26 Letters

posted Aug 1, 2018, 8:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 1, 2018, 8:39 AM ]

Fr VPP is now 'Venerable'

Sir, Fr Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly (VPP for short), has received approval from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, on April 14, 2018, to be recognised as 'Venerable'! Pope Francis has thus advanced his cause from the stage of 'Servant of God'.

Fr VPP was born in Perumanoor, Kerala, on August 8, 1876, and was ordained priest of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on December 21, 1907. He started St Mary's Higher Secondary School, and ably managed it for 14 years, during which time priestly vocations at the school flourished. He turned the school into a shelter for people who had lost their homes and property in a flood in 1924, bringing food to people in a hired boat.


NCW: ban Confession

Sir, The Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) is an article of faith, and is not negotiable. Neither the state nor the NCW has a right to interfere. The chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rekha Sharma, has created an unnecessary controversy by stating her personal view (rejected by a Union Minister) that confessions should be abolished as priests were misusing it. She added: "The priests pressure women into telling their secrets, and we have one such case in front of us. There must be many more such cases, and what we have right now is just a tip of the iceberg."

For the record, it is difficult for priests to pressurise women into telling their secrets. It is the choice of the penitent to choose his/her confessor. In the unlikely event of a woman feeling pressurised by a particular priest, she can just walk away without further ado, and never go back to the said priest.(However, if she wilfully keeps going to the same priest, that's her business).


Sir, The National Commission for Women (NCW) has recommended a ban on the Christian Sacrament of confession which should be dealt with firmly. How can the NCW infer that women are not safe, and decide that the holy Sacrament be abolished due to one instance or an isolated case?

Every religion has its own practices, that the followers accept in totality. No law on earth should enforce compulsion in directing the Church that they need to stop certain practices. The law will take its own course when any one attempts to abuse it.


Sir, The call for a ban on confessions by the Chairperson of the NCW is an ominous sign of what lies ahead for the Christians of the country. This is not an isolated view, but rather the expression of a particular ideology which is inimical to the Christians. No opportunity is going to be missed to defame the community.


The dark clouds are gathering

Sir, Many will remember this quotation of Martin Niemöller, the famous Lutheran Pastor made at the time of Hitler:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out; because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out; because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out; because I was not a Jew.


The crimes of satan…

Sir, The other day, I received a WhatsApp message which said - Jesus was born in a cow shed, so Christians must stop eating beef. This is a statement allegedly made by a prominent political leader. So, here is yet another learned member of the ruling party making a new discovery as far as Christianity is concerned. Great revealing statement! Needless to say, the man does not know or understand what he says.


Holy Family Parish says "Thank You"

Sir, We have finally received the long overdue TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) in lieu of the land surrendered by the church for the road widening, which was assured to us during the shifting of our Cross. On behalf of Holy Family Parishioners of Chakala, I wish to thank every one of you who appreciated, supported and helped us in getting our TDR.