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CBCI Elects New Office Bearers; Cardinal Gracias Re-elected President

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altBANGALORE, FEB 7, 2012: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) in its 30th Plenary Assembly currently on at St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, has re-elected Cardinal Oswald Gracias as its President for another term of two years. He has already completed his first term of two years as President of the Bishops’ Conference, and his re-election is hailed as an affirmation of his sterling leadership qualities.

Cardinal Oswald is currently the Archbishop of Mumbai. Before he moved to Mumbai he has served as Archbishop of Agra as well as the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. His long association with the Bishops’ Conference and experience of guiding it will stand in good stead in giving effective leadership to the Church in India at this very crucial juncture.

The Catholic Bishops in the current Plenary Assembly have been reflecting on the theme: The Church’s Role for a Better India. And Cardinal Gracias, addressing the Assembly, gratefully recalled to mind the great strides our country has made since independence, but also pointed out some areas of concern that need more focussed attention from all levels of leadership. The Church, in as much as it is an inalienable part of the nation, will commit itself to the integral development of all sections of society – never in the spirit of competition but always and everywhere in collaboration and coordination, he added.

Dwelling on the rationale behind the Church’s involvement in social development and human transformation, Cardinal Gracias said in no uncertain terms that the Church’s very mission is to bring life to people in all its abundance as Jesus our Lord and Saviour has taught us. And life in its fullness would mean that every human person is liberated from all forms of oppression and de-humanising situations and be accorded with dignity and honour.

It is a big challenge before the Nation and the Church, the Bishops noted in their deliberations. No challenge, however big it may be, is not insurmountable; what is required is the will to forge ahead with determination and dedication. The Church in India has been doing its mite to ensure quality life for people, especially in rural and less reached areas of the country through its network of institutions and organisations. The Church intends to augment these efforts in collaboration with individuals, institutions and organisations that share in its vision of development – pre-eminently human centred.

The Plenary Assembly elected Major Archbishop Moran and Mor Cleemis Baselios Catholicos of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church as the first Vice-President and Archbishop Mar George Valiamattom of Thalassery Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church as second Vice-President and Most Rev. Albert D’ Souza, Archbishop of Agra as Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ of Conference.  The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India consists of three sui juris (individual ritual Churches) Churches: Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Catholic Churches, and therefore it deals with supra-ritual and national issues of the Catholic Church in India. The Plenary Assembly of Catholic Bishops will come to its close on February 08, 2012 with a final statement on the theme: The Church’s Role for a Better India.

The CBCI spokesman Father Babu Joseph observed that the cardinal’s re-election for a further two-year term was an affirmation of “his sterling leadership qualities”. Dwelling on the plenary assembly theme of the Church’s role for a better India, Cardinal Gracias underscored that the Church, in as much as it is an inalienable part of the nation, will commit itself to the integral development of all sections of society – never in the spirit of competition but always and everywhere in collaboration and coordination. Stressing on the Church’s mission to bring life in abundance to people, he argued why the Church needs to be involved in social development and human transformation. Life in fullness, he said, would mean that every human person is liberated from all forms of oppression and de-humanising situations and be accorded with dignity and honour. (agencies)

 
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