Magazine forced to withdraw story on Church land scam

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | CYNTHIA CHANDRAN
Published Jan 7, 2018, 6:35 am IST
Updated Jan 7, 2018, 6:35 am IST
Chief editor of Indian Currents gets call from provincial house to withdraw controversial cover story on Cardinal’s deals .
The cover which was withdrawn.
 The cover which was withdrawn.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Indian Currents, a 21-year-old publication by Catholic Church has withdrawn its cover story 'Cardinal Sin' "under obedience" by its chief editor Dr Suresh Mathew. 

They had probed the land dealings by their internal team against Cardinal Mar Alencherry, the major archbishop of Syro-Malabar church.

 

Indian Currents is a weekly news magazine published from New Delhi under the patronage of the Capuchins of Krist Jyoti Province of North India which gives in-depth analysis of day-to-day events in the sociopolitical and religious fields. 

Usually, Dr Mathew uploads the online version as early as Saturday morning when the hard copy hits the newsstand on Monday.

Just when the matter was going to press this Saturday morning, he got a call from his provincial house to withdraw the cover story, an editorial by himself and the corresponding article written by Fr Jose Vallikkattu, a missionary priest belonging to the Missionary Society of St Thomas (MST).

“As a priest, I should be obedient. When I received a call and an email from the Provincial House asking me to wait until the internal probe is over, there is nothing I can do but withdraw at the last moment. So I have been forced to withdraw all the articles on Cardinal Alencherry’s land deals that have landed the Archdiocese of Ernakulam – Angamaly in a mess,” he told DC.

But now he and his editorial team have been forced to come up with Bhima - Koregaon violence in Maharashtra where he has asked political activist John Dayal and senior journalist A. J. Philip to come up with articles on a war footing. His hard-hitting editorial states that “there is more to the episode than meets the eye”. 

He recalls the words of Cardinal George Pell, Vatican’s prefect of the secretariat for the economy, who had opined a few years ago that the “next wave of the attacks of the Church could be for financial irregularities” which has since been proved right, though the expert committee’s probe is on.

The detailed cover story states that “with the latest land row, however, the church has run itself the risk of losing the trust of its congregations. In fact, a church that was built on the solid foundation of unity is today divided in opinion”.
 

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