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Message of Condolence - Arun Jaitley

With the passing away of Arun Jaitley, I have lost a dear friend. I prayed for him as soon as I learned that he was sick. I continue to pray for him that God reward him for all the good he did.

My association with Mr. Arun Jaitley began when he was Law Minister and I was heading the Ecumenical Committee that was discussing with the Government the reform of the Christian Matrimonial Law.

Our initial meetings were conducted in a formal atmosphere. Gradually we got to understand and appreciate each other more even though we often differed. I could speak freely, frankly and could even disagree respectfully and this did not affect our cordial relationship.

After these Marriage Law amendments sailed through Parliament, we continued our association and the Government consulted the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India on everything that concerned the community.

My last meeting with him was at the Christmas Party which he hosted a couple of years back at his residence on behalf of the Government. It was also his birthday! Last Christmas he sent word to me asking if I would come over. I advised him to get fully well before organizing any function.

Arun Jaitley was knowledgeable, competent and an effective leader in Government. He always had the good of the people and the Country foremost in mind. Because of his brilliance he could effectively take care of all the assignments given to him.

My condolences to the family and to the Government which has lost a trusted advisor. India has lost a great Citizen who did us proud. The Government has lost a much loved leader of the people. I have lost a friend.

+Oswald Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay &

President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India

August 24, 2019


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