Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao on Wednesday, reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment towards peace and justice to everyone and said the Church in Goa was willing to collaborate in building a society that respects the dignity of a person, includes religious freedom and cultural harmony.
Speaking at the annual civic reception hosted by the Bishop’s house during the Christmas season, the Archbishop pointed out that Catholics pray not only for religious leaders but also for those who govern them at every Sunday masses during the prayers of the faithful and said it would continue to do so.
Christmas, he said is fundamentally a Christ related event and not merely a cultural or a social event and pointed out that it offers opportunities for people to sit and discuss matters of common interest.
The Archbishop however, regretted that the very means of participation are being misused to wield power. “They then become institutions that ignore and silence minorities and invest power and legitimacy on a few who dictate terms of governance, sometimes to the point of unsettling the very process of participation. The growing number of communal riots and pogroms, mostly politically motivated, is only one aspect of this sad deterioration of cherished human and democratic values,” he said.
Speaking on religious freedom, he pointed out that meetings and even conventions are being held with the sole aim of disturbing inter-religious peace and asked whether how responsible people and more particularly, the government could permit such gatherings that are totally contrary to the spirit Constitution of the country.
Repeating Pope Benedict’s message on World Peace Day, he said that minorities are not a threat to the identity of the majority but are an opportunity for dialogue and cultural enrichment.