The accusations that the Missionaries of Charity force conversions of Hindus to Christianity are not new and are not founded.
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Bishop Mulakkal, 57, has consistently denied the accusations, and claims he was falsely accused after he questioned alleged financial irregularities at the accuser’s convent.
The Madras High Court, one of three high courts in India, ruled Father Ponnaiah should face trial for his comments at the meeting.
The missionaries normally help some 600 people at their Kolkata motherhouse and their children’s orphanage Shishu Bhavan.
The Hindu nationalist government announced new restriction blocking foreign contributions to the Catholic order on Christmas Day. The funding block goes into effect Dec. 31.
On Dec. 21 the Hindu nationalist government of the Indian state of Karnataka introduced harsh legislation intended to prevent conversions from Hinduism to other faiths.
The Syro-Malabar Church is today one of four major archiepiscopal churches recognized by Rome.
Blessed Devasahayam, an 18th-century lay convert soldier who was tortured and killed by a Hindu king because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith, will be canonized in May.
The Hindu nationalist Indian prime minister extended the invitation during an Oct. 30 meeting with the Holy Father at the Vatican.
All three leaders are in Rome this week for the G20 summit which will take place Oct. 30-31.