Indians don’t figure in Vatican’s cardinals list
- CAMIL PARKHE
Friday, 22 October 2010 - 05:28 PM IST
PUNE: Indian archbishops and bishops were left out when Pope Benedict XVI announced appointment of 24 new cardinals all over the world at the Vatican on Wednesday. This is despite the fact that India has sizable number of practising Catholics and 30 archbishops and 125 bishops.
At present, India has six cardinals, Mumbai’s Ivan Dias presently based in Rome, Mar Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Ranchi’s Telesphore P Toppo, Mumbai’s Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Simon Pimenta (retired) and Cardinal D Simon Lourdusamy who resides in Rome.
For many years, a few of Indian clergies have been occupying high posts in the Church hierarchy at the global level. Pope Benedict has appointed Mumbai-born Cardinal Ivan Dias as Prefect of the Pontifical Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Vasai Bishop Felix Machado was for many years based at the Vatican as the Holy See’s official.
Non-inclusion of Indians among the new cardinals has expectedly disappointed members of the local Catholic Church. When contacted, a city-based Church official expressed his dismay over the Holy See’s decision not to elevate more Indian archbishops and bishops as cardinals.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the clergy, however, said that “the Holy Father in his wisdom has selected the new cardinals and we have full faith in him.”
Among the new cardinals are two Americans and others from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The newly appointed ‘princes of the church’ will be formally elevated in Rome on Nov 20. Some of the Indian cardinals and archbishops are likely to attend the ceremony.