Church donations dry up in wake of sexual abuse charges

Mumbai, Oct 24,2018: As per a report by Mumbai Mirror, in wake of the recent sexual harassment charges against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, many parishioners have stopped contributing to Sunday Mass Collections and the churches in Mumbai have seen a dip in the donations.

Apparently, many in the Catholic community are now demanding accountability in the Church’s fund trail and to cut the long-standing customs.

Fearing that their donations are being misused, many parishioners are reportedly apprehensive about donating a major chunk of their income to the Church, especially after news had surfaced that the bishop had allegedly offered 50 million rupees and some land to the family of the nun to withdraw the case.

While the Catholics were already worried about how the donations are handled, the sexual abuse charges seem to be the last straw. As per the Mumbai Mirror report, besides the tithe, where people donated 1/10th of their earning to the Church (in Mumbai, the Church asks for 1 percent) many have stopped donating to Sunday Mass collections as well as for major feasts.

Quoting a parishioner of St Michael’s Church in Mahim, Archie Sodder, the report says that many people are apprehensive of donating to Church because of lack of accountability.

Upset about the grand welcome Bishop Franco got on his return to Jalandhar, many people in Mumbai have stopped donations to church and directly donate to the poor and needy, fearing that the amount may allegedly be used to buy the silence of the victims.

The Church, however, has downplayed it as per Mumbai Mirror. Father Nigel Barrett, the spokesperson of Archdiocese of Bombay, has denied a drop in collection and Father Joe P Pereira (of Juhu’s St Joseph’s Church) has maintained that no drop in Sunday collection has been noticed.

He further said that he would not like to comment as “it could lead to a misunderstanding”, reports Mirror.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21 after the investigating team finally found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case.

The nun has registered a complaint in June this year and has been allegedly threatened by the accused of doing so. The congregation has also stood by the rape accused and referred to him as an “innocent soul.”

The Kerala High court had granted him a conditional bail on October 15 after asking him to appear before the investigation team once every two weeks and had also ordered to surrender his passport.

Bishop Mulakkal, was welcomed like a hero at Jalandhar after he was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court.

In another development. Father Kuriakose, who had testified against Bishop Franco, was found dead under mysterious circumstances days after Bishop Franco returned to Jalandhar.


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2 thoughts on “Church donations dry up in wake of sexual abuse charges

  1. Like Bombay Mirror we too can say what we want to say. Spokesperson Fr Barrett could say what he wanted. Some say Church attendance comes down and some say donations come down and the Church will dry up. Does Bombay Mirror know the origin,the purpose of collection during Mass ? Wherever the priest is authoritative and parishioners inactive,frauds or mistakes are there. I can say about one parish where all moneys are receipted and accounted for and audited by Parish council auditor and by chartered accountant annually. Instead of throwing stones always to the clergy, we have to get involved. It may be difficult when the priest is dictator or non co- operative. Every wrong,every mistake,every indifference,every dictator has to be suitably dealt with. None is interested to spend some energy and time for the common good giving excuse of some bad priests.

  2. First vocations started drying up. Now donations are also drying up. This is the best way to break the stranglehold of clericalism that has been choking the church for centuries.

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