Rt. Rev. Coorilos: Minding the gaps

Date: 02 April 2023

Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese, Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, South India, shared his reflections during a morning devotion during the 85th World YMCA Executive Committee Meeting. The meeting took place from 30 March-1 April in Estes Park, Colorado, USA.

With his theme of “Mind the Gaps”, Rt. Rev. Coorilos indicated that we live in a world with many gaps, divisions, and walls – often literal walls. For example, wide gaps exist in gender, economic background, race, sexual orientation, and medical conditions. As disciples of Christ, he said, it is our responsibility to bridge the divisions rather than overlook them.

In modern times, we constructed a wall of apartheid based on colour, he said. The conflict in Ireland created a division based on religion, he added, and the Berlin Wall was put up to separate those on either side of a great political and ideological rift.

Even today, our communities continue to build new walls, he explained. For instance:

  • Organisations promote the caste system in India.
  • Churches create walls to exclude the marginalised, as separate burial grounds still exist.
  • A patriarchal society still governs organisations.
  • Illegal settlements in Palestine, the birthplace of Christianity, are modern expressions of apartheid.

The ‘Just World’ strategic focus area of YMCA Vision 2030 calls for the dismantling of walls of separation and division. It presents a real challenge for ecumenical organisations like the YMCA, Rt. Rev. Coorilos said, but Easter gives us hope. The empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus Christ provide us with hope, inspiring us to bridge the gaps, tear down the walls, and build bridges for inclusion.