KOCHI: The issue of land deals came up for discussion during the Synod session of the Syro-Malabar Church on Monday and Cardinal Mar George Alenchery informed the members that the losses could not be recovered without selling the land. The issue was raised by nine bishops of the Ernakulm- Angamaly Archdiocese when a suggestion came up during the session that the Synod could admit to the losses incurred because of the land deals.
The bishops wanted a clear declaration of the ways of restitution, instead of admission of lapses. To this, the Cardinal said he had not made any monetary gains out of these deals. The bishops, however, suggested that the Cardinal could explain his stand in the matter before the priests and laity and convince them. The Synod is yet to release an official statement regarding the discussions and decisions taken in the meeting. “There came some suggestions from the Synod regarding the ways in which the losses can be rectified but no official statement has been released by the Synod. Earlier itself, the Synod had accepted that severe lapses occurred from the Cardinal’s part,” said a source in the Er nakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. With two more days to go, the Synod is yet to come out with its decision on the controversial liturgy issue within the Church. The Archdiocesan Movement for Tr a n s p a re n cy (AMT), an organisation of the laity at Ernakulam Angamaly archdiocese, had earlier urged the Synod to initiate steps for the implementation of restitution.
“It is also known that discussions on liturgical issues also took place in the meeting. Rather than the liturgical issue, we wanted the Synod to give prominence on finding ways in implementing the restitution (in the land deals) as directed by the Vatican. We are hopeful that decisions will be made regarding the same,” said Riju Kanjookaran of the AMT. A source said the coming days of the Synod meeting are crucial. “As Synod concludes on Wednesday, some major decisions will be taken,” he said.