Happy Birthday Wishes, Mar Alanchery replies!

Thrice Happy Birthday!

This is in continuation of the correspondence in CCV about publishing Happy birthday wishes by the editor to Mar Alencherry caught in troubled waters!

For me he is a friend who used to call me back after 9 pm, if I fail to connect with him. Which other cardinal in India could care to do such a thing? While visiting him, when going up the stairs to his room he used to ask me: “Shall I hold your hand to help you climb the steps?” Such niceties from a Cardinal?

He used to do more similar delicacies to me, but no place to recount them here!  So I could not let go his birthday without wishing him appropriately, in spite of the terrible tug or war going on within me.

So I ended up writing what is given below, unthinking about getting a reply either. But I had to write and I did it as an honest “know-nothing” could. All I request humbly from you readers, is to do me the service of a ‘Devil’s Advocate’. God bless you my esteemed masters!  james. 

Alencherry birthday wish


My Dear Younger Brother in the Lord Jesus, 

This is to wish you, a VERY HAPPY BIRTH DAY April 19th today, from your elder brother james kottoor, who always signs himself in the lower case, to be the lowest among  ordinary people  Jesus befriended, as opposed to the ‘Ordinaries’ of the world with a capital “O”. He also instructed “you are all brothers only and not to call anyone Rabbi, Father, Master or Teacher.

May the Good Lord bless you with his choicest blessings of joy, peace and serenity this day and all the days of your life, in spite of the many trials and tribulations you and I are going through, all part of life, none of which can or should break my  brotherly attachment, which I promise, I will not till my last breath.

This is not to deny that I am also one of your fierce critiques on many ideological issues of church governance but with no ill-will towards you as my brother. The parable of the Pharisee and the publican praying in the temple finally drove me to sever myself from a Syromalabar church long ago, to become a part only, may be the last in the line, of the CATTLE CLASS, meaning, part of that company of Jesus born in a cattle shed, lived homeless serving the lowly placed poor till he died on Calvary.

It is my deep desire to see you imitate Him, that prompted me even to write that you resign until you are cleared of all charges instead of clinging like a leech to power, position and office. The tug of war going on in you is tormenting me even more and I have been and still praying for light from above for a happy resolution of this on going conflict both for me and you.

At the age of nearly 84, I have no desire to live even for one more day. It is more than ten years, I started living just for one day, from dawn to dusk only, unsure of the morrow. So I cannot have any ill-will towards any, especially  to a dear brother like you. But I have to be honest to myself, honest to God and honest to others, which for me is speaking out from the house top without fear or favour as Jesus did, which is what spreading the Good Word or bearing witness to Truth is all about. 

Once again I prayerfully wish you a Happy Birthday of joy, peace and God’s grace in abundance. May your patron St.George, help you to vanquish the dragon that may be tormenting you and make TRUTH triumph for everybody’s benefit. May the Lord Jesus alone lead you, guide you, protect you and take good care of you all through life. james.

 NB. This is a private, personal letter for Cardinal George Alencherry only. jk

Dear James,

I received your birthday greetings. I thank you very much for the greetings and prayerful wishes! 

It was very kind of you to remember and wish me. Kindly continue to pray for me and our Church. 

I wish you all the blessings of our Lord and pray that God may shower His abundant blessings on you!

 With every good wish,

+ George Cardinal Alencherry
Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church

Major Archiepiscopal Curia
Mount St. Thomas, P.B. No. 3110
P.O. Kakkanad 682 030 Kochi
Tel: +91-484-2424780, 2424768 (Chancery)
Fax: +91-484-2422727

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4 Responses

  1. Sending a birthday wish to a near and dear one appears a really daunting task as you are unable to decide what sort of words are going to appear as the most perfect wishes. But, these days it has become a tradition to send birthday wishes. Writing birthday wish for loved ones is extremely difficult but don't get stressed over what to write as we are here. 

  2. Denis Daniel says:


  3. Varghese Pamplanil says:


    Dear Dennis,

    I tried to post a reply in the web,  but failed. Hence this separate communication.

    Both Dr. Kottoor and Cardinal Alencherry have shown, as far as I am concerned,  that both are good decent human beings and that differences of opinions shouldn’t  affect friendship and personal consideration . My heartfelt  appreciation to both of them.

    It is thought that lifted the human from other animals, superior as they are to the Naked Ape in certain areas,  and propelled  her/ him through the stairway of progress. New ideas generally  disturb  entrenched and vested interests who are comfortable in their situation. They oppose any thing new as they feel threatened.

    Homo Sapiens would have remained hunter-gatherers living in their caves had they not ventured out and virtually played with fire. Some burned their fingers but many and many benefited. Evolution of the humans take place in their brains and of late it has been exponential. People like Elon Musk are the new Messiahs for the human kind.

    I see Jesus,  the Galleon,  whatever His real name and persona be as a freedom fighter, a revolutionary,  a social reformer and a lover of humanity who paid the ultimate price of forfeiting His life in a horrible manner. The tragedy is: the Catholic Church and its priesthood negated and violated His mission and whatever He stood for  by making Him a Human God like Zeus/Apollo and an arch-priest too.

    The Curse on Humanity  is the Catholic Church which places roadblocks in the journey of humans  towards progress. But from the 19thcentury, at least in Europe, Christianity has lost its relevance. It is hiding in the back woods of undeveloped world, physically and intellectually.


    With the best regards,

    Varghese Pamplanil


  4. Denis Daniel says:

    I would love to read the views of Mr. Varghese Pamplanil on the exchange of such distinguished greetings.

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