Magazine asks India to derecognize Vatican

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi, Feb. 7, 2019: An Indian magazine has asked the federal government to derecognize the Vatican as a state for the Church’s alleged interference in the country’s politics.

Church’s political interference should make Indian government sit up and formally take note, says an article published on February 4.

The Indian government “must either issue a cease and desist demarche to the Vatican’s representative in Delhi, or derecognize the Vatican as a state altogether. No country is bound to recognize any religious organization as a state with sovereign rights in a secular world,” says the article.

The magazine accuses the Church leaders of asking their people to vote against the National Democratic Alliance led by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“They have thus pitched their tents fully in the opposition camp. This happened in December 2018, when a bunch of bishops, pastors and priests from many south Indian churches promised support to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s M K Stalin,” it says.

“It is one thing for priests to articulate their own personal political preferences in private, quite another to misuse the pulpit to influence elections formally,” adds the article by Ragannathan, the magazine’s editorial director.

While it justifies similar interference by various Indian religious leaders, it opposes the Church leaders “meddling” because of their allegiance to the Vatican, a state represented by an ambassador in India.

“And all cardinals and bishops are appointed by the Vatican. This implies that an outside state is appointing multiple ambassadors under the guise of practicing religious freedom, when they are really trying to influence politics in India. This is unacceptable in a secular state,” it asserts.

The article also refers to the Vatican-China agreement in September 2018 where the Holy See agreed to accept all bishops appointed by China as legal. Future appointments will now involve both parties having to agree to the names, it adds.

“What this implies is that the Chinese have formally recognized the Vatican as a state, and the Vatican has accepted that what it does in China must have the concurrence of the Chinese state. It is a state-to-state deal.”

The article also accuses the Indian Churches of “feeding” stories against the BJP to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) that it says has appropriated to itself the role of the supervisor of religious freedom around the world.

“If the Indian government has any self-respect, it should send the Vatican packing and downgrade the embassy to a mere representative office of the Pope. A Christian version of the Shankaracharya deserves to be treated with respect, but not the kind of respect due to a head of state,” the article concludes.

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2 thoughts on “Magazine asks India to derecognize Vatican

  1. What is the need for getting angry with the magazine and abusing the editor? Instead, all Catholics (including the clergy) must do a SINCERE INTROSPECTION.

    1) Why do you call yourselves as ROMAN CATHOLICS, although you are born and brought up in India?
    2) Who has prescribed the Sacraments, various rituals and the connected prayers? Is it not Rome?
    3) Who has dictated the “paraphernalia” (the clerical dress, different types and colours of vestments used during liturgical celebrations)? Is it not Rome?
    4) What about the teachings of the second Vatican Council which encouraged meaningful ways of liturgical celebrations according to the local language and culture? Why there is “blind following” of the clerical dress and liturgical vestments that do not make any sense to Indian Culture?
    5) Who appoints Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops and decide on their transfers? Is it not Rome?
    6) Priests are selected by the local dioceses/religious congregations. When they wish to leave, then, they need to apply to ROME?
    7) It is the same case with the women congregations that have become “Pontifical”. The exit of a nun after the final profession needs the approval from ROME.
    8) Why do most of the religious congregations (men and women) have their Generalates in ROME?
    9) Do you not consider Rome as the Centre of Christianity?
    10) Do you not accept the Pope (who resides in Rome) as the supreme head of the Catholic Church?

    The list can go on endlessly to prove that Vatican rules over Catholics and Clergies. That is the reason wherever (in whichever country) Catholics live, they are proud or made to say that they are ROMAN CATHOLICS.

    The ROMAN CATHOLICS (including the clergy) living in INDIA must examine their mindsets, way of life, attitude and behaviour. They will realize that they are slaves of Vatican. So please try to understand what the people of other religions have to say about you. Listen to them with open-mind, correct yourselves and lead a meaningful life.

  2. The magazine’s insinuations apart, I have consistently held that Vatican representatives should be religious heads only and not have diplomatic status. It will reduce the animosity and jealousy.

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