Monday, November 13, 2006

GOA: Cardinal Paul Poupard to preside at Catholic Cultural Centres Meet

GOA: Cardinal Paul Poupard to preside at Catholic Cultural Centres Meet

Cardinal Paul Poupard - Meeting of Catholic Cultural Centres at Pilar Theological College, Goa (November 21-23, 2006)

PANJIM, Goa, November 13, 2006 (KC Blog): The President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council of Culture, Cardinal Paul Poupard will preside at the meeting of the Catholic Cultural Centres of India to be organized by the same council at the Pilar Theological College, Pilar, Goa, from November 21st to 24th, 2006.

The meeting, which will be hosted for the first time by the Church in Goa, will have for its theme: "Catholic Cultural Centres: Cultural Resources for Living the Christian Faith in Dialogue with the Traditional Cultures in the Context of Evolving Cultures," and will be attended by over forty Cultural Centres from all over India, nearly 30 of which are based in the South Indian state of Kerala.

Catholic cultural centres are public forums that help develop a dialogue between faith and cultures.

In his address of 14 March 1997, the late Pope John Paul II who created the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1982, underscored the "tragedy for culture, which is undergoing a deep crisis because of the rupture with the faith" and called upon the Pontifical Council of Culture "to help the Church achieve a new synthesis of faith and culture for the greatest benefit of all."

In an interview with Catholic News Service, March 13, 2006, the 76 year old French Cardinal who has headed the dicastery from its inception in 1988, described culture as being key to interreligious dialogue and said that the Council for Culture has already been promoting interreligious dialogue on a local level through Catholic cultural centers.

Around the same time, on March 11 this year, the Vatican announced Pope Benedict XVI's decision to temporarily merge the Pontifical Council for Culture with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue "in order to favour a more intense dialogue between men of culture and exponents of the various religions." The Pope retained Cardinal Poupard at its helm.

Over the years, the role of the Council for Interreligious Dialogue has gained in importance, and especially so after some misunderstood references from the Pope's Speech at the Regensburg University during his home visit trip to Germany last September sparked off angry reactions in some parts of the Muslim world.

The Cardinal who arrives at the Dabolim Airport on the 19th, will preside at the Solemn High Mass on the Death Anniversary of Fr. Agnelo de Sousa, at Pilar on 20th morning. He is also scheduled to visit the Bom Jesus Basilica and inaugurate a Christian Art Gallery, promoted by the Archdiocese, in the old Archbishop's Palace at Old Goa, that evening.

On 23rd afternoon, the Church dignitary will preside over a Special Symposium on "Globalisation and Indian Cultures: towards Harmony among Peoples," organised by the Pilar Theological College. He will also be present at the evening's special cultural programme organised by the Society of Pilar with the Governor of Goa as the Chief Guest.

Accompanying the Cardinal to Goa will be his Secretary, Fr. Bernard Ardura and the Official for the Asia Desk, Dr. Theodore Mascarenhas, a priest of the Society of Pilar who also teaches at various Universities in Rome.

Apostolic Nuncio to India, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, will also be attending the three-day cultural centres meet.

The Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao and the Superior General of the Society of Pilar, V. Rev. Fr. Tony Lopes, will accompany the distinguished guest during his six-day stay in Goa before his departure to Rome on the 24th to be part of the entourage accompanying the Pope to Turkey on November 26.

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