2 de agosto de 2012

STATEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE IRLA CROSS – in the light of the TV Programme on the ‘Dripping Cross’

A general Observation: The official Church is slow to attribute supernatural causes to ‘extra-ordinary’ phenomena we observe in life. As far as possible, the Church tries to see if such phenomena can be explained by natural causes. Further, the Church does not pay too much attention to these extraordinary phenomena, even though she accepts the possibility that God may intervene in human life in an extraordinary way – what we often term a ‘miraculous’ way.
Coming to the ‘dripping Cross’ at Irla: One can doubt if this water dripping has a supernatural cause. The Church has NOT made any pronouncement on it. There is a lengthy scientific process that has to be undergone before any official pronouncement is made. It is quite possible that the dripping water may have a natural explanation.

What is surely objectionable are the statements made by the Delhi interlocutor, Mr. Sanal. We point out some of these erroneous assertions:

* Contrary to the interlocutor’s claim, the Church does not advocate the worship of images. There is a difference between honouring a thing and making it divine, something to be worshipped. We respect and honour the Scriptures of any religion not because the books are in themselves divine, but because they have a special significance for the adherents of that religion. We honour a cross because it is for us a reminder of the love of Jesus who died for us

* A second gratuitous assertion is that the dripping Cross has been created by priests who are out to make money! This Cross is not on Church property and the one who is alleged to have noticed the dripping water was not even a Catholic. To the best of our knowledge, no money has been collected by any priest. And surely, priests do not build churches with such money, as is claimed by the interlocutor.

* A third unwarranted statement is that the Pope or the Church is against Science. The interlocutor would only have to go to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the internet, to see the list of eminent Catholic scientists and how the Church has supported scientific research since the emergence of the European universities in the Middle Ages. There is a Pontifical Academy of Sciences, founded in 1603, which seeks to pay honour to pure science, wherever it is found, to assure its freedom and to promote its research.

I realize that the interlocutor has made these and other unwarranted statements out of ignorance – he is unaware of facts. The least he could do would be to apologize to the Catholic community for hurting it, even though it might be inadvertently.

+ Bishop Agnelo Gracias
Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay

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