The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to invite Pope Francis to visit India.
The meeting was held four months after the Pope visited neighbouring countries Bangladesh and Myanmar.
A section of media had reported that CBCI, the apex body of Catholic bishops, which oversees all the churches in the country had approached the Union government last November. However, the government reportedly had not considered the request.
Speaking to mediapersons here after meeting with the Prime Minister, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the new CBCI chief said that the meeting with Modi was ‘positive’.
“The Prime Minister was very positive in his reaction to the concerns of the Christian community. He did not commit due to lack of slot because several visits have been scheduled. He was however, serious about the Pope’s visit”, Cardinal Oswald said.
Cardinal Gracias added that Pope Francis is the leader of the Universal church acclaimed worldwide and appreciated by people of all beliefs and his visit will bring long term benefits to the country.
The Cardinal also said that he drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the rising anxiety among certain sections of the Christian Community regarding sporadic attacks on minority institutions and personnel in different parts of the country.
“Modi said that he is the Prime Minister of all Indians, irrespective of caste and creed, and added that if there is any issue, it should be brought to his attention. The Prime Minister assured that he will be always available and willing to look into it”, Cardinal Oswald added.