26 Letters

posted May 30, 2018, 9:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 30, 2018, 9:33 AM ]

Delhi Archbishop's letter a prayer for 'course correction'

Sir, In a pastoral letter read out on May 13 in all the parishes of the national capital, Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi called on Catholics in his archdiocese to start a campaign of prayer and Friday fasting, ahead of the 2019 national elections.

The archbishop’s letter is basically a letter calling for prayers. During the ‘Prayers for the faithful’ on Sundays, we Catholics usually pray for ‘our’ leaders and ‘our’ govt. During elections, we always pray for good leaders and good governance. We are always concerned about the welfare of ‘our’ country of which we are very proud, and if we perceive that some misguided elements are following the wrong path, all the more reason why we should pray more fervently. But nobody can be blind to the fact that there is ‘political turbulence’ in the country. Hence the prayer campaign one year ahead of the national elections. The prayer, however, is not for a change of government after 2019, but for a ‘course correction’.

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Distortion of a plea for prayer for elections

Sir, It is clear from the uproar created by Arnab Goswami over the letter of Bishop Anil Couto to his flock to pray for the General Elections, so that the new Government will safeguard Democracy and the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution, that he has been insinuating that the Church is playing politics.

I will tell Arnab that the Church always extols its faithful to go and exercise their franchise and to vote for the best candidate one who upholds democratic freedom. He (Arnab) is not fooling anybody when he attacks the Church, because he wants to make the public believe that the Church is biased towards the Congress and is anti-Modi, however far removed from the truth that is. The Church upholds the Constitution and its freedom and rights. It is no more than an attempt by the fascist forces to brand the Christian community.

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A Prayer for Secularism

Sir, The article “A Prayer For Secularism” written by none other than Julio Ribeiro and published by TOI dated May 28, is thought-provoking and needs to be examined. One such action by the government, among several others, is what is happening in Ayodhya. This is a site where extremists tore down a mosque in 1992, sparking riots between Hindus and Muslims that left more than 2,000 people dead. The work is purely speculative, as ownership of the three-acre site picked for the temple has been the subject of a legal battle for decades. But there have been few more vocal champions of the controversial project than the Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand in saffron robes, who reportedly has told a crowd: "When nobody could stop us from demolishing [the mosque], who can stop us from building a temple? The provocative words by the boyish-faced, buzz-cut wearing Adityanath will be tested, now that he has been appointed to lead the state of Uttar Pradesh, which includes Ayodhya. The surprise move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came after his party’s sweeping victory in Assembly elections, thanks to the minorities who also voted for him.

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Debate should be polite and humane

Sir, I was surprised at the manner Arnab Goswami conversed with His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias on Republic TV channel recently. Being a well known and qualified TV personality, I expect His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias to be treated with greater respect and finesse. Instead, it shocked me to hear the manner in which he spoke to this great Catholic religious leader of our country who is well renowned and respected all over the world.

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From Waste to cooking gas

Sir, Garbage and other waste rots, giving off bad smell, and making our living environment unpleasant. It can also be the cause of disease, and be a breeding place for flies, mosquitoes, and other harmful insects. To maintain a clean, healthy environment in our surroundings, it is important to properly deal with this waste material. One of the ways to use our kitchen waste in a productive way is to convert this waste into cooking gas, technically called Bio Gas. Bio Gas is a term that is used to refer to a type of gas that is produced from the biological breakdown of organic material in the absence of oxygen. It can be produced from various kinds of organic wastes, including kitchen waste.

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Let us Pray

Sir, All Archbishop Couto said was “Let us pray”. But faced with a populace whose displeasure was ignited by fuel hikes, whose disillusionment was evident with the power grab in Karnataka, and whose despair was witnessed with turmoil in Tuticorin, a diversion in news headlines was the desperate need of the hour.

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Pope Francis: Like Mary, Church is a Mother!

Sir, Pope Francis celebrated the first Memorial Mass of Mary, Mother of the Church, on the Monday after Pentecost (May 21, 2018). Some excerpts from his homily:

“Without the emphasis placed on ‘motherhood’, the Church would be isolated, composed of ‘old bachelors’ who live in isolation, incapable of love and fecundity. Without a ‘woman’, the Church does not advance. And this attitude of woman comes from Mary!”

“The Church is ‘feminine’, because it is ‘Church’ and a ‘Bride’. (Revelation 21:2,9) The Church is also a ‘mother’, as she gives life! This feminine attitude is the will of God, Who chose to be born of a woman in order to teach us the path of woman! But when we forget this attitude, the Church becomes a masculine Church.”

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