Church Conflict in India

The Vatican and many of the Latin-rite bishops of India are not treating the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church with justice, Auxiliary Bishop Bosco Puthur of Ernakulam-Angamaly in Kerala, India, told Pope Benedict XVI on April 7 during an ad limina visit to Rome. While other Christians and other religions enjoy the freedom to build churches and conduct services anywhere in India, the Eastern Catholic churches “are denied it, paradoxically not by the state, but by our own ecclesiastical authorities,” the bishop said. Generally the leaders of Eastern Catholic churches, like the Syro-Malabar Church, enjoy full freedom to elect bishops and erect dioceses only in their church’s traditional territory; otherwise, the responsibility is left to the pope, often in consultation with the Latin-rite bishops of the region concerned. Bishop Puthur told Pope Benedict that the Syro-Malabar church’s traditional territory was all of India until Latin-rite missionaries arrived in the 15th century. Now any of its faithful who live outside Kerala State are subject to the authority of the local Latin-rite bishop.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

I thought I had the perfect Catholic fairy tale: Meet and a date a former seminarian. Seven months after I got married, my world was utterly shattered.
July 27, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Controversial decisions, such as Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation), Roe v. Wade (abortion) and, most recently, Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), often are challenged for decades by opponents seeking their reversal or limitation.
Ellen K. BoegelJuly 27, 2017
Oscar Isaacs as Hamlet (photo: The Public Theatre)
In a bewildering new staging at The Public Theater, Oscar Isaac is giving a rich, riveting lead turn as the dubious Danish prince.
Rob Weinert-KendtJuly 27, 2017
Usain Bolt has become a living legend in a track event that is known for creating superstars. His pre- and post-race rituals are purely Catholic, and yet the faith of one of the world’s most talked-about athletes is an open secret.
Nick Ripatrazone July 27, 2017