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Liturgical conundrum- Episode 5. Social engineering for a fanatic ideology: The crisis deepens.

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

By. Wimal Mary Das





Episode 5

Liturgical conundrum- Episode 5. Social engineering for a fanatic ideology : The crisis in the Syro Malabar Church deepens.


Karl Popper speaks about historicism as opposed to a free society. Social engineering is a theory and process by which a ‘determined set of results’ (determinate end) are achieved.

Popper argued that this form of social engineering and theoretical presupposition reinforces authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Also, it is important to note the concept of ideological engineering by an American philosopher Edward Bernays who wrote in his book Propaganda (1928): “in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by a relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the mas​s. ​It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”


This process of social engineering can be predominantly characterized during the consultation and further guidance of E.R. Hambye during the time of liturgical struggles in the Syro Malabar Church in the middle of nineteenth century. Hambye narrated the historical situations of the ​S​yro-Malabar Church and proposed a long-term strategy of social engineering that was well reflected in his comments.​


We can recall his comment “​​Let us wait for his death” and soon after the death of Archbishop Kandathil, the diocese of Changanassery was elevated to archdiocese. ( 1956) This ​was an ​explicit example of social engineering, creating a landscape that certain ideology can flourish to overtake.


Moreover, the death of other bishops ​Mar. Sebastian Mankuzhikary (June 11, 1994) and Abraham Kattumana (April 4, 1995), who ​were illustrious leaders of progressive minds and enlightened thoughts ​supported by nationalistic spirit, began to recede​. The conscious omission of intellectual leadership of the progressive group from the mainstream Church leadership augmented the domination of the Chaldean restoration group pulling the Church backward.


Photo credit to Public domain. it is being reported that Bishop Thomas Elavanal was behind all liturgical divisions and fanatic movement in the Syro Malabar Church. Diocese of Kalyan is always a liturgical battleground due to his arrogance and dictatorship on liturgical matters.


After the sudden death of Mar. Abraham Kattumana, the elections of all bishops from 1996 were engineered purposefully imposing the Chaldean rituals in Kerala. It was quintessential for ideological engineering. Between 1996 and 2017, 46 bishops were selected and 39 of them are all obsessive orientalists. Their passionate Chaldean ideologies began to influence the decision-making process​ in the Synod.


Upcoming : Last Episode 6



Read previous episodes


Episode 1.


Episode 3


Last Episode 6






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