Lahore, Delhi Archdioceses’ pilgrimage of peace 

Published on: 1:40 am, April 23, 2016 Story By:

A Pakistani Catholic bishop led a pilgrimage of peace and reconciliation to neighbouring India, to bring closer to each other the two south-Asian rivals that have fought several wars and conflicts since their independence in 1947.  “For us, this is very significant and fruitful,” said Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore on reaching the Indian Archdiocese of Delhi.  “It was a great joy to be greeted so warmly by Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi. A strong sense of brotherhood and communion binds our two peoples,” he said after arriving in the Indian capital with 16 priests from his diocese.

The pilgrims left Lahore on April 19 for a 13-hour bus ride to Delhi, where they were welcomed by a delegation led by Archbishop Couto.  “In this Jubilee of Mercy, our pilgrimage to India acquires even greater significance,” Archbishop Shaw said.  “The Father, who ‎is merciful to us, invites us to be with others. This is a call for a new culture of mercy,” he added.‎

Indian Jesuit Fr Joe Kalathil, coordinator of the India-Pakistan peace initiative, garlanded the two archbishops.  For years, the priest has been working with children from various schools, in India and Pakistan, to promote a culture of peace. Hundreds of students from both countries have exchanged letters of friendship.

Archbishops Couto and Shaw discussed the history of their dioceses, noting that their mother Church is the Archdiocese of Agra in India, but after the partition and independence in 1947 things changed.  The two bishops we shared the joys of their faith and the challenges of the mission.  Archbishop Shaw was touched by the generosity of his Indian host, stressing a common culture binds them and mutual respect will lead to social harmony and peace.

Source: Vatican Radio

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