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Archdiocese of Bangalore

18, Miller's Road, 
BANGALORE -  560 046
8th December, 1982

Circular No. 9/82
Dear Rev.Father/Mother/Brother/Sister,


1. Report of Episcopal Commission: The Ecpiscopal Commission of three Bishops, constituted to go into the problem of the "Language -in - the - liturgy" in Bangalore, has submitted its report which is given in  a separate sheet enclosed herewith.  The report is self explanatory.  Let us now be united in the Lord and worship Him in peace and tranquility, and project the image of the Church here in Bangalore as a community united in love.

I, request all concerned to discuss with my Vicar General, Msgr. Colaco, if there is any difficulty or problem regarding the language to be used in Masses.

With my best wished for a Happy Christmas and a bright New Year and with my cordial blessing to all.

Yours devotedly in O.L

Archbishop of Bangalore.


1-1    The Commission for Bangalore met several persons over a week of residing at Bangalore.  It received innumerable memoranda.  It considered all the various communities; the missionary dimensions of liturgical worship; the socio-political situation in State and Country; the impact any decisions might have on other parts of the country; Holy See's directives on liturgy and pastoral care; the circular letters of the local and regional Bishop's;- in fact, the Commission went into every dimension of the complex problem which had surfaced in Bangalore as "Language - in - the -Liturgy".

1-2    It was clear that the problems did not concern the Language-in-the-Liturgy only.  There were many wider connotations and interests emerging from factors such as:

1-2-1 The Catholics of the Archdiocese of Bangalore originating from other states were in a majority, giving there by the Kannada Catholics a feeling of minority status and at times of suppression;

1-2-2 There was the new awareness of Kannada as a language having its own rights in the Capital City of Karnataka;

1-2-3  There were traditions of another era when Bangalore was proud to be a cosmopolitan City and happy to welcome the diversities of communities from other states.

1-3     This Report - a response to the explicit terms of reference that were given to us, -is meant to be at service of the Church in Bangalore with special reference to the language-in-the-liturgy problem.


2-1     The life of a local Church has many dimensions :  There is the administration of sacraments and the celebration of the Eucharist; there are educational, medical and social services; there is the pastoral care of the flock and the mission of evangelization.  These sum total of a local Church.  Bangalore has been noted for its extraordinary vitality in all these fields, - visible in the number of religious communities residing its formation houses, and the variety of its educational medical and social services.

2-2    For decades now Bangalore attracted people from all parts of India.  People from other states have been glad to find their permanent residence within this "Garden City".  Besides the salubrious climate there were the attractions of spiritual care and rather favourable material conditions.  One of the tragedies of the language controversy has been the disturbance of this peace and joy in the spiritual field.

2-3    The Church is beautiful because of its richness and diversity.  The Bishop symbolises the one Head of the Church namely, Christ, in whom the new people of God find no distinction of "Greek or Roman, Jew or Gentile".  Obviously, the Bishop will not be able to belong ethnically to all the races who might come under his care; yet , he is called upon to "be all things to all men".  He will do so by a deep concern for each and every on of this flock.  He will share their aspirations, assist them in their growth, console them in their failures and rejoice with them in their joy.  Factions in the Church can only destroy the unity symbolized in Christ.  "I am for Apollo, I am for Caephas" are human sentiments, but the over -riding principle is that we are all of Christ, in what we from o Body, expressed and renewed in the eating ONE Body and sharing of the ONE Cup.

2-4    The solution to the language-in-the-liturgy problem will, therefore keep all these factors in mind.  The language-in-the-liturgy must be placed in the perspective of all the many values  which the local Church offers to individual believers, as also to a Catholic Community and to others outside the Church.   No decision can be taken in isolation, lest one value should nullify or jeopardise other, more important, and even perhaps more vital, concerns.