[ Speech given at Pampady dayara pally]
Dearly beloved of Christ,
I think I must say something to you, today being ‘Kothine Sunday’ (first Sunday of the fifty days lent). I have much to say, but shall limit myself.
I am deeply worried about the faction feud in the church. It is sometime since we have lost our peace due to faction fights. Even the present fight is 20-years old. Quarrels and differences of opinion are common everywhere. People don’t leave their church because of that, but many do now. I feel sad that some of the priests from the south have left the church to join the Roman church. And many others, it is heard, are planning to leave the church. I don’t believe that it is out of urge to follow the truth on matters of faith that they are leaving the church. Nor is it for love of God. They are, unfortunately, after power and position. I don’t personally believe that our church or our faith lacks anything. How many saints our church has produced! What do we lack in our pursuit after salvation? Has the Roman church anything more to offer? We believe that they have none. How many church fathers have been troubled by them! We have a history of our church fathers sticking to their steadfast faith even in times of trouble, suffering for their faith. We cannot but suspect that something has radically gone wrong with those who are preparing to leave the church. We would warn you that you should not be caught in their snares. We have no fears that any of you will. Only we are reminding you.
If any one is to leave the mother church fearing trouble it must be first our Bava Thirumeni. We have been his disciples from young days. He has absolute faith and steadfastness. It was our firm belief that he won’t move an iota from cardinal faith, the canons tenets and traditions that made us accept this office as well as made us stay with him despite all provocations and inducements. Even if he is made to suffer more, we are confident that he won’t be an apostate in the cause of cardinal faith. Even though there were grave difference of opinion between him and the Patriarch Bava on administrative matters, we have found no lack of faith or in our path towards redemption.
Our effort should be to restore peace in the church, not to run away from the church. Our suggestion is that both sides should make some compromises so that the integrity of the church is not affected. We should not try to aggravate our differences by going on litigation. We exhort you to pray hard for peace and unity in the church, this being the season of lent. May the grace and blessings of the Almighty continue to be showered on us.