VITA TRENTINA, Aug. 1-The Italian Diocese of Trent has a remarkable missionary presence, according to the diocesan weekly newspaper.
The paper recently published a report that includes the names of Trent priests, religious and lay people who are working as missionaries in Asia, Africa, America, Eastern Europe and Oceania.
The missionaries' destinations include difficult assignments like the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Algeria, but also wealthy countries such as the United States and Japan. As an official of the diocesan Missionary Center said, “No community can be closed in on itself, concerned with its own needs, no matter how important and numerous.”
The missions are also supported by those who never leave Trent. The people of the diocese donate almost $1 million dollars annually to the cause. Half a million dollars raised from the Lenten collection “Bread for the Love of God,” was offered to three bishops and 469 missionaries. The remainder was given to missionaries working with lepers and to alleviate emergencies in Sudan, Bolivia, Central America and Kosovo.
Catholic Schools Attacked in India
INDIA NEWS, Aug. 2-Members of Shiv Sena, a nationalist group known for its violent protests, have attacked Church-run institutions in India, according to the Christian Internet news service.
The attackers broke furniture at the Sacred Heart Convent in Worli, just north of Bombay, and slapped a nun, according to India News. A similar confrontation was thwarted at the Infant Jesus Convent in Jogeshwari in the western state of Maharashtra. The group says Catholic schools are denying admission to “Maharashtrian” students, which justifies their attacks, they say.
India's education minister has been unresponsive to appeals for help, the Catholic Board of Education said. They say the government's lack of action is a means of retaliation for the board's refusal to cooperate with the government on a proposed legislative bill that would give the government control of half of the admissions at the pre-primary level in religious schools. Protestant workers in Orrissa have also been attacked, India News said.
Orthodox Churches Suffer Albanian Retribution
REUTERS, Aug. 2-Orthodox Church leaders claim the July 31 bomb that exploded in a new cathedral now under construction in Pristina, Kosovo, was part of an ongoing attack on the Serbian Church, the wire service reported.
The blast, which rocked surrounding buildings but did little damage to the church, is the latest in a series of more than 30 attacks on Orthodox monasteries and churches in the province, Reuters said. “I think there are people who want to destroy, symbolically, Orthodox churches,” Bernard Kouchner, United Nations administrator in Kosovo, said.
Orthodox leaders say ethnic Albanians are behind the violence. “At the moment, the Albanian extremists are organizing a systematic campaign of destruction of Orthodox churches with the intention to blot out all traces of Serbian existence in Kosovo,” Father Sava, a senior member of the church, said.
Kosovar Albanians consider the cathedral, under construction for three years, as a provocation and a sign of Serb encroachment in the province, he said.