Indian Catholic News

Charges of denying funeral rites false: Archbishop Moras

The troubles in the Bangalore Archdiocese had three years back resulted in the murder of the then Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary.

 
Bengaluru: 

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore termed as a blatant lie the allegations of Catholic Christian Religious Rights' Forum that they were denied permission to hold funeral rites on July 11.

“The Archdiocese had made alternative arrangements to attend to the spiritual needs of the church members in the neighbouring church (St James Church, Mariyappanapalya), ever since St Paul the Hermit Church was shut down,” the archbishop said.

“The agitators, however, are spreading false propaganda that the neighbouring church of St James is refusing funeral rites by housing the body of a 65-year-old Catholic woman in the canonically shut down Church of St Paul the Hermit Church in Vishwanatha Nagenahalli,” he said.

“The agitators are making highly insensitive statements disturbing the peace in the community,” he said in a press release.

Archbishop Moras said he ordered the closure of St Paul the Hermit Church as it was binding upon him by the universal Catholic Church Law (Canon Law) and in full justification of his office as Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese.

“Erecting of statue, bust or image of any person who is not declared ‘saint’ or ‘blessed’ is not allowed within the church premises. Even after warning, a bust of deceased Bangalore Archdiocesan priest C Selvaraj was unlawfully installed in the church violating Canonical regulations,” he mentioned.

The troubles in the Bangalore Archdiocese had three years back resulted in the murder of the then Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary Fr K J Thomas. The subsequent arrest of two diocesan priests and filing of charge-sheet against four more priests in the murder case shocked the community. The conflict aggravated after the death of Fr Selvaraj alias Fr Chasara, one of the priests accused. Installing Fr Chasara’s statue in the compound of St Paul the Hermit Church at Vishwanatha Nagenahalli by his supporters resulted in the closure of the church.

The supporters of Fr Chasara had filed a case in the court against Archbishop Moras challenging his order for canonically closing down the church. The latest protest saw them placing the body of Chinnamma Chowrappa (65), who died on July 10, in the portals of the closed St Paul the Hermit Church; they had alleged that the Archbishop was "refusing funeral rites".

Source: Deccan Herald

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