Laity all over India is up in arms (see Almayasabdam blog, Church Citizens' Voice, and memorandums sent to CBCI and Pope, against Indian Bishops, especially Syro Malabar, for turning a blind eye to the rotten practice of pure blood promotion in Kottayam, Chicago & other places.
It is the most glaringly vulgar example of breaking up Christian families by bishops themselves, supposed to be shepherds and protectors of family and that during this two-year synod study on the family.
Public pressure must be brought to force Bishops to take it up at least before they go for Rome Synod. No use discussing minor problems ignoring or pretending not to see this major, deadly virus; so this article. Please give it due prominence in your next IC and thanks.
The second attachment is Bp. Angadiath’s letter for you to see his signature clearly. Please post it prominently in Almaya and get all concerned to add their comments to prod our bishops to act. Thanks and God bless.
The sprawling field hospital called the Catholic Church, as described by Pope Francis, its Chief Physician, the mortally wounded in the family ward in India are victims hit by the shrapnel called Endogamy which cuts in to scatter what God has united. Why do doctors resist treating these victims, nay even refuse to take note of them in this year of the Family? Click here to read the full article of Dr James Kottoor.
Formation of a pro-endogamy group/rite within the Church, visibly blessed by Syro-Malabar High Priests is clear denial of the Verses they teach and violation of the Vatican Rules to which they have pledged their allegiance. A lot of comments came in, almost all evaluating this situation as an eparchial blunder committed by a few responsible Bishops. We understand that laity organizations across the globe, together with righteous people from within the endogamists are decided to fight for justice. Along with, we publish a few selected comments, just to ensure that our readers also get a proper understanding of the damages it does to the Church and Its’ teachings – Editor Church Citizens’ Voice
Arch Bishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara (Faridabad) wrote:
Dear Mr. Kottor
I am so pleased to see that you have noted the cancer of endogamy in certain corners of the Church. On whatever grounds – justifiable or not – in a country like India with hundreds of tribes and castes, how can one promote endogamoy? This is not only regarding families. There are tendencies to have priests, bishops, etc only from the same tribe and caste. Then we should have created so many dioceses as these tribes and castes count. In the case of Kottayam Archdiocese, there are two religious congregations that recruit only "Knanaya" candidates. Where are we?
I have strongly prohibited exclusive parishes in my diocese based on endogamy. If such parishes are created, they start dividing families, ousting members, even from the ecclesial community!!! As long as they are in the "Catholic" parish open to all, that problem can be avoided. I have opposition here because of that.
Kurien Joseph (Rite Issue – Delhi) wrote:
Dear Dr James Kottoor, I compliment you for your excellent piece “Peddlers…”
But one reaction to it – while intended to be complimentary- is the height of hypocrisy. That is the reaction of Eparch Kuriakose Bharanikulangara, who promotes and gladly presides over another equally deadly “cancer” (to use his own word) in Faridabad.
He accuses the Knanayas of “tendancies (sic) to have priests, bishops, etc only from the same tribe and caste” and of “[creating] so many dioceses as these tribes and castes”. Is he speaking of the Knanayas or of his own Syro Malabar church? Purely to create dioceses for so many ambitious prelates, SM bishops go where they are not wanted: force congregations in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK and Australia (the SM church is rarely seen rushing off to Sierra Leone or Yemen!) to accept their “services”. In so doing they create an apartheid within these congregations; and repel the youth that has grown up and assimilated (as they should) into the new homes in which they live.
How is the SM apartheid essentially different from the Knanaya apartheid? What teaching of Christ justifies the SM church considering itself as “aristocratic” and “the elite” (to use the phrases its own spokesmen used in the media) as against the “Latins” (whom they consider inferior)? The Eparch laments that “if such parishes are created, they start dividing families, ousting members, even from the ecclesial community!!! As long as they are in the ‘Catholic’ parish open to all, that problem can be avoided.” So why is his SM Church “dividing families [and] ousting members” in the Church in Delhi, which has existed for more than a century? Why does it not respect his own declared concept of a “Catholic parish open to all”? Besides still officially preventing marriages between Catholics (with absolutely no spiritual, pastoral or canonical support) by forcing parents to come and bow to SM priests, the SM church has even divided children in Catechism classes! The Eparch bemoans “opposition here because of that”. Could the real opposition be because Knanayas (like SM Catholics settled in Delhi) refuse to bow to his dictates?
Bishop Angadiath’s rightly denounced Announcement – supported wholeheartedly by the SM Cardinal – reads: “If a Knanaya Catholic belonging to a K parish/mission enters into marriage with a non-K partner, that non-K partner and children from that marriage will not become members of the K parish/mission but will remain members of the local parish/mission.” Pray, tell how this is in any way different from Eparch Kuriakose’s own “clarification” to The Statesman: “Our intention was to foster more unity and communion. Those who want to stay in the present parish, let them be. [But] One cannot think of being a “Latin” as long as one is in Delhi and an “oriental” when they are in another place. Either be an Indian or an American, you cannot be both.” Never mind that there is nothing in Canon law that the Eparch has been able to cite to support these “principles”. More importantly, however, Bishop Angadiath is saying the same thing in essence as Eparch Kuriakose: You can be what you want but you have to be out from “our” community (as though each community belongs to its bishops!).
Everything you state in your candid article, and particularly the following, applies equally to the Knanayas and the SM Church.
1) Aren’t the SMC bishops doing just the opposite of what Jesus bluntly and forcefully commanded: “What God has united, let no man separate?”
2) Its stink is suffocating, not only in the SM Church but in the whole church in India divided on three-fold Rite-lines (but wrong) and pulling in different directions. All know it and say, it is the worst curse of the Church in India. It prevents it from acting as one united body, as one family.
Here we have the Eparch of Faridabad suddenly taking on his own leader Cardinal Alenchery about Knanayas on their absurd stance. That might have been admired as an example of moral courage, were it were not for the fact that he himself is guilty of resolutely holding on to his own version of racism.
Unfortunately, at a time of external crisis for the Church in India, it faces a (perhaps far greater) internal crisis of leadership within. The SM church for instance has opened itself to public ridicule by threatening to ban marriages between Catholics and others. Do they think our youth is going to quietly fall in line? Or are they in danger of making their entire church and the sacraments redundant to the next generation? On a larger scale, in what you rightly term “the musical chair for Episcopal thrones by any means”, the so called shepherds of the church have failed the community badly. They will publicly castigate the Govt for dividing the nation, while they themselves collude in dividing the Church. A fit illustration of Mathew 7:5: “first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
With warm regards,
Shri Jose Paul (Delhi) writes:
Dear. Dr. James,
Your article on “Peddlers of Pure blood” brings out certain important doubts about the existence of a Catholic Church in our country as envisaged by the teachings of Jesus. Do we, the Catholics, belong to any church at all? The happenings in the so called official church are all in contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught us that love, unity and equality as the main theme of his teachings. He taught us that all human beings are God’s own children and that he created each one of us in His own image. The prelates of the official church teach us to hate one another. We are divided into groups such as people having pure blood, people with high traditions of culture and heritage, people who are backward classes, dalits and so on. We are taught to look at each group of people as separate group of Christians without having any relationships to each other. We are being taught to consider the other groups of Catholics as untouchables.
Some persons in the church call themselves shepherds and behave like butchers. The latest butchering of Jesus Christ is done by the decision taken by the three such shepherds about the pure blood of the Knanaya Syrian Catholics. These three wise kings took the decision for the people of their kingdom as dictators. They think that they are the Church. They presume that they can do anything that they feel like for preserving their power and position. They are not in touch with either Jesus, his teachings or his followers. In their anxiety to cling to power, they have forgotten not only the basic tenets of Christianity, and its divine sanctity, but also human ethics, secular morality, natural Justice, human rights, illegality of their actions and the constitution of the nation they are living in.
The three prelates who cannot understand what family life is, who cannot understand the relationship between the husband, wife and the children in a family, took the most heinous decision to separate them into two different social and spiritual groups because these prelates discovered that the blood of one of the members is pure and that of the spouse and children is impure. Their Syrian Theology taught them that God, while creating people, had blood of various qualities in store and He consciously supplied the purest blood to Knanaya Syrian families and asked them to preserve its purity. We are sure that with these kind of prelates in leading positions, there will come a time that the Catholic Church will be divided and new dioceses will be formed according to the blood groups of the Bishops. Did they not find any other poisonous thing to inject into the Catholic Church to destroy it?
The most shameful part is that when three shepherds are going ahead with these kind of venom to destroy the teachings of Jesus while all the other shepherds of the Catholics Church, whether they belong to Syro Malabar, Latin or Malankara, keep solemn silence giving approval to this kind of break up of Catholic families. Are we the lay people to believe that all of these prelates are unaware of the intentions of Jesus? We the lay people have a right to know this. We would like to know whether a Church of Jesus exists or not. Otherwise it means that the clergy has nothing to do with Jesus or us. As far as we can judge, if there is Jesus in our country, it is only in the hearts and minds of the lay people. Those who cannot live with Christ Jesus and His basic teachings, should leave the church and lead a worldly secular life. At least there is dignity in such a life. This is a call not only to those who do these crimes. Those who are silent are also committing a crime of omission. Shame on you, who put on the cassock and habit pretending to live in the service of Jesus, but have no courage to speak for Christ.
This is our sincere request to the clergy and the shepherds. Please stop the Sunday sermons as you all speak words of Jesus without any substance in the personal life, congregational life or church hierarchy. We find these sermons are phony as your actions are just the opposite of what Jesus taught us.
There is a small silver lining in the Horizon. We would like to congratulate Mar Kuriakose Baranikulangara for jis letter to Mr. James Kottoor disagreeing with the decisions of the three Shepard’s including the cardinal, since realization has come to him about the injustice and inhumanness of the pure blood. We are sure that he has realized about the folly of dividing the people of the so called high culture and heritage from the one catholic and apostolic Church. Let us hope, that He will get up like St Paul and distance himself from the theory of pure blood, high culture and heritage and be a soldier of Jesus fighting for the one and only Catholic Church. He does not have to be frightened of anyone in the country as he is directly answerable only to Pope. We the lay people are hoping for a day when the Catholic, whatever may be their rite, to sit together and learn their Catechism, when the Catholic matrimonial services are not being restricted by unnecessary bits of paper from this rite and that rite.