Archbishop Barwa to the Christians of Orissa: We are gathering evidence on the Kandhamal martyrs
by Nirmala Carvalho

The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar initiated the formal canonization process for Christians killed by Hindu radicals during the pogroms of 2008. "It is our joy and task to collect all the documents to be brought to the Vatican," he says.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "We are gathering information on the Kandhmal martyrs": announced Msgr. John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, to Christians in Orissa during a meeting with clergy and religious. The prelate started the formal process to have the Christians killed during the pogroms unleashed by the Hindu radicals in 2008 known as "martyrs of the faith".

The meeting took place at the Kandhamal pastoral center on 3 March, where over 60 diocesan priests and leaders presented various reports on financial aspects and land issues. The archbishop expressed the desire to strengthen the laity through education, both religious and secular, and to improve the socio-economic conditions of the district's population. He said, "people are disadvantaged due to lack of higher education and professional training. We must encourage and strengthen them ".

Yesterday, Msgr. Barwa participated in a retreat for the clergy, in which "the preacher emphasized that the Eucharist is at the heart of priestly spirituality, and invited prelates to devote more time to Eucharistic adoration and prayer".

"I told our clergy and religious - he concludes - that it is our task to gather all the evidence and material, so that I can advocate [the cause] in the Vatican, in the first phase of the beatification process. Everyone - lay faithful, consecrated and priests - must share the documents in their possession. It is a joy for us".