Church claims credit for Congress crown in Kerala

Church claims credit for Congress crown

http://www.dnaindia .com/report. asp?newsid= 1257275

Don SebastianWednesday, May 20, 2009 3:43 IST Email

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left is yet to come to terms with its
humiliating defeat in Kerala. If the CPI(M) politburo wants any
answers, the Catholic Church has it. Kerala Catholic Bishops’
Conference, which openly campaigned for the Congress in the run-up to
the elections, claims it is their victory.

This is an answer to those who said the faithful would not follow the
advice of priests and bishops in political affairs. The Church has
worked that hard against the LDF government,” said Dr Stephen
Alathara, spokesmen of KCBC, the apex body of Catholic bishops in
Kerala.

A pastoral letter by the KCBC, read out amid Sunday Mass in Kerala’s
churches a fortnight ahead of the polls, exhorted the flock to steer
clear of the CPI(M) and the BJP, a negligible presence in the bipolar
state. “Constitutional crises are frequent nowadays. The violations of
minority rights in education sector should be assessed in this
context.”

Ever since the LDF government came to power in 2006, the Church was in
the warpath against the reforms in primary education and regulations
in professional education.

Alathara also termed the victory of the Congress and its allies as a
“liberation struggle through the ballot”, invoking memories of the
communal agitations which eventually resulted in the dismissal of the
first communist government in 1959. Interestingly, chief minister VS
Achuthanandan had claimed that his government was a continuation of
the EMS government.

Ties between the CPI(M) and the Church strained irreparably when party
secretary Pinarayi Vijayan publicly abused a bishop, who claimed he
had given the last sacrament to a party legislator on his death bed.
The Syro-Malabar Church even called out to the flock to walk away from
the “materialists” .

With hardly a week to the polls, priests were using Easter Mass to
equate Satan with the government, which was trying to “kill all aged
people”.

The Law Reforms’ Commission, appointed by the LDF government, had
recommended the legalisation of mercy killing.

The government, which appointed the commission as soon as it came to
power in 2006, has been soft-pedalling its recommendations, which
include the formation of a trust to man the Church’s riches

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