Nuncio urges to promote laity, ecumenism

The one-day meeting discussed matters affecting the Latin Catholic Church in India.

Bangalore: Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, exhorted the Church in India to promote the lay leadership and ecumenism while opening the plenary assembly of Latin rite bishops on Sunday.

“There is a need for constant dialogue and sustained formation of the laity in a transparent, credible and accountable manner so that they may truly understand their role in the Church,” he said at the opening of the plenary assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) of the Latin Church.
He said it was “crucial to recognize the dignity of the laity and their participation in the mission and decision making of the Church so that they become sharers in Christ’s mission”.
Stressing the need for ecumenism, the nuncio said in “a time of increasingly marked secularization, and religious discriminations, Christians have to be united among themselves and extend a united and true common witness to the nation.”
CCBI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias appealed to pray for the persecuted Christians in the world, especially for those Christians in the Middle East and expressed the concern of the Indian Church for the those who killed in the Friday’s terrorist attack in Yemen.
“We feel the pain even more because one of the sisters is our very own from Jharkhand,” he said referring to the attack on the house managed by Missionaries of Charity which left 16 people dead, including four MC nuns.
“This killing was senseless but will bear fruit. We pray the blood they shed will bring peace and the presence of Jesus Christ to the strife torn area,” said Cardinal Gracias.
Bishops also requested the authorities to take steps for the release of the missionary Salesian Father Thoams Uzhunnalil, an Indian priest, who is reportedly missing after the terror attack.
Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferr�o of Goa and Daman, CCBI vice president of presided. Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal of Calicut, CCBI secretary general presented the annual report.
The one-day meeting discussed matters affecting the Latin Catholic Church in India.
The conference, having 131 Latin rite dioceses and 180 bishops, is the largest Episcopal Conference in Asia and fourth largest in the world.

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