STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Row over Kurien’s visit to Vatican

The Congress’ decision to send Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, a non- Catholic, to represent the Centre at the inauguration of Pope Francis I in Vatican has raised a few eyebrows.

Published: 03rd April 2013 08:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2013 10:47 AM   |  A+A-

Kurien2PTI

The Congress’ decision to send Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, a non- Catholic, to represent the Centre at the inauguration of Pope Francis I in Vatican has raised a few eyebrows.

Why Kurien, a Marthomite, instead of other Catholic ministers, including Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K V  Thomas, is a question that baffles many.  

“The CBCI has not registered any protests with the government as it is within its limit to decide whom to send and whom not to. But it is a fact that the Catholic establishment was a bit confused by the choice, especially when he is mired in a controversy,” said a priest with the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI).

According to him, there were so many “eligible Catholics” here. “It was only natural that one expects a Catholic to represent the country to meet the Pope,” he added. But the government may have its own political compulsions, the priest said.Kurien, alongwith his wife Susan, left for  Rome on March 18 and the delegation included Kerala parliamentarians Anto Antony and Jose K Mani. He met the Pope on March 20. 

Thomas, a Catholic, was expected to go to Rome but the official explanation was that he was busy with getting the Food Bill cleared in the Cabinet. “The Minister had requested that the Cabinet be postponed for a day so that he can go for the ceremony. But it was turned down in favour of Kurien,” said a government source.

With the Suryanelli rape case cloud over Kurien, it may be noted that the rape victim’s mother had urged Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to ensure that Kurien does not represent the Union Government at the inauguration of Pope Francis I. 

Meanwhile, a sessions court in Kerala had admitted a petition moved by the Suryanelli rape victim and ordered issue of notice to Kurien on March 27. 

Both Kurien and Thomas were unavailable for comment on the issue.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp