WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE/RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLANDESTINE SALE OF CHURCH PROPERTIES? WILL THE PARISHIONERS GET ANSWERS?

WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE/RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLANDESTINE SALE OF CHURCH PROPERTIES? WILL THE PARISHIONERS GET ANSWERS?

WE THE PEOPLE

Silent Voice

A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095.                         Contact No. 98707 19628, E-Mail: silentvoice58@yahoo.com

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Voicemail

VM:-019 /2011                                     1st December 2011

Dear friends,

The attached letter by H. E. Bishop Bosco Penha, to Noel Corriea, The Parishioner of OUR LADY OF NAZARETH CHURCH, BHAYANDER; reveals names of various authorities within Archdiocese of Mumbai, who are supposed to scrutinize sale of Church properties. It is heartening to learn that such stringent Checks and balances mechanism exists within the Church Administration. This surely must deter any scamster, from taking advantage of his position, including so called SOLE TRUSTEE. However, in reality it doesn’t seem so. In spite of all these authorities, skeletons are tumbling out from closets of parish after parish. What does this imply? You make your guess.

We expect the Church authorities in general and Archbishop H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias in particular, take a call and clarify on the accountability of the person responsible for huge losses to parish exchequers at various parishes.

GREG

        CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH, TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF

CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL

 P. S.:   This is a follow up to VOICEMAIL 018/2011. Besides, Archbishop has not responded yet to the Letter from VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY, which is also attached below.

 Blog:   www.silentmaj.wordpress.com

                                                 

VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY

Constituted under Para 29 of Christifideles Laici

(Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H.H.Late Pope John Paul-II)

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A/7 Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095. Contact No. 98707 19628, E-Mail: silentvoice58@yahoo.com

8th, November, 2011

To,

Most Reverend Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

Archbishop of Bombay,

 Your Eminence,

Attached is the letter, mailed by Bishop Bosco Penha to Noel Corriea; the parishioner of OUR LADY OF NAZARETH CHURCH, BHAYANDER.

It looks like the case of Pontius Pilate washing his hands, when it comes to him for a fair decision. All along, the parishioners have believed that next immediate authority, for the parishioners to approach, is the Zonal Bishop. However, H. E. Bishop Bosco Penha now, has revealed the chain of authorities, responsible for the Church properties. We are sure, earlier too; he must have received unspecified number of letters from the parishioners from various parishes, in relation to Church properties. He could have revealed this information then, but he chose to remain silent.

Besides, in what capacity did H. E. Bishop Bosco Penha, instructed the then Parish Priest Fr. Michael D’souza to regularize illegal construction on Church property, in benefit of a businessman, who is in possession of this property? (Letter dated 8th, April, 2011).  Was he the part of one the authority, mentioned by him? We think, he owes an explanation to the Parishioners.

Your Eminence, Bishop Bosco has listed the various authorities, responsible to Church Properties. We ask; which authority from the listed ones is accountable? All along, the fingers are pointed to the Parish Priests, as a SOLE TRUSTEE, as and when the parishioners approach the hierarchy with complaints, related to properties.

We believe, these authorities are required to maintain checks and balances, and ensure that proper procedures are followed, while putting up Church properties for sale. Properties are sold at a fair value and the money accrued from this sale is deposited to the proper account. The same then is utilized for the benefit of the community. Correct us, your Eminence, if it is not so.

Has the sale of Church properties, belonging to OL of NAZARETH CHURCH, BHAYANDER; gone through the scrutiny of said authorities? If it is so, why is it that the parishioners are upset about it? If the property has been undervalued, as the parishioners say; which authority among the listed is accountable and responsible for the loss? Don’t you think, your Eminence, these questions need to be answered by someone?

Besides, Mystery related to Twenty Four Flats and a Community Hall, belonging to OL of SALVATION CHURCH TRUST, DADAR; which is usurped by the builder, with the connivance of some members of parish administration; so believe the parishioners, is still unresolved. Did this deal go through the scrutiny of the authorities mentioned by H. E. Bishop Bosco Penha, in his letter? We wish to remind you that you did express concern about this huge loss to Church, during one of the meeting, and assured us that you would be looking into it. How far this matter is progressed?

Parishioners of OUR LADY OF HEALTH CHURCH, CAVEL; are in distress. The Church owned building, in which they have been living for years, has been sold to builder, for redevelopment; with no place for them in redeveloped buildings. Parish authorities are indifferent towards their grievances. This was brought to your notice, through a letter dated 12th, July, 2011. The same is incorporated below, for your reference.

  • Parishioners from OUR LADY OF HEALTH, CAVEL, fear eviction from their homes. The building in which they have been living, is church property which is being put up for redevelopment. The residents are not assured of home in the building, after it is developed. In fact, they are being snubbed by parish authorities, with a terse comment,” this does not concern you”. Your Eminence, where do the parish authorities expect them to go? To some faraway suburb? Cavel, once a thickly populated with Catholics, has been left with only about fifty catholic families living, at present. If they too are forced to move out, there will be no Catholics to attend church, and the Church will meet the same fate as the Church at Bhuleshwar has met with. It will be sold to real estate sharks. Your Eminence, recent news report in the media shows the comparison of Catholic population between South Mumbai and suburbs. Unaffordable housing is one of the reasons for migration of Catholics to suburbs. Church can play its roll in retaining these families by reinstating them in redeveloped buildings. Unless of course, if parish authorities have other ideas.

Your Eminence, has this deal gone through the scrutiny of the authorities, mentioned by H. E. Bishop Bosco Penha? If it has, then why do these people have to run from pillar to post, to save their homes, in which they have been living for years? Wasn’t it a responsibility of these authorities to see that these families get justice? We call upon you to look into it and give justice to these few remaining Catholics, to prevent the historical Church, going Bhuleshwar way.

Your Eminence, We, along with laity at large believe; as head of the Church within Archdiocese of Mumbai, you are required to concentrate on Pastoral and Spiritual developments of Laity. Therefore, Property and Finance matters of the Church, has been delegated to various authorities. Unfortunately, Laity is not satisfied with the way these authorities are performing. Controversies at every parish; has revealed connivance of Parish authorities, with the vested interests, eager to grab Church properties.

Coming back to the matter related to OL of NAZARETH CHURCH, BHAYANDER; was the valuation by Government approved valuers obtained, before finalizing these deals?(Ref: Point 2: Clarification in the Examiner dated July 16, 2011. SALE OF CHURCH PROPERTY).

We have already brought to your notice similar matters related to various other parishes. We hope for a positive action from your end. We assure you, the Laity in general, and SILENT VOICE, in particular, will always stand by you, in WEEDING OF CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL.

Yours always, in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,

GREG R. PEREIRA;

Encl:   Bishop Bosco Penha’s letter to Noel Corriea.

Copy to:   Noel Corriea: Parishioner:  OL of NAZARETH CHURCH, BHAYANDER

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Bishop Bosco Penha,

Our Lady of Salvation Church,

S. K. Bole Road, Dadar,

Mumbai 400028,

Tel: 2431 0895,

October 21, 2011

To

Mr. Noel Corriea’

C/o Fr. Anslem Gonsalves

Our Lady of Nazareth Parish

Bhayander.

Dear Noel,

I write this to acknowledge, with thanks, your letter of the 5th October. I was unable to write earlier as I was out of Mumbai for a week.

You seem concerned about the sale of land ( Your letter and enclosed documents) belonging to the Bhayander Parish which appeared to be sold at a price lower than their value. In this connection, I want to inform you that the sale of properties does not come under my purview as zonal Bishop. From the parish priest the authority goes to the offices in the Archbishop House, like the Diocesan Estate Office, The Archdiocesan Finance Committee, The Finance Administrator, Bishop Agnelo Gracias, the Bishop In-charge of Properties and ultimately, to the Archbishop. Hence it was not right to give my name, as being responsible, to the members of any group.

If you have any misgivings about these sales, you need to approach the Archbishop in the matter.

Praying for God’s abundant blessings on you, your family and all your endeavours,

Gratefully,

Sd/-

+ Bosco Penha

Auxiliary Bishop

Archdiocese of Bombay

                                     Blog:   www.silentmaj.wordpress.com

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1 Comment

  1. March 1, 2012 at 12:56 am

    […] Who Is Accountable/responsible for the Clandestine Sale of Church Properties? Will the Parishioners … (silentmaj.wordpress.com) […]

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