Must Read – Address by Dhuje Parbhu at the Inaugural Christian Reforms Foundation meeting at YMCA Hall, Mangalore

Must Read- Address by Dhuje Parbhu at the Inaugural Christian Reforms Foundation meeting at YMCA Hall, Mangalore

Bishops and Clergy in this country think that the church belongs to them and we the laity are docile, simple, cows and buffaloes. So far because of lack of proper laity organisation in the church, they took us for  a ride. Vatican II never favors the laity and calls us as the “subjects” of the Bishops. After all one must know that Vatican II is the council of Bishops to safeguard their interests…..Read More

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IT probe against CASK- (Catholic Association of South Kanara)

IT probe against CASK- (Catholic Association of South Kanara)

source: The Canara Times

MANGALORE : The Income Tax Department which has accused the Catholic Association of South Kanara (CASK) of tax evasion, has ordered a probe into the same. If the Mangalore Bishop is the patron of CASK, all the day-to-day affairs are monitored by his Marcel Monteiro.

The CASK President had issued three circulars. If the circular dated 1-6-2011 had declared that the Association had earned a revenue of Rs 6,38,600/- through sale of liquor, another circular dated 6-6-2011 had said that 11900 dollars had been received for the centenary fund from Christians in America and Canada. The third circular dated 9-6-2011 had declared that the CASK had received a donation of Rs one crore.

It has been learnt that the CASK had not shown records pertaining to the above funds exceeding Rs 2 crore neither in its statement of accounts nor had paid taxes for the same.Reliable sources revealed that CASK intended to deposit this amount in the name of the office bearers and members of the Association.

The Income Tax Department which has ordered a probe has said that all members and office bearers of the Association as well as the Bishop would be enquired individually and that legal action would also follow.

Pope Benedict hit by new Church child abuse allegations

Pope Benedict hit by new Church child abuse allegations

source: mailed by Prem D’Sa

The Pope is facing allegations he was responsible for delaying Church action against a paedophile priest – the first time he has been accused so directly.

1985 letter with Cardinal Ratzinger's signature

1985 letter with Cardinal Ratzinger's signature

The allegations stem from a letter signed by Benedict XVI in 1985, when he was a senior Vatican official. Associated Press said it had obtained the letter, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, resisting the defrocking of offending US priest Stephen Kiesle. The Vatican says he was exercising due caution before sacking the priest. Cardinal Ratzinger – who was at the time the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – said the “good of the universal Church” needed to be considered in any defrocking, AP reported.

Vatican officials say the letter was part of a long correspondence and should not be taken out of context. Vatican spokesman Rev Federico Lombardi said: “The press office doesn’t believe it is necessary to respond to every single document taken out of context regarding particular legal situations.” The allegations come as the Vatican says the Pope is willing to meet more victims of clerical abuse, and as the Vatican prepares to publish a guide on the internet about how bishops should deal with accusations of sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church has been hit by a series of child abuse scandals, including in Ireland, the US, Germany and Norway, and has faced criticism for failing to deal adequately with the problem.

‘Grave significance’

AP says the 1985 correspondence, written in Latin, shows Cardinal Ratzinger saying that Kiesle’s removal would need careful review. Cardinal Ratzinger urged “as much paternal care as possible” for Kiesle. Kiesle was sentenced to six years in prison in 2004 after admitting molesting a young girl in 1995. Kiesle is now 63 and is on the registered sex offenders list in California. On Friday, the Vatican urged Catholic dioceses around the world to co-operate with police investigating sex abuse allegations against priests. Father Lombardi acknowledged that the Church had lost public trust and said Church law could no longer be placed above civil laws if that trust were to be recovered.AP said the Rev Kiesle was sentenced to three years of probation in 1978 for lewd conduct with two young boys in San Francisco. It said the Oakland diocese had recommended Kiesle’s removal in 1981 but that that did not happen until 1987. Cardinal Ratzinger took over the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which at the time dealt with some sex abuse cases, in 1981.

He also said Pope Benedict was prepared to meet more victims of abuse to offer them moral support. BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott says this is an abrupt change of tone by the Vatican. He says officials had previously accused critics of trying to smear the Pope personally and only last weekend said he should ignore petty gossip directed at him. Meanwhile Italian media have reported that the Vatican is to issue guidelines on its website on Monday on fighting paedophilia. The Vatican has ruled out any possibility of a papal resignation over the scandals.

ANALYSIS

David Willey
By David Willey,
BBC News, Rome

The Vatican claims the letter must be considered in its true context of a lengthy exchange of correspondence between California and Rome about defrocking an American priest who was a known child molester.

The Pope’s critics claim that he stalled and left unanswered for years letters concerning alleged cases of sexual abuse by priests.

American bishops are coming under increasing pressure from their flocks to explain why the church in Rome did not take more robust action or took no action at all.

So they are releasing confidential documents which put the future Pope’s lack of action in a bad light.

The Vatican insists that the Pope was only exercising due caution before sacking a priest for sexual misconduct.

ALLEGATIONS FACING POPE

  • In 1980 as archbishop of Munich and Freising, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger unwittingly approved housing for a priest accused of child abuse. A former deputy later said he made the decision
  • Cardinal Ratzinger failed to act over complaints during the 1990s about US priest Lawrence Murphy, who is thought to have abused some 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin
  • Cardinal Ratzinger allowed a case against Arizona priest Michael Teta to languish at the Vatican for more than a decade despite repeated pleas for his removal
  • Cardinal Ratzinger resisted the defrocking of California priest Stephen Kiesle, a convicted offender, saying “good of the universal Church” needed to be considered
The Pope’s supporters say he has been unfairly blamed for cases handled by junior staff, and that he has been proactive in addressing child abuse.

German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

source : mailed by Prem D’Sa

BBC mapA German Catholic priest has admitted 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys in the past decade, saying he did not think he was doing harm. Named only as Andreas L, the priest told a court in Braunschweig that he had first abused the nine-year-old son of a widowed woman parishioner. After being banned by his diocese from making further contact with the boy, he abused two brothers, aged nine and 13. Thousands of Germans have left the Church over revelations of abuse.

About 180,000 renounced their Catholicism in 2010, up 40% from the previous year, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports. Pope Benedict XVI, a German by birth, briefly met victims of sexual abuse by priests when he visited his native land in September, expressing “deep compassion and regret” at their suffering. Disneyland Paris The priest on trial in Braunschweig faces a minimum prison sentence of between six and six and a half years.

He was arrested during the summer, after the mother of his earlier victim reported him to the authorities.  Continue reading the main story

“Start QuoteIt was never my impression that the children did not consent”

Fr Andreas She acted after her son, now aged 17, revealed to her the abuse he had undergone for two years. Sexual assaults were made on the three boys in various settings: at the priest’s house, on skiing holidays, in a parental home, on a trip to Disneyland Paris and at a church shortly before Mass. The priest, who covered his face with a ring binder as he went into court on Thursday, said that while working in Braunschweig in 2004, he had begun a close relationship with the widow. When Fr Andreas was moved to Salzgitter, her son often spent weekends with him, and the two would go off on short trips. He would give the boy presents such as a camera and a mobile phone.

Abuse would often occur three times a weekend. The priest said it had not been his intention to get close to the boy sexually, and that it had never occurred to him that he was doing harm. Pornographic images When the mother began to suspect her son’s relations with the priest were inappropriately close, she approached the diocese of Hildesheim, the priest’s employer, which forbade further contact with the boy. The abuse of the two brothers then began under similar circumstances, the court heard. After contact with these victims was also forbidden, the priest approached his first victim again, writing him a letter. It was then that the truth about the abuse emerged.

“It was never my impression that the children did not consent,” the priest was quoted as saying at the trial. When asked in court if he was a paedophile, he replied, according to local newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung: “It would be wrong to say No but to say Yes would also fall short of the truth.” When a prosecutor asked him in court if he thought a “father would do this to his children”, he was silent. About 2,800 pornographic images were found on the priest’s computer, including several of his victims. Correspondents say members of the public who were in the courtroom watched the trial with faces rigid from shock. They included parishioners from St Joseph’s Church in Salzgitter, where Fr Andreas had once been a respected priest, according to Germany’s Spiegel magazine.

First beneficiary of Diocese’s 160 house-project says she has been deceived

First beneficiary of Diocese’s 160 house-project says she has been deceived

Source: Coastal Digest

Saturday, 21 January 2012 14:08

Mangalore, January 22: “Jesus Christ will not forgive the sin of the Mangalore Diocese, which is fooling poor Christians without any sense of shame” —  This was the reaction of a poor Christian couple, which was projected as the first beneficiary of the ‘Mangalore Diocese’s ‘philanthropic project’ of donating 160 houses to poor as part of its post-centenary silver jubilee celebrations.PUCL_21Jan_1

“We are deeply hurt after coming to know that media projected us as the first beneficiaries of the Mangalore Diocese’s so called ‘shelter-for-poor’ project. In fact we were the first victims of the unpardonable lie and deceit of the Diocese”, said Irene Rita D’Souza, whose husband John D’Souza had received the key from Mangalore Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza on January 16, at a formal ‘house donation function’ in the presence of media at Maroli near here.

“Neither me, nor my husband were aware that Mangalore Diocese was going to project our newly constructed house as donation, when they forcefully organized a ‘house-warming’ celebration”, said D’Souza at a press conference convened by the local unit of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties here on Saturday.

“How can the Church people call it a donation, when I had pledged my gold ornaments to construct this 400 square feet house on our own land?,” questioned Irene D’Souza, who claims herself to be an illiterate.

Irene and her husband who resided in a rented house in Kulashekara for many years, had dreamt of constructing a house of their own.

“By pledging three gold ornaments including a wedding ring, I was able to raise Rs70, 000 to construct the house. However, we needed more money to complete the house” she said.

PUCL_21Jan_2

“Meanwhile, Kulashekara Church furnished me a loan of Rs 1 lakh and asked to sign on a stamp paper committing me to pay Rs 2,000 every month. They also gave me Rs 50,000 additional loan. However, when the Church people invited me for the loan they did not inform me about the Diocese’s plan of house donation,” she said.

She said that she came to know about the real picture only after people began to point fingers at her.

“I felt humiliated when I was told that the house was a donation of the church. Feeling robbed of my self-respect, I immediately returned Rs 50,000 to Fr Valerian Pinto in Kulashekara church,” she said.

She also said that she wanted to return the loan of Rs 1 lakh too at a public function in front of the media. “Let Mangalore Diocese organize a function to take back their loan and remove the plaque with the engraving that the house is a donation of Mangalore diocese,” she said.

She also criticised the double standard of the priests. “They preach in the Church that when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does. But the same priests projected the house constructed with my own money and with the help of loans, as their donation”, she lamented.

PUCL State President PB D’sa said the family’s plight was just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the blunders of the Mangalore Diocese. He predicted that there would be a repeat of such incidents as diocese completes 160 houses.

President, PUCL Comments:

This is a huge Fraud played by the “Cassock wearing Wolves in Sheep’s Garb”. When 50% of Mangalore belongs to Mangalore Diocese occupied by their Mulgeni tenants of the diocese, which Bishop is administrating as the trustee for the benefit of the laity or the final beneficiaries. Is there any need to collect further money from the laity and build small dungeons unfit for even pigs to live?
The entire Christian communities specially the Mulgeni holders who are numbering around 4 Lakhs (Subject to corrections) will benefit immensely and become the most prosperous community in South India, forget about only in Mangalore. I have personally and on behalf of several organizations demanded from the Bishop this for the last 15 years and he has arrogantly told me that it is his property and I have no right to demand this. Simply because he is a Bishop he does not become the owner of the diocesan properties. The entire laity’s numbering 98% of Christian Population are the co-owners of this land. But unfortunately the Bishop Who calls himself the most religious and charitable man is trading with the land belonging to somebody else and committing a serious offence of breach of trust and cheating a huge fraud on the public. Bishop requires to be put “Behind the Bars” for this offence for collecting 33.33% of the amount on the land and swallowing the same without showing any account of this.160 houses for poor is a mere drama under the pretext of this scheme Walter D’Mello and Denis Moras two collaborators with the Bishop have gone to the Middle east and collected about 18 crores. What has happened to this amount? The so called first house is handed over by the Bishop was another public fraud. About this there was a press conference addressed by me and the office bearers of united Christian Association on 22 January. I would request Daijiworld and Mangalorean.com and other media to give proper publicity to our Press Conference.
 I have fought for press freedom and the let the press be true to their profession.

Comment 2:

I congratulate coastal digest management for upholding press freedom and projecting the problems of the least and the last who have been pushed to the wall. As against this we have one or two websites belonging to Christians who have repeatedly blacked out the genuine news released to them by PUCL and Christian Reforms Foundation. Just because the rich and powerful can affect their business they behave like Rats in Front of These rich and powerful people who have actually become rich by dubious activities and criminal methods.
“Birds of the same feather flock together”
As a social activists i have released a true fact finding report about the mischief and fraud played by the Bishop and his followers in two cases, But these websites have given credence to the false news of the Bishop and their Gang and the true revealed by us does not find any place anywhere in their pages. 
“Rats will remain Rats”, you cannot turn them into Lions.

Clergy brawl at Bethlehem church

Clergy brawl at Bethlehem church

source: Belfast telegraph & MUMBAI LAITY

Armenian and Greek Orthodox clergymen scuffle inside the Church of the Nativity (AP)

The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy as dozens of monks feuding over sacred space at the Church of the Nativity battled each other with brooms until police intervened.

The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, is shared by three Christian denominations – Roman Catholics, Armenians and Greek Orthodox. The fight erupted between Greek and Armenian clergy, with both sides accusing each other of encroaching on parts of the church to which they lay claim.

The monks were tidying up the church ahead of Orthodox Christmas celebrations in early January, following celebrations by Western Christians on December 25. The fight erupted between monks along the border of their respective areas. Some shouted and threw brooms.

Palestinian security forces rushed in to break up the melee, and no serious injuries were reported.

A fragile status quo governs relations among the denominations at the ancient church, and to repair or clean a part of the structure is to own it, according to accepted practice. That means that letting other sects clean part of the church could allow one to gain ground at another’s expense. Similar fights have taken place during the same late-December cleaning effort in the past.

Tensions between rival clergy at the church have been a fact of life there for centuries and have often been caught up in international politics.

In the 1800s, friction between the denominations at the church – each backed by foreign powers – became so fraught that Russian tsar Nicholas I deployed troops along the Danube to threaten a Turkish sultan who had been favouring the Catholics over the Orthodox.

Those disagreements threaten the integrity of the church itself, which was originally built 1,500 years ago and parts of which have fallen into disrepair. Although the roof has needed urgent work for decades, and leaking rainwater has ruined much of the priceless artwork inside, a renovation has been delayed by disagreements among the denominations over who would pay.

Only recently, the Palestinian Authority brokered an agreement to move ahead with replacing the roof, and officials hope work will begin next year.

A Green Funeral-Have you ever been told about this by our” Dharma Seveks”- Please read and decide

A Green Funeral-Have you ever been told about this by our” Dharma Sevaks”- Please read and decide

This article was published in Together, November 2011.You are free to forward it to anyone who would be interested in reading it.A GREEN FUNERALFr Trevor D’Souza, OFM, makes a pitch for ‘cremation’ as a perfect alternative to burial citing ecology and burial space as strong determining factors 

A Catholic funeral in which there is no coffin, no flowers, no burial, no mortuary cards, but just cremation …surely all this does raise some eyebrows and makes some tongues to wag. My mother breathed her last on 1 August 2011. She was 87. Her funeral was conducted on 3 August. In the obituary we added a small note requesting people attending the funeral not to bring flowers. Instead, they could make a love offering, in a box that would be kept for that purpose. The offerings would be handed over to patients undergoing dialysis to meet their medical bills.

The members of the family, through consensus, had decided to have a cremation. Many people (including my close relatives) were curious to know why we had taken this decision. The body of my mother was brought to the Church in a regular ambulance and not in a hearse hired from professional undertakers. She was laid out on a collapsible stretcher, which was covered with a new white cloth and wheeled into the Church. There was no coffin. After the funeral Mass, the body was wheeled out into the ambulance and taken to the crematorium. After performing the farewell rites, the body was cremated and the ashes collected in an earthen vessel. 

For many who are so used to attending funerals and familiar with the rituals of placing flowers or a wreath, seeing the body laid out in a coffin, going to the graveyard, sprinkling of mud, singing the same hymns, etc., this was quite a new experience. While some found it novel, others had questions. At the end of the Mass, I did explain to the people some of the decisions we had taken. However the questions that came up after the event, gave me an opportunity to clarify some of the current practices within the Catholic Church and also the concept of a green funeral. 

Green funeral – Before I proceed, let me explain the concept of a ‘green funeral’. These days, the word “green” is being used widely and is acquiring a new meaning especially in the context of global warming, preservation of ecology and reduction of pollution. Green refers to an action that promotes the preservation of nature and ecology. Today we talk of “green” cars, houses, factories, etc. Can we not also talk about a green funeral? 

Among the many spiritualities present in our world, eco-spirituality is becoming popular. With the advancement of science we have realized the independence and interdependence of every creature on this planet and in the universe. The growing incidences of natural calamities, the increasing rate at which various species of the flora and fauna are becoming extinct, the shortage of drinking water, the shrinking of the ice cap around the Poles, are some of the indicators ringing warning bells. Eco-spirituality transcends religion and does not belong to any religion. All of us, regardless of our religious affiliation, are becoming aware of the need to embrace this sort of spirituality and integrate it within our religious practices. “Green” is the colour of Eco-spirituality. 

Do we need a coffin? Are Catholics allowed to cremate their dead? -After the funeral, a young lady came up to me and asked, “Father, why did you not have a coffin for your mother?” I explained that in order to make a coffin we need wood and wood comes from trees. So by not having a coffin, we have saved a tree. Someone may laugh at this logic as being too simplistic and silly. But think of the number of coffins that are needed every year to bury all the dead. If we can bury our dead without a coffin how many trees will be saved? Every micro-gesture contributes towards the unfolding of a macro-vision. By not using a coffin for my mother we may have saved four planks of wood. But in the bargain through this micro-gesture we have affirmed our commitment to preserve the earth and have helped in creating awareness. 

A religious Sister asked, “Father, could you clarify as to why you had your mother’s body cremated rather than buried? Is cremation allowed by the Church? What will happen to her body at the resurrection?” I was a bit amused at these questions. In response I told her that the Catholic Church has no objection whatsoever if anyone wishes to cremate the mortal remains. What is really important is that the body of the dead should be treated with “respect and charity” and where cremation is chosen as the means of disposal, then it should not be done to “demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body” (see Canon no. 1176§3 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2300-2301). 

Having witnessed both cremation and burial, I personally find cremation to be a very simple, respectful and sacred way to dispose of the body of the dead. Further, in these days when people are dying of dreadful diseases, cremation may be a better option than burial to stop the spread of infection and disease. Another reason why we chose cremation is simply for a practical purpose, apart from the question of limited space in our graveyards. 

My father passed away in 1990 and was buried. After three years I received a notice from the local church requesting me to unearth the bones and place them in a niche or in a common well made for that purpose. We had to make space for others. His bones were exhumed in 2004. Since none of us, nor our relatives are living in our native place, we decided to carry and preserve his bones in a niche in Mumbai. The legal procedures involving the police, the court and the parish are lengthy and cumbersome. Now that I knew how cumbersome it was to preserve my father’s bones (in Mumbai), I did not want to go through the same tedious process to preserve my mother’s bones. 

Cremation affords us a wonderful possibility whereby the ash, which weighs about two kilos, could be easily carried without going through this rigorous process. Within fifteen days, the ashes of my mother were carried to Mumbai and are now well preserved with the bones of my father in the same niche. When my father’s grave was opened for the exhumation of his remains, I was curious to see what exactly had ‘remained’ were after fourteen years. All I could see was his skeleton. On it were the shirt, tie and socks with which he was clothed and which had remained intact as these were made from synthetic material. Where was the suit in which he was buried? Where was the coffin? I realized that all the human fuss we make about having expensive coffins (some wish to be buried only in a coffin made of teakwood) is more emotional than rational and has nothing to do with good theology or spirituality. A friend of mine had her mother buried in a coffin costing some forty thousand rupees! Just how does the coffin in which the dead are placed or even the clothes in which they are dressed affect our faith and belief in the resurrection or the status of the soul of the deceased? After careful reading of sacred scripture we will realize that the way in which we live our life here on earth is far more important than the manner and way in which we dispose of the dead body or desire to have our own bodies disposed of. We can easily become victims of popular theology and dance to the tunes of society rather than live by our convictions and the tenets of our faith. 

Nowhere in the Bible (especially in the New Testament) do we have any prescription on how the dead body must be disposed of. Did Jesus have a coffin? He being the King of kings and the Lord of lords, should have had at least a simple coffin, if not one of teak wood, silver or gold. In what kind of coffin were Peter and Paul buried? Why do we make such a fuss about the kind of coffin in which our loved ones are buried? Are we more worried about how the person is buried or about whether the person will rise again on the last day? Resurrection is a gift of God to all those who have lived their lives faithfully and according to His law. Be it burial or cremation or simply being dumped into a pit (as happens during wars and genocides), none of those for whom it is ordained can be deprived of the gift of the resurrection. A teakwood coffin is no guarantee of the resurrection! 

In death, give life – love offerings instead of floral tributes – Can we in death give life? This was the question that challenged me. Did Jesus have flowers on his grave? Did his disciples bring an expensive wreath and place it besides his body? Is the custom of offering flowers a meaningless and social ritual? Most importantly, does it give life? Most of the people who attended my mother’s funeral refrained from bringing flowers, and we were grateful that they heeded our request. 

We realized that if we could collect the money that would be spent on a flower bouquet and hand it over to a person who needs dialysis, then this would indeed be death giving life in death! And this exactly is what we did. We kept a box for collecting their love offering. A simple flower bouquet would cost anything from Rs 100 to 200. A wreath would cost more. Within two to three hours after the funeral these flowers begin to fade and decay, turning into garbage and emitting a foul odour. Why increase the garbage on our earth? By telling people not to bring flowers, we were once again reinforcing the idea of a green funeral. 

How much does it cost to cremate? – Some were under the impression that it is more expensive than burial. It surprised them to know that the actual cost of cremation was only Rs. 50/-. The overall cost of the funeral was approximately Rs.5,000/-. The money saved by not having a burial (coffin and grave) would be added to the love offering. 

How much money do many of us spend on conducting funerals for our loved ones? I remember a poor Catholic woman whose husband was an alcoholic and at his death, pressured by social customs and false religious practices, borrowed money and had a “grand” funeral. And to cap it all on the 40th day she even served the Priests some nice chicken biryani from money borrowed on interest!!! If only our parishes could help our people, especially the poor, rid themselves of these meaningless practices! But first of all this demands a change in the mindset of our religious leaders themselves. 

Plants are living reminders, preserve the memory of the heart – After receiving the ashes, we gathered the fragments of bones and placed them in an earthen vessel. These were blessed and placed in the niche alongside the bones of my father. The remaining ashes were mixed with mud and placed in a pot in which a ‘money-plant’ was planted. When she was alive, my mother loved plants and animals very much. She had a nice little garden and personally tended it. The rose bush and the money plant were among her favourites. The potted money-plant is now placed at the foot of her picture, as a sign of the memory and her living presence. Why pollute our rivers and lakes by immersing the ashes in them? Why can’t the ashes contribute life to the biosphere and give life even after death? 

A few days after the funeral, someone came up to me and asked me for a mortuary card saying, “I would like to remember your mother and pray for her”. I looked at the person intently and said, “We haven’t printed mortuary cards and we don’t intend to anyway.” It wasn’t difficult to detect a sense of surprise in the person expression. It was perhaps for the first time ever that he had received such an answer. I explained to him the concept of a green funeral and concluded with these words, “Let the memories of the heart (that you have of my mother) be your mortuary card.” This is another socio-religious custom that we must challenge and change. 

Example, the best precept – My final words at the end of the funeral Mass were, “I’m doing this (green funeral) to set an example. If I don’t have a green funeral for my own mother and will the same for myself, how can I ask you to have a green funeral for your mother?” 

Fr. Trevor D’Souza, ofm 
St. Anthony’s Friary,
No. 85 Hosur Road,
Bangalore – 560095,
Karnataka,
India.

LETTER to the BISHOP of Mangalore by P.B D’Sa

To

The Bishop

Catholic Diocese of Mangalore

Kodialbail, Mangalore – 3

Bishop,

SUBJECT: RESTORATION OF DEMOLISHED HOUSES AT ST. ANTONY’S COMPOUND, MAROLI, JODUKATTE, MANGALORE, TO THEIR RIGHTFUL OWNERS.

REFERENCE: FACT FINDING REPORT JOINTLY PREPARED BY PUCL AND CHRISTIAN REFORMS    FOUNDATION.

We are enclosing herewith a fact finding report prepared jointly by PUCL and Christian Reforms Foundation which is self explanatory.

We have observed that Fr.Mullers Charitable Institutions which come under Mangalore catholic diocese under your control has committed illegalities and several legal frauds on the poor occupiers of residential houses at St.Antony’s Compound, Maroli. Apart from the legal frauds committed by Fr.Mullers Charitable Institutions they have committed offences against humanity and indulged in social injustice by evicting people who were handed over dilapidated skeletons called as houses 3 generations earlier by St.Antony’s Charitable Institution, Jeppu,Mangalore -2, under a clear and solemn understanding that these houses can be occupied, repaired, developed, improved etc. by them and passed on to the posterity for peaceful possession and enjoyment. Under this understanding and trusting the men of God would not fail in their words the occupiers have carried out major repairs and improvement to the houses by spending heavily.

Under these circumstances your attempt to dislodge them from their houses is most unethical and unchristian like.

We have learnt from our enquiries that the church laws and rules and regulations made by you do not allow Christians to take the priest or Church to the court. Then how come you take several Christians to the court?  Then how come you drag them, harass them and evict them and call yourselves as charitable people? Will you please stop your double standards and return back them the houses taken over by you or by Institution’s stroke men under you in the condition in which they were taken over within fifteen days on receipt of this letter.

Yours faithfully

For Christian Reforms Foundation

(P.B D’Sa)

Chief Trustee

Lay people seek greater Church control

Lay people seek greater Church control

source mailed by: Gordon Jacobs

Two Christian lay groups organized protests in front of churches in the southern Indian city of Mangalore yesterday to press for a “laity-controlled church.”

Lay people seek greater Church control thumbnailPacal B. D’Sa, chief trusty of Christian Reforms Foundation (CRF), said “we want a laity-centered church with minimum priestly control.”He said “today we are celebrating ‘Reformation Sunday’ in six churches to promote the awareness process on seeking transparency in the church’s functioning.”

“We demand that the clergy concern itself only with “temporal church matters,” said Joe A Lewis from Mumbai, representing what he called All India Association of Concerned Catholics.D’Sa said the ‘laity Christian conclave’ in May had passed 10 resolutions to reform the church, which included that the clergy should concentrate only on temporal Church matters and build co-operative housing societies on church lands to provide flats to the needy at no-loss-no-profit basis.

Countering the arguments, Fr. Faustine Lobo, spokesperson of Karnataka Regional Bishops’ Conference (KRBC), said “the church in general and church of Karnataka in particular is very much democratic in the decision-making process.’“The church is participatory with parish pastoral councils, finance committees and parish assemblies. They give scope to every member of the church to express oneself in the process of decision-making.”

The Karnataka church has prepared a pastoral plan with the involvement of all the representatives with a definite onward direction.He said the pope was very much appreciative about this plan and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India is also mulling to use it as a guideline for the national plan.

Fr. Lobo said when the majority is silent a few groups may come up to create some noise at random. “We should not give credence to these.”Spokesperson of Mangalore Diocese, Fr William Menezes said: “The Catholic Church is not a profit-making organization. “Its loving service to the society is aimed at religious and socio-economic growth of the society under Canonical guidelines.”

Source: By Francis Rodrigues