Don’t receive Canterbury Archbishop as state guest: Church of South India to Kerala CM

In their petition, the laymen said the Church’s invitation to the Archbishop was aimed at covering up several issues, including corruption. 

Published: 22nd August 2019 03:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2019 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It appears internal bickerings in the Church of South India (CSI) have come out in the open. A group of eminent personalities of the Church has petitioned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan not to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury as a state guest.

The Archbishop is slated to visit CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese in next week of August. In their petition, the laymen said the Church’s invitation to the Archbishop was aimed at covering up several issues, including corruption. 

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has no relevance for faithful in the state. The CSI is according him such a mammoth welcome to cover up the rot that has set in the Church and the state guest status provides a semblance of respect to the Church,” said Valson Thampu, former principal of St Stephen’s College, Delhi. 

The group of laymen also mentioned in the petition that the Church was trying to cover up criminal charges against bishops through extensive media coverage generated during the visit of the Archbishop. “CSI former moderator Bishop Daivasirvadam was remanded in Vijayawada sub-jail for 40 days between December 2018 and January 2019 in connection with embezzlement of funds to the tune of `70 crore,” said Jacob Mathew, secretary, CSITA stake-holders association.

“The Kerala High Court had cancelled the admission of 11 MBBS students in Dr Sommerwel  Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam, as they were given fake community certificates by bishops in Kerala”.
The petitioners also mentioned that it was not wise to spend money by according state guest facilities to the Archbishop of Canterbury when the state was reeling under the aftermath of flood and landslides.

“The Anglican Church is facing massive erosion in its membership and this Church is a remnant of the British colonial empire, which has no relevance as far as the Church of South India is concerned,” Mathew said.

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