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Major archbishop’s post-synod circular rejected, says lay people’s group 

January 22, 2023 07:31 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:04 am IST - KOCHI

Almaya Munnettam, a lay people’s group in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, claimed that the post-synod circular issued by major archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry to be read out during the Sunday Mass was rejected by an overwhelming majority of the forane churches and priests.

A statement issued after Sunday Mass by the lay people’s group claimed that the circular was read out only in four of the 450 institutions in the archdiocese, made up of 328 parishes and sub-divisions, religious houses, and institutions.

The group said only a fully congregation-facing Mass would be allowed in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. The statement claimed that an attempt to read out the major archbishop’s circular at the Akaparambu church was withdrawn after the faithful protested. They gathered before the church after the Mass to burn copies of the circular.

Jemi Augustine and Riju Kanjookkaran of the laity group also said committees would be formed in all parishes to monitor the situation and fight any attempt to impose the synodal Mass. The laity group is opposed to what it has called the imposition of a unified Mass system recommended by the Synod of bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church in August last year. The Synod has recommended a Mass system in which the celebrant or the priest faced the congregation for the first half of the Mass and then turned away from them during the rest of the ceremonies. However, the lay group wants a fully congregation-facing Mass.

Meanwhile, Athiroopatha Almaya Samrakshana Samithi, a lay people’s group in support of the synodal Mass, said it would initiate legal procedures against the priests who refused to read out the major archbishop’s circular during the Sunday Mass. The faithful members of the parishes had a right to know the will of the church leadership but their rights had been denied, said president Johny Thottamkara in a statement here.

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