Letter to Cardinal Gracias

The Hindustan Times report dt 22/10/13

The Hindustan Times news report dated 22/10/13

Respected Cardinal Gracias,

I refer to a report in the Hindustan Times dt 22/10/13 captioned “Its congress over BJP for Jamiat Leader, Cardinal”.  The news report refers to you as one of the Pope’s chosen 8 advisors.

The report states that you recently met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and praised her policies, signs that minorities still view the grand old party favourably”  The report further states that you “met Sonia Gandhi” and appreciated the  key role played by her in caring for the poor and downtrodden.  He pledged support for the Congress -led UPA Government’s welfare programmes”.

This is a very disturbing report as you are the CBCI President, and in the Pope’s inner circle.  I do not know why you called on Sonia Gandhi and whether what is reported is correct.  If the report is correct then you have erred grievously in a politically surcharged atmosphere, by pledging the Catholic community’s support to a particular political party.  This is not the business of religious leaders.  If the  report is correct then you owe an apology to the community.  If, however , the report is incorrect then you need to issue an urgent clarification denying the newsreport.

As past National President of the All India Catholic Union (AICU) I wish to state that politics is the specific sphere of the laity, as clearly expressed in Vatican II documents.  The CBCI should actively support the AICU and its affiliated Catholic Associations, instead of trying to don all hats itself.

We are only too well aware that most political parties seek the support of caste and religious groupings, some blatantly and others covertly.  Unfortunately  your meeting with a political party chief, in a highly charged political atmosphere, that is assuming larger communal overtones, is not helping the cause of secularism in India.  The newsreport in question has already clubbed you with a Muslim religious leader.  This is just what the BJP is working for to cry “Foul”.

I therefore humbly request you, as CBCI President, to please refrain from political statements, and leave political affairs to the laity.

Yours respectfully,
Former National President, AICU



Filed under AICU, Cardinal Gracias, chhotebhai

7 responses to “Letter to Cardinal Gracias

  1. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    I personally feel that there is absolutly nothing wrong in the meeting that Cardinal Gracias had with Mrs.Soniaji .A religious leader meeting a high-profile political leader could have so many implications.After everybody knows the real vote-bank of the Congress is the Catholic community.
    These days when Corruption is the ORDER of the day the choice is JUST WHO IS LESS CORRUPT and WHO IS MORE COMMUNAL HARMONY ORIENTED.
    It is high time that Christianity entered into active politics………….openly instead of it’s present back-door access and influence..

  2. Cardinal Oswald Gracias and many of the clergy at Mumbai are making a grave mistake in mixing religion and politics.This is a explosive cocktail that could blast into his face and that of community,should the party he does not supports comes to power.

  3. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    A perfect blend of Religion and Politics can work wonders. Times have changed .Corruption at all levels makes it mandatory for the influence of Religion over politics today.Why not give a try ?

  4. Francis S. Lobo

    Dear Chhotebhai,
    Thank you very much for your letter to Cardinal. The biggest threat the Indian Church is facing here today is the Hinduisation of the Catholic Church, Liturgical abuses, OM chanting, Ashram culture, Yoga and many other occult practices within the Church. Bishops and Cardinals did nothing to correct it. Instead they sweep issues under the carpet.

    On 06th November 2013, in Chennai, a City Civil Court has granted a permanent injunction restraining Roman Catholic Bishops and priests from using a Tamil translation of the Missal 1993, the liturgical book, in churches under their jurisdiction. “Judge terms the translation as improper, incorrect, illegal and unbiblical”. We also need to raise a voice against the liturgical abuses in the Church.

    Can’t follow 1993 version of Tamil Missal as court says it is unbiblical

    Court restrains bishops from using liturgy book

    Tamil version of Catholic prayer book banned

    Court bans altered Tamil Missal

  5. Chotebhai’s efforts are appreciated. Cardinal has no right to endorse like that. I believe Fr Tomy Kuruvilla better go back to the seminary once again.
    “Choosing the less corrupt!!! is that what you preach!!! If Jesus were doing that HE wouldn’t have been crucified, would HE be?? So D/Rev Tomy your overt zeal to support Cardinal for petty ulterior reasons better be put aside. Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent…
    Francis Lobo, spare your voice to raise against the discrimination, injustice and atrocities committed by the hierarchy against the innocent laity…have you ever given a thought to Sr. Abhaya’s death. How many unlike her have been suffering at the corners of the catholic church? How much caste politics are being played by the clergy and nuns? You are talking about the liturgy!!!
    Thank you

    • With all respects for your personal view let me state again , “a day will come sooner than late when you will have to eat your words”.
      Let us wait for it patiently.May be you have to read beyond the lines to understand what I really meant by the” active influence of the MODERN CHURCH” in politics today. Go through the scripture with a little more of patience and read in between the literary script you will know the real involvement of Jesus in the the politics of those days.Bye!

  6. Only one of them speaks in these tongues.

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