24 Letters

posted Jun 20, 2018, 8:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jun 20, 2018, 8:42 AM ]

Australian law forces priests to break seal of confession

Sir, Priests in the Australian capital, Canberra, now face criminal charges for maintaining the seal of the confessional where someone confesses to child sexual abuse, under the new legislation passed by the Assembly. The law is applicable to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) of Canberra (similar to our Union Territory of Delhi NCR.) Under the law, priests must report to the Govt authorities all cases of child sexual abuse revealed in the confessional. The move has sparked fears that other Australian states and territories could introduce similar laws. It may also lead to demands of similar legislation in other countries.

Priests in Canberra are now faced with a serious dilemma of obeying the civil law or abiding by the canonical oath of secrecy of the confessional. Failing to comply with the Civil Law would invite criminal prosecution, leading to imprisonment. Disobeying the oath of confessional secrecy would invite excommunication from the Church.

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The importance of Sports

Sir, With reference to Dr Trevor Colaso's letter titled 'Sports Ministry' in THE EXAMINER dated June 16-22, 2018, sports make us alert, besides helping us to relax.

A sports syllabus be formulated and implemented and upgraded regularly, and the services of sports psychologists and sports sociologists must be utilised to select and train students in various sports at a very early age in special sports schools that are established throughout the length and breadth of the country.

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C-H-R-I-S-T for Laity Sunday!

Sir, I have chosen the acronym, C-H-R-I-S-T, for the "Role of the Laity in the Church and Society", for June 24, 2018, which will be celebrated as Laity Sunday in the Archdiocese of Bombay. This will be based on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be Glad) (Matthew 5:12) – on the 'Universal Call to Holiness'!

C – 'Clear Conscience' – "I do my best to have a 'clear conscience' before God and man // Keep your 'conscience clear', so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ, will be ashamed of what they say." (Acts 24:16 // 1 Peter 3:16)

H – 'Humility' – "Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but in all 'humility' count others better than yourself." (Philippians 2:3)

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Save Ponds and Lakes

Sir, Lakes and ponds are an important part of the ecosystem. Though relatively small in size, ponds and lakes perform significant environmental, social and economic functions, ranging from being a source of drinking water, recharging ground water, control flooding, supporting biodiversity and providing livelihoods.

However, for the last two decades, there has been an explosive increase in the urban population. As a result, almost all urban water bodies in India are suffering because of pollution; they are used for disposing untreated local sewage and solid waste, and in many cases, the water bodies have been ultimately turned into landfills.

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