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"The Second Coonan Cross Oath is near at hand, and Rome has to take the moral responsibility" Laity

This unsolved tension ( Liturgical) was exacerbated by the exhortation of Pope Francis asking the bishops of the Syro Malabar Synod "to walk with the People of God" and "the time is important than space" on matters of the Liturgical deliberation. Though the letter of Pope is a papal exhortation, expressing his paternal care and concern for the Indian Syro Malabar Church, the so-called letter and its message of Pope Francis has been distorted meticulously by few members of Synod and used it as a deceiving tool to exploit the faithful. The words of Pope Francis is interpreted as the Roman indult. ( Roman Indult is the process of Pope, authorizing an act that the common law of the Church does not sanction). "It is a flagrant distortion of the Pope Francis' message to the Laity of Syro Malabar Church, being manipulated by Major Archbishop and few bishops of the Synod and used as the weapon to beat the good Catholics who are open towards the spirit of renewal of the Second Vatican Council which necessitated the celebration of Holy Mass facing People.


Photo Credit to Public domain/ Cropped Coonan cross oath


Photo Credit to public Domain/ Headquarters of Major Archiepiscopal Church


Wimal Mary Das/ Freelance Journalist, USA

The Syro Malabar Church, the second-largest Eastern rite of the Catholic Church is in spotlight again due to its impending division over the 'imposing uniformity" on liturgy crisis in the Church. The Syro Malabar Synod is terribly divided over the mode of celebrating Holy Mass. The Synod convened in Kerala, India, during this unprecedented pandemic time of Covid-19 set aside the crux of the discussion on the mode of celebration of Holy Mass. The failed formula of 50:50 ( Eucharist celebration, half facing people and other half facing ad Orientem) passed in 1999 still looming as a vexing problem, surfaced on the Church landscape, lurching disagreements and conflicts. This unsolved tension was exacerbated by the exhortation of Pope Francis, asking the bishops of the Syro Malabar Synod "to walk with the People of God" and "the time is important than space" in matters of the Liturgical deliberation is being manipulated by certain bishops. Though it is a papal exhortation expressing his paternal care and concern for the Church, the so-called letter and its message of Pope Francis has been distorted meticulously by the members of Synod and used it as a deceiving tool to exploit the faithful. The words of Pope Francis is interpreted as the Roman indult ( It is the process of Pope authorizing an act that the common law of the Church does not sanction).

"it is a flagrant distortion of the Pope Francis' Message to the Laity of Syro Malabar Church, but it was being manipulated by Major Archbishop and members of the Synod to use as the weapon to beat the good Catholics who are open towards the spirit of renewal of the Second Vatican Council which necessitated the celebration of Holy Mass facing People. Holy mass facing people brought spiritual synergy and exuberance in worship, and it has been going on for more than 60 years. The imposing formula of Synod 50:50 is against the spirit of the Second Vatican Council's message of renewal. "It is unfortunate that Pope Francis does not listen to the cries of the priests and laypeople. How terrible a Synod is acting like autocratic- dictator imposing the unwanted formula of 50:50 upon the ordinary faithful," says Mr. Tom Peter from the Archdiocese of Trissur, Kerala, India.


Major Archbishop George Alencherry, Photo Credit/ Public domain


Liturgy issue is a cover-up against the criminal actions of Major Archbishop


"Is the Liturgy issue the paramount concern right now? India is reeling from the Covid 19 large losses. The death toll is rising every day. People are struggling to meet both ends. People are dying, and the number of death is staggering. Come on…Tell us.. what the rationale behind bringing the agenda to impose the uniform mode of celebration ?. It is the mere hypocrisy of Syro Malabar Synod. It is a cover-up and deceptive tactic of the Major Archbishop and his brute majority of bishops who are wallowed in corruption and criminal conspiracy." Mr. Thomas John speaks from Sydney, Australia. Major Archbishop has to face the trial in Indian courts as 75 pages- erudite judgment issued by the High Court of Kerala, a provincial apex court in India. According to many legal experts, Cardinal Alenchery will likely end up in Indian Jail, for, as of now, three Indian courts found flagrant violations of civil and criminal laws. It is a devastating defeat for him, and he is still holding his power and continue as Major Archbishop. So the liturgy issue he uses to cover up his moral failure.


A divided Synod and the brute majority of obsessive orientalist bishops.


The Syro Malabar Church follows three modes of Eucharistic celebration: The majority of the faithful follow the tradition that the celebrant faces the people. Few dioceses are following the 50:50 formula of the Synod. The Archdiocese of Cheganassery follows the ad Orientem. ( Celebrant faces towards East all the time). Holy Mass facing the people became popular aftermath of the second Vatican council, and it was introduced in the Syro Malabar Church by the late Cardinal Parecattil in 1968. All dioceses accepted it except the Archdiocese of Cheganassery. The Archdiocese of Cheganassery rebelled against the accepted mode of celebration facing the people. Then since 1987, the hidden agenda of pulling the Church backward began to usurp in the Syro Malabar Church. Since 1996, with the support of the Oriental Congregation, the majority of the bishops of Syro Malabar Church have been selected based on obsessive orientalism. Due to that tendency, now the majority of bishops are puppets in the hands of the conservative lobby of the Syro Malabar Church. "it is absolutely disastrous for the Church and creates conflict and tension in the Church. The imposing attitude of Synod on matters of Liturgy is not pastoral but autocratic and destructive" Mrs.Sheeba Mathew of Women Welfare Association in Kerala, India ( Mathruvedi) responded to the current events of the Syro Malabar Church


Dissenting voices must be heard, and Bishops and priests who support Holy Mass facing the people should speak out in Public Media.


"it is disturbing news that comes from the Synod as it is spread in social media that the brute majority of bishops are arbitrarily imposing while ignoring the dissenting voices of the feeble number of bishops who stand for Holy Mass facing the people. As reported in social media, the bishop of Irinjalakuda and other bishops expressed their dissenting voices strongly and stood against the imposing attitude of Major Archbishops and his lobby group. There is no collective deliberation. If so, I am confident that 50:50 formula should not be imposed upon the people who follow the uninterrupted custom of celebration facing the people. If it is going to be imposed, the Bishops and Priests must speak to the Public ( press conference) and show their solidarity with the larger number of people who trust in them and seek the continuation of Holy Mass facing the people. They should not be susceptible to the hidden games of certain vested interested groups of bishops. If the Syro Malabar Church divides over liturgical issue, it is the moral responsibility of Rome and Oriental congregation and it is due to their conspicuous silence and absence of intervention. A former high court judge responded to the query. We feel that the Second Coonan Cross Oath is near at hand, and Rome has to take the moral responsibility of any division in the Syro Malabar Church.” Mr. Shyju Antony of Syro Malabar Laity movement told Laity 4 justice News. Coonan Cross Oath in Syro Malabar Church was taken in 1653 against the imposing attitudes of Jesuits missionaries in Kerala. It has created irreparable damages and divisions in the Catholic Church in India.

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