Church should openly groom & support candidates

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
10 May 2018 13:16 IST

This has been truly an exhausting and depressing week for the Church in Goa.

In vicious times when the Church is under virtual siege, the attack, savage and despicable, comes from within its flock.

Black sheep anyone??

Let's try and breakdown the socio political dynamics, of this phenomenon, unfolding with disgusting voyeurism in our midst.


This is the worst kept secret of the Church. The Church may not be an active political organisation, but that it indulges in politics, at the time of elections is a well established truism.

Local priests in their parish openly canvass for their chosen ones and the Church as an organ, gives a nudge nudge wink wink to their preferred political party in their 5 yearly sermons from the Altinho mount.

In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing – NOTHING - wrong in doing so. This is the Church inalienable constitutional right.

Where is the problem then???

The problem arises when the Church and the local priests deny their involvement in electoral politics.

And every citizen, journalist and political observer knows this is a clear case of "alternate facts" and the Church gets caught in a trap of its own making.

The Church, if it takes a political stand, however camouflaged, must stand by it and then make it abundantly clear to the politician in question, that they will eat him alive if he reneges on promises made.

(And this is the slow roast a certain Judas Sardesai de Fatorda is facing).

The best option for the Church would be to groom, articulate, honest candidates and throw their weight behind him/her.

These candidates are not expected to run a religious agenda of the Church, not by a mile, but serve the interests of GOA and Goans selflessly.

If the RSS - a cultural organisation - can successfully run a poisonous political Hindutwa agenda, surely the Church can run a political agenda defending Goem Goenkar Goenkarponn (not the fraudulent Forward Backward variety of course).


It is here that the Goan Catholic Church gets a distinction grading. They have not flinched, not backtracked Not given an inch.

I had the great privilege of working with Fr Maverick Fernandes during our haylcon days in the GBA.
I could and did disagree with him on a number of issues, but his courage of conviction never wavered even once.

And it is this intransigence and non-negotiation on RP/PDA and a host of land issues that puts the Church at loggerheads with the venal political class.

So if the Church supports the BJP in 2012 in the vain hope that our land issues could be addressed, they are the paragons of patriotic virtue.

And if they oppose the BJP and our friendly Judas on exactly the same issue, then they are of course anti-national and Vatican-driven conversion mafia.

The Church did not flinch. The Congress earlier and the BJP now did.

Of course there are conmen in the clergy who have popped off land belonging to the Church for 30 pieces of silver. Please identify, prosecute and jail them.

But to damn the entire Church and pour vitriol by unfounded charges on the top most hierarchy of the Church is so pathetic that it doesn't even merit a response.

And if the political class thinks that by foxing the Church and running a smear campaign the agitation against them will die a natural death.. FAT CHANCE!!!!

As far as this agitation goes, make no mistake. It is the people of Goa driving the Church, not the other way round.


When the Church does get itself involved in socio political issues, it must necessarily must provide the economic road map for Goa that is alternative, viable and most importantly lucrative.

So if mining is evil and must be shut down, there has to be a working alternative on the ground and one must work to get that funded. If we must move to agri-flor-pisci culture, investments and tech must come in. This solution must be given by the green brigade.

Easy to demolish but very very tough to create.

In sum then, in a democracy everyone has the right to dissent and even criticise the Church or anybody with authority. But please spare us the defamatory and gutter language. It gets us absolutely nowhere.

Post script : Despite all his perfect political calculations and wily manoeuvring, my friend Judas Sardesai must realise that the rage against him is real, palpable and politically very very dangerous. My guess is when all the cows come home all he'll be left with is Saint Prashant, Saint Dilip and Saint Mohandas... not a very comforting thought however.

I however agree with Mr Sardesai on one point. Scrapping the TCP Act, optimising the elusive 73rd 74th amendment and formulating a working module for the chaotic and inconclusive Gram Sabhas cannot be decided on the streets of Goa. The Azad Maidan and Lohia Maidan cannot be substitute for the Legislative Assembly.... Sorry!!

So agar himmat hai, get a couple of the activists elected to the Assembly and then enact whatever law you deem fit.

Hall Bol on the Streets!! Solutions Kor in the Assembly!!!

Democracy works this way....

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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Previous Comments

There must be Corner Meetings & Prayer all over Goa under the Banner


Curses on them who bribe voters to vote them and then-after recover those bribes by looting Honest Goans! Let their children become handicap, let they become widow at the young age and Honest Goans Curses Goes On……….

- Jack De Goan, Goa | 23 rd May 2018 17:03


Well said doctor, kut mar Judas acher

- Mathias, Oman | 10 th May 2018 16:11


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