Mumbai: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) on Sunday hailed the appointment of Mumbai's Cardinal Oswald Gracias by Pope Francis as one of his advisors in the Vatican.
Cardinal Gracias, 68, was among the eight high-ranking advisors appointed on Saturday by the new Pope to an advisory council to look into ways of reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.
CSF, a Mumbai-based Catholic NGO, said: "There could be no better person than Cardinal Oswald... he currently also heads the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference and hence speaks not just for the Indian sub-continent but also other countries in the region," CSF general secretary Joseph Dias said.
"Cardinal Oswald's qualifications and experience will stand him in good stead. It is also indicative of the priorities of the new Pope Francis, who is determined to set his house right, in the midst of many controversies and challenges," he added.
"We hope the Vatican will be more transparent, not just in Rome, but also top down to the Nunciatures (diplomatic corps), dioceses and parishes. The appointment also signals that India has come of age and is being noticed for its service to the global church," Dias said.
Cardinal Gracias is a Goan Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the archbishop of Bombay (Mumbai) and was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI Oct 14, 2006. He was made a cardinal in 2007.
In 2010, he was elected as the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.