09/08/2011, 00.00
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Mary’s Nativity against selective female abortions

For a spokesman of the Archdiocese of Bombay, celebrating the Day of the Girl Child on the day of the Virgin’s Nativity “reminds us that Mary was” a special and yet so ordinary. In India, selective abortions, female infanticide, child brides, child abuse and prostitution are still widespread.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – On Mary’s Nativity, the Indian Church is celebrating the Day of the Girl Child because the Virgin inspires everyone to respect, defend and encourage girls, and to oppose discrimination and the violation of their rights like selective abortions, female infanticide, child brides, child abuse and prostitution. Starting today, the Archdiocese of Bombay will also dedicate the new year to the liturgy.

The feast day of Mary’s Nativity “should be an occasion for deep reflection on the vital aspects of the life of every girl-child,” said Fr Maverick Fernandes, executive secretary of the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP).

Today’s children, boys and girls, are the “adult of tomorrow, the hope of positive transformation, a citizen who contributes to the development and progress of this nation". For this reason, institutions should “devise ways and means” to prevent discrimination and punish violators.

Celebrating the Day of the Girl Child on the day of the Virgin’s Nativity “reminds us that Mary was not some sort of God or divine being,” said Fr Anthony Charangat, editor of The Examiner.

“She was born a girl-child and had a family. Mary is special to us, because she was so ordinary, a young woman, growing up in a country town in a backwater of history. Yet God chose her to be the Mother of his Son. And she willingly participated in God’s plan of salvation. Her Nativity underlines what it means for human beings to be a Christian.”

“Some forms of piety and Christian teaching have emphasised the domestic and passive aspects of Mary’s role in the Christian story. She followed Jesus along as a spectator and part of the crowd in the background, during his ministry. She stood at the foot of the Cross, and watched her son die,” said Fr Anthony Charangat, spokesman of the Archdiocese of Bombay.

Yet, “that is not the only way of understanding Mary’s part in the divine drama. It is possible to see in them recognition that Mary played an active role. She had a choice, and she deliberately chose to offer up her motherhood to the service of God.”

Thus, “We are heirs through God because of the active, willing, blessed human participation of Mary, with whom we pray,” Fr Charangat said. (N.C.)
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