Papal delegate to Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese begins discussions, meets priests

Published - August 07, 2023 08:10 pm IST - KOCHI

Papal delegate to Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese Archbishop Cyril Vasil has begun meeting priests and delegates in Kochi on Monday as part of efforts to peacefully implement a decision by the Synod of Syro-Malabar Church to follow a uniform system of mass celebration.

The papal delegate, who called for cooperation and prayers for an amicable settlement ahead of beginning his mission, met a group of five priests who were part of the delegation that met the synod members in January this year on the issue of liturgy. Meeting with the priests marked the beginning of his mission in Kochi. The team comprised Antony Narikulam, Kuriakose Mundadan, Biju Perumayan, Sunny Kalapurackal and Sebastian Thalian.

One of the team members said after the two-and-half-hour meeting that the papal delegate was in Kochi to implement the synod’s decision to follow a uniform mass system, contrary to an earlier impression that he would hear both sides before reaching a decision on the liturgical issue. He said the apostolic administrator Andrews Thazhath and his predecessor also were trying to implement the synod’s decision. He expressed apprehension that the issue might not be resolved. The papal delegate later met members of the consultative forum of the archdiocese and former curia members.

The group of lay people opposed to the synod’s decision claimed that the papal delegate took a one-sided stand in his meeting with the archdiocesan representatives. The stand was unacceptable, said spokesman for the group Almaya Munnettam Riju Kanjookkaran.

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