Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in collaboration with Chennai Jesuit Province Dalit and Spirituality–Dialogue, organized a webinar on “Rejecting Casteism in the Church” on January 24.
The same webinar was held in Tamil last week.
Speaking on the topic, Fr. Maria Arul Raja, a well-known theologian and a director of the Institute of Dialogue with Cultures and Religions (IDCR) threw the light on the need for rejecting casteism in the Catholic Church.
The Dalit Christians should live in peace, harmony and justice must be done to them. They do not need retributive justice instead they look for reconciliatory justice, added Fr. Raja.
The Dalit Christian struggle in the Catholic Church is not only demanding Dalit Bishops, Archbishops and provincials, but also the demand to reject and end casteism.
“In the baptismal promises, we pronounce that we would reject Satan and all his works but we, the Christians in India, are still holding the caste as their identity. Christ is our identity,” the Jesuit said.
“Rejecting caste is a fight for humanity. All should have everything. In rejecting caste, we need to democratize the Good News. It is against the Bible to say that we are ruling dynasty. Proclaiming Gospel is centralizing the people who are oppressed and marginalized; it is to respect them and to proclaim that salvation is for all,” said Fr Raja.
“The culture of equality is the culture of purity. Our job is to insist on a culture of transparency. It is creating equalitarian Eucharistic culture,” he said.
As many as 60 people from India and abroad attended the webinar.