ASIA/INDIA - In Sabha Dinam, Cardinal Alencherry urges Catholics to help strengthen Indian economy

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Kochi (Agenzia Fides) - "The pandemic experience invites everyone to a lifestyle of simplicity which is an inevitable component in spiritual renewal", writes Cardinal George Alencherry, in a pastoral letter issued ahead of July 3, the feast of St Thomas the Apostle who is believed to have introduced Christianity in India in the first century. The Syro-Malabar Church, larger of the two Catholic Oriental rites in India, observes the feast as the Sabha Dinam (Church Day).
Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry has urged his people to engage in efforts to increase efficiency in all fields of production to strengthen the nation’s economy. "To meet the impending threat of food crisis, every inch of cultivable land should be put to use. The clergy also should take part in this initiative. Small scale industries should be strengthened".
As can be seen in the note sent to Fides, the letter discusses the importance of the various activities that Catholics could undertake and changes they should make in their lifestyle to meet the post-Covid era challenges and reminds priests and laity to get rid of attitudes and practices that stand in the way of a fruitful Christian life.
"Public conscience should be sharpened against the rising tendency of exploitation and corruption. There should be efficient and democratic means by which these evils may be eradicated", he says. The Cardinal's pastoral letter is to be read in all parishes under the Church that celebrate Mass on Sundays under the government guidelines.
Due to lockdown, since March 25, to curb the spread of Covid-19, many have lost their jobs, production has been stopped. All this has influenced the Country's economy. In Telangana, in the southern India state, hundreds of teachers have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. This is the case of Satyanarayana, who taught in a local school and now has a daily job. Satyanarayana's situation is that of many such as Zaheer Ahmed Sheik, 40 years old. Sheik worked as a Hindi teacher, but is now forced to load and unload gas cylinders in a warehouse. (SD/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 30/6/2020)