Port. 799/ Pres.2018(3-b-10/ CBCI-GC) July 27, 2018
Sub: Press Release from Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President, CBCI on the interference into the Christian religious practice of Confession.
I was shocked to read in the press about the demand from the National Commission for Women for a ban on the Christian Sacrament of Confession. This demand by the Commission betrays a total lack of understanding of the nature, meaning, sanctity and importance of this Sacrament for our people; and also an ignorance of the strict laws of the Church to prevent any abuse.
Such a ban will be a direct infringement on our freedom of religion guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Millions of people from all over the world, over the centuries, have testified to the spiritual benefit of this Sacrament and to the grace, pardon and peace they have experienced as a result of receiving this Sacrament. I am confident the Government will totally ignore this absurd demand from the Commission.
There are very many issues concerning women that the Commission should pay attention to: empowerment of women, their capacity building, prevention of domestic violence, organizing rescue systems, and so on, instead of dabbling in religious matters about which it understands nothing. The Church wishes to promote even more the advancement of women in society and is ready to collaborate with the National Commission for Women for this, as it does with other agencies.
+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay and
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI)