BY A STAFF REPORTER
Altinho: Emphasising that spirit of compassion is ingrained in all Indians, Arch Bishop of Goa and Daman, Rev Filipe Neri Ferrao on Friday said behind all the diversity that characterizes India, there is a much more powerful principle of unity that can and should enable us to resist any divisive forces that can undermine our ethos and traditional bonhomie.
At a time when the country’s citizens, especially the youth, are on the boil over Centre’s citizenship legislation Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and now National Population Register, the Arch Bishop asserted that the spirit of compassion is ingrained in Indians and profoundly reflected in our Constitution.
“Anything that vitiates this genuinely Indian spirit can damage the centuries-old secular fabric of our nation and sometimes, cause disturbances and flare-ups that can mar the peace and the tranquillity among its citizens,” the Arch Bishop said.
In his annual Christmas civic reception address, the Arch Bishop said that the Church in Goa celebrates its own Pastoral Year, which goes from June to May.
“The theme of the current Pastoral Year calls us to do what Christ did, that is, to have compassion for others, especially the suffering and those who are victims of discrimination, oppression and exploitation,” Arch Bishop said in his address.
According to him, behind the differing religious traditions that people follow, there lies at the core of our human existence, a spirit that unites and impels to love, respect and serve one another, across all man-made barriers.
“This spirit is ingrained in us, sons and daughters of our great India and is profoundly reflected in our Constitution. We Indians readily find God in others. A simple gesture like the Namaste places us in an attitude of self-giving, whereby we make ourselves into an offering to the other person,” he said.
“As disciples of Jesus in India, while we follow the karunamarga (path of compassion) of Jesus, we learn with great admiration about the diverse ways the people of this country have lived and continue to live Karuna in their daily life,” Arch Bishop of Goa and Daman said.
The dynamism of Karuna that animates our Indian civilization can indeed become a great source of inspiration and social energy that stands to prove that, behind all the diversity that characterizes our nation, there is a much more powerful principle of unity that can and should enable us to resist any divisive forces that can undermine our ethos and traditional bonhomie, he said.
The Arch Bishop concluded by informing that the Church in Goa has been living this divine call for compassion without discrimination and thereby contributing to the genuine development of this State, through its widespread network of educational, healthcare and social service institutions as well as through the social and developmental action of various associations and movements of its members, particularly in rural and underserved areas.