`Godmen should stay away from politics’

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2018 Published on May 22, 2018

Union Minister K J Alphons

Union minister K J Alphons on Delhi archbishop's letter

Union Minister K J Alphons today said the remarks by archbishop of Delhi on the political atmosphere of the country were “unfair” to the government and that godmen should stay away from politics. Anil Couto, the archbishop of Delhi, in a letter written to all parish priests and religious institutions in the Delhi archdiocese, has claimed that a “turbulent political atmosphere” in the country posed a threat to India’s constitutional principles and secular fabric.

Referring to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he asked for a “prayer campaign” for the country from May 13, marking the anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima.

Speaking to a news channel, Alphons noted that voices like those of Couto’s were “isolated” ones.

“Spoke to Cardinal Gracias (archbishop of Bombay Oswald Cardinal Gracias) and top bishops. They strongly agree with the prime minister. There are isolated voices who do not like the prime minister. Godmen are supposed to stay away from politics.

“It is not their business to paint a dark picture. When you read the letter, references are not fair. The church has no reason to have grievance. I told them that the prime minister has done more for the poor people of India than anyone in the last 65 years. This government has gone out of its way whenever the community had a problem...Couto’s comments are unfair to the government,” the tourism minister said.

Claiming that a “turbulent political atmosphere” posed a “threat to the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution and the secular fabric of the nation”, the letter by the archbishop said, “It is our hallowed practice to pray for our country and its political leaders all the time, but all the more so when we approach the general elections“.

Reacting to the development, Union minister Giriraj Singh said in a tweet, “The church receives an order from Italy whereas pseudo-seculars get their support from fatwa Pakistan. The day will soon come when the Hindus understand this and smash both to save India”.

Published on May 22, 2018
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