Kochi: Rattled by the ongoing controversy over the alleged rape of a nun by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, the Catholic Church seems to bank on the recent natural calamity in Kerala for an image makeover, says a prominent Church magazine.
The latest issue of Indian Currents, the national English weekly published from Delhi under the patronage of Capuchins Province of Khrist Jyoti of North India, has claimed that the Church’s flood relief activities have helped retrieve its lost glory. The Kerala prelates are trying to blaze a new path of social service and charity, it says.
While lauding the decision of Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil of Verapoly to auction his high-class vehicle to aid flood affected people, the magazine condemned construction of palatial churches spending billions of rupees and pompous celebrations of patrons.
“Caught in a whirlpool of allegations, it is time for the Church to retrieve its lost glory; the glory of being a benign Church that cares for all. It should shun the path of building extravagant churches, indulging in pompous celebrations, and holding wasteful receptions. There is need to blaze a new path; to reinvent a Church that goes to the abode of the poor; a Church that understands the agony of the people,” said the editorial.
“In the God’s own land, the unprecedented agony of people caused by the recent flood came as a trigger; a trigger that touched the hearts of the shepherds and the sheep alike,” the editorial added.
Editor of the weekly Father Suresh Mathew wants the survivor nun in the rape should get justice. “The damages caused by the murky developments are beyond comparison and the church would contain the damage by not thwarting the investigation but by taking the side of truth and justice,” Father Mathew said.
He also condemned the attempts to paint the survivor black. “It is a tragedy that the nuns had to take to streets to get her plea heard. The hierarchy and the investigating team should not strangulate truth under fear or favor,” the editor asserted.