Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Card. Gracias: United with the Pope in prayer for peace, in India and around the world

The Indian Church is united with Catholics throughout the world who today are praying for peace in the world, at the invitation of Pope Francis.

In India Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of the Bishops of Latin Rite (CCBI), celebrated Mass and prayed for peace. Ahead of the Bishops of the CCBI Standing Committee he said: "Today the Catholic Church in India wants to be a visible sign of unity in prayer."
The Cardinal called on all parishes, church associations and institutions to observe the day of prayer and to spend time praying for peace.

The archbishop recalled the soldiers who were victims of the recent armed attack in Uri, Kashmir, where separatists broke into a military base and killed 18 men. "The attack - he said - has resulted in anguish and pain, and 18 of our brave soldiers lost their lives. We pray that God may grant them eternal rest and comfort for their families. We pray for peace in our country, in Asia and around the world. "

The cardinal also emphasized the role of the Catholic Church in India in service to the poor, sick and suffering, and the work of Catholic schools and institutions that offer education and hospitality "without discrimination of caste, culture or creed."
Speaking of medical treatment, he said: "Our health services, led by Christian teachings, are places of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The Church opens its medical facilities to all, regardless of age, gender, religion, class, caste, ethnicity, or other socio-economic, political or cultural backgrounds. A special emphasis is given to disadvantaged groups such as tribals, Dalits, migrants, refugees and the disabled. "

Christian educational institutions, he concluded, "are classes of pluralism and harmony, where children of different faiths and cultures learn to communicate and to share universal values ​​such as solidarity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence in India. This creates an environment that allows students to better understand the life and the culture of society".

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