No Positive Response to Invite Pope to India

Published 29 November 2017  |  
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Pope Francis among the people at St. Peter's Square.

The central government has remained silent despite repeated pleas from the Catholic Church to invite Pope Francis to India during his tour to South Asia which begins on Nov. 26.

A senior official from the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) said the center has not responded to the repeated requests to invite the pope during his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

"We have been in contact with the government and have conveyed our request at the highest level to invite Pope Francis to India, but we have not received any positive response so far," said the official, according to Hindu.

Francis has helped India in the recent release of Catholic priest, Fr Tom from the rebels in Yemen and therefore it would have been appropriate to invite him to India.

Also, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Nov. 23 noted the importance of the pontiff's visit to India.

"India's link with Christianity is nearly 2,000 years old. Indian Christians have immensely contributed to India's growth and prosperity. Relations between India and the Holy See have always been cordial and strengthened over the years," said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of MEA.

On his arrival in Myanmar on Nov. 26, Francis will meet Nobel laureate State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, and is expected to talk the issue of the Rohingya refugees.

"As I prepare to visit Myanmar and Bangladesh, I wish to send a message of greeting and friendship to everyone. I can't wait to meet you," said Francis, in a social media message during the weekend.

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