Catholic priest's anti-BJP speech stirs hornet's nest

A senior Catholic priest in Goa has been caught in a controversy, after two video clips of his sermons where he refers to BJP national president Amit Shah a "demon" and says that late chief minister Manohar Parrikar's affliction of cancer is a "wrath of God" have gone viral. 

In the videos, Fr. Conceicao D'Silva was seen urging his parishioners not to vote for the BJP, for the atrocities allegedly committed on minorities by the party's leaders in Gujarat. 

While the state BJP has filed a complaint with the Election Commission against D'Silva on Sunday, the Bishop's House in Goa, which serves as the official Secretariat for Church-related matters in Goa has said that its officials are verifying the matter. 

In its complaint filed before the ECI, the BJP has said, that D'Silva's "hate speech" at the Church premises — the location of which is yet unidentified — was aimed at fanning communal trouble during the poll season.

"This matter needs a thorough investigation and the said priest must be booked for spreading hate and destabilising religious harmony," BJP's complaint reads, while accusing D'Silva of trying to create "an atmosphere of hate and fear against a particular political party and a specific religion".  Catholics account for more than one-fourth of the state's 1.5 million population.

In the video, D'Silva is heard complaining about how Parrikar as Chief Minister did not pay heed to civil society voices opposing coal pollution emanating from Goa's only major port.

"...but Parrikar did not pay heed. His pockets were filled. Therefore God gave him cancer. Whether you are PM or PM's father, those who cross the path of God invariably face his wrath. One can never miss punishment," D'Silva says in the video.

In another video, he is also heard saying that BJP harasses the minority communities and refers to the party's national president as a "demon". 

When asked for a comment, secretary to Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, Fr. Loiola Pereira said that the "people at the Bishop's House have been informed" about the video.

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Catholic priest's anti-BJP speech stirs hornet's nest

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