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Whose Rite Is It Anyway?

Well, this was bound to happen. There are those in the Roman Catholic Church who look down upon those 'other' Catholics. They think they have no right to their 'strange' and 'ancient' liturgy in a dead language, well at least not side by side in churches with the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. Now things are starting to get ugly at St. Michael's Church.

"On that day, people from the ... parish started provoking us. They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church. A heated argument followed and some of us were pushed and hit. It seemed to be a pre-planned job as the police had been stationed there from 6 am," said Sunil John
I know what you are thinking. It was inevitable. This bitterness and infighting is the inevitable result of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. That progressives are fighting the traditionalist in the church over which liturgy is better? Think again.

This sad tale actually has nothing to do with the traditional Latin Mass at all. This is actually a fight between Catholics of the Latin rite and those of the Syro-Malabar rite in India. You may be wondering, "the syro-whosy-whats-it rite?" From Wikipedia:

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a Major Archiepiscopal Church in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest group among the Saint Thomas Christians tracing their origins to St. Thomas the Apostle who came to India in AD 52. The Syro Malabar Church is the largest St Thomas Christian community in India.[1]

The Syro-Malabar Hierarchy was founded on 21 December 1923 with Ernakulam as its centre and its Major Archbishop as the Head.

Apparently the Syro-malabar Catholics, primarily located in Kerala in India, has many adherents outside of that region. In Delhi, the SM Catholics are under the jurisdiction of the Latin Rite bishop and have their liturgy in the Latin Churches there. Some of the Latin rite Catholics are being less than hospitable. Some of the fight stems over hikes in the rent payments and by the fact that the SM Catholics in the area now want their own diocese. They are awaiting approval on their new diocese from Rome.

In the meantime, these two rites will just have to find a way to be 'Catholic' together. Good thing that this type of nonsensical infighting doesn't happen here, right?

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2 comments:

Tony said...

This would be humorous if it wasn't so sad.

We had, for quite a few years, a Maronite community who held the Maronite Mass on the third Sunday of every month at 4:00pm.

This Mass is in Arabic (with the consecration in Aramaic) and has a longer history than the Tridentine rite.

Those who wished to attend, attended. Those who did not wish to attend, did not. I chose to attend one weekend and it was a moving and very holy experience for me.

I don't understand why there couldn't be a traveling priest in every diocese, to provide an Extraordinary expression once a month in those parishes which can't (won't) provide it.

jjk said...

This is what exactly the problem with people they look rituals and procedures over believe in God. Your faith in God is more important than in which right you observe that. Do you honestly believe that Jesus Christ created this Syro Malabar or Latin right? For that reason did he create the Catholic Church? Don't tell me about the Holly See or Cannon Laws they are all created by people. If Jesus appointed Peter as the head of his new movement then why do you think Peter is the sole property of Catholic Church?. It is so ridiculous to see people spending millions and millions dollars to create Syro Malabar Churches in the US and Canada. If you are a Catholic who believes in Jesus and the Hierarchy of the Pope then you only need one church. There are so many Catholic churches in the US. No one is rejected from any of the existing churches in the US based on ethnicity or culture. What is the need to re invent the wheel again. It is ok for Malayalee Catholics to accept all the rules and procedures created by government agencies and their employers, but they can't accept a liturgy in the Latin right. What SMCC churches have done in the US is created division among people other wise got along very well.
SMC Bishops and priests are encouraging Malayalee Catholics all over the US to engage in to create Churches for the sake of strengthening their existence. When you make building so called church is this for God to live or is it a symbol of the organization you are creating? If it is for God then God is telling you that you could spend this money to help my other children they need your help.

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