LOVE for his "old master-. Archbishop T. D. Roberts, S.J., brought Cardinal Valerian Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, to London last week-end, The Archbishop, who is the Cardinal's predecessor in that see, met the Cardinal at the airport, and will himself be returning shortly to the United States on lecture work.
"WHEN the history' of the modern Church in India comes to be written." the Cardinal assured me, "Archbishop Roberts will certainly have a prominent place in it."
Tall, and a man of arresting personality, Cardinal Gracias paces the room in long sure steps as he talks. His dark brown eyes, piercing like those of Pope Pius XII Who made him a Cardinal. watch the visitor as he notes down a fact that the Cardinal wants to see accurately reported, namely, in this case, that six men who are now Bishops in India come from Bombay. where they were trained by "this great Archbishop Roberts."
The Cardinal, too, had been Mgr. Roberts' auxiliary Bishop for four years, and succeeded him on the latter's voluntary resignation in 1950.
THE Archbishop, as His Eminence
went on to tell me, has had tributes paid him over and over again for his work in preparing India's present Church leaders. He has humbly written the Cardinal as follows: "I thank God that 1 have been privileged to place a stone on the pyramid of Jesuit labours." Cardinal Gracias left London for Spain on Tuesday, "to thank Spanish Jesuits as well for all that they have done for India," as he said. The Society of Jesus started work in Bombay exactly a century ago.
About the future of Catholicism in India, the Cardinal is full of hope. "The Church is very sound." he told me, "we have difficulties, but who hasn't?
"In Kerala. where elections are to take place in February, there is
unity now among the opponents of Communisrs. Catholics, Protestants and non-Christians have all been once bitten, and they are going to be twice shy. If the opposition to those who held power up to now wins, and continues united afterwards, then I am sanguine. Nehru has contempt for Indian Communists, and Indians who respect him take note of the fact."
On liturgical developments the Cardinal has clear views, particularly as it affects foreign missions. But he thinks as Rome thinks.
"Rome has already given us concessions," he reminded me. "Rome wants to know what we are doing with them. Are we making use of thorn? And with what success? When we assure Rome that we are grateful, and show it by action, then Rome will readily listen to further pleas.
"Wherever the vernacular is used, as for instance in baptisms and weddings," the Cardinal added, "the success is positive."