Kochi: The Kerala High Court on February 26 sharply criticised the counsel of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal George Alencherry for pointing out to the court that as far as the Cardinal is concerned, the appellate authority is the Pope.
Taking a strong view of the Cardinal’s counsel’s contention, the court told him that it is strange to hear that the law of the land is not applicable to the Cardinal and said the court is looking if there was a breach of trust in the land deal.
The court made this observation when a petitioner sought a probe into the land deal done by the Cardinal which came under severe attack from the laity and even from a section of priests attached to the dioceses headed by the Cardinal.
The Ernakulam archdiocese in 2016 sold a three-acre piece of land in Kochi to repay a Rs 60 crore bank loan it had earlier taken to construct a medical college. The agent appointed by the church to facilitate the deal had estimated the value of the land at Rs 27.30 crore, but priests and local people claimed that the property’s real value was at least Rs 80 crore.
The Cardinal’s counsel told the court that as per the Canon Law, the Pope is the appellate authority to take action against a Cardinal.
(source: Indian Express)