2013-05-31 16:28:26

For Orissa Bishop, Christian unity promotes peace and justice

31 May, 2013 - The Church in Eastern India’s Odisha state wants to promote an "inclusive" approach to "peace and justice", whose benefits ought to transcend local communities to embrace everyone, said Bishop Thiruthalil Thomas of Balasore. The Vincentian bishop who is the president of the Orissa Catholic Bishops' Council, was analyzing the life of the Christian community in the state that still bears the signs of the anti-Christian brutality, 2007 and 2008. With that goal in mind, he said Christians need to be "united" because other (Christian) denominations often follow the lead of the Catholic community. For Bishop Thiruthalil, the Church in Orissa, a land like the rest of India steeped with a "deep religiosity" and "strong traditions", needs a strong "identity". Everyone should be motivated by a desire to promote the wellbeing of their fellow citizens, the bishop said, especially in the case of "Dalits and tribal people", who often languish on the margins of society. Poverty, land seizures, migration and unemployment are among the most urgent unresolved problems that need attention. "In the coming years, it is even more important to strengthen the presence and action of the Church in poverty-stricken and marginalised areas," the prelate noted. Despite the still open wounds inflicted in the 2007 and 2008 anti-Christian atrocities, the bishop remains optimistic for, in the history of the Church, problems and difficulties "have always strengthened our faith." Hence, it is necessary to "persevere" amid the pressures and obstacles, ever putting our trust in God at times of crisis. "There is still a long way to go," the prelate said in concluding, "if we want to make the Church more and more present as a union of different communities." (Source: AsiaNews)

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