Syro-Malabar Church synod has issued directives to ‘discipline’ nuns and priests in the aftermath of protests by the latter against rape-accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
The permanent synod of the Syro-Malabar Church ended on 18 January (Friday) and observed that recent protests against the accused bishop which were attended by some priests and nuns, ‘broke all boundaries of the discipline.’
After the allegations of sexual assault surfaced, Bishop Franco Mulakkal was placed under arrest but was later granted bail. The accused was given a warm welcome with garlands and flowers as he came out of the jail, reflecting full support of church organisation behind him. Within days of his release, key witness in the case, Fr Kuriakose, who gave statement against him, was found dead in mysterious circumstances.
According to the circular, the synod also stated that organisations which argue that church properties should be handed over to the government should be dismissed and should not receive cooperation with churchgoers.
“Such activities done with the intention of creating provocation are condemnable,” said Father Paul Karedan, the public relations officer of the Ernakulam Angamaly archdiocese through an official communique, as reported by Times of India.
On 20 January, multiple christian organisations protested against the synod issued by the Syro-Malabar Church. They also burnt Cardinal George Alencherry’s circular in front of the Archbishop’s office in Kochi. The Church Act Action Council protested against the directives and claimed that church was trying to silence the whistleblowers.
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