Itanagar: Bishop John Thomas of Itanagar Diocese in Arunachal Pradesh appealed to the Catholic institutions and the faithful to help the Missionaries of Charity working in the state in the wake of the Central Government blocking the Charity from accepting foreign donations for its humanitarian work.

In a strongly-worded letter addressed to all the heads of Catholic institutions, parish priests, religious congregations and the catholic population, Bishop Thomas wrote: “It is time to prove to the powers that be that the strength of the Catholic Church does not come from the bank accounts through which we receive foreign contributions.”

The Union Home Ministry refused to renew the FCRA licence of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters, founded by Saint Mother Teresa. The action has come under severe criticism from people from all walks of life, locally and internationally. 

Calling it as a great blow for the magnificent and much-appreciated works of the Missionaries of Charities, the Bishop reminded how the selfless works of Mother Theresa enhanced the image of the Catholic Church as an institution that cared for the poor. 

“We all once basked in her glory. Everyone cherished a photo with her. Now is the time to show that we really appreciated her,” the Bishop wrote. 

Calling for solidarity with the Sisters, the Bishop said: “Let us ensure that these dedicated sisters and the poor in their care lack nothing. No one among them should miss a meal or lack a cup of tea. The fire in their kitchens shall never go out. Mother Teresa had pricked the conscience of the world and awakened it when she exposed the poorest of the poor dying on the streets. Now is the time to show that her idealism was not just a flash in the pan.”

The cruel Christmas Gift to the MC Sisters adds to the long list of attacks on Christians. Hindutva groups across India are creating mayhem by barging into Christian places of worship, destroying religious articles and statues, burning Christian literature, attacking schools, hospitals and worshippers, including women and children, especially around Christmas. 

The appeal concludes with a concrete request of helping the MC work in two places in west Arunachal Pradesh. “Every Parish is requested to take up a collection on any immediate Sunday and reach the proceeds to the convents of MC Sisters working in Naharlagun and Palin and encourage individual Catholics or well-wishers to come forward with the much-needed help. It is in adversity that we show our calibre.”



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