35 churches closed due to the row
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – There has been a row among Christian organisations over a custom followed in the Roman Catholic Church in Kerala during the Sunday prayers. Owing to this row, 35 churches have been closed in the State. The Police force has been deployed outside those churches. Churches will be opened for prayers after the restoration of peace, say the Police.
1. As Christians believe, God created the world on the 6th day and rested on the 7th day; therefore, they worship Jesus Christ on Sunday, and it is called ‘Holy Mass’.
2. ‘Syro- Malabar’, a local wing of the Roman Catholic Church has issued instructions that the priests and devotees would face eastwards during prayers, but the modern Catholic Christians of Kerala claim that such instruction was not found anywhere in their holy books. Due to the new instructions, followers would not be able to see the priests and talk to them.
3. As per the experts in the Christian community, the rule is, priests should, half of the time, look at the followers and look towards the East for the rest of the time. The modern Christians, however, refuse to accept the same and feel that the custom followed for the past 50 years should continue.
4. The organisation viz. ‘Almaya Munnettam’ claims that permission has been obtained from Pope Francis that prayers would be done looking at the people in their church, but they were pressurised to follow the new directive. It has warned that the Roman Catholic Church would face serious consequences if the directive was not withdrawn.
Secularists and pro (re)gressive factions, who are always criticising Hindu Dharma whenever there is some row over customs and traditions in Hindu Dharma, are keeping mum even after the closedown of 35 churches due to fighting among Christians !