Kochi: The much-awaited meeting of Synod of Syro-Malabar Church beginning at its headquarters in Kochi on Monday is expected to deliberate on a slew of issues, including the controversial land deals in Ernakulam- Angmaly archdiocese and the alleged fabrication of bank documents in the name of Cardinal George Alenchery, major archbishop of the church, that have marred the image of the church for the past many months. The 11-day synod will see participation of 57 of the 63 bishops of the church. Six bishops will not attend the event due to illness and advanced age.
Synod, supreme body to deliberate on issues connected with the church, is taking place at a time when the church has been caught in a major controversy linked to sale of the land owned by the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. The role of Cardinal Alenchery has come under cloud in the land deal and reports of the various commissions of inquiry on the matter will be one of the major subjects of discussions and the action to be taken on the recommendations of these reports.
The police case against Bishop Jacob Manthodath, Fr. Paul Thelakkat and Fr. Tony Kallookkaran in connection with the alleged fabrication of bank account documents in the name of Cardinal Alenchery is another key issue to be discussed.
Meanwhile, thousands of believers from 16 Foranes of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese took a march to St. Thomas Mount, the headquarters of Syro-Malabar Church, demanding the synod to solve the issues raised by them. One of the key demands is the publication of the reports on the land deal, which according to them has resulted in a loss of nearly Rs 91 crore for the archdiocese. Another demand is for the appointment of an independent archbishop for the archdiocese with full autonomy.
The section of the laity in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese opposed to the Cardinal Alenchery said that a decision on these issues should be taken by August 24. Otherwise they will hold public protest before the Synod from August 2....