(Note: This is a reaction to the comment of Kalarickal and the article by Agustine Alanchery: ‘An open letter to Archbishop Perumthottam of Changanaseery, Kerala, by Varghese Pamplanil, james kottoor, editor.ccv.)
I have carefully gone through the article of Chacko Kalarickal“ Power Corrupts etc”. I have empathy and understanding about his anguish and concerns.My view is: it is well neigh impossible for any one to expect that the Zero Church will mend its ways. This abomination, a Frankenstein’s monster had its illegitimate birth in 1599. Only a catastrophe will put an end to its ignoble existence.
The Church hierarchy does not believe in any meaningful dialogue or discussion on its modes of operations. The Church foolishly thinks that it is a divinely created institution. It’s cattle class members are only to obey its arbitrary diktats without even a murmur. The power mad Mammon worshiping leadership feels that the ignorant “cattle class“ will never rise in rebellion. The history of the Church and the behaviour of the “cattle class“ so far validate this proposition.
The Zero Church sits smugly on the huge pile of wealth accumulated over the years, initially by the munificence of the credulous and of late by corruption and plunder. While inspecting the Changancherry branch of the Catholic Syrian Bank years ago, I had a look at the estates owned by the Arch-Diocese. I also came to know of the weight and types of cakes given as gifts for Christmas, birth days of the Archbishop and sundry other big whigs of the Church with the eye of canvassing deposits of church run institutions.
As a member of the Highest Level Financial Council of a diocese, I am familiar with the ways of the Church in financial matters. I recall the remarks of a wise old gentleman, a member of the above Council, that the Council’s laity members’ role is limited to okaying the proposals for spending by the bishop, some-times on hare brained schemes. He also said that of the Catholic Church and the Communist Party sail in the same boat when it comes to “ pizhichil “ from its members. On one occasion I had ineffectually pointed out that the Church doesn’t care about how an ordinary “ cattle “ member balance his family budget; the Church has no scruples in making exorbitant and atrocious demands of money from the not any way rich faithful for the frivolous schemes of the Church. But who cares?
As a namesake non-practicing Zero Church member I don’t care a dam whether the whole lot, the Church, it’s Lords/ Excellencies/ Beatitudes end up in the bottom most part of Dante’s Inferno. I don’t contribute even a 50 p., the lowest legal tender coin, to the Church. I have only sympathy for the persons who find themselves in the cul-de-sac of faith in the Catholic religion with itsunbelievable theology and its pot bellied clerics. Unless the “ cattle/ buffalo” members are prepared get out the maze, their fate is “ athogathi.”
Permit me to point out a fact in history. Jesus is presented as a descendent of David. But the forefathers of the Galilean were not even Jews. TheMaccabees had imposed Judaism.over the domain of Idumaea and the ‘ Galilee of the Gentiles” by force. “ For it is the supreme irony of Jewish history that the new ground captured by Alexander Jannaeus (102-76 BCE ) brought to birth, within a hundred years, a Galilean Jewish prophet whose message was consummation ofall previous Jewish experience; and this inspired Jewish scion of forcibly converted Galilean Gentiles Jewish prophet whose message was then rejected by the leaders of the Jewry of his own age. Thereby Judaism not only stultified its past but forfeited its future ” ( Arnold J Toynbee – A Study of History ). (This observation opens a can of worms on the claims of lineage of the Nazarene from the House of David, but that is another matter.)
Since Kalarickal lives in US he may be aware of “ The Rise of the Nones “ (“ Not Church”)’communities, a very American trend that is turning away from organised religions; yet seeking rich, if unorthodox, ways to build spiritual lives. Many of them gave up long ago ontraditional religious institutions. But they function as congregations often do–engaging one another in spiritual conversation and prayer, delivering food when someone is sick and working together to serve the poor. The latest survey Pew Foundation on Religion& Public Life would show how far this novel set up has progressed. ( Reference Time magazine of March 12, 2012. ). By the way, this was the manner in which the Jesus movement under James the Just, the Ebionites functioned in Jerusalem Temple in CE 70.
The Church based on the questionable belief ofa Resurrected Christ and Saviour, founded by Paul of Tarsus,modelled on the ten existing mystery religion of Mitras, has nothing to do with the wandering messiah of Nazarethand his message of love, empathy and compassion for the marginalised, the de-possessed and the lost.
It is the fate of the die hard unthinking “ cattle class” ‘ visvasies ‘ of the Zero Church , to borrow from the novel “ Animal Farm” by George Orwell, ruled by Comrade Napoleon, the pig, “ Father of all Animals , Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep World “. Orwell’s “ Animal Farm”.Varghese Pamplanil.