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 decision, aimed at putting an end to the controversy over a recent bishop’s “love and narcotic jihad” remarks, was taken at the meeting of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) which took place. held 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 fight against 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 proper 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 always defends the openness and strengthening of the secular fabric of society by enriching community harmony, ”said the official during his first interaction after the bishop’s remarks rocked the state.
The KCBC observed that the recent controversy over the remarks of “love and narcotic jihad” made by the bishop of the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church has been an “opening of the eyes” for the Church. was “misinterpreted” by one section 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 united in rejecting all forms of interpretations that undermine religious harmony and weaken religious harmony. healthy coexistence in society by maliciously distorting the warnings of the pastors of this church.
“KCBC does not approve of any covert attempt to show that there is disunity among churches. The fundamental values of truth, love and justice, which the Catholic Church defends, constitute the basis of all interreligious dialogue and of harmony between religions, ”he declared in the press release.
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, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on September 21 rejected comments made by the bishop, saying that the southern state is solid ground for secularism and that society would take a firm stand against those who attempt 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 society in the State, through its various services in the field of education and health, as well as social and charitable activities. Actions.
The KCBC said it still wants secularism and religious harmony and is committed to working for the same.