Church flays Yechury`s remarks

The Catholic church in Kerala today took exception to CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury`s remarks directed at it by asserting that it would continue to intervene in politics to "uphold" democratic values.

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2010, 00:44 AM IST

Kochi: The Catholic church in Kerala today
took exception to CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury`s remarks
directed at it by asserting that it would continue to
intervene in politics to "uphold" democratic values.

The reaction came after Yechury, earlier in the day, said
in Vijayawada that his party wants the Church "not to take its
position in politics".

Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Father Paul Thelekat
charged that the CPI(M) does not want anyone to criticise it.
"This is a democratic country and any person belonging to any
religion has the right to criticise the government in a
democratic system. Yechury`s statement is undemocratic."

Kerala Catholic Bishop`s Council (KCBC) spokesperson,
Father Stephen Althara, said the Church does not indulge in
any party politics.

"We are not in favour of any particular front-- the
Marxist party led Left Democratic front (LDF) or Congress led
United Democratic Front (UDF) (in Kerala). But we have a clear
cut political vision to uphold democratic values to promote
patriotism and secularism and to fight terrorism,
fundamentalism and violence."

To maintain an equilibrium in the society and to protect
values, the Church would intervene through its political
vision, he said, adding in the past also, the Church had
intervened in Kerala`s socio-political situation whenever
democracy was challenged.

Father Paul said the Church throughout its history had
intervened in politics in an ethical way.

"Wherever human rights have been suppressed, whether it
was during Hitler`s Nazi regime in Germany or dictatorship of
Ferdinand Marcos in Philippines or apartheid of South Africa
or Marxist party`s dictatorship in Poland, the Church has
raised its concern on human rights and criticised the
suppressing regimes," he said.

-PTI