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Church Urged to pay attention to the needs of Humanity

Jan. 10, 2019

Chennai: Inaugurating the 31st Plenary Assembly of the conference of the Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) of the Latin Church, in Chennai on 8th January 2019, Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, exhorted the Church in India to pay attention to the needs of humanity.

He said, "There is a need for the Church to attend to the needs of humanity, which is the joy of the Church in living the Gospel. This assembly is not a gathering of the higherarchies of the Church in India; rather it is a gathering of the witness to the nation. Our unity, collaboration and oneness should prove to the nation that we witness the joy of the Gospel through our life."

His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, in his presidential address made an appeal to the Church in India to revitalise evangelization insisting that evangelization should be full of life and full of love for the mission.

Archbishop Anil Couto, the Secretary General read the annual report of the Conference. He introduced the new members of the Conference Archbishop Anil also informed the assembly about retiring members of the Conference and wished them a wonderful time of retirement.

Archbishop George Antonysamy, the Vice President read the message of Holy Father Pope Francis and Cardinal Filoni the Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Archbishop George added India needs the Church and the Church needs India.

The Inaugural session began with the lighting of lamp by the dignitaries. Most Rev. Dr. A. Neethinathan the Bishop of Chingleput in his welcome address listed out the reasons why Chingleput is the right place for this 31st Assembly, as it is the land of St. Thomas the Apostle, the Apostle of India and has as part of its diocese the Holy Hill of His Martyrdom. The patron saint of the diocese St. Joseph, father figure of the Church who guards the Church.  Mazhai Malai Madha our co-patroness the mother of the Church - who accompanied the early Church.

Chingleput Diocese which comprises of the civil district of Kancheepuram is home people of many faiths, catholics being a minority it provides an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel.

The weeklong meeting of the Bishops will discuss the theme "The Joy of the Gospel" and will look at the new forms of evangelization and the ways and means - to foster evangelization.

The assembly will also discuss the matters affecting the Latin Catholic Church in India. There are 132 dioceses and 189 Bishops of the Latin Church in India. The conference of the Catholic Bishops in India (CCBI) is the largest Episcopal conference in Asia and fourth largest in the world.


Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara
Deputy Secretary General, CCBI

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