22 National News

posted May 2, 2018, 11:10 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:10 PM ]

Indian theologians address challenges of religious nationalism

The members of the Indian Theological Association (ITA) had their 41st annual meeting in Bengaluru to seek a theological response to the challenges of religious nationalism in the country. Teachers of Christian theology from various parts of India attended the April 26-29 conference at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Pontifical Athenaeum of Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. The theme chosen for the 41st annual meeting was "Challenges of Religious Nationalism in India: A Theological Response."

Fr Udayanath Bishoyi, a visiting professor at Morning Star Regional Seminary, Kolkata said that the Association has in the past 41 years striven to live its "prophetic call and leave a mark, not just on the theological landscape of the Indian Church, but also on the Universal Church, through its commitment and dedication to theologising in the Indian context."


Dream India Network's summer camp for girls

A week-long summer camp was organised for girl children by a faith-based NGO in Bengaluru. More than 200 supporters and well-wishers of Dream Indian Network (DIN) Foster Homes attended the concluding meeting on April 29.

The camp was held under the leadership of Sisters of Mary Immaculate Sr Lissy Rose, Montfort Sr B Jayashree and other women religious belonging to different congregations.

Some 100 children staying at the 37 DIN Foster Homes in the southern Indian city attended the camp that had leadership training, improving social etiquette, developing cultural talents and personality development among others. The Homes are located in various convents across Bengaluru.


Church, Government on collision course

The Goa Government's decision to re-introduce a controversial land use plan and set up of a string of planning and development authorities, has brought the influential Goa Church in a face-to-face confrontation with ruling alliance party Goa Forward, whose president Vijai Sardesai holds the Town and Country Planning portfolio.

The Goa Church intensified the agitation by using the Sunday Mass and other forums to invite lay Catholics and other citizenry to a public meeting on April 27 in South Goa's Margao town, in order to make a statement against the decisions of the Town and Country Planning ministry, that are expected to open vast tracts of undeveloped land, including fields, open areas, orchard plots to settlement zones.


Anti-Church videos to divert attention: Goa archdiocese

The Social Action wing of the Goa archdiocese said that anonymous anti-Church video clips circulating on social media are attempts to divert public attention from the government's wrong policies.

The video clips are "devious and feeble attempts by vested interests to target the Church in order to divert public attention from pressing and contentious issues and policies which have unified people across Goa in expressing their legitimate concerns," said an April 29 press note from the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP).

Fr Savio Fernandes, the Council's Executive Secretary who issued the press note, said "the vested elements" are "frustrated and upset" over the CSJP's support to people resenting policies of departments such as Planning and Development Authorities (PDAs), Outline Development Plans (ODPs) and the regional plan.

Earlier, on April 25, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) complained to police about the video that it alleged showed the Church in a poor light. The party alleged the video was created to attack the Church in Goa. Party leader Valmiki Naik said the video aimed at inciting communal passions and promoting enmity between communities. He appealed to the police to track the source through its cyber cell and prosecute the offenders. "This will send a strong message that communalism and incitement of hatred has no place in Goa."


Arunachal Pradesh
Youth rally against opium addiction

Around 300 young people from 51 villages of Arunachal Pradesh's Longding district spent four days at a Catholic school to fight opium addiction among the young generation. The April 20-23 rally was held at De Paul School, Tissam.

"It is our humble effort to create awareness among the youth to tackle this problem," said HonlemKhangham, general secretary of the Longding District Catholic Youth Association. The convention is the result of an extensive house-to-house survey in the entire district for a period of more than two months.

According to a recent survey by the Indian government, Arunachal Pradesh emerged as the largest opium producer in the country, with Anjaw, Lohit and Longding districts topping the list.