Surprising Catholics and non-Catholics across the world, Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will be experimenting with “eastern religions” after his month-long trip to India.
“I went to find myself, and I think I found more,” the Pope said during a homily. “In the coming months I plan to explore my spirituality from an eastern perspective,” he added, not clarifying exactly what he considers an “eastern religion.” He then asked congregants to focus on their breaths and rung a large brass gong three times.
The Pope returned from what he’s calling his “spiritual journey” on Saturday with a henna design on his right hand and the Chinese character for “peace” tattooed to his upper back. That afternoon he hung tibetan prayer flags from the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica. On Monday he released an encyclical urging bishops to consider replacing missals with the self-help book “Quantum Healing” by Deepak Chopra.
The spiritual leader of over 1 billion Catholics later updated the @pontifex twitter avatar to a picture of him performing yoga at sunrise on a sandy Indian beach. He also announced on social media that he would include spiritual chants and sitar performances as hymns in upcoming masses.
“The Holy Father is urging Catholics to spend some time practicing mindfulness and to take a yoga class or two,” said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, “he reminds us that God may be found everywhere, and that the best place to find God may be in a quiet, incense filled room.”
When last reached for comment, the Vicar of Christ was busy brewing Kombucha tea for a group of Cardinals.