Reactions to Knanaya Practice of Endogamy – Who Destroys Christian Families?

 Peddlers of Pure Blood: Deadly Virus

 Reactions to Knanaya Practice of Endogamy
 Who Destroys Christian Famiies?
 Peddlers of Pure Blood: Deadly Virus

                      There should be some truth at least in the saying: “Voice of the people is voice of God (Vox populi, vox Dei)” So we raised the question: What do people – both clergy and laity — think  about “Promoters of Pure Blood. The article was published in several websites at home and abroad . It was also send to all Indian bishops, through available emails starting with Pronuncio and also to other interested groups. 

 Surprisingly and encouragingly, the  first reaction to come was from Archbishop Kuriacose of Ferdabad. I thought it was very exemplary,  and so sent him a note of thanks and congrats. I thought, it would be followed by other bishops. There I was totally wrong. To date no other bishop has sent  any comment, while ever so many reactions are still  coming from the laity all over the word. Not  a hierarchical problem at all this?
 Reactions are usually pro and con, since we ask for the service of a devil’s advocate first. than of a flatterer. But what we got was mostly supportive and flattering ones. So we are sending all reactions together for a comparative study to all bishops and thinking sections to ascertain  mainly three things: 1.How many bishops will react on Endogamy, in this year of Family?  2. Will the SM bishops,  at least take it up for public discussion – transparency is vital  — and come out  with suggestions to be submitted for the consideration of the Synod fathers. 3. What is  to be done, if the hierarchy refuses to break their silence? Ignore the Hierarchical structure until it crumbles  and buried, but promote “Domestic Church” of the poor, with no architectural wonders called “Cathedrals?’
The manmade difference between the teaching and learning churches must go. The response of the CCRI to the Synod (read it at:  explains well: how a teaching church has to be a learning church and how a learning church has to be teaching church all the time.
 We have to make hey wile the sun shines,  Only 5 more months to the Synod. So readers are humbly requested to come forward, with more practical suggestions to wipe out first the black stigma of Pure Blood from Kottayam, from India, from Chicago,  from anywhere  Syrians and Knannites live. May the Lord, the  Light of Truth enlighten and enforce  us all to do what  is true and brotherly. james kottoor

1.    Tharu BA, April 25/15,
Dear Mr. Kottoor,
 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 tendancies 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 rellgious congregations, that recruit only “Knanaya” candidates. Where are we? 
I have strongly prohibited exclujsive parishes in my diocese based on endogamy. If such parishes are created, they start dividing families, outsting 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 bec of that.+Kuriakose, Faridabad,

2.Joseph Mattam,
Dear James,  Excellent piece; what you say is very true; it is racism of the worst kind. It should be opposed; the bishop's letter is very objectionable.Hope some sense gets into their dull heads.God bless you. Keep well,Joe

3.   Thomas Koovalloor, April 26/16
Dear Dr. Kottoor
 Happy to know that still at your golden age your mind is active like the mind of a young Turk. Hope and pray that you could do more.
 Thank you for sharing the latest article. People like you could change the world.
God Bless you. Thomas koovalloor, NY

4.John Dayal, April 26/16
Dear friend James
Thanks for that hard hitting truth-telling. That is  your trademark. Has always taken courage.
My own experience has been that the Lay faithful have been more hardbound in these matters than the clergy. That makes reform an uphill struggle.
And secondly, once we accept other divisions, Caste, Tribe, Rite, we lose the moral high ground to challenge some one  seeking a micro niche in the guise of nurturing culture, tradition, and heritage.
But struggle we must for a genuinely catholic  Catholic church in India.
God bless, John Dayal Dehi

5.Larry Carney, April 26/15    
I’m complete sympathetic with you and your views.  Unfortunately, I also experience a bit of a cultural barrier in communications back and forth, and have trouble fully understanding the complexities of the problem.  Meanwhile, I pray and wait and trust in the Lord to fill in for what I miss or can’t do.’
LLarry Carney

6.Sr. J.Johanna  Brandsta,           

Dear Sr.Regis.
Kindly note that I have given your ID to Dr.James  Kottoor without having asked your prior permission,so he  requested me to inform you.
I know him from the internet since long. What he communicates is of utmost importance for our Church and Society.He used to write in various periodicals ,including the Indian Currents.Thank you for your patience with me.

7.John Kunthara, April 28/15
This is joke what these bishops have settled on the issue of Knanaya and non Knanaya Catholics? In Angadiathes’s letter there is nothing new he simply agreed with the old practice. I don’t think Pope Francis is aware about this letter and he got more important matters to attend other than this silly issue of Knanaya pure blood based on mythical and unproven stories.
John K         

8.Anthony Moonnupeeddikail,     
My dear James,
         I hope that peace ill be widely read.   According to me every cultural entity is the extension of deep rooted self love in man and diminishes freedom and holiness. For which Jesus died on the Cross.
        Hope you are keeping fine, All of a sudden I am in active ministry, as a young priest of 60 had a severe heart attack, Love to you all,  Tony Moonnu,

9.Kirit Mahida, April, 27 2015
Dear Mr. James
I can only say my prayers that O ! God let this deadly virus not spread and contaminate. Striking at root of Jesus’ message of all are equally the children of God. What more satanic there can be?? If these heedless bishops are allowed to head the people of God where shall we end up?

10.Joy Paul Puthussery,  April 28/15

Dear Sri James Kottoor,
It is crystal clear that words like justice, fair play, humanity equality etc. Are anathema to our bishops. From the shameful letter of Mar Alenchery etc. Is an attempt to practice tactics of divide and rule among the faithful of Catholic Church. I fully support the heroic fight of the aggrieved faithful in the matter.
Joy Paul Puthussery.

11;Sr.Carol MSA  April 25, 2015 
I am from Kerala. Before I came to the North I never heard about this Kottayam business of Christianity history. Some 35 years back I had one Sister from Kottayam in my Community. While discussing one day this Kottayam Christianity topic came up. It was beyond my understanding ‘ why such closed Christian community exist in Indian Catholic Church. I kept on questioning that Sister in order to understand this mystery. But that Sister kept on arguing with me with such pride that she belong to this sect of original Christians; and in no way they want themselves to be polluted, and so they keep themselves pure blood relations without getting married with outside Kottayam community. It is absurd as for me I still cannot understand this. How can we call ourselves as one Body in Christ Jesus !

12.Dr Mathew April 25, 2015 
If a Knanaya Catholic belonging to a Knanaya parish/mission enters into marriage with a non-Knanaya partner, that non-Knanaya partner and children from that marriage will not become members of the Knanaya parish/mission but will remain members of the local non-Knanaya Syro Malabar parish/mission.
This is not acceptable.The Pope should interfere immediately.It has to be decided by the laity and not by few Bishops. Dr Kottoor is right.When we think of ecumenism in the light of Vatican  why the kottayam people are resisting change? There are more burning issues in this group like Sr Abaya case and the murder of Fr K J Thomas in Bangalore.The community should express its solidarity in seeking justice in these cases.

13. Rite Issue,  April 29/15  

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 apartheidwithin 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 bec 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 is this 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 Allenchery 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, Kurien Joseph,  N.Delhi.

14, Sales Kalayil, April 29/15
Dear Mr. Kottoor,  Thank you very much for the well written article:”Who Destroys Indian Christian Families?” to the main stream Catholics. I am pleased to let you know that you were very candid in stating the truth with proof: “It is Endogamy promoted in the Kottayam diocese by the triumvir in the Syro-Malabar Church(SMC) by written approval and blessing.”With such leaders on the helm it has lost its credibility. Rome must stop exclusive parishes on the basis of “Pure Blood” in the Syro-Malabar Church.Troudh baptism all become equal members without considerations of class, caste, race or creed. There are to be no distinctions between Jew and Gentiles, slave or free, male or female. We are all one in Christ Jesus.The practice of expulsion from Church membership is not only unchristian but also inconsistent with Gospel values. It is a human right violation and per your proof the head of Syro-Malabar hierarchy headed by Cardinal Alencherry supports this sin. Thanks much for taking the aaction to save the family humiliation where in a Christian marriage in a Chrisian marriage the bride and groom are consecrated and they build the body of Christ and are a domestic Church, namely the family.
Sales Kalayil, Chicago

15. Alex Esthappan,  May 1st 2015             

Dear James Kottoor,
I sent your article to all the Kna priests in America, Kottayam bishops, Chicago SM bishops, Mar Alenchery and other supporters and promoters of Knanaya purity just to show how others "appreciate their noble and heroic acts" for Christian ideals in this year of family.  
Bishop Mar Angadiath's circular letter of September 19, 2014 is a blatant violation of divine law, canon law, court decisions in Kerala, decisions of the Supreme court of India, scientific evidences, historical evidences and physical evidences.  A policy of exclusion to protect non-existing racial purity of Knanaya is unfit to the mainstream social values of our time, immoral and destructive to Knanaya families and community.   This Circular has the effect of practically nullifying the 1986 Rescript of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.  I do not understand why Mar Alenchery and Mar Angadiath surrendered Christian ideals to the racist ideology of Knas.  I do not understand why them approving and participating in the lawless behavior of Kottayam diocese.  Why they are participating in the humiliation of their own brethren by the Kottayam diocese.  Why the Supreme Pontiff and Congregations hesitate to tell Kottayam bishop and others to stop this non-sense in the Church.  As an endogamous Knanaya Catholic, I would like to know, if anybody is listening.  
Regards, Alex Kavumpurath

16. Sri Jose Paul,1st/15

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 teaches 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 the  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 inleading 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 aslo 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 Kotoor disagreeing with the decisions of the three Shepard’s including the cardinal, since realization has come to him about the injustice and inhumaneness 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. Jose Paul, Delhi.

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1 Response

  1. James says:

    You do realise that even if you get the catholic church to ban endogamy, the Knanaya catholics will simply convert and join their Knanaya Jacobite brothers.

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