Controversy over Syro-Malabar purchase of land in Rome

Kochi: Close on the heels of the controversy over sale of land by Syro-Malabar Church in Kochi, serious allegations have cropped up about a property purchased by the church in Rome for installing an administrative centre (Procura).

The new development has again cast a shadow over the handling of realty assets by church head Cardinal George Alencherry and people close to him.

A section of the laity has alleged that the property, Via degli Estensi 137, was purchased at an exorbitant price though no construction is possible there. The property near Vatican includes land measuring 4,600 sq m (over 1 acre) and a 500-sq m building. It was purchased for nearly Rs 14 crore (Euro 18,50,000) by collecting money from all members of the archdioceses including  a month’s salary from priests and nuns working abroad.

Laity members told TOI that the building is built atop sewage pipes and its ground floor, effectively a basement that should legally be left vacant, has been turned into a prayer room with an altar. They said it could even face demolition if a new inspection rules against it.
(source: Times of India)
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