Saturday, October 11, 2014

Delhi is on fire.....!

Dear all

We received this unexpected email from a Ms Leena Antony, who was earlier seen on our Facebook account, apparently supporting us. Of course this may not be the same person. She had also marked a copy of her email to "iamsajo" - the SM spokesperson is Fr Sajo Padayatiil, who may or may not be the same person. 
However we have tried to reply reasonably so that she understands the issue. We did not want to match her rude language.

Kurien Joseph
Team Rite

Dear Ms Leena Antony

Thank you for your mail. We are delighted that so many lay people are beginning to look more deeply into this matter, which so far has been assumed to be the sole domain of the clergy.
We are not quite sure what your precise objections are, on the basis of which you have reacted so strongly. But let us try to look at your statements one by one.

The quote from Vat Council Documents, which is a infallible teaching, shows how foolish is your 1st point in the mail reply to Fr Sajo.
If you are referring to the Document’s position that all the sui iuris churches are "of equal dignity and that none of them is superior to the others", we agree wholeheartedly - that is precisely the basis of our struggle. On the other hand, in everything the SM church does, it implies (obviously it doesn't dare to say so explicitly) that the SM church is superiorin some way to the Latin Catholic Church.  Here are some of the ways in which it implies this:

a)      The SM church is older than the Latin church in India.  Historically wrong! Check it out.

b)      The SM church produces the largest number of priests so they are "entitled" to more territory. Nonsense
First, evangelisation and missionary work are not colonial enterprises with any kind of “territorial entitlement”.Second, most of the SM priests and religious have been nurtured and supported for centuries financially and formatively by the Latin Church. Third, in the 1,500-1,700 years they have been in India, the SM Church has hardly budged (as an institutional church) to venture into tough missionary areas. [Even today, they are happy to go to the US, the UK and Australia, where the Latin Church has already established a small support base, but not to Somalia or Iraq!] Yes, individual SM priests and religious did this but almost invariably through Latin dioceses and Latin congregations. The SM Church only evangelises within its fold and not to people of “all nations”, as Jesus commanded.

 c)       If one wants to change one's rite, they insist that the person has to go to the SM bishop. This is not what the relevant Canon says - the person has to go to both the Bishops or to a person nominated by them. But here, the SM Eparch first insists they come to him; then he appropriates the “right” "to apprise" the far senior Archbishop of Delhi of "the appropriate course of action", and that too based on what he considers “pastoral exigencies". So obviously the SM Eparch considers himself superior (wiser, more discerning and better aware of the ground situation in Delhi – even though he himself admitted on TV to being a complete newcomer to North India).

d)      The whole SM attitude is, "They are Latins, what do they know? We know much better." In its interviews to The Hindu, they call us the "elite" because, according to them, we do not want to become what they believe to be “inferior Latins” back in Kerala. For the majority of us, born or bred outside Kerala, however, this is an absurd distinction and a meaningless one.

e)      There is also a constant refrain, made "under the breath" as it were, that the Vatican won't dare to take them on because they contribute so many priests! One of the things we try to make clear is that this is nonsense, exactly in the spirit of the Vatican document you have quoted. In short, everything the SM church states - and the tone in which it states it - implies that it feels superior to the Latin Church. So what exactly are you objecting to in our reply? Should you not be addressing your question to the SM hierarchy?

f)        The SM spokesman also made the following statement:
They are absolutely free to choose a rite, other than the one they inherited from their ancestors. But once they choose for one, be stable and stay there. Don’t put the feet in two boats.   
        The second para of our response was to this metaphor (translated from Malayalam):
“Re the "putting the feet in two boats" metaphor … this is indeed possible. …. The SM church is a teeny, tiny fraction of the size of the Latin Church. Rather than liken the Latin Church to a boat, as you wish to do, let us more accurately liken it to a giant ship. This ship can carry within it not only all the Catholics of the world but also the minuscule micro-boat that is the SM church. So anyone with feet inside the large ship can easily put their feet simultaneously in the tiny boat inside it, unless the tiny boat is too tiny to fit their feet.”
In our haste we did commit an unintended error - we inadvertently used “Latin” instead of “universal” in the above paragraph. Please substitute the word “universal” for the two places where the world “Latin” has been used and you will understand our intent (you can see our intent for yourself by comparing with the attached diagram).The Faridabad Eparchy seems to believe that “stability” requires a choice of either one or the other rite. And this insistence on our “choosing” comes from the very same people who say, “Basically there is no choice”!
Is that the meaning of the document you have quoted? Does that document in any manner imply the old "this town ain't big enough for both of us" mindset? Quite the contrary. The document that you have quoted has the very same implication as the canon laws - that everything is meant to work synergistically towards unity. Even today the Pope mentions how the lack of unity among Christians is a wound on Christ. 
In practice too, there is absolutely nothing canonically that proscribes us from "belonging" to one rite and "practising" another. All the SM priests saying Latin mass are doing just that; they don't "change their rite". The Kalyan (Bombay) Indult was precisely about that - those Kerala Catholics to whom the Indult applies continue to "practise" their faith entirely in the Latin rite and continue to "belong" to the SM rite. No SM cardinal, bishop or priest can take that away from them! So all this one-boat-two-boats talk is just empty bluster.

You got so much a childish imagination about church and you make your arguments from seeing church as a world Organisation. If you want to win the battle, be reasonable and genuine. 
What exactly is childish about the above understanding of the Church? Where in the entire discussion have we ever brought up the concept of church as “world organization”? Is it not evident that that is precisely the gist of the SM argument: Is it not evident that their position is: “We are two different organisations and you have to choose one of the other”? 

Learn little bit of Eccleciology. Your LLB and Worldly knowledge is not enough to fight against Catholic Church Teachings!
Actually one does not need an LLB to understand Church teachings. In fact it is by going deeply into them with humility that we were able us to fight those who have been twisting or misinterpreting the teachings. Be sure that all of us in the group of Petitioners to the Holy Father have put in a great deal of time and effort to study more about the church, especially in the present context. That is why, on the one hand we are able to call the bluff of self-styled “authorities” and, on the other, gently correct the understanding of others. For instance, you speak about a Vatican Council document as “infallible”. A study of Ecclesiology will make it clear that this is completely incorrect. While Infallibility does form part of church teachings, in actual fact there has been only a handful of “infallible” pronouncements by the Church over its entire history – and these Vatican documents are not. 

Obedience bring peace and prosperity...
This is highly debatable. The question must always be – obedience to whom? To the Church, yes. To some self-styled “hierarchy” who misrepresents Church teaching, absolutely no. Obedience to Hitler, for instance, did not bring peacebut war; it also wiped out the prosperity of the Jews, who neither disobeyed him nor were given a chance to do so. Obedience is not an unthinking, sheep-like acquiescence to everything that some vociferous member of the clergy says. We were given our brains by God; and we are meant to use them to think, to analyse, to distinguish between correct and incorrect concepts, and also to point out doctrinal errors – even if they are committed by the clergy – if and when these are harmful to the Church and to society. 

Make ur demands according to the Church teachings, otherwise you will be seen as against church and your voice will not be heard.
That is precisely what we are doing; surely you would have noted - if you have read the Petition or attended our meetings or followed the entire debate in the press or in the social media - that it is we who have been quoting specific teachings of the Code of Canons for Eastern Churches. The SM church has not once been able to rebut us with a specific canon. So it continues to use the vague terms “the law” and “church law” to fool the faithful, who it is confident it has conditioned into believing it blindly.

And what exactly are “Church” teachings? Here it is important to distinguish between the “universal church” (or the “one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”) on the one hand and the “institutional” church on the other. Anyone in a cassock or a habit or even the entire “hierarchy” of a church whose intentions are neither spiritual nor pastoral is not necessarily “the church”. All the “rules” and “laws” that are vaguely cited by the SM Eparchy are not true or correct even in the “institutional church”; and often they go against the spirit of the “universal church”.  Using one’s God-given brain to debate an issue even in the “universal church”, let alone the “institutional church” is accepted, valid and desirable. Even today, in the current Family Synod at Rome, several people - laity and clergy - are arguing against traditional “church” positions. They are not “seen as against the church”. 

Thank you for your interest. 
Team Rite


  1. I agree with all you writers. There should not be any discrimination or expulsion from the Churches based on the caste or rite.

    Thank you,
    A.C.George, USA

  2. Google ( തപ്പിയാൽ ഭരണികുളങ്ങരയുടെ പടവും അതിനടിയിൽ
    Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Bharanikulangara
    Bishop of Faridabad
    എന്നും കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നത് കാണാം. ആർച് ബിഷപ്‌ ഇരിക്കുന്ന രൂപത ആർച് രൂപത ആയിരിക്കണം. ഫരിദാബാദ് വെറും രൂപതയാണ് (മിക്കവാറും അതൊളിച്ചുവയ്ക്കാനാണ് എപ്പാർക്കി എന്ന ആർക്കും പിടികിട്ടാത്ത പേരിട്ടത്.) അപ്പോൾ അതാണ്‌ സംഗതി. റോഷൻ കണ്ടുപിടിച്ചതുപോലെ, archbishop എന്നത് വേറെവിടെനിന്നോ അങ്ങേർക്കു കിട്ടിയ ചെല്ലപ്പേരായിരിക്കണം. എന്റെ ഒരു കൂട്ടുകാരനെ സ്കൂളിൽ ആർച് ബിഷപ്പെന്നാണ് ഞങ്ങൾ വിളിച്ചിരുന്നത്‌. നടപ്പും എടുപ്പും അത്തരമായിരുന്നു. ഇനിയിപ്പോൾ ആരും ശ്രദ്ധിക്കാത്ത ഒരവസരത്തിൽ ഫരിദാബാദ് അതിരൂപത എന്നങ്ങ് എഴുതിത്തുടങ്ങിയാൽ ആരുടേയും ഒത്താശയില്ലാതെ രൂപത അതിരൂപതയാക്കാം. മൂന്നു മെത്രാന്മാർ കുടിയിരിക്കുന്ന പാലാ പോലും വെറും രൂപതയാണ്. വീര്യം കൊണ്ടും പ്രായംകൊണ്ടും ആർച് ആയ അതിൽ ഒരാളുടെ ആദരവിനായി പാലായെ അതിരൂപത എന്ന് വിളിക്കുന്നതിൽ എന്താണ് പന്തികേട്‌?
    മേല്പ്പറഞ്ഞിടത്ത് രൂപതയുടെ bishop - mar K. Bharanikulangara എന്നും അതിനു താഴെ അങ്ങേരുടെ അഡ്രസ് Archbishop's House
    Kristuraja Cathedral Church
    Bhagat Singh Colony, Ballabgargh
    Faridabad, Haryana എന്നുമാണ് കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്നത്. ൽ mar K. Bharanikulangaraയുടെ ഒരു അഭിമുഖം ഉണ്ട്. അതിൽ അദ്ദേഹം തന്നെ പറയുന്നു, വത്തിക്കാന്റെ വിദേശ കാര്യാലയങ്ങളിൽ ട്രെയ്നിയായി പലേടത്തും ഇരിന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. അവസാനമായി ജർമനിയിലും വത്തിക്കാന്റെ കാര്യാലയത്തിൽ ആയിരിക്കെ, എന്നാൽ നുൻഷിയൊ സ്ഥാനം കിട്ടുന്നതിനു മുമ്പാണ്, ഫരിദാബാദിലേയ്ക്കുള്ള നിയമനം എന്ന്. അപ്പോൾ നുന്ഷിയോമാർക്ക് കിട്ടുന്ന ആർച് ബിഷപ്‌ എന്ന വിളിപ്പേര്‌ എങ്ങനെ കൈവന്നു എന്നത് ഒരു കടംകഥയായി ബാക്കിയാവുന്നു. നുണ പറഞ്ഞ് മനുഷ്യരെ പറ്റിക്കുന്ന ഇത്തരം കാര്യങ്ങളിൽ നമ്മുടെ പരിശുദ്ധ (മാർ) ആൾദൈവങ്ങൾ അത്ര സമർഥരാണ്. ഇതെല്ലാം ദൈവപരിപാലനയുടെ ഭാഗമായി അവർ എഴുതിത്തള്ളുകയും ചെയ്യും.