Thousands of people have honored Patrick D'Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka, for being made Bangladesh's first Cardinal at a Mass and reception at St. Mary's Cathedral Church in the capital on Dec. 9.
Among the dignitaries were Gowher Rizvi, foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a host of Indian prelates including Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala, Bishop Salvadore Lobo of Baruipur and Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl.
Rizvi praised Cardinal D'Rozario for bringing great honor to the country through his elevation to the prestigious 'College of Cardinals.'
"Bangladesh is a non-communal country and we are proud of our communal harmony, although sometimes some misled people try to cause harm to harmony," Rizvi said.
Cardinal D'Rozario said his appointment is a blessing for the nation.
"We are happy and jubilant because the creator has blessed Bangladesh. Pope Francis has honored Bangladesh by inducting a cardinal from this country," Cardinal D'Rozario said while speaking during the program.
"The feat of cardinal is not a personal achievement. Rather it's an achievement and honor for the whole country," the prelate noted.
Pope Francis appointed Holy Cross Archbishop D'Rozario, 73, as one of 17 new cardinals on Oct. 9. The new cardinals were inducted during a consistory at the Vatican on Nov. 19.
Out of the 17 prelates, 13 including Cardinal D'Rozario, are under 80 years old and are thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Pope Francis' successor.
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario with Gowher Rizvi, foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a reception program in Dhaka on Dec. 9. (Photo by Robin Bhabuk)
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