First Official Visit by New Nuncio Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana:
Gospel Will Take Root Only if it Has a Profitable Meeting With Cultures
and Traditions of the People Among Whom it is Proclaimed
(Fides Service) To see the country, meet the people and the authorities
and encourage church personnel Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana,
newly appointed Papal Nuncio to India and Nepal made a first official
visit to Nepal 2-8 July.
On his arrival
in Kathmandu on 2 July, the Nuncio was welcomed by the pro-Prefect
Father Pius Perimanaw and a representative of his Majesty King Gyanendra
Bir Bikram. The Archbishop then went to the Royal Palace to present
his credentials and have a private conversation with the King.
In his week-long
stay the Archbishop had the opportunity to visit various religious
communities and see for himself the situation of the Church in Nepal.
On July 5 in the Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin Mary The Nuncio said Mass for the local Catholic community.
In his homily he traced the history of Christianity in Nepal and
thanked Religious men and women for their contribution towards helping
the community to grow.
said: “The Gospel can only take root if it has a profitable
meeting with the culture and traditions of the peoples among whom
it is proclaimed. We do not uproot something in order to replace
it with something else. To proclaim Jesus Christ among people who
already have a religion is not an act of violence, because the Church
proposes, she does not impose. The Church proclaims the Good News
of Christ in its entirety but at the same time she has respect,
love and esteem for the culture and traditions of those who listen
to her preaching”. Archbishop Lopez Quintana underlined that
it is often difficult to announce the Good New and he encouraged
the local community to persevere with faith, hope and charity.
also met a group of local priests and religious who had come from
all over the country for the occasion. He assured them that the
process to elevate the ecclesiastical circumscription to the rank
of diocese is moving and that he hoped to see it completed during
his term of office.
the official language in the Kingdom of Nepal. Buddhism and Islam
are also officially recognised. The local Church is taking steps
to have Christianity recognised officially. The process could benefit
from excellent relations with King Gyanendra Bir Bikram who is familiar
with the Catholic Church and appreciates its activity, having been
educated at a Catholic school and a pupil of the present Prefect
Apostolic, Nepalese Jesuit Father Anthony Sharma.
there are about 6,000 Catholics in Nepal. The Catholic Mission was
opened in 1983 with territory taken from Patna diocese in India
and entrusted to the care of the Jesuit Fathers. It 1996 the Mission
was elevated to the rank of Apostolic Prefecture. PA (Fides Service
on Schools Fail to Deter Church in Nepal
OCT. 13, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Despite recent Maoist rebel attacks
on two Catholic schools in the Gorkha region, a priest says the
local Church is determined to continue its mission of service.
On both occasions
the rebels, who control a quarter of this Himalayan country, broke
into the school building and torched classrooms.
attacks are made not only on Church institutions and schools,"
Father Anthony Sharma, prefect of Nepal's Apostolic Prefecture,
told the Fides agency. "The Maoists rebels attack private enterprises;
they want to abolish private property."
do not have the support of the people," he said. "In regions
under rebel control, the number of poor and homeless is on the rise.
The Catholic community is esteemed in Nepal and we will continue
our work consisting mostly in social assistance, education first
of all. Our schools are highly appreciated; this is seen by the
fact that most of the pupils are non-Christians."
country of 25.8 million is 86% Hindu, according to U.S. government