Christian Community Leaders Host Modi-Pape Meeting

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Leaders of the Christian community across India enjoyed meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, at the Vatican on Saturday. In their very first meeting, the leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including Covid-19, the general global outlook and the maintenance of peace and quiet.

Kevin Mathew Sunny from the Kerala Christian Forum said the meeting was a welcome sign. When asked what message it would send in terms of community harmony and peace if the Pope came to India, Sunny replied that it would be a very positive message; that India is welcome in all communities and religions, in accordance with the country’s value of secularism. Church Act activist Indulekha Joseph said she welcomed the meeting because Pope Francis’ attitude was “absolutely progressive”.

READ ALSO | Silver candelabra, bronze plaque: special gifts that PM Modi and Pope Francis gave each other

The Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Gracias, said the Pope is very interested in India and has often asked and talked about it. “I think this will translate into more communication and collaboration. I think it will be good for the Catholic Church, India and Prime Minister Modi himself, “he said, Republic Television reported.

Gracias said Republic Television that “the importance of the meeting between PM Modi and Pope Francis will show the necessity and usefulness of collaboration”.

The Kerala Council of Catholic Bishops said the papal visit would facilitate the path of dialogue between Christianity and other religious groups in India. “The papal visit will also promote brotherhood and cooperation within the polyphonic society of India,” they said.

Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and Odisha Churches Head John Barwa said Christians in India were very happy that “our PM has met our Pope”. happy and proud of it “, the press agency ANI quoted Barwa.

Father S Shankar, spokesperson for the Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi called the meeting “great news” not only for Christians but for all Indians. “We wanted the Pope to visit India. We hope that the Pope’s visit will be an opportunity to advance harmony, ”he said, according to ANI.

READ ALSO | “Invited him to India, discussed Covid”: what Prime Minister Modi said during his first meeting with Pope Francis

Meanwhile, athletes across India also reacted positively to Modi’s meeting with the Pope. Indian long jumper Anju Bobby George said it was wonderful to see PM Modi meet Reverend Pope. “Indeed, this is another step towards building a new India, fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of a growing billion,” she said in a tweet.

Indian cricketer Robin Aiyuda Uthappa called the meeting “a big step forward towards peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue”.

Across the political spectrum, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also welcomed the meeting. “This is a historic moment of great significance for Christians in India and around the world. God bless them, ”he said in a tweet.

BJP spokesman Tom Vadakkan called the meeting “a crucial confluence of eminent representatives of the democratic spirit and the Christian faith”.

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