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Indian cardinal calls voting a ‘sacred duty,’ urges faithful to put it before pilgrimage

April 18, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão, the president of the Latin-rite Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, urged the faithful of his diocese to vote in the national election.

Voting takes place in different Indian states and territories on different days; the faithful in his Archdiocese of Goa and Daman will vote on May 7. Cardinal Ferrão asked the faithful, if necessary, to postpone pilgrimages to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health “for the sake of the greater good and the sacred duty of exercising one’s franchise on the election day.”

In a time of increasingly mainstream Hindu nationalism, the prelate called for votes for candidates committed to the Indian constitution’s nonsectarianism: candidates “with secular credentials, who are truly committed to work for the good of all the people and to uphold the values enshrined in our Constitution.”

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