Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some Muslims Attack Boldipukur Catholic Rectory, Convent and Nuns in Boldipukur, Bangladesh


The map showing Catholic dioceses in Bangladesh as of 2011
Map Courtesy: The Catholic Directory of Bangladesh, 2011
 (Click on the map above to see an enlarged version)

More than 50 armed Muslims of the locality, on July 6, broke into the Boldipukur Catholic Church rectory and convent and looted some materials and beat and molested some PIME Sisters (nuns), reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA). 

Bishop Seabasstian Tudu, an aboriginal bishop of the Diocese of Dinajpur (located in the north-west of Bangladesh) overseeing 14 parishes including Boldipukur, told the Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity, "The attack was massive and lasted about an hour and a half. The attackers brutally beat the nuns... the convent was seriously devastated. Only when the police arrived did the attackers leave the mission."

The Sisters are now in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, for psychological and medical care.

"The attack is obviously a targeted and planned attempt at intimidation. Nuns and priests are being attacked because they stand up for the disadvantaged and minorities," the bishop said. "The most recent attack is clearly a targeted response to Catholics' commitment to the country's poorest people," he added.

The Asianews reports that the attack started at 2:00 a.m. and lasted for an hour and a half. The intruders tied the hands and legs of two night watchmen and gagged them before breaking down the door of the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy who was asleep. They looted some items and then attacked the convent inside the church compound. 

The raiders were demanding the land documents that aboriginal parishoners deposit with reliable persons for safekeeping. Some non-Christian people with ill motive are always on the lookout  for ways to deprive aboriginals of their land and grab them. 

Nirmal Rozario, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association, based in Dhaka, demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits. 

So far, the police arrested 12 Muslims for this attack.
For further details, you may visit the following:
In the past, there were other attacks and threats on churches, convents and Christians in Bangladesh. For details, you may click on the following:

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pope Francis Meets With Clergy Sex Abuse Victims



Pope Francis, for the first time, met with clergy sex-abuse victims in the Vatican on July 7 and asked for their forgiveness and promised to take proper action in future. He had a series of one-on-one meetings with six victims – two each from Britain, Ireland and Germany.
The Pope celebrated an early morning Mass with these three men and three women in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta, his present residence in the Vatican, and then he had breakfast with them, reports the National Post.

In the Mass homily, Pope Francis said: “This is what causes me distress and pain at the fact that some priests and bishops by sexually abusing minors, violated their innocence and their own priestly vocation. It is something more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God. And those people sacrificed them to the idol of their own concupiscence.”

The Pope also asked for forgiveness, saying: “Before God and his people, I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness.”

In the homily, he continued: “I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of the Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at work.”

We provide below the complete homily of Pope Francis:


The English translation of Pope's homily, delivered in Spanish
        
            The scene where Peter sees Jesus emerge after a terrible interrogation…  Peter whose eyes meet the gaze of Jesus and weeps…  This scene comes to my mind as I look at you, and think of so many men and women, boys and girls.  I feel the gaze of Jesus and I ask for the grace to weep, the grace for the Church to weep and make reparation for her sons and daughters who betrayed their mission, who abused innocent persons.  Today, I am very grateful to you for having travelled so far to come here. 

            For some time now I have felt in my heart deep pain and suffering.   So much time hidden, camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained until someone realized that Jesus was looking and others the same… and they set about to sustain that gaze.

And those few who began to weep have touched our conscience for this crime and grave sin.  This is what causes me distress and pain at the fact that some priests and bishops, by sexually abusing minors, violated their innocence and their own priestly vocation.  It is something more than despicable actions.  It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God. And those people sacrificed them to the idol of their own concupiscence.  They profane the very image of God in whose likeness we were created.  Childhood, as we all know, young hearts, so open and trusting, have their own way of understanding the mysteries of God’s love and are eager to grow in the faith.  Today the heart of the Church looks into the eyes of Jesus in these boys and girls and wants to weep; she asks the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left life long scars.

           I know that these wounds are a source of deep and often unrelenting emotional and spiritual pain, and even despair.  Many of those who have suffered in this way have also sought relief in the path of addiction.  Others have experienced difficulties in significant relationships, with parents, spouses and children.  Suffering in families has been especially grave, since the damage provoked by abuse affects these vital family relationships.

Some have even had to deal with the terrible tragedy of the death of a loved one by suicide.  The deaths of these so beloved children of God weigh upon the heart and my conscience and that of the whole Church.  To these families I express my heartfelt love and sorrow.  Jesus, tortured and interrogated with passionate hatred, is taken to another place and he looks out.  He looks out upon one of his own, the one who denied him, and he makes him weep.  Let us implore this grace together with that of making amends.

            Sins of clerical sexual abuse against minors have a toxic effect on faith and hope in God.  Some of you have held fast to faith, while for others the experience of betrayal and abandonment has led to a weakening of faith in God.  Your presence here speaks of the miracle of hope, which prevails against the deepest darkness.  Surely it is a sign of God’s mercy that today we have this opportunity to encounter one another, to adore God, to look in one another’s eyes and seek the grace of reconciliation.

            Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you.  And I humbly ask forgiveness.

I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves.  This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk.

            On the other hand, the courage that you and others have shown by speaking up, by telling the truth, was a service of love, since for us it shed light on a terrible darkness in the life of the Church.  There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not.  All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.
What Jesus says about those who cause scandal applies to all of us: the millstone and the sea (cf. Mt 18:6).

By the same token we will continue to exercise vigilance in priestly formation.  I am counting on the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, all minors, whatever religion they belong to, they are little flowers which God looks lovingly upon.

I ask this support so as to help me ensure that we develop better policies and procedures in the universal Church for the protection of minors and for the training of church personnel in implementing those policies and procedures.  We need to do everything in our power to ensure that these sins have no place in the Church.

            Dear brothers and sisters, because we are all members of God’s family, we are called to live lives shaped by mercy.  The Lord Jesus, our Savior, is the supreme example of this; though innocent, he took our sins upon himself on the cross.  To be reconciled is the very essence of our shared identity as followers of Jesus Christ.  By turning back to him, accompanied by our most holy Mother, who stood sorrowing at the foot of the cross, let us seek the grace of reconciliation with the entire people of God.  The loving intercession of Our Lady of Tender Mercy is an unfailing source of help in the process of our healing.

            You and all those who were abused by clergy are loved by God.  I pray that the remnants of the darkness which touched you may be healed by the embrace of the Child Jesus and that the harm which was done to you will give way to renewed faith and joy.

            I am grateful for this meeting.  And please pray for me, so that the eyes of my heart will always clearly see the path of merciful love, and that God will grant me the courage to persevere on this path for the good of all children and young people. Jesus comes forth from an unjust trial, from a cruel interrogation and he looks in the eyes of Peter, and Peter weeps. We ask that he look at us and that we allow ourselves to be looked upon and to weep and that he give us the grace to be ashamed, so that, like Peter, forty days later, we can reply: “You know that I love you”; and hear him say: “go back and feed my sheep” – and I would add – “let no wolf enter the sheepfold.”

Source: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/07/07/pope_francis%E2%80%99_homily_at_mass_with_sex_abuse_survivors/1102621#

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Quotation of the Week (July 6 - 12, 2014)


A quotation of Pope Francis on 'just world,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A homeless person inside College Park subway station in Toronto: Oct. 15, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Quotation of the Week (June 29 - July 5, 2014)


A quotation of George Washington Carver on 'doing common things in an uncommon way', compiled by Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Quotation of the Week (June 22 - 28, 2014)


Quotations on 'religious intolerance,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Jerome D'Costa Documents Work As An Archive


A screen grab of the Jerome D'Costa Documents


Jerome D’Costa Documents are an archive of published articles, write-ups, and books of Jerome D’Costa, the blogger of this blog – Bangladesh Canada and Beyond – as well as some selected writings of other Christian and non-Christian writers. 

These Bengali and English language documents, mainly aimed at and are of interest to Bengali-speaking Catholic and Protestant Christians of Bangladesh, West Bengal of India, the Middle East, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, and USA, will also be of interest to some Bengali-speaking non-Christians. These will also be useful for one's reading, reference, and research.

The digital archiving of these documents is an ongoing one. This is the first of its kind for these particular readers. 

From time to time, you may read these items at: 


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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Quotation of the Week (June 15 - 21, 2014)


Aquotation of Napoleon Bonaparte on 'victory,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Beach-goers enjoying a volleyball game at Grand Bend Beach, Ontario, Canada: Sept. 8, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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