» 03/02/2010, 00.00
“A new life for the Indian Church,” Card Gracias says
The archbishop of Mumbai is elected president of the Bishops’ Conference of India. He tells AsiaNews that will focus on interfaith dialogue and helping the poor. “God calls on us to protect creation and this must be the core of our mission.”
Guwahati (AsiaNews) – The Indian Church “must been seen to be in the service of the nation through education, health care and social apostolate for those who are marginalised as well as the entire nation. [. . .] This is our mission among the people without distinction of caste or creed. It is essential that the Church [. . .] see the face of Christ in the poor, the vulnerable, and those living on the margins of society,” Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, told AsiaNews after his fellow prelates elected him today at their biennial General Assembly as the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).
Card Gracias is known across the country for his untiring defence of human rights and religious freedom. He has been fearless in his attacks against the government for failing to protect Christians in Orissa during last summer’s pogroms. He is also well known for his ardent commitment to the protection of life, one of the missions closest to his heart.
One of his new tasks will be “getting the three Catholic rites of India to work together as well as engaging other religious in dialogue,” he said. “The Holy Scriptures describe human beings ‘as created in His divine image’, at the helm of creation. God blessed the world with other creatures; hence it is important to share with them the earth in which we live.”
Since the beginning, “God called on His Church to work within creation. This, now more than ever, is our most urgent duty. We must develop resources to place in the service of the nation and the whole world,” he said. For this reason, “Our Church has one, ultimate priority, namely helping the poor. But poverty is related to environmental degradation and fighting both will be at the core of our mission.”
For Church assembly, young people are the hope of India and the world
Indian bishops meet to discuss “Youth for Peace and Harmony”. About 47 per cent of the Indian population is under 20, and is under threat according to Card Gracias. For the bishop of Guwahati, affluence destroys Christian values.
Catholic schools in India advance democracy and development
Cardinal Toppo speaks at the opening ceremony of the general assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, which this year focuses on education. More than 160 bishops are expected to attend the event.
Indian priests follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, man’s liberator
Here are some thoughts by Cardinal Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and presidents of the Bishops’ Conference of India, on the Year of Priests announced by Benedict XVI. Priests are men who serve, who are “at the service of both God and Man.”
Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India gives AsiaNews his personal Easter reflection. He invites the faithful and the clergy to promote with love and courage the Church’s mission rather than fear conversions.
Cardinal Vithayathil elected new president of Indian bishops
The newly-elected president talks to AsiaNews about his priorities: the unity of the Catholic Church, the defence of the downtrodden and the protection of religious freedom. He stresses the need for dialogue and tolerance. He receives Cardinal’s Gracias best wishes.
Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
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