2012-10-24 12:48:25

Card. Gracias: God must be at centre of society

(Vatican Radio) As the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops moves into its final week, Vatican Radio’s Father Bernd Hagenkord, S.J., spoke with Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Latin Rite Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. Archbishop Gracias also serves as Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.

“For us,” Cardinal Gracias says, “New Evangelisation really is living [the Gospel] more intensely, and projecting the Church, projecting the Gospel as the answer for the problems of the society.” Further, he say, “New Evangelisation is getting into interreligious dialogue, getting into dialogue with cultures, dialogue with the poor. That’s extremely important for that. That’s our context, our society. That would really be meaningful for us.”

So, Cardinal Gracias explains, for the Church in India, the New Evangelisation has “a two-pronged effort. One effort is to strengthen the faith of our own people, so they live it better, understand it better, and proclaim it more confidently.” The second effort “is to really go out and spread the good news to others.”

Cardinal Gracias speaks about the contribution Asia can make to the New Evangelisation: “We’ve got to get God back again back to the centre of society. I think Asia would be able to teach the world that, in spite of material progress, God is important. In spite of material progress, God is essential to us, that we cannot live without God.”

“I see such great enthusiasm, such confidence and such courage” in the initiatives being proposed in the Synod. That enthusiasm, that confidence and that courage, says Cardinal Gracias, is what he will be bringing home with him when he returns to India.

Listen to the complete interview of Cardinal Oswald Gracias with Father Bernd Hagenkord: RealAudioMP3

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