Vatican officials not given visa for Bengaluru meet

Two key Vatican officials, who were to address the 27th national assembly of the ongoing Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in Bengaluru, have been denied visas. While the External Affairs Ministry said the decision had been taken by the Foreigners’ Division of the Home Ministry, there was no response from the division till late on Wednesday evening.

“They had applied for visas in December last year and were awaiting response from the Indian Embassy. However, on the travel day they were informed that their visa applications had been rejected due to technical reasons. We hope to get further explanation on the denial of visas,” CCBI deputy secretary general Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara told The Hindu over phone.

Vatican officials were to arrive in Bengaluru on Tuesday for the conference between February 3 and 9. It is being attended by 140 bishops from different parts of the country.

It is learnt that CCBI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias told the participants that the Vatican officials were denied visas at the last minute.

Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, president of the Pontifical Mission Societies and Adjunct Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, were key speakers at the conference on the ‘Liturgy and Life’ session. The CCBI now plans to hold the session through videoconferencing.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:42:14 AM |

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