Syro-Malabar bishops’ synod threatens canonical action against nuns and priests who speak to media
Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church addressing a session of the Jan. 7-18 bishops’ synod. (Photo provided)
By Saji Thomas,Kerala | India
The motley crowd of some 200 Indian Catholics clapped and cheered as they set fire to some printed sheets of a church circular in protest.Within hours winds and traffic took away even traces of ash from the road in front of Cardinal George Alencherry’s residence near a busy market in Ernakulam, the business center of Kerala state, southern India.But by then, the Jan. 20 protest already made media headlines of about the increasing defiance in the cardinal’s Syro-Malabar Church and that church hierarchy’s attempt to check it.The burnt sheets of papers were copies of a circular that Cardinal Alencherry issued as the head of the Kerala-based Eastern Catholic church.The circular which came after the Jan. 7-18 Syro-Malabar bishops’ synod expressed a desire to bring back discipline to the church.