A delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) on Aug 24, met the newly elected President who appreciated the work of the Church for the poor and the downtrodden.
The CBCI delegation led by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, made a courtesy call upon the Honourable President of the Republic of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
The President addressing the Prelates said India was a great Country. It is great because of its diversity, not just religious diversity but linguistic and cultural diversity. There was even geographical diversity he said with India having the highest mountains and deepest oceans.
The President said that India was a Secular Country. It was one Country and there was no minority and majority. To govern the Country, we require a political system and this system cannot be based on vote banks. We are all part of one Country.
He appreciated the work of the Church for the poor and the downtrodden. He also reminded that while the whole world speaks of development, spirituality in this development was also important. He appealed to the Bishops to continue this spiritual development. He invited the Prelates to visit him again and said that the Presidents are always open.
Cardinal Cleemis addressing the Honourable President thanked him for sparing his time to meet the authorities of the Church and also gifted him with a photo frame of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Cardinal Cleemis conveyed to him the best wishes and the prayers of the whole Catholic Church. He said, India was a Democratic Secular Republic and we live by the Sacred book of the Country – the Indian Constitutions. He said the Christian Community, though a small minority, has always served the Country and will continue to serve the County in health care, education and other areas, in particular, serving the poorest of the poor and the marginalised. “We pray”, he said, that “God may bless you that you may continue to serve the Country through your ministry”.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi; Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão, Vice-President of CBCI; Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur; Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra; Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi; and Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX, Secretary General of CBCI, formed part of the delegation.(CBCI)