The present Pastoral Plan enables the Karnataka Region Bishops' Council in carrying out its mission to all in the region as witnesses to God's love and to be a visible and stable presence of the Body of Christ. The Region is dedicated to the challenge of the mission with the resolve to better organize the human resources within this Region and to utilize the God-given talents of our clergy, religious and laity in the performance of our mission.

Based on the theme of the Karnataka Regional Pastoral Plan, namely, "The Renewing Church", the directives given by the KRCBC have been periodically revised and made more effective both at the diocesan and regional levels. The Revised Regional Pastoral Plan is different for three reasons, namely it is shorter with fewer objectives to accomplish perhaps a greater proportion of the objectives to accomplish with limited efforts and resources; it is designed to encourage, support and supplement diocesan and parish pastoral plans; and it incorporates the goals and action plans proposed by the Universal, National and Regional Churches. In other words, our approach is: Think globally and act locally.

The Church is not the hierarchy, but the people of God. "The People of God" is, for the Council, the all-encompassing reality of the Church that goes back to the basic and the common stuff of our ecclesial condition; namely, our condition as believers. And that is a condition shared by us all. The hierarchy has no purpose in itself and for itself, but only in reference and subordination to the community. The hierarchy is a ministry (diakonia = service) that requires lowering ourselves to the condition of servants. To take that place (the place of weakness and poverty) is her own, her very own responsibility. Within the people, there is not a dual classification of Christians -laity and clergy, essentially different. The Church as a "society of unequals" disappears: "There is, therefore, in Christ and in the Church no inequality" (LG 12 32).

In the changing realities of our time, the Church in Karnataka knows that the tasks before her seem challenging. The Bishops have given a clarion call to all the Commissions not to become so immersed in "the immediate" that they should forget their obligation to "the future". The vision of God's Kingdom and a healthy Christian realism impel us, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to act now, before events overwhelm us.

The future plans of the commissions set forth in the revised pastoral plan offer us the opportunity to lay a firm foundation for tomorrow's Church. If we succeed, the Church in Karnataka will have ministers, well-formed adult Catholics, a firm commitment to justice, involved and active youth and dedicated adults, and all ecclesial structures that can respond to the ever-changing demands of our Karnataka region. Through our well planned and systematic efforts, we owe future generations of Catholics nothing less than our best effects.

The Bishops of the Region wish all their collaborators in Karnataka a grace-filled journey of "Renewing the Church". They desire that the Regional Pastoral Plan serves as a guiding star for the growth, and the spiritual and temporal well-being of everyone in the Region.

With cordial blessings,

Bernard Moras
Archbishop of Bangalore, and
President, KRCBC