Lawyers urged to uphold the truth like St Thomas More

The Malacca Johore Diocese Catholic Lawyers Guild (MJDCLG) celebrated the feast of St Thomas More at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, June 22.

Jul 04, 2019

JOHOR BAHRU: The Malacca Johore Diocese Catholic Lawyers Guild (MJDCLG) celebrated the feast of St Thomas More at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, June 22.

The Mass, which commemorates the patron saint of lawyers, was celebrated by Fr Christopher Lee, assisted by Deacon Dr Sherman Kuek.

The legal fraternity also welcomed their new spiritual director, Deacon Kuek.

In his homily, Fr Lee said the legal confraternity pays particular interest to St Thomas More, a lawyer and chancellor of England who is also the patron saint for lawyers.

Touching on the Gospel of Matthew, he said, “Jesus asks us to depend on divine providence and the most important is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

He told the lawyers that St Thomas was resolute in upholding the truth of the Catholic faith, that he chose death over fame, position, wealth and even above the well-being of his family.

He urged the lawyers to reflect on their initial motivation for entering into the legal profession. Was it the influence of our loved ones or someone we admired or was it for the glamour or good income? Conversely, was it to uphold justice and truth and help those who have no one to defend them?

He stressed that a lawyer is responsible to do his/her best to defend the interest and rights of the client, even if one knows that the client is guilty, adding that, “a lawyer is bound by lawyer – client privilege.”

Likewise, he said, a priest is bound by the seal of sacramental confession to absolve the sins, of the confessor, even the most serious sin as long as the person is repentant.

“As a minority body of Christian lawyers in a secular world, can we be beacons of justice and truth through our life of integrity?” he asked.

He called on the community to pray for the legal confraternity and also for the appointment of judges who are fair and truthful in the administration of justice.

After Mass, the lawyers attended a meeting on how to move forward with the guild.

Deacon Kuek then raised a matter pertaining to some recent incidents where several East Malaysians currently working and residing within the Johor parishes were forced or induced to convert to Islam while leaving the rest of their family members in a quandary.

S. Jeyakumar, chairman of MJDCLG, said it would be important and helpful to organise Legal Aid Clinics or Law Awareness Clinics to educate the laity on the relevant areas of the law.

Deacon Kuek said the clinic will be organised from 9.00 am to 12 noon on August 24 at the Immaculate Conception Church and September 21 at the Church of St Joseph,.

He also said that he would approach the Melaka lawyers to conduct similar clinics in Melaka.

Jeyakumar said, “We are enthusiastic about this project. We are confident that many Catholic lawyers will make themselves available to make this project a success, especially in this year of Mission.”

He pointed out that the lawyers are also ready to take up cases for the marginalised so that they can continue to practice their faith freely and without impediment. — By Vincent D’Silva

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