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Much Ado About Confirmation

Most of the senior citizens of today have received their first holy communion at the age of seven years and the sacrament of Confirmation without much ado a week later. The question, therefore is, in what way are we different from the present-day children, who are eligible to receive Confirmation only after reaching the IX or XI standard and put through a cumbersome catechesis for over a year and time-wasting rehearsals along with their parents? Special prayers are also said a week before at the daily mass for those receiving Confirmation – something unheard of before. Although the Catholic Church is in favour of receiving Confirmation only after attaining the age of reason (seven years), Confirmation can be received at any age and time. And since Confirmation is regarded as the perfection of baptism, whereby the baptized are enriched with the special strength of the Holy Spirit, the three sacraments of baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist are administered to infants at the same time in the Eastern Catholic Churches. So, after knowing the importance of early Confirmation, I wonder why is the Roman Catholic Church waiting till the child reaches Class IX or XI?

A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

Let’s Strive To Eradicate Male Bestiality

With suffuse of reports of rape and murder from every corner of the country, it is as if the nation is in the throes of a violent seizure where the bestial nature of man is gradually emerging from its dormant phase to manifest itself in the most hideous manner, and with disastrous results at that. But on second thoughts; is rape as that atrocious act that seeks to demean the weaker gender traumatising them both, physically and mentally, a crime that has suddenly raised its ugly head! It has been going on for ages, from time immemorial. But these days, with a few hitting the headlines for the inhuman and horrendousness of the act, the press does not seem to tire of bringing related reports of similar episodes from across the country. Stories of sexual violence are common in India’s newspapers. In spite of some rather cheeky claims by a few of our more responsible leaders that such isolated acts of depravity are quite common in a civilised society, the regularity of the murderous sexual assaults led to more such stories making the front page than ever before. Some tend to grab media glare while the others slip out of public memory even before the dust has settled over the matter. Such cases get public attention only because of the hype generated around the viciousness of the crime and the people accused of it. Let us not forget that for every rape reported, there are an equal number that for some reason or the other fail to reach the public domain.



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