JCC calls for law to regulate assets of Catholic churches

Amidst protest from various church leaders over the draft Kerala Church (Properties and Institution) Bill, the Joint Christian Council (JCC), a federation of progressive Christian organisations, has come out in support of a law to regulate assets under the Catholic churches.

Addressing media persons here on Saturday, the organisation pointed out that the opposition by the clergy to the Bill stemmed from anxiety over democratisation of church administration.

‘‘As is propagated, the draft Bill does not stipulate government intervention at any level. It only seeks to audit the records of each and every financial transaction and suggests constitution of a tribunal to address the disputes in this regard,’’ said K. George Joseph, general secretary, JCC.

Holding that the existing rules governing the Catholic churches and its assets were formed by the clergy themselves, Mr. Joseph pointed out that the laity as members of the parish committee had no role in the administration of assets. ‘‘Had there been accountability in the governance of church assets, we could not have come across a corruption case involving a cardinal,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the organisation said the draft of the Kerala Church (Properties and Institution) Bill, 2019 published by the Kerala Law Reforms Commission is only a ‘diluted version’ of the Kerala Christian Church Properties and Institutions Act, 2009.

To mobilise public opinion in support of the Bill, the JCC will organise an open forum for the laity at the Vanchi Square in Kochi on March 8.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 6:28:52 AM |

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