This Matter is Related to Immaculate Conception Church, Borivali.



The Hierarchy and Parish priests, turn Silent Men, interpreted as Christian racists, that dare to deny and turn away lay committed Apostolate christian workers from functioning in the parishes in the archdioceses of Bombay thereby interfering with God’s work, which literally means TURNING THEIR BACKS ON CHRIST HIMSELF. In comparison we the laity are like “small stars” that light the way towards God, but does one think they’re listening.?? The hipocrasy of confronting such abuse of their office, we need to form or transform their hearts, otherwise we are allowing them to be monsters who are re-molding us from being people of God.  What stops them, to behave so indecisively with mute silence to protecting the injustices in the manipulative working of the CHRISTIAN WORKERS MOVEMENT at the Head Office in central Mumbai.  The Church is Shrinking because the VICAR’S aren’t Good Enough. A True, Pastoral Dialogue is necessary.

Christian Workers Movement an Apostolate of committed christian workers, was founded by Joseph Cardinal Cardijn in Mumbai in 1957 as a response to the exploitation faced by workers.  A movement to empower and help workers on various causes and social issues, meant to spread the workers apostolate in all the parishes and Archdioceses in India. A Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India initiative, was recognised in 1968, with his Excellency Bishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias it’s present Chairman. Affiliated to the World Body of Christian Workers in Brussels, as the National Workers Apostolate. Instituted 56 years ago by Pope Pius XII, to underline the importance of work and the presence of Christ and the church in the working world and to demonstrate the irreplaceable role of the Christian Workers in the mission of the church & society.
In the above SV blog I was surprised at his excellency’s answer regarding the CWM, I quote “ it is the prerogative of the Parish Priest, whether he needs a particular cell to be active in the Parish or not” Well he’d better have a better reason to disagree.!! (see letter to AB below)

These words despell Joseph Cardijns’ vision to have a section in every parish, and a denial to do Gods’ work in the parish which amounts to religious bigotary. Strange are the working of the think tanks in the Hierarchy and parishes in the Archdiocese of Bombay. Does not this act of bigotry mean “Turning their backs on Christ Himself ”?? in the words of Pope Francis Stressing the need to show humility, “ A Christian Who Wont’ Serve Others Is A PAGAN”

Now we have a second controversy the working of the central head office headed by his excellency and recently appointed In-charge Bishop Savio Fernandes, who has turned his back to a request from an Exco Member of the Christian Workers Movement, for a dialogue to discuss and set guidelines on the working of the said committee at their H.O. In Mumbai. The high handedness of the President, Secretary and the unfazed Chaplin who has since, not issued a statement on the issue till date, nor initiated a solution to set right the manipulated situation. The CWM Annual General Body Meeting for 2013 was called without issue of any notice nor approval of the Exco members. A request appointment for a dialogue with the Exco members to meet his excellency on the issue to sort out the problem is pending since over 6 months and yet to see the order of the day, does one see the clash of EGO’s with a stiff upper lip.?? Read letter contents :

Cedric Fernandes,



H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop House
21, N.P. Marg, Mumbai 400001.

5th Sept 2013

Re: Reminder for appointment regarding the Christian Workers Movement Issue

Your Excellency,

Whilst reminding you regarding the appointment on the above CWM issue, details of which has been posted to Greg Pereira (Silent Voice) for due followup. I wish to place before you the under mentioned facts, on the defiance of the President Stanley Rodrigues, Gen Secretary Willie Rodrigues with the blessing and silent support of the Chaplain Fr. John Almeida, and unconfirmed sources who have vested interests, to arbitrary go ahead with the AGM on the 25th of August 2013, without the knowledge  and approval of the CWM Executive Managing Committee, despite being notified that this wrongful act was null and void and a gross violation of the CWM Constitution. It is very sad that as a Christian and spiritual head of the CBCI initiative, the sanctity of the situation was diluted for vested interest. Please state if this has your approval.

As mentioned earlier to revive your knowledge, the President CWM India in Chennai Mr. Rajamani, the National Chaplain in Poona Fr. V.Lewis, the CBCI Chairman, Archbishop Rt Rev. Oswald Lewis in Jaipur, and Pro.Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pinocchio in Delhi, have been kept in the loop regarding the irregularities committed by the above mentioned CWM members in our Archdiocesan Bombay Office.

The under mentioned should pleased be noted for your rightful appraisal and approval in accordance with the CWM Constitution.

1. Before the reading of the minutes, which was read by the President Stanley Rodrigues in the absence of the Gen. Secretary Willie Rodrigues, I (Cedric Fernandes) raised the objection regarding arbitrary holding of the AGM for the following reasons.

2. AGM held arbitrarily without any discussion or approval of the executive managing committee members and in contravention of the CWM Constitution.

3. AGM Notices with Agenda and Balance sheets were not issued to any of the 300 odd CWM members in the archdioceses including the executive committee members.

4. Information was conveyed by phone they said to about 100 members 5 days earlier, but executive committee members were informed by email just 3 days prior to the AGM

5. AGM agenda and reports distributed 5 minutes prior to reading of the minutes, to CWM members and Guests (who were allowed to attend the AGM) without the knowledge of the executive committee.

6. Members at the AGM were informed that I had written and updated all the above concerned, CWM India and the above mentioned Bishops and and Your Grace for an appointment to diffuse the situation.

7. Members at the AGM were informed through several requests in writing to the Archdiocesan Secretary, President and Chaplain, which fell on deaf ears, that my I.C. Parish Unit Borivali is not being given any help whatsoever for the past 15 months, to meet our Parish Priest Fr. Barthol Baretto or Bishop Bosco Pennha as required for a dialogue to ease the situation, and enable us to function in our parish.

8. For the past 15 months on, minutes of the executive managing committee have never been recorded or read, information and letters written both National, International or local archdiocesan information working of other CWM units and reports being submitted were never made known nor discussed till date at executive members meetings.

9. I had expressed all these irregularities committed by these sr. members, President Stanley and President Willie Rodrigues who have been CWM members holding executive positions for over a decade if not more, and have earlier been asked to step down at AGM’s held before due to the same irregularities. I had emphasized that they should step down at they have no commitment nor justified their position to serve the Ideals and Objectives of Joseph Cardijn.

Lastly and most surprising of all is that amidst all these irregularities, our Chaplain Fr. John Almeida, who has been appointed by your good self, has silently approved these wrong doings, as if he has had the approval from above.

It is disheartening to say from survey of parishes done by me, 85% Parish priests and clergy are not interested and have refused the formation of the CWM units in their parish which they term stepping on their toes and a total defiance of your initiatives. Your Grace it is evident that you specify, as All India Chairman of the CBCI to direct the parishes in the Archdiocese to allow the CWM to function or to shut down the Christian Workers Movement Bombay, as it is making a mockery of you as the head of the said initiative more so in the Archdiocese of Bombay and the International Arena. The World Body for Christian Workers (WBCW) and (WSM) World Solidarity Movement will be updated in detail, the unfolding on this sequence of events

Your Grace I request a notification be issued to all the Parish Priests in the Archdiocese to start CWM units in their parishes with immediate effect or shut down the CWM if the Parish Priests detest its functioning in their respective Parishes.

Its disheartening to inform you that in 56 years with just 300 plus members, we have no live parish unit in the whole archdiocese, with less than just 20 members attending AGM’s, if this is not an eyeopener in your very own backyard, of what CWM in the Archdiocese of Bombay holds for the future,! which is why I demand punitive action be taken to remove the President and Secretary who are a thorn in the present CWM set up and stem this debacle

I therefore renew my request for an group appointment to understand and set right the problems faced by us, which should include the full CWM Executive team our Chaplain Fr. John Almeida and Fr. Barthol Baretto for a full discussion to solve the problem that has plagued my Unit and the Christian Workers Movement in the Archdiocese of Bombay, since its existence over the past 56 years.

I request be given the opportunity to make that dramatic turn around for the CWM to be projected in a better light in the Archdiocese before the next AGM in 2014.

In view of the above your positive thoughts and expectation be made known, as to the needs to solve and expand the Christian Workers Movement in the Archdiocese or allow it to die a natural death, along with the ideals and objectives of Joseph Cardijn. Your stand on this sensitive issue is important for further existence of the CWM  in the Archdiocese of Mumbai and the World.

May Our Blessed Mother whose Feast we Celebrate this Sunday 8th September empower you to take the Right decision.

Your early response on Truth and Transparency will be appreciated.

For CWM I.C.Parish Unit Borivali

Cedric Fernandes
Arch. Exec. Com. Member CWM. H.O. Bombay.

Cc: Greg Pereira (Silent Voice)



  1. Benwen Lopez said,

    January 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I am a bit surprised as to how a CWM “IC Parish Unit”, Borivli, is functioning – without the ecclesiastical endorsement of the parish pastoral team, and the backing of the parish council.

    It is illegal to call any diocesan association – a unit of a Parish if it does not have the necessary permissions and endorsements.

    Since His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias already mentioned in his meeting with Greg Pereira that it is the prerogative of the Parish Priest to start a unit of the CWM in his parish…and it is also very clear that the parish priest of IC Parish has NOT started any unit, neither has given any permission to start a unit, then why is the name of IC Parish used FRAUDULENTLY? Is it for personal gain?

    It is very clear that attempts are being made to defame the name of IC Parish and assassinate the character of Fr. Barthol Barretto and the clergy team.


    • January 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Before one decides to blow his own trumpet to support one of his voiceless kind, despite visible evidence of his abuse of office which one terms as humane, the humility that is required to soothe the situation is blown out of proportions for vested interest. Recently no opportunity was lost to immortalize persons both living and dead that mattered to them most, is advocated for us to understand two things how much they stand to loose or gain and what should have been our contribution in other terms known as “Merciless Humility” of the Feathered Flock. The suffering few are told to bear their own crosses, whilst their humane counterparts make all the time to feast at functions with their favorite sons. If They Can Make Time To Feast at Functions Why Not Time For A Dialogue to Solve the Irregularities that Plague The Christian Workers Movement at the H.O.?? !!

      In the Blog the main message has been diverted ie; “The Ideals and Objectives of Joseph Cardinal Cardign ie to respond to the exploitation and to empower and help workers on various causes and social issues, to underline the importance of work and the presence of Christ and the church in the working world and to demonstrate the irreplaceable role of the Christian Workers in the mission of the church & society and to spread the workers apostolate in all the parishes and Archdioceses in India.

      With his Excellence Oswald Cardinal Gracias as the Chairman of the CBCI, and the Christian Workers Movement being a CBCI recognised imitative, its obvious just like other initiatives ie; cells working in the parish, it is of uttermost important that one should exist in every parish and not a “prerogative” or non entity. In fact it is the most important cell meant to help and empower exploited workers. Our parish of over 25 thousand parishioners, has engaged an unqualified non christian paid worker who credentials are questionable when asked for, and where truth and transparency is non existent and personal gains is for vested interest not for voluntary appointed recognised apostolate christian workers whose services are free.

      A open joint dialogue was asked for to set right the wrong doing which is crystal clear in the letter. Bishop Savio Fernandes in In-charge of this section, the silent CWM Chaplain has no solution nor issued a statement to this wrong doing, Do we go to Pope Francis ? The Poor get poorer and the rich have their names broadcast by the clergy publicly at church services, a remark debated in every cool corners of the vicinity. MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN. What stops one from allowing the concerned person raise his discontent., Please no surprises.!!

      The Church is Shrinking because the VICAR’S aren’t Good Enough.
      Get Enlightened !!
      Don’t Be Your Master’s Voice for Personal Gains


      • Benwen Lopez said,

        January 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        I know of a certain BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT of course that establishment has closed down due to lack of business…but months before closing down the owners who are Catholic….hammered one of their Catholic employees…and the irony is that “Christian Workers Movement” units are wanting to be formed…braying out about workers rights…hahaha….

        BTW Cedric…whose voice are you of?? the Shiv Sena?? just asking?

        Anyway you are just being a sour-puss since you are not getting a leader’s role in the parish.


  2. Isaac Gomes said,

    January 13, 2014 at 9:16 am

    As per Canon Law 215 “The Christian faithful are at liberty freely to found and direct associations for purposes of charity or piety or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world and to hold meetings for the common pursuit of these purposes.”

    By the above definition, Parish Priest is not the appointing authority. Therefore, he does not have the authority to close down a lay unit recognised by Canon Law.

    Canon 212 §3 says: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the laity] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.”

    Therefore Cardinal Oswald Gracias’ mention during his meeting with Greg Pereira that it is the prerogative of the Parish Priest to start a unit of the CWM in his parish, is not correct and only institutional conspiracy to encourage high-handedness of Parish Priests, who are not the owners but only caretakers of parishes under their care. The members of the Laity which constitute 80% of the Church are the actual owners. All the donors donated funds for the welfare of parishioners (Laity) and not to fill the pockets of parish priests. As one of the advisers of the Pope, Cardinal Gracias is spreading the wrong message in contravention of Canon Law which is not above the law of the land. Let him refer to the Kerala High Court judgment dated 10th October 2012 reproduced below from Times of India dated 11 October 2012.

    KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ruled that parishioners have rights over church property. Justice K Vinod Chandran gave the ruling while hearing a case over property rights between parishioners and church authorities of ‘Mukkad Thirukudumba’ Church,
    Sakthikulangara, Kollam. Parishioners, independently or together as a committee of administrators, are competent to represent the parish and claim rights over the property of the church, the HC ruled.

    Church and its properties would not vest in the Pope or the Archbishop and the maxim “Roma locuta est, causa finite est” (Rome has spoken, case is closed) no longer survives, the judge quoted from a full bench decision of the High Court.

    The court observed further: “Canon Law, as it exists now, realises the fences erected by civil law and cautiously veers away from any transgression thereof.”

    The court also pointed out that Canon Law was discussed only to answer the right of the parishioners and it shouldn’t be understood that Canon Law would override the civil law of the land. Canon Law can have theological or ecclesiastical implication to the parties, but such personal law cannot have any legal impact, the judge quoted from a full bench decision of the high court that was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Isaac Gomes, Kolkata


    • January 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Benwen factual evidence is provided in black and white, which the Silent Oppressors find hard to digest just like you. Learn the facts and provide a solution which is my prerogative, but first understand the contents, rather than label the oppressed by a breed that fits your category. Evidence speaks for itself, even Pope Francis himself has openly criticized the atrocities committed by the religious and the clergy and taken action thereof. Whose Voice are You ?
      Based on my welfare work commitment, appreciation by the past 3 vicar’s of the parish, and assuming my valuable contribution to energizing and propagating the ideals of the CWM, in the parish, the CWM leadership invited me and elected me to the office as an Executive Committee Member at their H.O Bombay Unit, only to unearth their corrupt practices. I don’t feel tickled by your laughter rather than your liability which is why you voice your concern. I have no dreams of being a leader nor will I allow corruption to thrive, which has been a silent discomfort for many as also the CWM.
      So one should never be ashamed of projecting the truth, it will Inspire others. A certain darkness is needed to see the Stars.


%d bloggers like this: