Our Easter challenge
March 29, 2018
Use debt relief for emergency support, say Church leaders
March 29, 2018

Cathedral desecration needs serious reflection – Msgr Pereira

Msgr Pereira stands near the damaged crucifix. Photo:m Raymond Syms

By Kaelanne Jordan, kjordan.camsel@rcpos.org

Msgr Christian Pereira, Administrator of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception believed that the medical student responsible for last Sunday’s desecration of the statue of St Paul and crucifix manifested a behaviour that spoke to the hearts of hundreds of youth in the land.

He questioned whether young people are being guided by precepts and examples on how to manage their life’s journey. “What is happening to our youth as we continue to make demands on them while we take away the necessary support systems that adults of a previous generation enjoyed?”

Commenting on the state of youth, Msgr Pereira mentioned that nothing is wrong with making great demands on young people as generally they have the resilience, vigour and the creativity to multitask and address many realities. However, he said, “It is not fair that alongside the valuable and legitimate demands we make, we do not provide them with the nurturing environment to sustain them in their moments of set back or failure.”

During the 6.30 a.m. celebration of Palm Sunday (March 25) a medical student, who is not of Catholic faith, walked into the Cathedral with a knapsack containing a pair of dumbbells and proceeded to destroy the sacred items. The incident occurred as the congregation gathered in the forecourt for the blessing of the palms.

Msgr Pereira said that he does not plan to pursue charges against the perpetrator and the cost of repair and replacement will be borne by members of the congregation. The incident has since raised much speculation of the perpetrator’s possible mental health issues and the level of stress experienced by university students.

Msgr Pereira cited a lack of care for the human, cultural and ecological environment and a “craving” for entertainment and excitement prevents young people from maintaining a consistent and persevering relationship with their own vocation.

He acknowledged there are some efforts that the society offers to assist with the correction of misdemeanors. But before these surface, society has to rebuild the nation starting from “the crib or maybe even the womb”.

“Our family life, our adult relationships, our general disregard for each other in pursuit of ‘our dreams’ and ‘our goals’….young people watching the wider environment may not be either impressed, nor sustained by what they experience,” he said.