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Petition submitted before Syro Malabar Synod by the lay representatives of Syro Malabar Church

1. The Syro- Malabar Synod should immediately re-examine the decision about the mode of celebration of Holy Mass, so that we can continue to participate in the Holy Mass facing the people, a practice in our parishes for the past 50 years. 2. The majority of the faithful in our parishes were born after the SecondVatican Council. Our children and the youth have never attended a Mass other than the Mass facing the people. If the Synod tries to impose the Mass facing the altar, it would be severely detrimental to their faith in the Church and the clergy, since they faithfully and devotedly attend the Mass facing the people. Our parishes are not ready to accept any other form of Mass other than the Mass facing the people, which in fact strengthens us and our children. 3. When the Synod circular was read out in a few parishes in our Archeparchy, it instantly caused conflict and division in the parish community. At Prasannapuram, a parish belonging to Kanjoor forane,the faithful disrupted the reading of the circular, which led to unnecessary conflict and divisions. We have time and again informedVatican and the Synod fathersabout the possibility of such strife if uniformity is imposed at the expense of unity. We are absolutely sure that the decision to impose mass facing the altar will destroy the peace and unity of our parishes. We are pretty convinced that uniformity in the mode of celebration of Mass is very inconsequential. The entire responsibility of disunity and division in our Archdiocese will fall on the hands of the Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry and the Synod fathers. 4. We do understand that Syro Malabar Church is a sui iuris church and the decisions that govern Liturgy and Holy Mass rests entirely with the Synod fathers. We are convinced that the Holy father will not interfere with the decision of the Synod of the Syro Malabar Church. The head of the Syro Malabar Synod and the Synod fathers, who ought to lead the laity in faith, truth and justice, should publicly apologise to the faithful of the Syro Malabar Church for their shameless adventure to mislead the ordinary faithful with the deceitful ploy to portray the letter of the Holy Father as a decree in favour of the mass facing the altar. 5. The Syro Malabar headquarters at Kakkanad was built with the money collected by our parish priests after continuous appeals in the parishes. The decision to thwart their prayer meeting on November 12, 2021 using brutal police force was heinous, to say the least. The Major Archbishop and the Synod fathers should apologise to our priests for denying entry to them to the headquarters of Syro MalabarSynod . They came peacefully to present a petition in favour of the mass facing the people, a demand of 99 % of the faithful of the Archeparchy. Or else, we will be forced to boycott all programmes organised by Mount St Thomas. 6. The instruction of the Synod to celebrate Holy Mass facingthe altar in ‘possible parishes’is male fide. When the people are severely reeling under the effects of the pandemic, the decision to destroyour parishes by sowing seeds of disunitywill not be tolerated. We demand a decision by the Synod fathers in favour of mass facing people by November 20, 2021. Do not force us to intensify our protest; we will not hesitate to fight to the end.

For, the Ernakulam-Angamaly laity movement Adv. Binu John (General Convenor), Jomon Thottappilly (Secretary), BobyJohn (Secretary), Shijo Mathew (Action Council, General Convenor), Adv. Jose Kuriakose (Action Council, Convenor), K J Thomas (Action Council, Convenor)

*This is the petition handed over to the Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry by the representatives of a crowd of more than 1000 people, the lay leaders from the different parishes of Ernakulam -Angamaly Eparchy. They marched to the Mt. St Thomas, Kakkanad, where the Curia Office of the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church is situated on November 14, 2021.

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