Barely a fortnight after being re-elected as head of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, was granted the title of Lawyer of the sacred Roman Rota on February 15).

The Roman Rota is part of the government system established in Rome by which the Pope discharges the duties that are devolved on him as Head of the Catholic Church. "It is one of the tribunals through which the Pope exercises his sovereign power of administering justice in ecclesiastical matters," said Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson, Archdiocese of Bombay.

The Rota consists of 10 judges of equal status, and the Pope makes the appointment of a judge in person.