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    » 12/02/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Cardinal Gracias celebrates the start of Advent among Dharavi’s poor

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Together with Caritas India, the Archbishop of Mumbai has launched a Christmas campaign to raise awareness of the "needy" living in the city. The initiative was launched with a visit to the largest slum in India and Asia, home to hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. The cardinal recalled Pope Francis, who "praised the courage of the poor , urging society to welcome them with love and compassion."

    Mumbai ( AsiaNews) - A pastoral visit among the poor in the slums of Dharavi , to celebrate the beginning of Advent and respond to the needs of those most in need . This is how Card. Oswald Gracias , archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), launched the Advent Campaign against hunger and disease. In collaboration with Caritas India , the initiative aims to create greater awareness in society towards the poor who live in large urban centers , following the theme " Struggle for Survival - Bringing Hope to the Urban Poor".

    The cardinal visited the slums of Mumbai on November 22 . Dharavi is considered the largest slum in Asia. Created in 1880, under British colonialism, today it has a massive multi- religious and multi - ethnic population (between 300 thousand and one million inhabitants ). From a certain point of view, it enshrines many negative aspects of India: open sewers, piles of garbage everywhere, dirt and crumbling shacks .

    "Pope Francis - said the cardinal launching the initiative - has dedicated his pontificate to economic justice, equality and peace. During his visits to poor communities, he praised the courage of the poor, urging society to receive them with love and compassion. "

    Dharavi is located within the parish of St. Anthony, and within a radius of about 300 meters there are six chapels. Two Christian communities in particular are part of the local church: Tamils ​​( about 5 thousand people) and ethnic koli (about a thousand people) . On 22 November Card. Gracias visited the parish and six chapels, stopping to pray and to bless all the faithful he met on his journey . People said they felt "greatly touched by his presence and the unassuming way he walked down the narrow lanes and visited even the poorest of the poor".

     

     

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    See also

    23/10/2009 INDIA
    Cardinal Gracias: the victory of Congress in Mumbai, "bodes well for the future"
    The party of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi confirms its mandate in state elections in Maharashtra, Arunachal Pardesh and Haryana. The cardinal of Mumbai: now we need effective policies for the poor and development programs constructed in a climate of social harmony.

    23/07/2013 INDIA
    Card. Gracias recalls Card. Pimenta, a servant of the Lord who loved Christ and India
    The archbishop of Mumbai, recalls the figure of the prelate, who died on July 20th. Collaborators for over 30 years, Card. Gracias emphasizes the cardinal’s "tireless and powerful voice against anti-life legislation," and his attention to the "formation in the seminary."

    25/11/2010 INDIA
    Vigil for nascent life held in India as well
    Next Saturday, all Indian dioceses will celebrate along with Benedict XVI a vigil on behalf of nascent life during vespers marking Sunday Advent. Bombay bishop speaks about the growing rejection of nascent life in today’s society and the Church’s opposition to it.

    11/12/2013 INDIA
    Supreme Court rules homosexuality is a crime. Archbishop of Mumbai: Gays are not criminals
    The highest Indian court has overturned a 2009 judgment of the High Court of Mumbai , which had decriminalized homosexual acts. LGBT associations complain and accuse the Islamic and Christian religious organizations of lobbying to reinstate the ban. Card. Oswald Gracias, "No to gay marriage, but the Christian community is against any form of discrimination. Homosexuals have the same dignity as any other human being."

    06/03/2012 INDIA
    Card. Gracias calls for "ethical" journalism to transform Indian society
    A national seminar in Mumbai to discuss the rights and duties of the media. President of the Indian bishops' conference: "Remember the example of John Paul II in the use of media." Former Indian journalist: "Press freedom is not a license to do what you want."



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