From January 27, 2011
No.18, Pidariyar Koil Lane,
Chennai – 600 001.
His Eminence Marc Cardinal Quellet,
Congregation of Bishops,
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10.
His Grace Dr.Salvatore Pennacchio
Apostolic Nuncio to India
50-C, Niti Marg
New Delhi – 110 021.
May it please Your Eminence,
1. On June 30, 2010 Your Eminence had been nominated to the “Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops” by Our Holy Father His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. It is considered one of the Vatican’s top three positions. Ninety-nine percent of the handling of daily affairs for the Catholic Church is done by this Congregation.
2. Your Eminence have been well aware that Our Holy Father Benedict XVI is a Pope of the great tradition of the liturgy with the Eucharist at the centre. It is in accordance with the tradition of liturgical texts, rituals, and music and symbolic places and hence he has already begun “the Reform of the Reform”. In this regard many transfers have been effected in Vatican and in particular the Master of Ceremony Msgr.Piero Marini replaced by Msgr. Guido Marini.
3. Following the Reform of the Reform Your Eminence in May 2010, you described “abortion as a moral crime even when it’s being performed on rape victims”. This comment was condemned by the Harper government, provincial politicians and feminist groups throughout Quebec. But Your Eminence has the courage to stand up and speak the truth. When it’s necessary and you have said the changes reflect the fact that the Church is in “a time of crisis, and so it’s a time of decision: decision in favour of the gospel, in favour of Christ. A new decision”. Hence you are the proper personality to guide and implement the Reform of the Reform. That is why Our Holy Father has chosen Your Eminence to lead the Congregation. May Our Lord Jesus Christ shower His graces through the Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, Mother of God to guide the Congregation.
4. On July 1, 2010, Your Eminence has given first press conference, wherein Your Eminence spoke of the appointment of bishops as, “There’s a long tradition I will follow, the tradition of the Church, and look for the best bishops possible”. Further Your Eminence replied to the journalists “in the life of the Church the role of the bishop” is a key role because he is in charge of the unity of the diocese and so of the communion of the Church. So he has to be very clever and at the same time prudent and patient and work for the best he can with the people, with priest, deacons and all the personnel that is committed to the life of the Church. He’s a man of communion, so when you choose from Rome, taking into account all the information, you prepare a very important decision for the Holy Father and the Holy Father needs to be well informed and with clarity, with authenticity, in order to make a good decision. So it is a difficult task”.
5. On February 23, 2009, the then Secretary to the Congregation for Divine Worship Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith wrote that the flawed understanding of Vatican II teachings and the influence of secular ideologies are allowed into the liturgy, which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favour of the Vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass and makes a new plea for “Reform of the Reform”.
6. In India the people are still living as conservatives and Church goers. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has issued the Motu Proprio “Summorum Pontificum” dated 07.07.2007 concerning the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform 1970. Myself and many other catholic laymen jointly requested the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore to grant the Indult for celebrating Tridentine Latin Mass on Sunday in a catholic church, and for this purpose myself and the Archbishop exchanged many letters but in vain.
7. In western countries the culture and life style is almost one and the same. But in India every village has a independent culture, and caste. To quote an example: in Tamilnadu (Madras State), the Revenue Districts and Government Transport Corporations were named after the communal leaders of different castes (for the shear advantage of the politicians to build up their vote – bank); but in due course, it has created antagonism among the local communities, that has resulted in disastrous revolts and murders. The Government had to ultimately realize their own mistake and amend it by totally scrapping the names of the communal leaders from the above said Revenue Districts and Transport Corporations owned by the Government by passing a suitable Government Order duly gazetted (G.O. Ms. No.618/97 (Finance) dated July 7, 1997). Though it is a very rare case of such amendment, yet the Government had to take this action, looking into the gravity of caste system in spite of their very survival and existence that depends on the caste-based votes.
8. Such being the case, in spite of the dirty Indian politicking it is surprising to be plain words, it is a ‘shame’ – that our Indian Churchmen, of the Roman Catholic Church have totally gone into this dirty communal group system based on caste to gain personal stature and financial status – certainly not for the glory of God though done in “God’s Name”. It is evident that Vatican is aware of the exact cause for the resignation of the Bishop of Trichinopoly Rt.Rev.Dr.Gabriel in 1997.
9. The catholic priests, nuns and bishops corner the grants obtained by them from foreign countries. These aids are not given to the needy but they are diverted by the priests for their families or their favourites. Thus the priests, nuns and bishops amass wealth, leading to the practice of worldly life and to a publicity mania. The situation is the same as in 1073 A.D. in the Pontificate of St.Gregory VII wherein “the two most flagrant visible evils that affected religious life were simony and clerical immortality including concubinage. The King or the prince was demanding money for clerical appointment. The bishop or the abbot also had a share in the income of the parish from the man who had received appointment as parish priest. Many bishops lived away from their Sees”. The great Pope St.Gregory VII enacted a decree in 1074. There was a great opposition from German and in Paris the priests burnt the decrees, but the saintly Pope stood firm, and consequently the church lost a few bishops and priests but his reforms effected a change in the life of the clergy.
10. In western countries i.e., Europe, USA, Canada and Australia the Church properties are sold for purposes in particular to meet out the legal liabilities of the church and to pay damages ordered by the courts. In India no such said western atmosphere exists. There is no paucity of funds for the church purposes and their administration. In fact the church authorities do not suffer from any financial church at any point of time. In spite of that the Bishops and priests are colluded in Tamilnadu and have sold away huge number of prime properties for throw away prices or no price at all. The church properties allowed to be lost, wasted or frittered away. In fact the sale of church properties are made secretly without any publicity with the object of siphoning funds and securing unjust enrichment at the cost of the Mission.
11. Likewise, here, the bishops also had a share from the parish priest of the plum parish. The priests in their turn collect money from their parish in one way or the other. Some bishops often away from their diocese. If any one of the catholic parishioners raised any voice or protested against bishop or any priest, then the laymen or the parishioners are deprived of the sacraments. It could be illustrated if I may be asked for.
12. Within one year, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore and the Bishop of Dharmapuri will reach their age and hence they will retire. This is the time the Reform of the Reform could be introduced in our region. So Your Eminence please keep all the above said in your mind before selection of bishops these places.
13. May I humbly request Your Eminence to appoint suitable candidates as Archbishop and bishop in Tamilnadu to withstand and uphold the Reform of the Reform, as rightly pointed out by your Eminence that “the tradition of the Church, look for the best bishops possible”.
Yours Most Obediently in our
Lord Jesus Christ
(G. Alex Benziger)
His Grace Manuel Monteiro de Castro,
Secretary, Congregation of Bishops,
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10.