by Jules Gomes, Church Militant:
An Indian bishop has provoked a backlash from Catholics and Hindus after he celebrated the Holy Eucharist using saffron robes worn by Hindu priests before a tabernacle in the form of a Shivalinga — the phallus of the Hindu god Shiva.
Bishop Derek Fernandes and his concelebrating clergy were photographed at Mass wearing Hindu clerical vestments and sporting rudraksha malas—a necklace of Hindu beads.
The clerics had also smeared their foreheads with a sacred vermillion paste called tilak — one of the most visible symbols of the Hindu religion.
Fernandes, who was appointed Bishop of Belgaum in May by Pope Francis, was photographed in the offending attire on August 29 while on a pastoral visit to a church in Deshnur, 28km from Belagavi in the state of Karnataka.