KOCHI: The attempt to implement the uniform mode of celebrating the Holy Mass by the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church has triggered a heated discussion among priests of various dioceses. A section of priests oppose the Synod’s move to implement the ‘Raza Qurbana’ disrupting the unity of the Church.
The crucial Synod of bishops discussed the uniform Mass on the third day of the crucial meeting on Wednesday also. The reference of Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the apostolic nuncio on Tuesday, gives a boost to the priests’ demand for further discussions before implementing the uniform Qurbana.
The discussions over liturgical matters began on Tuesday after the address of the apostolic nuncio, who referred to the letter of Pope Francis. “In the present situation of your Church, the Holy Father’s desire for a “prompt implementation of the uniform mode of celebrating” is an appeal for unity and not to cause division, and thus needs to be contextualised. Therefore, I encourage the Synod to evaluate the timeframe for a prudent process of implementation judiciously in order to safeguard the unity of your Church,” said the nuncio in his address.
The nuncio also added that there was a need for clarity on the uniform 50/50 orientation (in other words, celebrating the Liturgy of the Word facing the people and the Liturgy of the Eucharist facing the altar) as a primary objective to be achieved at once in all eparchies of the diaspora, in places of pilgrimage, and in major and inter-diocesan seminaries.
“Nevertheless and precisely to avoid unnecessary conflict and preserve communion, I would invite you to encourage all your clergy humbly to accept the decision of the Holy Synod on liturgical unity, so clearly endorsed by the Holy Father Francis,” the nuncio had said in his address.
According to sources, discussions over liturgical unity took place on the third day of the Synod as well.
“The nuncio has clearly mentioned that discussions must take place and implementation of (uniform Mass) should not disrupt the unity of the Church. If the Synod tries to implement the uniform mode of celebration forcibly, it would disrupt the unity. Formal discussions with the bodies of priests and the laity should be held before taking a final decision,” said a priest belonging to Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese.