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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Installing Statue Of Father Of Opinion Poll

The reason why it is absolutely right to call Dr Jack de Sequeira, whose full name is Joao Hugo Eduardo de Sequeira, as the Father of the Opinion Poll as well as the Architect of Goa’s unique identity is because if you remove Dr Jack de Sequeira from the Opinion Poll scenario conducted on January 16, 1967, it is unlikely that with his absence from the scene and the lack of charisma and oratorical skills, the anti-merger campaign would have emerged victorious. Today, as we celebrate the 53rd anniversary of the Opinion Poll, it would be prudent for the 40 MLAs, 2 Lok Sabha MPs and one Rajya Sabha MP to take a unanimous pledge to install a statue of Dr Jack de Sequeira at the Assembly Complex at Porvorim. This measure is a long standing tribute to him along with a unanimous decision to include a chapter of the Opinion Poll in the history textbooks for the knowledge of students in the state. Goa would have been only a district of Maharashtra if the Opinion Poll had not decisively voted to make Goa, Daman and Diu a separate and unique entity. It should also be emphasised here that a statue of Dr Jack de Sequeira should be installed in Salcete, since Salcete itself contributed to a net difference of votes of more than 34,021, which was the winning margin for the anti-merger symbol Two Leaves.

ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI

A Viewpoint On Priestly Celibacy

This is with reference to the news item ‘Retired pope lauds celibacy as Francis mulls married priests’ (NT January 14). Priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church is a hot potato, which keeps popping up time and again, even as the Catholic Church keeps demanding its continuance. Pope Benedict XVI is a classic example of a diehard Pontiff, who firmly believes that priests should emulate the example of their lord and master Jesus Christ, who was a celibate all his life. However, of late, it is the 2019 October Amazon synod, which is proving to be the game-changer with a majority of bishops voting in favour of the ordination of married men as priests to overcome the acute shortage of priests in the Amazon, where natives are deprived of the Eucharist and sacraments for months together. While nothing concrete has emerged till now, there is strong reason to believe that Pope Francis is likely to succumb to the pressures within and change the 900-year-old ecclesiastical law of mandatory celibacy as an exceptional case to meet the spiritual needs of the natives of the Amazon region. Secondly, questions are also being raised as to why Church missionaries are reluctant to go to the Amazon to meet the needs of the indigenous people. We have sufficient number of Catholic missionaries all over the world who can take up this daunting task, even if it means making great sacrifices. Probably, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM

 

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