20 National News

posted Mar 22, 2018, 12:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 12:37 AM ]

Peter Machado - new Archbishop of Bangalore

His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Grace Most Rev. Bernard Blasius Moras from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Bangalore, according to Canon Law 401 § 1, and has appointed Msgr Peter Machado, until now Bishop of Belgaum, as the new Archbishop of Bangalore.

His Grace Most Rev. Bernard Moras will remain as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese until the day of the canonical taking possession of the new Archbishop. This provision was made public in Rome on Monday, March 19, 2018.

While thanking the Lord for the dedicated service Archbishop Bernard Moras has rendered to the Church in Bangalore, let us entrust to the intercession of the Virgin Mary the episcopal ministry of the new Archbishop.


Clampdown after Catholic hospital, nuns attacked

Three days after suspected Hindu activists demolished the boundary wall of a Catholic hospital in Ujjain, the police issued a prohibitory order to check tension and further activities in the disputed area.

The March 15 move in Ujjain town in Madhya Pradesh came after a mob razed the wall of 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital and blocked its emergency entrance, claiming the land in front of the hospital belongs to one of them.

"The administration suo moto issued a prohibitory order in the disputed area so that no activity can be carried out there until a further order," said Neeraj Pandey, police additional superintendent. 


Jesuits release book to mark Pope's five years

Marking Pope Francis' five years in office, two Indian Jesuits have compiled a book collecting reflections of more than 50 Church leaders on how they have applied the Jesuit Pope's insights in their own lives.

Jesuit Frs Kuruvilla Pandikattu and Vadappur Jose, both professors at the Jesuit-run Papal Seminary in Pune in western India, edited the book, Francis Effect. The book was released on March 13 at the seminary to mark five years since Pope Francis assumed office. It carries reflections of 51 authors, 49 of them Indians, explaining the influence Pope Francis has had on the Indian Church and society as well as wider matters such as the relationship between religion and science.

Jesuit Fr Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of the journal La Civilta Cattolica, writes in the foreword that the primary aim of the book remains to disseminate the thoughts of Pope Francis among Indians. 


Church opposes death penalty for child rape

Haryana has become the third Indian state in four months to make a law stipulating capital punishment for raping minor girls aged 12 or below, in a bid to contain the increasing sexual violation of children, but Church leaders oppose the move. Rajasthan passed a similar law recently, while Madhya Pradesh introduced one in December.

"The Catholic Church is opposed to the death penalty," said Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal. He said the first step is to make "people educated and civilised, not to make laws to kill them. Sex education should start in schools and families, and that should help society to see sex not as taboo,but a fact of life. That will help us be more open in society to deal with issues of sex. I am worried about the life and safety of victims of rape, as there is all possibility that the accused will eliminate victims to destroy the evidence."

Under the previous law, the maximum punishment for rape was seven years in jail.

Local media reports showed that crimes against women (including rape of minors) have been increasing in the state in the past year to an average of 3.3 cases a day. Madhya Pradesh introduced the death penalty in December 2017, after a National Crime Records Bureau report said the state had 4,882 rapes in 2016 or an average of 14 a day. India recorded 38,947 rape cases in 2016, and about 8,000 of the victims were children below the age of 12.


Rewriting Indian history: a dangerous move for minorities

Hindu nationalist organisations are trying to rewrite the history of India: a dangerous move for religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims. A team has been working for six months to show that Hindus are the direct descendants of the first inhabitants of India, and that the ancient Hindu scriptures are facts, not myths. The objective of the BJP and Hindu nationalist groups is "to shape national identity to satisfy their religious opinions, and to legitimise the assumption that India is a nation of Hindus and for Hindus," say the historians.

"This effort to 'saffronise history' is a blow to the secular and religious fabric of Indian society, and goes against the commitment of historians who have the noble task of presenting the truth without manipulation," noted Fr Jesuraj Rayappan, SVD, professor of Church History at the Khristo Jyoti Mohavidyaloyo institute in Sambalpur, Orissa.