photo click to enlarge - catholic priests taking part in a terrorist propaganda rally and holding photos of the mass murderer to their heart
i was a roman catholic for most of my life and i have a hunch that i will return to the church before i die. my love for the church was based on more than my faith in god (which at present is non existent). imo its theology is better and more sophisticated that any other religions' philosophy (including buddhism's which i consider a religion btw). i am a great fan of both the current and the previous pope. i also think that catholic church was the greatest formative influence in creation of the modern world and culture in which we live, whether or not we, or the church itself, like how it has turned out. and i love the pageantry, singing, and all other associated paraphernalia.
throughout its history (and especially in recent history) catholic church has been a courageous moral support for peaceful struggles against authoritarian regimes. but unfortunately it is also true that church (or more correctly individual members of it, including very high ranking ones), throughout its history ( and again esp. during recent history ) has been an active collaborator of fascist regimes and political groups, including ones that have used violence and terror against their opponents, ranging from hitler to franco to argentine junta, to columbian paramilitaries, to perpetrators of rwandan genocide, to many others
bishop and terrorists
but church as a whole is not the subject of this post, subject of this post is the behavior of bishop of mannar the most rev. dr rayappu joseph
i oppose peaceniks because they think peace is worth any cost including the cost of democracy, freedom, justice, and human rights. i do not oppose broad calls for peace issued by the church though i consider them rather naive. such calls are generally not slanderous against sri lankans and military (unlike say statements and writings by peacenik ngos like center for policy alternatives, by such terrorist back lickers like groudviews' sanjana hattotuwa, or by racists like indi.padashow, all which are ultimately based on terrorist pussy propaganda and not on facts)
but there are exceptions and mannar bishop is one. he is acting like a peacenik and a ltte back licker, in contrast to archbishop and most of his colleagues.
he has been active in propagating several ltte propaganda inspired slanders. among many, pesalai incident is a case in point. though there was no evidence to back him up he turned what was, at most, either an accident or a case of indiscipline on the part of few navy personnel, and more probably nothing of the kind, into a wholesale and totally unjustified denouncement of the navy and military in general forgetting his christian participles. he had a right to ask for an investigation and to criticize investigation if it was improper, but he had no right to pass judgment. there were several such occasions when he forgot principles of justice and became a terrorist parrot.
priests under him led some police officers in sl child protection agency, to so called ltte controlled areas during ceasefire to arrest a british pedophile ( that catholic priests of all people should help arrest pedophiles is ironic but that is another matter) hiding there. whether the priests were in cahoots with terrorists or not we do not know for certain, but the police officers were kidnapped by ltte and held against their will for months. they were used as bargaining chips by murderous terrorists. and what did bishop of mannar did during that time? nothing.
he has allowed priests under him like the ones depicted above to participate in ltte propaganda and has not disciplined them as far as i know. bishop of mannar himself has attended ltte propaganda rallies and other functions, including reportedly the funeral of roasted murderers like thamilchelvan and have turned a blind eye to child soldiers participating in such functions.
all of that lead us to believe he is a willing collaborator of a murderous fascist group.
a golden opportunity
but if he is not, or at least has changed his mind, he now has a golden opportunity to take the neutral ground that christian shepherds should take .
during the ongoing operation in mannar district ltte has broken its agreement ( great surprise that!) to keep the vicinity of madhu church free of war. it has placed artillery there and is using them to attack security forces as we write. so far military has not retaliated against those positions.
if bishop of mannar is not a peacenik and a ltte bottom licker (all of whom as expected are silent on this), he should speak up and publicly ask ltte to remove the said artillery.
will that influence the ltte to remove the artillery? probably not. but it matters that bishop prove himself to be a christian and not a terrorist supporter. all catholics from archbishop down must pressure him to do so.
without such a call from him, all his statements esp his denouncements against military if and when madhu church sustains damages (hopefully not) will be hypocritical . (this will also be true of all other peaceniks as well, but most of them are beyond the point of no return; they will never oppose terrorist murderers).
so which are you, lord bishop? a supporter of terrorist murders, or a christian?
should we too be forced to prosecute you as a collaborator of terrorists and lover of fascists when the war is over, as argentines have done with several of their priests?