Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: Christianity

Christianity has no caste

Christianity preaches fatherhood of God, brotherhood of men and equality of people. No one is high or low. It has no caste. Practice of caste system is unchristian. Every Christian should know that, more so bishops.

Demanding Scheduled Caste Status for a section of Christians who are called Dalit Christians is against Christianity. Some were on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar on 25-28/7/2011. Cardinal Oswald Gracias led a march from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar and many bishops, priests, nuns and people participated in it. Bishops leading such a demand is reprehensible and an abomination in the sight of God. Justice Ranganath Misra Commission report is immaterial. What is CBCI doing? Have they forgotten Christ’s teachings? Christ wanted his disciples to be the light of the world. He said “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men.” He had warned against light turning into darkness. He said “If light turns into darkness how dark darkness will be.” What is the Pro-Nuncio doing? He should have reprimanded the bishops. Caste system is not something that needs to be imbibed. It is a cancer that needs to be eradicated. Robert De Nobili and people like him were wrong.

Equality is the birthright of every Christian and those who want Scheduled Caste Status for some benefits are like Esau who sold his birthright for red pottage.

Reservations on the basis of caste divide people and perpetuate injustice. CBCI should demand abolition of reservations on the basis of caste. It should not demand SC or OBC status for Christians. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is neither charity nor justice. Religious and linguistic minorities have right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. Christian educational institutions can empower Christians who are disadvantaged by educating them and making them get suitable employment.

There are enough divisions among Christians and let us not add to them.

Ohio bishops and death penalty

Sometime back California bishops had opposed death penalty. Now Ohio bishops oppose death penalty.

Do Ohio bishops want Ohio to end up like Mexico? Why bishops ignore the dangers of not having death penalty? The bishops have eyes but they do not see. They have ears but do not hear. Death penalty is according to the tradition of the church. Christianity is not opposed to death penalty.

Pope Benedict XVI may be opposed to death penalty but sometimes popes have been wrong. One pope was declared a heretic in 681.

Justice is a virtue. Justice demands suitable punishment for crimes. In some cases it is death penalty.

Prudence is a virtue. Allowing dangerous criminals to live is not prudent.

The church is opposed to abortion. Ohio bishops can direct their zeal and energy to have a legislation that will punish parents and doctors who abort foetuses who have resulted from marital acts and there is no danger to mother’s life. There is excommunication for abortion but that has not been effective. Prayers and vigils in defence of unborn are not enough.

The bishops can also try for gun control in USA. They can ask for repeal of second amendment. That will make it hard to own guns and reduce murders. In USA it is easy to buy guns in spite of several checks and then go and shoot anyone anywhere. There are vested interests who oppose gun control. What are bishops for if they can not take on vested interests?

Mount Infant

Christianity is a monotheistic religion and forbids prayers to mountains. It is inappropriate to say “We pray to you Mount Infant” or “We thank you Mount Infant”.

During mass the prayers are to God the Father through Christ and Holy Spirit. During novenas of saints or while reciting their litanies, the saints are asked to pray for us. During novenas of Infant Jesus it may be said “We pray to you Infant Jesus” or “We thank you Infant Jesus”.

Infant Jesus Church, Evershine City, Vasai (East), has its parish feast on the second Sunday of February and uses the prayer with words “We pray to you Mount Infant” or “We thank you Mount Infant”. I understand the prayer was said in a church in Goa. I do not know whether the book having the prayer got the Imprimatur, permission of the bishop to publish the book, in case of Goa from the Archbishop of Goa and Patriarch of East Indies, and if so how. In Vasai the prayer book was first used when Msgr. Francis Correa was the parish priest and continues after his transfer. Fr. Raymond Pereira succeeded him.

Infant Jesus Church functions from temporary structure. Construction of church building was to begin at the end of 2008. It was time of depression. Construction would have cost less. Parish Council by majority had approved a plan. One Sunday at the end of mass after reading the announcements Bernard Daniels spoke. He said it was he who had objected to the plan. Our parish is growing and we need a bigger church.

That was the last time Bernard Daniels read the announcements. Next Sunday in the announcements it was read that those who were asked to read should read what was given. No one was to go beyond what was given to read and be a law unto himself.

The matter went to His Lordship Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai. He appointed a committee. When the committee gave the report about the structure of the church he had become Bishop of Poona and Apostolic Administrator of Vasai. He said “No peace, no church”. Archbishop Felix Machado became Bishop of Vasai. No progress on church work.

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