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Government Urged To Uphold The Secular Nature Of India

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altNEW DELHI, JANUARY 21, 2015: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India urged the Government to uphold the Secular nature of India. A Special Consultation was organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India at the CBCI Centre, New Delhi, on Monday, January 20, 2015.

The Constitution of India guarantees that all the citizens of our country can profess, practice and propagate a religion of one’s choice. India is a land where different religious faiths have long since flourished and our founding fathers made special efforts to ensure that the rights of all are safeguarded, irrespective of our religious beliefs, gender or caste. Christianity has its roots in Indian soil for more than 2000 years. The Christians of India believe in God and believe in the goodness of people and have been selflessly serving the people of this country in the fields of education, health care, etc. without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or religion.

The unfortunate incidents that happened in the past few months in various parts of our country have hurt the sentiments of the Christian community and has shaken the faith in the secular fabric of our Nation. The shocking incidents that have taken place against Churches, clergy and laity in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have caused great concern for the Christian community. The recent controversies in the name of religious reconversions portray a negative image about India. Communal polarization and the bid to homogenize India are posing threat to all minorities – women, dalits, and all linguistic, cultural and religious minorities.

The Ghar Wapsi programmes, the saffranisation of education and culture, and the demands for a Hindu Rashtra are again posing challenges to the secular ethos of our beloved country. Conversions of a religious nature are an exercise of one’s free will and one’s constitutional/fundamental rights and freedom of conscience and of religion. Ghar Wapsi is a political process, carried out by the powerful exponents of religious nationalism – much against the principle of Secularism. It does not even have the legitimacy of freedom of political expression.

The Christians of this country need assurance from the Government that we are protected and secure and safe in our motherland. We express our strong concern on the aforementioned issues. Putting an end to such dangerous tendencies is inevitable for the growth and progress of our great nation. This great secular nation has to remain as a place where people of all religions and of different cultural backgrounds should live freely, practicing their faith without fear or threat and in harmony.  While we recommit ourselves for the progress and development of our nation, we strongly urge the Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to urgently intervene and take appropriate action to stop incidents that pose big threat to the unity of this secular nation.

The CBCI Special Consultation was presided over by the CBCI President, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos and attended by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Cardinal George Alencherry, the CBCI Office-Bearers, representatives of Conference of Religious India (CRI), Catholic Council of India (CCI), All India Catholic Union (AICU), Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), Legal experts, Human Rights and Social activists, CBCI Core Team and Secretaries.

 Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan, Deputy Secretary General &, Spokesperson, CBCI



Bellary Christians Pray Fervently For Christian Unity

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altBALLARI, JAN 18: Christians of various denominations fervently prayed for Christian unity as they began the Prayer Octave for Christian Unity at CSI John Hands Memorial Church today in Bellary.

As a sign of unity, leaders of various Christian communities poured water into a vessel which symbolized Jacob’s Well where Jesus held conversation with the Samaritan woman.

The ecumenical prayer meetings are held under the auspices of United Christian Forum, Ballari (UCF).

Bishop of Ballari and President of UCF Henry D’Souza presided over the common worship on the theme, “give me to drink”. Pastor of John Hands Memorial Church Rev. Samuel Prasad led the service and Pastor Manohar preached on the theme.Frs. Chourappa and Yagappa assisted at the service.

In his message Bishop D’Souza urged all Christians to be aware of the need of all Christians “to pray for unity and to work for unity, as unity is the destiny of all”. “Christians have remained divided for too long and the pain of division is making it even insensitive. This division and brokenness of the mystical body of Christ are a sin and a scandal”, he stated.


He also emphasized on the need of reaching out to one another and to work together to fight the common enemies such as communalism, poverty and violence”.


The theme of the day highlighted the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman inviting all Christians to try water from a different well and also to offer a little of their own. In diversity, we enrich each other.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. It is an opportunity to recognize the richness and value that are present in the other, the different, and to ask God for the gift of unity. 


Villagers Rejoice At Opening of New Building For Loyola College At Manvi

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altBALLARI, JAN 18: Newly built four floor Loyola College building was declared open by Member of Parliament Oscar Fernandes Jan. 17 at Manvi in Raichur district.

Earlier Bishop of Bellary Henry D’Souza blessed the ne building. MLC Bosuraj and MLA Hanmpayya Naik unveiled the plaques.

In his message Bishop D’Souza lauded the work of the Karnataka Jesuits in imparting education to the much backward area of Manvi and surrounding villages. “Loyola College” will be an agent of social transformation of the district of Raichur”, declared Bishop of Ballari.

“Education should empower and transform the students belonging to backward communities, fostering leadership among the students”, Bishop stated.   

In his speech Oscar Fernandes stressed on the need of promoting social justice and bringing the fruits of development to the rural masses.

Provincial superior of Karnataka Jesuit Province Fr. Stany D’Souza sj,  superior of the Jesuit community at Manvi Fr. Francis and Raichur Member of Parliament Mr. Naik along with many priests, nuns and dignitaries were present o the occasion.

Jesuits are running two English Medium schools, a pre-university college and a senior college at Manvi. They are also providing pastoral care, running a school and a dispensary at Jagir Pannur.

The Loyola educational institutions at Manvi and Pannur are run by the Centre For no-Formal and Continuing Education for the education of Catholic youth, which has also been at the service of others without any distinction of caste or creed.

“Success in Loyola  is not defined just in terms of academic excellence, but in directing its educational efforts to make future leaders, with a holistic combination of intellectual prowess, social concern, personal and moral values, with the leaders marching towards building a just and equitable society”, stated Provincial Fr. Stany.

“Loyola College offers a wide range of course combinations for education and promises exciting and rewarding opportunities that ensure holistic development in a student”, said Principal Fr. Elvis.

“Jesuits of Karnataka Province are working in North Karnataka where a lot of exploitation has been taking place against dalits, the marginalized, and the devadasis. They chose to work among these people with the sole objective of liberating them from exploitation, so that they take their rightful place in society with dignity and self-respect. In order to achieve this goal they have adopted a multi-pronged approach: conscientizing the rural adults about their living conditions and exploitation by others; socio-economic schemes to empower them economically; and formal education”, said Fr. Francis, superior of the Manvi Jesuit community. 

Over 2000 students are being educated in these institutions. 


President Assures Christian Leaders Action Against Attacks On Christians

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altNEW DELHI, JANUARY 16: Shri. Pranab Mukerjee, the honourable President of India assured the Christian leaders who met him to express their concern on growing attacks on churches in Delhi and across the country that necessary action would be taken to maintain social peace and religious harmony in the country.


He told the delegation without mincing any words, “What is happening in Delhi and other places in the country is totally unacceptable. It brings bad name and reputation to the country and everyone. The attacks on religious places are to be strongly condemned by one and all as they are dangerous to the country’s unity. They must be stopped as early as possible.”


He also said that he would speak to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister regarding this matter.


Archbishop Anil J.T. Couto expressed his satisfaction with the assurance given by the honourable President of India.


“I am glad that the President gave the assurance that he would speak to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister and necessary actions would be taken to put an end to these attacks, hate campaign and false propaganda”, the Archbishop said.


The delegation that met the honourable President of India included Archbishop Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi, Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara, Bishop of Faridabad Eparchy, Very.Rev. Fr. Susai Sebastian, the Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Savarimuthu Sankar, Spokesperson/PRO and Rev. Fr. Chetan Machado, Media & Youth Director of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese.


Issued By: Fr. Savarimuthu Sankar, Spokesperson Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, 9968006616/9717906441,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine

Bellary-Mathe-small The Shrine of Bellary Arogya Mathe was blessed and dedicated on 8th September 2000 on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary in memory of the great jubilee 2000 and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Bellary


Diocesan Diamond Jubilee

This year is Diamond Jubilee of our Bellary Diocese.  It is completing 60 years in the service to God and His people.


Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22