Criticising Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church's Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, in a case related to a land scam, the Kerala High Court (HC) asked if he was beyond the law of the land.
A submission made by the counsel of the Cardinal, in which it said that only the Pope had the authority to take action against him, invited court’s ire. The counsel argued that the Pope alone could take action against the Cardinal as the affairs of the Church were governed by the Canon Law.
The claim was made in response to a petition filed by a resident of Cherthala against the Cardinal. The Cardinal has been accused of causing immense monitory loss to the Archdiocese through a controversial land sale. The Ernakulam archdiocese sold a three-acre piece of land in Kochi in 2016 to repay a Rs 60 crore bank loan. The petitioner sought a probe into the land deal done by the cardinal.
According to the counsel, the Cardinal was not guilty because many people had written to the Pope over the issue but no action had been taken against him.
Rejecting the counsel’s argument, the single-judge bench of Justice Kemal Pasha noted that the Pope had no jurisdiction in India. He also said that the laws made by The Vatican could be applicable only to the internal affairs of the Church.
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