The Latin rite bishops of India elected Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai as their new president on Friday, replacing Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi who completed his term in the office.
The annual plenary assembly gathered here at the Retreat House in the Marian pilgrim town of Vailankanni also re-elected archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Bishop Varghese Chakkalakkal of Calicut as vice-president and secretary respectively for the consecutive second term.
Cardinal Gracias, elected for a second time as the leader of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), is also the current president of the national forum of bishops of all three rites.
Cardinal Gracias also heads the Asian level bishops' forum as the secretary general Federation Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).
The 126 bishops' meeting also marks the silver jubilee of their forum and the golden jubilee of the Vailankanni Basilica.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and papal delegate to the meeting, attended valedictory meeting of the CCBI silver jubilee and the Golden Jubilee of the declaration of the Marian Shrine as a Minor Basilica (1962).
He joined cardinals, archbishops and bishops on Sunday morning to inaugurate and dedicate the newly constructed Morning Star Church as the culmination of the Gold Jubilee of the Basilica and of the Silver Jubilee of the CCBI.
On Sunday morning Cardinal Filoni addressed the CCBI as the special guest of honor and keynote speaker.
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