Syro-Malabar holy mass controversy: Clashes erupt in front of Bishop house

From the protest in front of Ernakulam Bishop house

Kochi: The believers staged a protest in front of the Bishop house in Ernakulam demanding a uniform holy mass proposed by the Synod in churches under Syro- Malabar church. However, another group of protestors arrived opposing this and a minor clash broke out between the groups. The timely intervention of the police prevented the protest from turning into a conflict.

At present, three kinds of masses exist in Syro- Malabar churches. In the Versus Populum mass, the priest faces the people and this has been followed in the Ernakulam, Thrissur, Irinjalakkuda, Palakkad, Mananthavady and Thamarassery dioceses.

Changanassery Archdiocese has adopted Ad Orientum mass in which the priest faces in the direction of the liturgical east.

A uniform formula using both customs is being followed in Kothamangalam, Kanjirappally, Pala, Idukki and Thalassery dioceses. The Synod had decided to introduce uniform masses in all churches under Syro- Malabar church in 1999. However many dioceses requested relaxations in the proposed system and follow the conventional ways.

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The present protests kicked off when the Synod decided to enforce the 1999 proposal recently. A time till the upcoming Easter has been granted to begin uniform masses in the churches under Syro- Malabar church.

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