Babu K Peter (Indian Express) Kochi
After bringing former priests and nuns under one umbrella, the KErala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCRM), a Catholic laymen association, is on a mission to form an association of Cathlics who have left the Church for vatious reasons.
"There are thousands of people who have stopped associating with the Church for various reasons. A movement has been intiated to bring back those who are spiritually isolated. There are also people who have joined other sects, like the Pentecost Church, in protest against certain policies of the Catholic Church," said Shri Reji Njallani.
"The initiative by KCRM has been prompted by the recently concluded synod on family in Vatican. "Pope Francis's message is to take a sympathetic attitude towards those who have left the Church for various reasons," he said. Njallani pointed out that most of the people who left the Church were sticking to their Catholic faith though they were not associating with the respective parishes.
"We have noticed that a large number of people have joined other sects, like the Pentecost Church. Though official statestics are not available, it is roughly estimated that some of the Pentecostal Churches grew by 20% in one year. We could reliably understand that people who have joined the Pentecostal Church are not leading a satisfactory spiritual life," he said.
"The KCRM priests, Ex-priests and Nuns Association, perhaps the first of its kind in the history of the Catholic Church, was formed under the KCRM initiative. KCRM believes that issues faced by such persons in their spiritual life, could be solved to a great extend, he said. Meanwhile the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) refused to make any specific comment on the KCRM move. "There is no need to respond now. Everybody has the freedom to organize. Let them start and launch activities," said KCBC deputy secretary and spokesperson, Fr. Varghese Valikattu.