CCBI & CBCI President’s reaction to Pope’s resignation

February 15, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Initial disbelief leading supreme esteem over Pope’s resignation

CCBI Conference

As the media net works flashed the news of Pope’s resignation, millions of Catholics and people of other religions in India checked their eyes and ears to verify the shocking news. There was a moment of stillness in disbelief frantically looking for the ‘why and what’ of it. In the recent past, there was neither any indication nor any forecast even by the adversaries. It is the great ‘Year of Faith’ and the Ship of Church was sailing through rather peaceful waters singing the song of New Evangelization and therefore the news was stunning.

On confirmation of the news to be true, there was instant up-lifting of hearts and minds to the peak of admiration of Pope’s humility and boldness to renounce the Office of Papacy, the most exalted office of a world-wide and biggest organization. This kind of step was unheard of in the recent past or in the contemporary world. Thus it is a gigantic expression of witness to what the Holy Father believed and what he advocated. Only a very holy person could do it and so we bow in reverence to this amazing act of prophetic act of renunciation and love for the Church!

We salute the Supreme Pontiff for his courageous proclamation from the ‘House top’ the following truths that marked his Pontificate: Clarion call to the world of secularism for faith in God especially to the young; His call of New Evangelization to Catholics to help the faithful  to have strong faith in this turbulent world; Holding fast to the institution of marriage between a man and a woman and the defense of marital bond; Sacredness of life; unrelenting call to civil society especially to rulers to  build a society of justice and Peace; and insistence that the richer nations have an obligation to more needy countries; continuing the renewal of the Church as per Vatican II’s call for aggiornamento by reading the signs of times, his declaration of the special years: Year of St. Paul, Year of Priests and the current Year of Faith; His insistence of worship and prayer by the proper celebration of sacraments especially the Eucharist by going back to sources in the context of relativism and consumerism especially subjective morals; for his inter-faith dialogue in action; and his insistence of the harmonious balance of faith and reason.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India firmly believes that the prophetic announcement of his resignation was done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who ceaselessly guides the Church. We equally believe that the same Holy Spirit would guide the Church to elect a worthy and holy successor to Benedict XVI, who left no stone unturned to further God’s reign in the World during his 8 years of splendid pontificate. The Church in India profusely thanks the Holy Father and ardently prays for the Universal Church and the particular Churches to surrender in faith as the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary at this present juncture and always.

– Oswald Cardinal Gracias , ccbi president

Card. Gracias: New Pope will continue legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

The archbishop of Mumbai is one of the 119 cardinal electors. The future pope will continue along the path of Ratzinger to deal with bigotry, materialism and relativism. Bringing the universal Church “closer to Christ” and “proclaiming the gospel to the world without fear.”

Card. GraciasMumbai, February 13, 2013: “Continuing the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI, starting with the new evangelization”, for Card. Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), this is the first challenge for the new pope, who will be appointed after February 28 next, when Benedict XVI steps down from the Petrine ministry. A choice which, together with the general astonishment, raises the question of the problems and challenges will face the new bishop of Rome.

The Indian cardinal, born in 1944, is one of the 117 cardinal electors who will sit in conclave to elect a successor to Ratzinger. No easy task, he told AsiaNews, but one that is already enlightened “by clear program entrusted to us by Pope Benedict XVI.” The new evangelization, before anything else, “on which the Holy Father also convened a Synod.” For this reason, said the archbishop of Mumbai, “we will pursue all indications, following the right direction, this is important”, as well as being “the only way to address the specific challenges of this era: fanaticism, materialism, and even relativism, of which Benedict XVI has often spoken”.

In addition to this, notes the CBCI President, “another issue that the new pope will have to deal with is bringing the Church closer to Jesus Christ, to present the values ​​of the Gospel. The Church must maintain and strengthen its spiritual leadership in the world. ”

As president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), Card. Gracias often had the opportunity to discuss the Church in Asia with the Holy Father. A reality that is still young, said the cardinal, that “is very close to the Pope, but does not need special attention. Rather, I believe that the pope should focus on the whole universal Church, and certainly every church draws lessons from his leadership.”

In his personal experience, he says, “I always felt the support and strength of Pope Benedict XVI for the Church in India, and we always look to the Pope and Holy See for instruction and guidance”.

Card. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is currently visiting India as papal delegate to celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the CBCI. “From a certain point of view – explains Card. Gracias – his presence helps u sto feel the pope more closely. Whenever I met Benedict XVI we talked of India, of his great love for this land, and of course also the next pope will feel the same love and the same concern for our country too, because the Indian Church needs and will be very happy to have an ongoing collaboration with the Holy Father, and receive guidance, advice, direction and strength ” .

Among immediate reactions, some argue that the new pope must be younger than Ratzinger at the time of his election. According to Card. Gracias “what really counts is the quality of the person. Pope Benedict XVI retired because of his age, not because of the chronological fact of his age, but because he felt his strength was waning.” This condition, recognizes the cardinal, “can come when you are older, but it is not a mathematical equation. I assume that the next pope will be younger than Benedict XVI, but at this moment the most important thing is that he be a unique person, a firm and profound spiritual guide. And that he proclaim the Gospel to the world without fear. ”


– asianews

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