Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pope’s farewell message to Lebanon

Pope's farewell message to Lebanon | Pope's farewell message to Lebanon

Pope leaves Beirut

 

Seàn-Patrick Lovett from Vatican Radio reports:

Departure speeches can often be very formal and simple expressions of gratitude to the host nation and its religious and political authorities. But Pope Benedict’s farewell to Lebanon was something more: “I leave with regret”, he said. Referring to “one of those renowned oriental spices which enriches the taste of food”, the Pope said the special warmth and affection people had added to the consideration and respect traditionally offered all guests visiting the Middle East, made him wish to return.

In thanking all the people of Lebanon for both their cordiality and enthusiasm, the Pope made special mention of the Muslim communities. He noted how their presence contributed to the success of his journey, and said: “In these troubled times the Arab world, and indeed the entire world, will have seen Christians and Muslims united in celebrating peace”.

His final words to the country, and to the whole of the Middle East, were to courageously resist “all that could destroy or undermine peace” and “to permit the plurality of religions traditions and not listen to the voices of those who wish to prevent it”. In fact, the Pope said he was grateful for all the encounters, official, festive and religious, he had enjoyed and for the prayer offered by all and for all – “whatever their origins or religious beliefs”.

Pastoral Workers, Bishops, Priests, Men and Women Religious and Lay Catholics, Killed in the year 2011

According to information in our possession, during 2011, 26 pastoral care workers were killed: one more than the previous year: 18 priests, 4 religious sisters, 4 lay people.
For the third consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral workers killed is AMERICA, bathed with the blood of 13 priests and 2 lay persons. Following is AFRICA, where 6 pastoral workers were killed: 2 priests, 3 religious sisters,1 lay person. ASIA, where 2 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 lay person were killed. The least affected was EUROPE, where one priest was killed.

“The Anti-Conversion Law Violates the Constitution”: Landmark Ruling for Christians (Catholic World News) Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

01 September,2012

That of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh is a landmark ruling, passed by the judges Deepak Gupta and Rajiv Sharma. The appeal had been filed in 2011 by a group of Christian organizations that had challenged the “Law on Religion”, issued in 2006 and entered into force in 2007.

The Court held that “Section 4 of the measure and Articles 3 and 5 of the document violate constitutional provisions.” These rules declared unlawful the free conversion from one religion to another, allowing the former only after a long process, investigation and authorization of a magistrate, and imposing, if not, fines and penalties.
In a statement sent to Fides, the “Global Council of Indian Christians” (GCIC), welcomed the judgment and thanked the lawyers of different religions who are engaged in the appeal, arguing that the law violates fundamental rights of believers. The Council, recalling that “all conversions, which took place for free will, are legal, urge the central and state governments for the protection of all believers who exercise this right.”
Fr. Dominic D’Abrio, spokesman for the Episcopal Conference of India, told Fides: “It is a very positive step, Christians will benefit greatly. The ruling could set a precedent and have a domino effect, encouraging other appeals against anti-conversion laws of the same kind in force in other states of the Indian Federation.”
The first state to pass a law which bans conversions was in Orissa in 1967, followed by Madhya Pradesh in 1968 and Arunachal Pradesh in 1978. The government of the Hindu nationalist party “Bharatiya Janata Party” (BJP) introduced it in Gujarat in 2003 and in Chhattisgarh in 2006, the year after it also came into force in Himachal Pradesh. According to Christians, these laws, limiting the fundamental right to religious freedom, are tools in the hands of Hindu extremist groups, who accuse Christians of “proselytism and forced conversions.” They are used to target religious minorities, poisoning the social fabric and spreading hatred within the Indian society.sources: fides