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Hinn's meet getting undue publicity: Catholics

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January 21, 2005 15:56 IST

The Catholic Church in Karnataka has disassociated itself from the controversial prayer and healing session organised by American evangelist Benny Hinn in Bangalore on Friday.

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Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore said the Church is not "directly or indirectly involved" in the Festival of Blessings programme by Binn, which has invited criticism from a number of Hindu groups in Karnataka.

"Everybody has the right to preach about Christ, but that does not mean it should have fanfare and hype. Even Jesus Christ went about preaching the good news and doing good and he worked awesome miracles. But he did it all with admirable humility," Archbishop Moras told reporters.

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He said the Festival of Blessings by Hinn is attracting unnecessary publicity.

The archbishop rejected Hinn's oft repeated allegation in his meetings that the Roman Catholic Church worship idols.

"External symbols are necessary for a religion. Catholicism is not idolatrous. We do not have idols. We only have statues and we 'venerate', not 'worship' saints. Worship belongs to God and God alone. The images of saints we have and venerate help strengthen our relationship with God," Archbishop Moras said.

He said the Catholic Church in India does not encourage its followers to attend the Hinn prayer meetings.

K Ramakrishna in Bangalore