Cardinal asks priests to bridge rich-poor gap

Cardinal asks priests to bridge rich-poor gap

Cardinal Oswald gracias regretted that the country’s progress has benefited only the rich.

Posted on February 16, 2012, 8:24 AM



By C.J. Varghese

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, head of the Catholic Church in India, has urged priests to make a “conscious option” for the poor.

“We have two “Indias” and the priests should build a bridge between the two,” the cardinal said at the Mass that started the annual meeting of the Conference of the Diocesan Priests of India.

The cardinal, who is the archbishop of Bombay, regretted that the country’s progress has benefited only the rich who have “everything” while the poor continue to live in inhuman condition with no access to education and minimum facilities.

“We can make a difference to them. We have to make a conscious option for the poor,” he added.

The February 14-16 annual meeting has chosen the theme, “New Evangelization: Its Meaning, Relevance and Ways of Doing in India.”

A week earlier, Cardinal Gracias had led the Indian bishops’ search for ways to help the Church contribute to the creation of a better India.

“Go back committed with good ideas to change India,” he encouraged the priests, who met in Mumbai.

He commended the priests for working together and helping each other. He contrasted it with outside scenario of bomb attacks, explosions and violence.

“Terrorism is an expression of dissatisfaction” over the unethical exploitation of the poor in the name of progress.

He asserted that the world needs priests to build “a kingdom of justice, peace and equality” in society.

The Church leader urged the priests to imbibe the example of the dedicated, selfless and courageous apostles to build a better India.

The cardinal urged priests to take the laity into confidence in evangelization works.

“We should be conscious that the laity is also the Church,” he reminded the priests. “The laity is our strength. We should not see them as problems, but as opportunities. We must empower them,” he added.

Cardinal , Cardinal Oswald Gracias , Rich-poor Gap
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