To the Bishops of India
TO THE BISHOPS OF INDIA: AD LIMINA CONFERENCES
Pope John Paul II
Bishops' Conference of India
On 13 May 2003, the Holy Father met in the Clementine Hall with the Bishops of the Syro-Malankara Church in India, who came to Rome for their ad limina visit. The Pope praised their "rich cultural and spiritual heritage," and encouraged them to leaven with Christian ethics all levels of human society.
Bishops' Conference of India - 1
On 23 May 2003, the Holy Father met in the Clementine Hall with the first group of India's Latin Rite Bishops from the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Calcutta, Guwahati, Imphal and Shillong, who had come to Rome for their Ad Limina visit. In his address, the Pope spoke of the opposition to evangelization found among elements of Indian society, including civil authorities.
Bishops' Conference of India - 2
On 3 June 2003, the Holy Father addressed the second group of Latin Rite Bishop on their Ad Limina visit from India. These were from the western region, encompassing Gujarat, Bombay, Goa and Kerala. The Pope praised the Indian Church for numerous vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and high attendance at Sunday Mass. But he also warned against the twin dangers of the culture of death and globalization.
Bishops' Conference India - 3
On 26 June 2003, the Holy Father met with a third group of India's Latin Rite Bishops from the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Patna and Ranchi. No one should "feel compelled to hide his or her religion in order to enjoy fundamental human rights, such as education and employment" , the Pope told the Bishops in reference to certain conditions that at times exist in their regions.
Bishops' Conference India - 4
On 3 July 2003, the Holy Father met with a fourth group of India's Latin Rite Bishops from the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Evangelization, catechesis and stewardship were among the issues the Pope discussed with the Bishops.
Bishops' Conference India - 5
On 6 September 2003, the Holy Father met with a fifth group of Latin rite Bishops from India for their ad limina visit to Rome. The Pope impressed on the Bishops, representing the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Agra, Delhi and Bhopal, the importance of a trained laity, the need to keep Catholic schools Catholic, and how good priests inspire vocations.
Bishops' Conference India - 6
On 17 November 2003, the Holy Father met with a final group of Bishops from India for their ad limina visit. Speaking of the caste system in India, he reminded the Bishops that "any semblance of a caste-based prejudice in relations between Christians is a countersign to authentic human solidarity, a threat to genuine spirituality and a serious hindrance to the Church's mission of evangelization".