Cardinal Gracias Says He Is 'Sad, Angry and Ashamed' of Nun's Rape in India

Calls on Government to Act, Speak Strongly, Swiftly, Clearly

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Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Mumbai, has again expressed his disdain for the rape of a nun in India this month, saying he was ashamed something like this could happen in his nation.

According to the Times of India, the nation’s bishops’ conference president said, “The incident has left me sad, angry and ashamed.”

When a 72-year-old sister tried to stop a robbery, she was raped and hospitalized. Indians have taken to the streets in outrage and the international community has condemned the attacks.

“What triggers such incidents in our society?” he asked at an event organized by ex-students of Fort Convent school on Saturday evening, which called upon Mumbaikars to pledge their support to gender equality.

“When boys and girls are treated as equals at home, we will attack the root of the problem,” he said.

While stressing he does not want to link this attack to other attacks on Christians across the country, the cardinal noted, “I would be blind if I ignored attacks on Christians elsewhere in India–Delhi, Jalpaiguri, Panvel.”

“I call on the government to act strongly, swiftly and clearly and to speak strongly, swiftly and clearly,” he said. 

The event did not focus solely on Christians or the nun, but wished to examine sexual assault, with the screening of National award-winning documentary ‘Daughters of Mother India’ on rape in India. The event also discussed how fathers raping daughters in the nation is more common than one may realize.

On the feast of St. Joseph’s day this month, the Indian cardinal concelebrated Mass to condemn the violence perpetrated against women in India and called for special prayers.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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