Mgr Bejoy N. D'Cruze succeeds Card Patrick D’Rozario. The inauguration ceremony was held this morning in the cathedral. The laity are the strength that can lead the diocese and interfaith dialogue.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – In a solemn ceremony held this morning in St Mary's Cathedral in Ramna (Dhaka), the new archbishop, Bejoy N D'Cruze, took possession of the see in the presence of the country’s five Catholic bishops. Some 70 priests and at least 450 worshippers attended the event.
The apostolic nuncio, Mgr George Kocherry, presided over the installation ceremony, whilst the new archbishop led the Eucharist. Gratitude was expressed to the diocese’s bishop emeritus, Card Patrick D’Rozario, for his 10 years of service in Dhaka.
In his homily, Mgr D'Cruze, 64, stressed that “we are all called by Jesus Christ to be his disciples. We are inadequate, sinners, but Jesus wants to make us like him. And we follow him.”
The prelate expressed his appreciation for the diocese, which “has good and experienced priests, men and women religious, and a committed laity. All of them are my strength, which will guide me in running the new archdiocese.”
Archbishop D'Cruze, who heads the Episcopal Commission for Christian unity and interreligious dialogue, wants to boost cooperation with other religions and Christian denominations.
“Religious faith has great power, and can transform people. Although different faiths exist in Bangladesh, it is important that there be unity and harmony to live better and in peace.”
For this reason, the prelate urged the laity to help him and to stay in contact with people of different religions.
"Being Christian,” he explained, “means bearing witnesses to Christ with our good works full of kindness, as evinced by the work of Caritas, Christian schools and hospitals".
Before the Mass was over, Card D'Rozario welcomed the new archbishop offering him his support and prayers.
Thomas Rozario, a layman, and Fr Joyanto S Gomes pledged obedience and cooperation on behalf of the community and the clergy respectively.
Pope Francis appointed Mgr Bejoy on 30 September. The Archdiocese of Dhaka has about 80,000 members divided into 18 parishes and 14 mission stations.
The new archbishop can count on 115 priests, 17 seminarians and 695 catechists.