Mumbai court refuses to quash sedition case against Jesuit Priest;

Authorities have sought to link Father Stanislaus Lourdusamy to January clashes between poor Dalits and upper-class Hindus.

 

BHOPAL: The top court in India’s Maharashtra state has refused to quash a case against an 82-year-old Jesuit rights’ activist priest accused of aiding a banned Maoist movement.

The Bombay High Court rejected the application of Father Stanislaus Lourdusamy to quash the case, with the bid to have charges dropped based on a contention that he continues to be only a suspect until investigations are complete, church officials said quoting court documents they received Dec. 17.

Charges against the priest, including sedition, were filed under stringent laws covering the prevention of so-called ‘anti-national activities’.

In August this year, Maharashtra state police raided homes of nine human rights activists, including that of the priest, linking them with a January 2018 violent clash between socially poor Dalits formerly known as ‘untouchables’ and upper caste Hindus in the state’s Bhima Koregaon village.

Police suspect the incident, which killed one person and injured at least 30 policemen, was aided by Maoists involved in subversive activities.

Police also linked the nine rights workers with a public meeting, held in the state’s Pune city Dec. 31, 2017, before violent clashes occurred.

Five of them were put under house arrest. The other four, including the priest, have not yet been arrested.

Police have said they are also investigating whether there was involvement by the rights workers in a plot to kill Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Father Lourdusamy, popularly known as Stan Swamy, lives and works in Jharkhand state and has not visited Maharashtra state for years, said colleague and fellow Jesuit Father Davis Solomon.

“It is unfortunate that he is suspected in this case,” Father Solomon told ucanews.com.

Lawyer Mihir Desai, appearing for Father Lourdusamy, urged the court to quash the case against him considering his advanced age and that he was better described as a suspect than as an accused person, media reports said.

Government pleader Aruna Kamat Pai, appearing for the police, confirmed that the investigation had not yet been completed.

Father Lourdusamy has been convener of an organization called Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee and prisoners in Jharkhand include arrested Maoists.

In September, he described the case against him as “a complete concoction and absolute falsehood.”

The priest has sought to create awareness among tribal and Dalit people on their rights over their land and underground minerals.

“I fear that these activities of mine have angered powerful interests within the government,” he said.

The priest complained that as well as having a case of sedition foistered on him, authorities were were now trying to link him to banned organizations.

Source: UCAN

Catholics call Assam church attack hate crime

Church leaders suspect political motive behind string of incidents in northeastern Indian state.

Parishioners gather outside St. Thomas Church in Chapatoli, in Dibrugarh diocese on Dec. 15 after being told vandals had attacked their church. (Photo supplied) New Delhi:

Church officials in India want police to conduct a thorough probe into an attack on a Catholic church in Assam, saying it could be part of a plan to create religion-based divisions in the northeastern state ahead of Christmas.

Parishioners of St. Thomas Church in Chapatoli, in Dibrugarh Diocese said they found their church vandalized on Dec. 15.

The church’s crucifix, stations of the cross and prayer books were allegedly destroyed, while a Marian statue was removed from its plinth in a grotto and thrown to the floor.

“Somebody did this to destroy a harmonious atmosphere in this area,” parish priest Father Cyprian Lakara told ucanews.com.

Nothing like this has happened before at the 88-year-old church, he added.

Despite police arresting two “drunk” men in connection with the vandalism, church officials believe those arrested were scapegoats and that the motive behind the attack was more sinister.

The arrests “appear to be a knee jerk reaction rather than attempt to identify the original culprits,” said Father G. P. Amalraj, deputy secretary of regional bishops’ council.

Bishop Joseph Aind of Dibrugarh demanded “a high-level inquiry” and said “certain forces with ulterior motives were seeking to sow seeds of hatred” among peace loving people living in the tea garden areas of the state.

Other Christian leaders like him suspect a political motive behind the attack with similar incidents being reported since a pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition came to power in the state in 2016.

“It is a fact there have been other incidents of church desecration in Assam and other northeastern states after the BJP won power,” said Bishop Thomas Pullopillil of Bongaigaon who heads the United Christian Forum, an ecumenical group in the northeastern region.

But “we are not quite sure who exactly is behind such attacks.”

Christian leaders say Hindu groups see BJP political victories as a cue to push their agenda to make India a Hindu-only nation by isolating and attacking religious minorities like Christians, Muslims and ethnic minorities.

In June 2016, a month after the BJP-led coalition came to power, a man attacked parish priest Father Sushil John Soren with a machete in Udalguri district.

On June 20 this year, unidentified attackers vandalized the Christ, Light of the World Cathedral in Bongaigaon.

On Sept. 29, a Don Bosco statue in front of the Tezpur Bishop’s House was attacked and vandalized.

Such “hate attacks” against Christians were rare in the state until three years ago, Bishop Pullopillil said.

“We want the government to identify the real culprits behind such attacks,” the bishop said.

Christians make up 3.74 percent of the state’s 31 million people, higher than the national average of 2.3 percent.

All three of India’s Christian majority states — Nagaland (87.93 percent) Mizoram (87.16 percent), Meghalaya (74.59 percent) — are also in the northeast.

Christian numbers are also considerably high in two other states — Manipur (41.29 percent) and Arunachal Pradesh (30.26 percent).

Source: UCAN

Transfers of Principals: MOTIVATED?????

As mentioned in his letter to you, I have Indeed received a LEGAL NOTICE from Fr. Agnelo Fernandes. It says, I pay him Rs. 50,00,000/- (Rupees FIFTY LAKHS) towards damage and tender a public apology, failing which, I will have to bear LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.
Your Eminence, Legal Notice will be responded to, appropriately. I am prepared to face LEGAL CONSEQUENCES but not prepared to obey his dictats.

APOLOGY TO A CORRUPT PERSON, MEANS YOU CONDONE HIS CORRUPTION.

 

VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY

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

This post is follow up to, untimely transfer of principal of St. Anthony’s High School, Malwani; Fr. Henry Pereira which shocked the entire parish. Yours truely had taken up this matter with H. E. swald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Munbai.

A vigilant reader of SILENT VOICE provided input of similar transfers of Principals, by Fr. Agnelo Fernandes, which can be read by clicking on following Link. WAS THERE A MALICIOUS INTENTION, BEHIND TRANSFER OF AN EFFICIENT PRINCIPAL?

The same reader, after researching, has provided details of multiple transfers of Principals at one school, within a span of one year each, in quick succession. We have brought the matter to the knowledge of Archbishop and awaiting response.

GREG

 

 

 

14th, December,2018;

Your Eminence,

The controversy regarding unethical transfer of Fr. Henry Pereira seems to be unending. The reader of SILENT VOICE had earlier mentioned, that Fr. Agnelo has been involved in transfer of more principals, in similar manner that of Fr. Henry Pereira’s. This has been brought to your notice through a letter dated 31, August, 2018; which appears in trailing E Mail.

The same person, who seems to have researched, has sent details of the principals, transferred by Fr. Agnelo, while he was the manager, which reads thus.

Victor Pereira said,
November 26, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Since it was me to make the allegation, let me substantiate.

2012

Fr agnelo was transferred to OL of Lourdes Kalyan.

2013 principal was transfered out
2013 fr James D’Silva appointment principal
2014 frJames transferred out.
2014 fr Merwyn D’Souza appointment principal
2015 fr Merwyn transfered out
2015 Lay person appointed acting principal

2016
Fr Agnelo was transferred to St Anthony’s Malwani
2017 fr Henry Pereira transferred out
2017 Lay person appointed acting principal.

Your Eminence, with the confidence the person has placed the details in writing; it seems there is substance into it. You may verify the same, if you wish to. During our meeting related to my request to revoke Fr. Henry’s transfer; you cited a reason that was untenable, but I did accept it. However, after this new revelation, few questions will certainly be raising ugly heads.

What was the reason for him to get other Principals transferred, within a span of a year each? Did he cite the same reason, which has been cited in the case of Fr. Henry Pereira? Can he justify these multiple transfers, in quick succession? Besides, he seems to have stopped, only when he got a Lay person as a principal. Whatever be his reason to do so, His game plan has now been exposed, which will not escape parishioner’s attention.

Your Eminence, it is impossible to believe that hierarchy was not aware of the tale of multiple transfers. In such case, it is a BIG INJUSTICE to the Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwany; done by the hierarchy, sending him to our parish; because, he has continued with his ugly game. It is needless to say that he has a motive behind transferring out, all the Priests, as Principals.

Your Eminence, Whatever is being communicated to you, is put in public domain, through SILENT VOICE; because parishioners have a right to know everything that is happening within parish. Here are some of the reactions from parishioners, to ongoing controversy about Fr. Agnelo Fernandes; which should suffice to understand mood of the parish, about their Parish Priest.

[11/23, 1:26 PM] *****: Very sad state of affairs. God help our parish
[11/23, 1:28 PM]*******: It’s a known fact that all those who are straight forward and vouch for the truth are not wanted where corruption thrives.
[11/23, 1:30 PM] ********: It’s shocking to note his attitude and behavior towards the handicapped man, his sister and brother-in-law. Instead of being sympathetic towards them he is harassing them when all they are doing is trying to earn a living in an honest way. God help them
[11/23, 1:31 PM]*******: Hope Fr. Agnelo is sent out of our parish. Surprisingly good priests like Fr. Sandeep get shunted out

[11/23, 2:00 PM]*********: Profound message with a strong state of practice and affairs.
U were fighting the battle from within, now it’s a new beginning for you to fight the good cause from outside.
Internal integrity & ambiguity is only known to the committee members and remains restricted from getting leaked out.
May the Lord grant you, your Christmas gift which you have asked for through His Emminence
I pray God blesses you to serve in spirit truth and stand up always for justice and what is right and be vocal and open to share your integral services to the parish and parishioners.
🏽✝ 🏽

[11/23, 5:16 PM]********: Mr Greg, You are fighting the battle for truth and Justice for Mother Church. May God bless you with strength and courage.

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, whether the hierarchy was ignorant about it or decided to look other way; now that the matter has come into limelight, you must act upon it. The young principals (Priests), certainly may be distressed at the time of their unethical/untimely transfer from the school.

I also suggest, please investigate his relations with his subordinate Priests, Principals or Assistants, wherever he was serving as Parish Priest. I am sure; you will not find anything that will cheer you up.

Yours always, in LORD JESUS CHRIST

GREG R. PEREIRA
Parishioner
St. Anthony’s Church,
Malwani.

P. S. : Your Eminence, Fr. Agnelo has sent me hard copy of a letter dated 25/11/2018; addressed to you, in response to my E mail to him dated 21st November,2018; copy of which has been marked to you too.
Since it has been addressed to you, I wouldn’t want to counter him and waste more of your time. However, I stand by each and every word that is written in the said letter as well as other letters, I have been writing to you about the parish affairs; He has reacted to current letter, only because he cannot digest the TRUTH, anymore. He is rattled because of TRUTH, staring right into his face. You may draw your own conclusion to it, taking into consideration, my communication with you, since long, and couple of meetings between us, on this matter.

I wish to delve on a point where he has said, “GREG is an EMPTY VESSEL He has used this term in particular context but I would like to view it in the context that suits me. He might be thinking and must want to say that GREG is an EMPTY VESSEL which makes more noise and does nothing.

Your Eminence let me take this God sent opportunity to highlight my contribution to this parish, for the knowledge of parishioners who may not be aware of it.

 ROAD WIDENING: Through efforts of SOUL, which was formed under the leadership of Fr. Austin Norris, the parish has managed to stall BMC authorities from acquiring the Parochial House for road widening. No doubt, the entire parish stood by and contributed, in their own way, by participating in Rallies and Protest Marches, including the Massive Rally at AZAD Maidan. However, one must understand the Authorities go by documentary evidence and Protests and Rallies are meaningless to them.

This is where I have played a very important role, collecting this evidence through research, and RTI, including obtaining the Road Plan; proving that RL has been manipulated by BMC authorities. This was communicated to the authorities through various letters, which they have not responded to, but seems the message has gone through to them. Fr. Austin Norris and other members of core team have appreciated this initiative of mine and they certainly, will vouch for it.

 HOLY CROSS AT KHARODI: At the onset, I will proudly state that this HOLY CROSS which fetches around two hundred thousand Rupees a month in offerings has come under patronage of St. Anthony’s Church, is because of my quick thinking and quick decision to intervene.
After moving the cross in its present location from its original place, people started venerating, particularly on Fridays and that started bringing in lot of offerings, in cash and kind. So there appeared a group of persons as caretakers. After day’s collection, this group was seen enjoying parties at Marve or some other place, with the monies generated through offerings. Everything was going on well within the group. After a while, the main caretaker who used to stand at the cross the whole day, helping devotees and collecting offerings, stopped entertaining the group and started enjoying the fruit himself, because at this juncture, the size of offerings had swelled. This miffed some members of the group, and they unsuccessfully tried to wrest control of the cross. Wisely, the guy had registered a trust by the name of HOLY CROSS ASSOCIATION. So to prevent this disgruntled group from taking control, he filed a writ in the court, naming three persons, out of which two are very active in parish.
While I was aware of things, because of my occasional presence with them at casual evening gathering, I just looked at it, as two groups fighting for a piece of pie from the booty. This group had no chance of wresting control, under the circumstances, I opined. Then came the twist to this tale.
I just overheard someone speak about a bank account, titled HOLY GROSS FUND. On inquiry out of curiosity, I was told that some offerings would come by cheques, in the name of St. Anthony’s Church. In order to get them encashed, an account was opened by the Church. On hearing this, I wasted no time and decided to intervene on behalf of the Church, which I did, and made St. Anthony’s Church, party to the case. Rest is history.
Friday following submission of intervention to court, I along with one of the respondent, went to the site and asked the caretaker/petitioner to leave the Cross, citing Church Intervention, and he politely obliged. This was another intelligent move on my part. Had he been In Charge of the Cross, when Court ordered to Maintain STATUS QUO, it would have been a different story. Though I was not part of it at later stage, the case went on for a long time, before being decided in favour of Church.
However, anticipating problem at this juncture, drafted a letter to Sr. Inspector of Malwani Police Station and got it signed by few parishioners from Kharodi, which was submitted to Malwani Police Station.

My colleague, Vitur Rodrigues who is always by my side and a great support to my cause, had paid certain amount, quite a sizable one, to a lawyer but did not claim from Church. On the last day of Fr. Austin Norris, while I was having one to one talk with him on our relation during his tenure, this matter was mentioned and he immediately reimbursed the amount. Thanks to him. Vitur Rodrigues also has been removed from Property Committee.

 DEMOLITION OF FRONT PORCH OF INFANT JESUS CHAPEL: BMC had ordered demolition of front part of Chapel, on the basis of complaint filed by the owner of neighboring plot. He has obtained a court order, for the passage through Chapel Property. The parishioners, particularly from Kharodi, opposed BMC when the squad arrived to demolish it. BMC staff was flaunting the court order and the notice from the authorities, in the face of parishioners.
On studying the Notice and the Court order, delivered by Justice A. Aguiar (Retd) it was revealed that the court order is for only THREE FEET of passage and not a motorway, which the complainant was insisting. I then initiated interaction with demolition in-charge to apprise him of the reality. He was convinced, but had to do his job of EXECUTION of the NOTICE and submit the report. Mutually it was decided then, to remove one corner prop of the porch and remove part of the floor to create THREE FEET passage as per court order, and remove asbestos sheets. Once this exercise was complete, he took photographs and went away. Nelson Patel of Godnel’s Studio helped in taking photographs, which were submitted to BMC, under covering letter. After the matter was cooled down, the prop and the sheets were put back in the place.

Your Eminence, this may sound like, I am indulging in SELF GLORY. BUT UNDER PREVAILING CIRCUMSTANCE, I AM COMLELLED TO. Besides, while doing all this I was never part of any committee within parish; so there is no question whether I am part of PROPERTY COMMITTEE or not. I will continue to work for MOTHER CHURCH, whenever I hear Her Call.

As mentioned in his letter to you, I have Indeed received a LEGAL NOTICE from Fr. Agnelo Fernandes. It says, I pay him Rs. 5,000,000/- (Rupees FIFTY LAKHS) towards damage and tender a public apology, failing which, I will have to bear LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.
Your Eminence, Legal Notice will be responded to, appropriately. I am prepared to face LEGAL CONSEQUENCES but not prepared to obey his dictats.

APOLOGY TO A CORRUPT PERSON, MEANS YOU CONDONE HIS CORRUPTION.

TRUTH needs no evidence to prove that it is right! Because TRUTH IS A TRUTH!! And it will always remain so!!!
TRUTH is synonymous with Birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Seeking Evidence for TRUTH is like questioning Birth of Lord Jesus Christ, through Mother Mary’s IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.

GREG R. PEREIRA
Parishioner,
St. Anthony’s Church,
Malwani

 

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

Jharkhand’s move on tribal people vexes church leaders

East Indian Community of Mumbai, is facing similar fate. They are paying the price, for adopting Christian faith. Church authorities must remember this.

GREG

The state government plans to remove tribal status and benefits from people who join other faiths.

 

File photo Ranchi:

Catholic tribal leaders in India are worried over a move by Jharkhand’s government to take away tribal status from people who have left their traditional Sarna religion to join other faiths.

The eastern state’s move will deprive thousands of tribal people of social benefits meant for their advancement.

“It is a deliberate attempt to divide tribal people on grounds of religion ahead of the state and national elections next year,” said Bishop Vincent Barwa of Simdega, who is based in a tribal Christian stronghold.

A state election is due at the end of next year, while national elections are due in April.

The state government, run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wants the BJP-led federal government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declassify the tribal status of tribal people who have adopted other religions, media reports said.

“The government move is disastrous and we are keeping a close watch on all developments,” Bishop Barva, chairman of the Indian bishops’ office for indigenous people, told ucanews.com.

Secular leaders like Dev Kumar Dhan, who leads a pan-India group of tribal people following the Sarna religion, told ucanews.com that the government is looking for political gains.

On Dec. 3, he presented a memorandum to state governor Draupadi Murmu, a representative the of the federal government, asking her to stop the move “to divide tribal people on religious grounds.”

Dhan said the declassification of tribal people would help non-tribal people to contest and win elections in tribal-majority constituencies that are now reserved for tribal candidates.

The state has 28 constituencies reserved for tribal candidates based on the population of tribal voters. If the proposed declassification happens, the number of seats will come down to 10 as tribal people in the other 18 seats will become non-tribal people overnight, he said.

Officially, 26 percent of Jharkhand’s 32 million people are tribal people, but declassification would reduce the tribal population to 12 percent, Dhan said.

Since the move needs federal approval and would have to be effective across the country, the representation of tribal people in India’s parliament would also be reduced.

Currently 47 of 543 parliamentary constituencies are reserved for tribal people.

Jharkhand has some 8.6 million tribal people, of whom 3.24 million have become Hindus and 1.33 million have become Christians, according to census records. Much smaller numbers have become Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains.

“The move has far-reaching implications because it will affect not only the social benefits of the people but also the policy decisions of governments in the use of natural resources like land, water and forests,” Dhan said.

Supporters of the move are shortsighted, he said.

Megha Oraon, who leads Sarna Vikas Samiti (forum for Sarna development), supported the plan and said it would end conversion to other religions and bring back those who had left the Sarna religion.

Tribal leader Babulal Munda agreed that government benefits meant for tribal people such as financial assistance for education and reservations in jobs should not be given to people who joined other religions.

However, tribal leaders maintain that those who converted to Hinduism should not be deprived benefits as the Sarna religion is broadly part of Hinduism.

Declassification of tribal people would violate the constitutional stipulation that citizens should not face discrimination over religion, said Catholic priest and lawyer Father Peter Martin.

In a federal system, a state alone cannot decide on something that could be applied across India, he said, as the consensus of other states is necessary. “That would not be an easy task,” he said.

The move will result in a massive uprising in the state as it will adversely affect millions, Father Martin said.

Source: UCAN

Minutes of the Meeting with Cardinal, related to St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani Matter.

VOICE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY

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

SILENT VOICE has been regularly bringing you, matter related to St. Anthony’s Parish, Malwani. We have also kept H. E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias in loop, about it. This post was supposed to be the last one in the series, but we don’t think it will be so.

As the title suggest, it is about minutes of the meeting between Cardinal and yours truly, which summarize entire matter in brief.

SILENT VOICE thanks our readers for standing by us, during this entire exercise.

GREG

LETTER TO CARDINAL

21st, July, 2018;
Your Eminence,
Thank you very much, for your valuable time, to discuss the matter related to St. Anthony’s Parish; Malwani; on 26th, June, 2018.
After about thirty five to forty minutes of deliberation on the issue, you decided to keep the matter open for further investigation, which I appreciate. This letter is just to remind you that I would be waiting anxiously for the outcome of this investigation, as soon as possible. I regret to say that there is a tendency among the hierarchy, to remain silent, in order to let matter die a natural death. His Lordship Bishop John Rodrigues did not report his findings to you, till the day we met, on my insistence to do so.
Your Eminence, I love my CHURCH for its values, particularly the TRUTH, as much as I love my Nation and Community. I have never liked any kind of malfunction of administration, in any of these wings of the society. I have been raising my voice, in whatever way possible, within my limits wherever any injustice is seen.
Towards the end of our meeting, though you committed to keep the matter open; I had made up my mind to put a lid onto it; reason for this is mentioned below. However, my conscience is not letting me do so. Hence, I am appealing to you, to look into this seriously, because your ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, TOWARDS CORRUPTION is at stake over here.
I would like to put down briefly, in form of minutes, what transpired between us, in order to refresh your memory.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING

Ø ME: The parish priest Fr. Agnelo Fernandes has committed CORRUPTION, which is a serious offence. He has violated the directives of the Hierarchy, while spending over Rs, Forty Lakhs for various jobs carried out within the vicinity of the Church. As per guidelines, for every job that is taken up, at least three quotations are required to be invited, which wasn’t done in any of the cases. Besides, amount exceeding beyond Rs. Four Lakhs, needed to get prior approval from hierarchy, which has not been done in any of the cases.
Ø YOU: I agree with you that CORRUPTION is serious offence, but it is just a violation of laid guidelines. It can’t be called a CORRUPTION.
Ø ME: (Surprised) If bypassing guidelines and manipulating bills is not CORRUPTION then what could be other purpose for doing this? It has been done with mal-intention to CHEAT the Hierarchy and the Church. That is how I look at it.
Ø ME: I had a meeting with His Lordship Bishop John Rodrigues, for about an hour and explained the matter to him in details. Thereafter, his Lordship visited Parish and met the parish Priest. As per the information available to me, a third person, supposed to be a contractor, was also present. If this is true, then don’t you think it is unfair? Why should an outsider be present at a confidential meeting?
Ø YOU: Bishop John has not spoken to me on this matter, yet. I called you because you wanted to meet me.
Ø ME: At the committee meeting following this controversy where this issue was discussed, I asked to produce the copies of the quotations, which was not done, because they had none.
Ø ME: After this controversy, one more job for replacing an old gate has been taken up. Well, in this case, four quotations were received, thanks to my opposition/ruckus in earlier matters. However, interestingly, while three of the quotations were within limit of the expected cost, the fourth was exceeding three times of the expected cost, ie 4.50 Lakhs against 1.25 Lakhs. Surprisingly, it belonged to the same contractor, who got a major chunk of forty lakhs plus, without following due process. You can thus imagine, whether the fair amount is paid for the jobs done.
Ø ME: Around Rs four Lakhs have been spent on renovating the kitchen, in the parochial house. No doubt, the kitchen was in shambles. However, considering the road widening issue still pending, a minimum amount could have been spent, since the committee decided to bypass the procedure, looking at emergency situation. I mentioned this to Fr. Agnelo after the meeting.
Ø ME: Have you ever known about water logging in the area of the GROTTO, in the monsoon that it required increasing the level? Around Rs. ten lakhs have been spent for it; ignoring the fact that the area is within RL (REGULAR LINE), for road widening. Later on the reason for doing so was changed to BEAUTIFICATION of the area.
Ø ME: Your Eminence, these things are happening in every parish in the Archdiocese which you, me and everyone knows. In this case the matter has been brought to your notice in writing; hence it is expected of you to take action against him.
Ø YOU: (ANNOYED) What do you expect me to do; transfer him?
Ø ME: Yes, that is what the parishioners would be happy with. (Spending huge amounts at such a short time, has become talking point among parishioners; though all of them may not be aware of the controversy).
Ø YOU: How can I transfer him, just because he has not followed rule? May be, he will do it next time. Besides, you are the only one opposing it. What about other committee members? I can’t just go by what you alone are saying.
Ø ME: If the parish priest produces the proof ie. Three quotations for each job done, I will withdraw my complaint. Besides, none of the members will ever go against the parish priest, because, some derive financial benefit by being in the committee and others who want to be in his good books, just to be on some committee or a cell. This fact is known to all.
Ø YOU: By way of contracts?
Ø ME: You judged it right, your Eminence. These guys are known to parishioners. One of them was presented with a gold chain by a contractor, as per the information available to me. The other one, collected money from a stall owner, during the novenas and did not deposit it.
Ø YOU: Did you bring it to Fr. Agnelo’s notice?
Ø ME: I had forwarded the message, which I had received from the stall owner, to Fr. Agnelo. Till date he is silent over it.
Ø ME: I would like to share with you something about Fr. Agnelo, which is out of context. He has a history of being transferred within a year from OL of Lourdes Parish, Orlem; for similar controversy.
Ø YOU: (Looking perturbed) Mr Pereira, you should have done your homework, before making such allegations. You must take your words back and apologize. Fr. Agnelo has never been at Orlem.
I stuck to my statement. At this stage, you called for his file and found out that he indeed was at Orlem, though only for a year; about which you expressed surprised and apologized, which was really embarrassing to me. (At this stage I had decided to close this chapter, as mentioned above). Your Eminence, I am not sure, whether this was mentioned to you. A signature campaign was carried out by parishioners, to save a century old Grotto, which the parishioners believed, was sold to the builder, along with the plot on which it is standing. The Grotto still exists, but as per my knowledge it is still in the possession of the society, on paper.
Recently, this Grotto is embroiled in fresh controversy. It has just been renovated and the over century old Images, which certainly would carry a heritage tag and Antique Value, have been replaced with new ones. No one knows, where the old Images are, as per the information available to me. It would be interesting to know, where the images are at the moment. Fr. Warner, in charge of Heritage museum at St. Pius Seminary, denied having received these images.
Your Eminence, the Parish Priest might be a SOLE TRUSTEE, but the lay faithful, the Parishioners are TRUE OWNERS of the Church, they certainly would like you to act as per your policy of ZERO TOLERANCE TOWARDS CORRUPTION, lest their perception about hierarchy’s leniency towards errant clergy will be strengthened.
GREG R. PEREIRA

REMINDER

26th, August, 2018
Your Eminence,
This is just to remind you that it was assured that you are not closing the matter, but will keep it open and would investigate further. I would not know, how further the investigation has gone and what is the outcome.
However, at property and finance committee meeting on Monday the 20th, Fr. Agnelo gleefully announced that rules for the expenditure by parish priest are revised and the amount that the parish priest need not take any approval has been doubled. I think this change was overdue, since long. But my conscience is not willing to accept it as wise move. This will encourage the Parish Priests to spend more, where it is not necessary; just like what is happening at our parish; even before this revision could take place.
Besides, it is my perception that change has taken place, because of my complaint and in case of Malwani Parish; the revision means SHIFTING OF THE GOAL POST to save the accused.
However, since the related matter pertains prior to this revision, the change should not come in the way of fair judgment. The delay in the judgment has emboldened the accuse Parish Priest to continue with his charade of unnecessary expenditure.
We pray, to Good Lord, to shower upon you His choicest Blessings and WISDOM to do justice to your policy of ZERO TOLERANCE TOWARDS CORRUPTION.
Yours always, in Our LORD JESUS CHRIST

GREG R. PEREIRA

 

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

(To Be Continued)

From Archives :

Fitting Response from SILENT VOICE, to a LEGAL NOTICE Served By BISHOP……

 

 

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