24 Letters

posted Jul 5, 2018, 8:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 8:42 AM ]

Pope Francis: “We are God’s Children,not His Slaves”!

Sir, Pope Francis at his weekly general audience on Wednesday June 20, lectured on a new series of catechesis on the ‘Ten Commandments’.

“In the Book of Exodus, the opening verse reads, ‘God spoke these words.’ (20:1) In Jewish tradition, commandments are called ‘Decalogue’ or ‘Ten Words’! The difference between ‘word’ and ‘commandment’ is that the ‘word’ is an essential means of a relationship through dialogue; whereas a command is an order that lacks a dialogue.”

“Is God a Master of a Father? Are we slaves or children? This is a ‘battle’ which takes place continually within us. We must choose between a slave mentality and a mentality of a child. The Holy Spirit is the ‘spirit of sonship’, by which we cry out, ‘Abba-Father’!”


Seal of the confessional

Sir, With reference to Albert de Souza's letter titled ‘Inviolable right to seal of confessional’ in THE EXAMINER dated June 30, 2018, confession allows a person to confess his sins and atone for them, and try to avoid committing the same sins in the future, but since man always commits sin, he must constantly atone for the different sins he has committed throughout his life.

Confession is very important as it instils a sense of ethics and morality in society and strengthens one's conscience, thus preventing unnecessary and avoidable crime, corruption and greed for money and power and commercialisation and materialism at any cost, thus helping people to lead simple and meaningful lives. It is thus worth recommending to people of other religions, and it can be further strengthened when the priest counsels the sinner about his sins and encourages him to go for more intensive counselling to a counsellor.


10th anniversary of persecution

Sir, The people of Kandhamal were persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. Archbishop Barwa said the people experienced God’s powerful presence and accompaniment during their persecutions and hardship, but did not give up their faith. Everything happens for a purpose. The people of Odisha faced the worst anti-Christian violence in modern Indian history by RSS.


Much needed, but ill-conceived, ban on plastic

Sir, As expected, the much needed but ill-conceived ban on plastics, is now being rolled back in stages. Garbage liners, takeaway food containers and retail packaging are now exempted from the ban, subject to a buy policy and recycling policy which to say the least, is totally impractical. It is foolish to expect shopkeepers or even malls to keep track of items sold, buy back the plastic and arrange for recycling. Moreover, people pay taxes to the govt and civic bodies. They cannot abdicate their responsibilities by putting the onus on people after collecting taxes. In due course, several items are likely to be exempted like plastic sheets for covering rooftops, idols and a host of other items. People must not be harassed unnecessarily. Harried housewives are hard put to finding ways and means of carrying fish and meat. Plastic bags of 50+ microns must be exempted.


Sir, Banning plastic bags and plastic products is a ‘must’ but it should have been done at the right time and in steps. The BMC is only minting money, and knows how to harass people. First, these people should be shown how roads should be constructed and potholes removed, as people fall in them and lose their lives. Who is going to provide employment to those who have lost their jobs in the plastic industry, now that plastic has been banned and factories shut down? The BMC is telling us not to use garbage bags. How then are we supposed to throw garbage?

On the other hand, how do you carry fish and meat home from the marketplaces? Is it feasible to carry them in paper bags, cotton/jute stitched bags or in glass or steel utensils? How ridiculous! Only plastic bags, thermocol or plastic boxes are used to carry them. There is no other alternative. First, it was beef ban, and now it is plastic ban. Without plastic and plastic products, the entire fishing industry will collapse.