Religious form inclusive lawyers’ forum

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Delhi, January 30, 2017: Lawyers among Catholic priests, nuns and brothers have formed a single forum to help accelerate what they called their “prophetic call” to work for justice among the poor.

Some 30 women and men religious as well as some diocesan priest lawyers who came together at Jana Deepa Vidyapeet in Pune Jan. 13-15 to reflect on their mission found it necessary to have a forum that include them all.

The church-run rights group Streevani & Montfort Social Institute brought the lawyers together.

Advocate Flavia Agnes addressing the gathering said she took up law “to bring about social transformation” inspired by Bible, which says: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brother/sister, you do it to me.”

She said people “live in cultural and religious spaces, especially women, so rights can be exercised within a complex rights based system only when we engage with all these spaces.”

Layer priests M.T. Joseph P.D. Mathew stressed how to use the Constitution to enforce equality and rights.

Brother Varghese Thecknath psoke about the importance of using international human rights instruments ratified by India in the pursuit of justice.

Father P.D. Mathew pointed out that Public Interest Litigations (PILs) are rooted in the prophetic vision and Mission of Jesus. “We need to conceive Jesus in our hearts and minds and deliver him to the masses.”

He also stressed the need to building a network to strengthen the network. He also cautioned about using the right language in our quest for human rights. “Always say you are helping the government to implement rights of poor.”

The sharing of stories from the field, by the participants, was strikingly similar. Many shared how they were drawn into law because they were touched by the dire need of the poor, the marginalized, violence to women, the dispossessed and the prisoner.

It reinforced the need for building solidarity among lawyers who are nuns, brother and priests. “We felt that we had much to learn and share with each other for solidarity and support,” said Holy Spirit Sister Julie George of Streevani.

– ucan

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