Mumbai News: PM Modi's Hug For Pope Francis Bring Hope For A Papal Visit To India

Mumbai News: PM Modi's Hug For Pope Francis Bring Hope For A Papal Visit To India

The sarcasm went unnoticed with the BJP accusing the Congress of hurting the religious sentiments of Catholics. The tweet was later deleted.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 11:13 PM IST
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Mumbai News: PM Modi's Hug For Pope Francis Bring Hope For A Papal Visit To India | FPJ

Mumbai: Images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting Pope Francis at the G7 conference in Rome last week have led to renewed appeals to invite the head of the Roman Catholic Church to India. The last Pope to visit India was John Paul II who travelled to India in 1999. However,  reactions are mixed, with some members dismissing the meeting as just a diplomatic gesture

In January, Modi hosted a Christmas get-together at his official residence where he invited senior members of the Christian clergy and community leaders. Though the meeting had evoked a mixed response from the community, with some expressing their appreciation to the Prime Minister for the unprecedented gesture, others were unimpressed, especially because the government failed to bring peace in ethnically divided Manipur.

Mumbai based community group Watchdog Foundation has written to Modi to express their eagerness for the Indian government to extend an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit India in 2024.

"We were delighted to learn about your warm meeting with Pope Francis, and it was indeed heartening to see the positive exchange of thoughts on a wide range of issues," said Godfrey Pimenta, lawyer and trustee of the group. "Such a visit holds immense significance not only for the Christian community but for the entire nation, fostering interfaith dialogue and cultural exchange."

The group hoped that an invitation to the Pope to visit India would follow. Pope Francis has often hinted at India in his travel itinerary. During a press conference, he had said, "I think India will be next, next year." 

The photo of Modi greeting the Pope on Friday was also an occasion for political brickbats, with the Congress party in Kerala tweeting a photo of the meeting with the caption, “Finally the Pope got a chance to meet God.”

The sarcasm went unnoticed with the BJP accusing the Congress of hurting the religious sentiments of Catholics. The tweet was later deleted. 

Other community members were not impressed. A banner with photographs from Rome put up in Bandra (West) by the local Member of Legislative Assembly Ashish Shelar was criticised. Mathew Anthony, a lawyer and the Congress party's media coordinator for the northeast tweeted that the love displayed for Christians was 'empty, hollow, and opportunistic', 

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