Panaji: The Archbishop of Goa and Daman Father Filipe Neri Ferro has written a letter saying that the Constitution is in danger and a lot of people are living with a feeling of insecurity.
In the letter, the Archbishop has called upon upon the people to strive to know the Constitution and to protect it with values like secularism, freedom of speech and freedom to practise one’s religion.
The letter, issued in the beginning of Pastoral Year (June 1 to May 31), 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.
He said minorities fear for their safety and people are being uprooted from their lands and homes in the name of development. “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,” Filipe Neri Ferrao said in the letter.
The Archbishop has also called for the participation of Catholics and Church communities in politics and social causes.
“Our parishes and small Christian communities ought to be immersed in this mission of the Church. They should be open to the problems of the world. This social concern should not only remain within the confines of the parish community but should reach out to the whole state and country at large,” Ferrao said in the letter.
The Archbishop also expressed concern about malnutrition among children in the country.
Archbishop Ferrao’s letter comes a week after Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto had asked the Christian community to observe fast on Fridays and hold prayers for the nation’s sake.
The letter of Archbishop Anil Couto had set off a political controversy as it refers to a “turbulent political atmosphere” threatening democracy and secularism and urging all priests to “pray for the country” ahead of the 2019 national election.
Immediately after the Delhi Archbishop’s letter, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said India does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion or sect, and such things will never be allowed in the country.