BANGALORE, India (CNS) — Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, expressed “anguish” over increasing threats to pluralism in the country.
“Intolerance is causing a certain amount of anxiety to us,” Cardinal Gracias said Feb. 9 in Bangalore, while addressing a news conference at the end of the Feb 2-9 assembly of Indian bishops.
“Diversity is one of the strengths of India. It is known world over for its diversity of culture, language and religion. Any attempt to divide people by certain sections will be harmful for the nation,” cautioned Cardinal Gracias, responding to a question on how the bishops’ assembly viewed the increasing threats to diversity in recent years.
Human rights groups have expressed concern over religious-based crime in India, and the government has confirmed an increase in violence based on religion.
Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas of Ranchi, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said attacks on pluralism were “not only against Christians, but all Indians.”
“You cannot allow a few rabid elements to spoil the harmony. It is a question of upholding constitutional values and rule of law,” the bishop added.
A bishops’ statement from the meeting said: “No one should doubt our loyalty or our commitment to the nation,” amid Hindu nationalists branding Muslims and Christians as foreigners.
“True nationalism can lead our motherland to genuine peace, harmony, progress and prosperity,” the bishops said. They appealed to all people “to shun mob culture and vigilantism in favor of peace.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: