16 Notes & Comments

posted Nov 9, 2017, 2:20 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 9, 2017, 2:21 AM ]

Log Kya Kahenge? (What will people say?)

Fr Warner D'Souza

Over the past several years, I have come across newly married couples carrying a heavy burden; often well within several years after their children are born. It's a burden that they either took upon themselves, but most often, one that was emotionally foisted upon them by parents, and often distant relatives, with the classic line: "log kya kahenge?" (what will people say?)

Weddings in India are a multi-crore enterprise. Currently, the Indian wedding industry is worth over Rs 100,000 crore and is growing at 25 to 30 per cent annually. The estimated cost of a wedding with no expenses spared could be between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5 crore. The pressure to conform and match up with the Jones is tremendous, leading young couples to enter into a whirlpool of debt in the first few years of married life; years that could well be the most testing for any newly married.

Yet, this grave crisis is rarely spoken about from the pulpit. If handled with tact, it can become a great turning point among Christians who wish to scale down their weddings to match their bank balances with a realistic celebration, rather than swipe their credit cards in favour of wishful expectations.

For the priest, addressing this contentious issue is daunting. Congregations could always glibly misconstrue such a well-meaning suggestion as interference in their personal lives. Lest we catch the bull by its tail, the case being made is for celebrations that are debt-free, celebrations where expenditure matches bank balances and where local customs (not Church requirements) do not contribute to making marital life a financial nightmare.


Our fellowship with the dead is no illusion: Pope Francis


Hope in the Lord's promise of everlasting life does not disappoint, Pope Francis has said.

"God is faithful and our hope in Him is not in vain," the Pope said in a memorial Mass homily.

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass in St Peter's Basilica in memory of the 14 cardinals – including US Cardinal William Keeler and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor – and 137 archbishops and bishops from around the world who died in the past year. Fifteen of the bishops were from the United States, and two from Canada.

These pastors generously served the Gospel and the Church, the Pope said, and "we seem to hear them repeat with the Apostle: 'Hope does not disappoint.'"

"This hope, rekindled in us by the Word of God, helps us to be trusting in the face of death," he said. "Jesus has shown us that death is not the last word; rather, the merciful love of the Father transfigures us and makes us live in eternal communion with Him."


Protestants embrace Evangelii Gaudium


Indonesian Protestants, celebrating the start of the Reformation 500 years ago, have embraced Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World, calling it a document that can significantly help mend ties among Christians, in a country blighted by growing religious intolerance.

The Protestant Reformation began on Oct. 31, 1517, when Martin Luther, a German pastor, sent his 95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the Archbishop of Mainz in which he criticised the Catholic Church and the papacy.

During celebrations in Jakarta on Oct. 31 to mark the event, Indonesian Protestant leaders said the Pope's message in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), in which he called for churches to avoid blaming each other, held special meaning in Indonesia, as fears grow over rising intolerance in the country.

"The invitation by Pope Francis in the document is very relevant, asking churches to distance ourselves from blaming and slandering attitudes," Rev. Herniette T. Lebang, chairwoman of Communion of Churches in Indonesia, said at the Oct. 31 gathering.

Nearly 100 Protestants, Catholics and Muslims attended the event.