India a Forbidden Land for Pope Francis

Source: FSSPX News

As the Holy Father’s visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh drew to a close on December 2, 2017, Indian Catholics were disappointed to see that the papal journey was not able to include a stop in India.

Consultations on the possibility of a papal journey began a year ago, in October of 2016, when Pope Francis declared upon his return from Azerbaijan that he would “almost certainly” visit India and Bangladesh the following year.

But since this sort of journey constitutes an official State visit, an invitation had to be sent to the Vatican by the Indian Head of State. The Indian bishops approached the president, Pranab Mukherjee, and the office of the Prime Minister, Nasri Modi, but in vain.

It was thus that the secretary general of the country’s episcopal conference, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, declared, “It was with a heavy heart, we received the news that the Holy See cannot visit India.”

At a time when the Catholic community is most often the victim of abuse from the Nationalist Hindu party in power, the BJP, a visit from Francis as a “Messenger of peace” would have brought “a salve to the people who are powerless in the face of the forces of hate and evil,” concluded Bishop Mascarenhas.