Cardinal Oswald Gracias calls on Smt. Sonia Gandhi
To discuss social justice for all and concerns of the Catholic Church in India.
The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), Cardinal Oswald Gracias called on UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, October 16 and discussed with her certain issues of concern for the Catholic Church in India.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias is one of the eight cardinals Pope Francis chose to advise him on reforming the governance of the Church. He was on an official visit to the CBCI Centre, Delhi.
The Cardinal said that the recently passed Food Security Bill is a major step by the UPA Government to care for the poor and the downtrodden and he appreciated the key role played by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in getting this Bill passed by Parliament.
Cardinal Gracias also discussed with Mrs. Gandhi the issues of Dalit Christians, certain clauses of the RTA Act and some sections of the proposed National Land Reform Policy.
The Cardinal said that the Christian Community does not ask for any special favour, but only justice and equality and protection for minorities, guaranteed by the Constitution of our Country.
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi assured Cardinal Oswald Gracias that these concerns will be seriously considered and duly addressed.
She also appreciated the services of the Christian Community in many areas, especially in the fields of education and health care.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias said that the Catholic Church will wholeheartedly support all efforts of the Government, aimed at the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden. The Church’s primary concern is for the poor and the needy, he said.
The cardinal told AsiaNews that he would like to “meet all parties in the country,” demonstrating that “the Church does not seek privileges , but only wants to exercise our rights under the Constitution.
India is the largest secular democracy in the world, the Constitution guarantees basic human rights to all peoples. As Christians we are an integral part of Indian society. “
In the country the Christian community represents 2.3 % of the population. However, stresses the CBCI President, “for hundreds of years the Church has tirelessly dedicated itself to building this nation.
It has made a great contribution to the general welfare of society, without ever discriminating against caste or creed, and has never intervened in matters not concerning us.
Our only request is to be able to work and live freely, according to the rights enshrined in the Constitution. And these include the right to practice our religion. “