Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CMIs and Cash (some say, it is Cash Making Institute!)


(Pic::CMIS in New York)
I got the following question from a young Catholic girl, who is my chat friend. I also add my answer to it. This is my conviction.

Why are Chirstian institutions so adamant in making money and investement?(This question was asked in the context of your congregation acha,CMI). Aren't you diverting from the cause of Jesus?

I like this question. It is very pertinent to me, as a CMI. We dont make money for the sake of making money. In reality, we are the great debtors. In my province, we got 100+ priests and it is said that every priest's head carry a debt of around 7-10 lakhs!

Yes we do have great institutions. All of them are for the benefit of humanity and for Church and its people. We are running a University in India (which is just one of the many other initiatives). It's all for good. Do we need to stop them? We can.. Then what will be the fate of those beneficiaries, which belong to all religious groups... of Church and Christians in India? The Xians still flourish and are respected in India only because of these institutions, even if they are a minority. If we abandon them, Christians will go down like the dalits or Muslims.

Now, it is my conviction that, Indian Church should make money. It is not to get 'rich'. But to stand on its own feet. In the past, we were relying of foreign money for our projects. But that is not good for Indian Church and India. If Church needs to stand on its two feet, it should be self-sufficient. Either, the Indian faithful have to contribute heavily or Church should raise it on its own. When Bl Chavara started CMI congregation, all of the initial monasteries were erected using the money from people. But, that scenario has changed. People's mentality does not support that method any more. And Church has got the capacity and human resource to do it on its own. So, it must take that responsibility than passing on it to its people. Moreover, India is in a better economic position now than in the past and so there's no point in importing money from outside. That is not social justice. On the contrary, Indian church should be able to support the missions in other poor nations around the world. That is our responsibility. We received when we were in need, now we have to give it back, when we are in a position to do that. If we are hiding away from that responsibility, we are just irresponsible. There's a danger of victim mentality (out of poverty) in our mindset, which actually hinder us from 'generously giving' to others (other poor missions world around).

If we need to be self reliant, if we need to venture into world missions, we need money. Church in India should do whatever possible in legitimate terms to amass it, so that it can keep sustain what they got in India, expand those services and to share its benefits with the Christ's mission around the world.

Monday, August 4, 2008

WYD and the Colonial hang-over



One of the beautiful parts of World Youth Day final Mass was the gospel procession by the Pacific Islanders. I was there, right beside. It was really beautiful, touching (watch it here) . But,... that's a BIG BUT!

The end of the gospel precession really tasted bitter.. The symbolism! The Pacific Islanders 'entrust the Gospel' to a European convoy (at least all looked like Europeans). Then they takes it to the alter, as the Islanders passively look at it! Black and White!

Just reminded everybody of the new Cadbury ad on the TV. The Pacific Islanders wage war over coffee and the Emperor wins, only to see that European colonials came to take the throne.

Dont think that I am too critical. But there are things to be fixed up. In God, there's no race. When we do a liturgy for WYD, which is supposed to celebrate the universality of Church, these things should get right. The powerful symbolism could have all changed, if we had, at least a black or brown person among the convoy who received Gospel from the Pacific Islanders.

Tail piece: During the Saturday vigil, one of the Indian young pilgrims told me. "Look father they pray in almost every language on earth. But why not in any of Indian languages?". He was right. The representation of Indian subcontinental languages were almost nil, except for one of the prayers of the faithful during the final Mass in SriLankan Sinhalees.

I want to answer RIGHT to my fellow young pilgrims from Asia next time. After all Jesus was an Asian and Asia is the cradle of Christianity!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Winston Churchill won the war, but Clement Attlee was elected PM


I was just reflecting about WYD!

It was great success - as an event. The government has done a wonderful job. They poured out money and support. The infrastructure - public transport, randwick, barangaroo, security - was excellent. The pilgrims were excellent - their happiness, joy and discipline were exemplary. Sydniers were so welcoming. The Church organization did a good job - the billeting, hospitality, the ceremonies - esp, the Way of the Cross and final Mass were excellent.

Only one thing failed. the PR - public relations. It was a disaster. Except the official media (particularly new corp print media), all others tired their level best to tarnish the Catholic fest, by blowing the sex scandals and atheist/liberal views out of proportion in their prime time and space. The internet was the ugliest thing. I followed it till Thursday. Hopeless.

The Church (in Aus) didn't see that it was coming. When it came, it didn't know how to address it, when it addressed, it failed miserably.

Cardinal Pell did a wonderful job in bringing and conducting WYD in Aus. But many a time he failed to reap the fruits of it, by allowing himself to be exposed to unwanted controversies. Whether it was how he dealt the "sex abuse cases of the priests" (in this case a man who died in prison before 10 years) or "more western babies" or "un-linking climate change from human activity" (what the hell on earth a Cardinal should comment on the relationship between climate change and human activity (aka pollution) during WYD. It belongs to scientists and does not belong to religions to prove or disprove it, let science do it. May be on the basis of that we could postulate moral implications!), he was a PR failure.

He is good man, with lot of convictions. He was the right person to conduct WYD (except PR could have been given to a different team).

It was Winston Churchill who won the World War II as the PM of England. But it was Clement Attlee who succeeded him after the War. I heard that the people of England did a right thing by ditching their war hero over a moderate face. They had known that they wanted a moderate face to heal the wounds of war.

I think Rome will learn from history. I think, Pell will be taken to Vatican for greater roles in the Church. Australia (esp, Sydney) will have a new face - a moderate, happy face!


CHRIST University, India - The first ever Catholic university in India


Here is the much awaited good news: Christ became University!! (as reported in www.cmi.in) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India, in its notification of 22 July 2008, has declared Christ College, located in Bangalore, Karnataka, as 'Deemed-to-be- University’. Christ College, till now Autonomous College, is now a University Rev. Dr. Augustine Thottakara, CMI, Rector Dharmaram College, President of the Board of Trustees of Christ College, and President of the Governing Body, has been elected as the Chancellor and President of Christ University by the Governing Body according to the directives of UGC. The Chancellor and President has appointed, according to the UGC Rules, Father Dr. Thomas C. Mathew, CMI, hitherto Principal, Christ College Autonomous, as the Vice Chancellor of the University. Other office-bearers will be elected/appointed in due course of time. Hearty Congratulations!
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This is my reply to cmigroup mail:

It's a great moment of pride in the history of Indian Catholics. It's a decisive moment in the history of CMI congregation. Blessed Chavara would be shedding tears of happiness in heaven! My heartfelt congratulations to all - especially Fr Chatamparmabil, the Vice-chancellor of Christ University (and not forgetting all previous and present visionaries of Christ and Dharmaram) - who worked hard to realize this dream. Well done. Let our Lord continue to bless!

Jaison Paul Mulerikkal
12 Chewings Street
Page, ACT 2614
Canberra, Australia

Monday, July 21, 2008

World Youth Day an awakening time for all Australians of goodwill


The following is an article send by me to the Print Media in Australia during WYD 08 and was not published!!!
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As tens of thousands of young people from around the world flock together in Sydney for World Youth Day, it gives all Australians of goodwill to look deep into their own spiritual and religious self. As Prime Minister Kevin Rudd rightly puts it, these youngsters have come here as 'pilgrims of peace' rather than marching for a war as most youngsters have done in the past. It is really a history-making event.

As one among those young ones who is going to be in Sydney for the WYD celebrations and hosted around 70 of those young happy pilgrims in our parish, I am happy to confirm that they are proud young Catholics, who are determined to follow their leader and God - Jesus - and his Church. They got first hand experience of the Catholic Church and its teachings and they are well aware of its failures in the past too. Even then they love their God and Church. The big question before all people of goodwill in Australia would be, "What these young people have to convey to us?"

In spite of all apparent failures of Catholic Church - like the recent priest sex scandals in the Western countries and ruthless attack from various philosophies - whether it is communism or atheism or consumerism - the youth of the world comes to the beautiful realization that there are no other system or philosophy that has ever succeeded as Christ and his Church throughout the history of humankind.

Many of the allegations surfaced against Church at the wake of this great awakening of Spirit along with World Youth Day are misleading and many other stories have been allowed to explode without proportion.

Priest sex abuse scandals are very much confined to certain cultures and regions in Catholic Church and that cannot be attributed universally to Catholic Church. Church has repeatedly assured its assistance to heal the wounds of victims and is ready to refine its processes. But at the same time, since priests comes from the families, it could very well be the reflection of deep wounds within the society and those elements in the cultural psyche may have to be healed and refined to address these issues in the long run.

In almost every online newspaper bloggers and many articles in leading newspapers have alleged that Catholic Church is responsible for almost every wars in the history of mankind. When we read the history and especially when we try to read between the lines of history books, it is very clear that the wars were started by some crooked people who were cleaver enough to drag even religion into it and finally put all their blame on religions, including Catholic Church. And they just hid themselves into the deep abbeys of history as centuries pass by. Blaming Catholicism for all the wars in history is as absurd as saying that the war on Iraq was a Christian war on Muslims! But it is as clear as sunlight that it was the bloody oil greed of the West to keep enjoying their cars created Iraq war. But still after 200 years some Dan Brown could "uncover the truth" and say it was Catholic Church who put up that war, because it is the only institution, which survives the test of time (even not any state), and popularly could give the status of a "cult". It is always a fashion to blame a "cult".

I haven't heard any Catholics annoy the Mardi Gras Parade nor requesting the court to allow them to do so. But still the young Catholics who pay their way for their faith party could very well be legally annoyed in this country. Even still they are blamed for intolerance towards those people. No homosexual genes have yet been identified and the concept is not accepted unequivocally in scientific and medical circles yet. So, it may be premature to pressurize Church to make decisions on those issues. The Church is always as compassionate as Jesus - who welcomed everybody into his companionship - to those people but may reserve the right to gently remind them against their behaviour as long as it is not proved otherwise without doubt. The Catholic youth do understand the Church's position.

As many wanted to portray, Biblical God is not a jealous, murderous God. It was the understanding of the God by the humans that went on a transformation as we witness in Bible from Old Testament to New Testament. As Jesus himself made it clear he had come to perfect the law. The nature of God as a loving merciful father is been truly and perfectly revealed in Jesus and the New Testament Bible is a witness to it. There is no point in trying to understand the nature of God without reference to New Testament revelation about Jesus Christ, and every attempt to ignore it is an attempt to misguide masses by feeding half-baked truths.

Another allegation is that Catholic Church is the root cause of the whole AIDS epidemic in the world and especially in Africa. The best practice against AIDS, as everyone would agree, is committed married life as a lifelong union of both the man and woman involved in marriage. With any scientific procedure we can compare the successful rate of "committed married life" and the use of condoms against AIDS and see the conclusions (pretty well we all know what the result would be). And if Catholic Church wants to promote the best option for the Catholic youth and the youth of the world, the youth do understand and respect that stand.

World Youth Day is a wake up call, especially for the youngsters and young couples of Australia to decide in what direction they want to mould their personal life, family, society and their Church. It is a call to be inspired by Jesus and the great Catholics like Francis of Assisi - a true ecologist, Mother Theresa - a true humanitarian or the great Australian educator - Mary McKillop. It is also a call to be inspired by those thousands of cheering happy young faces around Sydney who find their meaning and peace in a loving God and his vibrant Church.

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Jaison Mulerikkal CMI is an Indian Carmelite priest, belonging to the Eastern Catholic rite of Syro-Malabar and a research student at Department of Computer Science, Australian National University. He lives in St Matthew's Parish presbytery, Page, ACT. He can be accessed at his website www.memyviews.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WYD & Priest sex abuse in the Australain Church


The Australian media has been running a vicious campaign against Catholic Church during WYD (world youth day). They dig up decades old 'priest's sex abuse' cases and trying to put Church on the back-foot. I honestly think that there's a ploy behind it... (and Church authorities have failed to foresee it too)

The Church is not unaware of the sex-scandal issues in the West. The Western church has to fight it's daemons. But what we are witnessing is systematic, biased and out-of-proportionate attempt by the Australian media (especially Fairfax media newspapers (online as well) and ABC television) to humiliate and demoralize the Church in the wake of all good things happening in Sydney. God save Australia!

Here is comment by me on one of their articles in Herald Sun online
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It seems that the media and a section of community (those who oppose Catholic Church for various other reasons) are using priest sex abuse cases as an instrument to destroy the morale of Catholic church in the wake of a great awakening in the society. We all sympathize with the victims and actions must be taken. But it has to be differentiated from what we are witnessing at Sydney at the moment. God bless Australia!

Posted by: Jaison 11:29am today (16th July 2008)
Comment 29 of 32

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/comments/0,22023,24028147-662,00.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's been published!

The condom debate - continues


to my previous post (letter to Herald Sun), Lara of Melbourne responded as follows:

HAHAHAHA...you're a "good" Catholic Jaison, of course you believe in "committed married life as a lifelong union of the man and woman involved in marriage", what we're saying is that many of your fellow Youth Day Catholics are not practicing what you are, thusly they require the extra protection afforded by common sense and CONDOMS. It's naive and stupid to think that everyone is going to behave as they should, because God knows they won't - human beings never do. Religion is outdated and science is beginning to prevail, the world is not the innocent place it used to be and sex before marriage and at disgustingly young ages is rife nowadays - Catholics have to get with the program and understand that in today's world, it's better to be SAFE than SORRY. Safe sex is not a joke, Jaison, it's probably saved a lot of people you know from unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

AND HERE IS MY RESPONSE

That's another great joke Lara of Melbourne! Almost every noble civilizations in the world does believe in that Lara - "committed married life as a lifelong union of the man and woman involved in marriage" - its not an invention of Catholic Church. That's why we call those civilizations as civilized. Please dont undermine at least your fellow-Australians. Then the word 'science'. I am not afraid of that. I myself is a research student of science. With any scientific procedure you compare the successful rate of "committed married life" and your condoms against AIDS and bring the conclusions (pretty well we all know what it would be). And if Catholic Church wants to promote the best option for the youth of the world, please respect that. And very sad to learn that you dont believe in the innocence of humanity anymore (and most probably the ideology you represent)! That would be a miserable life. I pity. My prayers

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/comments/0,22023,24003622-662,00.html

Thursday, July 10, 2008

World Youth Day condom protest comic, says Catholic Church



There's a World Youth Day condom protest! The Church reply was really funny!

This is my reply to that article in Herald Sun
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I agree with Bishop Fisher. It will be a comedy. I am going to WYD. But I don't really understand the logic of those people who plan to promote "health issues" (as they claim) during WYD. If they are serous about their cause, they should organize different programs or events for the same. Please dont do it at the expense of Pope! (That's the real joke!). And regarding the best practice against AIDS, I would say the best solution is committed married life as a lifelong union of both the man and woman involved in marriage. Without any doubt that would bring the best positive result against AIDS (or any other venereal diseases). The youth of the world (of course of Australia too) deserve the best. So let them distribute a replica "marriage ring" to the youth of the world (as a symbol) to give them best chances against AIDS. YesToPope!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Global Mission of CMIs


Today I have received a copy of the Report of the first session of XXXVI Ordinary General Synaxis of CMI Congregation (religious order, which I belong to).

To my great surprise, No. 10 of the report says:

In the light of the discussions and deliberations the Synaxis arrived at a consensus that there would be 4 major thrusts in our Congregation for the next 6 years.
  1. Reorientation of our community as a spiritual movement
  2. Global mission
  3. To be with the marginalized always and everywhere
  4. Affordable quality education for poor
It continues, Guided by the charism of founding fathers, this transformation will help us take new and bold initiatives in the areas of global mission.

I am really glad. This was the gist of my one-page working paper send to the General Synaxis (You read it as a post somewhere below.. My friend - Micheal's comment came as a reply to that post). With the collective will of synaxis fathers, it has been come out as a major thrust of the congregation for the next 6 years. Let CMIs surges into the world with a new mission of Christ. Jay Yesu!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Final comments to the reply by Micheal

I Michael, Thanks for the reply. However, I don't want to go on for ever in an unending cycle of message-reply. Just putting my last cents.

First of all, as a human person, I have got ultimate respect for you and your views as Chirst would have. As you have mentioned earlier, we may have to agree to disagree on certain issues. That's it. Hope that wont hinder our friendship (it's an online one, I know. But that's how 'friendships' are defined these days!).

As you have agreed "..a definitive cause of homosexuality has not been found..", I think, it's premature to comment on the issues more than what I have said.

The tail piece: Who is this USA? You said "No LEGITIMATE mental health or medical association in the USA supports or agrees with NARTH's practises and claims." I didn't ask the opinion of any "medical association in the USA"? We are not in a mood to accept anything because it comes from USA. There are many associations and cultures who also reflect/research on these issues. Hope you will try to listen to them too.

Peace

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

With love, to Micheal

Dear Micheal,

I appreciate your genuine efforts to express your views. Thanks a lot for that.

Yes, we all know that Catholicism is declining in the Western world in a fast pace. It's not only Catholicism - the other Christian denominations are the ones who loose their ground much faster. I can see that in Australia. Australia is supposed to be an Anglican fortress because of its British migrant history. Anglican and other protestant churches were the predominant churches in Australia till near past. But in spite of an overall decline in its performance, Catholic church now emerges as the single largest and most vibrant church in Australia. As far as the reports we receive, this trend is continuing around the Western world.

I just mentioned this to show that the problem of "erosion of faith" is not simply the problem of Catholic church. May be they are better positioned to tackle it.

Now about the 3 reasons you have put forward to explain the decline in Church performance.

The child-sex scandals in the Western Catholic church is a shame. We all share the shame and responsibility. That's human fault. That's what we call sin (we call a spade a spade). We accept it and repent. Necessary measures have to be taken to handle the issue. But that cannot be the reason to put whole universal community at gun-point. I always felt that Western media, the so called 'liberals' and champions of child-welfare - attacked Church with a kind of vengeance. That's not right and not acceptable. Christ gave more respect to the woman caught in adultery!

Sins of few priests won't bankrupt the moral strength of Pope Benedict or the Church. They are up and arm against Church not simply because some priests abused children, but because even in face of that humiliation, Church tried to uphold its moral stands against many other issues, which that section of the society wanted to change.

Now, the second point: homosexuality. I have never touched this area before. I didn't want to involve! Since you have raised the issue, I am putting my few cents.

Homosexuality is still a point of debate. As you claim, no one has categorically proved anything regarding homosexuality. It not like the Galilee incident where Church clinged to the notion of a earth-centric planetary system! Church is much open and progressive now. The whole argument about homosexuality (as an inborn/genetic/personality thing) is very pre-mature to comment. Those who push for homosexuality claims are going far more than the science itself (which cannot be the answer for all question, after all). Remember, science first told light is a particle, then a wave, then particle-wave and so on and so forth. Let's don't jump into conclusions.

Here are few links which deals with this issue (the last link is the public comments, it's interesting to go thru them):

http://www.narth.com/docs/istheregene.html

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4529843&page=1

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/comments?type=story&id=4529843

The final one. Yes, I am from India. Church is flourishing there in spite of our struggles in living in a highly pluralistic society. You may categorize it as one of the "countries with low levels of ...". I get your point, religion/church is for the poor and uneducated.

About 400 years back, when the first colonial shipmen came to India, to do trade, India controlled 23% of world's wealth (which no other country had ever done in the history). Yes, we did have our mistakes in handling those "guests" and our own infightings. We lost - a bit. But just bouncing back, with all the lessons learned from history.

I just said this to mention that the Catholicism in India has a legacy of 2000 years - from St Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus (The so called US was not even known that time) and we have seen everything - history, culture, wealth, vedas, knowledge, sastras (science), maths, exploitation, poverty, freedom, democracy, market - and survived. And we will - the Church will. I can see the contempt in that argument (typical to many of my Western friends), but you got it wrong there Micheal.

Peace!
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PS: This is a response to the message by Mr Micheal, which can be accessed as the previous post

With love, from Michael

I received the following mail from a friend in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. I quote it with his permission. My reply will be the next post
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I came across your blogs via verveearth. As a former Catholic, I was intrigued by some of your posts, especially your thoughts about re-energizing the Church in the West. From my perspective, you are battling a losing cause for a number of reasons. A recent survey showed that 10% of the U.S. Population consists of "former Catholics." In my own family, other than my elderly mother and one sister, everyone has either joined a different denomination - e.g., Lutheran or Episcopal - or no longer attends church services at all. In my own case, I have joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church where I enjoy the same mass each Sunday without the morally bankrupt and falsely sanctimonius hierarchy and non-stop anti-gay propaganda. Here are a few reasons for the Church's decline in the USA:
First, I believe until the Vatican does a thorough house cleaning of the members of the hierarchy who enabled and/or covered up sex abuse - and by house cleaning I mean complete removal from office - there will be a continued exodus of people from the Catholic Church. Simply removing the guilty priests and doing nothing to those who shuffled them from parish to parish and/or intimidated victims and there families to stay quiet will not cut it and shows from Benedict XVI on down that the hierarch is morally bankrupt and have no legitinate authority to dictate to anyone what is morally right.
Second, with the increases in medical and mental health knowledge concernig homosexuality, the Church's continued anti-gay stance will only drive away the younger generations. One study with in the last year found that 58% of those under 30 years of age viewed orthodox Christianity negatively in large part because of its homophobia.
Third, an educated population that has access to information on science and any number of other topics will not blindly swallow what the Church is peddling, particualr in light of the two previous issues. Thus, it is no surprise that the Church is growing predominately in countries with low levels of education and knowledge.
Michael

xt3.com - The WYD Social Networking Site

visit my Web home

I am very happy that WYD Sydney is coming out with its social networking site - xt3.com! (Christ in 3rd Millennium).

However, I feel that the ways of God are mysterious. In the first week of May 2007, I had a meeting with Mr Paolo Damante, Assistant Project Officer, DID Melbourne as per the direction of Bishop Christopher Prowse. Since I was a postgraduate student of IT at RMIT, Bishop Christopher asked me to give some creative ideas regarding WYD website (basically his intention was to look into DID site). Since I was aware of the possibilities of an Internet virtual community along with WYD08, I shared this idea with Paolo with allpossible details at that time. But nothing heard for quite a long time.

So, I prepared a 'one-page proposal' and send it as an email to Bp Anthony Fischer, chairman of WYD committee on 16th July 2007. On reply I got the above letter. It says that they were at that time finalizing plans to establish an online catholic community.

I am happy! It has been realized...

Holy Spirit could inspire several people simultaneously with the same idea!





Saturday, April 12, 2008

Re-Orienting CMI Mission Thrusts

These are the excerpts from the paper, I have submitted to the CMI General Synaxis 2008:
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Re-Orienting Our Mission Thrusts
Position Paper Submitted to the CMI General Synaxis 2008

1. Introduction
When we put the General Synaxis 2008 in the perspective of the needs of the universal Church and the emerging importance of India in the new world order, we shall perceive an urgent need to re-orient our mission thrusts. This paper discusses the emerging need to shift our mission policy and proposes relevant suggestions to equip ourselves to take up those challenges.

2. Background
• Changing World Order: Emergence of India as one of the economic super powers along with China has dramatically changed the image of India and Indians in the world scenario in the last few years. The acquisition of British and European Steel companies by Tatas and Mittal, the acquisition of luxury car brands - Land Rover and Jaguar - by Tatas and the success of Indian IT companies around the globe have triggered this movement. It is been taken up by booming Indian market index – sensex and success of Indian corporate firms and Indian CEOs around the globe. The world now believes that India and Indians can do something and no more they are considered to be ‘under-developed’.

The ripples of this booming effect are seen in the Catholic Church too. The appointment of Cardinal Ivan Dias as the prefect of Congregation for Evangelisation - for the first time by an Asian - is to be seen as a sign of growing confidence in Indians by the Catholic Church hierarchy. Very recently, a Syro-Malabar priest from Ernakulam diocese – Fr Francis Kolenchery is appointed as the Dean of the Cathedral at the capital city of Australia – Canberra.

The world is ready to accept Indian leadership in almost every realm.

• Re-evangelisation Needs of the West: Though the church was originated in Asia, it was the conversion of the West, especially Europe that gave its tremendous growth. The European Church took the needs of universal church on its shoulders for most of the time in the history. But the heavy responsibly is taking it’s own toll at the moment. The human mistakes made during this process – the failures in the Middle Ages till the recent sex scandals of Catholic priests in the West – have alienated Western Church from the main stream of the society. So, now there is great need for the re-evangelisation of those (Western) cultures. The local churches in those cultures are not able to take up leadership in this area for many reasons viz, lack of vocations, the disintegration of the institution of family in those cultures, etc. Without the re-evangelisation of the West, the future of Catholic – universal- church seems very gloomy.

• Mission Challenges in India: The mission in North India is also facing new challenges. With the apparent Hindu extremist revival, chances of direct evangelisation has hit an all time low. What we can do is to concentrate on the indirect means of evangelisation to prepare the culture till we get a breakthrough. There is a need to calm down and to go slow (It does not mean that we are giving up or retreating. It’s only a strategic reflective period).

3. Re-orientation Strategy
Church is missionary. It cannot stop preaching. The present context of the world order and the mission context in India urge us to redirect our zeal and resources to more productive and urgent areas. The re-evangelisation of the West emerges as the most impending and viable challenge for the Indian church for the time being.

This is because of the following reasons: firstly, the seeds of faith are already in Western culture and the field is getting fertile enough to re-embrace the religious and Christian values. The overheated Western culture (in terms of economy and social life) because of it consumerist and individualistic value system is looking for a break and they find it in their roots – the Christian foundations. What is challenging is the incapacity of the Western Church to take leadership in this changing time, because of its lack of vocations and the cultural baggage.

Indian church, with its 16 million Catholics, vast pool of personal and material resources and the new found acceptance in the new world order is in a very good position to take up this challenge. The Indian Church – especially Syro-Malabar Church is still youthful and does not carry a cultural baggage of inquisitions or crusades so that we can talk to the confused Western youngsters in a convincing manner. As the major religious congregation in the Syro-Malabar church, it becomes the duty and opportunity of CMI congregation to take the lead in this leadership quest.

Secondly, the re-Christianisation of the West will have the most far-reaching positive impacts for the Catholic Church. Whether it is the evangelisation of Africa or the Asian countries, a re-Christianised West will be the key to its future. A dying Western Catholic church will be an irreparable loss.

4. Practical Steps
  1. Take up more meaningful mission tasks in the Western world, like forming CMI communities, Retreat/Spirituality centres, youth initiatives, investments in Western catholic resources, etc.
  2. Start/Takeover educational institutions, especially in English speaking Western countries, with our expertise in educational field in India and out-side India (Most of our fathers working in those countries help running the Catholics schools along with the Parishes).
  3. Increase the percentage of priests who can go and serve in Western countries.

5. Conclusion
What we are aiming at is the true globalisation of our mission works by which we shall serve the universal Church better. This will also provide reasonable challenges for the coming young generations to motivate them to take up CMI vocation in a dramatically changing world.

Jaison Paul Mulerikkal CMI
Email: jaisonmpaul@gmail.com
29th February 2008