||Home > Charity and Solidarity > 2013-06-29 20:41:43
Uttarakhand floods: God not to blame, says priest
Mumbai, 29 June 2013: "Let us thank the Lord for all the corporal and spiritual graces granted to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in this holy place," said Fr Savio de Sales, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies for the archdiocese of Bombay. "Pray for a new world order, a transformation of society, a conversion of the heart," he told Mumbai Catholics during a novena he organised for Hindu pilgrims affected by floods in Uttarakhand.
The clergyman, who is the parish priest at Our Lady of Victories Church in Mahim, decided to hold the service after reading a post on Facebook that said, "In the midst of this great tragedy, God decides to look the other way". For Fr de Sales, these words deserved an answer, one that "urges us to reflect on the importance to protect and preserve creation."
"While we bow our heads and join in prayer for those who lost their lives and continue to suffer from floods and landslides in Uttarakhand, [we think] it is not God who turned their faces ... but man. This is a disaster caused by men. After all the talk about 'climate change' and 'global warming' little or nothing was done! If each of us to do something in his little to save Mother Earth, we could make a difference. "
Blaming God for such the catastrophe that hit the northern Indian state is just an easy way not to reflect on where humanity is going.
"The world," Fr De Sales said, "is mired in the swamp of a secularism that wants to create a world without God, a relativism that stifles the eternal and untouchable values of the Gospel, of a religious indifference that remains undisturbed with regard to the greater good of God and the Church. This fight causes countless victims, in our families and particularly among our youth."
"We have fallen prey to a world that teaches us to live a life that contradicts the values of the Gospel. The Word of God teaches us to love our enemies, to do good to those who persecute us, to offer compassion, kindness and forgiveness; a gospel that teaches us not to judge and that we will not be judged. Yet, we seem to have succumbed to ways of the world that are at odds with what Jesus expects from each of us."
In addition to the novena, the Archdiocese of Mumbai expressed its support for flood victims in an official statement.
"We hope soon to take some steps to alleviate the human misery caused by the floods," Mgr Agnelo Gracias, auxiliary bishop, said in the press release. "In the meantime, we will turn to God of all comfort and consolation in prayer for the victims of the catastrophe."