‘Church's silence on threat to secularism will not be forgiven’: Sathyadeepam slams cardinal

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Kochi: The publication of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, Sathyadeepam, has once again taken a stance against church head Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry. In an article, the mouthpiece of the archdiocese strongly criticised Cardinal Alencherry's recent comment that Christians are safe in India under the union government. The article argued that the Cardinal's remark is a simplification of the ongoing attacks on Christian minorities in India, and pointed to events such as the Jantar Mandir protest on February 20 and the United Christian Forum's report of 598 atrocities against Christians in 2022 alone.

Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese is the biggest unit of the Syro-Malabar Church.

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The article also criticised church heads' justification of the RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar's book 'Bunch of Thoughts' (Vicharadhara), which portrays Christians, Muslims, and Communists as internal enemies of India. Believers are left wondering about the basis for the sudden change in the church leadership's ideology, it said. Furthermore, the article highlighted the Prime Minister's “criminal silence” in condemning the widespread mob attacks against Christians across the country, and the complicity of the church leadership by appeasing the PM at the Delhi Cathedral on Easter Sunday.

Satyadeepam issued a warning that the church will not be forgiven if it fails to fulfil its responsibility of speaking out about the dangers faced by democracy and secularism for trivial gains. The article emphasised the need for the All India Bishops' Committee to respond to Cardinal Alencherry's comments and urged the church to prioritise its duty to address these pressing issues.

Mar Joseph Pamplany, metropolitan archbishop of Tellicherry Archdiocese had said people have the maturity to understand the historical context of what is said in ‘Bunch of Thoughts’. He was reacting to critics of the alleged ‘BJP-Church alliance’ who quoted the book to claim that RSS sees Christians as enemies.

“I am not qualified to comment on ‘Vicharadhara’. But, there may be many people from several religions and ideologies who see Christians as adversaries. These are all things said in particular situations. The public is mature enough to understand those situations,” he told Mathrubhumi News.

The BJP is reaching out to church heads as part of its outreach programme to woo the minorities in the state.

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