Kochi: The Presbyters Council of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Syro-Malabar archdiocese will go into a huddle on Thursday to discuss contents of the report of the inquiry committee that probed allegations of land deals and forward the report, along with responses of the accused, to the Vatican.
The report will be accompanied by the forwarding letter of the council, comprising 50-odd senior members of the archdiocesan clergy. The council will be presided over by Cardinal Mar George Alencherry.
Although January 31 was the deadline set for submitting the final probe report, the Inquiry committee has “finished its job” in the wake of debates spawned by the unprecedented allegations and moves by different quarters to mess up the situation for their own ulterior benefits.
Earlier, based on the interim report of the inquiry panel which found serious lapses in land transaction, the council had imposed restrictions on the procurator, Fr Joshy Puthuva, and the vicar general, Fr Sebastian Vadakkumpadan.
Sources said that it had been decided during the constitution of the inquiry committee and while examining its initial report that the Council would not sit in judgment but send up the report for the consideration of the Holy See.
“Hence we do not anticipate any delay tomorrow on finalising the proceedings”, said a source well-versed with the affairs of the church. But another source said he would not rule out a last-minute hurdle in form of an argument that the council should place the report before the synod before forwarding it to the Vatican. “If this happens, with the tacit support of the higher authority, then it would be a subversion of the laid-down procedure”, sources said. The archdiocese general synod is scheduled from January 8 to 13 at St. Thomas Mount, Kakkanad. “Though the five-member permanent synod of the church met on Monday, it was not clear whether the meeting discussed the land transaction row. Any decision with regard to the land deal like retrieving the losses incurred or action against those responsible for the loss has to be taken based only on the final report of the committee,” sources said.
Meanwhile, the Church leadership is in a hurry to resolve the crisis situation as the credibility of the most structured and transparent religious institution is at stake. The Church leadership is also disturbed by the extensive campaign in social media, tarnishing the image of Syro-Malabar Church. Cardinal Alencherry is credited with the stand that technical lapses had occurred in the course of disposing of the land to set off accumulated losses for a medical college venture.