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Rajnath Singh promises to examine visa denial to Vatican officials

Under attack for denial of visa to two Vatican officials, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday promised to examine the issue and take necessary action.



New Delhi: Under attack for denial of visa to two Vatican officials, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday promised to examine the issue and take necessary action.

This was conveyed by Singh to a delegation of Christian leaders who called on him at his North Block office here.

"The Home Minister told the delegation that he would ask the concerned officials to give a report as to why the visa was denied to the Vatician officials," a Home Ministry official said.

The two Vatican officials, who were to address the 27th national assembly of the ongoing Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bengaluru, have been denied visas.

The decision to issue or deny visa is taken taken by the Foreigners' Division of the Home Ministry. So far, there is no official communication from the Home Ministry as to why the visa was denied to them.

CCBI deputy secretary general Stephen Alathara claimed that the duo had applied for visas in December 2014 and were awaiting response from the Indian government.

However, on the travel day they were informed that their visa applications had been rejected due to technical reasons.

Vatican officials were to arrive in Bengaluru on Tuesday for the conference between February 3 and 9. It is being attended by 140 bishops from different parts of the country.

Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, president of the Pontifical Mission Societies and Adjunct Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, were key speakers at the conference on the 'Liturgy and Life' session.

The CCBI now plans to hold the session through video conferencing.  

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