By Matters India Reporter
Kochi, March 18, 2029: The Syro-Malabar Church on March 18 termed as misleading media reports about a case against a senior priest who had allegedly forged documents to attack Cardinal George Alencherry.
The report about the case is “misleading and an attempt to divert attention from the real problems,” says a press release from the Church’s Media Commission.
Earlier, media reports said the police had booked a case against Father Paul Thelakat, a former spokesperson of the Syro-Malabar Church and current editor of Sathyadeepam Church weekly, for producing some forged documents against Cardinal Alencherry, the head of the Church.
The police complainant was reportedly filed by Syro Malabar Church Internet Mission Executive director Missionaries of St Thomas Father Joby Joseph Maprakavil.
The news about the case appeared a day after Father Thelakat celebrated his 70th birthday.
According to the media reports, the issue began at the St Thomas Mount Church in January. The complaint against Father Thelakat relates to him submitting a fake document about a bank account of the cardinal.
The first information report was reportedly registered on March 8. A case was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. Father Thelakat was reportedly among priests who had protested the illegal land sale in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.
The priest had also supported five nuns who had staged a sit-in Kochi last September for the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, who was accused of raping a woman religious.
“The basis of the case is a fake document that Fr Paul Thelakat had given to Bishop Jacob Manathodath, the current administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese,” explains the media commission’s press note signed by its chairperson Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry.
The documents alleged money transactions had taken place in a personal bank account of the cardinal.
Bishop Manathodath showed the document to the cardinal who in turn presented it to the synod claiming it to be fake as he had no such bank account.
Subsequent enquiry at the bank confirmed the cardinal’s claim. The synod then authorized its Internet Mission director to take appropriate action.
“The synod decision came in the backdrop of some vested interests constantly creating fake news and documents against the Syro-Malabar Church and its leader. What is happening now is part of that process,” Bishop Pamplany explained.
What the Church’s headquarters has done is to ask the police to find the person responsible for the forged document and take appropriate action, the prelate said. “It is true that the police complaint mentions that Father Paul Thelakat had given the document to Bishop Manathodath.
The Church’s stand is to find the guilty and hand them exemplary punishment, the press note added.