Body to govern Church property divides Christians

An increasing tendency among Christians to sell Church properties is noticed.

Posted on August 14, 2012, 8:58 AM


By reporter

A proposal to govern Church properties through a statutory body has divided Christian groups in a central Indian state.

“The properties of Christians are being grossly misused and illegally sold out,” alleged Anand Bernard, a member of the Minority Commission of Madhya Pradesh state who proposed the idea.

He told today that he took the step after noticing an increasing tendency among Christians to sell Church properties.

“Unless an effective mechanism is put in place to check such misuse, the day is not far off when Christians in the state will have no property,” he warned.

Bernard wants the government to constitute body patterned on the Wakf Board that manages properties of Muslims.

However, his proposal has not many takers, especially among Catholics.

Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, who heads the Catholic Church in the state, insisted Catholics do not require such body to govern their properties.

“Our properties are well managed and documented under the laws in the state,” the prelate told

However, he said he shared Bernard’s concern for protecting the Church properties and asked the lay leader to come up with concrete proposals. “Without such a document we cannot reach any conclusion,” the prelate told

Earlier, the Catholic bishops in the state had gone to the Supreme Court to oppose such a body. They withdrew the case later after state government told the court that it has no plan of a body to control the Christian properties.

Bernard’s fresh proposal has confused Christians, said Jerry Paul, general secretary of the Isai Mahasang (grand assembly of Christians), a body of lay people from all Christian denominations in the state.

According to him, Bernard’s proposal is “a real threat to Catholics who would lose their control over their properties” if the new body is set up.

Fr. Anand Muttungal, former spokesperson of the Catholic Church in the state who fought the court case, rejected the proposal as “unacceptable to Catholics.”

Implementing the proposal would ruin the community since the statutory body would indirectly get administrative powers over Christian institutions and charitable organizations.

Bernard said clashes over properties among members of Protestant groups have adversely affected children and brought disrespect to Christians.

He said he was consulting legal expert and others to draft a bill.

Asked about Catholic opposition, Bernard said he has got positive signals from the community leadership.

Church Properties , Illegal Sale , Madhya Pradesh
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Map of India showing location of Madhya Pradesh

Map showing location of Madhya Pradesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


VM : 16/2012 : Follow up emails : Parishioners of OLGC Sion React……..




We represent the Silent Majority

We represent the Silent Majority (Photo credit: CKoontz)




On Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM, M.P.Cardoz <> wrote:


> An advice. Being not corrupt is not enough, opposing the corruption is what is required. It should start with ‘I’ first. Sit across & discuss with Parish Council, Bishop & put an end. But refrain from emails outside the boundary of Parish. Human is to err, forgiveness is the virtue of all Catholics.


> Regards


> M.P.Cardoz



Cedric Fernandes {}


Mon. 13/08/2012 6.50 pm


Dear Mr Cardoz,


I appreciate your Views, but please let me correct you first, as you can visulize from the post read by all knowledgeable persons.  The question when you put “I” first, is when you are speaking for your individual self, and the we comes when we are speaking for the community ie the Silent Majority.


Jesus came into this world to SERVE and not to Be SERVED.  He saved us by sacrificing himself on the cross for our sins.  He was not corrupt not did he ask questions what the Clergy do these days, if we ask questions we are termed as Trouble makers.  Our Catholics are deep in slumber and Pay rather than Pray.  That is the only way they contribute and of course OBEY and that’s what the Clergy and Religious want us to do. “Do as I tell You but don’t do as I do”.   On whose side are you the Clergy or the Silent Majority who are afraid to ask the question. People do a lot of talking and giving advice to others but fall short to volunteer to shepherd the Flock or Bell the Cat.  Reflect and think for yourself how you could Contribute to you parish to weed out the corrupt practices. Surely there is no Q to be there first ? If the priests and Bishops have no answer to ones queries who does one go ?


Are you aware that Finance and Property matters are out of the purview of PPC? In that case how do you expect CORRUPTION IN THE CHURCH to be discussed in PPC? Umpteen letters have been written to Bishops and Parish authorities, which have all been consigned to dust bin.


Exposing corruption is last resort that we catholics have thought of.


You are welcome to mediate between Church Authorities and us, to come on discussion table.


It surprises me to hear you say to refrain mails outside the boundary of the parish, a valid reason to season your soul and your understanding of christian Forgiveness to the Clergy by the poor oppressed catholic community.


Can I hear your contribution to support the Cause.? God is your Conscience.


Cedric Fernandes

28941378 / 9820894913



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