Thiruvananthapuram, 26 October, 2023 / 1:05 pm (ACI Africa).
The Church in India has welcomed the news that the Vatican will initiate the beatification process for the 35 Catholic martyrs of Kandhamal who were killed in the 2008 Christian persecution in the remote jungle district of the eastern Odisha state.
On Oct. 25, the Catholic Church in India made public the Oct. 18 “nihil obstat” from the Vatican Dicastery for the Causes of Saints “to initiate the process of beatification for the Servant of God Kantheswar Digal and companions, martyrs of Kandhamal,” communicated by Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, apostolic nuncio to India.
“We are happy and thrilled with the communication. It is historic to have 35 of our martyrs on the path to Vatican recognition,” Archbishop John Barwa of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, which covers Kandhamal, told CNA on Oct. 26.
“Now the archdiocesan council will meet to decide the date and plans for officially initiating the process. Since it is a large group of nearly three dozen we need to plan out everything meticulously,” Barwa pointed out.
Kandhamal district, 150-250 miles southwest of the Odisha capital, Bhubaneswar, witnessed the worst anti-Christian violence in modern times beginning in August 2008 following the mysterious murder of Hindu nationalist monk Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in his hermitage in Kandhamal.