20 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


» 04/15/2005 16:31
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDIA
Card Vithayathil, focus on the family, religious freedom and the poor
Cardinal heads the Syro-Malabar Church, a community that adheres to an ancient Eastern rite in southern India.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Card Varkey Vithayathil is the Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, a diocese centred in the city of Kochi, the capital of the south-western Indian state of Kerala, where  

Christians represent 19 per cent of the local population of 31 million, one of the highest percentages in India.

The second of eight children, one of whom—a sister—has taken the veil, he is a graduate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Institute Angelicum in Roma.

Since 1997 he heads the Syro-Malabar Church, the biggest of India's two Eastern Catholic Churches (the Syro-Malankar is the other), both of which trace their origins to St Thomas the Apostle, a Church that can count 3.5 million members divided in 25 ecclesiastic divisions.

Recently, Card Vithayahil came out strongly in defence of the family threatened, in his words, "by the media that promote a culture of death".

In a recent pastoral letter he urged the faithful to better understand what the Christian marriage means because "it seems people have forgotten that marriage is for life".

Just before leaving for Rome he reiterated Catholics' pro-life stance. "The Church is against abortion and the destruction of human life," he said.

Cardinal Vithayathil has also distinguished himself by coming out strongly in favour of religious freedom and against discrimination of Christians in India.

In 2003 he objected to a state-sponsored study on places of worship which he called ambiguous and dangerous to religious minorities.

Different human rights groups had slammed a similar survey that Hindu fundamentalists used in the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Muslims.

The Cardinal has also strongly committed the Catholic community to helping the poor and Tribals.

In January 2004 he sent a letter to all the parishes of his diocese urging the faithful to show "love, respect and openheartedness" to people living with AIDS.

Currently, there are 39 Catholic-run AIDS hospices.

Cardinal Vithayathil has also reaffirmed the Church's commitment to non violent help to farmers who are too often exploited or brought to ruin by ruthless international competition.

The role of the Church, he said when he was proclaimed cardinal, is to urge people to "change the hearts" and "not destroy the rich". (LF)

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/15/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE
Where are the cardinals from?
04/18/2005 VATICAN - CONCLAVE
Mass for the election of new Pontiff in St Peter's
04/08/2005 VATICAN
A million people attend John Paul II's funeral
04/08/2005 VATICAN
Wojtyła's death and the promising seed
by Bernardo Cervellera
04/18/2005 INDIA - CONCLAVE
Prayers for conclave throughout India
by Nirmala Carvalho
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 – INDONESIA
Darmaatmadja, a moderate voice in the dialogue with Islam
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – VIETNAM
Phan Minh Man, talking to the Communists
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – INDIA
Toppo, a Tribal in the College of Cardinals
VATICAN – CONCLAVE – THAILAND
Michai Kitbunchu, first cardinal from Thailand

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
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.

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.