Thakurpukur: Roman Catholic Archbishop
of Kolkata Thomas D`Souza on Wednesday said that the Maoist issue
in West Bengal could be solved by opening a dialogue with the
ultras in a spirit of reconciliation and initiating
humanitarian service in the affected areas.
"Our solution to the (Maoist) problem is one of prayer,
reconciliation and service," he said at a press conference
when asked whether the Church had any solution to the Maoist
D`Souza, who was talking to the media on the sidelines of
the Regional Mission Congress here, said the Church`s work in
education and healthcare can help bring about reconciliation
and can pave the way for a dialogue.
"Our missions in West Midnapore, mainly those of the
Missionaries of Charity, are working well in the Maoist areas
and were quite reconciled with the people there," he said.
The Church, however, has not been able to reach out to
the Maoist squads active in the deep jungles of the three
districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, the Primate
On Pope Benedict XVI`s reported remark that communism had
lost relevance to the world, D`Souza said, "Whether communism
or Christianity, the love for the poor is common to both. But
(Communist) methodology to achieve this may be irrelevant."
Asked to comment on CPI(M) Politburo member S Ramachandran
Pillai`s reported call to the Catholic Church to collaborate
with the party in improving the lives of the poor, he said,
"We believe whoever is not against us, with us."
Recalling the close friendship between late Marxist leader
Jyoti Basu and Mother Teresa, he said, "They both treated each
other with respect because both had concerns for the poor. The
Church is not against working with others in improving the
lives of the poor."
Earlier, Vatican Nuncio (Ambassador) to India Salvatore
Pennachhio celebrated Mass to mark the close of the Mission
Congress, attended by the Bishops, priests and laity from the
diocese of Asansol, Bagdogra, Baruipur, Kolkata, Darjeeling,
Jalpaiguri, Krishnagar and Raigunj.
Church Art, a firm which specialises in Christian art
motifs, presented Pennachhio with a replica of `The Good