India: Dalit Struggle for Proper Representation in Church
The policy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) of empowering Dalits talks quite openly about traditional casteism in the Church and all aspects of discrimination existing, including in vocations and hierarchy.
The nuncio says he is aware of the policy and supports and recommends its implementation. He quotes from the policy: “Caste with its consequent effects of discrimination and caste mentality has no place in Christianity”.
It is therefore puzzling how Archbishop Girelli can say there is no discrimination in the selection of episcopal candidates and the appointment of new bishops. In fact, the implementation of the CBCI policy requires bringing about equal representation in the hierarchy.
The nuncio pointed out that the episcopal ministry in the Church is intended as a service to the people and not a symbol of power. But this is no answer to the plea from Dalits to stop caste discrimination. There should be equal representation and participation of Dalits. It is plain and simple.
The nuncio also spoke about choosing priests with integrity and suitability. Dalits are not against these criteria, but how is it that integrity and suitability are always found in minority non-Dalit Catholics and not in the Dalit majority?