India is like a large triangle pointing downwards. The southwestern tip of that upside down triangle is the state of Kerala, “God’s own country”. Tourist guides will tell you a lot of things about it; they won’t tell you that it has a large Christian population dating back to the year 55 AD. It is said that Thomas the Apostle evangelized India and Kerala is one of the fruits of his work. A history of Christianity in Kerala (formerly Cochin) is given at the Ananthapuri website.
There are three Catholic rites in Kerala: the Syro-Malabar, the Latin and the Syro-Malankara rites. They make up the thirty dioceses in this Indian State. The Church has suffered from Hindu persecution in the recent past as well.
Recently, Catholic Culture caught my attention with an article entitled “Living Catholic in Kerala”.
In the modern world, we Catholics will be taxed for many things and, according to the way of the world, our money will often be used badly. This means we have to pay those taxes and then step right outside the box, roll up our sleeves, and make the sacrifices necessary to provide a truly alternative way of both envisioning and actualizing the very same things—health, education, family relationships, community support, business, even life itself.
Some parishes in the Indian State of Kerala are doing just that. By offering families $225 if they have a fifth child, they’re saying that they love large families, that they don’t appreciate State efforts to minimize family size, and that they intend to help those who are willing and able to make the sacrifice of raising more children for the glory of God and the benefit of the social order. They’re saying, “We’re Catholics, and we have another way of living.”
Read more from Jeff Mirus’s “Living Catholic in Kerala”.
Hmmm… 225 USD to families with a fifth child? I wonder: can Pondo ng Pinoy handle that?