Lay group alleges ‘sabotage’ of synod decision in talks with papal delegate

Almaya Munnettam says discussions on Mass issue ‘fully satisfactory’

Updated - December 19, 2023 07:12 pm IST

Published - December 19, 2023 06:53 pm IST - KOCHI

A lay people’s group in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese has demanded that the Syro-Malabar synod’s decision on liturgy be suspended, and a commission be constituted by Rome to look into what the group called “sabotage” of the synod’s decision on Mass celebration.

In a public statement, the lay group, Almaya Munnettam, alleged that the synod’s decision on Mass was sabotaged as clauses were “illegally” added to it.

Riju Kanjukkaran, official spokesman of the lay group, said in the statement that the demands were made at a meeting of its representatives with apostolic administrator Bosco Puthur and papal delegate Cyril Vasil. The demand before the Church authorities was backed by documents that proved the group’s claim, he said.

The archdiocese has stuck to the mode of Mass celebration and text for the purpose approved by the Pope himself, the group claimed in its statement. However, when the approved text was sent back by Rome to archdiocese, a clause was added to it regarding the “body language of the priest”. It is this clause that the archdiocese has refused to approve, Mr. Kanjukkaran added.

Any attempt to impose the clause on the archdiocese will be resisted, the lay group leaders said. Forum convener Jemi Augustine and Mr. Kanjukkaran claimed that discussions on the Mass issue were fully satisfactory. Leaders of the lay group who participated in the discussions on Tuesday included Shaiju Antony, Sooraj Paulose, Biju Thomas, K.M. John, Nimmy Antony, Jomon T.J., Prakash P. John, and Benny Francis.

The statement also said that archbishop Vasil and bishop Puthur had held discussions with priests, overseers and vice-chairpersons of parishes, leaders of various ecclesiastical groups, women’s representatives, pastoral council secretary and former secretaries, and representatives of the Basilica Parish Council.

The papal delegate is set to meet members of the ad hoc committee of priests, after which he is expected to submit a report to Rome, Mr. Kanajukkaran said.

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