16 Notes & Comments

posted Nov 14, 2018, 8:06 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 8:08 AM ]

An extract from the Pope's message on World Communications Day

Fr Rhymon Henry

Communication is God's plan; therefore, it expresses and shares all that is true, good and beautiful. Being faithful to His plan, communication becomes an effective expression for the search for truth, but when we use this plan for one's own pride and selfishness, we twist the very purpose of communication.

The world of communication is developing day by day. Along with this praiseworthy development, the spread of 'fake news' is alarming. Fake news is the spreading of wrong information through the media. The sole purpose of such fake news is meant to deceive and manipulate the reader in order to attain a specific goal, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests. Mostly, the fake news will seem credible, thus it captures people's attention. Social media is the most common medium through which fake news is circulated. The end result of fake news is untruth. It only leads to the spread of arrogance and hatred in society.

Greed is the root cause of fake news. As a result, fake news often goes viral, spreads faster and is hard to stop. Fake news is deceptive, because it is built from one lie to another which robs one's interior freedom. Therefore, discernment, evaluation and understanding are the qualities that one needs to acquire to differentiate between fake news and real news.


Resist 'cold shadow' of euthanasia: Cardinal Collins


The "cold shadow" of euthanasia is spreading, said Cardinal Thomas Collins.

Speaking at the 39th annual Cardinal's Dinner in Toronto on November 8, the cardinal urged 1,600 attendees to fight attempts to expand Canada's euthanasia law to include minors.

"The time for review of the federal euthanasia law is upon us, and there is great pressure to eliminate the so-called 'safeguards' which made it seem to be not so terrible," he told the audience at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

"One such safeguard is that euthanasia is to be only for adults. Now we hear arguments made that the concept of 'adult' is to be made so elastic, that even minors are to be eligible for euthanasia, even without the consent of their parents. The cold shadow of euthanasia is spreading further in our land, and we must resist that," the cardinal said.

In December, a government committee is expected to deliver a report that examines extending assisted suicide to youth under 18, psychiatric patients, and consenting adults who give an advance directive to be euthanised in the event they become incapacitated by illness or disease.

The cardinal stressed the need for access to palliative care. "That, not euthanasia, is the way forward," he said.


Christians demand equality for Dalits


India's Catholics and Protestants jointly observed Nov. 11 as Dalit Liberation Sunday, with liturgy and activities urging an end to discrimination suffered by people of lower-caste origins within the Church and society.

Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak, Chairman of the Indian bishops' office for people of socially poor castes and tribes, asked people to remember the 100 poor Christians killed in anti-Christian violence in Odisha state's Kandhamal ten years ago.

The observation is a "call to the whole Christian community to renew our faith, to awaken our consciousness to be the voice of the voiceless and to stand with vulnerable Dalits in society," he said in his message.

Since 2007, the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) — a forum of Protestant and Orthodox churches — and the CBCI have observed the second Sunday of November as the day to celebrate Christians from Dalit groups.

The Sanskrit word Dalit, meaning 'trampled upon', is used to denote people belonging to former untouchable castes considered outside India's four-tier caste system. Although untouchability was abolished in 1950, Dalit leaders say social discrimination continues in several forms.

Hundreds of Dalit people joined Christianity to escape the rigid caste system and they are estimated to number some 30 per cent of India's 27 million Christians. Together with tribal people, who also form about 30 per cent, these socially and economically poor groups constitute the majority of Indian Christians.