2006-10-16 15:34:05

“It's an opportunity to serve God, country,” says new Archbishop Gracias of Bombay

(Mon.16 Oct, 2006):-Newly appointed Archbishop Oswald Gracias to the Metropolitan See of Bombay said - "It is an opportunity to serve God, the Christian community and the country in every possible way, to build a just and humane society of brotherhood".Archbishop Gracias, who is also the ecclesiastical advisor to Indian Catholic Press Association made the statement to SAR News, soon after his appointment was made public Oct 14. The largest archdiocese in India was vacant since May 20, when it’s Cardinal Ivan Dias was elevated as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican.
Speaking over the phone from Agra, where he has been archbishop for over six years, Archbishop Gracias told SAR -"One of my priorities will be to work towards shedding the ghetto and minority image of Christians and to integrate them with the mainstream society, to work for the poorest of the poor, irrespective of caste, creed and color.The recent bomb blasts in Mumbai,the commercial capital of India, has increased suspicion and distrust between different religions. I will strive hard to build bridges of peace and bring about religious harmony and reconciliation between various faiths", said the 61-year-old Archbishop, who was Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay for nine years. He said when he was ordained a bishop, he had taken a motto to reconcile all in Christ, and this has been the distinctive characteristic of his leadership to the Catholic Church in India. Archbishop Gracias will take charge of office in Mumbai in mid-December.
The largest Archdiocese of Bombay comprises of 5.5 lakh Catholics spread over 98 Churches in three districts, served by 750 priests, 1,530 nuns, and imparts quality education to thousands of students through its network of 129 schools and colleges.

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