India: Priests Who Celebrate with their Back to God Excommunicated

Major Archbishop Raphael Thattil, 68, of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabar rite, India, issued an ultimatum (3 July), telling his priests to either accept a liturgical compromise or face excommunication.

It is the latest development in a long-running, bitter liturgical dispute that has escalated since the Syro-Malabar Synod decided in 2021 to introduce a single liturgy.

The compromise calls for the Liturgy of the Word to be arranged watching the people, while the Eucharistic Sacrifice is celebrated in the face of God.

The opponents of the reform want to preside over the whole liturgy watching the people, as has been done illegally for 50 years. They have announced that they will not comply with the ultimatum, reports

They have even proposed to separate from the archdiocese and establish a new prelature on the same territory, linked to Rome.

Lay people who attend a Eucharist from 4 July that is not celebrated according to the compromise are threatened with not fulfilling their Sunday obligation.

All the other 34 dioceses of the Syro-Malabar rite have accepted the compromise.

Picture: Raphael Thattil © wikicommons, CC BY-SA, #newsVwuqypmyzk
Anthony November
Is it just me or do other traditional Catholics look at this obscure drama and feel like they’re being gaslighted?