Posts Tagged ‘ Christianity ’

The unholy secrets and not-so-divine divinity of the church..

This is an overdue post that was waiting for salvation,in my drafts.Something was stopping me from posting this.Call me a pseudosecularist or whatever.But I would not have felt this if it was about my faith or if about musilms.If it were so,I would have been the first to write on this.But having been associated with nuns for over 10 years ( I did my schooling in a convent) and moreover,I feel ashamed that it happened in my so-called enlightened state and above all,fear of trolls ( Bcoz by now,I am familiar with Hindu trolls and Muslims trolls,but never encountered this type ) ..And most importantly,only a keralite can understand my dilemma,the enviornment in the state,where priests and nuns are seen with atmost respect by people from all walks of life.But oh yeah,now I have been inspired by Indyeah’s  post and as she says,it amazes me too that nobody is speaking about this. And now I now what the hell this pseudosecularism is..

 

Yes,I am talking about Sister Jesme’s autobiography,Amen,where she talks about the sexual exploitation of nuns in the church by priests..and about the problems of homosexuality and hetrosexuality among those working in the church.

 

Honestly speaking,this news was not ‘so surprising and shocking’ to me as I am yet to get over the hangover from the ongoing Sister Abhaya murder case– a Roman Catholic nun, who was found dead in a water well in St Pius X convent in Kottayam, India, on 27 March 1992.

 

She was 19 years old at the time of her death and was a member of St. Joseph’s Congregation for women under the Knanaya Catholic diocese of Kottayam, Kerala in India.. On the fateful day she had got up from sleep early at around 4 am to study for her exam, had gone down to the kitchen of the hostel to get water from the fridge. Later her body was found in the well outside the kitchen in the convent/hostel compound.

 

It has been investigated and reinvestigated by various police agencies of Kerala and various teams within Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI-India) for 16 long years. On Dec 02, 2008 and on December 29, 2008, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), made a statement before P.D. Soman, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam. According to CBI, their brain-mapping and narco analysis investigations revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on March 27, 1992, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. Sr Sefi hit Abhaya with an axe (‘kodali’) thrice on the back of the head, near the right ear and on the head. She then collapsed. Thinking that Abhaya was dead, Fr. Thomas Kottoor, and Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by Sr. Sephy, lifted Sr Abhaya’s body, took it out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building.

 

On Dec 02, 2008 and on December 29, 2008, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), made a statement before P.D. Soman, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam. According to CBI, their brain-mapping and narco analysis investigations revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on March 27, 1992, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. Sr Sefi hit Abhaya with an axe (‘kodali’) thrice on the back of the head, near the right ear and on the head. She then collapsed. Thinking that Abhaya was dead, Fr. Thomas Kottoor, and Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by Sr. Sephy, lifted Sr Abhaya’s body, took it out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building.

 

There are infinite murders remaining unsolved but I am glad that judiciary has been consistent on pestering the CBI to bring out the truth,that too for 16 long years-a timeline that underlines the undercurrent pressure to wipe off the truth,not to talk about the money involved in suppressing the truth and mop it down under the carpets. Read more here..

 

I went off track,but I really wanted to write on Sister Abhaya case,but didn’t.

 

Sister Jesme’s relevations are not really shocking,infact there has been many a reports on how rotten some systems within the church are.Recalling the Muringoor Retreat investigation that was drowned in deep sea..

 

The Divine Retreat Centre in Kerala’s Muringoor’s claim to fame is that it is the largest Catholic healing centre in the world. However, there is a catch. More than 975 mysterious deaths have happened in the centre – that Kerala Police is now investigating – and there have been allegations of rape and murder. The case is registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 342 (wrongful confinement) 324 voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 328 (causing hurt by poison etc with intent to commit an offence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.The other offences alleged include the conducting of a psychiatric institution without licence, administration of psychiatric drugs on several persons (15 persons are still at the centre).

 

The FIR also said the institution collected money by conducting religious functions and mentally hurt those who are opposed to the functioning of the institution.During 1996-2006, as many as 974 premature deaths occurred at the centre, and bodies were cremated without providing information to the police.The documents were allegedly forged to make it appear that the deaths were natural.Several persons are locked in cells. Persons showing violent signs are injected with some unknown drugs.Treatment is imparted by untrained persons. There are no medical practitioners at the centre.The investigation had been ordered by the High Court on the basis of the allegations contained in an anonymous letter.It was alleged that Fr Mathew Thadathil had made an inmate pregnant and she delivered a child. Celin Lopez of Alappuzha allegedly went missing from the centre.IAS and IPS officials were allegedly extending illegal assistance to the centre which allegedly was receiving foreign funds.

 

The center draws around 10,000 people for its weekly retreats, conducted in seven languages. It has served more than 10 million people from all over the world since 1990.

 

 

Congress and K.M Mani were the happiest people in this world,when SC asked the state government to stop the investigation.So much of people in the circle uh?

 

These are the two instances ,of great importance,that I can recall now.There are infinte such instances ,like the muder of a 24 years old nun,Aupa Mary..

 

Pappachan, a cook who works at the Bishop’s house at Kollam, alleged that his daughter Anupa Mary, a nun at the St Mary’s Convent at Kollam, committed suicide Monday after she was made to do all the chores in the convent and was sexually harassed by the head of the convent.[…]

Treesa Thomas, who has been a nun for the last 43 years, was forcibly admitted to the hospital to prevent her from spilling the beans on “illicit affairs between priests and sisters” and to make her statements look silly. It also claimed that a nun, who was unable to bear the torment, had ended her life in the convent sometime back.[….]  

That goes on and on and on..This is no way an attempt to tarnish the good will or underplay the good deeds that they did in our society .Girls like me and millions others got chances of good education because of them. They have done lot of social service,but that should not stop us  from calling spade a spade.My humble opinion is that it is high time that the structure of Church is reorganized-and the concentration of power is put to a stop.Also,it seems that people join seminary ,not for social service,but for associated power and authority.Kerala women’s commission has a proposal of minimum age of girls (18 yrs) to join seminary.

 

The Commission’s three recommendations to the state Government, after it received a complaint of exploitation faced by nuns inside the church, were: fix 18 years as the minimum age for enrolment as nuns and initiate legal action against parents who send underaged daughters to nunneries; protect the family wealth and property of girls who join nunneries and discourage the practice of donating property to the congregations they join; and formulate rehabilitation packages for nuns who quit or retire from the vocation.

 

“It’s the first time the government or the civil society has at least recognised the miseries faced by the nuns who are voiceless in the church,” says a nun. “A nun’s life is miserable. They are helpless when they are made to join the church. They are helpless if they leave the church as they would have no means to sustain their lives,” says Joseph Pulikkunnel, noted theologian and head of Osaana, a Christian reform movement.[…]

 

 

 There are priests and nuns who live in luxury, frequent foreign lands and misuse the power and social good will..At the same time, there are priests and nuns who serve the poor and needy,the orphans, the slum people and all those needy people. But as in the case with any organized religion,the few rotten shadow the good deeds of the majority.

 

This issue assumes special significance in Kerala because the state has the country’s largest Christian population of seven million which constitutes 22 per cent of its total population. More importantly, over 75 per cent of the priests and nuns in India who belong to different churches and congregations hail from Kerala. I hope the Church stands up against these anti-divine elements in them, rather than just turning a blind eye..It is easy to brand them mental patients and try to fool the world.. Act wise before the few rotten apples spoil the whole basket.

 

 

 

P.s:Read outlook’s interview with Sister Jesme –10 Questions  

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Freedom of expression-Round up

This has indeed been a brainstorming session,and i am very much sure that you guys got sick and tired towards the end ..I am sorry for not putting much input-it is simply becasue i don’t have clear idea of the subject.

 

Thanks to all for your precious time and sincere efforts to convey the idea in words.I know that unlike me who sits in front of pc almost whole day,most of you are working or studying and thanks a lot for sharing so much of viewpoints..lol..I am sounding so formal.Sorry,but i just felt like appreciating everybody for taking part in the discussion.

 

Both Charakan and Indyeah/Solio have valid points[mentioned them in particular as they were who added lot of thoughts,it doesn’t mean that I didn’t read or don’t appreciate others inputs].In the end,both of them are coming to a single point,a walk-over through the main points,as it would be injustice on my part to ignore their effort and time spent on the post.

 

First of all,the basic FACT that this heated discussion happens is because,as Kanagu says,

As you have mentioned in the end when the people have people have strong belief in their faiths this will not happen.

Charakan shares the same words

Do you think your religion will be destroyed becasue of that?Then you dont know religion

 

Me,Indyeah,Solilo,IHM,Manju,all of us hold the same opinion,period.

 

Secondly, as Chrakan says,majority of people are peace loving.But the minority fundamentalists have strong influence in our society and hence all these issues happen when they exploit the mass[who have no idea of spirituality ,but are happy in mechanical religious rituals that are repeated in equal intervals of time] accompanied with the politicians who are bothered about power and vote banks.To Charakan’s words[just the main points]

 

  • 1% of fundamentalists are holding the peace loving public to ransom.
  • All fundamentalsits want such an impression in general public,that religion is above law
  • Politicians believe that if a fundamentalist say something all members of that religion will follow suit

Now see what Indyeah says about us,the mass who doesn’t have a second thought before going on street,the moment we hear ‘Oh,your religion and culture is in danger,there is war on Islam,there is muslim propaganda to flick hindu girls,there is Christian conspiracy to convert all indians’ etc etc.Her words:

 

What of the masses?I know they are gullible and stupid fools one might call them..But in their gullibility they take lives and give their own..

So true..They burn public property,they are so furious that they want to wipe out anything and evreything that wouldn’t satisfy their ego..

 

Ok,now looking into solutions,this is where difference of opinion happened.Charakan says

 

. Or you can just ignore him/her,ask all your friends and family members to do so and even put some notices asking people to boycott him.Or you can hold a peaceful dharna [after getting prior permission from the police] in front of the artist’s house or Gallerry. Instead of campaigning against hate-mongers of all religions we are putting the artists in the dock.s

Indyeah said

 

That they [artists]should be gently told to avoid a thing or two once in a while?

Atleast till the state is able to ensure that the artists are secure and free to express whatever they want..

 

Is it not our responsibility to act as responsible citizens and ensure that while the masses stay within their limits and not start getting violent at any opportunity

One view is not to have limits,but that the solution lies in the mass being more tolerant and secular.The other view is to have some limits until and unless the stae becomes smart enough to handle the situation, rather than just sitting idle and watching the show[as is the case it happens mostly]. As Gargi said,

the Government is the evil.

Agreed,but we are a part of the whole system and there is no point blaming the government.I disagree with her when Gargi says that Government is impotent-No,we the mass are the impotent ones,singing tunes to whims of every other rowdy or anti-social element round the corner.

 

In my opinion,the solution is inline within the thoughts of Charakan and Indyeah-make the mass tolerant,meanwhile,as Poonam said,let government deal with the situation as it required in a law and order scenario.

 

So how do we make the mass more tolerant.Spread awareness about facts facts facts.When people say ‘there is war on Islam’,make people understand that faith is something unshakable,and those with shakeable faith needn’t remain in the system.When they say that India is going to burst out due to increasing muslim population,give them facts that the rate of decline of poluation [fertility rate]among muslims is so high that they will come to a stagnant state,which as been acheived by Hindus andChristains already) soon.So,maybe they will have to take a 2999 more births to see india getting stuffed with muslims..When somebody tells you that Christians are converting every Indian,make them understand that faith is not something than can be forced upon,and those who convert for food or education will either come back to original religion or will secretly continue practicing what they believe in.There is no point in projecting numbers..I have read reports on rocket increase in number of muslims.I find it so hard to believe that so many people are attracted to Allah,I am sure theer are many converting out of ‘no choice left’.So,my question is,what is the point in converting if you have no love or faith in the system.Agreed that statistics is on the ride,but of what use? Coming back,I feel there is no point in worrying over conversion.Those who love it,will remain in it forever.Those who fly away never deserved to be in it.Afterall ,Sanadhana Dharma is all about living a blissful life.

 

Sorry,I lost focus. I was talking about spreading awareness about FACTS rather than rumors.And secondly tell people either to follow religion in complete or not follow it at all.the half-baked state is the most worst and dangerous one.

 

Thirdly,in regard to government intervension in these issues of moral policing,pressurize the so-called leaders to TAKE ACTION as per the penal code.When girls where beaten in pub,isn’t there a case for attacking people and harming them? In Mumbai,why weren’t the women taken into custody for attacking a person[luckily for Indians,it was a Pakistani,else the government would have been made a joker when the respective country’s embassy would ask for legal action..Ha,Pakistanis don’t deserve respect in our eyes,right?] My point is,every time government doesn’t take action against unwated,illegal protests,the more and more will people will get inspired to moral police.Tell me how many of you will think twice or thrice before jumping into streets,if predecessors before you were punished for disturbing public life? Take efforts to end the lawlessness. As Poonam said,we have enough laws,but none are implemented.

 

To end my rant,this discussion had been a great one,imparting lot of viewpoints and ideas.As to put our thoughts in action,next time you hear that your religion or culture is in danger,rather than listening to somebody else’s propaganda,read and learn for yourself-THE FACTS.Also,when there is a situation of moral policing,no matter if it is in the name of religion or culture or political or geographical factors,make sure you support the victim.They are afraid to come forward and talk about it [we never heard of the girls who got beaten],due to the resulting social stigma.Stand up for them,for this may happen to you tomorrow and unless you start raising voice,you will not find anybody in your favour,when its our turn..Do remember that…

 

 

In course of time,let us make efforts to make a society where artists can put forward their viewpoint,with no fear ,while we the mass have grown up and learned to behave well and react matuerly,if the creation or incident is indeed offensive

 

 

Good day to all..I hope I did some justice in concluding the discussion..Sorry for al typos,I have no time to re-read now..Gotta go..

Charakan says:

EACH AND EVERY ARTIST SHOULD HAVE FULL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 

Solilo says:

 

“True freedom is a Utopian philosophy. We are never going to achieve that because we are bound by laws.” 

 

Indyeah says :

 WHEN I SAY FREEDOM SHOULD HAVE BOUNDARIES I AM TALKING OF SELF IMPOSED BOUNDARIES AND CULTIVATION OF A SENSITIVITY

History of Israel-Palestein conflict -as and how lightly my small brain process it.

Hell this history is damn sickening and making me dizzy.But I an keen to know what is it that makes this whole region and conflict an unresolvable one.So,this is my understanding of what I read over days and days and days..phew..Please do correct if I go wrong and share your thoughts..

 

 Once upon a time,there was a place named Judea,whose human settlement can be traced back to stone age.This place is believed to be dwelling  and burial place of personalities mentioned in Torah.

  

Later,Romans conquered this land.According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Judea, in the early years of Roman rule. Roman rulers drove the Jews out of Jerusalem and named the land Palastina.Many Jews migrated to far away lands-Alexandria,Europe etc etc but there was never complete abandonment of Jews from the land.Palestein was later conquered and inhabited by Ottomans  for over thousand years.

 

 During the seventh century Muslim Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine. Jerusalem was conquered  by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900’s. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their religions. However, most of the local population gradually accepted Islam and the Arab-Islamic culture of their rulers.Now this made the Christians in Europe irritated and agitated.This land,Jeruselem was holy for them too and they were afraid of Islam’s wide spread acceptance..

 

Now starts the time of Crusaders (1095-1291). The Crusades originated from a strong sense of religious piety . A crusader would, after pronouncing a solemn vow, receive a cross from the hands of the pope or his legates, and was thenceforth considered a “soldier of the Church”.The aim was to  retake the Holy Land from the Muslims. The Holy Land included Jerusalem (where the death, resurrection and ascension into heaven of Jesus took place according to Christian theology) and Antioch (the first Christian city). Further, they believed that by retaking Jerusalem they would go straight to heaven after death.

 

The Jews and Muslims fought together to defend Jerusalem against the invading Franks(predominantly French-speaking Western Christians). They were unsuccessful though but later the crusaders entered the city.Again, they proceeded to massacre the remaining Jewish and Muslim civilians and destroyed mosques and the city itself. There were eight crusader peroids and you can read a short description here ,from a jewish source.

 

When the Crusaders opened up transportation routes from Europe, pilgrimages to the Holy Land became popular and, at the same time, increasing numbers of Jews sought to return to their homeland. After the overthrow of the Crusaders by a Muslim army under Saladin, the Jews were again accorded a certain measure of freedom, including the right to live in Jerusalem. Although the Crusaders regained a foothold in the country after Saladin’s death, their presence was limited to a network of fortified castles. Crusader authority in the Land ended after a final defeat by the Mamluks, a Muslim military class which had come to power in Egypt.

 

 

Gosh…are you bored???

 

 

These Mamluks were defeated by Ottomans .When Napolean entered the scene,most Arabs and Jews left the land in search of better lives.Later,when things started settiling down,both Arabs and Jews started to come back to their homeland.

  

Then started the rise of Zionism(establishment of Jewish nation) and more and more Jews started migrating to Palestein. By 1914, the total population of Palestine stood at about 700,000. About 615,000  were Arabs, and 85,000 to 100,000 were Jews.

 

 

british-mandateDuring the first world war, Ottoman Empire joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies.After the war, Britain and France planned to divide the Ottoman holdings in the Middle East among themselves . After the war, the League of Nations divided much of the Ottoman Empire into mandated territories. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 called for part of Palestine to be under British rule, part to be placed under a joint Allied government, and for Syria and Lebanon to be given to the France. Britain offered to back Arab demands for postwar independence from the Ottomans in return for Arab support for the Allies and seems to have promised the same territories to the Arabs,as the land promised to Jews. The Arabs claimed that Palestine was included in the area promised to them, but the British denied this.

 

 In November 1917, before Britain had conquered Jerusalem and the area to be known as Palestine, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. The Arabs opposed the idea of a Jewish national home, considering that the areas now called Palestine were their land. The Arabs felt they were in danger of dispossession by the Zionists, and did not relish living under Jewish rule. The area granted to the mandate was much larger than the area sought by the Zionists.

 

 

britishmandate1923During 1921-1929,in opposition to the Balfour declaration and fears that the Arabs of Palestine would be dispossessed, Arab nationalists opposed to the Balfour declaration, the mandate and the Jewish National Home, instigated riots against Jews .The Arabs claimed that Jewish immigration and land purchases were displacing and dispossessing the Arabs of Palestine. The British tried to stop Jewish immigration ,otherwise further Jewish immigration would infringe on the position of the existing Arab population.But this was highly criticized by Zionists and later Pm Ramsey clarified that they don’t intend to control immigration and in the subsequent years, Jewish immigration to Palestine increased significantly.

 

 Then happened the Holocaust.From my reading I understand that Nazism refers to “National Socialists” and they hated German Jews,because they believed that Germany lost the first World war due to back stabbing from Jews within the country.Due to the oppression of Naiz and also as British had tried to control immigration to Palestein,Jews formed  “Institution of Illegal Immigration” and started moving to Palestein.

 

 Late World War 2, The US and other countries brought pressure to bear on the British to allow immigration. The Arabs brought pressure on the British to block such immigration. The British found Palestine to be ungovernable and returned the mandate to the United Nations, successor to the League of Nations.lol..(sorry for laughing,I find all this sick 🙄 )

 

 In 1947 – The United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. The commission called for Jerusalem to be put under international administration. The Jews accepted the UN decision, but the Arabs rejected it. The resolution divided the land into two approximately equal portions in a complicated scheme with zig-zag borders. The intention was an economic union between the two states with open borders. At the time of partition, slightly less than half the land in all of Palestine was owned by Arabs, slightly less than half was “crown lands” belonging to the state, and about 8% was owned by Jews or the Jewish Agency. There were about 600,000 Jews in Palestine, almost all living in the areas allotted to the Jewish state or in the internationalized zone of Jerusalem, and about 1.2 million Arabs.

 

 

israelmap_1949The scheme did not work. Mutual antagonism would make it impossible for either community to tolerate the other. The UN was unwilling and unable to force implementation of the internationalization of Jerusalem. The Arab League,declared a war to rid Palestine of the Jews. In fact however, the Arab countries each had separate agendas. Abdullah, king of Jordan, had an informal and secret agreement with Israel, negotiated with Golda Meir, to annex the portions of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian state in the West Bank, and prevent formation of a Palestinian state. Syria wanted to annex the northern part of Palestine, including Jewish and Arab areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr I am sick..The rest of history, where we see how unfair things turned out to a particular section of population.. This is all the background one needs to know when trying to understand the conflict in the region. Without this information, we will be just watching drama  from the halfway.

 

 

 

p.s :

 

Web is a web with lot  of biased information from both sides..I tried to get info from seemingly unbiased sources.If I seem wrong,pls correct.It took me 5 hours to write this. ***faints***

 

 

 

 

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