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Become fully Indian and Christian: Cardinal asks laity 

By Matters India Reporter

Bangalore: Cardinal Oswald Gracias has urged Catholic bishops in India to help their people become fully Indian and fully Christian.

“The Catholic Church needs our nation and India needs the Church,” asserted the cardinal on February 4 while opening the 30th plenary assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, the episcopal body of the Latin rite bishops in the country.

The prelate, who is the president of the conference and archbishop of Bombay, said the bishops would discuss “our role as Indian Christians” and ask our people to become better Indian Christians. “This is the call of today to be fully Indian and fully Christian.”

The one day meeting discussed matters affecting the Latin Catholic Church in India, which consists of 132 dioceses and 183 Bishops. The CCBI is the largest episcopal conference in Asia and fourth largest in the world.

Cardinal Gracias also asserted that the responsibility of Christians in India is to present the Gospel values in society and help people live them through eradication of corruption, removal of prejudices, checking exploitation of tribal and dalit communities and fostering truth, justice and selflessness.

Cardinal Gracias led the opening Mass.

The plenary welcomed newly ordained bishops and honored those celebrating silver and golden jubilees of their priestly and episcopal ordinations.

The meeting observed a few moments of silence for the deceased members of the conference. It also released the rituals for Confirmation and Marriage.

The rituals for Confirmation and Marriage were also released during the meeting.

Archbishop George Antonysamy of Madras-Mylapore, CCBI vice president, welcomed the gathering. Secretary General Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi presented the annual report.

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6 Responses to Become fully Indian and Christian: Cardinal asks laity

  1. K. C. Thomas

    Mathew says that Churches have the leading role to play in the spiritual leadership. The cardinal wants you to be fully Indian. Does it mean that Christians in India who were /are born and brought up here in their punyabhoomi India have to become “moreIndian“ ? The cardinal has not explained how we can be more “ Indian”. Does he mean the tilak, the thread on wrist, the dothi, the sari,the language,the manners ? Does it mean silence when Bibles are burnt and congregations and churches are attacked.?
    There is a great confusion in the minds of some of our Christian authorities and some intellectuals.
    Indianness must mean brotherhood,tolerance,attitude of equality and helpfulness. Attempt to confine it to some way of life only is wrong and detrimental to our culture and civilisation

    • A. S. Mathew

      Thank you for the response. Well, when the Church takes the spiritual leadership, that is not only the preaching ministry but social action too. JESUS said ” I am the light of the world”, then reminded HIS followers that ” you are the light of the world “. JESUS in HIS ministry on earth was fully concentrated in preaching the good news, healing the sick and feeding the hungry. Nothing else. Thus, when the Church takes the spiritual role, they will be engaged in all these three things, that is part of the spiritual leadership.

      Though the Church did these things in certain level, not in the maximum level, but deviated in building a worldly empire.

  2. K. C. Thomas

    ”. ask our people to become better Indian Christians”. and “ a call to be fully Indian and fully Christian” — This is the message from the CBCI . Beautiful language of diplomacy ; a language containing fear ; a language of self indictment to please somebody.
    The Cardinal wants the faithful to present Gospel values in society. Does it mean that all good deeds must be done and all immoralities must be fought against without any reference to Jesus Christ , his teachings and the Gospel ? Yes, only fully Indian traditions and Scriptures must be used to present the “ Values”. Is it that His Eminence intends ?

  3. purushottam

    It is very much thought provoking statement. One can be fully Christian if he/she is imbibed with christian virtues and fully Indian if he/she has love for India. Love towards one another is the essence of fully christian and fully Indian

  4. Savita

    The exhortation by the Cardinal is timely and necessary. The Westernised Christians should follow Indian culture and learn to speak the language of the state of their domicile. It is due to the Westernised Indian Christians that we are often tagged as ‘foreigners’. We need to change to bring the Cardinal’s appeal into practice.

  5. A. S. Mathew

    The Catholic Church with her 20 million population can create miracles along with the rest of the Christian denominations, if meeting the reality and challenge of the society now. Thus wake up from the prolonged hibernation inside the comfortable chamber of man-made traditions.

    The current RSS rulers are of the so called old type high caste rulers with the whole and hidden intention to suppress the minorities and make them voiceless. Who will take the spiritual leadership to stop this devious encroachment upon the nation? The Christian Churches have the leading role to play in that.

    Go back to the Bible: and let the holy spirit guide the Church to be a beacon to the darkened India now.

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