Daejeon (AsiaNews) - The Church's "small engine" in Asia - where Catholics are only 2 per cent of the population, "should not restrict or discourage the faithful. From a small engine huge changes can come, even in an area as vast as ours," Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, told AsiaNews before the final Mass of the Sixth Asian Youth Day.
This morning, the prelate, who heads the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, greeted the pope on behalf of Asia's bishops.
"Asians are religious people by their very nature," he said, "yet a spirit of materialism and secularism is putting them to the test. The family, once considered essential, today is slowly being eroded. Likewise threats to life are multiplying, but in Asia the latter has always and justly been treated as sacred."
"With his speech, the Holy Father has inspired us," said Card Gracias. "It is not only what he said, but also his example, which gives us strength and hope."
"Speaking about India, the Catholic minority can and should be a great agent of change for the good of society and the values that have always characterised Asia."
"With his visit, the pope has blessed our continent in a special way. Our task now is to do more for evangelisation in our land, through the intercession of Mary, star of the new evangelisation and mother of us all. "(VFP)