Monday, July 13, 2020

Archbishop Moses M. Costa, C.S.C., Dies of COVID-19 Complications

Bishop Moses M. Costa, CSC, of the Diocese of Dinajpur,
Bangladesh, visiting the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Bishop Moses M. Costa, CSC, in front of the Niagara Falls

Bishop Moses M. Costa, CSC (3rd from left) 
with Mrs. Mary D'Costa and her sons Ujjal Peter D'Costa,
and Shouvik Mikhail D'Costa at the Niagara Falls,
Ontario, Canada

Mrs. Mary D'Costa and her son Ujjal Peter D'Costa
with Bishop Moses M. Costa, CSC at the Niagara Falls,
Ontario, Canada

Bishop Moses M. Costa, CSC (5th from left) and
Mrs. Mary D'Costa (1st from right) pose with some
American visitors at the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

All the photos above by Jerome D'Costa (July 2002)

Archbishop Moses M. Costa, C.S.C., of the Archdiocese of Chattogram (Chittagong), Bangladesh, died on July 13 at the Square Hospital in Dhaka of COVID-19-related multiple strokes caused by a brain hemorrhage. He was 69 years old.

His body was taken to nearby Tejgaon Catholic Church in Dhaka and then to his village home parish church of Tumilia in Gazipur District before his burial at the Chattogram Catholic cathedral graveyard.

On June 13, Archbishop Moses was admitted to the Square Hospital with severe respiratory distress and cough and the following day he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was recovering from it, but later on July 9 he suffered brain strokes and was put on life support two days later. With the further deterioration of his condition, he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he ultimately died.

He was well-known in Bangladesh for his selfless work among students, youths, seminarians, and disadvantaged people of different ethnicities and faiths. He is being mourned by them all.

Archbishop Moses Costa, son of Hiron Pundit (teacher), was born on November 17, 1950, at the village of Tumilia. He had several brothers and sisters, among whom three -- Sister Mary Catherine, S.M.R.A., Sister Mary Tara, S.M.R.A., and Sister Mary Bibha, S.M.R.A. -- became nuns.

He became a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross on February 5, 1981. Later, on July 20, 1996, he was named the bishop of the Diocese of Dinajpur. On April 6, 2011, he was appointed the Bishop of Chattogram Diocese. Pope Francis, in 2017, elevated the Diocese of Chattogram into an archdiocese and appointed him the first archbishop of Chattogram on February 2, 2017. In both the dioceses he served, he worked relentlessly for the spiritual upliftment of his Catholic folk.

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Quotation of the Week (July 12 - 18, 2020)

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." 
--Francis Bacon

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Quotation of the Week (July 5 - 11, 2020)

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education." --Martin Luther King, Jr.
A quotation of Martin Luther 
King, Jr. on 'the function of education,' 
compiled by Jerome D'Costa

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Quotation of the Week (June 28 - July 4, 2020)

A quotation of Steve Schmidt on 'President Trump's
capability', compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Design by Jerome D'Costa

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Quotation of the Week (June 21 - 27, 2020)

Quotations on the 'importance of thinking,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Above design by Jerome D'Costa

(Click on the above image to read it on an enlarged format)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Catholic Church and Casteism

Casteism in the Catholic Church of India

A divided Catholic cemetery in Trichy of Tamil Nadu State, 
India (the portion on the left is for the upper-caste and
the one on the right is for the lower-caste Catholics)

Photo courtesy:  

What is casteism? Casteism is prejudice or antagonism directed against someone of a different caste in the Indian Hindu society. Hindus, even after their conversion to other religions -- including Christianity -- do maintain some sort of casteism among themselves. 

Casteism comes from the word 'caste.' According to the Wikipedia, a caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy (the custom of marrying within one's own caste or group), hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution. 

According to the BBC, India's Hindu caste system is among the world's oldest forms of surviving social stratification. This caste system is more than 3,000 years old and it divides Hindus into rigid hierarchical groups based on their karma (work or occupation) and dharma (religion or duty). 

Ancient India's religious texts, called the Vedas, speaks of the caste system that divides Hindus into four main categories -- starting from the top to bottom -- the Brahmins (priests, academics or teachers), Kshatriyas (warriors, kings or rulers, and administrators), Vaishyas (merchants, landowners or farmers, herders, craftspeople), and Shudras (manual labourers, peasants or farm workers, servants). Later, a fifth group or caste called the Dalits (outcasts or untouchables), emerged and they are persons, from the first four groups, who have been condemned and driven out of their individual caste because of their serious sins, transgressions, or crimes. They, then, sought refuge among other similarly condemned people, whose professions are considered 'dirty.' They work as street sweepers, latrine cleaners, leather workers,  etc. 

 In later ages, some Indian Hindus converted to Christianity but did not abandon their earlier socio-religious caste system. In spite of Christ's teaching "love your neighbor as yourself," they hung on to the caste system, which is more or less present among both the Catholic priestly class and laypersons. In name, they are Catholic ("without any bias towards others"), but in practice, they are still caste Hindus.    

During the 2003 'ad limina' (required periodic) visits of the Catholic archbishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Mylapore, Madurai, and Pondicherry-Cuddalore of India, Pope John Paul II had reminded them that "It is the Church's obligation to work unceasingly to change hearts, helping all people to see every human being as a child of God, a brother or sister of Christ, and therefore a member of our own society." 

Please read the following to see the situation of casteism in the Indian Catholic Church:

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Quotation of the Week (June 14 - 20, 2020)

Quotations of David Frum on 'President Donald Trump's
leadership,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
(Click on the above image to read the quotes in an enlarged form)

Bookmark and Share