New Delhi:“Denial of Equal Rights To Dalit Christians Is Painful”: Cardinal Varkey - CBCI
Posted On: 24/04/2008 18:21 GMT
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New Delhi 24th March:“Prolonged denial of equal rights to Dalit Christians is painful,” declared President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil on Wednesday, Apr. 23 at the Community Hall, New Delhi.

“India is a great nation with noble spiritual and moral values. However, the discrimination in recognizing the equal rights of the neglected sections of the society, causes a lot of pain and concern”, he regretted.

Cardinal Varkey who is also the Major Archbishop of Ernakulam- Angamaly was speaking during a function organised to felicitate him on the occasion of his recent election as President of CBCI.

Cardinal Varkey also lauded the Indian democratic polity which gives constitutional rights to practice and propagate the faith of one’s choice and also guarantees the minority rights.

“The Catholic Church belongs to all nations. It has to bring the Good News to all peoples and to all cultures,” he affirmed.

While appreciating the spiritual and cultural values of India with a largely tolerant society, the 81-year prelate lamented the anti-conversion legislations and attacks on Christians were contrary to the tolerant ethos.

Earlier, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi felicitating the Cardinal, lauded the outstanding contribution of the Catholic Church in the field of education and health care.

The minister said that it is the duty of the respective governments to redress the legitimate grievances and concerns of the minority communities in India.

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi and the immediate past President of CBCI humorously stated, “Four years ago, I was elected President in Trichur in God’s own Country (Kerala) and this year, Cardinal Vithyathil was elected President in Ranchi, in God’s Own Land!”

In his felicitation speech, Archbishop of Bombay and Vice President of CBCI Cardinal Oswald Gracias extended greetings Cardinal Varkey on the occasion of his heavenly patron St George.

Speaking on the occasion, Archbishop of Delhi Vincent Concessao congratulated the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholics for his leadership and urged that all Catholics of the capital city of Delhi need to bear “witness to unity and charity”.

Archbishop of Kottayam Mathew Moolakkatt and Tricur Archbishop Andrew Thazhath and Apostolic Visitator for the Syro-Malankara Catholics Jacob Mar Barnabas also spoke on the occasion.

Edited & Published By Raj Francis Pereira

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