Tuesday, December 2, 2008
(Pic::CMIS in New York)
I got the following question from a young Catholic girl, who is my chat friend. I also add my answer to it. This is my conviction.
Why are Chirstian institutions so adamant in making money and investement?(This question was asked in the context of your congregation acha,CMI). Aren't you diverting from the cause of Jesus?
I like this question. It is very pertinent to me, as a CMI. We dont make money for the sake of making money. In reality, we are the great debtors. In my province, we got 100+ priests and it is said that every priest's head carry a debt of around 7-10 lakhs!
Yes we do have great institutions. All of them are for the benefit of humanity and for Church and its people. We are running a University in India (which is just one of the many other initiatives). It's all for good. Do we need to stop them? We can.. Then what will be the fate of those beneficiaries, which belong to all religious groups... of Church and Christians in India? The Xians still flourish and are respected in India only because of these institutions, even if they are a minority. If we abandon them, Christians will go down like the dalits or Muslims.
Now, it is my conviction that, Indian Church should make money. It is not to get 'rich'. But to stand on its own feet. In the past, we were relying of foreign money for our projects. But that is not good for Indian Church and India. If Church needs to stand on its two feet, it should be self-sufficient. Either, the Indian faithful have to contribute heavily or Church should raise it on its own. When Bl Chavara started CMI congregation, all of the initial monasteries were erected using the money from people. But, that scenario has changed. People's mentality does not support that method any more. And Church has got the capacity and human resource to do it on its own. So, it must take that responsibility than passing on it to its people. Moreover, India is in a better economic position now than in the past and so there's no point in importing money from outside. That is not social justice. On the contrary, Indian church should be able to support the missions in other poor nations around the world. That is our responsibility. We received when we were in need, now we have to give it back, when we are in a position to do that. If we are hiding away from that responsibility, we are just irresponsible. There's a danger of victim mentality (out of poverty) in our mindset, which actually hinder us from 'generously giving' to others (other poor missions world around).
If we need to be self reliant, if we need to venture into world missions, we need money. Church in India should do whatever possible in legitimate terms to amass it, so that it can keep sustain what they got in India, expand those services and to share its benefits with the Christ's mission around the world.