VM : 007/2012. PARISH PRIEST PRONOUNCED GUILTY OF CORRUPT PRACTICES.

Silent Voice

A/7  Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Malad (W), Mumbai, 400095.   Contact No. 98707 19628

E mail:    silentvoice58@gmail.com

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Voicemail

VM:    007/2012

21ST, May, 2012

 

 

PARISH PRIEST PRONOUNCED GUILTY OF CORRUPT PRACTICES.

 

 

 

Hello Friends,

Through Voicemail VM 005/2012, we had informed you about the delay in pronouncing the judgment, by Church authorities. IS IT AN ATTEMPT, BY VESTED INTERESTS, TO SABOTAGE ARCHBISHOP ORDERED INQUIRY, IN ORDER TO SHIELD THE GUILTY?

We regret to state that Church authorities are still silent about it. A clear indication of the powers that be, want to shield the corrupt one. We do not have to explain, why? You are wise enough to understand.

Archbishop was made aware of our intention to pronounce the verdict, by ourselves, based on the evidence available from the depositions of various witnesses, including the accused. With no response from Church authorities, we had no option but to stick to our word. We did not want the Enquiry to remain inconclusive, as so many similar ones must have remained. Whether it is a right move, you be the judge. We believe in,” TRUTH MUST BE KNOWN TO ALL”.

The following are the charges, for which the Inquiry was conducted:

1         Misappropriation and siphoning of parish finances, by Parish priest Fr. Ajit Bandekar.

 

 

2       Mismanagement and neglect of church properties, deliberately, amounting to dereliction of duties.

 

3       Protecting and shielding rogue elements, by Parish Priest, Fr. Ajit Bandekar, helping him carry on above activities.

Synopsis of the evidence, in support of the verdict is in the attached letter, addressed to Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

Brief History of the case is as follows:

ü  On 24th October, 2008, a collection box at Asmita Jyoti cross, was snatched from the Auto Rickshaw, while it was being carried to its nominated destination.

ü  Fr, Ajit Bandekar was informed about the incident immediately, together with the identity of the THIEVES.

ü  Fr. Ajit Bandekar kept ignoring the matter, in spite of our persistence, to lodge police complaint. His attitude indicated that he wanted to shield the rogues, which he is doing till date.

ü  Finally we referred the matter to Archbishop on 10th, December, 2008. (VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY; PG 33/34).

ü  Ms. YUCCA GOMES, Chair person of PPC and Mr. RICHARD LASRADO, member of core committee were courteous enough, to call for a meeting with us, where they were apprised on the incident.

ü  Bishop Bosco Penha was informed about the incident, through a letter on 27th, March, 2009.

ü  Tenders called for Mandap decoration during Holy Week services, were manipulated rejecting the lowest one.

ü  Permission to raise the matter in PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL was denied by PPC Chairperson, Ms. Yucca Gomes.

ü  A statement was submitted to Ms. Yucca Gomes citing our displeasure on this issue, on 21st, April, 2009. (VOSM PG.25).

ü  Knocked on the door of Bishop Bosco Penha vide a letter dated 22nd, August, 2009. (VOSM PG.21)

ü  August, 31, 2009, Bishop Bosco Penha suggested referring the matter to zonal Bishop, H. E. Percival Fernandes. (VOSM PG. 24).

ü  Matter was referred to Bishop Percival Fernandes, through letters dated 6th, September, 2009 and 25th, September, 2009.(VOSM PG. 17 & 19)

ü  Bishop Percival response, October 8 2009; “The points raised by you are important. I do hope you will meet the priests concerned and help them by speaking to them about such important matters. You will also appreciate that if you had mentioned the names of concerned priests, it would have helped me to assist them to be more and more pastoral in their ministry”. ?????????? (VOSM PG. 18).

ü  The exchange of letters continued till end of January, 2010; some related to property matters too.

ü  Bishop Percival gives clean chit to Fr. Ajit Bandekar, via his letter of February 20, 2010. Extracts: “I have carefully studied all that you have placed before me, and find that Fr. Ajit Bandekar has done well. I find no reason to blame him in any way in matter related to what you have written to me”. “As a person interested in the good of the Church, may I kindly request you, dear Greg, to meet Fr. Ajit personally, and have a dialogue with him. He is an excellent priest and respected by all those who have worked with him. I am confident that this dialogue will help you to understand the outstanding qualities of this Priest of ours”! (VOSM PG. 8)

ü  2nd March, 2010; with no option left, Cardinal was approached, once again. (VOSM PG. 5)

ü  29th, March, 2010 letter from Fr. Neil Santos, Secretary; indicated that the Archbishop has asked Zonal Bishop, Percival Fernandes to enquire into the matter, which was not acceptable, since he had already given a clean chit to Fr. Ajit Bandekar. Archbishop was called upon to establish an impartial and transparent enquiry. (Inner Voice, VOSM PG. 3)

ü  3rd January, 2011, Cardinal intervened and asked for details.

ü  Archbishop set up ARCHDIOCESE ENQUIRY COMMISSION (AEC), in July 2011.

ü  Archbishop confirmed on 3rd of December, 2011 that he has received the report. Will the Archbishop Punish the Guilty and Set an Example for Others ? Vm:- 020/2011

ü  On enquiry with Archbishop during the meeting on 16th, January, 2012; was told that the report was being looked into, by some other panel or so.

Dear friends, the sequence of events clearly indicate the intention of Church hierarchy to protect the corrupt amongst them. Without our persistence, the matter would have gone into oblivion, like so many others have. Even now the attempt by the Church authorities continues. We therefore, had no option, but to PRONOUNCE GUILTY VERDICT AGAINST THE ACCUSED FR. AJIT BANDEKAR, PARISH PRIEST, ST. ANTHONY’S CHURCH MALWANI. If the Church authorities think it is unfair, let them say so, and we will accept their views.

For us, this chapter is closed.

 

GREG

CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF

 CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL.

STOP PRESS:        The Outgoing Parish Priest, Fr. Ajit Bandekar, seems to have conceived a project worth, Rs. Seven Crores to construct a new Church, and have got it approved too. Do we expect another scandal to bleed the Parish coffers of its finances? Besides, a national level Politician is involved with this project, it is understood. We shall seek clarification from Archbishop.

 

 

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:            silentvoice58@gmail.com

                                                                                                                                                12th, May, 2012

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Dioces...

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Diocese, India.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

To,

Most Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

Archbishop of Mumbai;

 

 

 

 

Sub:                 Delayed verdict in case of Archdiocese Enquiry Commission.

Your Eminence,

Further to our letter of 22nd March, 2012,  Where we expressed our concern over delay in pronouncing judgment in case of ARCHDIOCESE ENQUIRY COMMISSION (AEC), against Fr. Ajit Bandekar, Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani. You are still silent over the matter.  The time frame provided up to Easter, has lapsed long ago, but there seems to be no word from you. This implies that Church administration is determined to shield the corrupt priest. They have no answers to the evidence provided to nail his corrupt practice; therefore, the powers that be, have adopted this path of silence.

Your Eminence, We presume, you are helpless in front of coterie of corrupt lobby among the clergy, which the laity knows, and it exists. However, being the head of Church in this Archdiocese of Bombay, the accountability lies on you. We, on behalf of Laity of the Archdiocese, expect you to take a stand. If you think the accused is not guilty, pronounce so; and we will accept your verdict. In this case, Your Eminence, your SILENCE IS A SIGN OF COMPLICITY. Besides, Your Eminence, AEC will lose its credibility, in the eyes of Laity. We have already expressed our apprehensions over it, a couple of times.

Your Eminence, let us not look at it in isolation as an enquiry against one person; but against symbol of corruption, which has ingrained into the system. The person with the authority of SOLE TRUSTEE is filling his coffers by looting the wealth, from our MOTHER CHUIRCH. This is the perception of majority of the Laity, and interestingly heartening, the honest members of the Clergy, who are bound by the vow of loyalty, therefore, can’t speak. The Hierarchy’s silence is perceived to be its connivance with this corrupt elements, rather than helplessness, in curbing their powerful lobby, within Clergy, sitting in positions of power. We have brought to your notice, similar scandals from various parishes, if you remember. We shall continue to pursue them.

Your Eminence, we are convinced that The AEC was just a farce and as mentioned by us in one of our letter, a THEATRE OF AN ABSURD.  We wonder how many such inquiries have been pushed under the carpet. We, however, will not allow the powers that be, to drive this matter into oblivion,  but pronounce GUILTY verdict ourselves, against the ACCUSED, based on the Depositions, statements, Contradiction, Denials and Silence of the authorities. We had said so, through our letter dated, 22nd, Match. 2012. Since you are silent on the matter, we have no option, but to go ahead and declare the accused, Fr. Ajit Bandekar GUILTY of following charges.

THE VERDICT

 

WE PRONOUNCE FR, AJIT BANDEKAR; PARISH PRIEST OF ST ANTHONY’S CHURCH. MALWANI; GUILTY OF FOLLOWING CHARGES.

 

2        Misappropriation and siphoning of parish finances, by Parish priest Fr. Ajit Bandekar.

 

  • It has been proved that a much higher price was paid to the candle stand at Asmita Jyoti Cross; Rs. 18850/- as against Rs. 8000/-; in spite of this anomaly being brought to his notice, before the payment could be made.
  • It has been proved that the tenders were manipulated to offer a contract to the favoured one, at much higher price, causing a huge loss to parish exchequer.  Technical ground, on which the lowest tender was rejected; the accepted one was liable for outright rejection on the same ground; for having multiple dates, over writing of the amount and differences in amounts in words and figures. This implies his ulterior motive.

 

4        Mismanagement and neglect of church properties, deliberately, amounting to dereliction of duties.

 

  • Variation in his statements and that of other members of property committee exposes his lies, besides, his careless attitude towards protecting Church properties.
  •  Statement from our Deposition:            The letter, dated 1st, December, 2010, in relation to plot nos. 3173 and 2305. It is submitted to you as an Exhibit. I do not remember its reference. Copy of this letter was marked and handed over to Fr. Ajit Bandekar, with instructions to interact with BMC and the police, to whom the copy was marked. At this point the land filling had just begun. Yet they seem to have done nothing.  These are the plots about which I have mentioned in the letter dated 2nd, May, 2011, to Fr. Ajit Bandekar and submitted to you during my deposition, in which mention is made about Rs. 30lakhs, changing hands. As I perceive, the members have conceded the plot to encroachers. I stand by my statement of modus operandi by property committee members, having applied in this case.
  • The Parish authorities did nothing to stop structures from coming up on Plot bearing CTS No. 606, where status quo should have been maintained, because of ongoing court case, in spite of  bringing this to their notice.
  • Allowing passage through Church property (CTS No. 1668/1688) which benefitted plot owner across, with no benefit to Church, rendering Church property redundant. A property Committee Member is accused of extracting money, for allowing this passage.
  • Fr. Ajit Bandekar and other members of property committee have given an undertaking to AEC in writing that” NO PLOT HAS BEEN SOLD BY US TO ANY PARTY”. Yet no response to the question as to ‘what is the status of the thirty five odd properties’, standing in the name of St. Anthony’s Church Trust.

 

5        Protecting and shielding rogue elements, by Parish Priest, Fr. Ajit Bandekar, helping him carry on above activities.

 

  • It has been proved that Fredricks Gracias stole the Collection box with Godfrey Patel in tow, and ran into a dark ally, in the middle of the night, which Fr. Ajit Bandekar has been denying all along, in order to shield him, since the incident occurred on 24th, October, 2008.
  • It has been proved that Fredricks Gracias has been demanding money from Sunil Karvir, for allowing passage through Church Plot mentioned above.
  • Both of them are prominent members of Property committee and involved in various financial decisions.
  • Both have been put in charge of the Asmita Jyoti cross, where large numbers of devotees visit on Fridays. Collection in thousands is at the disposal of them, with no accountability.

 

 

 

Your Eminence, with this verdict, we consider this matter closed. Yes, the Church authorities wanted it to be so; but by leaving it inconclusive and pushing it into oblivion. Transfer of Fr. Ajit Bandekar is one such way, we perceive, and a ploy to put lid on this inquiry. However, we are concluding it in a way it should. Our conclusion is based on the depositions of various persons, including the accused Fr. Ajit Bandekar. In case you think our judgment is not fair, we would be pleased to be proved wrong. We will accept your verdict gracefully.

Since the matter is now closed, we ask, what happens to the matters related to properties, which have been sold clandestinely? What happens to the monies which are being siphoned from parish coffers? Will the rogue elements continue to be at the helm and carry on with their dubious activities? Will the new Parish Priest, Fr. Austin Norris make efforts to clear the mess created by his predecessor? Will he bring in transparency in the Property and Financial activities of the parish? If he does, we assure him full support from the parishioners. Or will he put his hands up, as is the practice among the parish priests? We’ll wait and see. Through the copy of this letter, we shall apprise him of the situation, prevailing at his new parish, and what the parishioners expect out of him.

 

Yours always, in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,

 

GREG R. PEREIRA;

 

Copy to:                      Fr. Austin Norris:

 

CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF

 CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL

Blog :  www.silentmaj.wordpress.com

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7 Comments

  1. May 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    There is a Saying ” THE MORE YOU INTERACT WITH THE CHURCH THE FURTHER YOU GO AWAY FROM IT ” The Churches have become playing fields for the Rich & Richer whilst the Common parishioner is left behind. 1 Biggest example The Parish of Our Lady of Salvation Church, Dadar West ( Portuguese church ). At one point of time it was the richest Parish in ASIA in terms of land it held. Today nearly 90% of it has been distributed among Certain group of people while the rest has been encroached upon with the blessings of the Church. The Church is being run by a bunch of thieves & things will only get worst.

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  2. July 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

    […] Vm : 007/2010. Parish Priest Pronounced Guilty of Corrupt Practices. (silentmaj.wordpress.com) Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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