- The Examiner apparently defrocks Bishop Dabre!- Fr. Conrad Saldanha
- The Crucifix is gradually vanishing from our Churches
- Church mouthpiece accused of promoting ‘heretical’ views
- Unearthing the whole Truth in all Charity CCV Exposes Flaws in Family Survey Claims james kottoor
- Pope Francis: ‘Good pastors always have compassion’
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Thanks to the exposure by a few dedicated Christians such as Michael Prabhu, Arthur D’mello, and Fr. Conrad Saldanha and the protests of many other members of the community.
Even as the heat is on them; the official mouthpiece seems to be finding means and ways to escape the heat on the serious assertions of Apostasy, Heresy, Perjury, Irrationally argued issue of yoga, and above all of Misrepresentation and Concealment of an important Church document on the issue by no less a figure than the most popular Bishop, considered an expert on sound doctrine.
Earlier, Bp. Dabre had clearly stated in the article published in the Examiner of July 4-10, 2015 that; “Some of my friends have asked about the Vatican position on yoga and so I am sending you my reflections on Surya Namaskar and yoga” (emphases mine). This seemed clearly a rebuttal to the exposure of his earlier article by Fr. Conrad Saldanha in the social media. That article of his had similar arguments but captioned as “Church Position on yoga”
After the Examiner article Fr. Conrad Saldanha along with some members of the community decided to confront the issue and wrote another article to expose the lies of the Bishops and their offense of apostasy now becoming evident, aided and abetted by the Archbishop and his coterie.
In a statement made to the Hindustan Times of 24th July, 2015 a spokesperson of The Examiner seemed to have said; “that every article in the journal did not reflect the church’s official stand on the issue”.
In a way implying that Bp. Thomas Dabre’s article did not fit in with the Church’s official stand on the issue.
Thus the Examiner now apparently seems to be dissociating with Bp. Dabre stand, who had graduated from stating; “Church position on yoga” (on 22nd June, 2015 on his Facebook timeline), to lay claim on: “Vatican position on yoga” in the weekly “the Examiner” (of July, 4-10).
Yet the confusion remains: Whom do the simple people believe: the mouth piece of the Bishops “The Examiner” or the Bishops mouth that speaks or an anonymous spokesperson of the Examiner speaking? BUT what is evidently clear now thru the spokesperson is that Bp. Dabre’s article in the Examiner does not reflect the church’s official stand on the issue.
In other words, there seems hidden somewhere someplace the church’s official stand on the issue and thus even Bp. Agnelo and Fr. Joe Pereira, the founder of Kripa apparently are liars, because they have stated otherwise!!!
The open secret is this: the simple people know for sure the church’s official stand which the apparent liars have kept from them.
But what is worse, The Examiner obstinately, in keeping with its tradition, further blatantly asserts: “The magazine gives space to people who have different views on a subject; we publish some of the letters what we receive. Similarly we also get articles from our readers that we sometimes print. The opinion given in the letters and articles are never our views and this is clearly mentioned in the magazine.” (emphasis mine, as quoted by HT of 24 July, 2015)
Wow! Ingenious to the core when it comes to deceptive speak!
The discredited magazine, the Examiner by taking recourse to its disclaimer here on this issue only affirms its lost credibility and even is deliberately dishing out a doctrine of ambiguity through deliberate misleading assertions.
What is most intriguing and interesting is the spokesperson keeping his or her identity as anonymous!
The question that it has avoided and needs an answer:
1. Was the Catholic Bp. Dabre, supposed to be heading a doctrinal commission of the CBCI and well consulted theologian, even widely consulted by Bishops, an ex-auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Bombay whose mouthpiece if the Examiner, a mere reader, like any other reader?
2. Did what he express a mere opinion, whereas the evidence proves otherwise?
3. Has he not also misleadingly claimed that it represented the Vatican position on yoga? Hence where is the question of it being a personal opinion of a mere reader?
4. In the light of the above questions, the Examiner proves that it has either a bunch of ignoramuses appointed by the Archbishop and his coterie or con artists who know well to mislead and defend but can’t give people sound articles even if such articles were to represent personal opinions. Incompetent!
5. If one were to believe what the Examiner says is true, then what about officials and news items, which are not contribution of their readers, but by members of the staff, Bishops of the Archdiocese and clergy and also are heretical in nature? And, what about some heretics holding office, as patrons, beginning with the Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay?
It now seems that the criteria for accepting an article or a letter is never sound reasonings or arguments but the poorest of logic will also do, as long as it is an opinion!
At the same time by issuing and reaffirming its disclaimer, the Examiner apparently seems to have defrocked Bp. Dabre by categorizing him as a mere reader and that what he has written is merely his personalopinion.
It apparently has also dissociated and condemned Bp. Agnelo and Fr. Joe Pereira, who claimed that the church had no stand on the issue! Whereas we know now there is a Church’s stand somewhere, someplacebut the common Laity who subscribes to the official mouth piece to know the truth of the faith is not supposed to know, they only have a right to know what is contrary to sound Church doctrine.
A Bishop whose job is to teach and present the faith to the people, faithfully, and who in the light of the major issue of misrepresentation, distortion, concealment, perjury, heresy and apostasy, their actions are now justified as the heat is on them, by categorizing them as mere readers and opinion givers.
Are they dumping him and the others in order to save their own skin when complicity of the Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias, in this transgression is clearly proved!
What could be so important for Bishop Agnelo, who chose not comment. Even if he was out of Mumbai on assignment, and since he has also spoken the language of Heresy and Apostasy, should not have avoided commenting to the press, as reported in the same issue of Hindustan Times, on such an urgent concern? Here we are reminded of Nero who fiddled on the roof as Rome burnt! Having done the damage and now refusing to even care to repair! Alas for the attitudes of the Bishops!
In the end it still means that the Examiner seems to approve, aid and abet serious offenses, even that which incurs automatic excommunication in the light of the 1983 code of Canon Law, because the person is merereader who is contributing and because it is termed by them as opinion. Alas for their incredulity and lack of credibility!
Yet nothing will happen because the peritus of Canon Law, one of the 9 advisers to the Pope, again save his thick skin from damage, even by saving the rest. We keep scratching each others back!
The time is ripe to close down the Examiner which is subsidized by the Church’s money only for abuse.
Church mouthpiece accused of promoting ‘heretical’ views
E ven as t he uproar over the Indian government’s promotion of Yoga has died down, the debate whether the practice is compatible with certain religious beliefs continues.
After criticising theologians and priests for supporting Yoga, some community blogs have now accused the weekly The Examiner, the mouthpiece of Mumbai’s Roman Catholic establishment, of promoting ‘heretical’ views by publishing articles on the practice. Apostasy (abandoning religion), Heresy (dissention) and Gnosticism (a heretical movement in the early church) – words that were more likely to be used against non-believers in another period in history – have been used to describe those who wrote about Yoga.
The bloggers have called themselves ‘orthodox’ but their critics have accused them of being ‘radicals’.
One of the articles that has been criticised was written by Thomas Dabre, the bishop of Pune, who discussed the possible therapeutic benefits of Yoga on the mind and body. The groups are particularly incensed at his writings because Dabre is an important figure in the church: besides heading a large diocese, he is also a former head of the Doctrinal Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) – an important decision-making body of the church. He is also an expert in culture and religion, having authored an important book on the life of the 17th century poet Sant Tukaram.
In his article, Dabre had said practising Yoga as therapy could provide physical and mental benefits. In response to the accusations that he was promoting the practice, Dabre has said he is not an ambassador for Yoga. “But as a Catholic theologian, I can comment on society.”
The Examiner, too, like Dabre, has said its articles on Yoga just reflected the social debate on the issue. Father Tony Charanghat, the weekly’s editor, is currently not in India, but a spokesperson said that every article in the journal did not reflect the church’s official stand on the issue. “The magazine gives space to people who have different views on a subject; we publish some of the letters that we receive. Similarly we also get articles from our readers that we sometimes print. The opinion given in the letters and articles are never our views and this is clearly mentioned in the magazine.”
The spokesperson added: “We publish articles that are thematic – issues that people are talking about.”
But the critics of the articles are not satisfied with this answer from the magazine; they want the church headquarters to issue an official statement on its view on Yoga.
Much of the criticism against the articles on Yoga has appeared on blogs written in Mumbai, but some articles are also from Chennai where a writer Michael Prabhu, who runs a website, has accused the theologians of misleading followers by misinterpreting two Vatican documents that said that practice of certain traditions, including eastern meditation and yoga, are not compatible with their faith.
“My calling (from God) is to expose errors in the church. When bishops and priests commit liturgical and doctrinal errors, I bring it to their notice,” said Prabhu who said that he has ‘nothing’ against other religions. “Yoga is not a form of physical exercise; it is a religious ritual, but the theologians are interpreting it to their fancies.”
Another senior theologian who has been criticised by the groups is Mumbai’s Bishop Agnelo Gracias, who is also associated with the Doctrinal Commission. This diarist spoke to Gracias who, explaining that he was attending an important official assignment out of Mumbai, declined to comment on the controversy. He promised to talk about the issue after coming back to the city.
Church Citizens’ Voice (CCV) http://www.almayasabdam.com, heard for the first time on July 6th, of a Family Survey of the Latin Church in India. Then what about surveys in Syromalabar and Malankara churches? Did the Pope ask for a Rite-specific survey or a survey of the whole Church in India? Is it right for any Rite to go it alone like Cain saying: Am I my brother’s keeper? These and other questions, it raised.
The news came like a bolt from the blue because, the news source said a survey was done, tabulated and results already packed off to Rome. So CCV, felt like a watchman caught napping and so started a frantic search to unearth the whole Truth in all Charity. That search is still on. CCV had been in the forefront talking about this survey and even offering itself as a possible forum for discussion to the Bishops, In spite of it, how could it have missed this news or was not informed of it?
In the meantime, CCV received a letter from Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay which it published and answered with great appreciation. Discussions are still going on as many things are not still clear. Bishop Lawrence Pius, Chairman of the Latin Church (CCBI) family commission also wrote on July 17th replying to our letter of July 6th which also was published in CCV and Laity Voice of Bombay and replied to collect facts from a wider public. CCV published another article: Family Survey: CCV still on Search!, seeking more facts from readers. So far CCV has received 16 reactions from UK, US, Canada and from various parts of India.
All except one from a member of the Family Commission, are supportive of what CCV has been doing so far. This can be verified from letters published below to draw one’s own conclusions. Unfortunately we have not received replies from the heads of Syromalabar and Malankara Church who is the present Head of the CBCI which covers the whole church in India and therefore the final authority to say if a survey of the whole church in India was done.
Our sole purpose here is to unearth facts, not to sit in judgment on any but to promote unity and collaboration to help the Church in India act as one man. The happy outcome of this exercise, must have been that CCV has helped to start a Vertical Dialogue in the Church in India for the first time, since the principle is that the teaching church also has to listen humbly and learn diligently from the faithful and the learning church also has to do these two duties with added vigor, as the Pope says. He teaches what he preaches by example, by saying, “I have made a mistake” ever so many times now and the most striking of it, saying: “I am a sinner.” How much more can he humble himself? It is in this spirit we continue this vertical dialogue in CCV.
Dear Respected Bishop Lawrence,
May I bring to your kind attention some of the amusing howlers, contradictions and confusions I happened to come across on second reading of the statements of the CCBI Family Commission members themselves.
For example in your letter to me of July 17th you wrote: “questions were sent to all the Latin dioceses. However only around 60 dioceses out of 125 dioceses responded. The answers were collated by a team headed by me and sent to Rome well ahead of the Extraordinary Synod….46 questions the summary of the Lineamenta were published in Catholic magazines like New Leader and Examiner…. get your facts correct before dashing off articles in periodicals. We have demanded an unconditional apology from the editor of Indian Currents for his irresponsible and populist kind of journalism”
Alan Doulton, of your Family Commission wrote addressing me (Kottoor) in Matters India on June 30: “CCBI Family Commission has conducted a survey where over 100 Latin dioceses in India returned more than 56000 responses…. with immediate effect you post a correction.” Alan wrote to me on July 4th “This questionnaire had an overwhelming response from over 50,000 respondents spreading across more than 80 of the 131 Latin dioceses in India…. It helps to do some R&D before you publish.”
Mumbai Laity of July 19 asks: “AS FAR AS MUMBAI IS CONCERNED ,COULD ANYONE POINT OUT IN WHICH EXAMINER THE 46 QUESTIONS WERE PRINTED?” Mumbai Laity
Marked in Red are the words and statements that sound confusing or don’t sound quiet correct for me. Nay some literally contradict to my idiotic reasoning. You dear Bishop, speak of around 60 dioceses which responded and Alan of over 100 dioceses. Which is correct? You speak of 125 Latin dioceses in India and Alan of 131 dioceses. Who has the facts correct? You speak of coming synod as Extraordinary. As far as I know coming one is Ordinary and last year’s was extraordinary. Who is correct: you or me?
Alan Doulton of your Family commission writes in Matters India, June 30th , that over 100 Latin dioceses in India returned more than 56000 responses…But in his letter of July 4th to me he writes that more than 80 dioceses sent in over 50000 responses. Here the tug of war is between 100 dioceses and just 80 which responded in a scientifically conducted survey by a very responsible team, not a one-man battalion like mine. We make mistakes while talking from the top thoughtlessly. But how can a difference of 6000 come in a written statement for publication?
You say 46 questions were published in NL and Examiner but Mumbai Laity asks:”In which Examiner 46 questions published? I can’t answer it, because I didn’t say it. Will the one who said it, please answer?
Now you my respectful Bishop, “demand” not ask or request, an “unconditional apology” and Alan my younger brother ask for a “correction” to be posted “with immediate effect”. Honestly I am at a loss to see from the above conflicting statements, who has done wrong: me? Bishop? Alan? Or Indian Currents? And what wrong any one of us has done which warrants an unconditional apology? Even so who has been “irresponsible” in making the statements quoted above: Me? Bishop? Alan? Or IC?
So you readers of the CCV, I want to be the first to say “I have goofed”, “I made a blunder” “I have made a mistake” etc. But please point out to me — a guy very slow to understand — where I have failed, without mincing words, that is doing the service of a devil’s advocate. Kindly think it over slowly without jumping to conclusions and please give this fallible me some sane advice without being judgmental of course, because “judge not and you shall not be judged” is what my Lord tells me. Then how can I or you say NO to Him, of all people? james kottoor.
PS: See below also some 16 reactions I received which may be considered as (Vox Populi), voice of the general public.
Reactions from Readers
Mumbai Laity writes:
Many people tried to get forms but the site would just not open. The forms were distributed to persons whose views were in line with what the church wanted them to think. Mumbailaity
These are all cock and bull stories and claims that are made. Like you said none of your contacts have recd the same , this in itself shows their concocted story.
Here in Lonavla — a day or two, before the last date — we were given the forms after 7.00 AM Mass and asked to complete the forms in Church– and return them right away — there was really no time /chance to either really understand /ponder over the forms — most parishioners — like sheep in the flock filled them up with the ticks in the allocated boxes — I happened to take a bit of time — and was asked to ” hurry up ” — What use / purpose such a survey will serve I cannot understand !!!!
Also shows that Bishops of the various dioceses care two hoots about an sincere request for information by Pope Francis —
As I have always said this wily bunch of senior clergy are too immersed / drowned in the luxuries of their positions — they CAN NEVER CHANGE !!!!
Let us really pray that Pope Francis succeeds in bringing about the the change of the dirty mindset of these ROGUES / WOLVES
Looks like The Pharisees and Sadducee s still exist today , but, in a different format. We need to be Witnesses to Our Lord.In whatever way possible. “Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe”. Its sad to see so many divisions in thought , Word and Deed, by the Church The Body of Christ being Crucified again.
From Kolkata comes another reaction
Dear Mr Zacharias Nedunkanal, you are absolutely correct. The Cardinal just made a statement – he did not give any proof of the filled up questionnaires which he claims was done in Mumbai Archdiocese. At least he could have sent a few scanned copies of the questionnaires signed by respondents.
The matter needs to be probed further. Why is the Editor of Indian Currents keeping quiet. Just because he happens to be a priest? What about carrying out his primary job searching for Truth and reporting the Truth?
kerala Naadu ·
I can understand how you feel about these happenings as a follower of Jesus Christ. Are these priests trying to repeat the history?
Three persons respond to Kottoor’s
article in Matters India
chhotebhai , June 27, 2015 from Kanpoor
Last year a few of us lay Catholics in India undertook our own study and initiative and even got some bishops on board. We gave our report to the delegates from India attending the Synod. It found no mention in the Synod lineamenta. For the final round there is no information about what the bishops are doing. IT IS A HUGE BETRAYAL, nothing less. The bishops only seem to want our donations in cash or personnel (vocations)! The rest be damned.
Denis Daniel June 27, 2015
Congratulations to both, Dr. Kottoor and Chhotebhai. It’s really tragic and shameful for the Indian hierarchy to keep the faithful in the dark, ill informed and in a sense illiterate.
Alan Doulton, June 30, 2015, from Family Commission
Kottoor I am shocked at the level of misinformation that you are propagating. For your information, the CCBI Family Commission has conducted a survey where over 100 Latin dioceses in India returned more than 56000 responses. The questionnaire was made available in 9 languages.
You may contact Fr. Milton, the Executive Secretary of CCBI Family Commission for a report. Also, you may like to know that I have personally sent preview reports to various reform groups across the world including CCRI where you are an advisor. My request is that with immediate effect you post a correction.
Your reply to Cardinal Gracias is full of overenthusiastic praise and unnecessary humility as if he has done some great act of benevolence and heavenly sympathy towards some miserable creatures! All this is baseless exaggeration of a sentiment that the ignorant and slavish faithful are expected to show towards bishops.
What he has done is just give a short reply to innumerable letters you had sent to many seeking clarity about an urgent question that concerns the entire church. There is no word of excuse in his letter for keeping us waiting for so long, nor any details about the questionnaires he speaks of. Let us be cautious about taking his words on their face value. We have to have proof of what he claims to have done either from his own office or from elsewhere. There too he has given you no hint as to where to look for this proof. I’m hesitant to believe him.
If any survey had been done, how come that even Laititude or individuals we have approached had had no idea about it at all? And he doesn’t mention at all about the measure of participation of the Lay people in the survey. He should at least have given you a place or person for further contact and inquiry about the matter. Even if such a survey took place, it was dominated by the clergy, according to his own words. And what kind of farce that must have been!
According to the archbishop of Bombay: “It (family survey) was discussed by the Priests’ Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, all Parish Councils, groups of priests, and some of the Commissions in the Archdiocese.”
This survey was supposed to be conducted among the Catholic families. The intention of the questionnaire was to get a feed back from those who live family life, not for a discussion among the councils, the Archbishop referrers to in his letter. Not only that, he is claiming that the archdiocese of Bombay did an extensive study. Who did that study? not the lay people/Catholic families? What a pity! That means the archdiocese didn’t send the questionnaires to the lay faithful to get their response and so he must have sent the response of Bombay priests to Rome.
It is plain and simple. As an archbishop he should be ashamed of cheating the Catholic families and I think he should not have sent such an email to Dr. Kottoor. And Dr. Kottoor, you are doing an excellent job but you were in too much of a hurry to praise the archbishop. Chacko Kalarical.
- Gordon Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mumbai, July 18/15
Dear James, I got your ID from a friend. We are a group of practicing Catholics at Mumbai, a team of four lawyers, professionals and activists. When there is no transparency in financial and church land sale matters…. we operate under the banner Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC),
As far as the survey goes we too have asked for results as the majority of us Catholics were never part of the inputs of the survey. We believe that the laity has been taken for a ride by the clergy for far too long. and this must end. Sole trusteeship is the main cause and we have a copy of the judgement from the Kerela high court stating this sole trusteeship must end. This has never been implemented. GordonJacobs
- Varghese Mathew from UK writes,July 18/15
This is in response to the discussions on the conspiracy to deny the right of opinion for the general members of the Catholic Church in Kerala on a matter of vital interest to them. It is truism to repeat that the Church does not believe in informed discussion and dialogue within their view the “goats’ in any matter concerning its’ teachings.
In this context permit me to quote from the autobiography of Hans Kung….. “We rightly wanted to set a counterpoint to the Church’s cultural pessimism and the self righteous moralism of past centuries. No, the weakness of the Constitution is that on topics like marriage and family – beyond doubt the focal point of interest also among a wide public – it speaks very sweepingly on general aspects like holiness, love and fertility, but at the decisive point, namely responsible parenthood, and especially birth control and contraception, it remains deeply ambiguous. …. Varghese
- Mumbai Laity asks, July19/15
AS FAR AS MUMBAI IS CONCERNED ,COULD ANYONE POINT OUT IN WHICH EXAMINER THE 46 QUESTIONS WERE PRINTED?
Congratulations! You have done a lot of hard, important work. Thank you. I think this is the general direction that we, the bottom but a huge part of the Church and the Body of “Christ, have to take. Unfortunately, I have a hard time fully understanding the situation in India from my position in North America; I see better now the huge cultural differences.
But I trust that the Lord is somehow using us all, as we move on toward the complete reign of God. (and I was surprised to find your age, more or less the same as mine. I’m not sure how long the Lord will keep us here and try to use us, but so far He (She?) seems to want to do this.
Peace, Love & Best Wishes…
Larry Carney, Canada
- Joseph Chacko <email@example.com> wrote, 21 July 2015
Dear Dr. Kottoor, Our archbishop came to kilpauk parish in March and asked Synod questions to a selected audience. Each questions got six or more different answers. I do not know how the archbishop completed the questionnaire.
The Syro Malabar Rite branch here is in full action collecting funds for constructing new churches. Our archbishop has not given his consent for a diocese within the diocese. The SMR activists appears to be lying low for the arrival of a new archbishop. Regards, P.C.Joseph
Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob. +91 9446219203
The Pontiff spoke to crowds in St Peter’s Square on Sunday before reciting the Angelus
A good pastor always sees what people are going through, feels compassion and then nourishes them with God’s Word, Pope Francis has said.
Seeing and being moved to pity “have always been associated with Jesus,” the Good Shepherd, he said on July 19 before reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square.
“In fact, his gaze isn’t the gaze of a sociologist or a photojournalist because he always looks with ‘the eyes of the heart’,” he said.
With the Sunday recitations of the Angelus prayer scheduled to be Pope Francis’ only public events in late July, visitors flocked to St Peter’s Square. The Pope congratulated those who stood on the black cobblestones and under the hot midday sun, saying, “I see you are courageous with this heat in the square — good job!”
He said the day’s Gospel reading, Mark 6:30-34, talks about Jesus seeing a vast crowd and feeling sorry for them because “they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”
“Jesus sees, Jesus has compassion, Jesus teaches us. This is beautiful,” he said.
Pope Francis said he had wanted that same spirit and approach to guide him through his “unforgettable” trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay on July 5-12.
He thanked all those who made the trip possible and he thanked the people for their warm welcome.
The entire Latin American continent, he said, has enormous “human and spiritual potential and safeguards deeply rooted Christian values, but it also experiences serious social and economic problems.”
The Church will continue to “mobilise the spiritual and moral forces of its communities” and collaborate with all people in solving these problems, he said
(Note: The whole Catholic church in India is made up of three Rites, Latin, Syromalabar and Syromalankara. It is known as the Catholic Bishops Conference of India(CBCI) All three of them together have 170 dioceses. The biggest partner in this three Rite Combine is the Latin Church with 131 dioceses . It is known as Catholic Conference of Bishops of India (CCBI). Its Family Commission is made up of Bishop Lawrence Pius of Dharmapuri Diocese, Chairman and four members: Fr Milton Gonsalves, Fr Arul Raj, Banglore, Fr Cajetan Menezes, Mumbai and Sri Alan Doulton, Pune. The letter below received on July 17th is a reply to CCV editor’s Email of July 6, 2015 sent to the Bishop with copy to four members. Editor)
AS FAR AS MUMBAI IS CONCERNED ,COULD ANYONE POINT OUT IN WHICH EXAMINER THE 46 QUESTIONS WERE PRINTED?
Dear Mr. James Kottoor,
Greetings from the Bishop’s House, Dharmapuri! As promised I am responding your email. First of all I would like to state that this is the first time I am receiving emails from you. Secondly, a word of appreciation to you for your interest and enthusiasm in all that takes place in the Church in India. You have shown a particular interest in family issues. I feel very happy about this.
Having said this, I am afraid you are not getting the correct information regarding the CCBI Family Commission. Let me clarify that the CBCI has no family commission. But the CCBI has. I am unaware whether the other two ritual churches have family commissions. Last year in response to the Lineamenta and the questions that followed it, the questions were sent to all the Latin dioceses. However only around 60 dioceses out of 125 dioceses responded. The answers were collated by a team headed by me and sent to Rome well ahead of the Extraordinary Synod.
However a group of well-meaning laity headed by Mr. Chottebai of Kanpur wrote in the New Leader and other magazines stating that the laity were not consulted with regard to the questions. They wrongly said that only 46 dioceses were responded to the questionnaire.
This year in preparation for the Ordinary Synod in October, 2015, to make it public to all Catholic, the 46 questions and the summary of the Lineamenta were published in Catholic magazines like New Leader and Examiner. So nobody can say he/she was kept in the dark about the Lineamenta. Further, a simplified questionnaire based on these 46 questions were sent to all the dioceses through the respective bishops and Family Commission Secretaries. We received more than 55 thousand responses out of which 22 thousands from Tamilnadu alone. Again all the responses were collated and sent to Rome before April 15, 2015.
Having done all this, the members of CCBI Family Commission as well as I was pained to read in the Indian Currents an article by you stating that nothing was done by the bishops for the Extraordinary Synod and that things may go in the same way this year too.
I do hope you get your facts correct before dashing off articles in periodicals. We have demanded an unconditional apology from the editor of Indian Currents for his irresponsible and populist kind of journalism.May God bless you!
Yours Fraternally in Christ,
† Lawrence Pius, D.D.,Bishop of Dharmapuri, Bishop’s House,Gundalapatty Medu,
Dharmapuri – 636 701,S.India!
(Note: What follows is the reply of CCV editor to Bishop Lawrence. What the editor knows for certain from reliable sources is that neither the Editor of Indian Currents, Delhi, nor the editor of Sathyadeepam, Kochi never heard of the survey under discussion until he raised the question – Editor)
James Kottoor, 17 July 2015 at 13:21
Dear Bishop Lawrence Pius,
Heartfelt greetings, coupled with ‘Congrats’ from james kottoor, just a very distant follower of the country bread carpenter on Nazareth, nothing more, nothing less.
Congrats because you have proved to be a man of your word because I told my co-editors already yesterday, that I must be getting a letter from you as promised. This is just a note to acknowledge receipt of your letter only, as I too happen to be overloaded with work from dawn to dusk as the Chief Editor of a very busy Global website called, Church Citizens’ Voice(CCV). More about it and other discussions half way, can be found in the attachments.
As you say, it is our first personal encounter, I don’t know you and you don’t know me either. This I hope will be made up in due course. The subject we are discussing is known to you as one presiding over a family commission, and to me as one dragged into it ever since Dec. 13/2013 when I had a personal discussion of the topic with Cardinal Alencherry.
Just one more point only for the moment. You speak of my incorrect information about CCBI as different from CBCI. You easily find CBCI in the Google search, but not CCBI since it is only a part. I am focused on the whole Church in India, CBCI to which the Pope asked to conduct a survey, not to CCBI which is just a part only and which alone may be your vineyard to look after.
When almost all doors remained closed in spite of my knocking to get information about the survey conducted, I wrote simultaneously also to the head of the CBCI, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis (also to Cardinal Alencherry) asking if the Survey asked for the by the Pope was actually done. To this day I have not heard from them. But I heard from Cardinal Oswald Gracias, to whom I didn’t write at all. He wrote about the survey he conducted and I answered him and discussions on it are going on all over India, in portals like CCV, Laititude etc.
So a lot of water has already flown through the Tiber, ever since our first letters. To learn what has happened kindly check the attachment dealing with Cardinal writes to CCV Editor, and CCV Editors, to know about us, Family Survey Search on, to know what is happening now and “Who destroys Catholic Families, in India”,(see attachment: Pure blood Promoters) one of the many articles I wrote on a terminator cancer eating into the vitals of Catholic families, one sore point on which the Hierarchical church in India stay tight lipped. I hope our bishops will definitely discuss it before they go to Rome.
Sorry I am burdening you with a lot of reading work. But I have been forwarding all my articles to all bishops in India through emails available in the CBCI website. So you also must have been receiving them. But my great regret is that not a single bishop gave me even a hint of the survey you say, you conducted. That is the state of vertical dialogue we have in India.
Once again many thanks for writing this letter. Hoping to learn more in due course and praying for the advent of the day when we all will be united and concerned about the whole Church in India (see attachment Bombay Laity Voice) and not just a part of it only imitating Cane saying: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Let His prayer (John 17) come true to remedy all such divisions.
james kottoor, Chief Editor, CCV
PS: Kindly excuse me for any or many typing errors as I am just a one-man battalion only. 5 Attachments. Jk
With Warm Regards,
Dr. James Kottoor,
Santhibhavan, 31/2249, Thammanam PO,
Ernakulam, Kochi – 682032, Kerala,India
Ph.0484-2344679, Mob: +91 9446219203
(Note: What follows is the first letter CCV editor wrote on July 6th to Bishop Lawrence of the CCBI family commission. Editor)
On Mon, Jul 6, 2015 at 7:56 PM, James Kottoor <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Bishop Lawrence and coworkers in CBCI Family division,
Prayerful greetings from james kottoor. I happen to be the Chief Editor of Church Citizens’ Voice (CCV) for the time being, running this portal in collaboration with two others as a free service, not for any profit. See attachment about us(CCV Editors)
Even otherwise I have been writing on Synodal Survey from Decmber 2013 on wards after personal discussions with Cardinal Alanchery to find out why no family survey is done in India in 2014 by Indian bishops irrespective of their Rite differences.
I used to send all my writings to all Indian bishops through emails available in the CBCI directory. In many of them I used to highlight the importance of the Survey and some burning issues destroying families in India which the bishops should discuss and settle.
One article in this context is: Who destroys Catholic Families in India? See pure Blood attachment. This too also was sent to all Indian Bishops and 20 people reacted to it including one bishops. So you too must have received it.
Similarly another thorny issue giving heart burns to Catholic families is getting Free status certificate for inter-Rite marriages. When it exploded in Delhi in the secular press I wrote: Eparchy Issue Explodes in Delhi and was sent to all Indian Bishops but no one responded or reacted.I don’t mention here many more I sent. I even offered the CCV as a forum for discussing 46 questions of the Synod on a national or regional level, but no bishop responded.
It is from Sri Alan Doulton I learned few days ago that Latin Bps did a survey. To know about other Rites, I may have to write to them separately, since Catholic Church in India is not working as one man.
I still believe the Church in India, and every where else, should be a united church irrespective of Rite divisions, a transparent and dialoguing Church, where Bishops should dialogue with all Church Citizens. Ever since Francis used this phrase we don’t use the term Laity, which has become pejorative like Sudras in Indian Caste system.
So please let us know, what important things the Church citizens surveyed wrote in the last column where they are asked to write their suggestions. How many wrote about Endogamy which is promoted by bishops and opposed by Church Citizens and memorandums are being sent to the Pope even now because of this tug of war.
Looking forward to the valuable data you have collected from Church Citizens in India and conveying CCV’s good wishes to every one in your team,
(Editor in Chief, CCV)
With Warm Regards,
Dr. James Kottoor,
Santhibhavan, 31/2249, Thammanam PO,
Ernakulam, Kochi – 682032, Kerala,India
Ph.0484-2344679, Mob: +91 9446219203
The hidden assets were reported by the first financial statements to be released under new rules
Under new reporting procedures that are more in line with international accounting standards, the Holy See has reported €1 billion in net assets that had never been reported before and in a consolidated form.
The Vatican’s final figures for 2014 also showed a continued budget deficit on the part of the Roman Curia and nearly double the profits brought in by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget.
In fact, the profits coming from the Vatican Museums, “cultural activities” and investments offset the deficit in the consolidated budgets of the Roman Curia and Vatican communications outlets to help the Vatican end the year €38 million euros in the black.
The Council for the Economy presented the financial statements earlier this week, and they were published yesterday. The statements were prepared by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Vatican’s budget management office. The statements were “reviewed and verified” by the Secretariat for the Economy, led by Australian Cardinal George Pell, as well as by a brand new auditing committee of lay experts and an external auditor.
The 2014 budget reports were the first financial statements to follow sweeping new procedures begun under new rules that went into effect on March 1, governing the guidance, oversight and control of Vatican financial and administrative activities, and codifying the mission of the council and secretariat for the economy.
The summarised statement released by the Vatican press office offered much of the same kind of information included in past statements released each year, as the transition to the new procedures is still a “step-by-step” work in progress, Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters.
However, the one new figure released publicly was all the net assets of the Holy See. Totalling €939 million, the amount represents money that had never been included before in the Vatican’s old system of budgeting and reporting.
In an article for the Catholic Herald in December, Cardinal Pell said the new budgeting and reporting procedures had meant the secretariat discovered “some hundreds of millions of euros were tucked away in particular sectional accounts and did not appear on the balance sheet”.
Fr Lombardi explained to reporters the next day that the money did not represent “illegal, illicit or badly managed funds”, just assets being held in numerous administrative offices that were not considered part of the main institutions of the Curia.
For 2014, however, all departments, bodies and foundations of the Holy See were required to report all assets – which totalled €1.1 billion, and liabilities – which totalled €222 million=.
The budget of the Holy See, which is made up of 64 “entities,” ended 2014 with a deficit of more than €25.6 million.
The new reporting and budgeting practices made it difficult to compare figures with past years, the Vatican statement said.
In fact, it said if the new practices had been applied to the 2013 fiscal year, the budget deficit for the Holy See would have much higher – €37.2 million, rather than the 24.4 million euros that had been reported. The reduced deficit for 2014, it said, was “largely due to favourable movements in investments held by the Holy See”.
Other sources of income included contributions from dioceses around the world, which gave €21 million in 2014, down from €22 million the previous year. The Vatican bank, which donates profits from its investments to the pope to support works of charity and mission around the world, contributed 50 million euros, like past years.
The largest single item in the Holy See budget was “personnel”. The number of employees stayed relatively the same at 2,880 with total personnel costs being 126.6 million euros, an increase of more than €1 million from 2013.
The Vatican City State budget, which includes the income-generating Vatican Museums and Vatican stamp and coin office, ended 2014 with a profit of more than 63.5 million euros – nearly double the previous year’s surplus of €33 million.
No personnel costs were given in the summarised report of the 1,930 total staff members who come under the Vatican City State budget.
Budget forecasts, with anticipated revenues and expenditures for the coming year, for the 136 entities under the council and secretariat’s watch suggest “the deficits experienced in recent years are likely to continue in 2015,” the Vatican statement said.
“While rapid progress is being made in implementing reforms requested by the Holy Father, the complete transition” to international accounting standards “is likely to take several years. The 2015 budgets and the 2015 statements are the first important steps.”
“From 2015, the consolidated statements for the Holy See will include the new practices and additional entities, as required under the new financial management policies” in place at the Vatican and according to worldwide standards, it said.