Shun Mob Culture and Vigilantism, Embrace Peace: Indian Bishops

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the new president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, addresses the body. CBCI

"Shun mob culture and vigilantism in favor of peace," appealed the bishops while concluding the 33rd General Body Meeting of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) on Feb. 9 in Bengaluru.

The bishops called everyone in the country to work to establish a secular, socialist and democratic nation.

Under the theme, "United in Diversity for a Mission of Mercy and Witness," the meeting was held for a week from Feb. 2 to 9.

The bishops rededicated themselves to their mission of service and witness: Feeding the hungry, comforting the disturbed, promoting the dignity of the marginalized, healing the sick, giving hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captives, forgiveness to the sinners, and justice to the poor.

"Given that Christianity came to India over two thousand years ago, the bishops underlined the contribution of the Church in India to nation building and service to all Indians irrespective of religion, region, culture, race or language. According to the bishops, India needs the Church and the Church needs India. No one should doubt our loyalty or our commitment to the nation," read a statement.

"Dialogue with followers of other religions and with ecumenical groups is the need of the hour," it added.

The original nationalism esteems the human dignity of every citizen and calls for integral and inclusive development that extends to every part of society.

"In a climate of violence, [the bishops] appealed to all fellow citizens to shun mob culture and vigilantism in favor of peace," read the statement.