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“The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided, (Cf. 1 Cor. 1, 13.). Such divisions openly contradict the will of Christ, scandalize the world, and damage the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature,” (UR 1). With this statement the Roman Catholic Church officially entered into the modern ecumenical movement fifty years ago. It has realized that the mission to bring about the unity of all Christians is “an organic part of her life and work,” (USS 20).
The fundamental mission of the Church is to evangelize, “”Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation,” (Mk 16:15). Since Vatican II, the Church has been making all efforts to reinvent the spirit of this message and striving hard to promote the value of unity among all Christians. This unity is imperative for the fruitful mission. The Holy See has established the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for dialogue with various churches and ecclesial communities to bring about unity among all Christians. The Pontifical Council has made great strides in narrowing down the hostility and suspicion that existed among the Christians. Innumerable Dialogues and agreed Statements have been successful in removing the barriers that once separated churches from each other. Official level visits and meetings between the heads of churches have become the order of the day.
The Church in India has inherited most of the divisions from the missionaries who brought the Gospel to our land. Unfortunately, these divisions kept the Christians in India hostile and suspicious for a long time. As a result the cause of the Gospel in this sub-continent has suffered gravely. The CCBI through its Commission for Ecumenism has been earnestly striving to remove these hurdles so that all Christians could together proclaim the Gospel of Christ to every corner of our Mother Land.
“Realization of God’s kingdom through the reconciled communion of all churches and ecclesial communities”.
“To bring about communion through prayer, reconciliation, ecumenical dialogue and common action by promoting better understanding and collaboration with all churches and ecclesial communities in a spirit of openness and love”.
1. Most Rev. Lumen Monteiro; 1997-2001
2. Most Rev. Fredrick D’Souza; 2001-2007
3. Most Rev. Anil Thomas Joseph Couto; 2007-2011
4. Most Rev. Felix A. Machado; 2011-2019
5. Most Rev. Francis Serrao, SJ; 2019 –
Former Executive Secretaries
1. Fr. Sunil Rosario (Archdiocese of Calcutta); 1997-1999
2. Most Rev. Anil T. J. Couto (Archdiocese of Delhi); 1999-2002
3. Fr. Pushpa Anbu SVD; 2002-2010
4. Fr. Gilbert Aranha (Diocese of Mysore); 2010-2019