Saturday, March 28, 2009

“Straight From Heart” a biography of Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil

A biography of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church is creating shock waves in political and religious circle in Kerala. As expected, “secular” national media has underplayed this biography.

Cardinal in his biography has some good words for BJP. He says -

'The commendable thing about the party is that they want to preserve the good aspects of Indian culture like modesty of women and promoting certain moral values, for which they would opt for stricter media censorship. For them religion is very important and they support democracy and human rights.
Besides protecting ancient culture and heritage of India, like Vedas, Upanishads and the great philosophical teachings to the six systems of Indian philosophy, BJP respects, preserves and promotes knowledge of Sanskrit and Ayurveda.'
The party is a 'great defender of our many achievements of the past'.

The worst criticism was reserved for CPM whom he called a ‘‘greater threat than BJP’’. The book says:

'The Marxist fundamentalism is a greater threat than the religious fundamentalism of the BJP. The Navy, the Army and the Air Force will come under their complete control. We can reasonably expect that what happened in China under Mao will happen in India under their rule.'

'Where is the logic of democracy if they are convinced atheists? But if they are atheists against their conscience and belief, then they are not true to themselves. Convinced atheists cannot be democratic. Democracy is based on respect for the individual and on the rule 'of the people, by the people, for the people,'

The Marxist party will use all kinds of tactics to strengthen itself in places where it is in power. That they will do throughout India once they get to power at the Centre, will be no different from Mao or Stalin

Catholic church also came in for very harsh criticism. The biography says

I would say to a great extent our nuns are not emancipated women. They are often kept under submission by the fear of revenge by priests. That's how the priests get away with whatever humiliation they heap upon them. It is a pitiable situation from which somebody has to liberate them.

A big complaint of our nuns is that the diocesan priests are treating them like servants, making them wash their clothes, prepare their food, wash the churches, etc and that too without getting paid. These are all unjust ways of treating the women religious.''

He was also critical of Vaticans sway over Churches here in India and indicated his total disagreement with the tendency of the Roman Curia to impose its decisions on bishops, often taken without adequate consultation

The Major Archbishop says

“I better not say more on this subject in public because it has agonised me many times, not only me but also many of our other bishops. I know the feelings of my fellow bishops. We are all going through a sort of crucifying obedience.”

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