New Delhi (Fides Service) - The 2005 edition of the Catholic Directory of India was released recently in New Delhi by Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. The Cardinal thanked Claret Publications of the Claretian Missionary Fathers for drafting the book and congratulated them for producing a useful and user friendly collection of information on Catholic Church institutions all over the country.
The Cardinal said the Directory would be useful for various purposes, particularly for ready reference, to be in touch with the different dioceses, religious house, congregations and institutions. The book will also help show the authentic face of the Catholic Church and overcome anti-Christian prejudice and in this sense serve as a tool for evangelisation since it gives readers the real image of the Church.
Claretian Fr. Benny Kanjirakatt, editor-in-chief of the Catholic Directory of India thanked the Bishops’ Conference for giving his order the honour of this work which it accepted with great humility. He gave a Power Point presentation of the book illustrating important features of the work which he said, reveal a Church which offers the people of India a great witness of faith, hope and charity.
Some Indian Christians say “believers in Christ should be more present in the nation’s public, civil and social activities and make their voice heart in the media to spread awareness of their authentic identity” and say there should be “reflection groups, cultural institutes and research centres to help Christians prepare for public life and render them a significant and effective component of Indian society”.
The religious composition of India sees about 80% of the citizens Hindu, 12,5% Muslim and 2,6% Christian. Out of 30 million believers in Christ, Catholics are 16 million of three different rites, Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankar. “The three communities -Cardinal Toppo said - must bear witness to unity, through a spirituality of communion which exists must which must be deepened and lived. Evangelisation and witness go hand in hand”. (Agenzia Fides 5/12/2005 righe 28 parole 284)