National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Bangalore, India

Indian cardinal opposed to 'criminalization' of same-sex relationships

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The head of the Catholic church in India has reiterated its opposition to "criminalization" of homosexuality.

"It is for the government and the legislature to sort out the situation now," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai said after the Supreme Court declined to review its December ruling on an anti-sodomy law.

The December ruling served to reinstate Section 337 of India's penal code, a law that outlawed homosexuality, making it a felony subject to fines and sentences of up to 10 years to life in prison.

Tamil bishops seek inquiry into final stages of Sri Lanka's ethnic war

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Two Tamil bishops in Sri Lanka joined a call for an independent inquiry into reported war crimes in the closing stages of the protracted ethnic war in the Indian Ocean island nation in 2009.

Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar and Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam Emmanuel of Jaffna reiterated the demand during a meeting with Stephen Rapp, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues in the State Department's Office of Global Criminal Justice, in early January in Jaffna.

Newly beatified Indian lay martyr praised for refusing to reject faith

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The life of Blessed Devasahayam Pillai, an 18th-century Catholic layman who was martyred for refusing to refute his faith despite being brutally tortured, was held up as an example for all Christians to embrace.

"(India) can rejoice as this great martyr is now only a step away from being a declared saint," Bishop Peter Remigius of Kottar told Catholic News Service on Monday, a day after 400,000 people attended the beatification ceremony in Nagercoil, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

"It was a wonderful event and the people were really excited," the bishop said.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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