Mass celebration row: Archbishop’s appeal to faithful fails to break stalemate

Majority of faithful plan to join a fully congregation facing Mass to mark Easter ceremonies at Sacred Heart Church at Vaduthala as St. Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, remains closed

April 08, 2023 08:00 pm | Updated 08:00 pm IST - KOCHI

An appeal from Archbishop Andrews Thazhath, the apostolic administrator of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, to members and community of priests of St. Mary’s Cathedral parish to switch to the unified Mass system from Easter appears to have failed to break the stalemate as a majority of the faithful plan to join a fully congregation facing Mass to mark Easter ceremonies at Sacred Heart Church, Vaduthala.

The Holy Week ceremonies have been shifted to the Vaduthala church as the cathedral church remains closed following violent incidents two days ahead of Christmas last year.

A spokesman for Alamaya Munnettam, a lay people’s group vociferously opposed to the unified Mass prescribed by the Synod in favour of the celebrant facing the congregation for the entire duration of the Mass, said the parishioners had largely ignored the letter from Mar Thazhath. The spokesman claimed that the opposition to the Synodal Mass and the feelings of the parishioners had clearly been conveyed to the archdiocesan hierarchy. He said the hierarchy had ignored the feelings of the majority, which opposed the Synodal Mass.

The letter sent out by Mar Thazhath on March 27 had appealed to the parishioners to shift to the Synodal Mass in a spirit of reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, said in his Easter message that the risen Christ passes on the message of love that challenges hatred, love way above personal rivalries and fellowship in love in place of hostilities.

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