SILENT VOICE COMES OUT IN FLYING COLOURS IN 2013

Silent Voice, gives credit to all our readers.

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 58,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pope Francis makes the cover of Rolling Stone

International:

Pope Francis racked up yet another magazine cover with his appearance on the front of iconic rock magazine Rolling Stone. He is the first pope to ever be featured.

Mark Binelli’s extensive, 7,700-word cover story reflects the pope’s unusually wide appeal, which cuts across demographic lines of age, political views, and even religious affiliation.

Binelli’s piece, “Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changing” goes “Inside the Pope’s Gentle Revolution” to investigate why this pontiff is so different from those before him. Alluding to Bob Dylan’s anthem, Binelli portrays the pope as “Cool Pope Francis,” a politically savvy leader, PR expert and friend of the crowded masses.

This is by no means Pope Francis’ first appearance on a magazine cover. He graced the covers of Time Magazine and Vanity Fair Italia after the publications named him “Person of the Year” and “Man of the Year,” respectively.

The New Yorker also put him on the cover less than a week after he became Time’s “Person of the Year.”

Perhaps his most unexpected appearance was on the cover of The Advocate, an LGBT-focused magazine who named him “Person of the Year” for his landmark statement, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

Soaurce: Huffington Post

Pope Francis , Rolling Stone

Why Does Catholic Community NOT Express Anger Against Injustice?

Community Needs to Introspect on this Question

******************

Alex D’mello is staunch supporter of SOUL cause and an active member.

He has penned his thoughts about the community’s careless attitude towards problems faced by Catholic Church in Mumbai. His thought certainly make our head bow in shame.

Attitude of some members of Clergy, who do not miss any opportunity to deliver Homily after Homily at small instance of injustice, is  so indifferent towards the problem of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani.

GREG

St. Anthony's Church Malwani

WHY THE COMMUNITY IS SILENT ON ISSUES FACED BY CHURCHES IN   THE CITY, PARTICULARLY BY St. ANTHONY’S – MALWANI ?

 

It is not a secret that the parishioners of St. Anthony’s church, Malwani are fighting against the land acquisition notice issued by BMC for road widening for the last 18 months. It is also a known fact that many parishes have received notices in and around Mumbai to surrender part of their property in the name of development. The Arch Diocese of  Bombay, Deans and priests from all the parishes in Mumbai know about this serious issue which is hanging on our heads like a sword ready to strike any time without ringing a bell. The community has maintained the “silent prayer” approach with a few exceptions here & there. According to my little understanding following are the reasons for our muteness:

 1)     We, as a community are too selfish

2)      It is not affecting us individually

3)      We have become a herd of sheep

 4)      Intellectually bankrupt  about the laws which govern our existence

5)      We leave it to the PP to decide

6)      As a community we are divided parish-wise, therefore parish centered.

7)      PP is very arrogant, I do not want to join

8)      MLA & MP is involved, I do not want to take a chance.

9)      I have full faith in my God, therefore I leave it to him. Inshallah he will protect our property.

10)      Congress will always support the Christians because Sonia is a Christian. Just a few month’s back Cardinal met Sonia in Delhi and he might have definitely briefed her on this issue and there must be some understanding on this.

11)       Cardinal has promised to take up the matter with CM therefore we have full faith in their abilities.

12)       The local MP will ensure that nobody touches our compound wall till the elections are over.

I have heard all the above mentioned escapist’s arguments during the last one year or so, ever since BMC issued notices to Malwani church. Can we, the community of Mumbai just sit back and allow such things to happen? Does the church lands in Mumbai belong to Cardinal, Bishops, Deans and PP’s or any other individual parishes? The answer is a big NO. Any church land whether it’s St. Anthony’s, St. John the Baptist or any other belong to all of us individually and collectively. Therefore all of us, who believe in Christ are duty bound to lend a helping hand to the Malwani community, then only we can say “We are one body in Christ”. If we, as a community fail in doing this just duty, how we can call ourselves as one community and followers of Christ?

WE HAVE ORGANISED A “CHALO AZAD MAIDAN” MORCHA ON THE 15TH OF MARCH 2014 TO HIGHLIGHT THE PROBLEMS FACED BY THE COMMUNITY. PLESAE GET IN 

TOUCH WITH “SOUL-SAVE OUR LAND” FACEBOOK OR YOUR FRIENDS FROM MALWANI.. dmelloalex@yahoo.co.in

Alex D’mello,

Parishioner,

St. John Bosco Church,

Borivali

Pope to show no leniency towards predator priests

Vatican City: 

Pope Francis will not show leniency towards pedophile priests because truth and justice are more important than protecting the Church, the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor said on Saturday.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the most authoritative Catholic official on the Church’s abuse crisis, also told Reuters that the number of clerics defrocked by the Vatican was likely to have fallen to about 100 in 2013 from about 125 in 2012.

Scicluna said Francis, despite his merciful nature, would be very tough on pedophile priests after an abuse crisis that the pope on Thursday called “the shame of the Church”.

“I have met with Francis and he has expressed great determination to continue on the line of his predecessors,” said Scicluna, who served in the Vatican for 17 years before he was named an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta in 2012.

“His gospel of mercy is very important but it is not cheap mercy. It has to respect the truth and the demands of justice,” Scicluna said in a telephone interview.

The pope, who was elected last March, set up a commission of experts last month to address the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church, in his first major step to tackle a crisis that has plagued it for two decades.

The group will consider ways to better screen priests, protect minors and help victims in the face of charges the Vatican has not done enough to guard the vulnerable or make amends.

Scicluna was the Vatican’s expert last Thursday in Geneva when United Nations child protection experts pushed Holy See delegates to reveal the scope of the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests.

Despite the unprecedented grilling of Vatican delegation, he said the experience was very helpful for the Church.

“We have a great responsibility to our people … I think it was a blessing that we had this meeting [in Geneva] before the commission is set up,” he said. The commission is still in the process of being formed and its members chosen.

Scicluna confirmed that published Vatican records show that in 2011 the number of priests defrocked hit a recent peak of some 260.

He said the rise was due to “contingent backlog problems with some historical cases” and that he expected the numbers were “stabilizing” at about 100 in 2013.

Scicluna said the numbers for most years are made up of about 50 percent by priests who were actively defrocked and the rest by those who had asked to leave the priesthood after they “admit their crimes”.

“Dismissal is imposed and dispensation presupposes the request of the priest but the effect is the same,” he said.

In 2012, while he was still in his previous job at the Vatican, he created a stir when he uttered the word “omerta” – usually used to describe the Sicilian Mafia’s code of silence – in relation to the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

He used it again on Saturday in response to a question.

“I think there is a clear signal that ‘omerta’ is not the way the Church should respond,” he said. “I am convinced that the best thing for the institution is to own up to the truth whatever it is.”

Source: Reuters

Pope Francis ,Vativan City ,No Leniency ,Predator Priests ,Abuse 

FEED BACK: ST. JOSEPH’S CHURCH, MIRA ROAD……

“Unless Baby cries, her mother will not know that she is hungry and need milk. But at baby’s first cry, mother will leave everything aside and feed the Baby.”

Similarly, Some Parishioners from St. Joseph’s Church, Mira road have been writing to Archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias about the undesirable activities related to Parish Finaces, of their Parish Priest and his henchmen. They were also seeking his appointment, so that their case could be presented  in person. Their pleas were ignored.

Finally, their plight appeared on SILENT VOICE, (Check  links below) which woke the Hierarchy from slumber.  Were the Parishioners satisfied? See for yourself.

GREG

St. Joseph Church, Mira Road

https://silentmaj.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/is-this-mission-sunday-in-real-sense-at-st-josephs-church-mira-road/

https://silentmaj.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/st-josephs-church-mira-road-debate-rages-on/

https://silentmaj.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/is-this-mission-sunday-in-real-sense-at-st-josephs-church-mira-road-readers-comments/

MAIL FROM MR. ROBERT TO SILENT VOICE

On Sunday, 19 January 2014 7:40 PM,

Dear Mr Greg,

Greetings!

I refer to the Silent Voice post: Pope Francis laments Church scandals, harm caused by corrupt clergy……….

The attachment contains the details of our meeting with the Cardinal on the 3rd of Jan for your information. This letter has been delivered to the Office of the Cardinal for further action. It conveys what transpired but does not reveal the true picture. What lies in between the lines is nothing less than traumatic. After this entire struggle what I and my Merlyn felt after the meeting was horrible and confused. The same goes to so many parishioners who were expecting some words that would make them feel that there is justice in the church

After this sorry episode, the thoughts that came hurtling down within me are:

Ø  What the heck is going on here in the Church? Do people have to die (mishap on 9th July 2013) for issues to be taken seriously?

Ø  This is the reason why people take recourse to media when eyes and ears are shut by the shepherds?

Ø  Those who make noise that things should be settled within the community should be made to go through the grind of reaching the doors of hierarchy and then experiencing the outcome?

The question is: Does the church hierarchy move or what should happen to make it stir, the least?

Consider this: TIMELINE……(some main events)

March 2013 – Letter with parish issues handed over to the Dean, Fr Anselm

April/May 2013 -The Dean told us that he spoke to the Cardinal. Again met in July 2013.

July –Dec 2013 – We corresponded directly to the office of the Cardinal delivering letters                                  personally and also via email.

Sept 2013 – The Sisters of the Mercy of the Holy Cross, Mira Road meet up with the                                 Cardinal. They were directed to Bishop Savio; letter given to him dealing                               with their issues/grievances with the PP and the Provincial.

Oct 2013 – The Episcopal Vicar was directed to deal with the issues and a meeting was                           held after that. Visits made subsequently to remind him of the pending request                     for an appointment with the Cardinal since July 27, 2013.

The meeting scheduled for 21st Dec, 2013 postponed; the reason given that the Cardinal needs some time to study the matter.

Jan 2014 – At last with great expectations we attend the meeting…….

What is the outcome? Read and you take a call.

The Cardinal thanked us for meeting him and bringing it to his notice. All through the meeting over an hour we apprised him of the scandal, corruption, blackmail, and divisions the Parish Priest Fr Dominic Vas Ocd, Provincial Fr Archibald Gonslaves Ocd, have engineered with the collusion of PPC members and others. Names of those raising issues maligned….

It was as though this was the first time he was getting a picture of the happenings at St Joseph Church, Mira Road. The seriousness of the situation was now dawning upon him after we gave our testimonies.

At the beginning of the meeting to emphasize our credibility I conveyed to him my association of 40 plus years with Bishop Percy and having told him about some of the disturbing things emerging in my parish 3 years ago. He had conveyed this to Bishop Bosco who was in charge of our parish. Nothing moved. The other, Ms Merlyn D’Sa is a Municipal Corporator from the same area where the church is, mentioned her service to the parish and the Archdiocese for many years. She narrated her harrowing experience at the hands of the PP and Provincial.

Before leaving the Cardinal said that illegal structures will not be tolerated and he will be meeting up with Bishop Percy on these issues. That is the hope left.

The big question is: What happened to the earlier process:

Ø  Meetings and exchanges of material related to the issues of St Joseph Church?

Ø  Who do we believe if this is the experience of the meeting with the Cardinal?

I was asking myself:

Is this happening in the Archdiocese of Bombay?

•·         What will be the state of a simple Catholic who feels that he/she and the church mission are wronged and to bring it to the notice of the hierarchy; Is this the price he/she has to pay for his/her love for the Church

Is this the state of the affairs where such serious issues of financial, pastoral and civic violations and corruption take so long to address in spite of the evidence presented through laid down grievance redressal structure?

The frustration of finding self back to square one after all the effort will break the strongest of the resolve of church loving members of the community. No wonder the flock is deserting. But even then, does this move the hierarchy or they think it is good that these trouble-makers are out of the church.

The lack of awareness/seriousness indicates the importance given to the laity though doctrinally equal in worth and dignity.

It took almost half a year to get an audience with the Cardinal makes one think the impenetrable shell, the hierarchy has cocooned itself in.

Yes, we see the changes in Vatican; but that does not make any sense if the local authorities have their own agenda.

We are waiting for justice. We will wait. I hope it is not late.

This is the outpouring of my heart. This comes out of the experience of going through painful experiences of the past 3 years and still is. It is not making noise for the sake of making noise. There are so many parishioners who have been humiliated by the Parish Priest and his cronies. It is just unimaginable? We are not talking of some minor aberrations here but actions of these Carmelite priests in our parish which have driven so many people away from the church. One just needs to see the prayer houses of the sects to guage the extent of the damage done. Many will join if this continues. Many will stop coming to church. Can we blame them? Discussion papers will not solve the problem; justice will and it seems so far away. SO TRUE: JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.

To conclude let me paste a sentence from the Silent Voice post:

Regarding the people of God, he paused to reflect on the harm that scandals cause them: “Poor people … poor people!” he said. “We do not give them the bread of life to eat! We do not give them the truth! So many times, we give them poisoned food!”

Wish you a Joyful New Year 2014.

Robert

LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP

To,

Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop House

Bombay 400021

3rd January 2013.

Ref: Our meeting on 3rd January 2014

Subject: Matters related with St. Joseph Church, Mira Road

Your Eminence,

We are grateful to you for giving us an opportunity to meet you and discuss our parish issues.

We would like to mention some of the important points discussed with you.

The Church has become a commercial hub. Every Sacramental activity and service has one aim and that is: How money can be generated? The appropriate word would be Sacramental Blackmail. The Finance Committee and the Parish Council have failed miserably in their responsibility. There is gross misuse and no transparency.

The following points were put forth before you in the area of FINANCE:

  1. Multiple Intentions (15 or more) for every mass every day.
  2. Charges from Ankur Children’s Home: Rs 42,000/- per year.
  3. SCC’s……………..
  4. 5th Sunday collection sent to OCD Provincial
  5. Parish Account Statement not revealed.
  6. Rent from Church Community Hall, Grounds not revealed.
  7. Stipends: Weddings – Rs ……….
  8. Dumb Boxes: No announcement of monies collected.
  9. Monthly Rent from Dignity Foundation for Senior Citizens – Rs 10,500/- per month. Charges from sales promotion of Avon and Tupperware products almost every weekends – Not revealed.
  10. Mira Fest/Christmas Carnival Accounts Statement not revealed.

We also mentioned PASTORAL and SACRAMENTAL violations over a long period of time, and are mentioned below:

  1. Tampering of Cardinal’s Lenten Official letter of 2013.
  2. Making Parish Council/ Cell/Association Heads sign on blank documents against those who raised concerns. Signature campaign to condemn us.
  3. Charges (Rs 6375/-) to conduct Bible Study classes during Ministry of Word probation.
  4. Canvassing and promoting a parishioner who is Parish PRO (Public Relations Officer and Head of Civic Cell) for 2012 Municipal elections.
  5. Felicitating politicians on the altar.
  6. Massive spending (donations received) for Silver and Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Parish Priest and Superior.
  7. The Provincial compellingly exhorting parishioners to write Letters of Appreciation of and for Parish Priest to counter grievances when brought to the Parish Priest or Provincial.
  8. Commercial announcements promoting an Electronics firm.
  9. Many parishioners have left the church or are not attending church services. Fr Ivan D’Souza – Asst PP when asked to intervene retorted, “What difference it makes if few leave the church.”
  10. Fr Ivan D’Souza refused Baptism to a child (medically critical) when requested to have simple Baptism Ceremony. Child baptized by the Parish Priest of Mt Carmel, Bandra subsequently in the hospital.

The SECULAR/CIVIC violations too were mentioned.. Serious in nature, we wonder what has become of the Mission of the Carmelites in Mira Road.? These violations even after some dissenting voices from within the community were not heeded. To deflect attention we were projected from the Altar as gossipers. Rather than admitting their guilt the parents are being told that since that there are objections from us we are forced to close the school. We fear retaliation in the near future when the school will be shut. These actions have sown a very bad impression of the Church among the Municipal, Police and non Christian community. In brief the following points are mentioned below what was discussed in our meeting:

  1. Illegal and Unauthorized Construction of Anubhav extension, 
  2. Penalty paid of above 4 lakhs for illegal and unauthorized construction of Anubhav extension.
  3. 4 Rooms constructed on the Church Terrace without municipal permissions.
  4. Since inauguration Infant Jesus Shrine interiors renovated 4 times in 2 years.
  5. Use of unqualified contractor for building Anubhav extension.
  6. School started without permissions from ABE and Education department.
  7. Parents of students are angry and anxious after hearing that the school will be discontinued. Also Rs 5000/- was taken for Building Fund and no receipt was issued.
  8. Illegal structures in the church premises: Infant Jesus Hall, CWC Office, Kitchen extension of Anubhav

The Agreement and Mission entrusted to the Carmelite community by the Archdiocese of Mumbai has been diluted or rejected by the actions of the Carmelite Community. Worse still parishioners who were once friends have now become enemies. Reports, Surveys and Bulletin do not reveal the true extent of the damage within. Just a cursory reading of the above mentioned points is enough to show the decay and picture of St Joseph Church, Mira Road. It makes for a sad reading.

Since you mentioned that you will be discussing this issue with Bishop Percival Fernandez, who was made aware 3 years ago of the deviation of the missionary journey of the Carmelites and who told us that he brought our grievances to the notice of Bishop Bosco who was the Bishop in-charge of our parish.  We are marking a copy to him.  We are sure Justice will be done and accountability to the Archbishop is restored.

Keep us in your prayers

Yours faithfully

Merlyn D’Sa

Robert D’Souza

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