Dear Dr.Kottoor, July 13, 2015
I saw your article “No Indian Bishop responds to Papal Call?” You already have received some response saying that your article was not accurate. I write to inform you that the Archdiocese of Bombay did an extensive study regarding this. It was discussed by the Priests’ Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, all Parish Councils, groups of priests, and some of the Commissions in the Archdiocese. Besides, we had two questionnaires, the detailed one of 46 questions sent by the Synod Secretariat and a summarized version of 10 questions. I am also on the Council of the Synod and I know the Indian contribution has been appreciated.
With kind regards and best wishes,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay
Dr Kottoor Replies:
james kottoor, Editor,
your reply to cardinal Gracias is full of overenthusiastic praise and unnecessary humility as if he has done some great act of benevolence and heavenly sympathy towards some miserable creatures! All this is baseless exaggeration of a sentiment that the ignorant and slavish faithful are expected to show towards bishops. What he has done is just give a short reply to innumerable letters you had sent him seeking clarity about an urgent question that concerns the entire church. There is no word of excuse in his letter for keeping you waiting for so long, nor any details about the questionnaires he speaks of. Let us be cautious about taking his words on their face value. We have to have proof of what he claims to have done either from his own office or from elsewhere. There too he has given you no hint as to where to look for this proof. I'm hesitant to believe him. If any survey had been done, how come that even Laititude or individuals we have approached had had no idea about it at all? And he doesn't mention at all about the measure of participation of the Lay people in the survey. He should at least have given you a place or person for further contact and inquiry about the matter. Even if such a survey took place, it was dominated by the clergy, according to his own words. And what kind of farce that must have been!
According to the archbishop of Bombay: "It (family survey) was discussed by the Priests’ Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, all Parish Councils, groups of priests, and some of the Commissions in the Archdiocese."
This survey was supposed to be conducted among the Catholic families. The intention of the questionnaire was to get a feed back from those who live family life, not for a discussion among the councils, the Archbishop referrers to in his letter. Not only that, he is claiming that the archdiocese of Bombay did an extensive study. Who did that study? not the lay people/Catholic families? What a pity! That means the archdiocese didn't send the questionnaires to the lay faithful to get their response and so he must have sent the response of Bombay priests to Rome.
It is plain and simple. As an archbishop he should be ashamed of cheating the Catholic families and I think he should not have sent such an email to Dr. Kottoor. And Dr. Kottoor, you are doing an excellent job but you were in too much of a hurry to praise the archbishop.