Isaac Gomes gives his views on Dr James Kottoor's observation on 23 May 2016 that "By attending the canonization ceremony, Banerjee will not only cement her image as a secular leader and but appeal to Christians across India."
With reference to the above and other comments showering praises on Mamata and Modiji, the report in the Telegraph Calcuta, Monday 23 May 2016 is reproduced below:
Calcutta, May 22: Mamata Banerjee today announced she would visit the Vatican on September 4 when Mother Teresa would be canonised.
"I have accepted Sister Prema's invitation to be present at the canonisation of blessed Mother Teresa in Rome on September 4," Mamata tweeted this evening.
Sister Prema, the superior-general of the Missionaries of Charity, today visited Mamata's Kalighat home to invite her for the September 4 event.
Sister Prema by her side, Mamata told journalists this evening: "I would be there during the sainthood ceremony. Mother Teresa was the pride of Calcutta."
Through the day, visitors queued up at Mamata's home to congratulate her on Trinamul's Assembly poll victory.
Celebrities such as actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta, actor Prasenjit Chatterjee, filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, former hockey player Gurbux Singh and the Archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas D'Souza, met Mamata today.
Many have asked: Would the Archbishop and Sr Prema have invited Mamata to Rome had she lost in the state elections? If they loved Mamata for what she is, why did they not extend the invitation to her officially before the elections? Isn't it too much to expect that our Chief Minister will not see through this?
The faithful of Kolkata are still trying to figure out what exactly Sr Prema and the Archbishop want of Mamata by going overboard. To them the scars of Ranaghat incident are still fresh and in spite of CCTV proofs available, nothing concrete has been done by the Mamata Government, except for shifting the case to Bankshall Court.
Even the Catholic MP Derek O’Brien is tight-lipped on the matter. Had the Ranaghat incident taken place in any of BJP-ruled states, he would have gone hammer and tongs and tried to bring the parliament to a standstill! Nothing of this sort has happened from his end even though one of his own community members has been raped brutally. This invitation will only serve to whitewash the the heinous crime perpetrated on the senior nun. The issue will be given a quiet burial by adopting the policy “let bygones be bygones” or "turn the other cheek" – in keeping with the Jubilee Year of Mercy. This will encourage repeat crime and repeat forgiveness – 77 times Mathew 18:22! Forgive the powerful and the mighty and punish the meek who cannot speak in the form of low subsistence level wage and pathetic work conditions, oral hire & fire and humiliation of their children in our educational institutions! When our Church honchos love to rub shoulders with political leaders, how does it matter if one or two "Ranaghats" happen? The government of the day knows that we will take out "Peace Processions" at Allen Park or Park Circus, sing a few songs to the strumming of guitar and then peter out with the submission of a Memorandum to the Governor! Had all this happened to our minority friends who make up 30% of the state population, things would not have ended only with "peace processions"!
The assumption is that this political hobnobbing will help the Archdiocese of Calcutta carry on with impunity with:
- Lack of transparency in church finance
- Sweeping pressing matters under the carpet
- Oral hire and fire
- Exploitation of its employees who do not have any proper job description, medical insurance, provident fund, gratuity and other benefits (refer to the observation of Pope Francis who said the other day “ People who employ workers on temporary contracts denying them health insurance are blood suckers.”)
Herald (May 27-June 02,2016) has reported that the President of Catholic Association of Bengal, Alexander Anthony was also present at Mamata's residence along with the Archbishop and the editor of the Herald, Fr Devraj Fernandes. What was Alexander Anthony's intent? To get Mamata's seal of approval on the farcical and brazenly manipulated Catholic Association of Bengal election held on 27th September 2015 by (1) not allowing Life Members to vote in spite of vociferous demand for voting rights by the life members present and (2) by allowing moneyed members called "Patrons" and "Benefactors" to vote twice? Please remember all this farce took place right under the nose of the Archbishop Thomas D'Souza who is the Ex-Officio Chairman of Catholic Association of Bengal! By siding with the corrupt practices of Catholic Association of Bengal which prides itself in calling the oldest (105 years) Catholic Association of India, the Archbishop has unabashedly stifled universal justice of "one person one vote". In spite of vociferous protests during the election and subsequent petitions and reminders seeking justice from him, he chose not to respond. This is the Archbishop who preaches on World Communication Day "Communication is at the heart of the church, without communication the church will be paralysed in today's world!" But when it comes to answering petitions for justice, he simply stonewalls it – MUM is the word for him!