19 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/14/2005 15:44
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDIA
Toppo, a Tribal in the College of Cardinals
Mission and commitment to social advancement and religious freedom are the focal points of the pastoral work of the Indian Archbishop of Ranchi.

Vatican City (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Card Telesphore Placidus Toppo, 65, is Archbishop of Ranchi, capital of the Indian state of Jharkhand. Named by John Paul II in the consistory of October 2003 he is the first ethnic Oraon, an indigenous tribal group, to be elevated to the rank of cardinal; he heads the diocese of Ranchi since 1985.

He is known for his strong commitment to mission and for his social involvement on behalf of tribal people (who are numerous in Jharkhand and the neighbouring state of Bihar), people living with leprosy, drug addicts and in favour of education.

During the recent tsunami crisis he spent several days in the stricken state of Tamil Nadu visiting Catholic relief and aid organisations.

Cardinal Toppo does not mince words when it comes to the issue of conversion to Christianity, a theme often used by Hindu fundamentalists to attacks Christians and missionaries.

He has always rejected claims that "conversions are forced", saying that "we do not approve them; they are contrary to Catholic theology". In fact, he insists that "should any conversion be shown to have been done without consent, the baptism is not registered".

By the same token, the archbishop of Ranchi clearly is opposed to anti-conversion laws adopted in some Indian states; such laws require converts to inform the authorities of their new religious affiliation.

"It is not possible to see any harm or evil when someone in good conscience embraces another religion," he explains.

Indeed, in social terms, the Christian mission represents a valuable contribution to the advancement of Tribals.

When he speaks about evangelisation among the people living on the Chotanagpur plateau Cardinal Toppo never tires to say that "the Gospel has given [them] back their dignity", especially to the indigenous people who are still at the bottom of the Hindu caste system.

In his last Christmas message, he urged all Indians to recreate a country where all religious groups peacefully live together. "Every religion teaches love for others; none urges discrimination and hatred. We must overcome the violence stemming from recent religious incidents."

Cardinal Toppo chaired the Latin Bishops' Conference of India till March of this year. He currently is in charge of the Office for evangelisation of the Federation of Asian Bishops.

He was also appointed by John Paul II to be one of four delegates to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that is scheduled to take place in Rome from October 2 to 29, its main topic being the Eucharist.

India's population now stands at 1.028 billion. Just over 80 per cent are Hindu; Christians are about 2.3 per cent, i.e. 24 million. Of these, 16 are Catholic. (LF)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/16/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE - JAPAN
Hamao, helping migrants is mission's new frontier in Asia
04/16/2005 VATICAN – CONCLAVE - PHILIPPINES
Card Vidal, a view on migrants, the family and peace
04/15/2005 VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDONESIA
Darmaatmadja, a moderate voice in the dialogue with Islam
04/14/2005 VATICAN – CONCLAVE – THAILAND
Michai Kitbunchu, first cardinal from Thailand
04/14/2005 VATICAN – CONCLAVE – VIETNAM
Phan Minh Man, talking to the Communists
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDIA
Dias, from world diplomat to Mumbai pastor
VATICAN – CONCLAVE - PHILIPPINES
Card Vidal, a view on migrants, the family and peace
VATICAN - CONCLAVE - JAPAN
Hamao, helping migrants is mission's new frontier in Asia
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – SYRIA
Moussa I Daoud, symbol of the Eastern Catholic tradition
VATICAN-CONCLAVE-JAPAN
Card Shirayanagi, working for peace and dialogue with China
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDIA
Card Vithayathil, focus on the family, religious freedom and the poor
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDONESIA
Darmaatmadja, a moderate voice in the dialogue with Islam
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – VIETNAM
Phan Minh Man, talking to the Communists
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – THAILAND
Michai Kitbunchu, first cardinal from Thailand

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.