NCCI blasts illegal sale of church property

The NCCI demanded good governance, accountability and transparency in the work and mission of the Church.

Posted on April 30, 2012, 8:10 AM

Delegates at the NCCI meeting

By Philip Mathew

Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India yesterday said that illegal sale of Church properties was becoming very common in India.

They said that “some Church leaders in connivance with real estate agents indulge in such activities causing huge loses to churches while tarnishing their image”.

Church property must not be sold or leased but preserved for posterity, they asserted at the 27th national assembly of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI).

On the concluding day of the NCCI’s quadrennial assembly in Bangalore, Augustine Jayakumar, Lutheran Church leader and NCCI treasurer-designate, said that corruption has become rampant in many churches.

“The NCCI must withdraw the membership of such Churches whose officials demand a share of educational scholarships or commission from sale of church property,” Jayakumar said.

The NCCI, a fellowship of 30 Churches and more than 50 related organizations, stressed upon the need to be “corruption free” in their work and mission activities.

The Churches demanded good governance, accountability and transparency in the work and mission of the Church.

It has decided to organise campaigns against corruption and trafficking of women and children.

In another resolution, the assembly urged the member Churches and related organizations “to share space with secular ideologies for creating a world of peace and justice.”

Bishop Duleep Kamil De Chikkera, former Anglican bishop of Colombo, in his Biblical reflections on the assembly theme, “Gospel in a groaning world,” said that collaborating with willing and like-minded people of other faiths is essential for creating a “safe, just and reconciled world.”

One of the workshops reports urged the NCCI to promote grassroots ecumenism and give representation to the people’s movements.

The assembly resolved to continue NCCI’s advocacy work and expressed its support and solidarity to the struggles of Tibetans and the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Methodist Bishop Taranath Sagar was re-elected NCCI president.

As a part of the NCCI’s five-year (2010-2014) centenary celebrations, the headquarters of the NCCI will be relocated to Delhi from Nagpur.

NCCI , NCCI Assembly , Quadrennial Assembly , Karnataka , Corruption , Protestant Churches

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Invitation to One & All : Holy Cross Church 159th Annual Feast Celebration

Official Archdiocese Appointments II

Fr Gervis H. D’Souza : to be Parish Priest, St Lawrence Church, Wagle Estate
Fr Louis Kajar : to be Priest-in-Charge, Divya Kripa Church, Kharghar
Fr Leslie I. Almeida : to be Assistant at Our Lady of Health Church, Sahar
Fr Sandeep Borges : to be Assistant at Holy Magi Church, Gorai
Fr Ashlyn Chand : to be Assistant at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Bandra
Fr Edwin Gaurea : to be Assistant at St Francis Xavier Church, Vile Parle
Fr Christopher D. Jeyakumar   : to be Assistant at St Anthony Church, Dharavi
Fr Vinay Kamath : to be Assistant at Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar
Fr Byron Mendonca : to be Assistant at Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivli (W)
Fr Navin Mendonca : to be Assistant at Holy Name Cathedral, Fort
Fr Gonsalo Pereira : to be Assistant at St Andrew Church, Bandra
Fr Xavier Pinto : to be Assistant at St Vincent de Paul Church, Khar
Fr Cajetan Simoes : to be Assistant at St Francis Xavier Church, Vile Parle

(To be continued)
X Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             April 21, 2012

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Karnataka governor assures Christians safety

The governor said that the “Church is a sign of hope to the poor and needy in the country.”

Posted on April 28, 2012, 8:32 AM



The governor having an informal chat with the ecumenical leaders during the public reception.

By Philip Mathew
Bangalore:The Karnataka governor has assured Christians in the southern Indian state that their places of worship will be safeguarded and protected.

“Harming minority communities’ places of worship was akin to harming the constitution,” Hansraj Bhardwaj yesterday said while addressing a public reception organized as part of the 27th assembly of the National Council of Churches in India, (NCCI), in Bangalore.

He noted that safety of the minorities is guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

Karnataka had witnessed a series of attacks on churches by Hindu radicals in 2008.

Lauding the Church’s contributions to society, the governor said that the “Church is a sign of hope to the poor and needy in the country.”

The NCCI, founded in 1914, is a forum of 30 Protestant and Orthodox Churches and more than 50 related organizations.

Deliberating on the April 25-28 assembly theme, “The Gospel in a groaning world,” Bishop Duleep Kamil De Chikkera of Colombo said God hears the groaning of the poor, exploited, needy, sick and the suffering.

The 64-year-old former Anglican bishop of Sri Lanka said “groaning, which has a therapeutic effect, happens when words fail to make any meaning.”

He told the assembly participants that prayers, debates and protest are different ways of groaning.

Methodist Bishop Taranath Sagar, NCCI president, called upon the Curches to come out of their “arm-chaired theologies and participate in the groans and struggles of the people and creation.”

“Even an iota of injustice in and around our church and society has to be wiped out without any compromise, because the gospel compels us to do so,” he told some 400 people, including priests, bishops, Church officials, laity and transgenders.

“Our commitment to the cause of social justice, peace and accountability and transparency are core to the gospel of Jesus Christ and … in living those values reflects our discipleship,” Bishop Sagar said.

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ in this post-modern world is a challenge in itself, Bishop Sagar added.

Governor , Safety , NCCI , National Council Of Churches In India
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     Silent Voice
        A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095.   Contact No. 98707 19628
E mail:
VM:    006/2012
25rd, April, 2012
Hello Friends
As the title suggests, this Voicemail is about behavior of a priest, with a couple entering into a marriage. Never mind, even if it is an interfaith marriage. The Church has set some guidelines in such cases, which the parish priests are supposed to follow. The parish Priest of Our Lady Of Remedy Church, Poinsur; cast all the regulation to wind and blessed the nuptial in Sacristy, near the Cemetery, leaving a lifetime blot on newlywed couple and their family.
Attached is letter from the uncle of the bride, to the parish Priest, how the family feel about the treatment meted out to them.  Archbishop’s response to our intervention too, did not bring any relief to them. The family and particularly the bride will have to live with this stigma, throughout their lives.
P.S.:    If you remember, this same priest tried to sell Church Property. Thanks to alert Parishioner, our intervention and prompt action by Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias; the sale was stopped. VOICEMAIL 014/2011.
                   Voice  OF A SILENT MAJORITY
Constuted under Para 29 of Christifideles Laici
(Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H. H. Late Pope John Paul II)
A/7, Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad(W), Mumbai,400095. Contact no. 98707 19628.
E Mail:  
To,                                                                                                                                           27th, March, 2012
Most Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,
Archbishop of Mumbai,
Your Eminence,
Enclosed herewith, an emotional letter, from an uncle of newly wedded bride; to the parish priest of OUR LADY OF REMEDY CHURCH, POINSUR; Fr. Peter D’mello. The letter is self explaining. The writer, Mr. Jerry Fernandes, seems to be well versed in the nuptial laws of the Church. Therefore, we need not delve into the same, once again.
The marriage is an experience of lifetime, to which the couple tying the knot; particularly the woman, look forward to. They do everything possible to make the occasion memorable. The celebrations begin with Nuptial mass, where every effort is made to make it meaningful. Because, it is a beginning, the newlywed would like to make, from the House of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Look Your Eminence, what has been done to the life of this couple, by the Parish Priest, Fr. Peter D’mello. We would like to ask you, is it right on his part to celebrate their nuptials in the Sacristy, closer to the Cemetery, as it has been mentioned by the uncle of the bride, in his letter? The couple will have to carry on this stigma trough out their lives. The bride, who has entered into a new family, must already be feeling a heat of this misdemeanor of the parish priest. Will he or the Church take responsibility for ruining her peace of mind, throughout her life?
Your Eminence, a question must be asked of Fr. Peter D’mello, the Parish Priest, what was the reason for him to do this. Under what clause of Canon Law did he do it? You are the authority on Canon Law; the one of the only three, in India, as we have been told. Will you enlighten the disturbed family on this matter? We have seen Inter cast marriages being performed in the past. WAS THIS MARRIAGE ANY DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
Your Eminence, we understand, the copy of the letter from the girl’s uncle to Fr. Peter D.mello, also has been marked to you and other Bishops. It seems, as usual the church hierarchy is silent on this. Otherwise, the family would not be so desperate to get their dignity restored, by approaching unofficial bodies, including us.
Your Eminence, injustice by the parish priest, for whatever reason, to this young lady must be repealed. Her dignity and of course, of our Church, the Institution of Marriage, the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, must be restored in the eyes of her in-laws, who are from a different community. How it can be done? We need not tell you. We are sure, you will find a way. The sooner it is done the better it will be.
Yours always, in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Copy to:          Mr. Jerry Fernandes. Parishioner: OL of Remedy Church, Poinsur.
           Voice OF A SILENT MAJORITY
Constuted UnderPara 29 of Christifideles Laici
(Post Synodal ApostolicExhortation ofH. H.Late Pope John Paul II)
A/7, Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad(W), Mumbai,400095. Contact no. 98707 19628.
E Mail:
To,                                                                                                                                           14th, April, 2012                                                                                                                     
Most Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,
Archbishop of Mumbai,
Your Eminence,
Thank you for your prompt response to our letter of 27th, March, 2012, related to interfaith marriage at OUR LADY OF REMEDY CHURCH, POINSUR. Your Eminence, we take your response at face value, and close the chapter. However, a few questions still remain on our minds.
Ø  Since when the law has changed?
Ø  Wasn’t Fr. Peter D’mello aware of this change, at the time he blessed this nuptial?
Your Eminence, as far as we remember, we have seen interfaith marriages being blessed in the Church, not during mass but before the mass, in the Church, since more than five years. Fr. Peter D’mello himself could have blessed some of them.
Whether it was a slip on the part of parish Priest or deliberate vindictive action, only he can explain. However, the blot on the couple’s mind, particularly the girl, would remain for life. Can something be done about it, If not to erase it completely, but at least to minimize it? Your Emininence, we, in our letter had requested you to take a step in this respect. However, you are silent about it.  We are aware; the nuptials can’t be reversed and blessed again. We are also aware that it is impossible for church authorities to accept their mistake in writing. We therefore, suggest that you give an audience to this couple along with their families and give them your blessings. This we believe will reduce the trauma of carrying the injustice throughout their lives. It may gradually help erase it from their mind. We leave this to your choice.
Copy to:          Jerry Fernandes, Parishioner, OUR LADY OF REMEDY CHURCH, POINSUR
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