By Express News Service
KOTTAYAM: Amid the mounting pressure on Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro- Malabar Church, over the land deal row, Changanassery Archdiocese - the prelate’s native diocese - has rallied to his support.In an indirect call to the faithful to rally behind Alencherry, Changanassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam requested them to observe a special fasting prayer on Friday to resolve the crisis within the Church. Though subtle, this is the first time an archdiocese has responded to the developments related to the land deal controversy. It also indirectly termed the open attack by some clergies against the Cardinal an attempt to ‘strike at the shepherd to scatter the sheep’.
The note called upon the members of the Changanassery Archdiocese to observe a fasting prayer on Friday for divine intervention to ensure unity, peace and discipline in the Church. “Some recent developments have pained and raised the concerns of not only the Church but also the entire Christian community. The Church is facing persecution and threats from within and outside. Some are seen falling prey to the evil tactics of ‘striking at the shepherd to scatter the sheep.’ The faithful fear indiscipline and impudence will undermine the Church,” it said.
“Let us pray for blessings of the Church for united progression of our mother Church, the Syro-Malabar Church, which is facing a grave challenge and establish discipline and obedience within the Church,” according to the note, which calls for efforts to protect love and unity, the Church’s strengths.
Interestingly, the archdiocese had remained tight-lipped on the issue until now despite Alencherry coming under attack from various quarters.
HC raps cops
Kochi: The High Court on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the delay which occurred in registering an FIR against Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and three others in the alleged illegal land deal. It also flayed the police for seeking legal opinion despite a specific directive on registering a case against them. The court made the oral observation when a petition filed by Martin Payyappilly, Angamaly came up for hearing.
Laity outfits’ chorus to resolve rumblings
Kochi: As protests in the Syro-Malabar Church over the land deal row continue to rage, several laity organisations have called for measures to resolve the issue. Declaring solidarity with Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Association, Catholic Congress and the Catholic Laity Council on Wednesday jointly staged a sit-in at the High Court Junction. “Defeatist forces are acting through the priests of the archdiocese.
We have to defend them before it destroys the Church,” said John Kachiramattom, who addressed the sit-in. The Indian Christian Community (ICC)also sought the issue be resolved at the earliest. ICC secretary general V C Sebastian, also the first secretary of the Syro-Malabar Laity Commission, urged the Syro-Malabar Church Synod’s intervention in the matter. “The clergy and laity are bound to obey the Synod’s decisions. The Church is divided into two factions and fighting each other, that too during Lent. It is something which requires serious attention. If the Church leadership does not intervene, it could lead to a situation where the laity will battle one another on the streets,’’ Sebastian said in a release.