Church Attacks: Contra Views: Christians suspect boy arrested in church attack is ‘red herring’/No communal angle to church attacks: BJP Dalit leader;

Priests skeptical that the vandalism was not religiously motivated, call for independent investigation.

New Delhi:Police have arrested one man in connection with a Catholic church attack earlier this month in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. But the official claim that the motive was personal and not related to religion has drawn ire from the Christian community and a call for an independent probe.

A Muslim youth named Haider was arrested on April 24 for attacking the St Mary’s Church in Agra district in the early hours of April 16; officials say he was under the influence of drugs.

Two statues were damaged and a dog leash was found around the neck of a statue of Mary. Vehicles parked at the church were also damaged.

Rajesh Modak, senior superintendent of police, told that Haider, a rickshaw puller, confessed to the crime. Modak said Haider attacked the church in a fit of rage after he was unable to meet a girl he was in love with.

“He was in love with a girl who used to come to the church on Saturday and for the last few days, he was not able to meet her. So out of anger, he committed the crime,” Modak said, adding that the faith of the girl is not known.

Local media reports suggested that the girl is a Christian.

Three others detained in connection with the crime have been released after questioning.

However, the Christian community has questioned the official explanation and demanded a thorough investigation.

“It is not possible that he would have done all the damage alone. The police version is not convincing. We want a separate independent inquiry into the matter,” Fr Savarimuthu Shankar, spokesperson of the Delhi archdiocese, told

He and others accuse police of attempting to whitewash what they say is evidently part of a string of religious confrontations.

Since December, at least six churches in Delhi have been vandalized. Separately, a number of individuals have been attacked, including an elderly nun who was gang-raped in March.

Fr Dominic Emmanuel, a Christian leader, said that he, too, was skeptical of the official explanation.

Terming the police version “doubtful”, the priest said that a free and fair probe is needed into the matter.

Over a hundred Christian schools in 10 districts around state capital Lucknow closed their doors last Thursday in a protest called by the Uttar Pradesh Masihi (Christian) Association against the Agra church attack.

Sikh and Muslim leaders along with several churches, including the Methodist Church, Church of North India and Assembly of God Church joined the protest.

Source: UCAN

Bishops condemn Hindu Mahasabha statement


The Hindu Mahasabha leader’s statement said Churches are no longer places of worship but factories for conversion.

New Delhi:The Catholic bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the “highly provocative” statement of the Hindu Mahasabha general secretary Munna Kumar Shukla that encourages attacks on churches and said such statements and the escalated violence indicate a “sinister pattern.”

The bishops have taken a “serious note” of “irresponsible statement” of Shukla, General Secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, the prelates said in a statement.

Shukla, according to media reports said, attacking a church is not illegal and wanted the government award those who attack the churches.

“Christian community is greatly shocked and its susceptibilities are deeply wounded” by the statement, the bishop said in the press statement issued at the end of their Standing Committee Meeting on Friday.

Some 40 bishops including cardinals, archbishops and bishops attended the meeting in Bangalore.

“Shri Shukla’s contention that attacking a Church is not illegal and that it violates no law is highly untenable and contrary to standards, norms and laws of the land.,” said the statement signed by conference president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis.

The Hindu Mahasabha leader’s statement that Churches are no longer places of worship but factories for conversion of Hindus into Christianity is highly insinuating and derogatory. He further stated that the Central Government should protect and award the youth who attack Churches. He also claimed that the Taj Mahal was previously a Shiva Temple, the bishops noted.

“In recent times there has been an escalation of violence against Christians and other minorities together with highly unwarranted statements. All such attacks indicate a sinister pattern and evil design calculated to denigrate and defame the Christians, peace-loving and law abiding citizens of India,” the bishops said.

The bishops also wanted the Central and State Governments initiate to “swift action to put an end to such inflammatory and provocative statements” and “halt of attacks on Christians and other minorities and to ensure that communal harmony.”

Press Release

Appointments 2015 – III : Archdiocese of Bombay;

Archdiocese of Bombay.jpg 2



Fr. Christopher Alvares    : To be Assistant, Infant Jesus Church, Dombivali

Fr. Michael D’cunha          :To be Assistant, Our Lady of Glory Church, Byculla

Fr. Jeffrey D’souza             : To be Assistant, Our Lady of Victories Church, Mahim

Fr. Paul  S. Fernandes       : To be Assistant, Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayander

Fr. Hurbert Goveas            : To be Assistant, St. Lawrence Church, Wagale Estate

Fr. Raphael Mordom         : To be Assistant, Our Lady of Glory Church, Byculla

Fr. Terrence Murray          : To be Assistant, Holy Family Church, Pestom Sagar

Fr. Sunil Munis                   : To be Assistant, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kalyan (W)

Fr. Nicholas Pereira         : To be Assistant, Our Lady of Egypt Church, Kalina

Fr. Lincoln Rebello          : To be Assistant, St. Michael Church, Mahim

The above appointments take effect from June 1, 2015

(To Be Continued)

Sd/- Oswald Cardinal Gracias

April 18, 2015

Not to Ignore Christians’ Role in Education: President Pranab Mukherjee;

The Christian Community established a large chain of elementary schools throughout Kerala, under the supervision of the Seminary and its leaders, he said.

‘’The role of the Church in healthcare, women’s empowerment and upliftment of the less privileged section of society are unparalleled,’’ the President said.

Kottayam:President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday said the role of the Church in spreading education cannot be ignored as he released a postal stamp commemorating the 200 years of the Orthodox Theological Seminary based in Kottayam.

“The Christian Community established a large chain of elementary schools throughout Kerala, under the supervision of the Seminary and its leaders,” he said at the function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Seminary was the first indigenous initiative towards universal literacy and education, which has today made Kerala the most literate state in the country.’’ The president said the charity and healthcare activities of the Syrian Church also originated in the Old Seminary under its leadership.

‘’The role of the Church in healthcare, women’s empowerment and upliftment of the less privileged section of society are unparalleled,’’ the President said.

The President said for nearly 14 Centuries, the three major religions of Kerala, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam have existed in peace and harmony, respecting each other’s belief and cooperating to promote social welfare.

‘’In fact, Kerala was the first state in the country in which both Christianity and Islam took roots with people voluntarily choosing different religious beliefs.

The Old Seminary was set up by the Malankara Orthodox Church situated in Kerala, a state known for the peaceful co-existence of different religions and communal harmony.

“The lighting of oil lamps in and around Churches, the raising of the flagstaff and flags during festivals and the custom of entering the Churches barefoot are all Hindu traditions that have become a part of the Church practice. These bear testimony to the sharing of traditions by both the religions,’’ the president said.

Source: Day and night news

On the Occasion of Earth Day: From Digha Ghat, Patna; Bihar



Fr Sushil S.J and the three winners

In Action small

At St Xavier’s College and St Xavier’s College of Management and Technology, Digha Ghat, the entire month of April 2015 was dedicated to Earth Day and the unified theme of environment, beginning with the National Seminar-Knowledge Society for Sustainable Development on 11th and 12th April. This was followed by the Principal Dr. (Fr) Nishaant S.J flagging off the battery operated e-rickshaw on 15th April, which will regularly ferry students to and fro from Digha More to the college canteen. An Economic Quiz organized by faculty member Ms Kalpana Kumari also sensitized students to make eco-friendly choices in life. On the penultimate day-21st April, faculty members Ms. Archana Jha and Dr. (Sr) Mudita Sodder RSCJ organized an ingenious group competition entitled “Invent your own Imaginary Insect”. The entire campus was transformed into a humming and throbbing hive of exciting activity with 14 teams of 10 students each participating. They used old newspapers, pins and waste material to drape a student in the team as a new creative insect. The judges Dr (Fr) Raymond S.J, Dr Marie D’Cruze and Mr Animesh graded the students on creativity and originality of thematic presentation and grilled them on the utility value of their new invention. “Imaginations ran riot, there was much learning and fun as well”, quipped Manish BCA II, Cabinet member. Betel Eater, Balbagaur, Termantis, Ausroach, Evanid Firefly, Polyupa were some of the new insects they invented. Insect Stinger team led by Ritika BCA I bagged the 1st Prize, followed by the 1st Runner-up Insect Khoonka Rakshak team, led by Amarjeet BCA II, while Insect Plighter team led by Atul B.Com (P) II was the 2nd Runner-up. Rajeev BBE I, a shy student opined, “I enjoyed creating a new insect. It tickled my grey cells to think and brought out the best in our group. It was great fun!” while Ashish BMC I student remarked, “I laughed my guts out. The answers were so hilarious. I feel thoroughly relaxed”. The acting Principal Dr (Fr) Sushil Bilung S. J gave the vote of thanks applauding all the participants for their very intelligent creations. He said, “We need to have an Earth Day Celebration before every examination.” The students were finally blessed with a tikka of Mother Earth on their foreheads with the words, “You are a daughter/son of the Earth. HAPPY EARTH DAY-22nd April 2015.

Reported by

Dr (Sr) Mudita Sodder RSCJ

For St Xavier’s Colleges,

Digha Ghat, Patna, Bihar.

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