22 National News

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:20 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:21 PM ]

New Delhi
No Indian invite to Pope is embarrassing: Catholic clergy

Indian Catholic hierarchy and clergy have expressed disappointment over the fact that Pope Francis' tour of the subcontinent that started on November 27 does not include India. The Pope visited Myanmar from November 27-30, and Bangladesh from November 30 to December 2.

The Vatican announced the schedule in August, and the Catholic cardinalate and ecclesiastics and their associations in India, were in touch until recently with the government to bring the Pope to a country where Catholics constitute the third largest group, with about 28 million followers. But they were not able to obtain a commitment. 


Church rebuts letter criticism

The Catholic Bishops Conference of India on Monday, Nov 27 remained outwardly unfazed by the Gujarat Election Office's notice to Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan over his call for prayers to "save our country from nationalist forces."

"One sentence has been taken out of context and blown out of proportion," CBCI secretary-general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas said, following criticism over the weekend about the letter the archbishop wrote to his "brother bishops" in the context of next month's Assembly polls in Gujarat.

"We love our country, and our loyalty to the country need not be put on test because of one word," Bishop Mascarenhas added. As for the Election Office notice, he said the archbishop himself would reply.


Catholic Council of India (CCI)

The Catholic Council of India (CCI), the representative body of the Laity, Clergy and Bishops in India, held its 14th General Body Meeting (GBM) at St John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore from November 17-19, 2017. The General Body Meeting, attended by 178 delegates, discussed and deliberated on the theme - 'United in Diversity for a Mission of Mercy and Witness'.

The GBM was inaugurated by His Eminence Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India; His Eminence Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church; Archbishop Bernard Moras, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, and Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and Daman. 


Thousands take part in Eucharistic procession

The veneration of the Holy Sacrament took place at city churches on Nov. 26, as thousands of devotees participated in a Eucharistic procession to mark the feast of Christ the King. The theme of this year's annual event was taken from Chapter 24 verse 15 of Joshua, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' The procession was taken out from churches at Patna City, Bankipur, Phulwarisharif, Pataliputra Colony, Kurji, Raja Bazar, Danapur, Khagaul and Maner. At Kurji, the procession commenced from Asha Deep School at Fairfield Colony through Digha Ghat and concluded at the Queen of the Apostles Church, Kurji. Thousands of devotees attended the procession, led by Archbishop William D'Souza of Patna. The Parish Priest of Kurji church, Fr Johnson Kelakath SJ, said, "We wait for the annual procession eagerly, as it gives us a chance to profess our faith. The feast commemorates the reign of Christ as king of the world."


Precious contribution of Catholic universities to India

Catholic universities in India offer a valid and precious contribution to building the country, guaranteeing quality education to young people of all religions, cultures and ethnicities. This is what emerged from the national colloquium on the 'Future of Christian Higher Education and Contemporary Transitions in India', held recently in Kolkata.

Five Catholic universities of India took part in the colloquium: Assam Don Bosco University (Guwahati), Christ University (Bangalore), St Xavier University (Bhubaneswar), St Xavier University (Calcutta), and St Joseph University (Kohima). "The topic is pertinent in the contemporary educational scenario in India, when subtle attempts are being made to saffronise educational establishments of the country," explained Salesian Fr George Thadathil.