Kilkenny TD: Bishop’s yoga letter nothing more than a ‘dig’ at modern world
By COLIN BARTLEY
AN attack by a Bishop, aimed at schools whose students practice yoga and mindfulness, is nothing more than a “dig” at modern society that has “no link to religion”, according to a local TD.
Kilkenny TD, Kathleen Funchion, has reacted to a letter sent by the Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, Alphonsus Cullinan, which asked schools in Waterford to refrain from practicing yoga and mindfulness and instead replace them with prayers.
Ms Funchion, Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, is questioning Bishop Cullinan’s motives for penning the letter.
“It’s obviously his choice to communicate with parishioners or parents of the schools he is involved with. There is no reason whatsoever to put down both the practice of mindfulness and yoga,“ Deputy Funchion said.
In the astonishing attack, Bishop Cullinan sent a letter to schools in his diocese on October 8 in which he said: “Yoga is not of Christian origin and is not suitable for our parish school setting.
“Practices like yoga are not capable of opening our hearts up to God.”
Deputy Funchion disagrees with the Bishop’s opinion and believes that Yoga and Mindfulness are suitable to a school environment and should not be seen in a religious context.
“These are great practices for people’s mental health and should be encouraged rather than questioned in such a manner. Practicing either of these would not prevent any student from being spiritual or religious or engaging in prayer.
“It seems like an unnecessary ‘dig’ at these practices, simply as they are modern and have no link to religion.”