Kochi, June 19, 2019: The Kerala Catholic Church Reform Movement (KCRM) on Sunday staged a protest in front of the Bishop’s House here, against the Catholic Church’s stand in the cartoon controversy. The cartoon named ‘Vishvasam Rakshathi’ had won the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi’s award this year.
The Church had opposed the cartoon in which Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulackal, the main accused in the nun-rape case, is shown holding a crosier with an innerwear at its end.
According to George Joseph, executive committee member of KCRM, the Church’s support for the accused Bishop is demeaning the value of Christianity.
“The Church is interfering in the freedom of expression of an artist. The crosier used in the cartoon is not a religious symbol – it symbolises only episcopal authority. How can it possibly affect religious sentiments of people?” asked George.
The crosier is modelled on the shepherd’s staff, and according to Christian tradition, Bishops are portrayed as shepherds of the flock of faithful.
“The message that the priests of the Catholic Church are conveying to the faithful, in this case, is not acceptable. He has been accused of raping a nun and still the Church backs him. In addition, to protest against a cartoon which draws public attention to the case through satire, is undesirable. The Church has no right to question art,” said Joseph Varghese, vice-chairman of KCRM.
Along with the chairman and vice-chairman, members of the KCRM also took part in the protest.
(New Indian Express)