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Xtian community elated over PM Narendra Modi-Pope meet

Reports confirming Narendra Modi’s invite to Pope Francis to come to India have rekindled hopes of a Papal visit soon. 

Published: 31st October 2021 02:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2021 02:20 AM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges gifts with Pope Francis on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican on Saturday. Modi is in Rome for the Group of 20 summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges gifts with Pope Francis on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican on Saturday. Modi is in Rome for the Group of 20 summit. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/KOCHI: Visuals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi embracing Pope Francis in Vatican on Saturday triggered delight and excitement among the Christian community in the state. Reports confirming Modi’s invite to Pope Francis to come to India have rekindled hopes of a Papal visit soon. 

“We are extremely delighted and eagerly awaiting the visit of the Holy Father. Dialogue is the most powerful weapon to solve any problem. The new developments will help increase mutual trust between two major religious communities. India has a great heritage and culture.

A representative of that ancient culture met the spiritual head of Christianity, opening channels for a confluence of two cultures,” Cardinal Baselious Mar Cleemis,  Major Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church, told The New Indian Express.  Welcoming PM Modi’s invitation to Pope Francis to visit India, Syro-Malabar Church Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry said that the Papal visit will strengthen the diplomatic relation between Vatican and India, and it will also help to enhance the relationship between Catholics and other communities in the country.

“The invitation to Pope, who is an icon of goodness and humanity, will enhance the glory of the country,” the Cardinal said in Kochi. “We hope the Pope will visit India at the right time. Pope’s visit will boost the fraternity and unity in the country which has a diversified culture,” Cardinal Alencherry who is also the president of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference said.

In August 2014, soon after Modi was elected as prime minister, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) had requested him to invite Pope Francis to visit India. Cardinal Cleemis, then president of CBCI, handed over the request.

In March 2016, CBCI wrote another letter to Modi with the same request. It was when Vatican had been planning the visit of Pope Francis to Bangladesh in November, 2017 and the CBCI hoped that the Pope would visit India too if an official invite was dispatched. However, the prime minister didn’t act on both occasions.  On Saturday, BJP state president K Surendran visited Cardinal Cleemis to share the party’s happiness over Modi-Pope Francis summit.

“It was a historic meeting. This will help open new avenues of cooperation, mutual trust and camaraderie between two communities of believers,” Surendran told reporters after the visit. Attempts by BJP state unit to woe Christian vote bank so far had been in vain. The summit and the Papal visit that may follow has provided the party another opportunity to create inroads among Christian voters.



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  • anthony

    It is better for the Christian community not to get carried away with the Modi meeting the Pope. He needed a white wash as his image world wide is in the dumps over all the happenings in our country and the never ending attacks on Minorities. many a times in the past
    2 months ago reply
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