Kerala

Action against retreat meet held by CSI church

The District Police Chief has been asked to file cases against the organisers of an alleged retreat meet held by the Church of South India (CSI) at Munnar in April in which over 350 priests and deacons attended and two of the priests later succumbed to COVID-19 .

District Collector H. Dinesan told The Hindu that he came to know about the retreat meet only on Wednesday and the police were also in the dark over it. A report was sought from the Devikulam Sub-Collector.

Violated

The organisers had violated the COVID-19 protocol and it caused the spread of the virus among the priests and deacons.

The annual event was held at the Munnar CSI retreat centre from April 13 to 17. Around 110 priests belonging to the CSI Church have been infected with the virus, and two priests died after they attended the retreat.

The condition of five others is said to be serious. Among the infected is a CSI moderator and Bishop of South Kerala diocese A Dharmaraj Rasalam.

He is currently in home quarantine, Church sources said.

The priests who attended the retreat were mostly from CSI churches in Thiruvananthapuram. The priests who died of COVID-19 infection are Bijumon, 52, and Shine B. Raj.

Bijumon, the Vicar of CSI church Kazhukode in Thiruvananthapuram died last Tuesday and Shine Raj , Vicar of CSI Church, Punnakkamugal near Thirumala, died last Thursday.

A section among the priests and believers sent a complaint in this regard to the Chief Secretary.

In the complaint, it was alleged that the stand by the Church authorities caused the superspreader event and many priests were already in a serious condition. The complaint said that it was the stand of a few who insisted on conducting the retreat resulting in the spread of COVID among the priests. It sought action against those who insisted on conducting the retreat.

An official of CSI South Kerala diocese,said that the retreat followed COVID-19 protocols. The priests got infected after several weeks of organising the retreat, he said..


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:28:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/action-against-retreat-meet-held-by-csi-church/article34493316.ece

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