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I will write to Vatican requesting reforms in sacrament of confession, says Kerala Church reform activist Indulekha Joseph

According to Indulekha, the women in the various church in the state want justice so as to end the exploitation of women in the Church in the name of the sacrament of confession.

Published: 07th July 2018 04:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2018 05:07 PM   |  A+A-

Indulekha Joseph, a social activist protesting in front of Secretariat on Saturday along with her father Joseph Varghese. (EPS | BP Deepu)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Indulekha Joseph, a quite familiar face in the circuit of the protest against the patriarchy system follows in Church, in the last decade, has decided to write to the Vatican requesting them to reform the existing practices involved in confession in church.

She was protesting in front of Secretariat on Saturday along with her father Joseph Varghese, mother Anusha Joseph and teacher CV Sebastian who came all the way from Palai demanding government intervention to end the exploitation of women in the name of the religious practice.

Also read: Sexual exploitation, financial fraud: Testing times for the Church in Kerala

Recently, a police case was registered against five priests who allegedly involved in blackmailing and sexually abusing a married woman in Kottayam over a few years after she made some confession to one of the accused earlier.

According to Indulekha, the women in the various church in the state want justice so as to end the exploitation of women in the Church in the name of the sacrament of confession.

" Let nuns perform the sacrament of confession in church. They should be entitled to do that. We can't judge a male priest that whether he has some dubious intentions after the confession made by a woman. So there is a large sense of insecurity among women in the church. Be it Catholic or Orthodox. Though I had approached the former Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, no action was taken ", she said.

Indulekha, a lawyer cum activist, had been protesting to end patriarchy in Kerala church after she was expelled from the college run by Christian missionaries as her father Joseph Varghese published a book against the unhealthy practices involved in church in the state. The book ' Nasraniyum Naranathu Branthanum' was published in 2006 and the content of the book invited widespread criticism from the church. Since then, the Church had not been encouraging them to participate in the church-related activities. Simultaneously, Indulekha and family began to protest to implement "Church act".

Indulekha also demanded to reinstate 'Pizhamoolal' in which believers seek forgiveness by recounting their sins in their minds in the presence of a priest.

"We cannot differentiate which priest has bad intentions. Inside the confession cubicle, when women confess about their sins, some priests ask them to describe the sins fully. There are instances where priests threaten these women using their confession secrets. That is also how women get abused by priests", she made it clear.

She also added that an action council named ' Kerala Church Act Action Council' was formed earlier to implement the act. The group had raised the same demand last year after a Catholic priest allegedly raped a minor girl in Kannur district's Kottiyoor village.

The association has also been fighting for nuns to have equal rights in the clergy.



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