Out Of Tune With Church Teachings
THIS is with reference to the news report ‘BJP complains to CEO against priest’s hate speech’ (NT, April 15, 2019). The views expressed by the parish priest of a church in Goa are simply shocking and are not in consonance with the teachings of the Church which has always taught and continues to teach that God is an ever-loving, compassionate and merciful God who is ever ready to forgive sinners. The views expressed by the priest in question can therefore be dismissed as his personal views. We have already received the Church’s guidelines on voting and need no further. The ways of God are also beyond the understanding of mortals like us and it is therefore not right to pass judgement or question as to why even holy persons have been stricken with calamities and incurable diseases, while the wicked continue to prosper. The Wisdom Book of Job is a classic example of how an upright and blameless man like Job was made to suffer for no fault of his. Do we have answers for God’s actions? During this holy week especially, let us resolve to eschew all acts of violence and communal hatred and live in peace and harmony with people of other religions. Otherwise, our preaching and teaching are in vain.
A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM
Pope’s Gesture Of Humility
BREAKING with protocol, Pope Francis suddenly bent down and kissed the feet of South Sudan’s previously warring leaders, who were attending a two-day spiritual retreat at the Vatican. With the help of his aides, the ageing pontiff first kissed the feet of President Salva Kiir and then the feet of his deputy Rief Machar and another Vice-President in turn. He begged the leaders to maintain peace and move forward. South Sudan gained Independence in 2011, but ever since was ravaged by political strife and successive famines. At the instance of the Archbishop of Canterbury they attended a spiritual retreat at the residence of the Holy Father in the Vatican. The incident took everyone by surprise but with Maundy Thursday just a few days away, I believe that this was yet another one of the Holy Father’s meaningful ways of commemorating the washing and kissing of feet at the Last Supper. As a crusader for world peace, the gesture of humility and love for humanity makes the Holy Father a strong contender for the Nobel Peace Prize (to be announced at the end of the year). It will bring honor to the Prize.
ROBERT CASTELLINO, MUMBAI