When the former Pope visited Columbia, he made the following statement:
“THE ROLE OF A PRIEST IS TO SPREAD GOSPEL FULL TIME WITHOUT INVADING OTHER FIELDS AND SECULAR WORK WHICH IS NOT YOURS NOR HAS BEEN INDICATED TO YOU BY YOUR BISHOPS”.
What we notice today is that the priests are more occupied in things which are secular in nature by neglecting the spiritual aspects of the faithful. Almost every Pe. Vigar of almost every Church in our every village is seen holding the position of a Principal of the diocesan school attached to his Church. When this is the case, how he will be able to devote his time and efforts to look after the spiritual aspects of the faithful thereby fulfilling his main obligation as a Pe.Vigar? The job of a principal is a full time job and also very responsible needing total dedication without invading any other activity. In my village itself the moral fabric of the so many faithful is become corrupt which leads their souls to hell. The duty of the priests is to save the souls from going into the hell. But to do this the priests who are the guides and protectors of the souls do not have sufficient time to help the faithful to avoid the sin because the priests are more occupied in the secular work, as indicated above.
In my village during the living memory, only under the Pe. Vigarship of Pe. Nicholau Noronha the moral fabric of the local faithful was better protected because Pe. Nicholau Noronha as Pe. Vigar was strictly guarding the spiritual aspects of the faithful, during his time the concubinage in the village among the faithful was less rampant, the character of the local faithful was much better and those involved in serving the Church activities were more upright. Pe. Nicholau Noronha was accepted by the locals as their fatherly figure because he proved with his sterling qualities and character as the most adorable Pe. Vigar in our village. He was not involved in promoting secular activities but engaged himself more in the promotion of moral and spiritual aspects.
Today we see many of our priests involved in the promotion of education which is good but not as good as the promotion of spiritualism which is their main duty. Sports, Tiatros, Ballroom Dance, indulging directly in politics and private personal business - are these activities meant for the priests? Pe.Nicholau Noronha was directly confronting those faithful who were indulging in anti--Chrisian activities. He went once to a lady who was living the life of a concubine and not only reprimand her but brought her back to her normal life. Once he told in the strongest words to one local Panch member that he is harassing the locals in the Panchayat when they come for any help. When the same Panch member asked Pe. Vigar “who are you to question me when Panchayat does not come under the jurisdiction of the Church?”, shot back the Pe. Vigar saying “I am your father by virtue of being the Pe. Vigar and as a Catholic I have all the rights to stop you from going out of the way”.
In mid eighties, one Tiatrist Priest from Goa came to Kuwait with the letter of Goa Bishop Monsg. Raul Gonsalves to the Kuwait Bishop Mongs. Frances Mechallef, to stage his Tiatro in Kuwait Church Hall. When the Kuwait Bishop saw this letter, he immediately sent a reply to Goa Bishop asking him, “why did you send your Tiatrist Priest to Kuwait? To stage Tiatros? Is it the job of a priest to stage Tiatros?” And further asking this question: “What pastoral significance his visit is having in Kuwait?"
If at least half of the entire time our priests putting in the non-spiritual activities is invested in the spiritual aspects and in the pastoral work, today the moral fabric of our community would have been much strong. We as a community in general are become corrupt, in politics most of the members of our community are become rascals and many of our Pe. Vigars and Pe. Curs are pampering them even from the Alter because these priests are recipients of the part of the bribes extorted by the criminal Panchayats from their customers. In business many of our community members are turned into unreliable crooks, first lass “chors and bamtte” thus giving a very bad image of our religion, in social life we are very much vulgar where many of our females are involved in living a vulgar life because they made money as their God since they are not thought by the custodians of our souls the real meaning of God as our custodians have no time to do this job because they are more busy in devoting their time in non-spiritual aspects.
Additionally, we have so many lay groups namely Somudai, Parish Council, Legion of Mary, Charismatic groups and so many other groups but what is their substance? Some of them are in many cases most corrupt people involved in many un-Christian and illicit activities. Because many of these people are become darlings of the Pe. Vigars and Pe. Curs and also the concubines of some of the Pe Vigars an Pe. Curs, they are ruling in a Hitlerian manner their respective Churches, not to serve God nor the people but to boss over them because they love bossism since they are suffering from ancestral inferiority complex where they were always kept under the bondage of their Bhattkars and others. It is mainly the members of some of these groups who are spoiling the peace in our community by doing more politics than serving the God and mankind. The all round quality of these people is very poor, mainly they are from “hoi-polloi” background. Qualitatively the people without family grandeur are not involving in this type of activities, these activities mainly confined to low grade people. Many of the locals who are cheap are involved in the Church activities because these activities give them a semblance of good character. Church is the good venue to gain cheap publicity and good character certificate when you are a bad person. Ultimately, these cheap people bring a very bad name to our otherwise excellent religion Christianity. Many of the “Cheddio” are involved in doing the Church activities to suppress their ill deeds and some of these cheddios are kept in the Church circle by their P. Vigars who use them as “Temple Girls”.
I think there must be some change in the working of our clergy who should be entrusted with the task of doing more spiritual work.