In his introduction to the latest newsletter from St. Thomas the Apostle, Vice Province in India, Fr.Paul Cherukoduth CP reminds us that as we reflect on Christ Crucified in our world, we also have our current martyrs for Justice.
On July 5th, Fr. Stan Swamy SJ died while in judicial custody. His crime: "refusing to be a silent spectator!" Fr. Stan spoke strongly against the oppression and inequality, violence and atrocities committed against the most disadvantaged people of India-the Dalits and the Adivasis (the indigenous people) in India. He was arrested in October 2020 and falsely accused of being active in a Maoist group opposed to the government.
Despite the cruel treatments meted out to him in prison and his severe Parkinson's Disease, officials could not silence him. Fr. Paul reminds us as we remember this martyr of our times, "let us stand up for what we believe in. Our faith takes us to the One who endured the passion and death on the cross because he refused to remain a silent spectator."
He concludes his reflection with the words of an American writer, poet and philosopher, Suzy Kassem: “Stand up to hypocrisy, because if you don’t, the hypocrites will teach. Stand up to ignorance, because if you don’t, the ignorant will run free to spread ignorance like a disease. Stand up for truth, if you don’t, then there is no truth to your existence. If you don’t stand up for all that is right, then understand that you are part of the reason why there is so much wrong in the world.” Read Fr. Paul's reflection here from PIANO (Passionist India Activities News Outreacy)