Mgr Dominic Savio Fernandes condemns the act of leaving a dead baby girl on the side of a road, her body bitten by mice. Children are the most endangered species in modern society. Parents should teach respect and equality between boys and girls.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The body of a new-born baby girl was found near the Navjeevan Society residential complex, Mumbai, next to trash bins, her body bitten by rats.
For Mgr Dominic Savio Fernandes, auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, "It is shocking that humankind can still commit such heinous crimes. It is time for humans to learn from animals, who take care of their puppies and protect them from any adversity. No one has ever heard of an animal that throws its offspring into the garbage. Only humans do."
Speaking AsiaNews, the bishop, who heads the Commission on the family in the western region of the Indian Bishops' Conference, went on to say that "Today, children are the most endangered species in the world, especially girls. They are killed in the womb, where, ironically, they should be safe; or those who escape abortion are abandoned in garbage bins or left to die on the streets. Many children are deprived of the fundamental right to life”.
The prelate is distraught by the story of the baby girl, who was found by police after it received a tip from a passer-by. The autopsy shows that in addition to rat bites, the body showed numerous wounds to the head and chest. According to the pathologist, this is consistent with the body being thrown from a considerable distance, as if the authors had thrown her from a moving car.
According to the Catholic Church, the bishop noted, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being" (Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC, n. 2258).
“Human life,” he added, “must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (CCC n. 2270).
The archdiocese is committed to the protection of girls. It does so through a series of programmes, explained, Mgr Fernandes, who is also ecclesiastical adviser to the Diocesan Human Life Commission on (DHLC). This includes raising awareness on gender issues in schools, as well as education to respect human beings, especially women, who deserve dignity and equality. "These initiatives are designed to make people aware of these crimes, so that they can become agents of change."
The bishop stressed that the demand for more discussion on these issues comes from the grassroots, from parishes, who would like to organise more meetings on the subject of women and violence prevention. "Raising awareness in everyone, irrespective of religion, caste, class or gender, is an emerging need."
According to Mgr Fernandes, the focus must be on the family. "The family is the basic unit of society. Everything that takes place within the confines of the family is reflected more broadly in society. Therefore, it is at the level of the family that values like respect, dignity, honesty and morality must be inculcated."
"Experience,” he said, “teaches us that mothers are the ones who pass on these values, but both parents have a vital role to play. If they teach that boys are worth more than girls, the disparity will make its way into society. Parents need to be instruments of change."