KOCHI: Members of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese laity are up in arms against the proposed sale of the Church’s properties at Kottapady and Devikulam to recover losses incurred by the archdiocese due to the controversial land deals.
Laity activists have stuck wall posters challenging the Vatican’s decision to sell the properties to make restitution. Almaya Munettam, a laity organisation in the archdiocese, has scheduled a meeting on Monday and is planning to intensify its protests.
The protests are in the backdrop of the recent letter issued by the Congregation of the Oriental Churches approving the proposed sale of the properties at Kottapady and Devikulam.
Activists say that the priests and laity of the archdiocese are also upset with the non-supportive approach of Major Archiepiscopal vicar Archbishop Mar Antony Kariyil.
“Even after the reports and findings of KPMG, the international auditing agency appointed by the Vatican, and the commission headed by Fr Benny Maramparambil appointed earlier reported the irregularities in money dealings and violation of canon laws, Cardinal Mar George Alencherry has not owned up the responsibility so far. The losses suffered by the archdiocese through such real estate dealings were compensated partially by the sale of 12 acres of land belonging to the archdiocese,” said Riju Kanjoorkaran, spokesperson of the Almaya Munnettam.
The ‘Archdiocesan Protection day’ was observed by Almaya Munnettam on Saturday, which was the Syro-Malabar Church Day. Posters with slogans ‘Real estate collaborator Bishop Kariyil go back’, ‘End real estate business in the Church’ and ‘Stop misleading the Vatican by the Synod’ were stuck on walls near churches and forane churches in the archdiocese.
The laity organisation has also demanded Mar Antony Kariyil’s resignation from the post and return.