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Card. Gracias: In India, unborn females are more likely to be aborted

2014-10-15

Cardinal Oswald Gracias is representing India in the Synod on the family. 

One of the most serious problems in the country is femicide. When pregnant women find out they're having a girl, some choose to have an abortion, because it's more expensive to marry off a girl. In some regions it's estimated that there are only 300 women for every 1000 men. 

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Mumbai (India) 
"The parents of the girl have got to give a big gift, an expensive gift to the family of the boy. They would have an abortion if they knew it was a girl. The government doesn’t allow people to find out what the sex of the child is.” 

It's a major challenge in the country, but it's not the only one. Other complicated issues are also being addressed by the Church in India. 

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Mumbai (India) 
"Bombay is the city of the films; Bollywood is there. So many girls are told,  'I will give you a role as an actress in Bollywood.' They believe it, they run away from home, they are brought over there and then they are taken as prostitutes. There are many cases.” 

Religious co-existence is also a reality in the country. About 80 percent of the population is Hindu, and it's not uncommon for Catholics to marry outside their religion. 

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Mumbai (India) 
"I know of some cases, very good friends of mine. The husband was a Hindu,  he was a business man, and the wife was a very committed Catholic. And she was very interested in having courses of Theology and the husband was helping her, to prepare the notes, to study the notes.  He used to attend to give tea to the people and to be a host.  I myself have given lectures in that particular place and he was a very nice man. I can tell you that after about 10 years or so after listening to all these courses, he asked to be a Catholic.” 

While challenges differ per continent and even country, the Church in India is hoping that concrete solutions will come from the Synod. 


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