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No yoga in classroom, bishop tells school staff


Warning: Bishop Phonsie Cullinan hit out at mindfulness

Warning: Bishop Phonsie Cullinan hit out at mindfulness

Warning: Bishop Phonsie Cullinan hit out at mindfulness

A Catholic bishop has warned teachers against bringing yoga into the classroom, because it is "not of Christian origin".

In a letter sent to schools in his diocese, Bishop Phonsie Cullinan also hit out at mindfulness and encouraged more prayer time in schools.

The bishop said that yoga was not suitable for a parish school, "especially not during religious education time".

The Catholic bishop of Waterford and Lismore said he had been asked by several people to speak about yoga and mindfulness.

But the conservative bishop indicated that schools need to incorporate Christian mindfulness, which he described as "not mindlessness but is meditation based on Christ".


Elsewhere in his letter, Dr Cullinan reminded school staff that October is the "month of the Rosary".

He encouraged teachers and school staff to pray, and to help children spend time with Jesus, in adoration, or in quiet meditation in the classroom.

The bishop also referred to a homily given by Pope Francis in 2015 in which he said, "practices like yoga are not capable of opening our hearts up to God". "You can take a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things but all of this will never be able to give you freedom," the Pope said.

Many evangelical Christians believe Eastern practices such as yoga, which is Hindu in origin and has been praised for its calming effects and the sense of physical well-being it brings, are incompatible with Christianity.

A survey carried out by the Evangelical Alliance in 2016 showed that 50pc of those surveyed said Christians should never do yoga.

When contacted by the Irish Independent, a spokesman for Dr Cullinan said he did not have a copy of the letter and therefore was not in a position to comment on it. Dr Cullinan recently announced his diocese would be setting up a deliverance ministry.

His decision follows warnings by exorcist Fr Pat Collins who said Ireland was facing a "tsunami of evil".

Irish Independent