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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Open letter to Pope Francis

"Most Respected Holy Father, Kindly give equal rights to all Autonomous Churches in communion with the Holy See. Please stop restricting the Eastern Churches to small territories."

Catholic Church or the Holy See is the Ecclesia or Communion of 23 autonomous or particular Churches including Latin Church and 22 Eastern Catholic Churches, having equal rights and duties. Each of these 23 Churches are having its own head. Bishop of Rome is the Head of Latin Church and at the same time, the Head of the Holy Catholic See. Majority of the Catholics are a part of Latin Catholic Church. Other Catholics belongs to 22 Eastern Catholic Churches.

While the Latin Church enjoys 'Global' privileges, Eastern Churches are restricted to some small territories, defined by specific boundaries. It is very difficult for an Eastern Church to establish Parishes or serve its own faithful living outside its territory. Latin Church creates Parishes/Dioceses wherever they wants. But when an Eastern Church tries to create a Parish outside its territory, in most of the cases, the local Latin authorities does not allow it. Exceptions are there. But In majority regions around the world, this is what happening. As a result the Eastern Churches are facing serious difficulties to give away the traditions to the younger generations of the migrants.

As a part of the Catholic Church, Eastern Churches also have same rights and duties as the Latin church. Our mother Church, Syro Malabar Church is having millions of faithful migrated to various states of India and various countries across the globe. But still we are restricted to the small state of Kerala in India. As a result our migrant communities are losing their traditions. Cries for parishes and dioceses takes infinite amount of time. In some regions local Latin authorities denies even the Liturgical celebrations according to our traditions.

"..Means should be taken therefore in every part of the world for the protection and advancement of all the individual Churches and, to this end, there should be established parishes and a special hierarchy where the spiritual good of the faithful demands it.." (Vatican Council II)

This was a dream of Second Vatican Council. Even after 50 years, sadly, we can not see any improvements.

 "..All members of the Eastern Rite should know and be convinced that they can and should always preserve their legitimate liturgical rite and their established way of life.." (Vatican Council II)

But we are not allowed to do the same!!! How can we preserve our traditions when we are not allowed to live according to our traditions and give away our traditions to the younger generations? 

So this is a very serious issue. Latin Church have the responsibility to help smaller Eastern Churches to preserve and nurture their traditions. Most respected Holy Father, kindly open the windows for the Eastern Churches. Please allow the Eastern Catholic Churches to grow and serve their faithful around the Globe. Stop restricing us by creating bounderies. Let every one understand the beauty of the  Catholic Communion. 

May the grace of our lord Ieso Mishiha, Love of our heavenly father and the blessings of Ruha de kudisha be with us for ever and ever..


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