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Minority rights should not be frittered away

Oct. 18, 2017

Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal Oswald says though it is not yet a crisis, recent events have triggered serious anxiety

Stating that there was a sense of anxiousness among the minorities today in India, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay and a member of the nine-member Council of Cardinals that assists the Pope in governance, said that the rights of the minorities should not be in any way frittered away.

Speaking to the media after inaugurating the 31st annual conference of the Canon Law Society of India (CLSI) here on Monday, he said, “It is not a crisis situation. However, the anxiety is a serious anxiety because of certain recent events.”

Highlighting that India was ruled by the Constitution, which ensures certain rights for the minorities, he said that the richness of the country was in the variety of its culture and it was important to not lose this richness.

“The minorities have their own natural contributions to make to the country and this should be facilitated and protected,” he said.

On alleged discrimination faced by Dalits within the church, Cardinal Oswald Gracias said that the Church was taking firm measures to eradicate all forms of internal discrimination. “I certainly admit that Dalits have not been given their rightful due. We cannot close our eyes to the problem and that is why the Church came up with a policy, which includes measures to give more opportunities to Dalits through reservation,” he said.

Focus of meet

Stating that though the Church was clear that there should be no discrimination, he said that society, however, could not be changed through policies and laws alone, but by facilitating change of mindset and attitude among the people as well. He said the CLSI conference would focus on bringing changes in procedures and policies of the Church to ensure accountability and transparency in terms of how its properties and finances were managed so that maximum benefits reached the poor and the marginalised.

Antony Pappusamy, Archbishop of Madurai Archdiocese; Rayappa, president, CLSI; and John Mendonca, secretary, CLSI, were also present on the occasion.

A total of 128 participants from 200 dioceses in India are participating in the conference, which ends on Friday.

Source : The Hindu

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