Church slams NCW remark on confession

Church slams NCW remark on confession

Picture for representation only

The Catholic Bishops Conference of India said that if the government imposed a ban on confession at churches as recommended by the National Commission for Women, it would be a direct infringement of freedom of religion.

The Church stepped up protests against the NCW's recommendation for the intervention of the government to abolish the practice of confession — a long-standing tradition in Christianity. The CBCI on Saturday asked the NCW to refrain from “dabbling in religious matters” as it “understands nothing” about such issues. The CBCI also said that the ban demanded by the NCW would be a direct infringement of the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

“There are very many issues concerning women that the commission should pay attention to empowerment of women, their capacity building, prevention of domestic violence, organising rescue systems, and so on, instead of dabbling in religious matters about which it understands nothing,” CBCI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias said.

The National Commission for Minorities also strongly opposed the NCW's recommendation, saying confession was an integral part of Christianity.

The statement of Cardinal Gracias, who is also the Archbishop of Bombay, was circulated by CBCI secretariat in New Delhi. He expressed shock over the NCW's demand “for a ban on the Christian Sacrament of Confession”.