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Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias to represent Asia in 'G8 Commission'

2013-09-28

The growing Church in Asia will be well represented at the hands of Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay. He is one of eight cardinals Pope Francis chose to advise him on reforming the governance of the Church.  

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
"I was surprised, humbled. But, of course, if the Holy Father wanted any assistance, I was ready to give him the assistance, and I hope I am able to help. I don't know how much I could help, honestly.”

Gracias has been archbishop of Bombay, his hometown, since 2006. Benedict XVI made him cardinal the following year.

The Cardinal is well known as an outspoken critic of violence against women in India, and of promoting inter-religious dialogue.

During their first meeting, he hopes Pope Francis will take in account the needs from each corner of the world.

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
"He will be the one deciding everything, but we can bring the aspirations of the local people and the expectations of the world, the mentality of different cultures. I come from Asia: Asia is so very different from the rest of the world... India and China have together 30% of the population of the world... Again, that's a very big segment.”

The Cardinal is 68 years old. He said he feels the Church is living through historic times after Pope Francis' election.

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
"But it's exciting, I think we are living in exciting times. The Holy Father is opening a door to the world, like John XXIII, and allowing the outside and expectations to come in and to respond, make the Church really relevant to the times.”

Asia is home to eleven percent of the world's Catholics. Cardinal Gracias is one of eleven cardinal electors from this continent.


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