Cardinal Alencherry has accusations of corruption against him, and reformists in the Church have opposed this appointment.

Row erupts as Cardinal Alencherry made president of Kerala Catholic Bishops CouncilFB / Mar George Cardinal Alencherry
news Controversy Friday, December 06, 2019 - 19:16

Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the supremo of Syro Malabar Catholic Church, was on Friday made the president of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), an association of the Catholic Bishops in the state. KCBC’s move has drawn flak from a section of believers in the Catholic Church. Archdiocesan Movement for Transparency (AMT), a collective that have been functioning as a corrective force within the church, has expressed their dissent to KCBC’s decision.

Cardinal Alencherry is one of the accused in the controversial land deal case, which has allegedly incurred losses to the tune of several crores to the Church. In 2016, he allegedly sold land that belonged to the Ernakulam Archdiocese at a price much lower than the market price. He has been charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy by the police.

“By making Alencherry, who has been accused in multiple cases, the head of the body, KCBC has given a wrong message to the believers as well as to the people of Kerala,” said Riju Kanjookaran, general secretary of Archdiocesan Movement for Transparency (AMT).

Members of AMT said that the Church and the people have been humiliated. “So far only those who belonged to Syro Malabar Catholic Church had been bearing the brunt of his wrongdoings, now the whole Catholic Church of Kerala will have to face the humiliation,” AMT stated.

The members also stated that KCBC’s move clearly shows they don’t care about the allegations against Alencherry. “It is these same people who will in the coming days will go to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, and take a stand supporting rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. They will even make Franco the president of Catholic Bishops Council of India,” said the members of AMT.

In June last year, a section of priests in the Syro Malabar Catholic Church held an indefinite strike demanding the ouster of Cardinal Alencherry from his position. He was ousted temporarily from the administrative position of being the Syro Malabar Church head for some months following the allegations, but was reinstated this year.


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