Kottayam: The Catholic church in India today called for strengthening inter-faith and inter-church dialogues and emphasised the need to ensure that all sections of the society benefited from its ministry.
Inaugurating the 31st biennial plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) at Pala near here, Vatican`s envoy to India Salvatore Pennacchio said it was important that in a country where people professing different faiths live together in harmony the church should foster dialogue among various communities.
Addressing the assembly of bishops from all parts of the country, the Papal Nuncio recalled that the welfare of the rejected and marginalised was an important mission as enjoined by the Second Vatican Council.
The 8-day meet, attended by Indian Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops from three Indian Catholic rites--Latin, Syro Malabar and Syro Malankara--began with a special mass.
President of CBCI Cardinal Oswald Gracias presided over the opening session.
The meet is being attended by 182 Bishops and office-bearers of CBCI and various commissions under it.
In the coming days, the meet would discuss organisational, spiritual and social issues concerning the church and the society at large.