Living the Christian faith in India is a challenge
Multi-religious situation and inculturation challenges Church, cardinal says
ucanews.com reporter, Pune, India
January 31, 2011
The Vatican is concerned about the continued attacks on Christian minority community in India, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, told ucanews.com on Jan. 28.
The cardinal was in Pune, cultural capital of Maharashtra state, to visit the students and staff of the Jesuit-run Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, a pontifical seminary.
The Vatican official acknowledged living the Christian faith amid such attacks is a challenge.
He noted that the Indian prelates have taken up with their government the need to provide protection to Christians in the country.
“We understand that these attacks are mainly because of the baseless conversion charges against the Christians,” the cardinal explained and asserted, “We are not in favor of forced conversions in India.”
The Vatican official said violence was not a way to resolve any problems, and clarified the Church believes in the freedom of conscience that the Indian Constitution upholds. It gives its citizens the right to profess and practice one’s faith, he noted.
The cardinal termed as “natural” that the Church in India tries to imbibe and assimilate local ancient cultures and traditions in the Church worship.
Since India houses all major religions, solid dialogue between different faiths is necessary to foster harmony and dispel misgiving and distrust, he added.
Earlier on Jan. 28, Cardinal Levada met theologians at the seminary and urged them to foster "inculturated catechism."
He also asked them to take science into account, especially "science connected with the theory of evolution" while reflecting on the mystery of God since the "bioethical questions are very important" for the Catholic Church.
The Vatican official told more than 780 seminarians their study of theology should lead them to deeper insights into God that they should share with others.
Vatican group looks at role of Indian theologians
Indian Christians urged to serve others
Catholics encouraged to visit designated sites during Jubilee of Mercy
Displaced people given shelter in Catholic school
Calls for all people to adopt green measures in year-long environmental drive
Officials find tolerant atmosphere where critics say is a breeding ground for Islamic extremism
Cardinal warns Filipino candidates in Ash Wednesday homily not to use charity for self interest