Good News from India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Is Flourishing

Source: FSSPX News

Marriage in the Syro-Malabar Rite

64 bishops in 2018 compared to 4 a hundred years ago; 8,600 priests and 36,000 religious: the Catholic Church of the Syro-Malabar rite is flourishing even though the context is hostile to Christianity


“After about a hundred years, we see a Church rooted in its original territory, with a strong hierarchical structure, a strong presence, and a strong missionary dimension,” declared Archbishop Cyril Vasil, secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano.

“I can say that it is one of the most flourishing churches I have met,” said the prelate after a visit to India. And he explained: “sometimes in traditionally Christian lands there is a sentiment of discouragement in the face of secularization. I recommend all pastors who are suffering from a lack of visibility of the Christian presence to come visit the Church of Kerala.”

For Archbishop Vasil, this is thanks to an “exemplary family life,” for “families in the country still have many children compared to Europe” and “catechism is considered very important.”

The secretary also mentioned some other facts: “We think that about 95-98% participate in Sunday Mass, which means that these Christians consider participation as fundamental”; they are laymen who “live the Faith with a strong sense of parish life.”

History of this Rite

The Syro-Malabar rite comes from the Chaldean tradition: because of its distance from the Latin world, this liturgy was not affected by all the changes inflicted upon the rite of St. Pius V after Vatican Council II.

These are some of the elements necessary for the Church to rise again from the terrible crisis she is living through: an unchanged liturgy, an exemplary parish life, large families that are a sign of blessing for Christian spouses and of the strength of the sacrament of marriage fully lived, priestly and religious vocations, and instructed faithful who know their catechism.

In India, the Society of Saint Pius X has a house in the neighboring State of Tamil Nadu, in Palayamkottai. The Priory of the Most Sacred Heart organizes Catholic life there and takes care of a school and an orphanage. It serves several chapels in Tuticorn, Madras, Christurajapuram and Asaripalam, as well as in the States of Karnakata (Bangalore), Goa, and Maharashtra (Bombay).

The Work of the SSPX in India