A bishop of the Syro-Malabar Rite is set to intervene in a dispute within the Eastern Catholic community in Cork, The Irish Catholic understands. The move comes after a protest by members of the congregation took place last Sunday outside a Cork church where they gather for liturgy.
The bishop is to arrive in Cork next month, when he will meet with Bishop of Cork and Ross Fintan Gavin, to settle a disagreement over the establishment of a trust to pay for the Syro-Malabar community’s pastoral needs, such as catechism classes.
This paper understands that the dispute arose over the cost of classes and the necessity of providing and filling out forms to access pastoral services.
Some members of the community think that in effect the trust privatises access to standard pastoral services and some members say they feel exploited.
However, the community does not have a church of its own and as a result has to hire and pay for a hall for the classes.
According to a statement from one of the organisers of the protest, Lijo Joseph, members of the community have contacted the diocese, but have not received any response.
“It is terrible, at the moment, children are not getting any catechism classes,” Mr Joseph told The Irish Catholic.
Christianity to India
The Syro-Malabar Church is an Eastern Catholic Church largely based in India. In full communion with Rome, it traces its origins to the Apostle St Thomas who tradition records brought Christianity to India in 50AD.