No pastoral letter for Assembly polls: KCBC

The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) has said it would not issue any fresh pastoral letter to politically conscientise the faithful in view of elections to the Kerala Assembly on April 13.

Updated: Mar 27, 2011, 15:03 PM IST

Thrissur: The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council
(KCBC) has said it would not issue any fresh pastoral letter
to politically conscientise the faithful in view of elections
to the Kerala Assembly on April 13.

KCBC spokesman Stephen Alathara said here that the
Church had already made its political stand clear through
earlier pastoral letters and circulars.

He said the Election Commission had sought clarifications
from the Church in the last Lok Sabha elections on issuing
pastoral letters, based on complaints from some individuals.

KCBC in its reply said it had not asked the faithful to
exercise their franchise for a particular political party or
candidate.

However, the Church had warned the faithful not to vote for
atheists and such persons in the garb of independents, since
it was the practice of the Church to give guidelines to the
faithful for their `spiritual, social, economic and political
enrichment.`

He said it was the inalienable right of the Chruch and it
could not be questioned by the EC as the KCBC did not fall
under its purview.

The complaint was about the joint pastoral letter issued by
Heads of different hierarchies of the Catholic Church in
August last, which stated it would not be advisable for the
faithful to contest as independents with the support of
political parties with atheist ideology.

The letter had also urged the faithful not to vote for such
candidates.

The Church felt that once such persons were elected, they
ceased to be independents and were forcibly admitted to
political parties professing atheist ideology, Alathara said.

PTI