Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seminarian’s poem refuses to forgive priests 
Assisi, Bharananganam
New Delhi: A poem penned by an unidentified seminarian and published in a Capuchin magazine blasts Christian priests who wallow in comfort and luxury.
Titled “You deserve no pardon, oh priest,” the poem written in Malayalam language and published by the Assisi magazine, asks the men of God what answer they would give at the end of time after all the hustle and bustle of life.
“If the care and protection you have received were given to a tribal with tattered knickers or to a man facing gallows for a moment’s discretion it would have changed history by 180 degrees,” asserts the seminarian. “There is no forgiveness for you, priest; you do not deserve pardon.”
The Assisi magazine is published from Bharananganam in Kerala, the pilgrimage center associated with Saint Alphonsa, India’s first woman saint.
The poem, reproduced in Facebook by, a website for people from Kerala living overseas, has been applauded by readers, who see it in line with the revolutionary challenges thrown by Pope Francis at the Church hierarchy and the Vatican Curia.
“Pope Francis has bugled revolution in the millennia-old Catholic Church. But the Church leadership in Kerala is refusing to hear the call,” remarks in its introduction to the poem.
The website noted a view among general public that the bishops of Kerala refuse to climb down from their high pedestal and often behave like feudal lords. “They dismiss those oppose them as rebels. Now the criticism has been raised through a poem that too in a Catholic publication,” it adds.
The poem also lambastes the Church leaders for their political and commercial interests. “Both legs of politics have become open sores after your constant scratching on them,” the poem says. The Church’s involvement in education and healthcare reeks of commercialization.
“Your psalms have become distasteful as they are without soul and truth,” it says in an indirect reference to priest’s preaching and practice.
The poem ask the priest and his breed to shave their heads, humble themselves and bend as low as to the level of the earth and plead for pardon. In an apparent criticism of the trends among priests to pull down old churches and new ones, the poem says, “Stop your attempt to build the Babel Church of pride and construct with your heart and hands God’s dwelling places.”
Comments from
 4 Responses to Seminarian’s poem refuses to forgive priests
1.    K.C.Thomas AUGUST 8, 2014
One cannot say that all priests leauterestin
o lead. We have to think that lot of changes happen in society. For example priests never used to have cars or motor cycles. Now for saving time and for convenience a priest may use a vehicle…may be his own or the church’s. What I feel worst about some is their pride ,arrogance and intolerance and their
unwillingness to learn more about Catholicism.
It is easy to criticise. How many percentage o
Catholics prefer a simple life style without greed for more and more of wealth and power ?
What does it show ?They Only want to be known as Catholics and are not interested incommitment to Christ with personal Relationship to him. Seminarians are from the same society. Only few rise above this level.
relationship. Priests who g

2.    K.C.Thomas AUGUST 8, 2014
One cannot say all priests lead a luxurious life. Some do lead
Please read the above as the beginning of the comment published.

3.    Thomas Thazha AUGUST 8, 2014
Assissi Magazine showed the courage to publish this poem, which shows a very positive turn in thinking within the Church Hierarchy itself. May be, Pope Francis has started influencing the Church in Kerala, which was built in rock and was unshakable so far. I appreciate the writer of this poem, Assissi and Matters India for evoking some debate within. No doubt that we have many saintly priests, but the Church leadership in ‘Aramana’ needs a change. A simple change: just follow Pope Francis.

4.    A. S. Mathew AUGUST 8, 2014
I didn’t read the poem but based on the contents of the poem, that is an open challenge to be faced with today in the Church world representing all Christian denominations especially in Kerala.
Those people who are called for any ministry in the Church, especially as Priest and Bishops, they must have a real calling to follow JESUS through taking the cross and follow HIM.
Now we can’t expect the Bishops and Priests to walk miles and ride the bicycles, they must have comfortable transportation. But, what we see among the Church hierarchy is not a format of simple and humble lifestyle; but the terrible penetration of the U.S. made
“prosperity gospel”. If Rs. 5 lakh car is comfortable for travel, they must use that car instead of blowing Rs. 30 lakh and more for the foreign made cars; which is totally contrary to what JESUS has taught us to do.
Even though, the State of Kerala has the lowest poverty level in India, 16%, still that amount is a huge amount by the millions suffering from hunger-sickness-leaking roofs-etc, even in our own denominations.

Praying for the sick and hungry is great, but practical Christianity is to share our material possessions with the suffering world, that is what JESUS has specifically taught us to do.

1 comment:

  1. There's no point in people making comments without reading the poem. The author has put down his name under the poem. So it is not a poem by an unidentified seminarian. Though the Assisi magazine is being published by his own brother Franciscans, such audacity might cause him trouble. So Let us be silent about his identity for the moment.

    It is a good sign that even seminarians have been given the freedom to expresses themselves and that priests show guts to publish such writings. Things are definitely improving,one should say. Those who used to sit cosily in their spiritual thrones will surely feel uncomfortable. Our Pope would appreciate that, too.