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Cardinal liable to abide by law of land: HC 

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.

 The counsel also told the court that despite a few petitions against this land deal and the demand for a detailed probe into it being raised with the Vatican, no action has been initiated by the Pope against the Cardinal.The petitioner urged the court to order a probe to find out if there was any wrong-doing in the sale of land by the Cardinal, which has caused a loss to the Church.



(source: Indian Express)

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7 Responses to Cardinal liable to abide by law of land: HC

  1. C.M. Paul

    Cardinal Alencherry whom I respect as a man of backbone to challenge the sugar coated promises of Amith Shaw in bluffing the Christians of Kerala to lay the foundation to trap the Christians to the RSS net.

    But with this issue, since the civil litigation is in India, Vatican has no right and role to play in this matter. This is not a spiritual issue.

    Let us all pray and work together to settle this issue peacefully without getting into the next step of big fight to keep up the egotism to display, who will win at last. SO, HELP US GOD.

  2. chhotebhai

    It is absurd for the Cardinal to have contended in court that he is answerable to the Pope alone. This is a clever ploy to evade culpability.
    We must thank Isaac Gomes for the important information about the earlier judgements of the Kerala High Court and Supreme Court.
    In the matter of marriages, about which the Catholic Church is very particular, the Code of Canon Law applicable to the Latin Church very clearly subjugates itself to civil law. I am sure that similar provisions exist in the Oriental Code of Canon Law too.
    If any act by any person amounts to a criminal offence then the Indian Penal Code automatically applies. If former Chief Ministers and High Court judges have gone behind bars for their misdeeds,as also religious leaders with lakhs of followers, then the cardinal is no exception, if proven guilty.

  3. Thankapan vaidhyar

    Most of the Catholics have an impression that canon law is lower in grade. If so then canon law should not be mentioned in anywhere. We believe that all laws are interdependent and rely on human dignity revealed to mankind, based on virtues and moral principles ( divine law, natural law, positive law etc) A person is wrong when his/her actions are based on vices.

    If Indian catholics feel canon law is an unworthy item, it shouldn’t be called canon law but call it as family law or personal law etc… If canon law is applied generally to all the countries of the world how can it be contradictory or lower to the law of the land…
    It seems merely the mistake of the interpretation and lack of background about canon law.
    Most of the time people think what bishops and priests bluntly speak are all canon law… Never, actually it is only ‘bagbhas’ (Hindi). The canonists of the country is silently vociferous that their interpretations are filled with favouritism and other malpractices…
    The simplest answer is that person wrong according to the ‘law of the land’ is 10 times wrong before canon law when truly interpreted…

  4. Vincent Bagul

    The law of the land prevails over the Canon law.

    • A. S. Mathew

      Mr. Vincent, you said that very aptly.

  5. Dr Roy Chowdhury

    First comes the law of the land… then only the Church Law is applicable.

  6. Thankapan vaidhyar

    Let us pray for wisdom, and decrement for people in church authority. May the Holy Spirit guide the bishops with charismatic grace…which usually catholic clerics mock at in general forum.
    Don’t be panic, bedsides your mistakes well known laity is praying and supporting unconditionally with a family spirit.
    These issues are occasion for few more days to learn many new things… See catholic life is not routine or ritual. Church is dealing with living Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit. Look only to Jesus for answer with gratitude and repentance.
    May the risen Christ help the Syro Malabar church…

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