What Right does Powathil have to Oppose Reconversion?: Sr. Jesme

published on January 16, 2015

Thrissur: Sister Jesme recently said that the recent opposition shown being shown to reconversion of those sections of people, who were earlier lured to conversion with false promises and enticements, were akin to people lying on their backs and spitting upwards. Jesmene’s response was sarcastic, hurled at the statement of condemnation made by Arch Bishop Mar Jospeh Powathil about how those facilitating reconversion were religious terrorists.
 “If, going by Powathil’s statements, those indulging in religious reconversion were indeed religious terrorists, it should well be remembered that Father Powathil too earns his share of being addressed likewise. His statement is enough to tickle his own very flock.”
 “The process of religious conversion has a definite pattern- those involved in it, embark dutifully on their endeavour with a basket full of promises and enticements. But the Bishop should contemplate on why, inspite of all these, those who convert have decided to cast these aside and revert to their roots.”
 “Those converted have not had any special gains socially or monetarily. In fact they only stood to lose- they lost the benefits they were otherwise getting as part of reservation. In fact the humiliation they suffered has been so gross, more than they could ever comprehend- they were made to worship at churches built specially for them, and were not allowed to worship with the mainstream section. Likewise they had separate cemetery too. They reconverted because they were convinced that a better life stood before them, if they returned to their pristine faith. So, what is wrong with that?”
 “Religious conversion without compulsion is not wrong. Forcible conversion is what should be opposed. Why is it that those opposing Ghar Vapsi are refraining and hesitating from stating that they have not resorted to forcible conversion? Girls have been forcibly initiated into nunneries- both apparently and ambiguously. It is absolutely demeaning to point out another person’s sore-feet, while your own cankerous limbs are well concealed.”
 “The Bishop’s statement comparing those indulging in reconversion to religious terrorists can be seen only in one way- a self realization. Christian congregations do not indulge in terrorism on a direct means. They resort to several other ways. Religious conversions are a gross distortion of the Biblical statement “Preaching the Gospel the world over”. Nuns are instrumental in garnering many to the nunnery. Social service is yet another garb under which conversion activities are executed successfully. The congregation has properties running into crores- with tax exemption.”
 “The arrogance of Catholic Church lies in the Christian Oommen Chandy ruling the state, which is why such statements come out undaunted. The Church is unable to solve disputes of various congregations. What is being witnessed is the withering away from the congregation. There is also a heavy influx of members from the Catholic Church to Pentecost Church. The Bishop should try and focus on these issues and resolve them. Wonder if he is trying to prove its dark, by shutting his eyes!”

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