A study in contrast to see whom you follow! Comparisons are both Odious & heartening! Also a shock therapy to move on to right track
Church Citizens' Voice
Look at the two pictures: one above, another below.
First the one above
Look at it sharply to take in every detail, every individual and their facial expressions etc, not a passing glance to see and forget instantly.A picture is equal to thousand words because pictures don’t lie.
One in the centre is the Man from Nazarethsquatting in the midst of the Cattle Class, the pennyless poor, a perfect example of equality, fraternity, fellow feeling and above all the real“Self emptying,” Saul of Tarsus speaks of Jesus shorn of all divinity, splendor and heavenly glory or sheen.
There is not an iota of servant-master distinction, as His declared mission was to serve and not to be served, or lord it over!
Now to the second picture
In the second picture aboveyou see his self-proclaimed Vicars of Christ, decked in royal splendor, in spotless, overflowing garments overlaid with garlands of currencynotes that proclaim precious worldly money-power, accompanied by servants ready to bend and bow and hold decorated umbrellas to protect the sensitive Vicars from the heat of the sun.
Now to your choice! With whom are you? Whom do you follow now and want to here after? You can’t serve both God and Mammon of iniquity.If you are with Jesus and his CATTLE CLASS, stay on and proclaim it aloud, shout it from house tops! That is evangelization, spreading the GOOD WORD!
This scribe was stupid enough for the most part of his life to listen and follow the self-proclaimed leaders and vicars in the second picture. Since shame tortured him and sense provoked him, he proclaimed publicly four years ago in Chicago’s Cathedral hall quoting Ambedkar: “By no fault of mine I was born in Syromalabar Church but I shall not die in it’’ and called quits to all divided organized churches, praising themselves like the Pharisee in the temple, and therefore ire-formable humanly speaking and beyond redemption as they say and ground realities around point to.
He is now very happy and at peace with the Cattle Class in the company of the one born in a cattle shed and feels proud of it. Of course it was also because there was “No room for him in the Inns” of the comfortable class. There will be none either!
Our readers have the perfect freedom to accept or reject the suggestion of the editor of ccv. But everyone must make a choice, to be honest to God (if one believes in a God), honest to oneself and honest to others. At least there must be no dispute on: “Honesty is the best policy.”
"Honesty is the best policy" as propounded by Indian tradition (I do not know if Chanakya subscribed to this view) and revered Dr James Kottoor, Editor-in-Chief-Church Citizens' Voice, has been devised keeping in mind the sheep (laity) which constitute 85% of the Church. For others, who consider themselves la creme de la creme of the society, both civil and religious, the golden rule does not apply. This is proven by the fact:
(1) Leading lay associations are run as fiefdom with unscrupulously-framed rules and regulations which only benefit a few members who believe in perpetuating their hegemony through a coterie culture, including co-option of their yespersons in various committees. Most members are just made to twiddle their thumbs, while only a handful and powerful rule the roost.
(2) There is no transparent system of accountability and election of office bearers. In fact queries by some members on accounts, are sneered at and swept under the carpet. This is also applicable to church / diocesan accounts.
(2) Most churches DO NOT have Parish Finance Committees, even though Vatican II, which is much trumpeted, mandated it more than 50 years ago in 1962-65. Catholic Bishops Conference of India and the Bishops of the respective 174 dioceses are just SILENT on this as if nothing was wrong. May be they will wake up when some heads roll due to conviction in courts a la Cardinal Alencherry.
(3) Most parishes / dioceses do not maintain an ASSETS REGISTER for inspection of parishioners. There was a parish I know where the Assistant Parish Priest was doing land-mapping and a complete dossier on parish assets. He was summarily transferred by his parish priest who became infamous for use of money power to hire musclemen and political power, to have his way in murky real estate deals. When matters came to a head, he vanished from the Parish without giving any accounts, and is now reportedly lurking around somewhere in Bengal.
(3) Honesty is NOT the best policy is proved by the Archdiocese of Ernakulam which is now mired in a major land scam. The Kerala High Court, by its pronouncement of 6th March 2018, has called the bluff of Cardinal George Alencherry (who told the court that he was only accountable to the Pope as per Canon Law) and has ordered a full police enquiry. Even the judges know Canon Law which says Law of the Land shall prevail as far as matters of temporal goods were concerned.
(4) The judgement is in line with its earlier judgement of 10th October 2012 where it said Laity has a right to church property. The High Court had then observed "Parishioners, independently or together as a committee of administrators, are competent to represent the parish and claim rights over the property of the church…. the competence of the plaintiffs (parishioners) cannot be doubted even going by the Canon Law; less so by the law applicable to this land." It had further observed "Church and its properties would not vest in the Pope or the archbishop and the maxim "Roma locuta est, causa finite est" (Rome has spoken, case is closed) no longer survives, the court observed in the judgment." The Cardinal and and his team of advisers had a memory lapse and conveniently forgot this judgement.
As reported on 10th March 2018 in mattersindia.com, a group of priests came out openly against its head Cardinal George Alencherry over alleged irregularities in a land deal involving him. Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, also the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and Soosa Pakiam, Archbishop of the Latin Rite Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, held meetings with Alencherry, auxiliary bishops and agitating priests of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.
The move comes a day after over 200 priests of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese hit the streets, urging Alencherry to keep off all responsibilities of the Archdiocese in view of a police probe on the alleged irregularities. With Kerala High Court having ordered a police enquiry, this can be termed a fire-fighting exercise.
It's sad that most Cardinals, Bishops and Parish Priest still do not see the writing on the wall and therefore even today one can see a yawning gap between precept and practice of the dictum "Honesty is the Best Policy"!
The picture shown in CCV of the overdressed Cardinal George Alencherry and his deputies wearing garlands made of many many currency notes, walking under the shade of colourful “muthukudas” with smug smirking faces is nauseating to say the least. Contrast this to the almost bloodied and bare bodied Jesus carrying a heavy cross to Calvary to be crucified ignominiously.
This proves that these people (cardinals, etc.) offer only lip service to their God-Human.
By being fully robed for ceremonious occasions, why can’t they admit that they follow Emperor Constantine as their model?
But the “goats and cattle” believers will sing loudly “Hosanna in the Highest” before this shallow jokers masquerading as the followers of the Galilean. They will hunt the pages of the Bible and other related literature for theological justification of this charade, no doubt. Why doesn't somebody have the courage to spit at thematic contempt?