the goan I network
Perhaps for the first time since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) broke out and are continuing in the country since late last year, the head of Goa’s Catholic Church, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, on Saturday came out openly in support of the protests and appealed to the government to desist from going ahead with it.
The communication arm of the Diocese released the statement on Saturday expressing support to the widespread discontent against CAA as well as the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the intended National Population Register (NPR) and urging the government to take cognisance of it.
Quoting the Archbishop, the Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media said, Ferrao and the Catholic community of Goa would like to appeal to the Government to listen to the voice of millions in India, to stop quashing the right to dissent and, above all, to immediately and unconditionally revoke the CAA and desist from implementing the NRC and the NPR.
“The protests demanding that the CAA be revoked immediately and that the countrywide NRC and the NPR be desisted from are on the increase,” the Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media said in the statement, adding that eminent citizens, including top intellectuals and legal luminaries, have taken a studied and unequivocal stand against these laws.
The Diocese’s communication arm also expressed regret that these initiatives from the
Government are forecasting a systematic erosion of the values, principles and rights guaranteed in the Constitution, which it said, the citizens are called to protect and promote.
“The very fact that the CAA uses religion goes against the secular fabric of the country, which, since times immemorial, has been a welcoming home to all, founded on the belief that the world is one big family,” it said.
The statement also noted the serious concern that the NRC and the NPR will result in a direct victimization of underprivileged classes, particularly Dalits, Adivasis, migrant labourers, nomadic communities and countless undocumented people, who, after having been recognized as worthy citizens and voters for more than seventy years will suddenly run the risk of becoming stateless and candidates for detention camps.
Quoting from the scriptures, the statement said Christianity is an inclusive religion based on compassion, justice,equality and peace.
“These are universal values which clearly resonate in almost every religion and the Constitution of India. The CAA, NRC and NPR are divisive and discriminatory and will certainly have a negative and damaging effect on a multi-cultural democracy like ours,” it said.