Dr. James Kottoor
My heart-felt congrats to Joseph Padannamakkel for the researched article he wrote on the saint of the Gutter. When you read some writers it is like taking a sleeping pill. Instantly you dose off. When you read others, even if you are sleeping it will instantly shake you and wake you full awake. Writers should be of the second type and it is for that I congratulate Joseph Padannamakkel. Once you start reading Joseph Padannamakkel you can never dose off.
I read it immediately after he wrote it and it really shook me up and left me simply flabbergasted and wanted to react immediately but could not due to overload of work with CCV. Today when I opened it to write I find it a hot bed of controversy. That is what any topic should become when it is openly discussed raising pros and cons, because there is not a saint without a dirty past nor a sinner without a bright future. Think of St.Augustine.
Whenever I wrote about saints in India, I always mentioned Gandiji who was a Hindu, a naked Fakir, and Mother Theresa who was a foreigner. That does not mean that there are no saints in India, only none could impress me as much as Gandhiji and Mother did, not because they are flawless but simply because the good they did to humanity, especially the poor and out castes in this Casteism driven India, simply drowns their minor or even some of the major weakness in their personal lives. It is also my weakness to think admiringly of Mamatha of W.Bengal, when I speak of Moher Theresa, because among politicians she shine better for identifying with the poor in her Sari similar to Theresa sisters in spite of many allegations against her.
I am not an advocate of saints or saint-making. Can you find any saint without shocking failures in their lives. Just think of John Paul II or even Francis Xavier and historic revelations of reported Inquisitions carried out in Goa. Even when Mother Theresa was alive I came across many allegations against her, which due to time crunch I could not do an objective study. But when I read Joseph Padannamakkel I was both excited about the researched facts he has cited to prove his point and simply shattered by some of them like that she used 90% donations received to make the then Pope John Paul II happy. May he has proof but I don’t have and so I wanted to write and ask him for his proof. I request him now to send it to me if he has or if it was only a hearsay report. I too heard such reports but never gave much credence to them.
I am not here to enter into an argument with anyone but to request all to know there are not just two opinions on a controversial topic but hundreds of views and none of us should pass judgements before we patiently listen to all of them. But I have no hesitation to congratulate Joseph Padannamakkel for the powerful researched articles he writes always and most of all for the courage he shows to take a stand of his own, on the basis of facts he succeeds to unearth. So let the discussion go on and all the best to both pros and cons, because we the listeners stand to learn and benefit from your contributions.