Forum of Discussions on Family
Dear Bishops, Get open discussions started on national and diocesan levels. Don’t miss the boat this time, like last year. Time and tide wait for no man. Only 11months left to announce and execute your time-bound plan, if you have any.
The idea of India is unity in diversity. The idea of Christianity is also Unity in Diversity. It is unity in the humane Humanity inspired by the Man from Nazareth, Jesus, who presented himself as the Son of Man, in 85 recorded statements. He is the ideal Human Being of peace personified, with whom and around him the whole of humanity can stick together, work together and serve one another with love and care, as brothers and sisters of one extended Global Family.
That is the full meaning of the loaded question: Is Christ divided? He unites north and south, east and west, heaven and earth. Humanity has to move together in the direction of global fraternity, saying with Narayana Guru: One God, one religion one humanity without distinction or division.
Central to the whole debate is the Family of Man seen globally but built on individual families at the rock bottom which are facing untold challenges, threats and hammerings – financial, social, moral, and cultural – making them crumble and go to pieces. Pope Francis has been calling world attention for the last one year through the Extraordinary Family Synod closed a month ago, to focus on remedies to heal and care effectively to strengthen individual families by the time the concluding ordinary Rome Synod is to take place from Oct.4 to 25/2015.
This goal is to be reached trough free, fair and forthright public discussion conducted transparently, as it happened at the Rome Synod. That discussion has to be continued on local diocesan and parish levels in each diocese in every country around the world. To do that Bishops in each country should have an existing open Forum of discussion or create one. With this already in view, the Church Citizens in India, based in Kerala have been working for the last one year to make its website a national and global forum for sharing views, discussing issues and suggesting humane and rational solutions to all family problems.
Started for Church Renewal
Almaya Sabdam (Church Citizens’ Voice) was started originally for the reform and renewal of the Syromalabar Church four years ago. It completed its 4th anniversary of its founding on last Nov.6th. It started out its work of reaching out to Church Citizens through out the length and breadth of India and to the four corners of the world already with the announcement of the Extraordinary Synod. Today it is a global network for Church Citizens around the world. Believe it or not, daily visitors of the site on Nov.19th were 13,363. Ever since the graph of daily visitors hit over a thousand two weeks ago, the rise in the daily rise of visitors has been beyond the expectations of the dedicated team which has been working behind the scene.
According to the Administrators of this Church Citizens’ Website it is now ready to host any public discussion on Challenges Facing Families in India, initiated by the CBCI or individual Bishops at their beck and call in the true Christian family spirit. To make sure our respected bishops take note of this offer, this write up is being sent to all Indian Bishops through emails available in the CBCI website, some of which of course are faulty.
After all Bishops in India, like their counterparts around the world, are fully aware of the parting instructions they were given at the close of last Synod. While exhorting the bishops to shift the Synod discussions to dioceses they were told: “Bishops from all over the world will have to listen to the laity in their respective dioceses…. I expect lay persons to be protagonists who search for real solutions with their heads held high!” According to Bishop Bruno Forte the Synod Secretary.
Time and tide waits for no man. One month has already passed. So only 11 more months are left, not only to give polishing touches to the 62 family topics discussed (on three there was no consensus) but also to search and discover burning family issue proper to Church in India, starting with promoters of pure blood in the Knanaya Community in Kottayam diocese and around the world. All know it to be a human right violation pure and simple, a trampling underfoot of the Christian teaching “let no man separate what God had united” and a shameful blot on the fair name of the Church in India.
Besides there are unnecessary impediments created by the so called Rite-based Churches (like fence eating the crop) posing hurdles against the smooth functioning of inter-Rite marriages like making parties run from pillar to post to get clearances for marriage courses to be undergone where and how, as well as “Safe Status certificate” for groom and bride from deputed persons only, all reminding one of the License Raj in politics. All these caused a joint petition to Pope and the inter-Rite explosion in Delhi, discussed in secular press and silenced or censored in Catholic press.
Doctor heal yoursef first, it is said. Similarly before discussing challenges facing families, Rite based churches have to come clean first and cease to become the biggest destroyer of human families, especially in cases where church men support pure blood promoters. So let the ordinary people — all Church Citizens — speak out their grievances and suggested solutions Almayasabdam is ready and waiting to publish their views without fear or
favour, say the Administrators. All are invited to verify the veracity of this report by visiting: http://www.almayasabdam.
1. Theresia Manayath
The bishops in India can not ignore this loving and respectful plea from Dr. Kottoor, a well known journalist and church activist to come down from their lonely thrones and start taking seriously the admonition of the Pope. Contrary to their pretensions, the Christian families in India face a lot of crucial problems in their social and religious situations. They are quite different from those faced by families in western countries. The clergy and the bishops living in glass houses might be unaware of the problems of the common man, but that doesn’t excuse their ignoring them or reporting to Rome that everything is well here and under control. This is an invitation to the bishops to be frank and earnest. They may not get another chance of the like.
They have been fooling the faithful as well as Rome so far. The church citizens have become very conscious of their rights and are watching them closely from every corner and from house tops. Now there’s no place for them to hide away from the people. Their only choice now is the come to terms with the various lay organizations and start a country wide discussion on the basic issues affecting the Christians as believers and citizens of a secular country. Reality is not what the bishops have been assuming it to be so far. It is complex and very urgent. So please get started and act. We no longer live in the dark ages. An authority that is unwilling to serve will be regarded as obsolete and void.