Bhopal: The Conference of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) on February 6 reelected Cardinal Oswald Gracias as its president for a two-year term.
The largest episcopal body in Asia also elected Archbishop George Antonysamy of Chennai- Mylapore as vice president and Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi as the secretary general.
The elections took place on the seventh day of the conference’s 29th plenary assembly in the Pastoral Centre, Bhopal, capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Cardinal Gracias is the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences as well as the Archbishop of Bombay.
Archbishop Antonysamy held various responsibilities of the Catholic Church in the past, such as the Pope’s Ambassador to Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone; in charge of d’Affaires of the Vatican Embassy in Jordan. In 2012 he was appointed the sixth archbishop of Chennai-Mylapore archdiocese.
Archbishop Couto began his episcopal career as the auxiliary bishop of Delhi. He was then transferred to Jalandhar as its second bishop in 2007. He became the Delhi archbishop in 2012.
The plenary assembly thanked outgoing vice president Archbishop Philipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and secretary general Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal of Calicut.
The newly elected office bearers were installed at a ceremony moderated by Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur, says a CCBI press release.
Archbishop Filipe Neri, who led the Mass earlier in the day, expressed concern over “uneasy silence” creeping in families. “But ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ are simple but three magical words which can translate the silence into joyful moments of mutual understanding,” the Goa prelate said.
“The forgiving love of members forms the corner stone of a happy family,” he continued. The initiatives taken by any of the member of the family at the time of silence, is to be appreciated. The conversation among the members of the family should never stop, at any situation, he added.