Kochi: The deals in the fake document in the Ernakulam - Angamaly archdiocese of Syro-Malabar Church turn murkier by the day with a section within openly blaming others for the episode.
The land scam rocked the centuries-old church, which never was in the media for any wrong reasons. Even when there were rare cases against priests, the church leadership was never in the news for any controversies.
However, the land scam triggered a series of protests by various laity organisations demanding enactment of a Church Act to end corruption, malpractices and to ensure transparency.
The most revered church and its leadership were getting dragged into a series of controversies, and a section in the clergy openly protested in a first of its kind in the Kerala church history.
Members of the clergy in the archdiocese remain divided over the land scam with a group staunchly supporting Cardinal Alencherry while others oppose him.
The mudslinging on social media by priests of the warring factions indicated the deep-rooted division among the clergy.
Even after the inquiry report on the land row was submitted to the Vatican, the controversies simmer. The Vatican has clipped the wings of Cardinal Alencherry by removing him from the administrative affairs by appointing Mar Jacob Manathodath as apostolic administrator.
Now, a section of church leadership alleges the recent forged bank document case as an extension of the land deal scam and an attempt to sabotage it.
They firmly believe that the investigators are acting as per the script sketched by a few influential persons accused in the land deal.
If the words of auxiliary bishop Mar Sebastian Adayanthrath are any indication of the state of affairs within, the issues might not be resolved soon as the warring factions are not ready to withdraw.
“We are ready to fight and sacrifice until the truth is out. We are fearless and will launch a strong protest,” he said.
The archdiocese has nearly 300 parishers, 450 vicars and half a million-strong laity.
“All of them are unsatisfied and worried over the controversies and cases regarding the church. The apprehensions of the laity have to be cleared, and we are ready for any sacrifice,” he added.