MEMORANDUM cum MINUTES:Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias meets GREG: Part II

Dear Readers,

We regret the delay in posting this matter. Due to ill health was unable to compile the Minutes of the meeting with Archbishop on time.

Our discussion revolved around various issues which we have been following with His Eminence. The discussion was fruitful in many cases. It began with the Examiner press Building issue. To understand the history behind this meeting, you may please click on following links.

Your support will strengthen our resolve to approach Archbishop with your problems, and with the popularity of SILENT VOICE, which is now read all over the world, will keep the Clergy and Hierarchy of the Bombay Archdiocese on its toes.

The Memorandum was submitted to Archbishop, on 6th, of September, on the day of the meeting. It has been Combined with Minutes for better understanding to readers.




A Book titled, VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY, is symbol of beginning of our Journey.


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:

1st, November, 2013


EXAMINER PRESS BUILDING:* It is heartening to note that your Eminence has initiated action and stalled the process. Examiner Press Building is a Prime Property in the heart of the city. It must be Protected and preserved. We Expect the Church authorities to come out transparently about its present status.

MINUTES:**        AB:     I am happy that you brought this to my notice. I have asked the estate office to keep it pending for a while. However, keeping such a large property without generating income is a waste. Don’t you think?

ME:                We do not oppose any of such deals, provided they are transparent and in the interest of the Church and Community. Was the offer advertised in renowned News Papers? We did not even see it in the Examiner. Besides, have proper procedures been followed while finalizing the deal?

AB:     I am not sure if advertisements were placed; however, I have sent your letter to Estate office, seeking their clarification on the questions you have raised in your letter. I do not agree with your claim that one Bruno De Souza stalled the sale of EP Building, some time ago, as you have mentioned in your letter. Nothing of that sort has happened. It is on my behest that the sale was stopped.

ME:    We do not deny that; but we have in our possession, copy of the caveat, which he filed with Charity Commissioner, which we would be mailing to you. (The Copy of the Caveat document has been mailed to H. E.)

AB: It is not possible to be transparent in every aspect of the deal; but would try to be transparent to some extent.

Message to AB: Your Eminence, an advertisement has appeared in the Examiner of 28th, September, 2013, inviting tenders, for leasing part of the building. It appears that you have scrapped the earlier deal, and have ordered for fresh tenders to be called through the advertisement. It is good for transparency. However, the laity would expect more transparency in this, rather any such deal. We therefore call upon you to see that following measures are taken, once a deal is through.

  • Please declare the numbers of offers, those were received.
  • Reveal the amounts of the Lowest and the highest offer.
  • Reveal the Amount of the accepted deal and the name of the winner.
  • By the time you receive this letter; deal could have been signed and closed. Since it is going to be a tenancy lease, there is every possibility that the original tenant is likely to transfer the right to third party, making large profit for himself and Church gaining nothing from it. In such case a tripartite agreement is necessary, so that at every step of transferring the tenancy right, Church can be a party and gain monetarily. We hope the church authorities have taken care of this aspect while signing the agreement.

Your transparent answers to these queries are absolutely necessary to regain the trust of Laity, which the Hierarchy has lost in such matters.

ARCHDIOCESAN ENQUIRY COMMISSION:* Drawing your attention to the AEC decision to shoot the messenger; i. e. in spite of providing all the evidence, the accused have been given clean chit and on the single statement of the encroacher on Church land, yours truly has been accused of conniving with land grabber. This is the ploy of Fr. Dominic Savio and Company to save their corrupt colleague.

We have countered this through a letter, but you are silent over it. This letter has not been put up in public domain yet; but will do so, shortly. Has Fr. Dominic Savio been promoted as Bishop, for subverting the truth?

MINUTES: **       ME:    Your Eminence, I have written to you on this matter in details. Surprisingly, there is no response from your end. I would not mind if Fr. Ajit Bandekar was given a clean chit. But to put a blame on me, of conniving with the Land grabber is not acceptable. Every aspect of the evidence, which proved Fr. Ajit Bandekar and his cronies guilty, has been thrown to the wind. I have not yet put up that letter into public domain, and was awaiting your response.

AB;     The inquiry was on Fr. Ajit and on nobody else. So there was no question of blaming you. Besides, I showed the Committee’s report to a retired Judge and concluded the matter on his advice.

ME: Your Eminence, the AEC report has been signed by you, which blames me for being hand in glove with Sunil Karveer, who has encroached on Church property.

AB:     I do not remember that, but truly, the inquiry was on Fr. Ajit Bandekar and no one else.

ME:    I am not concerned about Fr. Ajit Bandekar getting a Clean Chit. I did my duty as a Catholic of trying to bring out the truth. However, Fr. Ajit Bandekar’s abrupt transfer has sent the clear message to the Parishioners, who were following the matter silently.

AB:     Fr. Ajit requested for the transfer.

ME:    Fr. Austin Norris, who replaced Fr. Ajit, is doing an excellent job, vis a vis Church properties. We lend our support to him, in his endeavor to save / salvage Church Properties.

OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL, SION;* We expect the matter to be resolved immediately. Your decision to allow Mass on Saturday Evening at 7.00 PM, at Everard Nagar, which construes as Sunday Obligation Mass, is against the Law; besides, other Parishioners apprehend that it is a favorable treatment to the group of elites. You have ignored Late Cardinal Simon Pimenta’s Decree, which was for limited period, by extending it into infinity. All the Parishioners should be equal in the eyes of parish authorities. Parishioners who have been approaching you on this issue are agitated over your silence.

MINUTES:**        AB:     People are quoting CANON LAW to me in this context. Even you Mr. Pereira have mentioned it over here that it is against the law. Besides, they object because the mass is allowed to Everardians. Instead of pointing fingers at others, they should ask similar facility for themselves.

ME:    Your Eminence, I appreciate and acknowledge that you are the one, of only three in India, are known to be Master in CANON LAW, as per information available. Cardinal Simon Pimenta’s Decree to continue with the mass at Everard Nagar, was for limited Period.  However, by your decree of August 8th, 2012; it has become a permanent affair.

AB:     Cardinal Simon Pimenta allowed it to continue, then how can I be blamed for it?

(We did not argue on this matter any further, since it was related to high level controversy.)

OUR VIEW:            Is it a fair practice to allow Saturday Evening Mass, which is construed as Sunday Obligatory, to a particular Locality as permanent feature? We do not think so. Will the Church authorities extend similar facility to other localities as well, if they approach? Is it feasible for them to do so? We believe this is a clear case of favoritism, and violation of some Church law, if not the Canon Law.

OUR LADY OF SEA, MADH ISLAND.* Though we have not written to you about this issue in detail, besides making a casual reference in some of our letters; must let you know about it now. The thirty odd properties which were secured and fenced by Fr. Malcom D’souza, are now clandestinely being sold. Parishioners, who are afraid to speak, are concerned about it. We call upon you to take this matter up with the Parish Priest and make a statement to Parishioners.

MINUTES:**         AB:     I am glad you brought this matter to my attention. I will speak to the parish priest, about it. It will be good if you provide me with the detailed list of the properties.

ME:    Though a couple of parishioners have promised to hand over the list but hesitate to do so. We shall make another attempt to acquire the same. However, you can procure the same from the Parish Priest.

CHRISTIAN WORKERS MOVEMENT (CWM), IC CHURCH:* Parish Priest of Immaculate Conception (IC) Church, Borivali, is declining to recognize parish unit of Christian Workers Movement (CWM), in spite of having adequate members. CWM is a recognized body but has not been too active in the Archdiocese. If some persons are trying to revive it, they should be encouraged. Your silence on this issue, in spite of their approach to you intrigues us. Please take this up with the Parish Priest and instruct him to extend recognition to this group.

MINUTES:**         AB:     One Mr. Cedric Fernandes has been writing to me about it. Instead of approaching me he should approach the Parish Priest. Besides, it is the prerogative of the Parish Priest, whether he needs a particular cell to be active in the Parish or not.

ME:    We agree that it is Parish Priest’s prerogative. Since I was approached by him, I brought the matter to your notice. Besides, the Parish Priest has not been responding to his letters or E Mails.

OUR VIEW:                        On taking up this matter with Cedric Fernandes, he mentioned that an office bearer of CWM in the Archdiocese, requested him to take the initiative. Was the Parish Priest informed by the same office bearer, about it? Cedric has been communicating with the CWM higher ups and attending Managing Committee meetings. They could have conveyed to him the Parish Priests intention of not starting CWM cell in the parish or Vice Versa. Here we see the clash of EGO….Whose EGO?, we need not state it over here…..

MARRIAGE ANNULMENT CASE;* A female Litigant in Marriage Annulment Case has a bitter experience with the Tribunal. We are referring to xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx VS xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx case. The presiding Judge, ****** ******** was biased and too arrogant with her. Your Eminence, one can imagine, how it could be the state of mind of litigants. Instead of handling them with kid gloves, she was humiliated by accusing her of immoral behavior. We are given to understand, the matter has been resolved but the female litigant is not informed about the outcome.

MINUTES:**         AB:     I do feel for the litigants and agree that they must be handled with Kid Gloves. But such matters do take long, to come to settlements, because of their sentimental nature.

ME:    It is not right for me to put the words, used for the female litigant by the presiding judge, on paper; but it does not augur well to the stature of a senior Priest.

ROAD WIDENING AT ST. ANTHONY’S CHURCH MALWANI:* You are aware of the fight, parishioners are fighting, to save their Church Land and 150 years old Parochial House. We have zeroed in on BMC’s mischief and have apprised Chief Minister Shri Prithviraj Chavhan, through a letter…WE shall win this fight, under able leadership of Fr. Austin Norris.

MINUTES:** AB: I am glad that so many people are involved with this agitation. You have my blessing. In fact I have taken up this issue with CM as well as have spoken to some authorities in Delhi. Because of which the work has been stalled, while your agitation is also instrumental to it.

UTTAN DUMPING GROUND/TOURISM PLAN FOR MANORI, GORAI AND UTTAN:* Would like to remind you about the Dumping Ground, which was supposed to be operational for a limited period. Unfortunately, it has not yet been moved out. Now the Government has come up with the Proposal to Develop the Manori, Gorai Uttan belt into Tourism Zone, much against the wishes of local Population, who are opposed to it. They feel betrayed by Church Authorities in connection with Dumping Ground Episode. This is the opportunity to regain their confidence by Church standing in support of them. Entire Christian community from Archdiocese of Bombay Stands by them; Support from Church Authorities will strengthen them further.

The plan, if gone ahead with, will spell doom to the residents.

MINUTES:**  AB: Mr. Pereira, I must mention to you that it has been decided and a decision has come from highest level, the center. However, there is a kind of hurdle, which is beyond our control.

( Nature of hurdle was explained in detail by H. E., which I do not wish to bring in public domain)

ME:    Regarding the Court cases against the villagers, one section of the litigants has been withdrawn; But what about the other group? There are some priests in this group; will you work to get these cases withdrawn.

AB:  Mr. Pereira, these cases, even the home minister cannot withdraw, as he has done with the other cases; Many of you do not know; these cases have been filed by court as Contempt for not following court orders. Therefore, these will remain till the court decides.

As regards to Tourism plan, Church supports the people’s agitation.

HOLY CROSSES IN THE CITY OF MUMBAI:* Apart from our Churches and Educational Institutions, the Holy Crosses, some of them more than Centuries old, are proof of Christian Identity of the city of Mumbai. In the name of development and road widening they come under the hammer of BMC authorities from time to time. It is because of alert community members this game plan has been stalled. In fact it is not the BMC but certain elements who are trying to erase the Christian Identity of the City of Mumbai. It is unfortunate your Eminence, the Church authorities are turning a blind eye towards them. The perception of the Christians in the city is, because they are not generating any fund… Is it the reason for their neglect by Church? We would like to discuss this matter at length, on different occasion.

MINUTES:** ME:            Your Eminence, you must be aware that in the last decade or so, twice the BMC tried to demolish these HOLY CROSSES, under some pretext or the other. Fortunately, among ourselves we have activists, who came forward and stalled BMC from going ahead with demolition. We are certain that some communal elements are making the efforts to ERASE THE CHRISTIAN IDENTITY of this city. HOLY CROSSES, among other Catholic Institutions, lining the streets of Bombay are easy targets of these elements. They need to be protected. Involvement of the Church in doing so will help immensely.

AB:     Most of these HOLY CROSSES are owned by private citizens. The Church may find it difficult to involve itself in this issue.

OUR VIEW:            We find it difficult to believe this statement. If the Hierarchy decides, the HOLY CROSSES can come under the control of the Church and no Catholic will oppose it.

EAST INDIAN BHAVAN:* It is needless to say that East Indians are the original inhabitants of Mumbai, whose ancestors have donated lands to the Church; to be used for the benefit of the Community. Unfortunately, the same lands are being squandered by vested interests.   In Spite of being original inhabitants, they do not have their own community center. They have been begging with Government authorities for land, so that the Community Center can be constructed. We, on behalf of the community, approach you to allot some land for the Community Center….

Would like you to call for a meeting of Community leaders to discuss problems faced by Community. The Community feels that they are being marginalized by Church Authorities.

MINUTES:** AB: Mr. Pereira, I do not understand how many groups represent East Indians. How Can I talk to individual group separately? Recently I spoke to Prof. Lila D’souza of Bombay East Indian Association. Mobai Gaothan Panchayat seems to be annoyed with me. I have handed over their matter to Bishop Savio Fernandes. It is really very sad to see that the Community is divided so much.

ME: It is true your Eminence, We East Indians as Community is a divided lot. There are four registered East Indian Associations, but they look towards the NEWS. I mean, their faces are directed towards NORTH, EAST, WEST and SOUTH. I, personally, am disappointed with this. Sometime ago, in the Context of Chief Minister’s statement to one of the group, who met him, said that EAST INDIANS are not the original recognized community of Mumbai; None of the Associations, including Mobai Gaothan Panchayat, to whose representatives this statement was made, reacted. I, in my personal capacity, wrote a letter to Chief Minister, copy of the letter was also marked to you. The letter was circulated to all the associations including the four registered ones; with an appeal to view this statement seriously and UNITE at this juncture at least. Except some small associations, none responded.

AB:     Yes, I remember that. It was unfortunate.

ME:   Your Eminence, Could you call for a joint meeting of the representatives of these four organizations representing East Indian Community, if they come on one platform? I shall make another attempt to achieve this unity.

AB: It will be wonderful if the community is united?

VANDANA* (Name Changed): This is the confidential matter therefore will discuss, while we meet.

MINUTES:**         ME:    Your Eminence, this Daughter of the Church has been made to suffer by the same people who are supposed to take care of her. Is it fair?

AB: I sympathize with her, but right now, the matter is with the tribunal; Looking into her request for annulment.

Yours Always, in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST  




%d bloggers like this: