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Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto

Bishop of Delhi, India addresses TLIG Pilgrims in May 2005

(...) St. Catherine of Sienna and all the other great Saints once who have made a big mark in History I don’t have to tell you about that. And who challenged and who convinced the Pope’s and so on to come back to the Gospel way of life.

I must confess that I was not too much into this at the beginning. I had an experience of Vassula in Delhi in 1990 before I became Bishop. I had just returned from Rome after my Ecumenical studies. We had a very nice meeting with all the Pastors and so on. But at that time I did not take it so seriously I said there are many people like this in the world today and so on. But as I began to read her writings her messages and so on I said she is true she is real and a way to Unity as I was reading yesterday there is nothing else but Repentance, Humility, Love and to understand and except one another at the level of the heart and I can watch for it.

It has been happening during the last 4 days for the first time in my life and I am sure that is the experience for so many of us. For the first time in our life we have been experiencing the Eucharist together. The Orthodox, the Catholics, the Anglicans, and so on. Of course, we were saying the other Protestant groups are not there and how if they were there, they would have also taken the Holy Eucharist. We could think of getting them into the next Pilgrimage, focusing on the Word of God. And seeing how the Word of God, how our own experience, the faith in Jesus Christ, our Christian experience of discipleship, and so on can unite all of us together and then it would lead them to the Holy Eucharist and to the whole tradition of the Catholic tradition which we all share not just Roman Catholic. But, the Catholic tradition, of the Church that we all share. To lead them to the whole understanding of what the Church is .The whole tradition of the Church.

So, that can be our plan for the next Pilgrimage. To gather to get others who do not believe in the Eucharist as the center of Unity. But certainly the word of God, as the center of Unity. I’m sure for all of us; the Word of God is the foundation. We realized this in Delhi when our Holy Father Pope John Paul II died and we had an Ecumenical prayer service. We gathered so many of them together and all of them spoke so beautifully on death and resurrection the whole faith that we all share. So we said, we may not be able to unite at the Eucharistic table but certainly we can unite at the table of the word of God. Therefore, we can bring in the Protestants together and that will be a chance also for us to share the faith that we all have in common and finally to bring them to the Unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

So, thank you very much Vassula. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.