BJP shouldn’t indulge in empty rhetoric: Goa Church spokesperson

In a clash of words between the BJP and Goa’s influential Roman Catholic Church, the latter on Thursday dismissed a charge made by a ruling spokesperson, that it tried to polarise the pre-poll atmosphere, while also asking the government not to make empty allegations against the religious institution.

Speaking to reporters here, Maverick Fernandes, Director of Caritas – Goa, a charity arm of the Church, also said that the ruling party should come out with a point-to-point rebuttal of the fact-finding report it had endorsed, which claims that the state police’s probe into a desecration series was a sham.

“Our report has been based on analysis, based on interviews of people at the grassroots level and it is based on a very studied, professional way of functioning. Empty statements of polarisation cannot belittle the well-studied report,” Fernandes said.

On Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nilesh Cabral had accused the Goa Church’s official magazine and a fact-finding report by a Church-backed NGO of trying to polarise the atmosphere ahead of the August 23 bypoll.

“Attempts were being made to polarise society before the elections… Who is the fact-finding committee and who gave authority to the fact finding mission? It was wrong to try to polarise the votes,” Cabral had said, while asking the Church to “tone-down” the language of the content in its official magazine ‘Renovacao’ which linked contemporary India to Nazi Germany.

Fernandes however said that those who make allegations against the Church, should logically provide a rebuttal for the points made out in the fact-finding report.

“You have to come out with very straightforward rebuttal of every point that has been made. Empty statements cannot be considered as a rebuttal,” Fernandes said.

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