Church Citizens Wake up

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You have nothing to lose

except your Chains

Dr. James kottoor

              The following thoughts were prompted by  

Sr Berneice Loch Image result for Sr Berneice Loch

 

A year to find new ways to meet the Spirit of Dec.28 in Almaya.

              I fully  agree with the Australian “Sr Berneice Loch’s observation that the “Pope’s invitation to a Year of Consecrated Life is very timely”.  It is finding  enthusiastic   response from  the religious-clerical-Episcopal community  all around the  world from the very moment it was announced, as I could notice.

              But more timely  and urgent was the Pope’s  lionised roar to uplift the crumbling human families the corner stone of church and society, sent out  a year ago. That roar  is still resounding urging  all, laity, religious, clerics and especially Episcopal conferences around the globe to duplicate locally the transparent, open, noisy and critical Rome Synod of  last October. But sadly  and miserably  no voices – enthusiastic or feeble  — are heard especially from  our Indian  religious-clerical-Episcopal fraternity — about the work being done or steps planned or initiated, even two months after the Rome Synod and its  repeated call at the concluding session.

 

Glaring Conflict Howling

               Nor are we aware of news worthy headlines  on such happenings from around the globe  either.  Yet what is  it that makes up the backbone  of the Church, its main strength?  The laity – now presented in glorious, dignified vocabulary as Church Citizens (not by the hierarchy but the laity themselves)  or  the religious-clerical-Episcopal fraternity, which the vast majority in the Church considers, either as the Church  or as a vested interest group?  To which group do you belong? You can’t hold both the views at once. This is the glaring  conflict and a howling example of lopsided priorities especially in the Catholic Church.

            For example recall some of the historical facts. From  Pope Pious XII onwards it is an accepted and publicly declared  truth and principle that the laity(Church citizens) are not only on the front lines of the Church,  but “they are the Church”,  not the clerical or religious class which is just a  microscopic minuscule  in the Church. Won’t it be ludicrous to think of the Church without the laity asked Cardinal Newman of  old and insisted to think of an army with a few generals only, to realize the stupidity of it. Where then are our priorities even today as far as thinking and reacting in the church are concerned?

            I am simply shocked to despair at the kind of theologizing by the religious and clerics. Religious life “is not, as was often taught before Vatican II, a higher form of life than lay membership of the Church. “ Such thinking will per force continue to persist as long as the man-made clergy-laity divide is not wiped out and as long as the simple gullible folk is made to believe that Jesus instituted priesthood,  ordained priests and bishops etc. He did nothing of the sort. He came to burry priesthood and priestly  class of his time.

 

He Came to Bury Priesthood

            Read Mathew 23 never read and explained by the  priestly class.  Why?  The reason is same as why  Endogamy in Kottayam Diocese, Rite Rivalry and Religious Colonization is not allowed to be discussed in Catholic papers. It is because they have no answers to it besides being self-destructive. Won’t it be foolish to expect the Indian Hierarchy to commit suicide?  Jesus came to burry  priesthood of His times. Therefore they got him buried  and he broke open the sealed tomb and came out to vindicate his stand,  least expected by them. So they  made him  High priest  to survive at His expense, as  his branches. The principle is: If you can’t beat some one, join him. They did it and they are surviving  at His expense whether He likes it or not. The question is for how long?

                        The answer is: as long as the  present hierarchical structure is not  buried once and for all. But which of the Episcopal fraternity will ever open their mouth in support of it. To do that there must be some on as  self-effacing as Jesus. To my mind,  there is not a single Bishop in India  and there will not be as long as there are any number of sheepish, slavish, blind believers among the   so-called Church citizens, ever ready to sing Hosanna to the clerical class, most of the time for the sake of the fancied crumbs that may fall to their lap from their tables.

                        Unless and until that mind-set changes, no reform is possible in the Churches, Catholic or otherwise,  in India because haven’t we instances of persons who reportedly paid crores to get the title of a Bishop for himself?. The mission of every Church Citizen  in India is to become an agent of change by becoming that change himself/herself, thus  conscientizing  others by example,   yes,  transforming one’s own community from within like a  potent leaven. You may get isolated. But then was not Jesus isolated?

Can be contacted at: jkottoor@asianetindia.com

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