Vatican wants speedy probe in seminary rector’s murder

It is reported to have pressurized top political leaders to speed up the investigation.


The Vatican is taking keen interest in the investigation into the murder of seminary rector Fr. K J Thomas and is reported to have pressurized top political leaders to speed up the probe.
“The pressure to solve the case increased after the Vatican ambassador began pursuing the matter with certain political leaders in the country,” said a police official.
The St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore, where the priest was a rector, works under the direct supervision of the Vatican.
His murder has therefore been of particular concern to the Vatican.
“Our higher-ups told us they had received special orders from state Home Minister K. J. George that this particular case had to be given special attention. However, we have not found any leads that could help us,” the official added.
Fr. Thomas, 62, was found by another priest lying in a pool of blood in a corridor near his room at St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore on April 1.
Preliminary investigations suggest that Fr Thomas was attacked after answering a knock on his door.
The city police and the city crime branch are probing the case and have questioned nearly 50 suspects. But they haven’t made any headway.
Police are not ruling out that the murderers may have been just first-time offenders who came merely to steal and killed Fr. Thomas when he caught them in the act.
Source: deccanchronicle

Bangalore ,Fr. K J Thomas ,Priest Killed ,Slain Priest ,St. Peter’s Seminary
Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens (Photo credit: MarcelGermain)

Dalit Christians accuse Church of failing them

Dalit Christians constitute 75 per cent of the laity in Tamil Nadu.



Dalit Christians in Tamil Nadu has accused the Church of failing to make use of the legal and Constitutional provisions to safeguard their interests.
“Minority rights never helped Dalit Christians enjoy equity, equality, social justice and fraternity, because of the caste affinity displayed by the Church,” said A Xavier, one of the representatives of the Dalit Christians.
He was speaking at a review meeting, highlighting the failure of the Church to know the socio-economic status of Dalit Christians, caste discrimination and denial of right to quality education.
The meeting was presided over by State Minorities Commission Chairman M. Prakash at the Collectorate in Dindigul yesterday.
Dalit Christians constitute 75 per cent of the laity in Tamil Nadu.
C Bastin from Kodaikanal insisted that all Catholic institutions should take initiatives to introduce reservation for Dalit Christians.
Another representative, Jennifer, alleged that the church did not have any concrete infrastructure, policies and programs to ensure that the most oppressed enjoyed the minority rights.
Even quality education was denied to Dalit Christians, she alleged.
Commission Chairman Prakash said he would take up the issues highlighted by the speakers with state Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
He said educational aid of over 20 million rupees had been disbursed to 13,723 students from the minority communities and welfare assistance to 112 women in the district.
Source: The Hindu

Dalit Christians , Tamil Nadu , Minority Rights , Catholic Church
English: Palm Trees in Tamil Nadu

English: Palm Trees in Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Related articles

Tourists at Bom Jesus Basilica asked to cover up

The church authorities have started providing shawls to visitors who are dressed inappropriately.



The authorities at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa have started screening the visitors who come to see the interiors of the 16th century baroque-styled monument.
The church authorities have begun providing shawls to visitors at the Basilica who are dressed inappropriately.
The tourists who are inappropriately dressed have to wear the shawl before they go in and return once they conclude their visit to the Jesuit monument housing the sacred relics of Jesuit saint and patron of the missions St. Francis Xavier.
The rule applies for both men and women, as it was found that it was not only women who dress scantily but men too saunter in wearing singlet and are made to either wear a shirt if they have one or a shawl.
Rector of the Basilica Fr. Savio Barreto said that the move was a result of a decision taken ‘long ago’ following complaints from the faithful that it was unacceptable and portrayed a complete lack of respect and decorum on the part of the tourists, both in their attire as well as their talk as it was not in keeping with the decorum of the place.
“This was something we had said we would do and would put up boards that all tourists should be dressed appropriately if they wish to enter the Basilica. Many people had complained that the tourists were not dressing properly and were offended by it,” Fr Barreto said, adding that the shawls were being handed over by the volunteers at the Basilica.
More than a year ago, the church authorities had installed a signboard asking tourists to dress appropriately and maintain decorum.
However, the written directions did not work, bringing about the need to give shawls to the tourists.

Basilica Of Bom Jesus , Tourists , Old Goa
The fine architecture of the Bascilica of Bom ...

The fine architecture of the Bascilica of Bom Jesus, Goa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





“Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted for Their Righteousness,for Theirs is Kingdom of Heaven” A Very Cryptic, Precise & Meaningful Theme in This Year of The Faith.



50,000 Compulsive Viewers = Petals & Pebbles

We are not overwhelmed, and whilst thirsting for more than satisfaction, we awake our community with the inspired knowledge that “ Your Life is a Gift ” Awake ! Do not be PART-TIME CHRISTIANS, helping others (Bishops & Clergy) to build their Dreams rather than Yours.!!

Our Holy Father Pope Francis guided by the Holy Spirit, has decisively smelt the KNOT (Power struggle which existed since early church) of His Flock and earnestly requested Our Prayers for His abusive Bishops & Clergy,(termed to be Good Shepards, not Wolves) who have deviated from their vows of Loyalty to the Lord, to earthly Pleasures of Property, Finance & Fornication. This struggle for power in the Church is a “SIN”

Whilst thanking you for your support and your vivid contributions to our blog we request your awareness to updating us on concerns of injustices and wronging in your respective parishes, which will be reflected in our blogs. Be true to yourself and work with the sincerity of your imagination

“ If you want the RAINBOW, you have to put up with the RAIN ”.





The credit of this achievement certainly goes to the entire team of SILENT VOICE, who is dedicatedly working behind the scene; and to you all, the readers, who have been following SILENT VOICE ardently.

On achievement of this milestone, let us look back and glance at our starting point…..19th, October, 2011; when it all began; reposting the same to revive the nostalgia. We assure you of  many such milestones, because, we intend to cleanse the creation of Lord Jesus Christ, our MOTHER CHURCH, of CORRUPT PRACTICES, and drive away the MONEY CHANGERS from temple of God.

Jesus entered the temple and expelled all who were buying and

selling in the courts. He overturned the tables of the money changers and

the seats of those who sold doves.






             WE THE PEOPLE

Silent Voice

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



                               VM:-016 /2011

                                    16th, October, 2011

Hello Friends,

“ROSE by any other name will always smell as sweet; provided it is natural and not an artificial one.”


The quote is in response to the changes you see here, and in title of the letters, sent to Archbishop, H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The reason for these changes has been clarified in the last issue of VOICEMAIL, 015/2011, dated 29/09/2011. No it is not a new title. Some time ago, we had embarked on a journey to a particular destination, with the name, VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY (Remember the Book)?  On its way, People went on embarking this train, with good intentions. Unfortunately, few came onboard with their personal baggage, stalling the journey for a while and causing inconvenience. Fortunately, their intentions were exposed at the right moment. However, the train has now begun its journey, with the same old name, cruising zealously, toward its destination. The destination called; Cleansing of our Church Administration of corrupt practices; helping  Archbishop, H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, in his efforts to do so.

We have received favourable responses to this change. Those who still wish to join this journey, please do so.  Please remember, the vacuum, created because of your absence, will bring in unhealthy elements, and occupy the space; as it was evident.


Dear Friends, It is well-known; The Parish Priests do not like their authority to be questioned. It could have happened with many of you, or with some persons you know, within your parish. The persistent ones are silenced, using various methods; So that the Parish Priests can go ahead with their nefarious activities, using their SOLE TRUSTEE powers, particularly related to Properties and Finances.

The attached letter to Archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, contains some examples, adopted by Parish Priests, to silence the dissenting voices. We therefore, call upon you to discard your fear and speak out boldly, against mismanagement of Properties and Finances, by Parish Priests. Your Silence, out of fear, is taken by these parish priests as your consent, to whatever they do. Remember friends, by Voicing your opposition to unhealthy activities, You do not go against the Mother Church, as prorogated by some members of clergy, but in fact, help in cleansing the rot within the Church administration. Even the Cardinal has accepted that there is nothing wrong in it.

Dear friends, we are pleased to inform you that Defamation case, filed against the Archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, has been quashed by the honourable Court.





Constituted 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. Blog:

8TH, October, 2011


H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,

Archbishop of Mumbai,

Your Eminence,

While going through the depositions of the ongoing Archdiocese Inquiry Commission, in connection with St Anthony’s Church, Malwani; I came across a letter (Exhi. L, Pg.77 to 79) Signed by The parish Priest and Trustee, Fr. Ajit Bandekar, among others. I shall request Fr. Michael Goveas, the Convener of AEC, through the copy of this letter, to pass on the letter (Exhi. L) for your scrutiny.

The letter describes various issues related to AEC. Besides, it states; “NO PLOT HAS BEEN SOLD BY US TO ANY PARTY, irrespective of claims made by various unscrupulous elements.” I have given my response to it in my deposition to AEC, and sought a public apology, particularly from the Parish Priest, Fr. Ajit Bandekar. I take liberty, with your permission, to copy down the extracts from AEC depositions.


“However, this statement also mentions about various unscrupulous elements. I do not know how many people; apart from me have made this claim. I surely have. I therefore, take offense to branding me as unscrupulous. I am not concerned about others who have signed this letter, but Fr. Ajit Bandekar too has signed it. I therefore, call upon him to explain as to what is unscrupulous in the context of this inquiry; or tender a public apology. I shall be writing to H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, separately on this matter.”

Your Eminence, I do not wish to dictate, as to what I expect you to do in this context. The purpose of this letter is to highlight the anomalies prevailing within Parish Administrations. Attempt is always made to snuff any voice, raised against Unhealthy practices of Parish Priests, by maligning the person. It is a common practice all over within Archdiocese, barring an exception or so. In this case, if it was not on paper, it would be difficult for me to defend myself, because one can’t respond to whispering tongues.

Ø The Parish Priest of OUR LADY OF EGYPT CHURCH, KALINA, made a Special announcement from sacred pulpit, denouncing the parishioners, calling them ‘DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS, spreading FALSE, CORRUPT AND WRONG INFORMATION about Parish Church and the Clergy; ‘Just because they were carrying out a signature campaign, against the installation of plaques, in the name of a politician, within precincts of the Church. This message was also put up on the notice board as SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. Your Eminence, Is it wrong, on part of parishioners to voice their opposition to glorification of a Politician, by putting up multiple plaques in his name?

Ø Just recently, the parishioners, of OUR LADY OF REMEDY CHURCH, POINSUR; who opposed the sale of church land, are being targeted and humiliated, by cronies of the Parish Priest Fr. Peter D’mello. So believe the parishioners. Have these parishioners erred in anyway, in opposing the sale of Church land? We believe, not. Why then, they are being made to face humiliation? We request you to put a stop to this.

Ø One of my relative had received a letter signed by “ANIMATORS”, asking him to stop me, from writing letters to Bishops. The letter also contained some threatening matter. The relative did not want to pursue the matter further, out of fear perhaps. I feel hard to believe, the ANIMATORS could muster such courage. The matter was recently brought to my notice.

Your Eminence, This is the method adopted by some members of the Clergy, particularly the Parish Priests, who are having Vested Interest. They use the authority as SOLE TRUSTEE, for personal gains, and their PASTORAL POSITION to intimidate and instill fear in the minds of people, to silence the dissenting voice. Your Eminence, do you approve these threatening tactics by so called people of GOD, who are supposed to preach Christian Values of Honesty, Love and Peace to all? Do you expect that people should live in fear, and not Voice their opinion, against injustice and corruption? You decide.

Your Eminence, we have said it before, The SOLE TRUSTEE norm is malaise to Church Administration; and it must be abolished immediately. Your argument that property committee members are part of the Laity; Therefore, the SOLE TRUSTEE alone, is not responsible, has been contested by me personally during one of the meetings with you, and through various letters. It is well known as to how these members are handpicked by parish priests. Of course there could be some exceptions. The parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani, and I have asked some questions related to credentials of property committee members; we have yet to get a response from parish priest.

Returning to AEC, your eminence, I am quite satisfied with the process so far; except, I was not provided the copies of depositions, to which I was supposed to respond, on the ground of secrecy. I had to spend around eight hours to copy the matter manually. It is disadvantageous to complainant to respond, without the matter, to which he is suppose to respond. I suggest, this be reviewed in order to avoid unfair advantage.

I am looking forward to the result of the AEC, and hope the action will be fair and transparent, in order to establish faith of lay persons, in these Commissions.

Yours always, in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST.


Copy to: Fr. Michael Goveas: To provide copy of the letter, (Exhibit L, Pg. 77 to 79); to H. E. the Cardinal.

Court relief for archbishop

Rosy Sequeira, TNN Oct 9, 2011, 03.36AM IST

MUMBAI: In a reprieve for the archbishop of Mumbai Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Bombay high court has quashed and set aside criminal proceedings initiated by a magistrate on a defamation complaint filed by a lawyer.

On September 21, 2011, Justice K U Chandiwal heard an application filed by Gracias, Fr Anthony Charanghat, the editor of church weekly ‘The Examiner’, and Mumbai archdiocese spokesperson Fr Savio Fernandes to quash process issued on July 5, 2011 by metropolitan magistrate 18th Girgaum court.

A tabloid carried an article pertaining to some church land in Marinagar, Mahim, and quoted advocate Arcanjo Sodder. Finding it objectionable, Fr Fernandes sent a clarification to the tabloid, which did not publish it.

The clarification was carried in ‘The Examiner’. Sodder moved a magistrate’s court saying the first part of the clarification was defamatory. The magistrate directed issue of process saying that prima facie, a defamation case is made out. Church’s counsel Joaquim Reis argued that it was a clarification by way of truth and hence, cannot amount to defamation.

Justice Chandiwal said the clarification need not be read in isolation. The judge noted that after Sodder wrote to the weekly, it published a clarification expressing regret and he “should have been satisfied”.

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Dioces...

Archbishop Oswald Gracias of the Bombay Diocese, India. Image taken by me after the Christmas midnight mass. (Cropped) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blog :

The state of the Indian Church: Chhotebhai, Former National President; AICU

I am often tempted, for good reason, to compare the Catholic Church with the Govt. of India, says the writer.


By Chhotebhai     Kanpur:

It is finally out – The Catholic Directory of India 2013 (CDI 13). I have always been an ardent collector of the CDIs, because I believe that they contain a wealth of information on the state (or status) of the church in India. The oldest CDI that I have is of 1912, and the latest one I have is of 1998. So as soon as the 2013 issue was out I made a grab for it. I was surprised to read therein that the CDI was also published in 2000 and 2005/06. Despite my vigilance, I seem to have missed them.
I believe that every serious writer, commentator or thinker in the church should be armed with a copy of the CDI, as it is the most authentic statistical yearbook of the church. Besides what is obviously stated, one also needs to read between the lines, and study the fine print, to determine the actual health, or wealth, of the church!
The CDI 13 has been published by Claretian Publications, Bangalore, on behalf of the CBCI. It has over 2500 pages, and though it states that it is for “Private Circulation only”, it costs a whopping Rs 1650/-. It is value for money though, if we value knowledge and information. Surprisingly, though published in March itself, it already has the photograph of Pope Francis. One must therefore conclude that every attempt has been made to be spot on. That is a sign of good scholarship and sincere research. One must express unreserved appreciation for the Editor-in-Chief, Rev Benny Kanjirakatt CMF and his editorial team. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
I am often tempted, for good reason, to compare the Catholic Church with the Govt of India. Both have an established hierarchy, with the aam aadmi at the bottom of the pyramid; with little or no say in governance, planning or decision making. Both roll out statistical achievements, which do not necessarily depict the quality of life of the intended beneficiaries. A preliminary (superficial) glance at the statistical data of the CDI 13 would have the bishops thumping each other’s backs in self-adulation.
Look at the raw data:
166 dioceses, 166 bishops, 10 auxiliaries, 3 particular bishops, and 56 retired ones – altogether 223. Of these 5 were among the 115 cardinal electors for the new pope. And one of them has already been included in his panel of 8 advisors.
296 religious institutes for priests, 29 for brothers, 343 for sisters, 41 pious associations, and 36 secular institutes.
A total of 17,535,429 Catholics, covered by 10,715 parishes, 22,451 priests and 5764 religious houses.
Institutionally, there are a phenomenal 12,781 educational institutions, 6603 for social welfare, 2692 for health, 668 for the media, and just 360 for spiritual services! They add up to 23,104 institutions. If just 360 of these (less than 2%) are categorised as spiritual ones, one must draw the odd conclusion that the Catholic Church in India is already so spiritual that it does not need much help; or that spiritual ministry is very low on its list of priorities. So why are we talking about a “year of faith” or a “new evangelisation”?
The priest to Catholics ratio is a healthy 1:781, and the institution to Catholics ratio is a similar 1:759.
A detailed analysis of major data will follow in my next article. Among the interesting features of the CDI 13 is an article by Rev George Gispert-Sauch SJ on what he calls the “Provisional History of the Catholic Directory of India”. He uses the qualifying term “provisional”, because the history of the CDI is not clear. The first one was published in 1851; long before the Catholic hierarchy of India was erected in 1886. The earlier editions were called “The Madras Catholic Directory and Annual Register”. This CDI is probably the 106th edition. I might here add that there seem to be many more things in the CDI 13 that could be categorised as “provisional”, not very factual.
The CDI 13 has three distinct sections. The first section on general information has a grey border. The second section, which is the main body of the directory, has a pink border. This gives diocese wise information (pgs 145 – 2232). The third section, again with a grey border, has details of religious orders and congregations (pgs 2233 – 24438), followed by an alphabetical index of parishes (pgs 2439 – 2491).
As an amateur statistician I look for figures that tell a story. Here is where the CDI 13 fails miserably. For example, the number of priests is given, but not the number of religious sisters and brothers, who are actually the bulwark of the church’s apostolate. Do they not count?
The most glaring omission is the total black out of the laity. Earlier editions had atleast some information about national Catholic organisations recognised by the CBCI.  This edition draws a blank on the laity. There is only one reference to a CBCI-AICU Dialogue Committee. Ironically, it gives the names of the 5 bishop members, but not of the AICU lay members! So is this a dialogue or a monologue committee? On scanning the CDI 13 I find only one layperson’s name mentioned. I shall call him the “venerable” Edward A Edezhath, the Joint Secretary of the CBCI Laity Commission. As an active lay leader I have never heard of this venerable gentleman. Perhaps his only claim to fame is his address – “Bishop Edezhath Road, Cochin”. I leave readers to draw their own conclusions.
Another oddity is that the section on general information begins with the Catolic Council of India (pg 43). It even precedes the CBCI. It talks of it as being “The Church as Communion”. This communion is restricted to just half a page! There is no mention of the office-bearers of this august body, or of what it has achieved since it was established on 12/1/1993. At that time I was the National President of the All India Catholic Union (AICU). I cannot recall being invited to this “communion”, or being made an ex-officio member of the same, by virtue of being the head of the largest and most representative democratically elected lay organisation in the country. The only “communion” that the aam aadmi in the Catholic Church experiences is that which is dispensed during eucharistic services. Perhaps our worthy bishops feel that is sufficient for the “church as communion”. A cruel joke.
The CDI 13 has interesting information on the Catholic population in 2003/2005/2013 (pg 86 ff), world religions (pg 91 ff), the Catholic population of various countries (pg 96), a chronology of “key events” in the church from 52 AD (pg 135 ff), and Census of India statistics (pg 84 ff).
But the biggest drawback, as compared to earlier editions is the “Recapitulation of Statistics”. Earlier each diocese had a detailed recap, including how many Catholic children were in our own schools. However, in this edition they are all clubbed together in one table (pg 77 ff), minus the data on Catholic students. A pity. A detailed analysis of the available data, including how scientific or credible it is, is the subject matter of my next article on this topic.
As already stated, the CDI 13 has over 2500 pages. It is so heavy that it must be placed on a study table to be read. Earlier directories were much slimmer. This issue could divest itself of some superfluous information. For example, each parish (over 10,000 of them), mention their mass timings; and each institution (again over 20,000 of them) mentions the number of professed and junior sisters. Of what use is such information to the general public? It should be dropped from future editions, thereby reducing the number of pages, as also the cost of the directory.
Despite its shortcomings, and some long hauls, I would recommend the CDI 13 to all serious scholars of ecclesiology. Copies may be ordered from or by calling 080 23446977 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            080 23446977     end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Happy reading.
The writer is a former National President of the All India Catholic Union.

Catholic Directory Of India , Chhotebhai , Indian Church
Source: UCAN News
Roman Catholic Church in Pilibhit, Utter Prade...

Roman Catholic Church in Pilibhit, Utter Pradesh, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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