Thousands take to streets in support of Syro-Malabar archbishop
August 08, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: Thousands of Catholics took to the streets on August 7 in defense of Archbishop Antony Kariyil, the former vicar of the major archbishop for the Syro-Malabar Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly, whom the Vatican ordered to resign.
The prelate has been a central figure in the liturgical dispute that has rocked the Eastern Catholic church.
Pope Francis has exhorted the faithful of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church to obey the Syro-Malabar hierarchy’s decision on a uniform method of celebrating the liturgy in all of the church’s eparchies (dioceses).
The uniform method envisions the celebrant turning towards the faithful in the initial rites but then turning towards the altar during the Eucharistic sacrifice. In some eparchies, however, including the Major Archeparchy of Ernakulam–Angamaly, the entire liturgy has been offered facing the people in recent decades.
Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, has been the leading proponent of the uniform method. Archbishop Kariyil—until the resignation, his archiepiscopal vicar—has been a leading opponent of the uniform method. The vast majority of Ernakulam–Angamaly’s priests have sided with Archbishop Kariyil.
On August 6, the Syro-Malabar Church issued a letter stating that Archbishop Kariyil was asked to resign because he was “challenging the authority of the Church” and “disobeying the Pope’s clear instructions” on implementing the Syro-Malabar hierarchy’s decision.
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