Archbishop M Soosa Pakiam and Catholic Bishop Council of India president Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos greet BJP President Amit Shah
Kochi, June 12: Notwithstanding the ‘cordial meeting’ with BJP President Amit Shah during his three-day Kerala tour, the Kerala Archbishop Soosa Pakiam of Thiruvananthapuram has said that Christians in the state would not agree with the ‘basic ideology’ of the saffron party, the Indian Catholic reported.
The Kerala Archbishop said that he viewed with “openness” the BJP President Amit Shah’s recent efforts to reach out to the Christians of the state, but made it very clear that they are not in favour of the basic ideology of the BJP.
Their main objection was to the Central government’s decision to ban sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets. The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council said that the church would not accept a government that dictates what people should eat.
Describing Shah as a “prominent leader”, KCBC President Archbishop Soosa Pakiam of Thiruvananthapuram said the bishops’ meeting with Shah last week was cordial. He said the bishops discussed with Shah the minority rights. “We did not discuss politics. We had a friendly discussion on minorities and their rights. He said the government is 100 per cent committed to protecting the constitutional rights of minorities,” Pakiam said.
“But, we will never accept a dictum on what we should eat or a government that dictates it. They (the BJP government) may try to impose their dictum as they are mighty. But we are not going to accept such decrees. For us, the Constitution is big,” he said.
Talking to reporters after the monsoon session of the KCBC here, the official, however, alleged that the rights of minorities were being violated in north India. He also said he had never expected Shah to meet the bishops.
Pakiam further said the bishops welcome those who visit their homes. “We are dealing with openness,” he said. However, the KCBC chief said, “We (the Catholic Church) are still not in a position to agree with their (BJP's) basic ideology.”
“Shah has assured us that the constitutional rights of the minorities would be protected,” he said. During his three-day Kerala visit last week, Shah had met senior bishops of different rites of Christians in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
The KCBC also lashed out at the Kerala government’s new liquor policy, saying “consumption of liquor will increase if the bars which were closed, are opened in line with the new policy.”