12 May, 2021

The East Takes On Rome

The Vatican's centralised structure comes under attack as Indian priests seek local flexibility

The East Takes On Rome

ITALY or India? The choice would mean moving away from speaking Latin, thinking Greek and generally thumbing a nose at Rome. The Roman Catholic Church has cast off some of the Latin touches but unrest is in the air as a number of its priests push for a more homegrown face. "Do as the Romans do in Rome, not in Asia" is a line that the Vatican is likely to hear more frequently as a section of Catholic priests in India and across Asia question Rome's domination of Asia's churches. The message is loud enough to reach Rome where a special assembly, or synod, for Asia is underway. It is part of a series of continental synods convened to provide a vision for the worldwide Church as it crosses into the third millennium.

The Asian synod, which began in Rome on April 19 and will go on till mid-May, proceeds on a theme chosen by Pope John Paul II: "Jesus Christ the Saviour and his Mission of Love and Service in Asia...that they may have life and have it abundantly." The instrumentum Laboris, or the Vatican's working document in...

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