Placidachan writes to Cardinal Tisserant in August, 1945 about the root causes of Syro-Malabar Bishops rejecting reform in Liturgy in 1938 :
“Your Eminence very well knows that our Syro-Malabar Rite is in a highly latinised condition with mutilations, deficiencies and several other drawbacks. The Holy See stands not for the latinization, but for the catholicization of Oriental Rites. Hence, every true lover of our Rite desires to see it brought back to its pristine integrity and beauty in a manner adapted to modern circumstances and present day needs. If there are among us those who seem to be either indifferent or hostile to this idea, it is only because they have not known the mind of the Holy See and have not studied the Syro-Malabar rite in its various aspects.
The Syro-Malabar clergy is educated in the Latin atmosphere and their knowledge of the Syriac language is very inadequate. To the laity the whole Rite is a sealed book. Neither the clergy nor the laity receive any adequate instruction in the history, customs, usages, etc. of the Oriental rites in general and of the Syro-Malabar Rite in particular. Every liturgical effort, therefore, which is undertaken in Malabar makes the Syro-Malabar Rite look more and more latinised. Direct instruction of the Holy See in this matter seems to be the only remedy to rectify the situation” (Mannooramparampil, Syro-Malabar Qurbana’s Historical Background (OIRSI 96), KTM, 1986, p. 250f).
This shows the fact and truth: Placidachan was for adaptation even in 1945 ! He never asked for restoration of Chaldean liturgy without any change, as calumniously attributed to him! He was aware of the power politics and of the damage done to the Nazranis by the decree: Sancta dei Ecclesia of 25.3.1938 by Pius XI who in theory wanted no latinisation. It failed to put even the narrow territory of Syro-Malabar Riteunder the exclusive jurisdiction of the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church so that Nazranis are not recruited for ‘serving’ Latin dioceses and religious institutes in Indiaand abroad.
NAZRANIS THROWN INTO THE NILE OF LATIN RULE:
“Many Syro-Malabarese young men and women have gone into Latin dioceses or have joined Latin religious Institutions. Almost in all the latin dioceses of India and in several latin Religious Institutes working in India there are to be found Syro-Malabarians. These have adopted the Latin Rite either permanently or for the time of their stay in the respective places or Institutes. This is a clear indication that there are surplus vocations in Syro-Malabar (Church) and that the Syro-Malabarians have real missionary zeal. Neverthless, one reason that induces some to change their Rite is their difficulty in money-matters…….”
LATIN TRAINING IN SEMINARIES:
……The training the Syro-Malabarese clergy gets in the Latin atmosphere is also contributing its share to prepare the mind of the Syro-Malabarese youth to give up their rite in favour of the Latin Rite. Syro-Malabar (Church) has thus become a recruiting ground for Latin Dioceses and Latin Religious Institutes wherein candidates have to change into Latin Rite. Whatever be the cause of the changing of Rite, it has its far-reaching consequences that will affect the Syro-Malabar Rite and the Syro-Malabar church, unless this Rite and this Church are given conveniences to expand and spread themselves both at home and abroad” (p. 251).
CONSEQUENCES OF LATINIZATION OF NAZRANI
“The fact that so many have changed into the Latin Rite in the manner said above has produced a general impression that the Syro-Malabar rite which is actually tied down to a corner of India without any apparent possibility of expansion is an obstacle……A Rite which is an obstacle to evangelical work, they say, is not worth preserving. Others look upon it as an antiquated thing the use of which consists only in its being tolerated to drag on; its existence being restricted to the locality where it actually exists at present. Some even go so far as to speak sarcastically of it both in the press and in the platform. Those, moreover, who have adopted the Latin rite, are not as a rule sympathetic towards their former Rite….”
LATIN MONOPOLY OF MISSION WORK
Under such circumstances, there are not wanting influencial persons who publicly praise what they call the broad-mindedness, the better-educatedness and the evangelical spirit of those young men and women who have changed into the latin rite in order to work in the mission fields. This attitude, besides being harmful to the good estate of the Syro-Malabar Rite, is also painful to those who sincerely believe that evangelical zeal is compatible with love of one’s own Rite, if only the mind of the Holy See is probed and put into execution. Here one may raise the question of the advisability of assigning a separate field for the Syro-Malabarians to exercise mission work in their own Rite utilizing their surplus vocation” (p. 252). Cf. Vat. II, Missions, n. 5-6.
Here we see the missionary spirit and future vision of Placidachan for the Syro-Malabar Church to become the Indian Church, which was reduced by the Latin rule over the Nazranis to the area between the Pampa and Ponnani rivers of Kerala. Paranki Bishops took Kochi in 1557, Angamaly in 1600, Mylapore in 1606, etc…