Catholics must fight against discrimination, Pope tells Indians Bishops

Catholics must fight against discrimination, Pope tells Indians Bishops

Catholics must fight against discrimination, Pope tells Indians Bishops


Speaking to the las group of Bishops from India who have comew for their Ad Limina  visit,  Pope John Paul II  for an end to all kind of discriminations prevailing in the Asian subcontinent.

Adressing the bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Madras-Maylapore, Madurai and  Pondicherry-Cuddalore, the Pontiff  underscored the  importance of a “true spirit of solidarity in the Church and in society.”

“Like so many places in the world,” said the Pope, “India is beset by  numerous social problems. In some ways, these challenges are exacerbated  because of the unjust system of cast division which denies the human dignity  of entire groups of people.”

“In this regard –he continued,- I repeat what I said during my  first pastoral visit to your country: ‘Ignorance and prejudice must be  replaced by tolerance and understanding. Indifference and class struggle  must be turned into brotherhood and committed service. Discrimination based  on race, color, creed, sex or ethnic origin must be rejected as totally  incompatible with human dignity’.”

John Paul II praised the many initiatives implemented by the  Bishops’ Conference and individual Churches “to fight this injustice” and  said that “any semblance of a  cast-based prejudice in relations between Christians is a countersign to  authentic human solidarity … and a serious hindrance to the Church’s mission  of evangelization. Therefore, customs or traditions that perpetuate or  reinforce cast division should be sensitively reformed so that they may  become an expression of the solidarity reformed.”

New Evangelization in India

Speaking about the new evangelization, the Pope said that it is of “special importance in modern societies, in which  large portions of the population find themselves in desperate situations  often leading them to seek quick and easy solutions to complicated problems.”

“This sense of hopelessness may explain, in part, why so many people … are  attracted by fundamentalist sects offering short-lived emotional fervor andan assurance of wealth and worldly achievement.”

“Our response to this must be one of ‘re-evangelization’,” he continued,  “to show people the emptiness of such promises, while convincing them  that Christ and his Body share their sufferings.”

At the end, John Paul II recalled that “a firm commitment to mutual  support ensures our unity in mission which is founded on Christ himself and  enables us to approach all cultures, all ideological concepts, all people of  good will. … The Church also urges the faithful to enter with prudence and  charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions.”

“I encourage you to continue  these frank and helpful discussions with those of other religions. Such  discussions will help us to cultivate this mutual search for truth, harmony  and peace,” he concluded.

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