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‘Adopt compassion towards those different from us’: Goa Archbishop to govt

Hosting his annual Christmas civic reception, in which the Archbishop invites leaders of the government including the Governor, the chief minister, ministers, top bureaucrats for an evening of ‘bonhomie’, Archbishop Ferrão called for “a more positive perception of other people and groups.”

india Updated: Dec 29, 2018 16:38 IST
Gerard de Souza
Gerard de Souza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
Goa’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão,Goa,Goa Archbishop
Goa’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão.(Youtube/ Gctvgoa)

Goa’s Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão has frowned upon those thinking “less generously” of people “different from us” and called on those in the government to adopt the Indian values of samvedana (sensitivity) and karuna (compassion).

Hosting his annual Christmas civic reception, in which the Archbishop invites leaders of the government including the Governor, the chief minister, ministers, top bureaucrats for an evening of ‘bonhomie’, Archbishop Ferrão called for “a more positive perception of other people and groups.”

“We tend to think less generously of people and groups we are not familiar with, or who we perceive to be different from us, or even opposed to us…. We are challenged to open the horizons of our mind and embrace people towards whom we are not naturally inclined to love,” he said.

The Church in Goa which holds sway over the state’s 30% Catholic population, has dedicated this year to the “poor and the underprivileged” and the Archbishop Ferrão, in a letter in June this year announcing the theme had expressed a fear that “democracy was in danger.”

“People are being uprooted from their land and homes in the name of development. 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 had said.

“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 monoculturalism. Human rights are under attack and democracy appears to be in peril. The various minorities fear for their safety. In short, respect for the law is frankly on the decline in this country,” the Archbishop had said.

The annual civic reception is often an opportunity for the Archbishop to interact with the state’s political leaders and make known the church’s stance in the contemporary political climate.

First Published: Dec 29, 2018 16:38 IST