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India's bishops encourage moderation in parish feasts

CWN - June 30, 2010

The Catholic Bishops Council in India’s southern Kerala state that has called for more austere, spiritual, and “greener” celebration of parish feasts.

In guidelines made public on June 30, the bishops of Kerala called for end to extravagance that has crept into celebrations in the Christian stronghold, “belittling the spiritual dimension.” There are 30 Catholic dioceses, roughly 4,000 parishes, about 4 million Catholics in Kerala, where the Catholic faith can be traced back to the evangelizing efforts of St. Thomas the Apostle. Over the years, Catholic parishes have competed with each other to stage colorful festivals, featuring fireworks, live bands, and parades. The bishops asked parishes to tone down their celebrations, being mindful of creating traffic jams, civil disturbances, and environmental pollution.

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