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Syro-Malabar Catholics block archbishop from entry in troubled archdiocese

October 19, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Lay Catholics in the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly are staging a vigil at the archbishop’s residence, to block the arrival of an apostolic administator appointed by the Vatican.

The vigil is the latest in a series of conflicts in the archdiocese, where Archbishop Antony Kariyil resigned in August, saying that he had been pressured by the Vatican to step down because of intense liturgical disputes. The Vatican named Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Trichur as apostolic administrator, but mass protests among the faithful continued.

The focus of the dispute is a change in the Syro-Malabar liturgy, barring priests from celebrating the liturgy facing the people—as had been their tradition. Archbishop Kariyil had granted the priests of the archdiocese a dispensation to continue that tradition, while Pope Francis has urged priests to make the change.

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