[quote="preetam, post:1, topic:290424"]
I am new to CAF, but have been following various discussions for sometime as a guest. I am a Catholic residing in India. I am not sure I am addressing my question in the appropriate forum and would welcome correction from members. The question that bothers me is simple, but despite research I am not sure I have found the appropriate answer to the issue.
I have been invited by certain Hindu friends to participate in their rituals (which would obviously include worship of their deities). I understand and try to live my faith in Christ and so would be more inclined to refuse the invitation. I am however concerned for some of my Catholic brothers who may be more willing to accept and participate in such rituals merely to avoid offending the Hindu friends.
I would be grateful if am directed to the Church teachings on whether it is acceptable to participate in Hindu or non Christian worship rituals. Alternatively, if there has already been a discussion or if there is a reference that I may peruse, it would be greatly appreciated.
It follows from lower down that you're talking about just being present. I wouldn't have a problem with that myself, but I live the U.S. and thus in a very different context (this is a practical issue for me mostly in terms of taking students on field trips for my Religions of the World course).
I think you need to look at this in a narrower way than just "non-Christian rituals." I don't think the "non-Christian" part is as significant as the specific nature of the ritual.
As I'm sure you know, Hindus typically claim that all deities are aspects of the One God. However, I know that different Hindu deities have very different relationships to Brahman according to Hindu theology and that popular religion takes many forms and often looks quite different than, say, Advaita Vedanta philosophy!
My own approach, as a Christian, is that I won't do anything that could be construed as active participation in the worship of a Hindu deity, even if Hindus tell me that this is simply a way of worshiping the One God. (So, for instance, when I visit a Hindu puja with my students, I won't receive prasad or pass my hands over the sacred flame.)
I have a different attitude to Sikh and Muslim worship (which I regard as clearly directed toward the One True God) and toward Theravada Buddhist veneration of Buddha (which seems indistinguishable from Catholic saint veneration, and Buddha himself, if he's anything like the stories claim, seems to be worthy of dulia--indeed, the story of Buddha circulated in the Middle Ages as the story of a Christian saint).