Bishops Optimistic About Church's Fate
Cautious optimism marks declarations of many Bishops in India who have been asked by
the editor of The Bengalese to give their views about the future of the Church in an India cut off from European rule.
ARCHBISHOP ROBERTS, OF BOMBAY, thinks that missionary rights may he safeguarded by treaty, but he states that these would be wide Christian opposition to any Christian dependence on non-Indian State support.
ARCHBISHOP MATHIAS, OF MADRAS, says: " Missionaries who know the Hindu mentality and the great prestige exercised by the Catholic Church do not fear for the future, India needs Christ and His missionaries with their faith and their charitable works. The impression that missionaries are instruments of capitalism and imperialism has not been given by the Catholic missionaries in India and there are reasons to believe that when imperialism will pass, missionaries will meet with less prejudices; there will he less antagonism on the part of the Hindus naturally tolerant and peat foyers. Catholicism is well established and well organised, particularly in the South. It has grown and flourished prosperously before the advent of the British. The
Past is a Pledge for the future. The Indian States have shown tolerance now and before."
ARCHBISHOP MULLIGAN, OF DELHI, foresees that Christianity will lose its semi-privileged position and be forced to fight on its own ground. This " may have its good points."
ARCHBISHOP PERIER, OF CALCUTTA, feels that there is little to hope for from Gandhi and " the big guns of Congress." " Perhaps purely humanitarian works would be tolerated, but in proselytising."
BISHOP CROWLEY., OF DACCA, says that the Church in Bengal will have little to fear from the coming new order in India.
BISHOP ROSSIT,LON, OF VIZAGAPATAM, believes that Christianity may become the religion of the India of the futdre. " Truly, Christ has become a naturalised Indian."
BISHOP POTHACAMURY, OF BANGALORE, a native of India himself, says that it is unlikely that there will be open antagonism, much less persecution, of Christian missions under an Indian Government. " Christian things done in a Christian manner can never alienate the Hindu or the Moslem."
A solemn religious ceremony took place in Rome to intercede for Divine protection for Sicily, SO sorely tried by the scourge of war.