A Catholic bishop has written to schools to warn them against the use of yoga in the course of class time and stated that it is “not of Christian origin”.

A spokesman for Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, of the Waterford and Lismore diocese, confirmed that main schools in the diocese beneath the patronage of the Catholic Church had received the letter, which also asked teachers to pray the rosary with their pupils.

Final year, Bishop Cullinan stated that he is establishing a “delivery ministry” of exorcists to deal with evil spirits and also warned people today against the use of Reiki and new age healing simply because they could be channeling “the incorrect spirit”.

His letter to schools, dated 10 October and which has been published on the Waterford News and Star’s site, wished college principals, teachers and other employees effectively for the new college year.

“I have been asked by many people today to say a word on yoga and mindfulness,” Bishop Cullinan continued.

“My query is, ‘will they bring us closer to Christ or replace him?’ Yoga is not of Christian origin and is not appropriate for our parish college setting and particularly not in the course of religious education time.

“Concerning mindfulness, in a sense it has been practised in the Christian tradition given that the starting, but Christian mindfulness is not mindlessness, but is meditation primarily based on Christ, emptying the thoughts of every thing unnecessary so that we turn into conscious of the presence and really like of Christ.”

He quoted a homily delivered in 2015, in which Pope Francis told listeners that practices like yoga are not capable of opening people’s hearts to God.

“You can take a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these items, but all of this will by no means be capable to give you freedom,” he quoted the Pope as saying.

Bishop Cullinan pointed out in his letter that October is the month of the rosary.

“I encourage you to pray the rosary and assist the kids to invest time with Jesus in adoration or in quiet meditation in the classroom,” he stated.

Final year, Bishop Cullinan revealed that he was in the procedure of establishing a “delivery ministry” of exorcists in his diocese, in response to many requests and reports he stated he had received from people today about “what they think to be evil forces”.

He also warned people today against having involved in Reiki or new age healing, “simply because if you happen to be opening your self up to a spirit and a person is channeling a spirit, they could be channeling the incorrect spirit”.

The bishop stated final year that the brother of a Reiki master had told him that the master had observed “a vision of Satan” even though functioning on somebody and was “scared out of his wits, dropped the Reiki and went back to the church”.

He stated that he had received nine requests in the final handful of years from people today who wanted the solutions of an exorcist.

Bishop Cullinan’s spokesman stated earlier this year that “progress” was becoming created in forming the delivery group.