The Archdiocese Movement for Transparency urged the Syro Malabar Church to make public the report that found irregularities in its recent land deal.

 Kerala church land row Watchdog urges more transparency in dioceses dealingsUCA News.Com
news News Monday, January 29, 2018 - 12:01

The Archdiocese Movement for Transparency (AMT) in Kerala held its first meeting on Sunday and demanded that the findings of the commission formed to probe financial irregularities in the land deals of the church be made public.

The AMT was formed in a bid to ensure transparency in the functioning of the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese of the Syro Malabar Church.

The commission that probed the land deals was headed by Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and it looked into the reports of the church incurring a huge loss when it sold land in Ernakulam.

The church had taken out a loan in the past and bought a tract of land to construct a medical college; but this deal put the church in massive debt. Hence, it was forced to sell another piece of land to repay this amount. However, it allegedly sold the land for a lower price, ensuring it incurred huge losses.

“There were three devotees and three priests in the commission. The report is not out yet,” Shine Varghese, who is a part of AMT, told TNM.

He added that there was an attempt by those who opposed ‘the reformation’ to disrupt the meeting, but it resumed after a short interruption.

Father Augustine Vattoli, a priest, presented the facts about the land deals in the meeting. The gathering also demanded that the commission report be made available for the public as well.

Another demand raised in the meeting was that committees be formed with devotees as members to handle the administration and property-related deals of the church. For this, the law of the church needs to be amended.

The meeting also decided to submit a grand memorandum to the church heads to ensure transparency in all its deals.

AMT was formed earlier this month, with devotees and priests as members, after alleged financial irregularities in the church’s land deals were exposed.

 

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