Kochi: Cardinal George Alencherry, major archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, in a pastoral letter on Sunday said that debates and controversies that are "detrimental to religious harmony and community brotherhood are taking place in Kerala society".
The archbishop asserted that "love and brotherhood are fundamental values for the churches."
"Debates and controversies that are detrimental to religious harmony and community brotherhood are taking place in Kerala society these days. Our tradition as Keralites is that all religions and communities live in brotherhood. We must not allow it to hurt us in any way. We must hold on to the brotherhood between different religions. All should strive to move forward in brotherhood by resolving issues that are suspected to be hurting religious sentiments by discussing them with utmost wisdom and mutual respect," read the pastoral letter.
The letter further read, "Interpreting the statements and actions of those in positions of responsibility in society as detached from their true purpose can lead to misunderstandings and differences. Everyone should be vigilant against such tendencies. It is important that everyone returns from the current mess to a peaceful friendship."
Alencherry, who is also the President of Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) and Chairman of Kerala Inter-Church Council said, "Love and brotherhood are fundamental values for the churches. The Church's vision is to respect all religions equally and to work with all. Churches and evangelicals do not want to create a situation of conflict in society. All members of the church must be careful not to deviate from this view of the church under any circumstances."
He later urged all to end all disputes and strive to move forward in mutual love and brotherhood. "To this end, let us wholeheartedly co-operate with the efforts of the clergy, politicians and community leaders," he said.
Reportedly, Roman Catholic priests belonging to the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese of Syro-Malabar Church on Saturday opposed a top Bishops' body's decision to implement a uniform mode of celebrating the Holy Mass in churches, saying any change in their mode of celebration would be disastrous for the Church.
On August 28, Cardinal George Alencherry in a pastoral letter, to all the parishes of the Syrian Catholic Church on October 5 during the Sunday Mass, called upon the church members to adhere to the unified system of celebrating the Mass as per the decision of the synod of bishops, which met online early this month.