Emergency meeting of Syro-Malabar synod to end dispute over Mass

Synod at Church headquarters at St. Thomas Mount between June 12 and 16

May 28, 2023 07:44 pm | Updated 07:44 pm IST - KOCHI

Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop and head of the Syro-Malabar Church, has convened an emergency meeting of the synod of bishops of the Church at its headquarters, St. Thomas Mount, Kakkanad, between June 12 and 16.

The official order on the synod meeting has been handed over to the synod members by the Major Archbishop, said an official communication from the Syro-Malabar Church here.

The synod is being convened on instructions from the Holy See after permanent synod members visited Rome early this month, said the communication issued by Fr. Antony Vadakkekara, Public Relations Officer and media commission secretary. Central to the synod meeting will be a resolution of the problems confronting the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese in implementing the unified Mass, the communication added.

The Cardinal had led the permanent synod members to Rome early this month to hold discussions with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State in the Vatican and Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches. It is learnt that the issues confronting the Church, including the division over the Mass celebration, figured prominently in the discussions.

Thazhath’s appeal

In the meanwhile, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese Andrews Thazhath has sent out an appeal to Church members to cooperate to reopen the St. Mary’s basilica, which was closed by the district administration on the eve of Christmas 2022 after unsavoury incidents inside the church.

The May 27 letter from the archbishop said that the appeal was being sent out in the background of false allegations that he was party to the closure of the basilica, which is the principal church of the archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly. Archbishop Thazhath said that the police intervened to close the basilica after the incidents in which two groups of people confronted each other inside the church. It was closed after an understanding the police had in the presence of the basilica rector and the basilica administrator. It was only later that the apostolic administrator came to know of the closure of the church, the archbishop added. He also said that as per the present orders only the unified Mass system will be permitted in the basilica and a fully congregation-facing Mass will be in violation of the orders of the Holy See and the synod of bishops.

The apostolic administrator appealed to all for cooperation to celebrate the unified Mass and to refrain from spreading false news.

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