Letter to the Editor,
Church Citizens Voice
Varghese Pamplanil writes:
I am a bit intrigued by the poser of Allan de Noronha to James.
Jesus the Galilean,logically cannot be a Christian because Christ (“the anointed”) and Christianity were created by Paul of Tarsus at least 15 years after the death of Jesus. (The tail cannot wag the head, isn’t it?).
Jesus did not miss any opportunity to pour ridicule and scorn at the Jewish priesthood. It is fact that the Romans crucified him at the behest of the Sadducees (the high priests).Hence Jesus can not be a votary of priesthood. No doubt, the unproductive self serving priestly class will invoke his name to legitimise it’s existence.
To say that Jesus conceived a totalitarian pyramid structured entity is a travesty. Even Paul did not establish the Church, his followers were scattered in different parts of the Roman Empire with no centralised authority. Rome became the headquarters of the Church only after, as political expediency, Constantine gave legitimacy to Christianity. The Pope, Cardinals (akin to municipal councillors), bishops (rent/tax collectors) have their roots in Roman institutions.
Incidentally, the original followers of Jesus, under the leadership of James, brother of Jesus, Peter and John remained in Jerusalem as Jews, waiting for the end days and coming of the Kingdom of Heaven, as circumcised Jews strictly following Jewish dietary laws until the diaspora Jew, Paul overwhelmed them.
It is a moot question whether the Christian Church is relevant in today’s world, especially in India. The Western world seems to have turned its back on it. Then one may not question, faith, beliefs and encrusted habits.
The efforts of the well meaning reformists of the Church have little chance to succeed; history is not on their side. It is as futile as trying to straighten the crooked tail of a dog.
The believers may least grant the right to free expression to those who do not toe their lines. As Voltaire said “l totally disagree with what you said; but I will defend to death your right to say it”
Varghese Pamplanil, Austin, TX, USA
Response to Varghese from jk
Dear Varghese, We already wrote that Jesus could not survive with the Jewish priesthood which crucified him, and we today are not living in the community he created but in the Church of Constantine. To substantiate it we quoted the words of Pope John XXIIIrd giving reasons for convening the 2nd Vatican Council: “To sweep clean the dust of the Empire accumulated on the throne of Peter ever since the time of Constantine!”
So no question of achieving the so-called Church reform until the Church of Constantine built by MAN, not Jesus, who built no church or Christianity, is wiped out. We call the multiplicity of churches today Churchianity not Christianity.
Is a Christian religion or Churches relevant today in India? You dear Varghese, have already answered that question. The so-called Christian West has turned its back on it and the Nones are racing to become the third biggest group after the die-hard Judeo-Christian religion and the Die-hard religion of Mohammad the biggest organized religious group fighting for domination in the world. See our earlier posting (Temple of world religions for believers and unbelievers or Ram temple in Ayothia?) in the CCV on it.
This is what Sri. Narayana Guru promoted(one God, one Religion – humane humanity –, one Caste based on Jesus’ teaching, Mt,23, “we are all brothers only”) Can any of you succeed to straighten crooked tale of a dog? Can any one of you succeed to break the silence of Indian Bishops to enter into a rational dialogue with the laity, which means – FACTS above FAITH, not FAITH above Facts!
Recall Thomas Aqainas’ words: “In the next world, it will all be topsy-turvy, totally different ‘Totaliter Aliter’; of Sankrachariya’s reply to disciples pestering for his views on God: “Eloquent Silence!”; and Great German Theologian Rhaner who described FAITH, as the dark light through which we see things beyond the tomb!
Hence my compelling desire to go beyond thegrave to see if St.Joseph with a gun in hand going through the cover of trees to take a pot-shot at the dove that impregnated his would be wife, before saying “My Lord and my God” with doubting and believing Thomas.
Jesus said “blessed are those who believe without seeing”, but he never said “cursed are those who believe, only after seeing with the eye of reason, facts above Faith. james
George Nedumparambil writes:
At the risk of getting into a grinder where I risk being turned into mince meat by these two giants, my dear James and chhotebhai I, a new comer to matters religious, wish to chip in.
I am a new comer because I had no time for religion until 62. I went to church on Sunday because I have to and the family recited Rosary because we have to. And attending occasional Novena services also. There ended my connect with matters religious.
I was more concerned with my career and family and living as quietly as possible. It is only after retirement that I decided to study Bible. Being new has a big advantage. The mind is empty and is not corrupted with what this or that man said.
My understanding of bible is that church is not needed for the purpose of conducting prayers. To Jesus any number beyond 2 was a crowd. For him prayer was an intensely personal matter between God and a person. He taught two way communication – man with God. He was very specific in prayer being brief and said silently. He taught us that God knows what we are going to think even before we start to.
To such a God, I am afraid, to tell about all our problems and cry for mercy and fix and indulge in groups prayers of any length amounts to devaluing God's power. To such prayers, I would think God will be responding "You idiots, don't you all think that I am ignorant of your problems? Is this your understanding of me? You keep on barking and I will attend to it when convenient to me".
Church is needed not for prayer. In fact, everything that goes on within it by way of prayer, including Mass, has very little biblical support. But we need church, especially in a country like India, where everyone lives for their religion, to function as community meeting point and to represent our community. Instead the actual situation on the ground is that church has turned itself into a profit centre, a multinational corporation larger than many world famous corporations but with one difference – no responsibility to publish profit and loss accounts and balance sheet.
Where is the poor? We need to bring about a church that ensures that there is no poverty among Catholics. Massive reforms are needed in church administration, making church biblical, cutting down on church feasts and money earmarked for same for construction of house for the poor and for their medical, massive mindset change among believers are needed to curtail all wasteful expenditure like 7th, 30th. 40th and Anniversary functions for the dead and instead donate money for helping poor. Church and their commercial enterprises should also plough back profits for poor and not building more bigger churchs. Let us change. Our motto "Eradication of Poverty among Catholics"
James Kottoor : I agree with you dear George totally. I have been crusading for all what you say for the last 50 years or more — all a total failure! That is why I said good by to all churches.
Still I go to church, not to pray — Jesus forbade vocal prayers and ordered to pray silently by word and deed — but to feel the presence of Jesus because he said: "where two or more gathered in his name I am in their midst". During nosy vocal prayers I tell Jesus, I did'nt come for this nor do I believe in this.
There is need to write whole articles to answer your queries. So what is the final solution? Quit all other church activities, especially stop giving a penny to churches and make them realize that they are just War Lords or General without foot soldiers. What can a General do without a soldier? Nothing! nothing at all. All the laity should have the guts to act out this program boldly.
You and I have to give leadership in this venture. We have to help teach the lay people that praying to and following Jesus should mean becoming the hands and feet, mind and attitude of Jesus to help the poorest of the poor, the last, least and lost among us, to wipe out all inequalities among us Christians first and among all our neighbors, starting with the most deserving.
That is how Christians grew by leaps and bounds in the first century because the outsiders said: "See, how they love each other, there is no one need among them!" This should be made to happen among Christians. That alone is prayer in action Jesus proposed for us: "When you have done this to my little ones — the hungry, the sick, the lonely, the blind, those in prison, the bedridden and all those in the margins of society — then alone we become a praying community, a community imitating Jesus.
Shall then try to spread this message and get more followers? You please suggest new ways through your powerful, rational, powerful writings! Away with all Churchianity, waste of money on church buildings,rituals and maintaining a power hungry, luxury loving, non-sweating priestly class. Those who do not work and sweat should not EAT!
29 Nov 2019, 16:08
29 Nov 2019, 16:08
Dear elder brother,
I am greatly impressed by the writings of Pamplanil and George. Their knowledge, faith and convictions are mind boggling and matchless. For me I wish I were able to understand them. For that I must study them as a text book. Your replies to both of them are awesome. So easily, fluently and skillfully you plead your case that leaves the readers spellbound.
If God gives me even a grain of understanding, I would consider myself blessed. Alas, I am fighting my own battle through silent prayers alone. I feel only death can provide me an escape route. But I must just leave my woes in His unseen hands for things to happen as He desires or has planned.
Love and regards,
Yes Dear Denis,
We all are in the learning process, as none of us in this world are ‘KNOW-ALLS’ but to a greater or lesser extent ‘Know-nothings’ and therefore let us never give up listening and learning from our Brothers to change for the better, following the principle:
“Hope for the better as long as you breath!”(Dum spiro, spero!) but without being judgmental on any! One who succeeds finally is the one who never gives up listening to others to learn. So let us continue listerning to many more, leaving all the rest to ‘Sathyagraha, Snehagraha and Sobagraha’ (Truth eternal, Love eternal and Light eternal), as you yourself have concluded.