He was assisted by their Eminences: Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, in the presence of their Eminences Archbishops members of the Regional Synod in India, as well as the Very Rev. and Rev. fathers, nuns, deacons, and a large crowd of the faithful of our Church.
During the Qurobo, His Holiness decorated Rev. Fr. Markose, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, with the Holy Pectoral Cross in appreciation of his service to the Church.
At the end of the Qurobo, His Holiness addressed the faithful making it clear to all once again that “we will never abandon our people here in Malankara”. He added “We affirm our commitment to have peace and reconciliation between both factions of the Church as much as we can, and we will try to do that. But in case that doesn’t work, then you are going to be taken care of by your spiritual father and by the entire Church, because you are very dear to our heart and you are blessed members of the Church.”
His Holiness assured that the door for peace is still open, and will remain open, until an agreement that takes care of everyone and preserves the dignity of everyone, and the rights to have free worship and free conscience to be loyal to the Holy See that they want to be. However, His Holiness remarked “a time will come when that peace does not happen, when we see more grabbing of our Churches by force, when we see injustice done to our people, then a time will come when we’ll say enough is enough! We have to take care of our own and we have to strengthen our Church here”.
“The ordinary people, the young, the old, all of you, and from both sides” His Holiness illustrated “deserve to have peace of mind, peaceful worship, and peaceful places where you can go and worship God, deserve to have dignity for your beloved departed ones when the time comes for them to be buried.” He assured that “it is the responsibility of the leadership of both groups to come together, to sit, discuss, dialogue, and find the peaceful way of doing this”.
His Holiness emphasized that “as the spiritual father and patriarch of both factions, we want all of you to be in peace, to live together in harmony, and be able to worship in the Churches that your forefathers have built, and we want the entire Church, both factions to be in peace here in Kerala as a witness to the others, because when we are divided, we cannot witness to our faith and to the Lord. This is our wish, and this is our desire as the spiritual father for all”.
He restated that “while we respect the law and the courts of this country, we repeat again, the court may solve legal issues – issues about property, but they cannot solve the problem that we have in the Church here, what we need for this problem to be solved is faith and prayer from everyone: prayer is the best means for us to bring about peace and reconciliation”.
At the end, His Holiness blessed all the faithful who were present.