Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Appeal for Peace
August 12, 2014
New Delhi (CBCI News): The Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, gathered at St. John’s Medical College Bangalore on 6-8 August 2014, expressed its deep concern over the on-going violence and bloodshed in the Gaza strip causing untold miseries to thousands of innocent people. The apex body of the Catholic Bishops of India earnestly appeals to the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to heed to global efforts to end the continuing conflict and establish lasting peace in the Holy Land, for which Pope Francis and other world leaders have taken several initiatives, including the prayer meet, held in the Vatican, in which both the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers prayed together for peace.
The Bishops’ Committee also expressed its anguish over the escalation of violence in Iraq, showing signs of genocide. It is a matter of great concern that thousands of people belonging to religious minorities, including Christians and Yezidis are subjected to persecution, torture, exile and even to the most dastardly acts of burying women and children alive in mass graves. While expressing solidarity with those who are suffering, especially those persecuted on account of their faith, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India exhorts all people of goodwill to pray unceasingly for peace in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The Standing Committee, surveying the Indian scenario, reiterated the support of the Catholic Church to the democratically elected NDA Government and extended their greetings to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, to support his efforts to lead the nation to new heights of peace and prosperity for all. However, concern was expressed over certain sporadic events of violence against Christians in certain parts of India. The Bishops’ Committee took strong exception to an unprecedented move in Chhattisgarh where 50 villages passed a resolution in Gram Sabha, denying entry to Christian Priests in the villages, a move fortunately foiled by the timely intervention of the District Administration. The Catholic Bishops’ Committee urges the Central Government and the State Governments to keep constant vigil over such sinister moves designed to weaken the very character and nature of our secular and democratic Constitution.
The Bishops’ Committee also expressed deep concern and anxiety over certain statements made by responsible and highly placed persons in the Judiciary favouring particular religion and its sacred books to be included in the school curriculum. The Bishops’ Committee is equally apprehensive of certain moves on the part of the Government and the Judiciary to bring about the uniform civil code and to legalize euthanasia. Such moves without taking into account the views and concerns of all will eventually weaken the unity of our nation and lead to the erosion of moral values cherished by the Indian society.
The Standing Committee of the CBCI finally exhorted the Catholics and people of goodwill all over the world not to lose hope in the midst of the tragic situation in the Middle East and elsewhere, and the distressing developments in certain parts of our country.
Peace is primarily a gift of God and a treasure to be constantly striven for. The Bishops of the Standing Committee exhorts all the people to pray unceasingly for the gift of Peace in the troubled parts of the world.
As we celebrate India’s 67th Independence Day, let us all resolve to work steadfastly for the growth and development of all our people, ensuring justice, peace and equality in our dear Motherland, India.
Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan,
PRO & Spokesperson,
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India