» 12/11/2013, 00.00
Supreme Court rules homosexuality is a crime. Archbishop of Mumbai: Gays are not criminals
The highest Indian court has overturned a 2009 judgment of the High Court of Mumbai , which had decriminalized homosexual acts. LGBT associations complain and accuse the Islamic and Christian religious organizations of lobbying to reinstate the ban. Card. Oswald Gracias, "No to gay marriage, but the Christian community is against any form of discrimination. Homosexuals have the same dignity as any other human being."
- The Supreme Court of India has restored the law banning homosexuality as a
"crime against nature". The
nation's highest court has overturned a decision taken by the High Court of
Delhi in 2009, which had decriminalized homosexual acts. The
immediate reaction from gay rights activists was to lay the blame at the door
of Islamic, Christian and Hindu religious associations accusing them of having
lobbied to reintroduce the norm. However, speaking to AsiaNews Card. Oswald
Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of
India, said that " the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the
decriminalization of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people
2 July 2009, the Delhi High Court had repudiated sect. 377
(unnatural offenses) of the Indian Penal Code - a law dating back to the
British colonial period - by establishing that sexual relations in private between
two consenting adults was not a criminal offense. Until
then, two homosexuals could be sentenced to 10 years in prison, or to life
imprisonment in cases deemed particularly serious.
issue was reopened by BP Singhal, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Hindu ultra-nationalist party),
which has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the verdict, stating
that "such acts are illegal, immoral and contrary to the ethos of the
Christians - reaffirms Card. Gracias to AsiaNews
- we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed
to the legalization of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the
same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust
discrimination, harassment or abuse."
Card. Gracias recalls Card. Pimenta, a servant of the Lord who loved Christ and India
The archbishop of Mumbai, recalls the figure of the prelate, who died on July 20th. Collaborators for over 30 years, Card. Gracias emphasizes the cardinal’s "tireless and powerful voice against anti-life legislation," and his attention to the "formation in the seminary."
India: A day of thanks for Pope Benedict XVI and his Pontificate
Card. Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, has launched a speacial Day on 22 February, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, to honour of the pope. In these eight years, the Holy Father has repeatedly identified the challenges facing India and Asia: a dialogue between cultures and religions, secularization, globalization and implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India gives AsiaNews his personal Easter reflection. He invites the faithful and the clergy to promote with love and courage the Church’s mission rather than fear conversions.
India: more than 48 thousand children abused between 2001-2011
Statistics revealed in a report by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR). The main victims are girls, mostly assaulted in state-run orphanages and institutions. Card. Gracias, president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), tells AsiaNews: "The protection of children is at the heart of the education, social and health care ministry of the Catholic Church in India."
Catholics to vote for a fairer India, Mumbai Cardinal says
Oswald Gracias appeals again to Christians to go out and vote. The next government has two tasks to fulfill: to guarantee the separation of state and church and fight poverty.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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