Church letter puts blame on Cardinal

The circular was read out in many churches in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, a Church source said.

Kochi: A crisis loomed large over the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church with priests of an Archdiocese reading out a circular during Sunday mass in churches under its jurisdiction blaming Church head Cardinal George Alencherry over a criminal case filed against a section of priests.

The "unprecedented" move by the priests comes days after they came out openly against the arrest of a 24-year-old man for allegedly forging bank documents against Cardinal Alencherry.

The clarification circular issued by vicar-general of the Ernakulam - Angamaly archdiocese Fr Varghese Pottackal said the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese bishop Jacob Manathodath and senior priest Fr Paul Thelakkat were made accused in the forgery case filed on behalf of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.

The circular was read out in many churches in the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, a Church source said. “It is an unprecedented situation. Such a move against the Church head is unheard in our Church,” the source said.

The circular said although the Cardinal had assured that everything possible would be made to get these two priests off the list of the accused as there was no intention to make them as accused in the case, no steps in this direction have been taken so far.

They still continue as accused in the case, it said.

Referring to the case against one more priest of the archdiocese in connection with the case, the circular said not a single priest of the archdiocese has made any sort of forgery of documents against the Cardinal.

The circular termed as “wrong” the propaganda that efforts were made to defame the Cardinal using the forged documents.

Alleging that the youth Adithya Z. Valavi was arrested and subjected to torture in custody, the archdiocese urged the government to order either a CBI or a judicial probe into the forgery case.

The youth was kept in the police custody illegally and was subjected to torture to make him say names of priests in the case, the circular said.

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