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"Antagonistic statements on the one hand and approach like this will not go together," Cleemis said.

Archbishop Cleemis skeptical about RSS outreach to Christian communitywww.facebook.com
news RSS Outreach Friday, January 15, 2016 - 14:33

The Syro Malankara Catholic Church in Kerala appears to be wary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's reported move to set up an organisation to reach out to the Christian community.

On Thursday, the head of the church, Major Archbishop Mar Baselios Cleemis said that while people were free to associate with any group, the RSS’ attitude would matter, not its statements.

"Everyone has the freedom to form any type of organisation. But its acceptance depends on the virtue it produces," Archbishop Cleemis told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.

When asked whether the Church welcomes such a move, Cleemis said "I am not clear on the intention about such an outfit. Unless the objectives are shared, people will have their own apprehensions." 

"They have not yet disclosed their objectives...my doubts will be cleared by their attitude and not by statements...what new thing they are planning to do through this," he asked.

Archbishop Cleemis heads the nearly 4 million strong Syro-Malankara Catholic community in Kerala.

ET had reported on January 4 that the RSS has held meetings with Christian leaders to set up the ‘Rashtirya Isai Manch’ in an effort to reach out to members of the community.

"On December 17, 4-5 Archbishops, 40-50 Reverend Bishops from across 10 to 12 states met and it was decided to develop a movement. This is preparing the ground to lay the seeds for an organization," Indresh Kumar, member of RSS' National Executive, told ET.

Speaking to The News Minute, Father Paul Thelakat, a spokesperson of Ernakulam- Angamaly diocese had said, “I do welcome the proposal for good relations as a step in the right direction of dialogue and mutual discussion.”

You can read our earlier story here.

Archbishop Cleemis said, "No one can say that an organisation will not change never ever. But, we have not had any experience now that it (RSS) has changed. However, we cannot say that there will not be any change to that organisation." 

"Antagonistic statements on the one hand and approach like this will not go together," he said.

When it was pointed out that the objective was "reaching out to the community," Cleemis said, "if that is the aim...we have Prime Minister, ministers, leaders of the party that rule the country."

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