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thing. However during these five years I felt On the day of my doctoral defence after four that I was not doing justice to my teaching as years of work, my director told those attendI should. ed my defence that I was ‘more Roman than the Pope’ and the defence ended that way and At that time there were two currents of I returned to India with a doctorate. thought. On the one hand the Provincial Fr. Mathai Kochuparambil was more than I started my second stint of teaching at Saconvinced that two licences were more than cred Heart Theological College in 1990 and I enough and also wanted the professors to en- was able to devote more time to teaching and gage in many other activities besides teaching to inter-related intellectual activities, mostly theology. On the other hand, pressure from sedentary and time consuming such as writthe university following the requirements of ing pastoral letters for Bishops, various types Sapientia Christiana (1979) to have at least of disciplinary interventions on behalf of the one doctor in every subject as requirement provinces which were done mostly in anofor granting Baccalaureate (B.Th) to students nymity and secrecy. I felt time flying but quite of theology. happy and content. In 1996 when I was asked to be the president of the faculty, I showed I left for Rome to do my doctorate in moral my first dissent and I wrote to the major sutheology after five years of teaching at Sacred periors in Rome explaining my reason for the Heart Th. College. At Gregorian I chose as refusal - a copy of my letter can be found in moderator Dr. Jacques Dupuis, a French pro- the files of Most Rev. Msgr. Luc Van Looy, the fessor who was teaching earlier at Vidyajyo- then vicar of the Rector Major and a facilitati, Delhi and considered to be a progressive tor of the academic interests of Sacred Heart and controversial theologian. So in Rome I Th. College with Rome. requested him to be the director of my thesis. He readily accepted. But when I presentAfter seven years as president of Sacred ed him the synopsis of my thesis which dealt Heart Th. College and feeling the pressure of with mandatory nature of priestly celibacy, he advancing age aggravated by frequent high was hesitant wondering whether I would be blood pressure, I thought of returning to my able to defend it in the current polemics that province. I had my regrets in leaving Sacred was raging in the Church and he himself, as I Heart Th. College for I loved teaching espehave already known, was an ardent supporter cially moral theology where I gained much of optional celibacy. I told him that he could confidence in matters of Christian morality. accept or reject my thesis on the basis of the I tried to be up-to-date in all aspects of my evidence and so he accepted with a condition subject and gain some expertise and be a rethat I would not write for two years till a thor- liable source of reference not out of vanity ough research on the topic was done. On that but out of responsibility towards the Church understanding I started my hunt for libraries and the congregation which had invested so and among them was the British library and much time and money towards my studies. its conglomerates at London. Towards the end of my term as president, I The Salesian confreres of London and the received a phone call from Fr. Philip Barjo, British library extended to me all facilities as the Provincial informing me that Fr. Luc Van a Salesian and a research scholar. The British Looy, the Vicar of the Rector Major wanted library would provide me any book for free me to go to Rome and take up teaching at the from any of the six major libraries of Lon- faculty of Canon Law as the Dean of Canon don within 24 hours of request. The British law at UPS had expired. I told Fr. Provincial confreres were exceptionally kind and cour- that I would consider the proposal and a little teous. On Saturday evenings, of course, the later I refused the offer on the same health confreres used to have their community day ground. However, I agreed to the request of wherein their community spirit would soar the Guwahati provincial to be a visiting prohigh with much bonhomie. One or two times fessor till a regular moral theology professor I joined them but later I used to spend longer could be found. time on Saturdays at the library and return only at supper time. DIMAPUR LINKS | 16

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