Most Rev. A. Malayappan Chinnappa, SDB.,
Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore
DATED JULY 27, 2007
SUB: Your inaccessibility as pastor and Bishop; and the attitude of you and your office towards the laity, to issues raised by the laity, and to letters sent to you by the laity IN THE YEAR OF THE LAITY
I draw your kind attention to my REGISTERED POST, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT DUE letter of May 8, 2007 [with the same subject line as above], to which I have not received a response.
Please find attached herewith a photocopy of the same. [Also enclosed with the hand-delivered hardcopy].
I was privileged to be invited to attend a consultation forming part of the CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF INDIA COMMISSION FOR LAITY
Plenary Assembly’s follow-up on the theme “The Vocation and the Role of the Laity in the Life and Mission of the Church”.
The agenda of this meeting was “a brain-storming session to bring out a Training Manual for the Formation of the Laity in India, its content, methodology, different modules etc. This manual has to include among other things a write up on the specific characteristics of lay involvement in temporal arena and their active participation in the threefold ministries of Christ.”
However, all said and done, this Catholic lay ministry is yet to receive even one single response against letters written to your good self as well as reports sent to you on a number of issues of serious concern, whereas almost 160 Bishops and CBCI Commissions have been regularly corresponding with us over the last four years.
Only on June 24, when a letter from Your Grace was read out at all Sunday Masses, did the vast majority of laity become aware that this year had been declared as the Year of the Laity.
But, the most important information, that a meeting for interested laity was to be held later that day, was not made. Many laity feel that, as usual, those laity who are personally close to the Bishops and priests were privately selected and invited.
Otherwise, how is it that a registered organization of Catholic laity [the Federation of Catholic Faithful] which has been trying to get an appointment with Your Grace for the last six months, and a lay ministry like mine which both are in CONSTANT touch with Your Grace and the Archbishop’s House, are totally ignored ?
The Examiner of June 23rd carries articles by LAY members of the Office of Lay Collaboration in the Ministry of the Church, of Bombay Archdiocese.
Can we expect to have such an office headed by laity in this Archdiocese?
Subject: LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE