More than 19 million Catholics in India joined Pope Francis in a global prayer to mark the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
The Catholics scattered in parishes, monasteries and other religious institutions across the country observed the feast, also known as the Feast of the Corpus Christi, to commemorate Jesus Christ’s suffering , with bread and wine that symbolize his body and blood.
"United with the successor of Peter in worshiping Jesus alive, in many places in India, thousands of people, including many young people, witnessed Christ’s immense love and the abundance of this Year of Faith," said Cardinal Oswald Gracias in a note sent to Fides Agency.
They prayed in the churches in Orissa, where the anti-Christian massacres took place in 2008, the prelate said.
Cardinal Gracias, who is also the archbishop of Bombay, presided the Adoration in the Cathedral in the city.
"We experienced a profound communion with Pope Francis and with the universal Church," he said.
During Adoration, the "concern for the problems in India, for a more effective mission against poverty and for the dignity of women and against violence" were shared.
"Our women suffer terrible domestic violence. Female feticide and female infanticide continue. Pope Francis was very close to the suffering of the people of India," said cardinal Gracias.
The Catholic Church is at the forefront in the promotion of gender equality, through a tireless and selfless service to the poor, through social services, assistance and education, he added.
“However, the road ahead is still long. The patriarchal mentality has to change, we need to stop gender discrimination and to give equal status to women," he added.
The Archbishop also cited that those accused of raping a Catholic nun during the anti-Christian violence in Orissa are still unpunished.
"The Adoration was also held in the Pastoral Centre Dibyajyoti, in the district of Kandhamal in Orissa, where sexual violence was unleashed upon many women during the anti-Christian pogrom," he added.
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