No. 18, Pidariyar Koil Lane,
His Grace Dr. A.M. Chinnappa,
Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore,
Tamil Nadu Catholic Bishops Council,
No. 21, Santhome High Road,
Chennai -600 004.
May it please Your Grace,
1. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has appointed 24 new cardinals on 20.10.2010. The new cardinals will be installed in a special consistory to be held at the Sistine Chapel, Vatican on the feast of Christ the King on 28.11.2010. Among the new cardinals one is from Colombo, our neighboring country. But none has been selected from Tamil Nadu. After Cardinal Lourdusamy, no Tamilian has been appointed as cardinal. The Tamilnadu Catholic Bishops have to project their ability in the International Level.
2. Nowadays very rarely bishops and priests are preaching about faith, moral values and doctrines of the Catholic Church in their Sermons and Catechism to the laity.
3. In Tamilnadu, Bishops are preaching or teaching not in the line of Vatican or Magisteriam of the Catholic Church. But the bishops are indifferently giving sermon like the cheap politicians. The bishops have forgotten their duty cast upon them according to canon law 386 (i).
4. I hereby quote some of the bishops in the international community of their preaching and some important issues facing the Catholic Church as follows:-
5. On 09.05.2007, present Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in Brazil stated that “ legislators who support laws allowing abortions should be excommunicated“. During his press conference on 10.05.2007 on his flight to Sao Paulo, he was asked whether the supported Mexican Church leaders threatening to excommunicate leftist parliamentarians who voted to legalise abortion in Mexico City in April 2007. Pope Benedict replied “Yes” this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by the Church Law that is canon law 1398, which says that “ A person who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic excommunication”.
6. During the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States on 28.04.2008 at Yankee Stadium, he spoke of the “inalienable dignity and rights of the most defenseless of all human beings, the unborn child in the mothers’ womb”.
7. On 14.07.2008 Archbishop Jesus Armamento Dosado of Ozamis, Philippines has announced that “ politicians who support legal abortion will not be allowed to receive communion”.
8. On 17.03.2009, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to use of condoms in the fight against AIDS, in “Yaounde”, the capital of Cameroon, Africa. He said “AIDS cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms, on the contrary, they increase the problem”. Further he said, “the only solution is two fold ; the first is a humanization of sexuality, a human, spiritual renewal which brings with it a new way of behaving among people and, secondly, a true friendship, especially for those who are suffering a willingness to make personal sacrifices”.
9. On 15.10.2010, Denver Archbishop Most Rev.Charles Chaput, addressing a conference in British Columbia “Faith in the Public Square” seminar sponsored by the Diocese of Victoria asserted that “Catholics today have failed to transmit the faith to the next generation, which has resulted in young people losing their moral vocabulary”.
10. On 19.10.2010 Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil spoke out “in defence of human life, stressing that abortion must not be legalized in the country. He will soon celebrate pro life week in order to warm Brazilian of the threats to human life”.
11. On 20.10.2010, Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata, Argentina has criticized “the United Nations for spreading ideologies that fall to respect fundamental human rights and the family”.
12. On 20.10.2010 Bishop Mario Grech of Valetta, Malta cited Jesus response in Mathew 19, said “divorce contradicts the value of marriage and changes its very nature”. The Archbishop of Malta Paul Cremon have said “noting the failed promises of divorce advocates they emphasized that Christians must be accountable to Jesus in matters of marriage and divorce”.
13. The Pope Benedict XVI and many bishops are talking about abortion and contraception. But in Tamilnadu bishops and priests till date are not talking about abortion and contraception. Why the Tamilnadu Bishops are shy about to speak on the above subject. Our Lord Jesus Christ said; “And that which you hear in the ear preach ye from the housetops”. (Mathew 10:27).
14. Further the auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda the remote place of Kazakhstan, Most. Rev. Athanasius Schneider, who has written a little gem of a book on the subject, entitled “Dominus est – It is the lord”. That is a faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that was so strong as to be willing to die for it as shedding light on the origin an reinforcement of his adoring manner of receiving communion kneeling and on the tongue.
15. Further the Archbishop of Colombo Most Rev.Dr.Malcolm Ranjith, addressing the faithful at the solemn Jubilee of Eucharistic Celebration of St. Michaels’ Church on 29.09.2010, have said “ the angels are messengers of God assigned different tasks in His Mission. As we heard the 2nd reading today (20.09.2010) St. Michael the Archangel fought the battle safeguard us against the wickedness and snares of the devil. Unfortunately we have abandoned some of the prayers we use to say to the Archangels”. Further he said, How often you go to confession? Even without making confession, people have the habit of just coming and receiving Holy Communion. Further, the Archbishop issued a pastoral letter to the diocese wherein he said by celebrating the mass “facing the Lord by receiving communion on the tongue instead of receiving it in the hand, and by kneeling to receive it.
16. But, in Tamilnadu, the Mass and the liturgy has no common rubric, each priest has his own style of celebrating the Mass. No two priests celebrate the mass in the same manner, so much so, the general comment of the faithful is always the Fr.’X’s Mass is so much better than Fr. ‘Y’s Mass or is not as good as the other. It is a very sorrowful state of affair because the liturgy of the Holy Mass is the greatest ‘Action’ where Our Lord Jesus Christ is brought down on earth in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity by the anointed hands of the specially consecrated persons of priest hood. The sacrament of Eucharistic Liturgy is the heart – beat and the richest wealth of the Holy Mother Church.
17. On 31.10.2010 gunmen linked to Al-Qaida took over 120 faithful hostage at the Chaldean Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, Iraq, during Mass and held lay Catholics in an unprecedented attack that left more than 50 dead and over 70 wounded.
18. Usually in Tamilnadu bishops in many occasions to raise over the issues and organized meetings / prayers or in any form of a protest in all the dioceses. But in the said brutal attack on Catholic Christians in Iraq incident, no bishops raised his voice in protest against it.
19. The Tamilnadu Catholic Bishops of their activities are just like cheap politicians and to gain rapport with the politicians and want to please the politicians in all respects. Due to this mix up with politics the clergy are forced to toe the line of politicians. The politicians in turn have their say in the Church much to the chagrin of opposition politicians.
20. The attitude in supporting one political party by clergy leads to enactment of laws to stifle Christianity by the opposite camp when the other party comes to power. This could be illustrated by the law “Anti Conversion Act, 2003” by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
21. If any one Catholic layman or a group or parishioner raised any voice or protest against any bishop or any priest it will be severely countered and victimized with help of police and politicians. In particular the lay Catholics are deprived of Sunday Masses and other Sacraments, like baptism, confirmation, Holy Communion, extreme unction and Holy Matrimony. Against the authoritarian activities of the bishops or priests there is no forum to express the lay Catholics’ grievances against the bishops / priests, and there is no otherway than to be surrendered. And hence many Catholics left the Catholic Church and joined other Christian denominations.
22. Recently, His Holiness Pope Benedict is requesting “all diocesan bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements to call on all Catholics to join in a vigil for “All Nascent Human life to be celebrated on Nov. 27, the eve of the First Sunday of Advent.
23. Based on this calling, the Secretariat of Divine Worship of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, many parishes have decided to offer evening prayers, Rosary, Marian Procession, and Benediction in this regard a rubric is also provided for priests and liturgy directors. But the Tamilnadu Catholic Bishops are mum on the said issue the reasons best known.
24. In July, 2005 (Prot. N.467/05/L of 9.7.2005) the Sacred Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by agreement with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to all presidents of conferences of Bishops to ask their considered opinion regarding the translation into the various vernaculars of the expression “pro multis” in the formula for the consecration of the Precious Blood during the celebration of Holy Mass. In turn the replies received from the Bishops Conferences were studied by the two Congregations and a report was made to the Holy Father. At his direction, the said Congregation wrote to all the Catholic Bishops in Prot. N.467/05/L dated 17.10.2006 “the Bishops Conferences of those countries where the formula “for all” or its equivalent is currently in use are therefore requested to introduction of a precise vernacular translation of the formula “pro multis” (eg. For many, per moltis, etc) instead of “per tutti”, “pro omnibus” (for all).
25. The said direction further clarified that “Christ died on the cross for all men and women (John 11 : 52 ; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ; Titus 2 :11 ; 1 John 2 : 2). The Roman Rite in Latin has always said “pro multis” and never “pro omnibus” in the consecration of the chalice. Further the expression “for many”, which remaining open to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s willing or participation ; rather the believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be numbered among the “many” to whom the text refers.
26. The said congregation’s direction in No. Prot.N.467 / 05 / L dated 17.10.2006, has been passed almost 4 years over. But in Tamilnadu no bishop or no priest is using the word “pro multis - for many” in the consecration of the Chalice, rather it is used as “pro omnibus – for all”.
27. Hence, I appeal all the Bishops of Tamilnadu to raise your voice to the level of International standard and uphold the teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and in all respects teach the faith and morals and the Doctrines of the Catholic Church, and as a consequence a cardinal would emerge from Tamilnadu.
Most obedient children
in Our Lord Jesus Christ
All the Catholic Archbishop/ Bishops of Tamil Nadu.