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    » 04/03/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Fr Thomas's martyrdom spurs us to dedicate our lives to Jesus, Card Gracias said

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The rector of a Bangalore seminary who was killed overnight on Easter will be buried in his native village on Saturday. The authors of the crime remain unknown. For the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), "his death proclaims the death and the resurrection of our Lord."

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Let us not lose hope. Let us not allow Fr Thomas's martyrdom be in vain. May his blood bring vigour and strength to his students and inspire new vocations to the priesthood," Card Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), told the Church in India. The latter is still under shock after the terrible murder of Fr K.J. Thomas, rector at St Peter's Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore (Karnataka), who was killed by unknown persons on Easter night. His funeral is set for this Saturday at Ettumanoor, his native village near Kottayam (Kerala).

    At present, police are continuing their investigation into the murder, whose authors or motive is still a mystery. Students and staff at the seminary in Bangalore that Fr K.J. Thomas had run for two terms are mourning his death. All of them describe the clergyman as "a humble and good-hearted man."

    As CBCI president, Card Gracias wants the Indian Church as a whole to respond "to the pain and distress caused by Fr Thomas's dreadful murder." For him, the clergyman's "murder must be a tribute to the priesthood. We priests are called to give our life to the people, devote ourselves, if necessary, to the point of death and this is what happened to Fr Thomas."

    "In the Chrism Mass, Pope Francis reminded us priests that we must always be 'shepherds with the smell of sheep, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men," the prelate noted. "A priest's life is precarious and its fulfilment lies only in serving others."

    "Students loved their rector, Fr Thomas," the prelate added. "Even in his death, he will continue to inspire seminarians to dedicate their lives to Jesus. Even in death, Fr Thomas is a powerful witness, who proclaims the death and the resurrection of our Lord."

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    See also

    06/04/2013 INDIA
    Thousands of faithful attend funeral of Bangalore seminary rector, brutally murdered at Easter
    The ceremony took place yesterday in Ettumanoor (Kerala), his native village. Thousands of people, including priests and lay people, wanted to bid a final farewell to a man of faith and "true witness" of Christ. Police investigations are continuing, according to which the murderers are "acquaintances" of Fr. Thomas.

    02/04/2013 INDIA
    Bangalore, seminary rector murdered on Easter
    The attackers killed Fr. K.J. Thomas hitting him in the face and head with a brick. Motive and identity of the killers still unknown. Archbishop of Bangalore "brutal and senseless murder, this is a great loss for us all." The funeral will be held in Ootacamund, his native diocese.

    22/04/2013 INDIA
    Bishops call for justice after seminary rector murdered in Bangalore
    Bangalore archbishop and 15 prelates write to the government of Karnataka and the police, urging them to find the culprits as soon as possible. Fr K J Thomas was murdered overnight at Easter, between 31 March and 1 April.

    02/07/2007 INDIA
    Hospital bans HIV-positive woman from delivery room, husband alone to help her give birth
    Doctors refuse to come near HIV-positive woman. Only her husband helps her through hours of labour to give birth to their child; he also cuts umbilical cord. Problem is widespread in hospitals, schools and villages. Bishop of Bangalore says Church is against discrimination, defends the right of HIV-positive patients to healthcare.

    24/11/2008 INDIA
    Indian Church defend priests and nun arrested for nun’s murder in 1992
    In 1992 a nun was found dead in a well. After years of fruitless investigations, police arrest two priests and a nun. The Church is raising doubts about their guilt, urges the faithful to “pray for the truth.”



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