Let us pray, peace be with us:

"The Cross that has been the cause of our good and by which our mortal humanity was set free,
O Lord, be for us a strong fortress. And by this Cross, we shall overcome the wicked one and All his devices."

(Syro-Malabar Qurbana)

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                     THE NAZRANI        “The Truth will make you free”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------            Vol.20, No. 1              New Delhi                January, 2010                         --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Celebrating 20 years of service to the Church    

 

The Nazrani is entering the 20th year of its publication. It was in 1991 that she saw light. At that time, everybody thought it would be a nine days wonder! But she goes on from strength to strength. It is only because of the whole-hearted support of the enlightened Syro-Malabarians all over the world. Her birth was like a bolt from the blue. She had no assets. Her capital was zero. It is only God’s providence which sustains her. She is really moved and touched by the love and affection of the people. The encouraging and congratulatory letters that she is getting from far and wide bear testimony to this. Mostly, she had only four pages, but she goes like a well guided “Missile” that demolishes the foundations of her adversaries. But she would like to inform everyone that her difference is just at the ideological level. The Nazrani is keen that it should not touch its personal relationships. She believes the Syro-Malabar Church is a Church of the laity from its very beginning. But today, the laity are not allowed to speak in the Church. Their sole function is to ‘pray and pay’. Any criticism against the authorities is anathema. The clerical Church has never understood that the reality of the Church is based on the shared responsibility of the hierarchy and the laity. Some times her approach may be powerful and even provocative. It is because of her courage and commitment for a noble cause. She speaks out of conviction combined with her insights based on her experience as laymen. Her approach is a refreshing change from the biased, myopic view point of the Latinised Syro-Malabarians. The Nazrani wishes to reinstate the laity as first class citizens in the Church. A big thanks to all our readers and well-wishers. We promise to continue our work with renewed fire and vigour. The Nazrani wishes all its readers and well-wishers a prosperous and fruitful New Year. We promise to try our best to justify the confidence and goodwill reposed on The Nazrani.

 

OBEY THE MAJOR ARCHBISHOP OR QUIT

 

DECREE

 

After due consultation and deliberation in the concerned forums and with the approval of the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church in its sessions held from 10th to 22nd July, 2000, 30th October to 11th November, 2000, 9th to 21st January 2006, 21st August to 2nd September 2006 and 18th to 29th August, 2008 and after having obtained the recognitio of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 2nd April, 2009, the undersigned Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church hereby promulgates the liturgical texts for Christmas, Penitential Service to begin the Great Fast (Vibhoothi), Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Passion Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, to be effective from 14th September, 2009 and with the same Act declares that all other texts hitherto in use for the celebration of the above mentioned liturgical rites stand abrogated from the same date.

 

All contrary dispositions notwithstanding.

 

Given at Kakkanad from the Major Archiepiscopal Curia of the Syro-Malabar Church at Mount St. Thomas on 6th August, 2009.

 

                                                                                     +Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil

                                                         Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church

                             

It is clear that the above Decree was promulgated “after due consultation and deliberations in the concerned forums and with the approval of the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church” in its various sessions right from 2000 to 2008 “and after having obtained the recognition of the congregation of the Oriental Chruches” in April, 2009. The laity have the right to know such Decrees and there have been directives to read such Decrees in all Syro-Malabar Churches/Qurbana centres when promulgated. However, in Delhi the priests conceal them from the faithful. They also do not practice the directives. In Delhi, the priests from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam did not celebrate the liturgy as per the new liturgical text for Christmas, as above. Instead, they used the unauthorized and abrogated text and also a clandestine publication from Ernakulam!

 

We as laymen, are really scandalized to find the crude disobedience of our priests to their only Superior that is the Major Archbishop. They often ask us laymen “you obey first my order”. Now, how can a priest who does not obey the Major Archbishop expect obedience from his people? Now, we laymen say “first obey the Major Archbishop or quit. No heaven will fall if they go. The authorities should take strict action against those who do not obey the Major Archbishop. We do not want indisciplined priests in the Church. 

 

People are under the false impression that the pastoral care of Syro-Malabarians in Delhi has been entrusted to the Archdiocese of Ernakulam. However, it is not correct and there is no documentary evidence to prove that. There were no discussions in the then SMBC or in the present Bishops Synod. The same is the case with Bangalore. Even if a place outside Kerala is entrusted to a particular Bishop or Diocese, the Syro-Malabar Church outside Kerala is always the common property of the Church. Kalyan and Chicago can be cited as precedents in this regard. As a gesture of goodwill, the Archbishop of Delhi had referred the appointment of parish priests of the personal parishes to the Major Archbishop. Since the present Major Archbishop is from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam, without taking the Syro-Malabar Bishops Synod into confidence, he nominated all the priests from one particular diocese which is not honoring the established principle that the Syro-Malabar Church outside Kerala is the common property of the Syro-Malabar Church. Had there been a consolidated effort on the part of the Synod of Bishops and priests were appointed after proper discussions from all the Dioceses in Kerala, we could have constructed more churches in Delhi by now with the help of Syro-Malabar dioceses in Kerala. It would have helped the Church of Delhi in many ways. Often it was heard in the palliyogams where churches were under construction, people asking the respective Vicar about contributions from the Church in Kerala and the Vicars had to put a sorry figure. Now, the entire burden of Church construction in Delhi is left to the poor laity without any proper support from Kerala! It is because of this sorry state of affairs that a vast majority of the Syro-Malabarians in Delhi are still with the Latin Church.

 

There is a tendency now to impose the mutilated Ernakulam Qurbana in Delhi, ignoring the Synodal directives. It was not so when Rev Fr Sebastian Vadakumpadan was in charge of the pastoral care of the Syro-Malabarians in Delhi. No hymns outside the Taksa were allowed. He had given strict instructions to priests to celebrate the Qurbana as per the Taksa only. However things have gone haywire since the appointment of Fr Jose Edassery as Co-ordinator.

 

There is no justification in introducing the so-called ‘option” (dispensation) in Delhi now.  Strictly speaking, there is no option, but a dispensation.  A dispensation is nothing but a relaxation or concession to the law when there is a just cause or reason.  What is the just cause in Delhi for introducing the mutilated Ernakulam Qurbana now ?

 

We reproduce hereunder excerpts from the Delhi Syro-Malabar Mission, Catechetical Diary 2009-10, page 21:

 

Kneeling: During the most important parts of the Holy Eucharist such as Consecration, invoking the coming of the Holy Spirit and at elevation, it is desirable that we kneel down and pray.  It is the expression of profound humility, worship, reconciliation and repentance.

 

Liturgical hymns:

Psalm (Karthaave mama raajaave) optional

Gospel hymn (Halleluiahpadeedunnen) - optional

Misihaa karthaavin thirumeininavumitha - optional

Onnayuchaswarathilavar - optional

Rakshakneesothan - optional

 

The optional hymns are always from the Latin Mass or any other cinematic album. This is how our little ones are taught in Delhi! We must bear in mind that the above changes are made despite the clear instructions from the Major Archbishop not to use hymns outside the approved Text of Qurbana without the approval from the Liturgical Commission. In some parishes, the number of Novenas are increasing. In the Palam personal parish the cost of one Novena is Rs 800 ! Qurbana is secondary!

 

The Major Archbishop had assured the Syro-Malabar Bishops Synod that those priests who do not follow the Synodal decisions in Delhi would be called back. But, in spite of this, there are priests like Fr Jose Edassery(Co-ordinator), Fr Martin Palamattam, et al still celebrating the mutilated Qurbana completely facing the people despite the fact that there is our own Church both at Palam and Karol Bagh ! The Nazrani, therefore, requests the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar church to take immediate steps to replace such priests.