Wanted: Canon law that holds clerics to account

“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love,” goes the song many Christians sing with their church choir, their hearts full of joy.

Far from turning the other cheek, the bishop has been busy making accusations against the nun in various media.

Lack of action in response to the alleged rape of a nun by a bishop in India shows the moral failings of Church canon law

(File photo)–Advocate Indulekha Joseph, speaks with media at a protest venue seeking justice for a nun allegedly raped by a bishop. Joseph is part of group seeking to reform laws governing church property and finances. (Photo by Christopher Joseph/ucanews.com)

New Delhi: 

“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love,” goes the song many Christians sing with their church choir, their hearts full of joy.

Recent media reports suggest many people are now best acquainted with members of the Christian clergy due to all the allegations of abuse they face around the world.

However, those who are supposed to act on the matter are not moving fast enough to set things right.

In one particular case in India involving the alleged rape of a nun, nothing has happened one year after the victim filed her complaint.

The sister claims she was raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar but the Kerala High Court decided in its interim order in a plea in mid-September that it could still find no grounds to prosecute the cleric.

The rape allegation by a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under Bishop Mulakkal, set off a media firestorm after four nuns from the congregation began a public protest in Kochi, the business capital of Kerala, on Sept. 8.

The protest began after police were suspected of dragging their feet by not having arrested the bishop two months after the nun first issued her complaint.

Several Catholic and civil rights groups threw their support behind the demonstrators in demanding the bishop resign and the police promptly arrest him.

A number of prominent theologians have also demanded that church authorities take action by forcing the bishop to step aside and assist with an impartial and fair investigation into the case.

They argued this would potentially embolden people under his care to come forward as witnesses without having to fear any possible repercussions.

Despite all these entreaties, the bishop remained in office for more than two months after police complaint was filed. Vatican officials removed him from diocesan administrative roles on Sept. 20, a day before police arrested him.

However, he did entrust his responsibilities to two senior priests Sept. 13 before he left his diocese in northern India for his native Kerala. The southern Indian Kerala state police have summoned him in connection with the case to appear before them on Sept. 19.

On the third day of his marathon interrogation, police recorded his arrest Sept. 21 and produced him in a court, which left him to police custody for further investigation. A lower court on Sept. 24 rejected his bail application and remanded him in jail till Oct. 6 to help investigations.

And yet, he officially continues to be the bishop of Jalandhar, with its administration given to a retired bishop.

Some argue that church laws protect clerics by stating that a bishop does not have to step down merely in the face of an allegation (it must be proved before such action becomes mandatory).

But if canon law allows a bishop who is facing charges of such gravity as rape to stay in office until a court of law finds him guilty, then that law is wrong and needs to be rewritten immediately.

If this leads to hundreds of bishops, priests and cardinals stepping down, so be it.

We are suffering now because too few Catholics have complained about clerical misconduct, and because whenever people do complain, they are routinely silenced, overlooked, or the investigation reports into their cases suppressed.

I have a doctoral thesis subject that may be worth researching for those who are interested: “The relationship between sexual abuse and the fall in church attendance.”

To those who say the Church would be destroyed if all those who face sex abuse allegations are forced to step aside, my reply is this: The Church is the body of Christ and cannot be destroyed; a true Christian would not defile the body of Christ, rather, he or she would work to keep it pure.

Bishop Mulakkal is innocent until proven guilty. His clerical status should not give anyone the right to cast a stone at him. But he should have stepped down as he is a follower of Jesus, who said, “if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic” and “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek, also.”

Far from turning the other cheek, the bishop has been busy making accusations against the nun in various media.

Sadly, some may ask, “are these Christian principles not applicable to the nun who made the allegation?” They are. But the nun has said she had exhausted all avenues before taking recourse in civilian justice.

She has named those in authority, including the nunciature and the Vatican, whom she approached with her complaint.

The same cannot be said of the bishop. As a citizen protected by the law of the land, he cannot be called into question for going public with his counter allegations in a bid to defend himself.

But does the moral teaching of the Catholic Church endorse this kind of behavior?

The law will now take its course, as it should. I’m willing to be humiliated for the acts and omissions of fellow Christians, but I want to know why the Church in India has not yet installed a formal mechanism to redress allegations of sexual violations and cases of embezzlement by priests, bishops or cardinals.

While we should leave the ultimate judgment to God, we have to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. It’s bewildering to think that the Church, which has several formal organizations in place to deal with various social problems, doesn’t have a formal or fair mechanism to deal with complaints of sexual harassment.

If Church law has no mechanism to act swiftly and justly against such allegations, it’s a hollow law. If nothing else, it’s time to start work on adding provisions to hold clerics more accountable for their actions.

To come back to the song I mentioned earlier (“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love”), it was written by Peter Raymond Scholtes. He was a parish priest at St. Brendan’s Parish Chicago in 1961 and the song was inspired by John 13:35 when Scholtes served as the leader of a youth choir.

He couldn’t find a suitable song to present for a string of ecumenical and multiracial events his choir had to participate in, so he decided to write one himself.

It may be telling that he left the priesthood in the 1980s and led a successful family life. However, his experiences at St. Brendan’s Parish, and with the civil rights movement in Chicago, influenced the rest of his life. He even wrote a bestselling book called “The Leader’s Handbook.”

Scholtes’ biographer once said that when his publisher asked him why he wanted to cover the priest’s life, he replied: “I want a book that will make a difference. I want my book to say that simple answers to complex issues will never accomplish anything worthwhile. Behind the complexity is a simplicity that we can come to understand only by struggling.”

The challenges authority figures in the Church face are no doubt complex, and people may give simple answers that are not the proper solution.

But beyond all the complexity humans have created lies the simplicity of the teaching of Jesus Christ, which is the real answer.

Kay Abey is the pen name of a senior journalist and Catholic based in New Delhi.

Source: UCAN

MOTHER MARY; the untouchable…….????

VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY

(CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL)

While Catholics the world over, were busy celebrating Birthday of MOTHER MARY, the Parish Priest of St Vincent Palotti Church, Marol, was displaying his dislike towards her. The following communication from Sachin Pereira, a Devotee of MOTHER MARY to Archbishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias should explain to you the incident, in details.

Yours truly also took up the matter with Archbishop.

I don’t think the Parish Priest thinks of MOTHER MARY as Untouchable, but we suppose, his ego and arrogance got better of him.

Archbishop has forwarded my E mail to the Parish Priest, though nothing is mentioned, His Eminence, certainly must have advised him to make an effort to calm the situation, which we hope, he will follow.

GREG

ARCHBISHOP’S REPLY

Dear Greg,

I have your email of September 15, 2018. I have passed on your letter to the Parish Priest.

Regarding the matter of Malwani, I have been following it up. But since I have been busy with other matters, you can appropriately follow it up with the Zonal Bishop who has full competence to deal with the matter. Thus the matter will not be unnecessarily delayed.

 

With kind regards and best wishes,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Oswald Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay

 

 

Mr. Greg Pereira

E-mail: pereiragreg1611@gmail.com

 

 

Image result for Images St. Vincent DE Pallotti church, Marol

 

OUR E MAIL, TO ARCHBISHOP

14th, September, 2018;
To
H. E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias,
Archbishop of Mumbai,

Your Eminence,
Following is copy of the letter, addressed to you by a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Church, Marol. The letter is self explanatory and surmises everything in detail. Hence, I wouldn’t want to waste your time, by repeating the same.
The only matter, in my opinion, stands out is behavior and the language of the Parish Priest. As a priest, he could have easily come forward to bless the Image and the devotees joining in the procession. But that was not to be. His arrogance took better of him. This has not surprised us at all, because, that is the way most of them behave, baring a few. We, being active in the Church matters, are very much aware of it.
This has hurt sentiments of the people present, as well of those who heard about the incident. Besides, to make the matter worse, as we have been informed, to justify his action, he tried to communalize it between, East Indians, Goans and Mangaloreans; during the sermons at the Sunday masses.
The writer of the letter, Sachin Pereira, has rightly said that, “We leave it to your reasoning and Action”. However, a simple apology from the erring Parish Priest, will douse this fire; lest the flame of discontent, will remain fuming into their minds.
I am sure, the wiser counsel will prevail and your good self, will prevail upon him to tender an apology. The Church has always been teaching about reconciliation.

Sincerely yours, in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

GREG R. PEREIRA

P. S.: By the way, I am still waiting for your response on the matter of St. Anthony’s Parish, Malwani; which you had assured of having a relook. Nevertheless, since we didn’t want it to remain secluded for a long time, it has started appearing on SILENT VOICE.

DEDICATED to, Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church; Malwani

DEDICATED to, Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church; Malwani – Part II

DEDICATED to Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani; 1 of Part III

SACHIN PEREIRA’S E MAIL TO ARCHBISHOP (UNEDITED)

Your Lordship,

This is with reference to the procession of OUR LADY OF VELLANKANNI that we the parishioners had devotees who couldn’t make it to Vellankanni and would like to show their love and organised at St John the Evangelist Church Marol on the 8th Sept’ 2018 . This was for the devotion by joining in the procession .
We the parishioners of Marol St John the Evangelist Church decided to conduct a prayerful procession Of Our Lady Of Vellankanni starting from St Vincent Paulotti church Vijaynagar ending St John The Evangelist church Marol , keeping in mind the birthday of Our Mother Mary and getting both the parish together in faith.
We were supposed to start the procession from St Vincent Pallouti church at 4pm, where the PALKI of Our Lady Of Valenkanni was taken. As we entered the church premises ,THE PARISH PRIEST came ahead and told us to leave the premises.
Here we had the statue of Our Mother Mary all decorated to be taken in procession with hundreds of devotees waiting for us to start , and in the other hand to our surprise we had to hear this disgraceful statement that too from a priest who showed practically no reverence for our Mother Mary. The words that he used were “PLEASE TAKE IT OUT OF HERE “ .
We would like to ask Fr. what does he mean by “IT” .. Does a priest not understand whom he is relating to? Was it not a Catholic idol or was it a Non Faith idol that we had brought to go in procession? A person talking such language especially a man appointed by the catholic faith to lead his flock does not portray a good image to his followers.
This did not end here, he also stated that “YOU ARE IN MY AREA ,AND YOU HAVE TO DO AS I SAY “Now where does the question about area come. Our parishioners were so very upset listening to this that one of them told him , IF THIS IS YOUR AREA THEN ST.JOHN THE EVANGELIST CHURCH IS OUR AREA , FURTHER ON PLEASE DO NOT GET ANY BURIAL REQUESTS IN MY AREA.

Your Lordship, It deeply saddens me when I am writing this to you, with already the Catholic church in the lime light with various issues this is another one putting it to SHAME, but we damage has already been done, the rage of fire has spread in the entire village and hence would like you to take up this issue on a priority basis and douse the fire before it spreads and more damage is caused. As per me the only way to pacify the devotees is by a written apology from the parish priest which could be read in church. That is what the devotees need.
To sum up the above, just want to ask:
*what wrong did we do by gathering people of faith?
*What would be the harm caused if we were just allowed to start the procession from the church premises? It was just a matter of 10-15 min.
*What did the parish priest gain by his un-thoughtful statement?
The rest we leave to your reasoning and action.
Yours truly
A heartbroken and sadden Catholic devotee on behalf of the parishioners.

Sachin Pereira

Copy To: SILENT VOICE

 

 WE ARE COMMITTED TO VOICE OUR CONCERN, AGAINST ANY UNDESIRABLE ACTIONS WITHIN THE CHURCH, 

 

Nuns’ historic protest challenges India’s patriarchy

 It would be a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church if the protest achieved its goal. “I am sure this will embolden thousands of nuns to come out against the exploitation they silently suffer within four walls of the convent,”

Kerala protest calling for the arrest of a bishop accused of raping a nun threatens to shake nation’s power structure.

 

A nun among those staging a demonstration to press for justice for a Kerala nun who accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese of repeatedly raping her between 2014 and 2016, in Kochi on Sept 16, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kochi: The street protest in Kerala by Catholic nuns demanding justice for a nun allegedly raped by a bishop has become a watershed in Indian society to fight for gender equality in a challenge to India’s deep-rooted patriarchal values.

“This is a historical turning point. It should be seen as the start of Indian women’s open challenge to male domination and the trampling of women with impunity,” said Indulekha Joseph, a legal adviser and supporter of the nuns.

In the history of the church, which claims the apostolic legacy of St. Thomas in the southern state of Kerala, at no point had Catholic nuns taken to the streets seeking justice, especially alleging the rape of a nun by a bishop, she said.

The patriarchal social ethos forced women to suppress rape. “But here the companions of the victim stood with their sister. The families of the nuns stood with them. And, when church officials failed to act, they mustered the courage to go the police … and when police delayed the arrest of the bishop, they started a public protest,” said Joseph.

The protest by four Missionaries of Jesus nuns began on Sept. 8 and is continuing daily.

“It will lead to a rethinking of women’s role and dignity in the church and society,” said Sister Teena Jose of the Congregation of Mother Carmel.

She noted that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in December 2009 released a gender policy saying that “all types of discrimination against women are contrary to God’s intent and purpose.”

“If the church had implemented this policy, the nuns would not have taken to the streets to seek justice for one of our sisters who was sexually abused by a member of the clergy,” said the nun.

Hundreds like Sister Jose travel daily to the protest venue in Kochi, business capital of Kerala, lending support to the four nuns in a case involving Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who allegedly raped their former superior 13 times over a period of two years. The nuns are calling for the bishop’s arrest and conviction.

Several speakers noted that it was not the first such claim against a cleric, but in the long history of the church in India no cleric had been punished publicly for sexual violation of a nun.

The nuns were forced to take to the streets because of the silence and inaction of church authorities to whom the allegation was reported a year ago, Joseph said. “If they had not come out, this too might be hushed up and several more will suffer in silence.”

Sister Jose said it would be a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church if the protest achieved its goal. “I am sure this will embolden thousands of nuns to come out against the exploitation they silently suffer within four walls of the convent,” she said.

In a society like India, women are not supposed to complain against men of their family. Priests and bishops are considered close family members and representatives of God, Joseph said.

Mary Sebastian quit a nunnery last year following physical and mental harassment from her superiors. She said her family does not want her to return home. “In fact, they don’t want me to quit the church. It is all because of the stigma that is associated with it. Society will only target my family for my actions,” she said.

Joseph C. Mathew, a civil rights activist, said the nuns’ protest may serve as a window to nuns who silently suffer exploitation and harassment. “Church authorities must realize this and make the required amends. This will save the church from imminent collapse,” he added.

Women’s activist P. Geetha said the courage shown by the nuns to come out of their cloister will embolden women come out against the patriarchal system. “The church has played a big role in the renaissance movement. The struggle by the nuns has sown the seeds for another renaissance movement,” she said.

Geetha even believes that the ripples of the protest may also be felt across the global church as a debate is raging about the empowerment of women. “I feel this will force the Vatican to change their stance on religious women, who are treated now as second-class citizens,” she added.

Advocate T.B. Mini, another women’s activist, said the nuns’ protest had given new life to Kerala society. “The protest is a war against the patriarchal system that has kept women under suppression not only within the church but also in society as a whole. I am sure Kerala women will carry forward this movement to its logical conclusion,” she said.

Mini said the arrest of the bishop is now secondary. The protest has shaken the iron walls of the church as well as society, she said, adding that it is a strong warning that nobody will be able to ignore.

Rights activist C.R. Neelakandan said the nuns’ fight was not against the church but against the government that had yielded to the power of the church.

“The protest by the nuns is historic. It has shaken the power structures that subjugate women. I am sure the echoes of the protest will reverberate throughout India,” he said.

Source: UCAN

Call revived to end bishops’ monopoly over wealth.

For last ten years, yours truly, through SILENT VOICE, has been demanding to abolish SOLE TRUSTEE power of the Parish Priests. The power is being misused, with no trace of accountability. The Finance Committee, provided under Canon Law 536 is just of an advisory nature and has no control over SOLE TRUSTEE. Besides, the members are hand picked by the Parish Priest, to suit his needs.

In my parish of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani; in the Archdiocese of Mumbai, I am fighting a lone battle against corruption of around Rupees FIFTY LAKHS, spent by SOLE TRUSTEE, bypassing all the guidelines. Members of the finance committee are muted over it.

Hierarchy, after the complaint, instead of taking action, doubled the amount the SOLE TRUSTEE is authorized to spend without taking approval.

REFORMS IN LAW, GOVERNING CHURCH PROPERTIES AND FINANCES IS REQUIREMENT OF THE DAY.

GREG

 

Rape scandal spurs reform bid

Call revived to end bishops’ monopoly over wealth.

Advocate Indulekha Joseph, speaks with media at a protest venue seeking justice for a nun allegedly raped by a bishop. Joseph is part of group seeking to reform laws governing church property and finances. (Photo by Christopher Joseph/ucanews.com)

Kochi: A campaign to reform laws governing church property and finances has gained momentum in India’s southern Kerala state, where a rape case against a bishop has created a furore.

Church activists, including theologians, have for more than a decade sought greater lay participation in managing the temporal wealth of the Catholic Church, purportedly to check embezzlement.

A draft proposal called the ‘Church Properties and Institutions Trust Bill’ was prepared under the guidance of the late V. R. Krishna Iyer, a former judge of the Supreme Court, and was submitted for the consideration of the Kerala government in 2009.

“We are pressing for it, but the state may not enact it as a law in the near future,” said advocate Indulekha Joseph, a Catholic lawyer connected with the movement.

Placards seeking the enactment of the draft proposal were raised at a street protest that began Sept. 8 in Kochi of Kerala state.

The protesters also demanded justice for a nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar.

A placard stating ‘money is fuel for lust’ implied that unaccounted funds available to members of the Church hierarchy emboldened them to violate other people’s rights.

The draft proposal, which activists now call the Kerala Church Act, proposes periodic audits of church properties and institutions such as schools. The bill also calls for an elected body to manage financial affairs of the Catholic Church and parishes.

Joseph said the state’s successive coalition governments, led by both communists and the rival Congress party, have to date shown no interest in even discussing the draft proposal as they feared it would antagonize the politically influential church leadership.

Christians comprise some 19 percent of Kerala’s 33 million population and their votes are decisive in some areas.

However, Joseph said that a rising demand for the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal could be enough to convince the government that lay people would not be angered by the introduction of new laws applying to church affairs.

George Joseph, chairman of the Kerala Church Act Action Council, told ucanews.com that church funds are used to defend bishops and priests facing criminal cases.

“The church’s money should not be used for supporting and abetting criminal activities of priests and bishops,” he said.

Some 5,600 priests and 40 bishops across the Catholic Church’s 32 dioceses managed the entire wealth of the Kerala Church, with little accountability or lay participation, he said.

“We need a law to make this management more participatory,” George Joseph added.

C. Devasia, chairman of the Kerala Catholic Reform Movement, backed the demand for a new law to ensure lay participation in decision-making.

The hierarchy is said to be opposing the bill on the ground that the Catholic Church’s structure would be weakened by interference of the state.

Father Varghese Vallikatt, spokesperson for the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said that the state legislature had not shown an interest in the proposed act.

He added that the government had not sought the church hierarchy’s views on the proposal since it was submitted nine years ago.

Source: UCAN

FROM THE ARCHIVES (December 2011)

Nun set free without charges

WILL THE ARCHBISHOP PUNISH THE GUILTY AND SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS ? VM:- 020/2011

WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE/RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLANDESTINE SALE OF CHURCH PROPERTIES? WILL THE PARISHIONERS GET ANSWERS?

CASES AGAINST UTTAN DUMPING GROUND AGITATORS WITHDRAW

WAS THERE A MALICIOUS INTENTION, BEHIND TRANSFER OF AN EFFICIENT PRINCIPAL?

VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY

(CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL)

“It would be appropriate of you to find out, if there is any substance in what the reader has alleged,(Transfers of Four Clergy Principals), since it is a serious offence, detrimental to the Institution of Schools.”

Dear Readers,

Almighty does not permit anything to be buried for ever, if it has not been reached to its logical conclusion. This episode has revealed his plan. He provided, just a ray and we picked it up from there, to accomplish his desire.

Entire Parish of St. Anthony’s, Malwani; was shocked to learn that the most efficient principal, Fr. Henry Pereira was being transferred, through the announcement, on 30th, April, 2017. This was the topic for discussion among parishioners, for a very long time since then. Like others, we too were shocked and decided to take this matter with the Archbishop. We wrote to Archbishop, asking him to revoke the transfer, but could not succeed.

As it has been stated above, Lord Almighty has his own ways. We are doing our Christian duty of bringing to your notice, anything that is detrimental to the Church, including this one.

The Archbishop has not responded to our last letter, dated 31st, August, 2018;

GREG

St. Anthony’s High School, Malwani;

31st, August, 2018
To,

His Eminence,
Oswald Cardinal Gracias
Archbishop of Bombay

Your Eminence,

SUB:- Transfer of Fr. Henry Pereira; Principal of St. Anthony’s High School, Malwani; a year ago;

About a year ago, we met on the subject matter, on my request and discussed the same, for a short while. The discussion could not prolong further, because of the reason you cited for the transfer, seem to be valid, hence I accepted it. However, at the back of my mind, I was aware that it is at the behest of Fr. Agnelo Fernandes, Manager of the school, the transfer has been affected. How else would he be suitable to be a principal at Vasai Diocese, in spite of the reason you cited and not at Malwani; from where he was transferred within a year, soon as Fr. Agnelo took over as Manager?

Transfers of the priests, is your discretion, your Eminence; hence the chapter was closed.

The reason for reviving this matter is some new revelation which indicates Fr. Agnelo has been in the habit of transferring principals, the clergy, and installing lay persons as principals, in order to take control of the Schools.
One of the readers has posted following comment on SILENT VOICE, in relation to the post, DEDICATED to, Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church; Malwani – Part II which is quite revealing, and needs to be taken seriously.

Victor Pereira said,
August 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm •
We need to also pay attention to what he is doing in the school, after all it is our parish school. He has appointed a lay teacher as acting principal. By doing so he has ensured that there is no other priest in school to question his running of the school as per his mood.
Appointing a lay person is detrimental to the school and the parish as a whole, we have examples right next door at St Anne’s Orlem.
Additionally the Cardinal should well be aware of what happened in St Michael’s Mahim when a lay person was appointed acting principal.
I did a little research on our parish priest; the last 4 principals (priest) were transferred within one year, with him being their manager. I wonder where the problem is????

Your Eminence, during our last meeting on Fr. Agnelo; you claimed that he was never a Parish Priest at OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHURCH, in Orlem; which proved to be right, after you checked his file. At that time you were in Agra, and not in Bombay. He seems to be involved in the sale of the GROTTO, to the builder, along with plot of land. Parishioners then carried out a signature campaign to liberate the GROTTO, and succeeded. In this context he was transferred within a year, about which you expressed surprise.

It would be appropriate of you to find out, if there is any substance in what the reader has alleged,(Transfers of Four Clergy Principals), since it is a serious offence, detrimental to the Institution of Schools.

Sincerely yours, in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST;

GREG R. PEREIRA

MY LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP, SEEKING TO REVOKE THE TRANSFER

To,

6th, May, 2017;

Most Rev. Oswald Cardinal Gracias,

Archbishop,

Archdiocese of Bombay;

Your Eminence,

May the Lord Jesus Christ, keep you in good health always, to lead your flock, as you have been doing till now.

It is that time of the year, when every Catholic in the Archdiocese, is anxious about. It is a time of annual rescheduling and transfers of the priests, from one parish to another. It is a subject for discussion, among parishioners, during this period.

Fr. Henry D’souza and Fr. Henry Pereira, Principal of St. Anthony’s High School, Malwani; are being transferred to another parish. This was announced during a Sunday mass. Fr. Henry D’souza’s transferred was confirmed by The EXAMINER. He has a long tenure of seven years of service in the parish to his credit; hence parishioners are not surprised.

However, news of fr. Henry Pereira’s transfer has come as a shock to parishioners, which is hot subject for discussion, among parishioners. Obviously, we too are surprised at his sudden transfer, after his short tenure of three years only, which has been very successful. The parishioners at large, believe that this is not a routine transfer, but some adverse circumstances, prevailing currently, has been a cause for his transfer.

Your Eminence, transferring/rescheduling of the priests, is entirely your prerogative and there should be no external interference, which we too, believe in. However, transfer of Fr. Henry Pereira, will have adverse repercussions on working of the school as well as, on the reputation of this young, dynamic and loved by all, priest. The school in particular, is going to suffer, because of his unexpected departure.

Ever since, he took charge as principal, the standard of the school has risen to the highest level. SSC results, of last two years, during his tenure, stand witness to it. Besides, he has brought in much needed discipline into school administration and among the staff, which was lacking for all the years, prior to his arrival on the scene. This seems to have stirred the ones, who were enjoying being undisciplined. Fr. Henry Pereira had put them in the place where they belong, with full support from Fr. Austin Norris at the helm as manager. This situation suddenly seems to have changed, after the departure of Fr. Austin Norris. Undisciplined behaviour among some of the staff has suddenly raised its ugly head, again; making it difficult for him to control.

A peon in the school, who seem to have been promoted as clerk on forged documents, it is alleged, was behaving as if he is the  manager all these years, was reminded by Fr. Henry Pereira that he is just a peon and was put in his place. He has now gone back to his older ways of leading the coterie of undisciplined staff. It would not be right for me to put down the reason for this change, but you can imagine yourself, like me and other parishioners do.

I therefore, request you to grant me an urgent audience to apprise you in details, personally, as to why he should not be transferred. As I have stated above, transfers of priests is entirely your prerogative and there is no scope for external interference in it, which I am aware of; In spite of that I am urging you to reconsider your decision and revoke Fr. Henry Pereira’s transfer; in the interest of St. Anthony’s School in general, but in the interest of the reputation of this young dynamic priest. His sudden transfer will be a victory to his adversaries, who will be rejoicing, while his reputation will be tarnished.

 Your Eminence, I have always been writing to you against priests. This is the first occasion, where I am pleading with you for, in favour of a priest. I am sure, you will understand.

While on the subject, I wish to draw your attention to Our Lady of Remedy School Issue, Poinsur. This was narrated to me by some of the teaching staff, individually, while I used to attend meetings, in relation to the BMC’s Land Acquisition Notice. I was wondering, how to present this matter to you. However, I shall narrate it, in details, personally, when we meet. The villain in this scene is a peon, who has been pampered by Fr. Don John D’souza, Parish Priest. His tenure, whatever it is, has been mired in controversies. However, Fr. Don has been ignoring all the complaints against him. I would like to cite, just one incident, which I feel is very serious, and can’t be overlooked. It is alleged that during a search for stolen money, he was found with couple of packets of imported CONDOMS, in his uniform pocket. This matter was reported to Fr. Don, by the principal and some teaching staff but it was suppressed by him. The staff is shaken with this attitude of Fr. Don. He also has been seen, loitering near girls toilets on one of the top floors.  I have been told that before his departure, Fr. Don is making efforts to make this guy permanent, by asking another peon, who is supposed to retire about a year or so later, by forcing him to take voluntary retirement. Staff is concerned about this development. I request you to view this matter seriously.

Your Eminence, please excuse me, if you feel that I have exceeded my limit. But as you have known; I can’t remain silent, at undesirable happenings, within parish administration.

Yours always, in LORD JESUS CHRIST

GREG R. PEREIRA

 

FROM THE ARCHIVES (NOVEMBER 2011)

 ‘Coal mafia killed Sr. Valsa John’

Persecution cannot deter Church: Cardinal

ANOTHER PARISH, ANOTHER LAND SCAM, ANOTHER UNDERVALUED SALE OF CHURCH PROPERTIES.
WHENEVER BJP IS IN TROUBLE, CHURCHES BECOME A TARGET

 

 WE ARE COMMITTED TO VOICE OUR CONCERN, AGAINST ANY UNDESIRABLE ACTIONS WITHIN THE CHURCH, 

 

 

 

 

 

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