Pope Francis urges unity in Syro-Malabar liturgy dispute

Syro-Malabar liturgy

Pope Francis has called on opponents of the Syro-Malabar Church’s liturgical reform to abandon their resistance and avoid causing a schism.

In his address to a delegation from the Eastern Catholic Church, including Major Archbishop Raphael Thattil, the Pope emphasised the importance of unity over liturgical differences and historical grievances.

The Pope described the dispute over the liturgy as a dangerous temptation to focus on one detail to the detriment of the common good of the Church.

“It is incompatible with the Christian faith to seriously disregard the most holy sacrament, the sacrament of love and unity, by discussing the liturgical details of this Eucharist which is the culmination of His divine presence among us.

“Preserving unity is therefore not a pious exhortation but a duty, especially for priests who have promised obedience and from whom the faithful people expect an example of love and meekness” the Pope continued.

Francis began by reflecting on the ancient faith of the Syro-Malabar Church.

He praised the “vigour” of their faith and piety which is recognised worldwide.

He acknowledged past insensitivity when Western missionaries imposed European traditions on Kerala’s Christians.

Francis also highlighted the need to respect the unique heritage of the Syro-Malabar Church.

He honoured the Syro-Malabar Church’s historical fidelity, drawing on the legacy of St Thomas, the Apostle of India. He emphasised the value of the Christian East in providing ancient and fresh spiritual sources vital for the Church today.

Unity is a duty

Referring to the ongoing liturgical controversy, the Pope said he had “recently sent letters and a video message to the faithful, warning them of the dangerous temptation to focus on one detail”.

This danger, he said, comes from “a self-referentiality, which leads to listening to no other way of thinking but one’s own”.

And it is here, the Pope warned, that “the devil creeps in”, aiming to undermine Jesus’ desire that we, his disciples, “be one” (John 17.2).

“For this reason” Pope Francis stressed, “guarding unity is not a pious exhortation but a duty”.

Pope Francis remains firm: no concessions for those seeking to divide the Church.

His message is clear—unity and obedience are paramount to maintaining the integrity of the Catholic faith.

“Let us work with determination to protect communion” he urged, “and pray tirelessly that those who refused to accept the Church’s rulings on liturgical issues may realise they are part of a larger family that loves them and waits for them”.


Vatican News


CathNews New Zealand


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,