“The sufferings of our farmers pain us; their death is a tragedy,” Archbishop Machado said.
|Bishop Felix Anthony Machado – Archbishop of Vasai|
Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado of Vasai says suicide of farmers is a deep wound for the Church in his Maharashtra state where impoverished farmers take the extreme step to escape debt and misery.
Archbishop Machado led more than 600 farmers and their families in Bahare in Maharashtra in a rally on March 24 to underscore the importance of development for the diocese’s rural and tribal communities.
“The Church proclaims life in all its fullness. The sufferings of our farmers pain us; their death is a tragedy,” he said.
Maharashtra State reported the maximum number of farmer suicides in India last year.
“A high number of believers in Vasai are farmers,” Archbishop Machado said. “They need holistic development, which includes a balanced health and people who use God’s gifts for each other and for the whole human family.”
“The loss of a family is a loss for the community,” he noted. “For this reason, a tragedy that affects the families of farmers who committed suicides is a deep wound for the Church. If the family is intact, then we can be witness to progress in our communities, society and the nation.”
“It is vital and urgent to be united in the crisis, because if farmers and their families are not united in suffering as in the joy, the enemy can plant seeds of division and pain,” said the prelate.
The prelate quoted Gaudiumet Spes:“The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.”
The prelate elaborated on the social commitment of the church, “Faced with lies, the Church sides with the truth. If people are in conflict, the Church brings reconciliation and peace. If things are destroyed, the Church builds bridges of dialogue and peace.”
Source: CBCP News