‘Constitution is in danger’, writes Goa’s archbishop, advises Catholics to play an ‘active role’ in politics

With 2019 general elections around the corner, it is not just millennials who have woken up with interest in politics. If reports are to be believed, archbishops across the country have suddenly realised Indian Constitution is in ‘danger’. In a latest pastoral letter to Catholics in Goa, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao said that there is a ‘new trend’ of mono-culturalism which demands uniformity in what and how one eats, dresses, lives and even worships, putting human rights at ‘risk’. He said that people are being uprooted from their lands in the name of development.

He further stated that human rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril and respect for law is on the decline in the country. Ferrao is the spiritual and religious leader of Catholics in Goa who account for 26% of state’s 1.5 million population.

This comes days after the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Delhi, Anil Couto, wrote to the Catholics in India to ‘pray for the nation’ so that a ‘new government’ comes to power in 2019. When former Congress leader Savio Rodrigues expressed his shock on the Catholic church’s biased propaganda, he was threatened and was even asked to issue a public apology.

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In recent times, the Church has been very active in Indian politics. Before the Gujrat elections, the Gandhinagar Archbishop sent a similar communique which urged the Christians to save the country from ‘nationalistic forces’. Before the Nagaland Assembly elections, the Nagaland Baptist Church Council had also urged the believers to choose between ‘Trishul and the Cross.’ Before the Goa elections, a Catholic magazine asked the voters in the state not to vote for the BJP and claimed that the country is facing a ‘constitutional holocaust’. Interestingly, recently Goa AAP leader had admitted that the Church in Goa has for decades interfered with politics of the state by using sermons to favour certain candidates. He had also urged the Church to now come out in the open and overtly back candidates.

The Supreme Court had laid down its verdict which tried to separate religion from electoral politics. It had said that either the candidate, or anyone on his behalf, should not demand votes based on religion, and this would be termed as a “corrupt practice”.

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