A senior Kerala Catholic priest has dubbed the organisers of ghar vapsi (reconversion) programmes as "fundamentalists" and questioned what he described as "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence" on the issue, reports our special correspondent from Thiruvananthapuram.
Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil, a former President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, sought to draw parallels between the ghar vapsi events and Islamic State atrocities in Iraq and Syria, saying such fundamentalists in both instances were trying to uphold the "outdated idea'" that the "religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled".
" Cuius regio, eius religio (Latin maxim which means the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled) is an outdated idea. But that is what fundamentalists here as well as the ISIS are trying to uphold," Powathil wrote in Laity Voice, a Catholic journal.
Powathil's comments, however, came in for criticism from a former nun, Jesme, who said the priest had "no moral authority to question the reconversion". "For hundreds of years, the Church has converted using inducements and force. Then how can they now oppose reconversion," Jesme, who was a member of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, a congregation of nuns till she hung up her robes in 2008 following differences with the clergy, said .