Prayers sought for Cardinal Gracias

Mumbai (Matters India): The Archdiocese of Bombay has requested prayers for its archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who is recuperating from a surgery to remove a cyst.

Cardinal Gracias, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and one of the eight advisors to Pope Francis, had gone to the United States in December for a comprehensive health checkup.

A note from the archdiocesan Press Office on Thursday said the doctors had detected a cyst and advised for its removal. “The surgery is completed and successful. The cyst is removed,” the press note says.

The 71-year-old cardinal will remain in hospital for another week or so. The mobility of his right leg is affected and he is undergoing physiotherapy.”Kindly pray for his speedy convalescence and complete recovery,” the archdiocese has requested.

The cardinal’s health condition forced him to skip a February 8-9 meeting where the Pope’s council of advisors finalized their proposals for two Vatican departments, merging several others together. This was part of the Pope’s ongoing process of reform.

This is the second time Cardinal Gracias has undergone surgery. On September 18, 2008, he underwent a surgery in Washington for a rare form of cancer. The cancer had apparently affected the appendix, the Mumbai Mirror reported on October 5 that year.

“The cancer was in the initial stages and there is no cause for worry,” the newspaper had quoted the then archdiocesan spokesperson Fr Anthony Charangat.

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