The Morung Express

Rejoinder to ‘At last Holy See wilted: No talk, act now’

Rev. Fr. G. L. Khing
Kohima

Respected Dr. John Mohan Razu, I am much pleased to read your article (Published in The Morung Express on 29th August 2018) and rejoinder to P. Vikheto Sema (4th September, 2018) in the local dailies. After reading your article and rejoinder, I realized that some issues that you brought forth are just to cover the sins of some churches by placing Catholic in the first rank list (“but in the due course of time the protestant churches would follow suit.” It sounds like the Protestants are yet to commit sin. They are waiting for Catholics to go ahead. They will follow later in bigger number). It is better to beg for God’s forgiveness for our sins instead of hiding them like treasure. I would like to get better clarification from you with regard to the following issues.

1. The Catholic Church has fallen out of grace? (1st para)
2. Is it a sin to beg for God’s forgiveness (as Pope Francis did)? (2nd para)
3. Can faith be used for one’s own advantage? (4th para)
4. Did the failure of the Catholic Church to accept contraception in Africa stupendously increased HIV/AIDS? (6th para) If so what is the rate of HIV/AIDS among the Protestant Africans?
5. Doesthe Protestant churches/world strongly advocate the use of contraception?
6. Compare and contrast the rate of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and Protestant churches as per your research.
7. Compare and contrast the number of crimes and violence in the Catholic Church and Protestant churches.

 

I pray that you will answer the above raised issues systematically in truth for the good of all readers for wider understanding.

 

There are physical and sexual abuses in many churches. It occurs both at homes and at places of work. There are more than 47,000 protestant churches in the world. Even if there is single abuse in the church, the number of victims will be 47,000. I am sure the real data will be ten times higher than the number of existing churches (47,000×10=4,70,000 victims of sexual abuse. Not bad. Multiply by 20 or 30 and find out the number of victims). These are sad realities hidden for ages in the protestant churches as well. Covering one’s sin inside the thick blanket does not make us holier. It suffocates us even more. The courage of Pope Francis to beg for God’s forgiveness is an act of humility. He was not ashamed to beg for God’s forgiveness instead of hiding its fragile nature. The Church is holy, yet her members are sinners. The Catholic Church is made up of sinners in need of God’s grace and salvation. To beg forgiveness needs courage and understanding. It is easy to survey the sins of others. But to be forgiven is better than external handshakes.

 

Dr. John Mohan pointed out that the failure of the Catholic Church in accepting contraception increased the rate of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Sicknesses and pain are part and parcel of human life. Are African Catholics more vulnerable to sickness and disease than their Protestants brethren?

 

Sickness is blind to religion or denominations. Nagaland is a Protestant dominated State with a high rate of HIV/AIDS patients (third highest in the country with 22,878 PLHIV. The prevalence rate among the adults is 0.76%). Mizoram is a Protestant State with a high rate of HIV/AIDS patients (0.79%). Manipur has the highest HIV prevalence rate among adults in the country at 1:06%. The protestant churches may strongly promote the use of contraception but this does not mean that they are free from such deadly sicknesses and diseases. The examples cited in Nagaland and Mizoram will prove that it is not so. But the article seems as though a protestant man and woman will never be infected with HIV/AIDS because they change with the change of times (as cited by him in reference to the African countries). The African Protestants are unstained by any sickness because they have faith in contraception more than God. Even if there is no contraception, I believe that man and woman can live a faithful life in love of God and neighbours as true Christians.

 

The Churches in Nagaland live in peace and understanding with each other building up the body of Christ. Thus, this bond of love should not be destroyed by biased attitude of some people.

 

Lastly, Biblical quotations cannot save you and me, but living Biblical lives can save us. God bless us all.