Published: Tue, May 22, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

"Turbulent Atmosphere": Delhi Archbishop's Letter Stirs A Controversy


In his reaction, Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh said "every action has a reaction".

At a press conference, the BJP chief also played down the support extended to the Archbishop, Anil Couto, by opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee and N Chandrababu Naidu, saying they would obviously back someone who talked about defeating the saffron party in elections.

The letter was sent with a prayer that he said must be read at masses on Sunday.

In the letter, the Archbishop called upon all Christians to "observe a day of fast every Friday of the week by foregoing at least one meal" as the country approached the 2019 general elections.

It also asked for organising an eucharistic adoration every Friday in all parishes and religious institutions, specifically to pray for the nation.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that his government was working towards inclusive growth.

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The letter was accompanied with a special "prayer for our nation", which says, "Let the dreams of our founding fathers and the values of our Constitution - equality, liberty and fraternity - be always held in highest esteem. We can only ask them to think with progressive mindset".

The archbishop of New Delhi has waded into Indian politics, urging Catholics to pray for democracy and marginalized people ahead of national elections next year, bringing a quick rebuke from the ruling party. He says he was not targeting any leader or any government. We are concerned with atmosphere, issues plaguing the country. We will not compromise on the unity, integrity and sovereignty of this country at any cost and this is our top priority. We have the right to pray for the nation and work for nation building, which we are doing.

"The use of "new government" in the letter is being misinterpreted. We are law-abiding citizens and therefore we are concerned", he said.

Even as politicos continue to heap criticism on Couto, the Archbishop has clarified that his letter has nothing to do with the Narendra Modi government. Misinformation should not be spread.

Father Robinson, Secretary to Archbishop of Delhi said that the Archbishop's letter is not political, neither it is against the Govt or against the honourable PM. "It's just an invitation for prayers and such letters have been written in the past too".

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