Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No compulsion on rites: Faridabad Archbishop

Faridabad diocese was created in 2012 to cater to the spiritual needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Delhi Latin-rite territory.

By Jessy Joseph

As a section of Oriental Catholics continues campaigns against joining the Syro-Malabar diocese established two years ago in Delhi, their archbishop has said the diocese will not put pressure on anyone to join it.

Although those who have been following Latin rite are supposed to follow their own Oriental rite when a diocese of their rite was established, "we will not compel any one," said Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad diocese.

“Stay where you are comfortable and no one is compelled to join the syro Malabar rite,” he said in his homily for the closing Mass of Santhom Bible Convention 2014 over the weekend.

“Those who are proud of their tradition and culture only should come forward and join the diocese,” he added.

Faridabad diocese was created in 2012 to cater to the spiritual needs of the Syro-Malabar Catholics in Delhi Latin-rite archdiocesan territory.

Archbishops of Delhi and Faridabad jointly issued a pastoral letter in November 2013 stating the transfer of all syro Malabar Catholics from the Delhi Latin-rite archdiocese to the Faridabad Syro Malabar diocese.

Some Oriental Catholics living in the national capital revolted the move to bring them under Faridabad diocese and asked Pope Francis to annul the pastoral letter of the archbishops.

The local Churches should be united to give common witness to the love and compassion of Christ said the prelate. “We need to promote unity and become one family,” he added.

He stressed the need for strengthening family life. It should be based on Bible values and prayerful. “Parents should strengthen the family ties by teaching their children faith education and keep the faith alive through daily family prayers,” archbishop Bharanikulangara said, adding that they should also set examples to their children.

Some 10,000 faithful attended the three-day Bible convention held in New Delhi from October 24.


  1. There is no Faridabad Archbishop, because Faridabad is just an ordinary diocese, not an arch diocese. Mr Bharanikulangara himself has said that the tile of Archbishop is a personal title given to him by the late Pope (God alone knows on what ground!) and so to use it in connection with the diocese of Faridabad is an extension into void.

  2. "Basically there is no CHOICE for the Catholics in Delhi to escape from the century old law that son of a syro catholic will be a syro. Please read the joint pastoral letter. The Delhi arch bishop was fooled by the syro the syro archbishop. Or he was ignorent of church rules. If any Catholic bishop or archbishop days that there is no compulsion to join the new SMR diocese he is telling a lie. Read the pastoral letter again. All the sheep of Delhi are in the new diocese already. Bishops should not tell lies white or black.

  3. Unfortunately the Bishop was not very clear. He could have left the rite issue to the choice of the faithful. What they are allowing is a concession without recognizing and respecting the right of the faithful to choose. No body could force a religion or faith on a person. It should be left entirely to his or her choice. If erstwhile Syro Malabar Catholics in Delhi and elsewhere prefer to remain in a Latin parish in their neighborhood, they should not be foced to beg for such a simple wish. Lest the church should encourage and support them which in turn will enhance the image and respect for the church among all.

  4. The controversy and strong stand of the faithful have forced the bishops to rethink. They had hoped that things would go their way and that the faithful will obey silently, giving a clear way to the Syro-Malabar ambitions of extension into northern parts of India, as they are doing in the north eastern parts of the country. This issue has brought an awakening among the otherwise silent folk. Many of the hidden agenda of the Kerala bishops have been made public and hope they will think twice before they undertake any such moves in future.