Cardinal Oswald Gracias: A disappointing witness to a watching world. The Catholic Church in India is chiselling away the faith of many.
By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | August 09, 2022
Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias
I hope you are well by the Grace of God as the same attends me over here. This is how I was taught to begin my letters when I was in school. And then when I changed schools and joined the Apostolate in Don Bosco, Lonavala, I was taught another line, in case I had delayed in replying. “It was not lethargy that kept me from writing to you.”
To be honest, the 14-year-old me then did not know the meaning of lethargy. But I used it anyways because a Priest instructed the class. He was not wrong. You know the meaning of lethargy. I too soon learned it.
Was it lethargy that kept you from responding to the audio clip [a fortnight later] which was published by Church Militant? Or were you waiting for Vianney Sunday? By the way, I must admit that Church Militant is doing a fabulous job of ensuring that the clergy does not feel they are God. You know how some of your corrupt priests behave. You should tell them that they are servants of the most high God and witnesses to the people they serve. A few like me are not overawed by their office and robes.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias: A disappointing witness to a watching world
To any ordinary viewer, your clarification was a sad display on camera. One faithful said, “What a disappointing witness to a watching world.” I couldn’t agree more. And anyone who has heard the “mischievously edited” [your words] clip and the full-length one has been left wondering whether you are the head or Bishop K A William?
You are so fearful: “Anybody with you? Is anybody with you? Line is safe, line is safe, no?” It is precisely things like these that chisel away the faith of many. As the head of the Catholic Church in India, I expect you to have a little more faith than me.
“Don’t you know that God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline?” (2 Timothy 1:7). Where is your fearlessness? Where is your faith? Where are your leadership qualities like say Moses or David or Joshua? Haven’t you read how God won battles for Gideon? That guy was facing a mighty army with just 300 men. But God was with him! God was his army.
Haven’t you heard of this scripture, “If God is for me who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31)?
Good priests who expose fornicators are driven out
Why can’t you then make a whip of cords and drive away those fornicators within your Church premises? “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” (John 2:15). Why is it that good priests who expose fornicators are driven out of parishes and the corrupt ones protected by the heads?
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now seeking human approval or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people?” (Galatians 1:6-10). I’m not saying this; Apostle Paul is.
“Why is it that good priests who expose fornicators are driven out of parishes and the corrupt ones protected by the heads?”
“If you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 18-21). I’m not saying this, Apostle Paul is.
The Word needs to take root to bear fruit
Let the word take root in you for it to bear fruit. At the moment, it does not look like the Word has taken root because if it had, you would have borne fruit, fruit that lasts forever. “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23).
If the Word had taken root, you would have fearlessly, like a true leader, censured your erring clergy and not pleaded with them to take a DNA test. Don’t you have a reverential fear of God? Why do you have to take complaints and sweep them under the carpet? Don’t you know that one day you will trip over it? I’m sure you are aware that many other heads of the clergy are throwing complaints in the dustbin or keeping it under the carpet?
Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias
You, Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias, have a responsibility of building a vibrant church. How can you chisel away the faith of the faithful entrusted under your care?
“Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:1-2).
I’m not saying this. The Spirit of the Lord is.
God Bless You
(Moody Marty… Sometimes funny, sometimes informative, always downright forthright!)
Pic Courtesy: Archdiocese of Bombay