CBCI issues pastoral letter in face of threats to the community

February 2, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Praying for the GovernmentNew Delhi, January 30, 2015: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has issued a “pastoral letter” to all its dioceses urging followers to be steadfast in their faith and continue to uphold the secular democratic nature of India.

The letter, that came after incidents of ‘ghar wapsi’ (home coming) and attacks on minorities across the country, is to be translated in all languages and read out in Catholic churches.

In the letter, CBCI President Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said, “We are not fighting against any political party but for sacred ideals of our nation like freedom of religion, freedom of consciences, fundamental rights, and democracy as guaranteed by our noble Constitution”.

Listing a slew of measures to be adopted at the diocesan and parish level to help the laity keep faith in the face of such threats, the Cardinal urged the Prime Minister to “intervene urgently and take appropriate action to stop incidents that pose a big threat to the unity of this secular nation and put an end to the statements made by the responsible persons in the central ministry and of the party”.

The letter points out that Christianity has its roots in India for almost 2,000 years and asserts that the “recent controversies in the name of religious reconversions portray a negative image of India”.

The Cardinal has also sought to draw a distinction between “conversions of a religious nature” and ‘ghar wapsi’. While the former is an exercise of one’s free will and a fundamental right, ‘ghar wapsi’, according to him, is “a political process carried out by the powerful exponents of religious nationalism – much against the principle of secularism.’

– the hindu

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