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posted Nov 14, 2018, 7:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 7:54 AM ]

Pope's Catechesis on Holy Mass

During the annual Meeting of Conference of Bishops of Bengal, Bengal Regional Conference of Religious, India, and Bengal Priests Council, Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta Archdiocese released Pope Francis' Catechesis on the Holy Mass at Seva Kendra, the Archdiocesan Social Service Centre on November 6. 

This book gathers together the catechetical insights of Pope Francis on the Holy Mass, during his Wednesday General Audiences between November 2017 and April 2018. Pope Francis initiated this Catechesis with fifteen talks. >>>


Christians seek religious freedom

Christian leaders in India's poll-bound Chhattisgarh state have presented a charter of demands to major political parties seeking to end discrimination and violence. The charter prepared by leaders of the ecumenical Chhattisgarh Christian Forum expressed concerns over the security of the miniscule Christian community in the state, now ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

It calls on all ruling despensations to ensure freedom to practise religion. "We have already handed over the charter to all major political parties," said Arun Pannalal, President of the Forum, on Nov. 7.


Priest-turned-activist buried after three years

The body of a Catholic priest-turned-activist was buried after a three-year wait by his family and friends who suspect he was murdered for his strong stand on environmental protection.

Some 60 priests and 2,000 admirers of Jose Bismarque Desidor Dias joined the Nov. 6 burial service in his village of San Estevam in Goa state. The burial of Dias, a former Blessed Sacrament priest, was delayed after his friends and family sought a detailed probe into the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

Dias, 51, went missing on Nov. 5, 2015, after he went for a swim in a river near his home with friends. His body was found floating two days later. Local police claimed it was a case of drowning.

However, his family and associates delayed burial and demanded an investigation, suspecting that he could have been murdered by those who were angry with his campaign against mining and unbridled property development.


Dalit Christian man murdered

A court in Kerala described the murder of a Christian man as an "honour killing". The 23-year-old Dalit was murdered by the bride's father only three days after the wedding, because he was opposed to the marriage. According to the court, caste prejudice was the cause of the crime.

"There is a tendency to deny the existence of the caste system," said Fr Devasagayaraj M Zackarias, national secretary of the Office for Scheduled and Backward classes of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), speaking to AsiaNews.

"Even more surprising is the fact that discrimination occurs in a state where the literacy rate is among the highest, and the history of Christianity is long. We do not live the spirit of Christianity, if we practise caste discrimination," he bemoaned.


Indian lay leader in CHARIS

The Vatican has appointed an Indian lay leader to the 18-member Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Services, known as CHARIS. Cyril John, a former Indian bureaucrat, is one of the two Asians appointed by the Vatican's Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The other Asian is Brother James Shin San-Hyun from South Korea.

The dicastery, a department of the Roman Curia, announced on October 31 that Pope Francis has erected a new body, CHARIS, to provide a new, single, international service for the needs of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Church. John, a native of Kuravilangad in Kerala, got involved in Charismatic renewal movement in 1982. He has been the chairman of the Renewal in the Archdiocese of Delhi, chairman of Indian National Service Team, Chairman of ICCRS Sub-Committee for Asia-Oceania since 2006 and was Vice-President of ICCRS Council from 2007 to 2015, according to a press release from K P Shaji, administrator of the National Charismatic Office based in New Delhi.