Don’t Misuse Sacrament of Confession
THE sacrament of confession is one of the most unique aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in his abundant love and mercy, established the sacrament of confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of directly to God? When Catholics confess their sins to a priest, it is said, they are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest. Some arguments against confessing sins to a priest are: a) only God can forgive sin; b) we can go to him in prayer, asking him to forgive our sins; c) confession turns out to be nothing more than a permission slip to keep on sinning. These considerations come to the fore as accusations are being levelled against priests for alleged blackmailing of women and the National Commission of Women demanding that the practice of confessions be abolished.
FRANCISCO COLAÇO, MARGAO
Preserve Old Records
DURING the Portuguese regime in Goa, documentation and preservation of records was excellent. You could get a certificate of an old record at short notice. And mind you, there were no computers, scanners or pen drives then. Today, you don’t get an old birth certificate, a Matriz certificate or even a copy of the mutation document signed a few years ago. The situation is pathetic due to which people have to face great inconvenience and loss. It has been admitted that the volume of work has increased manifold today but so have the employees and office equipment and facilities. The old records are very important and they should be preserved at all cost. The people of Goa have received enough assurances from the government. What they would like to see for a change is concrete action and results on the ground. The government should take a serious decision and outsource the work of scanning and preserving the rest of the old records to a competent agency, if necessary, before more and more is lost due to careless handling and passage of time.
RODNEY DE SOUZA, ASSAGAO
A Bill Against Common Man
THE Lok Sabha has passed the prevention of corruption (amendment) bill, 2018, which inter alia provides for stringent punishment for bribe givers and enjoins prior permission for the prosecution of public officials. This practically means that there would be prosecution of the helpless victim who perforce may have to bribe a powerful public official or be denied the service. This bill will also dissuade whistleblowers, as it will deter complaints against the culprits who will be safely protected. The objective seems to protect powerful government officials at all costs. Eminent lawyers, including Prashant Bhushan, and activists have called the piece of legislation as ‘protection of corruption bill’. It is hoped that the President does not give assent, or if he does then the Supreme Court will strike it down as it has done in the past.
JOHN ERIC GOMES, PORVORIM