Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on August 24 told a delegation of Catholic prelates that the Church’s work for the poor and downtrodden was commendable.
While the whole world speaks of development, spirituality in this development is also important; the president told the eight-member delegation led by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). The 14th head of the world’s largest democracy appealed to the bishops to continue the spiritual development, a CBCI press note said.
Besides Cardinal Cleemis, the Church team comprised Cardinals Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, and Telesphore P Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi and Archbishops Filipe Neri Ferrão of Goa, Abraham Viru-thakulangara of Nagpur, Albert D’Souza of Agra, Anil Couto of Delhi. CBCI secretary general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas was also part of the team. The CBCI note explain-ed the prelates made a “courtesy call” on the president, who assumed office on July 25.
Cardinal Cleemis, who spoke for the team, conveyed the Catholic Church’s best wishes and prayers to the president. He said, India was a democratic, secular republic and “we live by the sacred book of the Country – the Indian Constitutions.”