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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 04/25/2014
INDIA
The Church in India calls for freedom of expression for all
by Nirmala Carvalho
Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, and other clergymen speak out against the reaction of Hindu nationalists to the principal of a Catholic college, a Jesuit priest who posted online his reflections on the so-called Gujarat model. In it, he calls on people to promote "human development" for everyone, and not only profits for the few.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Church in India has come out in favour of the principal of a Catholic school in Mumbai, saying that "everyone has the right to express their opinion."

This follows a controversy caused by Fr Frazer Mascarenhas SJ, principal at St Xavier's College, who posted his reflections on India's current election on the school's website.

Reacting to the post, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked the Election Commission to have the post deleted.

In his article, the Jesuit clergyman raises questions about "what constitutes human development and how it is to be achieved."

In so doing, he focused on the Gujarat model, a state ostensibly on a path of development free from communal tensions.

Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in this election, has been Gujarat's chief minister for the past ten years, after winning three consecutive elections.

However, Fr Mascarenhas debunks the myth spread by Modi's propaganda machine.

For the priest, India has some questions to ask itself. "Is the growth of big business, the making of huge profits the achievement of high production - what we seek? Or is it the quality of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social groups that make up India?

In the first case, which corresponds to the Gujarat model, "The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy," words that elicited the BJP's reaction.

For Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, "Fr Frazer gave an objective analysis. An educator educates his students to examine situations in an objective manner. It is a shame that the issue has been politicised."

"In a democracy everyone has a right to state his or her opinion," said Fr Errol Fernandes SJ, principal of the Commerce Section at the same college. "This must always be done with dignity and without any attempt to malign the name of another."

"Fr Frazer has not imposed his view on anyone," Fr Fernandes explained. "Those who have read him are welcome to have their own point of view and even to differ."


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See also
05/02/2014 INDIA
Hindu Shankara masters decry Narendra Modi: A sinner for the Gujarat massacres
04/01/2014 INDIA - UNITED STATES
For Indian Jesuit, US should not grant Narendra Modi diplomatic immunity
03/14/2014 INDIA
Simplicity, down-to-earth homilies, and dialogue define Pope Francis to the Church in India and the world
by Nirmala Carvalho
01/31/2012 INDIA
Karnataka Hindu extremists attack a Jesuit Catholic College. Students and teachers beaten
by Nirmala Carvalho
05/04/2006 INDIA
Indian Church condemns Gujarat violence

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
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pp. 176
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pp. 240
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