Home News Goa prelate urges Catholic faithful to prioritize voting over pilgrimage

Goa prelate urges Catholic faithful to prioritize voting over pilgrimage

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, has reminded the faithful of the importance of voting as both a “sacred duty” and a “civic responsibility.”

He urged the Catholic community to skip a popular pilgrimage to participate in the upcoming elections. 

With elections scheduled for May 7 in Goa, which will elect representatives for the Lok Sabha, Cardinal Ferrao has asked the faithful to prioritize their civic duties.

The cardinal’s appeal specifically targets the weekly pilgrimage train from Vasco da Gama to the Marian sanctuary of Velankanni in Tamil Nadu, known as “Our Lady of Good Health.” 

Recognizing that the train’s schedule could prevent voters from returning in time for election day, he urged Catholics to reschedule or cancel their pilgrimages. The train, which runs every Monday, has its next departure on May 6, the day before the elections.

“I make a heartfelt appeal to Catholics to refrain from taking that train on Monday, May 6, and instead book their trip for another Monday,” Cardinal Ferrao said.

“It is worth losing a little money [as a cancellation fee] for the common good and the sacred duty of exercising one’s right to vote on election day,” he added. 

- Newsletter -

Cardinal Ferrao’s statement follows rumors of a “conspiracy” by some political groups aiming to disrupt the voting process for Catholics in South Goa, a significant portion of the electorate. 

By underscoring the importance of voting, the cardinal seeks to counteract any such strategies and reinforce the community’s commitment to democratic participation.

The prelate also called on church leaders, including priests and religious superiors, to lead prayer initiatives on May 3 and 5 for the successful conduct of the elections. 

He emphasized the need to choose candidates who support the secular values of India’s Constitution and who are committed to the welfare of all citizens.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support Our Mission

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.