Published on: 2:20 am, March 5, 2016 Story By: Philip Mathew, Matters India reporter
Bangalore: The bishops expressed appreciation after the evaluation and discussion on the reports of the various offices and centers presented at the plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).
The executive secretaries of the 14 offices and six national centers presented the reports of the activities at the March 2-9 plenary assembly now underway at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, southern India.
Among the various offices of the CBCI are youth, women, social media, education and culture, doctrine, labour, and ecumenism and dialogue.
The 180 bishops and several priests who are attending the 32nd assembly also heard the reports of Caritas India, the social wing of the Catholic Church in India, St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore and other national centers.
The National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC), National Vocation Service Centre (NVSC), National Institute of Social Communications, Research and Training (NISCORT) are also centers linked to the CBCI.
Father Freddy D’Souza, executive director of Caritas India said that it was able to provide much needed relief to the flood affected people in Jammu and Kashmir and more recently to the people in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
While the earth quake affected people in Nepal are still being assisted, Caritas is engaged in numerous social, health care, developmental and capacity building programs including Malaria eradication, organic farming, disaster management, ensuring tribal rights, and organizing domestic workers.
The third day of the assembly started with a Eucharistic celebration in the Syro Malabar Rite, presided by Cardinal George Alencherry and attended by all the participants.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas informed the assembly that a medical college similar to St. John’s College, named “Constant Lievens Academy of Health Sciences and Hospital” is taking shape in Mandar, in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
The objectives of the CBCI include advocating on national issues, making representation to the government, working with the government and networking with other Christian churches, organizations, civil society and people of other religions.
The Bangalore assembly will conclude on March 9 after issuing a final statement, based on the deliberations and decisions, to all the members of the Church in India for wider study, discussions and implementation.