Indian Catholics Welcome Sentences

Catholic leaders welcomed the prison sentences a court has given to five people convicted of taking part in the August 2008 anti-Christian violence in India's Orissa state. "It is a good development. It will go a long way in meting out justice to our people," Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar said on July 28, a day after the court announced its decision. The court sentenced Disara Kanhar, Durbasa Kanhar, Gupteswar Kanhar, Rabindra Kanhar and Naresh Kanhar to six years of "rigorous imprisonment" and also fined each person the equivalent of $105, special prosecutor Bijoy Krishna Pattnaik told reporters. Christians in the riot-torn villages in the Kandhamal district of Orissa continue to live in fear because many of the people who led the violence remain free, Archbishop Cheenath said. Divine Word Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesman for the Delhi Archdiocese, said the court decision is "of course welcome, but the cases should be considered more seriously." Instigators of violence "should be punished severely so that it would be a lesson to themselves and others who spread sectarian hatred," the priest said.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The budget’s moral measure will be assessed by “how well it promotes the common good of all,” the bishops write.
Kevin ClarkeMay 22, 2017
A veteran activist provides a blueprint for creating a movement in the moment of Trump.
Nathan SchneiderMay 22, 2017
Given the number of those in the California legal system today who are Latino, “you can guess a large percentage of them are Catholic.”
Jim McDermottMay 22, 2017
Pope Francis waves during a visit to give an Easter blessing to homes in a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea, May 19 (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano).
Vatican leaders seem quietly confident that the meeting will go well.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 22, 2017