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ASIA/INDIA - The PMS national Director: "We await the Pope as a messenger of peace"

Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - "We await the Pope as a messenger of peace, while the nation is experiencing a period of crisis in Kashmir. It would be a blessing for the country": says to Fides Fr. Faustine Lobo, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in India. Pope Francis, on the flight back from Georgia, said that "a trip to India and Bangladesh in 2017 is almost certain".

"We await him as a grace for India. After the canonization of Mother Teresa, it would be another important moment for us. We feel the urgency of peace, while the escalation in Kashmir worries many. The Pope reminds us that only peace is holy and that there is no God of War", notes the director. As for the internal situation of the Indian Church, "with his presence the Pope would come to remind all of society, sometimes crossed by hate ferments towards religious minorities, that Indian Catholics live and work only for the common good of the country" said Fr. Lobe.

According to Fides sources, the necessary steps for the arrival of the Pope has been carried out. Last April, a delegation led by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, President of the Indian Bishops' Conference, asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to write an official letter of invitation to Pope Francis. The Cardinal had also confirmed that he had himself invited the Pope to visit India. The last Pope to visit India was John Paul II who in February 1986 landed in Goa. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/10/2016)