The Benny Hinn show comes to Mumbai

City Archbishop urges Catholics to stay away from preacher’s ‘Festival of Blessing’, his biggest show ever.

Mumbai, February 3: He claims to have spoken with god, preaches on television in America and now wants to ‘pray for India’ at his ‘Festival of Blessing’.

The Catholic church, however, is not impressed with the Benny Hinn show, which goes on stage at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra (East) from February 13 to 15.

Billed as Hinn’s biggest show ever, the American faith-healer’s meeting has prompted the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Ivan Dias, to dissuade Catholics from attending.

According to the archdiocese, Hinn’s preachings do not fall under the tenets of Catholicism.

Nevertheless, the show will go on. Arrangements are underway to accommodate around 7-8 lakh people including a special enclosure for 1.3 lakh VIPs. (See box)

‘‘People from across the world as well as India will attend it to witness the power of god moving among the faithful,’’ says chairperson of the organising committee, Gul Kripalani, who was denied an audience by the archbishop.

And who is hosting the show? A group of high-profile businessmen from Mumbai, says Kripalani, adding that an entire year’s planning has gone into organising it.

Some of these businessmen include Vijay Lazarus, Amrit Kender, Billoo Kapoor, Abraham Mathai, A F Pinto, Ralph Menon, Pradeep Bailey, besides Gul Kripalani and a few more who will shoulder the expenses.

Convenor of the ‘Festival of Blessing’, Pastor Shekhar, says Hinn will be the sole speaker on all three days.

Meanwhile, national secretary of the All India Catholic Union and spokesperson of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, Dolphy D’Souza, says both organisations have chosen to distance themselves from the show since it does not fall within the purview of the spiritual norms of the archdiocese.

Mr Benny Hinn, despite his popularity on TV shows, is not accepted even by many of his own colleagues, who have publicly expressed serious concerns regarding, interalia, the controversial doctrines he preaches, his misquotations and misinterpretations of the Bible, his false prophecies, his alleged visions of angels and contact with the dead, his emphasis on the prosperity of the Gospel and exaggerated physical healings. Needless to say, Mr Benny Hinn’s teachings leave much to be desired from the Catholic viewpoint and can easily mislead those who lack deep faith formation and are not conversant with Catholic ethos. It will be wise to strongly discourage your parishioners from attending his programmes.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Express News Service, India
Feb. 3, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday February 5, 2004.
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