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Newsletter. Issue 2007-25. December 08, 2007
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Goa News Clips

Church People Oppose Garbage Plant Near Old Goa
Church people are campaigning against a proposed garbage-processing plant near ancient churches and monuments in Old Goa.

On Nov. 19, about 150 people from seven villages around the historic area in Goa state along with Catholic priests met Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat.

Their memorandum demanded the scrapping of a government move to acquire about 170,000sqmts. of land in Bainguinim, a village near Old Goa.

The government decided to acquire the land after a public outcry and court intervention forced the closure of three garbage dumps, leading to a garbage management crisis. Currently, Panaji’s garbage is being dumped within the city precincts.

Opposition against the proposed dump has simmered for more than a year. On Nov. 20, a local court directed the government to consult various civic bodies to resolve the garbage problem.

Father Valeriano Vaz, director of Goa archdiocese’s Council for Social Justice and Action, said the proposed plant at Bainguinim is just a few kilometres away from several churches and monuments in Old Goa.

Father Vaz is also a member of “The Bainguinim, Old Goa Villagers’ Action Committee,” which opposes acquisition of land for the garbage plant.

Committee convener Krishna Kuttikar, a Hindu, said the villagers would intensify their protest if the government fails to withdraw the land acquisition plan.

According to Mauvin Godinho, state spokesperson of the ruling Congress party, the government would not make any decision that is against the interests of the people. However, the Catholic politician also said he wants people to stop opposing any project with a “not-in-my-backyard” attitude. [
UCA News]
CBCI wants cuts in Shekhar Kapoor’s film ‘Elizabeth’
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), the apex body of the Catholic Church in India, has urged chairperson of the Central Board of Films Certification (CBFC) in India, Sharmila Tagore, to consider the sentiments of millions of followers of Christianity in the country before giving its approval to English movie ‘Elizabeth’ directed by Shekhar Kapoor, which is to be released shortly.

In a letter November 21, to Sharmila, Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, the secretary general of CBCI, appealed for censoring of “anti-Catholic scenes” in the controversial film.

The archbishop also requested the CBFC chairperson to consult the CBCI before the film is released.

The CBCI had intervened last year before the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was released. The CBFC had invited the CBCI to view the film before its release. The Board had accepted the suggestions put forward by the CBCI on ‘Da Vinci Code’. As a result the film was shown with a disclaimer that it was a work of fiction.

The CBCI has sought a similar disclaimer for ‘Elizabeth’.

Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes has urged the CBFC chairperson to censor ‘Elizabeth’, as it “unnecessarily targets the Catholic Church and its leaders and this is not acceptable to a community that respects other religions and their leaders”.

Scholars and historians across the globe have described the film as an “anti-papal travesty”. According to them, the film is wrong in both fact and inclination. “A film which so profoundly and perversely falsifies history cannot be judged as a good film,” Prof. Cardini, a noted Florence University historian, said.

Archbishop Fernandes said that to present Catholicism in a distorted manner is an insult to its followers, not only in India but also across the world.

The CBCI, however, has not pinpointed the objectionable scenes in the film. [SAR News]
Several Churches In Bahrain Face Closure

At least 10 Christian churches run mostly by the Indian community are under the threat of closure in this Gulf country. According to local sources, the Manama Municipal Council has given two weeks time to “unlicensed churches” in its territory to shut down or prove their legality. The Council says these churches, most of them belonging to Indian Christians, have been operating from residential premises without required sanction.

The Manama authorities have decided on “relocating” at least seven churches. Local sources say there are at least ten churches facing shut down. According to local authorities, for a church to operate in this Gulf region, licence has to be obtained from the Manama Municipality, the Social Development Ministry or the Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry. [ICNS]

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