The root of the problem is our failure to understand the call of Christ to be prophets. “I have chosen you to be a prophet to the nations.” A prophet is the conscience of society. The horizon of prophetic mission is unlimited. Wherever human life is oppressed or justice is denied, a disciple of Christ has to speak and act without bothering about the consequences.Unfortunately Church in India has not acted as prophet. It has taken the shortcut of being a welfare agency. The institutional interest and fear have always made the Church leadership to remain silent on injustices happening in the Indian society. The priests and nuns are trained to engage in charity and routine social works.Whenever government tried to control the Church institutions, bishops had asked priests, nuns and lay people to come to the streets to protest and shout slogans. The same hierarchy forbids when people to act as prophets and protest against injustice and oppression inflicted by someone in the Church leadership.Now when he joined the struggle of the oppressed nuns for justice against a bishop, they want to control and silence him. If the Church leadership is afraid of being prophetic it should be happy and proud that a priest is living true to his vocation.Labelling this authentic priest as part of terrorist groups and anti-Christian forces exposes the spiritual and intellectual impoverishment of those who try to control him.When the Church is plagued by scandals and public o
All religions including Christianity, interpret age old religious beliefs and traditions on par with faith. This is the sad unfortunate and faithless situation existing in our religions. Faith is a pure gift of God, whereas religious beliefs and traditions are invented and created by the Holy men and religious leaders to love and live in faith in our daily living. Therefore, faith is a fearless search for the truth i.e. God.Unless the age old religious beliefs and traditions advocate liberty, equality, fraternity among people irrespective of caste, class, creed and gender as enshrined in our Indian constitution, how can they help us to live in faith? When the Supreme Court interprets religious beliefs to fall in line with our constitutional equality, the religious leaders including their devotees bluntly oppose the same. It is clear indication that so called Holy men, religious leaders including their devotees are neither interested in faith nor bothered about God.Are our Christian Catholic people convinced that Jesus Christ the universal saviour of human kind came to establish a society of liberty, equality and fraternity filled with compassion and unconditional love for our fellow human beings in this world through the instrumentality of the Holy Mother Church?Canute Barboza, St Antony Church, Kandlur
The Message of Pope Francis for ‘World Mission Day 2018’ is addressed to the youth, in a major way. It is characteristically titled ‘Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all.’ He speaks to the young people in a direct language and along with them and through them speaks to the entire Catholic Christian community. His message spills over Catholic and Christian boundaries and addresses the entire human society, too. Certainly, the focus of the message is young people, but the spirit of the message is ‘youthfulness’ in faith and mission and the application of the message is Catholic, Christian and all human communities across the world, in a progressive manner.His message, obviously, has two core purposes - one, ‘motivating young people towards a mission in life’ and two, ‘making the entire Christian community youthful through young people.’ The ‘bonus effect’ of the twin-purpose is that ‘Christian faith remains ever young.’More often than not, mission is understood to be a certain task performed, of course within life, but other than life proper. Pope Francis has a brilliant definition of mission. He states ‘life is a mission.’ In other words, rather than ‘I have a mission in life,’ it is ‘I am a mission on this earth,’ so profound an insight! Quoting Evangelii Gaudium, 273, he asserts ‘that is the reason why I am here in this world.’ In yet other words, ‘every man and woman is a mission.’ One has to inca
Kudos to Pakistans Supreme Court verdict against the death sentence of a Christian woman who was convicted under the ‘blasphemy law’ in the year 2010. The law violates freedom of religion and expression in faith which is the fundamental right of a citizen. it is against the universal declaration of human rights.Therefore the UN must act against such draconian laws still existing in Islamic countries. Prophet Muhammed taught that “Have compassion on those who live on earth and He who is in heaven will have compassion on you.”
Thomas Mulackel, Bengaluru
It is good to have native bishops, but I am afraid that without real spiritual and theological empowerment of the native laity we will have more problems. This is what happens in politics. Every politician promises to give acche din to people, but ends up only in grabbing as much as he can. Even the poor and the needy are not spared. Politicians can do this because they know that most of our people are not adequately educated and motivated for an effective democracy that places the good of the nation above the gains of individuals and of the party.Our good missionaries have managed to make many ‘converts.’ But sacramentalization does not necessarily lead to evangelization. In Baptism there is no transubstantiation. The convert remains what he is. The Roman Emperor Constantine too is reported to have been ‘converted.’ As a result, crowds flocked into the Church. The once persecuted Church overnight became the persecuting Church. The bishops and archbishops became ‘lord’ and ‘archlords’! That was the starting point of the dechristianization of the Church.Only when we empower our laity theologically and spiritually will we have a healthy balance in the Church. Otherwise, claiming that we have been especially chosen and consecrated, priests and bishops will continue to do what they wish to do, even if what they do is against the values of the Gospel. Even in the Church of God we need a healthy opposition.