Mass issue: Rome unlikely to intervene before Nov. 28

The community of priests of the Syro-Malabar Major Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, who have stood staunchly for a fully congregation-facing Mass celebration do not expect Rome to intervene in the matter before November 28, even as the synod of bishops of the Sryo-Malabar Church has issued a diktat on starting the unified Mass celebration throughout the Church from November 28.

At the same time, the priests, religious and lay persons opposed to the synod demand for a uniform Mass celebration have said they would observe November 28 as Cardinal Joseph Parekkttil remembrance day with a Mass. The unified Mass system involves the celebrant (priest) facing the congregation for half the duration and facing away from the congregation for the other half of the Mass.

A senior priest of the major archdiocese said that there was little chance of Rome intervening before November 28 though Archbishop Antony Kariyil, administrator of the major archdiocese, had landed in Rome with the intention of possibly meeting Pope Francis. He is scheduled to meet the Vatican State secretary and head of the Congregation for Oriental Churches on the developments following the synodal decision. He is accompanied by Msgr. Antony Narikulam, who is an expert of liturgy, church sources said.

Church sources said that Cardinal Parekkattil, who headed the archdiocese in 1956 and passed away in 1987 was a staunch supporter of the Mass with the celebrant facing the people throughout its duration. Many modern elements in the Syrian Catholic liturgy were introduced through his intervention. He had imbibed the spirit of the second Vatican Council after he attended it between 1962 and 1965. A senior priest said that ‘the pilgrimage to the tomb’ would be an occasion to remember him and seek his blessings.

He felt that the spirit of the second Vatican Council was being forgotten. The council had called for restoration, revival and adaptation in keeping with the spirit of the times and culture of the people, he added. Mass celebration facing away from the people was going back in time, he felt.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 11:58:26 PM |

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