More missionary lawyers needed in India

(UCAN) More young priests and nuns are needed to train as lawyers in India as cases flood the court system delaying justice, while, for the poor, it may not come at all.

The idea came from the Delhi National Capital Region Lawyers’ Forum that brought together 30 professionals to discuss “the prophetic call of legal professionals in the Indian church today” March 23-24 in New Delhi.

“More than any ministry in the Catholic Church we need religious lawyers who can give their services unconditionally to the people living on the margins of society,” said Holy Cross Sister Rani Punnasseril, a lawyer.

She told that the need is most urgent for rural Catholics and tribal people who do not know what to do when their human rights are violated. “Some of them do not even have enough money to get a lawyer and fight their case in a court,” she said.

India has some 900 men and women religious who are lawyers but many of them are not active, said Franciscan Sister Ann Mary, president of the forum of lawyers in the New Delhi area. [More]