Vatican defrocks former papal nuncio


Church tribunal finds Wesolowski guilty of abusing slum children.

Vatican City: 

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted of sex abuse by a church tribunal and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings in the first case of its kind.

Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was recalled to Rome last year amid claims that he sexually abused a number of children in the slums of Santo Domingo, was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican said on Friday.

It is the first time that a Vatican ambassador has been defrocked for sexual abuse. Wesolowski, who has two months to appeal, was slapped with the severest punishment possible for a cleric and told he can no longer perform priestly duties.

Once his canonical conviction is definitive he will have to face the Vatican City’s criminal tribunal, which could sentence him to prison in what would be the first such trial for sex abuse within the tiny city state.

The conviction came six months after the UN’s child rights watchdog highlighted Wesolowski’s case as an example of the Vatican’s failure to take concrete actions to prove its commitment to stamp out the abuse of minors by priests.

The sight of the Polish cleric wandering around Rome and lunching in restaurants had sparked fury on social media sites this week.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Wesolowski would now be stripped of his freedom of movement while the legal process took its course.

The Church has faced a decade-long series of scandals over abuse by priests and lay officials, from Ireland to the United States and Australia.

It was fiercely condemned by the United Nations in January for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups by simply moving around clergy suspected of raping or molesting children.

Wesolowski, 65, had been ambassador to the Dominican Republic since 2008, but was recalled by Pope Francis last August following accusations of sexually abusing minors.

He was ordained in 1972 by then archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became pope John Paul II and was elevated to sainthood this year.

The late pontiff named Wesolowski the Vatican’s envoy to Bolivia. He was later posted to several Asian countries before being dispatched to the Dominican Republic by former pope Benedict XVI in 2008.

Press reports last year linked him with another Polish priest Wojciech Gil, accused of raping boys while serving on the Caribbean island.

Pope Francis has vowed to crack down on abuse in the Catholic Church, reiterating the zero-tolerance approach taken up by his predecessor.

Last year he overhauled Vatican law, issuing a special decree which declared that sexual violence and sexual acts with children, child prostitution and child pornography were punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

In May he warned there were “no privileges” for bishops when it came to child sex crimes and likened sexual abuse to a “satanic mass”.

At a UN hearing earlier this year, Vatican officials revealed that 3,420 abuse cases had been handled over the past decade by the Catholic Church’s Canon Law prosecutors.

As a result of these cases, 848 priests were defrocked while a further 2,572 were ordered to “live a life of prayer or penance”, for example in a monastery.

The Vatican says it receives around 600 claims against abusive priests every year, many dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Source: AFP


The Highway….. By Don Aguiar

State of affairs prevailing at St. Teresa’s Parish Girgaon, described by one of the Parishioner. Don Aguiar  is resident of KHOTACHI WADI, where original inhabitants of BOMBAY still live.  The place has lost  in hustle bustle of concrete jungle but the residents are still fighting with the system and land mafia to retain their identity.




To – The Editor – Silent Voice

Hi Greg,

Please publish the below for your NEXT issue / blog / etc…..

Appreciate your confirmation of the same.

Note the extent to which the PP has gone….. has the Bp or Cardinal any control over them……..?

Or are the PP’s now become THE BOSS since they are the sole trustee…….?

Is the Bp & Cardinal losing control over their men (clergy)……….?.



Don Aguiar

St. Teresa Parish


Mumbai 400004

Mob – 9820603927

The Highway…..                                  Don Aguiar

A South Bombay Parish Priest presiding in that Parish for five years and not interacted with his parishioners all this while except the official requirements, suddenly decides at increasing the participation of his parishioners to 100% in Parish activities fully knowing well from his past experience of over twenty five years that it is the same people who participate in all parish activities while the rest are either busy in their own activities or not interested. To remedy this situation and ensure his dream of making his parish a “Model Parish” he decided to open the participation of parish activities to non parishioners. Non parishioners from the surrounding Parishes who have created problems and are not wanted in their own Parish attend his Church service regularly.     

The Parishioners being aware that this had been tried earlier and met with no success started wondering why the Parish Priest now wants to start this all over again and to accept non parishioners to participate in the Parish activities when all is going well with a dedicated group of parishioner participation The Parishioners who are mostly educated adults say that if the Parish Priest is disciplined as well as evolved then evolution will trickle down the whole Parish. But if the Parish Priest is in laziness mode, then it is impossible for the dedicated parishioners to get participation of the balance parishioners. Therefore those who are at the helm of affairs – the Parish Priest – have to maintain the highest standard of integrity, leadership and commitment. If the Parish Priest wants his Parish and his Parishioners to improve he has to improve first.

The Parish Priest dedicated his Sunday sermon to invite all his parishioners to participate in some parish activity and make his parish a “Model Parish” and told them that he had prepared a list of 75 activities the parishioners can opt to participate in the Parish. He also invited all people who attend his Church Services and highlighted that there will be no distinction between a Parishioner and Non Parishioners all are invited to take part in the Parish activities. He even got a retired Bishop to celebrate the Eucharist and give a pep talk during his sermon to participate in the parish activities. But as is know in our community it is courtesy and hypocrisy that prevails and that was what the Parish Priest and the retired Bishop were showered with in regards to their sermons which made them happy and they decided to take it to the next level.

The Parish Priest and the retired Bishop then put it to the PPC to take this forward. The PPC decided that in order to know how many Parishioners they are targeting they require a Parish census to be done wherein they will get to know the different age groups, etc. and be able to plan accordingly.  It was decided that those people who are domicile in the Parish will be classified as parishioners and the others like domestics, students staying in hostels, people on transfers would be classified as quasi domicile but enjoy the same privilege as the domicile parishioners. There was someone in the PPC known to have carved a niche with the Parish Priest both in matters of following his requirements and throwing his weight around and was enjoying a second spell of sunshine, thanks to the recent flip flops made by this PPC person to get back in the Parish Priest favor. But despite this PPC person careful reading of the Cannon Law, as claimed, this PPC person remains curiously naïve and to the point of being delightfully non understanding. So when this PPC person wanted to impress the Parish Priest this PPC person said that we need to go as per Canon Law 100 only which he said meant that everybody who attends the Church services can be a parishioner, there is no distinction. The Parish Priest seconded this claim. It was one of the PPC members who have also read Cannon Law gently brought it to their notice that – Cannon Law 100 should be read together with Cannon law 101 to 106 for understanding as Cannon Law leaves a lot open on this matter, and in comparison said that – Baseball is like Church or Cannon Law. Many attend or read, few understand and set out to define a Parishioner which is – A member of a particular parish / one of the members or inhabitants (domicile) of a parish or local Church.

The retired Bishop explained that – Keeping in view the legal consequences of domicile and its various forms it may be defined as a stable residence which entails submission to local authority and permits the exercise of acts for which this authority is competent. To this definition the laws and their commentators confine themselves, without touching on the legal effects of domicile. Domicile, properly so called, is the place one inhabits indefinitely (locus perpetuæ habitationis), such perpetuity being quite compatible with more or less transitory residence elsewhere. It matters not whether one be the owner or simply the occupant of the house in which one dwells or whether one owns more or less property in the locality. The place of one’s domicile is not the house where in one resides but the territorial district in which the house or home stands. The canon law has never recognized as domicile an unstable residence in different parts of a diocese without intent to establish oneself in some particular parish. Canon law allows a double domicile, provided there be in both places a morally equal installation; the most ordinary example of this being a winter domicile in the city and a summer domicile in the country.—There are three kinds of domicile: domicile of origin, domicile of residence or acquired domicile, and necessary or legal domicile. The domicile of origin, a somewhat inexact imitation of the Roman origo, is that assigned to each individual by his place of nativity unless he be accidentally born outside of the place where his father dwells; practically it is the paternal domicile for legitimate and the maternal domicile for illegitimate children. Again, in reference to the spiritual life, domicile of nativity is the place where adults and abandoned children are baptized.—The domicile of residence or acquired domicile is that of one’s own choice, the place where one establishes a residence for an indefinite period. It is acquired by the fact of material residence joined to the intention of their remaining as long as one has no reason for settling elsewhere; this intention being manifested either by an express declaration or by circumstances. Once acquired, domicile subsists, despite more or less prolonged absences, until one leaves it with the intention of not returning.—Finally, necessary or legal domicile is that imposed by law; for prisoners or exiles it is their prison or place of banishment; for a wife it is the domicile of the husband which she retains even after becoming a widow; for children under age it is that of the parents who have authority over them; for wards it is that of their guardians; lastly, for whoever exercises a perpetual charge, e.g. a bishop, canon, or parish priest, etc., it is the place where he discharges his functions.

Quasi-domicile is of one kind only, namely of residence and choice and cannot be acquired in any other way. It is acquired and lost on the same conditions as domicile itself and is deduced mainly from such reasons as justify a sojourn of at least six months, e.g. the pursuit of studies, or even for an indefinite period, as in the case of domestics. This being so, quasi-residents are regarded as subjects of the local authority just as are permanent residents, being therefore parishioners bound by local laws and possessing the same rights as residents, with this difference, that, if they so choose, they may go and use their rights in their own domicile. They can, therefore, apply to the local parish priest, as to their own parish priest, not only for those sacraments administered to everyone who presents himself, e.g. Holy Eucharist and penance, but also for the baptism of their children, for first Communion, paschal Communion, Viaticum, and extreme unction. Their nuptials may also be solemnized in his presence and, except when they have chosen to be buried elsewhere; their funerals should take place from the parish church of their quasi-domicile. Finally, the quasi-domicile permits of their legitimate citation before a judge competent for the locality.

On the other hand those who have neither a domicile nor a quasi-domicile in a parish, who are only there as transients (peregrini), are not counted as parishioners; the parish priest is not their pastor and they should respect the pastoral rights of their own parish priest at least in so far as possible. The restrictions of former times, it is true, have been greatly lessened and at present no one would dream of obtaining parochial rights for annual confession, paschal Communion or the Viaticum. Generally speaking, transients (peregrini) are not subjects of the local ecclesiastical authority; they are not held to the observance of local laws except inasmuch as these affect public order, nor do they become subjects of the local judicial authority.

When one is desperate to have their way it calls for ignoring facts and authority and so the Parish Priest without taking the retired Bishops explanation into consideration or wanting to consult the professionals or the people who are knowledgeable about this matter in or out of the Parish said that by including the Non Parishioners to take part or lead in the Parish activities is as per Canon Law as they attend the Church services as Congregants.

The retired Bishop said –

Most always thought that the words parishioner and congregant meant the same thing and could be used interchangeably within the context of someone who attends a place of worship. Are there any differences in meaning between these two words or appropriate usage for each?

Parishioner and congregant refer to members of a particular local faith community. The requirements for membership, of course, vary considerably, but for the most part, simply attending services at a church does not make one a parishioner or congregant of that church any more than visiting a country makes one a citizen of it.

Parishioner is older by a good measure. A parish is an ecclesiastical territory, a section of an Episcopal see (e.g. a diocese or archdiocese). Traditionally, any inhabitant of that territory (domicile) would have been expected to attend services at the local parish church, and all would have been parishioners. The Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches remain organized in this manner, but the term “parish” is used even by some denominational bodies without Episcopal administration, so making the members parishioners.

Congregant is broader, in that it refers to the regular members of any local congregation. That local congregation may be a parish, but it might also be a local church or meeting house of a tradition that does not use the term parish, such as the Baptists or Mormons— or for that matter, Muslims or Jews.

A parish is the territory corresponding to a church. If I live in that territory (domicile) and attend that church, I am a parishioner of that church, and also a congregant if I live outside that territory, but still attend that church; I am one of its congregants, but not one of its parishioners.

We all know the perils of insisting and maintaining ones status quo and of accepting non parishioners in all Parish activities which may also include membership to the PPC – the brain child of the Parish Priest – albeit the explanation of the Cannon Law and the difference between a parishioner and non parishioner by the retired Bishop. The parishioners were amused to note the Parish Priest insistence on his “my way or the highway” attitude but – NONE THE LESS – Thanks to this new initiative of the Parish Priest, not just the parishioners but the whole of the Bombay Archdiocese has been invited to participate in all activities in his Parish. It’s an invitation that’s hard not to accept for all the non parishioners least because the person extended it – the Parish Priest – has a way of not interacting with his parishioners and enjoying it.


Neglect of Christian Faith, by Church Authorities in Bombay;



Image Damaged by Miscreants at Vile Parle.


It is not new phenomenon that civic authorities make an attempt to demolish symbol of Christian Faith, HOLY CROSSES, and every time Lay activists have come forward to prevent BMC from doing so, while Church Authorities sleep over it. It was well known, at least to us that it will always keep on resurfacing time and again. We therefore, wrote to Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias seeking his opinion and views of the Church about HOLY CROSSES lining the street.

We have so far not received any response from them which we never expected knowing their attitude towards the issue. Coincidentally, BMC has again served notices to some of the HOLY CROSSES, but this time they have been giving a public hearing. Two such matters are reported over here, along with report in the media.

Our letter to Archbishop should enlighten you as to what we all expect from Church Authorities.




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:

(Archdiocese of Bombay)


To,                                                                                                                                           8th, June, 2014

Most Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,


Archdiocese of Bombay;



Your Eminence,


Sub:    HOLY CROSSES, the faith of Christianity, left neglected on the streets of Mumbai;



Do we have to draw attention of Church authorities towards the subject matter? These HOLY CROSSES have been dotting length and breadth of city of Mumbai.


These HOLY CROSSES have been target of civic authority’s hammers, time and again. We must thank our fortune that we have amongst us, activists like Adv. Godfrey Pimenta, Nicholas Almeida, Adv. Arthur D’mello, Daphne Warapen, John Miranda etc. who have come to the rescue of these symbols of Christian Faith, every time the civic authorities attempted to demolish them. In spite of the order by Supreme Court, legalizing these century old sites, BMC served notices to some of these sites in H West ward, recently. Again the activists had to go through the same process of explaining their legality to the authorities and stalling the process of demolition.


Your Eminence, it is unfortunate that Church authorities in the Archdiocese of Bombay have disowned these sites and left them at the mercy of the elements who want to erase the Christian identity of city of Mumbai. Yes your Eminence, It is not the civic authority but certain Radical Right Wing Elements of the Society are keen on achieving their goal of dismantling these symbols of Christianity. Now, with the change at the helm, could embolden these elements further. It is therefore imperative that these shrines need excessive protection from competent religious authorities like Archdiocese of Bombay.


We, as Lay Catholics, along with the activists have been doing our best to protect these HOLY CROSSES; but with change of wind, best may not be enough. Archdiocese of Bombay needs to get involved in protecting of these HOLY SITES.  Only then, the Civic authorities and the other elements would be put on back foot and think twice before embarking on their mission, DEMOLITION OF HOLY CROSSES.


We, as Christians, are prepared to lay down our lives to save the symbol of our faith, the HOLY CROSS, on which Lord JESUS CHRIST was crucified. However, it is absolutely necessary that these sites are under the patronage of Archdiocesan authorities. Under such circumstances, Civic authorities will be deterred from serving notices. Miscreants will also not dare to touch them.  We therefore, request you to spell out the role the Church, vis a vis its willingness to play, in protecting these HOLY SITES. If the answer is YES, then please lay down the policy for strengthening the Lay Christians who act as foot soldiers during the crises.


We hope for the positive response from you.





Dear All

Please be infomed that we at St. John the Baptists Church Save Committee have received the attached notice from BMC K/E-Ward for personal hearing in the matter of four Holy Crosses in K/E -ward. The hearing is scheduled on Thursday 26th June 2014 at 12 noon at the office of the Assistant Municipal Commissioner at K/E Ward, Gundavali, Andheri (E).

You may also similarly receive such notices in your areas. The undersigned has all orders of Supreme Court, High Court, Affidavits filed by BMC in past for various wards in Mumbai since 2003.

St. John the Baptists Church Save Committee have filed Petitions in High Court from time to time to safeguard the religious structures belonging to the community.

We require your support, assistance and prayers in this hour of need. Kindly keep us updated of any developments in your respective wards.

With best regards

Godfrey / Nicholas —



The hearing of holy crosses has started in the F/N, WARD OFFICE,Matunga,Ms. Alka Sasane the Asstn.Municipal Commissioner is in the chair.Original plans from Collectors office were shown for 3 crosses of Gowari village,Matunga. Out of 3 crosses 2 were demolished by the Municipality.1 was rebuilt with the help of MEICF. Out of 3 crosses of Wadala village,the plan of 1 was shown.2 will be shown within 2 days.Similarly the plans of the cross of St.Anthony’s chapel,Antop Hill

will be shown as the proof that the said crosses were built prior to 17th April 1965.The hearing is attended by Novel Serrao and myself.

Herbert D. Barretto,

President-Maharashtrian East Indian Christian Federation,





Vexed: Mumbai’s historic crucifixes under siege again


Earlier this week residents of gaothans —Mumbai’s erstwhile villages — around Andheri received notices from the municipal corporation informing them about a meeting to decide the future of four crucifixes in the area.

What surprised and angered residents was the directive asking them to produce documents to prove that the crucifixes were old structures that did disrupt vehicular or pedestrian movement. For the recipients of the notices, the incident brought a sense of déjà vu.

In the last 12 years, the inhabitants of Mumbai’s old localities have faced this issue at least four times. The first notices came in 2002 when a group called Janhit Manch filed a petition in Bombay high court seeking demolition of illegal religious shrines, many of which were part of elaborate scams to grab public land.

In September 2003 the court ordered the removal of all illegal shrines in Mumbai but the order was stayed after an application by a community group called St John Baptist Church Save Committee. The group is named after a campaign to revive a 16th century ruined church now located inside the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone. The group was concerned that many of the centuries-old crucifixes faced destruction as they did not have documents to prove their vintage.

In December, even as citizens were working out plans to save the heritage crosses, there were fresh orders to destroy them. Community groups say the hasty order resulted in the demolition and relocation of many legal crucifixes without the shifting process getting documented.

The i ssue went to t he Supreme Court which in September 2009 said that unauthorised religious shrines, including temples, churches, mosques, or Gurudwaras should not be permitted in public areas. State governments were asked to review the legality of shrines that already existed. The Maharashtra government said it was creating a committee to look at the problem of shrines at public places.

The issue found little attention till February 2011 when notices were sent again to shrines by ward offices. St John Baptist Church Save Committee filed a petition in March 2011 following which the HC asked the civic body to follow the law while taking punitive actions against shrines.

Community groups are not opposing relocation or demolition of shrines that are illegal or obstructions in way of pedestrian and vehicular traffic but they are wondering how many times they have to prove the legality of the shrines. “How many times do we have to submit documents proving the legal status of the shrines? And how long can we protect them?” asks Godfrey Pimenta of the Save St John Baptist Church Committee which has collected documents proving the legal status of 110 crucifixes in the city. Many of these are ‘plague crosses’ dating back to the late nineteenth century when shrines were built as thanksgiving for delivering the villages from the epidemic. Others are older and have vintages dating from the 16th century when missionaries brought their faith to the villages which later became part of Mumbai.


On Thursday, when representatives of Save St John Baptist Church Committee met municipal officers in the K West ward office, the officials were told they had no powers to test the legality of the crucifixes. The reason is that in 2010 the Centre filed an affidavit in the SC saying they would create fivemember committees in municipal corporations to look into the issue of religious shrines.


Are Church leaders listening to the wake-up calls?

Truly a wake up call for a slumbering and a meandering community right from Bishops down the line to the Laity. A few exceptions of the brave are there but the rest neither speak up, nor take a stand. But one thing the majority do is stay neutral. Can we afford this? Read on. Articulated so well in the write up.

Dolphy D’souza


Promoting docile ‘yes men’ has brought us a feeble leadership


cardinal Bertone

Cardinal Bertone. File picture: Dmitry Morgan/

Fr Myron Pereria,

Mumbai India

June 24, 2014

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, former Vatican Secretary of State and right hand of Pope Benedict XVI, has been implicated in a multi-million dollar fraud and embezzlement case. He is also in hot water for his new apartment, infinitely more luxurious than the pope’s own lodgings. This somehow typifies and also casts a depressing shadow on the way the Church government has been run over the past few decades. The degree of ‘moral turpitude’ at the highest levels astounds the imagination. Are cardinals and bishops no better than crude politicians after all? For a long time, for centuries in fact, the Catholic Church was one of the few institutions where a young man, with no family connections and little money, could rise to eminence on the basis of intelligence, shrewdness and ambition alone. If in addition, he was servile enough to authority and avoided scandals, especially sexual ones, he could go far. As a tried and tested formula, it worked for centuries, and still does. As proof, just look at the popes, the bishops and the senior clergy who have “made it”. All of them belong to an institution called the Church to which they have given their lives, from which they draw certain benefits, and whose stability and public image they are sworn to uphold. But the world has changed, and changed drastically. In an earlier religious culture, priests and bishops were respected and their words carried weight. Not any more, in the secularized culture in which we live. This is a culture sworn to freedom, especially freedom of information. The whole purpose of Vatican II was to bring the Church up to date (aggiornamento), as Pope John XXIII wished. But this reform was bitterly resisted by members of the ruling Roman Curia, who did their best to sabotage what the Council decreed. For example, an important change the Council wanted was collegiality, whereby structures of governance would be put in place so that bishops could take their rightful place along with the pope in matters of doctrine and pastoral care. This sadly has not taken place at all, and today most bishops are little more than “branch managers”, taking their cues from “head office” in Rome. Looking at India, there was a time when the leaders of the Catholic hierarchy were seen and respected as community leaders. That time seems to be over. The only Christian leader invited for the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an Orthodox bishop from Kerala, a friend of his. Has the Catholic Church hierarchy lost its clout? Disturbing as this is, it is not surprising. Under John Paul II, any senior priest who showed any independence of thought and action was summarily passed over for promotion in favor of those who were compliant and docile. As a result, we have a timid hierarchy, shy of taking a public stand and eager to show its obsequiousness to the government.   Nor have outspoken laymen or women been encouraged either in India.  So it may be worth our while to introspect a little and see where most of India’s clergy and hierarchy come from. By and large they come from ‘village and small town India,’ where opting for the priesthood is still a safe passage for upward mobility. Usually, bishops are chosen not for their pastoral abilities, but because they are trained in canon law or theology (most have been seminary professors, not parish priests). No surprise then that the two key qualities of a public leader – and a bishop is this, if he is anything at all – communication skills and management abilities, are often glaringly absent. With regard to communication skills:  like all authoritarian and non-democratic institutions, the Catholic Church loves secrecy. It hates the media, accusing it of meddlesome curiosity. To justify secrecy, it argues that the Church ‘should not wash its dirty linen in public’. A fallacious argument at best, because as a result the dirty clothes do not get washed at all. Two examples make this clear: the pedophile scandals in the West and the financial scams of the Vatican. Notice that what made the sexual crimes of the offending priests worse was the elaborate cover-ups from their bishops, which involved lies, evasion and subterfuge. When it comes to management, in most cases, traditional organizations rest on authority through command. Information-based organizations rest on responsibility. In today’s world, information is a resource built into every operation, which can only function if each unit is accountable. And this applies to the Church too. Ask yourself, when was the last time your parish priest or your bishop showed himself accountable for the functioning of the unit (parish, diocese) committed to his charge? Not just financially accountable, but responsible for the planning and execution of projects undertaken? Two serious issues that face the Christian minority in India today are how it treats its Dalit and tribal communities; and what its inter-faith relationships are. Both issues are related to the question of ‘inclusivity’, or how to form a more egalitarian and integrated society. It is our sad experience that the more indigenous the Christian community is, the more rooted in the local culture, the more caste exclusive it tends to become. Leadership is serious wanting here. Inter-faith relations are growing increasingly important in India today, where we still see ourselves as a threatened minority. These relations mean more than just celebrating religious feasts together. They also relate to the way in which we see inter-faith marriages; engage in inter-community projects for common welfare; and are able to discuss our respective religious traditions in public and without apprehension, in order to expand our ‘democratic space’. Today the rapid changes in Indian society are reflected in the Catholic community. The recent election was a decisive rejection of a corrupt and feudal government. May this serve as a wake-up call for Church leaders as well.

Jesuit Fr Myron J. Pereira is a media consultant based in Mumbai

Read more at:

In the News for wrong Reasons: Sacred Heart Church, Andheri (E): FOLLOW UP;

Fr. Baptist Pais, Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Churc has written to SILENT VOICE, seeking some clarification on the following post.

In the News for wrong Reasons: Sacred Heart Church, Andheri (E)

SILENT VOICE has responded to his queries, hopefully to his satisfaction. Both of the articles are available here, for benefit of our followers to form their own opinions.







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:

(Archdiocese of Bombay)


To,                                                                                                                              20th, June, 2014

Fr. Baptist Pais, SVD,

Parish Priest,

Sacred Heart Church, Andheri (E);


Sub:  In the news for wrong reasons: Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East.


Dear Fr. Baptist,

Thank you for your blessing and good wishes through your letter in connection with subject matter. I too wish you a good health,  both, spiritual as well as physical.

You have sought clarification on the matter that has been posted on Silent Voice / Voicemail, on 24th of May 2014; I suppose you are referring to the letter addressed to H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, enlightening him about the situation prevailing at your parish, as it was presented to us. We do not see anything specifically mentioned about you or your co-pastors, in the letter.

As regards to seeking verification from Parish authorities before posting the matter on Silent Voice / Voicemail, we do not think it was necessary because the matter was referred to the Archbishop.

Just for your information, Silent Voice / Voicemail are mouthpiece of “VOICE OF A SILENT MAJORITY”, constituted under Para 29 of Christefideles Laicy Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H. H. Late Pope John Paul II, as it can be seen on the letterhead.


Excerpts from the para 29:

29. Church communion, already present and at work in the activities of the individual, finds its specific expression in the lay Faithful’s working together in groups, that is, in activities done with others in the course of their responsible participation in the life and mission of the Church.

First of all, the freedom for lay people in the Church to form such groups is to be acknowledged. Such liberty is a true and proper right that is not derived from any kind of “concession” by authority, but flows from the Sacrament of Baptism, which calls the lay faithful to participate actively in the Church’s communion and mission.

It is needless to say that within the Church, majority of the Catholics remain silent on various issues which go against the tenets of teaching of Church for the simple reason that they are afraid to antagonize Parish Authorities. Some venture into voicing their opposition and get branded as antichurch. As it seems the case with your parish. We give voice to such Catholics.

Coming back to your letter, the Fifty odd PPC members and Seven Hundred Cell members, majority of them come under the category of Silent Majority who remain silent, but their Silence is construed as their affirmation. This is the case with PPC’s all over the Archdiocese. The questions you have raised are irrelevant to our letter addressed to Cardinal, therefore we see no reason to respond to them.

However, we have a few questions to you:

  • Have you fulfilled your duty as a GOOD SHEPHERD and went in search of lost sheep?
  • Did you give these parishioners of yours, a GOOD LISTENING EAR?
  • Do you deny that some youth wrote a letter against one of your Parishioner which was then made as an issue to malign him instead of you resolving the matter amicably?
  • Do you deny that attempt was made to malign the name of Mrs. D’sa, based on so called letters, written by some youth, and instead of dousing the matter yourself, again you passed them onto some unauthorized entity for scrutiny?
  • Do you deny the fact that a meeting was held on 30th of November, 2013 to discuss these matters in order to resolve them?
  • Do you deny that minutes of this meeting are not yet circulated among the participants?
  • Do you deny the fact that if the minutes are circulated the truth will come out in open and the vested interests who are trying to shoot from your shoulder would be exposed? Doesn’t it mean that you indirectly are supporting these vested interests to malign the parishioners who could be hindrance in their way of undesirable activities?
  • Don’t you think that it would be appropriate to resolve this matter and mend fences with parishioners who have been hurt, at the end of your tenure as Parish Priest? If it was so, it certainly would amount to GOOD SHEPHERD having found the LOST SHEEP.

From our letter to Archbishop, more questions could be asked, because your letter does not touch upon anything that has been mentioned in it. But we limit our self to the few, mentioned above.

As regards to your volley of questions, answer to them lies in your answers to the above questions.


Sincerely Yours in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,




Copy to:       H. E. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay.





Mr. Greg R. Pereira,

A/7, Rodrigues Compound, Malvani Village, Malad West,

Mumbai- 400095.


Sub: In the news for wrong reasons: Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East


Dear Mr. Greg R. Pereira,

Loving regards to you from Fr. Baptist Pais, parish priest of Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East. I believe this letter of mine finds you in good health. May the good Lord bless you and your family members with peace, happiness and good health. May the good Lord make all your higher efforts fruitful.


This is to seek clarification about what you wrote about me and my two co-pastors, Frs. John and Evan in Silent Voice, Voice mail, on May 24th 2014.


What I sincerely want to know from you whether you have verified the matter you wrote/published about me with some concerned people before publishing it in Silent Voice?

Is it the voice of the people of Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East or only of 11 people whose names are mentioned in Silent Voice?


Is it the voice of the 50 Parish Pastoral Council members? Have you verified the voice of PPC members about me before publishing it in Silent Voice?


We have a Community Centre Organization, which coordinates the activities of all Associations, Cells, Committees and Groups? There are about 700 parishioners who are associated with the CCO of our parish. Is it the voice of the CCO and about 700 parishioners that you published in Silent Voice?


Is it the voice of the 4 priests of the clergy team of Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East? Is it the voice of the Dean of Andheri parishes?

Is it the voice of Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay and other bishops of the Archdiocese of Bombay?

Is it the voice of Fr. Paul Vattathara, SVD, my Provincial Superior? In what way I have gone against/disobeyed the Diocesan authority, against the norms and guidelines of the church and against the guidelines of Sacred Heart Church, Andheri East ?

If you have verified with the above mentioned concerned people and if you then are sure that I have used Divide and Rule policy to keep my parishioners busy fighting among themselves, then I salute you with all respects. If what you have written about me is true then I feel that I should be really unfit to be a parish priest? I should be ashamed of my priesthood? My Provicial Superior and the Archbishop of Bombay have made a great mistake in appointing me to Sacred Heart Church as Parish Priest? I also feel I am unfit to be either a parish priest or an assistant parish priest to any parish hereafter. I am open for scrutiny by the Archbishop of Bombay and with obedience accept whatever he tells me to do.

I firmy believe the purpose of Journalism and Media is to uphold TRUTH. After verifying with the concerned authority what you have published about me in Silent voice, if it is true then I believe what you have published about me is insufficient, because I feel that I should be worse than what you wrote about me.


If what you have published about me is not true then what is the response of Silent Voice?


Thank you. May you be blessed abundantly in all your good efforts.


Yours in the Divine Word,



Fr. Baptist Pais, SVD


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