What’s on Your mind? Asks face book Cover story on cardinal Alancherry land deal loss


dr. james kottoor


                     James kottoorWhat follows is what I happened to write on Face Book on December 30th night after seeing the night TV edition of the “cover story” on Saturdays. 

                     What is on your mind? Asks facebook. It is 10 pm Saturday and I just finished seeing the Cover story on TV at 9.30 pm. It was all about Cardinal Alancherry and all the uproar by around 300 Ernakulam priests who met on Dec. 21 against land deal which allegedly caused crores of loss and their plan to write to Pope before 31st to remove the cardinal from the post, according to reports in Times of India, but not in any Malayalam dailies.

                   The substance of what the commentator was that Jesus promised to build his church on Peter the rock his representative, but the church in Kerala builds it on a firmer ROCK, money-power, than on Jesus. This alone is the cause of the great downfall from the height of moral principles they preach. Those up in arms promised to send a   letter to Pope  before Dec.31st to remove the Cardinal. Much more  details are in Times of India, for the last three days.

        “News 10 TV is all about this land deal and Pope,” rings up someone  from Chennai. So it seems the whole of concerned Christians are watching it and learning about it even when the Church authorities reportedly forbad priests not to discuss it in public, to keep the scandal as secret as possible. Alas, when are they going to learn that the forbidden fruit is the most sought after thing, even from the Garden of Eden?

           Chasing Money power and empire building through religious colonization? Is it not what my friend Alancherry did when he went in a procession sporting a garland of Rupee Notes, which the CCV published long ago. Is it not what CCV has been writing regularly to persuade, Church men not to worship the golden calf of Money Power?

           There is no transparency or dialogue even between the three bishops in Ernakulam.  That is what Times of India report says, quoting Bishop Edayanthrath that even he did not know about the secrete Land deal. Oh Tempora oh mores! In what times are we living? Corruption of the best turns out to  be the worst! Or are we to day: “Father forgive him for he knew not what he was doing.” I am of the view that he did it out of crass ignorance! Culpable or not, you judge, I can’t!

         These are some of the many facts that forced me to write that the Cardinal should imitate Pope Benedict and go. Now that there is an uproar for it, it may wiser that he resigns on his own rather than forced to do it.   

          Of course I am unable to believe that he is that money crazy or power crazy. Bad advice from trusted friends must have forced him to do the wrong, thinking it was right. I feel terribly sorry for him, for what is happening in Ernakulam in the Syromalabar Church. Unfortunately he happens to be also  the Supreme head of the Syromalabar Church!

          Is he going to present his  Church as a Big Zero before the whole world? God forbid, let not that happen, I pray, although I am not aligned to any Church for that matter, fear of betraying JESUS! It is my belief that none of the   organized churches can bear witness to Jesus, since they all end up like Pharisee praying in the temple. Hence my commitment to be the last in the line of the CATLE CLASS of Jesus.

          Jesus had promised, that didn’t come to bring peace but war, the sword that cuts to hurt and divide. It looks the second part of his promise is being fulfilled, from Pope Francis in Rome to Cardinal Alancherry in Ernakulam. Your role and mine is not to stand and watch as mute spectators but join the side of TRUTH which  alone can lead us to light and peace through the New Year!  Delanda est Carthago! (Carthage must be destroyed) Truth is mighty and is sure to win.

            Let TRUTH grow into a mighty Mango tree and produce delicious mangoes called by various names. Only we have to make sure that we cultivate TRUTH that sweeten hearts, not embitters minds!

Times of India (TOI) Headlines


             Cardinal Mar George Alencherry. Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

Read more at: http://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/land-scam-believers-send-letter-to-pope-asking-for-probe-kochi-cardinal-mar-george-alencherry-1.2493191

TOI of Dec.27, 28, and 29 reports on the Ernakulam Church’s land mismanagement:

           TOI 27 headlines reads: “Church land row: Cardinal abstains from Xmas mass.

           Dec.28: “Priests seek cardinal’s removal for land deal, to write to Pope,” and “Council of priests restricts functioning of Vicar General.”

         TOI 29: “Land deal a moral crisis for Church”, and “Bishop sees a moral root to Crisis.”

           Quoting Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath’s letter to priests,  TOI writes: The land deal “has landed the  Archdiocese not just in financial crisis, but in a serious ethical crisis as well… the auxiliary bishops were unaware of the purchase of land in Kothamangalam and Idukki…. the debt has now increased to RS. 84 crore.”

                  On Dec.21st there was an extraordinary meeting of Ernakulam priests and according to TOI report  over 300 priests attended. This is the first time that Christmas celebrations in the Cathedral was conducted by the parish priest and not  the cardinal, who for the purpose of news was reported sick. What happened in Ernakulam is a howling example of what happens when top Church officials adamantly say  NO to both Transparency and Dialogue in the Church which they call “FAMILY” for display or advertising purpose only.



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3 Responses

  1. According reports in Times of India today 31/12/17 the letter to Pope has not been sent. They are waiting for the response from  Mar Alanchery to include that also,  if found convincing. If he fails to give his response, or gives one not convincing, it will not be included in the letter. So the latest report in Times of India says that the  letter is now scheduled to be sent to Rome on or before Jan.4th. The middlemen may have made financial gains but not Mar Alanchery according to me.           

            The only plausible complaint againt him could be his lack of  transparancy with brother bishops living in the same Archbishop's House. According to ToI report quoting Bishop Adayanthrath he and his brother bishop did not know about it till now. This is hard to believe. So let us wait for the Cardinal's reply.

    james kottoor


    I am not sure if Mar. Alencherry is in way responsible for the huge monetary and reputational loss that the Ernakulam- Angamali  Archdiocese suffered  in the contraversial land deal.  But from what I heard in one of discussions on this subject in TV, it is clear  that somebody in the Diocese either deliberately or inadvertently played a role in this fraudulent deal.  If Mar Alencherry who claims Control over all the Syro Malabar Faithful, the world over, inspite of the clear instructions from Vatican that facilitating the extension of spiritual Services  should not be construed as conferring any special powers to him, it's his responsibility to prove to the faithful that he is suitable and capable of handling such an awesome and enermous  responsibility.  

    I am at a loss to understand how the Archdiocese could send a Circular to the Parish Priests explaining the circumstances that led to this land deal with Instructions not to reveal the contents to the faithful.  It shows the total disregard and disrespect with which the Syro Clergy treats it's faithful.  We the  Faithful are the real owners of all the property and Institutions that the Catholic Church possess.  But the Clergy are under the wrong impression that they own all the Church properties and are not answerable to any one.  This arrogant attitude has to change.  The Church Act is the only solution to avoid the recurrence of similar fraudulent activities.

    Jose kallidikil/ Chicago.

  3. Isaac Gomes says:

    Matrubhumi dated 31 December 2017 published the following report captioned "Land scam: Believers send letter to Pope asking for probe"

    Kochi: A group of believers sent a letter to the Pope demanding a probe in the land deal under Angamaly-Kochi Archdiocese. The letter was in the name of V. J. Hyacinth, chairman of Mother Teresa Global Foundation.

    The letter alleges that there was tax evasion and black money transaction involved in the land deal. It also demands that the transaction was done violating the laws in India, so that a probe commission excluding Cardinal Mar George Alencherry should investigate into the case. As per the church rules, Cardinal is the next higher authority after the Pope, and no priest can question his power according to the canon law, said V. J. Hyacinth

    The allegation of illegal land transaction is against Catholic Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry.  A group of priests had accused that the church suffered huge loss due to the land deal which was initiated to repay the bank loans. Though the Archdiocese has appointed a probe commission, they have to submit the report to Mar Alencherry. V. J. Hyacinth added that all of the 6-member commission are loyal to the Cardinal which in turn will affect the impartial investigation into the case.

    Alexian brothers, a Belgium-based congregation, had handed over the land at Thrikkakkara to Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, on an agreement that the land should be used only for charity purposes. The land worth Rs 100 crore was sold to repay the loan of about Rs 50 crore.

    Seems like the recent outcome of 2G Scam case. 


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