Mother Teresa Debate on TV: Report from Kolkata, By Isaac Gomes….


On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 9 pm, CNN-IBN telecast live an interview by Fr Dominic Gomes, Vicar General and MrsSunita Kumar, spokesperson of Missionaries of Charity.The interview was in connection with an allegation by Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Supremo, that “Conversion” was the motive behind the service Mother Teresa rendered to the poor and the dying. Sunita Kumar took the questions with admirable ease and answered them quite convincingly.  Fr Dominic too spoke out but for some inexplicable reasons he was not given the due time, befitting Vicar General of Calcutta Archdiocese.  Even the audio was not coming through as he frantically tried to put his point across.  A big letdown by the interviewer to call an eminent person,  obliterate him and give more mileage to the likes of DrSubramanian Swamywith little knowledge on Mother Teresa. Coming to “Conversion”, if this was the motive of Mother Teresa, then by now Christianity would have reached double digits – it has gone down to 2.3% as per the latest Census Report. What one is deliberately failing to note is Conversion to Christianity is a lengthy voluntary process (unlike GharWapasi).  One has to undergo counselling, religious classes, study of holy books for at least six months before being certified conversion-ready.  One has to fill up a standard form which states that conversion to Christianity is of free will and not due to any influence / coercion.  This document is sent to the Bishop/ Archbishop to counter any future questions on forcible conversion.  In this context  Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Tuesday 17th February 21, 2015 in Delhi at a function organised to celebrate elevation of two Indian saints – Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia must be noted. Modi said “Everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence. My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to majority or minority to incite hatred against others overtly or covertly,” at a gathering where Cardinal George Alencherryand Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto were present. Had Mother Teresa’s motive been conversion of those who were cast aside and uncared by Mohan Bhagwat and his ilk, then her Missionaries of Charity organization would have closed down after her death.  On the contrary, is has expanded to 700+ houses all over the world. Can this happen if conversion and not service was the motive? In another interview Ms Kumar said that Mr Bhagwat was welcome to visit any of Mother Teresa’s centres. “If he wants to, the Missionaries of charity would be happy to show him around. If they asked me, I could show him around.” Most of the domestic donations are made by people of other faith.  Would they do this if they saw any ulterior motive of Mother Teresa and her society? It is now evident that the Indian Church would come under increasing probe of RSS, VHS and also the media. Being in public service, it has to accept it is not above questioning. It would therefore make sense if CBCI, as the head of Social Communications, trains a Crisis Management Team which would be ready with facts and figures including transparency and accountability in matters of donation. Isaac Harold Gomes Member – ICPA   ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????


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