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Demonetisation affects Church collections: Arch Bishop

Demonetisation affected the church collections initially but the situation is normal now.

bhopal Updated: Jan 30, 2017 23:19 IST
Hindustan Times
Catholics church,plenary assembly,ccbi
Bhopal, India - Jan. 30, 2017: Cardinal Oswald Gracias addressing a press conference ahead of conference of the catholic Bishops of India in Bhopal, India, on Monday, January 30, 2017. (Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/ Hindustan Times)(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT PHOTO)

Bhopal: Demonetisation affected church collections too while archdiocese of Goa has replied to the notice issued to it by Income Tax department. However, there is no further communication from the department.

Talking to news persons ahead of the 29th plenary assembly of Conference of the catholic bishops of India (CCBI) beginning here on January 31 archbishop of Goa Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao said they had submitted the reply in response to the notice. Through the notice the department sought financial details from them.

Demonetisation affected the church collections initially but the situation was normal now, he added in reply to a question.

The archbishop, however, played down Income Tax department’s act in issuance of the notices issued to diocese of Goa and certain other diocese saying it might not have been issued intentionally and might have been a part of computer generated notices.

Giving information about the 29th plenary assembly, president of the CCBI and archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias said the assembly would deliberate the theme ‘Promoting the joy of love in our families’. They would chalk out a detailed programme and an action plan how to revatilise ‘the family apostolate at the diocesan and parish levels’.

He said, “The theme of the assembly was the follow-up of the pastoral plan for the church of India, promulgated on December 8, 2013 in which safeguarding of the family was identified as one of the pastoral priorities of the church of India.

He said the secretaries of the twelve commissions of the CCBI would present a biennial reports of the activities of their commissions for the year 2015 and 2016. The bishops would evaluate the programmes and plan out future activities of the CCBI commissions. The member bishops would elect new office-bearers of the CCBI. The meeting would also look into the present situation of the church of India.

Archbishop Madhya Pradesh Rev Leo Cornelio said disintegration in the family system was a matter of great concern. A family was the first school for any child who learnt from the atmosphere around.

He said during the convention a few couples would be invited to counsel them about the strength of the togetherness.

In reply to a question on anti-conversion law in various states of the country including Madhya Pradesh archbishop Cornelio said a government didn’t belong to any religion, hence it should avoid interfering in religious matters.

He said nobody could be forced to embrace any religion. Hence, the programmes like ‘ghar wapsi’ was also a misnomer.

In reply to a question he said it was not MP government but certain fringe elements which raised the issue of conversion against the minority community in the state.

In reply to a question on tribals’ protest in Betul who said they were not Hindus the archbishop said they (tribals) were right. Tribals were native of the country and nature worshippers.

First Published: Jan 30, 2017 23:19 IST