Seminar On "You Are Light Of The World" Held In Ballari

BALLARY, AUG. 13, 2019: Over 75 priests and religious from various parts of the Diocese of Bellary enthusiastically participated in a day’s seminar on "You are the light of the world" on August 13, at St. Antony’s Community Center, Cantonment, Bellary.

The seminar was on Pope Francis' recent guidelines to deal with sexual by clerics and religious. It was recommended by the Council of Priests. The programme was animated Bishop Francis Serrao sj, Bishop of Shimoga and Fr. Victor George D' Souza, noted canonist and the chancellor of the Diocese of Mangalore and former Professor of Canon Law at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore. With the intention of sensitizing the pastoral clergy, religious of the diocese to Pope Francis’ new Motu Proprio (apostolic exhortation) ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi’ (You are light of the world) which came into effect on June 1, 2019 a day of seminar was held.

The new document deals with the fresh norms to deal with sexual abuse by clerics and the religious. It has serious implications for all clergy and religious. Bishop Henry D Souza, Bishop of Bellary while addressing those gathered, gratefully recalled Pope Francis's recent letter to priests of the world at the occasion on 160 th death anniversary of St. John Marie Vianney, the Cure d'Ars. He said that we need to be grateful to the Lord who "chooses and calls".

In moments of trial we "living as good pastors in today's contemporary world is a challenging mission and an great responsibility. It calls for wisdom, prudence, honesty and accountability for wiser stewardship" said Bishop Henry at the occasion. Fr. Victor George D'Souza highlighted the essential need of clerics and religious to maintain strict code of conduct and the obligation to relate others respectfully and professionally. He also appealed at the occasion to work collaboratively and cooperatively with others and not to engage in any sort harassment.

Bishop Francis Serrao sj, Bishop of Shivamogga strongly urged for a personal, communal an institutions conversion in the challenging situation of the church today. And highlighted the need to look anew at formation by those in formal formation and in the ministry. He invited to take up the challenges as opportunities.

In the last session, Fr. Lourdsamy T. Professor of Canon Law at St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore moderated the session in identifying vulnerable situation in the diocese.

At the end Bishop Henry D’Souza thanked everybody for their active participation and appealed to extend their whole hearted cooperation in the forthcoming Regional Youth convention to be held in Bellary Oct. 24-27.

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