Catholic Church set for Year of Faith

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The Year of Faith beginning in Catholic Church on Thursday will see nearly fifty-five lakh faithful in the state joining others across the world for special prayers in homes and churches.

Pope Benedict XVI will declare the launch of the programme in Vatican. The programme is widely believed to be an attempt of the Church to introspect what it calls the ‘winter of faith’ in Europe and threat from ‘consumerist culture.’

Though the Catholic Church in Kerala does not expect a Europe-like situation where attendance in churches are going down alarmingly, it still is keen on the year-long stress on reaffirming faith.

“The consumer culture is taking its tolls in Europe. In Kerala we are not yet in that situation, but there are certain symptoms which the church is aware of.

But there is a very import a difference between India and Europe. India remains always a very religious country at its heart.

So the winter of faith which happens in Europe may not happen here,” said Fr Paul Thelakat, spokesman of Syro Malabar Catholic Church.

“The church is fully aware of the situation (in Europe) and she tells the people of the dangers of consumer secularism and hedonism.

The ongoing synod of bishops in Rome will consider seriously the problem and will come out with ways and means to overcome it,” he added.

Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) spokesman Fr Stephen Alathara said the year was an opportunity for priests as well as the faithful to deepen their faith. The year-long programmes will end on November 24, 2013.

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