Inderne forbyr tåteflasker bragt til pavelige seremonier

Fundamentalist Campaign Elicits Impressive Security Measures

NEW DELHI, NOV 2 (ZENIT).- The Indian police are adopting strict measures that could discourage people from attending public meetings with John Paul II, during his visit to India from November 5-8.

The police have warned mothers not to bring small children to the stadium for the papal Mass on November 7; for security reasons they are not allowed to carry feeding bottles, jars or bags.

"This is the first time such a prohibition has been made," Fr. Dominic Emmanuel said, but it will probably be ignored by many mothers. "I think the police will be able to check the bottles and flasks to prove that they really do have milk and not bombs," he said.

The Pope will visit New Delhi from November 5-8 to officially close the Synod of Bishops for Asia and give the post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, "Church in Asia," which will reflect the challenges that Catholicism faces in the next few decades in the most populous continent of the planet. He will also meet with local religious and political leaders and visit the funerary monument in honor of Mahatma Gandhi.

Several Hindu fundamentalist groups, which are opposed to the papal visit, have burned the Pope in effigy and carried out protests in front of the Vatican Nunciature. Some of them, affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata -- the party that won the parliamentary elections that began on September 5 and ended on October 5 -- want to meet the Holy Father to demand that he state that Jesus Christ is not the unique being through whom salvation comes to mankind; and that he apologize for the death and forced conversions in the former Portuguese colony during the 16th century.

According to Archbishop Alan Basil de Lastic of New Delhi, president of the Episcopal Conference, the real reasons for fundamentalist intolerance and the violence against Christians over the past year, are due to the fact that missionaries help the lowest social caste -- the "untouchables," insist on their human rights. This alarms nationalists belonging to the higher castes. According to the Archbishop, the question is not just religious but also social and economic.

The authorities have stepped-up security measures, after the Catholic Church rejected the idea that the Holy Father should celebrate Mass protected by a transparent bullet-proof panel.


KI/KAP (KathPress/Katolsk Informasjonstjeneste)

av Webmaster publisert 03.11.1999, sist endret 03.11.1999 - 10:53