10/29/2011, 00.00
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Bangalore: a statue of John Paul II in first Indian church dedicated to Blessed

The Archdiocese of Bangalore is the first in the country to have a church dedicated to Pope John Paul II. The statue, cast in Thailand, was unveiled in Delhi by the nuncio, Msgr. Salvatore Pennacchio, in the presence of all the bishops of Karnataka.
Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Oct. 25 the nuncio to India, Msgr. Salvatore Penncchio, unveiled a statue dedicated to John Paul II, in the church dedicated to Blessed in K Channasandra Horamavu, in the suburbs of Bangalore. The Archdiocese of Bangalore is the first all over the country to have a church dedicated to Blessed John Paul II, a missionary Pope, raised to the altars May 1, 2011. John Paul II visited India on two occasions. In 1986 and 1999, covering the country from north to south, and paying homage at Gandhi’s shrine.

The statue, in bronze, is 2.6 meters high and weighs 375 kg. It 'was cast in Bangkok. John Paul II is represented in cassock as Pope, and at his feet are two national symbols, the peacock and lotus flower. The ceremony was attended Msgr. Bernard Moras, archbishop of Bangalore, all 13 bishops from Karnataka, and bishops from the Diocese of Chikmagalur, Mysore, Belgaum, Bellary, Shimoga, Belthangady, Bhadravathi, Mangalore, Mandya, Puttur, Karwar and Gulbarga. The nuncio also said that his hope is that the process of canonization of Pope John Paul II will proceed expeditiously.

The nuncio, in his homily, recalled the figure of John Paul II: "The Pope was a missionary; he visited so many countries, and came twice to India. His words were: Be not afraid cast your nets into the deep for a batter catch. "Archbishop Pennacchio urged Indians not to be afraid to welcome Christ into their lives, and imitate him. Archbishop Moras was appointed bishop by John Paul II, first in Belgaum and then to Bangalore.
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