Discrimination on religious grounds is totally unjust: CBCI


“The Dalit Christian reservation issue should not be on the basis of religion but should be on the social-economic conditions of the person and the whole community as such,” The CBCI said.

“The CBCI has often discussed the Dalit Christian issue thread bare and was of the opinion that there should be no discrimination at all on religious grounds since a large number of such persons have been deprived of certain privileges which other reserved communities are enjoying,” Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat) Archbishop, Stanislaus Fernandes, secretary of CBCI, the apex body of Catholics in the country, told reporters.

On the overall management of educational institutions, accusations of collection of donations, run by Catholic Missionaries and performances, Archbishop Fernandes said it has brought out an education policy in year 2007 and seeks its implementation through Catholic Dioceses and Religious Congregations. “It totally reprehends any form of illegal donations and other malpractices,” he said.

On the issue of disrepute brought to the Christian Convent (Sacred Heart, Chandigarh), which had rusticated Ruchika Girhotra, the Archbishop said CBCI is not in a position to monitor individual educational institutions.

“This is clearly the responsibility of the Dioceses and Religious Congregations that run the institutions,” he said. When asked about gay marriages, the Church rejected the concept of same sex marriage.

On complicated divorce issue, where Church does not permit it, CBCI secretary general said that divorce of valid marriage is not accepted in the Catholic Church. “If such valid married Catholic couples divorce by going to the Civil Courts, the Church does not recognise the new marriage and certain penalties in conformity with the law of the Church may be imposed on them,” he said.

“Canon Law gives norms for Catholic community in what pertains to their religious life and beliefs and the administration of goods of the Church. It has competence and in no way goes contrary to the law of the land in whatever is morally right and just,” he said.

On short term and long term goals of CBCI, Archbishop said it brings Bishops of the country on a common platform to discuss the concerns and issues, problems and challenges that the Church in India and the nation as a whole face and to propose and execute appropriate action through its Secretariat and the various Commissions it has established and the national centres and institutions it runs.

“Serve the nation and especially the least of brethren in the different shperes of our competence through education and health care institutions, community development and social welfare programmes and projects and to built the nation where peace and harmony will prevail,” he added.

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