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Pope visit likely next year, says adviser

Cardinal Gracias said preparations for Pope Francis's visit to India are being made for 2022-end, or towards the beginning of 2023.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: December 31, 2021 6:12:29 am
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, one of the seven special advisers to Pope Francis, at Raj Bhavan. (Express)

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of his visit to the Vatican City on Goa’s 60th liberation day on December 19, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, one of the seven special advisers to Pope Francis, visited the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday.

Cardinal Gracias said preparations for Pope Francis’s visit to India are being made for 2022-end, or towards the beginning of 2023.

“We have to prepare the people spiritually also. With the Prime Minsiter’s Office, we have already begun (discussions) on where he could go, where he could stay, etc. I hope Goa is one of those important stops,” Cardinal Gracias told Prudent Media news channel here.

In his address on December 19 in Taleigaon, the Prime Minister had spoken of his visit to the Vatican City in October and mentioned that he had extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India. “I invited him (the Pope) to India…. Pope Francis said, ‘This is the greatest gift you have given me’. This is his affection towards India’s diversity and our vibrant democracy,” Modi had said.

On his meeting with Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, Cadrinal Gracias, president of Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, who was on a three-day visit to Goa, said, “We had a heart-to-heart talk and exchange about the good of the nation, good of Goa and how we can take the country forward, the traditions of India and keeping God uppermost in mind.”

Cadrinal Gracias also visited his ancestral home in Goa’s Orlim.

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of his visit to the Vatican City on Goa’s 60th liberation day on December 19, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, one of the seven special advisers to Pope Francis, visited the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday.

Cardinal Gracias said preparations for Pope Francis’s visit to India are being made for 2022-end, or towards the beginning of 2023.

“We have to prepare the people spiritually also. With the Prime Minsiter’s Office, we have already begun (discussions) on where he could go, where he could stay, etc. I hope Goa is one of those important stops,” Cardinal Gracias told Prudent Media news channel here.

In his address on December 19 in Taleigaon, the Prime Minister had spoken of his visit to the Vatican City in October and mentioned that he had extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India. “I invited him (the Pope) to India…. Pope Francis said, ‘This is the greatest gift you have given me’. This is his affection towards India’s diversity and our vibrant democracy,” Modi had said.

On his meeting with Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, Cadrinal Gracias, president of Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India, who was on a three-day visit to Goa, said, “We had a heart-to-heart talk and exchange about the good of the nation, good of Goa and how we can take the country forward, the traditions of India and keeping God uppermost in mind.”

Cadrinal Gracias also visited his ancestral home in Goa’s Orlim.

“We are all worried about the pandemic. We are hoping the pandemic tapers off and goes off,” he said.

Governor Pillai said, “This is the first time a Cardinal has come and blessed the Raj Bhavan,” He said they spoke “openly” about religious issues for the “unity and integrity” of the nation. “He told me that the Pope’s visit is a good sign,” Pillai said.

“We are all worried about the pandemic. We are hoping the pandemic tapers off and goes off,” he said.

Governor Pillai said, “This is the first time a Cardinal has come and blessed the Raj Bhavan,” He said they spoke “openly” about religious issues for the “unity and integrity” of the nation. “He told me that the Pope’s visit is a good sign,” Pillai said.

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