(Shri Jose Paul (Delhi) questions the relevance of the rite war and the Churchian interpretation of all being one in the Mystical Body of Christ. Both do not go together or fit in the same box - Almayasabdam)
The so called Latin and Syrian churches existed in our country for the last five to six centuries. Plenty of blood had been shed by members of both the rivals in the past. Is that blood not sufficient for stopping this rite war? As Catholics, can’t we forget and forgive each other and be one in the Mystical Body of Christ?
The fact that there are more than a score of autonomous churches existing is not a justifiable reason for creating more division where division does not exist.
The Syrian church is trying to uphold the traditional values. When we are aware that some of the traditional values are inhuman, we have to discard them. This is what Christ came for, lived for and died for. We have in India many traditional practices, values which were and still are inhuman.
The practice of sati in which the wife sacrificing her life in the funeral pyre of the husband, the dowry system, the caste system in the Hindu community, and infanticide are some of the traditional practices and non-values. The modern man, the democratic India, the elite of the society, especially emerging youth of India are all fighting against these evils. Just because some practices were a part of the tradition, does not justify their continuation.
The Catholic community is supposed to be devoid of caste system. The Church proclaims that every catholic is the child of God and they are equal in the eyes of God and the Church. In spite of it, is it not a fact that in the name of autonomous Churches, we are promoting castes (Braminic Church)? Or else, what is the fundamental difference between the Latin and the Syrian faiths as Catholics?
Recognizing and appreciating the equality of the members of the Catholic Church, the Government of India is not giving the privileges of the dalit people in the Church. Why not we start an autonomous Church for the Dalit Christians with a New Archbishop for them and prove it to the Govt that though they are Christians, they are still Dalits and we treat them as Dalits. If we have an autonomous Brahmin Church, why not we have an autonomous Dalit Church also?
Do we need an Archbishop in Delhi for the tribal Catholics, an Eprachy for the Kottayam diocese, one Eprachy each for Palai and Changanacherry dioceses and yet another Archediocese for Malankara Syrian Catholics and each of these groups of Catholics have different rituals and traditions.
What we need are bishops and priests who unite people and share the love of Christ. Instead these days, each autonomous Church is trying to get more saints for their own Church. What we need is that we ourselves become saints of peace and unity.
Jose Paul (Delhi)