‘Don’t use Christian women to further communal agenda’: Thalassery bishop

Earlier this month,the Syro Malabar Church’s Idukki diocese sparked a major controversy by screening propaganda film The Kerala Story.
Mar Joseph Pamplani
Mar Joseph PamplaniFacebook
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In a veiled reference to the recent controversy around the screening of the propaganda film The Kerala Story by the Syro Malabar Church Idukki diocese, Archbishop of the Thalassery diocese of the Syro Malabar Church, Mar Joseph Pamplani, said that some people are “attempting to create division and communalism among Christians”. The Archbishop made this statement while addressing the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement (KCYM) conference in Chemperi in Kannur district on Saturday, April 27.

Urging youngsters not to be “narrow-minded”, he took a jibe at organisations that are trying to “protect women” from ‘love jihad’ – an Islamophobic conspiracy theory that Muslim men ‘trap’ women from other religions and convert them to Islam.

In his speech, addressing young women, the Archbishop said, “Some people are stepping in as the protectors of our girls. Dear young women, I have to say this to you: Youngsters here should be enlightened to say that the girls here are with self-esteem. So, no one can cheat them in the name of love.”

“We only have to tell the story of love, Christians have only one story to share, which is Jesus’s story,” he said, adding, “We should realise many people are there to sow division and communalism among us. Youngsters must never forget the boundless love of Christ and the boundless glory of humanity. Therefore, if youth becomes parochial, the whole country would fall into the darkness of parochialism.”

Earlier this month, ahead of the Lok Sabha election in Kerala, the Syro Malabar Church’s Idukki diocese sparked a major controversy by screening The Kerala Story, leading to condemnation from both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan. 

The Kerala Story directed by Sudipto Sen furthers the right-wing agenda that gullible women are being coerced to convert to Islam and join the terrorist organisation ISIS.

A few churches under the Thalassery Diocese also screened the propaganda movie directed by Sudipto Sen. Following the controversy, the Diocese informed the media that they would refrain from screening movies until the completion of the Lok Sabha elections.

“No communalists need to communalise here by mentioning the name of our women. We would not allow this anymore. Our community knows how to protect our young women,” he added. The Archbishop was reportedly taking a dig at Christian Association And Alliance For Social Action (CASA), a pro-Sangh Parivar Christian outfit in Kerala.

Interestingly, in March this year, Mar Joseph Pamplani vowed to extend support to the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections if they committed to increase the price of rubber to Rs 300 per kilogram. 

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