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A senior Citizen's Cry to Archbishop Cyril Vasil

John Pulinthanam

A senior Citizens Cry to Archbishop Cyril Vasil

Thoughts of a Catholic being pushed from disappointment to serious doubts about the Teachings of the Catholic Church due to acts of its chosen hierarchy, unbecoming of spiritual leaders

Archbp Cyril Vasil:

Now a senior citizen, I came across Jesuits during 1980 while doing my post graduation and I was really impressed by their quest for knowledge, treatment of students and youngsters, their ideas on devotion, open attitude to religious life and what not! And I had no opportunity to change that impression having worked in various cities in India and abroad where they were also present, only reinforced when India wept for Fr Stan Swamy (except the Catholic Church hierarchy here), a Jesuit missionary of indomitable courage who lived for the poor and neglected.

As one of the Syrian Catholic members deeply wounded by the happenings in the Syro Malabar Church since a few years, I was happy to hear that an Archbishop who is a Jesuit is coming to find a solution to the problems in the Major Archeparchy of Ernakulam - Angamaly with over half a million aggrieved followers.

Most of our anointed ones (the Bishops) equate themselves to Christ Jesus and ask for our obedience but rarely do we see them practicing the teachings of Christ. Almost all of them forget that the Lay members of the Church today who fill and refill the coffers for them to live luxuriously are literate, can read the Gospels and understand the ordinary meaning of the preachings of that Ordinary Man who lived over 2000 years ago - no great Theology or DDs required for that - especially the meanings of terms like 'white washed tombs' 'the widow's mite', 'love your neighbour as yourself', 'wash each other's feet', 'forgive your enemy' (and come back to make offerings to My Father) etc etc.

Please tell me Father, with particular reference to what transpired in Ernakulam after your landing here two weeks back, the meaning (that you the 'holy' ones choose to interpret) of:

# Synodality that the Holy Father speaks of

# Unity is more important than Uniformity as per the Holy Father

# What happened to the spirit of Vatican II that promoted facing the people during the entire Mass - and thus more openness? # What is the immediate cause for a change in a practice that we are used to, since over 50 years?

# Listen before asking for obedience as we hear from the Holy Father

and such matters being taught by Pope Francis on whose instructions you claim to have come to Kerala.

Did you expect an illiterate lot of Laity to be living here to have called only the priests of the Archdiocese to convey your decision - "obey or you are out"!

You shattered our hopes that a Jesuit-trained bishop claiming to be a Papal delegate bestowed with diplomatic privileges will show more diplomacy and maturity than his muscle-man class mate here who is out with a baton to teach obedience and get obeisance of these half a million followers of the Church! Are you guys teaming up to create another species of Innocent III of your class mate as the next Cardinal here, if not a Pope?

He and his team seem to be in a direction to compel a repeat of the year 1599 on the faithful in Ernakulam!

Your drama of carrying Jesus in your hands protected by hundreds of police personnel was too cheap and immature on your part as a Vatican delegate to say the least.

Your bringing Jesus should have been as a chosen one of His love, prepared to listen to the Laity for a dialogue with them. 'Love' that He preached and taught you and me - instead of a symbolic Jesus that all hypocrites have access to, these days!

Do you know that the property of the Church (at least in India) is the property our forefathers (of the Laity) built brick by brick from their sacrifice, tears, perspiration, and still being built from the perspiration of the current generation?

Then why is that the Laity is not being given a say in its management and administration? When inconvenient questions are asked, why do the Trustees get irritated and create new

problems to divert attention like the one on the Holy Mass controversy in Ernakulam now?

And delegates from Vatican like you play to their tune and are not willing to lend us an ear!

I foresee chaos in the Church and cracks developing with a group of Bishops like you for whom rituals are more important than spirituality that Christ stands for. Your lot is unable to see the writing on the wall, the changing world and changed thought process of the younger generation. The silent majority who watch all these drama will continue to be silent but slowly drop off the cart as you already experience in many European countries - but Bishops will hang on to their sceptre & thrones without many followers as their desire is the external pomp and glory!

It is still not late to help your friend and invitees here in Ernakulam to open their eyes, start a dialogue in the true spirit of Synodality as presented to the world by the Holy Father.

A response and acknowledgement expected at your pleasure. Yours in Christ

John Pulinthanam

CC to Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Dicastery for Eastern Churches

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