Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect

The response of the Catholic Church to the conviction of Sibu Soren, the first cabinet minister to be convicted for murder while still in office is intriguing.Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo of Ranchi and other Church leaders expressed sadness over the verdict . The conviction is one “of the biggest tragedies for the tribal communities of Jharkhand state,” the cardinal told reporters. His archdiocese is based in the state capital of Ranchi, some 1,160 kilometres southeast of New Delhi. Cardinal Toppo later told UCA News the Church would always support Soren “spiritually,” because “we love him as deeply as ever.” According to the prelate, who heads India’s Catholic Church as president of the national bishops’ conference, only “God knows the truth and he will take his own course.” 
 
No one knows why the Catholic Church feels free to defend some one who has been convicted after due process of law and whose crime is not trivial and more so when Sibu Soren held public office. True, he has a large measure of contribution to the Jharkhand struggle as the founder of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and still retains a large measure of public support. Sibu , known as “Guruji” among his followers is not a member of Cardinal Toppo’s flock and tribal solidarity not withstanding , what is expected of the church is that it will set a moral and ethical example by speaking out when public figures misuse the trust that is vested in them. This is not the first time that Sibu Soren has been involved in controversy and he does not enjoy the squeaky clean reputation that say A.K.Antony enjoys to warrant this sort of support from the church and its leadership.
 
The Catholic Church has always had political ambitions, usually but not always hidden under the garb of concern for the poor and the marginalized. In Latin America , the history of the Catholic Church has been till recently to support repressive right wing regimes who would distribute largesse to the clergy and church institutions. In most instances, while there are many who do work selflessly for the poor, a large section of the church hierarchy is more comfortable cosying up to the powers that be so that the vast church property and institutions and the money they bring in is not threatened.
 
 And although it is often the right wing BJP that is mouthed , if its turf is threatened , it will not hesitate to take on even avowedly secular Marxist government in Kerala. “ Church leadership in Kerala says the Marxists-led state government is using the language of threat to somehow implement its controversial new education law to rein in professional institutions run by Church and other minority groups. Archbishop Joseph Powathil, Chairman of Inter Church Council for Education in Kerala said that dialogues to resolve the impasse on the self-financing professional colleges, would come to naught, if government is using the language of threat.”
 
But it is not only the Catholic Church that is to blame. Bishop P.D.S. Tirkey of North WestGossnerEvangelicalLutheranChurch assuming prophetic powers has  claimed that “News that Soren’s fate would have a “great impact” on Jharkhand Christians. Church people do not know “party politics” or the case’s details, “but he is not guilty and will be cleared in higher courts.”  How the Bishop knows what verdict will be delivered by the higher courts is a sublime mystery but what is abundantly clear is that even in matters of faith, belief and religion , tribal and ethnic bonds are thicker than the commandments of scripture.
 

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