Ref: DS/241/2018 5 February, 2018
Bangalore, 5 February 2018: Inaugurating the 30th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) of the Latin Church, in Bangalore on Sunday 4 February 2018, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India and the Archbishop of Bombay exhorted the Bishops in India to urge the faithful to become fully Indian and fully Christian.
He said: “The Catholic Church needs our nation and India needs the Church. We will be discussing our role as Indian Christians and asking our people, also to become better Indian Christians. This is the call of today to be fully Indian fully Christian.”
“Our responsibility is to make the gospel values present in society and make people not only think about but also discuss gospel values as an element of evangelization, be it eradication of corruption, spreading of gospel values, truth, justice, selflessness, removal of prejudices exploitation of tribals and oppression of Dalits.” “Pastors should smell the sheep and at the same time they should smell God” stated Cardinal Oswald Gracias.
His Grace Most Rev. George Antonysamy, the Vice President of the CCBI and the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore welcomed the gathering. The Secretary General of the CCBI His Grace Most Rev. Anil Couto the Secretary General of the CCBI and Archbishop of Delhi presented the annual report. Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General of the CCBI proposed the vote of thanks.
His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) and the member of G9, the Cardinal consultors of Pope Francis was the main celebrant of the in the Inaugural Holy Mass of the 30th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI.
The newly ordained Bishops were solemnly welcomed as members into the Conference. All the Silver and Golden Jubilarians of the priestly and Episcopal ordinations were felicitated. The deceased members of the Conference were remembered with gratitude. A few moments of silence was maintained in their memory.
The one day meeting of the CCBI discussed matters affecting the Latin Catholic Church in India, which consists of 132 dioceses and 183 Bishops. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) which is the Canonical National Episcopal Conference is the largest in Asia and fourth largest in the world.
The Rituals for Confirmation and Marriage were also released during the meeting.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara
Deputy Secretary General
Conference of Catholic Bishops of India