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Living the Christian faith in India is a challenge

Multi-religious situation and inculturation challenges Church, cardinal says

Living the Christian faith in India is a challenge
Cardinal William Joseph Levada visits students and staff of the Jesuit-run theology college in Pune reporter, Pune

January 31, 2011

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Living the Christian faith in multi-religious India is a challenge for the minority community and promoting inculturation within the Catholic Church in India is a natural process, a top Vatican official said. 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 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. Related reports Vatican group looks at role of Indian theologians Indian Christians urged to serve others ID13093.1639
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