Following letter to Archbishop, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, should make you understand the meaning. So far, we have not received any response, but on ground, it is reliably learnt that desirable action has been taken.

Crux of the entire matter is, DMC R South’s letter, bearing Ref. No. DMC / Z VII/ 236/ OD dated 22/03/2017; to Fr. Don John D’souza,  Sole Trustee, Our Lady of Remedy Church, SV Road,Poinsur, Kandivali (W), Munbai – 67; which concludes with following statement.

” Thanking you for your valuable co – operation for surrendering the land under Road Widening to the corporation”.




Constituted under Para 29 of Christifideles Laici

(Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of H.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)

27th, March, 2017;


H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias,

Archbishop of Bombay,

Holy Name Cathedral,

Nathalal Parekh Marg,

Fort, Mumbai – 400001;



Your Eminence,


SUB:-                         BETRAYAL OF THE FAITHFUL


Hope this letter finds you in the pink of health. We keep you always, in our prayers, so that you can lead the community for many long years.


Your Eminence, the Saga of Betrayal, if it is true, is reenacting once again, in this twenty first century. Fr Don John, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Remedy Church, Poinsur; seems to have meekly surrendered to BMC authorities, the piece of land, belonging to the Parish. Most importantly, he has done it in the middle of night, keeping every person in dark, who have been helping him to fight the unjust LAND ACQUISITION NOTICE.


Apart from the parishioners, various other associations and individuals have come forward to help the parish, tide over this Injustice. While Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS), parish unit was, from day one, with the Parish Priest, other parishioners united under the banner of GUARDIANS UNITED in order to help him. Associations like SOUL – Save Our Land, WatchDog Foundation, Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA), All India Catholic Union (AICU) and BCS Central Unit among others, joined later. All these associations participated in various events, conducted jointly, to send a strong message to BMC authorities that NOT AN INCH OF OUR LAND will be allowed to touch in unjust manner.


Chronology of the events, in this context, is as follows:


  1. BMC authorities demolished the Sadanand Chawl, belonging to the parish. Parishioners gathered on the spot immediately, when the news of demolition was flashed. Even people from other parishes, particularly from Malwani and Orlem, made appearance on the site.
  2. A Human Chain was formed around the Church, to symbolize protection to the land.
  3. On 25th, December 2016; in spite of being Christmas Festival, many Catholics from the parish as well as surrounding Parishes, gathered at the gate near OLRC, Poinsur to register their protest against unjust land acquisition.
  4. 3rd, January, Parish authorities, along with members from associated groups, met DMC and Asst. Commissioner, R South; and discussed this matter at length. At this meeting, yours truly also was present and brought to the notice of BMC administration that the Road Widening Plan is invalid, since it has been drawn in violation of a law, which provides protection to Religious Places. I personally discussed this matter with Fr. Richard Crasto later, who was present at this meeting.
  5. On, 21st, January, 2017; a massive SILENT PROTEST RALLY, commencing from OLRC and marching to BMC R South office was organized jointly by these associations.


All these associations and Individuals feel betrayed. Isn’t it the duty of the Parish Priest, to take them into confidence, and share the reason for this about turn, with them?


We are sure; Fr. Don John is not capable of taking this decision on his own. Then who advised him on this matter to decide on such a drastic step? The People must know.


Your Eminence, we have been hearing a buzz that authorities have assured that they will not take the Cemetery and would not touch the HOLY CROSS, but only the adjacent piece of land. What is the guarantee that they will not come for the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS later? Besides, the court has granted temporary injunction to the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS, which the Parish authorities have perhaps, not understood. Have they challenged this court order, granting permission to BMC to acquire the piece of land? They are not taking piece of land for any commercial purpose. It is for road widening, as per the plan which cuts through the Cemetery and the HOLY CROSS. This certainly implies that unless the cemetery land is taken, road widening process will not be complete.


As per little understanding of law that I have, Cemetery has protection from a particular Law. THE PLACES OF WORSHIP (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT 42 OF 1991; and drawing a plan cutting through the Cemetery, for widening of a road, itself is in violation of the law, hence the plan renders INVALID. Therefore, notice for land acquisition, by the virtue of invalid plan, too renders invalid. Then where was the hurry for the Parish Priest to surrender this piece of land? Through a letter, this matter has been brought to the notice of Municipal Commissioner Shri Ajoy Mehta, Chief Engineer (Roads and Traffic) and Dy. Municipal Commissioner, Zone Vll by me, seeking redressal to get this plan abolished.


I had brought this to the notice of Adv. Martina, who is representing the Parish in Court. This is the first blunder, taking the matter to court, committed by Fr. Don John. She said the writ is being amended to incorporate this clause; which is heartening. However, just for your information, in my individual capacity,  have filed a complaint with LOKAYUKTA, seeking stay on any attempt to forcible acquisition of piece of land, till am given a hearing. I am not sure, if BMC waits till then. However, the message has been sent to DCP Zone XI and Senior Inspector of Kandivali Police station, citing the Complaint to LOKAYUKTA, not to entertain any request from BMC to provide any help.


Your Eminence, We have amongst us, knowledgeable persons like Adv. Godfrey Pimenta, Dolphy D’souza, ex President of BCS  who are the guiding force to people, in many such agitations. Why couldn’t they be taken into confidence, before taking the decision to surrender the piece of land?


Your eminence, so far Parishioners are not aware of this development. You can imagine their reaction, when the matter comes to the fore. I will appreciate, if you could seek clarification on the matter from the Parish Priest or any other entity, responsible for the decision.


We would be awaiting a reply from you at the earliest.


Yours always,








Are Church leaders listening to the wake-up calls?

Judge yourself with the latest situation in India particularly in Mumbai. Leadership is doomed, lay leadership is neither encouraged nor supported. We are sailing in a boat without any boatman…….Alex D’mello on FB

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

Are Church leaders listening to the wake-up calls?

Cardinal Bertone. File picture: Dmitry Morgan/

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
Courtesy: UCANews…



Dear Readers,

I am sure you remember the post BREAKING NEWS. If you don’t here is the link.

I was served this LEGAL NOTICE in the context of the post on SILENT VOICE. Here is the link for that post.

Here is our reply to the LEGAL NOTICE. We thank our readers for standing by us. It gives us the courage and strength to face any adverse situation.


OL of Nazareth, Bhayandar





A7 Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Marve Rd.

Malad (W), Mumbai – 400095;

Contact: Cell: 9870719628; E Mail:



To,                                                                                                                              11th, May, 2016;


Adv. Vishalkumar S. Kothari,

Office No. 1, Jay Shree Ram Kutir,

Besides Dena Bank,

Station Road, Bhayander (West),

Dist. Thane – 401101;





Sub: Legal Notice to the undersigned.


I am in receipt of your Legal Notice dated 23/04/2016 to which here is my reply.


Before dealing with the questions that you have raised, I wish to explain to you about myself, the blog and our activities through it.


I am a Christian of Roman Catholic denomination belonging to Archdiocese of Mumbai and an EAST INDIAN to the core, son of the soil; proud of my religion and culture; am prepared to go to any length to protect integrity of my MOTHER CHURCH and COMMUNITY.


CATHOLICS FOR TRUTH TRANSPARENCY AND WEEDING OF CORRUPT PRACTICES AT PARISH LEVEL, is our motto. We take up the issues, good as well as bad and undesirable happenings in parishes within Archdiocese and put them in public domain to make them aware. We are the VOICE OF SILENT MAJORITY, who is ignored and neglected by parish authorities within Archdiocese of Mumbai. We give the silent majority our voice and take up their matter with Hierarchy and/or in public domain, as the situation demands.


My response to your LEGAL NOTICE:


  1. I am aware of identity and activities of your client, Bhayander East Indian Gavki Mandal (BEIGM), though I wasn’t aware about the name of its chairman till date. Thank you for informing me.
  2. I do not deny that I am operating a Blog named SILENT VOICE on site and it is true, what you have mentioned about its activity. It has also been stated in the introduction above.
  3. I do not deny that an article has been placed as named,” SAD story of GOOD FRIDAY, at a Parish in the Archdiocese of Bombay” on the said Blog, during the period mentioned by you.
  4. I staunchly deny your allegations that I have made defamatory remarks about your clients and its chairman. The article clearly carries the name of the person who has written the letter and forwarded to many others, including Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Parish Priest of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayander. The letter has been posted on FaceBook as well.

As per the policy of SILENT VOICE, the writer of the letter or any other matter, is responsible and not the owner/editor of the blog.

The name of the writer of the letter is: Noel Corriea, who is the parishioner of Our Lady of Nazareth Church; as reputed a person as your client. His contact details are as follow:

Noel Corriea

104 Reema Apartment

Bakol Street, Bhayander (W),

Thane – 401101;


  1. I do not deny that your client is respectable association and it has derived respect from trust, faith and good work of the members of you client since past several years.
  2. I do not deny that the president and other members of your client are highly respectable men of the society.


  1. I have no comments to offer on the remarks and its effect on your client, since it is attributed to the said Mr. Noel Corriea, who is also the parishioner of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayander; as reputed as your client, if not more.
  2. I have no comments to offer on the remarks and its effect on your client, since it is attributed to the said Mr. Noel Corriea, who is also the parishioner of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayander; as reputed as your client, if not more. I sympathise with your client’s suffering reputation and lowered estimation of friends and general public.
  3. I refuse to accept that your client is unaware of the source of information for publication. The name of the source, Mr. Noel Corriea has clearly been mentioned in the article. Mr. Noel Corriea, who is a parishioner of Our Lady of Nazareth Church, Bhayander; as reputed and respected as your client, if not more. He too is as active as your client in Our Lady of Nazareth Parish, Bhayander; and it is unbelievable that your client does not know his identity. I do not wish to comment on my knowledge of Constitution of India. I deny that the article has been published to cause slander to anyone, but to bring it into public domain the undesirable happenings within a HOUSE OF GOD, bringing disrepute to MOTHER CHURCH, which seem to have hurt the members of the Catholic Community present on the occasion. Hence, Mr. Noel Corriea wrote his feelings on paper and distributed to various reputed personalities of the community, including some mentioned above.
  4. As regards to point Nos. 10 to 14, they are repeat of the same as earlier points. Hence, have nothing more to say since they are covered in the above statement some way or the other.
  5. TRUTH PREVAILS and AS YOU SOW SO SHALL YOU REAP are some of the values of Christianity, taught by Lord Jesus Christ; and every Christian adheres to follow them in action, religiously. Reputation of every human being is INVALUABLE. It cannot be valued in terms of any currency. Your client’s valuation of his own reputation at such a meager amount has surprised me. It has also enlightened me of the real intention of your client. However, any dictat of your client is unacceptable to me.

However, if your client has something to explain, he can write to us and we shall put up his views on the blog, SILENT VOICE. Nevertheless, this matter will be published in order to make our readers aware.


I would like to mention something out of context but related to similar matter. In the year 2009 or around then; similar incident had occurred on one of the holiest days in Christian calendar, THE MAUNDY THURSDAY, during the prayer service. It is reliably learnt that a commission of inquiry was also established by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay to look into it. I am not sure if your client remembers the incident.






Copy To:    Noel Corriea

104 Reema Apartment

Bakol Street, Bhayander (W),

Thane – 401101;




STEVEN 1 001STEVEN 2 001STEVEN 3 001STEVEN 4 001STEVEN 5 001STEVEN 6 001


Wounds within Church: Casteism and Financial corruption.

This article is related to assault on Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah diocese, Andhra Pradesh, Authored by BENWEN LOPES; avid reader of SILENT VOICE and parishioner of IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH, BORIVALI in Archdiocese of Bombay.


The Enemy Within


Bishop Prasad Gallela

Pope Francis issued a   mission statement   for his papacy that outlined his hope that the Catholic Church would become more merciful to the needy and less confined and clinging to its own security. “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote. “I do not want a church concerned with being at the center and then ends up by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.”


The Church in India although has many gifts and treasures yet it is plagued by different wounds. And her most painful wounds are casteism and financial corruption.


Indian society is marred by casteism for centuries; it has slowly and steadily plagued the Church, where Catholic brethren face severe discrimination because of their caste.


Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah diocese, Andhra Pradesh, is known for his love for the poor and empowerment of women. He started various grass root level programmes for the poor. He runs several child-and-mother care programmes that focus on nutrition and general health.


On the morning of April 25, the prelate was going for a religious function when his car was stopped. He and his driver were kidnapped and taken to a location, where the Bishop was stripped of his cassock; his hands were bound with the red fascia (sash); and he was beaten up with iron rods and sticks. The prelate, along with his driver, was released at 2 a.m. after hours of torture. Sources close to the prelate confirmed that he was also verbally abused for his caste.


Three priests — Fr. Raja Reddy, Fr. Vijaymohan Reddy and Fr. Sanivarapu Reddy – along with 11 others have been arrested in the case on charges of kidnapping for ransom and making an attempt on the life of the bishop.


Sources close to the investigation have confirmed that there are two primary motives behind the attack – caste issue and financial corruption.


Bishop Gallela hails from a Dalit community and has been looked down by priests belonging to higher castes. Another reason is reported to be that the accused priests had demanded transfer of the current diocesan procurator and the post be given to Fr. Sanivarapu Reddy, but the prelate had declined the request.  The diocesan procurator is the official in-charge of all collections in the diocese. Fr. Reddy had also demanded some funds for his parish but the process was delayed. The three priests had threatened the prelate on earlier occasions also with dire consequences for not adhering to their requests.  They released him on condition that he would transfer Rs. 50 lakh to them.


Diocesan sources confirmed that ever since Bishop Gallela was ordained to the office, he has met with severe opposition from priests belonging to upper casts. It is evident that these priests have blatantly violated their vow of obedience, which they take at the time of ordination.


Oswald Cardinal Gracias of the Bombay Archdiocese expressed shock on the brutal attack on Bishop Gallela Prasad. Condemning the attack, Cardinal stated, “I know that Bishop Gallela has a great love for the poor and worked hard for them. I am shocked about this sacrilegious attack.”


Mr. Rayappa who hails from a diocese in Andhra Pradesh said, “This attack on the Bishop is nothing but to teach him a lesson that the higher castes must always have a say on important diocesan matters, transfers and financial transactions, and that the prelate must listen to them because he is from a Dalit community.”  He added that casteism has been one of the saddest issues in the Church. Rayappa also said that one of the reasons for such happenings is that a priest is posted to one parish for several years without transfers.


One of the main accused Fr. Raja Reddy runs an “NGO” called the Father Raja Foundation and he is fondly known as ‘Daddy’. He has also set up a home for kids called ‘Daddy’s Home’ and an international school.


Sources close to the investigation said that the driver of the prelate stated that they were apparently locked up in a room in ‘Daddy Home’; he further stated that he could recognize the ‘iron gate and other surroundings’.  The police have also recovered videos of the torture.


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has condemned the attack and appealed to the police for speedy investigation.  But the moot point is who will dig deeper and expose the plague of casteism and financial corruption gripping the Church.


Castesim above God


There are several reports pointing out that around 80% Dalit Catholics have been ostracized by fellow Catholics. Not too long ago, the Vatican was petitioned by a group of Tamil Catholics who were refused the right to bury their kin in the Church cemetery because they belonged to Dalit community. Their discrimination includes separate sitting arrangements in Churches.


Sagaya Shanty, a human rights activist who works on gender and caste issues at grassroot level, said, “Casteism in the Indian Church is very strong so much so that Dalits are made to sit somewhere else, away from the upper castes.”  She further said that while conducting a session on caste, a nun met her and wept, recalling her days when she was ill-treated because of the caste politics in the Church and in the convent.


Recently, a memorandum was submitted to Jesuit priest, Adolfo Nicolas, the head of the Society of Jesus, during his visit to India. It highlighted the discrimination in the Church against the Dalits. Last year memorandums were submitted to the Papal Nuncio of India and Nepal, Archbishop Salvatore.


Chezhiyan Anandaraj from Karnataka said: “The existence of caste in the Catholic Church is a fact though it isn’t practised openly in a cosmopolitan place like Bangalore; it is a reality in rural areas. Even some of the hierarchy is deeply entrenched in caste politics. People from ‘lower caste’ are forced to have their own parishes…..Even in cities like Bangalore, Catholics look for marriages within their own caste.”


Stating that Dalits need to rise above the caste and opt not to be identified as Dalit Christians, he said: “Unless Casteism is classified as Rascism, it will be difficult to fight this evil inside and outside the Church and there are some efforts by activists from India towards this in the UN.”


Financial Corruption


It is clear from the police investigations that greed for money was the other motive behind the attack.  Financial corruption is one of the deepest wounds in the Church and very few members of the Church hierarchy could tackle this situation. Apparently, corruption is rampant in many dioceses in the country.


President of the All India Catholic Union John Dayal states: “ In India, possibly elsewhere, all religions including Hinduism and Christianity have become increasingly focused on material issues, institutions and trappings of power.  Internal corruption and even competitive violence are inevitable. Caste adds another layer to this moral crisis.  There are no faiths innocent in this.”


Canonical Penalties


Apart from being prosecuted under the law of the land, the accused priests have violated the sanctity of the sacred priesthood, not to forget the vow of obedience to their bishop.  Therefore, they also need to face canonical penalties prescribed by the Church.


Rome-based Canon lawyer Ester Rita Altieri said, “According to me, this case falls perfectly under the facti species of Can. 1370 §2. A person who does this against a bishop incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if he is a cleric, also a latae sententiae suspension.”


Altieri further said: “ The important thing to keep in mind is that the Church has a real right to punish with sanctions the Christian faithful who have committed a crime (Can. 1311). There are two types of penalties: a) censures; b) expiatory penalties. Censures are strictly three: excommunication; interdict; and suspension. The purpose of the censures is to correct the person who committed the crime. If this person repents, the penalty no longer has a reason to exist so it is to be remitted. Expiatory penalties aim to repair the damage done by the crime itself, so there is not a right to absolution. They need to be expiated. The Legislator foresees that these penalties can be imposed in perpetuum, ad certum tempus or indefinitely.”


On the canonical penalties she said: “Basically, there are two ways of incurring canonical penalties: latae sententiae and ferendae sententiae: in the first case, the penalty is incurred ipso facto, i.e. by the very fact of having committed the crime. Those penalties are always determinate and obligatory. The penalties ferendae sententiae must be applied only after a trial, by a judge’s sentence. They can be either determinate or indeterminate, obligatory or “facultative” — roughly meaning “optional” in the sense that the judge sometimes has discretionary power either to impose the penalty or not.”


The most important questions we need to ask are: How long will we allow the wounds of castesim, groupism and corruption to bleed? When will our pastors and shepherds go to periphery and have the smell of the sheep?


(Published on 9th May 2016, Volume XXVIII, Issue 19)# INDIAN CURRENTS;

– See more at:



 B R E A K I N G  N E W S

Dear Readers,

Your site, SILENT VOICE, has been served  a LEGAL NOTICE, in connection with one of the post which appeared on it.

Obviously, the article must have rattled someone, therefore they chose this path. SILENT VOICE will respond to the LEGAL NOTICE appropriately.

W A T C H  T H I S  S P A C E 

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