KOCHI: The Catholic Church on Tuesday denied reports that an Onam Mass was held at one of its churches last Sunday. Priests associated with the Church said an event that happened five years ago is being played up on social media every Onam by some disgruntled elements to foment trouble. Reports of the event came out, including in Express, after a video showing a priest conducting Holy Mass, deviating from the usual Christian practices appeared online and shared by many.
When Express contacted Syro-Malabar Church media commission chairman Bishop Mar Joseph Pamplany following the reports, he said the church did not approve of such deviation. Fr Saji Peter Kannamparamban, present vicar of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Vazhakkala, where the event was said to have been held, denied such an event happened in his church recently.
“I’ve no connection with any of this that has happened. I became the vicar of the church just six months ago. This video has been circulating on the social media for quite some time and nobody can have a control over it,” said Fr Saji. According to a priest belonging to the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, an internal feud is the reason why the video is being circulated every Onam.
“Some people circulate this video every Onam, making it look as if it happened very recently,” said a priest belonging to the archdiocese. The video shows the then vicar of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fr Antony Poothavelil, along with his assistant priest conducting a Mass, wearing traditional ‘veshti’ over the usual Mass vestments.
The laity was welcomed with sandalwood paste being smeared on the foreheads. The altar boys were also seen wearing the sandalwood paste. The church choir also adopted a temple tune to suit the occasion. The event reportedly happened in 2014.