Bishop of Derry called on to apologise to ‘hurt worldwide yoga community’

Fr. Roland Colhoun, Adm., Long Tower. (0306C69)
Fr. Roland Colhoun, Adm., Long Tower. (0306C69)
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The Bishop of Derry has been called on to “apologize to the hurt worldwide yoga community” following comments by Waterside-based priest Fr. Roland Colhoun.

Comments by Fr. Colhoun generated global debate when he told the ‘Journal’ he had warned parishioners about the dangers of yoga and Indian head massages. Since the interview the story has has gone viral on social media, sparking outrage around the globe.

Among those reacting to Fr. Colhoun’s comments was Hindu statesman Rajan Zed who issued a statement to the ‘Journal’ on Sunday, from Nevada, USA stating: “Hindus are urging His Holiness Pope Francis to discipline a Derry Catholic priest who reportedly linked yoga to Satan”.

The ‘Journal’ asked this week if the Bishop of Derry, Most Rev. Dr. Donal McKeown wanted to respond to the call from Rajan Zed. However, a Diocese spokesperson said on Monday that Bishop McKeown would not be making any comment.

In a statement to the ‘Journal’ on Friday, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said: “Bishop McKeown, whose Diocese of Derry was directly responsible for the actions of this priest, should apologize to the hurt worldwide yoga community and clearly state where he stood on this issue. Moreover, Vatican should also clarify its stand on yoga, honestly and transparently.”

The Diocese spokesperson said again on Friday Bishop McKeown would not be making any comment.

Rajan Zed said that “reports suggested that neither the Vatican and nor the Diocese of Derry Bishop, Most Reverend Donal McKeown, had offered apology on the actions of the priest who just trashed a highly revered and respected ancient practice”.