Church justifies bishop Pamplany’s controversial political martyr comment

Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: A day after Thalassery archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany's comments on martyrs sparked a controversy, the archdiocese of Thalassery justified the priest and his speech.

“Certain people with vested interest have misinterpreted the archbishop's speech. The Church’s culture is one that always respects martyrs. Several instances of martyrdom can be seen in political spheres as well. However, certain people are victims of vested interests. The bishop was encouraging us not to simulate these people,” the archdiocese explained in a statement issued on Monday.

While addressing the Kerala Catholic Youth Movement's (KCYM) youth day celebration in Kannur on Saturday, the archbishop had said most of the political martyrs are those who were killed for creating unnecessary ruckus with people or those who slipped to their death from bridges while being chased by the police. He went on to say that apostles were not like political martyrs.  

“Apostles are those who sacrificed their lives for the truth and well-being of the world. The 12 apostles died as martyrs. They are not like the political martyrs who were killed after engaging in unnecessary fights. Some slipped off bridges while fleeing from the cops,” Pamplany had said.

Leaders of both CPM and Congress criticised bishop Pamplany for his speech.

Earlier on March 19, Pamplany had said the BJP-led government at the Centre could garner more support if it increased the procurement price of rubber to Rs 300 per kg; this remark too had stirred a major political storm back then.

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