Poona Bishop Thomas Dabre hails Pope Francis

April 14, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Letter to His Holiness Pope Francis

Your Holiness,

Bishop Thomas Dabre Here in the Diocese of Poona, India we were all delighted to receive the good news of joy of your election as Bishop of Rome and Shepherd of the universal Church. We offer you our heartiest congratulations. We thank and praise God for giving us a shepherd after his own heart.

Our joy is redoubled by your words, homilies and addresses and by your life-style. India, according to the latest UN report has 42% poor people who are living on a dollar or two a day. We therefore are heartened by your deep concern for the poor.

The Catholics in India are less than 2%, i.e.1.8%. We are living in the midst of 97% people of other religions, Therefore the Church in India has adopted interreligious dialogue as a priority. So we feel encouraged by your express openness to other religions.

You have shown by your words and actions that the Church must be with the people. Pastors and ministers must go out to the people with the love and compassion of Christ. Here in India, the Church has been promoting small Christian communities. Through these communities we promote the Gospel-based faith-life of the people, spirit of love and unity, care and concern, action for social justice and peace and harmony among people of various religions. We are organizing a national convention for the promotion of small Christian communities in Goa -from November 19-22, 2013.

Diocese of PoonaWe enthusiastically appreciate your statement to the journalists to whom you clearly said, “In fact, the Church, although it is certainly also a human historical institution with all that it entails, does not have a political nature; but is essentially spiritual: it is the people of God, the holy people of God who walk toward the encounter with Jesus Christ. Only by putting oneself in this perspective can one fully explain how the Catholic Church works … Christ is the centre, the fundamental reference, the heart of the Church! Without Him, neither Peter nor the Church would exist or have a reason for being.”

This faith-perspective is the raison d’etre of the Church’s discourse and way of life. This is the interpretive horizon and the hermeneutics that the Church must, of necessity, follow.

We assure Your Holiness of our loyalty, collaboration, affection and prayerful support. We will strive to imitate your ways and implement your vision for the Church in our times.

May God shower His abundant blessings on your pontificate.

Yours most sincerely in Jesus Christ,

Thomas Dabre
Bishop of Poona

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