Eparchy in Chennai? Syro Malabar Rite church and Chennai

P.C. Joseph (Chennai) 

                    (Note: Latin, Syromalabar(SM) and Syromalankara are the three Catholic Rites just functioning or flourishing in India. All three speak of brotherly collaboration.  What often happens is brotherly “collision”, for an independent observer. It is like two candidates of a same political party contesting for the  same seat, when party bosses turn powerless to impose its choice. It means both wants the MLA  or MP post and not the fit person for the post, wsho can produce the common good which ought to be the central goal of all politics. What is the basis, you may ask, for alleging such a shameful political motive on holy Churchmen? “We produce 70% of the clergy of this country, but we control only about 0.0.4% of the territory. So we are justified in wanting more territory,” (territorial expansion, empire building, or religious colonization in substance) has been the alleged  complaint against0 SM bishops for years. So clearly, it is all about control, finance and politics. This shameful Rites rivalry has made this scribe almost a mental wreck, that he is now  just a follower of the Carpenter of Nazareth only, not a follower of any Rites (all Rites are wrong) although he happens to be born as a member of SM due to no fault of his own. SM today has 36 churches in Chennai, most of them constructed allegedly without the permission of the local Archbishop and then got rectified through gentlemanly handshakes. Some of Chennai Archbishops were lenient about SM intrusion or encroachment. This scribe was working under saintly Archbishoip R.Arulappa. The present Archbishop is said to be   a disciplinarian, not a person who can be coaxed by enticements. But then what can he do, if Rome wants to please the SM. That is why he is called a  “Transient” (one who is to be transferred in due course) in the last para. Those who have to stay   permanently are the faithful, SM or Latin. P.C. Joseph is a very outspoken person among a large group of SM and Latin Catholics against an Eparchy in Chennai.He has strong objections even about Vatican’s settlement of Delhi’s Faridabad eparchy, which  we shall publish soon. Dirty linen must be washed clean, privately or publicly without  letting out suffocating smells. james kottoor, editor.)

It was as almost 40 years ago the Syro Malabar rite hierarchy came to Chennai ‘to plant a seed’ within the diocese of Madras Mylapore to increase the faith and spiritual life of the Migrant Catholics of SMR origin.  The then archbishop of Madras Mylapore His grace Arulappa of revered memory, asked whether seed is of fruit tree or poison tree. Action for erecting an SMR diocese in Chennai was started by putting up a mission center in Aynavaram. They knew that erection of a diocese will automatically make all Catholics of Syro origin it’s members and will make the membership in Latin parishes will be cancelled. But there was a hitch. Erection of diocese within a Latin Rite diocese required the consent of the  local eparchy.  Four successive archbishops did not oblige the SMR bishops and resisted all push pull and temptations. 

 In a mad rush they started to buy plots or houses where ever they found and built  houses and called them parish churches. There are such 36 churches now spread over the  Metropolitan city of Chennai. They managed a sizable following for the Sunday Masses at these churches but the creamy layers continued to sit on the wall. The mild mannered Tamil Catholics got the smell of ‘High caste’ status of syros and their real Estate business. They told that Tamil Latin churches can no longer used by SMR priests for Sunday Mass, marriages and funerals.  In the meantime SMR succeeded in erecting Kalyan diocese in Mumbai Poona and Nasik in 1987. Many other dioceses were erected in small cities like Shimoga, Coimbatore etc without much resistance.  

Erection of Faridabad diocese in 2013, to cover Delhi and Agra was a sudden turning point. Mandya diocese was erected by a side entry to cover Bangalooru. In the meantime the Tamil Nadu Latin bishops have asked the archbishop of Madras Mylapore the reasons for his silence in allowing Syro church building activities. The Tamil Catholics have given a mild warning to the archbishop who is a transient according to them, to take firm stand  and has given time till 10th of march 2016. 

P.C.Joseph. Phones: Mob: 9841131372, Land:044-26442751

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