Top Catholic priest
Top Catholic priest

Do not carry minority complex, we are all Indians: Top Catholic priest

ANI | Updated: May 24, 2018 20:56 IST

New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, on Thursday urged the minority communities not to carry the minority complex, saying, "We are all Indians and all Indians have equal rights and all the Indians live together and make the country great."
Cardinal Gracias, who ranks amongst the top in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in India, added that the Christians are not under attack in the country.
"I do not think that the Christians are being attacked all over the country. That's surely not (the case). I am comfortable and Christians are comfortable (here). India is a very big country. It's unfortunate that there are misguided elements who create problems," Cardinal Gracias told ANI.
The Cardinal also dwelled upon at length on communal harmony and its significance.
"We need communal harmony and we all should work very much for accomplishing the same. All of us, every citizen of the country, every political party, should work together in pursuit of it. We want the progress of the country at heart. That is the final aim. Every citizen has the duty and the moral obligation to work together for the country." he added.
The top prelate's comments have come in the wake of a recent controversy surrounding the Delhi Archbishop's circular to Delhi churches and other Christian institutions, asking to hold prayers and observe a fast on Fridays for the sake of the nation.
Cardinal Gracias, who was one of the 22 Cardinals who selected Pope Francis in 2013, said that "Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself told me that if there is any problem just knock at my door."
However, he opined that the government should give a message that the incidents of violence against minorities will not be tolerated and that the law should take its course.
Speaking about the letter by the Archbishop of the Delhi Archdiocese, Anil Joseph Couto, the 73-year-old priest said that it has been given "unnecessary national importance" adding that it has been "exaggerated" and "misunderstood."
"It is the letter written only for Delhi people. Second, it has been exaggerated little bit. I have spoken to Archbishop of Delhi and I believe he has been misunderstood. Exaggerated, misunderstood, perhaps, it should not have come at the time of the Karnataka elections but then it is a bit unfair to the Archbishop of Delhi."
The Delhi Archbishop's letter drew a lot of flak earlier this week. "As we look forward towards 2019, when we will have 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," the letter read.
While Archbishop Couto maintained that every government should protect the country's people and the constitution, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that, "India is one of those countries where minorities are safe and no one is allowed to discriminate on the basis of caste and religion." (ANI)