Laymen demand legislation to manage church property
KOZHIKODE: While the row over the failure of Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry in protecting the interests of the church in the sale of its properties still fuming, pro-reform church organisations want the Kerala Christian Church Properties and Institutions Trust Bill - 2009, which is under the consideration of the Kerala Law Reforms Committee, implemented.
The Bill was drafted by the panel headed by late justice V.R. Krishna Iyer with their cooperation.
Joint Christian Council and Catholic Laymen's Association had been raising the demand to bring transparency and democracy in the management of church properties.
Syro Malabar Archdiocese in Ernakulam had sold properties worth Rs 116 Crore, allegedly without paying the due registration fees, triggering protests. They say the church shows no accountability.
Catholic Laymen's Association (CLA) central committee member M.L. George who was part of the team that brought in the draft legislation said was an attempt by the laymen to bring in democracy, giving more powers to the laymen's committees at the grassroots.
"As per the proposed structure, the elected committees will be appointed at various levels with the parish as the basic unit, diocese as revenue district unit and the state-level unit," he told DC.