Church needs to take proactive stand in current crises


By Matters India Reporter

Chennai: “It is time we ponder on a proactive stand on our religious life: it is relevance and need for people and Church today,” said Capuchin Father Nithiya Sagayam, human rights activist and retreat preacher.

Speaking to Matters India, in the backdrop of latest sex scandals in India and other parts of India, Father Sagayam said, “Review of our institutional functioning- purpose and effect is a must. Formation to the priesthood and religious life – preparing to face challenges or preparing for comfort zones has to be done carefully. The ongoing formation of priests, brothers and sisters -critical evaluation of personal mission in life and its effectiveness has to be planned.”

The centering on Gospel commitment against an excess focus on intellectualism based promotions is to be checked, said Father Sagayam, former secretary of Office of Human Development (OHD) of the Federation of the Asian Bishops Conferences.

The church needs to focus on personal mission-based commitment against preparation for running institutions, he added.

“We have to focus on spirituality against ritualism. Centering on God experience, the life of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit against excessive focus on increasing pious practices with the direct connection to the economy can be sacrificed,” the priest said.

Becoming actually Church of the poor by life and ministry rather than the present manifestation of being the money centers is to be seen.

Taking the radical option for the poorest and the marginalized (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe, who form 70% of Indian Christians) rather than becoming caste-based, power based and Rite based in fights and competitions is must, he said.

“When will we ever change?” he asked.

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3 thoughts on “Church needs to take proactive stand in current crises

  1. It is fine.. one member of CRI came out…. where were the CRI members till fire consumed Indian church’s heritage..They used to be fond in bigg gatherings, traveling in flights and AC tickets in train, spending money in congregations as for the apostles of new India….in the name of coordinating the Catholic Church in India. Very sad…. The mess religious congregations and monatries creating in India

    We have sufficiently criticised CBCI as the weakest organisation in India…. But I cut and paste from Cbci site….whose role is this to tackle problems like in Jalandhar occurs.

    “Though the CRI is a conference of Major Superiors, it is perceived as a body of 1,15,000 religious leaders spread all over the country, and involved in the lives of every group of people.”

    “The Regional and Local levels were strengthened, with structures and specific objectives, aimed at making the CRI an instrument capable of responding more precisely to the needs of the Religious, of the Christian community and of society as a whole.”

    “Major Superiors can usefully meet together in conferences and councils, so that by combined effort they may work to achieve more fully the purpose ofeach institute, while respecting the autonomy, nature and spirit of each. They can also deal with affairs which are common to all, and work to establish suitable coordination and cooperation with Episcopal conferences and individual Bishops”. (Canon 708)

    Actually bishops should have posed the question to CRI national, regional and local team to tackle its issues… But the real problem is nothing but bishops are handicaps in dealing Organisations like CRI… It is the conflict within the church power systems… And unnessary subordination of bishops on CRI on their plight in dealing diocesan issues personally.

  2. I am given to understand that a Capuchin priest editor, under pain of Obedience, has had his editorial freedom curtailed. He is not allowed to take the pro-active stand that this report talks of. It would therefore be good if these Capuchins first stood up for their own brother under threat before preaching to others.

  3. The edifice of the Indian Catholic Church is built on the poor will certainly crumble when the Church does not consider seriously the plight of the poor. The real challenge to the Church is to keep away running the institutions to accumulate wealth and riches and move towards the poor and the marginalised in terms of sharing their resources and attend to the needs of the poor. Let freedom, fellowship and Justice taught by Jesus be the motivating force for the Priests, nuns and other religious of the Indian Catholic Church.

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