Demands same rights as Dalits of the Hindu and Sikh communities
• Cardinal Telesphore Toppo re-elected President
• Bishop Gratian Mudadan, Bishop Isaac Mar Cleemis elected Vice-Presidents
• Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes is Secretary-General
Bangalore, Feb 15: The 27th general body of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) meeting here, has demanded that the Union Government grant constitutional rights to Christians of Scheduled Caste origin equal to Dalits of the Hindu and Sikh communities.
"It is regrettable that successive governments have not addressed this serious concern of the community. Christians of Scheduled Caste origin should not be discriminated against on the basis of their religious faith," the bishops' conference said on Tuesday.
The conference re-elected Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi Archdiocese as President of the CBCI and elected Bishop Gratian Mudadan of Bijnor as Vice-President I. Bishop Isaac Mar Cleemis of Thiruvalla was elected Vice-President II and Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes of Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Secretary-General.
The Youth Commission of the CBCI has two wings: the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) and the Young Christian Students-Young Students Movement (YCS-YSM). For the first time, the ICYM elected a woman President, Ashrita Arokiam from Hyderabad.
Under the leadership of the ICYM, 200 youth from India participated in the World Youth Day celebrations in Germany last year.