    With Mary our Heavenly Mother
    We’ll reach that Peaceful Place
    In allegiance to the Holy Father 
    United in prayer and fasting
    No victory will claim, but rather
    Satan’s defeat be everlasting.

    Rita Biesemans, 01-02-2011


  35. Riki says:


    The world has gone nuts
    each one acts like a klutz
    it’s all about me, only me
    thus destroying the family

    There are no more virtues
    the vices know no curfews
    each is his own god, master
    causing the world’s disaster

    They often act as wild animals
    even dare to live as cannibals
    everything that once was Holy
    is looked upon as if too lowly

    Pastors abandoning the flock
    discord is splitting the Rock
    causing the sheep to be lost
    sacred values being tossed

    A small remnant lives hidden
    overt creed being forbidden
    waiting for God’s intervention
    for cleansing and redemption

    We cry out loud to You
    our Lord and savior do
    please hasten Your coming
    hear our desperate longing

    Rita Biesemans
    October 24 2015
    Feast Day of saint Raphael

  36. stuart reiss says:

    Kathleen, Hinduism is also a monotheistic religion, they have three hundred and sixty million incarnations of the same God…..oh who cares..what’s the point of ecumenism even with Christians who are protesting against Peter…oops, that includes me too after the sin nod…ooooh…., I’m confused…. getting a headache…Hari Hari…Chrishna Chrishna..hare haaaareeee…

  37. stuart reiss says:

    Today is remeberence Sunday, when we think of a corner of a foreign field that will forever be England, where young man died in the Great War and in the IIww. So, when after the 1100 NO Latin mass, the choir belted out God save the Queen, the hairs on my knape stood to attention, and I felt thrilled, and yet I felt a tiny bit awkward too, that Mass became a moment to celebrate the nation….uncomfortable and yet proud…
    I would die if a hare Chrishna band turned up at the London Oratory, for an ecumenical service….

  38. Veritas says:

    “Catholics can worship jointly with Methodists, Lutherans, the Orthodox, Baptists, even Muslims and Jews; because the object of the worship is the same. We are, in our own ways, praying to our common God.” This is a false statement. We do not worship the same God. We Catholics worship the Triune God, in the church established by Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and we worship at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as instituted by the same Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. Protestants are material heretics, the Jews and Muslims worship a false man-made god. See 1 Corinthians 10:20 and Pope Pius XI Mortalium Animos. “He who is not with us is against us; he who does not gather, scatters.” Matthew 12:30

  39. PostCatholic says:

    > Would this be one of those occasions when a liturgical use of an AK 47 is permissible?

    I am of the mind that such a statement, even if intended as humorous hyperbole, is offensive and in extremely poor taste. Gun violence of that sort is not a laughing matter, stuart reiss. But since it’s me calling this out, I expect to be told I’m wrong. I can’t wait to hear how those convinced of their rectitude defend such a crass and ugly “joke.”


  40. John Nolan says:

    A Hare Krishna band at the Oratory? About as likely as ‘Gather Us In’ followed by Marty Haugen’s Mass of Something-or-Other.

  41. stuart reiss says:

    Post Catholic I apologise unreservedly for offending your sensibilities with a crass uncouth comment. I should be shot.

    [Okay you two… don’t make me come down there!]

  42. zama202 says:

    ChersterFrank to answer your question “I wonder how far this church is from the Archbishops cathedral? Does anyone think the Archbishop knew about this…?”

    The Cardinal’s residence is just 13 or 14 short blocks north of Our Saviour – one of the archdiocese’s more prominent parishes.

    I don’t know if Cardinal Dolan knew about this before (I can’t imagine this event was not publicized somehow – I mean they did want people to attend), but I am sure he knows now.

    For whatever that is worth.


  43. Giuseppe says:

    The saints removed from the pillars are lucky they didn’t have to witness this.
    Holy Innocents was a gorgeous church – both in body and in soul.

  44. Mary of Carmel says:

    As a Discalced Carmelite Secular, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross lived during the rise of Protestantism. St. Teresa had plenty to say about it.

    Two of the biggest saints of the Church arose out of that mess. We can do the same.

    Prayer and penance, and don’t be afraid to speak in defense of the true Faith.

    Consider the vast improvement in Catholic devotion since the sixteenth century.

  45. Mary of Carmel says:

    “Consider the vast improvement in Catholic devotion since the sixteenth century.”

    I should have said “from the sixteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century.”

    After Pope Leo’s vision that resulted in the St. Michael Prayer, the Devil got into the Church and it has been a slippery slope since.

    Get back to prayer and penance!

  46. Pingback: Tempting Akita’s Fire: AmChurch Wreckovations, Hare Krishnas, and Tokyo St. Ignatius Removes Kneelers | The Bellarmine Forum

  47. Legisperitus says:

    “But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.” 1 Cor. 10:20
    “For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils.” Ps. 95:5

  48. JonPatrick says:

    Stuart Reiss, concerning Hinduism being Monotheistic, well maybe but not in the way we understand God. In Monotheistic religions such as Judaism Christianity and Islam, God is the creator and is apart from his creation, the universe. In Eastern religions such ad Hinduism, God is all of creation, and actually encompasses creation, maintenance, and destruction, being a natural cycle, symbolized by Brahman (creator), Vishu (maintainer) and Shiva (destroyer). All of the other various gods and avatars seem to proceed from these e.g. Krisha being an avatar of Vishnu. So the whole concept is completely different from the Judeo-Christian one. At least as I understand it and I am no scholar by any means.

  49. NoraLee9 says:

    Guiseppe wrote: “Holy Innocents was a gorgeous church – both in body and in soul.” It still is. This event happened at Our Saviour Church on Park Avenue & East 37th Street. Our Saviour was one of Cardinal Spellman’s Churches. Anytime one sees a Baldachin in a NYC church, 9 times out of 10, it’s in a church built by Cardinal Spellman. Initially Our Saviour had an”English Catholic” flavor to it. The addition of the Icons in 2004 did not clash with the decor, but enriched it.
    Frankly, it’s not like the Hare Krishnas are short on space in NYC. This atrocity was truly diabolical. Between recent closings of churches, the profanation of the Parade by …, and the shananigans at both Our Saviour and St. Agnes Church on East 43rd Street, one has to wonder about the NY Archdiocese.

  50. snoozie says:

    ….that’s what I said.

  51. stuart reiss says:

    but father..but father..

  52. Darren says:

    This reminds me an Indian missionary priest who came to my parish a few months ago. He would not be happy with this! He said the Mass and in his homily he ripped Hinduism to shreds (in an appropriate manner)… blaming it for the caste system, for the treatment of the “untouchable” caste (which he was born into), for so much that is wrong in India.

    It was interesting.

    Catholic missionaries from France helped led his family to conversion and he became a priest.

  53. E Milco says:

    The original video seems to have been taken down, but a copy of it exists here:

  54. Joe in Canada says:

    It’s not fair to call this “the Francis effect”. Prayers to the “god” Olokun were said at Assisi in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, presumably with his approval (as the host). In 2002 Pope St John Paul II gave various pagan groups access to various chapels at Assisi to “do their thing”.

  55. snoozie says:

    Joe in Canada: It most certainly is ‘fair’. What you describe from those papacies are the exceptions; bad yes, but you were pretty much able to name them in one sentence. In the age of francis this type of ‘outreach’ is increasing and manifesting in various ways because the example is being given from the top. I don’t recall either JPII or Benedict having an imam into the vatican to say a prayer to allah for victory over the infidel (us!), with the papal imprimatur; washing the feet of everyone but Catholic men on Holy Thursday; calling those outside of apostolic orders ‘brother bishop’; and on and freakin’ on. Now there is a vatican trial balloon going up for shared communion with the lutherans….is this what they are going to try to foist upon us as part of the ‘joint celebration’ of the ‘reformation’ in ’17? So much for one, holy catholic and apostolic, eh?

    The last 2 and a half years have been nothing short of a deepening nightmare for those who simply love the Church, love Christ, love all that He handed down and taught through Her, and love who She is.

    I don’t find francis confusing in the least. I think he is very, very clear.

  56. Giuseppe says:

    NoraLee9 – you are correct. I meant Church of Our Savior, not Holy Innocents.
    Was not aware of Cardinal Spellman and the baldachins.
    St. John Nepomuk on 66/1st has a nice and simple one.

  57. Maineman1 says:

    I’m officially done. I’m off to the Orthodox Church. The modernists overwhelmingly control the Roman Catholic Church, and the Spirit of Vatican ll is the dominating zeitgeist. God bless you good and faithful people who choose to stick it out and fight a forlorn cause.

    My faith in the Church is no more. Please pray for me, a chief sinner.

  58. Pingback: BREAKING: Prominent Cardinal Oversaw Hindu Prayer Service at Once-Traditional NYC Parish | EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

  59. stuart reiss says:

    I know this is an old blog and I should really move on, particularly since I’ve been told of my crassness in suggesting a liturgical use of an AK 47 but I heard from Mr Voris’s Catholic news that Cardinal Peter Turkson was present at the Krishna Conciousness chant…what?
    Read about it here: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/cardinal-turkson-at-hare-krishna-event/
    He and the parish priest and anyone of authority over these shenanigans should be in my opinion shot at dawn and buried in a nameless grave.

  60. samgr says:

    Frequently walked past the 37th Street side of Our Saviour on way to/from work. Was always heartened by a relief there labeled SURREXIT VERE. We know who’ll win.

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