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'Constitution is in Danger, Human Rights Under Attack': Goa Archbishop

The Archbishop has also called for the participation of Catholics and Church communities in politics and social causes.


Updated:June 5, 2018, 7:13 PM IST
New Delhi: The archbishop of Goa and Daman has shot off a letter saying that the Constitution is in danger and most of the people are living with a feeling of insecurity.

In the letter, Filipe Neri Ferrao urged the people to know the Constitution better and work hard to protect its values, including freedom to practice one's religion.

The letter is addressed to Christians in the archdiocese of Goa and Daman.

"Today, our Constitution is in danger (and that is) the reason why most of the people are living in insecurity. In this context, particularly as the general elections are fast approaching, we must strive to know our constitution better and work harder to protect it," the archbishop wrote.

"In recent times, we see a new trend emerging in our country, which demands uniformity in what and how we eat, dress, live and even worship: a kind of mono-culturalism. Human rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril," it added.

The letter further added that various minorities fear for their safety and in the name of development people are being uprooted from their land and homes.

"The first victim of development is the poor person. It is easier to trample upon the rights of the poor because those who will raise their voice for them are very few," the letter further read.

The Archbishop has also called for the participation of Catholics and Church communities in politics and social causes.

Downplaying the comments, secretary of Goa Archbishop said the statement has been taken out of context.

"We release pastor letters every year, this time somehow statements have been taken out of context and issue is created. Letter is on your website you must read it to understand context," said Secretary of Goa Archbishop.

Archbishop Ferrao's letter comes a week after Delhi archbishop Anil Couto, in a letter dated May 8, had called for a prayer campaign beginning May 13 in the face of “turbulent political atmosphere threatening democracy and secularism” before general elections next year.

The letter also contained a prayer to be read at Sunday masses.

Reacting to the letter, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “The Prime Minister is working towards inclusive growth without discriminating while breaking barriers of religion and caste. We can only ask them to think with progressive mindset.”

Reverend Couto, however, denied any political motive to the letter.

(With agency inputs)
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