20 National News

posted Nov 1, 2018, 3:18 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 3:18 AM ]

Syro-Malabar Church launches 'Smart Catechism' website

The Syro-Malabar Church launched Smart Catechism—a web portal offering online classes in matters of faith on October 25. The web portal is expected to benefit around 400,000 students attending catechism classes from grades 1 to 12 in India and overseas. The portal aims to draw the attention of the young tech-savvy generation; it was opened by Bishop Jacob Manathodath, who is the chairperson of the Commission for Catechism of the Syro-Malabar Synod.


New Delhi
Jesuit theologate commended for taking theology to frontiers

Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi has lauded a Jesuit theological institute in the national capital for taking theology to the frontiers.

"The need of the hour is to equip the laity in theology, so everyone should try to take theology to people in great strength," the archbishop told the first annual seminar and convocation of the Distance Education Programme in Theology of Vidyajyoti College of Theology. The programme was held in the college in collaboration with the Commission for Theology and Doctrine of Archdiocese of Delhi.

Archbishop Couto, the college's patron who was the Chief Guest at the programme, invited the faithful to discover their own vocation as laity. He said that the laity sanctify the earth and thereby live out their discipleship in the Church. He pointed out that the motto of the distance education programme is to take "theology to the frontiers."


Papal Seminary turns 125

Papal Seminary, one of the premier institutions of the Catholic Church in India, has launched its 125th anniversary celebrations.

Established in 1893 at Kandy in Sri Lanka, when India and Sri Lanka were part of British India, the seminary was shifted to its present premises on Nagar Road in 1955.

Pope Leo XIII in 1893 announced his intention of founding a new National Seminary for India. He had these words inscribed on his jubilee medal: Filii tui India, administri tibi salutis, which means, 'Your own sons, O India, will be the heralds of your salvation!'

Archbishop Ladislaus Michael Zaleski started the Papal Seminary in Kandy in 1893. After India's independence in 1947, it was found strange to have its national seminary in another country, so the authorities shifted the seminary to Pune.


Sufferings of Kandhamal Christians recounted at Synod

At the Synod of Bishops that ended recently at the Vatican, Msgr John Barwa, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, in Orissa spoke on October 17 of the persecuted Christians in India, the violence in 2008 in the district of Kandhamal and the suffering of the faithful who chose death rather than recantation. He recalled the story of Rajesh Digal, a Christian buried alive by a crowd of Hindu nationalists during the 2008 pogroms.


Christian churches at risk of destruction

The Christian churches in Manipur risk being destroyed. A local Catholic source was reporting on the decision of the state government not to register Christian religious buildings located on public land as a "place of worship".

On October 25, thousands of faithful went down the streets of the capital Imphal in a silent protest.

Six churches, mostly Protestant, built in residential areas are at risk. According to the government, led by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, the buildings would not be in possession of regular documents and would violate land-related legislation, hence the decision not to include churches on the list of places of worship in public spaces. This list mentions 188 buildings of all the other religions.