At least one Catholic priest, Father Roland Colhoun, feels that practicing yoga is tantamount to Satanism, noting yoga can open the gates of the “Kingdom of Darkness.” Yogis may find themselves communicating with “Satan and the fallen angels” during practice if they aren’t careful. Colhoun claims that Pope Francis also warns against attempting to find “spiritual answers” during yoga practice as it could pose spiritual risks to the person practicing.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Catholic Priest Roland Colhoun, who overseas a parish in Northern Ireland, has warned against practicing yoga or receiving Indian head messages. Colhoun claims that both yoga and scalp massages could lead to “the Kingdom of Darkness.” Colhoun worries that a person may open up spiritually during a yoga session and involuntarily invite in “Satan and the fallen angels.” Though the priest seems to discourage yoga, he does note that not everyone practicing yoga will invite in the unwanted demons. However, yogis should tread lightly.
“When you take up those practices from other cultures, which are outside our Christian domain, you don’t know what you are opening yourself up to. The bad spirit can be communicated in a variety of ways. I’m not saying everyone gets it, or that it happens every time, and people may well be doing yoga harmlessly, but there’s always a risk and that’s why the Pope mentioned it and that’s why we talk about that in terms of the danger of the new age movement and the danger of the occult today. That’s the fear.”
Colhoun says that Pope Francis has asked for Catholics to take special care when practicing yoga and not to seek “spiritual answers” during that time. However, not all Catholics agree with Colhoun’s assessment. In fact, one yoga instructor claims that she is a “good catholic” and has never had anyone in her studio ask to delve further into a spiritual realm during practice.
According to the International Business Times, some in the Hindu community are outraged at Colhoun’s remarks and are asking Pope Francis to discipline the priest for his remarks. Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, submitted a request to the Vatican asking “His Holiness Pope Francis to discipline a Derry Catholic priest who linked yoga to Satan.”
It seems unlikely that Colhoun will be be disciplined for his statements as they are not out of the ordinary in the Catholic community. In fact, RT reports that in 2011, the Vatican’s chief exorcist denounced yoga as a “Satanic” practice.
“Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter.”
What do you think of Catholic priest Roland Colhoun’s statement that yoga may lead to Satanism? Should the priest be disciplined for his statement or does it align with the Catholic belief system?