Lending their voice to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, bishops of the Catholic Church in India have announced January 26 as ‘Constitution Protection Day’ and urged the faithful to read out the Preamble of the Constitution after the Sunday Mass.
“Since this Republic Day is closely associated with the Constitution of India completing 70 years, I request you to carry out the following in all our parish/quasi-parish churches,” said Archbishop Thomas D’Souza in a letter to parishes in Kolkata, before going on to add, “The Preamble of the Constitution will be read in the Church (read by one and repeated by the entire congregation) after every Holy Mass or outside the Church after the flag hoisting.”
D’Souza also asked the community to be part of the human chain in Kolkata on January 26 organised by the United Interfaith Foundation to express the “desire of all citizens of India to have and uphold the values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity guaranteed by the Constitution of India”.
In a letter to all the parish priests under his diocese, Paul Antony Mullassery, the Bishop of Kollam in Kerala, has asked all the parishes as well as Catholic organisations to read the Preamble and take a pledge to protect the Constitution on Sunday, Republic Day.
The letter by Mullassery, written in Malayalam, reads: “The country is going through an unprecedented social situation. The Prime Minister… is leading attempts to violate the values provided in the Constitution. Most important among this violation is the division of society on the basis of religion. We should react strongly to (attempts to) exclude one particular community from the CAA.”
The Kerala Latin Catholic Bishops Council too issued a pastoral letter to be read out in all churches on Republic Day.
The Kerala State Wakf Board, which has around 10,000-odd properties under its fold, will also observe Republic Day at its mosques.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines