Monday, May 26, 2008

Global Mission of CMIs

Today I have received a copy of the Report of the first session of XXXVI Ordinary General Synaxis of CMI Congregation (religious order, which I belong to).

To my great surprise, No. 10 of the report says:

In the light of the discussions and deliberations the Synaxis arrived at a consensus that there would be 4 major thrusts in our Congregation for the next 6 years.
  1. Reorientation of our community as a spiritual movement
  2. Global mission
  3. To be with the marginalized always and everywhere
  4. Affordable quality education for poor
It continues, Guided by the charism of founding fathers, this transformation will help us take new and bold initiatives in the areas of global mission.

I am really glad. This was the gist of my one-page working paper send to the General Synaxis (You read it as a post somewhere below.. My friend - Micheal's comment came as a reply to that post). With the collective will of synaxis fathers, it has been come out as a major thrust of the congregation for the next 6 years. Let CMIs surges into the world with a new mission of Christ. Jay Yesu!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Final comments to the reply by Micheal

I Michael, Thanks for the reply. However, I don't want to go on for ever in an unending cycle of message-reply. Just putting my last cents.

First of all, as a human person, I have got ultimate respect for you and your views as Chirst would have. As you have mentioned earlier, we may have to agree to disagree on certain issues. That's it. Hope that wont hinder our friendship (it's an online one, I know. But that's how 'friendships' are defined these days!).

As you have agreed "..a definitive cause of homosexuality has not been found..", I think, it's premature to comment on the issues more than what I have said.

The tail piece: Who is this USA? You said "No LEGITIMATE mental health or medical association in the USA supports or agrees with NARTH's practises and claims." I didn't ask the opinion of any "medical association in the USA"? We are not in a mood to accept anything because it comes from USA. There are many associations and cultures who also reflect/research on these issues. Hope you will try to listen to them too.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

With love, to Micheal

Dear Micheal,

I appreciate your genuine efforts to express your views. Thanks a lot for that.

Yes, we all know that Catholicism is declining in the Western world in a fast pace. It's not only Catholicism - the other Christian denominations are the ones who loose their ground much faster. I can see that in Australia. Australia is supposed to be an Anglican fortress because of its British migrant history. Anglican and other protestant churches were the predominant churches in Australia till near past. But in spite of an overall decline in its performance, Catholic church now emerges as the single largest and most vibrant church in Australia. As far as the reports we receive, this trend is continuing around the Western world.

I just mentioned this to show that the problem of "erosion of faith" is not simply the problem of Catholic church. May be they are better positioned to tackle it.

Now about the 3 reasons you have put forward to explain the decline in Church performance.

The child-sex scandals in the Western Catholic church is a shame. We all share the shame and responsibility. That's human fault. That's what we call sin (we call a spade a spade). We accept it and repent. Necessary measures have to be taken to handle the issue. But that cannot be the reason to put whole universal community at gun-point. I always felt that Western media, the so called 'liberals' and champions of child-welfare - attacked Church with a kind of vengeance. That's not right and not acceptable. Christ gave more respect to the woman caught in adultery!

Sins of few priests won't bankrupt the moral strength of Pope Benedict or the Church. They are up and arm against Church not simply because some priests abused children, but because even in face of that humiliation, Church tried to uphold its moral stands against many other issues, which that section of the society wanted to change.

Now, the second point: homosexuality. I have never touched this area before. I didn't want to involve! Since you have raised the issue, I am putting my few cents.

Homosexuality is still a point of debate. As you claim, no one has categorically proved anything regarding homosexuality. It not like the Galilee incident where Church clinged to the notion of a earth-centric planetary system! Church is much open and progressive now. The whole argument about homosexuality (as an inborn/genetic/personality thing) is very pre-mature to comment. Those who push for homosexuality claims are going far more than the science itself (which cannot be the answer for all question, after all). Remember, science first told light is a particle, then a wave, then particle-wave and so on and so forth. Let's don't jump into conclusions.

Here are few links which deals with this issue (the last link is the public comments, it's interesting to go thru them):

The final one. Yes, I am from India. Church is flourishing there in spite of our struggles in living in a highly pluralistic society. You may categorize it as one of the "countries with low levels of ...". I get your point, religion/church is for the poor and uneducated.

About 400 years back, when the first colonial shipmen came to India, to do trade, India controlled 23% of world's wealth (which no other country had ever done in the history). Yes, we did have our mistakes in handling those "guests" and our own infightings. We lost - a bit. But just bouncing back, with all the lessons learned from history.

I just said this to mention that the Catholicism in India has a legacy of 2000 years - from St Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus (The so called US was not even known that time) and we have seen everything - history, culture, wealth, vedas, knowledge, sastras (science), maths, exploitation, poverty, freedom, democracy, market - and survived. And we will - the Church will. I can see the contempt in that argument (typical to many of my Western friends), but you got it wrong there Micheal.

PS: This is a response to the message by Mr Micheal, which can be accessed as the previous post

With love, from Michael

I received the following mail from a friend in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. I quote it with his permission. My reply will be the next post

I came across your blogs via verveearth. As a former Catholic, I was intrigued by some of your posts, especially your thoughts about re-energizing the Church in the West. From my perspective, you are battling a losing cause for a number of reasons. A recent survey showed that 10% of the U.S. Population consists of "former Catholics." In my own family, other than my elderly mother and one sister, everyone has either joined a different denomination - e.g., Lutheran or Episcopal - or no longer attends church services at all. In my own case, I have joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church where I enjoy the same mass each Sunday without the morally bankrupt and falsely sanctimonius hierarchy and non-stop anti-gay propaganda. Here are a few reasons for the Church's decline in the USA:
First, I believe until the Vatican does a thorough house cleaning of the members of the hierarchy who enabled and/or covered up sex abuse - and by house cleaning I mean complete removal from office - there will be a continued exodus of people from the Catholic Church. Simply removing the guilty priests and doing nothing to those who shuffled them from parish to parish and/or intimidated victims and there families to stay quiet will not cut it and shows from Benedict XVI on down that the hierarch is morally bankrupt and have no legitinate authority to dictate to anyone what is morally right.
Second, with the increases in medical and mental health knowledge concernig homosexuality, the Church's continued anti-gay stance will only drive away the younger generations. One study with in the last year found that 58% of those under 30 years of age viewed orthodox Christianity negatively in large part because of its homophobia.
Third, an educated population that has access to information on science and any number of other topics will not blindly swallow what the Church is peddling, particualr in light of the two previous issues. Thus, it is no surprise that the Church is growing predominately in countries with low levels of education and knowledge.
Michael - The WYD Social Networking Site

visit my Web home

I am very happy that WYD Sydney is coming out with its social networking site -! (Christ in 3rd Millennium).

However, I feel that the ways of God are mysterious. In the first week of May 2007, I had a meeting with Mr Paolo Damante, Assistant Project Officer, DID Melbourne as per the direction of Bishop Christopher Prowse. Since I was a postgraduate student of IT at RMIT, Bishop Christopher asked me to give some creative ideas regarding WYD website (basically his intention was to look into DID site). Since I was aware of the possibilities of an Internet virtual community along with WYD08, I shared this idea with Paolo with allpossible details at that time. But nothing heard for quite a long time.

So, I prepared a 'one-page proposal' and send it as an email to Bp Anthony Fischer, chairman of WYD committee on 16th July 2007. On reply I got the above letter. It says that they were at that time finalizing plans to establish an online catholic community.

I am happy! It has been realized...

Holy Spirit could inspire several people simultaneously with the same idea!