Since both the letters are given below there is hardly any place for an editorial note of explanation. The letters speak for themselves. It is all about the Kadapa Conundrum we were publishing (also published in world press) it from early July, for which some of our readers praised the ccv for breaking the news. james kottoor, editor ccv.
Bishop Jose Porunnedom, email@example.com
Aug. 19, 2018, 17:13
Dear Mr. James,
Greetings. I am a regular reader of your email articles, though I am not in the habit of responding to them, as they are mails sent to the public. It is true that you have been writing on the topics of scandals in the higher ups of the Catholic hierarchy in India since long and I appreciate very much your persistence in the matter.
In my humble opinion writing on the issue and sending the articles to the members of the hierarchy and the public is not going to help improve the situation. In case you are convinced of the matter and are ready to furnish proofs please take up the matter judicially by approaching the segnatura apostolica with a petition. I am sure that the signatura will take up the matter and direct the concerned ecclesiastical authorities to investigate the content of the petition. As an ex-priest you are well aware of the canonical procedures of the Catholic Church in such matters, I imagine.
A second thing that I would like to suggest to you is that you need to send a request to the concerned office of the Holy See to amend the canon law concerning these issues. Let it be made clear who and how to initiate the process of investigation and what the procedures are. As you know well, in the Catholic Church, unlike in the democratic political system, the legislative, the executive and the judicial powers are concentrated in the same hands, namely the bishop or the pope.
It is practically impossible for the same person to handle all these aspects of law. Since Vatican and the Holy See are independent political entities, it is easier for them to handle the issues and no other political authority is going to question them, no matter what they do. The pope will not be arrested by any authority because he is sovereign. Nobody is going to arrest him even if he commits any mistake in procedure.
On the other hand in India or in any other country, for that matter, the legal status of the Church and the hierarchy is different. In India the Church has only the status of an association or just an institution that should be governed according to its statutes and bylaws. If the office bearers are not following them properly they will have to face the legal consequences from the state. That means when a court case is initiated in a civil court in India it is not lawful for the accused or others, especially the people who share authority like the accused to speak out in public.
For example in the land deal case in Ernakulam-Angamaly the person to speak out in public is the Cardinal. If he or any of the structures associated with his position make any public declaration in that matter it can be equal to interfering in the case sub judice and it is punishable. So he has to be very cautious in his public statements.
The public may not be aware of such fine prints of law. I have yet more to say about such matters. But for the time being I think I should conclude here. God bless you.
Bishop Jose Porunnedom
Bishop of Mananthavady.
Dear Bishop Jose,
Kindly accept my sincere thanks for deigning to respond constructively to one of my postings send to all bishops of India. I appreciate your sincerity and the pains you took to write this letter, while others may not have even read it.
(Palam Locutus sum), I have spoken everything in public, said Jesus of Nazareth, who happens to be my only leader I am convinced of following, especially in what I think and write. I had also written earlier: “If only Jesus had kept his blessed mouth shut, he would have lived a thousand years and would not have died so young.” Transparency was his hall mark and he paid dearly for it. If that happens to me, so be it.
Francis Pappa is also doing the same and he is getting both from the Right and Left. He has not wasted a moment to speak even of Keralites drowning in floods similar to the one in the Bible, to canvas helping hands from all over the world.
I am not here for a discussion on the various points you raise in your letter. “It is practically impossible for the same person to handle all these aspects of law” you say in your letter which enumerates the hurdles.
Therefore I shall surely think over the contents of your letter and prayerfully, take the decision to act because in such things one has to act alone as Jesus did, and take the consequences all alone, again as Jesus did. That is what even the Popes and Catholic theology has taught you and me, that is, the decision of the commanding conscience stands above the church and the Popes.
So I promise you to hasten slowly (festina lente) as I know myself to be a “Know-nothing” trying to learn from everybody, even a grave digger. Once again accept my sincere thanks for deigning to write to this little one among the Cattle Class to which I belong.
james kottoor, editor ccv,