24 Letters

posted Dec 5, 2018, 8:33 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 8:34 AM ]

Pope Francis: Shrines are places of God's Mercy!

Sir, On November 29, 2018, Pope Francis spoke to 586 participants of an international gathering of Shrine Rectors and pastoral workers held at the Vatican (Nov. 27-29) on the theme – 'The Shrine: An Open Door to the New Evangelization.'

Pope Francis said, "Shrines and sanctuaries should be places of hospitality. Pilgrims should be made to feel 'at home', just like welcoming a long-awaited family member who has finally arrived. It creates a climate of long-lasting friendships through the sowing of fertile seeds in the souls of pilgrims."

"Shrines are also privileged places to experience God's mercy and forgiveness through the Sacraments. Divine Mercy knows no boundaries. In fact, when mercy is lived, it becomes a form of real evangelisation; because it transforms those who receive mercy into witnesses of mercy!"


Outreach to poor in Shillong

Sir, It is interesting to hear about a Catholic priest giving away 24 homes to the needy in Shillong (Examiner dated Dec. 01-07). This brings into focus Liberation Theology which is a movement within the Catholic Church. It began in Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s, in response to poverty in Brazilian society. It is based on the teaching of loving one's neighbour. Christians working in this movement focus on helping those who live in poverty. They believe that poverty is the single most important issue faced by people in today's world, as poverty leads to all sorts of disadvantages to do with health, education and participation in society.

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Genetically edited babies

Sir, A Chinese researcher He Jiankui claims that he has 'genetically altered embryos' to give them the ability to resist HIV infection by disabling the CCR5 gene. This has led members of the scientific community and the Church to raise serious ethical concerns.

The Times Of India, in its editorial (page 14, November 29, 2018) warned: "Pandora's Box – Gene editing highlights dangerous potential of 21st century science, which must be strictly regulated."

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A tribute to Late Fr Francis Mascarenhas

Sir, The Examiner (Dec. 01-07, 2018) has paid apt tribute to the late Fr F. Mascarenhas. The contributors have comprehensively covered the multi-faceted personality of 'Fr Masca', as he was tenderly called.

I am happy to add my own tribute to Fr F. Mascarenhas:


Ensure good healthcare

Sir, With reference to Xavier Louis' letter titled 'Healthcare for the poor' in THE EXAMINER dated Dec. 1, health is wealth, and good healthcare must be ensured by blacklisting and closing down unhygienic, corrupt and inefficient hospitals after three warnings issued to them, and preventing them from being re-started under any new name.

Hospitals must review and modernise their management systems and treatment facilities every year.

In villages, communes must be set up to provide good and affordable medical healthcare. Affordable healthcare for financially weak patients must be provided through hospital donations for treatment and operations and by opening charitable clinics along with health camps. Different types of medical systems must be encouraged to help reduce medical expenses.