New Delhi (The Hawk): The Poor Christian Liberation Movement (PCLM) on the occasion of Good Friday demanded form the Pope Francis to bring reforms in the Catholic Church in India. PCLM President and Christian leader R L Francis alleged that the Catholic Church in India had ditched the converts and demanded that the Vatican should pay a suitable compensation to them.
Francis further alleged that instead of developing the converts and bring them at par with other Christians the Church in India is busy stamping them as Scheduled Castes and engaged in the so called fight with the government in this respect. There is no scope and provision for caste in Christianity, he said. Francis was speaking at a program of the Christians on the eve of Good Friday in Delhi.
Francis, who is national president of PCLM, said that not only the common Christians but the fathers and nuns who talk about their rights, are oppressed and exploited in the Church system in India. The Indian Dalit converts are treated as second class citizens in the Church he said alleging that the Church in India has been busy in expanding its empire ignoring the teachings and tenets of Jesus Christ. The decisions of Vatican II are yet to be implemented in Churches in India, he alleged.
The Catholic Church in its 2016 document titled "Policy of Dalit Empowerment in the Catholic Church in India" has accepted that Dalits are being discriminated against in the Church and this needs to be eliminated at the earliest. Vatican should have listened to this voice of the Catholic Church of India. The Catholic Bishops Council of India (CBCI) has appealed to the faithful to observe April as 'Dalit History Month' instead of taking some concrete steps.
Francis further said that there is total absence of awareness regarding social and political issues among the Christian youth. The Church leaders have failed to put social or political philosophy before them and preaching only Church philosophy. This has led to large number of youth becoming independent religious preachers. He demanded that the church leaders should carry out a campaign to educate and awaken the Christian youth for political participation.
Dalit Christians are being discriminated against in the name of caste in Churches. In spite of repeated presentations to the Vatican and CBCI, no steps are taken by the Church to restore their rights. The special facilities the church-goers in India enjoy, are not available to many a Christians in Europe and the USA, he said.
Francis further said that with its massive resources the Catholic Church in India is busy in pursuing its imperialist policy ignoring the Dalit converts and their problems. Church in India enjoys some Constitutional privileges. But misusing the statutory provisions guaranteeing protection to language and culture they have amassed huge property in India and there is no system to look at it.
The PCLM has demanded that legislation be brought in force to control and manage the Churches and their institutions.