Banal Na Pag-aaral (BNP) is a non-Catholic cult which masquerades as a Catholic movement. It began in the Philippines and was condemned there by Cardinal Sin. It migrated to Riverside, CA, where it set up headquarters. It has spread among the Filipino community in the western USA and beyond. Cardinal Roger Mahoney, after an investigation of the group, declared that "Catholics should be warned that the BNP is not a Roman Catholic organization in any sense of the word." Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco and other bishops have also condemned the organization.
Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino banned the group. "The BNP movement promotes activities and teachings that are not in conformity with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church....Priests and deacons of the diocese are not permitted to participate in any of the BNP-sponsored activities nor offer their spiritual services to the movement. The Catholic faithful are prohibited to join the BNP."
The latest warning comes from Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu. "The Banal Na Pag-aaral movement is an international religious organization founded in the Philippines in 1968 which teaches that God is to be worshipped as Mahal na Ingkong ("revered ancient one"). The BNP teaches that Mahal na Ingkong communicates with human beings through Mrs. Salve Carreon, the chairperson of the BNP, by means of "inspiration" or "indwelling." At times, when she claims to experience "total indwelling" by Mahal na Ingkong, Mrs. Carreon allows her followers to reverence her with genuflections and other gestures normally reserved to Christ. During these episodes she often presides at various religious ceremonies. This is referred to by members of the BNP as "the phenomena."
The BNP is propagated through weekend retreats called "Apostolic Mission Classes," modeled on the Cursillo but intended to introduce new members both to the teachings of the BNP and to Mahal na Ingkong. During these retreats traditional Roman Catholic teaching is mixed with BNP doctrine, giving retreatants the false impression that the BNP is a Roman Catholic organization. Occasionally, uninformed priests have heard Confessions and celebrated Mass at these retreats, thus seeming to lend credence to the BNP's false claim to be supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Towards the end of these retreats the new members (mission candidates) take part in various ceremonies including a re-enactment of the Last Supper at which Mrs. Carreon presides, reverenced as Mahal na Ingkong and dressed as Christ.
Once recruited, members of the BNP are encouraged to financially support the BNP and to organize Fatima Devotions and Eucharistic Vigils at their local parish. The parish thus becomes a center where new prospective members can be recruited by the BNP and encouraged to attend the Apostolic Mission Classes.
Roman Catholics should be warned that the BNP, while it has many of the appearances and trappings of Roman Catholicism, is not a Roman Catholic organization. The teachings of the BNP concerning Mahal na Ingkong are incompatible with Catholic doctrine. More details are available on the Internet.
I am aware that some people in our community are involved in this cult. I pass on this information to invite them to correction, and to warn others not to join them and not to allow their teenagers to get involved with this sect or to participate in its retreats.
Father Paul Schmidt
Last Updated on Friday, 27 August 2010 09:32