The Catholic Church of Kerala has decided to be “watched” in its official communications and religious sermons in the future to ensure that their words do not cause pain to other communities and their faith or create pain. unease in society, a senior Church official said on Thursday.
The important decision, seeking to end the controversy over the recent “Love and Narcotic Jihad” remarks made by a bishop, was taken at the meeting of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) held on Wednesday in Kochi.
In an interaction with the PTI, a Church official also said that the Church will continue to fulfill its “prophetic responsibility” to deal with all manner of social ills.
However, the statements, speeches and reactions of the church and its leaders on such matters will only be presented to the public after formal study and discussion at its appropriate forum.
“In the future, our statements, speeches and responses will be kept. We will be very careful because we do not want to hurt the feelings of other communities. The Church is always synonymous with opening up and strengthening the secular fabric of society in enriching community harmony, ”the official said in his first of those interactions after the bishop’s remarks rocked the state.
A revelation for the Church
The KCBC observed that the recent controversy over the “love and narcotic jihad” remarks made by the bishop of the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar church was an “opening of the eyes” for the church because it was “wrong. interpreted “by some of the media. and politicians for serving their “narrow political and business interests” causing “pain and anguish” among members of another community, he said.
After their meeting on Wednesday, the KCBC, which includes the bishops of the Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya Catholic and Latin Catholic churches, issued a statement saying that the social ills reported by the church require further study and serious investigation instead of giving it a “different shade” and diverting it in other directions.
Choosing not to use controversial terminologies like narcotic jihad or jihad of love in its statement, the council said it rejects all forms of unison interpretations, undermining religious harmony and weakening healthy coexistence in society by mischievously distorting the warnings of the pastors of this church.
“The KCBC disapproves of any covert attempt to show that there is disunity among the Churches. The fundamental values of truth, love and justice, which the Catholic Church upholds, form the basis of all interfaith dialogue and of harmony between religions, ”he added. had said in the press release.
Destroy the youth
Speaking recently to lay people in Kuravilangad near Kottayam, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of the Diocese of Pala said Christian girls were the prey of what he claimed to be “love and narcotic jihad” in Kerala and that wherever weapons cannot be used, extremists used such methods to destroy the youth.
The comment had resulted in a verbal duel and a blame game between the main political parties – CPI (M), BJP and Congress – in the state.
Congress, which criticized the bishop for his comments and the BJP, which supported the bishop’s comments, attacked the left-wing government and the chief minister for their silence on the issue.
Subsequently, on September 21, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan categorically rejected the bishop’s comments, saying the southern state was solid ground for secularism and society would take a firm stand against it. those who try to upset him.
The KCBC stated that the Catholic Church of Kerala works for the peaceful coexistence and harmony of religions and for the cultural development of the state society through its various education and health services, as a social and charitable actions.
The KCBC said it still wants secularism and religious harmony and is committed to working for the same.