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    Conrad Rodrigues

    The initiative and intent of the Bishop of Mangalore are commendable. Any measure undertaken for the welfare of the deprived sections of our society is certainly welcome if undertaken in a transparent manner. From another perspective – is it possible for the State Government to cater to the welfare of a section of the population only within a certain district ? A representation of all the Bishops within the State / Metropolitan See/ Ecclesiastical Province with a common memorandum to address such issues regarding welfare of minorities (educational needs of poor families) would be a step in the right direction. This would also provide the State Government officials a better understanding of the needs of Catholic Church / Christian Community. Schemes initiated by the State Government need to taken advantage of by the members of the Christian community. Local issues could be handled at the District level.

    As regards building a monument in memory of Blessed John Paul II, that should be a matter of pride for the entire Catholic / Christian Community of Mangalore (and Udupi) dioceses. Don’t we have the courage to muster enough resources to build a fitting memorial for our great Pope ? A collection is already being undertaken in one of the local parishes to build such a monument. A sizeable amount has already been collected. If the Catholic faithful of other parishes/diocese (and even those settled migrated overseas) contribute their mite we shall have a fitting memorial for our great Holy Father. He was our Pope !!!

    A secular State cannot and should not interfere in building religious monuments to please any community. This gives rise to vote-bank politics. Tomorrow the State on the disguise of some law or land regulation will acquire the said property that belongs to the Church. There will be all kinds of questions raised. This creates un-necessary disharmony among the community.

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