Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, wants Catholics in the country to dedicate a day of prayer to honor Pope Benedict who announced last week his decision to resign on Feb. 28.
On evening of Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter "every Christian institution, convent and monastery" will dedicate an hour of adoration praying for the pope, Cardinal said according to a news report in asianews.it.
The prayers will specially remember that in the eight years of his pontificate Pope Benedict has repeatedly identified the challenges facing India and Asia, focusing on a dialogue between cultures and religions stressing the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Cardinal Gracias said Asia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world, and the repeated attempts of Benedict XVI to communicate with Muslims was an important challenge.
The pope on several occasions and in different ways addressed issues dear to India and Asia. In some encyclicals he identified some of the most significant challenges of the continent such as the dialogue between cultures, with the poor and with other religions, said Cardinal Gracias, also secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).
The pope stressed the need to implement the Church’s social doctrines in the present realities of globalization, the gap between rich and poor, ecology, fundamentalism, he said.
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