Indian Catholic News

Ernakulam priests told to contribute a month's pay

In the land sale deal, the archdiocese incurred a total loss of Rs 86 crore.


The Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese, which is facing a financial crisis, is searching for ways to find funds to manage its daily needs.

Recently, auxiliary bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath sent a letter to the priests belonging to the archdiocese, urging them to contribute a month's allowance as donation to the archdiocese.

The priests' council has, however, opposed the move asking why they should suffer for the financial crisis of the archdiocese caused by other persons.

"The monthly allowance of a priest in the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese is only Rs 11,000. In some institutions, it varies, like deduction for food and other facilities such as washing, with the allowance remaining as low as Rs 8,000. We are ready to give the money to the archdiocese. But till now, no action has been taken against those responsible for the financial loss," said a senior priest belonging to the archdiocese.

In the land sale deal, the archdiocese incurred a total loss of Rs 86 crore. Earlier, the priests' council had decided to stop the payment of 'therat' (tax) to the archdiocese this year. As per canon law, all parishes under the Syro-Malabar Church should give a share of their income to the diocese once a year. The share was 3% to 10% as per the yearly income of the churches totalling 331, including dependent shrines, belonging to Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.

"Recently, the priests' council decided to resume paying 'therat' to the archdiocese to tide over its financial problems. Some parishes have already began paying it," said Fr Benny Maramparampil, a senior priest of the archdiocese.

"To pay off the debts of the archdiocese, we plan to sell some plots of land at Kottappady and Matoor," said Fr Benny.

However, the priests' council also questioned the propriety of the action to cover the mistakes. "Recently, Fr Mathew Manavalan was dismissed as vicar of Koratty Forane Church for mismanagement of the accounts of the parish. We welcomed the action. The same practice should have been followed in the archdiocese also," said a priest.

"No action has been taken against those responsible for the mismanagement of the archdiocese accounts. We don't understand why there is such discrimination for the same mistakes done by higher authorities in the church," the priest added.

Source: Times of India

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