ASIA/AFGHANISTAN - From Prague to Kabul, a fundraiser for the needy, a sign of spiritual communion of the Church

Saturday, 4 July 2020 poverty   mission   solidarity   charity  

Kabul (Agenzia Fides) - A fundraiser which began in Prague reached the church of Kabul through the staff of the Czech embassy. This is the initiative carried out by the parish community of St. Gotthard, in Prague, led by the parish priest Fr. Milos Szabo, in support of the poor, destitute and most vulnerable Afghans. This is what Fr. Giovanni Scalese, Barnabite priest, at the head of the Missio sui iuris in Afghanistan reports in a note sent to Agenzia Fides: "In that parish, during the month of January, the faithful prayed for this Country and made a collection for the poor of our Mission. The result of the donations was entrusted to Czech diplomats in Kabul, but due to the rules for the containment of Covid-19, it was only possible to organize a meeting in June".
The donation was accepted by the Barnabite as a "sign of the spiritual communion of the Church": "When we recite the apostolic Creed, we affirm that we profess our faith in the communion of Saints. Generally, we give importance to this aspect especially on the feast of November 1st, but we often forget that the communion of saints unites all believing pilgrims on earth. Christian life can be compared to a pilgrimage, of course, but not an individual one: we walk towards God as a people, helping each other. The beautiful initiative of the parish of St. Gotthard is a good example of this communion".
The contact between the church of Prague and that of Kabul had occurred last October, with a letter sent by the Czech parish priest, which read: "We are a Roman Catholic parish in the Bubeneč district, which hosts diplomatic missions of many States in the Czech Republic. This gave us the inspiration to try to connect spiritually with the countries of the world. While representatives of international diplomacy work to facilitate cooperation and ensure that humanity lives in peace and security, we have decided to support this work through prayer. Each month we will pray for a specific country and its inhabitants regardless of their religion".
The Catholic presence in Afghanistan was admitted at the beginning of the twentieth century as simple spiritual assistance within the Italian Embassy in Kabul. In the Country, in fact, Islam is recognized as a State religion and conversion to other religions is seen as a crime of apostasy. In 2002, John Paul II established the "Missio sui iuris" in the Country. Today the Catholic mission continues to have a base in the diplomatic structure and is entrusted to the Barnabite father Giovanni Scalese. In addition, the Missionary Sisters of Charity and the "Pro Bambini of Kabul" inter-congregational association are operating in the Afghan capital. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2020)