Does the Laity Need Church Recognition from the Archdiocese of Bombay to form Groups?


IMG-20150529-WA0009Recently the Indian Express Carried an article of a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Bombay which implied that groups need recognition from the Archdiocese of Mumbai and that AOCC was not recognised.

Is this the correct position taken by them?

The Archdiocese of Bombay issues various statements some of which are totally false and misleading.

In the past they had defamed me in the Examiner and then when I sent them a notice they published  an apology. The person  who issued the said statement was promoted as Bishop for the good work of defamation he had done!!!

As a priest has been taught in the Seminary to defame persons or was it his/ Archdioceses  way of trying to silence me? Even most of  the laity with no formal training with never stoop to this level.

Now let us see what is the Churches stand on groups.

Paragraph 29 of the POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION Christifideles Laici issued by Pope John Paul ll reads as follows:

Group Forms of Participation


First of all, the freedom for lay people in the Church to form such groups is to be acknowledged. Such liberty is a true and proper right that is not derived from any kind of “concession” by authority, but flows from the Sacrament of Baptism, which calls the lay faithful to participate actively in the Church’s communion and mission. In this regard the Council is quite clear: “As long as the proper relationship is kept to Church authority, the lay faithful have the right to found and run such associations and to join those already existing”(107). A citation from the recently published Code of Canon Law affirms it as well: “The Christian faithful are at liberty to found and govern associations for charitable and religious purposes or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world; they are free to hold meetings to pursue these purposes in common”(108).

It is a question of a freedom that is to be acknowledged and guaranteed by ecclesial authority and always and only to be exercised in Church communion. Consequently, the right of the lay faithful to form groups is essentially in relation to the Church’s life of communion and to her mission.”

This clearly shows that it is the right of lay person to form groups and the said right is no concession by any authority , but flows from the Sacrament of Baptism.

Thus no specific recognition is needed from any authority leave alone the Archdiocese of Bombay, to form a group and all that is needed is that one has to be baptised a catholic.

This is one more attempt to throw dust into peoples eyes.


Secretary Association of Concerned Catholics


Christifideles Laici (December 30, 1988)…paul…/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideleslaici.html

Dec 30, 1988 – THE LAY MEMBERS of Christ’s Faithful People (Christifideles Laici), whose “Vocation and Mission in the Church and in the World Twenty …


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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6 Responses to Does the Laity Need Church Recognition from the Archdiocese of Bombay to form Groups?

  1. Varun Prabhu says:

    Mr. Sodder, the false statements by the Archdiocese of Mumbai is one of defensive and to cover up the shady acts done by the priests. Sad but true, many Catholics are loosing faith in the Archdiocese of Mumbai under the poor Leadership of Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The spokesperson of the AB house is just a poodle that echoes his Masters Voice.

  2. Oswald cardinal Gracias, what do you say.The notion is you are a master on canon law. Do impart your views should this report be incorrect.
    Please do it without delay.Please do not ask you Bp Agnelo Gracias to reply as we do not believe him.

  3. Peter S Dsouza says:

    Which lay group of the Catholic Church is recognized?

  4. James Kottoor says:

    I don’t understand the full form of AOCC. Apart from that it sounds strange why any Catholic group in Bombay needs the formal approval of the Archdiocese to form an organization of its own. It sounds just silly and puerile for me. james kottoor

  5. David Vaz says:

    Very detailed clarification justifying the Legality of AOCC existence.

    Thanks, keep up the good work

    David Vaz

  6. Till date and my many suggestions I do no see any SANE reason why A O C C is not getting registered as a trust with the Charity Commissioner — then these STUPID rebuttals from the hierarchy will STOP

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