Kochi: The dispute over the Unified Mass has escalated in the Syro-Malabar Church, with the Vatican asking Mar Antony Kariyil, Vicar Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, to resign from his post.
Mar Kariyil was summoned to the Vatican mission in New Delhi on July 19 by the pope’s envoy to India, Dr. Leopoldo Girelli, and ordered to tender his resignation. However, Mar Kariyil returned to Kerala without revealing his spirit.
Meanwhile, the Vatican envoy is expected to arrive in Kochi on Tuesday and hold talks on the issue. He is also likely to demand Mar Kariyil’s letter of resignation during the visit.
In the message delivered by the Vatican envoy to Mar Kariyil on July 19, he was asked to resign by July 26. Mar Kariyil was also instructed to meet conditions such as not residing in the region under the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly and performing public duties.
The Vatican envoy’s message said Mar Kariyil was being asked to resign based on permission obtained from “Pope Francis and the Head of the Eastern Churches”. But no reason was given for requesting the resignation.
Incidentally, the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly has yet to implement the unified mode of Holy Mass, even when other archdioceses of the Syro-Malabar Church have already adopted the new rituals.
Protest against the clergy register
Meanwhile, a meeting of priests under the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly expressed their opposition to the ousting of Mar Kariyil from his post. The meeting felt that Mar Kariyil was targeted for supporting the laity as well as the clergy during a crisis. The Vatican’s decision to remove Mar Kariyil had the support of the synod, the meeting observed. Moreover, the synod had given up its powers to decide the mode of worship and to appoint bishops to the office of the Eastern churches, the priests alleged.