Lay group demands action on Church land deals

‘Syro-Malabar Synod skirted controversial issues’

Almaya Munnettam, a group of lay people in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, has demanded that the permanent Synod of the Church be convened immediately to take decisions on issues such as making good the losses suffered by the archdiocese in controversial land deals between 2016 and 2017. Almaya Munnettam said in a submission before the Synod of Bishops that no decision had been taken on compensating the archdiocese for the financial losses it suffered on account of the land deals though the Vatican had recommended such a course of action.

The submission was made even as the Synod is set to meet here from January 7.

The lay group claimed that the Synod of Bishops had made a “clever exit” from its responsibilities. It avoided taking decisions on tough questions at its meeting in August this year as it had appointed a new Metropolitan Vicar and transferred two Auxiliary Bishops.

The Synod had not fulfilled its promise to take action made to the representatives of 16 parishes who had met the Bishops as they met at Mount St.Thomas in August last year, Alamaya Munnettam said.

The group was forced to continue its protest despite a desire to desist from such actions, the representation said. The demands included immediate steps to make good the financial losses and recovery of the lost of moral ground on account of the land deals. The Inchodi Commission, set up under a directive of the Vatican, had estimated the financial losses at over ₹41.50 crore, Almaya Munnetam said. The moral responsibility for the losses was on Cardinal George Alencherry, the lay group said in its representation.

Appeal on liturgy

The lay group also demanded that the Ernakulam-Angamalay Archdiocese be allowed to continue with the practice in which Mass is celebrated with the priest facing the congregation. “This is the only acceptable way for the faithful in the archdiocese”, said the representation.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 12:23:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/lay-group-demands-action-on-church-land-deals/article30332534.ece

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