"Constitution In Danger, People Living In Insecurity": Goa Archbishop

"The first victim of development is the poor person," says the Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao

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Goa and Daman Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao has asked people to protect values of Constitution

Highlights

  1. "Protect values of Constitution": Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao
  2. "First victim of development is the poor person," he said
  3. "A kind of mono-culturalism" emerging in India, he said
Weeks after his Delhi counterpart stirred up a debate, the Archbishop of Goa has put out a letter in which he says the constitution is in danger and most people are living in insecurity. Referring to the 2019 national election, Father Filipe Neri Ferrao urges people to try and protect the constitution.

"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," says the Archbishop in the letter addressed to Christians in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. The letter marks the beginning of the Pastoral Year (June 1 to May 31).

"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 writes.

The Archbishop has called 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.
 
anil couto

Last month, Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto had also written a letter that referred to a "turbulent political atmosphere" threatening democracy and secularism

The letter adds that various minorities fear for their safety and people are being uprooted from their land 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," the Archbishop writes.

Father Ferrao also calls for the participation of Catholics and Church communities in politics and social causes.

"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," he writes.

The Archbishop also expresses concern about malnutrition among children.

His office said there is nothing unusual about the letter. "Somehow one or two statements of the letter have been taken out and I will say taken out of context and have been made to you know make an issue out of it," said the Archbishop's secretary Father Loiola Pereira.

Reacting to the letter, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "India has much more freedom compared to other countries and minorities and the constitution are much more protected. We are focused on protection of our democratic and constitutional values and for that we don't need anyone's suggestions."

Last month, Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto had set off a political controversy with a letter that referred to a "turbulent political atmosphere" threatening democracy and secularism and urged priests to "pray for the country" ahead of the national election.

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