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
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
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".