Hyderabad: The city will witness a rare congregation of two Cardinals, including the first Telugu Cardinal, and 15 bishops from across the country here on Thursday.
The event, to begin at 5 pm at the St Mary’s School grounds, will witness the newly installed Cardinal Poola Anthony and Cardinal Oswald Gracias, from Mumbai, and 15 bishops, apart from over 500 priests and nuns and several more faithful taking part in a holy mass and thanksgiving prayers, according to an official press release.
The event is being organized in the background of Pope Francis installing Hyderabad Metropolitan Archbishop Poola Anthony as Cardinal in Vatican City on August 27, convener of the media committee for the event, Father Allam Arogya Reddy said.
“In the 2000 years of history of the Universal Catholic Church and above 300 years of the Telugu Catholic Church, Cardinal Poola Anthony has become the first to be on the College of Consultors to the Pope from the Telugu States. We have invited Bishops across the country for the event and expect around 20 of them to be here,” he said.
Archbishop of Agra Raphy Manjaly, two secretaries to Apostolic Nuncio to India & Nepal Monsginor Gabriel Pesce, Father Kevin Justin Kimtis, Bishop Niranjan of Sambalpur, Bishop Sarat Chandra Naik of Berhampur, Monsignor C Francis Vicar General of Bangalore and Bishop Henry D’Souza Bishop of Bellary have so far confirmed their attendance, he added.
Born in Chinthukuru village in Nandyal mandal in Kurnool district, Bishop Poola Anthony was anointed as Archbishop of Hyderabad in January 2021, with his elevation as Cardinal being announced in May this year when the Pope announced 21 new Cardinals worldwide, including two from India.
The College of Cardinals previously consisted of 208 Cardinals, of whom 117 were electors who elect the Pope. With the latest additions, the number is now 229 Cardinals, of whom 131 are electors.
The other new cardinal from India was Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião di Rosário Ferrão, Archbishop of Goa and Daman.
“It is a proud moment for the Telugu Catholic Church. I will act as per the guidance of Pope Francis. I will reach out to the periphery, the poor and the downtrodden as the Pope has suggested. I will involve in development activities not only in the Telugu region, but also in other regions of the country,” Cardinal Anthony said after his return from Rome.
Cardinal Anthony will continue to serve as Hyderabad archbishop, having jurisdiction over Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Medchal and surrounding districts of Hyderabad, the press release said.