Well, this was bound to happen. There are those in the Roman Catholic Church who look down upon those ‘other’ Catholics. They think they have no right to their ‘strange’ and ‘ancient’ liturgy in a dead language, well at least not side by side in churches with the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. Now things are starting to get ugly at St. Michael’s Church.

“On that day, people from the … parish started provoking us. They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church. A heated argument followed and some of us were pushed and hit. It seemed to be a pre-planned job as the police had been stationed there from 6 am,” said Sunil John

I know what you are thinking. It was inevitable. This bitterness and infighting is the inevitable result of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. That progressives are fighting the traditionalist in the church over which liturgy is better? Think again.

This sad tale actually has nothing to do with the traditional Latin Mass at all. This is actually a fight between Catholics of the Latin rite and those of the Syro-Malabar rite in India. You may be wondering, “the syro-whosy-whats-it rite?” From Wikipedia:

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a Major Archiepiscopal Church in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest group among the Saint Thomas Christians tracing their origins to St. Thomas the Apostle who came to India in AD 52. The Syro Malabar Church is the largest St Thomas Christian community in India.[1]

The Syro-Malabar Hierarchy was founded on 21 December 1923 with Ernakulam as its centre and its Major Archbishop as the Head.

Apparently the Syro-malabar Catholics, primarily located in Kerala in India, has many adherents outside of that region. In Delhi, the SM Catholics are under the jurisdiction of the Latin Rite bishop and have their liturgy in the Latin Churches there. Some of the Latin rite Catholics are being less than hospitable. Some of the fight stems over hikes in the rent payments and by the fact that the SM Catholics in the area now want their own diocese. They are awaiting approval on their new diocese from Rome.

In the meantime, these two rites will just have to find a way to be ‘Catholic’ together. Good thing that this type of nonsensical infighting doesn’t happen here, right?