THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pope Francis has invited Mata Amritanandamayi to the Vatican and their meeting is scheduled to take place on December 2. Amma is now on a European tour and will shortly leave for the US as well. According to sources close to Mata, the invitation was extended to her five months back, but due to her prior commitments, she confirmed the date only a few days ago.
“The date of meeting with Pope Francis was decided when Amma was touring Ireland. Today and tomorrow, Amma and her entourage are in Berlin and soon they will leave for the US,” said a source at Amritandamayi Mutt at Vallikkavu.
Mata’s disciple Swami Amritaswarupananda, who is accompanying her, could not be contacted. Pope Francis may meet Jewish and Buddhist religious heads along with Mata. But a top Syro-Malankara Catholic Church official told DC that usually Pope Francis calls on the religious heads or statesmen when they are in Vatican.“Under normal circumstances, the Pope does not extend an invitation to religious heads to come and meet him and instead he will call on them. But during the tenure of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, they had held world religious leaders’ meeting at Assissi twice which was attended by Swami Agnivesh and religious leaders belonging to Sikh and Jain communities as well.
Usually, it’s the Vatican Religious Relations, the pontifical council, that extends the invitation to religious heads and statesmen to meet the Pope when they come down to Vatican,” said the official.
Incidentally, VHP international president Ashok Singhal had alleged that a secret agency under the Vatican was behind launching the malicious campaign against Mata and her Mutt when her former disciple, Gail Tredwell, had come out with ‘Holy Hell,’ a controversial book on her life at Mutt.
Last year, Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust’s general secretary Swami Rithabharanda had told DC that they had started liaison work to bring Pope Francis to Sivagiri as per the advice of Muni Narayana Prasad, Guru and head of Narayana Gurukulam in Varkala.