Church Urged to Promote Solidarity and Secularism in Our Country: Cardinal Oswald Gracias

Benaulim, Goa 9 January, 2020: Inaugurating the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India’s (CCBI) Secretariat Extension in Benaulim, Goa His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias the Archbishop of Bombay and the President of the CBCI urged the Church in India to promote solidarity and respect all in our country.

“The Citizenship Amendment Act is a cause of great anxiety for all citizens and there is a danger that there could be a polarization of our peoples along religious lines, which is very harmful for the country. It is the responsibility of all to promote solidarity and respect for all in our country” said Cardinal Oswald.

He also requested all Christian faithful to continuously pray for our country to prevail peace and harmony.

Shanti Sadan (House of Peace), the CCBI Secretariat Extension in Benaulim was dedicated to the Service of the Church in India by Cardinal Oswald Gracias in the presence of 12 Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.

His Grace Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, the President of the CCBI and the Archbishop of Goa, unveiled the plaque and blessed the ground floor. His Grace Most Rev. George Antonysamy, the Vice President of the CCBI and the Archbishop of Madras Mylapore blessed the first floor and gave homily during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. His Grace Most Rev. Anil Couto, the Secretary General of the CCBI and the Archbishop of Delhi, blessed the second floor.

The three story building has 25 self-contained rooms and can accommodate 40 persons. It has a chapel, conference and dining halls. The new Secretariat Extension building is situated in Benaulim, the birth place of St. Joseph Vaz, the Apostle of Sri Lanka. It is 17 kilometres from the Goa airport and 4 kilometres from the city railway station. The Episcopal Conference will organise small animation and training programmes from Shanti Sadan.

The CCBI has five Secretariat buildings in India, Suvarta Kendra, Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh is the Secretariat of the CCBI Commission for Proclamation. Bethania, Faridabad, New Delhi is the CCBI Youth Commission Secretariat, PMO Secretariat, Ulsoor, Bangalore, is the Secretariat of the Pontifical Mission Organisation (PMO). The Headquarters of the CCBI is the CCBI Centre, Bangalore from where the Deputy Secretary General and four other Commission Secretaries operate.

There are 16 Commissions and 3 Departments under the CCBI where 23 personnel are working as Executive Secretaries or Directors.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is canonically the National Episcopal Conference for the Latin Church. It is the largest Bishops Conference in Asia and the fourth largest in the world. It consists of 132 dioceses with 190 bishops.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara
Deputy Secretary General, CCBI

Ref: DS/385/2020 9 January, 2020