Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bombay: Social Commitment of the Church - Seminar

Seminar on Social Commitment of Church Fosters Zeal For Evangelization

The commitment of the Indian Church to solidarity, justice and peace, and developments in Catholic missionary work across the Asian continent, were the main themes of a national seminar on the social doctrine of the Church. The meeting took place at St. Pius X College, Goregaon Seminary, Mumbai. from 24 to 26 March.

There was a gathering of 520 delegates from 55 Indian dioceses.

"I am very encouraged by the positive spirit and passion of the Indian Church for social issues," said Mgr Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who chaired the meeting.

"The centrality and promotion of the human person in different spheres of life, has always been the highlight of the Church’s social doctrine, and these values, other than the fight against poverty, the right to peace and friendly industrial development, were the main points of this seminar."

On fanaticism and attacks against churches and their institutions that sometimes take place in India, Mgr Crepaldi said: "The Church promotes understanding through inter-religious dialogue, and encourages a culture of mutual respect by promoting a culture of religious freedom and sensitivity. Benedict XVI has taken over from John Paul II in condemning any religious fundamentalism and intolerance. We work hard for harmony among religions."

On the discrimination suffered by Dalits and problems linked to conversions, Mgr Crepaldi said: "The Church is committed to preaching a Gospel where all people are created in God’s image, and firmly believes all are created equal. The Church, through her social ministry, strives towards empowerment and development of the poor and oppressed."

Mgr Crepaldi explained "the relevance of social doctrine in Asia, the continent where Jesus was born". He said: "The mission of the Church, wherever, is based on evangelization however, contexts obviously change. But the challenges have been present throughout her history. The Church does not want to make all people uniform: diversity enriches us, given that we believe in One God, the triumvirate God."

He added: "I hope this seminar will promote a culture of life and the missionary zeal of the Church in Asia, as well as boosting the enthusiasm of activities promoted across the continent."

Stephen Fernandes, Professor of Ethics and Moral Theology in Mumbai Seminary, consulter of the bishops’ conference, and organizer of the meeting said, "This was a unique moment in the history of the Indian Church, it is the largest seminar we have ever held. The large number of participants is proof of the solidarity and communion lived by the Church."

Source: Bombay Archdiocese Website

Also See:

No comments: