02/22/2024, 13.58
Send to a friend

Cardinal Ferrão from India to lead Asia’s bishops

by Santosh Digal

The archbishop of Goa was elected today in Bangkok by the heads of the continent's Bishops' Conferences. Next January he will become the third Indian to head the collegial body, taking over from Card Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, who led the organisation since 2018. Created in 1970, the latter serves as a point of reference today for the synodal journey.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – The Central Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), which brings together the bishops' conferences of Asia, met today in Bangkok to elect its new president.

Their choice fell on Cardinal Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman (India), replacing Card Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar), who led the body since 2018.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, who chairs the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), was elected vice-president, while Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo (Japan) was re-elected as secretary general. Each will take office in January 2025.

Card Ferrão, 71, has chaired the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), the national episcopal conference of the Latin Church, since 2019.

Born in Aldona (Goa), he was ordained a priest in 1979, becoming bishop in 1994, when he was appointed auxiliary of Goa alongside Archbishop Raul Nicolau Gonçalves.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed him as the latter’s successor in this historic Indian episcopal see. In the consistory of 27 August 2022, Pope Francis elevated him to the dignity of cardinal.

Founded in 1970 with the approval of Paul VI, the FABC includes 16 Bishops' Conferences from the vast continent as well as some individual dioceses, like Hong Kong and Macau.

Card Ferrão becomes the third Indian prelate to lead the collegial body after then Archbishop Henry Sebastian D'Souza of Calcutta (1984-1993), and Card Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai (2011-2018).

In his mandate, the new FABC president will be called upon to continue on the path set by the Assembly of Catholic Churches of Asia held in October 2022 at Baan Phu Waan, the pastoral centre of the Archdiocese of Bangkok.

That meeting, which was designed to mark the federation’s 50th anniversary, was held two years later than originally scheduled due to COVID-19. It produced the Bangkok Document, which highlights some priorities for the Churches of Asia in today's context.

The FABC is also Asia’s point of reference for the Synodal process that Pope Francis initiated, whose first session was held in October 2023 in Rome and then handed over for further reflection to local Churches, before the final session in the Vatican from 2 to 27 October 2024.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
Asian Churches call for common solutions to immigration problems By Santosh Digal
Crosses desecrated in Goa
Bangkok conference: Asian Churches can contribute to the whole world
24/10/2022 19:32
Bangkok Document: the ‘’plan’ of Catholic Churches in Asia
15/03/2023 19:09


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”