CHURCH DAMAGED AND SHAMED IRREPARABLY!
Swami (Dr) Snehananda Jyoti wrote to dr. james kottoor
Very rarely I have written to you. I also had a long conversation with you on the phone when you were in Chicago some time ago. In my writing and in our conversation in the USA, I have suggested that we avoid damaging as well as sensational statements. As someone who spent the most important 25 years of my life as a Jesuit, I love the Church with all its abuses at all levels.
The Church is not damaged irreparably as you said. The Church will come out of the painful trauma that we are all going through cleaner, purer, holier, and stronger. Cardinal Carlo Martini of Milan, popularly thought to be the next pope instead of Pope Benedict XVI before he opted out of the election, stated in his last interview before his death that the Catholic Church is 200 years behind the times. I belive that the Catholic Church in India, especially the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, is at least three hundred years behind the times.
I listened to the phone conversation between the sister, who accused Bishop Franco of sexual abuse, and the Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. As someone who taught Ethics and Professional Affairs in two universities (India, USA), I have two observations to make:
1. If the Sister did not have the Cardinal's permission to record the phone conversation and to release the tape to the public, she violated confidentiality. A bad means does not justify a good end,
2. I was much troubled by the Cardinal saying something to the sister that, if she used for an unintended purpose, he would deny it. That goes against truth and integrity. It goes against Christ's teaching that truth alone can set us free.
The gradual unfolding of Bishop Franko-sister situation into unwanted and painful events is a clear indication of poor and ineffective moral and spiritual leadership and disorganization at the top levels of the Catholic Church.
Sister is reported to have provided evidence to investigating authorities to prove Bishop Franko's criminal behavior. Since we do not have any clue to her evidence, I am waiting for some hard and conclusive evidence. It is possible, for instance, some seminal fluids could have been collected from body after any of those 13 incidents and analyzed in secure laboratories in those two years (2014-2016).
Now with everything in the court, let the court decide beyond reasonable doubt that the crime has taken place. Meanwhile let no one try anyone in the court of public opinion. Let media impartially collect truthful and dispassionate facts to be disseminated. Meanwhile let prayerful patience, restraint, and empathy prevail.
I hope you will consider publishing this.
Peace and greetings,
Dr. John K. Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti)
Your letter contains nothing objectionable. But this nun story is as mysterious as all other rape stories in which the Church is involved some way. We understand that she had presented her complaint to almost all red hats and grey heads in the Church. Every body cheated her. The nun recording the voice of MAB and playing it in public is unethical for sure.
In between the devil and the deep sea, this Sr. also needed some standing space.
What she did is unethical but not immoral; she needed this for her survival. One by one strange things are happening in this case too…. somebody offering 10 crores, somebody asking to cut the break cable of the Scooter, police refusing to arrest Franco and the Govt. pleader not asking for extension of his custody, and now the key witness dying in peace….
Let everything be natural developments….One thing is clear, the skies have opened to punish these hypocrites and stories will continue torturing the Church. It is seems to be destined to perish on its own. There won't be any thing left to reform. That is what I understand!
To Swami Thekkedam
My Dear younger brother John in Jesus Christ,
So very happy to receive this letter from you after a very long time. Thank you for thinking of me and writing to me. Your letter is published verbatim, as I am a follower of the principle of Voltaire: “I will go to death to defend your right to think, speak and write your convictions, even when I may not agree one bit with anything you say,” that being the rule for freedom of expression in journalism.
Besides the role of the press is to do the watchmen duty, to shout out every danger signals on the horizon to wake up sleeping masters, not to keep quiet. As for me the church, it is not just 200 but 2000 years behind times when it was pure and holy as CATTLE CLASS in the company of Jesus and apostles described in the Acts.
Opinions differ from person to person, some seeing them as damaging, blessinsg or sensationalism. For me one sole model to follow is the rugged, bitter/sweet, or crazy Nazarene the carpenter and rebel of a youth. It is he who called the high priests of his time, “hypocrites, white washed sepulchers, brood of vipers” etc. Was he sensationalizing or calling a spade a spade, or speaking the truth and taking the consequences?
I consider myself a “Know-nothing” trying to learn from all of you, swamijies, enlightened as well as ‘ignorant’ grave diggers(wisdom asks to learn from them). That is what I am trying to do. I don’t regret at all, what I wrote in that article. Other wise how is it that the excellencies and eminences who claim to be Jesus’ vicars on earth with authority to teach infallibly with hot-lines to heaven and rule have not uttered a word when the exploited Nun was driven from pillar to post knocking all their doors?
Bishop of Faridabad was the sole exception to speak out (was he wrong in doing so?) and imitate the “Palam locutus sum”(I have spoken out in public) of Jesus. My salutes to that Bishop alone, to no one else, not even to you my dear friend.
So I wait patiently to listen to more and learn before going judgmental. You are most welcome to stay put in your views. May you be proved right is my prayer. My greetings and good wishes,,
Your elder brother and know-nothing, james