Cardinal Gracias speaks out against ban on homosexuality

Cardinal Gracias says criminalization is wrong.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Episcopal Conference of India, said that the Church has “never considered gay people criminals,” after the Supreme Court of India restored a law banning homosexual acts.

According to reports, Cardinal Gracias, a member of the Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on Curial reform, said “the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals.”

“As Christians, we express our full respect for homosexuals. The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalisation of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse,” Cardinal Gracias said.

India’s Supreme Court overturned a decision taken by the High Court of Delhi in 2009, which had decriminalised homosexual acts. The court said it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue. According to Section 377, a 153-year-old colonial law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10-year jail term.

Source: Catholic Herald



Mumbai Cardinal begins Advent with slum poor



Cardinal Gracias launched the campaign to raise awareness of the needy living in the city.




Dharavi slum in Mumbai.


Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai has launched the Advent Campaign against hunger and disease with a pastoral visit to Dharavi, an area known as Asia’s biggest slum.

“Pope Francis has dedicated his pontificate to economic justice, equality and peace. During his visits to poor communities, he praised the courage of the poor, urging society to receive them with love and compassion,” the cardinal said launching the initiative.

With the theme “struggle for survival– bringing hope to the urban poor,” the campaign to create greater awareness in society towards the poor who live in large urban centres.

The cardinal visited the Dharavi on Nov. 22. The area created in 1880, under British colonialism, now houses some 1 million people of multi-religious and multi-ethnic population. The area enshrines many negative aspects of India: open sewers, piles of garbage everywhere, dirt and crumbling shacks.

Mumbai’s St. Antony’s parish covers Dharavi and within a radius of about 300 metres there are six chapels. Two Christian communities are particular to the parish: Tamils (about 5,000 people) and ethnic koli (about 1,000 people).

Cardinal Gracias visited the parish and six chapels, stopping to pray and to bless all the faithful he met on his journey.



Dharavi Slum ,Mumbai ,Cardinal Gracias ,Advent ,Slum Poor




Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Dioces...

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Diocese, India. Image taken by me after the Christmas midnight mass. (Cropped) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Mr. Sitaram Kunte (BMC), your game plan is exposed. You can’t Rob Peter to Pay Paul………

SOUL – SAVE OUR LAND, is fighting tooth and nails, to save our Church Land and one hundred  and fifty plus years old Parochial House from unjust Land Acquisition by BMC for road widening.  It has been proved time and again and again to BMC that the present Road Line (RL) is not acceptable to us. yet BMC is silent and trying to deviate from the issue. BMC does not have answers to our queries, We perceive. They have been caught in the bind.. with every response to our queries, BMC gets entangled into its own web.

Here is another example of BMC’s effort to deviate from the issue.

SOUL will not rest till our queries are satisfactorily replied, the current RL redrawn and ratified;  and will not allow single inch of our Church Land; come what may.

BMC has come to our door step with Road Widening. It was prevented from digging the road within disputed area, for concreting. It is likely, BMC may  attempts to do so once again. We are prepared to stand up and stop them once again.

Your Support is highly appreciated.



To,                                                                                                                              29th, November, 2013

Mr. Dixit,

Chief Engineer, (Roads & Traffic)

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)

Engineering Hub Building, Dr. E. Moses Road,

Worli, Mumbai – 400018

Respected Sir,

Sub:  Illogical/Deliberate swing in the ROAD LINE (RL), towards St. Anthony’s Church Trust & School property, on Madh – Marve Road.

Ref:  Letter ref. DyChE/4037/Traffic Dated 8th, October, 2013

We are herewith referring to Reference letter received by us on 19th, of October, 2013. It is needless to say that you or rather your Executive Engineer, Signatory to the reference letter has made a feeble effort to bypass the main issue, which has been mentioned in our letter, copy of which was marked to Municipal Commissioner. Reference letter makes a mention of this letter at No. 1.

Para 1:  Mentions about alleged C. R. No 753 dt. 27th, September, 1971, under which 27.45 Mts. Wide road was sanctioned. Mr. Dixit, without prejudice to the right to Dispute the CR, and/or without prejudice to the right to challenging the width of this road alleged to have been proposed in 1971. What is most hardening to note and also raise dispute about, is the illogical Swing in the Road Line towards Church/School Property.

Para 2: In this Para you state that, “Demarcation was given to the Ward Staff/ DyChE(Roads) WS, by this office”. This clearly indicates that you are the authority responsible to Swing the Road Line, Towards Church/School Property, Illogically and with purely Ulterior Motives and this despite the fact that the opposite side of the road had less structures and/or in several places no structures at all compared to the direct targeting of the Church and School Boundary Wall and the Church Parochial House which was very much in existence then. In this context you were expected to answer the queries raised in the letter dated 27.8.2013. Extracts from the letter is produced herewith for your reference, understanding and action.

  • Road line (RL), on the entire stretch, from S. V. Road to Marve Creek, is shown at equal distance from the center of existing road. And on ground, the Road has been widened accordingly.
  • Outer line on the Road Map, whatever they are indicative of, on both the sides, is clearly visible.
  • Stretch from Rathodi to St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani; as seen in the Road Map, is in straight line, without any deviation.

On the stretch, between Eastern wall of St. Anthony’s Church Compound and Western wall of St. Anthony’s School Compound; following inconsistency has been observed.

v  Swing in the Road Line (RL), towards, Church Property, by moving center of existing road, about Eight feet away, within Church Compound, from the edge of the existing road; ballooning the proposed Road Line, into Church & School Property.

Outer line in the Road Map, which has been consistent all over, is missing on the opposite side, in the road map, on the stretch, between Eastern wall of Church Compound and Western wall of School Compound, which creates an ambiguity about the intention of road planning authority.

v  Though the road from Rathodi to St. Anthony’s Church, has been shown in the road map, in straight line; the ground reality is, road has been deviated in couple of places.

Mr. Dixit, clarification is sought on abovementioned points, which have been ignored and does not find any place in the Executive engineers letter.

Instead of delving on the points which have been raised about Illogical Swing in the Road Line towards Church/School Property; you have tried to deviate from the subject, just like the illogical deviation to the Road Line towards Church/School.

You are therefore once again called upon to:

  • Rectify the deliberate malicious and vexatious error committed by BMC, to conceal mischief played by some corrupt Engineers, in approving Building plans, without considering Set back area for road widening.
  • Swing back and Redraw, the Proposed Road line (RL), to its logically Just level, at equidistance from Centre of existing road. (BMC cannot penalize Church & School authorities for its own mistakes).
  • After the Road Line is swung back and redrawn, put it up to appropriate authority for RATIFYING IT; so that it becomes PERMANENTLY SECURED from future harassment to the Church & School.
  • Do not enforce the execution of proposed road line as the same has not been done, following due procedure.




A7, Rodrigues Compound,

Malwani Village, Marve Rd.

Malad (W), Mumbai – 400095

Cell: 9870719628

E Mail:

Copy to:         Shri Sitaram Kunte, Commissioner; MCGM.





Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laity Speaks on MEMORANDUM cum MINUTES:Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias meets GREG: Part II

  1. SILENT VOICE has always been inspiring Laity to speak up and express their opinion on happening in the Church, particularly at Parish Level. Many are responding to the posts and putting up their comments. But, as we mentioned in earlier post, once the reader visits a particular post, he wouldn’t be visiting it again, missing on the comments. We, therefore, have begun a practice of putting up the comments on the main body, for the benefit of the readers.


    Laity Image.

    fergymisquitta said,

    November 4, 2013

    It is indeed sad that amidst all this ” hoo ha ” about transparency in the financial matters of the Church in Bombay, the glaring corruption involved in the transfer of many tenancies in Khotachi Wadi during the reign of Jude Pereira as parish priest of St. Stephen’s Church, the trustees of properties donated to the church, in order that the then “POOR PARISH” of St. Stephen’s, Cumballa Hill, could earn some money for the parish upkeep; since the parishioners at that time were only the ayahs, cooks and servants of the bungalow owners of the area.
    The situation has changed drastically, and St. Stephen’s Church now looks like a Cathedral, and not like the little village, bungalow church it was.
    The avarice has increased and the upper echelon of the Bombay Archdiocese has perhaps got its cut from the various ” transactions “;
    hence the “blind eye” silence and collusion.
    SAD, SAD, indeed !!!!!!

  2. at 8:36 am · Edit
  3. dmelloalex said,

    November 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm · Edit

    Dear Mr Greg, The BMC has served written notices to the Churches at Malwani & Dahanukarwadi for Land acquisition and they are not yet withdrawn. AB claims that he has taken up up the matter with the CM and talked to some people in Delhi, did u have the privilege to see any of the correspondence exchanged between the CM & AB or its just a verbal discussion. In the absence of written assurance from the authorities are we supposed to believe that the matter is resolved and BMC notices will be withdrawn in the near future? What is the guarantee that they will not come again as we know that some unknown people visit the Malwani Church compound again & again?

  4. November 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm · Edit

    Reblogged this on The Iniquitous: Church Crimes.

    1. November 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Edit

      Greg your note minuted on the Christian Workers Movement discussed with His Excellency Bishop Oswald Cardinal Gracious could not have come at a better time, read what Bishop Oswald Lewis. CWM Chairman CBCI office of Labour stated at the national convention of CBCI Office for Labour and Workers’ India Federation (WIF) in New Delhi on Oct 31. Ucan news dt. today 5th Nov.2013. quote “They also asked the Church to take active steps to combat bonded labor in the country. “It is a national shame that in the city we see child labor so evident and rampant than any other place in the world,” Read:

      The Christian Workers Movement founded in MUMBAI by Joseph Cardinal Cardijn was instituted by Pope Pius XII in the year 1957 “to underline the importance of work and of the presence of Christ and of the Church in the working world”, was officially recognized by the Archdiocese of Bombay and the CBCI in the year 1968, and affiliated to the (WMCW) World Movement of Christian Workers in Brussels, and (WSM) World Solidarity Movement, these Prerogatives, have since shifted to establish it’s base and H.O. to Chennai. See WHY ??



      1. One of the KEY DIFFICULTIES faced is Lack of Support Co-operation and Motivation from most Religious & Priests.
      2. Clergy Unwilling to Change the Situation and Accept the Initiatives of the Laity.
      3. Inadequate trained leaders on issues concerning the working class.
      4. There is no Diocesan Policy which makes working class movement as a pivotal center
      5. Lack of dedicated leaders for expansion.

      Present CWM Mumbai Structure (Not Verified), 353 registered members. ( M-242, W-75, Y-36 )

      During my present tenure as an Elected Arch.Exco.Member.2012 – 2014, The attendances at AGM’s and functions held at the H.O are DISMAL. Besides my functioning unit of 12 members working outside the parameters of the Church, due to non-acceptance of our Unit by our Parish Priest Fr. Bartholl Barretto (I.C.Parish Borivali) for reasons not disclosed either by him or recorded at Exco.members meetings at the head office. As on date I have not known of any other fully functioning unit in the whole Archdiocese of Bombay despite making my requests in writing. The last AGM held in August 2013, held without the approval of the Exco. Members giving only 3 days notice of the AGM date, Unapproved Agenda and UN-Audited Financial statement distributed 5 minutes before meeting, Why ?

      I have requested an appointment for a meeting with His Excellency. AB, and have now been given to understand Rev. Bishop Domnic Savio Fernandes has now been given charge (Laity, Family & Women Commission) hopefully the Symbols represented on his Coat of Arms will justify my request for approval. Letter dated 5th September 2013 to this effect, couriered earlier to the diocesan office.

      Not surprising, I am at a loss to understand in ones own backyard where lies the discord,!! the decisions on concerned Prerogatives !! However I believe. “MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY DAY”

    2. noel corriea said,

      November 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm · Edit

      Dear Greg,

      With regards to the MOM between H.E Cardinal Oswald Garcia’s and you, where in you discussed on various issues. You have also mentioned that the discussion was fruitful in many cases.

      As I was going thru the MOM and the issues raised by you to the Cardinal. I still wonder how this discussion has been fruitful, As not on single issue the Cardinal has confirmed that there would be concrete action or certain steps would taken to change the situation.

      If you analyses the MOM you will notice that many of the cases either the Cardinal is not sure or not aware of the fact.

      In case of Examiner Press Building the concluding statement of cardinal was:

      AB: It is not possible to be transparent in every aspect of the deal; but would try to be transparent to some extent.

      Observed: Not a definite conclusion. Nor does he promise to be transparency in future.

      On ARCHDIOCESAN ENQUIRY COMMISSION: It was concluded that Fr Ajit was transferred from the Parish. And Fr. Dominic Savio and Company to save their corrupt colleague.

      Observed: Fr Austin was placed instead of Fr Ajit, by doing this does the role of Fr Ajit and Fr Dominic Savio forgiven or forgotten. Merely by changing the Priest the problem has been solved or diverted.


      Observed: Not much was concluded.

      CHRISTIAN WORKERS MOVEMENT (CWM), IC CHURCH : you mentioned that the Parish Priest was not responding , Did the Cardinal find it necessary to write or talk to such priest who do not find it necessary to discuss the subject with laity and Cardinal has no answers for the same.
      Observed: No action undertaken.
      AB: I do feel for the litigants and agree that they must be handled with Kid Gloves. But such matters do take long, to come to settlements, because of their sentimental nature.
      Observed: Again a polished sympathy but no conclusion or steps to ensure such things do not occur again.

      AB: Mr. Pereira, I must mention to you that it has been decided and a decision has come from highest level, the center. However, there is a kind of hurdle, which is beyond our control.
      Observed: the story of the helpless leader narrated once again.
      And what was found in the remaining two or three issues are also the same. Where in no definite conclusion or mere sympathy acknowledged. Nothing more than that, the cardinal can offer of give you.
      The whole exercise is to listen to you but not to act upon it. Because you will also feel good about the whole meeting and have a story to tell the parishioners of Arch Diocese Bombay but the Outcome is zero and the situations has not changed and will never change.
      Do not feel sad because I am blunt over it, it is the same story of all the communities and Organisation who struggles to find a way out to some solutions and approach the cardinal. But somehow return empty hands only blessing in the name of any solutions which do not require any efforts.
      Time and again I Narrate this lines.
      The Cardinal plays a role of the Pontius Pilot and we are bound to be crucified.
      Noel Corriea.

      • Silent Voice said,

        November 7, 2013 at 8:49 am · Edit

        Dear Noel,
        I appreciate your concern for deteriorating condition of the Church in Archdiocese of Bombay. You have been quiet vocal about happenings in your Parish. We are aware of how the Clergy brainwash the Laity on various issues.
        We, particularly me, do not get elated with smooth talking by these people. We should always take their word with a pinch of salt; and I do. With our persistent efforts, at least we get the Hierarchy to talk on certain issues, from time to time; bring their views in public domain Via SILENT VOICE.
        SILENT VOICE in not only meant for reading pleasure. If only, the readers could put up a brief note to Archbishop on the issue that is being discussed here, by few concerned readers and copy of the same could be marked to SILENT VOICE; certainly, we shall publish all the correspondence on SILENT VOICE, in the category, LAITY SPEAKS, which we have for the purpose. With many voices speaking and questioning the Hierarchy, will certainly make a difference.

    3. Isaac Gomes said,

      November 11, 2013 at 8:44 am · Edit

      With reference to the news report in the Hindu dated 4th November 2013 and its reproduction in UCAN and ICAN on Mar Thoma Bishop seeks houses for all, the Bishop deserves congratulations for speaking to the Chief Minister of Kerala to arrange housing for all the houseless in Kerala to make it a “Zero Houseless” state. It is probably the first time a church authority in India has directly spoken to the government on solving housing problems for all.

      To maintain continuity to the Bishop’s great initiative, Archbishops of other states should make similar representations. The minimum they can do is to approach their respective state governments for housing for all homeless Christians (2.3% of the total population as per the 2001 census). Religion-wise figures from the last 2011 census which showed the Indian population at 122 crores, are yet to be released by the census authorities.

      Instead of asking for dole-outs where the chances of rejection are high, proposal(s) for housing for the homeless can be made on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) which is the norm now. The approach can be:

      1. The Archbishop of each state along with the Laity Group takes up housing proposal with the respective state government / minority department or

      2. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) under the Chairmanship of Cardinal Oswald Gracious (if he could meet Sonia Gandhi the other day to reportedly appreciate the welfare programmes of UPA II, then certainly he can meet her and the concerned government authority on housing for the homeless Christians) combines force with Lay Representatives of each state and takes it up with the Central Government / Ministry of Minority Affairs for single-window clearance applicable to all the states and union territories of India.

      All the Empowered Groups should meet and discuss beforehand a common action plan (Common Minimum Programme in political parlance!) to avoid duplication of proposals and widely divergent cost estimates.

      Proposals to the Government with emphasis on safe drinking water and sanitation should be based on facts and be well-documented. According to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh poor sanitation is the one “significant failure” of Indian society. In this connection Sulabh Complex and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which are renowned for water-saving sanitation projects, should be consulted. Tenders are to be floated on low-cost and eco-friendly housing (taking care of ventilation, rainwater harvesting, natural light and solar/wind energy and use of local expertise including Community-led Total Sanitation – CLTS, an innovative methodology approved by United Nations Development Programme for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation). Open tenders (should be restricted to Indian bidders as the money will then circulate in India without costing the exchequer for remittance in foreign currency) will attract competitive bidding from the best in the business and also maintain transparency. The Laity which is the co-partner and backbone of the Church should be invited through church announcements and notification, for participation and suggestion. Indian Laity is rich with talent and this is the time it can be utilized provided it is handled with care and due respect.

      For the above exercise to be effective, diocese-wise and state-wise parishioners’ data on each parish would be necessary to arrive at state-wise all-India requirement. Therefore creation and updation of a well-structured database of each parish would come in handy for correct assessment of housing needs of each state. The same database could be used for parishioners’ information on other areas e.g. higher education, health, profession, percentage of youth, talents, etc.

      Jesus told Peter “Take care of my sheep”. This actually means no Christian should be without food and shelter. But the reverse is the reality. Can the Indian Church produce any credible statistics on how many Christians are homeless? Therefore, the resolution for the “Shepherds of the Church” i.e. Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops including stalwarts of the Laity at the conclusion of the Year of Faith should be “Let us take care of our sheep”.

      Isaac Gomes

    Roney Corriea said,

    November 14, 2013 at 11:53 am · Edit

    Not a single reply from him is satisfactory. He along with the politician out here made fools of the villagers asking them to withdraw the dumping ground agitation on 3 grounds. 1) it would be shifted within a year 2) cases would be withdrawn 3) monitoring committee would be set up to see that villagers are not troubled by the stink in that year. All his promises have become false and he has left the sheep and run away by seeing the wolves coming.

    I met him on Jan 2013 and he said that if your local politician had lied to you all what can I do. I mentioned that you had asked the people from the pulpit to withdraw the agitation and solve it amicably and when the politician has cheated us, please announce from the same pulpit that because the NCP/Congress have betrayed the Christians, no one will vote for them. And he said he cannot do this. Here when I asked him are you working for Congress, he said YES. Matthew 23:5 “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them”
    Now I have left everything in the hands of Lord Jesus Christ (Emmanuel) who has come again in flesh. He will judge the world truly and have no partiality. He will separate the goats from the sheep. For he said: Matthew 15:13 “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted”.

    In HIM I remain
    Roney Corriea



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