Catholic World News

India's government apologizes for denying visa to Vatican prelates

February 06, 2015

A spokesman for India’s government has issued an apology for the denial of visas to two Vatican officials who had been scheduled to attend a conference on the liturgy.

Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship; and Archbishop Portase Rugambwa, the president of the Pontifical Missions, were forced to cancel their planned visit abruptly when their visas were denied. Archbishop Roache was able to participate in the conference by a video link.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai told the Catholic News Service that he had received a call from the foreign ministry, apologizing for the denial of visas and promising an investigation into the incident.

The denial of visas came as a shock because it came after an unusual delay. The decision aggravated concerns among India’s Catholics about a growing climate of hostility toward the country’s Christian minority.


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