Penang Cathedral denounces ISA before 800 people

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The ISA must go now: Fr Fabian Dicom strongly denounces the ISA

We shall overcome: They sang loudly while swaying candles held high

Datuks against ISA: Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon and Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj after Mass

Hot on the heels of the Perlis Mufti’s criticism of the use of the ISA, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirt in Penang, the seat of the Catholic Church in the northern region, has delivered a powerful indictment of the draconian law in a special Mass attended by some 600 800 concerned Malaysians.

“We are fed up,” said assistant parish priest Fr Fabian Dicom, in a searing denouncement of the ISA. “The ISA must go now. What we are saying here can be found in the verses of our scriptures.”

From Matthew Chapter 5:

5 Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
7 Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.

Dicom’s call was echoed in another stirring denunciation by parish priest Fr Francis Anthony at the end of the Mass.

The main celebrant wore purple vestments, “the colour of mourning,” explained Dicom, who concelebrated Mass with half a dozen priests from the Penang diocese including Anthony and Fr Marshall Fernandez, the parish priest of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Pulau Tikus.

“We should not rest until we sound the death knell for the ISA,” added Dicom, whereupon the congregation inside heard the faint tolling of a church bell.

The crowd broke out in loud and sustained applause each time the priests called for an immediate end to the ISA and for the release of all ISA detainees. Among those present were Penang-based civil society activists and bloggers as well as folks from the mainland.

Images of Teresa Kok, Raja Petra and the Hindraf Five flashed across the overhead screens as the parishoners prayed for justice, peace and the immediate release of all ISA detainees.

The interior of the Cathedral was later bathed with the warm orange glow of hundreds of candles held up high by the parishoners as they loudly sang hymns.

This is part of one of the songs:

Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me,
and I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.

If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me,
and I will give you rest.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.

Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.

And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

More newbies join the Abolish ISA campaign, as blogger Lucia Lai looks on

After Mass, many snapped up anti-ISA badges and Abolish ISA postcards from a desk outside the church, coordinated by blogger Lucia Lai.

Gregwar reports on the event:

We are glad that so many turned up; actually our estimate is 800 based on the number of candles handed over to those who came to pray. Yes, it was a great indictment of the change of attitude of the faithful who responded to our invitation to come pray with us. Many even came from across the channel to celebrate with us. Yes the people are “fed up” at what is happening to our beloved homeland. Many are looking into the scriptures to find answers. Thanks to our friends from Aliran, Suaram and other NGOs who joined us. Let us all be united in solidarity and pray for ALL those who are suffering under ISA.

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WL Chong

Thank you so much for your meaningful message. As Christians, we really should fear the Lord the most, not people.

JosephL

Teresa Kok released from ISA. Thanks be to God. Keep praying.

John

In response to Tony’s comments earlier, the Church = the people of God. The people of God live in the world and are active in all aspects of social life, including politics. Christians should be at the forefront of movements for change and justice in society, even at the cost of great suffering or even loss of life. Remember that Jesus gave his life for us and as His followers, we re called to do the same.

LEEKAMMING

SHOULD WE CHRISTIANS BE ACTIVE IN SUCH POLITICAL ISSUES OR SHOULD WE LEAVE IT TO GOD?.

MUCH HAS TO BE SAID ABOUT THE I.S.A. AND I FEEL THE REAL ISSUE SHOULD BE THAT OUR SISTER IS HELD AGAINST HER FREE WILL.

LET US ALL PRAY, TO ALL MEN OF ALL RACES IN WHAT EVER NAME YOU CALL GOD, FREE OUR SISTER, AMEN.

Tony

In the name of Jesus, please keep politics completely out of the Church as It is for all the children of God.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng

Let us reflect on the ‘Sermon On The Mount’ (Matt.5)
Where the poor and needy on earth also count
If we want to be worthy light and salt in the Lord’s court
We also need to support and defend those persecuted in the world’s court

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 180908
http://MotivationInMotivation.blogspot.com
Thur. 18th Sept. 2008.

Patrick

This vigil / mass should be conducted at all churches.

Joc_Penang

I like the way Rev Fr F.Anthony put it, We christian are not praying for peace, we are the peace makers. Not less than 800 people turned up, within a short notice and friends it’s was a working day & it’s monday. What a response to the call. That shows we are serious, we want to be part of the change, just like Rev Fr Fabian put it, everyone is important to bring the change, that’s you & me. I was emotionally touch the way the whole things went, I know I’m not alone when I’m facing & fighting for… Read more »

.

One more thing … your picture of the candle light vigil actually _destroyed_ the whole ambience !

It was a dark room, with people holding lighted candles. The bright candle lights contrast with the dark room, that was some awesome sight.

But look at your picture … why in the world you use FLASH for? It totally destroyed the true scene.

.

Anil, I was at the Cathedral last night as well, and your count of 800 is a little bit too conservative, don’t you think so?

I mean, the Church is packed. Even the very last row is filled with people !

susanloone

Thanks for this post Anil! Really appreciate it. Wish I were there but from the photos, I can feel myself there 🙂

Well done!

Jeffrey

Let there be storm before sunshine,
Let there be tears before joy,
Let there be turbulence before peace,
Let there be confusion before faith.

Anil – keep up the good work. The churches have said it loud and clear. It’s time for the people to be awaken to the harsh realities of BN.

propkr

remember how Jesus was persecuted, done nothing wrong, led to the calvary, nailed on the cross, today we have Victory!!! atonement for our sins!

He sends rain to the just & the unjust! we are saved not by works but by His Amazing Grace! Our righteousness are as filthy rags! where sin abound, grace abound more.

RPK, MAY YR RIGHTEOUSNESS SHINES AS THE NOON DAY! THE LORD SHALL BE TO YOU AN EVERLASTING LIGHT, YR GOD YR GLORY!

Tulip Crescent

A stitch in time saves nine.

This is certainly better than the liberation theology that occurred nearly 20 years ago.

God bless our efforts for liberty – and liberty from moral and political degeneration.

Messy Christian

It’s good to know that church leaders are taking a stand in this issue! Standing for truth and justice – amen!

DanielYKL

Hi Anil,

Wanted to be there at the Church of The Holy Spirit but was called up to join an Arab family to break fast with them. I’m so gald to hear that the Catholic Church is making a firm statement against ISA. Stand up and be counted! Speak the truth in love!

PalmoAnest

Anil was in CHS, n I saw u too Lilian. Fr Fab was great!

Why Cares

The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.

Syabas to all Peacemakers

lilian

Hahaha, Anil, were you in CHS just now or are you in KL?

Samuel Goh Kim Eng

Let’s pray to the God of justice
Not that He doesn’t take notice
Of what is the prevalent practice
In the dispensing of ‘unnatural justice’

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 150908
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Mon. 15th Sept.2008.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng

“Justice is mine!” says the Lord
There’s no need to cross any sword
To salvage any image we can ill afford
In being branded the worst in world record

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 150908
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Mon. 15th Sept. 2008.

gregwar

That was fast Anil! Before I reached home you have uploaded the report on the mass, and my house is only 5 minutes from the Cathedral. Great work. We are glad that so many turned up;actually our estimate is 800 based on the number of candles handed over to those who came to pray. Yes it was a great indictment of the change of attitude of the faithful who responded to our invitation to come pray with us. Many even came from across the channel to celebrate with us. Yes the people are “fed up” at what is happening to… Read more »