Archbishop letter row: Don't think Christians are being attacked, says Cardinal Oswald Gracias
The president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on Thursday disagreed with the notion that Christians are being attacked all over the country.
"Don't think Christians are being attacked all over the country. It's unfortunate that there are misguided elements who create problems. Government must give a strong message that such incidents won't be tolerated", said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).
Archbishop Gracias's statements comes as a response to the controversial letter of Archbishop of Delhi Archdiocese, Anil Joseph Couto, in which he called upon the churches based in Delhi to start a year-long prayer campaign, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
In a circular dated May 8, Archbishop Couto had urged all churches in the national capital to hold prayers and "observe a fast on Fridays for the nation's sake."
"As we look forward towards 2019, when we will have a new government, let us begin a prayer campaign for our country from May 13, 2018 which marks the anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, consecrating ourselves and our nation to the Immaculate Heart," he said.
He further said, "I request that we observe a day of fast every Friday of the week by forgoing at least one meal and offering our penance and all our sacrifices for our spiritual renewal and that of our nation. Moreover, I earnestly request that we organize an hour of Eucharistic adoration every Friday at a convenient time in all our parishes, religious houses and institution specifically praying for our nation."
In March, Oswald Cardinal Gracias had met prime minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and conveyed the community's anxiety over the sporadic attacks taking place against minority institutions and personnel in the country.
The Cardinal met the PM in his capacity as newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI).
Modi responded to Cardinal Gracias that he was the prime minister of all Indians, irrespective of caste and creed, and that if any specific instance was brought to his notice, he was always available and willing to look into the matter.