Oswald Gracias

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His Eminence
Oswald Gracias
Cardinal, Archbishop of Bombay
Oswald Gracias at Villianur shrine 04.jpg
Oswald Gracias in 2013 at Villianur Shrine, Puducherry
See Bombay
Appointed 14 October 2006
Installed 14 December 2006
Predecessor Ivan Dias
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of S. Paolo della Croce a "Corviale"
Member of the Council of Cardinals
Ordination 20 December 1970
by Valerian Gracias
Consecration 16 September 1997
by Ivan Dias
Created cardinal 24 November 2007
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1944-12-24) 24 December 1944 (age 73)
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Nationality Indian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto To reconcile all things in Christ
Coat of arms Oswald Gracias's coat of arms
Styles of
Oswald Gracias
Coat of arms of Oswald Gracias.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Bombay

Oswald Gracias (born 24 December 1944) is an Indian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was appointed Archbishop of Bombay by Pope Benedict XVI on 14 October 2006 and was raised to the cardinalate in 2007. In 2008, he became Vice-President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India; and in 2010, he was elected President.[1] He is also the President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. On 13 April 2013, he was appointed to the eight-member Council of Cardinals, informally the Council of Cardinal Advisers, established by Pope Francis to help with governing the Catholic Church and reforming its central administration. He had been mentioned as a possible contender to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013.


Early life and ordination

Gracias was born in Bombay (modern-day Mumbai) to Jervis and Aduzinda Gracias (a native of Orlim, Goa). He recognises himself as a Goan Catholic. He completed his school studies at St. Michael's School in Mahim and joined college at the Jesuit St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. After a year, he entered the Seminary of St. Pius X in Bombay, where he studied philosophy and theology. Gracias was ordained to the priesthood by Valerian Gracias (no relation) on 20 December 1970.[2] From 1971 to 1976, he served as Chancellor and secretary to Bishop Joseph Rodericks, SJ, of Jamshedpur.[2]

Diocesan work

Gracias then furthered his studies at Rome, attending the Pontifical Urbaniana University from 1976 to 1982; he obtained a doctorate in canon law, a diploma in jurisprudence. Upon his return to Bombay, he was named chancellor, judge of the metropolitan tribunal, and judicial vicar. From 1982, he was the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, and from 1988 he was the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese.[2] In 1991, Gracias was made archdiocesan consultor. He also served as a visiting professor to the seminaries of Bombay, Poona, and Bangalore, as well as serving as President of the Canon Law Society of India.

Bishop and Archbishop

On 28 June 1997, Gracias was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay and Titular Bishop of Bladia by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following 16 September from Archbishop (later Cardinal) Ivan Dias, with Bishops Ferdinand Fonseca and Bosco Penha serving as co-consecrators. Gracias was later named Archbishop of Agra on 7 September 2000, and Archbishop of Bombay on 14 October 2006. He served as Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), and is the President of the Conference of Catholic Bishop in India (Latin rite).


On 17 October 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would elevate Gracias and twenty-two other prelates to the College of Cardinals. At the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica on 24 November 2007, he was created Cardinal-Priest of S. Paolo della Croce a "Corviale".

On 20 February 2008 Cardinal Gracias was elected 1st Vice President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India(CBCI) of which had earlier served as Secretary General.

As is typical of cardinals aged under 80, Gracias is a member of various offices of the Roman Curia, and is invited to attend their plenary meetings, which in principle are held every year. Appointments are for five years and are renewable. In May 2008 Pope Benedict named him a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and, on 6 July 2010, of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.[3]

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India was elected FABC Secretary General by the presidents of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The FABC is an apex body representing 19 Bishop's Conferences comprising 28 of their Asian member countries like the other Bishops' Conferences of South America, Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Federation coordinates the work of the Church in these countries and represents Asia before the Vatican and Government authorities. The Central Secretariat is located in Hong Kong and is the principal service agency of FABC, and an instrument of co-ordination both within FABC and with outside offices and agencies in countries all through Asia.[4]

On 29 December 2011 he was appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications for a five-year renewable term.[5] On 12 June 2012 Cardinal Gracias was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.[6]

On Tuesday, 18 September 2012, Cardinal Gracias was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as one of the papally-appointed Synod Fathers for the October 2012 Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.[7]

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.

On 13 April 2013 he was appointed to a group cardinals established by Pope Francis, exactly a month after his election to advise him and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, 'Pastor Bonus'. The other cardinals are Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Vatican City State governorate; Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa from Chile; Reinhard Marx from Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; George Pell from Australia; and Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga from Honduras. Bishop Marcello Semeraro, will act as secretary for the group. The group's first meeting has been scheduled for 1–3 October 2013. His Holiness is, however, in contact with the aforementioned cardinals.[8]




  1. ^ "CBCI Elects Cardinal Oswald Gracias as New President". Daijiworld Media. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Quicktakes: Bishop of Mumbai". The Indian Express. Indian Express Group. 27 July 1997. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Press Office of the Holy See Archived 6 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Bishops/Archbishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fpress.catholica.va%2Fnews_services%2Fbulletin%2Fnews%2F29673.php%3Findex%3D29673%26lang%3Den
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 

External links

  • "Gracias Card. Oswald". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  • Archdiocese of Bombay
  • Bio-data of Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay Named Cardinal on Oct 17, 2007
  • Bio of Cardinal Gracias
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ivan Dias
Archbishop of Bombay
14 October 2006–present

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