Mass controversy escalates to Thrissur, Irinjalakuda and Mananthody  Dioceses

Estimated read time 4 min read

By  our religious Correspondent

Thrissur, June  24 (IVC)    The  vexatious    Mass liturgy   issue  of  the  Syro-Malabar  Church’s  Enrnakulam-Angamaly  Archdiocese  has escalated to the Archdiocese of Thrissur, Irinjalakuda and Mananthody with a number  about  100  priests  expressed their support of the dissents of the E-A archdiocese  and have written to the Major Archbishop  Mar Raphael  Thattil  and the Apostolic Administrator, Bosco Puthur.

                In their letter signed by 87  priests of the Iirinjalakuda diocese  have expressed  their  strong  protest  in the  joint  circular  issued    by  the  Major  Archbishop and Mar  Bosco  Puthur on June 09 threatening the priests  of the Ernakulam-Angamaly (E-A) archdiocese that  those  who  failed  to say Uniform mass  on or before  July  03,  Martyrdom Day  of Saint Thomas, the Apostole of India,  would be defrocked and excommunicated.

                Though they  have  switched  over  to the Uniform mass unwillingly, the  priests  of Thrissur  and Irinjalakuda  were in favour of  fully  congregation facing the mass.   Though  they had certain efforts  had made to continue  he congregation facing  mass, their efforts were foiled by  the iron hand of Archbishop Andrews  Thazhath  of this power and authority.

                Now the priests  found it  convenient to  rise  to  the  occasion  od Mananthody Diocese’s  support  for the E-A who were interested only  in the congregation facing  the holy mass  throughout and deadly  against Uniform mass what may come.

                Archbishop of Thrissur  and current President  of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference  of India (CBCI) , Mar  Andrews  Thazhath warned priests in the  archdiocese, who  expressed  solidarity with their  counterparts in the E-A archdiocese, who are  in  favour  of fully  people-facing  mass as against  synod approved mass. Archbishop   asked for   the priests  to stand  firmly  with  official position  of  the  Church  on the  issue  and warned  of disciplinary  action.

                He  also told  the priests on June 21:  “Let  me bring  to  your  kind  attention  that  the  present  liturgical  controversy in Ernakulam  is  more  a  matter  of obedience  and communion in the Church than merely rubrics”. The archbishop continued : “ I hereby humbly  exhort  you  with  necessary  warnings that  you  stand firmly  with  the official  position of  the  Church.  You  know  that, as per  Church laws, protests  causing  scandal  and disobedience  may necessitate disciplinary  actions”.

                The  archbishop  addressed  his letter  to  the priests, John  Ayyankanayil, Davis  Chakkalakal and Francis Muttath and said he was  in receipt   of  a  letter in the  name  of  Liturgia  Thrichur addressed to  the  Major archbishop Raphael Thattil and Apostolic  Administrator Bosco  Puthur on the  issue  of  Mass liturgy. The letter  from the  priests  in Thrissur ctiticised    a joint circular  issued by the Major  Archbishop   and apostolic administrator threatening   priests  in E-A  with  automatic  excommunication  if they  did not  shift to  the  synod-prescribed Mass by Julyy 03.  They described the  circular as a throwback  to  the  Middle Ages.

                The priests    from Thrissur  also  reminded the   major   archbishop that  233 priests  from  the  archdiocese had  submitted a  memorandum  at  the  beginning of  the  Mass  controversy  in 1921 and they still  hoped  that  they  would  be  allowed  to  shift  to  full people facing mass.

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