23 March 2018
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  • » 03/13/2018, 15.26


    Church in India celebrates the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis

    A special Eucharistic adoration and prayer will be held tonight for the Holy Father. Thirty-three bishops have gathered in Mumbai, in addition to Card Gracias and the apostolic nuncio Mgr Giambattista Diquattro. Pope Francis is "the Pope of mercy" who "has a great love for Asia".

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Indian Church, in communion with the universal Church, today celebrated the fifth anniversary of the beginning of Francis’s pontificate.

    Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), celebrated Mass with 33 bishops from all over the country as well as Mgr Giambattista Diquattro, apostolic nuncio to India. This evening the 35 prelates will gather in Eucharistic adoration and prayer for the Holy Father.

    “We pray also for the bishops in India and Asia,” Card Gracias said, “so as to understand and put into practice the thoughts of the Holy Father – inspired by the Holy Spirit – on how to live the episcopacy and be the bishops of today – beacons of mercy, good shepherds.”

    The bishops are currently attending a seminar (12-17 March) dedicated to newly ordained prelates, in Sarvodaya, in the Archdiocesan seminary of St Pius X College, Goregaon (Mumbai).

    "I speak about Pope Francis to the new bishops,” Card Gracias told AsiaNews. He is “the guide of the Church and inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is very important that in today's challenging times we always keep in mind his thoughts.”

    "Pope Francis is the pope of the peripheries. He is a pope with a compassionate heart for the poor. His love and concern go to the forgotten and the suffering. He cares about our young people and pays special heed to the elderly, especially grandparents. From the beginning of his pontificate, he reminded young people of the importance of staying connected with the elderly."

    Pope Francis "is the Pope of Mercy,” the CBCI president explained. He “brings people to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Father has a great love for Asia, which he showed during his travels to Asian countries. The pope often asks me about Asia, whose spiritual wealth he greatly appreciates."

    Francis "emphasises the importance of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions. He said that 'If there is a word that we must never be tired of repeating, it is dialogue'. We are all called to promote a culture of dialogue by all possible means. This way we can rebuild the social fabric."

    Finally, "The vision of the FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences) for the Church in Asia is in communion with the thoughts of the Holy Father,” said the cardinal who heads the FABC.

    The pontiff’s thoughts are based “on a triple dialogue – with the poor, with cultures and with religions. I’d also add the dialogue with nature." (NC)

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    See also

    19/04/2012 INDIA
    The 7 years of Benedict XVI: The Church in India is on a mission
    Before with John Paul II, and especially today with Pope Ratzinger, the Church in India has changed from being a "needy" Church to one that "goes" on mission. The Archbishop of Mumbai Card. Oswald Gracias traces the path of the Indian Church in the years of the papacy of Benedict XVI: New Evangelization, the World Youth Days, religious freedom, schools and service among the poor and needy.

    17/12/2013 INDIA - VATICAN
    India: The Church wishes Happy Birthday to Pope Francis, in memory of Mother Teresa
    The Archbishop of Mumbai, Card. Oswald Gracias, pray to the Lord "to grant the Holy Father health , wisdom and grace , to continue to lead the Church and be an inspiration to us all." This week he will celebrate a Mass in the house of Mumbai for abandoned children, opened by the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.

    11/03/2014 INDIA - VATICAN
    For Card Gracias, Pope Francis' first year centred on the Church's first task, the mission
    The archbishop of Mumbai gives his thoughts. "Since his election, Francis has strengthened the mission of the Church in India, focusing on 'an option for the poor' as a concrete way of proclaiming God's love in today's world."

    01/06/2013 SRI LANKA
    Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration with Pope Francis inspires Sri Lankan youth
    All parishes in the country are preparing for the moment of global prayer which will take place tomorrow simultaneously. Speaking to AsiaNews, the testimonies of Catholics in Sri Lanka who have changed thanks to the Pope’s witness.

    18/03/2013 VATICAN - INDIA
    Card. Gracias: Pope Francis is universal pastor for Asia too
    The archbishop of Mumbai, who took part in Conclave describes the "blessing and joy" of Pope Bergoglio’s election. Prayer, the urgency of New Evangelization and teaching of Benedict XVI essential in choice of successor of Peter. Confident there will be a papal trip to Asia and India.

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