An open letter to Indian bishops on Endogamy

For the kind attention of the members of the CBCI, Members of the CCBI Family Commission and Bishops elected to go to Rome Synod on Family


This is an open letter being sent through email to all the over 200 Indian Bishops urging them, coaxing them, pleading with them, entreating them, begging them to discuss publicly the One Killer Disease called Endogamy or the Racist Pure blood promotion destroying over 200,000 of Catholic families in and outside India and also to propose remedial steps, failing which not to send any bishop to the coming October Synod.

If none of them have seen or read the letter below, in spite of bringing it to their notice many times from September 2014, have they become as some say: Blind, Deaf and Mute Leaders? If so what contribution can they give by going to the Synod?

Bishop Angadiath’s Signed letter of Sept.19/14

Prot.No.1799/2014

Dear & Rev. Fathers & Knanaya Community Members,
Glory to God in the highest. Amen

I am glad to inform you that the membership in the personal parish/mission for Knanaya Catholics is settled through the discussion of the issue in the Synod of Syro Malabar Bishops and final agreement reached by His Beatitude Mar George Cardinal Alencharry, the Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church, His Grace Mar Mathew Moolakatt, the Archbishop of Kottayam and Mar Jacob Angadiath, the Bishop of St.Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago.

A personal parish/mission for Knanaya Catholics will have only Knanaya Catholics as members. If a Knanaya Catholic belonging to a Knanaya parish/mission enters into marriage with a non-Knanaya partner, that non-Knanaya partner and children from that marriage will not become members of the Knanaya parish/mission but will remain members of the local non-Knanaya Syro Malabar parish/mission.

Please pray for our new Auxiliary Bishop-elect Mar Joy Alappat and for the blessing of his Episcopal ordination on September 27, 2014. Let us support and pray for our St. Thomas Syro Malabar Diocese of Chicago.

May the Lord bless you.
Your loving Pithavu
Singed
Mar Jacob Angadiath,
Bishop

Some of our over 200 bishops may not be fully ceased of the heated, explosive debates going on among Church Citizens (laity) in India and abroad, especially in USA, on the controversial topic of Endogamy, or promoting the racist practice of “Pure blood marriages” and excluding the rest from parish and diocesan membership, that definitely destroys Catholic families.

Yet this threat is not seen discussed in public by any bishop even at the final stage of the family Synod although it was brought to the attention of bishops already two years ago on Aug.3rd 2013 at a public Seminar held in Chicago Cathedral Hall. Reports of it appeared in a full page display ad on the back cover of Chicago based Kerala Express and were handed over to Bishops concerned and a detailed article was published in Indian Currents. (see article: Endogamy and Kananites of 2013, in alphabetical Contents in Website: In spite of many more letters sent as follow up, they continue to stay tight lipped. Hence this note to give at least the substance of the scandalous practice.

Given on top is the joint circular of Bishop Jacob Angadiath, of September 19th of last year which started it all in a BIG WAY. The issue became too controversial because that letter was endorsed by His Beatitude Mar Alencherry, His Grace Mar Moolakatt and reportedly supported by the Syromalabar Synod, as the circular states.. The Synod support and discussion, however is now called untrue by opponents with documents. Are you Indian Bishops, their colleagues in the Episcopacy, aware of this letter and the ongoing war of words?

Fence Eating the Crop?

Is not the letter diametrically opposed to the teaching of Jesus on Marriage: “Let not man separate what God has united?” Is it not a howling proof of fence eating the crop? Wolves in sheep’s cloth scattering, destroying and devouring His sheep?

I even wrote an article on it and sent it to all bishops in April 2015 which brought 20 supporting reactions, including one from a bishop. But no bishop took up the issue for discussion. Instead of discussing it and taking a stand for Gospel teaching on marriage, and against human right violation, if the practice is allowed to go on and even encouraged to go on with the letter of the Triumvir above, is there any point in any bishop going to the Synod to defend the Jesus’ vision of marriage?

The circular reproduced at the outset, is also a clear violation of Vatican’s unequivocal Rescript of 1986 directing the community in India, not to import this deadly virus to America. Nay the circular above simply nullifies that Rescript. It speaks of a discussion in and approval by the SMC. Now it has been proved that the minutes of the said Synod speak of no such discussion and approval according to Alex Estapan National Leader of Knanaya Association of North America (KANA) fighting a Canonical case for the withdrawal of that Circular of Bishop Angadiath.

All look upon Bishops as Doctors of the Field Hospital (as graphically envisioned by Pope Francis) called the Indian Church, to discuss and decide to operate this cancer out. Still no one opens his mouth even to discuss the need of operating it out to save the rest of the body from sure death? Are our bishop-delegates to the synod, going to be silent on this mortal infection killing Catholic families here?

What’s your interest in it?

I have to answer here also a question raised by some of my friends. They ask: What is your special interest in this Endogamy imbroglio? You don’t belong to any Knanaya group in any sense. Then why do you raise it as the bête noire on the fair face of Indian Church?

Quite true. I was a passerby like Simon of Cyrene when Knananites were organizing a protest seminar in the Chicago Cathedral Hall against the three prelates in 2013. They were looking for a keynote speaker. Bishop Angadiath and his vicar general were their first and second choice. When they refused they jumped on this passerby as the Simon of Cyrene, to carry that cross. When Bishop Angadiath heard of it he said:”It is like inviting Pulikunnel of Hosanna.”

Just one more life and death question of conscience for any real follower of Jesus. My friends referred to earlier ask me. “After all, is not this pure blood crazy group you speak of a negligible minuscule in India? Just ignore them. Why waste your time and energy?” And I ask them straight in their face: “Whose follower are you? Jesus the Good shepherd or Satan the thief who comes by night to steal?”

Parable of Lost Sheep?

Just think of the three unforgettable gospel parables: the Lost sheep, Lost drachma, and the Prodigal son which no Christian can ever forget. Listen: “What man among you, with a hundred sheep, losing one would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders, and then when he got home call together his friends and neighbors? Rejoice with me, he would say, I have found my sheep that was lost.” Lk.15.4-7.

A parish priest explained this story to an elementary school children and asked: “Who can say why the Shepherd left 99 and went after one lost sheep?” One 7-year-old got up and said, “Because that was the only milking sheep!” By that standard if only the Indian bishops knew that these Knananites are really the financially rich section among Catholics, they would have gone all out to satisfy their slightest demands.

Haven’t we got in India even one bishop who has the “smell of the sheep”? Are all of them airport bishops? In the case of Knananites, it is not just hundred sheep, but over 200,000 scattered in India and abroad. Besides, one who puts his hand to the plough should not leave it half way but go to the end, Calvary’s top like Simon of Cyrene. So I have to stick on.

Besides aren’t you aware also of the many memorandums and petitions from Catholic families affected by this cancer, sent to various bishops in India, to Nuncio, to higher authorities in Rome and even to Pope Francis during the last two years?

Canonical Legal Notice

Still as far as I know from these fighting factions, there is total silence and absence of any clear answer from responsible bishops to queries from their flock. Aren’t Indian bishops aware of a Canonical Legal notice already filed with Rome against Bishop Angadiath by Catholic groups in USA, Knanaya Association of North America(KANA) with headquarters in NY?

These groups In USA say: “This pure blood policy continues because (Cardinal) Alencherry and other bishops facilitate it. We do not understand why Alencherry does not get offended with this policy that treats his own people as “non-pure” and somehow lower by the Kottayam bishop.” Writing to Bishop Angadiath KANA says the court case can cause “consequent penal process and the imposition of the penalty that can be removal from office.”

Dr James Kottoor

The letter of May 11, 2015 to Bishop Angadiath says: That his “circular (the one on top) is not truthful and not valid since it has no approval from the Congregation and not even of the SM (Syro-Malabar ) Synod. KANA does not believe that your Excellency, His Beatitude and/or His Grace, and even the Synod have the authority to issue such a circular letter in violation of the Congregation’s Rescript without proper permission.”

“In light of the above, as noted in our last letter, KANA will proceed to file a canonical complaint with the Congregation against you through our attorney to revoke your circular letter. It may result in punitive action against you by the Congregation for disobeying and practically nullifying their Rescript.”

In India, continues the letter by KANA, “Our sister organization in Kerala, Knanaya Catholic Naveekarana Samithi (KCNS), already started the process of filing a legal suit against Kottayam bishops for excluding members and against Mar Alencherry. We request you to stay away from unchristian, illegal, immoral and racist practices of Knanaya and act according to your conscience.” The quotations are from the letters of Alex Estapan, National Coordinator of Knanaya Association of North America(KANA) :aesthappan@yahoo.com.

KCNS in Kerala is taking this action after writing to all top Church men in India, to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri of Family Synod and Pontifical Commission for Family, Rome, and even to Pope Francis and Apostolic Signatura, Rome, through Salvatore Pennacchio, Apostolic Nuncio, Delhi.

As the affected Catholic families in India and abroad are worked up to exploding levels of anger, kindly let the undersigned speaking for these sections have your answers as from Good Shepherds, to pacify as well as to keep the flock united for the greater glory of God. Conveying you my respectful regards and thanking you in anticipation,

James Kottoor,
Editor in Chief, Church Citizens’ Voice (CCV)
Dr. James Kottoor,
Santhibhavan, 31/2249, Thammanam PO, Ernakulam, Kochi – 682032, Kerala,India. Ph.0484-2344679, Mob: +91 9446219203

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1 thought on “An open letter to Indian bishops on Endogamy

  1. Most respected Dr. Kottoor,
    Congratulations once again for raising your voice against Endogamy! But also remember that the Church Universal is not different from the Judiciary of India where it has taken 22 years to hang Yakoob Memon this morning at Nagpur.
    Denis Daniel.

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