Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - The first mission of Bishops and faithful in India is "to announce and live the Gospel in situations of daily life": said Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, speaking at the 32nd plenary Assembly meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of India (CCBI), which brings together the Latin Rite Bishops, taking place in Bangalore. "Christ's followers have a responsibility to promote the gospel values of mercy and compassion. Bishops in our country should encourage the faithful to deepen the values of the Gospel in their lives", said the Nuncio. Archbishop Diquattro presided over the opening mass of the CCBI Plenary Assembly. During Mass, special prayers were presented for people affected by coronavirus in China and in various parts of the world: everyone was asked to pray continuously for the speedy recovery of people affected by the virus and for the protection of God.
The assembly works were chaired by Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman and President of the Conference. In his speech the Archbishop underlined the need to "continue contributing to the good of the nation even among the difficulties we are facing and to promote brotherhood and peace". The Archbishop called for "a society without any discrimination of caste, creed, language or ethnicity".
Among other speeches, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, asked the bishops to "promote the culture of life and brotherhood in India". The Cardinal expressed serious concern about the new pregnancy termination law, which allows abortion at any time up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. "Human life must be respected and protected from the moment of conception. The Church firmly promotes the protection of the sacredness of human life, from conception to natural death. Bishops have a responsibility to spread Christ's message about the dignity of all human life", he said.
The fundamental themes of the meeting were presented by Mgr. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi and CCBI Secretary General, who presented the Conference's Annual Report, which touched on the challenges and pastoral issues regarding the Latin-rite Catholic Church in India, which includes 132 dioceses and 190 bishops.
The conference elected 26 bishops as delegates to participate in the "Golden Jubilee" of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) to be held in November 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 17/2/2020)