Cardinal Gracias Opposes Interference into Christian Religious Practice of Confession
Bengaluru: Oswald Cardinal Gracias said in a statement that he was shocked to read in the press about the demand from the National Commission for Women for a ban on the Christian Sacrament of Confession. This demand by the Commission betrayed a total lack of understanding of the nature, meaning, sanctity and importance of this Sacrament for the Christian people. This also pointed out an ignorance of the strict laws of the Church to prevent any abuse.
Cardinal Gracias who is President, Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) further said such a ban would be a direct infringement on the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Millions of people from all over the world, over the centuries, have testified to the spiritual benefit of this Sacrament and to the grace, pardon and peace they have experienced as a result of receiving this Sacrament. He expressed confidence that the Government would totally ignore this absurd demand from the Commission.
There are very many issues concerning women that the Commission should pay attention to. They include empowerment of women, their capacity building, prevention of domestic violence, organizing rescue systems and so on, instead of dabbling in religious matters about which it understands nothing, added Cardinal Gracias who is also Archbishop of Bombay (Mumbai). The President of CBCI elaborated saying the Church wished to promote even more the advancement of women in society and was ready to collaborate with the National Commission for Women for this, as it does with other agencies.