The statement made by Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church that non-Muslim boys and girls are increasingly becoming the victims of Narcotics Jihad along with Love Jihad in Kerala has created quite a flutter amongst the missionaries. The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) held a meeting in Kochi on Wednesday, September 29, in which it decided to ‘guard its official communications and religious sermons in future, reports Outlook.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) includes bishops of Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya Catholic and Latin Catholic churches.
In an interaction with PTI, a Church official said the Church will continue to do its ‘prophetic responsibility’ but would henceforth present its statements, speeches and reactions before the public only after proper discussions and research at its appropriate forum.
“In future, our statements, speeches and responses will be guarded. We will be very cautious as we do not want to hurt the sentiments of other communities. The Church always stands for openness and strengthening the secular fabric of the society by enriching the communal harmony,” the official said.
It may be noted that this statement is the first-ever reaction since the Pala Bishop’s statement stoked a major controversy.
On September 9, OpIndia reported how Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, speaking at an event, stated that non-Muslim boys and girls are increasingly becoming the victims of Narcotics Jihad along with Love Jihad in the state. Going a step ahead, the Bishop added that there are specific groups operational in Kerala that are targeting non-Muslim youngsters and even providing assistance to carry out targeted exploitation of non-Muslim youth.
Meanwhile, the official further added that the statement made by Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt of the Pala diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, on the prevalence of Love Jihad and Narcotics Jihad in Kerala, was an eye-opener for the Church as it was “misinterpreted” by a section of media and politicians for serving their “narrow political and business interests”. This he said had hurt the sentiments of people of the other community (Muslim community).
The council condemned the use of ‘controversial’ terminologies like narcotic jihad or love jihad and said that it opposes in unity all sorts of interpretations that undermine religious harmony and degrade healthy co-existence in society by mischievously twisting the words of the church’s pastors.
“The KCBC disapproves of any covert attempts to show that there exists disunity among the Churches. The fundamental values of truth, love and justice, which the Catholic Church upholds, constitute the basis of all inter-religious dialogue and harmony among religions,” it had said in the communique.
Kerala Catholic Bishops Council has warned against Love Jihad
Interestingly, earlier, the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), had slammed the State and Union Government for turning a blind eye to the issue, and not conducting a proper probe into the case of “missing women and children”.
“The menacing rise of Love Jihad stands to imperil the communal harmony and peace in Kerala. It is a fact that Christian girls are being targeted by the love jihad in the state,” the Media Commission of the Syro Malabar Church, the Synod of the Church stated explicitly in the press release.