02/01/2024, 17.33
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Catholic Connect, an app for Indian Catholics

by Nirmala Carvalho

The software was officially launched at the Plenary Assembly of Latin rite bishops currently underway in Bengaluru. During the meeting, the suffering in Manipur and the challenge of solidarity were mentioned. “There should not be any room for disharmony or rivalry,” said Card Tagle.


Bengaluru (AsiaNews) – An app called Catholic Connect offers Indian Catholics of the Latin rite a single platform to access spiritual resources, relevant news, and a series of Catholic services in the country.

After a trial period, the software was officially launched Tuesday during the biennial Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) at St John's National Academy of Health Sciences in Bengaluru (Bangalore).

The app is meant to be “a transformative tool that seamlessly integrates technology with faith, promising to bring about positive changes within the Catholic community,” writes CCBI Deputy Secretary General Fr Stephen Alathara.

It has “the potential to strengthen the sense of community,” and makes it possible to simplify access to very concrete services promoted by the Church, such as health insurance, but also timely news and information from the CCBI’s 14 regions.

“Additionally, users can conveniently locate nearby churches,” as well as “connect with their respective parishes and dioceses” with “sections for Information, Events, Notice Board, Announcements and Obituaries. Users of the app can select their parish and dioceses during the registration.”

A solemn Eucharistic celebration led by Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, opened the work of the CCBI assembly.

In his opening address, the prelate stressed the topic of responsible use of artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity, highlighting its ethical aspects. He also stressed the need to impart such knowledge in seminaries and in permanent education programmes for the clergy.

For his part, Archeparch (Archbishop) Andrews Thazhath of Trichur (Thrissur), chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the collegial body that brings together Eastern and Latin conferences, spoke about the violence in Manipur.

In thanking fellow bishops for responding in a Christian way to the atrocities committed in the state, he reiterated the Church's commitment to the poor, the needy, and the oppressed, notwithstanding the challenges Christians face today in India.

Archbishop Linus Neli of Imphal spoke today, in the second session, about the demographic, historical, and ethnic aspects of Manipur.

The prelate highlighted the relief and rehabilitation efforts by the Catholic Church, lamenting the destruction of some 300 churches and thousands of homes. “The peace process is gradual and it will take time,” he is quoted as saying.

Card Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, sent a message to the assembly; in it, he urges Indian bishops to promote, maintain, and strengthen communion, especially between the different Churches.

“There should not be any room for disharmony or rivalry,” he said stressing the importance of true fraternal communion; “the only aim of each Church is to give testimony to the life of Christ by being faithful disciples of the Master.”

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