Mangaluru: Catholic Church firmly prohibits forced conversion – Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha
Mangaluru, December 31: “Although Jesus is a sign of contradiction and rejection for some, many follow him willingly and with love. Because, Jesus does not reject anyone who comes after Him. Freedom is at the center of the scene, ”said Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, addressing honorable guests at the Bandhutva Christmas celebration at the bishop’s house in the evening. December 30, here at Kodialbail.
Quoting the Bible, Bishop Peter Paul said, “Jesus’ invitation to follow him is based on freedom. You can only follow Jesus if he wants to follow him. He said the law of the Catholic Church firmly prohibits any conversion by force or by fraudulent means. “The issue of forced conversion is a very exaggerated topic,” said the bishop.
“According to the Catholic faith, the real fear is that the misinterpretation of seductions could end up abandoning even the legal charitable activities taught by Jesus towards the needy and the beneficiaries. These good works would be abandoned out of fear which is a matter of concern. Who is responsible for this concern? said the bishop.
IPS N officer Shashi Kumar, Mangaluru police commissioner was the guest of honor at the Bandhutva celebration. The political leaders, the luminaries of the public administration, the corporations of the city, the officers of the police services, public order, education, health, IT, intelligence, banking sector, NGOs, media, religious leaders and heads of Christian institutions were present.
Expressing his joy for the celebrations, Shashi Kumar said, “Bandhutva echoes the great feeling that all people of different religions are united in love and brotherhood. With my department, I sincerely work to make the dream of all the citizens of this city come true.
Speaking of Bandhutva, Bishop Peter Paul said: “This is an opportunity to experience the fellowship that calls each of us to show our concern and care for our fellow men. Jesus the par excellence is our model to become human, kind, loving and gentle. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is an incentive to become brothers and sisters to one another filled with love, forgiveness and compassion.
“We only collaborate with love, willingly and joyfully in God’s plan to be one in brotherly love. We are ‘Bandhu’ to one another, for Christ is the ‘Bindhu’. He is our elder brother sharing our flesh and blood. He does not carry any instrument of death but comes with love, forgiveness, peace and joy to yield true brotherhood and solidarity. He wants us to spread this love to all brothers and sisters, regardless of borders, ”said Bishop Peter Paul Saldnaha.
The bishop concluded his message with the call of Pope Francis: “To dream as one human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same land which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with our own voice, brothers and sisters all.
The bishop also wished all the guests blessings for the New Year and expressed his gratitude for their gracious presence.
Dr John D’Silva, secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Parishad compared the program. Father Dr Joseph Martis, secretary of the Diocesan Council of Priests welcomed the assembly. Father Dr JB Saldanha, PRO diocesan, pronounced the vote of thanks.
Pastor Hubert M Watson, Principal of Karnataka Theological College, Balmata led the opening prayer. Fr. Maxim L. Noronha, vicar general of the diocese, made the grace before meals. The diocesan PRO Roy Castelino was present.
Members of the city’s CSI choir filled the gathering with melodious Christmas carols.