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President of Indian bishops' conference plans invitation to Pope Francis

February 13, 2014

The newly elected president of the Catholic bishops’ conference of India has said that he plans to invite Pope Francis to visit the country.

Cardinal Baselios Thottunkal of Trivandrum, who is the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, told the AsiaNews service that his election to head the world’s 4th-largest episcopal conference testifies to the unity within the Catholic Church in India. That unity is enhanced by a diversity of ritual, he said, referring to the three Catholic rites practiced in the country: Latin, Syro-Malankara, and Syro-Malabar. The cardinal described them as “three ritual bodies forming one Catholic Church in India.”

Cardinal Thottunkal made his remark about inviting Pope Francis just a few days after the Pope hinted that he might travel to neighboring Sri Lanka next year.


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