Indian Catholic News

Chavara history wrongly interpreted, say Kerala Latin leaders

The association wanted to draw the attention of the government to its disregard for Koonammavu.


The Kerala Latin Catholic Association has said that it would appeal to the Chief Minister against what it described as neglect of Koonammavu where Blessed Chavara Kuriakose Elias spent the last seven years of his life and was buried in January 1871.

A spokesman told the Hindu that the association wanted to draw the attention of the government to its disregard for Koonammavu.

Information posted on its website by Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), a religious order founded by Blessed Chavara Kuriakose, says that the Blessed died at Koonammavu on January 3, 1871 and was buried there. His mortal remains were transferred to Mannanam in 1889, the post said.

With his canonization scheduled for November this year, the state government has announced official State celebrations as well as promised financial support for a facelift for Mannanam town where the mortal remains of the Blessed are interred at the St. Joseph’s Monastery Church.

A statement issued by KLCA here alleged that history was being “wrongly interpreted” by the government and that the room in which the Blessed died and his tomb on the St. Phelomena’s Church campus near here were major pilgrim attractions.

However, the Chief Minister and the Government of Kerala had ignored these facts and were highlighting only the place of Mannanam in the life of Blessed Chavara.

The Latin Association has also taken umbrage at what it said were false claims that it was the Blessed Chavara that first promoted the idea of establishing schools (pallikkoodam) along with churches (palli).

It was metropolitan Bernard Baccinelli, who first floated the idea through a pastoral letter, the Latin Association claimed.

It said that only the heads of Catholic dioceses had the right to send out pastoral letters and not their vicar generals.

The Latin Association said it had decided to celebrate the canonization of Blessed Chavara Kuriakose, who was also the first Vicar General of Varappuzha vicariate.

Source: The Hindu

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