Card D'Rozario met the prime minister in her office. The apostolic nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry, was present at the meeting. "On behalf of the 600,000 members of the Christian community that I represent, I express my loyalty to the prime minister and the nation,” the cardinal said.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Ms Sheikh Hasina, said she plans to write a letter to Pope Francis to invite him to visit Bangladesh.
The announcement was made during a courtesy call by Mgr Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka, who recently became the country's first cardinal.
In his greetings, Card D'Rozario said, "On behalf of the 600,000 members of the Christian community that I represent, I express my loyalty to the prime minister and the nation".
The meeting between Hasina and the cardinal took place in the office of Prime Minister, in the presence of Archbishop George Kocherry, apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh.
For her part, Hasina said she was "very happy" for the appointment of the first Bangladeshi cardinal. "It is a great pride for the country and a recognition for his service."
Mgr Shorot Francis Gomes, auxiliary bishop of Dhaka, told AsiaNews that “Card D'Rozario informed the prime minister of the pope's desire to visit Bangladesh next year. She replied that she would send Pope Francis a letter of invitation."
The cardinal said that he spoke with the pope during his recent visit to Rome for the consistory about Bangladesh’s remarkable results in the social and economic fields.
Hasina pointed out that in the country people have lived in peace and harmony for centuries, regardless of the religion they profess, or their cultural affiliation.
"In Bangladesh,” she noted, “religion is a personal matter, and religious holidays are for everyone."
The archbishop of Dhaka speaks out on the Christian Cooperative Credit Union affair. Since last year, Christian leaders have failed to pick a new management board for the financial institution. Meanwhile, the latter is not issuing any loans. A Protestant calls for dialogue first.
Card. Patrick D'Rozario received his red hat on 19 November. In his archdiocese of Dhaka he was greeted by 5 thousand faithful. To honor him, five bishops arrived from India. In Bangladesh there are about 600 thousand Catholics.
Mgr Gervas Rozario says the Catholic Church will not abide by the new Child Marriage Restraint Bill 2017, which acknowledges "special circumstances" for child marriage to save a girl’s honour.
The cardinal met with 50 priests, 20 nuns and 30 Catholic lay people. "Family members want to hear words of hope". The family is the root of the Church. The country needs more people trained to meet their needs. Marriage is not just a social tradition, but is “the mirror of God’s love."