Mgr Rodrigues: 'No one can remain silent in the face of evil against children'
by Nirmala Carvalho

Today is the feast day of the Holy Innocents. The rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount refers to the evils that afflict children: abuse, abortion, child trafficking and slave labour. Some 24 children from the St Catherine of Siena school and orphanage were in attendance.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Faced with the evil done to children, "no one can remain silent," said Mgr John Rodrigues, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Bandra (Mumbai), during the Mass for the feast day of the Holy Innocents, which commemorates the massacre of children ordered by Herod, king of Judea, with the aim of killing Jesus.

In his homily, the prelate said: "They proclaimed and bore witness to Christ even before they could speak. We pray for all children that they are safe and grow up with love and understanding."

The bishop also spoke against "abortion, abuse, neglect, child labour, child trafficking, child soldiers”, to name but a few.

"Christ, the light of the world, came to save the world. And yet we see evil and darkness around. We are called to be children of the light," he explained.

“We also acknowledge that despite our calling we contribute to the darkness and evil by our sin. If we say we have no sin we are not being true. We ask for God’s pardon,” he added.

Some 24 children from the St Catherine of Siena school and orphanage, which is near the basilica, took part in the service. The children, aged 5 to 12, are poor, orphans or from the streets. After the blessing, Mgr Rodrigues gave them sweets.

“Our community name is Satchitananda Mission, meaning Sat=Truth, chit=Consciousness, Ananda=bliss,” said Brother Joseph, a St Catherine trustee, speaking to AsiaNews. “We have a trust, which is a welfare society for destitute children [. . .] registered with the government."

The school, founded in 1957 in the garden of a Catholic family in Bandra, is named after St Catherine of Siena, the first female doctor of the Church.

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