Liturgical War: Archbishop Prevented from Entering His Church

Syro-Malabar Archbishop Mar Andrews Thazhath, 70, the Apostolic Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly (655K Catholics, 800 priests), India, was prevented from entering St Mary’s Basilica in Kochi, India, on Sunday.

He was planning to celebrate a “unified mass” – a compromise liturgy, introduced by the synod and approved by Francis.

During the “unified mass” everything except the Eucharistic prayer is done towards the pews while about 460 conservative priests oppose the reform and insist on presiding everything towards the pews as they have done for fifty years. Both variants do not correspond to the Syriac Rite which addresses God, never the pews.

Tension over this has been brewing for a year. On Sunday, the “unified mass” party locked the church’s gate from the inside while the pew party broke open the locked gate and forced their way into the basilica.

Police removed the “unified mass” party. Subsequently, a pew liturgy was presided while the “unified mass” party protested outside.

The pew party has been occupying the Archbishop's house in Kochi for some time. According to MattersIndia.com (November 24) the pew party is likely to declare itself an independent Church.

Except Ernakulam-Angamaly, all the 35 dioceses of the Syro-Malabar Church have accepted the unified mass.

Kenjiro M. Yoshimori
Another great result of Vatican II. If they had left their liturgy alone, none of this would have happened. Same with Roman Rite Latin Mass Catholics.