Syro-Malabar priests defend archbishop, fear Vatican will force resignation
July 25, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: Syro-Malabar Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly have issued a statement denouncing that they see as Vatican pressure for the resignation of Archbishop Antony Kariyil.
The archbishop is at the center of a heated liturgical dispute within the Syro-Malabar Church. With strong support from the clergy of his archdiocese, he has resisted a change in liturgical orientation that has been adapted in other Syro-Malabar dioceses and endorsed by the Vatican.
The Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church voted last year, after intense debate, that priests should face toward the East during the Eucharistic sacrifice. In the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, the leading archdiocese of the India-based rite—priests had been facing the congregation throughout the liturgy. Archbishop Kariyil gave his priests a dispensation from the Synod’s order, prompting a rebuke from the Vatican—which has, ironically, supported the ad orientem liturgy in this case.
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