Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) and Archbishop of Goa and Daman, on Tuesday highlighted the diversity of India but admitted that social and economic disparities deeply fragment the fabric of the nation.
Cardinal Ferrão was delivering a presidential address while presiding over the inaugural function of the 34th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI of the Latin Church in Bangalore.
“Our country is a loom holding diverse threads of religions, spiritualities, cultures, traditions, languages and social strata that blend together to form a complex and beautiful tapestry. Alongside a profound spirituality, social and economic disparities deeply fragment the fabric of this nation,” said Cardinal Ferrão.
Earlier while inaugurating the 34th Plenary Assembly, Cardinal Antonio Luis Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, exhorted the Bishops in India to promote the message of love.
Cardinal Tagle encouraged the Bishops to tell the story of love to promote communion and participation in the Church and society. He reminded that it is the duty of each person to transform our society into a peaceful society through the message of love.
The 34th Plenary Assembly began with the solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Cardinal Tagle. Cardinal Ferrão, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal Anthony Poola, Archbishop George Antonysamy (Vice President CCBI), Archbishop Anil Couto (Secretary General, CCBI), Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore and CCBI Deputy Secretary General Rev. Dr Stephen Alathara were the main concelebrants.
More than 130 Bishops and 200 priests concelebrated the inaugural Holy Mass.
Archbishop Machado welcomed the gathering, while Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli delivered the benedictory message. The message of Pope Francis was read by Archbishop George Antonysamy.
The annual report of the CCBI was presented by Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto, while Dr Stephen Alathara, the Deputy Secretary General of the CCBI, proposed the vote of thanks.
The recently appointed Bishop-Designate Sebastião Mascarenhas, SFX, former Superior General of the Missionaries of St Francis Xavier (Pilar Fathers), was accorded a warm welcome as member of the Conference.
The Guidelines for the Basic Ecclesial Communities were released by Cardinal Tagle handing over its first copy to Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão. The guidelines have been prepared by the CCBI Commission for Basic Ecclesial Communities. The 34th Plenary Assembly will conclude on January 30.
The CCBI consists of 132 dioceses and 190 Bishops. The CCBI animates the Church in India through its 16 Commissions, 6 Departments and 4 Apostolates. Its main Secretariat is in Bangalore with extensions in Goa, Delhi and Pachmarhi (MP). The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), which is the Canonical National Episcopal Conference, is the largest in Asia and the fourth largest in the world.
This story was carried out by The Goan
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