Most Rev. A. Malayappan Chinnappa, SDB.,
Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore
SUB: Meeting with Rev. Fr. Nambikkai Nathan, Director, Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre
Today, at the telephonic request of Fr. Nambikkai Nathan, I went over to his office at around noon, and met with him for about an hour. His invitation was on your instructions, apparently on the basis of my letter to Your Grace of yesterday. He made enquiries about my ministry, and I answered all his questions,
I also showed him hardcopies of a couple of hundred letters which I received from Indian Cardinals and Bishops, and the Vatican. [These are apart from the hundreds of emails received by this ministry.]
I am grateful to Fr. Nambikkai Nathan for providing me with the English translation, which I requested for, of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council’s circular that was read out at Masses on Laity Sunday, June 24, 2007.
I once again remind you of my yet-unacknowledged Registered A.D. letter dated May 8, 2007, which was subsequent to my meeting Your Grace in your office on April 12, 2007. On that occasion, when I had discussed with you my concern regarding the proposed compulsory introduction of Surya Namaskar and Yoga in schools, by the Tamil Nadu Government, you had advised me to meet Fr. Nambikkai Nathan.
Accordingly, I had a long introductory meeting with him in his office on June 14, but he explained to me that he had many responsibilities and asked me what I wanted him to do. My reply was that I cannot tell the Church what to do, but as a lay person I can surely bring my concerns, wherever I perceive that there may be danger to the Catholic Faith, to the kind attention of my Bishops. And I expect a response.
When I met Fr. Nambikkai Nathan today, he has taken photocopies of two letters, the 29 November, 2005, letter me [copy to Your Grace] from the former CBCI General Secretary, Bishop Percival Fernandez, and your letter to me dated February 6, 2006, which was written on the basis of Bishop Percival’s letter.
I had received the same only on February 20 and visited your office the very next day, February 21, 2006, and had a half-hour meeting with your Secretary, Rev. Fr. Paul Raj, and given him my response.
Today, Fr. Nambikkai Nathan wanted to know what issues I want to discuss with you. I explained to him:
1. Canon Law says that laity have the duty and the right to meet with their Bishops, but laity in this Archdiocese find it difficult to meet with Your Grace. If Catholics who serve in long-established, nationally recognized ministries find it so difficult, how much more impossible would it be for a person from a poor economic and social background to meet with their Bishop who should be more easily available to them.
2. Laity have also the right to expect a response. Meeting our Archbishop and obtaining a patient hearing apart, this ministry has not received a single acknowledgement to our many letters, reports or even simple greetings on festive occasions. Laity look forward to having a Bishop who is accessible, who pays serious attention to their concerns on matters of Catholic Faith, and who responds to them. I trust this is in order.
SENT BY EMAIL: From: firstname.lastname@example.org To:
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 10:14 PM
Subject: Meeting with Rev. Fr. Nambikkai Nathan, Director, Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, Chennai on July 28, 2007
ORIGINAL HARDCOPY delivered to Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre Office by hand on Aug. 06, along with photocopy of my letter dated 30 January, 2006 to Bp. Percival Fernandez, Secretary-General, CBCI / copy to Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore in response to letter dated November 29, 2005 [as noted above] from Bishop Percival / copy to Archbishop.