Eradicating corruption Church’s top priority, say prelates

December 2, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

CorruptionUttar Pradesh, November 23, 2011: A regional bishops’conference has joined civil society groups in identifying corruption as an immediate challenge for the Church.

Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, who presided over a meeting last week of the Agra Regional Bishops’ Council and other groups, said opposition to corruption was fundamental to faith.

“If one is a true disciple of Jesus, one cannot but be against the very notion of corruption. Christian discipleship necessitates honesty, accountability and transparency.”

He urged participants to oppose corruption through the ballet box by electing honest politicians.

Fr Prakash said: “we must have the right of recall if politicians prove themselves corrupt or if they perform below par. Above all, we must constantly make them accountable for what they do and say in Parliament.

“Ultimately, we need to create active citizens’ vigilance committees to constantly monitor the progress of democratic institutions.”

For corruption is not only about taking money but also about our attitude of “indifference” towards corruption, he added.

Bishop Oswald Lewis of Jaipur diocese said corruption in society is rampant and Church personnel, being part of the society, are also involved in corrupt practices.

Bishop Raphy Manjaly of Varanasi diocese told the gathering that individuals inside or outside the Church should make sure first “their own house is in order” before working to eradicate corruption in society.

He said that not only should we make sure that there is accountability and transparency in our dealings but also create awareness through seminars, circulars and discussions about the scourge.

“We do realize that we are a minority in North India but we can always work in collaboration with other groups and agencies combating corruption,” said Fr. Jose Subhash, regional president of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand region (URU).

Sr. Rajani, Superior General of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Graces, said “We have to work to fight against corruption despite our limitations.”

Bishop Thomas Thuruthimattom of Gorakhpur diocese highlighted, “the Church in North India is trying to avoid all kinds of occasions of corruption and misuse of power, money and authority.

He said “as action plan we wish to conscientize all those who are associated with us in our schools and other institutions about this malpractice.”

The prelate said “we would like to collaborate with the people of goodwill to fight against corruption.”

The participants chalked out an action plan to be executed within a deadline to overcome the scourge.

– ucan

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