Goa, Oct. 7, 2018– The Goa Church has taken State’s Oldest English Newspaper Herald head-on for their news accusing Archbishop of playing role in selection of candidates for Legislative Assembly elections by terming the report as “blatantly false allegations.”
Herald Review had carried the article “GOA’S BJP: the hand rocked their cradle ruined their world’ in which they had claimed that Archbishop had hand in deciding electoral politics in the State.
“Such a wild and baseless accusation could come only from elements whose main interest seems to be to mislead, induce suspicion and vitiate the communal harmony existing in the State,” Fr Olavo Caiado, the Church spokesman said.
“We would sincerely welcome any factual evidence about any such consultations having ever taken place in post-Liberation Goa to decide on Catholic candidates for any political party at the time of elections,” he said.
“At such time, it has been a long standing practice in this Archdiocese to issue an Advisory to the Catholic faithful, urging them, first and foremost, not to refrain from exercising their franchise and to do it with responsibility and according to one’s own conscience, but never even naming any political party or candidate,” he said.
“This advisory is released after a consultation process, strictly in accordance with the social teachings of the Church and the prevailing civil laws of the land.”
Fr Caiado said “no one should entertain illusions that Archbishop of Goa is in the business of deciding electoral politics in the State. The Catholic Church respects the individual freedom in the electoral choices of its faithful in civic and political affairs,” he said.
“In doing so, it draws exclusively from its own Code of Canon Law, the various exhortations and letters of the Popes and the statutory provisions of the Indian Constitution and other relevant prevailing laws in force,” he said.
The Father has said “in future, the Church view may please be taken before publication of such defamatory and malicious matter.” “The Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media will be most pleased to offer the view of the Church on such matters,” he added.