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Conspiracy in the Syro Malabar Synod. Pope Francis must interfere and save the Church.

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

By Johny Chegalan

An attempt was made by the Syro-Malabar Synod on 28th November 2021 to implement a uniform Eucharist celebration in the Syro-Malabar Church by adopting the 50:50 formula, which drew it into a deeper crisis. That the decision was taken without adhering to the legitimate procedure is well known. The text of the revised Eucharist, no doubt, came up for discussion in the Central Liturgical Committee (CLC) but the 50:50 formula was not discussed at all. This was in contravention of the protocol and procedural fairness prescribed by the Synod which says: “The members discussed the procedure to be followed in finalizing the liturgical texts and in introducing them for use. The following procedure was agreed upon: the Commission for liturgy presents to the Synod the text prepared by the Central Liturgical Committee (CLC), the Synod makes a preliminary discussion of the text, and the Commission sends the text with modification, if any, to the eparchy for the suggestion, the Commission studies the suggestions with the help of CLC and presents to the Synod, the Synod discusses and gives final approval to the texts (Synodal News, Vol.19, Dec.2001, pp. 17-18)

As stipulated in the procedure, the revised text of the Eucharist was discussed in the Syro-Malabar dioceses and the CLC, while the 50:50 formula (that is, the celebrant facing the congregation in the first and the final parts of the Holy Mass, and turning to the altar during the Eucharistic prayer (Anaphora) was deliberately not discussed in any platforms. The Holy Father was unfortunately dragged into the controversy by vested interests in order to give the impression that the implementation of the 50:50 formula had the approval of Pope Francis, without the latter being aware of it. It was simply a sinister step to impose on the faithful the new formula through the back door. Everyone knows that any rule or legislation framed without adhering to the stipulated procedure can be declared invalid by a Court of Law. Bishop Vijayanand Nedumpuram had reminded the Synod in 2020: “Before implementing the uniform formula of celebrating the Eucharist, the priests, religious and the laity must be consulted” (Cfr. The Conduct of our Synod and the present crisis in our Church by Six Senior Bishops Emeritus). When the Synod itself violated the very procedure it enunciated, unfortunately, no member of the Synod had the courage and discernment to point out the error. If someone did point out the grievous error, deciding to implement the rule in spite of the objection made every member of the Synod culpable and an accomplice in the criminal conspiracy. On the basis of the above arguments, the only option before the Synod now is to withdraw the order to implement the Synodal Mass and to review the same. Pope Francis must interfere in the Syro Malabar Synod as it has flagrantly violated its own particular laws.

The campaign to malign and impose pre-Vatican II traditions on Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese in particular and the Syro-Malabar C, in general is not a recent one. An audio clip confirms long-standing suspicion that it was a conspiracy hatched and nurtured in the Chaldean heartland of the Syro-Malabar Church with the overt and covert collusion of the hierarchy in that area. The voice in the said audio clip confesses that he is a Catholic from Kanjirapally, the initial epicentre of pre-Vatican II fundamentalism which subsequently got shifted to Changanassery along with the elevation of its spearhead as the Metropolitan of Changanassery. He says that having witnessed the relentless protest and resistance of the priests and laity of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese against the imposition of Chaldean traditions, he chose to identify himself and express solidarity with the aggrieved members of the Archdiocese. While swearing allegiance to Kanjirapally which has embraced the Chaldean ideology in its totality, he expresses his inability in taking a public stand against the Chaldean traditions for reasons one can easily imagine.

In the dioceses of Kanjirapally, Pala and Changanassery, invariably native priests are elevated to the bishoprics, while this precedent is not followed in Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. This is the crux of the controversy now threatening to rip apart the Syro-Malabar Church. Moreover, a large number of Chaldean fundamentalists from Changanassery who have made their home in Kochi on account of employment or busiess concerns, have become the henchmen of the Chaldean lobby in executing its nefarious designs in Ernakulam. He says that as per the information provided by a hardcore Chaldean priest from Changanassery, from 1991-92 when the controversy surrounding liturgy began unsettling the Syro-Malabar Church, coinciding with the visit of Mar Abraham Kattumana, the Papal Emissary, the Catholics of Changanassery origin residing in MG Road and Broadway portions of Ernakulam have been staunchly supporting the Chaldeanisation process and had set up an effective espionage system in Ernakulam on behalf of the Chaldean lobby. Thus, whenever an adverse notice or board against the Chaldean ideology appeared in Ernakulam, in no time the information was conveyed to the relevant icons of power in Changanassery Archdiocese, and the notice was erased or the board damaged overnight. There was always someone in Changanassery to give orders to this lobby and the latter carried out the orders meticulously without questioning the fairness of such directions. Can the flock of Ernakulam Angamaly Archdiocese ever dream of running such a system in Changanassery? Don’t be swayed by the sugar-coated words of the Chaldean votaries, he says. They are not trustworthy, he warns. They reveal their true colour when their objective is met. They don’t stand up for what is right or wrong; their only goal is victory. So beware!

Mr. Johny Chegalan is an outstanding author and teacher. He has authored book by the name " Thottuva tales of an OX, an elephant and a River". He has a Master's degree in history and currently working as the principal of a private school in India. He is an active member of Syro Malabar Church.

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