No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call? Mumbai Cardinal writes to CCV Editor


No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call?



       Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, wrote the letter below to james kottoor, Editor in Chief of Church Citizens’ Voice (CCV) on July 13. 2015. It was forwarded to CCV office and received on July 14th at 19.52. Immediately, within 3 hours, at 22.06 Kottoor wrote a reply to the Cardinal. Both the letters are given below for the benefit of all the readers and supporters of CCV. james,ed.


Dear Dr.Kottoor,

  I saw your article “No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call?” You already have received some response saying that your article was not accurate. I write to inform you that the Archdiocese of Bombay did an extensive study regarding this. It was discussed by the Priests’ Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, all Parish Councils, groups of priests, and some of the Commissions in the Archdiocese. Besides, we had two questionnaires, the detailed one of 46 questions sent by the Synod Secretariat and a summarized version of 10 questions.

  I am also on the Council of the Synod and I know the Indian contribution has been appreciated.

With kind regards and best wishes,

         Yours sincerely in Christ,


X Oswald Cardinal Gracias                                         Archbishop of Bombay




Your Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias,

  I am overjoyed, highly honored, also pleasantly surprised to receive this Email from you, unasked, while  to many  I wrote for information didn’t even  care to reply. So a million thanks to your graceful answer without asking.


  The reason for Great Joy is, you gave me the answer I was looking for  ever since it was brought to my notice for the first time only a week  ago that the CBCI did conduct a survey,  and that  without the knowledge even  of  important  Church media, like  Indian Currents, Delhi.

   So I wrote to Cardinals Baselios Cleemis, being the President of the CBCI, also to Cardinal Alancherry. From both I still have not received a reply. So I think it is not correct for me to believe that the CBCI conducted a survey.

  I had also written to Bishop Lawrence Pius of the Family Commission, among  very many others in Delhi, Kolkotta,  Bumbai (Laitytude),Chennai and Bangalore. Bishop Pius did answer saying he was busy and will write on July 17.  I replied, I will wait for that.


   Since no survey was conducted last year, I have been writing articles about the urgency of conducting one at least this year, ever since last November and sending them to all bishops. Unfortunately I was not lucky to receive even a  hint from any bishop about your Survey.  That is precisely why I titled my article as a big question mark: No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call?”since it was beyond my wildest of imagination that a survey could have been conducted in secret without any publicity.

   So I stand corrected as far as Bombay is concerned and promise to send your letter and my reply to Indian Currents to rectify the wrong or doubtful question raised.  It will be published also in our website: Church Citizens’ Voice.



Many people tried to get forms but the site would just not open. The forms were distributed to persons whose views were in line with what the church wanted them to think.


Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 11:03 PM
Subject: RE: Laity Synod
Dear George,

It was great to receive your mail and bring back memories of the”national convention of catholics” as I was a member of the executive committee,I was given to understand that a second synod is in the works.
howeverI have a few questions about its agenda
1.will the issue of sale of lands by the church at way below market rates be discussed?
2.will the issue of annulments be discussed?
3.will the community lobby the government to pass a law to declare that a church annulment is as good as a civil divorce,when the church marriage is as good as a civil marriage?
4.since the church belives in transperancy its annual accounts must be published?(this is a serious issue and needs discussion)
5.the role of the clergy should be only confined to spirtual duties?
6.economic upliftment of our own community as the church has ample of funds? last question to you is the synod being sponsored by the laity commision and are church funds being used to hold the synod?
because if church funds are used then all the catholic groups have to be represented to chart out the agenda,espicially the groups which are active and not dormant.
Joe Sodder(association of concerned catholics)

Subject: Re: Laity Synod
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 17:06:43 +0530

Dear Gordon
Sorry. I thought had replied
The past National Presidents of the AICU met in Goa last year to plan a  second Synod of the the Laity
The first one was called “the National Convention of Catholics” attended by 500 delegates from 2nd to 5th June 1989  during my Presidentsip of the AICU   and with active support of Cardinal Simon Pimenta. The Goregaon Seminary was fully occupied by us.
Will send you tha copy of the programme.
For info about the present Synod please ask Gordon DSouza
Of the 100 participants 50 were Bishops and priests !
Chhotebhai and I generated some ideas and left implementation to AICU headed by Dr Remy Denis
Chhotebhai and I have resigned from our membership of  the Synod Committee
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2012 5:43 PM
Subject: Fw: Laity Synod
Dear George,
A gentle reminder.
Gordon Jacobs
—- Forwarded Message —–
From: gordon jacobs <>
To: George Menezes <>
Cc: Arthur Dmello <>; Archie Sodder <>; Allan Dsa <>; Agnelo <>; Judith Monteiro <>; Edvardo Felerio Goa <>
Sent: Monday, July 2, 2012 12:58 PM
Subject: Laity Synod
Dear George,
I have been given to understand that shortly the Church will be conducting a laity Synod on Church Governance.
I am told the one held at North India was a grand success.
Please can you let me know when, and where ,will the Western India event take place, and how does one approach to be invited to attend.
Thank you.
Gordon Jacobs


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call? Mumbai Cardinal writes to CCV Editor

  1. Arcanjo says:

    Attached below is a copy of the email which I had sent for a form but the same was never delivered to me.


    From: arcanjo sodder (
    Sent: 30 March 2012 08:30AM

    Dear Sir,

    Please send me a survey form for the Archdiocesan Consultation Survey 2012.

    Thanking you,

    Yours sincerely,


  2. The responses from the Oswald Cardinal Gracias does not seem too accurate. Please do read the Email trail and responses. In fact I tried to ask parishioners from our parish at Santa Cruz about the same, many of not all were aware. may the ones who were “yes men/women) were asked to attend. They ways to throw light on the picture from a different angle does change to colors of the portrait. We do have masters in this slight of hand tricks.

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