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2013-06-04

ASIA/INDIA - Over 19 million faithful Indians pray, united with the Pope, for the respect of women in India

Mumbai (Agenzia Fides) - More than 19 million Catholics in India united with the Holy Father in solemn Eucharistic Adoration on June 2, scattered in parishes, monasteries and other religious institutions across India. They prayed in the churches in Orissa, where the anti-Christian massacres took place in 2008. This was reported in a note sent to Fides Agency by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI). The Archbishop, who presided the Adoration in the Cathedral of Bombay, says: "United with the successor of Peter in worshiping Jesus alive, in many places in India, thousands of people, including many young people, witnessed Christ’s immense love and the abundance of this Year of Faith." The Cardinal continued: "We experienced a profound communion with Pope Francis and with the universal Church." During Adoration the "concern for the problems in India, for a more effective mission against poverty and for the dignity of women and against violence" were shared.
"Our women suffer terrible domestic violence. Female feticide and female infanticide continue. Pope Francis was very close to the suffering of the people of India," said card. Gracias. "The Catholic Church - he continues - is at the forefront in the promotion of gender equality, through a tireless and selfless service to the poor, through social services, assistance and education. However, the road ahead is still long: the patriarchal mentality has to change, we need to stop gender discrimination and to give equal status to women."
The Archbishop also cites "the rape of Sister Meena Barwa (the nun who was raped during the massacres in Orissa in 2008, ed), still unpunished." The Adoration, he informs, "was also held in the Pastoral Centre Dibyajyoti, in the district of Kandhamal in Orissa, where sexual violence was unleashed upon many women during the anti-Christian pogrom."
The note concludes by stating "the Gospel as a guarantee of the unity of the human family" and Christ as "our food for the journey, which allows us to become witnesses of hope and love on the path of true justice." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 04/06/2013)

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