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CBCI Circular - Day of Mourning - August 10, 2021

August 2, 2021

Your Eminence, Your Beatitude, Your Grace, Your Excellency,

August 10, 2021 will mark the completion of 50 years since the coming into effect of the Medical Termination of the Pregnancy Act in India. Millions of abortions have taken place in our country after that legislation and there is no sign of slowing down of this anti-life trend. One estimate puts the number of abortions in 2015 alone at 15.6 million!

We are invited to mark August 10th as a "DAY OF MOURNING" so that through various means the Church can express our sorrow at the killing of unwanted babies, and we can promote a pro-life mentality in our Society.

I met a coalition of several pro-life bodies led by Bishop Thomas Elavanal and I am sharing with you some of the suggestions that emerged at the meeting.

  1. A campaign of prayer and reparation for the decades of innocent bloodshed.

  2. A Mass to be offered in every parish on August 10, 2021 in memory of the unborn babies killed, and to make reparation for the sin of abortion.

  3. The ringing of funeral bells in our Churches for 1-2 minutes on that day.

  4. A Sermon to be preached in al I our Churches on Pro Life theme on a Sunday close to August 10, 2021.

  5. Organizing Youth United for the Church (YU4C) pro-life formation programs.

  6. Presenting Pro-Life programs during the week on our media channels

  7. Observing ·Mercy Hour in all our parishes, religious houses, seminaries and Catholic Institutions on or around August 10, 2021.

  8. A digital black out through the social media platform.

I am aware that we are in a lockdown and hence we are limited in our options. recommend that you do what is possible, keeping in mind we are called to promote a culture of life. "I have come that you may have life and life to the full." (John 10:10). The Church is in the forefront of promotion of a pro-life culture all over the world.

With kind regards and affectionate wishes,

Yours fraternally in Christ.

+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay &

President - Catholic Bishops' Conference of India


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