News & Pics: Rons Bantwal
Daijiworld Media Network – Mumbai (RD/SB)
Mumbai, Mar 4: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) elected Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai as its new president for the next two-year term, recently. Cardinal Gracias was elected during the 29th general body meeting held at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati.
In all 145 bishops of CBCI took part in the election of new office-bearers. The office-bearers of the CBCI comprises president, two vice-presidents and secretary general. At every biennial general body meeting of the bishops new office-bearers are elected to guide the apex body of the Catholic Church in India.
Cardinal Oswald expressed his gratitude to the bishops for placing their trust in him and assured them that he would continue the good work of his predecessors for the whole Catholic Church in the country.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias is also president of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) belonging to the bishops of Latin rite, which is one of the three Episcopal bodies of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
The outgoing president of CBCI Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Ecclesiastical Traditions and archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly who was unable to attend the Plenary Assembly of Bishops thanked the religious heads of the Catholic Church for their co-operation and support to him for the last two years as president of CBCI.
Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, the major archbishop the Syro-Malankara Ecclesiastical Traditions and Archbishop of Trivandrum and Bishop George Punnakottil of Kothamangalam belonging to the Syro-Malabar Church were elected as the vice-presidents of CBCI.
Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra was elected the new secretary general of the CBCI. The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference is the chief functionary and as such he deals with the most important matters that come under the purview of the conference. He is assisted by the deputy secretary general of CBCI Fr Thomas D’Aquino Sequeira.
This year, 163 member bishops of CBCI participated at the inaugural ceremony of the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops at Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati, recently. The CBCI has 228 member bishops from the Latin, Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankara ecclesial traditions. Among these are 158 heads of dioceses of which three are Cardinals, 27 Archbishops and 51 retired Bishops.